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  Olive Oil
Onion
OPC (Oligmeric Proanthocyanidin)
Osteoporosis
   

 

   
 

 

Olive Oil
Category: food
Olive oil, made from pressed ripe olives, contains 77% monounsaturated fat (good fat). Monounsaturated fat helps to cut down the bad cholesterol without harming the good cholesterol. Olive oils will stay reasonably fresh for the first 12 months after bottling, and be still okay for another year. After the 2nd year, the flavor, aroma and some of the health benefits start to diminish.

Benefits
Fights heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and certain cancers. Olive oil is also a mild laxative. As a topical application, olive oil could also protect our skin from UV radiation after sunbathing. Japanese researchers found that applying olive oil after sunbathing could reduce free radical damage caused by the sun’s UV rays. Olive oil’s vitamin E and other antioxidants are able to arrest some of the oxidative stress before they do too much harm. However, use extra virgin oil. Regular olive oil was found not to be as effective.

Don’t overdo olive oil, as it does contain about 120 calories per tablespoon.

Store olive oil away from light. Olive oil is best kept in closed kitchen cabinets.

Heat can destroy the flavor and antioxidants of olive oil. Use fine fresh olive oil for salads and dip, but use normal olive oil for cooking, sautéing or grilling.


Onion
Category: food / vegetable
Onion is a member of the allium family. (The allium family relatives include garlic, leeks and chives).

Onion contains quercetin (a flavanoid and antioxidant), potassium, vitamin C, B vitamins, and sulfur compounds.

Benefits
Quercetin helps to lower LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and also total cholesterol levels. Quercetin also helps to stop LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized. Oxidized LDL cholesterol is dangerous, as it carries cholesterol to the artery walls more quickly. Once they are there, they can accumulate and cause blocked arteries, increasing the risk of stroke or heart attacks.

The sulfur compounds are the substance that causes our eyes to tear when we start to chop or slice onions. These sulfur compounds reacts with the moisture in our eyes turning into sulfuric acid, irritating the eyes. Our eyes will produce tears to flush them out. It is no fun when we get sulfur compounds into our eyes, but ingesting them is a different matter. The sulfur compounds in onion may help to lower blood pressure and prevent the platelets in our blood from clumping together – thus reducing the risk of blood clots.


OPC (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin)
Category: Nutrient / Antioxidant
OPC (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin) is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals before they reach the LDL (“bad” cholesterol) to cause damage to our bodies. OPC (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin) maintains the health or the arterial lining of blood vessels. If the arterial lining of blood vessels is not damaged, there is no place for the oxidized LDL (“bad” cholesterol) to “plant” itself, and the vessels remain flexible and healthy.

An excellent source of OPC (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin) is grape seeds. Grapeseed extract in capsule form, is quite easily available in most drugstores / pharmacies.


 
       
       
  Osteoporosis
Category: Ailment
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak, brittle and easily broken. Osteoporosis is a common condition, especially for women after menopause (although men can also get it too).

Diseases that affect the body’s absorption of nutrients, especially calcium, will put a person at higher risk of getting osteoporosis. (Diseases like Crohn’s disease, colitis and diverticulitis).

Osteoporosis to a certain extent is also hereditary. Having parents who have osteoporosis also puts a person at higher risk.

Having said all these, osteoporosis can (to a large extent) be prevented or minimized.

Home remedies and preventative measures
Start exercising at an early age. Regular exercise is very important to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. You should also incorporate some weight training into the exercise regime. All these will help to increase bone density and muscle mass.

Have a diet that is rich in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K and magnesium.

  • Calcium – nuts, beans, low-fat dairy products, tinned sardines (with bones).
  • Vitamin D – eggs and oily fish. Sun exposure. (But avoid exposure especially during 11am to 4pm. Too much sun exposure has been linked to skin cancer.)
  • Vitamin K – spinach, broccoli, cabbage.
  • Magnesium - tofu, almonds, cashew nuts.

Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. A recent study found that women who consumed 3.5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily had better bone density than those who ate minimal fruits and vegetables.

Avoid anything that reduces the absorption of calcium, or increases the risk of elimination of calcium – consuming too much sugar, protein, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, canned fizzy drinks will increase the body’s loss of calcium. Caffeine also increases calcium loss. So coffee and tea should be taken in modest amounts.

Sugar, alcohol, coffee, are all nutrient destroyers. We should minimize intake of these substances as much as possible.

Limit intake of vitamin A. According to recent analysis of data from the Nurses’ Health Study at Brigham, and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA; women who consumed the highest amounts of vitamin A (in the form of retinol, 2,200 micrograms, or 6,600 IUs), had the greatest incidence of hip fractures.

An assistant professor of medicine at Harvard University Medical School, Dr. Diane Feskanich, explained that high levels of vitamin A (in the form of retinol) may cause bones to breakdown faster than they can rebuild.


   
       
 

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