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Parmesan

Parmesan is a well-known Italian cheese. It is very hard and aromatic. It is obtained from cow’s milk treated with rennet and temperature. Real Italian parmesan has a specific cheese scent, and adding it to selected dishes improves their taste and nutritional quality. Under the name Parmesan we can find in stores products that have nothing to do with the valuable Italian cheese. Read the article below and you will certainly know how to buy original high-quality cheese. You will find out what is its history, where it comes from, and what nutritional and health-promoting properties it characterizes.

Parmesan – history
The name Parmesan derives from the place where the production of cheese began – the regions of Italian Parma. Assigning dishes to names associated with their place of origin began just after the fall of the Roman Empire. This technique was a very convenient way to describe food products informing about the main place of their production. The inventors of Parmesan were medieval monks who were engaged in breeding farm animals and fed on what they had managed to prepare themselves. At the time, parmesan was known as Caseum paramensis. The recipe of Parma cheese is over 800 years old.

Currently, it exists under the full name of Conzorzio del Fromaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano, the abbreviation of which is simply Parmesan. To this day, the Parmigiano-Reggiano member is the only name tagged on a real block of Parma cheese.

Parmesan – composition and method of production
Parmesan is somewhat reminiscent of the Moldavian cheese, but it is slightly taller than it. The average size of parmesan cheese is 18-22 cm high, 35-65 cm wide. The pancakes of parmesan cheese are prominent and the sides are slightly convex. Parmesan pulp is yellowish, without discoloration. In most cases, there are no meshes, although there are also specimens with small holes.

The production of Parma cheese is not simple or fast. It requires a subtle approach and a good knowledge of the recipe. It is made from raw cow’s milk. Real parmesan cheese is made from the milk of Razza Reggiana or Vacca Ross cows. Cheeses made from the milk of other cows do not fit into the canon of the original recipe.

Many years passed before the perfect recipe of Parma cheese was developed. A breakthrough in production occurred when pure bacterial strains were introduced into the production of cheeses. It is believed that the presence of an isolated strain of lactic acid bacteria and acid-proteolytic bacteria is necessary for proper ripening of hard rennet cheeses. It is also important to comply with strict hygiene rules from the moment the cow is milked until the final cheese matures. If a bacterial infection occurs at any stage of production, the cheese will not be suitable for consumption.

The smallest amount of milk needed to make 1 medium-sized cheese is about 350-400 liters of milk. Collected milk is poured into the boiler and, after thorough mixing, its acidity is determined in order to calculate the sourdough production needed to produce it. The sourdough must contain the most abundant bacteria that in one day make physical and chemical changes to the milk. After acidifying procedures, the milk is heated to about 33-35 degrees Celsius. Then it is also seasoned with rennet. Milk coagulation under the influence of the enzyme takes about 20-30 minutes. The semi-hard curd is cut with a wooden spatula and then comminuted into a pea-sized seed. Stirring continues until the entire volume of the clot is dry. The whole is set aside for a half-hour break. Then the heating process begins, 1-4 grams of saffron is added to the cheese mass for every 100 liters of milk used. Then, the mass of cheese is pulled out of the boiler using a scarf and formed using a Swiss rim.

The cheese is left to ripen for 15-20 days. At this time, the cheese is moisturized and lubricated with salt so that they have the right taste, the process of sowing may take another 40-50 days. The next step is to wash the cheese and put it away in dry basements at 15 degrees, where they suck up and put on a hard, uniform mass. After this time the cheese is scraped off the outer layer, pressed and rubbed with linseed oil. This action protects the valuable product against damage and mechanical damage. Good quality Parmenan cheese ripen at least 4 years, but the best can mature even several dozen years.

Parmesan – nutritional value and pro-health properties
It is assumed that one portion of parmesan cheese is 5 g. It is an extremely aromatic cheese and is not consumed in large quantities. Parmesan is a high-calorie cheese, in the portion is 20 kcal. This means that 100 g of cheese is about 400 kcal. It is a very good source of protein (40 g / 100 g – for comparison, the same amount is found in 225 g of trout). In addition, it contains a lot of fat (30 g / 100 g) and large amounts of minerals, which include sodium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus minerals, as well as vitamins A, B2, B6, B12.

Parmesan contains the largest amounts of calcium among all cheeses (1,109 g / 100 g of cheese). It is successfully used in dietotherapy of osteoporosis. It is important, however, to remember that parmesan (despite the high calcium content) also contains a large amount of sodium. As we well know, too much of this macroelement in the diet can have harmful effects on our health. However, if we are connoisseurs of cheeses, we must consume them in reasonable quantities.

Contained in parmesan, phosphorus is essential for the proper functioning of the skeletal system. It supports the development of bones and teeth. It also reduces the risk of kidney stones by acidifying urine. Multicenter studies have proven that the chromium contained in ripening cheeses has a beneficial effect on lipid metabolism. Reasonable amounts of rennet cheese in the diet lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. They help regulate blood glucose and reduce tissue requirements for insulin. All these features indicate that parmesan (consumed regularly and in small amounts) can bring benefits in the prevention of civilization diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Recent reports from the world of science indicate that parmesan cheese not only does not cause a faster increase in body weight, and can even inhibit the development of obesity in people with metabolic syndrome.

Parmesan – application in culinary art
The taste of real Parmesan cheese can not be confused with any other. It is distinctive, ripe, the cheese has a characteristic, quite intense smell. Against the background of other rennet cheeses it is distinguished by its constant and very hard consistency.

Starters Parmesan can be an addition to cold dishes such as salads, spreads, starters. Ideally also found as a complement to hot dishes of pasta, sauces, pizzas, casseroles and many, many more. The younger cheese is a dry addition to wines and cold meats. Because of its price and its unique origin, it is not a classic element of the French cheese board.

There is really no reason to not eat parmesan. It is a source of many valuable nutrients. The only limitation that should be introduced when using the benefits of Parma cheese is the preservation of moderation in its consumption. It must be remembered that the portion of this cheese is 5 grams. Therefore, it should not be exceeded. The disadvantage of Parma cheese is its price. For one kilo of such cheese you have to pay an average of 70-150 PLN depending on the producer and the time of ripening. There are, however, very old Parma cheese, the price of which reaches even several thousand euros.

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Sesame

Sesame is a plant that probably does not need to be presented to anyone. Each of us knows how it looks and how it tastes. Most of us sesame is associated with crunchy sweet sesame seeds that can be bought in every kiosk. However, real sesame seed is something more than a sweet, light and fragile candy bar – it’s a health locked in a tiny grain. Spice, which is very inconspicuous, contains in itself the whole gamma of healing and health properties. Why is it worth to introduce sesame into your diet? What is its healing use? Which dishes suits best? You will know the answer to these questions soon.

Sesame – characteristics of the species and curiosities

The Indian Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is an annual oil plant. It can also be found under the names kunżut and eastern łogowa. Currently, it is no longer found in the natural environment, and its cultures are huge and completely intended for utility purposes.

The Indian sesame belongs to the family of plant-like plants and reaches a height of even 1.5 m. The leaves are small and their surface is covered with tiny glandular hairs. The flowers are about 3 cm, occur in a variety of colors – from white to red to dark purple, depending on the variety. Sesame fruits ripen in fruit bags. Each of them contains about 80-100 small and extremely aromatic grains. They are flat and dull, and like the flowers they differ in color. They are most often found in cream and black. When the contents of the bag matures, it opens and spills its fruits on the ground.

The source Köhler F., Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen in naturgetreuen Abbildungen mit kurz erläuternder Texte, Gera-Untermhaus 1887.

So far, it has not been determined where the sesame comes from. It is known, however, that the first records of its use date back to over two thousand years BC In ancient Babylon, sesame was considered a spice of gods – it was so special because of its high health and dietary value. It is not known how the sesame spread throughout the globe. It is believed that this was due to the wanderers who traveled the world hundreds of years ago and traded in various goods. However, it was established that the inhabitants of China and India were responsible for breeding the most valuable variety of Indian sesame. In our country, the most popular is white sesame, however, the world top is the sesame black, appreciated because of its nutty sweet taste.

Sesame – nutritional values
Sesame is an oily plant used mainly in the production of edible sesame oil. Therefore, nobody should be surprised by the fact that it is a raw material with an extremely high energy value. In 100 g Indian sesame seeds there are as much as 647 kcal. Although mainly fats 59.9 g / 100 g of product, the seeds also contain considerable amounts of protein – 23.2 g / 100 g. They are therefore a great alternative for people on a vegetarian diet. However, it should be remembered that it is not a full-blown protein. In addition, sesame seeds have a small amount of digestible carbohydrates – 2.1 g / 100 g and higher dietary fiber – 7.9 g / 100 g.

Sesame is a real treasury of nutrients. It contains a lot of unsaturated fatty acids, these are primarily oleic acid and linoleic acid (21.4 g / 100 g). It has a rich group of exogenous amino acids with various therapeutic properties.

Sesame seeds are characterized by a relatively high content of plant phytosterols. We can find about 231-1900 mg of these substances in 100 g of raw material, for comparison, sesame seed oil has on average about 360-473 mg of phytosterols.

When it comes to vitamins, there are not many of them in sesame. However, you can find in it vitamins from group B, eg folic acid, vitamins B2, B3, B6 and B1. The high content of minerals compensates for a small amount of vitamins. Already 100 grams of sesame seeds almost completely cover our daily demand for calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and copper. Particular attention should be paid to vegans who in their diets have a limited supply of calcium necessary for the proper functioning of the skeletal system.

Of course, we do not suggest daily consumption of 100 g sesame seeds. We just want to point out that it is an interesting and very valuable food product.

Sesame – medicinal use
Sesame has been known for centuries as a plant with special medicinal properties. The first mention of his pro-health activity are documented and come from 1150 BC. These records attribute the energy of sunlight to seeds of sesame seeds. Until today, it is not known which pro-health properties were meant by the authors of the text. Boldly, however, it can be said that they meant the beneficial effects of sesame seeds on the functioning of the human body.

The most important active substances present in the sesame are the aforementioned tocopherols. Sesame oil contains large amounts of gamma-tocopherol. The compounds of this group are found in oilseeds, as well as in maize and soy. They are characterized by a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action.

Sesame of its antioxidant activity is largely due to the presence of sesamol and sesamin. Both of these substances are characterized by resistance to oxidation processes. Research has proven that they have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the nervous system. They reduce the frequency of epilepsy episodes, relieve nervous tension. They can also be used in Alzheimer’s disease, they improve cognitive functions and inhibit neurodegenerative processes.

Sesamol and sesamin also find application in the treatment of certain genetic diseases, such as Huntington’s chorea. They also eliminate the symptoms of oxidative stress in the myocardium, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The dietary fiber contained in sesame seeds is characterized by high binding efficiency. As the food moves, it binds all harmful substances, toxins and anti-nutrients to each other. Thanks to this, it improves the detoxification processes of our body. In addition, it supports digestion and helps eliminate the problem of constipation.

Sesame – use in the kitchen
Sesame can be successfully used in everyday dishes, it is quite universal and has a very pleasant expressive taste. It is used to prepare many tasty desserts. One of the most famous sweets, which is prepared from sesame, is halva. In addition, sesame is great as a component of dry Asian cuisine, a component of meat crumbs and addition to sushi. Tahini paste is also made from sesame, which is an essential component of home-made hummus.

In conclusion, sesame is a product worth our attention. It is characterized by high nutritional value and scientifically proven health-promoting effects. Already its small addition to ordinary dishes makes them acquire an exquisite taste. In addition, it significantly increases the nutritional value of meals and supplements the diet with micro and macro elements. It is worth remembering, however, that sesame seeds are known as products that cause strong food allergies. They are on the list of the 12 most allergenic food products.

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Arginine

Arginine is a relatively exogenous amino acid. Young people should deliver it to the body along with the diet, while adults are able to endogenously produce adequate amounts of arginine. In recent years, the significant effect of arginine on the body has been discovered, so it is worth taking care of its appropriate level. To ensure proper supply, it is worth knowing where arginine is, how it works and whether it should be supplemented?

The occurrence of arginine
The pool of arginine in the body, in addition to endogenous changes and intracellular protein degradation, also affects the supply of amino acids with diet. Especially for its correct level should be taken care of in the case of increased demand of the system – in the case of injuries, disease states and moments of significant burden on the body excess catabolic processes. Along with the progressive aging of the body, the production of endogenous arginine decreases and it is recommended to supplement it with the diet.

The rich source of arginine are products containing animal and vegetable protein soy, beef, pork, turkey, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, groundnuts, brazilian, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, almonds, linseed, chocolate, buckwheat and mackerel. Small amounts are also found in milk proteins. Only half of the arginine supplied with food to the body as a result of digestion is absorbed into the blood, and 40% breaks down in the small intestine.

The action of arginine
Arginine is formed in the urea cycle and is involved in the synthesis of proteins, creatine, urea, proline, polyamines and nitric oxide. The amino acid has a regulatory function and stimulates the secretion of glucagon, insulin, prolactin and growth hormone. The metabolic pathways of arginine vary depending on particular organs and cells.

Arginine affects the proper functioning and protection of the liver. It provides detoxification of the body by converting toxic ammonia into urea in the urea cycle.

Arginine is a substrate in the synthesis of creatine, which is a precursor to the index of normal kidney function – creatinine. Creatine plays a key role in muscle energy, influencing the improvement of oxygen metabolism and lowering the level of lactic acid. In the case of training people, this allows you to increase training loads, increase muscle mass and reduce the amount of fat.

The supply of arginine also influences the production of growth hormone (GH). GH affects the immune system and the central nervous system. Too large amounts of growth hormone negatively affect the body, increase the risk of cancer and reduce the uptake of glucose, which is an energy substrate, especially in endurance sports. The supply of arginine before bedtime stimulates the secretion of GH even more.

Arginine in the vascular endothelium is responsible for the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO), which stimulates the immune system, reduces inflammation, facilitates wound healing (especially in the case of burns) and dilates blood vessels. In addition, it is involved in the relaxation of smooth muscles, improves blood circulation and helps regenerate damaged muscle fibers. NO deficiency has a significant effect on the formation of atherosclerotic plaque and oxidation of LDL cholesterol molecules.

The amino acid also delays the body’s aging process thanks to its antioxidant properties and its influence on the synthesis of collagen. Arginine is needed for the production of sperm, keeping the right amount of sperm and their motility. In addition, it has a positive effect on intestinal microbiota and improves insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes, which reduces the risk of developing the disease and its subsequent complications.

The dosage of arginine
Arginine is used in the form of pure, isolated amino acid L-arginine or as synthetic compounds – AAKG (arginine with glutaric acid), hydrogen chloride or L-arginine malate. The best assimilable form is the one closest to the natural one found in food.

Arginine as a drug is used in diseases of the circulatory hypertension, ischemic disease, atherosclerosis, cerebral infarctions and blood clots, as well as in diabetes, glaucoma, infertility in men, burns and infections.

Arginine is very often supplemented by athletes to support the body’s exercise capacity. Unfortunately, there are no unequivocal studies that prove the beneficial effect of arginine supplementation in strength and endurance sports.

The recommended daily dose of arginine should be 5 grams – this is the basic dose, without any side effects. The pre- workout preparation is the most effective . If high doses of arginine are used, gastrointestinal discomfort (nausea, diarrhea, dehydration) may arise.

Contraindications to the use of arginine
Arginine should not be supplemented by people suffering from schizophrenia, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people taking anticoagulants, people with renal insufficiency, liver and bile ducts, digestive and absorption disorders and advanced hypertension.

Each supplementation should be supported by laboratory tests and consultation with a doctor. In addition, there should be a few hours between taking a dietary supplement and a medicine so that interaction does not intervene between them.

Opinions about arginine
Arginine is an amino acid necessary for the proper functioning of the body, while both excess and deficiency is not beneficial to the body. If there is too much arginine in the system, too much nitric oxide is produced, and this completely reverses its effect – instead of lowering blood pressure, it increases and stiffens the blood vessels, instead of making them more elastic. In addition, administration of high doses of arginine may disrupt the balance of other amino acids.

A rational and well-balanced diet allows you to provide the right amount of arginine so that you can feel the positive effect of this amino acid on the body.

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Pomegranate

The fruit of pomegranate has been known since antiquity, when it was considered a symbol of both fertility and abundance, immortality and sanctity. He was worshiped in many religions around the world. In folk medicine, it was used primarily to fight parasites. He was also supposed to help with aphthae, ulcers, diarrhea or febrile states. It was often used as a means to fight haemorrhage, dysentery, acidosis and microbial infections. In fact, all parts of the plant were used in Ayurveda – not only the fruit itself, but also the bark, flowers, leaves and even roots.

What is the pomegranate and where does it come from?
The family pomatia (Latin Punicaceae) and the order Myrtales (Latin Myrtales) belong only two species of flora. These are low trees, from 3 to a maximum of 7 meters, or shrubs whose leaves are opposite and single, prickly branches, and bisexual flowers of a strongly intense red color 2. The fruits of these plants resemble our native apples.

The most well-known species from the aforementioned pair is pomegranate (Latin Punica granatum), also known as the bush or tree of pomegranate or proper pomegranate. It probably comes from Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia . Currently, its cultivation covers the Mediterranean, India, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and it can easily be found even in China, Japan, Russia and the United States, mainly in California and on Arizona areas.

Depending on the place where it grows, it can have different sizes, maturation time, juice volume and dose of other ingredients. It grows easily on barren soil, although the best ones are fertile, clayey and humus-rich . It tolerates a wide temperature range. He is not afraid of frosts, including those reaching even minus 15 degrees Celsius.

Pomegranate fruit only after four years. Fruits reach full maturity in late autumn and can weigh even about a kilogram. From this amount you can get about 500 to 750 g of juice. One tree or shrub can spend up to 50 kg of pomegranate at a time. It is a product that gets to know thanks to the purple, later dark blue skin with irregular cracks. Inside it, there are up to 1000 to 1,300 granular seeds in the chambers 2. The second not significant in economic terms is Punica protopunica, which can be found only on the island of Socotra belonging to South Yemen 2.

Nutritional values ​​of pomegranate
Three independent research staffs worked on determining the nutritional value of the pomegranate from 2010. The final chemical composition of the fruit is influenced by many factors, including, first of all, the variety, climate, growing conditions, the maturity of the harvested crop and the manner in which it is stored.

It was finally determined that the product in question is characterized by low calorific value ranging between 65 kcal and up to about 78 kcal in 100 g raw material. Among the macronutrients, carbohydrates boast the most. There are from 1.5 g to 18.7 g in 100 g, while the protein content does not exceed even 2 g, and lipids oscillate in the value of about 1 g. The pomegranate also contains quite a large amount of fiber, in 100 g it is from g up to 5 g. The fruit described is also a great treasure trove of many micronutrients. The most important are vitamin C, E, pantothenic acid, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus .

Half the weight of a pomegranate is his skin. Interestingly, it is practically the most important part of this product, because it is where we find bioactive components that are extremely important for human health, such as phenolic compounds, among them flavonols, elagotannins and proanthocyanidins. In turn, the edible part of this raw material is made up of 0% of the weight of fruit and seeds, whose weight fraction does not exceed 10%.

Regarding the chemical composition of the main part of the grenade, which is possible to consume, in fact 85% of its content is water. The rest is made up of fructose, glucose and pectin. The most important ingredient in terms of health are organic acids, including ascorbic, lemon and apple, as well as flavonoids and anthocyanins. Seeds are mainly a rich source of lipids, largely those from the polyunsaturated family, such as linoleic and linolenic acid. Other fats that build popular pomegranate seeds include stearic, punic, oleic and palmitic acids. Pomegranate oil accounts for almost 20% of the weight of seeds. The other components of their mass are protein, sugars, dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, polyphenols, and mainly of genistein belonging to isoflavones .

Both the juice of the described product and the fruit itself are the source of many bioactive compounds. According to the results of the research by Apkinar-Bayizit from 2012 and Lansky and Newmann from 2007, nectar contains anthocyanins, ellagic, gallic, caffeine, epigallocatechin gallate, quercetin, rutin, citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, fumaric acid, amber acid , chlorogenic, p-coumaric acid, quinoline, catechins, epicatechin, glucoside, cyanidin, pelargonidin and delphinidin.

In turn, based on the results of Wang’s 2010 and Yasuja experience from 2012, pomegranate fruit and seeds have in their composition catechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin gallate, flavan-3-ole, kaempferol, luteolin, naringin, pelargonidine, prodelphinidine, quercetin, rutin, hydroxybenzoic acid, ellagic, caffeic, chlorogenic, p-coumaric acid, quinic acid, punikalagine, corilagin, pedagulagin, telimagrandin, delphinidin, epigallocatechin, kaempferol 3-O-glucoside and kaempferol 3-O-rhamnoglucoside. All these ingredients make it despite the inconspicuous appearance of this product in an amazing way that supports human health .

The effect of pomegranate on health
Thanks to the richness of vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds, pomegranate has an extremely positive and diverse effect on the human body and its functioning. This product is known for its numerous health properties, thanks to which it works both prophylactically and therapeutically. The most important and most popular health properties include antioxidant, cardioprotective, hypoglycemic, anti-cancer and support the development and growth of beneficial microorganisms .

The antioxidant potential of this fruit has been the subject of many scientists’ research for many years. However, it was discovered that not every grenade has the same antioxidant effect, because it depends on its variety, degree of maturity, climatic conditions in which it grew and a specific component of the plant, which was taken into account in the given experiment.

In 2002, during one of the experiments, it was discovered that the pomegranate skin extract is characterized by a greater antioxidant capacity than the solution prepared from its seeds. This study used the ability of substances contained in the described plant to quench the action of a specific product resulting from oxidative stress known as DDPH. Its full name is the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical. After 5 years, in another experiment, it was observed that the food product created from crushed fruits has 20 times more antioxidant capacity than the apple-juice.

One of the most interesting studies was carried out in 2000. Four methods of checking antioxidative capabilities such as ABTS, DPPH, DMPD and FRAP were taken into account in it. The obtained results confirmed up to 3 times higher antioxidant capacity of juice from the described fruit compared to red wine and green tea.

In turn, the experience conducted by Sudheesh and Vijayalakshmi on a group of laboratory rats administered isolated pomegranate flavonoids showed that these animals were characterized by a smaller amount of compounds that are biomarkers in assessing the changes associated with the oxidation of lipids, such as hydroperoxides and malondialdehyde, in the liver , heart and rodent kidneys. In addition, it was observed that among the individuals that were used in the experiment increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase and glutathione reductase in the above-mentioned organs.

In the case of a study conducted with the participation of humans, it was unequivocally proved that giving the volunteers an extract of the described fruit in the form of capsules led to a greater antioxidant capacity of plasma by as much as 31.8% after only 30 minutes from taking the preparation .

Tannins and anthocyanins, which are rich in pomegranate fruit, also have antiatherosclerotic properties. Experiences on this subject were conducted both on animals and with the participation of people. The results of the research most often underlined the role of the juice of the described product and its unambiguous effect on the drop in systolic pressure. In one experiment conducted on wistar rats, which were characterized by high blood pressure induced by subcutaneous administration of the protein hormone, angotensin II, the animals received 100 mg of pomegranate juice per kilogram of body weight for weeks. As a result of this action, a drop in blood pressure in rodents was observed.

In another study, the results clearly indicated that the administration of nectar for one year to people with atherosclerosis in whom carotid artery stenosis occurred resulted in a 30% reduction in intima and middle thickness of the above-mentioned site with an 83% increase in enzyme activity that inhibits the oxidation of LDL cholesterol molecules, i.e. paraoxonase-1 abbreviated as PON-1 (called Serum paraoxonase / arylesterase 1).

An interesting experiment aimed at confirming the anti-atherosclerotic action of the juice of the described fruit consisted in consuming for weeks by a group of patients 800 mg of oil from the seed of the product. In these patients a statistically significant decrease in the amount of triglycerides and a decrease in the ratio of the mentioned lipid molecules to the so-called good HDL cholesterol. The results of this experiment coincide with the study conducted by Esmaillzadeh, which was to test the effect of drinking concentrated pomegranate nectar on the lipid profile of patients with type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia. In these subjects, a reduction in the amount of total cholesterol, LDL and a decrease in the ratio of these substances to HDL was observed.

In addition, other experiments have shown that using both the extract of the described fruit and the juice itself leads to a large reduction in the expression of vasculitis markers such as thrombospondin, TSP (thrombospondin), and transforming beta-growth factor, i.e. TGF-β (ang. transforming growth factor β), with the simultaneous increase in nitric oxide in blood plasma .

Many scientists over the years also conducted observations to prove or exclude the effect of pomegranate on the decrease in glucose. Thus, the experiment on wistar rats allowed to note that the administration of an aqueous extract from the skin of the described fruit in the amount of 200 mg per kilogram of body mass leads in rodents to the reduction of sugar in the plasma. In a very similar experiment, where the same animals with diagnosed diabetes were given a rich polyphenol-rich solution for 10 days, it was found that it led to a decrease in fasting glucose and at the same time caused an increase in insulin concentration.

In a further study in rats with glycemic disturbances induced by streptozotocin, rodent consumption of pomegranate seeds of 300 and 600 mg per kilogram body weight resulted in a reduction in blood sugar by 7% and 52 in just 12 hours. %. However, in an experiment in mice, which was supplemented with oil from the described plant rich in linolenic acid, this effect positively influenced the sensitivity of tissues to insulin, thanks to which the risk of developing full-type type 2 diabetes mellitus decreased in these animals.

Another experiment in which the same rodent species were used consisted of feeding them with a pomegranate solution. This led to a decrease in serum resistin, a substance that is involved in the development of insulin resistance.

Human studies have only partially produced positive results. In one of them, it was proved that drinking juice from the described fruit by patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes results in a reduction in the amount of fasting glucose while reducing insulin resistance. In the next, however, where sick people consumed 50 ml of drink a day for months, neither the improvement of fasting glycemia nor the greater sensitivity of tissues to the pancreatic β-cell hormone occurred. The glycosylated hemoglobin A1c of patients did not change either.

Many scientists also began to wonder whether this wonderful fruit, containing so many bioactive compounds, may also have its share in inhibiting the development and prevention of cancer. The results of the experiments confirm that in the case of prostate cancer, both the described seed oil and juice prevent further development of the disease. In addition, it was observed that whole fruit extracts had better antitumor activity than solutions from particular parts of the pomegranate. In turn, research on breast cancer shows that the substances contained in the plant are responsible for stopping the angiogenesis, invasiveness and enlargement of cancer cells, which simultaneously leads to their self-destruction.

In other colon disease experiments, it was observed that patients after nectar in the colon release elagotanine and urolithin, ie components responsible for reducing the risk of cancer of a given organ by inhibiting the development of cancer cells and bringing them to apoptosis. In addition, in the data part you can find information that the grenade also works in the prevention and treatment of leukemia and liver diseases on the background of cancer .

Most of the experiments regarding the properties of the described fruit concerned its role in stopping the development of microorganisms. Probably the antibacterial abilities of this product are associated with anthocyanins in their composition, which are also responsible for the antioxidant capabilities of the pomegranate. The data collected on the basis of numerous studies indicate that the fruit mentioned above has a severe destructive effect on Staphylococcus aureus, or Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, also known as the pseudomonas, as a result of punikalagin, which is found in the skin of the product. It was also observed that solutions from this part of the fruit negatively affect the growth of other bacteria, such as Proteus vulgaris, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella typhi, Listeria monocytogenes or Yersinia enterocolitica.

Other experiments also confirmed that the product extracts also inhibit the development of periodontal pathogenic microorganisms. Interestingly, pomegranate solutions that destroy strains hazardous to health, at the same time support the growth and development of probiotic bacteria inhabiting, for example, intestinal walls in humans, mainly from the family of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium .

Where was the pomegranate fruit used?
Due to its numerous properties and rich chemical composition, the pomegranate fruit has been used in various industries. The best documented is its use by the food, leather and cosmetics industry.

As far as the first of the above-mentioned products is concerned, the product is primarily used to create juices, wine, jams, preserves, jellies, dried seeds, as well as syrups and liqueurs. . Of the punch and alcohol produced from this fruit, the Caucasus regions are particularly well known 2 .

Although not the grenade itself, but the leaves and bark of the trunks and roots of the tree on which it grows, thanks to the high content of tannins are used for the production of safian, or delicate skin, which is used to create exclusive shoes or women’s handbags. It is also often used to cover furniture and even create a unique setting for books. Interestingly, thanks to the colors obtained from fruit cover, eastern carpets are so enchanting. These dyes also produce ink for body dyeing. Intensive shades extracted from the flowers of this plant are also used to make the fabrics of linen, cotton, silk and wool 2 more attractive.

When it comes to the cosmetics industry, it is an industry that is constantly developing and, according to the expectations of consumers, creates more and more exclusive products based on natural substances. 1. The skin and pomegranate due to their anti-inflammatory effect and preventing discoloration in the human skin are an increasingly frequent component of numerous skin care products. The research conducted on hairless guinea pigs, which were administered with the extract of the mentioned ingredients, and at the same time irradiated with UV rays, showed that the compounds contained in the product also reduce pigmentation.

Another experience, in turn, confirmed that pomegranate polyphenols counteract the aging of the skin caused by UVB radiation. It has also been proven that they inhibit the activity of peroxidase in the connective tissue, which makes them antioxidant. 5. Importantly, they are also used to prolong the durability of cosmetics, especially creams, shampoos and lotions. In turn, extracts from tanning agents are used in sunscreen, antiacne preparations and foot cosmetics 1 due to their astringent effect.

Interestingly, the oil from the seeds of the described fruit also found its place in the cosmetics industry. Thanks to the fact that it contains significant amounts of punic acid from the omega-5 family, it destroys the free radicals to a large extent. In addition, it has a soothing and renewing effect. An important component of this liquid fat are also polyunsaturated lipids, often called vitamin F. They are mainly linolenic acid in an amount of 0.2%, oleic acid in a concentration of 7.7% and linoleic in a dose of 9.8%. They affect the faster regeneration of the skin, as well as its good nourishment, moisturizing and refreshing 5. That is why they found themselves in preparations for the treatment of sunburn and wounds. They are also used in the presence of rosacea. In turn, mature skin has a rejuvenating and anti-wrinkle effect 1.

Contraindications, that is, the grenade is good for everyone
Unfortunately, despite its great properties, the grenade can not be used with impunity and any time of the day by people who take drugs permanently because it significantly affects their metabolism. The importance of consuming juices based on the described fruit is particularly emphasized here. Observations from numerous studies show that beverages from tropical products in various ways inhibit the action of cytochrome P50, which in the liver takes part in the direct detoxification and processing of drugs taken.

Among the nectars from such ingredients as papaya, kiwi, mango, passion fruit, pitai, white grapefruit, orange, carambola and rambutan, the strongest inhibitory effect on the aforementioned substances showed, among others, grenade 3. Inhibition of cytochrome P50 function strengthens the action of the taken medicinal preparations, especially those containing statins, which are found even in tablets for cholesterol 7. Other contraindications for the consumption of beverages or fruit in the unprocessed form include hyperacidity, peptic ulceration or gastritis 6.

Should a pomegranate really be part of a well-balanced diet?
Both pomegranate and juice produced from this fruit are currently not very popular products in the daily diet of the average Pole. This is probably due to the low awareness of how good both preventive and curative properties bring about the regular consumption of this plant. In addition, it is a great support in the treatment of both people with already diagnosed cancer, as well as those who are in an increased risk group.

Pomegranate can also be successfully used in patients with impaired glycemia or bad lipid profile – however, it must be stressed that eating this fruit will not replace conventional therapy.

Especially for hours of consumption of this product should be considered by people with chronic diseases, which force them to daily consuming drugs. In order to prevent the interaction between pomegranate or its juice and adopted tablets, especially those containing statins, a minimum of 2 hours should be allowed between the pharmaceutical and the food containing the product described.

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South Beach Diet

The South Beach diet, also known as the South beach nutrition model, was invented and developed by Arthur Agatston, an American cardiologist. He created it in 1995 with the intention of improving the health and condition of his heart patients and those suffering from type 2 diabetes. He did not expect that his nutritional plan would be so effective that the television station in Miami would offer him a performance in one of programs aimed at presenting the principles of the created food model. The coincidence of the events described above resulted in the popularity of the diet among the inhabitants of Florida praising the removal of excess kilograms and well-being. In 2003, this resulted in the publication of the first doctoral book with the significant title The diet of southern beaches, which spread in the number of 23 million copies.

Fashion in this way of feeding went around and mastered the whole world. The result was the publication of further guides, cookbooks and additional guides translated into many languages ​​and intended for many diet lovers from Florida. Although in Poland it had its great 5 minutes a few years ago, still many people are considering the pros and cons of switching to this style of nutrition 2.

General principles and assumptions of the South Beach diet
The South Beach diet is based on fairly simple and easy to remember rules. First of all, it does not take into account the calories of meals, or the right amount of macronutrients, such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats, there is also no look at the delivered dose of vitamins and minerals, which unfortunately can lead to their numerous deficiencies. The only thing that the author pays attention to is the glycemic index, or IG (glycemic index) selected for consumption of products. In this respect, the model is reminiscent of the recommendations made by Montignac, the first person to pay attention to the importance of looking at the quality of carbohydrates supplied with food.

It is also worth mentioning here that, contrary to the assumptions of the above-mentioned author, the south beach diet does not look at the glycemic load at all, although it has been known for years that it is a more reliable indicator of the body’s sugar load than the food index itself . It should also be remembered that eating products with a high content of pure glucose in small amounts gives the same effect as eating a large amount of food based on complex carbohydrates. Unfortunately, in the assumptions of the Florida nutrition model, there is no mention of it, although Agatston recommends eating any portion size 2.

Continuing, in the South Beach diet should be excluded from the menu of highly processed products, containing large amounts of saturated fatty acids, and those whose glycemic index is higher than 60. The author emphasizes that after eating dishes with, for example, white noodles or bread is not enough that there is a high ejection of sugar into the blood, it is also due to the rapid digestion of such substances, hunger appears almost immediately. Therefore, he recommends replacing them for whole grains, as well as vegetables and fruits, but only those whose IG does not exceed a maximum of 50.

You can also include protein in your daily menu, but at the same time, you should limit the supply of this macronutrient from dairy products. The sources of good unsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils, avocados and sea fish, are also important. When it comes to drinks, the doctor recommends only non-carbonated mineral water, juices, but only vegetable, decaffeinated coffee and tea that do not contain theine. Such products can be drunk in any quantity.

An important rule in this way of eating is the ban on avoiding breakfast, because without this meal the body is exposed to sudden attacks of hunger and the desire for sweets increases. Thanks to the menu thus composed, you not only do not have to make a big jump in blood glucose during the day, but you should not feel hunger 5 too often.

The diet of the southern beaches consists of three phases in which individual products are excluded or included in the menu. Each stage is characterized by a different restrictiveness of assumptions. It is assumed that such a nutritional model allows you to drop as much as 6 kg during the first two weeks of its duration. Although Agatston stresses in their assumptions that calories are not important, the way in which the recommendations are arranged in each phase assumes menus with calories that often do not exceed 1200 or 1400 kcal. Even in the case of people who only use allowed products, but actually eat as much as they want, often not only do not lose weight, but even increase it 5.
Blitzkrieg
South Beach diet phases and their course
The priority assumption of the first stage of the southern beaches diet is the leveling of the glycemic level, and thus the normalization of results in the case of people with type 2 diabetes. In this phase, lasting only two weeks, depending on the so-called. Starting weight can be used to lose weight up to 6.5 kg. Of course, the more weighed at the beginning, the more significant and effective these defects are.

The first stage menu should contain about six meals, the size of which should fully satisfy hunger 5. Unfortunately, the list of products that may be included in this phase on the plate of the person starting his adventure with the South Beach nutrition model, is not too extensive.

Meat products are mainly recommended for lean beef, especially tenderloin, roast beef and cross-dressing, fat-free pork in the form of ham, entrecote, leg or calf kidney, and saddle of lamb. Cured meat is mainly poultry, preferably cooked or smoked chicken or turkey breasts, of course not containing almost any composition of lipids. The menu may include all available fish, shellfish and seaweed.

Also recommended is leguminous plants both fresh and frozen and from the can, provided that they do not contain sugars. The most often mentioned are white, black and red beans, including mung type, chickpeas, lentils, soy and all its products with limited fat content, including milk from its seeds. The menu may also contain eggs in an unlimited number.

As for vegetables, the most recommended is eggplant, chard, Chinese cabbage, or bok choy, as well as its blooming variety, or choy sum, in Poland also known as Chinese broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, all varieties of pumpkin, endives, escarole, green beans, fennel, poisonous peas, all kinds of mushrooms, kale, jicama, i.e. Mexican potato, kohlrabi, kopary, cauliflower, white cabbage, as well as Chinese, Italian, headless and leavened, artichokes, edible ketmia, vegetable juice cocktails, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beans, lentils, radishes and sunflower seeds, , mustard leaves, turnip and grape, cucumber and green and sour, walnut, hot pepper, tomato and also one year old, also known as turkey pepper, parsley, artificially sweetened pickles, any type of tomato, leek, rhubarb, red chicory , arugula, watercress, radishes, including Japanese variety, any type of lettuce, root celery, celery, artichokes, palm hearts, tomato juice, sugar peas, shallots, chives, asparagus, spinach and broccoli.
ALCAR
Every day, the menu should also specify exactly one portion of nuts or seeds in the amount of 15 pieces of almond, cashew or Italian variety or 3 tablespoons of sesame or sunflower seeds, otherwise linseed or pumpkin seeds. The appropriate dose from the type of products described may also be 30 pistachios, pine nuts, hazelnuts or ¼ cup of soybeans.

When it comes to fats, the maximum daily amount available for consumption is 2 spoons of one selected type of oil. The recommended group consists of rapeseed, corn, linseed, sesame, sunflower, soybean oil, extra virgin oil and grape seed. Interestingly, the recommended form of lipids is also low-fat mayonnaise and soft margarine. On the other hand, the full-value additives and spices in the first phase of the diet include broth, horseradish, lemon or lime juice, paprika paste, aromatic oils and anything that adds flavor to the dishes, but does not contain glucose.

As a substitute for ordinary sugar, Agatston recommends 27 to 100 kcal per day of long-rejected and unrefined fructose and saccharin. On the other hand, allowed beverages include herbal tea, mint style, chamomile or dill, moderate amounts of coffee and tea, vegetable juices and carbonated drinks without sugar 5.

It is worth noting here that the dietetics based on research has already excluded some drinks from the group of healthy products, where carbon dioxide is injected in an industrial manner. This is due to the fact that this gas leads to the formation of ghrelin, or stomach hunger hormone 3. A few years after the release of the first version of the South Beach diet book appeared its improved version called turbo. In this option, the first phase of the described feeding model is extended by several dairy products, such as skimmed milk or buttermilk, to a maximum of 1% fat in the composition, natural yoghurts 0%, light cheese and curd containing less than 3% lipids. Interestingly, the new recommendations also allow you to deliver daily from 75 to 100 kcal from such ingredients as jelly, jams, cocoa, ice cream, chewing gum. Of course, all these items can not contain sugar.
Lotus Cookie Flavored Protein Cream
What is most amazing, despite the possibility of adding artificial fructose to dishes, all fruits, including those with a low glycemic index, are prohibited by the author 5. Such rigorous recommendations and limited product base are a simple way to bring about numerous shortages dangerous to the health of each person, and more patients with cardiac problems and type 2 diabetes, despite the fact that it was initially designed for them to describe the model of nutrition.

After probably the most difficult two-week start-up phase, the second phase of the southern beaches diet begins. It lasts until the person’s weight is reached, even though the weight drops are much slower during this period than at the start. The menus of this stage begin to be small steps enriched with carbohydrate products. Agatson recommends very slow introduction of dishes with wholegrain bread, brown rice, whole-meal pasta and low IG fruit. This is justified by the need to get used to an increased ejection of sugar into the blood. In addition, it is to help check how the body of each person reacts individually to a specific product.

During the first week of the second phase, you can eat only one fruit and one starchy product per day. However, the harvest of trees is forbidden for breakfast, because, according to the doctor, they may cause increased appetite. In addition, we only eat these ingredients in combination with a source of protein, such as skimmed yogurt. This is to lead to the elimination of hunger.

In the second week of this stage on the first day, we can still eat one fruit, but two starchy products. In the next day, we add one more crop to the set. Then we add the complex carbohydrate component again and keep it that way for 48 hours. Then, by the end of the week, we watch the number of 3 fruits and 2 meals based on starch 2.

During the second phase of the South Beach diet, specific products from different food groups can be included. From the dairy products, it is allowed to introduce light-style fruit yoghurts that do not count as healthy food. As regards cereals, it is possible to consume barley products, unprocessed flakes, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal or leavened bread, wild rice or brown rice and roasted or shot grits.

In the case of fruit, only specific species such as grapefruit, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, pears, apples, kiwi, mangoes, cantaloupe, oranges, plums, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, as well as high GI grapes are allowed to enter the menu. and apricots in both fresh and dried form. In the second phase, green peas, black and pinto beans are available in the diet, and according to some sources, both sweet and ordinary potatoes, but only in small quantities. The author at this stage also allows you to eat small portions of bitter chocolate and red wine 5.

Importantly, despite the main rule, not to count calories and eat as much as you want, not to feel hunger, the portions of most products that come in this phase are very specific. And so during the day you can eat only ¾ cup of gooseberry or blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or cranberries. According to some sources, even one medium banana per day is allowed. The menu can also include no more than a single, not too large peach, pear, orange, pomegranate or kiwi, or a small apple or papaya. From other available fruits you can choose a half of grapefruit or mango, ¼ melon, 15 balls of grapes, 2 ordinary plums or 4 dried, 12 cherries and 4 apricots.

In the case of cereal products, you can not afford more than 1 slice of wholemeal bread, ½ cup of wholemeal, buckwheat or soy pasta or brown or wild rice. Importantly, according to some sources, 3 cups of popcorn and breakfast cereals with an average amount of sugar are also allowed. With vegetables, the recommendation of a specific portion applies only to carrots and peas, which should not be eaten more than half the average size of the cup. As for the aforementioned wine, a maximum of 2 glasses is recommended, although some say that 330 ml beer is also acceptable alcohol. The following products are not added to the menu: beets, pineapples, watermelons, lychee, dates, figs, raisins, honey and sweetened ice cream and desserts 5.

This stage of the diet is already much more varied than the previous two weeks. It is incomprehensible, however, to introduce into the menu also unhealthy products like light fruit yoghurts, sweetened breakfast cereals or beer for products still banned, which are harmless to the body.
Thermo Speed Extreme
The next and the last stage of the style of feeding south beaches takes place after reaching the desired weight. The third phase according to the author should last until the end of his life. There are no prohibited products at this time. However, you should observe your body and at most eliminate yourself on your own, what you consider harmful or causing weight gain 2. Of course, foodstuffs with a glycemic index below 50 are recommended. Agatston recommends going back to phase two if weight is increased. The amazing fact is that the author himself allows his followers to exclude any selected products and to experiment with his health and metabolism on the principle of any transition from the last stage to the one that preceded it.

Effects possible to obtain
Supporters of the South Beach diet exchange numerous beneficial effects that they gained when they switched to this eating model. The most important of these is, of course, a large and quite fast loss of weight, especially during the first two weeks, where record-players lose even 10 kg. Generally, during the entire treatment, the weight loss usually varies from 15 to a maximum of 20 kg. Unfortunately, nobody underlines that his health will change for the better. Some also enjoy mixing the model of the south beaches with the 1000 kcal option to get even better and more spectacular effects related to the pursuit of perfect figure 2.

Unfortunately, both the traditional South Beach diet and its version maximally trimmed by the amount of energy supplied may have deplorable health effects related to dysregulation of the metabolic system, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, liver and kidney burden with too much protein, which may result in disease conditions at the result of malfunctioning of these organs.

Additional side effects are also emphasized by the patients themselves, especially in the first phase they complain of fatigue, irritability, general nervousness and weakness, probably due to the total discontinuation of all carbohydrate sources, which is a simple route to hypoglycaemia, especially dangerous for people suffering from diabetes for whom it may even end up in death

It should also be emphasized that the brain functions and draws energy only from glucose, so for the first two weeks it will not work properly. Unfortunately, a large proportion of people trying to use the diet of the south beaches and obtaining the dream figure in the third stage quickly returns to their former weight or is caught by the yo-yo effect.

Opinions of specialists and people using
On many websites and forums people who are satisfied with the rapid loss of excessive kilos share their experiences and praise the use of this model of nutrition. The only drawbacks that are noticed and underlined is the abandonment of bread, but what you do not do for the perfect look. What’s more frightening is the fact that some nutritionists also consider this diet healthy and rational and promote its use with their name. Only individual sources emphasize that the South Beach diet is not safe for health. Despite the states of hypoglycaemia, weakness and nervousness, the consequences of deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and the burden of two important organs, such as the kidneys and heart, can last for months or even years 2.

It is important to emphasize that there are healthy ways to get rid of excess weight and get a great figure not for a moment, and for years. It is worth to go to a proven dietitian who will help you learn the proper and healthy eating habits for the whole body.

Contraindications, or can South Beach diet reach everyone?
The main contraindications not to use the South Beach diet, which are currently exchanging sources, are kidney diseases, diabetes or frequent fluctuations in blood glucose level 1. Unfortunately, due to improper balance of this diet, it should not be recommended to anyone, let alone people young people and teenagers who often consult on internet forums and follow what is fashionable, fast and effective. The price of health, even until the end of life, is not adequate to obtain, often only for a moment, attractive and slim figure. Especially that you can take care of a satisfactory appearance and good health at the same time.

An example menu for one day from phase I, II and III
Below are some examples of menus for each stage of the South Beach diet. Of course, trying them on is not recommended.

First phase
And breakfast is a seafood salad and tea without theine.
II breakfast vegetable juice.
Lunch, boiled chicken breast, boiled cauliflower, a tablespoon of olive oil, still water.
Afternoon tea, cut vegetables, decaffeinated coffee.
Grilled zucchini and aubergine dinner with smoked salmon, still water.
Snack 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, still water.

The second phase
And breakfast of boiled egg, tomato, red pepper, still water.
II breakfast natural light yogurt, small apple, tea without theine.
Lunch of half a cup of boiled wild rice, baked trout, sauerkraut salad, vegetable juice.
Afternoon tea 2 cubes of dark chocolate, still water.
Supper one slice of wholemeal bread with soft margarine, a slice of poultry ham without fat, with green peppers, tea without theine.
Vegetable juice snack.

Phase three
And breakfast cereal on milk 1%, still water.
II breakfast sandwich with lean cottage cheese, tomato, decaffeinated coffee.
Lunch of zucchini cream soup with wholegrain toasts, vegetable juice.
Afternoon tea light fruit yogurt.
Dinner salad with iceberg lettuce, light mozzarella, red, yellow and green peppers, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds with a tablespoon of olive oil.
A snack of 3 bitters of dark chocolate.

As can be seen from the above examples, especially in the first and second stage, there is no way that the menu composed in this way would provide all the necessary vitamins, minerals, nutrients and adequate energy supply.

Summary – does this model of nutrition have more disadvantages or advantages?
Looking objectively at the advantages and disadvantages of the model of nutrition created by Dr. Arthur Agatston, it is not difficult to conclude that despite good motives he composed a diet that can quickly destroy the body. The only plus that everyone probably knows is a fast loss of unwanted kilos in the first two weeks of use.

Unfortunately, the downsides resulting from South Beach nutrition are much more. Deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, hypoglycemic states, weakness, nervousness, excessive supply of protein and general poor balance of meals and a 24-hour menu leading to health loss are not and should not be acceptable side effects of the treatment.

To get a beautiful figure and at the same time stay healthy, it is enough to follow scientifically based eating habits and introduce a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity into your daily schedule. If you can not start changing your life yourself, remember that there are specialists who will be happy to help you. Good luck!

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Phytohormones

The problem of insufficiently high testosterone levels is found not only among people exercising, but also most men of middle age. This extremely important male sex hormone determines not only sexual performance, but most of the processes taking place in our body. In this article, we will try to get a bit closer to the subject of phytohormones – plant compounds that can effectively improve its concentration.

What are phytohormones?

Green Phytofoods

The concept of phytohormones in medicine and broadly understood health literature refers to substances that manage the development of plant tissues. The term is also used for compounds of plant origin that work in the human body like hormones. In the context of our system, we speak first and foremost about substances responsible for stimulating the anabolic processes of protein molecules, i.e. real development and impact on strength and muscle mass.

The following groups of compounds are distinguished in systematics, including phytohormones

– phenylpropanoids;

– flavonoids;

– fatty acids;

– lignans;

– steroids;

– stilbeny;

– triterpenoids.

How do phytohormones work?

Before we go on to determine the exact function of phytohormones, we have to say something about the effects of steroid hormones. It is with these compounds that phytohormones cooperate most often. Steroid hormone compounds penetrate the interior of the muscle cell membrane from the blood. There are characteristic receptors in the form of proteins whose function is to bind to hormones and convert them into the so-called transcription factor. This factor is responsible for the initiation of anabolic processes. This means that they affect our genes and stimulate them to produce various types of muscle proteins that determine the size of our muscles or strength.

Milk Thistle 150mg

It turns out that in practice there is a mass of similarities between plant phytohormones introduced into the human body and its own hormonal compounds of steroid character. We are talking here about the spatial structure of these compounds or their physicochemical properties. Participation in a series of changes argues their supposed impact on the increase in the level of active anabolic steroids. In practice, we are talking about three main modes of action here.

The first of these involves real impact on the synthesis of steroid hormones. Steroidal anabolic hormones are created by uneconomic reactions (ie sugars and fatty acids) or more efficiently from cholesterol. Compounds referred to as phytosterols are substances that have molecular structure identical to cholesterol. It can therefore be assumed that anabolic steroids can also be produced in our system through the supply of phytohormones. Scientific research proves that herbal phytosterols clearly contribute to the increase in both male and female sex hormones, but the degree of cholesterol uptake remains unchanged. Produced compounds are further transformed by the natural intestinal flora to other forms that show greater activity than testosterone.

In addition, phytosterols are responsible for cholesterol transport pathways within the intestine, which significantly reduces its level in the blood.

This, as is well known, leads to a reduction in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. It is also worth mentioning flavonoids in the context of the production of anabolic hormones. These compounds not only inhibit the enzyme called phosphodiesterase, which leads to the degradation of cAMP. Flavonoids clearly contribute to the increase of its content in cells, which contributes to the intensification of the lipolysis process (destruction of fat molecules) and the activation of numerous kinases that effectively enhance the synthesis of new muscle proteins. This in turn causes an increase in muscle mass as well as strength and endurance.

Phytohormones, thanks to the similar construction similarities to our hormonal compounds, often prevent the transformation of anabolic steroids into substances with a completely different activity.

This is mainly about the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) and estradiol. These compounds largely have a negative effect on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland and lead to a reduction in the release of gonadotropins. Reducing their content leads to a decrease in testosterone levels. This perfectly illustrates the direct impact of phytohormones on the anabolic hormone levels of our body. What’s more, the excess of altered forms of testosterone can cause a number of adverse changes to our health. Excessive amounts of DHT and estradiol can cause prostate damage, hypertrophy of the mammary gland and its excessive steatosis, retention of subcutaneous water within the thighs and buttocks, and increase the development of swellings in the joints.

With the total amount of testosterone produced in the testicles maximally 3% reaches our muscular system and leads to its development. The remaining amount is captured by SHBG, special globulins that deprive the basic male hormone of activity. A significant part of the phytohormones is associated with SHBG, taking the place for testosterone, which causes that more of it goes to muscle tissues. In addition, some phytohormones effectively inhibit the synthesis of this specific type of globulin, which takes place in the liver.

Occurrence

In practice, it turns out that there are a lot of plants that have been recommended for a long time in order to improve sexual functionality and to support physical vigor. Today, they are referred to as tonic preparations – increasing the endurance of the body in relation to the heavy physical effort and extreme environmental conditions. Below we present the species of plants that are not only the most popular in terms of recognition, but also the most common use.

Manchurian aralia

In its composition we find triterpenoids. Aralia is a relative of ginseng, occurs primarily in Siberia, where for many years has been known as the basic ingredient of local folk medicine.

Terresops

Moots, or the popular Tribulus, are characterized by the presence of steroids and flavonoids. It is one of the most popular and best documented plants with anabolic and aphrodisiac (ie prosexual) activity, which is used in sport supplementation.

Garlic

Garlic already in the days of ancient Egypt was recommended to fighters to improve physical fitness. Thanks to the rich content of flavonoids, steroids and sulfur compounds, garlic is recommended not only to improve immunity and increase testosterone levels, but also to intensify fat burning processes.

Pumpkin

A basic component of home-made first-aid kits for people living in the Balkans and modern herbal medicine. In its composition we can find polyunsaturated fatty acids, steroids and triterpenoids.

Chinese tea

Green Tea EGCG

Chinese green tea variety is a rich source of flavonoids, steroids and triterpenoids. Due to the large amount of catechins and isoflavones, Chinese tea increases the level of protein anabolism (studies prove an improvement in the nitrogen balance by almost 10%) and purification processes and thermogenesis.

Indian incense

Kadzidłowiec is known to athletes mainly as an anti-inflammatory agent and strengthening the structure of the musculoskeletal system, i.e. fascias, joints, tendons or ligaments. This is possible due to the increased resistance to overloading. In addition, thanks to the presence of triterpenoids, it can be included in anti-catabolic preparations.

Sawmill palm

Saw Palmetto Berries

This plant is known primarily to the inhabitants of the Caribbean Sea. Flavonoids and steroids present in the palm determine strong aphrodisiac properties and clear toning effect. The basic ingredient in many measures to alleviate symptoms resulting from prostatic hyperplasia.

Stinging nettle

Nettle is known primarily for the removal of subcutaneous water and the intensity of diuresis. In addition, it normalizes prostate function and shows a stimulant character, which can be explained by the occurrence of lignans and steroids in its composition.

Hair hairy

Diamond Fish Oil

Soy is a wealth of proanabolic flavonoids, steroids, triterpenoids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Due to the presence of isoflavones, it also has a strong pro-health effect. What’s more, a rich amount of proteins is often used by manufacturers of dietary supplements for the preparation of protein preparations.

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Leptin

Obesity is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous diseases of civilization. The number of obese people is increasing year by year at an alarming rate. This makes scientists more and more often wonder about its causes. It turns out that often it is not just the intake of too many calories and poor will to a significant increase in body weight. Recent research indicates that leptin, and more specifically, lung resistance, maybe one of the main factors leading to an increase in human body fat.

Coleus Forskohlii-95

What is leptin and what is its action?
Leptin is a hormone produced almost exclusively by adipocytes. The concentration of leptin circulating in the blood is directly proportional to the amount of adipose tissue. Its main task is to provide information to the brain about body fat resources and regulation of appetite and satiety. This happens with the help of receptors located in the hypothalamus. The scheme of operation seems simple. The more we eat, the more fat cells are in our bodies. Large amounts of leptin are produced, which, by sending signals to the hypothalamus, suppress the appetite center. When we do not take food, the level of fat decreases, and thus – leptin production also decreases. Low hormone concentration is a warning to the body against exhausting energy reserves, the center of hunger is stimulated. This type of mechanism is called negative feedback and is very often used to regulate other physiological functions such as breathing, maintaining proper body temperature or blood pressure. This system should protect us both from eating too much food and long-term starvation. So what makes it stop functioning properly and we start with you?
Lipodrene Elite
Leptin resistance and obesity
Obese people have a lot of body fat in their body that produces very much leptin. Considering the mechanism of action of the hormone, such persons should not consume excess food, their brain should be informed that there is enough adipose tissue. So why is not this happening? The problem is that the signal is not picked up. Although huge amounts of leptin circulating in the bloodstream, the brain can not read its presence. This makes the brain mistakenly thinks that the body is in a state of hunger and activates processes related to increasing food intake and minimizing energy expenditure. This condition is called resistance to leptin and is indicated as one of the main biological determinants of obesity.

Why the diet does not work?

People who lose weight often face the problem of recurring kilograms. The effects of weight loss are rarely long-term. The reasons for this phenomenon may be many, but it is pointed out that the labyrinth may also be responsible for it. During rapid, rapid weight loss, hormone levels drop drastically. It is a signal for the brain that the amount of spare energy material has decreased significantly, which is why it begins to protect the adipose tissue with the use of biochemical forces that force us to eat. Perhaps that is why perseverance on the diet is so difficult for some people.

What are the causes of leprosy resistance and how to prevent it?
Synedrex
Research has identified several biological mechanisms that may be responsible for the development of leptin resistance. These include inflammation, high levels of free fatty acids in the blood and high leptin levels. It is not difficult to notice that all these factors are also widely recognized as increasing the risk of obesity. A vicious circle is formed in which obese people become more resistant to leptin, resulting in even greater accumulation of adipose tissue.

So what can we do to prevent this from happening? Below are some tips

– avoid processed food,

– eat products rich in fiber,

– enable regular physical activity,

– sleep out,

– take care of the appropriate level of triglycerides in the blood,

– eat products rich in wholesome protein.

All the above practices have a proven positive effect on reducing chronic inflammation in the body and are the key to preventing leptin resistance and even regressing it. Of course, achieving a long-lasting effect is not easy, it requires a lot of determination and introduction of permanent, often big changes in lifestyle.

Summary

Obesity is not always caused by laziness and lack of strong will. There are also many strong biological conditions involved, and one of the most important is the regulation of hunger and satiety by leptin. However, it should be remembered that how we live and what we eat has a huge impact on our bodies. An improper diet can disrupt properly functioning mechanisms for centuries, and a return to a correct condition becomes even more difficult.
5-HTP 200mg

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Bamboo powder

Bamboo powder is a bamboo extract, considered by many to be a substance rich in natural antioxidants and supporting the body in slimming. But is it really so effective? I invite you to the article.

What is bamboo powder?

Bamboo extract (phyllostachys heterocycla) is a rich substance in natural antioxidants that inhibit the absorption of glucose from the digestive tract. Bamboo symbolizes longevity in China, and in Japan – purity. Bamboo is used in medicine, in the kitchen and even in the clothing industry as antibacterial threads.

Who should use?

Bamboo extract has been used as an ingredient of dietary supplements used for weight loss. It increases the reduction of body fat and improves body structure when combined with caffeine or other thermogenic substances. Bamboo contains necessary for the biosynthesis of proteins, which in turn is an inherent element of the proper functioning of our bones, hormones and muscles, and even the immune system.

Bamboo powder – action

Bamboo extract has antioxidant and fat burning properties. It is a source of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, silicon, sodium, iodine, amino acids and vitamins. Bamboo has a positive effect on the joints, making them elastic and stabilizing. Thanks to the calcium and vitamin D content, it hardens bones. In addition, it has a strengthening effect on the tendon and structure of blood vessels. The teas made from it favorably affect the regulation of digestive processes and metabolism.
Organic silica from Bamboo shoots 150mg
How to dose?

There is no detailed information about the dosage of the bamboo extract. To determine the optimal dose, follow the recommendations of the supplement manufacturer or consult a specialist. The main contraindication to the use of bamboo powder supplements is hypersensitivity to this ingredient.

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Digestive System Healthcare

Piperine

Piperine is more and more often recommended by dieticians and is increasingly popular among people on a diet. It contains pepper and is a natural alternative in the fight against overweight and fat. It fights its excess in the body by inhibiting the formation of new fat cells. Below I will describe its operation and application in detail.

What is piperine?

Piperine is an alkaloid that occurs in black pepper, it responds for its sharp, burning taste. It is located in the top layer of black pepper fruits. We can also meet her in diet supplements as a slimming aid.

Piperine enhances the secretion of digestive juices (gastric, pancreatic and intestinal), improves and speeds up digestion. It inhibits the appetite for sweets, naturally regulates the sugar and fat management in the body, improves the absorption of nutrients, helps burn fat.

Who should use it?

The piperine can be used by both professional athletes, as well as recreational trainers. It is used for healing purposes. She found application in slimming therapy and improving physical and psychological efficiency. In addition, it stimulates the work of the digestive system , increases the secretion of gastric juice, which results in better digestion of nutrients.

Curcumin 95 + Piperine

Piperine effect

The following advantages can be attributed to the biggest advantages of using piperine

– piperine reduces the level of fat in the bloodstream;

– stimulates the secretion of noradrenaline and adrenaline;

– has a positive effect on the functioning of the immune system;

– increases the secretion of digestive juices (gastric, pancreatic, intestinal), and also improves the digestion of food;

– raises body temperature;

– speeds up the metabolism;

– increases immunity;

– affects the lipolysis process;

– promotes building muscle mass by raising body temperature;

– raises the level of physical and mental efficiency;

– effectively reduces fat tissue.

Piperine – dosage

The recommended dosage of piperine is 5-10 mg 1-2 times a day for 3 months, then take 1-2 months off and resume use. It is best to take it before breakfast and physical effort. People with severe cardiovascular disease are advised to consult a doctor before using piperine.

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Digestive System

Gluten free life

Fashion for a gluten-free diet is still going on. Gluten-free products can be found in virtually any grocery store, and their quantity is still increasing. Used to reduce weight, improve well-being and overall health. What is it about? Does it help and can everyone use it?

Gluten-free diet – what is it about?
The gluten-free diet consists of the elimination of gluten, which is a mixture of vegetable proteins contained in cereal products such as wheat (including spelled), rye, barley, and oats. Oat remains an issue because the protein contained therein does not trigger an immune reaction typical of celiac disease. However, Polish oat is heavily contaminated with other cereals, therefore it is necessary to eliminate it from the diet.

Despite restrictions, a gluten-free diet should provide adequate amounts of energy and nutrients that are necessary for the proper functioning of the body. People suffering from celiac disease – apart from eliminating gluten from everyday nutrition – are subject to the same recommendations and nutritional standards as healthy people. Therefore, the gluten-free diet should follow the principles of the Pyramid of Healthy Nutrition and Physical Activity developed by the Institute of Food and Nutrition.

The daily menu must, therefore, include products from each floor. Cereal products should be replaced with gluten-free cereals, such as rice, millet, buckwheat, and pseudo-cereals, such as teff, amaranth, quinoa. It is advisable to enrich the diet with Spanish sage or linseed, dried fruits, nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. These products provide B vitamins, iron, vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Also, the diet should contain products rich in wholesome protein – lean meats, fish, eggs and milk, and its products. Allergy to gluten is very often associated with lactose intolerance (milk sugar). In this situation, to provide the right amount of calcium, you should consume enriched vegetable milk or take this element in the form of a dietary supplement.

Gluten-free diet – for whom?
A gluten-free diet is only for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. In these people, gluten causes the disappearance of the intestinal villi. This leads to a reduction in the surface area of ​​absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, and after a long time to its significant impairment. As a consequence, there are clinical symptoms on the part of the digestive tract and other organs. Typical gastrointestinal symptoms include chronic diarrhea, constipation and bloating, anorexia, abdominal pain, weight loss. The implementation of a gluten-free diet for these people is essential. It aims to reduce the inflammatory process and rebuild intestinal villi, which improves the absorption of nutrients.

Some authors believe that people are not adapted to eat grains. They argue that digestive enzymes contained in the human digestive tract can not completely break down gluten. As a result, peptides (incompletely decomposed protein molecules) reach the bloodstream, which is very similar to human tissues. The immune system is confused and can start attacking its cells, leading to the development of a variety of autoimmune diseases. However, healthy people who tolerate gluten products well should not exclude them from the diet.

Each elimination entails the risk of nutrient deficiencies. The non-consumption of cereal products, i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats, may lead to a lack of diet, e.g. fat-soluble vitamins, B vitamins, folic acid, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and dietary fiber. Also, it can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and heart attack. Also, people on a gluten-free diet have a deterioration in the composition of the intestinal microflora and lipid profile.

Gluten-free diet – what to watch out for?
It may seem that a gluten-free diet is easy to use. In the end, almost every store has a shelf with gluten-free products. However, these are only appearances. Gluten-free products are most often highly processed and, consequently, poor in nutrients. Their composition is very long and contains chemical additives – artificial aromas, dyes, preservatives, emulsifiers, hardened fats, glucose-fructose syrup, modified starches, etc.

Products of non-gluten nature, e.g. millet, can also be dangerous and contain allergenic protein. It is related to the conditions of their production, which prevail in the food factory. Gluten is transferred in the form of dust. For example, if the production of millet groats takes place in the same hall as gluten crops, it may be infected. Most manufacturers protect themselves by providing information on the packaging that the product may contain gluten. Food products with such information on the label are plenty.

Gluten is widely used in processing because it gives the right and very desirable consistency of baked goods. Therefore, the gluten-free diet should pay particular attention to the composition of products. To make sure that the product does not contain gluten, it is best to reach for products that have the cross-out bar symbol on the label. The production of food with this sign is carefully separated, examined for the content of gluten proteins and closely monitored by special control units.

Gluten-free diet and slimming
A gluten-free diet is not a slimming diet. There is no scientific evidence to support the beneficial effect of gluten loss on body weight loss. Analyzing the composition of finished gluten-free products, one can notice significant amounts of fats (double the amount of saturated fatty acids) and sugar, which in turn may affect the delivery of more energy to the body. It is often noticed that gluten-free products are more caloric than their gluten-like counterparts.

The noticeable weight loss in some people using a gluten-free diet may result from the reduction of carbohydrates, especially cereal products with a high glycemic index such as white bread, fine-grained groats, semolina, couscous or white pasta. Weight loss may also occur as a result of eating fewer calories than the body’s needs, it is not dependent on the amount of gluten in the diet. Both white bread and brown rice provide kilocalories. Eating too much of one or the other product may increase weight.