Bitter Melon, Weight Loss and so much more ..

BITTER MELON – Sweet Benefits!

This unusual fruit has many important, healthy nutrients and an impressive array of therapeutic compounds. It contains many bioactive chemicals, minerals, vitamins and natural antioxidants all of which contribute towards the plant’s versatility in the treatment of varied illnesses.

It is rich in vitamin A, C and E and also contains several of the B family of vitamins. The fruit is also a great source of essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc, and is also an excellent source of healthy, dietary fibers.

Its antioxidant value stems from the presence of flavonoids, phenols, isoflavones, glucosinates and terpenes which are also responsible for the fruit’s extremely bitter taste.

Bitter melon

Let’s look more closely at what it can do for you:

1) BLOOD SUGAR

One of the most popular traditional uses of bitter melon is to help manage blood sugar levels in people with Type-2 diabetes. Herbal remedies are often used in traditional Asian medicine to help treat diabetes and bitter melon is one of the most popular. Several studies have demonstrated that the fruit holds a great deal of promise for sufferers of diabetes. 

One Indian study stated that it was one of best and potentially most important natural treatments to lower blood sugar levels for diabetic patients.  Numerous studies have elicited promising results. One animal study published in 2005 demonstrated that bitter melon could help reduce blood sugar by as much as 30% while the same study also showed that it improved the function of the kidneys.

The main compounds in the fruit responsible for its antidiabetic effects are the phenolic compounds, triterponoids, steroids and alkaloids. Several triterponoids in particular have activities which are associated with a reduction in blood sugar. 

Despite the numerous studies proving that the fruit is an effective diabetes treatment, there is also some evidence that it can enhance the effect of diabetes medications and may cause hypoglycemia, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before you start using bitter melon to treat your condition.

2) CANCER PREVENTION

Over the past few decades, researchers have turned to nature in an effort to find a safe and effective treatment for cancer. While the search appears to be endless, studies have been very fruitful and numerous potential alternative treatments have already been discovered. According to researchers, bitter melon may just be one of those natural treatments that can help us overcome this deadly disease.

A laboratory study published in 2012 analyzed the protective effects of a bitter melon liquid extract against certain types of cancer. The researchers found that the fruit extract was effective against colon and kidney cancer cells.  A study published in 2010 found that the fruit induced death in breast cancer cells. 

Another study, this time conducted on animals, found that liquid extract of the fruit induced the death of cancerous liver cells. The researchers noted that bitter melon was a promising and safe treatment for patients with liver cancer.

3) CANCER THERAPY

Bitter melon might actually help make radiotherapy more effective. A study published in 2012 found that the extract increased the susceptibility of cancer cells to radiation treatment and caused an increase in the amount of medication absorbed by the cancerous cells. 

4) LIVER HEALTH AND DIGESTION

Bitter melon has traditionally been used to overcome stomach pain and inflammation.

While bitter melon may not have been as thoroughly researched in terms of its digestive health and liver benefits, there is some evidence that it can help treat both. Bitter melon possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help relieve stomach troubles and also improve the function of the liver.

Indian researchers demonstrated that a bitter melon extract could help stimulate detoxification and improve liver health by increasing glutathione and superoxide dismutase levels in the body. 

Bitter melon also possesses a mild laxative effect which can help relieve that age old problem of constipation.

5) RESPIRATION

In China and other parts of Asia, traditional practitioners have been using bitter melon juice to treat common respiratory problems for centuries. It may help relieve common complaints like coughing, flu symptoms, bronchitis and even asthma.

Moreover, because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, bitter melon can actually help boost immune health and actually prevent these commonplace conditions from occurring in the first place.

6) SKIN INFLAMMATION

Because of its natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, bitter melon may help to treat several inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne. In fact, a study published in 2015 found that bitter melon inhibited the bacteria responsible for the growth of acne. 

The juice extracted from the fruit was also traditionally applied to the skin topically to deal with skin wounds and infections and may be of use in dealing with minor skin wounds today.

7) WEIGHT CONTROL

Some early studies suggest that bitter melon may help prevent weight gain by stimulating fat and lipid metabolism as well as mediating gene expressions which control the appetite and body weight.

A study published in 2015 demonstrated that bitter melon had the ability to boost metabolism and several studies have noted that it helped stimulate weight loss in animals. Not only does bitter melon contribute to weight loss but it can also help alleviate many of the other symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome. 

 

bitter melon

HOW TO CONSUME BITTER MELON

You can but fresh bitter melon and cook it in a variety of ways. In Asia, it is usually fried with garlic and potatoes but you can also use bitter melon to make a therapeutic tea.

It is also available in tablet or juice extract form. You can safely take up to 100 ml of fresh juice each day. If you are taking capsules, the recommended dose of extract is between 1000 and 2000 milligrams each day.

PRECAUTIONS AND POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS

  • Always ask for your doctor’s advise if you are taking bitter melon for diabetes. Because of its ability to reduce blood sugar, it may reduce your levels even further of you are already taking medication for your condition.
  • People who have recently had surgery or lost blood should avoid bitter melon because it interferes with your blood sugar levels and may cause fainting and dizziness.
  • Pregnant women should not take bitter melon because it may stimulate menstruation and cause miscarriage.

 

 

 

With thanks to 

 

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Mental Health Affected by Facebook?

The more you use Facebook the worse you feel? Check out this Study

Is mental health affected if you’re addicted to Facebook? Enjoy liking posts and making comments? Be warned, a new psychology study has found the more people use Facebook the lower their self-esteem becomes.

 
 
mental health

Before exploring the new psychological research, how much time does a typical person spend each day using Facebook? The answer, based on an average user, is one hour on the site every day. This is based on data provided by Mark Zuckerberg’s company (relating to 2016 use and as reported by the New York Times).
 

A second thing to factor in is not just how often does a regular person spend on Facebook, but when? A Deloitte survey found that for many people check-out Facebook, along with other social media apps, first thing in the morning (and quite often before getting out of bed).

 

These findings infer that many people are dedicated to the use of social sites like Facebook.Overall the use of social media and Facebook does no harm and some studies suggest moderate use may actually be good for our mental health, especially when we engage with the online community (such as a classic paper from the Journal of Urban Health “Social ties and mental health.”)

 

However, things can go awry. Writing in the Harvard Business Review Holly B. Shakya (University of San Diego) and Nicholas A. Christakis (Yale University) describe how the use of social media can detract from face-to-face relationships, lower the amount of time we put into meaningful activities, make use more sedentary, trigger Internet addiction, and, importantly, erode self-esteem.

 

 

mental health


Mental Health

The lower self-esteem comes about via making unfavorable social comparisons. Often we measure our own lives against others. When this is far away celebrities this matters less than when it is Facebook friends.In the article, the researchers write: “Self-comparison can be a strong influence on human behavior, and because people tend to display the most positive aspects of their lives on social media, it is possible for an individual to believe that their own life compares negatively to what they see presented by others.

 

“To assess whether people with lower well-being are more likely to use social media, rather than social media causing lower well-being, the researchers conducted a study. For the research data from 5,208 adults was analyzed. This considered social media use against measures like life satisfaction, mental health, physical health, and body-mass index (BMI). With the social media dimension, the survey assessed the degree to which Facebook users liked other people’s posts, created their own posts, and clicked on links. Account was taken as to how ‘close’ Facebook users felt to the ‘Facebook friends’ they engaged with.

 

The findings showed that social networks can be positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook in particular was negatively associated with overall well-being. This of course depends on the individuals and how much time they spent online and what they engaged with. However, as a general trend those who consistently liked others’ content and clicked on links general reported a reduction in physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction.

 

For good mental health a better self-esteem, the researchers argue for a tradeoff between offline and online relationships.The findings are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, in a paper titled “Association of Facebook Use With Compromised Well-Being: A Longitudinal Study.”

 

“According to the ‘Fair Use’ clause of International Copyright Law, the authors declare that the use of the photos, videos and information in this academic research are analyzed for purposes of “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research” according to Section 107 of Title 17 of the US Code.”
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Craving? Great tips + Check out this Alternative – Ketogenics

craving

Craving something ‘yummy’?

Saw this infographic at https://www.ruled.me/ketogenic-diet-food-list/ and loved it! It led me to investigate another type of eating style ..

I really wanted to know the benefits of the ketogenic diet, as my friends are moving to this and feeling better – more energy, less headaches.

‘A keto diet is well known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. It’s referred to as many different names – ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc.

When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin, which encourages that craving.

  • Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other energy source.
  • Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body.

Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.

Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.

The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates – yeah, less craving!’

craving
 
 

‘Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Optimal ketone levels offer many health, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits.

Below, you’ll find a list of things that you should always be on the look out for – and avoid.

  • Sugar. It’s typically found in soda, juice, sports drinks, candy, chocolate, and ice cream. Anything that’s processed and sweet you can think of most likely contains sugar. Avoid sugar at all costs.
  • Grains. Any wheat products (bread or buns), pasta, cereal, cakes, pastries, rice, corn, and beer should be avoided. This includes whole grains like wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, and quinoa.
  • Starch. Avoid vegetables (like potatoes and yams) and other things like oats, muesli, etc. Some root vegetables are okay in moderation 
  • Trans Fats. Margarine or any other spreadable replacement butter should be avoided as they contain hydrogenated fats (bad for us).
  • Fruit. Avoid any large fruits (apples, oranges, bananas) as they’re extremely high in sugar. Some berries can be consumed in moderation
  • Low-fat foods. These tend to be much higher in carbs and sugar than full-fat versions. Make sure you read the package to make sure a mistake isn’t made.

In general, the more “real” the food, the better it is for you. While some processed foods are acceptable, many are not. Make sure that you read through the ingredients and nutrition information to make sure that it can fit within your diet.’


“According to the ‘Fair Use’ clause of International Copyright Law, the authors declare that the use of the photos, videos and information in this academic research are analyzed for purposes of “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research” according to Section 107 of Title 17 of the US Code.”

Self? True Self? Oprah, Richard Rohr vs Micheal Puett views

self
 

Self? True Self?

For that man whom your outward form reveals is not yourself; the spirit is the true self, not that physical figure which can be pointed out by your finger.                                                                                         —Marcus Tullius Cicero

Imagine you are a tetherball – you are moving round a pole at some speed, often moved by outside circumstances, or your own momentum.

Your core (the pole) is steady and upright.

Your emotions/feelings/actions (the ball) are being dictated by those you meet in your path.

Notice that how people see you is in relation to where the ball moves – they do not see the whole you – just a perspective – and neither do you! 

Now we see the importance of having a firm core and balanced emotions!

How do you know who you can be, if you don’t know who you are? – Isabell Parcelle

 

Oprah Winfrey interviews Richard Rohr:

 ‘within each of us lie the true self and the false self. The true self, he says, is what religion often calls the soul, your eternal essence. The false self is the persona you create for yourself. Father Richard believes your goal in life is to find and manifest your true self. ‘How do we get to that true self?’ Oprah asks.

Well, as I did more search on this subject I found this very differing interpretation – which do you feel is more relevant to you?

Michael Puett’s latest book is “The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life” (http://goo.gl/Sltm1b)

‘Ancient teachings from the western tradition have impressed on us the importance of authenticity and being true to one’s self. But what if those teachings set us on the wrong path?’  

‘The idea is it’s constant work, working through these patterns we’re falling into, altering these patterns, breaking these patterns, creating different patterns and it’s an endless work of every situation from the very mundane to the very, very large scale of constantly trying to shift these patterns for the better. And the vision is that and really only that is what the good life is. The good life is a world in which as many of us as possible, ideally everyone is flourishing.’

Let us know your views on this:)

 

 

 

 

“According to the ‘Fair Use’ clause of International Copyright Law, the authors declare that the use of the photos, videos and information in this academic research are analyzed for purposes of “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research” according to Section 107 of Title 17 of the US Code.”