Local Honey and Allergies

An allergy myth people commonly hear about is that eating local honey will help with your allergies. The idea makes sense because local honey is made by bees in your area that will pollinate some of the plants you are allergic to. Thus helping you to become immune to the pollen in that area. Unfortunately there is no evidence to suppurt this idea and it is currently more of a myth than a fact.

Honey 

 Although this is very good reasoning, no research has actually been done to verify this, and there really isn't any evidence to back this theory up. It would be hard to get large honey manufacturers to do a study like this since their honey usually comes from several different sources. Furthermore, the local pollen in honey could actually make allergies worse, according to Tom Ogen, a horticulturist.

The Good News
Although it may not be proven that local honey helps with allergies, there are still many benefits one can get out of honey. Your body quickly absorbs the glucose in honey which can give you an immediate boost in your energy, while the fructose gets absorbed slower, providing you with lasting energy.This wonderful natural sugar works better than cough syrups. Honey also has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that can help with your immunity and digestive system. 

Despite the fact that there is no evidence that local honey helps ward off alllergies, it doesn't hurt to try it, as many people have claimed it has helped. Even if you do not get the desired effects, honey is still a great health food and has many other benefits to make it worth your while.

A similar article about local honey can be ound at:
http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2008/06/23/does_eating_local_honey_help_prevent_allergies/

Honey

Salt and High Blood Pressure?

Fact or Fiction: Too much salt intake can cause high blood pressure (or hypertension) in everyone.

False. Although salt and high blood pressure are related, too much salt does not necissarily mean you will have high blood pressure. Doctors, the government and society in general have been quick to tell Americans to cut back on their sodium intake. In response, many food companies have come out with reduced sodium foods, and many members of society have turned to alternative or healthier versions of salt, such as rock salt or salt substitutes.

When Salt Does Cause High Blood Pressure
Salt and high blood pressure are related if someone has been diagnosed as "salt sensitive" or has hypertension already. For these people, too much salt is likely to affect them in a negative way. In this case it is a good idea to stay on a low sodium diet and to cut back on salt by staying away from canned foods, box dinners, and especially dried noodle meals such as Top Ramen. These foods are high in salt and can make symptoms of high blood pressure worse if one already high blood pressure.

Did you know? Top Ramen contains over 76% of the Sodium you need in a day in just one package!

Why Are Some People More Sensitive to Salt Than Others?
Doctors and scientists are not sure exactly why some people are more sensitive to sodium, but part of it may have to do with other chemicals that interact with salt such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. All these minerals are important in making your muscles and other body functions work. For example, potassium lowers blood pressure by helping your blood vessels dialiate. A deficiency in one of these minerals can off set the balance of the others.

What if You Are Not Hypertensive?
For those of us who are not hypertensive, it is okay to enjoy your salt for now. There is no scientific evidence that salt causes high blood pressure. However, it may still be a good idea to cut back on salt in case you are hypertensive, or at least until further studies can be made.

Here is a similar article about salt sensitivity: http://www.naturalnews.com/015820.html

~HealthyGirl

What Are Live and Active Cultures?

Yogurt bowl

The FDA mandates that live and active cultures be put in yogurt. We have all seen the labels on the yogurt cups. That little symbol meaning they contain…what? Microbes? How the heck do they help with digestion as often shown on Activia commercials?

There are plenty of microbes in yogurt, but I'm just going to name a few. Two big microbe names in yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Say What?
Well, lets look at each name to find the meaning of each microbe and figure out what it does..

Lactobacillus

Lactobacillus bulgaricus
Lacto means milk, and bacillus means its a rod shape. This microbe is actually a rod shaped bacteria that helps you convert lactose into lactic acid. This aids in digestion, especially with lactose intolerant people. it also helps promote other healthy bacteria that keep your immune system up to grow.

 

 

 Streptococcus thermophilus
Strepto means it is found in small lines
or strips, coccus means it is a small
round shape, Streptococcus thermophilus means it can withstand really hot temperatures!  This is good because when milk and other dairy products are pasteruized, they are put in extremely hot temperatures to kill "bad bacteria." Since Streptococcus can handle the heat, this process wont kill it, but your stomach might. The picture on the right is what this little guy looks like under a light microscope. S. thermophilus actually does not stay active in the gut of healthy humans. It's main purpose is to help culture and form yogurt.

Lactobacillus acidophilus
This microbe is also a lactose fermenting rod. It is part of the natural flora in the human gut and vagina. It's growth helps prevent yeast infections and ward off harmful bacteria growth.

Heat Culturing
Some companies heat culture their bacteria because it supposedly takes away the "off" flavor. Most people can't even taste the difference. But there is a difference. It kills all the good bacteria! Even the tough ones! A good suggestion is, if you can't tell the difference, don't buy yogurts that were heat cultured, or you are cutting yourself short.

Yogurt woman

Now go eat some yogurt!

~HealthyGirl