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diabetes diet Food health benefits heart health

A Beginners Guide to Flexitarian Diet

The terrific aspect of the flexitarian diet is it doesn’t pigeon hole into a single way of eating-neither; its too restrictive but offers more flexibility. The open-ended nature of this diet makes it easier to stick to. Flexitarian diet is not only pocket friendly but environmentally friendly too. 

What is the Flexitarian diet?

The name is a combination of the words Flexible and vegetarian -flexitarian.

Flexitarian diet is mostly an eating style that promotes plant-based food while allowing meat, fish, eggs, and dairy in moderation. It will enable more flexibility in eating than vegan or vegetarian diets. 

This diet is the brainchild of Dawn Jackson Blatner, a famous dietician. Her motto is to help people to obtain the health benefits of a vegetarian diet while eating animal products in moderation. 

Flexitarians are not considered vegans or vegetarians because they eat animal products. Flexitarian diet is more than a diet-its lifestyle. You don’t need to follow any dietary patterns or recommended calories to practice this diet. But it insists on some basic principals.

  • Concentrate on proteins from plants instead of animals
  • Mainly focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Avoid processed foods and eat natural forms of nourishment.
  • Limit added sugar and sweets.
  • Include animal and meat products from time to time. 

Possible Health Benefits of Vegetarian Diet

Apart from being flexible, it offers some incredible health benefits.

Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes

Scientific literature states that a vegetarian diet was more effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Since the flexitarian diet is more vegetarian friendly, this diet will be helpful for people with diabetes. 

In a study seventy-four research participants consumed the same number of calories for six months. Some followed a vegetarian diet while others followed a diet that stressed a reduction of fats, carbs, sugars, and cholesterol.

 Interestingly people who ate a vegetarian diet lost a lot of intramuscular and subcutaneous fat. The intramuscular fat can affect your insulin resistance and can even lead to diabetics. 

Another study states that flexitarians had a lower risk of diabetes when compared with non-vegetarians. 

May lower cancer risk.

Nutrients and antioxidants that fight cancer are present in vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. Research studies point out that vegetarian diets are linked with an overall incidence of reduction of cancer, especially colorectal cancer. A well planned plant-based diet is helpful in protection against various types of cancers.

Aids in weight loss

Flexitarian diet has a massive following because it helps you to follow a vegetarian diet without altogether avoiding meat. Studies show that plant-based eating plans help to lower the risk of stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure. A research review points out that a semi-vegetarian diet leads to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, increased metabolic health, as well as short and long term weight loss. 

Another notable research study says that a low-calorie vegetarian diet helps reduce body weight and fat and improves heart health.

A recent research study published in 2018 notes that plant-based diets like vegetarian diets help to reduce the risk of diabetes while increasing the quality of life and psychological wellbeing of people living with diabetes.

Possible health risks 

The quality of plant-based foods is essential when it comes to healthy eating. However, there’s a hidden danger of nutritional deficiencies when people cut back on meat and other animal products. The risk of dietary deficiencies that may arise due to a flexitarian diet include 

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B12
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Calcium

Downsides to eating a vegetarian diet include risk of stroke, deficiency in choline that may affect brain health, hair loss, and mood problems. 

So how do you get started with a flexitarian diet

Actually, its relatively easy to shift into the flexitarian diet. Just follow these three steps.

Re-portion your plate

Experts advise you to downsize meat and grains while increasing the quantity of vegetables. Aim to include 25 percent from whole grains, for example, quinoa, brown rice, and whole-grain pasta—fifty percent from fruits and vegetables and the last 25 percent fish, meat, and poultry. 

Reinvent old favorites

Swap meat for chickpeas, lentils, or beans -these protein-rich foods are less expensive than pork, chicken, and beef. Also, you can use low sodium sauce, potatoes, mushrooms, green tea, and tomato sauce for enhancing the flavor of vegetarian foods.

Refresh your recipe repertoire 

Liven up your recipe collection by grabbing recipes from the internet, through various vegetarian magazines and cookbooks, ask your friends for their favorite dishes, and scroll through old family cookbooks. Call up your grandma or aunts for unique vegetarian recipes. Introducing a new flavor or cooking a different dish will unknowingly increase your vegetarian intake.

Foods to include

  • Proteins: legumes, lentils, tofu, soybeans
  • Starchy vegetables: peas, corn, winter squash, sweet potato
  • Fruits: oranges, apples, grapes, apples, berries
  • Non-starchy vegetables: bell peppers, greens, green beans, cauliflower, carrots
  • Whole grains: teff, quinoa, buckwheat, farrow
  • Plant-based milk alternatives: coconut, hemp, soy milk, unsweetened almond
  • Herbs, spices, seasonings: oregano, mint, thyme, basil, cumin, turmeric, ginger
  • Condiments: apple cider vinegar, mustard, salsa, reduced-sodium soy sauce, nutritional yeast, ketchup without added sugar
  • Beverages: tea, coffee, still sparkling water 

Also, add to your diet.

  • Free-range or pasture-raised eggs
  • Organic, free-range or pasture-raised poultry
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Grass-fed or pasture-raised meat
  • Organic dairy from grass-fed or pastured animals

Foods to limit

Avoid processed meat, refined carbs, added sugars and sweets, and fast foods.

  • Some examples are bacon, bounce, sausage,
  • White rice, white bread, croissants, bagels
  • Fries, burgers, chicken nuggets milkshakes
  • Cookies. Candies, soda, cakes, and doughnuts.

Is it easy to follow the flexitarian diet

It’s easy to follow, the secret is not about perfection, but all about progress. You don’t have to follow any strict rules. Luckily eating out is allowed in this diet. But don’t order foods that mention crispy, fried, breaded, creamy, scalloped, or sautéed. Instead go in for baked, broiled, grilled, roasted, poached and steamed. 

Flexitarian diet is flexible, easy to follow, helps you to lose weight, reduces your risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. However, you need to plan and include high-quality plant-based food sources to prevent nutrition deficiencies. 

If you’re interested to know more about flexitarian diet you can buy it online on RedShelf.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

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fitness Health and wellness health benefits obesity

Electric Sit Stand Desk: 6 Phenomenal Health Benefits

One of the most significant threats of our modern lifestyle is being desk-bound. The medical fraternity terms this as the sitting disease. A sedentary lifestyle actively promotes a higher risk for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and early death. Accessorizing office space with the electric sit stand desk favors human biomechanics and significantly boosts employee performance and wellness.

What is electric sit stand desk

It’s a height-adjustable free standing desk that shifts its position up or down with the help of two electric motors. A simple control panel mounted under the desk surface helps to control its movement. These ergonomic moving desks help you find your ideal height with ease and have superb features to make your workday a breeze.

The electrical adjustment helps to raise and lower these desks much smoothly than manual options. Likewise, its anti-collision feature senses other objects and stops moving — a great addition to people with kids or pets that might come into their workspace.

 

The preset memory options allow you to program a preset button to your configured height-so the desk adjusts automatically to the set position. Likewise, the other unique features include the dual motor and the crossbar. 

A crossbar provides optimal balance preventing wobbling and shaking. Dual motors offer better stability, more weight-bearing capacity, and low noise levels while working, allowing you to enjoy your work experience.

Health benefits of height adjustable standing desk

Tweaking your sedentary lifestyle a little can bring life-changing benefits. Working in an environment that supports your biomechanics significantly enhances your wellbeing. Ergonomically produced standing desks boost your creativity, protect your posture, and keeps you healthy and productive. 

Boost productivity

Sedentary behavior kills productivity. Mind-body connection plays a crucial part in optimizing performance. The American Medical Association recommends that companies must offer sitting alternatives such as sit-stand work stations. Using such modern workspaces encourages movement while improving office culture and health. Such modern amenities help companies to attract and retain top talent – all the while enhancing productivity.

Lengthens your life

Standing more often can lengthen your lifespan. Research studies show a definitive link between increased sitting time and early death. A research study found that lowering your sitting time raises life expectancy by two years. 

The electric sit stand desk gives the employees the ability to sit and stand throughout the day with severe positive health implications. Prolonged sitting increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and early death; a sit-stand workstation encourages movement and increases lifespan.

Reduce back pain

Chronic back pain leads to severe emotional issues. Anger, depression, mood swings, and anxiety are some psychological aftereffects of acute pain. Because of hectic schedules, office workers usually complain of back pain. Experts have carried various research studies to find out whether standing desks could improve this condition. 

A study published by the CDC says that using sit-stand desks reduced upper neck and back pain by 54 percent in just four weeks. Removal of sit, stand desks reversed these positive health effects within two weeks.

Lowers risk of weight gain

Taking in more calories while burning fewer results in weight gain. Conversely, taking in fewer calories and burning more results in weight loss. Standing for three additional hours each day for a year helps you to burn up to eight pounds of fat and 30,000 extra calories. This vast sum is equivalent to running ten marathons. Choosing to stand instead of sitting can prevent weight gain.

A University of Iowa research study states employees using sit-stand desks stood 1 hour more per day than their sitting desk counterparts. Also, they burned 87 calories more per day than people who use sitting desks. 

Improves mood and energy levels

The adjustable height desk has a positive effect on your health and wellness. Moving your body breaks down the negative vibes of sedentary behavior and increases blood circulation. So the blood gushes through your system, bringing fresh oxygen, increasing energy levels, and releasing mood-enhancing chemicals. Reducing sedentary behavior and increasing movement promotes enthusiasm, motivation, and morale among employees.

Enhances brain power

Even a few minutes of sitting negatively impacts blood flow. It slows down circulation and increases the risk of blood clots. Conversely, standing increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain and facilitates the creation of new brain cells, enhancing brainpower. Sit-stand workstations break the monotony of seated work and boost concentration and promote greater on-task engagement.

Employee wellness a bonus

While it’s a well-documented fact that getting moderate amounts of physical activity promotes personal wellness, little thought is being given to encourage movement in most working environments. So employees have no choice but to sit at their desk all day. 

The efficient way to address this problem is to introduce sit-stand workstations. These height-adjustable standing desks are must-have modern office furniture. They optimize productivity, increase concentration, boost team spirit, and above all, produce ample health benefits.

Investing in height adjustable standing desks would be the best investment you’ll be making to encourage employee wellness because of which your company grows by leaps and bounds.

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cancer gut health health benefits heart health

Lion’s Mane Mushroom-The Untold Health Benefits

“Another view of the hericium” by jessy731 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 

Lion’s mane mushroom looks like a little dwarf with a long beard searching for treasure deep inside the woods. Lion’s mane mushroom is an edible medicinal mushroom that’s native to Europe, North America, and Asia. It has a striking appearance with a single clump of dangling spines. These popular edibles are common during late summer and fall and pop out on the hardwoods. 

Health benefits

Also known as yambushitake, these shaggy large white mushrooms are used for culinary as well as medical purposes in India, China, Japan, and Korea. Lion’s mane mushrooms are versatile; you can enjoy them as such, cooked, dried, or seeped as a tea. 

May protect against dementia

Compounds such as hericenones and erinacines that are present in Lion’s mane mushrooms stimulate the growth of brain cells. Moreover, in animal experiments, these mushrooms have found to reduce the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. The extract of these mushrooms has shown to reduce memory loss and prevent neuronal damage in mice. However, more research is needed as no human trials have yet been done. 

Helps treat milder forms of depression and anxiety

Many people believe chronic inflammation to be the contributing factor for anxiety and depression. Research studies show that lion’s mane extract has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce anxiety and depression in mice. 

Researchers have found that lion’s mane extract boosts the functioning of the hippocampus as well as regenerate the brain cells. Hippocampus is the main center for processing memories and emotional responses. Improved brain function results in less anxious and depressive behaviors. 

Reduces heart disease risk

Some of the risk factors of heart disease include high triglyceride levels, obesity, increased tendency to get blood clots, and large amounts of oxidized cholesterol. Research studies have shown that lion’s mane mushroom extract lowers triglyceride levels and improves fat metabolism. 

Another study found rats fed on a high-fat diet along with lion’s mane mushroom extract had 27 percent lower triglyceride levels and 42 percent less weight gain.

Scientists believe that the lion’s mane mushroom extract prevents the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood. Reducing oxidation is helpful because oxidized cholesterol molecules attach themselves to the walls of the arteries and harden them increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Furthermore, hericenone B, present in this mushroom, decreases the rate of blood clotting, thus reducing heart attack and stroke. 

May help to fight cancer

Lion’s mane mushroom fights cancer by killing the cancer cells and slowing down their progression. Test tube studies say that when the lion’s mane extract mixes with human cancer cells, it kills these cells at a faster rate. Not to mention, it destroys several types of cancer cells, like colon, liver, stomach, and blood cancer cells. Besides it, slows down the spread of cancer. 

Helps manage symptoms of diabetes

Lion’s mane mushroom extract helps in diabetes management by improving blood sugar control. Animal studies point out that this mushroom extract, even in smaller doses, significantly reduces blood sugar levels in both diabetic and normal mice.

This mushroom lowers blood sugar level by blocking the activity of alpha-glucosidase, an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates in the small intestine. When this enzyme is blocked, the absorption of carbohydrates suffers, which results in low blood sugar levels. 

Furthermore, the lion’s mane extract reduces diabetic nerve pain in both hands and feet. Supplementing this extract for six weeks in diabetic mice resulted in lowering of pain, reduced blood sugar levels, and increased amounts of antioxidants. Though the lion’s mane shows potential as a diabetic supplement: in humans, more studies are required. 

Boosts immune system

A strong immune system protects you against various infectious diseases. Studies on animals show that the lion’s mane mushroom boosts immunity by increasing the efficiency of your intestinal immune system. The intestinal immune system protects your body against pathogens entering through nose and mouth. The lion’s mane mushroom brings about positive changes in your gut bacteria that stimulate your immune system

An animal study found that lion’s mane mushroom supplementation quadrupled the lifespan of mice injected with a lethal dose of salmonella. Though all these sound promising, more research is needed in this area.

Where to find it

Supplements containing lion’s mane mushroom are available at natural health food stores that specialize in dietary supplements. Likewise, you can also purchase it online. 

Side effects 

It’s always important to consult your doctor before taking any supplements. Though no human trials have yet been made, its generally considered safe to take lion’s mane mushroom supplements. In animal experiments even in high doses, these mushrooms did not produce any adverse effects. 

However, if you are allergic or sensitive to mushrooms, avoid the lion’s mane or its supplements. Likewise, if you have asthma, it is better to avoid it since this mushroom may aggravate asthma symptoms. 

Recipe ideas

Lion’s mane is one of the most beautiful and exciting looking mushrooms in the world. Enjoy this delicacy in its purest form. Lion’s mane has a flavor of lobster or crab, and so it’s not good to disguise it with complex flavors.

Wondering how to prepare it? Tear the head of the mushroom into small wedges. In a large heated skillet dry saute the mushrooms until its edges begin to brown. Wait till all the water boils away. 

Coat the mushrooms with a pat of butter and a clove of finely chopped garlic. Cook the mushrooms until it turns golden brown. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and eat them hot along with small pieces of a cracker or crusty bread. 

If you don’t like fresh ones, consider adding dried mushrooms to tea and enjoy!

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Health and wellness health benefits

What is Ashwagandha? Health Benefits and How to Use it

Ashwagandha

“ashwagandha seedpods”by naturalflow is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Ashwagandha has seemingly endless benefits. When used rightly, it does not produce any side effects. This medicinal herb is a favorite among herbalists because its benefits span different conditions and diseases while impacting many lives daily.

What is Ashwagadha

Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng is a popular medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine. The Sanskrit word ashwagandha means the “smell of a horse,” indicating this herb can impart strength like a stallion. The root of ashwagandha has a scent similar to horse sweat.

Native to the dry regions of India, the Middle East, and Northern Africa, this herb is also grown in more milder climates, including the U.S.

Indian medics have been using this herb for over 5000 years to treat conditions like insomnia, rheumatism, constipation, stress, goiter, hormone imbalance, and more.

This herb can lower your cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, boost brain function, and chases away depression.

Health Benefits

This ancient herb has many health benefits up its sleeve. Here are a few of them.

Reduce blood sugar levels

High blood sugar levels for more extended periods can damage blood vessels, can cause heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve, and vision problems.

Luckily Ashwagandha helps to solve these problems naturally. Studies have found that it improves insulin secretion and sensitivity.

Confirmed research studies show that Ashwagandha effectively reduces blood sugar levels in both healthy people and diabetics alike.

In a small study of six people with type 2 diabetes, supplementation with Ashwagandha for 30 days resulted in an effective reduction of blood sugar levels. Its effect was similar to that of oral diabetes medicines.

Reduces cortisol levels

Ashwagandha reduces cortisol levels and soothes anxiety symptoms. Increased cortisol levels can lead to more fat storage in the abdomen region as well as result in elevated blood sugar levels. 

A research study shows that supplementation of Ashwagandha to persons suffering from stress reduced cortisol levels significantly when compared to the control group. Those taking the highest dosage had a 30 percent reduction on average.

Boost heart health

This ancient herbal medicine helps to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, chest pain, and heart disease. A research study published in the International Journal of Ayurvedic Research states that ashwagandha along with another herb increases heart muscle strength and endurance.

Increase muscle mass and strength

Are you into fitness? Then Ashwagandha might help you increase muscle mass. A study points out that healthy men who ate 750-1250 mg of powdered ashwagandha root developed muscle strength after 30 days. 

Another study points out that people who took this herb enjoyed greater muscle strength and increased muscle size. Additionally, there was a reduction in more than double the percentage in body fat compared to the placebo group. 

Has anti-cancer properties

Ashwagandha may help to treat several types of cancer, such as lung, breast, colon, ovarian, and brain cancers. Although there are no human trials, animal studies give us more encouraging results. 

Several research studies say that Ashwagandha not only induces programmed death of cancer cells but also stops the growth of new cancer cells in various ways. It works by starting the formation of reactive oxygen species inside cells disrupting their function.

Secondly, it causes cancer cells to become less resistant to programmed death. 

Boosts brain function 

Studies show that Ashwagandha is effective in boosting memory and brain function. Experts say that Ashwagandha has been shown to slow, reverse, or stop the inflammation seen in brain degeneration. 

Moreover, it improves sleep and reduces anxiety. Thus boosting memory and brain function. Research has shown that it protects nerve cells from free radical activity by promoting antioxidant activity. 

In a controlled study, men who took 500 mg of standardized Ashwagandha extract reported significant improvements in task performance and reaction time in comparison to their compatriots who received a placebo.

How to consume

Ashwagandha is safe for most people; however, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it. Also, people with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and lupus must avoid it.

Franziska Spritzer RD, CDE writes in Healthline that extracts are more effective than raw Ashwagandha root or leaf powder. The standardized root extract is taken in capsule form of 400-500 mg once or twice daily. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor to get a more personalized dosage. 

If you’re wondering where to get this herb, you’ll find Ashwagandha at health food stores and vitamin shops. 

The herb comes in many forms, including tea and powder. The powder is most comfortable to use because you can sprinkle it on your smoothies, food, and morning coffee. And the best part it does not have a taste. 

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health benefits heart health Supplements

What is Shilajit – And What are its Benefits

Shilajit

“Shilajit, Mohave Lava Tube, 2018.04.01 (33)”by Vahe Martirosyan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Shilajit has an interesting mythology about its origin. Indian scriptures say that when the Gods and the Asuras churned the Primal Ocean to obtain Amrita, they sweated a lot. Their sweat mingled with the divine nectar, which gave rise to shilajit deposits. And it was distributed about the mountains around the world.

What is Shilajit

Shilajit is a sticky substance found predominantly in the Himalayan ranges. It resembles tar and has a color tone of white to dark brown. Containing 85 minerals as well as fulvic and humic acids this rock exudate finds its use in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines. 

Humic acid fights inflammation and disease. Acting as a gut guard, it stops toxins before they enter the cells. Thus it boosts the performance of your immune system.

Fulvic acid increases the permeability of cell membranes which results in increased nutrition absorption. Also, it easily binds with water and helps to detox the body.

Shilajit was present for millions of years in high altitudes under specific conditions. As a result, this resinous mass is different from other humic substances.

Many researchers have pointed out that shilajit is of vegetable origin. Cactus like plants grow near the collection areas, and the gum that they exude has a similar composition to shilajit.

The black variety is hugely popular in Ayurvedic medicine. After the cleaning process, this rock exudate obtains a black color with a glossy surface. Also, it has a peculiar smell and a bitter taste. Shilajit is safe as a supplement and would significantly enhance your wellbeing.

Benefits

In the right quantities, Shilaji may provide plenty of benefits to your body.

Boosts brain function

Shilajit may enhance the working of the brain and prevent or slow down Alzheimer’s disease. 

The main antioxidant present is fumic acid. It which promotes cognitive health by preventing the accumulation of Tau protein. Though these proteins are an essential part of the nervous system, they trigger up brain cell damage. 

Researchers think that Shilajit may prevent over-accumulation of these proteins and reduce inflammation, thus slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

 A research study in the International Journal of Alzheimer’s disease points out that this substance is used for longevity and to slow aging.

Fights fatigue

Feelings of tiredness and fatigue will hamper your progress and thwart your success. Mitochondria considered as the powerhouse of cells gives energy. Its dysfunction may lead to chronic fatigue. 

This rocky exudate acts as an adaptogen and reduces stress levels and fatigue. Likewise, it protects the powerhouse mitochondria and boosts energy levels. Thus fights chronic fatigue and exhaustion.

Prolongs your youth

Fulvic acid present in shilajit is a potent antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory. Due to these properties, it fights cellular damage and free radicals in the body, which causes aging.

 Supplementing this natural nutrient in your diet increases vitality and slows down the aging process.

Treats Anemia

Anemia is a significant concern for women in the reproductive age. Dark brown shilajit has high amounts of iron and humic acid, which may help treat anemia. Mixing shilajit and Indian gooseberry can increase iron in red blood cells. 

In a study on rats, researchers discovered that rats which received shilajit for 11 days had more hemoglobin than their counterparts. 

Boosts heart health

Shilajit helps to protect your heart health. In a research study, two groups of rats were subjected to heart injury. 

One group was administered 200mg of shilajit for seven days. The other group did not receive it. Scientists noted that rats who ate shilajit had less heart damage than their counterparts.

However, shilajit may reduce blood pressure, it’s better to avoid it if you have an existing heart condition. 

 Fights obesity

Extra weight can stress out your bones and muscles. Researchers found that an oral supplement of Shilajit activated genes in the body that quickly adapted to a new exercise regimen. As a result, one could enjoy less fatigue and more strength over time. 

How to use

You can obtain it as a powder form or supplement and mix it with water or milk. Medical News Today advises to take a portion of shilajit in liquid and drink it up to three times a day. 

Always check the instructions on the package. The recommended dose of this powder is 300 to 500 milligrams per day; however, have a word with your doctor before you take any natural supplements.

Shilajit tastes bitter and a little earthy. Once you try it, you’ll get used to its taste.

Of course, If your doctor gives you an all-clear, then slowly include it in your weekly health routines. And one day suddenly you’ll have the stamina of a sherpa. 

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beauty health benefits

Everything You Need to Know About the Benefits of Castor Oil

Native to the eastern region of Ethiopia Castor oil has been in use from ancient times till today. Archeologists were surprised to find it in Egyptian tombs dating back to 4000 BC. Ancient Egyptians burnt it as a fuel in lamps, used it to treat eye irritation and gave to pregnant women to stimulate labor. 

Even now it is pretty famous for the very fact that it can induce labor. You can read lots of such interesting stories on the internet.

Apart from being used to induce labor, this wonder oil has plenty of beauty benefits. It’s an essential commodity in your kitchen cabinet. If you don’t have one, after reading this article, you’ll know its importance. 

What is Castor Oil?

It’s a pale yellow liquid pressed from castor beans and has a distinct taste and color. The castor seeds contain a toxic enzyme called ricin. Nevertheless, the heating process deactivates it and makes the oil safe to use.

This vegetable oil contains a nutritional makeup of powerful components such as fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and antioxidants. Also it has antimicrobial properties, which help to fight off bacterial or fungal overgrowth on your scalp. 

Apart from skincare it is widely used as an additive in foods, medications, and finds plenty of uses in the industrial and pharmaceutical sectors. 

Benefits of Castor Oil

This multipurpose oil is budget-friendly and can be your best buddy in skin and hair care.

Natural Moisturizer

Being rich in ricinoleic acid castor oil helps to moisturize your skin. Ricinoleic acid acts as a humectant. It retains moisture by preventing evaporation through the outer layers of the skin. 

You can use castor oil as such or use it with other skin-friendly oils like olive, almond, and coconut oils to make an ultra-hydrating moisturizer. Massaging your nails with castor oil will prevent brittle and cracked nails. 

Its hydrating properties soften your skin and prevents the signs of premature aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, and sagged skin. Applying a few drops of castor oil to your under-eye area every day will prevent and reduce wrinkles giving you beautiful eyes. 

Healthy Hair

Castor oil acts as an intense moisturizer for dry and damaged hair. Applying it daily on your scalp helps to lubricate your hair shaft, decreases breakage, and increases flexibility. 

This healthy oil is suitable for those suffering from dandruff, especially for people suffering from seborrheic dermatitis. It is an inflammatory skin condition that causes scaly red patches on your scalp. Castor oil effectively reduces inflammation, soothes your skin, and forms an effective household remedy for seborrheic dermatitis.

Castor oil attracts dirt and cleanses your skin. The presence of ricinoleic acid improves blood circulation providing nutrition for hair follicles resulting in long strands and less breakage. Being a humectant, it locks in moisture and makes your hair shine.

Massaging warm castor oil on your scalp not only fights scalp infection but also improves circulation and boosts hair growth. 

Reduces Acne

Inflammation is believed to cause acne. Acne is due to an imbalance of certain types of bacteria on the skin, including Staphylococcus aureus. This medicinal oil fights bacterial overgrowth since it has antimicrobial properties.

A test-tube study shows that castor oil has antibacterial properties, and it inhibits the growth of several bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus. 

If you suffer from acne, wash your face with warm water. This action will open the pores. Massage a few drops of castor oil onto to your face and leave it overnight. Next morning wash your face with cold water. 

Being a natural moisturizer castor oil soothes your inflamed, irritated skin and gently cares for it.

Excellent for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis

The ricinoleic acid present in castor oil has impressive anti-inflammatory benefits. Topically applying castor oil reduces pain and inflammation. Even research studies vouch for the anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil. 

Massage it onto your painful back or knees and follow it up with hot water bottle or heat pad. Leave it for an hour. This remedy will give you immediate relief from your pain. 

Applying on psoriasis helps relieve dry, irritated skin. Thanks to the moisturizing properties of castor oil. 

For thicker brows and longer lashes

Ninety percent of this medicinal lubricant contains ricinoleic acid that helps reverse hair loss. Prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) is a hormone that causes male pattern baldness. Research has found that ricinoleic acid inhibits PGD2 and helps the scalp to regrow hair. It’s safe to do a patch test before you apply this vegetable oil to your lashes and brow. 

Bedtime is the best time to treat your eyelashes. Clean your lashes from all the eye makeup. Dip a cotton swab and gently pencil it along the lash line. Wash your face in the morning.

Remove makeup and take a few drops on your fingertips and gently apply it on your eyebrows before going to bed. Finally wash it with cold, clean water in the morning.

Laxative

Being a laxative castor oil helps to clear your bowels. When you consume it by mouth, it gets broken down to ricinoleic acid. Then the intestine absorbs it stimulating a laxative effect.

Smaller doses are usually safe, but large amounts may cause vomiting, nausea, cramping, and diarrhea. 

How to use

Though this oil is considered safe, it may cause adverse reactions in certain people. It is used to induce labor. So pregnant women should avoid taking it. In large doses, it may cause diarrhea, which leads to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. It may even cause an allergic reaction in some people. Always do a patch test before using this oil. 

Castor oil is a pocket-friendly multipurpose oil that’s a must in your kitchen cabinet. 

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Food health benefits

You Will T​hank Us: Amazing Tips About Grass-fed Meat You Need to Know

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

When I was a kid, my late aunt used to talk a lot about grass-fed meat. In fact, she would even start a fight if we bought meat other than grass fed ones.

Her main argument was grass-fed meat is healthier as animals are allowed to graze in the pasture, breathe in the fresh air, bask in the sunlight and above all be stress-free.

These animals are grown in more humane conditions. As a result, the quality of meat is superior to conventional meat. Grass-fed meat contains more nutrients and is devoid of pathogens present in traditional meat.

It does not suffice to say she was adamant in her belief, that she even started a small farm in a big plot of land that we owned. I still remember those good old days.

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What is Grass-fed Meat?

Grass-fed meat is much leaner as well as higher in essential nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Also, grass-fed meat has more omega 3 fatty acids than conventional meat. It is also less likely to contain bacteria that have become resistant to three or more classes of antibiotic.

Though grass-fed meat is excellent in all these aspects, it doesn’t have an official definition. The grass-fed label indicates that the sheep or cattle have been fed with only their mother’s milk, and had greens and grass throughout their lives. Also, they were free to roam in pastures during their growing up years. However, the meat could also be from cattle who relatively for only a short time ate grass. If you want to be sure, go in for labels that say 100 percent grass-fed meat.

It’s possible to find meat that is both grass fed and organic. The USDA requirements for organic meat include the animals should not be treated with antibiotics or hormones. They must be fed with organic, vegetarian foods and must be given access to outdoors. But this type of meat tends to be a bit pricey.

Health Benefits of Grass-fed Meat

Eating red meat as a part of a healthy balanced diet is beneficial to your overall health.

Higher amounts of CLA

Your body doesn’t produce conjugated linoleic acid, so it is essential that you get it in your diet. CLA fights cancer, boosts your immunity, increases metabolism, and keeps your cholesterol levels under control.

A study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer says that women who consumed the highest levels of CLA in their food had a lower risk of breast cancer than their counterparts who consumed the lowest levels of CLA.

CLA helps you to lose weight because it increases your basal metabolic rate. Also, it maintains a favorable fat-muscle ratio. Cows that feed on grass have a higher amount of CLA in their meat. A study which compared grass-fed and grain fed cows found that CLA was higher in grass-fed cows.

Reduces the risk of heart attack

Grass-fed meat has two to four times higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids than grain fed meat. Omega 3 fatty acids are more heart friendly. They are useful for making hormones that regulate the heart, blood, and genetic function.
Also, grass-fed meat has less overall fat and unhealthy fat, low level of dietary cholesterol, more CLA, and vitamin E.

Rich in carotenoids

Grass-fed meat has a rich yellow color and a superior flavor. The rich yellow color is due to the presence of carotenoids, which have beta carotene and lutein. These potent antioxidants fight cancer and heart disease.

Likely free from hormones and antibiotics

Grain fed cows are given hormones to increase their weight and provide more meat. The animals are confined to smaller spaces, which increases the spread of disease.

So farmers use antibiotics to control it. Consuming meat that is exposed to a variety of antibiotics could increase the risk of antibiotic resistance in human beings. The hormones in grain fed meat can also cause early puberty in kids.

On the other hand, meat that is organic and grass-fed is free from antibiotics or hormones. Choosing grass-fed meat over conventional meat reduces your risk of food poisoning as well as having fewer antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Grass-fed meat is good for the environment.

Ruminant animals and grass-fed cows have a symbiotic relationship with the pastures they graze. Not only do they clear fields and encourage new plant growth, but also builds fertile soil with their nutrient-rich compostable manure.

How to Find Grass-fed Meat

If you’re unsure where to find grass-fed meat contact a trusted local rancher and buy meat directly from them. Also, you can contact organic ranchers online such as ButcherBox, Snake River Farms, FarmFoods, and many other ranchers if you don’t have access to a local rancher near you. When purchasing grass-fed meat at your local supermarkets look for the certification of American Grassfed Association.

Healthier Ways to Eat Red Meat

Moderation is vital while eating red meat. The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests a link between red meat and colorectal cancer. To reduce the risk consume red meat paired with nutrient-rich whole foods.

For example, wrap the red meat in romaine leaves and top it with red onion, tomato, and avocado. What’s more, you could even serve it with a healthy starch like baked sweet potato or black beans. Enjoying your grass-fed meat along with these kinds of good combos as a part of overall healthy eating practices is the cornerstone to wellbeing and disease prevention.

Eating natural foods is essential for a healthy life. Grasses and herbs are a more natural diet for ruminant animals than corn or soy. At the end of the day, it’s your choice to eat what’s best for you.

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