Potent natural remedies for a healthier you

When it comes to addressing those daily aches and pains, seek something natural first before considering a drug. Surely your own family doctor would agree to exhausting all natural solutions first.

Cholesterol buster

Time and again, there is a constant need to try out various regimens for a natural solution. There are several you might want to consider.

Know that there is good and bad cholesterol, but when it's bad, that's not good news at all.

An immediate measure is to completely remove all saturated fat from your diet. This means no animals' meat at all. Try it for 30 days. If you do not have the will to resist beef, pork, chicken and duck, then there is always fish.

Mornings are great for starting your detoxification regimen. Have a generous bowl of fresh fruits (not canned because you don't want the added sugars).

Here's a tip: Try to get used to eating fresh greens in the morning. An assortment of leafy green vegetables, sprouts (Brussels, bean, radish, alfalfa, barley) will immediately give you a big health boost.

If you do not find this appetizing, how about drinking this powerful vegetable-fruit concoction?

Health Tonic

■½ ampalaya (bitter gourd), sliced and seeded

■1 green apple, peeled and seeded

■2 cloves garlic

■¼ tsp apple cider vinegar

■½ tsp flaxseed or ¼ tsp flaxseed oil

■1 tsp raw wild honey

Place in a blender. Drink and be cleansed.

Barley and rice bran have anti-cholesterol properties. One cup before or after every meal is recommended.

Evening primrose oil contains gamma linolenic acid, which has cholesterol-lowering properties.

Note: Vitamin E supplements may reduce its potency, so don't combine them.

Fiber-at least 25-30 grams daily before meals will do.

Fish oils-EPA and DHA (omega 3-fatty acids). Take up to six 1,000-mg capsules daily if your cholesterol level is very high.

Caution. Do not combine with blood thinning medication.

Morin-oil from the seeds of moringa or malunggay capsule

Garlic oil capsules-one capsule three times daily

Ginger-as a fresh tea after meals (no sugar please)

Pectin in apples and grapefruit is extremely helpful. Eat these fruits daily.

Beans like kidney, navy, pinto and lima are natural foods that can help you.

Onions, red peppers and carrots are high in beta-carotene, a known health aid.

Stop or cut down caffeine intake. This includes coffee, green and black teas, chocolate.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are strong cholesterol neutralizers.

Diet helpers

Whether we are conscious of it or not, to diet is foremost in our minds.

If you had a choice of fish or steak for a meal, go for fish instead. Always remember that the third option is the healthier and wiser decision.

I certainly would personally recommend it. Fish is high in protein, low in calories and fat. For example, a three-ounce serving of sole or any white fish only contains 80 calories.

While carbohydrates have the same caloric values as protein, they are less fattening than actual fat from animal meats.

And it's always guilt-free when you indulge in carbohydrates-if you hit the gym or engage in some form of exercise that very same day. It's a tricky thing with carbohydrates. Do you know that the more carbo is ingested, the more cholesterol is produced? So if you choose to eat carbo, make it good carbo like the multigrain, high-fiber variety.

Green vitamins

I always find it ideal to consume a bowl of raw, fresh salad greens to begin a meal-never after. This I personally call my green vitamins. Most people reach out for a piece of bread or a bowl of chips and peanuts to stave off hunger. But this is not exactly being kind to your body. Trust me on this. You don't want the extra calories.

The easiest of diets is what I have always preached-eat everything in moderation. But before you put anything solid in your mouth, drink one full glass of tepid water. And it doesn't have to be bottled. Tap potable water is clean water. Then in sequence, take your salads, protein and carbo.

In the evenings, lessen the size of your servings. In short, eat less, not more.

Make it a habit to drink a cup of fresh ginger tea. No need to boil it or add sugar. Again, I will share this metabolism-raising tea. Mix 2 tbsp of grated fresh ginger in a pot of boiling water. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Sip slowly. It warms the tummy and improves digestion.

Sugar-lowering do's

What happens when you have diabetes? Primarily, the pancreas fails to produce the necessary insulin. When this happens, blood sugar rises uncontrollably. The good news is that in mild cases, diet alone can address the situation. Beware of hidden sugars. What is the big problem these days? We eat too much sugar. And we are all hooked on it. That's because most, if not all processed foods, contain sugar. Even baby foods are not spared! Here's a list: catsup, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, ice cream, tomato sauce, cereals, coffee creamers and sodas.

Any ingredient with the word ending in "ose" indicates the presence of sugar. So, look out for sucrose, sucralose and other sugar substitutes. The safe sugars? Coconut sugar and Stevia. Finally, there is no substitute for real exercise.

The often-asked question is whether sexual intercourse counts as exercise. The answer is yes, assuming it is at least 30 minutes of passionate workout.

Then there is always brisk walking. This tried and tested exercise will contribute to your well-being if done daily.

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