Health and Disease

Oregano and Rosemary Lower Blood Sugar and Prevent Diabetes

rosemaryoregano

Oregano and rosemary lower blood sugar and prevent diabetes

Diabetes, which currently affects more than 8 percent of the American population, is increasing at an unprecedented rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the incidence of this disease skyrocketed over the last three decades, rising 176 percent in the years 1980 through 2011.

Now, more than ever, a need for safe and effective treatment exists, and researchers are saying that a pair of fragrant, flavorful Mediterranean herbs may hold the key.

New research: Rosemary and oregano work just like prescription drugs – yet safer

In a study conducted by researchers from the American Chemical Society and published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, rosemary and oregano were found to inhibit an enzyme, dipeptidyl peptidase IV, that promotes the secretion of insulin. Protein tyrosine phosphatase – which plays a role in insulin signaling – has led researchers to conclude that the herbs could be useful in preventing and treating diabetes.

Lead author and researcher Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia noted that although some cases of diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise, many patients lack the discipline to follow a successful regimen. In addition, anti-diabetic drugs can be costly, as well as featuring negative side effects. On the other hand, herbs offer a safe, natural and cost-effective method of lowering blood glucose.

What are the beneficial properties of rosemary and oregano?

If you don’t have access to fresh rosemary and oregano, no worries – although, of course, it is always preferable to use fresh, organic herbs whenever possible, the dried “supermarket” version is just as effective when it comes to lowering blood sugar.

The researchers tested the effects of both greenhouse-grown and commercial dried extracts. Not surprisingly, they found that the greenhouse version of the herbs had higher levels of beneficial polyphenols and flavonoids. However, the commercial dried extracts functioned just as well to lower blood sugar.

Of the different varieties of greenhouse and commercial herbs tested by the researchers, commercial Greek oregano – scientifically known as origanum vulgare – commercial Mexican oregano, or lippia graveolens – and both greenhouse and commercial rosemary – rosmarinic officinalis – performed best.

Polyphenols and flavonoids in rosemary and oregano shown to target inflammation

Courtesy of their high levels of phytochemicals, both rosemary and oregano are potent inflammation fighters. This pair of herbs is particularly rich in gallic acid, with some samples containing as much 430 micrograms per milligram of dried weight. Gallic acid, with confirmed anti-fungal, anti-viral, and chemopreventive properties, is first and foremost a stunningly effective antioxidant.

In a new animal study published in 2014 in International Journal of Inflammation, gallic acid not only had a beneficial effect on mice with laboratory-induced sepsis, it completely reversed lipid peroxidation – the damaging degradation of fats.

In addition, both rosemary and oregano are rich in antioxidant rosmarinic acid, beneficial volatile oils such as cineol, camphene and borneol, and the antioxidant vitamins A and C.

Rosemary can also alleviate age-related cognitive decline

Rosemary’s beneficial effects aren’t limited to inhibiting diabetes and promoting healthy blood sugar levels. By reducing oxidative stress in the part of the brain that controls learning and memory, rosemary may help to alleviate cognitive deficits that accompany aging.

According to recent animal studies conducted at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, several enhanced proprietary rosemary and spearmint extracts improved the cognitive performance of mice with age-related cognitive decline. The research team expressed hope that the herbs could be used to reduce cognitive problems occurring in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

  1. Carrothers

312-972-WELL

References:

http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/prev/national/figage.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140723111143.htm

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf500639f

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131115111524.htm

http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/gallic-acid.php

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Foods

Mini Pumpkin Pies

pumpkinpiemini

Mini Pumkin Pies:
* 2 Refrigerated ready-to-roll pie crust
* 1/2 Cup of Sugar ( use your favorite substitute )
* 8 oz. Cream Cheese (room temperature)
* 1 Cup of Canned Pumpkin
* 1 teaspoon of Vanilla
* 3 eggs
* 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
* Whipped Cream

DIRECTIONS:
*Pre-heat oven to 425.
*Mix sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, eggs, cream cheese & pumpkin spice until smooth.
*Roll dough. Using a bowl or 4 inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles from your 2 9-inch pie crust doughs.
*Place each circle into a pre-greased muffin tin. Press them in, letting the sides come up for a fun look. Score the bottom of your dough with a fork to keep the crust from bubbling up as it cooks.
*Pour your filling into each muffin tin cup. Fill them to the very top.
*Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Then turn your heat down to 350 and bake them for 25-30 minutes.
*Let these cool on a wire rack for a couple of hours to let the pumpkin filling set.
*Add a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

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Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

Lifestyle

Lower Your Political Stress Level

politics

Lower Your Political Stress Level

A constant barrage of political advertising and infighting can raise your anxiety level. Here’s how to calm down.

A long election season is nearing its apex, and all the campaign fervor may have you feeling crispy around the edges. After all, what breeds anxiety like being bombarded daily with negative campaign propaganda, watching opponents trade accusations and insults, and listening as innuendos and suspicions are spun out into full-blown attacks and dire proclamations? Between the candidates, the issues and all the inflammatory media commentary, it can send your stress levels soaring.

According to Alan J. Lipman, PhD, a psychotherapist who specializes in the psychology of political behavior, the plethora of fear-based messages (a favorite during campaign season) can present a particular challenge. Prolonged exposure to political fearmongering can do serious harm to people who suffer from anxiety disorders, he says — but they affect us all, to some degree, by reducing our sense of groundedness in our own lives.

STRESS SOURCE

Political ad overexposure. The anxiety that comes from excessive exposure to campaign coverage, negative political advertising, and the inflammatory chatter stirred up by cable TV news and commentary programs as they cover election campaigns and candidates.

BARRIERS TO OVERCOME

Getting sucked in by the media manipulators. Political spinmeisters and their advertising-industry colleagues have made a real science out of knowing what motivates us to make choices, and which words and images will push our buttons.

Mistaking opinion for information. When you’re being bombarded by the manipulators, it’s easy to think that a strongly voiced opinion is real information, says Lipman, and then to convince yourself that you need more of what he terms “political junk food”: discord, conflict and gossip masquerading as real insight.

The lure of muckraking. When you’re a big fan of one political candidate, it can be exhilarating to get a taste of any nasty news about his or her opponent, no matter how venal or irrelevant. Gloating and ill-wishing may seem like fun, but they often produce a set of companion feelings — like seething resentment and hostility — that aren’t good for you.

Too much screen time. Obsession with political news can be a subset of media addiction — the inability to switch off the endless stream of noise and just sit with our own emotions. Too much time observing negative rants can also trigger the “mirror neurons” in our own brains, causing an unhealthy surge in associated stress chemicals.

HOW TO COPE

Notice when you’re being played. If you find yourself getting riled up, notice what emotions are being triggered, by whom and with what likely purpose. “The most effective way to defuse the anxiety around political fearmongering is to properly contextualize it,” says Lipman. “Realize that these messages are coming from a motivated point of view. The people who are giving you this information are not giving it to you because they want to paint a balanced picture of the world.”

Do some digging. In the face of fearmongering, Lipman advocates objective research rather than withdrawal. Dig into reliable data at nonpartisan Web sites like www.factcheck.org and www.votesmart.org to get clarity about where the irrelevant hype stops and where reality begins.

Switch off the screen. Don’t spend hours watching rehashed coverage or inflammatory commentary. Get the news you feel you need to do your civic duty (noting that reading political coverage is often less stressful than watching or listening to it) and then, in Lipman’s words, “go outside and play.”

Keep it in perspective. While political fearmongers like to overplay the imminence of scary scenarios as good reasons to vote for their party, keep in mind: “The fact that you are seeing something talked about on television during campaign season doesn’t mean that the actual probability of it happening to you is all that great,” says Lipman.

STRESS SOLVER

Shhhhh … Silent retreats are a great way to cut out the chatter, ease stress and get to know yourself again.

Origin: Silent meditation retreats, called sesshin, have been part of Zen Buddhism for centuries, and in the West, Greek monks called hesychasts (“silent ones”) developed a tradition of silent mental discipline and prayer that is still practiced today. Some Catholic religious orders, including the Cistercians and Carmelites, maintain silence for all or most of the day.

Benefits: “There is a power in keeping silence with other people that simply being quiet in your own house won’t give you,” says White. “In your house, there are a lot of things around you that support your habitual thinking. On retreat, you take yourself out of your habits so that something new can happen.” You become more comfortable with yourself and less dependent on what White calls “the supports you think you need to be in full possession of your own identity.”

Simple Steps: Seek out a silent retreat with a location and description that appeals to you. Retreat formats vary: They may feature unstructured time, formal meditation or worship, or spiritual talks given by a leader, or opportunities for discussion with a spiritual director. But mostly there will be plenty of opportunity for rest, reflection, time in nature, reading and sleep. Most centers will provide you with three daily meals at set times.

Plan to leave all your regular daily activities behind. “In everyday life you’re mostly giving and doing,” says White. “In going into silence, you intentionally choose a mode of receiving, consciously opening yourself to receive whatever your higher power, or nature, or your spiritual director is giving you. And because your distractions are gone, you’re very much in the present, and you can see what’s going on inside — what’s motivating you, driving you, challenging you.”

Let yourself be inspired by the environment. Many centers feature gardens to explore and labyrinths to walk. Take advantage of your cleared senses to enjoy them fully.

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Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

J. Spayde

312-972-WELL

Health and Disease

Habits that can Damage Your Kidneys

creekautumn

10 Common Habits That Seriously Damage Your Kidneys

Our kidneys are super important for our health. They filter our blood, produce hormones, absorb minerals, produce urine, eliminate toxins, and neutralize acids. So as one of the most important organs in your body, your kidneys deserve some love.

Damage or steady decline of your kidneys can often go unnoticed for years as your kidneys can still do their job with as little as 20% of their capacity. Therefore kidney diseases are often referred to as “The Silent Diseases”. That’s why it is so important to take care of them before it is too late.

Here’s a list of 10 common habits that put a lot of pressure on your kidneys and can cause serious damage over time.

  1. Not Drinking Enough Water

Your kidney’s most important function is to filter blood and eliminate toxins and waste materials. When you don’t drink enough plain water during the day toxins and waste material start to accumulate and can cause severe damage to your body.

  1. Too Much Salt In Your Diet

Your body needs salt to work properly, not necessarily sodium. Most people however consume too much sodium, usually from eating out too muchm, which may raise blood pressure and put a lot of stress on the kidneys. As a good rule of thumb, no more than 5 grams of sodium should be eaten on a daily basis.  Look at those labels!

  1. Frequently Delaying The Call Of Nature

Many of us ignore the urge to go because they are too busy or want to avoid public bathrooms. Retaining urine on a regular basis increases urine pressure and can lead to kidney failure, kidney stones, and incontinence. So listen to your body when nature calls.

  1. Kick The Sugar Habit

Scientific studies show that people who consume 2 or more sugary drinks a day are more likely to have protein in their urine. Having protein in your urine is an early sign your kidneys are not doing their job as they should.

  1. Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies

Eating a clean, whole food diet full of fresh vegetables and fruits is important for your overall health and a good kidney function. Many deficiencies can increase the risk of kidney stones or kidney failure. Vitamin B6 and magnesium, for instance, are super important to reduce the risk of kidney stones.  Never start taking vitamin B6 without consulting your healthcare provider.

An estimated 70 to 80 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium, so there may be a good chance that you are one of them.

  1. Too Much Animal Protein

Over consumption of protein, especially red meat, increases the metabolic load on your kidneys. So more protein in your diet means your kidneys have to work harder and this can lead to kidney damage or dysfunction over time.

  1. Sleep Deprivation

We have all heard how important it is to get a good night’s rest. Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to many diseases and kidney diseases are also on the list. During the night your body repairs damaged kidney tissue, so give your body the time to heal and repair itself.

  1. Coffee Habit

Just as salt, caffeine can raise blood pressure and put extra stress on your kidneys. Over time excessive consumption of coffee can cause damage to your kidneys.

  1. Painkiller Abuse

Way too many people take painkillers for their small aches and pains, while there are many all-natural, safe remedies available. Excessive use or painkiller abuse can lead to severe damage of liver and kidneys. Stop popping all that ibuprofen and Tylenol in your body, everytime you have an ache, or want to prevent an ache.

  1. Alcohol Consumption

Although there is nothing wrong with enjoying a glass of wine or having a beer once in a while, most of us don’t stop after just one drink. Alcohol is actually a legal toxin that puts a lot of stress on our kidneys and liver.

To stay healthy and avoid kidney issues it is important to eat lots of fresh, whole foods and if you keep the above information in mind and avoid these common habits as much as possible, your kidneys will not be under constant stress and your body will thank you for that.

Do you know what one drink is beneficial to your kidneys?

As always, call for an appt, and we will be happy to guide you through you process of getting healthier, preventing diseases and reversing diseases.

Please share with your family and friends.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

  1. Carrothers

312-972-WELL