Posts tagged: healthy living

How To Make Probiotic Lemonade

How To Make Probiotic Lemonade
Graphic – herbs-info.com Photo © shutterstock.com (under license)

When it comes to flavor and refreshment, nothing beats a cold glass of fresh homemade lemonade. Store-bought brands are often filled with sugar, preservatives, and artificial flavoring. So when it comes to your drink, it’s always better to go natural. Lemons are already packed with vitamin c, antioxidants, and potassium to keep our body healthy… but imagine if we can make an awesome drink even more awesome. [1]

A great way to boost the health benefits you can get from your beverage is to add a dose of probiotics extracted from yogurt. Probiotics are often called “good bacteria” since they have been linked to improvements in mood, digestion, and immunity. [2][3] Best of all, the natural tart taste of lemons makes it a perfect complement to the sour flavor of the whey from yogurt.

Here are the steps to make your own probiotic lemonade at home.

For this recipe you’ll need:

Ingredients
• 12 Organic lemons
• 1 cup of fresh whey from yogurt
• 1/2-1 cup of organic cane sugar (adjust according to taste)

Things you’ll need
• A thin cheesecloth
• Rubber bands
• A gallon jar

1. Extract the whey. We start with the process of extracting whey from store bought whole milk organic yogurt. To do this, simply drape your cheesecloth into a bowl and add the yogurt. Tie it with a rubber band and hang it up to strain the liquid. After a few hours transfer the liquid into a measuring cup and you now have around 1 cup of whey for your drink.

Tips:
You can use the leftover yogurt as an ingredient for dips, spreads, and fillings.
Use the thinnest cheesecloth as possible. A think cheesecloth can absorb the whey rather than strain it from the yogurt.
You can save the whey for other recipes, just make sure to keep it refrigerated.

2. Now it’s time to squeeze the juice out of the lemons. You can use a lemon press or any lemon juicer of your choice.

Tip:
Roll the lemon first on your counter top to maximize the amount juice you’ll get.

3. Mix the whey and lemon juice in a gallon jar. Now add the amount of water and sugar to the taste that you want.

Tip:
It is best to use at least 1/2 cup of sugar so that the probiotic can use it for fermentation. This will make the sweetness a little weak after fermentation.

4. Wait. Once finished mixing. Tightly close the jar and leave it on your kitchen counter at room temperature for 2 days.

5. Enjoy! After 2 days, transfer the mixture to a glass pitcher and you now have a refreshing and healthy probiotic drink your family will enjoy.

References:

[1] Natural bioactive compounds of Citrus limon for food and health. (2017)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19748198 http://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(17)35557-9/pdf

[2] Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 Reduces Depression Scores and Alters Brain Activity: a Pilot Study in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28483500

[3] Probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and Bifidobacterium longum MM-2) improve rhinoconjunctivitis-specific quality of life in individuals with seasonal allergies: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. (2017) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/105/3/758

Bowl Of Cereal Vs. Organic Apple & Grapefruit

Bowl Of Cereal Vs Organic Apple & Grapefruit
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Images source – Pixabay (PD).

In the words of nutritionist Adelle Davis, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”

Breakfast is rightfully regarded as the most important meal of the day – it makes us happier, lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes, boosts our cognitive performance, and prevents weight gain. [1][2][3][4] However, these health benefits have more to do with the content of your breakfast than the timing.

What is in a Bowl of Cereal?

As far as convenience is concerned, a bowl of cereal is an easy pick for most people – but at a cost. Cereals are often loaded with unhealthy carbohydrates, high-processed foods, unnecessary additives (e.g., preservatives), and sugars that may wreak havoc on your body.

Word of Advice: Ignore the marketing ploys and health claims in the commercials or on the front of the box. Always read the ingredients list before indulging in a bowl of cereal – the devil is in the detail! That said, there are several healthier alternatives such as whole foods (fruits, grains, vegetables, etc.) or dairy products.

What is in an Organic Fruit-Based Breakfast?

Rather than eating a bowl of cereal with questionable ingredients, consider single-ingredient foods such as grapefruits and apples.

As one of the most nutritious citrus fruits, grapefruit is rich in fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. [5] A medium-sized grapefruit contains vitamin C (64% RDI), vitamin A (28% RDI), fiber (2 grams), low calories (52), protein (1 gram), magnesium, folate, thiamine, and potassium.

Likewise, a 182-gram apple is rich in fiber (4 grams), potassium (6% RDI), vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C (14% RDI), vitamin E, and B vitamins. Additionally, apples contain polyphenols (micronutrients packed with antioxidants), especially on the skin.

So, what is your choice? A bowl of cereal or organic apples and grapefruit?

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] Breakfast Cereal and Caffeinated Coffee: Effects on Working Memory, Attention, Mood, and Cardiovascular Function http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031938499000256.

[2] Eating patterns and type 2 diabetes risk in older women: breakfast consumption and eating frequency http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/06/12/ajcn.112.057521.abstract.

[3] Effect of breakfast composition on cognitive processes in elementary school https://ase.tufts.edu/psychology/spacelab/pubs/MahoneyEtAl.pdf.

[4] Association between Eating Patterns and Obesity in a Free-living US Adult Population http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/158/1/85.full.

[5] Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, all areas Nutrition Facts & Calories https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1905/2.

Deep Breathing Is One Of The Body’s Strongest Self-Healing Mechanisms

Deep Breathing Is One Of The Body's Strongest Self-Healing Mechanisms
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Images © kwikit – fotolia.com (under license)

Breathing sustains life! We take in oxygen, invigorate our red blood cells, expel toxins such as carbon dioxide, and provide our bodies with life-sustaining energy. And according to several scientific sources, deep breathing could offer more short-term and long-term health benefits.

Ever wondered why you’re advised to take deep breathes when you’re stressed or trying to focus? Or why is deep breathing a core part of all meditation techniques? The answers to the healing powers of deep breathing lie in the physiological changes that take place in our bodies. Allowing the rib cage to expand and the diaphragm to drop creates more space for oxygen to flood your body, leading to the following health benefits:

⦁ Lowered heart rate: According to a study in the Journal of Frontiers in Public Health, deep breathing (6 breathes per minute) significantly improved heart rate variability. [1]

⦁ Lowered blood pressure: Meditation techniques, which included deep breathing, “decreased blood pressure in association with decreased psychological distress, and increased coping in young adults at risk for hypertension.” This was the conclusion of a study published in the American Journal of Hypertension. [2]

⦁ Helping with sleeplessness: Some studies suggest that deep breathing and mindful meditation could be an effective alternative to traditional treatments for chronic insomnia. [3]

⦁ Relieving anxiety and depression: Providing our brains with a great deal of oxygen enhances our ability to memorize, concentrate, focus, and even relieve depression, anxiety, and stress. [4]

⦁ Improved immunity: The stress response is known to suppress our immune, and increase the susceptibility to illnesses. By enhancing our mental and physical energy through deep breathing, we can promote better immunity.

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] Steffen, P. R. et al. 2017. The Impact of Resonance Frequency Breathing on Measures of Heart Rate Variability, Blood Pressure, and Mood https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5575449/.

[2] Nidich, S. I. et al. 2009. A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19798037.

[3] Ong, J. C. et al. 2014. A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation for chronic insomnia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25142566.

[4] Lakhan, S. E. et al. 2013. Mindfulness-Based Therapies in the Treatment of Somatization Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0071834.