Your Health Told By Science.
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Cheryl
cheryl6 days ago

Your Health Told By Science.

6 days ago

Why Essential Oils Aren't So Essential

As you enter your neighbor’s home, you inhale a sweet long breath of lavender-scented goodness. Expecting an herb garden just around the corner, you are instead greeted by the most beautiful of essential oil diffusers. You can't quite tell if it's truly the most beautiful, because right at the same moment, your judgement is impaired by soothing plant power.

A Plant Power That's Essential. Or Is It?

The Oxford dictionary defines essential as, “1. Absolutely necessary; extremely important. 2. Required for normal growth but not synthesized in the body and therefore necessary in the diet.” (1) But what is an essential oil? Why is it called essential? Clearly, if essential oils fit one of these two definitions, we would all be inhaling, eating and applying them to our skin as often as possible.

Stop right there, and don’t take a metaphorical step further until you read this.

The True Meaning of Essential

Our bodies have expert capabilities when it comes to staying nourished. Give a body potatoes and it turns those starchy carbohydrates into glucose energy. Give it carrots and it’ll break down that orange beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is good for healthy skin and eyes. Your body is a constant hive of activity. It’s adaptable and clever. But it’s not perfect. It’s not a computer. This means your body needs to be given many essential (there’s that word again!) nutrients in order to survive.

Before we delve into the world of essential oils, let’s first take a look at a true to meaning example of essential. An example that demonstrates the Oxford dictionary definition of absolutely necessary — essential fatty acids (EFAs). If you haven’t heard of EFAs, I’m willing to bet a pretty penny you’ve heard of omega 3 or cod liver oil. These are one and the same. They are a family.

Omega 3 is an EFA naturally found in fatty fish like salmon. It is called essential because your body has no backup manufacturing system for this vital nutrient. Without consuming several omega 3 rich dinners our bodies would gradually become deficient. That’s bad news because omega 3 keeps your heart healthy, fights inflammation and helps prevent cancer (2).

Now Let Us Look at Essential Oils

Do we have the same biological need for essential oils? Does the wording essential still mean that our bodies require essential oils to be healthy?

Calling an essential oil essential is a little like nicknaming your other half Brad Pitt. Your body has no essential need for essential oils. So, why is an essential oil called essential? Good question. Essential oils are called essential because they’re nicknamed from the phrase “essence of.”

All essential oils are, first, oily and second, a concentration of all the ingredients needed to make a plant smell exactly like it does when swaying gently to the breeze of a sunny day.

Lavender essential oil is the essence of everything that makes lavender smell like lavender. It’s a blend of all the ingredients that are essential to making the oil smell of lavender and not bathroom air freshener.

What Does This Mean For You?

Many believe essential oils have magical healing powers. While there are some interesting and active components of essential oils being studied, it’s best to remember an essential oil is still a fragrance.

Would you eat, drink or liberally apply fragrance to your skin? Probably not.

(1) https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/essential

(2) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332202002536

25 days ago

Age: Are You Advancing Yours by Eating AGEs?

Oh, the irony. Age — a number you may be advancing by eating ingredients nicknamed as AGEs (1). You won’t find these highlighted on your ingredients list. They won’t be calling for your attention on the nutrition wheel. Yet they will absolutely be working against your body.

It seems like every day there’s a new evil.

Sugar. Dairy. Trans-fats.

Is there anything left that’s healthy?

As the wise would say — everything in moderation.

Sugar is easy to segment off as a treat. How can anything that tasty be good for you?

Then there are those in-between foods, foods like sweet potatoes. Foods that almost taste too good to be true. Still, all that’s needed is a small amount of research and you’ll know the world of sweet potatoes inside-out.

Here’s one you haven’t heard. One you’ll be celebrating if you’re vegetation. One that may put you off ever nearing an Atkins-style high-protein diet.

Meat contains a high dose of ingredients that actively age your body, stiffen your artery walls and promote heart disease (2). Ingredients called AGEs.

What are AGEs?

AGEs are short for advanced glycation end products. These bad news ingredients are formed when cooking up a meat feast.

Meat contains natural sugars and many proteins. When raw, these molecules hang out like a teabag in cold water. When you add heat into the mixture, things change. Sugar and protein brew together to create a new molecule, a molecule named AGE.

The harder you cook your meat, the more AGEs are formed (3). That means, BBQ-ing, broiling and frying are all bad news for your health.

So just what do AGEs do to your body?

Ever use a two-part glue? Before mixing, those two ingredients are happily fluid, non-sticky and stable. As soon as they lay eyes on each other, you only have minutes before fluid turns to solid, sticky and again stable.

Imagine this happening in your body.

The two parts of your glue are sugar and protein. Cooking activates that binding phase and after finding themselves consumed, they harden into your bodily tissues. That could be your artery walls (4). Your heart (5). Your kidneys (6).

The next part of the story fills itself in. High blood pressure, heart disease and kidney failure.

How to minimise AGEs in your diet.

Vegetarians have a lot less to worry about. If you’re not prepared to forgo meats, these 10 snippets of advice will help you minimise the pathological effects of AGEs on your body.

1. Cook meats at low heat.

2. Eat your steak medium rare, or better yet — rare.

3. Slow cook often.

4. Switch meat for fish.

5. Switch broiling or roasting for poaching or steaming.

6. Pre-marinate meat with lemon juice or vinegar.

7. Cook bacon in the microwave.

8. Try poaching chicken instead of frying.

9. Indulge in sushi.

10. Commit to consecutive days or even a week of passive vegetarianism.

Protect your health and stay youthful. Implementing just a few of these changes to cooking style or diet will dramatically affect the daily portion of AGEs you consume.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17452738

(2) http://journals.lww.com/jhypertension/Abstract/2003/01000/Cross_linking_of_glycated_collagen_in_the.2.aspx

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/

(4) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mnfr.200700035/full

(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19448391

(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12112941/

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