Many well-intentioned workout resolutions have been thwarted by the first signs of sore, stiff muscles in the days following a visit to the gym. One study found that two common kitchen spices help relieve that post-workout muscle pain.
Researchers at Iran’s Isfahan University of Medical Sciences studied the effects of ginger and cinnamon on the muscle pain of 60 fit female competitive Taekwondo players, aged 13-25 years. The women were divided into three groups. For six weeks, each group took three grams (1 tsp = 4 grams) of either powdered ginger, cinnamon or placebo every day.
During the study, the women were tested for an indicator of inflammation and for muscle soreness. The results, published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine , showed that women in both the ginger and cinnamon groups had significantly less muscle soreness after exercising than the placebo group. A similar study from the University of Georgia, also confirmed gingers ability to relieve muscle soreness after exercise.
The researchers did not find any difference in the inflammation marker among the three groups despite other studies showing strong anti inflammatory qualities of ginger and cinnamon. They speculated that the three gram dose may have been insufficient to make a measurable difference.
Both ginger and cinnamon have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Each contains a wide range of compounds shown to curb inflammation, reduce oxidative stress and modulate other healing mechanisms within the body.
Ginger has a long list of amazing health benefits. It’s been proven more effective against bacterial staph infections than antibiotics; can kill cancer cells; eases ulcerative colitis and acid reflux and alleviates the effects of gamma radiation.
Ginger has been shown to be helpful in a relieving stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea due to seasickness, motion sickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy. It also relieves pain, swelling, and reduced mobility in those suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Its anti-viral properties help in the prevention and treatment of the common cold.
Cinnamon, the most popular spice, has been used for millennia both for its flavouring and medicinal qualities. The many health benefits of cinnamon, include lowering blood sugar levels; improving insulin sensitivity; relieving inflammation from arthritis; alleviating menstrual cramps; supporting healthy blood clotting; fighting the overgrowth of bacteria, fungus and yeast; preventing colds and flu; boosting memory; and improving digestion.
Ginger and cinnamon go together naturally, sharing the ingredient list in many healthy recipes. Add fresh ginger to teas, marinades, stir-fries and salad dressings.
Add cinnamon to a daily smoothie, applesauce or yogurt. You can also drop a cinnamon stick into your steeping tea or a pot of coffee.
The grocery aisles have displayed foods for decades that are nutritionally deficient. Poor soil conditions combined with seed engineering and processing have left people with poor choices. Consider these eight superfoods to get the required nutrients for optimal body function.
Aloe vera has 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids, 200 active plant compounds (phytonutrients), and strong antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
Aloe vera benefits include:
• Eases inflammation and arthritic pain
• Heals ulcers and a wide variety of digestive disorders and complications
• Treats candida and parasites
• Reduces heart attacks and strokes
• Helps halt growth of cancer tumors
Bee pollen is a rich source of carotenoids, 22 amino acids, and enzymes. It is a also good source of B-vitamins, vitamin C and E, and over 68 minerals.
Bee pollen benefits include:
• Combats cancer, diabetes, arthritis and depression
• Promotes increased strength, stamina, endurance and energy levels
• Increases concentration and memory
• Improves fertility and enhances sexual activity
• Increases resistance to infections
Maca is a very nutrient-dense superfood and a complete source of amino acids. It also is rich in B-vitamins, vitamins C and E, and is a good source of copper, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
Maca benefits include:
• Improves anaemia
• Reduces chronic fatigue
• Relieves stress and depression
• Improves libido and fertility
• Improves adrenal function
• Strengthens memory
Reishi is a rich source of antioxidants. It is also a good source of B-vitamins, as well as potassium, niacin, magnesium, selenium, copper and phosphorus.
Reishi benefits include:
• Combats immune-related disorders like allergies, arthritis and cancer
• Reduces physical and mental stress
• Reduces inflammation
• Protects the liver
• Helps correct digestive disorders
Goji berries contain 18 amino acids, 21 trace minerals, vitamin A, B-complex, C and E, and is a superior form of antioxidants.
Goji berries benefits include:
• Significantly improves immune function
• Protects DNA
• Protects the eyes and liver
• Reduces inflammation
• Protects the heart
• Improves mood and libido
Chlorella is a rich source of complete protein, a potent source of chlorophyll, and rich in the entire vitamin complex. It is also an exceptional source of iron and zinc, as well as magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium.
Chlorella benefits include:
• Helps detoxify biotoxins, xenobiotics and heavy metals
• Helps kill candida and yeast overgrowth
• Known cancer fighter
• Prevents and improves diabetes and insulin resistance
• Reduces pain associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia
• Helps heal and repair tissue growth
• Reduces and eliminates digestive issues
Hemp contains 20 amino acids and is a complete source of plant protein. It is also nature’s most abundant source of essential fatty acids and has a perfect 3 to 1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3.
Hemp benefits include:
• Fortifies immune system
• Reduces inflammation
• Improves memory and prevents brain-related diseases
• Clears up skin disorders
• Helps keep digestive tract healthy and clean
• Helps prevent cancer
• Helps reduce risk of diabetes
Coconut is an excellent source of fatty acids, including lauric and caprylic acid, which destroy bacteria, viruses and fungi. It’s also a good source of B-vitamins and a great source of copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc.
Coconut benefits include:
• Improves immune system function
• Helps protect against brain-related disorders
• Lowers risk of diabetes
• Reduces joint and muscle inflammation
• Strengthens liver
• Kills bacteria and parasites
• Protects against cancer and other immune-related diseases
• Eases acid reflux and promotes proper digestive function
There is a great amount of Western Medical research into the efficacy of the mechanisms of Acupuncture treatment. Today more than ever, the scientific evidence is overwhelming that acupuncture has vast physiological effects in the body. Here are the main ones….
Acupuncture promotes blood flow.
This is significant because everything the body needs to heal is in the blood, including oxygen, nutrients we absorb from food, immune substances, hormones, analgesics (painkillers) and anti-inflammatories. Restoring proper blood flow is vital to promoting and maintaining health. For example if blood flow is diminished by as little as 3% in the breast area cancer may develop. Blood flow decreases as we age and can be impacted by trauma, injuries and certain diseases. Acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow and vasodilation in several regions of the body.
Acupuncture stimulates the body’s built-in healing mechanisms.
Acupuncture stimulates the body’s ability to spontaneously heal injuries to the tissue through nervous, immune and endocrine system activation. By needling the acupoints, the body also heals any surrounding tissue damage left over from old injuries.
Acupuncture releases natural painkillers.
Inserting a thin needle into certain points on the “Heart”, “Pericardium” or “Liver” meridian, sends a signal through the nervous system to the brain, where chemicals such as endorphins, norepinephrine and enkephalin are released. According to Chris Kresser (L.Ac) “Medicine for the 21st Century”, some of these substances are 10-200 times more potent than morphine!
Acupuncture reduces both the intensity and perception of chronic pain.
It does this through a process called “descending control normalization”, which involves the serotonergic nervous system.
Acupuncture relaxes shortened muscles and muscle fibres.
This in turn releases pressure on joint structures and nerves, and promotes blood flow.
Acupuncture reduces stress.
This is perhaps the most important systemic effect of acupuncture. Recent research suggests that acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone and signaling substance that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. You’ve probably heard of the “fight-or-flight” response that is governed by the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system has been called the “rest-and-digest” or “calm-and-connect” system, and in many ways is the opposite of the sympathetic system. Recent research has implicated impaired parasympathetic function in a wide range of autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.