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Is Chamomile As Harmless As It Seems?

Is Chamomile As Harmless As It Seems?

We’re so used to regarding chamomile as a benevolent herb, especially in the form of a soothing tea, that we don’t even think to wonder if it’s completely safe. As far as the tea goes, it really is safe for almost everyone, and it has many soothing properties. Most particularly, it is a calming herb that can often bring relaxation or even help someone get to sleep. It is also frequently used to sooth a digestive system that’s just a bit upset.

But there are hidden properties that still demand that we be cautious when ingesting this herb. For one thing, if you have allergies to things like ragweed, you might react negatively to chamomile too. (The herb is also in the same family as marigolds, daisies, and chrysanthemums.) Other reactions could include skin rash, or in some rare cases, anaphylactic shock.A�You might also want to be moderate in taking chamomile if you are pregnant, since doctors worry that too much of the herb could actually induce miscarriage.

However, before you label your chamomile teabags as poison, remember that all these cautions are applied to something the MedLine Plus website refers to as “medicinal amounts.” This phrase would probably suggest amounts that might be found, for example, in capsules or pills. Since these are fairly concentrated, they would contain much more of the herb than would a cup of liquid that has been filtered through a teabag.

But these cautions emphasize once again that even if an herb, spice, or other plant are considered healthy, with some medicinal properties, we shouldn’t just gulp them down indiscriminately. Some things require careful measurement, and might work better for us in some situations than in others. We still A�need to guard our health by understanding the cures we are using. Even with natural remedies, there really can be too much of a good thing.…

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Are There Any Foods I Should Avoid If I Am Diabetic?

Are There Any Foods I Should Avoid If I Am Diabetic?

When you are diabetic, you have to take special care of your body to make sure that you keep your blood sugar at the appropriate level. Eating the wrong foods can cause high blood sugar levels in your body, something you want to avoid. Eating healthy foods that make you feel good is one step in the right direction to controlling the sugar levels in your blood, but it’s also important to know what foods not to eat. Avoid these foods to make it easier on yourself to keep your blood sugar under control.

Here are a few common foods to avoid if you are diabetic:

1. Pasta

Not all pasta should be avoided, but it should be eaten in moderation. Certain types are likely to raise your blood sugar level. Try smaller servings, and only eat a whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta.

2. Desserts

Many desserts contain sugars and flour that can be harmful to your blood sugar levels. There are plenty of cookbooks with recipes written for those who are diabetic. These will let you enjoy a sweet dessert without the negative side effects.

3. Soda

Items high in sugar, especially sodas and other sweet drinks, can throw your body off track. Avoid these, and find healthier drinks with lower amounts of sugar. Not only will you feel better, but your entire body will be healthier. Soda is bad for anyone’s health, diabetic or not. It just takes those who aren’t diabetic a bit longer to realize this.

When you do eat, keep your meals smaller and follow your doctor’s recommendations. Cutting out large amounts of sugar and aiming for a balanced, healthy diet will improve your mood and your body. Everyone should aim for a better diet, but when you have diabetes you are more aware of how negatively foods can affect you.…

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Different Types of Teas

Different Types of Teas

Tea is a popular way to help you get a jump-start on your day. It is a great alternative to coffee, as it contains less caffeine, but at the same time it contains enough to give you that boost of energy or state of alertness.

However there are different types of teas which you can enjoy, some of them are more suitable for in the morning, while others will help you more at night. Here are some of the different types of teas that you can drink throughout the day.

Black Tea

Black tea is probably your best choice to drink in the morning as it is fermented, and contains the most caffeine. 1 cup of black tea contain 40 to 60mg of caffeine.

White Tea

White tea is partially fermented and can be taken at any time of day, as it does not contain too much caffeine. 1 cup only contains about 15mg of caffeine.

Green Tea

Green tea is natural as it has not gone through any fermenting processes. Thus it is one of the healthiest teas that you can get. However, the taste of green tea may be something to get used to for some. To help you to get used to the taste, you can add your favorite sweetener or other flavors to make the tea more enjoyable.

Green tea is great for helping you to relax at the end of the day as it contains very little caffeine. 1 cup of green tea only contains between 8 to 20mg of caffeine.

Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is similar to green tea in the sense that it is all natural. But herbal tea is not only made from the plant leaves, but it also contains dried flowers, roots and other parts of the plants. Herbal tea is also very effective at helping you to sleep better at night. This is partially due to the taste and aroma from all the different flowers used in the tea.

Health Benefits

Weight Loss. Tea is a great substitute for other high calorie drinks, and thus it can help you to maintain or lose weight.

Heart Health. Tea also helps to improve blood circulation to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, it also helps to keep your cholesterol levels down, which is also good for the heart.

Diabetes. Tea will not spike your blood sugar levels, and thus it is suitable if you are suffering from diabetes. Just make sure that you drink it naturally, without processed sugar.…

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Have Type 2 Diabetes Or PreDiabetes? Get Your D!

Have Type 2 Diabetes Or PreDiabetes? Get Your D!

Type 2 diabetes is not an easy condition to have. You have to monitor your blood sugar levels, exercise everyday, and keep a close eye on your carbohydrate intake. What if there was a way to make a huge dent in your blood sugar without adding a new task to your to-do list? According to new research, vitamin D appears to be the dead-simple way to improve your diabetes management that you’ve been looking for!

Vitamin D and Diabetes – The Connection

Whether you already have type 2 diabetes or are at high risk of getting it, its time to start learning about vitamin D. That’s because this nutrient has an incredibly strong link to diabetes. Best of all, along with a diet and an overhaul of your physical activity, it can actually help reverse type 2 diabetes if you already have it.

Research published in the Diabetes Educator reviewed the recent evidence linking vitamin D and type 2 diabetes and concluded that vitamin D was one of the most cost effective ways to help manage diabetes.

What D Does

While vitamin D is commonly associated with bone health, its role in your body is much more than simply crafting a strong skeleton. Vitamin D directly acts on fat cells… making them more sensitive to insulin. Also, vitamin D decreases chronic inflammation… a condition that worsens type 2 diabetes and increases the risk of complications.

What To Do About D

Get Tested: Mary Ann Emanuele, M.D. of Loyola University states: “People at risk for diabetes should be screened for low vitamin D levels”. Unfortunately, while vitamin D deficiency has reached epic proportions, many of the 23 million people with diabetes walk around not knowing that they have low levels of vitamin D.

Be sure to visit your health care provider and ask for a test called a 25(OH) D test… its the most accurate way to see where you stand.

Get Some Sunlight: Because vitamin D is produced by your body from exposure to sunlight, if you spend most of your time indoors, you are probably not getting the vitamin D you need. While spending hours sun bathing is a recipe for sunburn and skin cancer, many scientists now feel that limited sun light is an effective method of preventing vitamin D deficiency.

Supplement With D: While food sources of vitamin D are out there, they’re extremely rare. Also, most foods do not contain nearly enough vitamin D to reach the newly recommended amount of 2,000IU per day.

Enter vitamin D supplements: they’re small, cheap, and you can get your requirements in one dose per day. Because vitamin D is fat soluble, be sure to take the supplement with food.

Eat D: Fortunately, the same foods that help combat type 2 diabetes also contain high levels of Vitamin D. Fatty fish, mushrooms and legumes are fantastic sources of Vitamin D. Be sure not to rely on food alone for Vitamin D or you will be setting yourself up for a deficiency. Instead include these foods in your diet and get about 15 minutes of sun and/or take a Vitamin D supplement.…

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Tips For Making Herbal Tea

Tips For Making Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is a great way to relax at the end of the day. It is also great to enjoy when visiting with a friend or a family member. And on top of that, herbal teas are also able to offer up some pretty good health benefits.

Drinking an herbal tea, such as chamomile, lavender and peppermint before bedtime can help you to fall asleep. Some teas such as ginger, cinnamon and cloves can help you to wake up in the morning, as they have shown to increase the memory, and awaken the mind. But this is not to say that you can only have lavender tea before you go to bed, or that you can only have cinnamon tea in the morning. Herbal tea is good at any time of the day.

Increase The Steeping Time

In order to obtain the most benefits you should allow the tea to steep for at least 10 to 15 minutes. However, for even more flavor, you can allow it to steep for up to 30 minutes or longer. The longer you allow it to steep, the more nutrients are extracted into the water. Therefore, you are getting more into your system as well.

Do Not Add Cream And Sugar

Most people like to add cream and sugar to their teas. While those ingredients may help to bring out more flavor, they can also interfere with the health benefits of the tea. Therefore, it is best to avoid them.

If however, you like a rich creamy tea, use nut milk. And for sweetness, add a natural sweetener such as raw honey, agave nectar or stevia. Stevia comes from a plant that you can easily grow in your home. You can use the leaves either fresh or dried. Either way, you can add them into your tea blend before steeping. It really doesn’t get anymore natural than that, and the flavor is just as great.

Use Different Sweeteners

Natural sweeteners will provide a different flavor for the tea. Honey has a different flavor than agave, which has a caramel flavor. And stevia has yet another unique flavor. Therefore, try out what sweetener you like best in certain teas. You can also combine different sweeteners in the same tea, such as stevia and honey.

Experiment

Last but not least, just have some fun and experiment with different flavors and loose leaf teas. You can combine loose leaf teas with teas that are already in a tea bag, and create your own unique tea blends.…

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When Is a Tea Not a Tea?

When Is a Tea Not a Tea?

If a product is described as leaf tea, then customers would probably expect to receive a drink made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis. However, when it comes to herbal teas, and some types of flavoured ones, the hot drink you will be served will have actually been nowhere near a tea plant! This is because many varieties of herbal leaf and tea bags are actually what is called a tisane or ptisan; an infusion of leaves or flowers from plants other than the usual camellia sinensis in boiling water to make a delicious and often healthy hot drink.

Herbal leaf tea or flavoured tea can actually be made with lots of different types of plants, not just herbs, and can be served hot or cold. You can even buy herbal tea bags, though it is more likely to be bought as leaf tea because of the unusual and sometimes exotic flavours involved. Whereas loose tea of the normal variety is nearly always produced from the leaves of the tea plant, herbal and flavoured tea can be made from the leaves, flowers or roots of a plant; whatever produces the best flavours when immersed in hot water.

Some of the most popular types of herbal infusions include camomile, ginseng, fennel, nettle, ginger and mint. While most herbal leaf tea just tastes nice, some have unexpected health benefits. For example, camomile tea is ideal for drinking just before bed, as it can help calm and relax the drinker, while both fennel and mint tea can help with digestive problems, especially indigestion. Ginger leaf tea is even touted as a cure for morning sickness, though it is more likely that the ginger extract is simply calming the upset stomach.

Although herbal loose tea tends to be lower in health-boosting antioxidants than the regular tea plant, they do have one advantage over the common varieties of leaf tea and bags; they don’t contain caffeine. Although regular loose tea does not contain huge amounts of caffeine, it is still important that pregnant women don’t drink too many cups in a day. If you are expecting a baby and can’t manage on less than five cuppas a day, a healthy alternative could be to starting drinking herbal loose tea or flavoured tea instead.

In many tea-drinking countries herbal leaf tea is just as popular as those brewed from the camellia sinensis plant. Even in China, where black varieties originated, herbal tea is very popular as both a recreational drink and a form of medicine. Chinese medicine uses blends such as Oolong and Puerh with added roots and leaves from other plants to treat disorders such as high blood pressure and stomach problems. Sri Lanka, too, widely uses herbal leaf tea as part of their traditional medicine, including a variety called Paspanguwa which blends ginger, peppers and coriander seeds to make a very effective leaf tea that can be used to treat the symptoms of colds and flu.…

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Resveratrol, Weight Loss and Type 2 Diabetes

Resveratrol, Weight Loss and Type 2 Diabetes

When it comes to losing weight, the equation is pretty simple; consume fewer calories than you expend in a day. That’s the simplistic view, although somehow it never seems to end up exactly that way.

There are billions of dollars spent every year on weight loss products, supplements, exercise programs and other diet fads, and yet we still can’t seem to win the obesity battle. In the last few years though, a new natural supplement product has come to market that may help those trying to lose weight, including type 2 diabetics to stay within the healthy end of the spectrum. The supplement called resveratrol which is predominantly sourced from the polygonum cuspidatum plant, is unlike most diet supplements in that it utilizes a combination of both natural & herbal ingredients which can help the body maintain health whilst losing weight.

The reason much of the Western world has issues with obesity and type 2 diabetes in most part lies with the modern combinations of stressful lifestyle and fast-food consumption, however by replicating aspects of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, where much healthier weight levels and longevity prevail, we may have discovered the magic wonder pill to fix all. In fact, there has been a lot of news in recent months about the supposed “French Paradox,” which is known for how the French people eat a diet high in fat, smoke, enjoy rich desserts, drink copious amounts of wine and still end up with better heart health than most of the rest of the world. One of the main differences between the French diet and other world diets would appear to be the consumption of red wine, which it has become known contains a powerful antioxidant known as resveratrol.

Resveratrol is also found in grape skins, blueberries, cranberries and other plants like the Japanese Knotweed (which is where most supplement resveratrol is sourced from). Recent animal and in vitro studies have indicated that resveratrol can have a positive effect on maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, supporting insulin health, normalizing blood pressure and optimizing the metabolic and immune pathways that protect cells and improve mitochondrial function.

So if you’re on the hunt for a healthy natural supplement that will do you ever bit of good in helping you with your obesity, and type 2 diabetes, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better than a quality resveratrol supplement.…