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22 July 2017

Top 10 Health Benefits of Nutmeg!

Nutmeg is the seed that is produced by the Myristica fragrans evergreen tree, found in tropical areas all over the world. While the seeds may be small, their nutritional profile is highly impressive, and offers an abundance of health and beauty benefits.

This sweet spice is used in kitchens all over the world, and you don’t have to use large quantities of it as just a dusting is enough to enhance the taste of food. This spice is available in ground or whole form for cooking, and as an essential oil for other purposes.
Some of its beneficial components include iron, potassium, manganese, folate, magnesium, thiamin, copper, and vitamins B1 and B6. It’s also rich in stimulant, carminative, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and aphrodisiac properties. All these factors give this spice its long list of health benefits.

Below are the top 10 health benefits of nutmeg:

1. Fights Depression and Anxiety

If you have anxiety or depression, nutmeg is a fantastic natural treatment.
The compounds myristicin and elemicin in nutmeg offer mild sedative and antianxiety benefits by activating the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain. This also helps us cope with stress.
1. Mix a pinch of nutmeg powder with 1 tablespoon of Indian gooseberry juice.
2. Drink twice a day to calm the mind and relive depression.

2. Boosts Brain Power

Nutmeg helps keep your brain sharp and healthy. In fact, ancient Roman and Greek civilizations used nutmeg as a brain tonic. Myristicin helps improve memory by stimulating the nerves in the brain. It also improves concentration and the ability to focus.
1. To ensure good brain health, add a pinch of nutmeg to a glass of warm water and drink it before going to bed.
3. Fights Insomnia
If you find it hard to sleep at night, nutmeg can help you out. Its sedative and calming properties work as a natural sleep aid. Furthermore, this spice is rich in magnesium, which stimulates the release of serotonin, creating a feeling of relaxation and sedation.
• Drink a cup warm milk mixed with a pinch of nutmeg powder before going to bed. 
• Alternatively, mix 2 drops of nutmeg essential oil in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and massage it onto your forehead before going to bed.
4. Relieves Joint and Muscle Pain

Nutmeg contains many essential volatile oils that that have anti-inflammatory properties, such as elemicin, eugenol, and myristicin. This makes it very useful for treating joint and muscle pain.
• To get relief from painful joints and muscles, mix some nutmeg oil with coconut or olive oil, and apply to the affected areas a few times a day. 
• Adding a little nutmeg to your cooking can help reduce inflammation and pain. 

5. Treats Acne

Nutmeg’s antioxidant nature means that it can help fight free-radical damage, which is important for maintaining acne-free skin. Furthermore, it can help make acne scars a lot less noticeable.
• Prepare a paste with equal amounts of powdered nutmeg and raw honey. Apply it to the affected area, leave it for 20 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. Do this once a day for a few days. 
• Alternatively, mix ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg powder with enough milk to make a runny paste. Apply it to the acne-affected area, let it sit for 30 minutes, then wash off with lukewarm water. Do this once a day. 
6. Improves Digestion
Nutmeg is great for the digestive system. In addition to easing indigestion, nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, and diarrhea, it can also help manage the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
• When you’re suffering from digestive issues, you should simply add a pinch of nutmeg to your soups and stews.
7. Prevents Tooth Decay and Cavities

Due to its antibacterial properties, nutmeg can effectively destroy harmful bacteria inside the mouth to help prevent cavities and tooth decay. Furthermore, it’s also effective at preventing and treating bad breath, which is usually caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth.
• Simply grate some nutmeg and mix it with some oregano oil. Brush your teeth with it a few times a week. 
• To fight bad breath, put a few drops of nutmeg oil in a glass of lukewarm water, and use it as a mouthwash. 

8. Boosts Immunity

Nutmeg can enhance your immunity due to the presence of minerals and vitamins that contribute to its antioxidant action. Antioxidants help to protect your body from free-radical damage, which can otherwise have a negative impact on your immunity, making it hard for your body to fight off infections.
• Consume some nutmeg each day by adding it to your milk, tea, or soup. ​
9. Aids Detoxification
Proper detoxification is very important for good health. Nutmeg is very beneficial, as it aids detoxification and improves the function of your liver.

10. Improves Male Libido
Due to its vasodilating and smooth muscle-relaxing properties, the compound eugenol in nutmeg is responsible for its aphrodisiac effect. Plus, it has magnesium and potassium, the essential nutrients required in the production of sex hormones.
Nutmeg helps to cleanse the liver and kidneys of toxins, as well as strengthening their functions. Its high antioxidant content helps activate enzymes in the liver that help to remove toxic compounds. Furthermore, the magnesium in it is required for detoxifying cells.

Important Notes

• Do not consume too much nutmeg as it can be toxic in large doses – do not take more than ½ a teaspoon a day. 
• Store this spice in an airtight container and away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight to avoid loss of flavor.

The Health Benefits of Eating Avocados!

Smooth, creamy and flavorsome, avocados provide a unique and versatile addition to numerous dishes and snacks. They can liven up a salad or soup, and provide a fantastic dressing for any sandwich. But the avocado's unique taste and interesting texture are not the only features that ensure they stand out from other fruits. They also have an unusual nutritional make up which provide some incredible health benefits that will make you want to add them to your regular diet.

Numerous studies have shown that the diverse range of nutrients present in avocados offer a wide range of powerful health benefits. Here are 10 reasons to add avocados to your weekly diet, all of which have been supported by scientific research.

1. They Contain Loads of Goodness
avocados, health
Avocados are extremely nutritious and contain abundant levels of a whole range of nutrients, including over 20 vitamins and minerals. A single, 100 gram (3.5 oz) serving of avocado will provide you with:
• 26% of your recommended daily levels of vitamin K, which is important for strong bones and heart health.
• 20% of your recommended daily levels of folate, which is important for the formation of blood cells in your bone marrow.
• 17% of your recommended daily levels of vitamin C, which is important for supporting the immune system, heart, eyes and skin.
• 14% of your recommended daily levels of vitamin B5, which is important for allergy avoidance among other benefits.
• 13% of your recommended daily levels of vitamin B6, which helps various systems in the body, including the circulatory, digestive, immune, nervous and muscular systems.
• 10% of your recommended daily levels of vitamin E, which encourages healthy skin and eyes.

In addition to these, it also contains smaller amounts of a magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, vitamin A, and phosphorous. Avocados really are a hotbed of essential nutrients!
2. They Provide Friendly Fats
avocados, health
Avocados are one of the fattiest plants on the planet, but while the word 'fat' has negative connotations, not all fat is bad for you. In fact, the body needs a certain amount of 'friendly' fat to function properly. Avocados are high in polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. Avocados are also rich in Oleic Acid, a fatty acid that is credited with providing many of the health benefits of olive oil.
3. They Help Maintain Your Vision
avocados, health
Avocados are high in anti-oxidants including two nutrients called lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for good eye health. Studies have shown that these ingredients significantly reduce the risk of cataracts. They have also been shown to help protect you from macular degeneration, the most common cause of vision reduction or loss among people over the age of 65.

4. They Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Problems
avocados, health
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the West, and there are a number of triggers that can cause it to develop. Increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are high on the list of common causes, and the consumption of avocados has been shown to help control levels of both. One study tested two groups of people, one group that had been instructed to eat avocados, and one group that were not. Results showed that those who ate avocados reduced blood triglycerides by up to 20% and lowered harmful cholesterol by as much as 22%. 
5. They Are Great Anti-Inflammatories
avocados, health
The omega-9 fatty acids found in avocados are anti-inflammatory, which can help balance out the negative, inflammatory effects of the unsaturated fats found in various processed foods and dairy products. They also contain high levels of nutrients called phytosterols, which also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and are highly recommended for people who suffer from arthritis and osteoporosis. If that wasn't enough, the phytosterols combine with oleic acid to provide proven protection against UV damage and inflammation of the skin cells. Avocados can therefore be considered something of an anti-inflammatory super-food!
6. They Can Help Digestion
avocados, health
Another nutrient avocados contain in abundance is fiber, which is associated with weight loss, blood sugar regulation and better digestion. Avocados contain an unusually high amount of fiber, with each 100 gram (3.5 oz) serving containing around 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount.  A high fiber diet can help food pass through the digestive system more easily, maintaining the health of your colon, while reducing feelings of bloatedness.
7. They Are A Great Source of Potassium
avocados, health
Potassium takes an essential role in the generation of the electrical pulses that keep your heart beating, and also helps keep your muscles moving and your nerves working. Studies have shown that potassium deficiencies can be linked to heart problems, kidney disease and increase the risk of a stroke. Bananas are often held up as one of the best sources of potassium, but guess what? Avocados contain more potassium per 100 gram (3.5 oz) - providing 14% of your recommended daily amount, compared to the 10% offered by bananas.
8. They Help You Absorb Nutrients from other Foods
avocados, health
When you eat healthy foods, it is important to ensure that your body absorbs as much of the goodness as possible, and this absorption process sometimes needs some help. Many key nutrients actually need to combine with fat to be utilized successfully, including vitamins A, D, E and K, and the hugely beneficial antioxidant carotenoid. Carotenoids are found in leafy greens, carrots and sweet potatoes, all vegetables which contain very little fat. Studies have shown that if you add an avocado when you eat these foods, carotenoid uptake can increase up to 15 times over.
9. They May Help Prevent Cancer
avocados, health
Although research is in its infancy, there is some evidence that avocado consumption can be beneficial in preventing certain types of cancer. A 2007 study published in the journal Seminars in Cancer Biology found that phytochemicals contained within avocados could encourage cancer cells to stop growing. Other research has suggested a link between avocados and reduced risk of mouth, skin and prostate cancer. The potentially powerful benefits of avocados in this regard are linked to their unique mix of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
10. They Can Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
avocados, health
Because they are low in carbohydrates and sugars when compared to other fruits, avocados can help maintain blood sugar levels. Their high fiber content is also important in this regard. A large portion of any fiber-rich food eaten will pass through the digestive system in tact, and this means they are less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar levels. People who have type 2 diabetes are often told to include plenty of fiber in their diet, and avocados are a great source.

21 July 2017

12 Health Benefits of Butter!

Butter is a true delight to our taste buds, but many of us try to stay away from this dairy because it’s believed to be really bad for the waistline. However, when taken in moderation, butter has a wealth of health benefits – 12 of which can be found below.
Contains Saturated Fats

Saturated fats contain a lot of good cholesterol and helps to decrease bad cholesterol. Therefore, they are good for your heart and help prevent strokes. Furthermore, they are one of the necessary ingredients for brain development. They also help contribute towards weight loss.

Vitamin Powerhouse

Butter contains vitamin A, D, and K which can all help revert the effects of tooth decay. Furthermore, they help improve your eyesight, keep your skin glowing, and contribute towards gene transcription.

Mineral Store

Important minerals such as copper, zinc, and manganese can be found in butter. These are powerful antioxidants that help fight against dangerous free radicals.

Has Fatty Acids

Fatty acids boost your metabolism and immune system. Butter is believed to contain short and medium chains of fatty acids.

Contains CLA

CLA reduces fat mass in humans. This fatty acid is found in dairy products of those mammals that eat a plant-based diet. CLA helps fight against cancer, especially breast and colon cancer.

Contains Butyrate

Around 3-4% of butter is butyrate, a four-carbon fatty acid which is responsible for keeping your gut working right
Contains Calcium

Butter has plenty of calcium which is necessary for strong bones and teeth.

Contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fats

Butter is said to contain the perfect balance of both the omega fats which are necessary for brain functioning and skin-related issues.

Holds Good Cholesterol

Butter contains the perfect level of good cholesterol. This is important for maintaining a healthy cellular function. Furthermore, it plays an important role in the development of the nervous system.

Anti-Cancer Properties

Butter’s high levels of beta carotene and Vitamin A has been known to help prevent colorectal and prostate cancer.

Maintains Thyroid Health

Most thyroid related diseases are because of a deficiency in Vitamin A. Butter contains plenty of vitamin A, so helps protect against thyroid diseases.

Improves Sexual Health

Studies have proven that the fat-soluble vitamins that are present in butter (A and D) can help boost your sexual performance.

3 Simple and Effective Exercises to Alleviate Neck Pain!

While the neck may be a relatively small region of muscles in comparison to the rest of the body, stress and tension often tend to build up in this area. Sitting down all day, staring at our phones, tablets and computers, causes us to slump into poor postures at our desks, contributing to tightness in the neck. Fortunately though, a little bit of yoga can go a long way. The three stretches below are simple and effective, creating space in the neck, shoulders and back, helping to soothe your state of mind too.
Hold each pose for a minimum of 5 to 10 deep breaths, focusing your attention on how you feel. The stretches below can be done while sitting or standing.
Side Neck Stretch
neck stretches
Here's How: Stretch your left arm beside your left hip, extending it away from your body at a 45-degree angle.
Take your right hand to the left side of your head. Exhale, take your right ear as close as you can get it to your right shoulder, and hold for 5 deep breaths. Then repeat on the other side.

Benefits: This side stretch will help lengthen and soothe the side of your neck and shoulders.
Hand Clasp
neck stretches
Here's How: Interlace your fingers and place them behind your head. Fold your elbows forward, hug the biceps toward the midline of your body.
Exhale, tuck your chin toward your chest. Hold for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Benefits: Practice this stretch to lengthen and soothe the back of your neck.

Upper Back Stretch
neck stretches
Here's How: Take your left arm behind you, resting it toward the right side of your lower back.
Lower your chin slightly (about halfway) and place your right hand on the left side of your head.
Exhale, move your head until your right ear is as close as you can get it to your right shoulder. Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Benefits: This stretch works on lengthening and soothing both sides of your neck. It also stretches the upper shoulders, chest and the mid-upper back.