fasting-mimicking-diet-plan

AN OVERVIEW OF THE FASTING MIMICKING DIET.

This article will provide an analysis of a diet based on calorie restriction and its ability to promote metabolic and cellular changes in order to allow you to learn more about it. It is important to start stating that the human being is programmed to withstand periods of dietary restriction. The evolution has led to a gradual change in the mechanisms complexes that regulate energy homeostasis.

From different data, calorie restriction can promote metabolic changes that can positively influence oxidative damage and inflammation, optimizing energy metabolism.  Fasting is the most extreme form of calorie restriction and it involves abstinence from food, but not from water. It can be done in intervals, such as intermittent fasting, or periodically as a prolonged fasting, if it lasts more than 2 days. In humans, consumption of a strict amount of kcal/day for 2 days a week showed positive effects on various parameters of metabolic health.

The discovery of Fasting Mimicking Diet.

Professor Valter Longo, director of both the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California and The Program on Longevity and Cancer at IFOM in Milan, after discovering two of the three metabolic pathways that cause cellular aging, undertook a study together with his research group in order to identify a major impact surgery that would reduce or reverse biological aging.

The studies carried out, sponsored by the National Institute of Health, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Aging, have led to the creation of a plant-based dietary protocol, easy to use and proven effective, called Fasting Mimicking Diet. This food program aims to keep the body in a state of fasting while eating. Experiments conducted on murine model have shown that cycles of FMD contribute to a modulation in their life span (health span).

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Fasting Mimicking Diet plan in detail.

While mimicking a food-free condition, the FMD  nourishes the organism through a food protocol entirely vegetable, gluten-free and lactose-free. Its precise nutritional formulation is the result of about twenty years of research.

Every day Fasting Mimicking Diet has a very specific nutritional profile. The five-day protocol is low-calorie and low protein, with about 1100 kcal in 1° day and 700 kcal from 2° to 5°day, of which 9-11% are vegetable proteins, 44-46% lipids, mainly unsaturated, and 43-47% carbohydrates. During FMD, the content of simple sugars does not reach 10%.

The objective is to obtain the periodic flection of metabolic pathways typical of calorie restriction. In healthy subjects with an active lifestyle, FMD may be repeated after 6 months, but with increased criticises for metabolic health or irregular lifestyle FMD may be done more frequently, under evaluation of the referring nutritionist and/or doctor.

Fasting Mimicking Diet benefits ad effects.

With the Fasting Mimicking Diet, you can get many benefits while enjoying food, such as:

-Enhancing performance, feeling greater focus, clarity and energy, through the benefits of a leaner body;

-Fatting focused weight loss, while protecting lean body mass;

-Enhancing cellular renewal through triggering cell-based self-repair and autophagy, the clean-up of aging and damaged cells, and promoting rejuvenation from within;

-Keeping metabolic health, in order to support overall wellness.

Periodic calorie restriction and lasting changes in our daily diet can greatly affect our body’s ability to grow old healthy.

In the field of nutrition science, there are many lines of action that can be applied to the subject. FMD is able to elicit all the positive effects of water-only fasting, which occur on a wide range of topics related to longevity.  Moreover, each FMD cycle is alternated with a daily diet mostly pescatarian, vegan-based, rich in legumes and dried fruits.

omega3-benefits-prolon

BLUEFISH AND OMEGA 3 BENEFITS.

The bluefish is an explosion of nutrients. What distinguishes it from other fishes is the presence of omega 3 benefits, which are important for keeping the heart and arteries healthy.

Characteristics of blue fish.

The species included in the designation of blue fish are manifold, some very similar to each other, enough to be difficult to distinguish between them; others with quite different characteristics. The category has nothing to do with the scientific taxonomy of the fish species, but it has been designed to enclose fishes with medium-small size, colour of the back from dark blue to white and with certain nutritional characteristics. The main ones are anchovies, sardines, mackerel, herring and eel.

Nutritional aspects of blue fish.

Fish has always been considered a source of protein just like meat. Despite the amount of protein is slightly less, it has a high biological value, presenting all the essential amino acids in the right proportions.

The lipid profile, on the contrary, is quite different from that of the meat. Poor in saturates, blue fish is considered a precious source of polyunsaturated fat acids.

In addition, the linolenic fat acid of the omega 3 class is present. There are different omega 3 benefits, in fact these fat acids are very important for the development of the nervous system and for the prevention of diseases of the circulatory system, carrying out numerous actions aimed at maintaining the health of the arteries and heart.

The good news is that to take advantage from health benefits of consuming omega 3, it is not necessary to consume only fresh fish. The canned mackerel and frozen blue fish maintain good levels, even at low temperatures, of precious fats. In the kitchen, the type of cooking to prefer is steamed, baked or baked.  In addition, speaking of cooking, it would be better not to add salt, given the high amount of sodium present in the fish.

In addition to be a good source of healthy proteins and fats, blue fish is rich in vitamins and minerals. Among the vitamins, stand out those of the group B and the fat-soluble A and D. Moreover, fishes that can be eaten entirely, such as anchovies, are a good source of calcium and, in fact, a portion covers about 22% of the daily needs of the mineral.

Nutritional values ​​per 100 g of bluefish.

Anchovies: Energy (kcal) 96; Proteins (g) 16,8; Lipids (g) 2,6; Total saturates (g) 1,3; Carbohydrates (g) 1,5; Potassium (mg) 278; Iron (mg) 2,8; Calcium (mg) 148; Phosphorus (mg) 196; Sodium (mg) 104; Iodine (mg) 29; Zinc (mg) 4,20; Vitamin E ATE (mg) 0,29;

Mackerel: Energy (kcal) 170; Proteins (g) 17; Lipids (g) 11,1; Total saturates (g) 2,6; Carbohydrates (g) 0,5; Potassium (mg) 360; Iron (mg) 1,2; Calcium (mg) 38; Phosphorus (mg) 264; Sodium (mg) 130; Iodine (mg) 117; Zinc (mg) 2; Vitamin E ATE (mg) 0,25;

Herring: Energy (kcal) 216; Proteins (g) 16,5 ; Lipids (g) 16,7; Total saturates (g) 3,3; Carbohydrates (g) 0; Potassium (mg) 320; Iron (mg) 0,9; Calcium (mg) 63; Phosphorus (mg) 113; Sodium (mg) 150; Iodine (mg) 36; Zinc (mg) 1,10; Vitamin E ATE (mg) 1,20.

 

Wild-fennel-properties

WILD FENNEL PROPERTIES AND BENEFITS.

Wild fennel, otherwise called fennel, is an aromatic plant belonging to the family of the umbelliferous and whose botanical name is foeniculum vulgare miller. The wild fennel is native to the Mediterranean areas and we find it very easily along the Italian coasts.

Wild fennel properties.

Wild fennel is used in cooking as an aromatic herb, but also has numerous phytotherapeutic properties. In a contest of a Longevity Diet it is very important to daily add spices and wild herbs. These latter help to reduce the amount of salt when cooking and exploit all the phytotherapeutical benefits. Leaves and seeds can be used to prepare purifying and digestive teas.
Seeds, in particular, are rich in active ingredients interesting for the physiological function of the stomach and intestines and for oestrogen-like characteristics: the trans-anethole, the ‘estragolo’ and the phoenix are components of the essential oil and should be treated carefully, and all essential oils.
According to data in literature, wild fennel is one of the commonly used herbs in Chinese traditional medicine and has been demonstrated by studies in modern pharmacology to have potential as a treatment of inflammatory diseases. (Further information can be found here).
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6072219/pdf/mmr-18-02-1369.pdf
There are different wild fennel properties:
-carminative properties: it possesses the property of absorbing and eliminating gases due to food malabsorption, wrong food combinations with meteorism formation;
-antispasmodic properties: it helps to eliminate annoying digestive colic of children, and is indicated for those suffering from epigastric pain due to digestive difficulties;
-diuretic properties: it helps to deflate the organism and facilitates diuresis;
-detoxifying properties: to enhance the detox effect, wild fennel can be mixed with other herbal remedies such as dandelion, milk thistle, artichoke. Doing so improves its flavour and increases its draining and purifying effect;
-galactogen properties: the seeds of wild fennel help to promote the milky mount for new mothers. Indirectly its benefits come to the baby, preserving it from the typical colic of the new-borns.

Wild fennel benefits.

Using wild fennel infused provides numerous benefits to the body, especially for those who complain about more or less serious disorders to the gastro-intestinal tract:
-stomach pain: those suffering from epigastric pain, stomach pain with spasms, gastritis with burning may benefit from a good cup of wild fennel infusion, to be enjoyed after meals or during the day to prepare the stomach;
-colitis: in case of intestinal irregularities, swelling, constipation, diarrhea, meteorism or spasms, wild fennel promotes intestinal peristalsis, absorbs excess gas, disinflames the colon, sedates spasms and pains;
-upper respiratory tract phlegm: wild fennel has an expectorant and secretolytic action, helps to fluidify the mucus and eliminate it. The hot infusion taken in the evening improves breathing and predisposes to a refreshing sleep.
strawberry-benefits-prolon

STRAWBERRY BENEFITS, NUTRITIONAL VALUES AND CONTRAINDICATIONS.

Want to know everything about strawberry benefits, nutrionals values and also its contraindications?  You are in the right place!

Strawberry, typical spring red fruit, is rich in vitamin C and compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumoral action. With this article, we will discover all strawberry benefits and nutritional properties.

What are strawberry benefits? It is rich in properties, with a sweet and sugary taste that makes it one of the foods preferred by children. Being part of the family of rosaceae, the plant is called fragaria vesca, a term that recalls the latin noun “fragrans”, that is, perfumed with which the Romans used to indicate these delicious fruits. The red fruit that we all know well actually, from a botanical point of view, is not a fruit but a container of many different fruits (the yellow seeds that we can see on the red surface of the strawberry itself).

Strawberry origin.

The origin of the strawberry is very ancient: it is also present in the Bible, where it is described as an abundant and tasty spontaneous fruit, but its presence is also attested in the Neolithic. Strawberries seem to come from our continent: Europe. In fact, in many woods located on the Italian territory, it is possible to find, in the spring and summer months, wild strawberry.

Strawberries, together with other berries belonging to the family of rosaceae or to the family of ericaceae, such as blueberry, are considered among the richest food sources of bioactive compounds, with formidable antioxidant properties. A balanced diet, therefore, should never be deprived of these important foods.

Nutritional characteristics and values.

Strawberry is a very rich source of different nutrients, sugars, vitamins, flavonoids and anthocyanins. These nutrients, acting in a synergistic way, give the strawberry benefits useful to promote the state of health and prevent various diseases. Sugar content of strawberries is modest (more than 5 grams per 100 grams of food) and consequently also the calorie content: for this reason, an abundant consumption is not recommended in case of obesity or diabetes.

They also contain a good amount of fiber and an almost negligible amount of lipids. Finally, they are fruits rich in essential nutrients. Among the minerals, stands out the manganese whose properties will be described in the next paragraph. 100 g of strawberries contain 13% of the daily dose recommended by the guidelines. Among the vitamins, the most represented is definitely vitamin C.

Among typical summer fruits, strawberries are those with a higher content of this vitamin with a content of 58 mg in 100 g of product and a recommended daily intake of 85 mg for the adult woman and 105 mg for the adult man.

Nutritional information per 100g of strawberries.

Do you know what is inside 100g of strawberries? Water 90.95 g; kcal 32; Proteins 0.67 g; Fats 0.3 g; Carbohydrates 7.68 g; Fibre 2 g; Iron 0.41 mg; Manganese 0.3 mg; Potassium 153 mg; Phosphorus 24 mg; Vitamin C 58.8 mg; Glycemic index 25; Cholesterol 0 g.

Nutritional properties.

In addition to manganese and vitamin C, which we mentioned in the previous paragraph as the most represented mineral and vitamin in strawberries, there are many others that deserve a mention. As in many other fruits, in fact, also in the strawberry we find good amounts of potassium (mineral fundamental for muscle contraction, regulation of blood pressure and maintenance of the hydro-saline system) and phosphorus (involved in energy metabolism and in the construction of many proteins).

100 grams of strawberries contain about 4% of the recommended daily dose of these two minerals. We also find a fair amount of iodine, comparable only to very few other fruits. We believe, in this regard, that this is a factor to be considered, given the widespread shortage of iodine which still afflicts the world’s population. Let’s see below the properties of the main micronutrients, focusing on those most represented.

Vitamin C: strawberries are rich in vitamin C, an essential antioxidant for our immune system. Vitamin C is also involved in collagen synthesis and is important for the absorption of iron by red blood cells;

Manganese: mineral implicated in numerous enzymatic reactions and essential for the growth of bones and joints, for the synthesis of collagen and for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, steroids and certain protein hormones. It is also a melter of an enzyme fundamental for its antioxidant action: super oxide dismutase;

Iodine: a fundamental mineral for thyroid function, an endocrine gland at the base of the neck that produces iodine-containing hormones that are essential for numerous metabolic processes and for the growth process;

Folate: essential vitamin for women in the first trimester of pregnancy, its deficiency slows down DNA synthesis and cell division, causes different forms of anemia and can create problems to the spine. Finally, many phenolic compounds are present in strawberries. Among the flavonoids the most present are campferol and quercitin, among the phenolic acids, gallic acid, caffeic acid, coumarin acid and ellagic acid and there are also several anthocyanins, responsible for the typical colour of these fruits. However, it should be stressed that the total content of phenolic compounds decreases with the ripening of the fruit.

Strawberry benefits.

Strawberry is widely used in popular medicine, due to its numerous properties. In particular, a cream produced with strawberries is used to treat wounds and various skin diseases, while strawberry juice is used in the case of inflammation of the nerves or lungs. Preparations containing the extract of strawberry leaves have anti-diabetes, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Cardiovascular protection: The presence of antioxidant molecules, able to reduce the oxidation of LDL, protects against the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Reduction of the risk of developing oncological diseases: Some of the compounds present in strawberries, such as oak and ellagic acid, have been shown in vitro to have an anti-cancer activity cancer by inhibiting cell proliferation and thus suppressing the growth of cancer cells in cases of colon, prostate and oral tumours.

Neuro-protective effect: The gallic acid, one of the phenolic acids present in strawberries, is globally recognized for its antioxidant properties and for its neuroprotective action against oxidative stress and neurotoxicity.

Anti-inflammatory effect: Recent studies have shown that regular consumption of strawberries can contribute to solving complications due to chronic and systemic inflammation. In addition, a diet rich in strawberries has been able to limit neuronal damage in some experiments on mice. This effect is due to the anti-inflammatory action of phenolic compounds in strawberries

Antioxidant properties: Strawberries, as well as many forest fruits, are among the richest fruits of antioxidant molecules available in nature. Their consumption is in fact advised in order to be able to prevent various chronic and degenerative pathologies since the phenolic compounds contained in the strawberries act against the oxidative stress decreasing the formation of malondialdehydes (an indicator of lipid peroxidation), protecting against oxidation of LDL cholesterol and blood cells from damage to DNA.

Treatment of metabolic syndrome: Several studies performed on cell and animal models have shown the ability of a diet rich in strawberries, to regulate the level of blood glucose and inhibit the transport and cellular uptake of glucose. In addition, it has been shown that strawberry extract contains digestive enzymes that help improve the condition of hyperglycaemia and hypertension, typical of individuals with metabolic syndrome.

Draining and purifying action: Strawberries, as we have seen in the previous paragraphs, contain little sodium and a greater amount of potassium and vitamin C. They are therefore useful for their draining action, against water retention and can be used for the preparation of excellent herbal teas and drinks. A very effective “do it yourself” method involves rubbing strawberries on your teeth to obtain a whitening effect. Their non-smooth surface, in fact, could have a cleaning action on our teeth. Strawberries also contain xylitol, which prevents plaque formation.

Strawberries in herbal medicine: Finally, at the phytotherapeutic level, the roots and leaves of strawberries are used for their diuretic action in case of kidney stones or hyperuricemia and as natural astringents, thanks to their richness in tannins.

Strawberries: how to use and preserve them.

The natural strawberry picking period starts in spring and ends in August. We therefore recommend consuming this fruit especially during this period and to always choose organic products and possibly 0 km. During the choice it is advisable to favour the fruits with uniform colour and the petiole well attached to the extremity. In addition, to consume more nutrient-rich fruits, it is advisable to choose dark coloured strawberries.

Strawberries, during the hottest season, can be stored at room temperature no more than one day. So, if you bought them to use them in the space of a day then you do not need to store them in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can store strawberries in the refrigerator for several days, put them in a food container. Their sweet taste is well suited to the preparation of fresh and tasty desserts suitable for the warmest season: tiramisu with strawberries or cheesecake with strawberries. They can also be used for the preparation of delicious milkshakes or drinks. Excellent results are obtained by combining strawberries with bananas and a vegetable drink to taste (eg coconut milk).

Strawberries: contraindications and potential adverse effects.

There are no particular contraindications to moderate consumption of strawberries. However, it should be noted that strawberries can cause allergic reactions and are histamine-releasing foods. Therefore, those who suffer from histamine allergy should also limit their consumption. Strawberry allergy is noted with the appearance of red dots and itching skin. In rare cases, it can result in real hives and swelling of the mouth.

cabbage-benefits-prolon

CABBAGE: BENEFITS, NUTRITIONAL VALUES, USES AND CONTRAINDICATIONS.

Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, calcium, omega 3 and 6, iron and fiber, cabbage is one of the most nutritious and healthy vegetables ever. Let us discover together the properties of cabbage and what benefits it brings to our health.

General characteristics.

The cabbage is a vegetable belonging to the cruciferous family and a variety of Brassica oleracea. This variety of cabbage is widespread in northern Europe but is also widely cultivated in Italian vegetable gardens. The variety has dimensions ranging from 10 to 20 cm in diameter and has the characteristic of having the external leaves concave and smooth, which enclose the internal leaves giving them the shape of a compact sphere, almost a hood.

The yellow flowers contain dark round seeds. The cultivation of the cabbage is not difficult and, if you sow on a suitable soil and carefully cared, the product will grow without any problem. It is important in sowing to respect the planting distances and to remember to keep humid the soil around the seedlings even after planting, both in winter and in summer. To prevent the sultry heat from compromising cabbage growth you can protect plants with newspaper sheets.

Plants of the family “brassica oleracea” usually eat the leaves or the inflorescences not yet ripe, and there are several varieties that differ from each other not only in colour, but also in size and shape. However, all varieties are rich in vitamin C and have a high concentration of sulphur.

To obtain a good cultivation it is necessary to disinfect the plant with preventive products against fly roots or other diseases, otherwise, if it is preferable to grow organically, you can opt for mulching and regular irrigation to get excellent results. The cabbages, in fact, need a good and constant humidity, so that a double digging is carried out on the planting ground before planting the seedlings. With mulching is ensured perspiration to the plant.

The cabbage is also fermented through a particular process that makes it very digestible. From this treatment are prepared sauerkraut.

Cabbage: properties and benefits.

Among the properties of cabbage known are the anti-inflammatory ones.
Inflammation, in fact, is the main cause of diseases such as arthritis, heart problems and autoimmune, which often originate from an excessive consumption of products of animal origin. Cabbage is a natural anti-inflammatory and has the ability to prevent and relieve inflammatory diseases. It is also rich in fibre and has powerful digestive properties: it seems that consuming at least a portion of cabbage gives our body 5% of the daily fibre needed, plus 2 grams of protein.

It has also some antioxidant properties: in fact, the cabbage hood is a natural antioxidant against free radicals, and its action helps prevent different diseases and also the premature aging. The more than 45 flavonoids present in cabbages combine antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making the cabbage a special food to fight stress.

Cabbage also has slimming properties and is a useful food for those on a diet, because it is low in fat and rich in fibre. Thanks to its low calories (about 25 per 100 grams) and its satiating capacity, it is suitable for inclusion in the low-calorie diet and, very importantly, promotes the disintegration of fat accumulations around the abdomen.

Cabbage is a food with incredible benefits. Rich in fatty acids, including omega 3 and omega 6, it plays a determining role on health, keeping heart and arteries in perfect efficiency. Recent studies have shown that the vegetables of the cruciferous family, thanks to the presence of sulforaphane, are able to reactivate the Nrf2, a protein that keeps blood vessels free from fat, leading to angina, heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis.

Great for the remarkable benefits that ensures the body, the cabbage is also a valid anti-humour food. Indeed, it has been scientifically proven that daily consumption of cabbage is an effective aid to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. In particular, we are talking about breast, ovarian, bladder, colon and prostate cancer. There are also considerable benefits it brings to the body as a detoxifying food: in fact, it seems that some components present in cabbage are able to eliminate toxins. To promote the expulsion of toxins is the presence of glucosinolates, natural enzymes that help the body and the liver to purify and that are characteristics of the cruciferous. The cabbage hood is also excellent for lowering pressure and is a powerful ally against hypertension and high blood pressure: in fact, the presence of glutamic acid promotes the lowering of blood pressure.

The cabbage is rich in calcium and vitamin C, so it is a food that can bring beneficial substances to the immune system, strengthening it and protecting it from disease and infection attacks.

Cabbage: nutritional values and calories.

100 grams of this precious vegetable provide only 25 calories.

Quantity per 100 grams: Water 86 g; Fats 0,1 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Carbohydrates 6 g; Dietary fibre 2,5 g; Sugar 3,2 g sugar; Protein 1,3 g; Vitamin A 98 IU; Vitamin B6 0,1 mg; Vitamin C 36.6 mg; Calcium 40 mg; Iron 0,5 mg; Magnesium 12 mg; Sodium 18 mg; Potassium 170 mg.

Cabbage: all uses.

The most frequent use of cabbage is in the kitchen, where it is offered raw in salad or in the form of recipes concerning first and second courses, but also as a rather nutritious and tasty side dish. In order to maintain all nutrients, cabbage should be cooked preferably by steaming, a cooking method that does not affect the quality of vegetable fibres. The cooking should last no longer than 5 minutes and then you can eat the cabbage topped with oil, pine nuts and balsamic vinegar to make it even more tasty. As a dressing for pasta or as a salad, it is easy to clean and prepare. In addition, the juice of cabbage to detoxify is particularly appreciated: it is easily prepared thanks to the centrifuge.

Cabbage is used also as a skin regenerating agent, it is the basis for the preparation of ointments and creams to make the skin radiant and purified. The cabbage hood is also used to relieve eye fatigue after working in front of a computer or watching too much TV: just moisten the gauze or cotton disks with fresh cabbage juice and let it work on your eyes for about 15 minutes. The effect is amazing, and the eyes will shine again!

Cabbage: contraindications and side effects.

Generally, the consumption of cabbage does not have any particular contraindications or side effects, except excessive consumption. In fact, if eaten in large quantities, they can cause an increase, of annoyances such as flatulence and meteorism. Therefore, in order to avoid these problems, it is necessary to moderate the consumption of cabbage, especially in people who are subject to these troubles.

The cabbage, as well as broccoli, may contain quite high quantities of salicylates, but in any case it is necessary to ascertain its intolerance and therefore avoid or decrease its consumption.

honey-prolon

HONEY: DESCRIPTION, PROPERTIES, BENEFITS.

Honey is an antibacterial and antibiotic ally of the immune system, used not only for natural health but also in cosmetics.

The word honey seems to derive from the hittite melit, a neutral form to which the Latin word mel is linked, from which the figurative use of the term melle is also borrowed. Many believe that sugar and honey are equally nutritious, the second has many virtues that sugar lacks. Peter Molan, professor of biochemistry and director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, has been studying the beneficial virtues of honey for over 15 years. In one of his laboratory experiments, Dr. Molan sprinkled seven types of bacteria on honey, usually responsible for wound infections. All seven types of bacteria have been neutralized by the precious bee product. In France, even the scientist Bernard Descottes, head of the Department of Internal Surgery and Transplants of the Limoges Hospital, already in 1984 started using honey to treat some healing problems and to treat sores, with extremely positive results that brought him to formulate a real “honey-based therapy”, renamed by him with the name of “apitherapy”.

Properties and benefits of honey. Why is antibacterial and antibiotic?

One of the most important functions of honey is antibacterial and antibiotic: many types of honey contain significant quantities of hydrogen peroxide, that is, hydrogen peroxide, the same that is usually used to disinfect wounds. The high temperatures to which honey is subjected during pasteurization neutralize some beneficial substances: to obtain the maximum bactericidal effect, the ideal is raw, untreated honey.

In addition to stopping surface infections, honey alleviates the symptoms of gastric ulcers and is used for the treatment of diarrhea which, especially in children, can be dangerous because it causes dehydration. Honey is also effective against constipation, since it contains large quantities of fructose, sugar capable of reaching the large intestine without having been digested. Fructose also confers a particular sweetening power and a prolonged antibacterial and antibiotic effect because, while glucose is burned immediately, fructose has emollient properties thanks to which it remains “available” for the longer physical.

The calories contained in honey are 304 kcal per 100g of product. Depending on the type of honey, the therapeutic properties also change: acacia honey acts positively on the digestive system, forest honey is indicated in flu states, orange honey has healing properties, sunflower honey is anti-neuralgic, febrifugal, recommended against cholesterol. Furthermore, heather honey has an anti-rheumatic, anti-anemic action, linden honey calms menstrual pain, is calming, diuretic and digestive, while wildflower honey has a detoxifying action on the liver.

allergies-and-intolerances-prolon

ALLERGIES AND INTOLERANCES: PROTECT YOURSELF!

Allergies and intolerances are not the same: they are both “adverse reactions”, but with totally different characteristics. They are two different modes of the organism to respond and react to the interaction with foreign substances.

The intolerances.

We talk about intolerance when there is a negative reaction of the organism, triggered by the ingestion of one or more foods (or active substances) and that depends on a difficulty in digesting or metabolizing such food or its component. Food allergies and intolerances includes several diseases that affect the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.

People with this kind of problem have enzyme deficits, that means they do not have those particular proteins (enzymes) that the body needs to metabolize and assimilate certain foods or parts of them. They are usually free from birth, but it is a disorder that can also be acquired over time. It is a reaction that involves metabolism but not the immune system and is strictly dependent on the amount of the unwanted food that has been ingested (dose-dependent).

The symptoms.

Symptoms are often like allergic ones and may also appear after a few days, which makes them more difficult to recognize and relate to the food taken. They usually identify with diarrhea, swelling and abdominal cramps.

Allergies and intollerances to lactose.

The most common cause of food intolerance is lactose, which is the sugar contained in milk. People with lactose intolerance have a lactase deficiency, the digestive enzyme that splits lactose into glucose and galactose so that it is absorbed and used by the body. If intolerance is serious, it is important to be careful and read food labels carefully: lactose is used in many ready-made foods.

The favism.

Another example of allergies and intolerances is the favism, which consists of a congenital defect of an enzyme normally present in red blood cells, glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase, essential for their vitality and function. The deficiency of this enzyme causes a sudden destruction of the red blood cells (hemolysis) and therefore the appearance of hemolytic anaemia. When a person deficient in enzyme ingests broad beans, peas or certain medicines (such as sulphamides, salicylates, quinidine, menadione), these inhibit the activity of this enzyme and the red cells already lacking are further depleted. In serious cases, about half of the red blood cells are destroyed; the skin and the mucous membranes then become intensely pale, as well as yellowish, the urine hypercolored and the signs of a cardiovascular collapse appear.

The allergies.

We mean a disease that affects individual genetically predisposed individuals and consists of the immune system’s reaction to an allergen. Allergens are harmless substances for most people, and, in food, they correspond to food components or food itself.

The reaction is expressed at first contact through the formation of specific antibodies, called immunoglobulins E (IgE), which have the task of defending the organism from what the organism itself recognizes as foreign. It is the same reaction that the organism manifests against bacteria and viruses and can be very violent. Allergic reactions are usually independent doses: even a very small amount can trigger a reaction whose severity is subjective and unpredictable.

The role of histamine.

In occasion of a possible and subsequent exposure, following the reaction between the food”allergenic” and the antibody, the histamine is released: a substance that acts as chemical mediator of the inflammation, but which also has the role of neurotransmitter.

Histamine is primarily responsible for the characteristic symptoms of all allergic reactions such as itching, runny nose, coughing or wheezing.

How do allergic symptoms occur?

The reaction to allergens causes several symptoms that can involve different organs at the same time. Symptoms occur shortly after ingestion and may be of different types, depending on the types of antibodies or other cellular mediators involved in addition to IgE. Generally they manifest themselves as: itching; eruptions of the skin; swelling; difficulty in breathing. The most serious reaction that our organism can manifest is anaphylactic shock, which appears within one hour of the ingestion of the allergen.

Anaphylactic shock always requires urgent hospitalization, because it can lead to breathing difficulties, sudden falls in blood pressure, loss of consciousness and in the most serious cases –death.

The most common food allergens are: cereals containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt); milk and milk products; eggs and egg products; fish and fish products; crustaceans and crustacean products; molluscs and mollusc products; peanuts and peanut products; nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, nuts, pistachios and their products); lupins and products thereof; soya and soya products; celery and celery products; sesame seeds and sesame seed products; mustard and products thereof; sulphur dioxide and sulphites.

Coeliac.

Coeliac disease is the inability to digest and metabolise gluten, a protein complex in wheat, wheat and cereals. It is hardly classifiable among the common allergies and intolerances, because it strongly involves also the immune system (characteristic of allergies), without however involving the IgE. Gluten is a protein complex in wheat, wheat and similar cereals such as barley, rye, spelt, triticale and consequently in all foods containing them as ingredients. The ingestion of gluten, even in small quantities, causes damage to the intestinal mucosa in affected subjects. As a result some nutrients are poorly absorbed, with the appearance of symptoms such as swelling and abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, weight loss.

If you notice that you are an intolerant or allergic person, it is important to refrain from eating suspicious food and to contact your doctor as soon as possible, who will advise you to protect your health.

When we buy, let us remember that in the case of packaged foods it is important to check and read the label well, which is required by law to indicate the allergens present. This indication must be shown in a different way from the other ingredients, so that the presence can be quickly displayed. In the case of bulk products, indications on allergens must be given at the point of sale with a sign, in the original packaging or in a book of ingredients.

Some examples of indications that we can find on the packages and to which we must pay attention: may contain (allergen); produced in establishments where it is used (allergen); product in non-separated food supply chains, in which it is also processed (allergen).

If we realize that we are allergic, we must also pay attention to the hidden allergens, that is those allergens present in a way that is not obvious. The industry has greatly increased the possibility of unexpectedly finding the presence of allergens in food such as milk or soy in sausages, casein in in wine, fish jelly used as a simple cake topping, etc. triggering reactions in foods deemed harmless to that allergen.

The hidden allergen may be present in the packaged food for various reasons: errors in the wording of warnings; errors in packaging; presence of ingredients from direct allergenic sources; processing aids and aromas; accidental contamination phenomena at an industrial level related to the use of production and/or packaging chains not adequately separated.

It is therefore important that the accuracy of what is stated on consumer health labels is ensured by current legislation. In case of need or doubt about what is indicated on the label, it is better to contact the manufacturer directly for clarification. It is really important to know your allergies and intolerances. Do you need help? Ask to our nutritionists now.

importance-of-drinking-water

A SOURCE OF LIFE: THE IMPORTANCE OF DRINKING WATER

The relationship between water and life has become more and more substantiated over the centuries through the deepening of knowledge on the role of it in biological systems and in the human organism. Discover the importance of drinking water.

Depending on its peculiar chemical-physical properties, water is involved in almost all the functions of the human body; it acts in the organism as a solvent of inorganic and organic compounds, promotes the dissociation of electrolytes, works as a thermostatic liquid with thermoregulatory capacity, allows the carrying out of metabolic transformations, constitutes the reactant of innumerable transformations of cellular chemistry, such as enzymatic reactions and biological oxidation.

The importance of drinking water.

Water is the main constituent of the human body and represents about 60% of body weight in adult males and  50-55% in females (characterized by a higher percentage of body fat than males), and up to 75% in a newborn. The total body water content, the intracellular and extracellular hydration process and the balance between the entry and exit of water in the body are under homeostatic control and are exercised with mechanisms that mainly regulate excretion and, secondly, stimulate the intake by feeling thirsty. Feedback mechanisms that mainly act on the kidney are also able, albeit to a limited extent, to regulate the tonicity of intracellular body fluids.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has ascertained a cause-effect relationship between the daily intake of water and the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive functions. The recognition considers that a body water loss of about 1% is normally compensated within 24 hours and that the absence of such compensation and the further increase in body water loss compromise physical and cognitive functions. It is also certain that water plays a particularly important role in thermoregulation. The increase in body temperature is a consequence of the reduction of sweating and cutaneous blood flow induced by dehydration.

The recognition of EFSA refers to the waters that meet the regulatory requirements for natural mineral waters and for waters intended for human consumption and is associated with information for the consumer that the indicated effect is obtained with the daily intake of at least 2.0 liters of water in any form.

 

How much to drink

The amount of water to drink is quite variable depending on the individual, taking into account the living environment, the work and activity regime, the type of diet and lifestyles.

Under normal conditions, self-regulation mechanisms and complex factors that determine the sensation of thirst assist the body to take the right water requirement necessary to compensate for water losses, which continuously take place due to sweating, breathing, excretion of urine and stool. However, some individuals, especially children and the elderly, are more subject to dehydration also because they demonstrate a reduction in perception in the feeling of thirst and in the natural stimulus to drink, with the risk of not adequately and promptly balancing water losses. For this reason, it is necessary to satisfy the sense of thirst in all cases, tending to anticipate it, or, in any case, to guarantee the body a regular and adequate quantity of water to keep the water balance constantly balanced and prevent risks of dehydration. Dehydration, caused by an intake of liquids lower than the loss of water, also has serious effects on the body’s activity and physical performance.

The persistent state of dehydration is associated with a significant increase in the risk of many pathologies, even serious ones, primarily affecting the kidney.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientific experts on dietetic products, nutrition and allergies have recently redefined the reference dietary values ​​for the intake of different nutrients including water, recommending the quantity that is needed to enjoy good health according to age and sex.

The reference values, which consider the water taken as a whole – both through direct consumption and through food and drinks of all kinds -, in conditions of moderate environmental temperatures and medium levels of physical activity, are defined as follows:

-infants up to six months of life: 100 mL / kg per day;

-children: between 6 months and one year of age: 800-1000 mL / day, between 1 and 3 years of life: 1100-1300 mL / day, between 4 and 8 years of age: 1600 mL / day;

-ages 9-13: 2100 mL / day for boys and 1900 mL / day for girls;

-adolescents, adults and the elderly: females 2 L / day and males 2,5 L / day.

These values ​​are indicative; in conditions of warm weather and intense physical activities, or other conditions that induce dehydration, the water levels to be taken can vary considerably (it can also be considered more than double the values ​​indicated). This also occurs in stressful conditions and gastro-enteric disorders that lead to vomiting and diarrhea, such as for infant diarrhea.

potassium-properties-prolon

POTASSIUM: PROPERTIES AND FUNCTIONS IN THE BODY

POTASSIUM PROPERTIES

Potassium properties are indispensable for the body. It is an essential mineral for the health of our body: its ions are essential for the correct nervous transmission and the effectiveness of muscle contractility. The balanced concentration of potassium in the blood also serves to ensure the correct supply of nutrients to the cells, as well as to encourage the elimination of toxic substances.

Furthermore, following a balanced diet, which requires the intake of a quantity of potassium higher than that of sodium, favors the process of eliminating the latter and keeping the pressure within the limits. This is also confirmed by the update, at the beginning of 2013, of the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines: according to official indications, adults should take less than 2g of sodium and at least 3.5g of potassium everyday . The recommended values ​​are the result of studies on the general population: these limits have proven to be effective in reducing the risk of developing hypertension and, again according to the Department of Nutrition and Health of the WHO, stroke and heart attack.

The limit in the intake of potassium and sodium will be different for those who practice a lot of sport, not necessarily at a competitive level: sweating makes you lose mineral salts, therefore it is important to think about a hydro-saline integration after physical activity.

FOOD RICH IN POTASSIUM:

The only source of potassium for our body is the diet and the major source of elimination of this microelement is the kidney: in other words, the mineral is continuously excreted in urine. Every day a healthy adult person loses about 2g of potassium.

Potassium is a mineral salt present in more or less high concentration in practically all foods and drinks, including natural water. In principle, the intake in the general diet is not usually considered so much, but rather the relationship with sodium. For this reason, it is essential not only to know which foods are rich in potassium, but also those that have a favorable relationship between the two microelements.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are foods rich in potassium and low in sodium and these are the best ones to choose:

-bananas, apricots, citrus fruits, figs, plums, grapes, kiwis;

-tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, artichokes, cabbage, spinach, endive, arugula, lettuce, potatoes;

-soybeans and legumes;

-fish;

-whole grains;

-chicken meat;

-nuts such as pistachios, almonds, peanuts, walnuts and hazelnuts.

Three servings of fruit and two of vegetables per day are sufficient to ensure the correct supply of this mineral. Regarding the cooking process, it should be noted that only boiling can reduce the amount of potassium in food.

Healthy eating is a bunch of many nuances: choosing foods rich in potassium and then consuming many prepackaged foods rich in sodium – such as sausages, olives, other pickled vegetables and chips – would be a useless paradox.

benefits-of-chickpeas

CHICKPEAS TO IMPROVE THE CIRCULATION AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.

Benefits of chickpeas: naturally rich in iron and potassium. They are also useful for lowering cholesterol and losing weight. Very nutritious, with low calories, chickpeas strengthen bones.

BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF CHICKENS

Chickpeas are tasty, healthy legumes with a delicate flavor, very versatile in the kitchen. Chickpea is a seed of a herbaceous plant (Cicer arietinum) of the Fabaceae family originally from the East and cultivated in the ancient world by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. The Latin name “cicer” derives from the Greek kikis and means strength, energy and vigor, in reference to its energetic properties, while the term “arietinum” refers to the shape of the seed, similar to the head of a ram.

Here are the properties, benefits and contraindications of this precious legume.

PROPERTY AND BENEFITS OF CHICKPEAS

Rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, K, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium and zinc, chickpeas are useful for controlling the level of cholesterol and blood sugar, reducing the risk of diabetes. They are also an excellent diuretic food, promoting the elimination of salts present in excess in the body. In fact, regular consumption of chickpeas is recommended for those suffering from stones. According to recent research, these legumes also have a valuable anticancer function.

NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES OF CHICKPEAS

Eating chickpeas helps people suffering from anemia to increase the iron level, which is one of the main components of the legume. Thanks to the potassium content, they improve circulation, regulate blood pressure and are particularly suitable for those suffering from hypertension, heart disease and obesity. Zinc, on the other hand, is essential for the general growth of the body, to increase the immune system and to metabolize proteins. Finally, chickpea vitamin K has been shown to stimulate better blood clotting and bone metabolism.

CALORIES OF CHICKPEAS

Chickpeas are a nutritious and medium-calorie food: 100 grams of cooked chickpeas (dried chickpeas boiled in distilled water without adding salt) bring about 120 calories to our body.

DO THE CHICKPEAS MAKE YOU FAT?

Although they contain a high number of calories, chickpeas can be safely eaten while paying attention to the seasoning. By adding oil and butter, in fact, you risk dangerously increasing the caloric intake of your meal.

COOKING OF CHICKENS

Before cooking, leave the chickpeas to soak at room temperature for about 10-12 hours. After this time, drain and rinse them well under water. Transfer them to a large pot by pouring plenty of water over the chickpeas. Do not add salt because it may harden them. Cook the chickpeas on low heat, without lid, for about 60-75 minutes, adding the salt only at the end.

CORRECT STORAGE OF CHICKPEAS

The boiled chickpeas have to be kept cooked and drained, seasoned with a drizzle of oil, in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. Instead, it is advisable to consume the pre-cooked chickpeas within one day of opening the package.

CHICKPEAS IN A JAR

Here is the procedure for storing chickpeas longer: alternatively they can be frozen. Once the package is opened, consume the chickpeas within 2-3 days.

PREPARATION

Wash the jars well and sterilize them. Then drain the legumes while keeping the cooking broth.

Fill each jar with the chickpeas by pouring over the broth and close them tightly with clean lids.

Put the jars in a large pot filled with cold water and let it boil for 30 minutes.

Turn off and wait for the water to cool down.

CONTRAINDICATIONS OF CHICKPEAS

If you are not used to eating legumes, you may find  difficult to digest chickpeas. On the other hand, if you suffer from intestinal problems, legumes can cause abdominal bloating.