Friday, July 26, 2013

The Most Powerful 10 Minutes Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix

This is a clip from the earth-shattering film, Earthlings, released in 2005.
“It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.” - Mark Twain

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Friday, July 19, 2013

What Are Bananas Good For?


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Botanical name: Musa acuminata colla; Musa sp.

There are many reasons why bananas are one of the most popular foods in the world. They offer the perfect portion size, come in their own handy, natural protective wrap, and are extremely economical. Fresh and creamy, bananas mix well with other fruits and are a favorite lunchtime addition or for noshing on the go.

One of the most cultivated tropical fruits, bananas are a close relative to the plantain, which is larger and darker. Over centuries, bananas have been used to settle upset stomachs (including morning sickness), reduce stress, ease heartburn pain, relieve constipation, soothe PMS symptoms, cure warts, and stimulate brain power. There might be something to those medicinal uses…

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Health Benefits of Bananas

Bananas contain all kinds of good things – health-promoting flavonoids and poly-phenolics, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta and alpha carotenes, acting as free radical-gobbling antioxidants. That’s also an advantage in the high vitamin C content, most known for its infection-fighting properties.

Just one banana contains 467 mg of potassium, which is important for controlling your heart rate and blood pressure. This is interesting, since the same amount of banana has just one milligram of sodium. The vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) in bananas provides around 28% of what is needed daily to help prevent anemia and coronary artery disease.

And that’s just part of it. Fiber in abundance helps keep your digestive system regulated. Magnesium helps strengthen your bones and protects your heart. Manganese is needed to activate antioxidant enzyme. One banana supplies an adequate amount of copper to keep up the production of red blood cells.

Note: You can freeze bananas, but if you refrigerate them, they’ll turn black.

Bananas Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: One cup of sliced bananas (150 grams)
  • Calories: 133
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Sugar: 18 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 2 mg
Studies Done on Bananas

Research showed that among fruits and vegetables proven to be associated with cutting your risk of renal cell carcinoma, bananas were the highest1. Another study showed that bananas, which are rich in vitamin A and carotenoids, have the potential to protect you against chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other types of cancer2.

More positive proof of banana’s singular health benefits emerged in a study showing an important link between foods containing high levels of potassium, magnesium, calcium and fiber – like bananas, for instance – and a reduction in the risk of stroke in men3.

Banana Healthy Recipe: Banana Muffins

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  • 1¼ cups rice flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt1
  • ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1½ cups mashed bananas
  • 2 eggs, whipped
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, set aside to cool. Chop when cool enough to handle.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and walnuts.
  • In a small bowl, combine butter and honey until creamed. Add bananas and whipped eggs.
  • Add butter and banana mixture to flour mixture and gently mix. Spoon into oiled muffin tins.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • This recipe makes 12 muffins.
(From Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type by Dr. Mercola)

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Banana Fun Facts

Bananas probably originated in Malaysia; transported by early explorers to India, where they were first referenced in sixth century BCE Buddhist writings. Alexander the Great tried his first banana while on campaign in India and is said to have brought the fruit to the Western world.


The “why they’re so healthy” list is a long one – good thing bananas are so easy to eat! Potassium, vitamins A, C, and B6, fiber, flavonoids, and antioxidants – it’s all there, wrapped in a convenient, protective package.

This tropical fruit that was up to a century ago practically unknown throughout North America, Europe, and even China’s mainland is now a common food staple. You can even dehydrate them to enjoy alone or add to trail mix.

However thin you slice bananas, rest assured they’re good and good for you. However, eat bananas in moderation because they contain fructose, which is harmful to your health when consumed in excessive amounts.

Other sources:


1 Fruits, vegetables and risk of renal cell carcinoma: a prospective study of Swedish women, Fruits, vegetables and risk of renal cell carcinoma: a prospective study of Swedish women, Aug. 2012
2, Carotenoid-rich bananas: a potential food source for alleviating vitamin A deficiency, Aug. 2012
3, Intake of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber and risk of stroke among US men, Aug. 2012

Article Source:

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Monday, July 15, 2013

BeWellBuzz Interview: Acupuncture & Cleansing with Dr Thomas Kuou

By BeWellBuzz

In our quest to balance our body and cleanse, we decided to add acupuncture sessions to our 30 day protocol.

So why Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture?

Chinese medicine does a great job of finding areas of energy that are out of balance in the body and the treatment of acupuncture helps return those areas back into equilibrium.

Interview: Acupuncture & CleansingOksana interviews one of America’s leading acupuncturists, Dr. Thomas Kouo, about cleansing, Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. 

Thomas is among only a handful of people in the United States to have completed studies for the degree of Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (D.A.O.M.) from an institution accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). 

He is one of the six original Acupuncturists to work in UCSD’s Center of Integrative Medicine (CIM) as a fully credentialed physician within the UCSD hospital system.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Herbs For Heart

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As estimated by the National Center for Health Statistics, over 68 million people in the USA alone suffer from one or more forms of cardiovascular diseases. [1] Being the leading killer in the country today, coronary heart disease and various remedies and preventive measures to stop it deserve urgent attention.

As part of a comprehensive program to combat coronary diseases, some herbs are thought to be of benefit due to their naturally occurring alkaloids and terpenoids - which are being found by scientists to have therapeutic benefits for heart diseases[2] in both traditional and modern medicine. Further studies are in general needed before such indications can be declared conclusive - however we have compiled a list of herbs and natural foods for which encouraging results have been found. Please note that this article (as always on this site) is not medical advice nor a recommendation to self-medicate. Please consult your physician before using herbs, especially if you are using medication or have a heart condition.

10 Herbs For The Heart

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Many studies have already demonstrated how a clove of garlic a day can inhibit bad cholesterol and raise the good kind. Small clinical trials have also show garlic's efficacy in regulating blood pressure, inhibiting platelet aggregation that can lead to stroke and in improving circulation. [3] Other studies suggest that regular consumption of garlic can lower cholesterol levels by up to 10% to prevent hardening of the arteries. [1]

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A heart tonic due to its natural source of theobromine, cacao also contains epicatechin, a flavonol that boosts blood vessel functioning. [3] In one randomized controlled trial in Switzerland, flavanol-rich chocolate was shown to benefit vascular and platelet function among patients with congestive heart failure, both in the short and long term by increasing nitric oxide bioavailability and decreasing oxidative stress. This effect was sustained after daily consumption over a 4-week period. [4]

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Evidence links hawthorn to dilation of blood vessels to strengthen the heart, lower blood pressure, cholesterol and fatty deposits. This is due to its active phytochemicals including bioflavinoids which possess antioxidant properties to gobble up free radicals. Likewise, hawthorn has been shown to help in the distribution and usage of vitamin C to fortify capillaries. [1]

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This herb is traditionally used to alleviate a racing heart arising from nervous tension but with long term usage, has also been found to reduce blood clot formation, cholesterol and triglycerides and to strengthen the heart muscles. [3] Compounds like phenylpropanoids, flavonoids and phenolic acids, as well as volatile oils, sterols and tannins, have been identified in motherwort. Pharmacological studies also confirm its antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity as well as its sedative and hypotensive properties. [5]

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Because of its ability to improve microcirculatory health, bilberry can also aid in strengthening vascular walls and stimulating formation of new capillaries. [1] Hence in one study in 2011, potential protective effects of bilberry extracts against cardiotoxicity were suggested partly due to its antioxidant activities. [6]

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While the roots of ginseng have long been clinically used to treat various disorders, increasing studies have recently discovered their clinical value in treating heart diseases. Though more studies are needed to investigate the complex mechanisms by which ginseng protects the heart, multiple trials show promise in ginseng's role to protect against coronary artery disease, cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, cardiac energy metabolism, cardiac contractility, and arrhythmia due to the herb's antitumor, antiinflammatory, antiallergic, antioxidative, antidiabetic and antihypertensive activities. [7]

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Ginkgo biloba

Leaf extracts of ginkgo have been demonstrated in numerous studies to cause dilation and increase blood flow to the arteries, capillaries and veins. Moreover, they also inhibit platelet aggregation, blood clotting and work using anti-oxidants to protect vascular walls from free-radicals. [1]

While herbs are definitely not meant to downplay the role of a good diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle in fighting coronary diseases, they can, with proper usage and appropriate expert advice, boost the effects of these in protecting your heart.

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Noted for its ability to prevent heart attacks, cayenne is a potent herb packed with over 26 health nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, selenium, zinc and dietary fiber. Research shows that this herb contains powerful compounds that play vital roles in optimizing heart health. It is thought to work by removing plaques from arteries, providing nourishment to the heart, improving circulation, emulsifying triglycerides, removing harmful toxins from the bloodstream, re-building blood cells and lowering cholesterol level. [8]

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Butcher’s Broom

Butcher’s broom is a wonderful lesser-known herb that is thought to help reduce one’s risk for cardiovascular diseases. Its main components, which include sterols, fatty acids and sterols, are considered beneficial in improving the conditions of the blood vessels as well as in reducing one’s susceptibility to atherosclerosis.

Note that unlike many herbs that are considered to be good for the heart, butcher’s broom is only advised to people diagnosed with low blood pressure or hypotension. It helps in increasing diastolic blood pressure, therefore, people with hypertension should avoid it. [9]

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Regular intake of grapes are claimed to be beneficial for the heart. Research shows that grapes are good sources of flavonoids that help fight high blood pressure and reduce risk for cardiovascular diseases and heart muscle damages.

In a study conducted at the University of Michigan Health System, it was found out that grapes contain high level of antioxidants that improve the diastolic pressure of the heart, and reduce the occurrence of fibrosis, heart muscle enlargement and hypertensive heart failure. [10]



[2] Active phytochemicals from Chinese herbs as therapeutic agents for the heart.


[4] Cardiovascular effects of flavanol-rich chocolate in patients with heart failure.

[5] Leonurus cardiaca L. (Motherwort): A Review of its Phytochemistry and Pharmacology.

[6] Protective effect of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) against doxorubicin-induced oxidative cardiotoxicity in rats.

[7] Roles and mechanisms of ginseng in protecting heart.




Article researched and created by Cathy Ongking and Elfe Cabanas, © 2013

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