Health & Medical
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Instant noodles are everyone’s favorite. They are easy to cook and quite tasty when garnished with the right toppings.
Kids love their occasional noodle treats. Parents who work full time often find it convenient to fix their kids a delicious bowl of noodles for dinner, and often fix themselves one, too.
While a steaming bowl of chicken soup is a favorite home remedy during flu season, hot soupy noodles have also gained popularity as a comfort food during sick spells.
They are the perfect midnight snack and the perfect lunchbox option for kids. The appeal of instant noodles in endless.
Instant noodles boast another benefit – they are easy on the pocket. No wonder they are the ultimate go-to food for every college student strapped for money.
Their inexpensiveness is also a major reason for their high consumption rate. It is common practice in many homes to buy at least 4 or 5 packs of instant noodles when grocery shopping.
People in China, Indonesia and Japan are the highest consumers of instant noodles in the world, according to a 2015 estimation published by the World Instant Noodles Association.
The common perception about instant noodles is that they aren’t healthy, but they aren’t excessively harmful either.
However, in reality, they are far worse.
Instant noodles are devoid of any nutritional value. Every aspect of their production, from their basic composition to the measures taken to preserve them, packs a major health risk factor for consumers.
Contrary to popular belief, topping your instant noodles with veggies may enhance their nutritional value, but it does not counter their negative health effects and miraculously turn them into a health food.
Here are some reasons instant noodles are dangerous to your health.
1. Contain Harmful Preservatives
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and t-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) are the main preservatives added to instant noodles to prevent rancidness and keep them usable longer.
BHA doubles and TBHQ triples the shelf life of instant noodles, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Oil Chemist’s Society.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the consumption of moderate levels of TBHQ, long-term constant exposure to this preservative may prove carcinogenic, according to a 2005 study published in Drug Metabolism and Disposition.
According to the American Cancer Society, BHA is “reasonably anticipated” as being a human carcinogen.
The European Mission includes BHA in a list of chemicals with possible endocrine-disrupting effects. The endocrine system is responsible for the production and regulation of hormones, a disruption of which is likely to cause several adverse developmental, immune, neurological and reproductive effects.
2. Don’t Digest Easily
This is far more harmful than it sounds.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital used a minuscule camera to observe the effects of noodles on the digestive tract over 32 hours.
The video revealed the stomach working hard, contracting back and forth, to break down the noodles. The noodles remained undigested for a long time and severely strained the digestive tract.
Furthermore, the retention of instant noodles in the digestive tract for so long means you get overexposed to the toxic chemicals and preservatives, such as TBHQ and BHA, found in the noodles, which can prove carcinogenic.
Long-term exposure to TBHQ can also cause asthma, anxiety and diarrhea in some people. It can also adversely affect the liver and the reproductive organs.
3. Increases the Risk of Heart Disease
“Metabolic syndrome” is defined as a group of symptoms that increases a person’s chances of contracting heart disease, having a stroke and developing diabetes.
These symptoms include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglyceride level, high blood sugar and increased abdominal fat.
Women who consumed noodles 2 or 3 times a week reported an increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
Furthermore, deep-frying is a step in the production process of most instant noodles. This further saturates the noodles with excess fat from the oil, making it a greater risk factor for heart disease.
Noodles that are air-dried skip the deep-frying, which makes them a comparatively healthier alternative.
4. High in Saturated Fats
While eating any kind of fat excessively increases your risk of obesity, saturated fats are especially harmful as they spike your low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol) level and increase the risk of heart disease.
The World Health Organization recommends avoiding dietary saturated fats.
LDL cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity and abdominal fat levels improved in subjects who switched from saturated fats to polyunsaturated fats, according to a 2002 study published in Diabetologia.
Depending upon the manufacturing process, the amount of saturated fat found in different brands of instant noodles may differ.
Instant noodles fried in palm oil, lard or butter before packaging are likely to have a higher saturated-fat content. Some instant noodles’ seasoning may also contain oils high in saturated fats.
Check the nutrition label to learn the exact amount of saturated fats in your preferred brand of instant noodles and assess the health risk accurately.
5. High in Salt
Sodium-rich salt is the indispensable taste-enhancer. However, too much of it is very harmful to your health.
Compared to moderate consumption, high dietary sodium consumption was recognized as a major factor in high death rates in 23 case studies and 274,683 randomized control trials, according to a 2014 study published in the American Journal of Hypertension.
Instant noodles are rich in salt, and therefore, rich in sodium.
Excess sodium has been linked with high blood pressure (hypertension) and, in turn, heart disease, heart failure and strokes.
Patients with hypertension who consumed a special diet (rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products with low levels of dietary sodium) experienced significantly reduced blood pressure levels, according to a 2001 study published in The American Journal of New Medicine.
6. Made from Refined Flour
nstant noodles are made from white flour.
The nutrient-rich parts of a wheat kernel are the germ and the bran. These are both removed during the production of refined flour, and all that remains is nutrient-devoid carbohydrates in the form of starch.
Carbohydrates increase the blood sugar levels in your body, thereby increasing the risk of diabetes.
High consumption of instant noodles can also increase the risk of excess sugar in the bloodstream. Your body gradually converts excess sugar into fat and stores it away for later use. This induces obesity – another risk factor for heart disease.
7. May Contain Harmful Toxins
Most instant noodles are fried during the production process.
When the oil used for frying these noodles isn’t constantly changed or properly maintained, oxidizing agents accumulate in the oil.
Gradually, these oxidizing agents attract toxins that are transferred to the packaged product along with the spoiled oil and fat.
Food poisoning has broken out in Japan in the past due to the presence of degraded oil and fat in instant noodles, causing diarrhea, abdominal pain, headaches and nausea, according to a 2006 study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology.
Safe production methods of instant noodles are still a valid concern.
The World Instant Noodles Association has, since then, defined and promoted stringent production standards to decrease the risk of contamination and food poisoning by instant noodles.
8. May Contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
This is not true for all brands of instant noodles, but some use MSG as an ingredient in flavor packets that accompany instant noodles.
MSG is a flavor enhancer, especially popular in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisines.
Health and nutrition data of 10,095 healthy Chinese adults correlating to the period of 1991-2006 collected from the China Health and Nutrition Survey linked high MSG consumption over the years to excess weight gain.
Although the FDA has labeled MSG a safe additive, its harmful effects are still debated.
Since the 1960s, people who regularly consumed MSG-rich Asian cuisine reported severe headaches, mouth and neck numbness, chest pain and excessive sweating and flushing episodes. This group of symptoms eventually came to be known as the “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.”
by Admin / 947 Views
Being bloated sucks. It not only feels bad, but it can look bad. Many believe they are actually fat, when in fact it is the bloat that is causing their belly to appear distended.
Take the case of the typical “skinny-fat” guy. He’s the dude who is totally skinny, yet his belly seems to jet out like a small balloon. He’s likely overly bloated.
The following are causes which create a bloated stomach:
Insufficient water intake
Not getting enough water and dehydration are reasons for many health ailments. Too much coffee or booze can add to this issue. Not many people get in the necessary 6-8 glasses of water per day.
Fluid retention can occur as the body isn’t getting enough water, thus causing bloat. So the answer is simply to drink enough water throughout the day!
Not pleasant and it means you need to consume more fiber! You’ll have gas trapped behind that build up and that gas is going to want to get out!
Gradually eat fiber, not too much at a time. Whole grain bread, not white bread. Smoothies, berries and other fibrous foods in decent amounts is key.
Yes, stress can make you bloat. The digestive system can’t function properly when you are under stressful conditions. Stomach ache and constipation may occur. Settle yourself down and rid yourself of negativity to help alleviate stress.
Eating too fast
Chew your food and eat slowly, allowing your food to properly digest. Too fast and you’ll get bloated from slowly digested food.
Nothing will bloat you faster than stuffing too many carbs down. Cut down on carbs, focus on lower carb foods and less sugar and alcohol intake. Fresh fruits should be consumed and eat a lot of veggies as these are the good carbs that won’t cause excessive bloat.
by Admin / 544 Views
Stomach ulcers are often treated with antibiotics or medications to reduce, block, or neutralize stomach acid. There are also natural home remedies you can use to help ease the symptoms of a stomach ulcer and help it heal.
Cabbage is a great remedy for a stomach ulcer. Being a lactic acid food, cabbage helps produce an amino acid that stimulates blood flow to the stomach lining. This in turn helps strengthen the stomach lining and heal the ulcer.
Plus, cabbage contains a good amount of vitamin C, which has been found to be particularly beneficial for patients with H. pylori infections. Also, experiments indicate that fresh carrot juice contains an anti-peptic ulcer factor (vitamin U).
- Cut one half of a raw head of cabbage and two carrots into small pieces and put them in a blender to extract the juice.
- Drink one-half cup of this juice before each meal and at bedtime.
- Repeat daily for a few weeks. Be sure to use fresh juice each time.
For stomach ulcer treatment, both ripe and unripe bananas are very effective. There are certain antibacterial compounds in bananas that inhibit the growth of ulcer-causing H. pylori.
Bananas also protect the system by wiping out the acidity of gastric juices. This helps reduce inflammation and also strengthens the stomach lining.
- To treat an ulcer, eat at least three ripe bananas a day. If you do not like eating bananas, you can make banana milkshakes.
- Alternatively, peel two or three bananas and cut them into thin slices. Put the slices in the sun until they become dry. Grind the dried banana pieces into a fine powder. Mix together two tablespoons of this powder and one tablespoon of honey. Take this mixture three times a day for about a week.
3. Cayenne Pepper
Surprisingly, cayenne pepper is another very effective remedy for treating stomach ulcers. According to a review published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, the compound capsaicin present in cayenne pepper inhibits the secretion of stomach acids, boosts the production of alkali, and stimulates mucus secretions and gastric mucosal blood flow, thereby preventing and healing ulcers.
- Mix one-eighth teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a glass of warm water. Drink it twice a day for the first two to three days. Gradually increase the amount of cayenne pepper up to one-quarter-teaspoon twice daily for the rest of the week.
- Alternatively, take cayenne capsules that you can buy at health food stores. Take three capsules a day immediately after meals for one week.
- You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper to soups, meats and other savory dishes.
Coconut is very good for people suffering from stomach ulcers because of its antibacterial qualities. It kills the bacteria that cause ulcers. Moreover, coconut milk and coconut water have anti-ulcer properties.
- Drink a few cups of fresh coconut milk or tender coconut water daily. Also, eat the kernel of the tender coconut. Follow this treatment for at least one week to get positive results.
- Alternatively, take one tablespoon of coconut oil in the morning and another at night for one week. As coconut oil is mainly composed of medium-chain fatty acids, it can be easily digested.
Several studies suggest that licorice works effectively for treating and preventing stomach ulcers. It helps the stomach and intestines produce more protective mucus that forms a coating over the stomach lining. This in turn eases the pain from ulcers and speeds up the healing process.
- Mix one-half teaspoon of licorice root powder in one cup of water. Cover it and let it sit overnight. The next morning, add one cup of cooked broken white rice (a grade of rice consisting of grains broken during the milling process) into this infusion and eat it. Repeat daily for one week to get positive results.
- Another option is to drink licorice tea two or three times a day for one week.
- Alternatively, you can chew and then swallow two or three deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) tablets three times a day for about a week. You can easily find these 380 mg tablets in health food stores.
Fenugreek is known for its powerful healing properties and health benefits. You can use it to treat stomach ulcers also. Being rich in a mucilaginous compound, fenugreek protects the stomach’s lining by coating it like mucus, thereby facilitating the process of healing.
- Boil one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in two cups of water. Strain and drink it after adding a little honey to it.
- Another option is to consume one teaspoon of fenugreek seed powder along with milk.
- Alternatively, you can boil one cup of fenugreek leaves, add a little honey, and eat it twice a day.
Raw honey has potent healing properties that help a lot in the treatment of stomach ulcers. An enzyme called glucose oxidase in honey produces hydrogen peroxide, which in turn kills harmful bacteria that cause ulcers. Plus, it soothes and reduces the inflammation of the stomach lining.
Take two tablespoons of raw honey daily, early in the morning on an empty stomach. It will help cleanse the bowel, strengthen the stomach lining, and prevent and treat stomach ulcers.
Garlic also helps treat stomach ulcers. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle discovered that the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of garlic can keep levels of the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterium in check, which contribute to the development of stomach ulcers.
Simply take two to three crushed garlic cloves followed by a glass of water during the day. Do this on a daily basis to ease inflammation in the stomach and prevent stomach ulcers.
9. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm is another good remedy for stomach ulcers. The inner bark of the slippery elm contains a good amount of mucilage that soothes and calms inflammation and pain. Plus, the mucilage helps remove excess fats in the intestines.
- Take the inner bark of the slippery elm and grind it into a powder.
- Mix one teaspoon of this powder in one cup of warm water.
- Drink this mixture three times a day for one week.
10. Wood Apple
Leaves of wood apple, also known as bael, is also very useful in the treatment of stomach ulcers. The tannins present in the leaves help protect the stomach against damage from secretion of excess acid. Juice extracted from wood apple fruit also helps reduce pain and inflammation due to its mucilage content.
- Soak two to three wood apple leaves in one cup of water in a copper vessel overnight.
- The next morning, strain the mixture and drink it on an empty stomach.
- Follow this treatment daily for a few weeks.
For mild to moderate stomach ulcers, these remedies will give you positive results within one week. However, if you suffer from acute stomach ulcers, it is highly recommended to consult your physician.