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Archive for May, 2009

Neti Pot, Anyone?

A watering can for your nose?  Eeeks! Whoever came up the idea must be drunk or highly tormented.  Maybe, highly tormented with dripping nostrils, watery eyes and sneezing?  There is no relief and even prescription drugs cannot fully address the problem. In desperation, the water can idea was born, perhaps?

So, it was, someone came up with the idea of a Neti pot to ease nasal complications.  You can thank the Indians for this ingenious invention.  The word Neti actually comes from traditional medical term, jala neti, which means nasal cleansing.

If you’re an allergy or sinus sufferer, you may be acquainted with the Neti pot.  It works like a watering can, looks like a cross between Aladdin’s lamp and a teapot and many holistic practitioners may recommend you try one.

Neti pots works as a vessel by which you irrigate your nasal passages and in the process flush out the allergens that are causing all the classic symptoms of allergy.  Allergens in the forms of pollen, mold, pet dander, even smoke can irritate the mast cells lining the nasal passages and cause them to produce antihistamines to protect the body. Naturally, you want to get rid of these allergens and prevent them from triggering the release of antihistamines.  That where the Neti pot comes in–use it to flush out allergens, bacteria and mucous.

How do you use it?  The steps are simple and once you get used to it, it’s as easy and natural as brushing your teeth.  Here’s how:

Using a Neti Pot is Easy

Using a Neti Pot is Easy

1.  Use a quarter to half a teaspoon of noniodized salt to 8 ounces of warn water.  Mix them thoroughly in the Neti pot.

2.  Stand over a sink, incline your head at 45 degrees and put spout in one nostril and allow the water to drain through the other nostril.

3.  Repeat with the other nostril.

4.  Gently blow to clear nasal passages completely.

Use Neti pots about twice a day during allergy season, especially in the morning and after spending time outdoors.  An Italian study published in the International Archives of Allergy found that nasal flushing is a mild and effective way of treating seasonal allergies and can markedly reduce the use of antihistamines.

You can purchase a Neti pot from most health and drug stores and online.  They are relatively inexpensive and maybe a viable option to treating allergies without taking medication.


A Crazy Good Thing: Nuts About Nuts

I’m nuts about nuts.  My husband can tell you that.  In fact, I fell into his trap with his constant supply of Macademias.  We were involved in a long distance relationship (he’s from America and I live in Singapore, then) and every time, he came to visit, he would tote bags of macademias.

Like the sultan who couldn’t kill the storyteller (One Thousand and One Night story?)–she was smart enough to end the story on a cliff-hanger, whatever that means.  My husband would entice with his salty crunchy treats and I would be helpless.

If you ransack my pantry, you will find an assortment of them.  Now, I don’t’ snack them with  guilt–yes, they have high fat content but there are too many reasons to lay them off.  According to a recent study of more than 64,000 Chinese women, those who had peanuts every day cut their risk of developing diabetes by 21 percent.

Not a peanut person?–I’m not either–researchers assure that other nuts are just as effective.  Take your pick–walnuts, almonds, cashews and yes, macademias.  An ounce a day would not pack on pounds, they added.

Nut fame is not limited to diabetes control–it has high levels of monunsaturated fats that are actually twice as good for your heart as a low-fat diet. Nuts have other nutrients too–Vitamin E, magnesium, copper and phytochemicals that are linked to heart health.

But that’s not all.  Nuts like walnuts are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids that can help lower cholesterol.  Pistachios have phytosterols, Vitamin E and L, arginine and monounsaturated fat that can lower the bad cholesterol while raising the good cholesterol.

So, what do you say– join me in my nutfest?  Snack on them–you can make your own trail mix with your favorite nuts and dried fruits.  Just buy an assortment of your favorite nuts  (preferably unsalted) and toss them together with some dried fruits.  Put them in an air-tight jar so they last longer.  Bag them and  take them with you to work, to school or whenever you feel a food attack.

Nuts are versatile.  You can toss them in your stir-fry, in your deserts, and  cereals for texture and crunch.  You can also chopped them finely to coat your meat to provide crunch and flavor.

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