The 15 Benefits of Mangoes

In Jamaica it is Mangoes season, we have various types of Mango trees and I am very blessed to have a few trees in my garden.

Mango trees are one of the most cultivated fruits in the tropics. Beyond the sweet, luscious taste of mangoes, they also contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that assure your optimum health.

Here are a few benefits:

  1. Mangoes contain enzymes for breaking down protein and are rich in Fiber, so if you have at least one mango every day, you are almost guaranteed to prevent constipation, piles, and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  2. Mangoes are rich in Potassium (4% in 156 mg) and Magnesium (2% in 9 mg) and are a great remedy for high blood pressure.
  3. Mangoes can prevent Cancer; research has shown antioxidant compounds in mango fruits have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.mangoes
  4. Mangoes are closely related to Skin Care. Other than bringing a healthy glow to your face, they also help to lighten skin color and treat acne by opening the clogged pores of the skin. Unclogging the pores of the skin is the most effective way to eliminate acne. You don’t need to eat them every day; you can remove the pulp and apply it on the skin for around 10 minutes, then rinse it off.
  5. Mangoes Alkalize the whole body; Remember that cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment. Mango is rich in tartaric acid, malic acid and traces of citric acid that primarily help in maintaining the alkali reserve of the body.
  6. Mangoes lowers Cholesterol; the high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels
  7. Mangoes can help with your Sex Drive; the vitamin E content in these fruits can even help boost your sex life by triggering the activity of your sex hormones.
  8. Mangoes improves Eyes Health; one cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.
  9. Mangoes delay Aging; they contain high amounts of vitamin A and C, which help produce collagen proteins inside the body. Collagen helps protect blood vessels and the body’s connective tissues, thereby slowing down the natural aging process.
  10. Mangoes promote Brain Health; they have abundant quantities of vitamin B6, which is vital for maintaining and improving the brain’s function and contribute to help with mood and sleeping patterns. The glutamine acid content in mangoes also improves concentration and memory.
  11. Mangoes may help with Diabetes; mango leaves help normalize insulin levels in the blood ~ boil mango leaves in water, soak through the night and then consume the filtered concoction in the morning~  Mangoes also have a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels.
  12. Mangoes are providing Iron for women; they are rich in iron, hence it is a great natural solution for people suffering from anemia. Menopausal and pregnant women can indulge in mangoes as this will increase their iron levels and calcium at the same time.
  13. Mangoes can be part of a weight loss aid; they have a lot of vitamins and nutrients that help the body feel fuller. Also, the fibrous fruit boosts the digestive function of the body by burning additional calories, helping in weight loss.
  14. Mangoes can boost your Immune System; mangoes are rich in beta-carotene, a powerful carotenoid. This element helps to enhance the immune system and make it resistant to bacteria and toxins.
  15. Mangoes can avoid Asthma; beta-carotene can lower your risk for developing asthma.

 

Nutrition of one cup of mango with Daily Value:  

  • 105 calories
  • 76 percent vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster)
  • 25 percent vitamin A  (antioxidant and vision)
  • 11 percent vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention)
  • 9 percent healthy probiotic fiber
  • 9 percent copper (copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus production of red blood cells)
  • 7 percent potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake)
  • 4 percent magnesium

Mangoes also provide calcium; iron; and powerful antioxidants such as zeaxanthin, quercetin, astragalin and beta-carotene.

 

How to use Mangoes?

Mangoes keep relatively well. Unripe fruit can be left to ripen at room temperature; a fruit that is still green will ripen in a week, or faster if it is placed in a paper bag. Mangoes taste best when eaten at peak ripeness. Ripe mangoes can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. Mangoes can be frozen, cooked in syrup or puréed; sugar and lime or lemon juice may be added if desired.

 

Cautions when using mangoes:

Since mangoes are of the same family of pistachios or cashews, if you have an allergy to pistachios or cashews, then you should probably avoid mangoes.

If you have a latex allergy, a reaction is possible with mangos, particularly green mangos. This reaction develops because of anacardic acid

Mangos are ripened by some dealers using calcium carbide, which can cause serious health problems (one more reason to buy organic). If you do have inorganic mangoes, wash them properly before consuming or soak overnight in water.

Mango peel and sap contain urushiol, the chemical in poison ivy and poison sumac which can cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.

 


Disclaimer:

This blog, its content and any linked material are presented for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or prescribing. Nothing contained in or accessible from this blog should be considered to be medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or prescribing, or a promise of benefits, claim of cure, legal warranty, or guarantee of results to be achieved. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog or in any linked material.

Irish Moss and its benefits

Since diagnosed with Endometriosis ( a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain, especially associated with menstruation), I am doing some research to calm the pain and try to remove the lesions without getting a surgery and I found that eating foods which are good for resolving blood stasis will help me. It includes kelp, vinegar, lemons, limes, onions, Irish moss and bladder wrack (the last two are seaweeds). Being in Jamaica, Irish moss is quite inexpensive and easy to find, so I decided to include it in my diet. Irish Moss has many benefits also.

 

A little history:

The Irish Moss is a seaweed that was original found near Ireland hence the name. The Irish consumed Irish moss during the famine of the 19th century in Ireland.

Irish moss or Chondrus crispus is a type of red algae harvested from the Atlantic coastline of North America, Great Britain, Iceland, and, as the name suggests, Ireland. The seaweed also grows on rocks in Jamaica. Irish migrants to Jamaica brought the tradition of the Irish Moss to Jamaica. ​

irish moss algae

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<==Red Algae

My cooked Irish moss ==>

 

Irish moss is usually harvested in the summer and then dried for
herbal.

The principal constituent is a mucilaginous body, made of the polysaccharide carrageenan, which constitutes 55% of its weight. The organism 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 odor 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.

Irish moss is so rich in a certain polysaccharide called carrageenan, it is widely used as a thickening agent, stabilizer and lubricant in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Gelatin is a very common binder in a variety of foods, however, it isn’t vegetarian/vegan friendly as it comes from the collagen within animal bones and skin. As a substitute, Irish moss is used as a vegan gelatin agent.

Instead of the animal based gelatin, the carrageenan extract from the seaweed is used in vegetarian packaged and frozen foods, milk, ice cream, and yogurt.

It’s not only used for food, it is a common ingredient in organic/vegan/cruelty-free makeup, toothpastes, lotion, and shampoos.

 

How do I prepare the Irish Moss that can be added to my meals?

Popularized in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries, the Irish moss drink is a beverage made from boiling the alga for an hour while adding flavorings, sweetened condensed milk, rum and spices. It is believed to be an aphrodisiac.

I don’t prepare it as a beverage but I keep it full in the fridge once it is done:

  1. Wash the Irish Moss to remove sand and other matter.
  2. Place the Irish Moss in a pot and bring to a boil. ( at least 1 hour)
  3. Add gum arabic (or acacia gum) , isinglass (kind of gelatin)
  4. Boil for another 10 min
  5. Drain it and let it get cold before putting the Irish Moss in the fridge.

I use at least 1 spoon for each meal. It can be blended in a smoothie, or in a soup, or I even put it in my food. I find that it has no taste.

 

Its Benefits

Irish Moss is being used to thicken smoothies and milks, and even in custardy desserts; but it has also multiple health benefits:

  • The Iodine, more concentrated in sea moss than any other food  is a serious fuel for the Thyroid. Selenium is also present in abundance and is a necessary factor in thyroid hormone production.The thyroid relies on regular iodine intake in order to convert the iodine into hormones.
  •  Potassium is very important to our body to support our mental/emotional health. Adding high-potassium foods like Sea Moss to the diet can significantly improve behavior and mental functioning (especially for ADD children!). High potassium foods can relieve many symptoms of anger, irritability, anxiety disorders, depression, and fibromyalgia.
  • Irish Moss also contains Algin. This phytonutrient has therapeutic value as a heavy metal detoxifying agent which means that it helps pull heavy metals out of the tissues of our bodies. Additionally, Sea Moss is a healing agent to all mucous membranes (great for external skin health and internal digestive tract health) and has a mild laxative effect.
  • Irish Moss is great to support our Immune system, it helps relieve and prevent symptoms of colds and flus. Irish moss is a source of potassium chloride, a nutrient which helps to dissolve the inflammation and phlegm in the mucous membranes, which cause congestion. It also contains compounds which act as natural antimicrobial and antiviral agents, helping to get rid of any infections.

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

I am not a physician or qualified medical professional. The information in this article, including my comments below, are for reference only and are not meant to take the place of medical advice you receive from your doctor. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

 

What is Kombucha and its benefits

I got introduced to Kombucha not long ago. I got sick and had to take 2 rounds of antibiotics and if you know me well I don’t like taking medicines so I checked what I could do to cleanse my liver. Antibiotics help fighting infection but also harm good bacteria in your body.

What is Kombucha?

Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, Kombucha is a beverage with huge health benefits extending to your heart, your brain and especially your gut.

Kombucha is a traditional fermented drink made of black tea and sugar and contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases

How is it made?

Kombucha is a sweetened tea that is fermented with a SCOBY (a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) to become a nutrient-rich beverage. SCOBY is a collection of microbes responsible for turning sweet tea into a probiotic beverage. Essentially, it is a living colony of beneficial organisms that turn sugar into healthful acids and probiotics.

kombucha mother

I know it doesn’t look very appetizing :)tic

The fermentation process takes 7-12 days depending on temperature and the strength of the SCOBY. Once fermented, Kombucha becomes slightly effervescent, with a vinegary smell and tart taste

If properly taken care of, a SCOBY can last for many years as it is the parent culture that creates the tea. SCOBYs are often called “Mushrooms” and are the reason Kombucha is sometimes called “Mushroom Tea.”

The benefits:

Konbucha has a high concentration of beneficial enzymes and acids, including  Gluconacetobacter, Lactobacillus, Zygosaccharomyces and Acetobacter that helps fighting against liver diseases:

  • Improve digestion: It can provide relief from problems like IBS, diarrhea, and constipation. Stress, alcohol abuse and antibiotics can contribute of loss of gut bacteria.
  • Boost the immune system: Probiotics can strengthen our natural defenses against harmful microbes and some forms of illnesses.
  • Help with joint pain and arthritis: Kombucha help preserve collagen so it can assist with healing, repairing, and preventing joint damage
  • Help maintain healthy diabetes and cholesterol
  • Increase energy: It contains iron that may increase hemoglobin in the blood, thereby enhancing oxygen flow.
  • Improved mood: Kombucha contains B vitamins (mainty B1, B6, B12) that may help battle depression, stabilize mood, and enhance concentration
  • Weight loss: When consumed before meal, Kombucha increase metabolism like the apple cider vinegar.

To avoid any negative side effects, it’s recommended that you start by drinking very small amounts of kombucha and work your way to larger quantities.

How do you get Kombucha?

Kombucha has gained popularity and is now available in many stores. You can either buy it or start making your own brewage.

I buy it from a friend in Jamaica, so if interested, you can get back to me and i’ll send you her number.

If you decide to make it yourself, you can find a SCOBY disk in health food stores or online for relatively inexpensive amounts and there are a lot of recipes on the internet. Because I never made it, I prefer that you check yourself for the recipes.

Other Flavoring Ideas and Combinations

easy+kombucha+recipe

 Flavoring Ideas and Combinations

  • Blueberries and cinnamon
  • Berries and fresh or candied ginger
  • Strawberries and basil
  • Cherries and almond extract
  • Pears and almond extract
  • Apple juice and cinnamon
  • Lemon or lime juice and fresh ginger
  • Pineapple juice, coconut water, and coconut extract

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

Like with any raw/fermented product, those with any health condition or who are pregnant/nursing should check with a doctor before consuming.

I am not a physician or qualified medical professional. The information in this article, including my comments below, are for reference only and are not meant to take the place of medical advice you receive from your doctor.

Truth about Fluoride and its side-effects

For the last decade, we’ve been hearing so many facts/side effects that people get using  Fluoride. Dentists still say that it is the way to help against teeth decay but we all know this is far from the truth. Fluoride is found mostly in toothpaste but also some municipalities are adding it to the drinking water.

Fluoride is a secondary product of the aluminum industry that accumulates in the body and the brain which might lead to severe neurological damage. Exposure to fluoride is  suspected of impacting nearly every part of the human body, and the potential for harm has been clearly established in scientific research.

Some facts:

  • Most developed counties do not fluoridate their water
  • Fluoridated countries do not have less tooth decay than non fluoridated countries
  • Fluoride affects many tissues in your body besides your teeth and lead to a wide variety of health problems:
    • Bone cancer
    • Thyroid disease
    • Diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Immune system complications
    • Lower IQ
    • Rapid aging
    • Learning disability
    • Iodine deficiency ….
  • Fluoridation is not a natural process
  • For infants, fluoridated water provides NO benefits only risks
  • 40% for American Teenagers show visible signs of fluoride overexposure with dental fluorosis.
  • Fluoride supplements have never been approved by FDA ens
  • Fluoride is the only medicine  added to Public water
  • Swallowing fluoride provides little benefits to teeth
  • Disadvantaged communities are the most disadvantaged by fluoride

 

water or fluoride

There’s no doubt about it: Fluoride should not be ingested.

Did you know?

  • Fluoride is so toxic that it is considered as hazardous waste by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Hitler fluoridated the water in the concentration camps to sedate the prisoners
  • Fluoride is the same ingredients in rat poison and prozac
  • Crest was the first fluoride toothpaste created in 1955

Dr Kathy Thiessen, Director and Senior Scientist at the Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis in Tennessee is strongly opposed to fluoridation. As she explains:

“[Recent data] … indicates no significant benefit from water fluoridation, but a significant association with dental fluorosis, a situation that will not be avoided by fluoridating all cities at 0.7.mg/L … At the very least, even if dental fluorosis is considered only a cosmetic problem, it takes money to treat to improve a person’s appearance and perhaps his or her self-esteem … A growing number of studies indicate associations between dental fluorosis and increased risk of various health problems. Considerable evidence indicates that water fluoridation is an unsafe and unethical practice, with little or no real benefit.”

Dr. Kathy Thiessen, Director and Senior Scientist at the Oak Ridge Center for Risk
Analysis in Tennessee.
common_fluoride_intake_2

 

Kathy

Disclaimer: Please consider that  I am not a doctor or a physician, just a concerned mother, who wants the best for her: children, grand-children, family, friends and pets. These statements are my personal opinions and do not constitute any formal expression, statement, directly or indirectly expressed or assumed, nor non assumed regarding the aforementioned subject.

 

Source about Risk with Fluoride Here and Human Health risks Here 

 

Beauty benefits of Aloe Vera

I knew Aloe Vera when I was in Europe only in cream bottles or in juices but I never really bought or own a plant. On the cover picture you can see our plant in Jamaica that we use for the last 5 years. Each time we move we take our Aloe Vera plant and find the right place!

We usually use the Aloe Vera leaves after we come back from the beach and put it on our skin to avoid sunburn. The next day the skin is back to our normal color as if we didn’t get any reaction from the sun. Also I use it as a facial mask sometimes. I like to do my concoctions 🙂

The plant by itself can grow up to two feet with prickly and bitter leaves which act as a defense to keep animals and insects away. Inside the plant, you find this gooey translucent gel which contains 96% of water, protein with 18 amino acids, Vitamin A,B, B12, C and E. It contains proteolytic enzymes which repairs dead skin cell and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

  • Ayurveda medicine is a great advocate of Aloe Vera. The holistic healing system believe that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit.
  • The Chinese herbal medicine also use Aloe Vera to heal people

Aloe Vera is used to help people with dry skin, minor cuts, severe burns and to treat wounds. Healing properties can help acne prone skin, remove tan and also reduce stretch marks.

You can use it directly on your skin and you’ll get a feeling of having a smoother skin and a coolness on your skin. Or you can also mix it with other ingredients and get an exfoliating gel, or a gel to treat your skin and provide nutrients. You can do so many homemade recipes using aloe vera!  It has an anti-aging quality because of the vitamin E, C and betacarotene. You can use it on all skin types.

It is also used in hair products to rejuvenate the hair and give more elasticity while preventing breakage. It helps also with dry and itchy scalp because of its anti viral and anti inflammatory properties.

aloe vera pic in blog

The FDA in 1959 approved the use of Aloe Vera ointment for healing burn.

As a beautician and not a doctor I can’t really talk about the health improvement you’ll get with the Aloe Vera but it has been proven to help digestion, stomach troubles but also is used in some weight loss programs.

If you take care of your body from the inside, you will be healthy but also you’ll be glowing from the outside.

Little history:  The Ancient Egyptians named Aloe Vera Plant the “plant of immortality”. The Egyptian queens associated its use with their physical beauty.

Kathy

www.rivierawellness.co

Lavender, one of the most popular essential oils in the world

Riviera Wellness use Lavender in  the Skincare products for women and for acne prone people. It is one of the most popular essential oils in the world and has many benefits.

The most popular one is Lavandula augustifolia, I was used to have a lot of  plants when I was in France and I still take some from my parents garden, dry the flower, put it in little pouch and then in my wardrobe to have a nice smell.  Lavender is not only a plant with fresh and floral scent but has many benefits for our health and skin care.

Little History :

  • Lavender has been discovered over 2,500 Years ago. The Egyptian used it for mummification and as a perfume
  • The Romans used the lavender oil for bathing, cooking and purifying the air. It got the name from the roman “lavare” which means laver (in french) or to wash (in english)

Today Lavender has so many virtues and that is why we use it in our skincare. It’s been used both cosmetically and therapeutically. It is a powerful antioxydant, antimicrobial, antidepressive , has calming effect and sedative.

  • Lavender restores skin complexion and reduce acne
  • Slows aging process with powerful antioxydants
  • Relieves pain and headaches
  • Reduces anxiety and emotional stress
  • Helps healing wounds and burns
  • Improves brain function
  • Can help with hair loss and improve Alopecia Areata when massaged into scalp daily.

I am only in beauty industry and not a doctor so you can check out all the health benefits on the internet however it has been shown that lavender essential oil is a natural antioxydant that will prevent and reverse disease and also helped people suffering from PTSD Symptoms, Alzheimer disease and improves sleep.

lavender-1490788_1280.jpg

Why we wanted to use Lavender in our skincare products?

It does work well on the skin and is one of the rare oil we can use directly on the skin.

 

 

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  • Stimulating the skin
  • Toning
  • Healing
  • Soothing
  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-allergic
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory

It can be used to all skin type, works also on acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.

Lavender stimulates cellular growth and regenerate the skin. Imagine the Lavender added to our Plant Stem Cell and Estriol creams and serums! It helps also reduce age spots and reverse the anti-aging process.

We use it also with our acne product to help with the healing because of its antibacterial, anti-oxydants and anti-microbial properties.

riviera women

Kathy

http://www.rivierawellness.co

Jamaican Black Castor oil

People are leaning more and more towards natural hair and skin products, for this reason I will be discussing about the Jamaican Black Castor Oil today.  I expect to have it in my shop very soon.

I want to be honest with you, I didn’t know about Black Castor Oil until I came to live in Jamaica 5 years ago. All I knew was the Yellowish Castor Oil and the only time I used it was to help me getting into labour for my 4th child 🙂 – Disclaimer, I am not a doctor and I read about it so I tried because I was going to be induced the next day… anyway that was 14 years ago 🙂

 

So what is the difference?

Castor oil is a natural plant oil obtained from the seed of the castor plant. Cold pressed castor oil is the oil in its best form as it is not altered by heat or other substances. The nuts are pressed until you obtain this yellow oils substance. This is the purest form of the oil that has been filtered. This is what gives the oil the yellow tint when it goes through the cold press process.

Black castor oil gets its black color from the ash after the castor bean has been roasted. The ash is then added into the oil that has been pressed out which causes it to have the darker black tint as well as a smoked roasted scent.

Castor-Oil1

What are the benefits of Black Castor Oil?

Castor oil is known to help the skin, the hair and the immune system. It contains Vitamin E and Omega 6–fatty acids.

Castor oil is well known to increase hair growth. You can use it for your hair, eyebrows and eyelashes.

  • Stop hair loss and stimulate hair growth
  • Thicken the hair and prevents knots
  • Reduce and prevent hair damage
  • Stimulate your scalp, prevent dry scalp and moisturizes scalp
  • Reduce split ends and reduce hair breakage
  • Kills bacteria and fungi on the scalp
  • Makes hair shinier, stronger and thicker

One recommendation on black texture hair that I got from a hairdresser is that castor oil could break the hair if you leave it in too long. It is better to use it on the scalp instead of the hair lengths.

Castor oil also helps as an acne treatment. It cleanses and tightens the pores resulting in soft and smooth skin. It reduces redness and swelling of acne blemishes along with scarring and pain.

Castor Oil also has some anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which can help athlete foot, eczema and warts.

Castor oil has also many health benefits that I am not in the liberty to say as I am not a doctor but you can easily find it on the internet. One of the major reasons castor oil has strong immune-enhancing effects is because it supports the body’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system also impacts the circulatory and digestive systems, which is why castor oil has benefits for helping you detox, supporting heart health and healing digestive issues.

Little history

The castor plant, whose botanical name is Ricinus communis, is native to the Ethiopian region of east Africa. It now grows in tropical and warm temperate regions throughout the world.

To maintain natural hair growth and the strength of their hair, the Egyptians were pioneers in using castor oil. Egyptian doctors used it also to protect the eyes from irritation.

Kathy

www.rivierawellness.co