Winter Worms

official website for New Age Healthcare. Health/fitness tips and cordyceps sinensis

Too Much Water

Written By: admin - May• 31•14

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Some folks just don’t like to drink water. They have trouble drinking just 1.2 litres of water a day. Others go crazy flushing out their systems that they keep going to the toilet all day long. We often get the advise “drink more water” whenever we update our friends on Facebook, telling them that we’re sick. We’ll never know how much they really care, but are there any ill effects in drinking “too much water”.

660ml of blood goes through the kidney every minute. Most of the filtrate i reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. For a healthy kidney that manages 850 litres of water passing through it in one day, even drinking in excess of 10 litres of water will have minimal effect. Is there a limit to how much water a person can safely consume in a day? Theoretically, experts have worked out an upper limit to be 23 litres a day. As almost nobody can drink that much water in a day, the figure is not very meaningful. In real life, a trip to the bathroom every hour is probably the maximum frequency which will not affect job performance. Spread out over a person’s waking hours, it translates into just 5 litres of water a day.

However, there is an upper limit where water can become toxic. Such situations normally only occur at drinking competitions. One competitor gulped down 10 litres of water in 10 minutes and died of brain swelling. An ignorant woman also thought that drinking 1 litre of water every hour could help her detox and slim down. She ended up puffy and swollen.

Apart from these extreme examples, drinking to “excess” will not harm the body.

Healthier Way With Cured Meat

Written By: admin - May• 29•14

Most Chinese cured meats are prepared using meat seasoned with salt, sodium nitrite, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, fennel etc. The meat is then dried or smoked. The process usually begins at the start of winter when it’s cold and dry.

The high salt and high cholesterol content of these meats make them very unhealthy. 50% of cured meat is fat. There is 125mg of cholesterol and 1.92g of salt in every 100g of cured meat. Nitrite is carcinogenic. Even at permitted levels, it is likely to cause harm with regular consumption. Signs of poisoning include gidiness, headache, nausea and stomachache. Smoked meat also contain benzoapyrene, a known carcinogen.

So should we avoid these meats altogether? Here are some tips on how to consume cured meats more healthily.
1. Limit consumption to 100g per week or even once a year during Chinese New Year.
2. Blanch the meat in hot water before cooking.
3. Cook the meats with fruits, vegetables or crushed vitamin C tablets.

In spite of these precautions, there are medically compromised people who should not consume cured meats at all.
1. High blood pressure, stroke patients
2. Kidney failure
3. Pregnant women/children
4. People who suffer frequent bouts of indigstion
5. Obese people

Before Or After Meals

Written By: admin - May• 27•14

They’re not medicines, but do we consume them before or after meals? Here are some answers according to experts.

Fruits
Fruits contain large amounts of fructose and glucose. They also contain fibre. Eating fruits before meals will suppress appetite. For those on a weight loss programme, this may be a good idea, but for growing children, this is obviously not. Eating fruits after a meal will increase the already high glucose level in the blood. It not only stresses the pancreas, it also increases the feeling of drowsiness after a meal. The best time to consume fruits is in between meals. An hour or two after breakfast or lunch is ideal.

Alcohol
Alcohol on an empty stomach is a definite no. Most people consume alcohol with food or after food. This is also not ideal as the extra calories consumed with food will almost certainly be turned into fat. The healthiest way to consume alcohol is to consume light wines in between meals.

Tea
Chinese tea is perhaps the most flexible beverage. You can have it either before or after a meal. In moderate amounts, tea improves appetite, quenches thirst and hot tea even helps regulate body temperature. However, tea that is too concentrated may affect the body’s absorption of iron.

It does not make a very big difference where you have fruits, wine or tea before or after meals. Still, it is good to know.

Fruit Fallacies

Written By: admin - May• 24•14

Squeezed Juices

These juices must be consumed immediately after squeezing if maximum benefit is to be derived from them. It is possible that broken cell walls in the fruit may cause some antioxidants to degrade rapidly when exposed to the atmosphere. Experts advise that only citrus fruits should be squeezed as their juices tend to retain their nutrients better after squeezing. Eating peaches and watermelon whole provides more nutrients than drinking their juices.

Processed Juices

The packaging can be incredibly enticing but what is touted as “fruit juice” at supermarkets is seldom the real thing. The juices are seldom the real thing. They are often made by reconstituting fruit concentrates with water, colouring, flavouring and a dash of fruit pulp. The amount of actual fruit juice varies but never exceeds 30%. Strictly speaking, these are just cleverly disguised fruit drinks. Some products fool customers with labels like “no sugar added”. That only means that no sugar was further added when the high sugar concentrate was diluted. These are expensive drinks considering how cheaply they are made. There is probably no harm drinking, but be aware of what you are drinking and don’t expect too much nutrients when these “juices”.

Dried Fruit

Drying a fruit is an effective method of preserving it. In spite of the fact that fruits lose much of their antioxidants through drying, raisins and sultanas are still quite nutritious, healthy and convenient to carry and store. However, drying alone is often not enough to preserve a fruit. Very often, sugar or honey is added to prevent bacterial growth. This certainly appeals to those with a sweet tooth, but for people who demonise sugar and see it as the root of all health problems, some manufacturers have replaced sugar with artificial sweeteners. Without sugar to act as preservative, an artificial preservative needs to be added. Are these “no sugar added” dried fruit products healthier than those preserved in sugar? Certainly not. In fact, many of these preservatives are known to be carcinogenic. They may be more harmful than sugar.

Canned Fruit

Unlike dried fruits, canned fruits do not need any preservatives. Heat applied during the canning process destroys all bacteria. The cooked fruits are then sealed in a sterile environment. The only problem is sugar again. Canned fruits are often kept in sugary syrups. There’s quite a bit of empty calories there, but at least you won’t need to worry about carcinogenic preservatives.

Fresh Fruits

Without any doubt, these are the best forms of fruits that you can eat. 200-400g of fresh fruit a day may actually keep the doctor away. Fresh fruits retain all the nutrients like vitamin C beta carotene, potassium, fibre and a host of antioxidants naturally found in the fruit. Some experts advocate that we only consume local seasonal fruits for maximum health benefits. There is no evidence to show that eating imported fruits or those not in season will result in less benefits as long as the fruits are fresh.

© Chan Joon Yee

Sporty Zelle

Written By: admin - May• 23•14

Resveratrol Not Effective?

Written By: admin - May• 14•14

NEW YORK — A compound found in wine and chocolate may not be linked to improved health as was once claimed, a new study has showed, although more research is needed.

The compound resveratrol was not associated with less inflammation, cardiovascular disease or cancer, or with increased longevity among a group of elderly Italians, researchers have found.

“This is contradictory to all the hype that we typically hear from the popular arena,” said Dr Richard Semba, the study’s lead author from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

Previous studies had found that resveratrol, a compound naturally present in certain fruits and vegetables, has properties that may benefit people’s health, Dr Semba and his colleagues wrote in medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine. But there was little evidence on the compound’s effect on a large population, they added.

Research on resveratrol hit a snag in 2012, when one of the field’s leading researchers was accused of fabricating data. For the new study, Dr Semba and his colleagues used data from 783 Italians who were tracked starting in 1998, when they were at least 65 years old. All were living within their communities at the time.

The participants were examined and asked to complete a questionnaire about their diets. Urine samples were also collected to measure levels of broken-down resveratrol.

Just more than one-third of the participants died during the following nine years. About 5 per cent were diagnosed with cancer and 27 per cent of those who did not initially have heart disease developed it during the study. The researchers found that there were no differences in rates of death, heart disease or cancer or in the amount of inflammation between people who started out with high and low levels of broken-down resveratrol in their urine.

Although resveratrol levels were measured only once, Dr Semba said the participants’ diets were assessed every three years via a questionnaire, which showed they did not change much during the study — so the researchers assumed that resveratrol in the urine stayed somewhat consistent as well.

“This study suggests that dietary resveratrol from Western diets in community-dwelling older adults does not have a substantial influence on inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer or longevity,” they wrote.

Dr Teresa Fung, a nutrition researcher at Simmons College in Boston who was not involved in the new study, said she was not surprised by its findings. She told Reuters Health she would not expect the amount of resveratrol found in a normal diet to have a detectable effect on health.

“I don’t see evidence that we should go after this by drinking wine, eating grapes or anything like that,” she said, adding that grapes could still be part of a healthy diet along with wine and chocolate — in moderation.

Dr Fung also said there might be some detectable health effects from much larger doses of resveratrol, but this remains to be seen. “Even at pharmaceutical doses, those studies aren’t trending in one direction or another.” REUTERS

Potassium Supplements

Written By: admin - May• 09•14

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The author did not receive any payment for mentioning the above pictured product.

Many factors affect one’s blood pressure and there are several ways to control it. Salt (sodium chloride) intake is one of them. Potassium salts, however, can help to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of sodium salts.

Our kidneys help to control our blood pressure by controlling the amount of fluid stored in our bodies. The more fluid, the higher our blood pressure. All the blood in our circulatory system will go through the kidneys. All is not lost as the filtered blood is reabsorbed back into circulation. A concentrated urine is sent for storage in the bladder. The reabsorption process is is determined by the balance of sodium and potassium salts in the body.

Eating sodium salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and and this results in water retention and increased blood pressure. Potassium is lost during prolonged strenuous exercise, diarrhoea and vomitting. Oral rehydration salts contain potassium. By eating more fruit and vegetables like bananas and potatoes, we can also increase our potassium levels and help to restore the delicate salt balance in our bodies. Besides food sources, potassium can also be supplemented in the form of pills.

However, not everyone with hypertension will respond well to potassium supplementation. It is important to consult your physician before taking potassium to lower your blood pressure. I take potassium supplements and drink lots of water before embarking on a strenuous workout. This way, I can avoid eating too many bananas.

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© Chan Joon Yee

Blood Pressure Down

Written By: admin - May• 01•14

Blood Pressure Down by Janet Bond Brill

Fancy lowering your blood pressure without medication in 4 weeks without medication? Blood Pressure Down by Janet Bond Brill is a clearly-written, easy to read book on this subject. The first part, about 60 pages, explains the “mechanics” of high blood pressure and dire consequences of not managing it well.

Part 2 goes straight into the 10-step plan.

1. Lose 5 pounds
2. Cut the salt
3. Eat bananas (for the potassium)
4. Eat spinach (for the magnesium)
5. Eat Yogurt (for the calcium)
6. Eat Soy (as a meat substitute)
7. Eat dark chocolate (for the flavonoids)
8. Drink red wine (for the resveratrol and procyanidin)
9. Take vitamin D3, Coenzyme Q10, Omega-3 fish oil, vegetable juice.
10. Exercise

Well, who doesn’t know that you need to lose weight, exercise and cut your salt intake. What I find most useful about this book are the tables showing the amount of mineral of vitamins in common foods. I’m a little surprised that there’s more potassium in baked potatoes than bananas. However, it should be noted that diet control and restriction alone will not work for everybody. These steps work best for those suffering from secondary hypertension – those caused by electrolyte imbalances and kidney issues. Those without any specific cause, also known as essential hypertension, may not response to diet therapy. Those with arteries already clogged are also unlike to see any significant improvement sans medication in 4 weeks.

Overall, the book still provides valuable information and it’s a very good and easy read. Just take the “without prescription drugs” part with a pinch of salt.

Reviewed by Chan Joon Yee.

Mangosteen Juice

Written By: admin - Apr• 29•14

I thought the hype would have died down by now, but mangosteen juice is still selling at my local store. The key to selling any wellness product is to make sure that it’s exotic and unfamiliar. Well, the word “mangosteen” is not even recognised by any spellchecker. I’m not surprised if some Westerners might think that it’s a kind of unripe mango, but really, mangosteen is a very cheap and common fruit in Southeast Asia and South Asia.

The flesh is soft, white and slimy, sticking to the seed such that it’s virtually impossible to separate the two. It tastes sweet and a bit sour. If you bite too hard and break the seed, it can taste quite bitter too. Most people will spit out the seed with a significant amount of flesh still attached.

Some marketers claim that mangosteen juice can treat diarrhoea, menstrual problems, urinary tract infections, tuberculosis, and a variety of other conditions. Others say that it’s so packed with exotic antioxidants that it can boost the immune system and even prevent cancer. Suffice to say that I’ve come across many online ads and flyers with ordering information for this juice. Needless to say, the juice is priced many times higher than the fruit itself, but mind you, this stuff is more slimy than pulpy, so extracting juice from it can be challenging. The result is that many mangosteen juices are actually mixed juices. They are all purple in colour – which happens to be the colour of the husk and not the flesh.

This one is from Thailand and Mung Koot means mangossteen in Thai. It claims to be “100% mangosteen juice and mixed fruit juice”. That really tells us nothing as I can have 1 gram of 100% gold in 1kg of silver and copper. Can I still call it gold? Well, this bottle of Mung Koot cost me a little more than $2, so no harm trying. A carton of orange juice may give me more bang for my buck.

Well, traditionally, the people who grew up with mangosteen used it to treat “heatiness” – especially after a feast of durians. In other words, mangosteen is believed to have a cooling effect on the body. I eat it quite regularly and I don’t think much about the amazing health benefits and certain won’t bother to pay a premium for the juice.

© Chan Joon Yee

Pseudo Paleo

Written By: admin - Apr• 27•14

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Wikipedia defines the paleolithic diet as a “modern nutritional plan” based on the presumed diet of Paleolithic humans. It is based on several controversial premises, the most important of which are:

1. Human genetics have scarcely changed since the dawn of agriculture, which marked the end of the Paleolithic era, around 15,000 years ago

2. Modern humans are adapted to the diet or diets of the Paleolithic period;

3. It is possible for modern science to discern what such diets consisted of.

Purported Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes what are perceived to be agricultural products; grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

Proponents argue that modern human populations subsisting on traditional diets, allegedly similar to those of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, are largely free of diseases of affluence and that Paleolithic diets in humans have shown improved health outcomes relative to other widely-recommended diets.

I really don’t know what kind of data the paleo folks have to back up their claim that “Paleolithic diets in humans have shown improved health outcomes relative to other widely-recommended diets”. I just find it rather unconvincing that these folks can really duplicate what our ancestors ate 15,000 years ago. Yes, science can tell us what the cavemen ate, but do we have the resources to resurrect their ingredients and copy their recipes?

Organic or otherwise, practically all the meat that we can get our hands on are from domesticated animals. How paleo is that? Mammoth steak, perhaps? How about crocodile meat on Monday, pigeon on Tuesday, bees on Wednesday, ants on Thursday, salmon on Friday and the bear on Saturday? Wild berries, wild nuts and wild mushrooms would be quite authentic. It’s supposed to be pre-agricultural, right? What about seasoning? Did Paleolithic man in his cave kitchen always have the means to season his meats and eat them fresh? Did he use salad dressing for his greens? Did he have ovens? Was your steak cooked over wood fire? Is that paleo steak on your plate really paleo?

Next, we look at the statement that “Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, are largely free of diseases of affluence”. Can we be certain that our paleolithic ancestors weren’t prone to heart disease and cancers? We certainly can. That’s because life expectancy during those days was probably about 25 years! Of course, it may not have anything to do with how unhealthy their diet was, but it certainly had something to do with their lack of medicine and abundance of predators. If you were a paleo man, your chances of suffering a heart attack were probably much lower than the chances of being eaten up by a lion or having your own tribesmen club you to death for being a burden to the community. Some desperate folks resort to arguing about the mathematical definitions of “average lifespan”, but we all know that most of our ancestors died far younger than most of us.

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Ironically, modern folks who should be long dead during paleolithic times are now munching on purported paleo food that few people during that time could have lived to their age to enjoy. Take a look at the meaty diet of the caveman. Isn’t this a low-carbohydrate diet very similar to the traditional Eskimo diet? And by the way, Eskimos on a traditional Eskimo diet died an average of 10 years younger than their Canadian cousins. We know averages can be misleading, but in this case, we know that it isn’t.

Finally, we look at the kind of environment that our Paleolithic ancestors lived in. Compared to them, our lives are so much more sedentary. We don’t have to run after deer or antelope from food. We don’t have to run from lions, tigers or cannibalistic tribes to end up on the dinner table. I wonder if the Paleo fans would advocate hunting as a pastime, but I guess a little skinny dipping and other back to nature activities won’t do any harm.

© Chan Joon Yee