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Welcome To Our Fitness Centre Blog

We aim to bring you a  series of informative topic to help improve your health and fitness.

Health Benefits Of 10 Popular Herbs & Spices

20 September 2020 

1. Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect

Cinnamon is a popular spice, found in all sorts of recipes and baked goods.

It contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for cinnamon’s medicinal properties 

Cinnamon has potent antioxidant activity, helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

But where cinnamon really shines is in its effects on blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several mechanisms, including by slowing the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract and improving insulin sensitivity.

Studies have shown that cinnamon can lower fasting blood sugars by 10-29% in diabetic patients, which is a significant amount The effective dose is typically 0.5-2 teaspoons of cinnamon per day, or 1-6 grams.


2. Sage Can Improve Brain Function and Memory

Sage gets its name from the Latin word Salvere, which means “to save.”

It had a strong reputation for its healing properties during the middle ages, and was even used to help prevent the plague.

Current research indicates that sage may be able to improve brain function and memory, especially in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is accompanied by a drop in the level of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger in the brain. Sage inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine.

In a 4-month study of 42 individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, sage extract was shown to produce significant improvements in brain function.

Other studies have also shown that sage can improve memory function in healthy people, both young and old.


3. Peppermint Relieves IBS Pain and May Reduce Nausea

Peppermint has a long history of use in folk medicine and aromatherapy.

As is the case with many herbs, it is the oily component that contains the agents responsible for the health effects.

Many studies have shown that peppermint oil can improve pain management in irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.

It appears to work by relaxing the smooth muscles in the colon, which relieves pain experienced during bowel movements. It also helps to reduce abdominal bloating, which is a common digestive symptom.

There are also some studies showing that peppermint in aromatherapy can help fight nausea.

In a study of over 1,100 women in labor, peppermint aromatherapy caused significant reductions in nausea. It has also been shown to reduce nausea after surgery and C-section births.


4. Turmeric Contains Curcumin, a Substance With Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow colour.

It contains several compounds with medicinal properties, the most important of which is curcumin.

Curcumin is a remarkably powerful antioxidant, helping to fight oxidative damage and boosting the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

This is important, because oxidative damage is believed to be one of the key mechanisms behind ageing and many diseases.

Curcumin is also strongly anti-inflammatory, to the point where it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs.

Given that long-term, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic Western disease, it is not surprising to see that curcumin is linked to a variety of health benefits.

Studies suggest that it can improve brain function, fight Alzheimer’s, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and relieve arthritis, to name a few.


5. Holy Basil Helps Fight Infections and Boosts Immunity

Not to be confused with regular basil or thai basil, holy basil is considered a sacred herb in India.

Studies show that holy basil can inhibit the growth of a range of bacteria, yeasts and molds.

One small study also found that it can boost function of the immune system by increasing certain immune cells in the blood.

Holy basil is also linked to reduced blood sugar levels before and after meals, as well as treating anxiety and anxiety-related depression.

However, these studies were quite small, and more research is needed before any recommendations can be made.


6. Cayenne Pepper Contains Capsaicin, Which Helps Reduce Appetite and May Have Anti-Cancer Properties

Cayenne pepper is a type of chili pepper used to prepare spicy dishes.

The active ingredient in it is called capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning in many studies.

For this reason, it is a common ingredient in many commercial weight loss supplements.

One study found that adding 1 gram of red pepper to meals reduced appetite and increased fat burning in people who did not regularly eat peppers.

However, there was no effect in people who were accustomed to eating spicy food, indicating that a tolerance to the effects can build up.

Cayenne pepper is very rich in a substance called capsaicin, which reduces appetite and boosts fat burning. It has also shown anti-cancer potential in animal studies.


7. Ginger Can Treat Nausea and Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Ginger is a popular spice used in several forms of alternative medicine.

Studies have consistently shown that 1 gram or more of ginger can successfully treat nausea.

This includes nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy and sea sickness.

Ginger also appears to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, and can help with pain management.

One study in subjects at risk for colon cancer found that 2 grams of ginger extract per day decreased markers for colon inflammation in the same way as aspirin.

Other research found that a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, mastic, and sesame oil decreased pain and stiffness experienced by those with osteoarthritis. It had a similar effectiveness as treatment with aspirin or ibuprofen.

1 gram of ginger appears to be an effective treatment for many types of nausea. It is also anti-inflammatory, and can help reduce pain.


8. Fenugreek Improves Blood Sugar Control

Fenugreek was commonly used in Ayurveda, particularly to enhance libido and masculinity.

While its effects on testosterone levels are inconclusive, fenugreek does seem to have beneficial effects on blood sugar.

It contains the plant protein 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which can improve the function of the hormone insulin.

Many human studies have shown that at least 1 gram of fenugreek extract per day can lower blood sugar levels, particularly in diabetics.

Bottom Line: Fenugreek has been shown to improve the function of insulin, leading to significant reductions in blood sugar levels.


9. Rosemary Can Help Prevent Allergies and Nasal Congestion

The active ingredient in rosemary is called rosmarinic acid.

This substance has been shown to suppress allergic responses and nasal congestion.

In a study with 29 individuals, both 50 and 200 mg doses of Rosmarinic acid were shown to suppress allergy symptoms.

The number of immune cells in nasal mucus also decreased, with reduced congestion.

Rosmarinic acid has anti-inflammatory effects that appear to suppress allergy symptoms and reduce nasal congestion.


10. Garlic Can Combat Sickness and Improve Heart Health

Throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic was for its medicinal properties.

We now know that most of these health effects are due to a compound called allicin, which is also responsible for garlic’s distinct smell.

Garlic supplementation is well known for combatting sickness, including the common cold.

If you often get colds, then adding more garlic to your diet could be incredibly helpful.

There is also convincing evidence for beneficial effects on heart health.

For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementation appears to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10-15%.

Human studies have also found garlic supplementation to cause significant reductions in blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.

In one study, it was just as effective as a blood pressure lowering drug.

Covering all the incredible health benefits of garlic is beyond the scope of this article, but you can read about them here.


Reposted From; https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-healthy-herbs-and-spices

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

22 August 2020

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that has become popular among people looking to lose weight.

Unlike diets and other weight loss programs, it doesn’t restrict your food choices or intake. Instead, all that matters is when you eat.

While some people claim that intermittent fasting can be a safe and healthy way to shed excess weight, others dismiss it as ineffective and unsustainable.

Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting.

Most types of this dietary pattern focus on limiting your meals and snacks to a specific time window — typically between 6 and 8 hours of the day.

For example, 16/8 intermittent fasting involves restricting food intake to just 8 hours per day and abstaining from eating during the remaining 16 hours.

Other types involve fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week or significantly cutting calorie intake a few days per week but eating normally during the others.

Although most people practice intermittent fasting to enhance weight loss, it has been associated with many other health benefits as well. In fact, studies show that intermittent fasting may improve blood sugar levels, decrease cholesterol, and boost longevity.


SUMMARY

Intermittent fasting is a popular eating pattern that restricts your food intake to a specific time window. It doesn’t limit the types or amount of food you eat.


Does it work for weight loss?

Several studies show that intermittent fasting may boost weight loss via several mechanisms.

First, restricting your meals and snacks to a strict time window may naturally decrease your calorie intake, which can aid weight loss.

Intermittent fasting may also increase levels of norepinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter that can boost your metabolism to increase calorie burning throughout the day.


Furthermore, this eating pattern may reduce levels of insulin, a hormone involved in blood sugar management. Decreased levels can bump up fat burning to promote weight loss.


Some research even shows that intermittent fasting can help your body retain muscle mass more effectively than calorie restriction, which may increase its appeal. 

According to one review, intermittent fasting may reduce body weight by up to 8% and decrease body fat by up to 16% over 3–12 weeks.


Synergy with keto

When paired with the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting can speed up ketosis and amplify weight loss.

The keto diet, which is very high in fats but low in carbs, is designed to kick-start ketosis.

Ketosis is a metabolic state that forces your body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs. This occurs when your body is deprived of glucose, which is its main source of energy.


Combining intermittent fasting with the keto diet can help your body enter ketosis faster to maximize results. It can likewise mitigate some of the side effects that often occur when starting this diet, including the keto flu, which is characterized by nausea, headaches, and fatigue.

SUMMARY

Research indicates that intermittent fasting can increase weight loss by boosting fat burning and metabolism. When used in tandem with the ketogenic diet, it may help speed up ketosis to maximize weight loss.

Other benefits

Intermittent fasting has also been linked to several other health benefits. It may:

Improve heart health. Intermittent fasting has been shown to decrease levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as triglycerides, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

Support blood sugar control. A small study in 10 people with type 2 diabetes noted that intermittent fasting helped significantly decrease blood sugar levels.


Decrease inflammation. Several studies have found that this eating pattern may reduce specific blood markers of inflammation.

Increase longevity. Although research in humans is lacking, some animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may boost your lifespan and slow signs of aging.

Protect brain function. Studies in mice reveal that this dietary pattern may improve brain function and combat conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.


Increase human growth hormone. Intermittent fasting may naturally increase levels of human growth hormone (HGH), which can help improve body composition and metabolism. Intermittent fasting is associated with numerous health benefits, including decreased inflammation, increased heart and brain health, and better blood sugar control.


Although intermittent fasting is generally safe and effective, it may not be right for everyone. Notably, some studies suggest that it could have several adverse effects in women.


THE BOTTOM LINE

Intermittent fasting has been shown to boost metabolism and fat burning while preserving lean body mass, all of which can aid weight loss.

When combined with other diets like the keto diet, it may also accelerate ketosis and reduce negative side effects, such as the keto flu.

Although it may not work for everyone, intermittent fasting can be a safe and effective weight loss method.