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Chia

The influence that vegetable products have on our health is widely known. Thanks to the high proportion of fiber and antioxidants, they allow to fight tumors, improve cardiovascular function and sharpen the sensitivity to insulin. In principle, they are a key element of a healthy diet, but some of them deserve special mention. This list includes the seeds of Spanish sage, also commonly called chia seeds.

Chia seeds were once eaten by Aztec warriors to prepare them for battle. Now, thanks to their composition, they can be a good tool in the fight for better health. Below is a list of 5 reasons why chia seeds should be permanently included in your diet.

Healthy fats
Fats are usually associated with deep oil fried products, from which hands get stuck and blockages are created in the veins. However, large quantities of fats can also be found in many plant seeds, which is the best, however, these fats have nothing to do with those found in a hamburger!

Chia seeds contain mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids, with a predominance of omega 3 fatty acids over omega-6 fatty acids. This is a big advantage of this product because in our diet there is usually a large advantage of omega-6 acids over omega-3, which promotes the emergence of inflammation and the development of civilization diseases.

The omega 3 acids found in these seeds are alpha-lipoic acid, which may not be as strong as the eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids found in oily fish but still have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.

Protein
Plant products sometimes contain a bit of protein, but usually, there is too little to supplement the needs of an active person. Chia seeds are a product that contradicts this principle. In one spoon we find almost 2 grams of protein, which is abundant with all 9 essential amino acids, which is why it is great for anyone who wants to improve the appearance of the figure.

The addition of chia seeds to the meal will be a great way to increase the total protein content and improve the taste of the dish.

High fiber content
One of the biggest advantages of chia seed consumption is its high fiber content. One spoon contains almost 4 grams, while in 100 grams of chia seeds we find 40 grams of fiber! Very helpful for anyone who has problems with providing the right amount of this ingredient in their diet.

Chia seeds contain about five times more insoluble than soluble fiber, thanks to which they have relatively strong water-absorbing properties. At the same time, such a fiber composition in chia seeds, it can pass toxins embedded on the walls of the intestine through the digestive system.

In addition to the detoxification properties, the consumption of chia seeds and fiber contained in them can be a useful tool in the fight against overweight and insulin resistance. This is due to the slowing of the passage of nutrients from the stomach to the small intestine. Food remaining for longer in the gastrointestinal tract, provides continuous stimulation of its receptors, affecting post-prandial saturation.

This was presented in 2010 by a team of scientists from Canada who gave participants of their study a portion of carbohydrates in the form of bread and addition of chia seeds in an amount of 0, 7, 15 or 24 grams depending on the group. With the increase in the chia seed does, saturation increased proportionally, and the blood sugar level dropped, suggesting a slow absorption.

Powerful antioxidants
Chia seeds are also abundant with powerful antioxidants that help us fight diseases and negative stress effects. They can traverse the body and dispose of debilitating free radicals. As a result, they counteract the peroxidation of cell membranes, leading to a reduction in the risk of cancer.

Chocolate compounds that we find in them are mainly responsible for the antioxidant properties of chia seeds, in particular, caffeic acid and gallic acid. Some publications suggest that chia seeds may have antioxidant properties comparable to Trolox, a derivative of vitamin E, considered to be an extremely potent ingredient.

Anti-cancer activity
It has been confirmed that chia seeds have anti-proliferative effects on cancer cells from various tissues. The research focused in particular on the reduction of the risk of breast, cervical and skin cancer.

The fats contained in the chia seeds favorably affect the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids in cancer cells. Preliminary studies in rats also show that groups fed Spanish sage has a smaller mass of tumors, indicating their smaller growth rate.

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Healthcare

Alpha lipoic acid – a hit among antioxidants

Alpha-lipoic acid hiding under the abbreviation ALA is also known as thio-octanoic acid. In terms of structure, it resembles vitamin, but it dissolves in both water and fats. Let’s learn about the properties, application and sources of alpha-lipoic acid. 

The organism has learned to produce this substance, but in rather small quantities. In addition, ALA acid can also be found in some foods. Alpha lipoic acid occurs in a double role – a compound that supports the conversion of food into energy and a strong antioxidant. One day, an unknown scientist stated an important regularity – in order to use the potential of alpha-lipoic acid as an antioxidant, it must be supplemented, and the shelves of pharmacies and some stores hit ALA in capsules. 

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Alpha lipoic acid supports vitamin C and E 

Alpha lipoic acid acts as an antioxidant for special tasks, it does not replace vitamin C or E – the strongest antioxidants among vitamins. Alpha-lipoic acid works with them by regenerating their antioxidant properties. The issue of solubility is not irrelevant here. As we remember, vitamin C is soluble in water – fights free radicals in the aquatic environment. Vitamin E is fat-soluble and develops its potential only in such an environment. ALA dissolves in both water and fats, which is why its activity is so effective. 

ALA acid as a regulator of blood sugar level 

Alpha-lipoic acid effectively supports the treatment of patients suffering from type 2 diabetes, because it improves the sensitivity of cells to insulin and supports the transport of sugar into cells. Patients with type 2 diabetes often have low sensitivity to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, appears before the development of diabetes. In addition, diabetics are exposed to complications on the diabetic basis – even heart and nervous system diseases. Alpha-lipoic acid helps prevent this. A powerful antioxidant protects cells against damage that gives rise to diabetic neuropathy. ALA acid also protects the liver – this compound increases the level of cysteine ​​used for the synthesis of glutathione known as a highly detoxifying substance of the liver. 

Alpha lipoic acid directly affects stem cells 

Alpha lipoic acid stimulates stem cells to divide and differentiate. This effect is limited to the liver. ALA acid in this way promotes the regeneration of the damaged organ. It is used both in the course of acute liver diseases and in the case of chronic diseases. The potential of the discussed supplement can also be used in the fight against the excess of heavy metals in the body, such as lead, cadmium or mercury. Heavy metals can form chelates with ALA and can thus be safely removed from the body. ALA has a beneficial effect on diseases associated with excess metals, e.g. iron, in the case of a condition called hemochromatosis. 

It supports the most active 

Alpha-lipoic acid effectively supports the process of losing weight in people who are physically active. This ingredient is a coenzyme needed for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Thanks to it, an energy molecule can be created that occurs in cells. Alpha-lipoic acid improves the availability of glucose in the muscle cells necessary for energy production. 

Where can we find ALA acid? 

As mentioned above, ALA acid can be found in some types of food, including liver, beef and yeast. Animal sources of ALA also include offal other than the liver. The springs and broccoli are plant sources of lipoic acid. In animal organisms (also in humans) this compound is formed by the synthesis of cysteine ​​and caprylate. The amount of alpha-lipoic acid provided with food is, however, insufficient to benefit from its operation. Therefore, most people go for supplements that contain it. And so, the recommended daily dose is between 20-50 mg per day – for a healthy adult consumer. The situation is slightly different in the case of diabetics, where the recommended daily dose is in the range of 300-600 mg per day. However, you should not take as much ALA as you can without consulting your doctor. When selecting the preparation, attention should be paid to bioavailability – individual funds available in pharmacies may differ in this respect. Preparations containing liposomal ALA are particularly recommended. Its advantage is that ALA derived from a tablet or capsule has a short half-life in plasma. In addition, he has difficulty in overcoming the blood-brain barrier. The liposome is stable and ensures the prolongation of the action of alpha-lipoic acid. Liposomal molecules can also lead to prolonged action and more efficient entry into the brain. 

Safety of pricing over effectiveness 

It is necessary to use the exact dosage in such doses as recommended by the doctor or manufacturer on the packaging, although no adverse effects have been identified so far – however, this does not mean that there is no risk of their occurrence. By supplementing alpha lipoic acid, you can simultaneously supplement vitamin E and vitamin C. If you suffer from diabetes, remember to systematically control the level of sugar in the blood during the supplementation period, especially when you additionally use oral medications, which work by lowering blood sugar levels. 

Vitamin or fatty acid? 

Referring to the information on ALA from various sources, one can also come across the data according to which this compound is an eight-carbon fatty acid whose structure includes saturated bonds. On the other hand, ALA is also a coenzyme of fat oxidation pathways and a powerful antioxidant. It protects energy centers of somatic cells from the adverse effects of metabolic stress. ALA is therefore not a single face, and any information can in fact be considered truthful and justified in the light of current medical knowledge. However, it should be emphasized that the acid was previously considered to be a vitamin. It was also thought that ALA acid was derived exclusively from plants. Today we know that this fatty acid can also be produced in the body of animals and humans. 

DHLA may be formed from lipoic acid 

The structure of ALA is characterized in that the seventh and eighth carbon atoms are connected by a sulfur atom thus forming a dithiol ring. This ring can be cleaved, resulting in the formation of DHLA (dihydrolipoic acid). 

A supplement used in medicine 

Alpha lipoic acid is not only recommended as a dietary supplement. The fatty acid is also seriously treated by conventional medicine. It has valuable immunomodulatory, antioxidant and hypoglycemic properties. The first of these properties are used in the treatment of asthma and multiple sclerosis. They are diseases in the course of which the immune system becomes excessively reactive. In turn, due to its antioxidant and hypoglycaemic properties, ALA has also been used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, which has already been discussed above. 

But this is not the end! 

Conventional medicine sees ALA acid as an adjunct to the fight against civilization diseases, not only because it slows down the aging process of the body. Doctors are of the opinion that the proper use of alpha-lipoic acid helps in the prevention of atherosclerosis and heart disease. This fatty acid improves the functioning of the endothelium of the blood vessels. In addition, ALA supplementation significantly improves lipidogram results because it lowers total cholesterol. During the course of supplementation, the LDL cholesterol level in the body decreases and the HDL fraction increases. For those who are slimming, suffering from overweight or obesity – ALA is beneficial because it reduces the amount of hunger hormone (leptin). In addition, this chemical compound effectively limits the adverse effects of chemotherapy. 

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Healthcare

Dandelion – health properties and application

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), otherwise common dandelion or popular milkweed is a widespread perennial from the Asteraceae family. Nuns is a plant inhabiting areas of Europe, Asia and North Africa. The common occurrence of dandelion caused that it is often regarded as a troublesome weed occurring in gardens, on sidewalks and fields. However, the healing and health-promoting effect of dandelion has been more and more appreciated for centuries and is used in natural medicine and cosmetology. 

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The first information about the medicinal use of dandelion is recorded in X and XI. Arab doctors used dandelion to treat liver and spleen diseases. In North America, infusions were made from nuns that were given to patients to treat kidney disease, heartburn and indigestion. In Turkey, the use of dandelion is often used as a laxative, diuretic and hypoglycaemic agent. In the sixteenth century German physician Leonnhard Fuchs described for the first time the action of a dandelion in the treatment of diarrhea, diseases of the spleen, liver and gout. Dandelion is a plant containing a number of compounds, thanks to which it owes its healing and therapeutic antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Due to the high nutritional value is also used in gastronomy, and its nurturing properties are used in cosmetology. So what makes dandelion more and more popular? What are its healing properties and where and in what forms can it be found? 

The content of active substances in the dandelion 

The dandelion contains a number of substances such as phenols, terpenes, proteins, unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. The leaves of the dandelion contain mainly polyphenols, coumarins, sesquiterpene lactones and flavonoids, as well as vitamin A, the content of which is higher than in the carrot root. Green leaves also contain large amounts of vitamin C, B vitamins (B1, B2, B6), vitamin E, vitamin K1, calcium, iron, manganese, silicon and magnesium salts. Other compounds contained in the nun are free sterols (sitosteryna, fitosterine) and β-amirine, or taraksasterol. The dandelion root contains inulin and phenolic acids. The other ingredients contained in the dandelion are polysaccharides and small amounts of pectin, resins and mucus. 

Medicinal properties of the dandelion 

Antioxidant effect 

The antioxidant properties of the dandelion are due to the presence of a large amount of polyphenolic compounds. Research has shown that the infusion of medical leaves inhibits the formation of free radicals. The protective effect of infusions from the dandelion on the liver cells has also been demonstrated thanks to the ability to inhibit oxidative stress. 

Anti-cancer effect 

Studies have shown that the extract from the roots and leaves of the dandelion has inhibited the invasion of breast and prostate cancer cells. Research confirms that dandelion extracts affect the decrease in the number of cancer cells in the body. Extracts from the dandelion root cause apoptosis (death) of skin cancer cells. 

Hypolipidemic effect (lipid-lowering) 

Research has shown that extracts from dandelion leaves and roots affect the prevention of diseases caused by excessive consumption of cholesterol (coronary disease, atherosclerosis). Extracts from the dandelion reduce the level of total cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Studies have also shown that they inhibit fat cell formation processes and help reduce fat accumulation in mature fat cells. 

Antibacterial effect 

Studies have shown that the active substances contained in the active nuns show antimicrobial activity. Inhibition of bacteria such as Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus aureus has been confirmed. The action inhibiting the growth of bacteria gives the possibility of using dandelion preparations in auxiliary antibiotic therapy. 

Medicinal use of a dandelion 

Dandelion has a cholagogic and choleretic effect. Regular drinking of dandelion infusions improves digestion, and root juice helps in disorders of liver function and improves the functioning of the gall bladder. It also has a laxative effect. 

Infusion of dandelion leaves used in edema and renal failure allows to relieve the symptoms of diseases. It is used as an aid in the treatment of kidney stones and bladder diseases. 

A syrup is prepared from the flowers of the dandelion, which, with its consistency and smell, resembles honey. It contains vitamins A, C and B vitamins as well as iron, magnesium and silicon. It lowers the level of total cholesterol in the blood and improves the lipid profile. It can be used as an aid in the treatment of colds and coughs. It strengthens the immune system and has antidiabetic and anticancer properties. 

Preparations with dandelion 

There are many preparations on the market, which can contain dried leaves and dandelion root. The most popular are ready-to-brew herbal teas. Dietary supplements and syrups with dandelion extract can be found in pharmacies and green food stores. 

Dandelion in gastronomy 

The dandelion flowers are used to prepare wines, desserts and the aforementioned syrup. In France, the leaves of nuns are a well-known and popular addition to salads, and in the USA a decaffeinated substitute for coffee and tea is prepared from the roots of a dandelion. Not very popular, and valuable dandelion honey, also known as May honey, is produced by sours from nectar obtained from dandelion. 

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Healthcare

Pitaya (dragon fruit) – properties and nutritional values. How to peel and eat pitaya?

Pitaya (dragon fruit) and its health properties were already known to ancient tribes inhabiting South America.
Now, scientists have looked at them who have found that pitaya – apart from numerous vitamins and minerals – also contains substances that give it antioxidant effects. obesity and diseases associated with it. Check what properties pitaya has, and how to peel and eat dragon fruit.

Pitaja (pitahaya), a dragon fruit or strawberry pear, is an exotic fruit of some cactus species, whose health was first known to the people of South America, where it comes from. Currently, this fruit is grown mainly in Asian countries. Pitaya has an oval shape, it is reddish or a yellowish skin, ending with long, pointed leaves – hence the name of a dragon fruit, his family is a pitaya from Costa Rica – a fruit with a red skin and the same flesh – and a yellow pitaya whose skin is yellow and the flesh white.

Pitaya (dragon fruit) – an antioxidant that protects the circulatory system

Pitaya is a fruit rich in betalayas – natural dyes that include red-violet betacins and yellow-orange betaxanthin.
Pitaya is the fruit of a cactus that has drooping, fleshy arms, completed during flowering with large, white flowers that bloom only one night, but several times a year. A month after flowering, pitai fruits are harvested.
Betaalain compounds are not widely distributed in plant foods, they are found only in pitai, red beets, chard, opuntia, ulluko and amaranth. Previous studies show that beta-betains are characterized by strong antioxidant properties.
Betaalain has also been shown to inhibit lipid oxidation, protect against red blood cells and counteract cardiotoxicity during cancer chemotherapy in mice. Cardiotoxicity is a change in the cardiovascular system, e.g. due to the duration of chemotherapy or radiotherapy or immediately after its completion .

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Pitaya (dragon fruit) – reduces insulin resistance

According to the research of scientists from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou (China), dragon fruit can protect against obesity and related diseases such as insulin resistance or fatty liver. In one study involved mice on a high fat diet . They were given an extract After the experiment, it turned out that mice lost weight and decreased their risk of fatty liver, insulin resistance and inflammation. According to Chinese researchers, substances that are responsible for such properties of dragon fruit are already mentioned betalains.

Pitaya (dragon fruit) can cause allergies

There is a known case of allergic reaction after ingestion of dragon fruit,  confirmed by allergy tests, but it should be emphasized that the person who had allergy to this fruit had a history of atopic dermatitis and eczema and symptoms of allergy to birch pollen. That pitaya increases the risk of food allergies in people who are already allergic.

Pitaya (dragon fruit) – How to peel and eat? How does it taste?

I should cut the meat in half, like kiwi. Then a white flesh will appear, densely strewn with tiny black stones that can be extracted using a teaspoon. It has a taste reminiscent of a mix of kiwi and melon – it is sweet, but for some too bland. Pips are edible, so you do not need to get rid of them.

Pitaya (dragon fruit) – use in the kitchen

Pitaya is a refreshing fruit that will work as a component of ice cream, cakes, creams, cocktails and mousses. The cooling of the fruit strengthens its exotic taste. The dragon fruit can also be added to salads. This also tastes well pitai juice. The flowers of this plant are also edible – fresh are used as additives to dishes or desserts, while dried ones are made into a brew.
In turn, powdered drink can be added to smoothies, smoothies, shakes and yoghurts, and can also be an addition to cakes and desserts.
Recipe for dragon fruit carpaccio

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Health & Beauty Healthcare Strengthen immunity

Glutation – a powerful antioxidant

Glutathione is a naturally occurring substance in the cells of all organisms. Considered a “natural guardian of physiology” due to its detoxification properties. Does it, in addition to the role of the chief antioxidant, affect other processes in our body? If you want to find out, I invite you to the following article.

 

  1. What is glutathione?

Glutathione is called the most important antioxidant of the human body. The compound is a tripeptide consisting of amino acid residues of compounds such as cysteine, glycine or glutamic acid. It is worth mentioning that glutathione is a substance that occurs naturally in all plant and animal organisms. It is conditioned by the fact that it is unstable outside the body.

Glutathione is present in most food products that are available on store shelves. However, its largest content is found in fruits and vegetables. In order to increase its level in the body, it is worth enriching your previous menu with products such as

– an avocado;

– broccoli;

– brussels sprouts;

– onion;

– Garlic;

– cabbage;

– turmeric;

– asparagus.

 

  1. Glutation – action

The described tripeptide is primarily an antioxidant. Therefore, its main task is to destroy harmful free radicals and to remove heavy metals such as arsenic, lead or mercury, which get into the body from food and air. Glutation also delays the aging process and the associated consequences – it supports the functioning of the immune system decreasing with age. It is also worth adding that glutathione has a unique feature consisting in the repair of proteins that have been destroyed by free radicals.

In addition to the typical, detoxifying nature, glutathione performs a number of other functions in our body. It participates in the transport of amino acids, is responsible for the production of coenzymes, and is also necessary for the proper functioning and reproduction of lymphocytes. These cells are responsible for the control of pathogenic microorganisms. Furthermore, glutathione is a compound involved in the conversion of hydrogen peroxide into water, which increases the viability of erythrocytes.

Glutation is also recommended for people who lead an active lifestyle. In addition to cleansing the body, it helps maintain adequate muscle strength and a high level of fitness. The overall effect is to improve performance and to reduce the time needed for regeneration. What’s more, glutathione inhibits the activity of cortisol, which is already often described, which at the same time supports the work and synthesis of testosterone.

Another example of the widespread, pro-health nature of glutathione is its importance in the treatment of cancer. In addition to the mentioned antioxidant properties and the production of protective lymphocytes, it has one more feature – it is a natural protection of the body against the harmful effects of chemo-and radiotherapy.

Cancer cells are not able to produce glutathione in contrast to healthy ones. The reduced concentration of substances in sick cells increases their sensitivity to the effects of oncological treatment. In turn, a high level of glutathione in healthy cells weakens the side effects of anti-cancer drugs (including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or hair loss).

 

  1. Dosage and side effects of glutathione

Due to the very wide access to glutathione, there is no information on the exact doses of supplementation for humans. There is, however, a belief that the use of two servings of 250 mg per day is enough to supplement the daily requirement for this substance. Numerous studies prove that glutathione should be delivered to the body with other substances enhancing its action. We are talking about previously described vitamins B12, C and E.

The risk of glutathione deficiency is real and at the same time very rare due to the prevalence of this substance in many food products. Low level of glutathione in the blood means the pathological state of our body, which testifies to the problems of the body with the removal of free radicals. The result may be digestive problems, decreased immunity and, over time, functional disorders of the internal organs.

 

  1. Opinions

In the medical literature one can come across numerous studies confirming the use of glutathione in the treatment of cancer. First one of them was carried out on a group of thirteen patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity.