Thursday, May 17, 2012

Having Breakfast

Importance of having Breakfast

Most people who skip breakfast or who eat an unhealthy one use either lack of time in the morning or weight watching as their excuse.

We will explain further on in the article that skipping breakfast in order to lose weight is a total misconception that holds absolutely no truth and in fact the opposite is true, in that skipping breakfast, in some cases, could cause you to become overweight.

What happens to our body first thing in the morning?
If you consider that when we wake up in the morning, for the majority of us, our body and brain have been without food for around 10 - 12 hours and for children it may be longer.

Our body is similar to a car in the fact that it needs fuel to run, and like a car, the better you look after your body, the longer and better it will run.

Our bodies must be fuelled several times each day so that we function efficiently and carry out our daily tasks as best we can. In the morning, after many hours without food, it is essential to refuel in order to provide the necessary nutrients and energy to get us through the first part of the day.

Why is it important to fuel our brain?

It is from our brain that messages are sent to other parts of the body to get them moving and working well.

If our brain is not fed, it will act in a slow and sluggish manner, which will impact greatly on the rest of our body.

The brain requires glucose or blood sugar to provide it with energy to function, whilst the muscles of our body need glucose to activate them and get the body working physically.

To work and feel well, our blood sugar levels must be maintained at a certain level. After long periods without food, our blood sugar levels fall, causing tiredness and irritability amongst other symptoms that occur when you need food.

The disadvantages of not having breakfast
If you deprive your body of food in the morning you may find that you feel tired, dizzy and irritable and that your concentration is poor. It may take you longer to carry out tasks or you just might not feel up to anything mentally strenuous let alone physical. You will probably find yourself snapping at people unintentionally, especially if under stress and you will no doubt soon start to feel pangs of hunger as the morning wears on.

If you don't eat anything in the morning, you will most likely find yourself craving something sweet to eat, as your body cries out for a quick fix to boost energy levels. If you are at work and it is not yet time for lunch, this is one of the moments when you may find yourself reaching for something very unhealthy such as a chocolate bar, croissant, cream cake or other unhealthy snacks. For those who are watching their weight, this is disastrous.

It is also possible that you may become so hungry that you grab twice as many unhealthy snacks to eat before lunch or even end up eating all of your packed lunch by 11.30 am.

No breakfast does not equal losing weight
Some people erroneously think that by skipping breakfast, they will reduce their calorie intake for the day and that it will help them to lose weight.

Not only are you giving your body the worst possible start in the morning and putting it under unnecessary pressure, this is also not the case.

Missing breakfast often leads to overeating at some point later on in the day, usually snacking on unhealthy foods, which are high in calories and fat. You may also become over hungry mid-morning and by lunchtime could end up eating twice as much than if you had eaten a healthy breakfast that released energy slowly throughout the day.

Three healthy square meals or six smaller meals a day should keep you going throughout, without having the need to snack in between.

The disadvantages of not eating an adequate breakfast
People who start the day with a strong, sweet cup of coffee and a croissant, Danish pastry or bowl of sugar-loaded cereal, may think that because they have eaten something, that they are starting the day well, and providing their body and brain with a good start to the morning. They may also wonder why, their energy boost doesn't last very long and why they are ravenous mid-morning even after having consumed breakfast first thing.

This is because although they did make time to have breakfast, their breakfast choice was very poor.

Caffeine, as we all know, gives you instant energy and many people feel that they cannot start the morning or even go through the day without at least several shots! In actual fact, caffeine produces adrenaline, which sends some of the body's stored glucose to the brain.

Cereals high in sugar have very little nutritional value. When eaten their high amounts of sugar are released almost immediately into the bloodstream (sugar fix) and provide an instant energy boost.

Together with the caffeine, blood sugar (glucose) levels rocket and energy levels soar.

The downside of this effect is that the energy boost is extremely short-lived. As the pancreas responds to this surge of glucose, it produces insulin in order to bring the levels back down to a reasonable amount.

This means that a few hours after this unhealthy breakfast, you are left feeling tired and hungry again and in need of another quick sugar fix.

The advantages of a healthy and nutritious breakfast
After a good night's sleep and with an empty stomach in the morning, it makes sense that the best way to start the day and to energize and revitalize your body, is with a filling, nutritious and healthy breakfast that will keep you satiated until the next meal.

Our body needs a healthy breakfast packed full of vitamins and nutrients whilst also providing energy and fuel for the brain.

The best types of foods to be eaten at breakfast are complex carbohydrates such as whole grains including oats, rye bread and millet together with a small amount of dried fruit and freshly squeezed juice.

These foods have a low GI (glycaemic index), which means that they release glucose steadily and slowly into the bloodstream, unlike the unhealthier breakfast choices mentioned earlier. Consequently, these foods will keep you fuller for longer, prevent unhealthy snacking, keep energy levels steady without dipping and provide you with essential vitamins and minerals that may be missed at other meals.

Many people like to consume some form of protein in the morning, as protein balances blood sugar levels and recent studies have also proven that concentration levels are enhanced if some form of protein in consumed during the breakfast meal.

Excellent sources of protein, which can be incorporated into the breakfast meal are eggs, fish, nuts and seeds. Eggs are a particularly rich source of choline (B vitamin), which the body converts into acetyl-choline, a neurotransmitter found in the brain.

Studies show that adults and children who eat breakfast in the morning perform better at school and at work. It is proven that with breakfast, concentration and memory improve, mental performance and problem-solving ability is better and learning ability is increased.

Not only this but studies generally prove that most people who eat breakfast manage their weight better, are not obese or overweight, have lower levels of cholesterol, which means they are less likely to suffer from heart disease and are generally in better health overall, not to mention in better mood.

In children, their concentration and productivity at school is better and they are more creative, interested and alert.

Warning: The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.

This information is solely for informational purposes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Neem Tree Wonders

  • The Neem tree is a fast growing evergreen that is native to Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. This amazing tree is claimed to treat forty different diseases. All the parts of the tree is used for treating illness, the leaves, fruit, seeds and even the bark all contain medicinal properties.
  • The use of neem as a medicinal herb dates back over 5,000 years. Today it’s benefits have been proven by scientific research and clinical trials. And, although few of us have access to a neem tree, it can be purchased in the form of oil, powder and pills.
  • To give you an idea of the healing powers of the neem tree, here are a few names that the people of India have given it, “Divine Tree”, “Village Pharmacy”, “Heal All” and “Nature’s Drugstore”. With the almost ending list of uses for neem, I think it could be called, ” The Tree of Life”!
  • In treating diabetes, neem has been found to actually reduce the insulin requirements by as much as 50% without altering the blood glucose levels. Take 3 to 5 drops internally each day.
  • Neem cleanses the blood, stimulates antibody protection and strengthens the immune system which improves the bodies resistance to many diseases.
  • Used as a mouth wash it treats infections, mouth ulcers, bleeding sore gums and will even help prevent tooth decay!
  • For pink eye the juice of neem leaves can be used as eye drops, warm 5-10 ml and apply several drops.
  • To treat jaundice, mix 30 ml of neem juice with 15 ml of honey, take on an empty stomach for seven days.
  • If you suffer from burning sensations and excessive sweating, add 5 to 10 drops of neem oil in a glass of milk before going to bed.
  • Proclaimed the best product available in treating psoriasis, 2 capsules should be taken three times daily after meals with a glass of water.
  • Another way to treat psoriasis as well as eczema, skin ulcers, fungal conditions, cold sores and athletes foot, is to mix 1 tablespoon neem oil and 4 ounces of olive oil. This should be applied at least twice daily to the affected areas.
  • For acne problems take 2 capsules twice daily, you will start to see results within a few days.
  • To remove moles and warts, one drop of undiluted neem oil should be directly to the mole or wart and then covered with a small bandage. The procedure should be repeated daily using fresh oil and clean bandage.
  • For sinusitis, plain pure neem oil can be used as nasal drops. Use tow drops twice daily, morning and evening.
  • For athletes foot, soak feet in warm water with 15 ml of neem oil.
  • Neem oil will quickly stop earaches, just warm some oil and apply a few drops into the ear.
  • For hemorrhoids, apply some neem oil to a cotton ball and gently rub for about a week. If preferred a paste can be made by adding a small amount of olive oil or Aloe Vera oil until desired consistency is reached.
  • To prevent hair loss and enhance growth, mix a few drops of neem oil with coconut or olive oil and massage into scalp. This will even prevent your hair from graying!
  • Neem oil can be applied to cuts and abrasions to help them heal quickly. Neem increases blood flow which aids in creating the collagen fibers that helps the wounds to close.
  • As a treatment for burns and even sunburn, neem oil can kill the bacteria, reduce the pain and stimulate the immune system. By stimulating the immune system it speeds up the healing process and there is less scarring.
  • To kill head lice, neem oil should be massaged into the scalp and left on over night. Shampoo your hair as usual the next morning.
  • Neem detoxifies the body and helps maintain healthy circulatory systems, digestive and respiratory systems and helps to keep the urinary tract free of infections.
  • Scientific evidence has shown that neem is valuable in boosting the bodies immune system. A healthier immune system helps your body in fighting off many illness and diseases.
  • Laboratory studies have proven neem to be effective in treating the symptoms of food poisoning associated with both salmonella and staphylococcus. Neem extracts kill the salmonella bacteria and flush it out of your system, reducing the severity and length of the ailment.
  • A neem paste applied directly to the sores caused by chicken pox, will relieve the itching and reduce scarring.
  • Neem tea drank once or twice weekly can even help prevent colds. If you already have the symptoms associated with a cold they can be lessened by drinking neem tea three times a day. It will help alleviate the fever, cough, aches and pains, sore throat, fatigue and nasal congestion.
  • Neem also contains powerful anti-fungal properties that have been shown to aide in the treatment of athletes foot, yeast infections, thrush and even ringworm.
  • In it’s use of treating hepatitis, 80% of test subjects showed a significant improvement. The neem extract can actually block the infection that causes this virus.
  • Drinking neem tea during an outbreak of influenza will help alleviate some of the symptoms and speed up the recovery time. Neem has an amazing ability to literally surround viruses and prevent them from even infecting the cells.
  • Use of a neem based powder for jock itch will reduce the itching, dry the area and kill the fungus. For severe cases a neem lotion may be more effective.
  • The length and severity of an outbreak of mononucleosis can be decreased by drinking neem tea twice a day for two weeks.
  • For shingles, neem cream should be applied to the affected area at least three times per day. Severe cases should also be treated with neem tea after each meal, but tea should not be consumed for more than two weeks at a time.
  • Thrush can be effectively treated with neem tea, it will reduce the inflammation, reduce the pain and speed healing. Children under the age of 12 should not drink neem tea, for children this young it should only be used to gargle.
  • Secondary bacterial infections in the nasal passages and respiratory system can be decreased by inhaling steam from boiling the leaves.
  • In a recent study neem was shown to lower cholesterol levels when taken for a month in either the capsule form or the extract.
  • Scientific studies have proven that neem will reduce blood clots, heart irregularities and even reduce blood pressure. Results can be seen within one month on a regimen of extract or capsules.
  • Neem will increase the bodies production of T-cells, which will attack infections.
  • The use of neem oil on the skin is known to actually rejuvenate the skin, it also promotes collagen and will work in the treatment of many skin conditions including acne. Acne can be cleared up with a few day by taking two neem capsules twice daily.
  • It is reported that neem will help in fighting chronic fatigue.
  • For headaches neem powder should be applied to the forehead, neem oil should also work in combating headaches when used the same way.
  • The inflammation, pain and swelling of the joints associated with arthritis can be greatly relieved with the use of neem. Neem changes the immune systems response to arthritis and can halt the progress of this disease.
  • For centuries neem has been used to reduce tumors. Clinical research has shown remarkable effects in the reduction of tumors and cancers and also in treating leukemia.
  • Neem is highly effective in treating gastritis, indigestion and heartburn.
  • Blood disorders such as blood poisoning, kidney problems and poor circulation have been benefited by the use of neem.
  • With all of the countless medicinal benefits that are already provided with the use of neem, it is also being studied very closely for a treatment for AIDS, cancer, allergies, diabetes and both male and female forms of birth control!
  • Neem oil should be stored in a cool dark place, if the oil solidifies it can be placed in warm water to bring back to liquid form.

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