Researchers have cracked the mystery of why eating garlic can help keep the heart healthy. The key is allicin, which is broken down into the foul-smelling sulphur compounds which taint breath.
These compounds react with red blood cells and produce hydrogen sulphide which relaxes the blood vessels, and keeps blood flowing easily.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham research appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
However, UK experts warned taking garlic supplements could lead to side effects.
Hydrogen sulphide generates a smell of rotten eggs and is used to make stink bombs.
But at low concentrations it plays a vital role in helping cells to communicate with each other. And within the blood vessels it stimulates the cells that form the lining to relax, causing the vessels to dilate.
This, in turn, reduces blood pressure, allowing the blood to carry more oxygen to essential organs, and reducing pressure on the heart.
Mental decline as you age appears to be largely due to altered connections among brain cells. But research has found that keeping the brain active seems to increase its vitality and may build its reserves of brain cells and connections. You could even generate new brain cells. You don’t have to turn your life upside down, or make extreme changes to achieve many of these benefits. Start with something small, like a daily walk. After a while, add another small change. Keep your brain active every day:
Stay curious and involved — commit to lifelong learning Read, write, work crossword or other puzzles Attend lectures and plays Enroll in courses at your local adult education center, community college or other community group Play games Garden Try memory exercises
As you start your walking routine, remember to: Proper walking technique
Turning your normal walk into a fitness stride requires good posture and purposeful movements. Ideally, here’s how you’ll look when you’re walking:
Your head is up. You’re looking forward, not at the ground. Your neck, shoulders and back are relaxed, not stiffly upright. You’re swinging your arms freely with a slight bend in your elbows. A little pumping with your arms is OK. Your stomach muscles are slightly tightened and your back is straight, not arched forward or backward. You’re walking smoothly, rolling your foot from heel to toe.
Plan your routine: Get the right gear. Choose shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet and absorb shock. If you walk outdoors when it’s dark, wear bright colors or reflective tape for visibility. Choose your course carefully. If you’ll be walking outdoors, avoid paths with cracked sidewalks, potholes, low-hanging limbs or uneven turf. Warm up. Walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for exercise. Cool down. At the end of your walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to help your muscles cool down. Stretch. After you cool down, gently stretch your muscles. If you’d rather stretch before you walk, remember to warm up first.
Overcoming erectile dysfunction starts with proper nutrition, diet and body fat. Foods that contain zinc, vitamin E, fish oil, fruits and vegetables help to fight erectile dysfunction. Foods high in fat, sugar and sodium make your erectile dysfunction worse. Also, you should lose weight if you overweight as being overweight can lead to blood circulation problems. When the arteries and veins are blocked by fat and plaque, blood does not flow properly through the body and the penis needs proper blood flow to become erect. Here are some foods that can help you overcome erectile dysfunction: Watermelonmay help protect erectile dysfunction through its citrulline content. Citrulline is a phytonutrient that helps to relax and open up blood vessels, promoting the flow of blood to the penis. Foods High in Zinc,such as turkey, chicken, peanuts, whole grain products, yogurt, beef, lamb, salmon, cheese and milk are excellent sources of zinc Coconut Water may help to treat erectile dysfunction because contains many electrolytes that create energy in the body. Papayacontains arginine, which boosts blood flow to the penis. Garlic is another super food for erectile dysfunction. Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham uncovered that garlic boosts the production of hydrogen sulfide, which relaxes blood vessels and arteries. Foods high in vitamin E are also potent arsenal in the nutrition fight against erectile dysfunction. Foods such as peanuts, almonds, broccoli, spinach, mango and wheat germ can help fight erectile dysfunction. Vitamin E promotes the healthy functioning of the heart and arteries, which promotes good blood flow and circulation within the body.
Low blood cholesterol levels reduce the risk not only of heart disease but also of cancer, two new studies show.
The findings should help ease longstanding fears that low cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of cancer, said Dr. Demetrius Albanes, a senior investigator at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and an author of one of two reports in the November issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
“These results should help dispel any lingering thoughts that low cholesterol may help cause cancer,” said Eric Jacobs, strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology at the American Cancer Society, who wrote an accompanying editorial.
Data from a study that has followed more than 29,000 Finnish men for 18 years showed both the reason for fears that low cholesterol levels raised the risk of cancer and the reason why those fears were unjustified, Albanes said.
Cholesterol levels below the generally recommended 200 milligrams per deciliter were associated with an 18 percent higher overall risk of cancer, but the increased risk applied only to cases diagnosed in the early years of the study. “The finding supports the idea that lower cholesterol levels are the results of undiagnosed cancers,” Albanes explained.
Natural remedies can help promote healthy circulation , including herbs Ginkgo biloba, Zingiber officinalis and Rosmarinus officinale (Rosemary). If you are already using prescription medication for circulatory problems, always consult your doctor before deciding to take any herbal remedies. Tips for the Prevention of Poor Circulation. -Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day for proper hydration -Eat green, leafy vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, fish and poultry in small portions -Limit sugar, alcohol, protein, dairy products, salt, caffeine and refined white flour products such as pasta -Drink lemonade with real lemon juice – lemon juice contains citrate -Exercise regularly, physical activity helps to remove the stone -Increase your intake of magnesium and vitamin B6 supplements -Use hot packs or castor oil packs to relieve the pain and cramping -Try massage therapy, which can also help promote circulation.
Cinnamon and Honey; Whoever thought? Honey is the only food on the planet that will not spoil or rot. What it will do is what some call ‘turning to sugar’. In reality, honey is always honey. However, when left in a cool dark place for a long time it will “crystallize”. When this happens loosen the lid, boil some water and sit the honey container in the hot water, but turn off the heat and let it liquefy naturally. It is then as good as it ever was. Never boil honey or put it in a microwave. This will kill the enzymes in the honey.
Facts on Honey and Cinnamon: It is found that a mixture of honey and Cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also accept honey as a ‘Ram Ban’ (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Heart Diseases: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply it on bread instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat and the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins. Arthiritis: Many Arthritis patients may take daily (morning and night) one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week (out of the 200 people so treated) practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain — and within a month, most all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis now started walking without pain.
So you got the results of your recent cholesterol test, and your HDL cholesterol came back low. Since low HDL is a risk factor for heart disease, you know that you need to elevate it…but how? When all the stories you read are talking about lowering your total cholesterol, why would you want to increase this form of cholesterol? HDL (high density lipoprotein) is the “good” cholesterol. It acts like a cholesterol dump truck, gathering “bad” cholesterol from the arteries and carrying it back to the liver for clearance. This heart protective effect may even slow the buildup of plaque in the arterial walls of the heart. HDL may also have some anti-inflammatory effects that are beneficial to your heart. That’s why you want your HDL to be high, so it can better carry out these responsibilities and protect your ticker. -Nuts– Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, pecans, peanuts, and hazelnuts are all good sources of heart-healthy fats and are great to add to your diet to increase your intake -Seafood– Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, and halibut are highest in omega-3 fatty acids, a specific type of unsaturated fat shown to be most beneficial for heart health and reduce the risk of death by heart attack. -Olive Oil– Olive oil is high in unsaturated fats and can help you elevate your HDL. -Avocado– Although many dieters shy away from this fruit because of its high fat content, it’s perfectly good for you thanks to its heart-healthy fats.
Found in most spice cupboards and known for its spicy-hot taste, cayenne makes an excellent topical ointment that relieves joint pain.
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper, tricks the brain by causing local irritation to skin where signals then travel along nerve pathways, distracting the brain from the true source of pain. In time, repeated topical applications of cayenne pepper will reduce arthritis pain significantly.
To make topical homemade remedies, mix 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper with 1/2 cup of cocoa butter, lanolin or coconut oil. Apply it directly to the sore joint. Alternatively, mix 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and add to a foot bath with warm water.
Soak hands or feet for 20 minutes, then rinse. Cayenne pepper can cause skin irritation.
If you’re having trouble slipping into and remaining in Dreamland, don’t dart straight to prescription sleep drugs. Science has found many foods, drinks, herbs, and other natural sleep aids can help put you to sleep naturally. In fact, just this summer, researchers made the connection between tart cherry juice and getting adequate shut-eye. Here are some natural food- and drink-based sleep aids.
In the small study, participants drank eight ounces of the tart cherry (also known as sour cherry) juice in the morning, and another eight ounces in the evening, for two weeks and reported better sleeping habits. Since all cherries are naturally high in melatonin, a compound that makes us sleepy, you can try eating a cup as a snack before it’s time for shut-eye if you’d rather not drink the juice.
Certain fish and sea creatures contain sleep-inducing tryptophan, including shrimp, cod, tuna, and halibut. But since not all seafood choices are healthy for us (some are high in contaminants) or for the planet (many are overfished, or methods for catching them kill other species), stick to catches like Pacific cod from Alaska or pole-caught Albacore tuna from the U.S. or British Columbia.
If keeping track of the latest safe seafood guidelines is too complicated, you can get your tryptophan fix from other things. You’ve probably heard that warm milk can help you sleep, since milk contains tryptophan. But the key is to combine carbs with a protein containing tryptophan to help your body better utilize the sleep inducer. Try pairing a cup of whole grain cereal with organic milk before bedtime.