If you suffer from dark circles under your eyes and topical treatment has failed, poor nutrition may be the culprit. There are nutritional factors such as vitamin deficiencies, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even food allergies that may result in the formation of these dark circles. When determining what might be causing your under-eye coloring, initially alter only one aspect of your diet. Allow your body a few days to adjust to the dietary change before making any conclusions or attempting another nutritional alteration. Continue reading “Under Eye Circles: What Could be the Cause?”
What Is Oolong Tea?
A Complete Guide To The Health Benefits
Whether you’re an avid tea drinker or you are looking for a new, healthy tea to try, then Oolong tea comes with not only a fascinating history but some wonderful health benefits too. Continue reading “What Is Oolong Tea? A Complete Guide”
What Is Yoga Meditation?
Healthy Preview’s Complete Guide To Yoga
Long before it was hip, yoga has been the go-to exercise for many people seeking a workout that is effective, yet meditational as well.
What many people may not know about yoga is that it is very old and some folks are astonished to find that yoga has been in existence for more than 5,000 years.
There are many reasons to try yoga whether they be for fat loss, muscle toning, flexibility or balance. Because of its amazing versatility, it has a popularity that genuinely exceeds its trendy appeal.
The Changing Face Of Yoga In The Modern World
Several yoga teachers have added their own poses and moves to basic Yoga to the point that today there are numerous styles of Yoga.
No matter how many styles there are they have similarities to the basic yoga practice.
Many new practitioners become confused by the numerous yoga styles because experienced followers of Yoga believe that their form of this activity is the original Yoga or the best style.
It may be just too hard to trace the original movements of early yogis.
Are The New Moves Just As Effective?
There’s no real evidence to suggest they are not as long as they’re done properly.
Yoga has been around long enough that most of what is effective has been well and truly developed by now. That isn’t at to say that things cannot be improved, but hype plays a role in some modern yoga marketing and that should be at least viewed with caution for the discerning consumer.
What Can Be Learned Here?
Most yoga follows similar practices, though, there are newer types that are not necessarily better.
What Is Yoga?
Meditation Or Exercise?
This is the most common question asked especially from new students. Most people have a vague idea of what Yoga is about.
Some ask if Yoga is an exercise, others believe that Yoga is a philosophy. Many think it is physical therapy or a spiritual practice. All of these questions can be answered “Yes.” Yoga is a part of all of these things.
Yoga can be described as a discipline of low-impact static exercises and poses that work together to strengthen and increase flexibility. Because of its low-impact nature, many people who cannot perform more intense workouts, find they enjoy being able to exercise again using yoga.
As Yoga poses stretch parts of the body, the body parts experience an increase in blood flow and many people claim to experience a release of energy, though there’s little scientific evidence to support this as a biological fact.
Tension is released from certain parts of the body where it is never given the opportunity to be released through regular activities.
Though you won’t burn fat like you would doing HIIT training or plyometrics, the fact is not everyone who participates in yoga-related activities is looking for this kind of weight loss or physical improvement.
Mental and spiritual elements are also believed to be enhanced because of the slow movements and correct breathing used during Yoga exercises.
Yoga enthusiasts believe that not only is the body strengthened but the mind and spirit benefit as well.
Though some of the claims of spirituality lack grounding in science, there are many physical benefits that can be proven effective such as increased flexibility, circulation and breathing.
Flexibility can help prevent muscle strains and improve agility at all ages.
It’s also well worth noting that the positive effects that exercise can have on the brain through endorphin release could go some way to explain some of the spiritual claims.
So, What’s Definitive?
It’s definitely an exercise, but to many people, it is a calming and philosophical activity.
Do You Need To Be A Religious Person In Order To Practice Yoga?
Is Spirituality A Requirement?
Yoga is many things to many people as discussed above. Some people practice Yoga for its spiritual benefits alone. Others perform Yoga for its physical benefits of strengthening and flexibility.
Since Yoga has benefits for the mind, body and “spirit”, staying open to all of its benefits can be a major benefit for all areas of life.
Far be it for a science-based health website to lay claim to all the answers.
You might find that yoga is a good place to start developing the spiritual part of you if you’ve never explored this part of your life.
Yoga is an excellent way to increase a feeling of peace and self-confidence, but there’s no reason a person has to be “spiritual” to enjoy many of the benefits. Many people use the meditative qualities of yoga to help control their anger as well as to calm their mind and find a relaxing balance.
What’s The Bottom Line?
You Can Enjoy Yoga Whether You’re Spiritually Inclined Or Not.
Where Can You Practice Yoga?
Do You Have To Go To A Class?
You can practice Yoga anywhere.
People practice Yoga in the privacy of their homes. Others love sharing their Yoga time with friends in an outdoor setting such as a park or the beach.
Inquire about Yoga classes at a gym near you. A class is one of the best ways to start the practice and learn the correct exercises, poses and breathing.
Some community-based organizations teach free Yoga classes to anyone who wants to learn. One advantage to learning Yoga is there is no equipment necessary.
That alone saves money and space. You may want to use a pillow to support the body during some poses, but that is all the equipment needed.
There’s a yoga directory that lists many different studios and practitioners all over the world here: Yoga Directory
There are videos on youtube of yoga activities you can learn if you’re too shy to brave a class, but it can be a social activity if you get among other enthusiasts.
So, Can You Do It Where Ever You Like?
Absolutely. A yoga mat and clothing are optional.
What If I Am Overweight & Unfit. Can I Still Practice Yoga?
Is This A Problem?
Yes, you can. Yoga poses and exercises range from very easy to more advanced levels. You will gradually become strong and flexible enough to advance from very easy moves to the more complex moves.
The slow and static movements of Yoga can be easily practiced by nearly everyone from preschoolers to senior citizens.
One of the best things about yoga is its low impact and ease with which most people can access this unique activity. Many people claim they experience a positive mindset after performing certain yoga techniques, which could benefit anyone of any size or age.
As with any exercise, larger people may have some difficulty trying to accomplish some maneuvres and moves, but some yoga exercises require you to only lay on your back and really are quite simple.
So, Can Most People Do Yoga?
Barring some disabilities, most people are able to participate in some form of yoga.
What is Yoga Meditation Anyway?
Now that you understand Yoga better you may just agree that Yoga is something you may want to explore further.
It is a mental, physical and spiritual practice that can be done anywhere and as much as you like. This makes Yoga one of the most popular disciplines in the world.
We hoped you thoroughly enjoyed this article “What Is Yoga Meditation Anyway?”. Please visit the appropriate medical authority before undertaking any exercise regime.
What Is Almond Milk?
Health and Other Benefits This Dairy Alternative
If you can’t eat dairy or choose not to for health or personal reasons, then you will probably want a viable alternative to cow’s milk.
Whether it be for breakfast cereals, smoothies or just any dish that requires milk, it’s great to have something that can replace the dairy version, but also tastes pretty good and almond milk goes a long way to filling the void.
This article takes a look at exactly what almond milk is made from and what health benefits this readily available dairy alternative can offer for those who need it.
Let’s start right away with what this milk substitute is all about.
What Is Almond Milk?
Is It Natural?
Almond milk refers to a plant-based milk that comes from almonds. This product has a creamy texture and nutty taste and does not contain lactose or cholesterol.
For this reason, it usually consumed by people who are lactose-intolerant as well as those who wish to avoid dairy products, such as vegans.
For the most part, it’s a very natural, not too processed milk alternative, mostly containing almonds, water, and some mineral salts. It is usually fortified with various vitamins, such as vitamins A, E, and D
What Varieties Are There?
Commercial almond milk comes in various different flavors, including sweetened, vanilla, plain, unsweetened, and chocolate flavor.
Can You Make Your Own?
You can. In addition to buying it from the store, you can attempt to make almond milk at home using a blender, ground almonds, and filtered water.
You’ll need a coffee filter or similar product to put the mix through in order to remove the nut solids and create a creamy, smooth product.
For Individuals who are allergic to almonds and nuts, unfortunately, this product is not an option. Soy milk may be a better alternative for those who can not consume nut based products but still want to remain dairy free.
What’s The Take Away From This?
Almond milk may be a better “milk” for those who have dairy but not nut allergies
Is Almond Milk Good For You?
What’s With The Hype?
Like almost every natural food based product, almond milk has some hype surrounding it and while some of it may be exaggerated, some of the health benefits may warrant some positive critique.
This particular product contains protein, antioxidants, as well as healthy fats. It is 50% lower in calories when compared to cow’s milk, which means that it is ideal for people who want to lose weight. In addition, it contains no cholesterol since it is not an animal product.
This means that it is very good for people with lactose allergies as well as vegans, or those folks who wish to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
When fortified, almond milk becomes an important source of vitamin D. This is a great benefit of this product, especially when you consider the fact that generally, vitamin D is not commonly found in the normal human diet.
This makes almond milk almost essential for people who are low or deficient in vitamin D.
Lack of vitamin D is known to raise the risk of brittle bones, weak muscles, and fatigue.
So, Is It Healthy?
It certainly is if you need the nutrients almond milk provides.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Almond Milk?
Why Is It So Good?
Almond milk is known to have a number of possible health benefits, including the following:
Helping Maintain Your Immune System In Healthy State
Almond milk contains various minerals and nutrients that are essential when it comes to helping maintain a healthy immune system.
Taking almond milk regularly is thought by some to help benefit and nurture a strong immune system, which in return helps your body to ward off infections.
This product contains a significant amount of vitamin A, a very important vitamin that is known to help promote proper eye function. (1)
It is a well-known fact that regular use of smartphones, computers, and tablets, which is a common occurrence in many offices and homes these days, can have a negative effect on vision.
You may address this problem naturally by increasing your consumption of vitamin A. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to take almond milk on a regular basis.
Maintaining And Reducing Blood Pressure
Including almond milk in your diet plan may help maintain and lower your blood pressure.
This particular product contains a significant amount of vitamin D, among other vitamins. Vitamin D and certain other minerals, including phosphorous, may play a very important role when it comes to keeping your arterial system in a good condition and assisting in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
In order to function optimally, your veins need to have the ability to expand and contract freely in order to allow the blood to flow freely to and from every part of your body. Without adequate amounts of vitamin D in your body, this may not be possible. (2)
If your arteries happen to become blocked or where you may have poor movement of blood within your veins, you might experience hypertension, which is known to be an adverse health condition.
For this reason, if you do not include other foods rich in D vitamins, including dairy products, in your diet plan, you may have insufficient amounts this important nutrient as well as other essential nutritionally important substances which can potentially lead to high blood pressure. To avoid such an eventuality, you could supplement with almond milk in order to improve the health of your heart.
Improving Bone Health
This particular product may also be (when fortified) a rich source of calcium, a mineral that is important when it comes to the maintenance and formation of healthy bones and teeth. In addition, calcium is also essential when it comes to maintaining a normal heartbeat, the formation of blood clots, as well as relaxing muscles.
For this reason, including almond milk in your diet plan is ideal because it will help supply calcium to your body, thus helping your bones to grow in a healthy way. It will also help reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Calcium works together with certain other vitamins, including vitamin D, leading to stronger bones for life. (3)
The high quality fats in almond milk may help to promote good cholesterol and fight the production of bad cholesterol.
Fats that are found in nuts like almonds can have omega 3 fatty acids which support good heart health and positive HDL cholesterol levels.
It May Have Some Anti-Cancer Properties
Scientific studies seem to suggest that consuming almond milk has the effect of suppressing the growth of certain cells that are known to promote prostate cancer.
The growth of these particular cells is stimulated by the consumption of cow’s milk.
Prostate cancer is a major killer of males, similar in numbers to breast cancer, but recieves much less publicity. Knowledge about the prevention of this silent but frequent form of male deaths is not widely discussed.
If almond milk does indeed have anti-prostate cancer properties, then it may be of benefit to males, especially those over the age of 40 who may be more prone to this invasive cancer.
Including the right kinds of foods in your diet plan is known to help accelerate the process of building muscle. Such foods include those that contain minerals and vitamins that are known to promote muscle development.
Almond milk serves as a good example of such foods because it contains riboflavin. Riboflavin is known to work together with a number of other nutrients in your body, including iron, in regulating the growth as well as strength of muscles. (4)
Most almond milk also contains protein, a very essential nutrient when it comes to maintaining a healthy skin and muscle development.
Protein is also known to help maintain the health of other body organs that are responsible for repairing and maintaining your body, though almond milk contains smaller amounts of protein than dairy milk.
What’s The Take Home Message Here?
There are some benefits to consuming almond milk that may be similar to dairy milk without the lactose
More Benefits Of Almond Milk
Other Bonus Boons
Aside from the above-mentioned nutritionally powerful advantages of this nut based milk substitute, there are some smaller but nonetheless impressive possible health benefits.
Here below are some of the other advantages of this product:
Breast Milk Alternative?
Almond milk is known to be rich in certain nutrients, which resemble the ones that are found in the breast milk of mothers.
These include vitamin D, C, and Iron.
While many people in the medical profession will absolutely not recommend any alternatives to breast milk, some realize that there are busy working moms who rely on formula or adhere to vegan principles that they (rightly or wrongly) wish to follow with their infants.
Almond milk may go some way to providing nutritional support for infants whose parents refuse breast milk and formula, though a comprehensive look at the individual types of almond milk would be considered fundamentally necessary at the minimum.
This article suggests almond milk is definitely not recommended for infants as it lacks too many important nutrients.
Almond milk contain around one gram of mostly soluble fiber per serving. This is known to help improve digestion.
Though that may seem like an insignificant amount, bear in mind that fluid sources of fiber can realy add up when people consume larger quantities.
It Does Not Necessarily Need Refrigeration
This makes the product easy to take with you on your camping trip or to the work place.
It remains perfect at room temperature, meaning that it is a very convenient and nutritious staple to pack.
If you prefer it cold, then by all means put it in the fridge, but it’s interesting to note that you don’t have to.
It Can Be Made At Home From Scratch
The process of making this product is quite easy. You just need to finely grind almonds and then placing them in a blender containing water, and filtering the pulp using a strainer in order to separate it from the liquid.
You can choose to put in additions as you please like sweetners, mineral salts and flavorings.
What Does This All Mean?
For advid campers or DIY foodies, almond milk has some real appeal
Almond Milk Nutritional Facts
It’s important to know what you’re drinking and how this can play into a healthy diet.
One cup this product in its unsweetened form contains:
1 gram of protein
3 grams of fat
Around 30 calories
1 gram of fiber
1 gram of carbohydrate
Fortified almond milk may contain iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E and possibly extra protein.
So Is It Worth Drinking?
It is definitely good for those who want an alternative to dairy milk
What Is Almond Milk?
This creamy nut based milk alternative let’s those people with soy and dairy allergies enjoy a milky beverage with their tea, coffee or breakfast.
For those in the vegan community, this is a godsend as they have an substitute for soy milk which some may not consider quite as palatable.
Some people avoid soy-based milk because of their concern about estrogen production from soy products, so this may be a product that’s perfect for these people’s needs.
It is important to always buy fortified brands of this particular product order to enjoy its full health benefits.
We trust you enjoyed the article “What is almond milk?”. Please feel free to leave us a comment in the section below.
What Is Black Garlic?
The 5 Science-Backed Health Benefits
You may have seen it on TV or in the supermarket and wondered what on earth black garlic is.
It might even look a little too exotic and scary for some people and their palates, but for those more adventurous eaters, there are some wonderful health benefits of this unique food item.
We took a look at the 5 very real, science-backed health benefits of black garlic and now you can find them out too, just read on below.
The History Of Black Garlic
The Unknown Alium
Nobody knows for sure when black garlic was first used. However, it is thought that it may have been created using various different methods involving fermentation and curing by people from different cultures in ancient times.
Some people believe it originated in China and worked its way down to Thailand through travel and trade, but finding acceptable levels of evidence is nearly impossible.
What we do know is that black garlic is known to have been introduced to the modern culinary market at the beginning of the 21st century making it a relatively new product for western palates.
In modern times black garlic is a popular dish in high-end restaurants giving patrons the opportunity to try something exotic, but also familiar.
So, Does Anyone Know Where It Came From?
Evidence is thin on the ground. It’s one of those mysteries we’ll probably never solve.
What is Black Garlic?
How Is It Made?
So, how is black garlic made? The dark, sweet product is what you get after heating whole garlic cloves at about 60 degrees Centigrade for about 40 days in a relatively humid environment.
The garlic turns black and becomes more acidic and sweeter, as well as sticky and pliable.
In addition, it loses the pungency of fresh garlic, thus making it possible for you to use its toasty, fruity, and caramelized flavors in several different ways that are not possible with raw garlic.
Some people find garlic off-putting because of it’s sharp, overpowering flavor, but black garlic can offer a more subtle and sweet alternative.
The Gourmand’s Choice
Chefs all over the world are taking advantage of black garlic’s tangy, subtle flavor in order to add to their dishes a savory elegance.
It is similar to roasted garlic in texture, which makes it easy to blend into sauces and spreads. However, what is making black garlic increasingly popular is its association with a number of health benefits, which we will discuss further down below.
The aging process that is used in making black garlic is known to amplify garlic’s traditional health properties, including reducing blood pressure, fighting a common cold, and detoxifying the body of excess metals, among other important benefits. However, black garlic is a super food that offers many more other health benefits when compared to fresh garlic.
What Can We Learn Here?
Black garlic is normal garlic slow cooked until dark. It still has health benefits though.
Why Is Black Garlic So Healthy?
The main reason why black garlic offers a lot of health benefits is that it is very rich in antioxidants. As a matter of fact, it may contain up to two times more antioxidants than raw garlic.
This is associated with the aging and fermentation process that is used to make black garlic. For instance, a study conducted in 2009 showed that black garlic is more effective than fresh garlic when it comes to how it may affect tumor growth in cancer. (1)
The True Story Of Choo Keng Kwang
A Mandarin oil painter, known as Choo Keng Kwang, is said to have experienced a complete reversal of a skin condition known as psoriasis after using black garlic. He is said to have eaten half a bulb of black garlic a day, for a period of four days, after which he became completely healed of his psoriasis.
He had tried a number of prescribed skin creams, but they are failed to cure him. This is another classic example of the effectiveness of black garlic in addressing certain health issues due to the fact that it is very rich in antioxidants. (2)
Black garlic is also very rich in sulfurous compounds. One of these compounds, known as S-Allylcycteine (SAC), has been shown to offer a lot of health benefits, including the inhibition of cholesterol synthesis. (3)
In simpler terms, it means that this particular compound has the ability to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. S-Allylcysteine is water soluble and readily digestible.
What Does This All Mean?
Black garlic has some seriously powerful compounds that may be worth trying.
What Are The 5 Health Benefits Of Black Garlic?
Garlic Power Maximized
While there are quite a few claims made about almost every single natural food product, quite a few of the health benefits of black garlic actually hold up to scientific scrutiny.
The following are the 5 recognized health benefits of black garlic:
1. Treating Type 2 Diabetes
People who suffer from type 2 diabetes do experience numerous problems with their health as a result of oxidative stress.
As a matter of fact, failure to control one’s diabetes effectively can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease, kidney disease, vision problems such as glaucoma, as well as potential nerve damage.
Using black garlic can help reduce oxidative stress resulting from increased blood sugar levels. This is because of it is very rich in antioxidants. (4)
As we referenced in an above segment, a number of scientific studies have shown that its high level of antioxidants has a much stronger effect when compared to raw garlic, meaning that black garlic can be much more effective when it comes to the prevention of diabetes-related complications.
2. Infection Prevention
Since black garlic contains S-allylcysteine, it has the potential to offer protection against infections. This compound is known to assist with the absorption of allici, which in return helps it metabolize easily. This is the reason why black garlic has the ability to boost protection against infections.
In addition, just like raw garlic, black garlic is a natural antibiotic, meaning that it has the ability to fight infections and viruses. As a matter of fact, garlic has been used to fight infections for thousands of years, including helping fight the plague in the past.
2. Improving Cholesterol Levels
It is very important to keep LDL (bad cholesterol) in check in orders to reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, and premature death. Using black garlic has been shown to offer numerous heart health benefits including assisting with HDL (good cholesterol) production.
Until recently, raw garlic has been associated with a lot of heart health benefits, but recent scientific studies (referenced above) have shown that black garlic can offer even more of these benefits, compared to raw garlic, including assisting in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
Researchers have been able to show that black garlic has a slightly different phytochemical makeup when compared to raw garlic.
This means that it can offer even greater benefits for supporting heart health.
3. Helping Heal The Liver From Alcohol Damage
Bad habits, including excessive drinking, can damage the liver irreparably. However, the human liver can heal itself naturally if an individual stops their bad habits before it is too late.
Alcoholic liver disease is known to occur when someone’s liver gets damaged as a result of oxidative stress, which results when the liver tries to break down the alcohol. The liver cells get damaged, leading to inflammation and scarring over time.
Scientific studies have shown that black garlic has the ability to help reduce inflammation as well as reversing the damage caused by alcohol to the liver.
It can also help remove the fat that is accumulated in the liver, due to its potent antioxidant properties.
Of course, this doesn’t mean someone can keep having one beer too many and then just eat a bulb of black garlic, but it may help those who pursue moderation.
4. Relieving Allergies
Black garlic can be effectively used to relief nasal problems such as sinus and also help with skin allergies.
Scientific studies have shown that black garlic can indeed help turn off genes that are known to cause inflammation and allergic reactions. (referenced above).
This probably doesn’t mean the someone with a dog allergy can just scoff a few black garlic cloves and give Buster a big hug, but it does mean it can play a supporting role in helping manage allergies.
5. Immune System Support
In addition the aforementioned 4 health benefits, it can also help strengthen the immune system due to the fact that it is very rich in antioxidants.
Another important benefit of using garlic to fight infections is that it does not harm the beneficial gut bacteria, unlike antibiotics.
A study performed on chickens showed that garlic (allium sativum) enhanced T-Cell production which may affect B-Cell production and immunoglobulin activity, increase immune system strength. (5)
What’s The Bottom Line Here?
Black garlic has the potential to offer some excellent health support as well as potent flavor.
What Is Black Garlic?
Unlike raw garlic which is associated with a pungent odor, the fermentation process used to make black garlic helps reduce the strong flavor and pungent odor.
This helps make it more appealing and palatable. In addition, black garlic is said to taste almost like dried fruit; it is described as sweet, smoky, and chewy.
This essentially means that there is no reason why you should not start blending black garlic in your sauces and spreads and enjoy its awesome health benefits in return.
Knowing all the health benefits of black garlic, there’s no reason not to add a little to any dish and reap the rewards that some of the nutritious properties may offer.
We hope you found this article “What Is Black Garlic? The 5 Science-Backed Health Benefits” to be informative. Please be advised that the information on this website is not offered for the purposes of diagnosing or treating any illness or ailment and that anyone with medical issues should seek professional assistance.