Category : Heart Health

Disease, Health Studies, Healthy Foods, Heart Health, Immune System, Natural Remedies
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Are You Eating Real Cinnamon?

You may be surprised to know that most of the “cinnamon” sold in Europe and North America is actually not cinnamon at all. It is a similar spice more properly known as cassia, and it does not provide the valuable health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is in Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean. Cassia, sometimes called Chinese cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon, is grown primarily in Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Japan and Korea.

Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years to seas food and for its medicinal qualities. Ancient Egyptians used cinnamon in their embalming rituals. The Emperor Nero showed his devotion to his late wife by having a year’s supply of cinnamon burned on her funeral pyre.

There are several differences between the two cinnamons. Ceylon cinnamon costs more and is more difficult to find. It is more refined, lighter and sweeter than cassia, and it is a better choice for use in sweet desserts. The heaver cassia cinnamon is suited to savory dishes.

A more important difference, however, is the level of coumarin, a natural compound that functions as a blood thinner when ingested. Cassia has a much higher level of coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon. In fact, patients on blood thinning medications such as warfarin are encouraged to limit their intake of cinnamon, but this applies much more to cassia than real cinnamon.

Both kinds of cinnamon are very good sources of manganese, a trace mineral essential to healthy bones and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. They are both rich in dietary fiber, iron and calcium. Fiber and calcium work together to lower the likelihood of colon cancer, reduce cholesterol levels, and relieve constipation and diarrhea.

Here are six reasons to eat the real cinnamon, every day:

1. It lowers blood sugar levels. – Cinnamon normalizes blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics by reducing insulin resistance. Less than half a teaspoon a day reduces blood sugar levels.

2. It improves heart health. – A research study completed in 2003 found that type 2 diabetic subjects who ate between one and six grams of cinnamon (about 2 teaspoons) daily for 40 days lowered their blood sugar levels by 18 – 29 percent, and also reduced triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent, their LDL (bad) cholesterol by 7 to 27 percent, and their total cholesterol by 12 to 26 percent.

3. It assists in blood clotting. – Extensive research has shown cinnamon supports the healthy clotting of blood platelets.

4. It fights bacteria and fungus – Ayurvedic medicine prizes cinnamon for its anti-microbial qualities. Cinnamon fights not just bacteria, but also viruses, fungi and Candida.

5. It boosts memory and protects the brain.- The simple act of smelling cinnamon, or chewing cinnamon flavored gum, improves brain activity. Research shows it improves memory attention, and cognition.

6. It improves digestion. – Traditional Chinese medicine uses cinnamon for flatulence, nausea and diarrhea. It supports digestion of fruit and dairy products.

Although both cassia and Ceylon cinnamon offer some health benefits, spend a little extra month and get the real thing. You will notice it is a lighter shade of brown, a finer texture and a sweeter scent – and it is work the extra expenditure of time and money.

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50+ Health Conditions, Health Studies, Heart Health
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A Health Clue from Your Parents

A new study suggests if your parents lived past 70 years of age, you are 20 percent less likely to die from heart disease. You may also have lower rates of vascular disease, heart failure, stroke, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The study’s co-author is Luke Pilling, a research fellow in epidemiology and public health at the University of Exeter Medical School.

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Disease, Heart Health
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Why Animal-Based Omega-3s are Best

According to a recent article by Joseph Mercola, M.D., animal-based omega-3 fats are critical for heart health. Dr. Mercola believes maintaining a sufficient level of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may be one of the most important nutritional priorities. People need both DHA, a 22 carbon omega-3, and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), an 18-carbon omega-3 fat. Both plant and animal omega-3 fats are important, but the DHA present in seafood is the type most associated with heart health and other vital health benefits.

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Heart Health
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Should You Stop Taking Ibuprofen?

If you have a sore back or a headache, what is the first thing you do? If you are like many people, you head to your medicine cabinet and break out the Advil. Ibuprofen, the generic name for Advil, is a powerful antidote to pain. It is available over the counter in 200 milligram doses, and is frequently prescribed in higher doses by physicians.

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Disease, Healthy Foods, Heart Health
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The Master Mineral

Magnesium is the most important mineral in the human body. Experts say that after oxygen, water and basic food, magnesium is the element most critical to health. Magnesium is more necessary than calcium, potassium or sodium, and in fact, it regulates all three of those.

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Heart Health, Prevention
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Common Pain Killers Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

Chances are, if you pull a muscle or wake up with a headache, you’re apt to reach for a bottle of Motrin, Aleve or Advil. We’ve all come to depend on those seemingly harmless pain relievers. Unfortunately, we now know those particular over-the-counter drugs may be raising your risk of a deadly heart attack.

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Cancer, Diet, Disease, Exercise, Health Studies, Heart Health, Immune System
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The Top 10 Health Questions Your Doctor Isn’t Asking You

In a recent article by Lissa Rankin, M.D., she offers ten health questions your doctor probably isn’t asking you, but which she considers critical. Dr. Rankin is founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, as well as the New York Times bestselling author of  Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself.  Ask yourself these questions:

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50+ Health Conditions, Aging, Cancer, Exercise, Fitness, Health Studies, Heart Health, Immune System, Toxins
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How Yoga Keeps You Youthful

You may have noticed people who practice yoga regularly tend to look much younger than their chronological age. A new study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine offers an explanation. Researchers found twelve weeks of yoga increased the body’s natural defenses against toxins by raising the level of antioxidants and making the immune system stronger.

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Diet, Heart Health
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Heart Disease and Bad Science

One American out of every four over age 40 is now taking a statin drug, believing it is necessary to avoid heart disease. Dr. David Diamond, a professor of Psychology, Molecular Pharmacology, and Physiology at the University of South Florida and a research career scientist at the Tampa VA Hospital, says that is just bad science. In a recent interview with Dr. Joseph Mercola, Diamond recounted how his personal experience led him to that conclusion.

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50+ Health Conditions, Aging, Health Studies, Heart Health
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What We Can Learn from a Clam

Most of us would be hard pressed to imagine what similarities the human body would have to a hard-shell clam. Scientists, however, know that aquatic invertebrate animals such as clams, oysters, and mussels have a bi-valve heart that functions very much like the human heart. Unlike humans, some clams live centuries. Now researchers are studying clams to see if they have something to teach us about heart health.

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