Oct 29, 2012

Papaya Leaf Juice - Home cure for dengue death sting

It could be a miracle cure for dengue. And the best part is you can make it at home.

The juice of the humble papaya leaf has been seen to arrest the destruction of platelets that has been the cause for so many deaths this dengue season. Ayurveda researchers have found that enzymes in the papaya leaf can fight a host of viral infections, not just dengue, and can help regenerate platelets and white blood cells.

Scores of patients have benefited from the papaya leaf juice, say doctors.

Papaya has always been known to be good for the digestive system. Due to its rich vitamin and mineral content, it is a health freak's favourite. But its dengue -fighting properties have only recently been discovered.

Chymopapin and papin - enzymes in the papaya leaf - help revive platelet count, say experts.

"They have a role in regenerating healthy cells. So, it's perhaps possible to treat platelet fall with them. We need more research in this area," said a researcher at the National Institute for Ayurvedic Drug Development.

The juice has to be prepared from fresh papaya leaves, say the researchers. Devein the leaves and grind the green, pulpy part into a paste. You can also use a mixer.

The paste is very bitter and you would probably have to mix it with fruit juice. Doctors recommend 20-25 ml (about four to five teaspoons), twice a day, for at least a week to get the best results.

Several dengue patients have had a remarkable platelet recovery after taking papaya leaf juice, say family members and doctors.

Original Source : CLICK HERE

Oct 8, 2012

Bitter gourd juice — a healthy way to start the day

Bitter gourd or bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is actually a member of the squash family and resembles a cucumber with bumpy skin. Bitter melon bears simple alternate leaves. Each bitter melon plant bears separate yellow male and female flowers; its fruit has an oblong shape.

When first picked, a bitter melon is yellow-green, but as it ripens, it turns yellow-orange in colour. As the fruit ripens, the flesh becomes tougher and more bitter. Bitter melon has a variety of shapes and sizes. The inside of the melon is filled with fibrous seeds.

Health benefits

Bitter gourd is believed to improve the body's ability to use blood sugar and glucose tolerance. It is consumed regularly in leprosy endemic regions as it is believed to help prevent the disease. It is helpful in fighting cancer and several infections.

Bitter gourd has been known to provide relief from constipation and is also effective in the treatment of psoriasis. It’s high beta-carotene that helps alleviate eye problems and improve eyesight. The juice of the leaf has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of alcoholism. It is also said to build the immune system.

Bitter gourd contains beneficial properties that rid the blood of toxins; consuming 20 ml of the juice daily helps cleanse the liver. It is recommended for asthma patients.

Original Source : CLICK HERE for more information

Oct 14, 2011

Five nutrients every woman needs

As women undergo complex changes over the years, their bodies need a variety of nutrients. Nutritionist Fiona Hunter explains what you need and when.
If you eat a balanced diet, it's not difficult to get enough of the many nutrients our bodies need. However, menstruation, the menopause, pregnancy and fluctuating hormone levels affect the need for certain key nutrients.

1. Calcium for strong bones
Osteoporosis, also called brittle bones, affects one in two women over the age of 50 in the UK. The risk of suffering from this debilitating condition increases dramatically if your diet lacks calcium. Studies suggest that a low intake may also be linked with PMS. Until your mid-20s, it's vital not to skimp on calcium while your bones grow, but it remains important for bone health at all ages.
Until your mid-20s, it's vital not to skimp on calcium while your bones grow

How much do you need?

The Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) is 700mg, which can usually be gained from three servings of dairy. After the menopause, the body becomes less efficient at absorbing calcium, so you may need to up your intake.

2. Folate - healthy babies, healthy heart
Folate is essential during pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Because the spinal cord is formed in the first 12 weeks, folate is critical during the very early stages of pregnancy. It can be weeks before you realise you are pregnant, which is why all women of child-bearing age are advised to take a supplement. New research suggests a good intake of folate may also help to protect against heart disease and stroke, so it's worth making sure your diet contains enough even if you're not planning a baby.

How much do you need?

The RDA is 200 micrograms. Women of childbearing age should take a folate supplement of 400mcg a day in addition to the 200mcg from their diet.

3. Magnesium for a healthy system

Studies show that low intakes of magnesium may be linked with PMS, while other studies have shown that magnesium may help to increase bone density in postmenopausal women. 

How much do you need?
The RDA for magnesium is 270mg a day.

4. Brain-boosting omega-3 fats
Omega-3 fats are vital for the development of a baby's brain, which makes them a key nutrient for pregnant women. Studies also show that women who have a good intake of omega-3 during pregnancy are less likely to have a premature baby. Omega-3 fats also keep adult hearts healthy and reduce the risk of stroke, and may help to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Generally, omega-3 offers genuine health benefits whatever your stage of life.

How much do you need? The RDA is 0.45g.

5. Iron for energy
Studies suggest that one in four women in the UK has low iron stores. Iron is essential for the manufacture of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen from your lungs and transports it around the body. An iron deficiency can make you feel washed out and constantly tired.

How much do you need?

The RDA from 11-50 years is 14.8mg. Most women's need for iron drops after the menopause, but until then it's important to ensure you get enough.

Mar 15, 2011


The health message is clear - cut your salt intake to avoid a number of serious health problems.
According to the Food Standards Agency, most of us are consuming twice as much as the recommended 6 grams of salt or one teaspoonful a day. And this really matters because there is overwhelming evidence that a high salt intake is linked to high blood pressure.
High salt levels are linked to heart disease, strokes, osteoporosis, cancer of the stomach, asthma attacks and kidney stones. The good news is that experts suggest it takes just three weeks to get used to a lower salt diet.
Quick salt guide
Aim for a maximum of 6g total intake of salt per day
If the nutritional label only gives the value of sodium, multiply that amount by two and a half, eg 0.5 sodium x 2.5 = 1.25g salt
The rule of thumb is that a food item containing 0.1g of sodium or less is considered low in salt and a food containing 0.5g of sodium or more is considered high.

Mar 12, 2011


If you want radiant skin, the old adage 'you are what you eat' has never rung more true. More ways to achieve the perfect glow.


Moisturisers and sunscreens can help to keep you looking youthful, but your skin also needs to be nourished from within and the best way to do that is by choosing the right diet. 


Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect against the cell damage caused by free radicals, which include smoking, pollution and sunlight. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants. It is found in all fruit and vegetables but especially in citrus fruits, red peppers, guavas and kiwi fruit. Beta-carotene, found in pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes, and lutein, found in papaya and spinach are also potent antioxidants. 


Repeatedly losing and regaining weight can take its toll on your skin, causing sagging, wrinkles and stretch marks. Crash diets are often short in essential vitamins, too. 


This is also a powerful antioxidant - studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. One way to boost your intake is to eat Brazil nuts - just four nuts will provide the recommended daily amount (RDA). Other good sources are fish and eggs. 


Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day - all fluids count towards your daily allowance, but water is the healthiest. If you work in an office, keep a large bottle of water on your desk to remind you to drink. 


Good fats - the type found in avocados, nuts and seeds - provide essential fatty acids, which act as a natural moisturiser for your skin, keeping it supple. These fats also come packaged with a healthy dose of vitamin E (a vitamin many of us lack), which will help protect against free radical damage. 


Eat more phyto-oestrogens. Phyto or plant oestrogens are natural chemicals found in food, which act in the body in a similar way to oestrogen but help keep our natural hormones in balance - they block the uptake of excess oestrogen and raise low levels when needed. They are thought to offer protection against breast cancer and heart disease. 

Eating salmon fish at least 10 times a week is good for skin. Omega-3 fats in salmon fish encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help to slow and even reverse signs of ageing. 


Eat plenty of bean, pulses, porridge and other low-GI carbs - these slowly release sugar into the blood, providing you with a steady supply of energy and leaving you feeling satisfied for longer, so you're less likely to snack. Choose low-GI carbs and avoiding high-GI ones, like biscuits and sugary drinks, as they lead to over-production of insulin, which damages collagen and accelerates wrinkling. 


Zinc is involved in the normal functioning of the oil-producing glands in the skin, and also promotes skin healing. Zinc-rich foods include red meat, whole grains, wheat germ and shellfish. Eating red meat once a week, and at least one serving of whole grains, should be enough to reach the RDA.

Mar 11, 2011


Research confirms that by including certain foods in your diet you can help fight many health problems. 



High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, but several foods can help reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol or boost levels of HDL (good) cholesterol: 

Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins and phytochemicals that help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, which reduces the chance of it being deposited in the arteries.

Beans, pulses and porridge oats contain soluble fibre, which encourages the body to excrete cholesterol before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. 

Nuts help increase levels of HDL cholesterol, as does oil-rich fish, whose omega-3 fatty acids also help to protect the heart by making the blood less sticky and likely to clot. They help to reduce the risk of heart disease, too, by encouraging the muscles lining the artery walls to relax, improving blood flow to the heart. 

A review of studies that looked into the relationship between green tea-drinking and heart disease found that people who drank three or more cups a day were 11 per cent less likely to suffer from a heart attack. 

Recent studies have shown that eating 25g soya protein a day can lead to a 10 per cent reduction in both total and LDL cholesterol. 

Alcohol (red wine in particular), when drunk in moderation, has also been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

EAT LESS full-fat dairy products and fatty meat, all of which contain saturated fats, which encourage the liver to produce LDL cholesterol. Foods containing trans or hydrogenated fat (often found in shop-bought biscuits and cakes) also increase LDL cholesterol.

Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
Have oil-rich fish at least once a week
Choose unsaturated fats rather than saturated
Keep your weight within the ideal range
Aim to do at least 30 minutes exercise at least five times a week.


Changes in diet including increasing fruit and vegetable intake, upping magnesium and calcium-rich foods and cutting back on salt help to combat high blood pressure. Here are the areas to focus on: 

Fruit and vegetables (particularly oranges and bananas) are rich in potassium, which can help to counterbalance the effects of too much salt. People with high blood pressure are advised to eat 7-9 portions of fruit and vegetables each day to boost their potassium. 

Magnesium and calcium can also help to control blood pressure; to maximize your intake, include lots of wholegrain cereals, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, nuts and peanut butter in your diet. 

In addition to eating less salt and more fruit and vegetables, the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) also recommends eating three servings of low-fat dairy foods a day. 

EAT LESS salt. There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that a high salt intake is a major factor in the development of high blood pressure. 

Eat at least two servings of fruit or vegetables at each meal
Take regular exercise and if you smoke, quit
Learn to relax - stress increases the risk of high blood pressure
Eat no more than 6g of salt a day based on the severity of hypertension.


Mood swings, headaches and fatigue are common symptoms of pre-menstrual tension and can be exacerbated by low blood-sugar levels. 

Eating low-GI, carbohydrate-rich snacks, like oatcakes, will help keep blood sugar levels stable. 

New research suggests that boosting levels of vitamin B6, calcium and vitamin D can help relieve many PMT symptoms. Foods rich in B6 include wholegrain cereals, whole meal bread, bananas, pulses, brown rice, nuts and yeast extract.

Low-fat dairy products are the best source of calcium and oil-rich fish provides vitamin D. 

EAT LESS salt. Cutting back on salt can help to offset the bloating and fluid retention commonly associated with PMT. 

Eat a healthy, balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables and wholegrain cereals
During the last two weeks of your cycle try eating a carbohydrate-rich snack or meal every two to three hours.


Low levels of B vitamin folate (also called folic acid) and B6 have been linked with depression - in a study carried out at Harvard Medical School in Boston, one in four depressed patients was deficient in vitamin B6. Foods to eat include: 

Foods rich in vitamin B6 include avocados, while foods rich in folate include breakfast cereals, oranges and dark green, leafy vegetables

Other studies suggest people who eat a diet rich in omega-3 fats are less likely to suffer from depression.

EAT LESS processed foods, as ready meals and refined cereals tend to be lacking in essential nutrients. Alcohol can be a depressant, so is best avoided. 

Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Choose a wholegrain cereal for breakfast
Poor appetite is a common symptom of depression; if your appetite isn't what it could be, it's worth taking a vitamin and mineral supplement.


A good calcium intake while bones are still growing will increase bone density, making them stronger and helping to prevent fractures later in life. Find out about good sources, plus other foods that will help to beat osteoporosis: 

Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium, in a form that is easily absorbed by the body.

Vitamin D, vital for the absorption of calcium, is found in very few foods. However, oil-rich fish, egg yolks and liver all provide useful amounts. 

Magnesium may have an important role to play in helping to keep bones healthy. Good sources include Brazil nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds, almonds, bananas and dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach. 

Studies have found that women who have a good intake of vitamin K have denser bones and fewer hip fractures, so add kale and broccoli to your diet.

EAT LESS salt and fizzy drinks. A high salt intake can cause calcium to leach from the bones.

Large amounts of vitamin A can weaken bones - as a precaution, the Food Standards Agency recommends that people who eat liver regularly (more than once a week) should not increase this amount, and avoid taking vitamin A supplements. It also recommends that anyone at risk of osteoporosis should not take more than 1.5mg of vitamin A per day. 

Some studies suggest that a large intake of phosphoric acid from fizzy drinks weakens bones as calcium is drawn out of them to neutralise the acid. Excessive alcohol intake can also damage the cells that make new bone. 

Eat at least three servings of dairy products a day. If you don't eat dairy, include other calcium-rich foods or take a supplement
Take regular weight-bearing exercise and quit smoking
Drink no more than three units of alcohol a day (four for men) and have at least one alcohol-free day a week.


There is a strong link between diet and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and glaucoma, three of the most common causes of impaired vision and blindness in people over the age of 60. Eat more of the following foods:

Several studies have shown that those who eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (especially dark green, leafy vegetables) are less likely to suffer from AMD. 

The phytochemicals lutein (found in spinach, kale, broccoli, kiwi fruit, Brussels sprouts, peas, sweet corn and papaya) and zea-xanthin (found in spinach, oranges) are believed to help protect the lens of the eye from damage by free radicals. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables and vitamin C has also been shown to reduce the risk and slow the development of cataracts. 

A good intake of omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, may also help to protect against glaucoma. 

EAT LESS salt. High blood pressure is believed to increase the risk of glaucoma. 

Make sure you eat your five-a-day
Eat oil-rich fish at least once a week
Smoking and obesity increase the risk of AMD, so quit smoking and keep your weight within the ideal range
Protect your eyes in the sun by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses.