Friday, June 29, 2012

Brazil nuts provide antioxidant protection

Rich in the mineral selenium, Brazil nuts provide antioxidant protection and can help fight against cancer, heart disease and promote a healthy thyroid .Like most other nuts, Brazil nuts contain heart healthy monounsaturated fats that can benefit cholesterol levels. However, what really makes them special is their high selenium content. Although not strictly speaking an antioxidant, selenium is an essential component of two important antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidise and glutathione. Selenium also works together with vitamin E, one of the important network antioxidants. Brazil nuts' health benefits include helping to protect against heart disease, cancer and thyroid problems.
Selenium~Selenium is an essential trace element that has been show to help protect against cancer, heart disease and premature aging. Although beneficial in small amounts, too much can be toxic. Selenium is not produced by the body so must be obtained through food and water. Along with the antioxidant health benefits of Brazil nuts, other good foods sources include garlic and onions, wheat germ, red grapes, broccoli and *egg yolks. (*organic, free range, of course : ) Another great source of selenium is brown rice.

Read more at Suite101: Brazil Nuts Health Benefits: Protection against Heart Disease and Cancer |

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Coconut Oil for the Skin, Body, Face & Hair

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil for the Skin, Body, Face & Hair
Posted by D.B. Martin on 10/23/2010
Benefit of Coconut Oil
Coconut is one of natures most miraculous fruits, and has an abundance of benefits and uses. For centuries, the coconut has been one of the main staples to the people of Fiji, the Pacific Islands, and throughout the Tropics. Whether absorb or digested Cold Pressed Coconut Oil, the unrefined fat removed from the coconut, is the key byproduct that Organic Fiji uses to unlock the Coconuts full potential.

What are some benefits to using Coconut Oil for the skin?

Now it is no surprise that Coconut Oil is great for the skin. Fijians and Pacific Islanders have always had beautiful, smooth, healthy, and age defying skin even while being exposed to the  relentless sun and their harsh salty sea air. Their secret is in their native island product, Coconut Oil! It has been used as a natural skincare treatment for centuries. Coconut oil is nature's most abundant source of Medium-Chain Triglycerides. When applied to your skin, your natural good bacteria convert these Medium-Chain Triglycerides into Antimicrobial Fatty Acids. Antimicrobial Fatty Acids prevent viral, fungal, and bacterial infections, including yeast! Antimicrobial Fatty Acids act like natures natural bodyguards for your skin. This is key! These protective qualities make Coconut oil an excellent fat to use in body soaps, and is why Cold Pressed Coconut Oil is the principal ingredient in Organic Fijis Coconut Oil Soap Cleanser for Face and Body! A perfect choice for sensitive, normal and, of course, dry skin!
Best Natural Oils for skin

Why is Coconut oil such a superior moisturizer?

It all comes down to the small molecular structure of coconut oil. Its undersized structure promotes easy absorption through the skins pores and follicles. Coconut Oils deep moisturizing properties rapidly hydrate, condition, and shield the skin from moisture loss. Especially compared with the over processed low-grade fats used in most leading skincare products. This is why our Cold Pressed Coconut Oil is such a superior moisturizer, and is a great treatment to relieve dry, rough, and wrinkled skin. It is also an optimal natural treatment in treating of skin conditions like Eczema and Psoriasis! Organic Fijis Coconut Oil Lotions for Face and Body is made only with Certified Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, and is formulated to promote healthier hydrated skin! But better moisturizing is not the only reason to use Coconut Oil as your primary skincare treatment!

Why does Coconut Oil make you look and feel younger?

Not only is Coconut oil vitamin enriched in vitamins A, B, C, and E, and nourishes your skin, coconut oil is a natural anti-oxidant that helps the skin repair itself. Coconut Oils protective anti-oxidant qualities protect the skin from free radicals and other environmental aging factors. Free radicals break down the connective tissues in your skin causing your skin to harden and lose its natural elasticity and strength. All the signs we see in aged skin! Conventional skin products are not made with anti-oxidant loaded fats like coconut oil. Instead, they often use highly refined vegetable oils, which may have had all their good anti-oxidants removed from over processing. These highly refined vegetable oils are actually prone to free-radical generation! If you apply a product that uses highly refined vegetable oil instead of anti-oxidant loaded oil like Cold Pressed Coconut Oil, you may actually be causing you skin to age faster! This is why you should always be careful about what skincare products, lotions and lip balms you use.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Benefits of the Acai Berry

For many centuries, the healing power of the acai berry was unknown outside of the Amazon rainforest where this amazing fruit grows wild. The rainforests of the world are thought to hold the keys to treating and preventing many of our most feared diseases, and as the rainforests disappear, those cures disappear along with them. The acai berry, however, used by the indigenous peoples of the region for thousands of years to enhance health and vitality, has already been discovered.
The acai berry grows as a wild plant on top of many native palm trees in the Amazon rainforest, with the fruits of the plant being harvested by local farmers and used to make a healthy and nutritious fruit pulp. When quickly frozen, this fruit pulp can retain its vast nutritional value even when being shipped around the world. The acai berry is known for its deep purple color, as well as for being a rich source of many important antioxidant vitamins.
The major benefits of the acai berry are thought to include its strong heart health benefits. The acai berry is known to be a rich source of compounds called anthocyanins. These anthocyanins are the same compounds thought to give red wine its health benefits, but acai berries may contain even higher concentrations of these healthy chemicals than wine, with none of the health risks associated with alcohol.
The acai berry is also a rich source of protein and dietary fiber, in addition to high levels of both omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, thought to have a protective effect on the heart and cardiovascular system. The omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids contained in the acai berry may also play a role in lowering levels of cholesterol in the blood.
In addition to these important benefits, the acai berry is thought to play a vital role in slowing down the aging process. In health food circles, the acai berry is known as one of the most powerful of the anti-aging superfoods. It is thought that this anti-aging effect is a combination of the high levels of anthocyanins and the strong antioxidant vitamin content the fruit contains. In fact, the acai berry is known to contain ten times as many antioxidant vitamins as grapes and twice as many as blueberries.
For many years the acai berry has been hard to find, even in health food stores and natural grocery stores. As the reputation of this super fruit continues to grow, however, its availability is on the rise. It is now possible to buy acai berries in their raw form, as well as purchasing a number of excellent, highly concentrated fruit drinks made with the healthful and powerful acai berry.
The acai berry is truly one of nature’s most healing foods, and a worthy addition to any healthy diet.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Constipation/Toxic Buildup and Cleansing

Constipation is probably the least understood condition of the body and the most common problem with which people are plagued. Over ninety percent of human ailments begin with a congested colon. Even if you eliminate three times a day you could still be constipated.
Lack of dietary fiber is one of the main causes. The average American ingests white flour and white sugar products, a diet high in meat and fried food, with very little raw vegetables and fruit, and little or no whole grains. With this type o diet there will be problems in the bowel area. A congested colon will balloon and create pockets and weaken the walls of the colon, allowing bacterial toxins to enter the bloodstream and cause autointoxication.
Intestinal toxemia or autointoxication is produced by the decomposition of protein in the intestinal tract. in normal digestion the protein molecules are broken down into twenty amino acids. The amino acids are non-toxic; however under the influence of bacterial growth they are capable of producing amines, which are highly poisonous and found in a toxic colon.
A congested colon causes the poisons to be reabsorbed in the bloodstream and settle in the weakest areas of the body to eventually cause chronic diseases. These toxins back up into the veins, arteries and lymphatic system and into the cells.
• enlarged abdomen, with discomfort
• headaches
• depression, anxiety, irritability
• fatigue and exhaustion
• indigestion and gas
• insomnia, and frequent waking up in the night
• overweight, malnutrition, glandular imbalance
• lower back pain ( colon pressing on sciatic nerve )
• skin, hair and nail problems

Lack of fiber in the diet slows the elimination of fecal matter, allowing toxins to infect colon pockets. Adhesions can be a cause of constipation due to infected mucous membranes of the bowel wall. Other causes include: a stretched colon from overload of food contents; ileocecal valve incompetence, which allows bowel content to re-enter the small intestine and damage organs, joints, nerves and the immune system; and lack of exercise, especially in the abdominal area.

Poor posture interfering with the voluntary and reflex contractions of these important muscles necessary for normal elimination; constipation causes hemorrhoids, and hemorrhoids cause spasms or tightness of the anal muscle and prevents normal bowel elimination; weak bowel muscles can become paralyzed and prevent complete emptying of the bowels. This allows toxins from the fecal matter to irritate the mucous membranes and produce chronic catarrhal, infections, adhesions and even cancer. Lack of liquids causes dehydration, which creates hard fecal matter and prevents normal elimination. Lack of water is usually the cause. Lack of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes can eventually lead to constipation and autointoxication.

Natural Treatment
Lifestyle changes need to be made. Eliminate alcohol, tobacco, carbonated drinks, white flour and white sugar products and greasy food. Increase dietary fiber, raw foods and reduce meat and fat. This will decrease the accumulation of bad bacteria while building and protecting the immune system.

Exercise is also very important, especially for the abdominal area. Jumping on a mini-trampoline and walking are good exercises. Using a rowing machine and squatting exercises will strengthen the abdomen and intestinal system.

Learn to listen tot he inner body and eat only when hungry. Avoid eating when you are emotionally upset. Learn to combine foods that digest well together. Combining meat and sugar and starch will cause fermentation and create an alcohol substance in the stomach and intestines. Learn about your own body and your particular weaknesses and what nutrients will build and maintain physical, emotional and mental health.

Eliminate over-the-counter laxatives, as they interfere with the proper absorption of sodium and potassium balance in the large intestine. Laxatives pull water and minerals from the body.

Dietary Guidelines
Add more whole grain such as whole wheat, whole oats, brown rice, millet, kamut, buckwheat, yellow corn meal ( polenta dishes are delicious ), amaranth, quinoa, and spelt. Whole grains provide fiber, the fatty acids, B-vitamins and minerals when in their whole state. Cooking in a slow cooker or thermos overnight is very nutritional. Chew food longer to assure enzyme activity and help to prevent constipation. Chewing longer satisfies hunger and prevents indigestion.

Juice fasting for one to three days will help start a cleansing of the bowels. Good juice combinations are: carrot, celery, parsley and garlic; and cabbage, carrots, celery and ginger. Wheatgrass juice is cleansing for the colon and blood. Some have benefited from a wheatgrass and garlic enema to speed colon cleansing.

A liver flush is very beneficial with all the toxins in our water, food and air. First thing in the morning, mix in blender one cup warm water, juice of one lime or lemon, 1 capsule ginger or I teaspoon fresh ginger, and one teaspoon pure olive oil. Mix and drink. this will clean and stimulate liver function.

A fresh juice made with grapefruit, oranges, limes and lemons drink before breakfast will aid the body in cleansing.

A fiber and herbal formula is beneficial for cleansing deep into the pockets of the colon. It should contain psyllium, guar gum, burdock, black walnut and pumpkin seeds.

Make flaxseed tea by soaking a tablespoon of flaxseeds in a quart of pure water overnight. mix in the blender, strain, and drink a cup twice a day.

Plain yogurt, made from live culture, is very nourishing for the bowels. It provides friendly bacteria in the bowels and builds immunity to disease.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Health Benefits of Exercise

Regular exercise can help protect you from heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, noninsulin-dependent diabetes, obesity, back pain, osteoporosis, and can improve your mood and help you to better manage stress.
For the greatest overall health benefits, experts recommend that you do 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three or more times a week and some type of muscle strengthening activity and stretching at least twice a week. However, if you are unable to do this level of activity, you can gain substantial health benefits by accumulating 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity a day, at least five times a week.
If you have been inactive for a while, you may want to start with less strenuous activities such as walking or swimming at a comfortable pace. Beginning at a slow pace will allow you to become physically fit without straining your body. Once you are in better shape, you can gradually do more strenuous activity.
How Physical Activity Impacts Health
Regular physical activity that is performed on most days of the week reduces the risk of developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness and death in the United States.
Reduces the risk of dying prematurely.
Reduces the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease.
Reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure.
Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.
Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.
Helps control weight.
Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling.
Promotes psychological well-being.
Specific Health Benefits of Exercise
Heart Disease and Stroke. Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood pressure, raising your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (good cholesterol) and lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (bad cholesterol), improving blood flow, and increasing your heart's working capacity.
High Blood Pressure. Regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure in those with high blood pressure levels. Physical activity also reduces body fatness, which is associated with high blood pressure.
Noninsulin-Dependent Diabetes. By reducing body fatness, physical activity can help to prevent and control this type of diabetes.
Obesity. Physical activity helps to reduce body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and improving the body's ability to use calories. When physical activity is combined with proper nutrition, it can help control weight and prevent obesity, a major risk factor for many diseases.
Back Pain. By increasing muscle strength and endurance and improving flexibility and posture, regular exercise helps to prevent back pain.
Osteoporosis. Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging.
Psychological Effects. Regular physical activity can improve your mood and the way you feel about yourself. Researchers also have found that exercise is likely to reduce depression and anxiety and help you to better manage stress.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Celtic Sea Salt Health Benefits

 Raw sea salt on sea shore
Types of salt
Salt is essential for the survival of all living creatures, including human.  It is needed to regulate the water content in our body.  We often hear bad press about salt, and indeed table salt which is refined, is extremely unhealthy and toxic.  What our body really needs is natural pure salt.  Taking the wrong type of salt is detrimental to our health. 

In fact, without the right kind of salt, our body will encounter many kinds of problems.  Is it any wonder then, by taking table salt, our body is actually deprived of the real salt and minerals.  Here's only a small shocking list of what can happen when our body lacks proper salt:
  • High blood pressure
  • Accelerated aging cellular degeneration
  • Respiratory and blood sugar problems
  • Liver failure, kidney problems, adrenal exhaustion
  • Heart muscles tire and lacerate, causing fatal heart attack
There are many types of salt but I want to talk here about three types of the more popular salt.
Table Salt:  Also known as common salt, is commonly used by most people for cooking and for food preservation.  Table salt is refined (processed), removing 82 out of the 84 minerals in salt, leaving behind only sodium and chloride.

Over-consumption of table salt causes many untold health problems.

Sea Salt:  Sea salt is a general term that refers to salt derived directly from the sea.  And that is what it is, except that it is refined¾similar to table salt.

Sea salt is thought to be healthier and more flavorful than table salt, but in actual fact it is actually processed and minerals and trace elements are removed.

Celtic Sea Salt:  Refers to naturally moist salt harvested from the Atlantic seawater off the coast of Brittany, France.  This type of salt are harvested using the Celtic method of wooden rakes allowing no metal to touch the salt.

It is naturally air and sun-dried in clay ponds and gathered with wooden tools to preserve its living enzymes.  Because it is unrefined, it contains all of the 84 beneficial live elements found in sea water, with no chemical and preservatives nor any other additives
To Top

Minerals and Trace Elements Found in Celtic Sea Salt

Among the live minerals and trace elements found in Celtic sea salt are iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc.  The 84 trace minerals provide the necessary nutrients and protect the body from the harshness of sodium chloride that we consume from commercial salt.

The appropriate magnesium content ensures that unused sodium is quickly and completely eliminated from the body through the kidneys to prevent harm. 

The Healing Virtues of Celtic Sea Salt

Celtic sea salt has tremendous healing virtues that have the exact opposite effects of refined salt.  It helps to balance out and nourish our body with minerals that our body lacks.  It is particularly helpful in helping with mucus elimination.  Here are some conditions that Celtic sea salt is also good for:

Sinus and bronchial congestion:  I have seen many times how Celtic sea salt when taken before sleep has helped the sufferer sleep through the night as it breaks up the irritating mucus, providing much relief.

Regulate blood pressure:  We are right to say that salt causes high blood pressure but it is the toxic table salt that is the culprit.  Celtic sea salt has been shown to actually normalize blood pressure.  It literally goes around your body and 'scrounges' for the harmful sodium deposits and completely eliminates it from your body.  If you have high blood pressure, pure salt will bring it down.  But if you have low blood pressure, pure salt will bring it up.  Only nature has been designed with the ability to do this.

Deeper and more restful sleep:  When Celtic sea salt is taken with warm water before bedtime, it promotes a deeper and longer sleep that is both restful and refreshing.  Nor does it cause you to wake up and wanting to urinate.

Water retention:  We often hear that salt causes water retention.  Again, this is only because the wrong salt was taken¾table/commercial salt.  Celtic sea salt does the opposite by helping our body properly balance out the electrolyte minerals and releasing the retained water.

Kidney stones:  Celtic sea salt has also been reported to actually dissolve kidney stones.

Building the immune system and aids healing:  Celtic sea salt provides the rich minerals directly to our cells to enhance resistance to infections and bacterial diseases.  It also helps our body heal quicker when there has been a surgery, sickness, burns, mental disorders, etc.

Prevent over-acidity in body:  The rich minerals effectively eliminates unwanted sodium from the body, extracting excess acidity in the body, especially in the brain.  The electrolytes are vital to the nerves for communication and information processing of the brain cells.
Helps control saliva:  If you drool in your sleep, it could mean that your body is deprived of the right kind of salt, and that you are not drinking enough water.  This condition may also lead to double chin as your saliva glands work doubly hard to lubricate your insides.  Drink more water with Celtic sea salt to stop this condition.  

Wound Healing:  Bathing wounds in sea salt water does not sting, and it helps wounds to heal faster. Also helpful for gargling or drinking to ease sore throats. 

Diabetics:  Helps balance out sugar in blood in diabetics. 

Muscle cramps:  Providing essential minerals to the muscles and preventing muscle cramps.
Strong alkalinizer:  Helps keep our body at the right pH.  This is important as an over-acidic body creates many health problems and an endless list of degenerative diseases.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Which Foods Contain the Most Antioxidants?

One of the most important steps you can take to prevent heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease is to eat plenty of antioxidant-rich foods. As discussed in a previous article on free radicals, antioxidants protect your health by preventing and repairing damage caused to your cells by excessive free radicals.
Antioxidants are plentiful in plant foods, particularly those that have bright colours. As of May, 2005, the most comprehensive study of the antioxidant content of common foods that I know of was published in the June 2004 edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. According to this study, the 20 most antioxidant-rich foods are as follows:
Rank Food Serving Size Antioxidant Capacity per Serving
1 Small red beans, dried 1/2 cup 13727
2 Wild blueberries 1 cup 13427
3 Red kidney beans, dried 1/2 cup 13259
4 Pinto beans 1/2 cup 11864
5 Blueberries, cultivated 1 cup 9019
6 Cranberries 1 cup 8983
7 Artichoke hearts, cooked 1 cup 7904
8 Blackberries 1 cup 7701
9 Dried prunes 1/2 cup 7291
10 Raspberries 1 cup 6058
11 Strawberries 1 cup 5938
12 Red delicious apple One 5900
13 Granny Smith apple One 5381
14 Pecans 1 ounce 5095
15 Sweet cherries 1 cup 4873
16 Black plum One 4844
17 Russet potato, cooked One 4649
18 Black beans 1/2 cup 4181
19 Plum One 4118
20 Gala apple One 3903
The highest ranked foods in four major categories are as follows:
Fruits: blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries.
Vegetables: beans, artichoke hearts, and surprisingly, russet potatoes.
Nuts: pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts.
Spices: cinnamon, oregano, and ground cloves.
Here are a few points to keep in mind when choosing antioxidant-rich foods:
  1. Because there are many different types of antioxidants that can protect your tissues from different types of damage, it is best to eat a wide range of antioxidant-rich foods.
  2. How much you benefit from the antioxidants found in the foods you eat depends on how well you breakdown and absorb these foods.
  3. One of the best ways of making sure that you are getting plenty of antioxidants in your diet is to strive to eat lots of fresh vegetables. If you just don't have the time to eat a large green salad every day, consider buying a good juicer and drinking a fresh vegetable juice on a daily basis. Another more convenient option is to use a high quality super green food product.
  4. It is best to limit the amount of sweet fruits that you eat according to your dental health and blood sugar and insulin levels. If you haven't already, please read my article on the dangers of eating too much fruit.
  5. When washing and preparing vegetables and fruits, be sure to wash non-organic varieties with extra care to help remove pesticide residues. This is especially important for vegetables and fruits that are known to be heavily contaminated with pesticides.
Raw chocolate and goji berries are two foods that are extremely rich in antioxidants but were not evaluated for the study cited above.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Healthy Vegan Living

Veganism, often seen as the natural extension of or progression from vegetarianism, can provide numerous benefits to animal ecosystems, the environment, and our own health, through healthy dietary and lifestyle changes.
vegan2 300x209 Healthy Vegan Living According to the American Dietetic Association, both vegetarian and vegan diets can offer a number of nutrition and health benefits.  Among these benefits are lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, increased dietary fiber and nutrients such as folate, antioxidants and vitamins.  Vegetarianism and Veganism have also been reported to be associated with lower body mass indices (BMI) than non-vegetarians as well as decreased health risks for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer.
Since animal foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs are high in saturated fats and cholesterol they tend to have a more stressful effect on our bodies than plant foods, causing hypertension and other health issues.  The most powerful cholesterol-lowing agents are soluble fiber, unsaturated fats, and phytochemicals, all of which are found almost exclusively from plants.
While there are rumors of dietary deficiencies resulting from vegan diets, it is one-hundred percent possible to receive all of the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals from a vegan diet, with proper supplementation from vitamins and minerals.
Vegan options that include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans, are low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are rich in fiber and nutrients.  These healthy sources are nutritionally dense foods that help promote proper growth and development.  In terms of protein, vegans can get all the protein they need from legumes such as beans, tofu and peanuts, as well as other sources as grains including rice, corn, whole wheat breads and pastas.  Foods such as broccoli, kale, collard greens, tofu, fortified juices and non-dairy milks as soy, almond or rice milk, are all important sources for calcium to maintain proper bone health. When immunity and circulation are concerned, iron from chickpeas, spinach, pinto beans, and soy products will satiate our body’s need.  Vitamins such as B12 can be obtained from fortified foods or dietary supplements.
When exercise is concerned, the vegan diet can supply all the necessary components for fueling our bodies, but extra attention should be paid towards eating prior to a workouts in order to provide the body the with proper fuel and hydration it demands during and after high intensity activities. The key is to choose foods that will prevent hunger, provide additional carbohydrates as energy and minimize possible digestive complications.  Since vegan diets can easily turn into low-calorie diets, its important to eat the proper portion sizes, which can be larger than normal due to the high amount of vegetables and plant foods.  This will help to provide you with the energy needed to rebuild your muscles and promote healthy body conditioning.
Here are a few suggestions healthy serving sizes when trying to maintain a healthy vegan diet from the Vegan Society.
- 2-4 servings of vegetables, plus 2 to 3 servings of vegetables from the ‘green leafy’
- 6- 10 servings of bread, pasta, rice and fortified cereals
- 2- 3 servings of beans, pulses and protein foods
- 1- 2 servings of nuts and seeds
- 2- 3 teaspoons of oils and fats
- 1- 2 servings of fruit, plus 1- 2 servings from the dried fruits sub-group
- 3 servings from the fortified non-dairy sub-group (such as soya milk)
- 8 glasses of water daily (more if very active)
In addition to this, adults should try to eat:
- Vitamin B12 – 2.4 micrograms daily
- Vitamin D – 5 micrograms daily
- Calcium – 600 milligrams daily

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sugar's effect on your health

The average American consumes an astounding 2-3 pounds of sugar each week, which is not surprising considering that highly refined sugars in the forms of sucrose (table sugar), dextrose (corn sugar), and high-fructose corn syrup are being processed into so many foods such as bread, breakfast cereal, mayonnaise, peanut butter, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and a plethora of microwave meals.
In the last 20 years, we have increased sugar consumption in the U.S. 26 pounds to 135 lbs. of sugar per person per year! Prior to the turn of this century (1887-1890), the average consumption was only 5 lbs. per person per year! Cardiovascular disease and cancer was virtually unknown in the early 1900's.
The "glycemic index" is a measure of how a given food affects blood-glucose levels, with each food being assigned a numbered rating. The lower the rating, the slower the absorption and digestion process, which provides a more gradual, healthier infusion of sugars into the bloodstream. On the other hand, a high rating means that blood-glucose levels are increased quickly, which stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin to drop blood-sugar levels. These rapid fluctuations of blood-sugar levels are not healthy because of the stress they place on the body.
One of sugar's major drawbacks is that it raises the insulin level, which inhibits the release of growth hormones, which in turn depresses the immune system. This is not something you want to take place if you want to avoid disease.
An influx of sugar into the bloodstream upsets the body's blood-sugar balance, triggering the release of insulin, which the body uses to keep blood-sugar at a constant and safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat, so that when you eat sweets high in sugar, you're making way for rapid weight gain and elevated triglyceride levels, both of which have been linked to cardiovascular disease. Complex carbohydrates tend to be absorbed more slowly, lessening the impact on blood-sugar levels.

Sugar depresses the immune system.

We have known this for decades. It was only in the 1970's that researchers found out that vitamin C was needed by white blood cells so that they could phagocytize viruses and bacteria. White blood cells require a 50 times higher concentration inside the cell as outside so they have to accumulate vitamin C.
There is something called a "phagocytic index" which tells you how rapidly a particular macrophage or lymphocyte can gobble up a virus, bacteria, or cancer cell. It was in the 1970's that Linus Pauling realized that white blood cells need a high dose of vitamin C and that is when he came up with his theory that you need high doses of vitamin Cicon to combat the common cold.
sugar and lymphocytes
We know that glucose and vitamin C have similar chemical structures, so what happens when the sugar levels go up? They compete for one another upon entering the cells. And the thing that mediates the entry of glucose into the cells is the same thing that mediates the entry of vitamin C into the cells. If there is more glucose around, there is going to be less vitamin C allowed into the cell. It doesn't take much: a blood sugar value of 120 reduces the phagocytic index by 75%. So when you eat sugar, think of your immune system slowing down to a crawl.
Here we are getting a little bit closer to the roots of disease. It doesn't matter what disease we are talking about, whether we are talking about a common cold or about cardiovascular disease, or cancer or osteoporosis, the root is always going to be at the cellular and molecular level, and more often than not insulin is going to have its hand in it, if not totally controlling it.
The health dangers which ingesting sugar on an habitual basis creates are certain. Simple sugars have been observed to aggravate asthma, move mood swings, provoke personality changes, muster mental illness, nourish nervous disorders, deliver diabetes, hurry heart disease, grow gallstones, hasten hypertension, and add arthritis.
Because refined dietary sugars lack minerals and vitamins, they must draw upon the body's micro-nutrient stores in order to be metabolized into the system. When these storehouses are depleted, metabolization of cholesterol and fatty acid is impeded, contributing to higher blood serum triglycerides, cholesterol, promoting obesity due to higher fatty acid storage around organs and in sub-cutaneous tissue folds.
Because sugar is devoid of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and has such a deteriorating effect on the endocrine system, major researchers and major health organizations (American Dietetic Association and American Diabetic Association) agree that sugar consumption in America is one of the 3 major causes of degenerative disease.

Honey is a simple sugar

There are 4 classes of simple sugars which are regarded by most nutritionists as "harmful" to optimal health when prolonged consumption in amounts above 15% of the carbohydrate calories are ingested: Sucrose, fructose, honey, and malts.
Some of you may be surprised to find honey here. Although honey is a natural sweetener, it is considered a refined sugar because 96% of dry matter are simple sugars: fructose, glucose and sucrose. It is little wonder that the honey bear is the only animal found in nature with a problem with tooth-decay (honey decays teeth faster than table sugar). Honey has the highest calorie content of all sugars with 65 calories/tablespoon, compared to the 48 calories/tablespoon found in table sugar. The increased calories are bound to cause increased blood serum fatty acids, as well as weight gain, on top of the risk of more cavities.
Pesticides used on farm crops and residential flowers have been found in commercial honey. Honey can be fatal to an infant whose immature digestive tracts are unable to deal effectively with Botulinum Spore growth. What nutrients or enzymes raw honey does contain are destroyed by manufacturers who heat it in order to give it a clear appearance to enhance sales. If you are going to consume honey, make sure it is raw, unheated honey. Good to use in special cures, but not as an every day food. It is not much better than white or brown sugar.

Here is a list of ways sugar can affect your health:

  • Sugar can suppress the immune system.
  • Sugar can upset the body's mineral balance.
  • Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.
  • Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
  • Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
  • Sugar can reduce helpful high density cholesterol (HDLs).
  • Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs).
  • Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
  • Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.
  • Sugar can cause kidney damage.
  • Sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Sugar may lead to chromium deficiency.
  • Sugar can cause copper deficiency.
  • Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  • Sugar can increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
  • Sugar can promote tooth decay.
  • Sugar can produce an acidic stomach.
  • Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children.
  • Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
  • Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and grey hair.
  • Sugar can increase total cholesterol.
  • Sugar can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
  • High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
  • Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
  • Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
  • Sugar leads to decreased glucose tolerance.
  • Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
  • Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure.
  • Sugar causes food allergies.
  • Sugar can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.
  • Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
  • Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
  • Sugar can overstress the pancreas, causing damage.
  • Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
  • Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
  • Sugar can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver.
  • Sugar can increase the amount of fat in the liver.
  • Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
  • Sugar can cause depression.
  • Sugar can increase the body's fluid retention.
  • Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.
  • Sugar can cause hypertension.
  • Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
  • Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind's ability to think clearly.
  • Sugar can increase blood platelet adhesiveness which increases risk of blood clots and strokes.
  • Sugar can increase insulin responses in those consuming high-sugar diets compared to low sugar diets.
  • Sugar increases bacterial fermentation in the colon.

Sugar and cancer

Of the over 4 million cancer patients being treated in the U.S. today, almost none are offered any scientifically guided nutrition therapy other than being told to "just eat good foods." Many cancer patients would have a major improvement in their conditions if they controlled the supply of cancer's preferred fuel: GLUCOSE. By slowing the cancer's growth, patients make it possible for their immune systems to catch up to the disease. Controlling one's blood-glucose levels through diet, exercise, supplements, meditation and prescription drugs - when necessary - can be one of the most crucial components to a cancer treatment program. The saying "Sugar feeds cancer" is simple. The explanation is a little more involved.
German Otto Warburg, Ph.D., the 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, first discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells.
The gist of his Nobel thesis was this: malignant tumors frequently exhibit an increase in "anaerobic glycolysis" - a process whereby glucose is used by cancer cells as a fuel with lactic acid as an anaerobic by-product - compared to normal tissues.(1)
The large amount of lactic acid produced by this fermentation of glucose from the cancer cells is then transported to the liver. This conversion of glucose to lactate creates a lower, more acidic PH in cancerous tissues as well as overall physical fatigue from lactic acid build-up.(2,3) Therefore, larger tumors tend to exhibit a more acidic PH.(4)
anaerobic glycolysis
Hence, cancer therapies should attempt to regulate blood-glucose levels through diet, supplements, exercise, medication when necessary, gradual weight loss and stress reduction. Since cancer cells derive most of their energy from anaerobic glycolysis, the goal is not to eliminate sugars or carbohydrates entirely from the diet but rather to control blood-glucose within a narrow range to help starve the cancer cells and boost immune function. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Simple Step Exercise: Breathing to Control Pain

Simple Step Exercise: Breathing to Control Pain

Pause for a minute and pay attention to your breathing. What is going on right now? This is such a routine body activity that we rarely think about the quality of our breathing.  Breathing allows for oxygen to go in and carbon dioxide waste to be eliminated from the body.  This is a necessary function. Without breathing, we would quickly die.  Fortunately, the body is very good at doing this on a basic level most of the time.  This does not mean, however, that our breathing is always optimal for our health.  For example, people in pain are not good breathers. Their breathing is often shallow, fast, and involves a lot of upper body movement.  
What if there was something you could do that would improve your pain levels, blood pressure, heart rate, immune system, sleep,and energy levels as well as improve your body's reaction to stress? How much would you pay for something like this?  
Well, breathing a specific way is a simple method to get all of these benefits.   Did I mention it also happens to be FREE and you can do it anywhere?  How is that for a drug-free treatment for pain?
Go back to paying attention to your breathing while just sitting around at rest. (It is normal for your breathing to be faster with more movement when you are more active, such as climbing up stairs.)  You may notice some or all of the following signs of poor breathing habits that are especially common in people with pain:
  • shallow, fast, or uneven inhalation or exhalation
  • more than 12 breaths per minute
  • forced breathing
  • upper chest movement
  • little to no movement of chest or belly
To tap in to the relaxation response you want your breathing to have these qualities:
  • deep, slow, even inhalation and exhalation
  • less than 12 breaths per minute, even better at around 4 breaths per minute
  • relaxed breathing
  • relaxed lower rib cage and belly movement with little upper chest and no shoulder movement
To watch an example of one of the best breathers on the planet, check out a sleeping baby.  They breathe effortlessly and with their little bellies rising up and down- almost like they were born to it.  In fact, we are all born to breathe this way but somehow we tend to lose this ability along the way to being a grown-up.  Well, now is the time to start practicing the relaxed breathing that is your birthright. Along the way you just may have less pain, sleep better, and feel more relaxed.


The diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle that sits at the bottom of the rib cage.  Check out this video of the diaphragm in action.  It is the main muscle involved in breathing.  All breathing involves the use of the diaphragm,  but there are also "helper" muscles in the rib cage and the upper shoulders that help us when we need to breathe faster or more forcefully.  When these "helper" muscles are used, the brain tends to think the body is under some type of stress and gears up the other systems including the heart, blood circulation to be able to react to the stress.  This is a totally appropriate "fight or flight" reaction if you have to run really fast to get out of the way of traffic or a hungry tiger.  This is not the way you should be breathing at rest.  When you learn to return to a slower, deeper type of breathing, the brain gets the signal that "everything is ok, nothing to worry about here".  You activate the body's relaxation response and get all the benefits of doing so (improved blood pressure, heart rate, pain, etc..).


Here is a basic way to learn to perform relaxed diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing:

  • start at first in a quiet area away from distractions
  • lie down on your back in a comfortable position
  • place one hand gently on your belly and the other on your upper chest
  • start to pay attention to your breathing
  • try to slow your breathing down gradually to a goal of around 4 seconds in and 4 seconds out
  • Monitor your hands.  You should have little to no movement at the upper chest hand and a lot of movement at the belly hand
  • breathe slowly and deeply but DO NOT force
  • the belly should gently expand like a balloon filling with air and then deflate without force
  • continue to breathe this way as long as you can
  • once you get the hang of breathing this way lying down, try it sitting or standing

The most common errors I see when people are learning to breathe this way are:
  • Trying to breathe deeply and slowly by FORCING the air in and out.  Diaphragmatic breathing should be very relaxed and quiet.  If you sound like a blowhard, you are probably trying too much.  
  • Using the upper chest to assist in deep breathing.  Again, this is trying too hard and it activates the "fight or flight" system instead of the relaxation response.  Gently pay attention to your upper and lower hands.  Bring you attention to allowing the lower belly hand move in and out.  Relax the upper chest to the point you get little movement at the top hand.  
  • Using the abdominal muscles to force the belly movement.  Do not use your abdominal muscles to squeeeeeeeeze the air out of your belly, just relax and let your belly deflate gently without effort
  • Trying to force the timing of the inhalation and exhalation.  The 4 second in-out tempo is just a guide.  Let your breathing slow down as you pay attention to your hand movement.  It will naturally reach a slower pace. 
Diaphragmatic breathing is easy to learn with a little practice.  Be patient with yourself.  Remember, most of the errors happen when you try too hard and force the breathing.  Just relax,  you will get better with time.  It is easy to incorporate diaphragmatic breathing into your day.  Once you get the hang of it, do little mini breathing breaks throughout the day.  It is especially useful if you are feeling increased pain or stress.  Take a few minutes to practice your breathing and it should help.
Do not let the "simplicity" of this exercise fool you. I often have patients question how something as simple as breathing can help.  Like most of the important things in life, diaphragmatic breathing is very effective and makes profound changes to your body via the relaxation response. Patients are very surprised to find that this little exercise has a big impact on their lives.  They find that they are able to control their pain levels and headaches when using this technique during the day. It is also good to get into the habit of doing it before bed.  Most everyone who tries this reports they sleep more deeply and wake up more refreshed with less pain.  The hardest part of this little breathing exercise is REMEMBERING to do it.  Sometimes it helps to set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind yourself to take breathing breaks.
Start practicing diaphragmatic breathing today.  It is simple, free, and you just might find yourself feeling better!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Teaching our children good eating habbits

We as parents need to pay careful attention

A doctor that I know was eating breakfast one morning. A few tables over, there was a little five or six year old little boy that had a runny nose. He looked like he had asthma or some kind of breathing problem. He didn't appear to be in very good health. And yet at that same time, he was eating a cereal filled with sugar, no nutrition what so ever.
After the breakfast, the mom said, "Son, it's time to take your medicine." She pulled out a little jar of purple medicine. He drank it down without missing a beat. The doctor said to his friend who was sitting next to him at breakfast, "That little boy is not sick. He's being poisoned."
Nutrition Fact Label We as parents need to pay careful attention what we feed our children and what we're filling their bodies. Don't just grab a fruit drink and say, "Oh, that's healthy." Read the label. Up there in the corner, it has a big starburst: "10 percent real fruit juice." What's that really saying is 90 percent pure sugar water.
Read The Label They may be fine now, eating the constant sugar, white flour and caffeine, but what a shame if later on, they develop a serious illness because of their poor eating habits. Have you ever thought about this? You can catch a cold, but you can't catch cancer. You don't catch heart disease. You don't catch diabetes. These are things that are developed over a longer period of time.
Our children today are so programmed to have bad eating habits especially from all the TV commercials. All of their favorite stars and athletes all push drinking colas. The message is if you drink a cola you're going to be cool. But do you know many of those athletes won't touch that cola? They know they can't stay at the top of their game on all those sugars. Neither can we.
Even in our smaller children, I'm amazed at how they're inundated with these messages. Watching the TV, they'll see the kids playing and having a good time while they eat that super sugary cereal. On top of that, if you buy that particular brand, you get a toy in the box. So, when they go to the grocery store, they're drawn to it. "Mom, I want this kind!" they say, with excitement. But, we as parents need to be aware that much of it is marketing!
We should not let our children develop poor eating habits. When you send your child a lunch to school, don't pack it with a bologna sandwich on white bread with some greasy potato chips and a Twinkie for dessert. Your child is not going to be at his best physically or mentally.
Junk Food - Healthy Food And we wonder today why some children have problems in school and why they can't seem to concentrate. Many times, it's because of their poor diet.
I read a study that was done with sixty–eight troubled teenagers. These young men were incarcerated in a juvenile detention center. They were in bad shape. It looked like they were destined for prison. But they decided to experiment with their diet. So they replaced all the colas and fruit drinks with unsweetened juice and with water. All the jellies and donuts and sweetened cereals in the morning were eliminated totally. They changed out the snack machines with fresh fruit machines. After dinner each night, the desserts were replaced with peanuts, carrot sticks, cheese and popcorns. Three months after making those changes, the number of continually proned troubled teenagers dropped eighty percent. Think about that. Eight in ten showed significant improvement by just changing what they ate.
Today we hear a lot about attention deficit disorder, ADD. These children seem kind of hyper and over stimulated. We tend to just want to medicate them and change them with chemicals. And maybe that's okay for some of them. But we need to pay attention to their diet. We need to make sure they're getting the right nutrition. I read one study that showed seventy–five percent of the children had a problem with their blood sugar. That's the root cause. We can medicate them all day long, but if we start treating the source rather than the symptom, then we can correct the problem and do our children greater justice.
When we give our children healthy food to eat, it not only gives them the right type of good energy, it gives them a sharper mind. It gives them greater mental capacity.
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 "to train a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he will not depart from it." For the sake of their calling, and destiny they're created to fulfill by Almighty God, do your part by teaching your children healthy eating habits so that they will be strong and mighty in the land!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

5 Things You Need to Know About the Health Benefits of Quinoa


1. The Gold of the Incas

Over 5,000 years ago, high in the Andes mountains, the Incas began to cultivate quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) as one of their staple crops, believing that it gave power and stamina to their warriors. Quinoa was also used in their ceremonial rituals. When Spanish conquistadors arrived in South America in the sixteenth century, they burned and destroyed the quinoa fields as part of the effort to annihilate Inca culture. But quinoa survived by growing wild in the mountains or by being cultivated in secret in small quantities. In the 1980s, two North Americans stumbled upon this ancient, super-nutritious food and began cultivating it near Boulder, Colorado. Since then, quinoa's popularity has exploded worldwide.

2. Getting to Know Quinoa

Although it is cooked and eaten like a grain, quinoa is technically a seed, and is related to spinach, chard and beets. It grows best in mountainous regions, 10 thousand feet or more above sea level, and thrives in poor soil, thin air and extreme weather. Quinoa stalks are 3 to 6 feet tall, and each plant can produce up to a cup of seeds! The seeds are round, about the same size of millet or sesame seeds, and come in a rainbow of colors, from red to purple to green to yellow, but the quinoa that is most commonly found in stores is an off-white color. Look for quinoa in the bulk section of natural food stores, or in the organic section of conventional supermarkets.

3. A Complete Protein and so Much More

Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs. Complete proteins are rare in the plant world, making quinoa an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans, or for anyone looking for healthy protein source. It's also high in iron and calcium, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium and copper, as well as fiber.

4. Cooking With Quinoa

Most commercially available quinoa has already been cleaned, but you should still give it a thorough rinsing before cooking to be sure to remove any remaining saponins, a soapy resin that protects the seeds while they are growing, but can impart a bitter taste if not removed. Combine one cup rinsed quinoa to two cups water or broth, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the seeds become translucent and the germ of the seed uncoils to form a little "tail." Quinoa has a light, slightly nutty taste and a fluffy texture. It makes a tasty porridge or casserole and can be added to soups and stews.

5. The Gluten-free Grain of Choice

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent food for celiac patients or other people following a gluten-free diet. Quinoa flour is great for baking cookies, breads and muffins, and quinoa flakes are a perfect substitute for oatmeal.