- Written by mmuta
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Top Health Benefits of Cordyceps Mushroom
|What is Cordyceps?|
|How do cordyceps work?|
|Health Benefits of Cordyceps|
|History of Cordyceps and Interesting Facts|
|Side Effects and Interactions|
Cordyceps are a type of fungus, better known as a species of edible medicinal, nutritionally beneficial mushrooms. While closely related to other mushrooms, cordyceps aren’t technically the same as most mushrooms and instead are classified as a powerful form of Ascomycetes fungus.
The most interesting health benefits of Cordyceps include its ability to improve respiratory health, increase oxygen uptake, boost heart health, detoxify the body, and prevent certain types of cancer. It slows the aging process, increases energy, and improves the immune system.
When these fungi attack their host, they replace its tissue and sprout long, slender stems that grow outside the host’s body.
The remains of the insect and fungi have been hand-collected, dried and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to treat fatigue, sickness, kidney disease and low sex drive.
The name cordyceps describes a genus of fungi that includes more than 400 unique species of parasitic types. Fungi are essential parts of many ecosystems, but this particular genus also has a great deal of importance for people, as it has been traditionally used in herbal medicine for centuries. These “club head” mushrooms have a wide range of chemical components and compounds that make them valuable in traditional medicine, as they are globally available and relatively inexpensive. The widespread of the Cordyceps genus makes it desirable. Cordyceps fungi varieties contain certain biochemicals that mimic current pharmacological substances in a natural way.
The unique, amazing cordyceps mushroom made international headlines after Chinese runners broke two world records by unbelievably huge margins at the Asian Games in 1993. It seems the secret to their remarkable athletic performances was the so-called caterpillar fungus − cordyceps.
As it turns out, cordyceps mushroom (known scientifically as Cordyceps sinensis) has been used in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine since at least the 15th Century. An extremely rare combination of a caterpillar and a fungus, it is found at altitudes above 4,500 meters (over 14,000 feet) in the Himalayas, on the Tibetan plateau, and at other high-altitude locations worldwide.
In Tibet this fungus is known as yartsa gunbu, or “summer grass, winter worm.” It was initially identified when local herders observed that yak, goat, and sheep that ate cordyceps while grazing became very strong and stout. This observation led to a deeper examination and eventual understanding of its many uses and benefits.
How do cordyceps work?
Prized for their natural ability to fight free radicals, infections and inflammation, cordyceps are impressive disease-fighting mushrooms that have been used for centuries to reduce symptoms of respiratory disorders, coughs, colds, liver damage and much more. They’re a true “superfood” in the way that they fight the effects of aging and stress, help keep the body free from disease, and also increase energy levels.
Cordycep fungus is parasitic in nature because it grows on a type of caterpillar and then winds up eating its own host! The base of the mushroom forms from the insect’s larva and is dark brown to black, attaching itself to the organism and growing about six inches long. Once it fully matures, cordyceps actually consume more than 90 percent of the infected insect. They then swell up and enlarge to become about 300–500 milligrams in weight.
The first people to discover cordyceps’ benefits initially observed animals eating the wild fungus and growing strong in the process. Farmers and herders began to use the fungus in powder form and to make tonics and teas. Some of the first uses for these tonics were increasing milk production and improving reproductive capacity of livestock. Later on, people began drying cordyceps in sunlight to preserve their benefits.
It’s believed that the many anti-inflammatory benefits of cordyceps come from their ability to positively affect the immune system, fighting oxidative stress and stimulating protective cells that keep the body free from mutations (like cancerous cells) and infections. Studies have found that cordyceps can act like natural cancer treatments in some cases, preventing the growth of tumors (especially in the lungs and on the skin).
Considered a type of natural “immuno-potentiating drug,” corycep supplements are now used to bring the immune system back to normal following life-threatening infections or illnesses. Cordyceps can help control autoimmune disorders, excessive inflammation and tissue damage while speeding up healing time. Additionally, research shows that cordyceps can act like mild stimulants or “adaptogen herbs,” fighting stress or fatigue and naturally increasing energy levels. Some of the most researched benefits of corceyps also include improving athletic performance, increasing immunity against viruses and even promoting longevity.
Health Benefits of Cordyceps
Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of this fungi.
One of the most undeniable health benefits of cordyceps is its ability to significantly boost energy levels. It has long been known among athletes for the bursts of energy it can provide. It increases the amount of oxygen uptake in the body and enhances cellular energy production, thereby providing that extra push for people who need a shot of energy.
May Boost Exercise Performance
Cordyceps are thought to increase the body’s production of the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essential for delivering energy to the muscles.
This may improve the way your body uses oxygen, especially during exercise.
In one study, researchers tested their effects on exercise capacity in 30 healthy older adults using a stationary bike. Participants received either 3 grams per day of a synthetic strain of Cordyceps called CS-4 or a placebo pill for six weeks.
By the end of the study, VO2 max had increased by 7% in participants who had taken CS-4, while participants given the placebo pill showed no change .
VO2 max is a measurement used to determine fitness level .
In a similar study, 20 healthy older adults received either 1 gram of CS-4 or a placebo pill for 12 weeks.
While researchers found no change in VO2 max in either group, participants given CS-4 improved other measures of exercise performance.
One study also tested the effects of a Cordyceps-containing mushroom blend on exercise performance in younger adults.
After three weeks, participants’ VO2 max had increased by 11%, compared to a placebo.
However, the current research suggests Cordyceps are not effective at improving exercise performance in trained athletes
Helping to Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Multiple studies have shown that cordyceps can help in the safe management of blood sugar levels. For instance, in a laboratory study, a polysaccharide (a long chain, naturally-occurring compound made up of sugars bound chemically to each other) isolated from cordyceps was seen to lower blood sugar levels in mice predisposed to high blood sugar levels. This polysaccharide was also seen to lower blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.
Studies in normal rats have shown that consumption of cordyceps extracts helps to improve tissue sensitivity to insulin, while also lowering the insulin response to a carbohydrate challenge.
Indeed, extracts of cordyceps have been shown to slow down weight loss, reduce excessive thirst, improve glucose tolerance, and help to maintain blood sugar levels in a safe range in various laboratory rat models.
Protects Heart Health
Research on the effects of cordyceps has come up with many exciting results, especially in relation to cardiovascular health. One study showed that patients given a powdered supplement of cordyceps were significantly less likely to suffer heart failure. This is mainly due to the anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties of the herb, which can prevent heart arrhythmias and other complications.
Act Like a Natural Aphrodisiac
Traditionally, people of both sexes took tonics made from cordyceps to enhance their libidos and reproductive function. It appears that cordycep supplements can help the body utilize oxygen more efficiently and improve blood flow (so far, in animal studies), which is important for physical health and sexual function. Improved endurance, anti-fatigue effects and lower levels of inflammation are several other reasons that cordyceps improve fertility. Thus, cordyceps may be utilized as a natural treatment for infertility and a natural remedy for impotence.
Supporting Kidney Health
In China, cordyceps is routinely used to help maintain kidney health. Results from laboratory studies as well as clinical trials indicate that cordyceps may help to protect kidneys after transplantation. For example, a preparation made from cordyceps mycelia reduced the rejection rate after kidney transplants, while also helping to maintain kidney and liver function as well as red blood cell production within healthy limits.
Similarly, another cordyceps product known as CS-4 has been shown to help maintain blood levels of urea, creatinine, total blood protein, and calcium within safe, normal levels. In a 2016 laboratory study in mice, powdered extracts of cordyceps were seen to help maintain kidney health.
Two active constituents in cordyceps, d-mannitol cordycepin and 3’-deoxyadenosine, are partially responsible for various physiological actions that help control insulin and blood sugar levels. In animal studies, cordycep supplements have helped combat hypoglycemic effects in normal and diabetic mice. This shows cordyceps may be useful to naturally treat diabetes.
The elderly have traditionally used Cordyceps to reduce fatigue and boost strength and sex drive.
Researchers believe their antioxidant content may explain their anti-aging potential.
Several studies have found that Cordyceps increase antioxidants in aged mice, helping improve memory and sexual function.
Antioxidants are molecules that fight cell damage by neutralizing free radicals, which can otherwise contribute to disease and aging.
One study found that mice that given Cordyceps lived several months longer than mice given a placebo.
Another study found that Cordyceps extended the lives of fruit flies, further supporting the belief that they have anti-aging benefits.
However, it’s unknown if Cordyceps have these same anti-aging benefits in humans.
May Help Fight Inflammation
Cordyceps is said to help fight inflammation in the body.
Although some inflammation is good, too much can lead to diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Research has shown that when human cells are exposed to Cordyceps, special proteins that increase inflammation in the body become suppressed.
Thanks to these potential effects, researchers believe Cordyceps may serve as a useful anti-inflammatory supplement or drug.
In fact, Cordyceps have been shown to reduce inflammation in the airways of mice, making them a potential therapy for asthma. However, the fungi appear to be less effective than commonly prescribed drugs used to provide relief for inflamed areas of the body.
Cordyceps may also have topical uses. One study found it reduced skin inflammation when applied topically in mice, further demonstrating its anti-inflammatory properties.
The potential inflammation-fighting properties of Cordyceps have yet to be observed in humans.
Cordyceps has traditionally been used for helping to maintain libido and sexual function in many Eastern societies.
Laboratory experiments on animals confirm that cordyceps can help to improve reproductive activity, while consumption of cordyceps has been shown to help maintain libido and sexual activity in both men and women
Boosting the Immune System
In a 2012 study, cordyceps polysaccharides were seen to overcome induced immunosuppression, while also helping to maintain lymphocyte and macrophage function within normal levels in mice. Lymphocytes are known to be potent orchestrators of the immune system’s response to infections and injury. Macrophages are a type of cell responsible for detecting, engulfing, and destroying pathogens and damaged and dying cells in the body.
Cordyceps polysaccharides also improved antioxidation activity in mice with suppressed immune systems, while also raising the levels of the natural antioxidants superoxidase dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.
Regulates Respiratory Function
Cordyceps is able to increase the amount of oxygen taken in by the lungs, and while this is helpful for athletes, it is also beneficial for those suffering from respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic bronchitis.By increasing your oxygen intake, you help prevent respiratory distress and weakness. Also, increasing oxygen levels help oxygenate the body’s extremities better, so the organ systems as a whole run more efficiently.
Treats Sexual Dysfunction
Cordyceps impact the sexual dysfunction in men. Numerous studies have shown that men suffering from low levels of sexual energy or poor libido saw clear improvement after adding its herbal supplements to their diet.
Detoxifies the Body
Although the exact chemical pathway of this is unclear, studies have shown that kidneys health improve notably after only one month of regular cordyceps herbal usage.
History of Cordyceps and Interesting Facts
Cordyceps (species name cordycep sinensis) are considered a time-honored superfood that first originated in Traditional Chinese Medicine at least 5,000 years ago! Their medicinal uses were described in old Chinese medical books, and traditional holistic healers have been using them to cure dozens of diseases without the use of chemical medications for generations. Local folk healers were said to use cordyceps either alone or in combination with other TCM herbal treatments to fight more than 20 different ailments, such as bronchitis and heart disease.
Cordyceps and other medicinal plants have long been used in Chinese, Christian and Hindu religious ceremonies and are believed to be linked to longevity and immortality. In Ayurvedic medicine, for example, mushrooms are said to be beneficial for enhancing “vigor and vitality.” Traditional healers in Sikkim recommended the fungus/mushrooms, including cordyceps, “for all illnesses as a tonic, because they claimed that it improved energy, appetite, stamina, libido, endurance, and sleeping patterns.”
Taking Cordyceps Supplements
Cordyceps sinensis is difficult to harvest and carries a price tag of more than $9,000 USD per pound.
For this reason, the majority of Cordyceps supplements contain a synthetically grown version called Cordyceps CS-4.
To ensure you buy high-quality Cordyceps supplements, look for brands that carry the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) or NSF International (NSF) seal.
These are third-party organizations that ensure supplements contain the ingredients listed on the label, without impurities.
Due to limited research in humans, there is no consensus on dosages.
The dosage commonly used in human research is 1,000–3,000 mg per day. This range is not associated with side effects and has been found to have certain health benefits.
Side Effects and Interactions
Cordyceps are considered safe for most people, but there are some potential side effects to be aware of, especially for pregnant women and people with a history of autoimmune diseases. If you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, you likely want to steer clear of taking cordyceps since their safety hasn’t been well-researched or confirmed in this population.
For anyone with a known autoimmune disease (for example, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis), some doctors warn that cordyceps might worsen the problem. Because they stimulate the immune system, it’s possible that cordyceps can interfere with medications for these diseases or overactivate certain immune cells. The same warning goes for anyone with a known bleeding or blood clot disorder, since medical mushrooms can sometimes interfere with proper blood clotting. You also should not take cordyceps two weeks before any scheduled surgery, due to its influence on blood clotting.
- Written by mmuta
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Amazing Health Benefits Of Figs or Anjeer
The fig tree is a member of the mulberry family, usually found in Asia. The dried form of fig is available almost everywhere, all year round.
A great source of fibre and full of vitamins and minerals, dried and fresh figs have a long and illustrious history. Known for being a healthy and versatile ingredient they can add a burst of sweetness to all kinds of dishes
Figs or Anjeer health benefits includes treating constipation, lowering cholesterol level, hastening recovery from sore throat, controlling blood pressure, preventing breast cancer and preventing colon cancer. Other benefits includes promoting bone health, supporting weight loss, promoting healthy liver function and preserving vision.
The health benefits of figs or anjeer include the fruits’ use in the treatment of sexual dysfunction, constipation, indigestion, piles, diabetes, cough, bronchitis, and asthma. Figs are also used as a quick and healthy way to gain weight after suffering from an illness.
Figs are one of the earliest recorder fruits ever found, with remnants of it being recorded as far back as 5000 years ago.
Figs are fruits that grow on the Ficus tree, a member of the Mulberry family or Moraceae. They belong to the genus Ficus, and their scientific name is Ficus carica.
Ripe figs are sweet and juicy, though the unripened ones are said to contain latex which can irritate skin if not handled properly.
Figs are known by various names in local languages. They are called ‘Anjeer‘ in Hindi, ‘Athi Pallu‘ in Telugu, ‘Atti Pazham‘ in Tamil and Malayalam, ‘Anjura‘ in Kannada, and ‘Dumoor‘ in Bengali.
The fig tree is deciduous and can grow to a height of 7-10 meters. It has a smooth white bark. The fig trees grow wild in dry and sunny areas that have fresh and deep soil. They also tend to grow in rocky areas and can sustain even in less fertile soil.
The fig trees can live up to 100 years and have long and twisty branches that can surpass the height of the tree.
Figs are native to the Middle East and Western Asia and are now cultivated throughout the world. Fig trees have been naturalized in various locations of Asia and North America.
The figs are a culmination of many single seeded fruits and grow to a size of 3-5 centimeters. They are green while growing and turn either purple or brown once they ripen.
Figs have a unique taste and texture. They are sweet and chewy. The smoothness of the fruit and the crunchiness of its seeds make a beautiful combination to eat. Dried figs are available throughout the year whereas fresh figs are available from June to September.
- Total Carbohydrates- 19g
- Dietary Fiber- 2.9g approx. 12% RDI
- Vitamin A-142IU
- Vitamin C-2.0mg
- Vitamin K-4.7mcg
- Folic Acid-6.0mcg
- Black Mission – Black Mission figs are blackish-purple outside and pink inside. They are incredibly sweet and even ooze out the syrup. They are perfect to eat as a dessert or mix in cake or cookie recipes to increase the flavor.
- Kadota – Kadotas are green with purple flesh. They are the least sweet among all the varieties of figs. They are excellent to eat raw and also taste good if heated with a pinch of salt.
- Calimyrna – Calimyrna figs are greenish-yellow on the outside and amber on the inside. They are larger when compared to another type of figs and have a unique and strong nut flavor.
- Brown Turkey – The Brown Turkey figs have purple skin and red flesh. Their flavor is mild and less sweet than the other type of figs. They work well in salads.
- Adriatic – Adriatic figs have light green skin and are pink on the inside. These figs are often used to make fig bars. They are also called white figs as they are very light colored. They are extremely sweet and can be enjoyed as a simple fruit dessert.
Are Figs Good For You?
Figs are perfect for you. They are rich in fiber and many essential minerals such as magnesium, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, and vitamins K and B6. So much good in one fruit!
Let me tell you something more amazing. The nutritional value of dried figs is more than that of fresh figs. A single dried fig is as good as eating an egg. Figs, whether fresh or dried, are rich in powerful antioxidants.
Figs form a major component of traditional medicine, and they are used dried, in the paste form, or grounded to counter various diseases and problems.
Uses of Figs or Anjeer
Figs or anjeers are sweet and soft and their paste is often used as a replacement for sugar. Fig concentrate is also used as a healthier option instead of corn syrup and sucrose. Processed figs, such as fig nuggets and powder, are used to make pies, pudding, cakes, assorted baked goods, jams, jellies, and preserves. Turkish figs are considered a healthy snack and can be added to sweeten energy bars, granola bars, and trail mixes.
- Prevent Constipation
There are 5 grams of fiber in every three-fig serving. That high concentration of fiber helps promote healthy, regular bowel function and prevents constipation. Fiber works to add bulk and mass to the bowel movements, so it not only prevents constipation but also eliminates diarrhea and unhealthy or irregular bowel movements.
- Can Help Treat Constipation
Figs actually share many benefits with dates, one of them being the ability to relieve constipation. Figs contain a fair amount of soluble fiber which helps add hydration to hardened waste material. They can either be consumed ripe, dried or soaked overnight in water, though many would prefer the soaking method if the desire is to cure constipation.
- Weight loss
The fiber in figs helps reduce weight and is often recommended for obese people. However, their high-calorie count can also result in weight gain, especially when consumed with milk. A few are enough to get the recommended amount of nutrients, so don’t overeat.
- Figs Can Lower Cholesterol
There are many ways that foods may work to reduce cholesterol, ranging from promoting its elimination, to reducing bile acids and more. In the case of figs, you can thank its high pectin content. Pectin is a soluble fiber that binds cholesterol and helps remove it from the body via feces. Figs also contain Phyto-sterols, compounds which are regarded as excellent natural alternatives to strong medication for treating high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. While all these benefits are obtained from eating the fruit, consumption of the leaves have been found in animal studies to also promote oxidation of triglycerides.
- Improve Heart Health
Figs reduce the triglyceride levels in your blood and contribute to improving your heart health.
Triglycerides are fat particles in the blood that are a leading cause of heart diseases. Also, the antioxidants in figs get rid of the free radicals in the body, which block the coronary arteries and cause coronary heart disease.
Figs also contain phenols and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that decrease the risk of heart disease.
- Figs Help With Diabetes Control
Though figs have a fair amount of sugar, overall they are considered to have a lower than average GI index since they also contain fiber. What this does is make figs excellent snacks for diabetics, since they do not spike blood sugar levels to high. The potassium found in figs also have a supporting role, since potassium helps promote absorption of glucose into muscle cells, and also tapers the rise and fall fashion of blood sugar to ensure that the crash is not unbearable (which would lead to more snacking and hunger). A fig or two consumed as snacks by diabetics help to solve the problem of finding suitable in between foods that are also healthy.
- Treat Colon Cancer
The presence of fiber helps stimulate the elimination of free radicals and other cancer-causing substances, particularly in the colon, since fiber increases the healthy movement of the bowels.
Lack of iron in the body can cause iron-deficiency anemia. Dried figs contain iron, which is a key component of hemoglobin. Consuming dried figs was found to improve the hemoglobin levels in the blood.
Growing children, adolescents, and menstruating and pregnant women specifically should monitor their iron levels to avoid complications. Also, if you are ill or have undergone surgery, include figs in your diet to increase the iron levels in your body and deal with the problem efficiently.
Hasten Recovery From Sore Throats
While rest is absolutely essential for recovery from a sore throat, a little help can go a far way. In this case, you can thank figs for their high content of mucilage compounds- those with a naturally “slimy” constitution. This property helps soothe irritation and inflammation associated with a sore throat, and by forming a protective film on the site, help speed up healing. Many sore throat preparations for sale make use of some soothing mucilage like compound, such as glycerin or honey, and are effective at speeding up recovery time.
Prevent Breast Cancer
Figs are amongst those fruits that contain the highest amount of fiber. And it was found that women who consumed more dietary fiber during adolescence and early adulthood were at a lesser risk of falling prey to breast cancer.
High intake of fiber was associated with 16% lower risk of overall breast cancer and 24% lower risk of breast cancer before the onset of menopause.
Fig extracts and dried figs are known to contain elements that help in preventing postmenopausal breast cancer.
People usually consume sodium in the form of salt, but low potassium and high sodium level may lead to hypertension. Figs are high in potassium and low in sodium, so they are a perfect defense against the effects of hypertension. This makes them a relaxing food as well, one that can settle the nerves and bring some calmness to your day.
Help Control Blood Pressure
It is strange that many people are deficient in potassium, especially since it is not hard to obtain from diet. However, the problem arises from the fact that processed foods are loaded with sodium- which people opt for at their convenience, instead of natural foods. Figs solve this problem as they are sweet, so eating more of them does not feel as much as a chore as eating vegetables do. Potassium also promotes excretion of excess sodium, helping persons suffering from high blood pressure to get some degree of control over their condition.
Treat Venereal Diseases
Figs have been traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent and a few other areas of the world as a calming salve for venereal diseases. Ingestion or topical application of these fruits work towards providing relief from sexually transmitted diseases, although further research needs to be done on the exact range of symptoms and diseases that these fruits positively affect.
Rich In Antioxidants
Figs are a powerhouse of antioxidants, and they neutralize the free radicals in your body and fight diseases. The riper a fig is, the more antioxidants it contains.Figs are a rich source of phenolic antioxidants. The antioxidants in figs enrich the lipoproteins in plasma and shield them from further oxidation
Increase Sexual Stamina
Figs are considered to be a great fertility and sexual supplement. They are rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc. They are also rich in magnesium, the mineral that is required to produce the sex hormones androgen and estrogen.
Figs help with various types of sexual dysfunction like sterility, erectile dysfunction, and sexual appetite. There is no strong science backup, but in many cultures, figs are considered as symbols of fertility. They also produce an amino acid that is responsible for increasing the production of nitric oxide, which expands the blood vessels and increases blood flow to all parts of the body, including the sexual organs.
Soak figs in milk overnight and eat them the next day to enhance your sexual abilities.
Prevent Urinary Calcium Loss
People that maintain a high-sodium diet may be affected by an increased urinary calcium loss.  The high potassium content helps to avoid that condition and regulates the content of waste in your urine. It minimizes the calcium loss while increasingly eliminating the amount of uric acid and other harmful toxins out of your body.
Figs Promote Health Of Bones
Figs contain many of the essential nutrients requirement for bone synthesis and maintenance, even if just in small quantities. However, these small quantities can all add up, especially if a person has a dairy based allergy or intolerance that makes it hard to obtain calcium. But it is important to keep in mind that calcium is far from the only mineral required for bone synthesis, since many other supporting nutrients have a role to play. Those others include magnesium, zinc, vitamin D and vitamin K.
An efficient method to deal with bronchial asthma is to consume a mixture of powdered fenugreek seeds, honey, and figs. You can also consume fig juice to obtain relief from asthma.
Figs moisturize the mucous membrane and drain the phlegm, thereby relieving asthma symptoms. They also contain phytochemical compounds that fight the free radicals, which otherwise trigger asthma.
Prevent Macular Degeneration
The major cause of vision loss among the elderly is macular degeneration. Fruits like figs are good at helping you avoid this common symptom of aging.
Improve Liver Health
Figs clear obstructions in the liver, thereby enhancing its health. A study showed that an extract prepared from fig leaves exhibited hepatoprotective activity in mice, paving the way for its use in preventing hepatic damage in humans.
Dry figs are the best to treat piles. They soften the stools, reducing the pressure on the rectum. Consume them twice a day by soaking three to four figs in water. You can also drink the water in which they are soaked. The seeds in the figs are the active agents that fight the piles.
Soak the figs in a glass of water for about 12 hours before consuming them. Eat them once in the morning and then in the night. It works best when you begin your day by eating figs and end it with the same.
A Good Source Of Energy
Adding figs to your diet is a sure shot way to increase your energy levels. The carbohydrates and sugar present in figs increase the percentage of energy in your body.
A study found that fig extract had an antioxidative and anti collagenase effect on wrinkled skin and reduced the percentage of wrinkle depth.
In another study, it was found that a formulation containing fig fruit extract decreased skin melanin, trans-epidermal water loss, and skin sebum significantly. It also increased skin hydration. Hence, figs could be used as a remedy for hyper pigmentation, acne, freckles, and wrinkles
Rejuvenate Your Skin
Figs are great for your skin. Whether you eat them or apply them as a mask, they make your skin beautiful. Here’s a recipe for a mask.
Take one large fig or two small figs. Cut the fig in half and scoop out its flesh and mash it thoroughly. Add a teaspoon of honey or yogurt to it if you want to enhance the texture of your skin.
Apply the mask on your face and keep it on for 5 minutes. Wash it off with water and say hello to refreshed skin.
Cure Boils And Warts
You can apply a fig directly on the skin to bring down various forms of skin inflammation like boils and abscess. A study found that the latex of the fig tree exhibited antiwart activity. This could be due to the proteolytic activity of the latex enzymes
Make Your Skin Soft And Supple
Figs contain a high amount of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps to lighten and even out the skin tone. Blend five figs to get a smooth paste. Add a teaspoon each of powdered oatmeal and milk and half a teaspoon of dried ginger powder to it. Mix well to form a smooth paste. Use this face pack twice a week to get soft and smooth skin.
- Condition Hair
Figs are very popular in the hair care industry as their extracts are used to create amazing hair conditioners. These extracts provide moisture to the scalp and help in the detangling of hair. They moisturize the hair without making it heavy or weighed down.
- Promote Hair Growth
Hair loss usually occurs due to lack of proper nourishment. Figs contain hair-friendly nutrients like magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin E which promote hair growth. The essential nutrients present in this fruit stimulate blood circulation in the scalp to accelerate hair growth.
The season for fresh figs is between summer and autumn, with the timing dependent on the variety. Figs are quickly perishable and delicate, and are usually best eaten within one to two days after purchase. When choosing figs, select those that are plump and tender, have a rich, deep colour and are free from bruising. Ripe figs have a sweet fragrance. When brought home, ripe figs should not be washed until ready to eat. They should be kept in the fridge for approximately two days. If figs are not yet ripe, keep them at room temperature to ripen.
Dried figs will keep for much longer. When purchasing dried figs, you want to ensure that they are free from mould and are soft. Dried figs can be kept in a cool, dark place or in the fridge.
Figs can be consumed either peeled or unpeeled, depending on the thickness of the skin as well as personal preference. Since the insides of ripe figs are rather soft and sticky they can be difficult to chop.
Where To Buy Figs
You can easily purchase figs from any major grocery or convenience stores. You are more likely to find dried figs in these stores. Also, if you are lucky, you will chance upon fresh figs in the fruit section. You can also procure them online.
Great. But how do you select them? And what about storage?
How To Include Figs In Your Diet
Figs are incredibly juicy and sweet and have a chewy flesh and crunchy seeds. They are consumed in both the raw and dry forms. Fresh figs are more nutritious than their dry counterparts, so try to include more of them in your diet. Sweet and juicy figs should be enjoyed without any additions to enjoy their taste to the fullest.
Before eating or using figs, wash them under running water and gently remove the stem. You can eat fresh figs whole or peeled.
Simmer frozen figs in water to make them plumper and juicier.
Dried figs travel well, which makes them excellent snacks you can have on-the-go. They can also be used in sandwiches – you can add chopped figs and dried cranberries to chicken salad sandwiches – or leafy green salads.
Enjoy sliced fresh figs on their own or pair them with an ounce of cheese for a more decadent snack.
Puree figs and combine them with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a healthful and flavorful homemade salad dressing.
Fresh figs are an excellent addition to salads, cakes, and ice creams.
Since figs are highly alkaline, you can mix them with other foods. It will not alter their taste in any way.
Dried figs have much higher sugar content than the fresh ones, so you can chop and add them to desserts and other sweet dishes to add a touch of sweetness.
Processed figs are used in making pies, pudding, cakes, jams, and other bakery products while dried figs are used for preparing muesli bars, porridge, and as an addition to cereals and porridges.
You can also add dried figs to soups, stews, and meat preparation to enhance the taste. The paste of figs is also used as a sugar substitute in some regions.
Figs are high in calories and eating them in abundance will not help you lose weight. So, keep a check on the number of figs you consume if you are on a diet.
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UNITED STATES SPACE AGENCY- NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administratio
|Human Exploration and Operations|
NASA, independent U.S. governmental agency established in 1958 for the research and development of vehicles and activities for the exploration of space within and outside Earth’s atmosphere.
NASA was created in response to the Soviet Union’s October 4, 1957 launch of its first satellite, Sputnik I. The 183-pound, basketball-sized satellite orbited the earth in 98 minutes. The Sputnik launch caught Americans by surprise and sparked fears that the Soviets might also be capable of sending missiles with nuclear weapons from Europe to America. The United States prided itself on being at the forefront of technology, and, embarrassed, immediately began developing a response, signaling the start of the U.S.-Soviet space race.
On November 3, 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik II,which carrieda dog named Laika. In December, America attempted to launch a satellite of its own, called Vanguard, but it exploded shortly after takeoff. On January 31, 1958, things went better with Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite to successfully orbit the earth. In July of that year, Congress passed legislation officially establishing NASA from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and other government agencies, and confirming the country’s commitment to winning the space race. In May 1961, President John F. Kennedydeclared thatAmerica should put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. On July 20, 1969, NASA’s Apollo 11 mission achieved that goal and made history when astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon, saying “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
NASA has continued to make great advances in space exploration since the first moonwalk, including playing a major part in the construction of the International Space Station. The agency has also suffered tragic setbacks, however, such as the disasters that killed the crews of the Challenger space shuttle in 1986 and the Columbia space shuttle in 2003. In 2004, President George Bush challenged NASA to return to the moon by 2020 and establish “an extended human presence” there that could serve as a launching point for “human missions to Mars and to worlds beyond.”
The organization is composed of four mission directorates: Aeronautics Research, for the development of advanced aviation technologies; Science, dealing with programs for understanding the origin, structure, and evolution of the universe, the solar system, and Earth; Space Technology, for the development of space science and exploration technologies; and Human Exploration and Operations, concerning the management of manned space missions, including those to the International Space Station, as well as operations related to launch services, space transportation, and space communications for both manned and robotic exploration programs. A number of additional research centres are affiliated, including the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California; the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas; and the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Headquarters of NASA are in Washington, D.C.
NASA’s mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research. To do that, thousands of people have been working around the world and in space for more than 50 years, trying to answer some basic questions. What’s out there in space? How do we get there? What will we find? What can we learn there – or learn just by trying to get there – that will make life better here on Earth?
Our work is diverse: proving flight technologies; creating capabilities for sustainable human and robotic exploration; exploring Earth, the solar system and the universe beyond; developing critical enabling technologies such as the Orion space capsule; and conducting science in orbit aboard the International Space Station. With NASA you can share exploration of the universe and discoveries of our home planet, Earth
The organization is composed of four mission directorates: Aeronautics Research, for the development of advanced aviation technologies; Science, dealing with programs for understanding the origin, structure, and evolution of the universe, the solar system, and Earth; Space Technology, for the development of space science and exploration technologies; and Human Exploration and Operations, concerning the management of manned space missions, including those to the International Space Station, as well as operations related to launch services, space transportation, and space communications for both manned and robotic exploration programs.
NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., houses the higher-ups responsible for charting the space agency's course and implementing its vision. For the record, that vision is: "To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind."
NASA HQ is located at Two Independence Square, a building in a complex at 300 E Street SW in the nation's capital. It oversees activities conducted at the agency's 10 field centers and a variety of installations scattered around the country.
Headquarters is divided into four main organizations, which the agency calls mission directorates. These directorates are Aeronautics, Human Exploration and Operations, Science, and Space Technology.
NASA isn't just about spaceflight and space science, as its full name — the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — makes clear. In fact, the precursor to the agency was the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which formed in 1915.
The Aeronautics Mission Directorate works to make air travel smoother and safer. The directorate has three main goals, according to its website: 1) Improve gate-to-gate mobility in the nation's commercial air transportation system; 2) Reduce aircraft noise, emissions and fuel use, as well as the overall environmental impact on communities surrounding airports; and 3) Maintain or improve aircraft safety.
In 2016, NASA launched New Aviation Horizons. The new initiative emphasizes X-planes, a series of experimental aircraft to test the latest ideas related to flight.
Aeronautics research takes place at four of NASA's 10 centers: Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.; Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California; Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio; and Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
The Aeronautics Mission Directorate received $660 million in the White House's budget request for fiscal year 2017.
Of President Trump's proposed 2018 budget, NASA's acting administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement, "This budget also keeps aeronautics on stable footing allowing us to continue our forward movement in many areas, including the New Aviation Horizons initiative."
This directorate manages NASA's human spaceflight operations in low-Earth orbit and beyond. Much of the work is connected with the $100 billion International Space Station, which has hosted astronauts continuously since 2000.
Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) also manages the space agency's efforts to nurture the emerging American private spaceflight industry, which NASA wants to fill the crew- and cargo-carrying shoes of the retired space shuttle fleet. That includes the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), with the program goal to "extend human presence in space by enabling an expanding and robust U.S. commercial space transportation industry."
Despite hopes that at least two American commercial spaceships would be ready to ferry astronauts to and from the space station by 2017, the date has been pushed back due to safety concerns. The agency has also inked deals with two companies — California-based SpaceX and Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. — to make supply runs to the orbiting lab with unmanned craft.
But NASA is also working to get people to Mars and other deep-space destinations. To make this happen, the agency is building a huge rocket called the Space Launch System and a capsule known as Orion. However, in a propulsion meeting of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics in July 2017, Bill Gerstenmaier, head of HEO, responded to a question about when NASA will send humans to the surface of Mars by saying, "I can't put a date on humans on Mars, and the reason really is … the other piece is, at the budget levels we described, this roughly 2 percent increase … we don't have the surface systems available for Mars. And that entry, descent and landing is a huge challenge for us for Mars."
The HEO directorate is relatively new, having been created in August 2011. It combines two previous directorates, which were known as Space Operations and Exploration Systems.
HEO received $4.3 billion for exploration and $4.9 billion for space operations in 2017.
NASA field centers that are key to the goals and activities of this directorate include Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, Houston's Johnson Space Center and Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.
The Science Mission Directorate manages NASA's many scientific and unmanned exploration activities, which the space agency breaks into four main areas: Earth science, planetary science, heliophysics and astrophysics.
The directorate's cosmic reach is thus vast, spanning missions that study Earth from space to unmanned efforts that explore other worlds such as Mars and Jupiter to space telescopes that peer to the very edge of the observable universe.
For example, Science oversees the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission, which dropped the 1-ton Curiosity rover onto the Red Planet's surface on Aug. 5, 2012. And it's responsible for the $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that's slated for a 2019 launch.
The Science Mission Directorate is receiving $5.7 billion in the enacted 2017 federal budget. (The allocations to NASA's directorates don't add up to the agency's total budget of $19.7 billion because some money goes to construction, field center management and education efforts, among other things.)
Under Trump's 2018 proposal, the budget for planetary science would increase, but the budget for Earth science would decrease. Of that budget, Lightfoot said, "Overall science funding is stable, although some missions in development will not go forward and others will see increases. We remain committed to studying our home planet and the universe, but are reshaping our focus within the resources available to us — a budget not far from where we have been in recent years, and which enables our wide-ranging science work on many fronts."
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has managed many of the space agency's robotic exploration missions over the years. Several other NASA field centers play a large role in the Science Mission Directorate's activities, including Ames and Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
The Space Technology Mission Directorate concentrates on developing the technologies NASA needs for its ongoing and future missions — for example, efficient solar-electric propulsion systems that agency officials say will be crucial to crewed Mars efforts down the road.
Such work is not restricted to NASA research centers; technology development commonly occurs via partnerships with government agencies in the United States and abroad, as well as with academia and private industry.
Space Technology is getting $686.5 million in 2017 — about 3.5 percent of NASA's total budget for the year.
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