Stay healthy. Stay beautiful….one health tip at a time.

Archive for June, 2009

Plump Your Bone Density With Plums?

Think prunes are for the old and constipated?  Think again!  Prunes are ripe dried versions of plums–particularly the ruddy egg-shaped kind that are juicy and sweet at their peak.  Specifically, we’re talking Prunus domestica.  What if I say that prune and its younger version, plum can beef up your bone density?

According to  Bahram Arjmandi, PhD., a researcher at Florida State University,  Tallahassee, dried plums not only prevented bone loss but can also reverse it.  Preliminary results showed plums are particularly beneficial for premenopausal women–they are asked to eat 8 to 10 dried prunes a day and showed promising bone benefits.  How?  Prunes contain high amounts of  super antioxidants, polyphenols, which can restore bone mass and structure, thereby beefing up bone mineral density. Another study showed that prune’s polyphenols also enhance osteoblast (bone formation) activity.

But that’s not all.  Plums are storehouses of beneficial minerals and vitamins–high levels of vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B6, potassium, vitamin K, boron and dietary fiber.  Boron is known to prevent osteoporosis.

So, let’s snack on prunes and include plums in our fruit selection or toss them in our food–a natural sweet way to stay strong and bone-happy.

Plums are plentiful in the summer and make cool summer treats.  If you like to experiment with plums in food, try this plum salsa.

salsaPlum Salsa

  • 3 plums
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • few springs of cilantro

1.  Chopped all the above ingredients and put them in a large mixing bowl.

2.  Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon or 1 small lime.

3.  Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil (optional)

4.  Add garlic salt or regular salt (if you don’t like garlic :P) to taste.

5.  Toss everything together and chill before serving.

You can serve plum salsa with grilled meat or  with some good crunchy tortilla chips.  Good with satay and kebobs too.

Plump Up Your Bone Density with Plums?

By anglnwu

Prunus Domestica

Prunus Domestica

Think prunes are for the old and constipated?  Think again!  Prunes are ripe dried versions of plums–particularly the ruddy egg-shaped kind that are juicy and sweet at their peak.  Specifically, we’re talking Prunus domestica.  What if I say that prune and its younger version, plum can beef up your bone density?

According to  Bahram Arjmandi, PhD., a researcher at Florida State University,  Tallahassee, dried plums not only prevented bone loss but can also reverse it.  Preliminary results showed plums are particularly beneficial for premenopausal women–they are asked to eat 8 to 10 dried prunes a day and showed promising bone benefits.  How?  Prunes contain high amounts of  super antioxidants, polyphenols, which can restore bone mass and structure, thereby beefing up bone mineral density. Another study showed that prune’s polyphenols also enhance osteoblast (bone formation) activity.

But that’s not all.  Plums are storehouses of beneficial minerals and vitamins–high levels of vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B6, potassium, vitamin K, boron and dietary fiber.  Boron is known to prevent osteoporosis.

So, let’s snack on prunes and include plums in our fruit selection or toss them in our food–a natural sweet way to stay strong and bone-happy.

Plums are plentiful in the summer and make cool summer treats.  If you like to experiment with plums in food, try this plum salsa.Refreshing Plum Salsa

Plum Salsa

  • 3 plums
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • few springs of cilantro

1.  Chopped all the above ingredients and put them in a large mixing bowl.

2.  Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon or 1 small lime.

3.  Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil (optional)

4.  Add garlic salt or regular salt to taste.

5.  Toss everything together and chill before serving.

You can serve plum salsa with grilled meat or  with some good crunchy tortilla chips.  For satay lovers, substitute the usual cucumber and onion duet with this refreshing alternative.

Tags: antioxidants, bone density, boron, osteoporosis, polyphenols, potassium, prunus domestica, vitamin C

If You’re Playing Catch With Sleep….

Insomnia strikes

Insomnia strikes

Does insomnia stalk you in the night?  The darkness envelops you and you find yourself chasing after the elusive “shuteye” teaser? Catch me, if you can?  Well, if you are , you’re not alone.  According to the National Institute of Health, around 60 million Americans experience chronic insomnia.

So what’s  insomnia? Health experts say it’s the lack of ability to fall asleep or stay asleep on a regular basis.  If you think you have insomnia, consult your doctor and make sure it’s not an indication of other medical problems such as depression, heart disease, sleep apnea, lung disease, menopause or diabetes.

If you don’t have any major health problems, you may want to examine your lifestyle, your emotional stress level or eating habits for any sleep inhibitors.  Sometimes, the sleep problem can be dissolved by tweaking the factors that constitute your life or lifestyle.

Here’s some ways to encourage sleep:

1.  Let’s start with the obvious. Quit drinking caffeinated drink hours before you go to sleep–caffeine is the antithesis of sleep. While we’re at it, ditch  sugary snacks before zzz..time too.

2.  Are you stress?  With work? With life?  Ask yourself what good will your worrying in bed do?  Nothing! Rather than allow stress to activate your brain and keep you awake, leave them outside your bedroom.  Mentally cut them off and tell them to bug off. You’re your own bedtime psychiatrist, so there!

3.  Relax and Unwind with sleep-inducing food or drink.  This is one that works for me and I have made a ritual out of it.  An hour or so before you go to sleep, indulge yourself with some sleep-inducing foods.  For drinks–choose calming tea like Chamomile or warm milk.  Snack on foods rich in Tryptophan, an amino acid that is the precursor to serotonin, which is a necessary neurotransmitter for inducing sleep and tranquility.  Carbohydrates, certain proteins and dairy products are high in tryptophan.  Specific examples include milk, cheese, soy products, whole grains, seafood, turkey, beans and lentils.  Remember–it’s like bedtime snack, so think small portion.

Try:

  • Cheese on whole wheat crackers and a cup of hot tea
  • Lean turkey on pita with a heap of hummus.
  • Air-popped chips with bean dip.

4.  Reduce tension.  Tense muscles can keep you awake.  Relax your muscles and ease your body into bedtime sleep with muscle relaxation exercises.

5.  Relaxation Techniques.  Sleep experts say that relaxation techniques is one of the most effective ways to increase sleep time, fall asleep faster, and feel more rested in the morning.  See this video.

6.  Exercise

Exercises tire your body and induces the feel-good hormone, endorphins.  Regular exercises (just don’t do any strenuous exercises before bedtime) help your body to sleep better.  Yoga is especially effective with its combination of deep breathing, meditation and stretching.

Scent Your Room with Tranquilizing Aromas

Scent Your Room with Tranquilizing Aromas

7.  Create a Sleep-friendly Environment.  Close shades to set the mood.  Put on some gentle, soothing music to lull you to slumber land.  If you like aromatherapy, use a diffuser to infuse air with your favorite scent.  Some people prefer to put sachets of lavender,  Chamomile or ylang ylang under their pillows or tucked inside. You know what soothes you–well–welcome them into your bedroom and allow them to put you in a sweet mood.

If you’ve done all that, and you’re still playing catch–see  a doctor.  And good luck with this sleeping malady.  Put it to sleep!