How is the Fiber in Your Diet?

Chamomile

Chamomile (Photo credit: frankdasilva)

How is the fiber in your diet?  We all know we need fiber in our diets, but alot of the times we just don’t eat enough fiber rich foods. One of the ways I have found to get enough fiber into my diet is to take FibRestor. FibRestor has 10 grams of fiber per serving… which means… I receive roughly one-third of the total 30-35 grams of fiber recommended daily to promote good health. It has Soluble fiber… which means… it helps inhibit my cholesterol production and slows my digestion and absorption of carbohydrates to improve my blood glucosel. There is also Insoluble fiber…which means…it reduces constipation, diverticulosis and the risk of colon cancer and other intestinal diseases; supports growth of “good-guy” bacteria in the colon and leaves me feeling fuller longer to enhance weight loss. With Beta Carotene, Vitamins C & E, potent antioxidants that  neutralizes cell-damaging free radicals. And Papain and bromelain, two key digestive enzymes. That  can reduce inflammation, promote and maintain proper digestion, relieve bloating and indigestion and help my body function more efficiently and energetically. FibRestor also includes a special blend of 21 bioflavonoidrich herbs, such as ginseng, garlic and chamomile…which means  I am promoting overall wellness thanks to the herbs’ cleansing and revitalizing properties. Plus Inulin, a pre-biotic fiber…which makes me  feel fuller without extra calories while I get  enhance calcium absorption and support healthy digestion. I find FibRestor  to be delicious with a naturally sweetened pineapple flavor . I mix it in water most of the time,  sometimes when I want something diffrent I mix it with juice, milk or with one of my  daily Reliv shakes.

FibRestore Proprietary Blend 154 mg *

Oriental Ginseng (Panax ginseng)

 Traditionally both American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) roots are taken orally as adaptogens, aphrodisiacs, nourishing stimulants, and in the treatment of type II diabetes, as well as for sexual dysfunction in men. The root is most often available in dried form, either whole or sliced. Ginseng leaf, although not as highly prized, is sometimes also used; as with the root, it is most often available in dried form.

This ingredient may also be found in some energy drinks, often the “tea” varieties; in these products, ginseng is usually present in subclinical doses and does not have measurable medicinal effects. It can be found in cosmetic preparations as well, but has not been shown to have clinically effective results.

Many studies have been done with varying results using only ginseng extracts. However, when ginseng is used in combination with other traditional Chinese herbs, the synergistic effects had many more definitive and positive results. For example, Si Jun Zi Tang, a traditional Chinese formula, the main ingredient of which is ginseng, has been shown in multiple studies to have radioprotective effects, preventing a decrease in the hematocrit during radiotherapy.

In research, it has been difficult to either verify or quantify the exact medicinal benefits of ginseng using science, as there are contradictory results from different studies, possibly due to the wide variety and quality of ginseng used in the tests. High-quality studies of the effects of ginseng in the United States are rare. However, many high-quality, double blind, randomized controlled trials have been done in Asian countries, such as China, South Korea and Japan.

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), similar to Panax ginseng in that they both contain the active component ginsenoside, is distinguished in traditional Chinese medicine theory by having a cold property while the property of ginseng is warm. Japanese ginseng, though the same species as ginseng, is thought to have cooling properties similar to American ginseng due to the difference in cultivation environment. (cite M5050) American ginseng has been shown in various studies to have a beneficial effect for diabetes in the regulation of blood sugar levels.

A comparative, randomized and double-blind study at the National Autonomous University of Mexico indicated it may be “a promising dietary supplement” when assessed for an increase in quality of life.

A randomized, double-blind study showed that an extract of American ginseng reduced influenza cases in the elderly when compared to placebo.

A recent study at the University of Hong Kong has identified ginseng to have anti-inflammatory effects. The study found of the nine ginsenosides they identified, seven could selectively inhibit expression of the inflammatory gene CXCL-10.

P. ginseng appear to inhibit some characteristics associated with cancer in animal models; nevertheless, this effect is unclear in humans.A randomized, double-blind pilot study noted Ginseng appeared to reduce fatigue in cancer patients.

There are references in literature, including authoritative compendia, that show interactions with ginseng. Herbalist Jonathan Treasure of the British National Institute of Medical Herbalists traces the growth of misinformation on an alleged adverse herb-drug interaction between the monoamine oxidase inhibitor phenelzine and Asian ginseng (P. ginseng C.A. Meyer). This originally was mentioned in a 1985 editorial by Shader and Greenblatt in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. Shader and Greenblatt devoted a couple of lines to the case of a 64-year-old woman who took an undisclosed dose for an undisclosed time of a dietary supplement product called “Natrol High” while concurrently taking phenelzine 60 mg qd. She experienced symptoms of “insomnia, headache, and tremulousness”. Treasure contacted Natrol by e-mail and discovered within ten minutes that there was no P. ginseng in the formula, but instead Eleutherococcus senticosus which was then called by the popular name “Siberian ginseng”, and it was given in a subclinical dosage mixed with a variety of other herbs. The purported interaction effects are well-known side effects of phenelzine alone, which had been given in a high dosage and are not at all suggestive of Eleutherococcus. However, this misinformed article with a misidentified herb has been picked up in literature searches and megastudies, and is now documented by conventional medical authorities, such as Stockley’s, and is repeated in several botanical monographs, e.g. World Health Organization (WHO 1999).

Garlic (Allium sativum

 commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive,and rakkyo. Dating back over 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe. It was known to Ancient Egyptians, and has been used throughout its history for both culinary and medicinalpurposes.

In in vitro studies, garlic has been found to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity. However, these actions are less clear in vivo. Garlic is also claimed to help prevent heart disease (including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure) and cancer. Garlic is used to prevent certain types of cancer, including stomach and colon cancers. In fact, countries where garlic is consumed in higher amounts, because of traditional cuisine, have been found to have a lower prevalence of cancer.Animal studies, and some early research studies in humans, have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits of garlic. A Czech study found garlic supplementation reduced accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls of animals.Another study had similar results, with garlic supplementation significantly reducing aortic plaque deposits of cholesterol-fed rabbits.  Another study showed supplementation with garlic extract inhibited vascular calcification in human patients with high blood cholesterol. The known vasodilative effect of garlic is possibly caused by catabolism of garlic-derived polysulfides to hydrogen sulfide in red blood cells (RBCs), a reaction that is dependent on reduced thiols in or on the RBC membrane. Hydrogen sulfide is an endogenous cardioprotective vascular cell-signaling molecule.

A randomized clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2007 found the consumption of garlic in any form did not reduce blood cholesterol levels in patients with moderately high baseline cholesterol levels. According to Heart.org, “despite decades of research suggesting that garlic can improve cholesterol profiles, a new NIH-funded trial found absolutely no effects of raw garlic or garlic supplements on LDL, HDL, or triglycerides… The findings underscore the hazards of meta-analyses made up of small, flawed studies and the value of rigorously studying popular herbal remedies”. In an editorial regarding the initial report’s findings, two physicians from Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, pointed out that there may “be effects of garlic on atherosclerosis specifically that were not picked up in the study”.

Allium sativum has been found to reduce platelet aggregation and hyperlipidemia.

In 2007, the BBC reported Allium sativum may have other beneficial properties, such as preventing and fighting the common cold.This assertion has the backing of long tradition in herbal medicine, which has used garlic for hoarseness and coughs. The Cherokee also used it as an expectorant for coughs and croup. However, in contrast to these earlier claims concerning the cold-preventing properties of garlic, a 2012 report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concludes that “there is insufficient clinical trial evidence regarding the effects of garlic in preventing or treating the common cold. A single trial suggested that garlic may prevent occurrences of the common cold but more studies are needed to validate this finding. Claims of effectiveness appear to rely largely on poor-quality evidence.”

Garlic is also alleged to help regulate blood sugar levels. Regular and prolonged use of therapeutic amounts of aged garlic extracts lower blood homocysteine levels and has been shown to prevent some complications of diabetes mellitus. People taking insulin should not consume medicinal amounts of garlic without consulting a physician.

Garlic was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II. More recently, it has been found from a clinical trial that a mouthwash containing 2.5% fresh garlic shows good antimicrobial activity, although the majority of the participants reported an unpleasant taste and halitosis.

Garlic cloves are used as a remedy for infections (especially chest problems), digestive disorders, and fungal infections such as thrush. Garlic can be used as a disinfectant because of its bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal properties.

Garlic has been found to enhance thiamin absorption, and therefore reduces the likelihood for developing the thiamin deficiency beriberi.

In 1924, it was found to be an effective way to prevent scurvy, because of its high vitamin C content.

Garlic has been used reasonably successfully in AIDS patients to treat Cryptosporidium in an uncontrolled study in China. It has also been used by at least one AIDS patient to treat toxoplasmosis, another protozoal disease.

Garlic supplementation has been shown to boost testosterone levels in rats fed a high protein diet.

A 2010 double-blind, parallel, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, involving 50 patients whose routine clinical records in general practice documented treated but uncontrolled hypertension, concluded, “Our trial suggests that aged garlic extract is superior to placebo in lowering systolic blood pressure similarly to current first line medications in patients with treated but uncontrolled hypertension.”

Adverse effects and toxicology: Garlic is known for causing halitosis, as well as causing sweat to have a pungent ‘garlicky’ smell, which is caused by allyl methyl sulfide (AMS). AMS is a volatile liquid which is absorbed into the blood during the metabolism of garlic-derived sulfur compounds; from the blood it travels to the lungs (and from there to the mouth, causing bad breath; see garlic breath) and skin, where it is exuded through skin pores. Washing the skin with soap is only a partial and imperfect solution to the smell. Studies have shown sipping milk at the same time as consuming garlic can significantly neutralize bad breath.Mixing garlic with milk in the mouth before swallowing reduced the odor better than drinking milk afterward. Plain water, mushrooms and basil may also reduce the odor; the mix of fat and water found in milk, however, was the most effective.

Some people suffer from allergies to garlic and other plants in the allium family. Symptoms can include irritable bowel, diarrhea, mouth and throat ulcerations, nausea, breathing difficulties, and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis. Garlic-sensitive patients show positive tests to diallyl disulfide, allylpropyldisulfide, allylmercaptan and allicin, all of which are present in garlic. People who suffer from garlic allergies will often be sensitive to many plants, including onions, garlic, chives, leeks, shallots, garden lilies, ginger, and bananas.

It thins the blood (as does aspirin); this had caused very high quantities of garlic and garlic supplements to be linked with an increased risk of bleeding, particularly during pregnancy and after surgery and childbirth, although culinary quantities are safe for consumption.

The side effects of long-term garlic supplementation, if any exist, are largely unknown, and no FDA-approved study has been performed. However, garlic has been consumed for several thousand years without any adverse long-term effects, suggesting modest quantities of garlic pose, at worst, minimal risks to normal individuals. Possible side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, sweating, dizziness, allergic reactions, bleeding, and menstrual irregularities. The safety of garlic supplements had not been determined for children.; some breastfeeding mothers have found their babies slow to feed and have noted a garlic odour coming from their baby when they have consumed garlic.

Garlic may interact with warfarin, antiplatelets, saquinavir, antihypertensives, calcium channel blockers, quinolone family of antibiotics such as Cipro,and hypoglycemic drugs, as well as other medications. Members of the alium family might be toxic to cats or dogs. Some degree of liver toxicity has been demonstrated in rats, particularly in extremely large quantities exceeding those that a rat would consume under normal situations.

Capsicum Fruit (Capsicum frutescens)

is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Its species are native to the Americas where they have been cultivated for thousands of years. In modern times, it is cultivated worldwide, and has become a key element in many regional cuisines. In addition to use as spices and food vegetables, capsicum has also found use in medicines.

Chili peppers are of great importance in Native American medicine, and capsaicin is used in modern medicine—mainly in topical medications—as a circulatory stimulant and analgesic.

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

 is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a somewhat sweet flavour can be extracted. The liquorice plant is a legume (related to beans and peas) that is native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. It is not related to anise, star anise, or fennel, which are the sources of similar-tasting flavouring compounds. The word ‘liquorice’/’licorice’ is derived (via the Old French licoresse), from the Greek γλυκύρριζα (glukurrhiza), meaning “sweet root”, from γλυκύς (glukus), “sweet” + ῥίζα (rhiza), “root”, the name provided by Dioscorides.

Medicine

Glycyrrhiza glabra from Koehler’s Medicinal-Plants

The compound glycyrrhizic acid, found in liquorice, is now routinely used throughout Japan for the treatment and control of chronic viral hepatitis, and there is a possible transaminase-lowering effect.Hepatoprotective mechanisms have been demonstrated in mice. Recent studies indicate that glycyrrhizic acid disrupts latent Kaposi sarcoma (as also demonstrated with other herpesvirus infections in the active stage), exhibiting a strong anti-viral effect. The Chinese use liquorice to treat Tuberculosis

Liquorice affects the body’s endocrine system as it contains isoflavones (phytoestrogens). It might lower the amount of serum testosterone slightly, but whether it affects the amount of free testosterone is unclear. Consuming liquorice may prevent the development of hyperkalemia in persons on hemodialysis. Large doses of glycyrrhizinic acid and glycyrrhetinic acid in liquorice extract can lead to hypokalemia and serious increases in blood pressure, a syndrome known as apparent mineralocorticoid excess. These side effects stem from the inhibition of the enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (type 2) and subsequent increase in activity of cortisol on the kidney. 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase normally inactivates cortisol in the kidney; thus, liquorice’s inhibition of this enzyme makes the concentration of cortisol appear to increase. Cortisol acts at the same receptor as the hormone aldosterone in the kidney and the effects mimic aldosterone excess, although aldosterone remains low or normal during liquorice overdose. To decrease the chances of these serious side effects, deglycyrrhizinated liquorice preparations are available. The disabling of similar enzymes in the gut by glycyrrhizinic acid and glycyrrhetinic acid also causes increased mucus and decreased acid secretion. As it inhibits Helicobacter pylori, is used as an aid for healing stomach and duodenal ulcers, and in moderate amounts may soothe an upset stomach. Liquorice can be used to treat ileitis, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease as it is antispasmodic in the bowels.

Studies of the use of liquorice extract (usually at 7%) in the treatment of melasma have shown that glabridin inhibits tyrosinase activity of melanocytes.

The compounded carbenoxolone is derived from liquorice. Some studies indicate that it inhibits 11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1, an enzyme that is highly expressed in liver and fat tissues, where it plays a role in metabolism, and in the brain, where the same enzyme is involved in stress response that has been associated with age-related mental decline.

 Alternative medicine

Main article: Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Chinese liquorice) In traditional Chinese medicine, liquorice(甘草) is commonly used in herbal formulae to “harmonize” the other ingredients in the formula and to carry the formula to the twelve “regular meridians” and to relieve a spasmodic cough. In herbalism it is used in the Hoxsey anti-cancer formula, and is a considered adaptogen which helps reregulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. It can also be used for auto-immune conditions including lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and animal dander allergies. Glycyrrhizin from Glycyrrhiza root has been shown to modulate airway constriction, lung inflammation and infiltration of eosinophils in bronchial areas by stimulating CD4 and CD8 immune cell function. Liquorice may be useful in conventional and naturopathic medicine for both mouth ulcers and peptic ulcers.

Kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum)

Ascophyllum nodosum is a large, common brown alga (Phaeophyceae) in the family Fucaceae, being the only species in the genus Ascophyllum. It is seaweed of the northern Atlantic Ocean, also known as rockweed, Norwegian kelp, knotted kelp, knotted wrack or egg wrack. It is common on the north-western coast of Europe (from Svalbard to Portugal) including east Greenland  and the north-eastern coast of North America.

Ascophyllum nodosum is harvested for use in alginates, fertilisers and for the manufacture of seaweed meal for animal and human consumption. It has long been used as an organic and mainstream fertilizer for many varieties of crops due to its combination of both macronutrient, (e.g. N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S) and micronutrients (e.g. Mn, Cu, Fe, Zn, etc.). It also host to cytokinins, auxin-like gibberellins, betaines, mannitol, organic acids, polysaccharides, amino acids, and proteins which are all very beneficial and widely used in agriculture. Ireland, Scotland and Norway have provided the world’s principal alginate supply.

Ascophyllum nodosum is frequently used as packaging material for baitworm and lobster shipments from New England to various domestic and international locations. Ascophyllum itself has occasionally been introduced to California, and several species frequently found in baitworm shipments, including Carcinus maenas and Littorina saxatilis, may have been introduced to the San Francisco Bay region this way.

Toxicological uses

Because the age of the different parts of A. nodosum can be identified by its shoots, A. nodusum has also been used to monitor concentrations of heavy metals in sea water. A concentration factor for zinc has been reported to be of the order 10 to the fourth.

Rhubarb Root (Rheum officinale)

is a rhubarb from the family Polygonaceae originating in Asia. The root and stem of R. officinale are used to treat constipation, as well as to aid in the dissolution of blood clots and pus eruptions. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is called yào yòng dà huáng (Chinese: 药用大黄), and is also a component in the North American herbal remedy called Essiac tea.

In modern medicine, R. officinale has been studied for the treatment of hepatitis B. However, a meta-analysis of published clinical trials concluded that the quality of existing studies was “poor”, but further study of R. officinale in combination with interferon is “justified”.

Hibiscus Flower (Hibiscus sabdariffa)

is a species of Hibiscus native to the Old World tropics, used for the production of bast fibre and as an infusion. It is an annual or perennial herb or woody-based subshrub, growing to 2–2.5 m (7–8 ft) tall. The leavesare deeply three- to five-lobed, 8–15 cm (3–6 in) long, arranged alternately on the stems.

Many parts of the plant are also claimed to have various medicinal values. They have been used for such purposes ranging from Mexico through Africa and India to Thailand. Roselle is associated with traditional medicine and is reported to be used as treatment for several diseases such as hypertension and urinary tract infections. There is currently insufficient evidence to demonstrate any beneficial effect of roselle on raised blood pressure or on blood lipid lowering. Experimental results are contradictory.

Hibiscus sabdariffa has shown in vitro antimicrobial activity against E. coli. A recent review stated that specific extracts of H. sabdariffa exhibit activities against atherosclerosis, liver disease, cancer, diabetes and other metabolic syndromes.

Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus)

known under the common name Irish moss, or carrageen moss (Irish carraigín, “little rock”), is a species of red algae which grows abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America. In its fresh condition the protist is soft and cartilaginous, varying in color from a greenish-yellow, through red, to a dark purple or purplish-brown. The principal constituent of Irish moss is a mucilaginous body, made of the polysaccharide carrageenan of which it contains about 55%. The protist also consists of nearly 10% protein and about 15% mineral matter, and is rich in iodine and sulfur. When softened in water it has a Sea-like odour, and because of the abundant cell wall polysaccharides it will form a jelly when boiled, containing from 20 to 100 times its weight of water.

Chondrus crispus is an industrial source of carrageenan, which is commonly used as a thickener and stabilizerin milk products such as ice cream and processed foods, including lunch meat. In Europe, it is indicated as E407 or E407b. It may also be used as a thickener in calico-printing and for fining beer or wine. Irish moss is frequently mixed with Mastocarpus stellatus (Gigartina mammillosa), Chondracanthus acicularis (G. acicularis) and other seaweeds with which it is associated in growth. Carrageenan and agar-agar are also used in Asia for gelatin-like desserts, such as almond jelly. Presently, the major source of carrageenan is tropical seaweeds of the genera Kappaphycus and Eucheuma.

In parts of Scotland (where it is known as (An) Cairgean in Scottish Gaelic) and Ireland, it is boiled in milk and strained, before sugar and other flavourings such as vanilla, cinnamon, brandy or whisky are added. The end-product is a kind of jelly similar to pannacotta, tapioca, or blancmange. Similarly, in Trinidad and Tobago it is boiled with cinnamon and milk to make a thick drink that is believed to be an aphrodisiac.

Irish moss is commonly used as a clarifying agent in the process of brewing (beer), particularly in homebrewing. A small amount is boiled with the wort, attracting proteins and other solids, which is then removed from the mixture after cooling.

Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

E. senticosus is a new addition to Western natural medicine, but has quickly gained a reputation similar to that of the better known Chinese Ginseng. Though the chemical make-up of the two herbs differs, their effects seem to be similar.

The herb is an adaptogen, is anticholesteremic, is mildly anti-inflammatory, is antioxidant, is a nervine, and is an immune tonic. It is useful when the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) is depleted. Symptoms of this condition include fatigue, stress, neurasthenia, and sore muscles associated with the hypofunctioning of the endocrine system, and adrenal exhaustion indicated by a quivering tongue, dark circles under the eyes, and dilating/contracting pupils. Eleuthero may alleviate these symptoms.

E. senticosus is an adaptogen that has a wide range of health benefits attributed to its use. Currently, most of the research to support the medicinal use of E. senticosus is in Russian or Korean.[citation needed] E. senticosus contains eleutherosides, triterpenoid saponins that are lipophilic and that can fit into hormone receptors.[citation needed] Extracts of E. senticosus have been shown to have a variety of biological effects in vitro or in animal models:

  • increased endurance/anti-fatigue
  • memory/learning improvement
  • anti-inflammatory
  • immunogenic

In Chinese herbology, Eleutherococcus senticosis is used to treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation, angina, hypercholesterolemia, and neurasthenia with headache, insomnia, and poor appetite.

Eleutherococcus senticosus has been shown to have significant antidepressant-like effects in rats.

Eleutherococcus senticosus is also gaining popularity in use for easing withdrawal from certain types of addictions (physical and/or psychological dependence on psychoactive substances i.e. Marijuana)

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

is a species of succulent plant that probably originated in northern Africa. The species does not have any naturally occurring populations, although closely related aloes do occur in northern Africa. The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD. Extracts from A. vera are widely used in the cosmetics and alternative medicine industries, being marketed as variously having rejuvenating, healing or soothing properties. There is, however, little scientific evidence of the effectiveness or safety of A. vera extracts for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes, and what positive evidence is available is frequently contradicted by other studies. Medical uses of aloe vera are being investigated as well.

Spotted forms of Aloe vera are sometimes known as Aloe vera var. chinensis. The species has a number of synonyms: A. barbadensis Mill., Aloe indica Royle, Aloe perfoliata L. var. vera and A. vulgaris Lam. 

Preparations made from the plant Aloe vera are often referred to as “aloe vera”. Scientific evidence for the cosmetic and therapeutic effectiveness of aloe vera is limited and when present is frequently contradictory. Despite this, the cosmetic and alternative medicine industries regularly make claims regarding the soothing, moisturizing, and healing properties of aloe vera, especially via Internet advertising. Aloe vera gel is used as an ingredient in commercially available lotions, yogurt, beverages, and some desserts, although at certain doses, it has toxic properties when used either for ingested or topical applications.

Folk medicine

Aloe vera has a long association with herbal medicine, although it is not known when its medical applications were first suspected. Early records of Aloe vera use appear in the Ebers Papyrus from 16th century BC, in both Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica and Pliny the Elder’s Natural History written in the mid-first century CE along with the Juliana Anicia Codex produced in 512 AD. The species is used widely in the traditional herbal medicine of China, Japan, Russia, South Africa, the United States, Jamaica, Latin America and India.

Dietary supplement

Aloin, a compound found in the exudate of some Aloe species, was the common ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) laxative products in the United States prior to 2003, when the Food and Drug Administration ruled that aloin was a class III ingredient, thereby banning its use.Aloe vera has potential toxicity, with side-effects occurring at some dose levels both when ingested or applied topically. Although toxicity may be less when aloin is removed by processing, aloe vera that contains aloin in excess amounts may induce side-effects. A 2-year National Toxicology Program (NTP) study on oral consumption of non-decolorized whole leaf extract of aloe vera found evidence of carcinogenic activity in male and female rats. The NTP says more information is needed to determine the potential risks to humans.

Aloe vera juice is marketed to support the health of the digestive system, but there is neither scientific evidence nor regulatory approval to support this claim. The extracts and quantities typically used for such purposes appear to be dose-dependent for toxic effects.

Phytochemicals

Aloe vera leaves contain phytochemicals under study for possible bioactivity, such as acetylated mannans, polymannans, anthraquinone C-glycosides, anthrones and anthraquinones, and various lectins.

Commodities

Aloe vera is now widely used on facial tissues, where it is promoted as a moisturiser and/or anti-irritant to reduce chafing of the nose of users suffering hay-fever or cold. It is common practice for cosmetic companies to add sap or other derivatives from Aloe vera to products such as makeup, tissues, moisturizers, soaps, sunscreens, incense, shaving cream, and shampoos. Other uses for extracts of aloe vera include the dilution of semen for the artificial fertilization of sheep, use as fresh food preservative, and use in water conservation in small farms. It has also been suggested that biofuels could be obtained from Aloe vera seeds. Aloe is also used as a food substance. Some molecular gastronomists have begun to take advantage of its gelling properties. Perhaps the most notable among these is Chef Quique Dacosta’s “Oysters Guggenheim,” created at El Poblet in Spain.

Research for possible medical uses

Aloe vera may be effective in treatment of wounds. Evidence on the effects of its sap on wound healing, however, is limited and contradictory. Some studies, for example, show that aloe vera promotes the rates of healing, while, in contrast, other studies show that wounds to which aloe vera gel was applied were significantly slower to heal than those treated with conventional medical preparations. A 2007 review concluded that the cumulative evidence supports the use of aloe vera for the healing of first to second degree burns. Topical application of aloe vera may also be effective for genital herpes and psoriasis. However, it is not effective for the prevention of radiation-induced injuries. Although anecdotally useful, it has not been proven to offer protection from sunburn or suntan.

In a double-blind clinical trial, both the group using an aloe vera containing dentifrice and the group using a fluoridated dentifrice had a reduction of gingivitis and plaque, but no statistically significant difference was found between the two.

There is preliminary evidence that A. vera extracts may be useful in the treatment of diabetes and elevated blood lipids in humans. These positive effects are thought to be due to the presence of compounds such as mannans, anthraquinones and lectins.Internal intake of aloe vera has been linked in preliminary research with improved blood glucose levels in diabetics, although it has been suggested by the NTP that aloe may lower blood glucose levels. It has also been linked with lower blood lipids in hyperlipidaemic patients, but also with acute hepatitis (liver disease). In other diseases, preliminary studies have suggested oral aloe vera gel may reduce symptoms and inflammation in patients with ulcerative colitis. Abdominal cramps and diarrhea have been reported with oral use of aloe vera. Diarrhea, caused by the laxative effect of oral aloe vera, can decrease the absorption of many drugs. Compounds extracted from aloe vera have been used as an immunostimulant that aids in fighting cancers in cats and dogs;  however, this treatment has not been scientifically tested in humans.

Gels from Aloe vera have been compared to those derived from other aloe species and with other plants belonging to the family Asphodelaceae. Bulbine frutescens, for example, is used widely for burns and a host of skin afflictions. Aloe vera extracts might have antibacterial and antifungal activities, which possibly could help treat minor skin infections, such as boils and benign skin cysts and may inhibit growth of fungi causing tinea. For bacteria, inner-leaf gel from aloe vera was shown in one study to inhibit growth of Streptococcus and Shigella species in vitro. In contrast, aloe vera extracts failed to show antibiotic properties against Xanthomonas species.

Chicory Root (Cichorium intybus)

is a somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant usually with bright blue flowers, rarely white or pink. Various varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons (blanched buds), or for roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive. It is also grown as a forage crop for livestock. It lives as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America and Australia, where it has become naturalized.

“Chicory” is also the common name in the United States for curly endive (Cichorium endivia); these two closely related species are often confused.

Root chicory contains volatile oils similar to those found in plants in the related genus Tanacetum which includes Tansy, and is similarly effective at eliminating intestinal worms. All parts of the plant contain these volatile oils, with the majority of the toxic components concentrated in the plant’s root.

Chicory is well known for its toxicity to internal parasites. Studies indicate that ingestion of chicory by farm animals results in reduction of worm burdens, which has prompted its widespread use as a forage supplement. Only a few major companies are active in research, development, and production of chicory varieties and selections, most in New Zealand.

Chicory (especially the flower), used as a folk medicine in Germany, is recorded in many books as an ancient German treatment for everyday ailments. It is variously used as a tonic and as a treatment for gallstones, gastro-enteritis, sinus problems and cuts and bruises. (Howard M. 1987). Chicory contains inulin, which may help humans with weight loss, constipation, improving bowel function, and general health. In rats, it may increase calcium absorption and bone mineral density.

Chicory has demonstrated antihepatotoxic potential in animal studies.

Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale)

is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. They are native to Eurasia and North America, and two species, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, are found as weeds worldwide. Both species are edible in their entirety. The common name dandelion (/ˈdændɨl.ən/ DAN-di-ly-ən, from French dent-de-lion, meaning lion’s tooth) is given to members of the genus, and like other members of the Asteraceae family, they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret. Many Taraxacum species produce seeds asexually by apomixis, where the seeds are produced without pollination, resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant.

Dandelions are found on all continents and have been gathered since prehistory, but the varieties cultivated for consumption are mainly native to Eurasia. A perennial plant, its leaves will grow back if the taproot is left intact. To make leaves more palatable, they are often blanched to remove bitterness. Dandelion leaves and buds have been a part of traditional Sephardic, Chinese and Korean cuisine. In Crete, Greece, the leaves of a variety called Mari (Μαρί), Mariaki (Μαριάκι) or Koproradiko (Κοπροράδικο) are eaten by locals, either raw or boiled, in salads. Another species endemic to Crete, is eaten in the same way; it is found only at high altitudes (1000 to 1600 m.) and in fallow sites, and is called pentaramia (πενταράμια) or agrioradiko (αγριοράδικο) and which has been named Taraxacum megalorhizon by Prof. Michalis Damanakis of the Botanics Department of the University of Crete.

The flower petals, along with other ingredients, are used to make dandelion wine. The ground, roasted roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee. Dandelion was also traditionally used to make the traditional British soft drink dandelion and burdock, and is one of the ingredients of root beer.

Dandelion leaves contain abundant vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, C and K, and are good sources of calcium, potassium, iron and manganese.

Dangers

Dandelion pollen may cause allergic reactions when eaten, or adverse skin reactions in sensitive individuals. Due to its high potassium level, dandelion can also increase the risk of hyperkalemia when taken with potassium-sparing diuretics.

Herbalism

Historically, dandelion was prized for a variety of medicinal properties, and it contains a wide number of pharmacologically active compounds. Dandelion is used as a folk remedy in Europe, North America and China. It has been used to treat infections, bile and liver problems, and as a diuretic. Other people use it for its supposed anti-inflammatory effects and urinary tract infections in women.

Chamomile Flower (Matricaria nobile)

Alfalfa Herb (Medicago sativa)

Pearl Barley (Hordeum vulgare)

Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)

Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale)

Celery Seed (Apium graveolens)

Sarsaparilla Root (Hemidesmus indicus)

Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata)

Foenugreek Seed (Trigonella foenum graecum)

Papain (Carica papaya)

Bromelain (from pineapple stem – Ananas comosus)

10 grams of fiber per serving… which means… you’ll receive roughly one-third of the total 30-35 grams of fiber recommended daily to promote good health.

Soluble fiber… which means… it helps inhibit cholesterol production and slows digestion and absorption of carbohydrates to improve blood glucose control.

Insoluble fiber…which means…i t reduces constipation, diverticulosis and the risk of colon cancer and other intestinal diseases; supports growth of “good-guy” bacteria in the colon and leaves you feeling fuller longer to enhance weight loss.

Beta Carotene, Vitamins C & E, potent antioxidants…which means… it neutralizes cell-damaging free radicals.

Papain and bromelain, two key digestive enzymes…which means… you can reduce inflammation, promote and maintain proper digestion, relieve bloating and indigestion and help your body function more efficiently and energetically.

Special blend of 21 bioflavonoidrich herbs, such as ginseng, garlic and chamomile…which means … you’ll be promoting overall wellness thanks to the herbs’ cleansing and revitalizing properties.

Inulin, a pre-biotic fiber…which means… you can feel fuller without extra calories while you enhance calcium absorption and support healthy digestion.

Delicious naturally sweetened pineapple flavor… …you can easily mix it in any drink, including water, juice, milk or one of your daily Reliv shakes.How is the fiber in your diet?

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