Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Healthy Shots - Boost and Strengthen Your Biosystems

I recently did some research for an article about herbs for runners. Since my two sons are both runners, competing in track and field and cross country running at their high school, and my husband has just started running, I was interested in finding natural substances that would help them during this strenuous physical activity. One piece of information I came across was a blurb from a runner about cayenne pepper. This runner takes a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a glass of water every day.

Cayenne has some amazing health benefits, and I was surprised to learn that it can stop a heart attack in 30 seconds. It has also been shown in clinical studies to kill cancer cells. Wow! The University of Cincinnati is studying cayenne's effects on cardiovascular health and healing. Cayenne clears and opens blood vessels and veins, ridding them of plaques and build up that can cause strokes and heart problems. It clears bad cholesterol. It stimulates the circulation and breathing systems, promoting clearer, deeper breathing which in turn provides oxygenation of all your bodily systems, a very important benefit while running. This kind of health benefit is not only valuable to runners though. As a female who has three close female relatives with a history of heart problems, I need to be doing things now to protect and strengthen my heart to avoid problems later that my mother and aunts are facing. I do not want to have strokes, heart attacks, arteriosclerosis or congestive heart failure in my future.

Wheat grass juice is another healthy resource that provides concentrated nutrients including iron, magnesium, selenium, calcium, amino acids, chlorophyll and vitamins A, C and E. Although the Mayo Clinic says that there aren't any studies to support claims that wheat grass juice protects against cancer, boosts immunity, improves digestion or rids the body of toxins, the Clinic acknowledges wheat grass's nutritional benefits as a green food. Chlorophyll's molecular structure is similar to the hemoglobin in human blood which may make it compatible with blood processes. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center reports that small studies of wheat grass juice indicate that it may alleviate colitis and reduce toxic effects of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.

With such powerful natural health attributes, I looked at how I could incorporate cayenne and wheat grass juice into my family's health and nutrition. We start every day with a small glass of orange juice with breakfast for a little extra vitamin C and fiber, so it's a natural extension of that to add a wheat grass juice shot and a cayenne shot. Now we each drink 3 ounces of wheat grass juice and 6 ounces of water with 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne along with our orange juice for an extra boost. I add a few ounces of mango nectar to the wheat grass juice to make it more palatable, although it doesn't taste bad taken straight. The cayenne has to be blended in the water with a fork or it just sits on the surface of the water. We down the cayenne water first, not that it tastes bad, but it does have a slight burn to it, so drinking the other juices after the cayenne really minimizes that.

My husband and sons needed a little convincing that drinking green juice and water with hot pepper powder was a good idea. When I explained the health benefits, they agreed to try it, and the first time we all took the shots together, they were surprised and pleased that the taste wasn't bad at all. It's a small addition to our daily health and nutrition routine that will pay big dividends now and in the future.

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