How to make Fenugreek tea

fenugreek seeds
Healing tea from ancient seeds

Fenugreek seed has long been used by civilisations to treat ailments and has recently been thought of as useful for diabetes.

It has a taste like maple syrup or licorice, and is a popular ingredient for curries, soups and stews.

However it can also be brewed to make a tea for medicinal purposes. Some people make it to control blood pressure, others for the common cold, but researchers are still speculating about whether it helps the body produce insulin. (Always talk to your doctor before regularly consuming fenugreek tea.)

It’s easy to make the tea. Steep 1 teaspoon of organic whole fenugreek seeds in a cup of boiled water for 5 minutes. Pour the water through a strainer to remove the seeds. You won’t have to sweeten it because the tea will naturally be very sweet.

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Green Coffee Extract Found to Help with Weight Loss

Tests with green coffee saw people lose an average of almost 18 pounds and 4.4% of their body fat. Kimberly Beauchamp ND, comments on the  new findings.

With obesity on the rise, it’s no surprise that people turn to fad diets, meal replacements, supplements, drugs, and even surgery in an effort to lose weight. Most of these solutions are riddled with problems, though, and weight lost is often easily gained back. So weight-loss strategies that are safe and long-lasting always make welcome news. Enter the green coffee bean, which a study in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity claims will help overweight people safely shed some extra pounds.

What’s in the bean?

Recent studies suggest that drinking coffee could protect against type 2 diabetes and obesity, which led researchers to look for the constituents in coffee that might be responsible for these effects. They discovered that coffee contains something called chlorogenic acid, a substance that seems to influence glucose and fat metabolism. Unroasted—or green—coffee beans contain substantially more chlorogenic acid than roasted beans do.

To test the effects of a standardised green coffee extract on weight loss, 16 overweight people (average age 33 years) took high dose (1,050 mg per day) green coffee extract, low dose (700 mg per day) green coffee extract, and placebo, each separately for six weeks, with a two-week break between phases. The participants didn’t change their diets during the trial. Body weight, BMI (body mass index), and percent body fat were measured before, during, and after each period of the study.

Both dosages of green coffee extract led to significant reductions in percent body fat, body weight, and BMI. Percent body fat also decreased significantly with placebo, but body weight and BMI remained unchanged. While taking green coffee bean extract, the people lost an average of almost 18 pounds and 4.4% of their body fat. What’s more, 88% of the people maintained their weight loss four months later. No side effects related to the treatment were reported.

“The results suggest that green coffee extract may be an effective nutraceutical in reducing weight in preobese adults, and may be an inexpensive means of preventing obesity in overweight adults,” concluded the researchers.

Weight loss 101

The results of this small study were impressive but need to be reproduced in larger trials before solid recommendations can be made about taking green coffee bean extract for weight loss. Doctors who specialise in weight loss agree that lasting results can only be achieved when you make permanent lifestyle changes that include eating less and moving more. Each positive step that you take adds up to help you meet and maintain your weight loss goals.

  • Be active. Exercise does double duty for weight loss—by burning calories while you’re working out and by increasing your resting metabolic rate.
  • Make your calories count. “Empty” calories from processed foods (like chips, pastries, and white bread and pasta) add inches to your waistline. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, fish, and low-fat dairy and lean meats help fill you up without filling you out.

(Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 2012;5:21–7)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation’s premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

Fancy some chocolate without the guilt?

 I couldn’t help it. I can resist everything except temptation.

Lord Darlington in Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windemere’s Fan

We all want chocolate now and again, and those who don’t like it normally don’t have to deal with the herculean task of resisting it.

Choxy luxury xylitol chocolate
Choxy luxury Xylitol chocolate

But if you’re diabetic or on a diet, that is the temptation which faces you.

Thankfully there’s Choxy Luxury Chocolate from Xylitol.

Xylitol is a Birch tree sugar just as good as regular sugar. It is a natural sweetener with many health benefits. It has a low GI, has 40% less calories than sugar and can be used by diabetics.

Fancy some coffee or mint chocolate, dark or orange? You don’t need to be tempted…

Did you know elderberry juice was so powerful?

Who knew that elderberry juice had so many benefits?

Not only does it contain vitamins A, C and B, it also feeds you a healthy dose of antioxidants.

This seems to have a good effect on the immune system as Elderberry Juice is renowned for its ability to treat illnesses like the flu, common colds, sore throats and other infections.

Its ability to reduce mucus also seems to help with asthma, coughs and bronchitis.

pure elderberry juice
Finally, a pure organic elderberry juice

What is more elderberry juice is also documented as helpful for treating serious diseases like AIDS and diabetes. It helps lower cholesterol levels and maintains a healthy digestive system. It has anti-viral, anti-histamine properties and is thought to deal with many other ailments from yeast infections to skin problems.

Sceptical?
I’m wary of listing illnesses as if one herbal remedy could be a cure-all, but the information available about elderberry juice is pretty impressive.

If you are interested Biona have produced a pure organic elderberry juice. While you can find elderberry syrup, this currently seems to be the only completely pure elderberry juice widely available on the UK market.

So many alternatives to alcohol…

A quick brainstorm comes up with lots of reasons why you might not want to drink alcohol – aside from the obvious alcohol abuse.

You might be trying to lose weight, or be on a fitness programme. There might be spiritual reasons or you may want to follow a healthier lifestyle.

You might be pregnant, on medication or have an ongoing illness.

Aside from anything else consuming alcohol washes vitamins and nutrients out of your system. There are benefits of course, alcohol has been enjoyed by many for centuries. But few people know the range of non-alcoholic drinks out there.

Breckland Orchard make various sparkling fruit drinks with special infusions such as Strawberry and Rhubarb or Cranberry and Rosehip. Other drinks companies offer their own specially made versions: Free Natural offer caffeine free drinks, Thorncroft promise no added sugar and Luscombe drinks are organic.

Another organic brand, particularly for the party feel are The Organic Collection’s sparkling fruit berry drinks. Rock’s are also an organic brand but they specialise in varieties of flavoured water.

Fentimans brew traditional tasting beverages such as cola, dandelion & burdock, jigger and ginger beer.

Fancy a bottle of bubbly?
Fancy a bottle of bubbly?

In fact there’s heavy competition between ginger drinks all round, with options like Gran Stead’s Ginger Wine, Great Uncle Cornelius Finest Spiced Ginger or Rochester’s Organic Hot Toddy and more.

Of course, there are many fruit juices as well. James White are are a notable bottled brand in this area.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the popular Yorkshire Punch made with infusions of herbs and spices, and Rochester’s Mulled Berry or Rum and Raisin – just in case you’re looking for something with true Christmas spirit.

So many pleasurable drinks and you’ll be able to enjoy more than the odd tipple.

Got a heart for pistachios? You’d be nuts not to

Nuts used to be the bad guys. They were seen as high in fat and calories. Now they are recognised for their positive effect on the body, particularly as a likely preventative of heart disease.

People with diabetes replaced their carb calories with a similar calorie count of nuts and found that their blood sugar levels improved and their unhealthy cholesterol went down.

In a nut shell? Healthy

Interestingly no one in the diabetes test lost or increased their weight even though the nuts made up 20-30% of their calorie intake. But, after 3 months, blood sugar levels were better, indications of cardiac risk were lower and LDL cholesterol was down.

Conclusion: nuts are healthy.

The nuts used in the test were unsalted and mostly raw, with some dry roasted, and included almonds, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and macadamias.

It’s best to eat nuts raw as this preserves the mono- and poly-unsaturated fats which are healtheir fats; eat them unsalted too. Eating nuts are will give you a boost of fibre, vitamin E, and a host of minerals like magnesium and selenium. But they are still high in calories so make sure they’re replacing something else in your diet – the fact that they help control your blood sugar means you’re unlikely to feel as hungry anyway.

Buying nuts in bulk
is the best way to source your favourite variety as nuts can be pretty expensive if you buy them in small bags.

You eat 75% of your chewing gum. What’s in it?

Did you know that when you finish with your chewing gum it is one 1/4 of the size you started with?

That means you eat 75% of it… but what are you eating?

The same stuff that gets made into the tyres on your car: synthetic polymers. A lot of gum uses unnatural ingredients for its base.

Peppersmith doesn’t. This intriguing little company have taken gum back to before the dirty days of putting plastic in your food. Instead, they use chicle, a natural and sustainable rainforest gum, which all gum used to be made from.

A chewing gum with no artificial ingredients
A chewing gum with no artificial ingredients

They also use high quality Black Mitcham Peppermint grown in Hampshire, and wood sugar taken from beech trees. There’s no artificial flavours, colours, preservatives or anything, and especially not aspartame. (The gum is also vegetarian, gluten-free, and good for diabetics and it’s made in a nut-free environment.)

The result? The dentists like it because wood sugar (xylitol) actively fights plaque and the public love it because of the quality of the peppermint.

Plus, each box comes with these dainty little papers so that you can wrap your chewing gum up once you’ve finished with it, leaving you to conscientiously dispose of the other 25%.