August 25, 2008

Foods and Herbs to Try for a Healthier You

There are several foods and herbs that can be used treat medical conditions, such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, shingles, neuropathy, swelling, and autoimmune disorders. There are also certain natural foods and herbs that can be used to increase energy levels and promote a healthier body, such as blueberries, yogurt, almonds, sweet potatoes, salmon, collard greens, and black beans.

Capsaicin is an active component in chile peppers that can temporarily desensitize pain-prone skin nerve receptors called C-fibers. It can be used for people suffering from conditions that include arthritis, shingles, and neuropathy. A University of Oxford Study found that 40 percent of arthritis patients reduced half of their pain after using a topical capsaicin cream for a month and 60 percent of neuropathy patients had the same results after two months. Patients at the New England Center for Headache had a decrease in their migraine and cluster headache intensity after applying capsaicin cream inside of their nostrils.

Arnica is a herb that comes from an European flower that has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to ease pain and reduce swelling after surgery.

Aquamin is a red seaweed supplement that is good for people suffering from osteoarthritis. It is rich in calcium and magnesium and can reduce joint inflammation and help build bone. It is recommended to take 2,400 mg of it a day in tablet form.

Fish oil is effective for joint pain due to arthritis and autoimmune disorders. When fish oil is digested it breaks down into chemicals called prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation. For heart health, it is recommended to take 1,000 mg each day. For osteoarthritis, it is recommended to take 2,000 to 4,000 mg per day. It is recommended to take about 8,000 mg per day for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases associated with joint pain, such as lupus.

Methylsulfonyl-methane (MSM) comes from sulfur and is often used by people suffering from osteoarthritis. It can be used to prevent joint and cartilage degeneration. It works better when it is used in combination with glucosamine. It is recommended to start by taking 1.5 to 3g once daily and increase to taking 3g twice each day for more severe pain.

Blueberries can increase energy levels due to the amount of carbohydrates that they contain. They also have fiber than can suppress appetite and feelings of hunger. They also contain vitamin C. Blueberries have a substance called anthocyanin that gives them their color and can help to protect cells from damage that can cause cancer, varicose veins, and urinary tract infections.

Yogurt is healthy because it contains live bacteria called probiotics, which can help the immune system to fight off infections. It also helps to keep the intestines healthy and allow them to absorb more nutrients and energy from food. Yogurt also contains vitamin B12 that increases energy levels.

Almonds can increase energy levels because they are high in magnesium and fiber. Both are energy boosters. They are also a good source of protein and zinc.

Sweet potatoes are low in fat and high in fiber and antioxidants. They contain twice the daily recommendation of vitamin A. They also have high amounts of complex carbohydrates, which can cause a lower glycemic index, so that they digest slowly and can keep a person feeling fuller for a longer amount of time.

Fish are usually low in calories and saturated fat. They are also a good source of lean protein. Cold-water fish, such as salmon, sardine, and mackerel, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect the body against heart disease. Omega-3 can also help against depression.

Collard greens are low in calories and have plenty of vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamin C, which can help to increase energy levels. They also contain disease fighting antioxidants and folate. Collards and other leafy green vegetables contain magnesium and vitamin B. The combination of magnesium and vitamin B can decrease moodiness and anxiety levels.

Black beans contain iron that can increase energy levels and soluble fiber that can help a person to feel full for a longer amount of time. They are also a good source of protein.

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