Kefir Grains – Lowering Your Cholesterol

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Though cholesterol is essential for many functions in the human body, high levels of it may contribute to anything from high blood pressure to coronary heart disease, and lowering your cholesterol now by eating healthier, exercising and avoiding sugars, saturated fats, and starches may prevent a lot of serious health problems down the road and play a role in decreasing them as you get older.

Healthy cholesterol levels act as a precursor to certain hormones and vitamins, and is a component to generating healthy cell membranes and nerve cells. However, elevated levels of total blood cholesterol or other blood lipids contribute to developing a number of health problems including coronary heart disease. It has been researched that probiotics significantly reduce harmful lipids by assimilating cholesterol in the digestive tract and reducing the absorption of dietary cholesterol from the digestive system into the blood.

Cutting down on calories and reducing saturated fat and bad cholesterol (LDL) in the diet will increase optimum health, and adding probiotics and beneficial bacteria to your regular diet aids in food absorption, keeping cholesterol levels within healthy ranges. Cultured dairy products have been shown to reduce serum cholesterol, as well as triglycerides that are harmful to the body, and probiotics such as yogurts and kefir grains offer a safer way to clean up excess cholesterol without the side effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Cultured dairy products such as yogurt decreases serum cholesterol levels in humans and rabbits and every one percent reduction in serum cholesterol concentration is associated with an estimated 2-3% reduction in risk for coronary heart disease.. Regular intake of fermented milk, which is what kefir originates from, contains an appropriate strain of L. acidophilus has the potential of reducing risk for coronary heart disease by 6-10%. Lactobacillus acidophilus, present in probiotics such as kefir, decreases serum cholesterol levels as well.

Food absorption and liver functions improve beneficial bacteria, and when consumed on a regular basis help keep cholesterol levels within healthy ranges. Assimilation of cholesterol in the digestive tract, such as the small intestine, may be important in reducing the absorption of dietary cholesterol from the digestive system into the blood.

Probiotics offer a safe way to clean up excess cholesterol without the side effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs, which, like many strong medicines,may be indiscriminate in targeting the root problem, much like a tactical nuclear missile which wipes out the problem but also results in a lot of collateral damage. A good way to assist probiotics in lowering your serum cholesterol is to reduce the intake of both alcohol and saturated fats, processed sugars, and to exercise on a regular basis in addition to the intake of probiotics such as water kefir to your diet daily. This is preventative medicine, which offers many benefits to aid you in the long run as opposed to being short-sighted and creating many health problems you don’t need.

In short, though many different behaviors contribute to lowering your cholesterol such as a healthy diet and exercise, probiotics such as kefir grains as an addition to your daily food intake will help you in this endeavor and provide many other benefits to your health as well.

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Source by Erin Schroeder

Kefir Grains – Kefir Health Benefits

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In 1908, Metchnikov wrote in his book “The extension of life” that the secret of longevity found in the Russian Caucasus Mountains was Kefir. Kefir is actually cultured milk that people made and consumed. The villagers of the Caucasus Mountains gave us the Caucasian yoghurt and kefir (milk fermentation product). Kefir history goes back several centuries. It is widely known in Eastern Europe and the old Pontus Area. People in the Caucasus Mountains drink kefir instead of water and also eat dense kefir cream as a dessert. Caucasian Mountain people do not suffer from the degenerative diseases of modern western society people and their estimated lifespan exceeds 110 years. Their longevity is actually because of kefir consumption.

Professor Dr Kanschlikow devoted much of his life in researching kefir, and observing its therapeutic effects in many illnesses. He found out that Kefir contributes to the recovery process after a disease and that can be used as a substitute for maternal milk. Kefir is not medicine but a special traditional food. It can even be used as sour cream in sauces and salads. The nutrient drink kefir milk is considered appropriate to include in special diets and for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.

Like yoghurt, kefir is based on milk. The process to make kefir includes the fermentation of milk with kefir “seeds” or Kefir Grains. A Kefir Grain is basically a mass of bacteria, yeast and polysaccharide. The microbiology of kefir grains is very complex. The polysaccharide contained in the mass of kefir grains has shown that it is unique in nature and is given the name kefiran.

Kefir is a nutritional drink because it contains beneficial probiotic bacteria, yeast, minerals and amino acids that help the human’s body function of recovery, help in body maintenance and also offer excellent defenses to the immune system. The complete proteins included in kefir are digested better compared with yogurt and are used more easily in the body. Amino acids contained in Kefir are known also to relax the nervous system.

The Caucasus kefir type is a delicious probiotic drink and beneficial to children and adults and is intended to promote everyday good health. It is said that daily consumption of Caucasus Kefir supports a balanced intestinal ecosystem. Kefir is also excellent for long term health maintenance when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

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Source by Glenn Prescot

Benefits of Eating Whole Grains Daily

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Whenever you hear the term whole grains mentioned in a conversation, you usually think about foods such as whole wheat and brown rice. The reasons why these foods are called whole grains are because unlike processed or refined grains, they have the germ, endosperm and bran. Another important difference between whole grains and refined grains is that the former can sprout and grow. It has been recommended by the American Heart Association that you should have 6 servings of whole grains in your daily diet to reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases. If you are able to regularly eat the required amount of servings of whole grain, you will not only have the appropriate number of calories in your daily diet, you will also be reducing the risk of developing other diseases in your life and that is definitely a good thing.

Whole grain foods are very rich in carbohydrates. The human body uses them for energy, but you may be asking yourself why you need so many daily servings. The truth behind this is that your body actually consumes calories when it is breaking down the food. This energy cost is referred to as the thermic effect of food or TEF for short. When you eat more meals during the day, you end up burning more calories due to TEF. By eating more frequently, you also avoid overeating because when you do get hungry, you will not eat as much. You need to keep in mind that this only applies if you are eating the right types of foods such as whole grains.

Another benefit from eating whole grains is that it reduces the risk for hypertension and it can help control the disease. This disease is a major cause of cardiovascular complications such as heart attack and stroke. It is a known fact that eating whole cereals for breakfast can reduce your chances for developing heart disease by as much as 29 percent. Your chances of becoming obese or contracting diabetes are also reduced as they are also risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. When it comes right down to it, there is nothing better than whole grains to reduce the risks of these diseases.

As we already know, whole grains provide carbohydrates, but they are actually associated with reducing fasting insulin concentrations, reducing post-meal blood glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity. The reason being is that whole grains have low glycemic indices and they make you feel full longer and this helps to prevent food cravings and overeating.

This is great news if you are one of those that are diabetic or a pre-diabetic. If you experience increased levels of insulin or impaired fasting glucose, eating the required whole grain consumption six times a day will greatly reduce your chances for developing type II diabetes. This can be as simple as replacing your white rice with whole grains.

Eating whole grains on a daily basis will also benefit your colon health as they have high fiber content. It can also prevent constipation because they allow the food to pass through the intestines more easily and quickly. They also protect against the formation of Gallstones and most important of all, frequent consumption of whole grains can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer.

I hope that you enjoyed this article and if you would like some great information to help you live healthier, please visit my eating healthy web site where you will find some great free tips to help you live a long and healthy life.

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Source by Brent Cullen