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.
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
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.
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),
vitamin C, B
vitamins, and sulfur compounds.
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
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 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
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
Have a diet that is rich in calcium,
vitamin D, vitamin
K and magnesium.
– nuts, beans, low-fat dairy products, tinned sardines
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.
- 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.