Made from the edible saliva of certain species of swiftlets, Bird’s Nest has been consumed and used as a health tonic since the Tang and Sung dynasties of ancient China. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the ingredient is a neutral-energy tonic that aids to reinforce energy, nourishes the lungs, spleen and improve the complexion.
So is that the tiny bottle of bird’s nest really the solution to all your skin problems? We’ve dug deep into medical studies and research papers to uncover the truth behind this delicacy.
Bird’s Nest is made out of mostly glycoprotein which are cells that have diverse functions in all areas of the body, it also contains 18 amino acids, some of which cannot be manufactured by the human body, carbohydrates, and mineral salts. Aficionados tell of it’s rejuvenating and healing properties with the highest grades of Bird’s Nest commanding up to $5,000USD.
And it seems that science agrees with tradition this time, several studies have found that Bird’s Nest consumption aids in the regeneration and differentiation (the process in which cells which are less specialised develops or grows into a more specialised one) of cells.
A joint study done by several Chinese universities tested the effects of common chemotherapy drug, cyclophosphamide which suppresses and slows the immune system, on mice and the effects of the consumption of Bird’s Nest with relation the slowdown of the immune system.
The study found that Bird’s Nest consumption, “effectively accelerates the proliferation of B-cells and the antibody secretion of cells.”What does that mean?
T-Cells releasing chemical signals to help a B-Cell divide to connect with invading viruses. The B-Cells then turn into Plasma cells to release antibodies.
The study concluded that the consumption of Bird’s Nest was most likely the cause of the “involved in the proliferation and activation of B-cells and the antibody secretion of cells.” Which indicate that consuming Bird’s Nest may help to relieve the immune suppressing effects caused by chemotherapy.
Other studies like this, suggest that Bird’s Nest consumption can help the prevention of certain influenza viruses and delay conditions such as Parkinson's Disease!Bird's Nest for Beauty
It plays a part in the quest for great skin by promoting the growth of skin cells, namely - keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Keratinocytes are responsible for a healthy skin barrier and help your skin look supple and smooth while fibroblasts help with synthesizing extracellular matrix and collagen - the framework of the skin.
Lab tests done by Oryza Japan showed that the consumption of Bird’s Nest helped to reduce Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), a process where the outermost layer of our skin loses water to the surrounding air through evaporation, as much as by 30% Results showed tremendous improvement on skin moisture where transepidermal water loss is reduced by 30%
The test also used a DermaLab Ultrasound Imaging System done on test subjects also found that dermal collagen score of test subjects increased by 7% a month after the daily consumption of Bird’s Nest.
As amazing as Bird’s Nest might be for health, it is not a cure-all and does not replace the effects of medicine or a good diet. However, using it as a supplement or tonic would do wonders for your health and beauty. Does it deserve the reputation that it has? Science says yes.
We hate to say this, but did you know that your festive feasting might make you fat for life? You’ve read us right.
Studies have found that on average, we gain about 0.32kg over the course of the festive season (that’s about ½ of the average weight gain per year in a couple of months alone!). With average people consuming about more than double of their recommended daily calorie allowances in a day on Christmas alone, that number is not that surprising.
Because knowledge is power, find out what’s in your Christmas Dinner and beat the post-Christmas gym crowds.
No potatoes don’t count when you’re talking about your daily vegetable intake. But we sure love them. Soft and fluffy with crispy skin, drenched to high heavens with rich sour cream and liberally sprinkled with cheese, scallions, chives and bacon bits. Baked potatoes probably rank among in the tops of “foods that we’d like as our last meal.”
Each potato contains about 20.4g of carbs, and when you’re looking to avoid the weight gain, carbs are not your greatest friends. So it’s best to avoid them altogether or share them with a friend.
Calories: 278 kcal, 300g
Honey Glazed Ham
A Christmas staple, mouthwatering honey glazed ham is the defacto festive dish. They’re a pretty good source of protein but are still considered a processed food (ham is processed with nitrates, which adds the salty flavour and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria). It’s best to not overindulge in this festive treat.
Calories: 360 kcal, 3 slices
Turkey is low in fat and a great source of protein. It is an easily accessible source of vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins. But stay clear of the sugar-laden sauces and fatty gravies!
Calories: 236 kcal, 3 slices
A great companion to roast turkey and ham. Cranberry sauces are delish paired with salty ham and turkey. The lowdown on it is that Cranberries are a great source of antioxidants, vitamin E, K, and C, and dietary fibre! But your typical cranberry sauce probably come from a can and the average canned cranberry sauce contains about 105 grams of sugar (that’s about 26 teaspoons of sugar!).
The best way to have your cake and eat it too would be to make your own sauce! Using fresh or frozen fruit and less sugar can make for a way healthier accompaniment. Mix it up with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg for a lil twist to your festive faves.
Nutrition facts: 110 calories, 25 g carbs, 3 g fibre, 0 g protein, 0 g fat
Sugar Cookies and Gingerbread men
Classic festive treats, sugar cookies and gingerbread men are what most of us look forward to among the array of Christmas treats available. But laden with sugar, butter and frosting, it’s best to keep the treats to a minimum.
Calories: 340 kcal, 4 slices