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You’ll Be Amazed By The Numerous Benefits Of Purple Corn

You’ll Be Amazed By The Numerous Benefits Of Purple Corn

Purple corn is not well known in the United States, but it has been part of the diet of the Peruvian Andes for millennia. The amazing thing about this plant is that although it is identically, botanically speaking, to yellow corn, it produces corn with kernels of deep purple. And like many deep purple vegetables, such as eggplant, purple corn is incredibly good for your health.

You’ll Load Up On Fiber

Purple corn is a high-fiber food, and this is great news because fiber is good for your digestive system as a whole and helps prevent problems like constipation. It has also been associated with improved heart health and can help to lower high cholesterol.

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You Get A Ton Of Vitamins And Minerals, Too

The typical American diet can be pretty poor in vitamins and minerals, but when you eat purple corn, you’ll be getting a lot of both. It is rich in zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, and potassium, as well as vitamin B5, B9, and niacin.

You Will Reduce Your Cancer Risk

Special compounds called anthocyanins give purple corn its color. Research has shown that anthocyanins derived from purple corn were able to kill 20% of in vitro (in a test tube) cancer cells and proved to be more effective at this when compared to anthocyanins from other foods, such as elderberries, grapes, and purple carrots.

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You Can Fight Obesity

It is estimated that two thirds of Americans are now overweight or obese — but a diet which includes purple corn can help prevent this. In one study which looked at the health status of rats feed a very high-fat diet, it was found that those who were also given purple corn extract did not suffer from weight gain in the same way as rats fed this diet without the anthocyanins.

You Will Reduce Inflammation Throughout The Body

A study out of the Tokai Gukuen University in Japan looked at the ways in which purple corn extract could help reduce inflammation. The study took place on laboratory mice and it was found that, when given the extract, their levels of cytokines (an important marker for inflammation) were greatly reduced.

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You Will Support Heart Health

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of purple corn also apparently help to improve cardiac health by reducing the oxidation of fats and lipids that can build up in the arteries and eventually contribute to atherosclerosis and cause heart attacks if left unchecked. In the study on rats mentioned before, the rats fed a high-fat diet as well as the purple corn extract showed not only less oxidation of the fat cells but also a 6% decrease in cholesterol levels.

You Will Improve Your Circulation

Circulation is probably not something you think very much about, but it is incredibly important — and not just for your heart, but for your entire body. Antioxidants in purple corn improve this by stabilizing and protecting the delicate capillaries throughout your body and by prevent abnormal blood clotting.

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You Can Decrease Your Risk Of Developing Diabetes

In the high-fat diet study done on the laboratory mice, scientists were also looking at important markers for diabetes in the mice to see if purple corn extract would have any affect on these markers as well. It did. Mice who were given the extract in addition to their high-fat diet did not have hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin in their systems), or hyperleptinemia (leptin in the blood which is an important marker for diabetes).

You Can Promote Kidney Health

Scientists from Hallym University in Korea found that antioxidant properties in purple corn extract were able to prevent the hardening of the blood vessels in the kidneys, a process called glomerulosclerosis which is often associated with diabetes and which can cause kidney failure if left unchecked.

You Will Improve Your Eye Health

Two more important antioxidants found in purple corn are lutein and zeaxathinin. These antioxidants are used almost exclusively by your eyes and high levels of these antioxidants have been associated with decreased chances of developing serious eye disease like cataracts or macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

Purple corn has not — yet — really caught on the in the United States. Even so, it is still carried by health food stores, which will also sometimes sell the extract as well. It may be hard to find, but the effort it well worth it because of the many health benefits it conveys!

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Brian Wu

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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