Tag: Herbs & Health

Prevent osteoporosis naturally

I decided I wasn’t going to take hormone replacement therapy — HRT. I was going to go au natural. Just head into the wind — the hot wind of being a mature woman, now past my child-bearing years. Notice I don’t say menopause, it’s such a negative word. I read that Phytoestrogens may reduce and prevent the incidence of osteoporosis. This is good news if you don’t want to take drugs such as hormones. You need strong bones, but unfortunately, as you age there is a tendency for bones to become fragile — you actually lose bone. That’s called...

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Heart healthy chocolate

Chocolate melts my heart, makes me feel good and keeps my heart healthy. Chocolate has health benefits, especially chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids — the dark chocolate. It’s a good antioxidant, like grapes and wine, so it helps with all those free radicals that can damage cells.Not only that, but the cocoa butter is better for you than regular butter (another of my favorites). Cocoa butter has two fats thatare considered healthy fats. They are stearic acid and oleic acid. Stearic converts to oleic acid in your liver. This is good because oleic acid is a “good” heart-healthy,...

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Herbs to Increase Energy

We live in an age when we get things instantly. We accesss the Internet for quick answers, we text friends and family as a thought occurs. If we are feeling low in energy, we might grab a Coke or an Energy drink, or a candy bar. I get it, and I’m guilty of looking for a quick pick-me-up. However, there are some better alternatives. Good old mother earth has produced herbs with qualities that will improve your ability to handle stress. They’re called adaptogens.  And when you take these herbs, they help your body adapt to physical and mental...

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Where to Find Phytoestrogens

I’ve talked about adding phytoestrogens to my diet, but really, what are they? It’s very confusing, all this plant business, all this estrogen business —  what’s healthy, what’s not.  Phytoestrogens are plant-based chemicals with weak estrogen activity. That sounds confusing too. In fact, it’s not that straight forward. The best way to understand this may be to say it balances hormones. It’s not like taking estrogen. Phytoestrogens can act as an agonist — binding to the estrogen receptor and thus boosting estrogen’s effects, but it can also act as an antagonist, meaning to block estrogen. That’s why men can eat soy...

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3 Natural ways to prevent colds

I hate getting sick, and the cold virus has so many mutants, that you are almost sure to get one. But you may pass it up with these 3 natural ways to prevent colds. Echinacea 1.  I reach for the herb, Echinacea whenever I’m exposed to someone sniffling and coughing. And it works for me. The trick is to take it early, not after you’re down with the cold. True. When I’m under a lot of stress and the people around me are sick, I take two tablets in the morning and if it is really virulent out there,...

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Sexy Soymilk for Hot Flashes

I say sexy because I feel more like my self, less like a crazy menopausal woman when I drink a glass of soy milk every day. Without my daily hot cocoa soymilk, I get hot flashes. Go figure. For me this works.  There are so many flavors, I’m sure you can find one to try. Give it some time — I’m beginning to never go back to cow milk. Last time I drove by the stinky dairy I vouched to abstain forever. Where to get it: Soy milk is available in the refrigerator section and on the shelf. The shelf varieties are easy to store for a longer period of time. But once you open them, they have to be refrigerated. Varieties: Soy milk is either sweetened or unsweetened. Try both. I happen to like the unsweetened for cereal and the sweetened for hot cocoa. Also, the sweetened ones are available with cane sugar as the sweetening agent or substitute sugars for lower calories and no sugar.  Note: if it does not say “unsweetened”, then it is sweetened, even the plain ones. Soy milk comes in original or plain, vanilla, very vanilla, chocolate, eggnog, pumpkin spice,  and chocolate mint. Use the unsweetened for recipes. Check the label for calories and if it is the light variety that means a sugar substitute. Refrigerator version, plain: vanilla and chocolate soy milk: On the shelf, plain...

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How phytoestrogens help you in menopause

For some women phytoestrogens help menopause symptoms. I’m one of those women. Here’s a sampling of foods, all of them plants or derived from plants. Phytoestrogens are plant-based chemicals with weak estrogen activity — “phyto” meaning “plant” and of course, “estrogen,” the female hormone. Phytoestrogens fall into the category of “natural”, as they are not synthesized in a lab. Two types of phytoestrogens that are easy to add to your diet are lignans and isoflavones. Lignans are found in flax seeds, whole grains, some fruits and vegetables. Isoflavones are found in soybeans and legumes.  Flaxseed is a lignan that is high in phytoestrogens. The seeds can be ground for better absorption and added to breads, cereals, beverages and salads. In fact, flaxseed has the highest amount of phytoestrogen. There are 85.5 mg lignans in 1 ounce of flaxseed as reported by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Lignans are also present in whole grains such as rye, oats, barley and wheat. The amount varies based on the recipes and amounts of whole grains, but approximately 4,800 mcg phytoestrogen per 100 g. Hummus is made with garbanzo beans and supplies 993 mcg of phytoestrogens per 100 g. Mung bean sprouts contains 495.1 mcg phytoestrogen per 100 g. Alfalfa sprouts which are a good addition to salads and sandwiches has 441.4 mcg per 100 g. Dried apricots  are a much better source of phytoestrogen than fresh apricots. They contain 445.5 mcg per 100 g. Isoflavones are...

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