Monday, June 29, 2015

Health and Beauty Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelons are generally linked with the hot summer season, but we can’t forget its delicious sweet taste in any season. Apart from this, it has a wide number of medicinal properties that includes treating edemas, lowering blood pressure, skin fungus and many more. They are high in vitamin B, beta-carotene, vitamin C and various necessary minerals like phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and iodine. Another reason to consume watermelon is its low calorie content, which can help those who wants to lose some weight. Let’s have a look at some other health and beauty benefits of watermelon.

1. Improves Eye Health

Consumption of ample watermelon on a daily basis works wonders in improving your vision since it contains a number of antioxidants such as zeaxanthin, lutein, vitamin C, and beta carotene. They guard our eyes from various problems related to age; for instance, glaucoma, night blindness, and macular degeneration.

2. Hydrates Body

Watermelon contains about 90% of water, and it has a lot of beneficial electrolytes. So, consume plenty of watermelons every day especially in hot summer season in order to avoid dehydration.

3. Sharpen Brain and Stay Happy

Watermelons are high in vitamin B6, which is required for the production of a number of chemicals in our brain such as dopamine, serotonin, gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), and norepinephrine, responsible for our mood and actions. Low levels of vitamin B6 results in anxiety, mood swings, Parkinson’s disease and depression. Deficiency may also lead to reduced short-term memory.

4. Lose Weight

Watermelon is a wonderful fruit especially for those who are willing to shed some of their extra calories. It has low calorie content and it also contains citrulline, which is converted into arginine, an amino acid that aids in burning fat.

5. Prevents Cancer

Watermelons are high in lycopene, a powerful carotenoid that aids in reducing the risk of breast, prostate, uterus, lung, and colon cancer.

6. Decreases Inflammation

Watermelon is a good source of carotenoids such as lycopene, flavonoids, and triterpenoids. The presence of lycopene has proved to be beneficial in neutralizing free radicals and reducing inflammation. Look for ripe watermelons since they are rich in these anti-inflammatory components.

7. Alkalizes Body

Everyone loves eating junk foods, dairy, meat, processed foods, and baked items, but these foods trigger the production of acid in our body, which increases the risk of developing certain diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart ailments and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, these foods are also responsible for weight gain. Ripe watermelons are alkaline in nature and aids in neutralizing these damaging and harmful acids.

8. Healthy Nerves and Muscles

Watermelon contains citrulline and potassium that maintain the functioning of your nerves and muscles in an appropriate manner. It controls muscles contraction as well as avoids soreness of muscles, especially subsequent to tough workouts. The citrulline is converted to arginine by our body, which unwinds blood vessels and improves circulation.

9. Improves Male Fertility

Lycopene in watermelon seeds helps improve male fertility.

10. Excellent for Heart Health

Watermelon neutralizes the effect of free radicals. It prevents cholesterol from sticking to the walls of blood vessels, thus reduces the risk of heart ailments.

11. Stress Buster

Watermelon relieves you from anxiety, stress, and fatigue due to the richness of vitamin B6.

12. Controls Blood Pressure

Abundant electrolytes help normalize the blood pressure.


13. Treats Dry Hair

Watermelons are high in beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A. Vitamin A is responsible for cell growth and the production of sebum, which keeps hair hydrated and healthy. It also maintains the wellbeing of scalp.

14. Moisturizes Skin

The oil of watermelon seeds is light in texture and unclogs the skin pores. It moisturizes your skin and helps it function properly.

15. Maintains Elasticity of Skin

Watermelon reduces the effect of ageing and rejuvenates the skin. It also keeps the skin firm by maintaining its elasticity.

16. Fresh Look

Watermelon rejuvenates your skin and restores the freshness of the face after a long tiring day at work.

17. Lightens Complexion

Watermelons have low calorie content and abundance of vitamin C and water. Whether eaten regularly or applied twice a week, watermelon can improve your complexion and retain the natural glow of the face.

18. Cures Acne

Prepare a mask by adding yogurt or honey to the watermelon juice. Apply it on the acne prone skin to treat the problem.

19. Checks Premature Aging

Vitamin A, C and lycopene contents of watermelon control free radicals and prevent dark spots, wrinkles, and fine lines.

20. Natural Toner

Rub a slice of fresh watermelon on your face to get toned skin.


Health Benefits of Flaxseed

Flaxseed is one of the oldest foods consumed by humans. Many people consider it to be one of the world’s first cultivated superfoods! Today, flaxseed is used in all kinds of foods, from crackers to cakes to oatmeal to smoothies.

Its nutty taste and aroma are liked by many. Another reason behind its popularity is its nutritional value that provides many health benefits.

The three most important nutritional elements of flaxseed are omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and mucilage. Plus, flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber along with vitamin B1, protein, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

Flaxseed is also gluten-free, so it is a valuable alternative if you are allergic to wheat or suffer from celiac disease.

Flaxseed comes in two basic varieties— brown and yellow or golden. It is readily available in the market in whole, ground, oil or supplement form. Make sure to consult your doctor before taking flaxseed supplements.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of flaxseed.

1. Protects Against Heart Disease
Flaxseed contains many heart-healthy nutrients that can keep many heart diseases at bay. It is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids that are important to keep your heart in optimal heath.

Evidence shows that people who eat a diet rich in alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) are less likely to have a fatal heart attack.

Plus, flaxseed helps reduce heart disease and stroke by reducing the build-up of plaque in the arteries, and inflammation which is known to promote hardening of the arteries.

You can include ground flaxseed in your diet for a healthier heart.

2. Eases Menopausal Symptoms
A 2013 study found that flaxseed can be very effective for menopausal women to fight the symptoms of menopause. The lignans in flaxseed have estrogenic properties that can help reduce hot flashes, mood disturbances and vaginal dryness.

The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that women take 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed 2 or 3 times per day to treat menopausal symptoms. It can even help menstruating women maintain a regular cycle and promote fertility.

3. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Regular intake of flaxseed can help reduce bad cholesterol from your body. A 2010 study published in Nutrition Research found that consuming 100 mg of flaxseed daily is effective at reducing blood cholesterol levels and also lowering the risk of liver disease in men with moderately high levels of cholesterol.

Several flavonoids found in flaxseed help lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, and may also reduce your risk of heart disease. Flaxseed also contains soluble fiber that helps prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the body.

Consume 2 to 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily to help lower your LDL.

4. Promotes Weight Loss
The three main components in flaxseed that aid weight loss are omega-3 essential fatty acids, fiber and lignans. The healthy fat and fiber help suppress your appetite and help you stay satisfied and fueled for a longer time. Plus, flaxseed has B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and zinc, which are essential in weight loss.

Also, flaxseed reduces inflammation, which is important for weight loss. It has been found that an inflamed body will tend to hold on to excess weight.

When it comes to weight loss, use ground flaxseed rather than the whole ones. Sprinkle it on your salads, soups, yogurt, smoothies or any vegetable or mixed juice.

5. Reduces Cancer Risk
Studies supported by the American Institute for Cancer Research indicate there is a link between flaxseed and reduced risk of cancer. Initially, it was found that flaxseed is effective against breast cancer, but now studies have found it is also beneficial in fighting prostate, ovarian and colon cancer.

The high levels of lignans found in flaxseed protect against breast cancer by blocking enzymes involved in hormone metabolism and responsible for the growth and spread of tumor cells. Plus, both ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil are high in alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that is beneficial against cancer.

You can add ground flaxseed to yogurt or a smoothie. Also, add flaxseed oil to salad dressings and baked goods.

6. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Daily intake of flaxseed can improve blood sugar levels in people who have Type 2 diabetes. A 2007 study published in Public Library of Science One found that people who consumed flaxseed-derived lignan supplements for 12 weeks had lower blood sugar levels.

Plus, flaxseed has alpha-linolenic acid, as well as protein and fiber that are important for controlling high blood sugar. Maintaining a normal blood sugar level can also prevent complications like kidney failure and reduce the risk of heart disease.

You can consult your doctor and take flaxseeds along with your medicines for controlling diabetes. Keep monitoring your blood sugar levels to avoid the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.