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Monday, 30 March 2015

Water Therapy and the Numerous Health Benefits of Drinking Water

It is a well known fact from the nutritional health point of view that “You are what you eat”. But now I want to also let you know that that there is an additional refrain that has been added to further qualify or enrich that health slogan. It is the fact also that “You are what you drink!”
Now, I am about to let you into another simple secret of simple wholesome living: it does not cost you too much to abide by the simple lifestyle of ensuring that you rightly consume just the right quantity of equally wholesome refreshing drink of water on a daily basis. 
Water heals diseases
The fact behind this form of natural health maintenance and therapy is simply hinged on the common truth and interesting facts of our planet earth, and indeed our own physiology:
You see, over 70 percent of our planet is occupied by water; in the same token, over 70 percent of your body is comprised of water. But not all the water that is available is meant for drinking, for instance, of the water in our planet, 98 percent of it is actually salt water – unfit for drinking. Therefore just about a paltry 2 percent is fresh water! So it is wrong for you to rely on your soft drinks or so called fruit juice solely as your drink after taking a meal as so many Nigerians are beginning to do these days especially when they eat out. Water cannot be replaced by any other fluid, and you need to maintain that natural balance by taking enough water.

Water is life and it is the driver of life. And why do you need to drink plenty adequate amount of water? 

The experts from scientific research have discovered that actually dehydration is the cause of most major diseases. Dehydration causes you to have pains and headaches that are just sometimes inexplicable. Most of joint and arthritic pains the experts reveal may be connected to lack of the right amount of water in your system. The bottom line therefore is that water heals.

Just consider the fact that the mass of your muscles are actually made up of 75 percent water, the composition of the blood that flows – transporting all forms of nutrients all around your system is made of 82 percent water. You also need to know that even your bones are 25 percent water; the control centre of your body which is the brain, is 76 percent water while your lungs which draw oxygen to your system are 90 percent water.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Causes of Overweight and Obesity: Natural Prevention and Control

We have often heard that one ailment/health condition or the other often runs in the family and the rest of it, but one thing that is clear is that there is no issue that has not got a solution about it. Some health conditions like overweight or obesity and a few others might actually be genetic and so on. But what this actually means experts say – is that a gene could have been inherited, say from mother to child, or father to child, etc. But if you are able to tackle that side of you headlong by making concerted effort to eliminate that singular trait, it can actually be controlled and totally eliminated, even by natural means that is truly and wholly based on healthy nutrition and wholesome lifestyle.

Overweight women

Someone once said all this talk of say, obesity running in the family is all hogwash; the expert actually believes that the problem is really that nobody is running in the family – that’s why. Also, the truth about overweight and obesity don’t always have to do with heredity because there are so many other factors that may predispose you to becoming obese. But in all of these there are important factors to consider when dealing with the causes of obesity:

Energy In and Energy Out

This has to do with the fact that one takes in an amount of energy in terms of calorie counts stemming from drinks and foods that you consume – that is energy IN. And then, in the case of energy OUT, you are expected to perform a number of tasks in your daily routine (activity) which enables you to burn some of these calories in a burst of energy. But in the event that the amount of energy spent (inactivity) is not commensurate with the energy that has gone into you through consumption of foods and drinks, breathing, digestion, etc then there is an imbalance of energy. If for instance energy OUT is (far) less than energy IN, you tend to put on weight which if uncontrolled can easily result in overweight or obesity.

Therefore there is need for you to have an energy balance in your life style. Thus if your energy IN is not equal to, or balanced with your energy OUT, then you are likely to develop a weight problem. Mind you, the reverse will also be the case in which there is more energy OUT than energy IN over a long period of time – you lose weight!

Genetic Factors

Genetic factors easily imply that there are traits that may actually ‘run in the family’; certain features therefore can be inherited from the parents for instance. This means that you have a good chance of being overweight or obese if any or both of your parents are obese. But the bottom line here is that if for example your parents or any one of them is in the habit of overeating and being inactive such as living sedentary life style, etc. then you have a hundred percent chance of being overweight or obese too.

But again, if you know your overweight parent is in the habit of eating so much and being inactive, all you need to do is to consciously resist the temptations to emulate such habits and behaviours, eat and drink healthy, be more active, and then you would have begun overcoming even whatever may be called a genetic trait or family history factor.  

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Many Incredible Healing Properties of Soursop Fruit and Plant

More than a decade ago, my family lived in a compound that had this strange looking plant with its equally strange looking spiky fruit. We never got to like it nor did we know it was edible. But occasionally people came around to beg to pluck the fruit which was always wasting away. They called it Soursop, and we thought that was even funny. But this is what is scientifically known as annona muricata.

But recently I have discovered that this strange looking exotic fruit is indeed a miracle fruit loaded with multifarious health benefits. The health benefits and healing properties embedded in this wonder plant are immense and varied, and are even found in almost every part of the soursop plant – the fruit, leaves, bark, roots, seeds, etc. This plant is native to tropical Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa. I also later discovered to my amazement that it is even also somewhat native to Eastern Nigeria - according to a Wikipedia publication.

Soursop plant

Even where I live now after many years of my first encounter with this exotic plant, there is another Soursop plant, which is also referred to as Guyabano, Graviola, Guanabana, etc. in certain climes, wasting away. It is interesting to note that nobody in the estate is showing interest except for a few people from outside who see it and scream – Soursop! Just last week also when my younger brother visited, he saw this rare plant for the first time and screamed –“Soursop, the anti-cancer fruit!” It was after this my eyes really opened up to this plant, and all the wonderful goodies loaded in it.

In that Soursop is an anti-cancer fruit was enough fascination for me, and you should know that this is one plant that you should begin to draw close to for total well being and wholesome living. The fruits contain a good amount of health nutrients such as Vitamins C, B1, B12, as well as fructose which is a carbohydrate of fruit sugar. This herbal remedy has been made extensive use of throughout history, and is also a rich source of many other phyto-nutrients such as riboflavin, thiamine, fibre, calcium, niacin, phosphorus and iron.

Anti-Cancer food

Regular consumption of the soursop fruit or the juice is a potent action that deals with cancer both for prevention and treatment. Most especially the leaves of this plant are able to deal with the effect of cancer with remarkable results. The leaves are able to perform as a natural chemotherapy as it does not come with the usual side effects we see with patients undergoing the regular chemotherapy whereby the patient experiences ugly side effects such as hair loss, nausea, etc. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

How to Unplug for Stress Relief

If for instance you are used to doing certain things as a matter of daily routine, you may as well begin as a matter of conscious effort to retrace your steps in order to rid yourself of constant stress. What I mean is that if there are routines about you that are apart from the daily morning and evening personal 'ritual' of – having your prayers, brushing your teeth, emptying your bowel, exercise, etc. then you may want to take a conscious look at them again and deliberately scuttle them if you can afford to ignore them for a while, that is.

Enjoying nature can help you to unwind

According to a research by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of “Your Soul’s Compass”, starting and ending your day in stillness for example is a very vital way to relieve yourself of stress. Thus whatever has formed part of your daily habit at various times of the day especially at the beginning and ending of the day, should be due for review by now if you have fallen into the stress trap of today’s modern lifestyle, or sheer routine way of life.

Have fun

The health research experts think you ought to, and you should really listen to this – unplug! Thus at that time of day or night you feel you must do certain things, it is indeed the best time to, for instance, just do without that your favourite television programme. Just switch off the T.V. or, do not switch it on at all; leave the computer and the e-mails alone, and do something totally different and most importantly – relaxing and fun. Why not pick up a good book and just read?

Be still

Better still, you may want to simply enjoy the rare pleasure of sitting still doing nothing and thinking nothing. Or, why don’t you seize the opportunity to try meditation. But just because everybody seems to be in a hurry these days, most of us find it difficult to pause a while and engage in this pleasant art of reflection and contemplation. Meditation is a continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature. It could be on a spiritual level or otherwise; it is an established fact by the way that the habit of meditation is said to be the basis for all real knowledge.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Benefits of Tea without Milk

Tea drinking is a habit if I may say, of billions of people throughout the world. Tea is generally taken for different reasons ranging from mere relaxation to just having it as a breakfast beverage to go with your early morning meals such as bread and cereals, etc. Tea drinking has indeed become a way of life for so many, but permit me to ask – how do you like your tea? Do you love to drink it clean, or with (plenty) of milk?

A cup of Tea

Well, the news I have for you is that adding milk to your refreshing drink of tea actually deprives you of the optimum health benefits obtainable from the vital nutrients that are inherent in this beverage such as vitamins, etc. Now, people drink tea for several reasons like I said earlier, such as relaxation or even just as a (daily) traditional ritual as has been exemplified and propagated by the ancient and present cultures of both the Chinese and the Indians. Tea is taken for its numerous health benefits including the fact that it contains a lot of antioxidants, and healing properties good for your heart, and cardiovascular health generally, etc.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Natural Health Benefits from Plants

I have often seen people using artificial (plastic) plants or flowers to decorate their homes and offices, as well as for occasions, and I wonder - what manner of taste? When I enquired from a few of the people who are inclined to this kind of practice, the reasons I got were even more absurd: Some say they prefer the use of plastic plants because they do not need to bother themselves (feeding) watering the plants! I will not bother to go into the other reasons and details because this one is just enough for me. What I have gathered is that so many people, especially Nigerians simply do not realise that there is plenty of health benefits to be derived from plants apart from its sheer natural effervescent beauty, and it is a serious matter and a big pity. The followings are some of the specific natural health benefits that we have been freely given to enjoy from plants around us.

Indoor plant - courtesy:

Gaseous exchange

In the first place, there is the ecosystem which by the perfect work of nature, has made plants and animals (which includes man) to depend on each other for survival; this interdependency of living organisms in an interaction with their physical environment, is what has placed a state of equilibrium on planet earth. Thus for example, scientific research has long proven the fact that plants give out oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis - a chemical process through which plants make their food in the presence of sunlight, and take in carbon dioxide when they respire. Conversely, animals including humans will breathe in the oxygen and expel carbon dioxide instead, and so life goes on.

What this simply means is that plants and humans coexist to complement each other in this symbiotic process of gaseous exchange.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Health Benefits of Fresh Air and Sunlight

As a very small boy growing up, going to school and playing around with friends and siblings, a lot of things actually went on without anybody paying close attention. I recall now as I look back when my mom or dad would ask me to take out the towel or the mattress into the sun, or for it to receive fresh air. I also recall many years back in the village, when my grandmother would harvest fresh vegetables and keep the extra on the thatched roof top of huts and barns for the fresh air and night dew to keep them company till the following day. The result was always that the open air kept the vegetables and fruits fresh.

Fresh air and Sunshine can mean the world to you

Take out the mattresses

But try wrapping up your fresh vegetables in a nylon bag for a few hours and see what happens to them. Something interesting seems to be going on here; obviously your vegetables or fruits will quickly start to go bad because bacteria will easily find their way and also actively do their duty of speeding up the decay process. 

Even today as people still do, but seldom recognise the need to carry out these practices, I begin to realise even more as I observe, the benefits of taking out the mattress to have fresh air and sunlight beat on it. The point is that scientists have discovered that most of the microbes that cause infectious sicknesses and diseases are not able to survive sunshine and even fresh air most of the time. Thus sunlight acts sometimes as natural disinfectant - working against pathogens and germs that hang around in the air. 

Natural disinfectants

To ascertain these points, British researchers carried out an experiment to find out how long airborne pathogens would last in the air when exposed to fresh air: At the end of the day, E-coli microorganisms that were exposed to the open air at night (because it was already established that they would die off when exposed to sunshine) died off after about two hours. Yet when the same was placed in a closed box under the same temperature and humidity, in similar location, were able to survive even beyond the two hours period.

There is therefore a clear evidence of the fact that sunshine and fresh air play a lot of role in both the elimination and prevention of germ growth. Little wonder victims of deadly infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis are usually people who are predominantly caught in crowded and congested environments.

Sunshine comes with an natural Vitamin D

It is for these same reasons that more than two centuries ago, Dr. John Lettsom (1744-1815) prescribed sea air and sunshine for child victims of tuberculosis (TB). And no wonder it is also proven by medical research that field and open air workers like farmers, animal ranchers, etc, are the least likely to contract tuberculosis as compared to their counterparts who work indoors or spend most of their times in enclosed environments. The latter are undoubtedly more prone to these types of infections.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Why Okro is good for you

Okro is a very popular vegetable consumed in Nigeria. Okro or (Okra) as it is sometimes called especially in the western climes, and also lady’s fingers, comes in beaked green pods of the Okro plant; it is a coarse annual of Old World tropics widely cultivated in southern United States and West Indies for its long mucilaginous green pods used as basis for soups and stews; sometimes it has been placed in the genus Hibiscus.  In Nigeria Okro, mainly so called by the Igbo, is also widely cultivated, and indeed throughout the West African sub-region and mainly used as a major ingredient for draw soups. It is applied to function both as vegetable and a thickening agent in soups and sometimes stews. 

Okro plant

At this point I will let you into some of the nutritional facts, and health benefits inherent in consuming this delicious vegetable. Apart from making a mouth watering palatable and aromatic broth in soups and stews, okro has been found to contain a rich concentration of phytochemicals, minerals and important vitamins thereby lending itself to so much goodies that our health require.

Good for bones and teeth

Okro is very healthy and nourishing because it is rich in the very essential mineral –Calcium. This is a very important food nutrient that is required for the building and sustenance of strong bones and teeth. At the same time, calcium is important in nerve signaling and muscle contractions.

Good for healthy heart

Because of the crucial role of calcium, we can never emphasise enough the benefits of this mineral in your system which is why you need to consume more of okro because the deficiency of this food element could lead to numerous health complications. Health experts say that calcium deficiency can manifest with the following signs: numbness of the fingers and toes, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, convulsion, arrhythmia which is an abnormal rate of muscle contractions in the heart, and tiredness. But here is a word of warning too: an excess of calcium intake, especially by means of supplements, can also lead to kidney stone formation and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart attack, etc. Need I emphasise again that you are better off getting your daily dose of minerals and vitamins from your foods if you can help it.