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An Uncommon But Serious Ailment

What Is Gluten?

The only treatment

The only treatment

Gluten is the common term for a group of proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and grains derived from them or having different names like triticale, durum, kamut, semolina, and spelt. Grains are so common in our diet that gluten is second only to sugar as our most commonly consumed ingredient.

What Is Celiac Disease?

The digestive system is the set of organs that digest food and absorb the important nutrients the body needs to stay healthy and grow. One important part of the digestive system is the small intestine, which is lined with millions of microscopic, finger-like projections called villi. Nutrients are absorbed into the body through the villi.

People who have celiac disease have a disorder that makes their bodies react to gluten. When they eat gluten, an immune system reaction to the protein gradually damages the villi in the small intestine. When the villi are damaged, the body is unable to absorb the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to stay healthy. People with celiac disease are therefore at risk of malnutrition and can develop anemia or osteoporosis.

The body’s inability to absorb nutrients can also mean that young people with untreated celiac disease may not grow properly and may have weight loss and fatigue. In addition, people who have celiac disease may be prone to developing other diseases, such as thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, and gastrointestinal cancer.

What Causes It?

Experts don’t know exactly why people get celiac disease, which is also called gluten intolerance, celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, or gluten-sensitive enteropathy.

The disease has some genetic background, which means that it may run in families. Just like eye or hair color, people inherit the genes that make them more likely to get celiac disease from their parents and grandparents. If an immediate family member (such as a parent or a sibling) has celiac disease, there’s about a 5% to 10% chance that you could have it, too. Celiac disease affects people of all heritages and backgrounds.

It is estimated that 1 in 133 people in the United States has the condition, although many don’t know that they do.

Signs and Symptoms

It’s important to diagnose celiac disease early before it causes damage to the intestine. But because it’s easy to confuse the symptoms with other intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance, teens with celiac disease may not know they have it.

Some common symptoms of celiac disease are diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating, and weight loss. Someone with the disease may feel tired and could be irritable or depressed. Some have skin rashes and mouth sores. Teens with undiagnosed celiac disease may go through puberty late.

Someone might not show any symptoms until going through an emotionally or physically stressful event, such as going away to college, illness, or an injury or pregnancy.

How Is It Treated?

Once celiac disease is diagnosed, a doctor will help treat it. Although there is no cure, celiac disease can be managed successfully by following a gluten-free diet. People with celiac disease need to follow this diet for life. Because gluten can be found in everything from breakfast cereals to prepared luncheon meals, they need to be very aware of what’s in the foods they eat.

If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, a doctor or dietitian who specializes in celiac disease can help you develop an eating plan that works with your lifestyle.

Luckily, the small intestine can heal. Although this process may take up to a year, many people start to feel better after just a few days on a gluten-free diet. But feeling better doesn’t mean that people with celiac disease can resume eating foods containing gluten. Because the genes that cause the disease are present in the body and the immune system continues to react to gluten, the symptoms and problems will return if someone with celiac disease starts eating gluten again.

Taking Care of Yourself

The good news about celiac disease is that most of the delicious and yummy foods, including birthday cake and pizza, can be prepared without gluten. So if you have celiac disease, you can still find ways to enjoy most of your favorite foods — you just need to do some research and be aware of what’s in the foods you eat.

Here are four things you should do if you have celiac disease:

  1. Learn to read labels to find out if a food contains gluten.
  2. Learn which foods are gluten free.
  3. Find alternatives to wheat, barley, and rye flours and other gluten-containing grain ingredients for your recipes.
  4. Find a support group where you and other people with the condition can share up-to-date information.

While the law requires the labeling of wheat-free products, be aware that “wheat free” doesn’t necessarily mean “gluten free,” as wheat-free products may have barley and rye (gluten-containing grains) in them.

Finding Gluten-Free Foods and Ingredients

Most grocery stores carry few gluten-free products these days. You may be able to find gluten-free bread, cereal, baking mixes, cookies, and crackers at your local market. For a wider selection, make a trip to a health food store. Be aware that lots of natural markets and health-food stores keep foods in bulk bins. It’s not a good idea to use even gluten-free products from these bins because the risk of cross contamination is very high.

Many specialty shops online also sell a range of gluten-free products, such as bread, pizza crusts, and pastas. Many regular and online shops even sell gluten-free flour blends that you can use to make your own pancakes and waffles, pizza dough, cookies, and brownies.

Eating a gluten-free diet is a lifelong commitment. But if you have celiac disease, you are not alone. Lots of support groups, cookbooks, and websites are dedicated to living a gluten-free life. To make sure you always have the most current and accurate information, consider joining one of the national celiac organizations. There are even gluten-free summer camps and special support groups just for kids and teens.

Grab the e-book where every recipe is completely gluten-free, sugar-free (except fruit), digestion-friendly, allergy-friendly and low glycemic with meat, poultry, fish meals and tree-nut-free, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian options for most recipes.

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Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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The Magic of Wonder Foods

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Watching Angelina Jolie down a tall glass of strawberry milk, Jessica Alba relish a piece of sinful dark chocolate and closer home, size zero Kareena Kapoor lick her fingers after finishing her eighth meal of the day makes you wonder, where does the food go? Are they all blessed with a high metabolic rate? Do they invest millions in body shapers? Are they bulimic? Or do they live on their treadmills? The reality bite? They eat and they eat right.

  • Blueberries: Not only are they a rich source of antioxidants but also reduce ageing and help in keeping off abdominal fat.
  • Asparagus: Being a natural diuretic, it helps to shed water weight. Asparagus also contains phytochemical glutathione, which has antioxidants and cancer preventing properties.
  • Apples: Rich in fibre, they keep you satisfied for longer, which is the key to maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Eggs: High in proteins, eggs are good for long lustrous hair. Being a good source of Vitamin B12, they help break down fat too.
  • Yoghurt: A rich source of good bacteria, it strengthens and stabilises the immune system. These probiotics can also work in our bodies to benefit our complexions, leaving the skin softer, smoother and less prone to breakouts.
  • Green tea: Aids digestion, detoxifies the body, making the skin glow. It also helps burn calories.
  • Salmon: A rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids that help burn fat and add glow to the skin. Salmon contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid that improves skin elasticity, so you’ll have fewer fine lines.
  • Cabbage: Contains cancer fighting goodness like chemical sulforaphane and phytonutrients which act to prevent damage to cell membranes from free radicals and is excellent for detoxification.
  • Dried plums: Great for digestive health, they also keep the heart healthy, reducing cholesterol levels. Plums contain potassium, magnesium and boron which regulate blood sugar levels and reduce wrinkles.
  • Beets: The natural yellow or betacyanin and the purple or betaxanthin of the beets are pigments that are potent phyto-chemicals and antioxidants fantastic for protecting from the damage that free radicals can cause to the body.
  • Pomegranate juice: Loaded with antioxidants, it is also said to destroy breast cancer cells, halt the development of lung cancer and lower the risk of blood pressure.
  • Papaya: Beneficial for skincare and repair, it can be used to eliminate old dead skin cells, dandruff and other skin disorders and even reduce signs of premature ageing.
  • Cinnamon: Reduces cholesterol levels in the body and regulates blood sugar, making it extremely beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes.
  • Sardines: Contain Omega 3 fatty acids that aid brain function and calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones.
  • Pumpkin seeds: Said to be the most nutritious part of the pumpkin, they contain high levels of magnesium which is good for general well being. They also contain L- tryptophan, a compound that acts naturally against depression.
  • Turmeric: Helps in digestion and contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It also acts as a great antioxidant.
  • Almonds: High in alpha linoleic acid, they can speed up the metabolism of fat as they contain good fat. Almonds are an excellent source of the skin loving antioxidant Vitamin E, providing 35 per cent of the required daily value.
  • Soyabeans: Contains choline which breaks down fatty deposits and blocks fat absorption.
  • Milk: Being rich in potassium, vitamins, calcium and protein, milk helps make the bones stronger. It’s external application leads to healthy skin and shiny hair.
  • Dark chocolate: Full of antioxidants, it also reduces signs of premature ageing and is being used in skin treatments worldwide.
  • Strawberries: Used topically in traditional medicine to treat burns and other skin irritations due to their astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Chili: Capsaican, the chemical that makes chili so spicy, improves the body’s ability to clear insulin from the blood stream leading to increased fat burn after the meal.
  • Cherry: The iron content in cherry is 20 times higher than that in apples or oranges. It promotes the formation of haemoglobin.
  • Bean sprouts: Rich source of proteins, vitamins, minerals and fibres. They can prevent freckles and dark spots.
  • Avocados: A good source of biotin, avocados help to prevent dry skin and brittle hair and nails. When applied topically, they hydrate parched skin.
  • Tomatoes: Besides being a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are considered a highcarotenoid fruit. These nutrients may help slow down cellular damage from free radicals.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help put shine in your hair, aid in making skin smoother and younger.
  • Beans: Legumes help repair cells that have suffered free radical damage. During digestion, protein breaks down into amino acids, which help to speed the repair and regeneration of skin cells and collagen.
  • Mushrooms: Great for skin, they have anti-ageing properties and also boost hormone secretion in women.
  • Carrots: Rich source of Vitamin A, which is essential for good skin. They also improve eyesight.

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Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Deal with Cancer – Naturally

Beware

Beware

Drinking an average of five sodas a week doesn’t sound like much… but what would you say upon learning that they nearly double your risk of getting pancreatic cancer — one of the deadliest of all malignancies?

This shocking statistic about soda comes from a study at the University of Minnesota. Researchers analyzed medical records and diet histories of 60,524 Asian adults over a 14-year period (the records came from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, the Singapore Cancer Registry and the Singapore Registry of Births and Deaths), comparing consumption of soft drinks (in one group) and fruit juice (in another group) with the incidence of pancreatic cancer… and found that the incidence was 87% higher among those who drank soda.

The researchers established that this link was independent of other risk factors
– such as smoking, body weight, type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes, caloric intake and the consumption of red meat. Having established that lifestyles in Singapore are very similar to those in the US, lead study author Noel Mueller, MPH, research associate at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, assured me there’s nothing uniquely dangerous about soda in Singapore — it’s the same stuff people drink here. Acknowledging that there are some genetic differences between the populations, he told me that he doesn’t think that those are as significant as the fact that soda drinkers likely don’t have the same healthy habits as fruit juice drinkers.

Not So Sweet

Researchers hypothesize that sugar is the culprit, with 12.5 teaspoons of sugar (usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup) in a 16-ounce, 200-calorie sugar-sweetened soda, on average — that’s enough to trigger the pancreas to produce a surge of insulin. Dr. Mueller theorizes that this habitual “blasting” of the pancreas with so much sugar may stimulate cancerous tumor growth over time. Though fruit juice is also high in sugar, researchers think that the nutrients and fiber in juices may buffer any unhealthy impact.

The resulting advice to limit sugar intake is predictable, of course — but I’m guessing that even those of us who already do that have vastly underestimated the potential damage that even a few sodas a week can do. This is no time for sweet talk: Stay away from sugary soda.

P.S. The term ‘cancer’ strikes the fear of death in most of us, in fact, cancer is synonymous with death. But do we know that there are a number of ways to prevent and even cure cancer? Are we aware? No, I am not talking about chemotherapy, which pushes you faster towards death, nor am I talking of surgery.

Alternative therapy is an extremely powerful form of treatment which can provide magical treatments. Follow the link below to get some life saving and valuable insight into the alternative form of cancer prevention and cure.

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Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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Colorful Health

We inherently have natural reactions to color—a clear blue sky can make you feel peaceful; a bunch of daffodils can give rise to optimism. So there is every possibility that the colors in our home can have an impact on our mood, too. Red, for instance, tends to be stimulating and blue, calming.

Here’s how you can tap into the power of color to feel happier, calmer or more inspired—without a huge paint job.

RED

Red makes us feel more energetic, outgoing & positive.
It nourishes our reproductive system, the cells in our blood stream and muscle fibers. Physical symptoms of blocked Red energy are:

  • Weakness
  • Reproductive Problems
  • Poor circulation
  • Anemia
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Tiredness

 

ORANGE

Orange is stimulating and instills enthusiasm & zeal.
It nourishes the organs of assimilation and the distribution processes of our body. Physical symptoms of blocked Orange energy are:

  • Disorders of the kidneys
  • Bladder problems
  • Spastic or sluggish colon
  • Some forms of arthritis and rheumatism
  • Constipation
  • Digestive disorders
  • Disorders of the spleen

 

GREEN

Green generates a calm and soothing atmosphere.
This color promotes harmony and balance. Green has a mild astringent effect and aids in the elimination of toxins. It assists in the building of muscles, skin and tissues. It is particularly beneficial for the sympathetic nervous system and  is useful for cell restoration.
Our heart and lung condition are directly related to its energy. Green also dissolves blood clots and relieves hardening of cells. Physical symptoms of blocked Green energy are:

  • Lung Disease
  • Cysts
  • Growths
  • Claustrophobia
  • Diseases of Connective and Muscle tissues
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Angina
  • Chronic Bronchitis

 

TURQUOISE

Turquoise encourages clarity in thought and communication.
It has a constant vibration which neither overpowers nor intrudes in any way.
It resonates to the thymus and thyroid glands of our Endocrine system.
Physical symptoms of blocked Turquoise energy are:

  • Viral and Bacterial Infections
  • Cysts
  • Hay Fever
  • Mental Fatigue
  • Skin Disorders
  • Leukemia
  • Psoriasis
  • Immune System Deficiencies

 

BLUE

Blue promotes values like loyalty & honesty.
Blue nourishes our throat region. It has an overall effect of calming, soothing, reducing feverish conditions and headaches. Physical symptoms of blocked Blue energy are:

  • Nervous Tension
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Coughs
  • Sore Throats
  • Hoarseness
  • Laryngitis
  • Vocal imbalances

 

YELLOW

Yellow encourages open-mindedness & observation power.
It strengthens the nervous system and helps in stimulating various organ functions, such as the action of the liver, the gallbladder and the flow of bile. It promotes the secretion of gastric juices, therefore assisting proper bowel movement. Physical symptoms of blocked Yellow energy are:

  • Nervous Disorders
  • Muscle Related Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Calcium Deposits
  • Arthritis
  • Poor Digestion
  • Liver Problems
  • Poor Memory

 

PURPLE

PURPLE generates feelings of self-respect and dignity
It is a royal color and is associated with the emperor, extravagance and wealth. Purple normalizes and balances all hormonal and glandular activity. It resonates to and nourishes the Pituitary gland. Physical symptoms of blocked Purple energy are:

  • Pituitary Gland Dysfunction
  • Cerebral-Spinal Meningitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Mental Disorders
  • Visual Disorders

 

PINK

Pink is the color of compassion.
It generates feelings of tenderness, gentleness, kindness, affection and love. It is the color of ‘Manifestation’ and transmutes desire into its physical equivalents. It’s subtle and refined vibration increases blood flow to the brain and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. Physical symptoms of blocked Pink energy are:

  • Pineal Gland Dysfunction
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Nervous Breakdown
  • Disorders of the Sympathetic Nervous System
  • Chronic Tiredness
  • Weak Memory

 

Vaishali Parekh

www.indian-cooking.info

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