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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Benefits Of Papaya

While it may not be a popular fruit or ranked among your favorites, the papaya is nature’s gift to a healthier mind and body. Beyond its buttery sweetness, the effects of its regular consumption are amazing. Here’s what is there to know:

1. Digestion

Stomach disorders are quite a common problem but not with a regular intake of papayas. The fruit is rich in proteolytic enzymes, the active one being papain. Also prescribed for patients of cystic fibrosis, the papain takes care of digestion and keeps the tummy light.

2. Aging

Papaya helps maintain vitality of the body if taken daily. This reduces the various signs of aging, and also leaves you feeling more fit.

3. Virility

Papaya happens to be rich in the enzyme called arginine that stimulates blood flow in the male reproductive organ. So, do not miss out on this fruit which will keep you active in the game.

4. Antioxidants

The fruit is a wonder as it has an abundance of antioxidants. The presence of beta-carotenes and essential vitamins like C and E are known to act crucially in inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells.

5. Inflammation

These could possibly be the most traumatic problems of the human body but with papaya as part of your diet, inflammation is not to be worried about. The very active protein-digestive enzymes chymopapain and papain help reduce inflammation in cases of burns, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, while speeding up the recovery process.

6. Cleanser

What better way to treat your skin than to go natural! So, just take a pint of papaya juice, mix it with any other herbal combination and treat your skin to some miraculous cleansing within minutes.

7. Heart

Papaya is definitely a boon when it comes to the heart. The antioxidants fight the cholesterol present in the blood and prevent it from building into plaques that clog the arteries. Apart from that, the rich fibre content of the fruit breaks down toxic substances like the homocysteine into easily absorbable amino acids, reducing chances of heart stroke.

Well, who could have known that this humble looking fruit could contain so much goodness? Now that you know, let your mornings include a healthy helping of the fruit. Enjoy your breakfast!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Purpose Of Potassium in the Human Body

Potassium is an important mineral to the body and plays roles at both the cellular and electrical level. In fact, it is also considered an electrolyte because it carries a tiny electrical charge. Potassium is found in red blood cells, muscles and bones. Food sources include many fruits and vegetables, such as spinach, parsley, broccoli, tomatoes, citrus fruits, bananas, apples, avocados and raisins.

Muscle Contraction

Potassium and sodium work together to regulate the water and acid-base balance in the blood and tissues. It also works by creating a sodium-potassium pump that helps generate muscle contractions, including regulating heartbeat, according to Periodic Paralysis News Desk. Because potassium crosses the cell membrane more readily than sodium, it initiates an exchange that releases electrical energy and activates nerve impulses, causing muscle contraction.

Blood Pressure

Potassium also causes a reaction in the blood vessels, according to research published in the "American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology." Research led by F.J. Haddy determined that infusions of potassium would cause an increase in blood flow that resulted from the dilation of the arteries and relaxation of smooth muscles. The research found that dietary supplementation with potassium could lower blood pressure. This appeared to reduce the need for anti-hypertensive medications in individuals who were "salt sensitive" hypertensive. Although further research is required, the researchers theorize that potassium supplementation could help reduce other complications, such as stroke.


The sodium and potassium balance in the body is sensitive. According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson, medical doctor and nutritional consultant, an imbalance in this ratio can contribute to the development of seizures. This imbalance can trigger excessive tissue breakdown at the neurological level and a correction can help to produce an improvement in epileptic seizures.

Enzyme Production

There are a limited number of enzymes that require the use of potassium for production and activity, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. For instance, the use of adenosine triphosphate in the production of energy requires the presence of both sodium and potassium. Potassium is also needed for the activation of an important enzyme in carbohydrate metabolism, pyruvate kinase.

Bone Health

Your body works on a fragile acid-base balance. To maintain that acid-base balance, based on your dietary intake, your body may pull calcium from the bones, according to lead researcher Frances Tylavsky from the Department of Preventative Medicine at the University of Tennessee. This discovery led researchers to understand the importance that potassium plays in reducing the amount of calcium pulled from the bones to maintain the correct acid-base balance when the body can use potassium. The role that potassium plays is based in a complex interaction between concentrations of potassium, sodium and calcium and phosphorus within the bones and the interstitial fluid surrounding the bone.