The many benefits of detoxing

Our bodies have a natural way of cleansing themselves; but with the stressful lifestyle, unhealthy eating and toxic agents all around us, it can be too much for our systems. Toxic waste begins to build up and the body is thrown out of balance. This affects the body’s weight, energy levels, digestion and the immune system.

Detoxification is the process of removing toxins from the body, and has the following benefits.

Physical benefits: The organs most affected by toxins, like the liver and stomach, will begin to function effectively resulting in renewed energy for the body. The clearing of free radicals will help boost the immune system, and improve blood circulation.

Mental benefits: Detoxing helps to improve the mind’s alertness and concentration levels. After detoxing you will probably find that you also sleep better.

Lifestyle changes: As you progress with the detox you will feel better. This could be the best time to make other lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating better and getting more exercise.

To help you get started with your detox programme, here’s a great detox juice recipe.

Beginner Green

Ingredients

  • Apples – 3 medium (546g)
  • Celery – 4 stalk, large (256g)
  • Ginger Root – 1/4 thumb (6g)
  • Lemon (with rind) – 1/2 fruit (29g)
  • Orange (peeled) – 1 large (184g)
  • Spinach – 5 handful (125g)

Directions

You don’t have to peel the lemon, but make sure you peel the orange. The orange’s skin is very bitter and can ruin the flavor. You can always juice everything except the spinach, and then finish it in a blender with the spinach.

Happy Detoxing, and let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear your feedback.

The Amani Team

Recipe couresy of: juicerecipes.com

 

 

Delicious & very healthy protein bars

Proteins are the building blocks of life. The body needs protein to repair and maintain itself.
Every cell in the human body contains protein. It is a major part of the skin, muscles, organs, and glands.
You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy.
We came across a really delicious recipe on www.proteinpow.com that we had to share with you. A wonderful work day snack, evening treat or healthy spoil for the kids.

Even better would be to replace the sugar with xylitol, or to rather use a vanilla protein power.

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Oats
1 Cup of Skim Milk
1 3/4 Cups of Peanut Butter
4 Scoops of Whey Protein (Any flavour)
A sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar for taste

Recipe:

Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Spread the mix evenly into a glass dish and place it in the refrigerator for the required eight hours.

Bars must remain cool or be refrigerated.

Important facts you may not know about vitamins

Facts about Vitamins

Have a read through these little nuggets of information about vitamins, supporting the premise that multivitamin-mineral supplements protect health.

o Taking a multi-vitamin pill for 15 years or more may reduce the risk of colon cancer by 75 percent, according to a study of 80,000 U.S. nurses
o Daily doses of multivitamin supplements have been found to cut fetal deaths, low birth weight, and pre-term births by 40 percent
o 1997 the U.S. FDA agreed that women who intend to become pregnant should be getting 400 mcg of supplemental folic acid
o Studies show that women with the highest intake of folate and vitamin B6 may cut their heart disease risk in 1/2 compared to women with low intake
o Men & women taking levels of Vitamin E higher than can be obtained from food have lower rates of heart disease than those who ingest low doses do
o Daily multivitamin supplements have been found to boost immune response by up to 60% in older people
o Viamin E supplementation has also been found to boost immune response in the elderly
o Researchers estimate that regular use of vitamin supplements, including vitamin C and E could delay the onset of cataracts by at least ten years

Courtesy of Sprayology.co.za

Sprayology – Miracle in a bottle!

Sprayology, Miracle in a bottle

We were SO excited when we came upon this amazing brand. We, like most city-dwellers, are often too busy to take proper care of our health. As a result we are more-often-than-not utterly exhausted and our systems battered, making us vulnerable to sickness and lethargy. This leads to us pushing ourselves even harder (and of course beating ourselves up in the process), and so the vicious circle continues.

Enter Sprayology. This 100% natural brand provides a range of homeopathic and vitamin sprays, each specifically targeting a specific ailment, condition or health goal. The best part is its ease of use. Just a couple of sprays directly under the tongue guarantees quick results with absolutely no fuss. They are completely safe, have no side effects, are gluten-free, are suitable for vegetarians, and can be taken with other medicines. AND, children of 2 and older are also able to take them (ever tried to get medicine down a 2 year old’s throat?)

You would have to live under a rock to not have heard about homeopathic medicine. A fairly new system of medicine at just 200 years old, the practice was unfortunately ‘poo-poo’ed’ by the medical fraternity and many ill-informed individuals who were deeply suspicious of anything outside the traditional. Thankfully the last decade has seen perceptions changing, and today homeopathy has become the second most widely used system of medicine in the world.

Sprayology was founded over ten years ago by sisters Patti Connell and Ellie Whalen. They were dealing with physical disillusionment, aging, illness and a lack of natural options to help them live better. At the core both believed that they were healthy, but were still taking conventional medicines every day to deal with asthma, fatigue and stress. Their quest for ultimate health led them to homeopathy, but they realized that natural products in general where not easy to understand, not always effective, nor enjoyable to use. These experiences and their desire to modernize homeopathy led to the foundation of Sprayology.

Homeopathy is based on the premise that certain natural substances are able to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms, allowing it to heal itself. After symptoms of a condition have been alleviated, homeopathy works to reestablish internal order at the deepest levels.

Sprayology’s products are built along the four-pillared approach of:

  • Rebuilding
  • Rejuvenating
  • Relieving
  • Restoring

Their vitamin sprays focus on rebuilding, while their homeopathic sprays focus on rejuvenating, relieving and restoring.

Sprayology’s homeopathic products are different because, within a single product, they provide four separate therapeutic benefits – symptom relief, metabolic support, immune system maintenance, and detoxification. You would be hard-pressed to find a more holistic, or fast-acting homeopathic product on the market.

Vitamins are vital nutrients that our bodies need for energy and to prevent disease. As our bodies cannot make vitamins, we must take them as part of our diet through the foods we eat and through supplementation. Taking vitamins has never been easier or more convenient that with Sprayology. Grab, spray and go! Click here to read a few important facts about vitamins.

The table below summarises the different products available for each focal area.

REBUILD REJUVENATE RELIEVE RESTORE
B12-Folic Acid Bone Builder AllergEase Acne Tonic
Daily Multi Brain Power Arnica Power Body Balance
Diet Power Cold & Flu Relief Body Skin Tonic
Man Power DigestivEase Hair & Nail Tonic
Meno Power Party Relief ImmunoBooster
Rejuvenation Plus SleepEase Life Detoxer
Woman Power Snore Soother PMS Support
TravelEase Stress Relief

During this month of November where we focus on feeling beautiful from within, we highly recommend that you have a look at how the Sprayology natural remedies could help you achieve just that. Head on over to Sprayology’s site and have a look through their symptom RX (http://sprayology.co.za/symptoms.php). You will find everything from aches to wrinkles, together with the recommended solution.

Help your inner light to shine by taking care of yourself from inside out.

Honey, the superfood of superfoods

Image by: www.freedigitalphotos.net

Throughout history there has been one substance that has stood out from the rest – honey. Famous physicians, doctors and the Prophet Muhammed (PBUP) have all spoken about the benefits of this natural food substance.

The food beyond all super foods; with powerful anti-oxidants, anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties, honey is no longer an “alternative” medicine, but more an incredible natural way to complete health and wellness.

What does honey actually contain that makes it so good for us?

Honey is made up of natural sugars (glucose and fructose), acting as a stimulant for the heart and providing instant energy, perfect for athletes needing that extra boost before training. Honey contains many minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate) and vitamins (B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3). The pH of honey is such that the acidity level is perfect for the prevention of the growth of most harmful bacteria, as well as containing an anti-biotic called Methylglyoxal (high levels of MGO can be found in Manuka honey).

Honey is a poor environment for the growth of micro oragnisms; this is the key factor for the use of honey as an anti-septic on wounds. It also deactivates free iron, therefore preventing inflammation of wounds; and cleans up oxygen free radicals.

What else can honey do?

Other uses of honey include the treatment of allergies, various illnesses, cold & flu, throat & chest infections; as well as being a useful aid to digestive health. Honey can also stabilise blood pressure, balance sugar levels, relieve pain, calm nerves, and it has been used to treat ulcers. It has been known to effectively treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.

Evident in many modern beauty products, honey is used as a skin conditioner, hair conditioner and acne prevention; but you needn’t buy the most expensive brand, try using your own honey at home. If you really want to give your skin a treat, why not try it with a bit of melted coconut oil, you’ll really feel, look and smell  amazing!

After the initial energy boost, the raised insulin levels allow the production of tryptophan; this then promotes improved relaxation and sleep. Honey is therefore great whether you are waking up at the start of the day, or crawling into bed after a long day – it’s properties compliment any situation and need.

It is important to use raw honey for optimum results as common supermarket brands may have treated honey and diluted it with additives, making it cheaper to mass produce; this heavily effects the health benefits of the product. You can visit a health store or wellness pharmacy for natural honey. The honey with the highest active properties is Manuka honey; although this can be a dent in the bank account, you can find different activity levels of Manuka honey, making it available to more price ranges.

I hope this peek into the world of honey has convinced a little jar to jump into your shopping basket this week!

This blog is courtesy of  www.womanonline.co.za

Vitamin C for colds & flu

Image by: www.freedigitalphotos.net

It’s that time of year again, when many of us fall prey to the ‘dreaded lurgy’ – colds and flu! 

We’ve all heard how eating extra oranges will add vitamin C to our diets, which will help prevent – and combat – these dreaded viruses. However, does vitamin C really help?

Can vitamin C really help fight colds and flu? 

Research has shown that vitamin C increases the production and activity of our immune cells, and prolongs the lifespan of these cells which operate as the ‘soldiers’ that attack invading viruses.

How does vitamin C work? 

It would appear that the levels of vitamin C in white blood cells decrease while fighting an infection, therefore boosting your vitamin C intake at the onset of a cold may be beneficial.

Managing colds and flu

Vitamin C is well known for its role in assisting with the nutritional management of the common cold. Research has shown how vitamin C appears to reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms. The intake of vitamin C after the onset of cold symptoms showed greater benefits with larger doses than with lower doses.

How much vitamin C do we really need?

Daily intake of Vitamin C is essential, since this water soluble vitamin cannot be stored in sufficient levels in the body.

Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) show that we need a minimum of 100 mg per day. However, when our immune system is fighting an infection, our bodies benefit from higher intakes.

Research has pinned the optimal intake during colds and flu at 1,000 mg per day for adults and 1,500 mg per day for athletes, as high intensity exercise increases our need for vitamin C.

Can we get enough through our diet?

It is no challenge to ingest 100 mg of Vitamin C – that is easily provided by two small oranges, ½ a small guava or 50g of raw red pepper.

However, to get to the therapeutic dose of 1,000 mg, 16 small oranges, or five guavas, or 500g raw red peppers are not realistic to ingest on a daily basis.

Table: 1 Vitamin C content of well-known foods

Source: MRC Food composition tables

Can you take too much vitamin C?  

Most vitamins have tolerable upper intake levels (UL), which indicate the maximum level of daily long-term intake, at which no side effects have been detected.

The UL for vitamin C is 2 000 mg per day, so this guideline tells us not to take more than 2 000 mg per day, for long durations of time.

What happens to excess vitamin C? 

Vitamin C is water soluble, which explains why excess intakes are excreted through one’s urine.

It is believed that under normal healthy conditions, the human body comfortably absorbs up to 300 mg of vitamin C. Taking a dose of 1,000 mg may therefore exceed the body’s ability to absorb and retain vitamin C.

However, during an infection, our bodies are able to absorb more vitamin C and the fact that research has shown 1 000 mg to be the optimal dose in supporting the immune system shows that our bodies can indeed tolerate and utilise higher doses.

Are there any side effects of taking too much vitamin C? 

High doses of vitamin C are tolerated better by some individuals than others. Side effects of intakes higher than 2,000 mg include digestive system discomfort and possible diaorrhoea.

Excessive intake of vitamin C is not recommended in individuals who suffer with, or are at risk of, oxalate kidney stones.

Tips for sensible supplementation:

  • During cold and flu season, take 1 000 mg vitamin C per day, or 1 500 mg if you are an athlete or lead a very active lifestyle.
  • Take your vitamin C tablets after breakfast, as the presence of food slows down the digestion and allows your more time to optimally absorb the vitamin C from your supplement, and reduces the risk of digestive system irritation.
  • Take your vitamin C supplement with cold or room temperature water. The heat from hot beverages will destroy some of the valuable vitamin C, and the tannins and caffeine found in coffee and tea can bind some nutrients, making them less available for absorption.

 

4 Healthy drinks

Image by: www.freedigitalphotos.net

Yesterday we discussed four unhealthy drinks that you should minimise or avoid. Today we cover four healthy beverages. Experiment to find the best ways to incorporate them into your daily routine:

Green tea is a potent source of healthy antioxidants that can inhibit cancer cell activity, and help boost immunity. Replace your morning coffee with a cup of tea for a healthier wake-up.

Cranberry juice. Cranberries are a rich source of vitamin C, and contain a substance that hinders the attachment of bacteria to bladder walls, which can help prevent urinary tract infections. Instead of acranberry juice cocktail, opt for unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate and dilute with water or sparkling water. Diluted blueberry juice is a healthy choice as well.

Red wine. The antioxidant activity of red wine has been linked to heart health benefits, reduced stress, and even preserving memory. If you enjoy an occasional drink, limit your intake to one to two glasses a day. If you don’t drink, don’t start – there are other ways to get antioxidants in your diet, including fresh whole fruits and vegetables.

Pure, filtered water. Staying well hydrated is essential to optimal health and overall functioning. Sip water throughout the day, and in the warmer months, be sure to drink water before and after exercising to avoid dehydration.

Unhealthy drinks

Image by: www.freedigitalphotos.net

Whether you are watching your weight or just want to a healthier diet regime, taking a look at what you drink is key. Empty kilojoules can lurk in all types of beverages – especially these:

Coffee drinks with extras such as sugar or flavuored syrup. These deliver a concentrated dose of quick-digesting carbohydrates that can lead to weight gain. A better option is a plain coffee with a little half-and-half, or, better yet, enjoy antioxidant-rich green tea instead of coffee.

Cocktails. Whether it’s a margarita or a piña colada, sugary drinks pack a double dose of kilojoules due to alcohol and sugar! A better option is a glass of red wine or a light beer.

Non-juice “juice drinks“. Before buying juice, read the label and make sure it is 100% juice, not just “made with” real juice, and check for added sweeteners. Many of these products are no better than drinking sugared water or fizzy drinks. Try adding purified or sparkling water to juice to reduce the sugar content that natural juice provides.

Carbonated drinks. There just isn’t anything nutritious about fizzy drinks, whether they’re diet or regular. If you’re a carbonated drink addict, breaking the habit is among the best moves you can make for your weight and your health. Consider switching to sparkling water with a slice of citrus.

Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 (1,4kg) chicken, cut up and skinned
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 celery tops
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chicken-flavoured bouillon granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Additional coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Preparation

Combine the first five ingredients in a large pot; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from broth, discarding celery and reserving broth.

Skim fat from broth. Add two cups water and next eight ingredients to broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Bone and chop chicken; add to broth mixture. Cook for five minutes or until thoroughly heated. Discard bay leaf. Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with additional pepper, if desired.

Chocolate is good for you!

Image by: freedigitalphotos.net

The jury’s out on chocolate, and the result is what we’ve all probably hoped at some stage in our lives…CHOCOLATE IS GOOD FOR YOU!

Like many other foods that have been labelled ‘bad’ over the years – eggs allegedly had such high cholesterol content that at one stage we were convinced that they were the greatest contributor to heart disease, while fat in food was maligned as the reason for obesity – chocolate also had a bad reputation in dietary circles. But the truth is, a little chocolate every day has health-giving properties, rather than the opposite.

Good for the heart…

Thanks to research, we now now that chocolate not only tastes good, but it’s also good for the body and mind. A few blocks of dark chocolate a day could reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. Chocolate containing at least 60% cocoa solids, is rich in flavonoids, which are known to protect the heart. Researchers concluded that blood pressure and cholesterol are lowed by plain dark chocolate.

Not fattening…

A study by the University of California found that people who regularly enjoy dark chocolate are slimmer than those who don’t indulge. To their surprise, the slim chocoholics did not eat less or exercise more than those who gave chocolate a miss!

 Stress buster…

Feeling stressed? Try taking 40g of dark chocolate a day for two weeks, and you may see a significant improvement in your stress levels! And there is scientific evidence to back this up. Now that’s a prescription we’re willing to give a try!

The secret to enjoying guilt-free chocolate is not to indulge in the sweetened, lighter varieties as the health-giving properties lie in the cocoa solids. However, if you absolutely cannot stand dark chocolate, having a small chocolate snack daily won’t harm you. As with all things, moderation is key! Enjoy!

Amani :)