Alfalfa is commonly thought of in the United States as food for horses and other grazing, livestock animals.Most people don’t generally consider the health and potential medicinal benefits of alfalfa.However, there are many basic health benefits that alfalfa can provide from a nutritional point of view, and it boasts of various benefits as a medicine as well.Particularly when related to cholestorol and possibly blood sugar,alfalfa may prove to be a very helpful herb indeed.
In the pages of history, the use of alfalfa dates back to over 3000 years.The first reference of alfalfa was made in Turkey back in 1,300 B.C. It was introduced to the rest of the world by the Chinese while they conquered Eastern Asia, the Romans in Western Asia and Europe and the Spanish passed it on to the new world in the 1500’s and used it as fodder for their horses. It is also known by its common name in Europe: Lucerne.
Despite the fact that alfalfa is generally considered as a plant to feed the livestock, it has some significant health benefits.
In comparison with most of the other plants, Alfalfa is high on nutritional value.
This is due in part to its deep root system, which allows it to capture and use nutrients that are far deeper in the earth than many other plants are able to get to.
Continue reading “Alfalfa – a nutritional herb for your body, immunity, and heart health.”
Do you have a lipid disorder? With cholesterol and fatty acids and hypertension, the medical terminology can be confusing, to say the least. A “lipid disorder” is just a blanket term for high cholesterol and triglycerides, meaning that you have too many fatty substances in your body, which puts you at risk for heart disease, heart attacks, coronary artery disease and a stroke. This may all sound like bad news, but you can still live many healthy and happy years if you’re willing to make a few dietary sacrifices and take medication.
To get your triglycerides and cholesterol back down to a normal level, you will have to make some dietary changes. For people who have high cholesterol levels from eating too many fattening foods, cholesterol lowering can be accomplished by as much as 10-20% from dieting alone. Reducing calories to 1,200-1,500 for women and 1,500-1,800 for men will help you lose 2 pounds per week. When losing weight, you shouldn’t drink more than one serving of alcohol per day and you should be ingesting eight cups of water daily. Adding just 30 minutes of exercise per day, either all at once or in 3 intervals of 10 minutes, can work wonders for heart health.
When cooking, replace butter with olive oil, canola oil or peanut oil. In many baking recipes, you can use applesauce instead of butter, believe it or not! Dieticians recommend eating no more than 5 ounces of meat per day, substituting ½ cup of beans to get your protein and eating no more than 2 egg yolks per week. To reduce cholesterol and triglycerides and extend your life, you’ll be limiting carbs, sugars, fat and alcohol but your replacement diet doesn’t have to be torture. In fact, many companies are manufacturing sugar free sweets and low fat ice cream to help tame those cravings. Once you use discipline over an extended period of time, you’ll find that these foods have lost their luster and no longer have control over your life or your health.
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You likely already know that you should eat a diet containing a lot of fruits and vegetables. Any kind of vegetables or fruits that you add will have health benefits. However, when it comes to heart health, some are more beneficial than others.
Among the most nutritious vegetable families are leafy greens and cruciferous. Skip the iceberg lettuce, and look for those that are dark green in color. This indicates that there are more nutrients packed inside that are good for your heart. Other important vegetables are cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and kale.
Your best choices in fruit are from the citrus family. Fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are the best choices for your heart. You’ll get the most benefit if you eat the whole fruit in its fresh form. But fruit juice also contains nutrients that are healthful.
Most people have between one and three servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This is nowhere near the recommended five servings that’s a bare minimum. Even better is to eat seven to nine servings. However, don’t try to go from one serving to nine all at once. Slowly introduce greater quantities into your usual eating habits. Here are some tips to help you sneak in extra servings throughout the day.
If you have eggs in the morning, mix in some veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers or onions. Drink some fruit juice with your toast and coffee. Make up a smoothie containing whole fruit that you can take with you as you head out the door. Or add some fruit to your cereal.
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A lot of individuals eat on the run in today’s fast-paced society. You’re usually better off eating at home rather than dining in a restaurant. However, you can still make healthy choices when you’re eating fast food. Keep these guidelines in mind as you choose your next fast food meal.
A lot of fast food franchises are well aware of the poor reputation that fast food has for clogging up the arteries. To meet the challenge, they have introduced many food choices that are better for you. For instance, many fast food chains now have salads on the menu. All the same, look out for the saturated fat in the dressing. And if your salad comes complete with deep fried chicken on top, you can be sure it’s not as heart healthy as the one featuring grilled chicken.
For your sandwich, opt for grilled chicken over fried. And you can’t go wrong by requesting extra vegetables on your sandwich. Ketchup and mustard are better choices for a dressing because of their lower saturated fat content.
Choose fruit or salad as a side dish rather than fries. This will fill your lunch with vitamins and fiber rather than saturated fat. Instead of soda, pick juice or milk to drink with your meal. This can aid in maintaining normal blood sugar and give you additional vitamins and minerals.
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