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Posts Tagged ‘calcium magnesium’

What is Wheatgrass good for?

The many benefits of Wheatgrass

Growing Wheatgrass at HomeWheatgrass juice. Every juice shop and many health food stores sell little cups of the dark green liquid that smells, and tastes, like freshly cut Summer grass clippings. Wheatgrass juice has become popular with the “soy and yogurt” set, but most people will turn their noses at the pungent smell of this concoction and stick to their coffees and sweetened teas.

They don’t know what they’re missing, because once you get past the taste, wheatgrass juice packs quite a concentrated nutritional and medicinal punch.

Wheatgrass is one of the many green plants that are grown through the process of sprouting. Sprouts are “total foods” because they contain a full range of essential dietary nutrients in combination with the enzymes that are necessary to ingest and absorb them. Humans are unable to snack on wheatgrass in it’s plant form, as the cellulose makeup makes it too fibrous for our digestive system.

In juice or powder form, however, wheatgrass breaks down through digestion very rapidly and almost immediately hit the bloodstream. The full menu of nutrients provided by wheatgrass juice is assimilated by the human body in twenty minutes or less, making it also an extremely effective source of quick energy.

Wheatgrass is nothing you have to go and buy in a store for a high price like other health food supplements, you can smply grow it at home in your own kitchen, and here is how:

Wheatgrass provides a great variety of benefits such as:

Energy Provider

Two ounces of fresh wheatgrass juice supplies the vitamin and mineral content of three pounds of organic vegetables. The same two ounces also provides a healthy energy boost equal to two cups of coffee, without the caffeine.

As a Complete Food Source

Wheatgrass is a nutritious source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, sodium, cobalt, and zinc. It is a complete meal with high levels of protein made up of thirty enzymes and is approximately 70% raw chlorophyll, an important component in muscle growth and the development of new blood cells.

For Body Cleansing and Detoxification

Wheatgrass contains many detergent capabilities and will work to drain the lymph system, carrying away many of the toxins found in cells and tissue. Muscles, tendons, and joints, sore from exertion or degenerative issues, will develop a buildup of mucous in the lymph area of the pain or injury. Wheatgrass will breakdown the mucous and allow it to drain. Wheatgrass is a powerful detoxification agent and will immediately react with toxins and mucous in the stomach before being absorbed into the blood, where it will wash away toxins stored throughout cells and fatty tissues.

Weight Loss

Wheatgrass has only approximately 10-15 calories per teaspoon and contains no fat, cholesterol, or refined sugars. It supplies close to a gram of protein per teaspoon and includes all eight of the essential amino acids, as well as thirteen of the remaining sixteen types. Due to it’s dense nutritional makeup and inherent quick energy producing capabilities, wheatgrass acts both as an appetite suppressant and a boost to the body’s systems. It is especially popular with athletes as the juice is absorbed into the bloodstream within twenty minutes of ingestion.

Preventing and Fighting Cancer

Wheatgrass contains high levels of beta-carotene which can contribute to lowering risks of certain types of cancer. For example, experiments have shown that high levels of beta-carotene can negate the accumulated effects of smoking, leading to a 40% reduction in the chances of developing lung cancer.

Okay, so wheatgrass juice isn’t the tastiest beverage around. It more than makes up for this by providing a two ounce shot of super charged nutritional and medicinal benefits. If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then look into supplementing your diet with the superfood wheat-grass.

Nutrient Comparison Table of 1 oz (28.35 g) of wheatgrass juice, broccoli and spinach.
Nutrient Table for: Wheatgrass Juice Broccoli Spinach
Protein 860 mg 800 mg 810 mg
Beta-carotene 120 IU 177 IU 2658 IU
Vitamin E 880 mcg 220 mcg 580 mcg
Vitamin C 1 mg 25.3 mg 8 mg
Vitamin B12 0.30 mcg 0 mcg 0 mcg
Phosphorus 21 mg 19 mg 14 mg
Magnesium 8 mg 6 mg 22 mg
Calcium 7.2 mg 13 mg 28 mg
Iron 0.66 mg 0.21 mg 0.77 mg
Potassium 42 mg 90 mg 158 mg
Data on broccoli and spinach according to the USDA database.
Data on Wheatgrass juice from indoor grown wheatgrass.

Aloe Vera – The Secret of the Ancients

Did you know that Aloe Vera is Superfood?

Aloe Vera Plant in ThailandHonestly I didn’t even know that Aloe Vera is eadable! But then there is this: Dating all the way back to ancient Egypt, Aloe Vera has long been regarded as a plant with deeply healing properties. Now, thousands of years later, this cactus-like member of the lily family is receiving the medicinal validation from the scientific community that natural healers and laypersons have known and relied upon for centuries. Although over 300 species of Aloe exist, it is Aloe Barbadensis that is touted as being the most nutritionally and medicinally potent variety.

Superfood

While most people are aware of Aloe’s cosmetic benefits, it’s highly nutritive qualities might come as a surprise to many. Aloe Vera contains 20 of the 22 essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein), 8 of the 13 known vitamins (including C and E), is high in antioxidants, enzymes and minerals. It is especially high in calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.

Digestive Aid

Aloe Vera has a mild laxative effect on the bowels. It is known to relieve heartburn, indigestion, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, peptic ulcers and stomach inflammations. It has a cooling and soothing effect on the digestive system.

Blood Regulator

Aloe has been shown to decrease cholesterol, triglyceride, phospholipids and nonesterifed fatty acid levels in the blood. This is significant for prevention of and recovery from heart disease. It also has a positive effect on blood coagulation, which ties into its history in wound healing.

Wound Repair and Immunity Booster

Aloe is a cell regenerator that reduces the healing time of both external and internal wounds, inhibits scarring, and has analgesic and antiseptic effects. It is well known for its ability to heal burns, but it has also been shown recently to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, not only when applied externally, but also when ingested on a regular basis. Its antimicrobial and antiviral properties also make it an effective immune system enhancer of both the skin and the internal system.

Skin and Hair

The cosmetic benefits of Aloe Vera are familiar to most consumers. The reason that Aloe is such a superior moisturizer is because of its ability to penetrate the skin. This also makes it a superb agent for assisting other bioactive ingredients in any cosmetic with which it is mixed to reach deeper tissues. It also reduces the effects of aging on the skin by promoting collagen and elastin synthesis, thus diminishing and preventing fine lines and wrinkles. These beautifying effects are experienced even when taken internally.

How to Use Aloe in Your Daily Life

The best source of Aloe is the fresh raw leaf. The plant is easy to grow and readily available at most nurseries and in the home gardening section of numerous local health food stores. Just slice open a mature leaf, remove the translucent pulp inside it, and blend it with water (1 part leaf to 3 parts water for gel, and use 5-6 parts water for juice).

Refrigerate the remainder and be sure to consume it within 3 days of having blended the mixture. It is usually a good idea to just slice off a few inches of the harvested leaf at a time and to refrigerate the rest for use as needed. This will prevent waste and spoiling of your Aloe juice or gel.

Add the Aloe juice to your favorite summer cool drinks, like lemonade or fresh squeezed citrus juices to counterbalance the somewhat bitter taste of the fresh leaf, if you are unable to drink it straight.

For those of us without access to a garden, you can buy the aloe juice or gel from your health food store. Look for a minimum of 98% Aloe, and natural preservatives like citric acid. Although it is not as nutritionally potent as the homemade potion concocted from the fresh leaf, this bottled variety tends to be more palatable and still has many of the nutritional and cosmetic benefits of the plant.

Try adding aloe to your favorite shampoo or shower gel. You might even let go of your conditioner once you’ve tried this a few times. Aloe is also a great leave in conditioner for both straight and curly styles that gives both hold and body to hair without stiffening it the way synthetic gels and mousses do. Make sure to mix just enough, in a separate bottle, for one or two uses, if using the fresh leaf gel, because it does require a preservative once mixed with oil and left to stand for a few days.

Aloe is also great to use on your face and body under your daily moisturizer, or to mix with both face and body masks.

Aloe is readily available and easy to use. Its medicinal, nutritional and cosmetic power has stood the test of time. Its cornucopia of uses makes it easy to understand why Aloe Vera was the elixir of the Ancients.

By: Fadzo Chanakira

Fadzo Chanakira is a freelance writer that divides her time between Arizona and California, where she both lives and works. In addition to having written holistic articles for print and the Internet on a variety of topics, she has a holistic business specializing in nutritional supplementation and truly natural beauty products called Alchemy of Beauty. Her undergraduate studies were in Kinesiology at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Fadzo also authors a free bi-monthly e-newsletter called The Alchemical Beauty News. She is currently working towards her Masters in Spiritual and Live Food Nutrition with the College of Living Arts in Patagonia, AZ.

She can be reached through her website, http://www.alchemyofbeauty.com .