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Pronounced as ah-sigh-EE, the açai berry is a grape-like dark purple fruit that grows wild in the Amazon rainforest. It’s touted as a super fruit and is one of the most popular organic solutions for a variety of health concerns, due to its nutritional value. If you see gorgeous cafes that pride themselves for their açai menu, that's why. Get your fruit on and guzzle some açai down with gusto because here are five fabulous benefits of the super fruit.

 

1. Loaded with antioxidants

When you say antioxidants, many people will think about the açai fruit. That comes as no surprise as it is one of the fruits that has high amount of antioxidants. In fact, the modest berry has ten times more antioxidants than grapes and two times more than blueberries, hence taking it to the super food status. Furthermore, some studies have shown that loading your body with antioxidants can also help to reduce the risk of cancer. That's even a better reason for stocking up on açai berries!

 

2. Delays aging

Due to its high antioxidant content, açai berries contain anti-aging properties which can help to reverse and delay aging processes that are caused by oxidative damage from the free radicals in our bodies. By decreasing or even eliminating these free radicals, the youth of the skin can be maintained.

 

3. High in fibre, low in sugar and GI value

Açai berries are high in dietary fibre, low in sugar and GI value. Fibre is essential for the proper function of the digestive system, which in turn supports all other systems in our bodies. You’ll feel satisfied with even a small portion of açai, so trust the berry to keep you from feeling hangry in the middle of your day. To illustrate, açai berries offer 14g of fibre for every 100g of açai powder.

 

4. Promotes digestion

With an incredible fibre profile, açai berries have powerful detoxification capacities which keeps the digestive system clean and functioning with ease. Consume some for bowel regularity and constipation relief.

 

5. Boosts energy

Amidst a plethora of benefits, the small fruit has a high level of slow-releasing probiotics too. This can improve the health of your gut, which contains many beneficial microbes that affect almost every part of your body. It also helps us recuperate faster after strenuous exercise and can combat fatigue with a replenishment of valuable electrolytes.

 

The taste of açai is often described as a pleasant blend of berries and dark chocolate. Its rich, pureed pulp forms the basis of the ever-popular açai bowl. Açai bowls are a smoothie-like blend of frozen açai. Toppings may vary and include sliced fresh fruit, toasted coconut flakes, nut butters, chia seeds, granola and so on. It has become Singapore’s latest power-packed snack (or breakfast?) and dish du jour over the past two years. The açai is pretty, purple and racks up lots of likes on Instagram. Check out where the young and health-conscious get their fix!

 

Project Açai

 

 

Project Açai is Singapore’s first dedicated açai café. Using organic and sustainably-harvested Sambazon açai, the well-known Project Açai makes super delicious superfood açai bowls and smoothies every day, every hour in little batches. You can be assured of quality here at Project Açai as the said café takes utmost care in preserving the nutritional value and freshness of their açai products.

 

Haakon

 

 

Haakon might not be an açai institution but the good folks at Haakon celebrate a holistic lifestyle for physical and mental wellbeing.  A fancy repertoire of superfoods, juice and açai bowls are served here. What we like most is their Açai Viking Bowl, an açai blend which includes whey protein and raw cacao. Too yummy and too good for a post-gym snack!

 

Açai berries should be consumed in moderation because these superfruits still contain sugar, even if in lower levels than other fruits. Remember to limit your intake and think over your bowl’s toppings as fructose may be harmful to your health in excessive amounts. Now go ahead and post your açai bowl on Instagram.

If you haven’t heard of lemon verbena, then you are definitely missing out. This phenomenal plant has been proven to provide tons of health benefits. Lemon Verbena belongs to the Verbenaceae family, and don’t be fooled by its looks, because although this tree is tiny, it contains so much goodness that it is greatly popular as a substitute of chemical allopathic medications. It has small flowers in shades of white or lilac and lance-like leaves that are laced with a strong lemon fragrance and flavour. Thus, it is no surprise that the lemon verbena essential oils are highly well-loved by many. The essential oil contains a compound known as citral that can also be found in lemon and other citrus plants. With the myriad of health benefits and its effectiveness in managing various health issues, the goodness of lemon verbena bears repeating.

Health Benefits of Lemon Verbena Leaves

Verbena leaves can be used and stored in various forms such dried leaves, fresh leaves and extract. Essential oil contained in lemon verbena has been proven to be enriched in antioxidants and confers many other health benefits. However, like almost all herbs, flowers and spices, it should be used in moderation in reasonable amounts, and not in excess.

1. Prevent cancer

After a series of research, lemon verbena has been found to contain some anti-cancer properties. It may help to prevent cancer by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels that support the growth of cancerous cells in the body. Eventually, when the cancerous cells are deprived of nutrients, they will slowly die. Lemon verbena also contains a rich store of antioxidants that can also help in fighting free radicals which are contributor to the cancer.

2. Manage weight

Lemon verbena leaves is also similar to green tea in the sense that it contains antioxidants. As a result, lemon verbena can help remove toxins in the body and possibly bring about weight loss.

3. Strengthening muscles

Drinking verbena leaves tea helps in strengthening muscle. This benefit is quite unique and can’t be gotten from most herbal tea. It also helps in protecting the muscles from damage due to intense workout sessions therefore verbena tea is good as a pre-workout beverage.

4. Reduce joint pain

Lemon verbena has been proven to be very effective in treating joint pain compared to the regular placebo.

5. Manage sinusitis

Nasal swelling or Sinusitis can be managed, or even treated, using lemon verbena leaves when it is combined with cowslip flower, elderflower, gentian root and sorrel. Together, the combination serves as a powerhouse in relieving inflamed sinus. Lemon verbena leaves are quite safe to be used together with prescribed decongestants and antibiotics for acute sinusitis.

6. Treat sore throat

Having a congested respiratory tract and a sore throat? Lemon verbena leaves can be used to relieve the uncomfortable feeling. The herb can act like an expectorant which helps in clearing the respiratory tract, and it has also been proven to reduce throat inflammation and treat bronchitis caused by inflamed bronchus.

7. Sterilise wounds

When lemon verbena leaves are applied directly to an open wound, it can help to sterilise the wounds by killing bacteria and preventing them from infecting the wound. This is because lemon verbena contains anti-inflammatory properties which can inhibit further inflammation of the wounds, and thus soothes burns and calms down itching.

8. Eliminate lice

Many people think head lice can only be treated with chemicals and other synthetic medicine. Here’s some news for you: lemon verbena can actually get the job done as well, and probably even more effectively. You can either infuse your shampoo with lemon verbena leaves or simply add lemon verbena essential oil. The essence from the lemon verbena will help to eliminate the head lice.

9. Aids digestion

Verbena leaves improves digestion and prevents candida infection in the small intestine. It is also proven to be very effective in combating bacteria and other harmful microbes which targets the digestive tract. Better gut, better health, and better you!

10. Treat cough

Lemon verbena leaves have a similar aroma as lemon and able to treat coughs. It functions like an expectorant, eliminating mucus and relieving coughs. So instead of reaching for a nasty-tasting cough medicine, perhaps try lemon verbena to soothe your itchy throats.

Side Effects

Using lemon verbena may cause mild dermatitis, especially if you have sensitive skin. Furthermore, if you have kidney disease, it is best to avoid lemon verbena altogether because it can aggravate the condition and cause possible adverse effects on your health.

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, and not the balm you buy from. The plant can withstand unfavorable climatic conditions and are very easy to grow. It has a wonderful fragrance that is energizing and invigorating, resembling a scent between mint and lemon. Lemon balms are not only beautiful additions to the garden, but it is used in traditional forms of medicine, aromatherapy and cooking. The flowering herb is used to produce a rich and concentrated essential oil that has been highly-praised for ages. Plus, dropping a lemon balm tea into a cup of hot water can create a refreshing tea that is both fragrant and delicious.

Storage and use of Lemon Balm

Ideally, lemon balm leaves can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Dried leaves of the plant can also be preserved in airtight containers.

In the market, you can find lemon balm leaves in various forms. Dried leaves can be purchased in jars. You can also purchase lemon balm tea, capsule, tinctures and essential oil.

The good thing about lemon balm is that nearly all its parts can be used for healing various conditions and ailments in humans. The leaves, stems and flowers are all beneficial. Even in the ancient Roman civilization, it was used for medical treatments.

1. Better Mood and Sleep

Owing to growing stress and incessant multi-tasking that people are subjected to nowadays, sleeping problems and anxiety have become common. Fortunately, lemon balm has been found useful for treating insomnia and anxiety. When the herb is used in conjunction with other herbs like chamomile and valerian, the effect is more pronounced and the mixture makes an impressive nаturаl rеmеdу fоr іnѕоmnіа. Despite also having thе аbіlіtу tо ѕtіmulаtе fосuѕ аnd optimize mеmоrу, thе ѕооthіng ԛuаlіtіеѕ of thіѕ hеrb аrе juѕt аѕ notable. This flexibility mаkеѕ lemon bаlm еxtrеmеlу important fоr those with interrupted sleep раttеrnѕ.

2. Rich in Antioxidants

Unknowingly, you get exposed to harmful free radicals every day. These can be damaging for your health. To battle the effects of free radicals, you need antioxidants, and lemon balm contains oodles of them. Thе hіgh lеvеl оf antioxidants hаѕ also been shown to reduce bеtа-аmуlоіd рlаԛuе dероѕіtіоn іn nеurаl раthwауѕ, which can ѕlоw dоwn the progression оf nеurоdеgеnеrаtіvе diseases, ѕuсh аѕ Alzhеіmеr’ѕ аnd Pаrkіnѕоn’ѕ dіѕеаѕе.

3. Reduce Damage from Radiation

For treating cancer and some other disorders, exposure to radiation becomes necessary. However, people subjected to radiation exposure have to cope with several side effects afterwards. Studies have indicated that using lemon balm can reduce the negative impact of exposure to radiation by reducing damage to the plasma DNA.

4. Better Gut 

Drinking lemon balm tea and its infusion can help improve the condition of your digestive health. And this comes as no surprises as lemon balm has been used to reduce distress to the gut and also heal it from various stomach conditions, such as indigestion.

5. Reduce Muscle Ache

Having a flu and a muscle ache that comes with it? Fret not, because lemon balm leaves can help relieve that body ache, possibly due to eugenol which is a pain-reducing compound. It also contains wonderful properties that help to reduce antispasmodic actions, and thus effectively reduces muscle spasms. Using Lemon balm leads to sweating when you have a fever, helping to release toxins from the body and bring some relief. which brings some relief.

6. Improves Immune System

Using lemon balm can boost your immunity levels. It has components like caffeine and rosmarinic acids, which are antibacterial and antiviral properties to fortify the body, thus effectively alleviate any onset of infection in healthy cells.

7. Clearer and Healthier Skin

Lemon balm is useful for keeping the skin in top condition, both for women and men. It has natural and strong astringents, making it a great herb for treating skin inflammation, as well as managing oily and acne prone skin. Want to up your cleanser game? Use lemon balm! It is great for getting the gunk from the pores, giving you a beautifully smooth complexion and also reducing acne and rashes.

8. A Fresher Mouth

Image cred: pixabay

To treat instances of oral infections and results like bleeding gums and bad breath, you can try using lemon balm. A few drops of lemon balm essential oil are all you need. Mix it with a mouthwash or just a cup of water and start gurgling the bacteria away. You will definitely feel and smell a better mouth.

9. Reduce Stress and Tension

People get tensed due to many reasons, personal and professional. Using lemon balm tincture or infusion in such times works wonders in calming tensed nerves. You can use it to release stress after returning from work.

10. Freshens the Air

You can use lemon balm to as a natural room freshener. Fresh lemon balm leaves can be soaked in lightly boiled water to create a concoction that can be sprayed in your living space for a light minty aroma.

Side Effects of Lemon balm

Avoid using with other medicines

Avoid using lemon balm together medications and sedatives unless you have checked with your physician about the safety concerns. As lemon balm already contains some sedative properties, using it with other OTC sedative drugs can strengthen that sedative effects that may be undesirable. While it is not yet proven that lemon balm has any effect when taken with anti-retroviral agents, it is advisable that HIV patients undergoing such therapy should not use any forms of lemon balm.

Not for Glaucoma Patients

Studies have found that lemon balm essential oil can increase pressure in the eyes, and this can worsen glaucoma. Furthermore, the herb may affect patients by interacting with existing medications that can cause adverse results. Thus, it is recommended that glaucoma patients stave off the herb.

Not Suitable For Those Prepping for Surgery

People prepping to undergo surgery, or recuperating should not use lemon balm in any form due to the herb’s sedative properties. It can induce a deeper and long sleep, which is undesirable for those who just underwent a surgery.

Allergies

Like many things out there, lemon balm leaves can induce allergic reactions that can include nausea and vomiting. However, most times, these allergic reactions only arise when large quantities are taken, so be aware and careful of how much you consume.

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