Health Articles

8 Natural Allergy Relief Remedies

Allergy HeaderIt’s that time of the year again.  Time for congested sinuses, headaches and watering eyes.  Allergy season is upon us and millions of American’s are going to turn to Benadryl, Claritin and other harmful chemicals to get relief.

The good news is there are eight amazing all natural remedies that can give you quick allergy relief.

There are more natural remedies for seasonal allergies than I can mention in this article. No wonder entire books have been written on them!

It was tough to narrow down the options, but after extensive research, I put together the Top 8 natural allergy relief remedies that EVERYONE can and should start today!

1. Neti Pot 

Clearing the nasal passages of allergens and irritants, sinus irrigation originated in the Ayurvedic medical tradition and people in India have been receiving astounding results for centuries.

Thankfully, this “alternative” approach has reached mainstream and the medical community has all but welcomed it with open arms. David Rabago, MD has conducted several studies on the subject and has proven clinically that using a neti pot is effective to prevent and treat several upper respiratory conditions including chronic and acute sinusitis, the common cold and seasonal allergies.

When you use a Neti pot, make sure that the water is distilled and as sterile as possible. Tap water is full of chlorine and fluoride and can actually aggravate your sinuses.

If you don’t want to use a neti pot you can do a salt water sinus rinse by mixing sea salt with warm water and sucking it up one nostril.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is the best and you can now find it almost everywhere! It’s USDA & Kosher certified organic, GMO-free, unfiltered, raw (not pasteurized!), and contains the amazing “Mother” of vinegar.

Drinking a glass of water with a teaspoon of ACV in your water with some fresh lemon juice is the best way to wake up every morning. At the first sign of an allergy attack, put 1 teaspoon of ACV in your Neti Pot solution for a fantastic sinus flush.

3. Quercetin

Naturally found in cruciferous vegetables, onions/shallots, green teas and citrus fruit, quercetin is a bioflavonoid that stabilizes the release of histamine and helps to naturally control allergy symptoms.

A recent study out of Slovakia has shown that quercetin is so effective that it can help calm down allergic asthma by reducing the hyperactivity of airways. It is so powerful that Iranian researchers have proven that quercetin can help control peanut allergies, the leading cause of life-threatening/fatal allergy attacks.

Various sources suggest that it is best to use quercetin as a long-term remedy and people prone to seasonal allergies should start to take them a few weeks before spring arrives and plants start to bloom.

4. Local Raw Honey (Bee Pollen)

Telling you to eat something like raw honey for seasonal allergies may sound too easy because it is so sweet, but don’t discount this ancient remedy. Taking a tablespoon of local, raw honey every day will help your body build a tolerance to the local pollen that is running amuck on your sinuses.

The International Archives of Allergy and Immunology published an article in 2011 that tested how pre-seasonal use of birch pollen honey affected people with birch pollen allergies and discovered that patients taking the honey “reported a 60% lower total symptom score, twice as many asymptomatic days, and 70% fewer days with severe symptoms, and they used 50% less antihistamines compared to the control group” that took conventional meds.

I recommend taking 1 tbsp of raw local honey daily.

5. Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle has a rich history of medicinal use dating back to medieval Europe where it was used as a diuretic to relieve people of joint pain. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, studies suggest that it can effectively treat a wide range of health concerns including:

  • Urinary problems like urinary tract infections
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  • Joint pain, sprain and strains
  • Insect bites

Research has specifically shown that nettle leaf naturally controls histamine, which is why a growing number of doctors recommend taking a freeze-dried preparation before hay fever season begins. It can also be used as a tea or tincture.

6. Eucalyptus Oil 

You can use eucalyptus oil for season allergy relief in a variety of ways. You can put several drops into your Neti pot, inhale it via a diffuser or use it in your laundry detergent as an antimicrobial agent.

An interesting study out of Egypt evaluated the effect that various essential oils had in killing the highly allergic house mites and found that eucalyptus oil ranked amongst some of the most potent.

For an eco-friendly, biodegradable addition to your natural detergents add 25 drops of eucalyptus oil to each load of wash during allergy season, especially if you or the kids are running around outside.

Also, if your allergy symptoms are going strong, mix eucalyptus oil with coconut oil and rub it on your chest and behind your ears and diffuse it in the air during the day and while sleeping.

7. Frankincense Essential Oil 

The almost unbelievable cancer-killing capacity of Indian frankincense has been well established in scientific literature for several years, but its life-giving power doesn’t end there.

In a study published by Phytotherapy Research, for instance, when mice took 1-10 mg of frankincense orally it was discovered that multiple levels of their immune systems were stimulated including IgG, IgM, and interferon.

In layman’s terms, frankincense can boost the immune system like no other and if you suffer from seasonal allergies, make sure you implement it into your natural health regimen.

I simply rub frankincense behind my ears and on my chest or diffuse frankincense essential oil in my home and office three hours daily. 

8. SBO Probiotics

It is becoming common knowledge that the immune system starts in the gut. In fact, more than 80% of your immune function is stored in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract! It should be no wonder that research keeps surfacing that links probiotic use to reduced risk of allergies.

They are so effective that a study published last year in the journal Pediatrics discovered that women who regularly take probiotics during pregnancy significantly reduce their child’s risk of developing allergies!

I highly recommend getting your soil-based organisms through probiotics in a supplement form or from food at farmer’s markets and your local garden.

Keep these side effects and natural remedies in mind as we approach what many are claiming will be one of the worst allergy seasons we’ve had in a long while!

Do you Experience Allergies?  Where Do You Live?  What Natural Remedies Have You Found Help with Allergies?

 

References:

  • Fields J. Allergy Medicine: 8 Surprising Possible Side Effects. [Internet]. Copyright 2014. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/24/allergy-medicine-8-surprisin_n_787559.html#s190141&title=Altered_Taste_And
  • Ratliff JC, et al. Association of prescription H1 antihistamine use with obesity: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2010; 18(12):2398-400.
  • Fejzo MS, et al. Antihistamines and other prognostic factors for adverse outcome in hyperemesis gravidarum. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2013; 170(1):71-6.
  • Hayashi T, et al. Asthenospermia in hay fever patients improved by stopping treatment with histamine H1 receptor antagonists. Interna- tional Journal of. Urology 2006; 13: 1028–1030.
  • Louis MP, et al. Two cases of gynaecomastia with cetirizine, a second- generation antihistamine. Therapie 2004; 59: 163–164.
  • Department of Family Medicine. Nasal Irrigation (Nasal Wash) for Common Upper Respiratory Conditions. [Internet]. Copyright 2010 Available at: http://www.fammed.wisc.edu/research/past-projects/nasal-irrigation.
  • Rabago D, Pasic T, Zgierska A, Barrett B, Mundt M, Maberry R. The efficacy of hypertonic saline nasal irrigation for chronic sinonasal symptoms. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005;133:3-8.
  • Rabago D, Barrett B, Marchand L, Maberry R, Mundt M. Qualitative aspects of nasal irrigation use by patients with chronic sinus disease in a multi-method study. Annals of Family Medicine. 2006;4:295-301.
  • Rabago D, Guerard E, Bukstein D. Nasal irrigation for chronic sinus symptoms in patients with allergic rhinitis, asthma and nasal polyposis: a hypothesis generating study. Wisconsin Medical Journal. 2008;107:69-75.
  • Joskova M, et al.  Acute bronchodilator effect of quercetin in experimental allergic asthma. Bratisl Lek Listy 2011; 112(1):9-12.
  • Shishehbor F, et al. Quercetin effectively quells peanut-induced anaphylactic reactions in the peanut sensitized rats. Iran J Allergy Asthma Immunol 2010; 9(1):27-34.
  • Saarinen K, et al. Birch pollen honey for birch pollen allergy–a randomized controlled pilot study. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2011; 155(2):160-6.
  • University of Maryland Medial Center. Stinging nettle. [Internet]. Copyright 2014. Available at: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/stinging-nettle.
  • Saad el-Z, et al. Acaricidal activities of some essential oils and their monoterpenoidal constituents against house dust mite, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Acari: Pyroglyphidae). J Zhejiang Univ Sci B 2006; 7(12):957-62.
  • Furrie E. Probiotics and allergy. Proc Nutr Soc 2005; 64(4):465-9.
  • Elazab N, et al. Probiotic administration in early life, atopy, and asthma: a meta-analysis of clinical trials. Pediatrics 2013; 132(3):e666-76.
  • Kirste S, et al. Boswellia serrata acts on cerebral edema in patients irradiated for brain tumors: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot trial. Cancer 2011; 117(16): 3788-95.
  • Suhail MM, et al. Boswellia sacra essential oil induces tumor cell-specific apoptosis and suppresses tumor aggressiveness in cultured human breast cancer cells. BMC Complement Altern Med 2011; 11: 129.
  • Takahashi M, et al. Boswellic acid exerts antitumor effects in colorectal cancer cells by modulating expression of the let-7 and miR-200 microRNA family. Carcinogenesis 2012; 33(12): 2441-9.
  • Khajuria A, et al. Immunomodulatory activity of biopolymeric fraction BOS 2000 from Boswellia serrata. Phytother Res 2008; 22(3): 340-8.

 

 

 

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Cruciferous Vegetables: Cancer Killer or Thyroid Killer?

Are you getting enough cruciferous vegetables in your diet?  For most people, the answer is no.  But I want to encourage you to focus on getting more of these nutrient dense super foods in your diet on a daily basis.

Cruciferous vegetables are unique because they are rich in sulfur containing compounds called glucosinolates which support detoxification and indole-3-carbinol which greatly reduces the risk of breast, colon and lung cancer.

Here is list of the cruciferous vegetables:

  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard Greens
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Radish
  • Turnip
  • Watercress

Cruciferous Benefits  

 

whitespacerCruciferous Vegetables Studies

Ever since a landmark study from 1996, cruciferous veggies have been a hot topic in cancer prevention research. The article – published in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention – reviewed 94 studies and found that consumption of these veggies indicated a decreased risk of both primary and secondary cancers.

Of the 94 research trials evaluated, 70% of cabbage studies showed an decreased relationship with cancer risk. Other notables include cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts studies that reported 67%, 56% and 29% relationship with decreased cancer risk, respectively.

Not surprisingly, the authors of the study concluded that,

A high consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of cancer. This association appears to be most consistent for lung, stomach, colon, and rectal cancer and least consistent for prostatic, endometrial, and ovarian cancer.

Glucosinolates Kill Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, the secret behind the cancer-killing ability of cruciferous veggies is that they are rich in glucosinolates – a large group of sulfur-containing compounds.

These powerhouse chemicals are known to break down during the chewing and digestion process into biologically active compounds that prevent cancer cells growth, which are referred to as indoles, thiocyanates and isothiocyanates.

Having been discovered to prevent cancer growth in rats and mice, indoles and isothiocyanates are heralded to protect against cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung, and stomach.

Research suggests that this happens because glucosinolates stimulate what are known as Phase II enzymes, the body’s natural antioxidant system. In essence, glucosinolates trigger the liver to produce detoxifying enzymes that block free-radical attack on your DNA. It has also been reported that glucosinolates:

  • Are anti-inflammatory
  • Contain antibacterial and antiviral properties
  • Inactivate carcinogens
  • Reprogram cancer cells to die-off
  • Prevent tumor formation and metastasis

Anticancer Pesticides? 

Glucosinolates act as natural pesticides in plant cells and, when they are consumed by humans, are utilized for DNA repair and help prevent cancer by slowing cancer cell growth.

According to Jon Michnovicz, MD, PhD, the President of the Foundation for Preventive Oncology, Inc., “Studies have shown that if you make cabbage into a paste and rub in on the backs of laboratory animals, you can prevent tumors from developing.”

In addition to animal studies, Dr. Michnovicz reports that several studies on cruciferous vegetables have been conducted on people and many of these cancer-fighting properties have been confirmed.

Cruciferous Vegetables Thyroid Side Effects

One of the most common questions I get from patients is “does eating cruciferous vegetables cause thyroid problems?”

According to the research, it would take a large amount of cruciferous vegetables to cause hypothyroidism and it appears that there is only a risk if someone also has an iodine deficiency.

One study in humans found that the consumption of 5oz a day of cooked brussels sprouts for four weeks had no adverse effects on thyroid function.

So my advice if you have a thyroid issue is to consume cruciferous vegetables that have been cooked and keep them to about 1-2 servings daily.

Cruciferous Vegetable Recipes

Do you want more cruciferous vegetables in your diet?  Then try these recipes:

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Turkey Bacon

Lime Cilantro Cole Slaw

Creamy Kale Salad

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

Nutrient Density

Finally, amongst the many known benefits of cruciferous vegetables they rank as the most nutrient dense foods on the planet as seen in this chart from worldshealthiestfoods.org.

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whitespacerReferences:

  • Dole Nutrition Institute. How do glucosinolates in vegetables protect me from cancer? Available at: http://www.sharecare.com/health/antioxidants/glucosinolates_protect_cancer
  • Giovannucci E, Rimm EB, Liu Y, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. A prospective study of cruciferous vegetables and prostate cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2003; 12(12): 1403-1409
  • Hecht SS. Inhibition of carcinogenesis by isothiocyanates. Drug Metabolism Reviews 2000; 32(3-4): 395-411.
  • Johnson IT. Glucosinolates: Bioavailability and importance to health. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2002; 72(1): 26-31.
  • Murillo G, Mehta RG. Cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention. Nutrition and Cancer 2001; 41(1-2): 17-28.
  • National Cancer Institute. Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/diet/cruciferous-vegetables
  • Verhoeven DT. Epidemiological studies on brassica vegetables and cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1996; 5(9): 733-48.
  • Yang G, Gao YT, Shu XO, et al. Isothiocyanate exposure, glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms, and colorectal cancer risk. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010; 91(3): 704-711.
  • Yeager S. The doctors book of food remedies: The latest findings on the power of food. Rodale. New York. 2007. p 127.

 What is your favorite Cruciferous Vegetable?

 

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10 Ways To Balance Hormones Naturally

How to Naturally Balance HormonesHormones, such as estrogen and insulin, are chemical messengers that affect many aspects of your health as they travel in your bloodstream throughout your entire body.  Some of the most common side effects of hormone imbalance include:

  • Infertility
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Low libido
  • Hair loss and hair thinning

Organs and glands like your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles and pancreas regulate most of your hormone production and if your hormones become even slightly imbalanced it can cause major health issues.

Also, new research is showing that your gut health plays a significant role in hormone regulation so if you have leaky gut or a lack of probiotics lining your intestinal wall it can also cause hormone imbalance.

The good news is there are ways to balance your hormones naturally which I will show you in a minute.

The bad news is the majority of people across the world today turn to synthetic treatments such as hormone replacement therapy which can do three things:

  1. It makes people dependent on prescription drugs for the rest of their lives.
  2. Simply mask the symptoms while you develop disease in other areas of the body.
  3. Causes serious side effects by increasing your risk of stroke, osteoporosis and cancer.

If you don’t want these negative side effects, but do want to naturally balance your hormones, here are the top 10 ways to heal your hormones.

10 Ways to Balance Hormones Naturally

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1. Eat Coconut Oil and Avocados 

Eating a variety of foods high in short, medium and long chain fatty acid is key to keeping your hormones in check. Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, they speed up your metabolism and promote weight loss.

My four favorite foods packed with healthy fats include: coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild caught salmon.

2. Supplement with Adaptogen Herbs 

Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants that promote hormone balance and protect the body from a wide variety of diseases.

In addition to boosting immune function and combating stress, research has shown that Ashwagandha and Holy basil enhance hormone balance by:

  • Improving thyroid function
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Reducing anxiety and depression
  • Reducing brain cell degeneration
  • Stabilizing blood sugar
  • Supporting adrenal glands

3. Balance Omega-3/6 Ratio

Since the early 20th century, the use of vegetable oil in our diets has skyrocketed.

Coincidently, because people didn’t boost their Omega-3 intake to balance out the elevated Omega-6s they were consuming, I have seen an onslaught of chronic diseases and inflammatory processes literally take over our society.

Research from Pennsylvania State University suggests that jumping from the 1:1 Omega-3/6 ratio our hunter-gather ancestors enjoyed to the astronomical 20:1 ratio most people take in today is the primary dietary factor of most diseases in America!

Rule of thumb: Be sure to steer clear from oils high in Omega-6s (safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean and peanut) and load up on rich sources of natural Omega-3s (wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and grass-fed animal products).

I do want to also mention, there is a type of Omega-6 fat you want to try and get in your diet called GLA.  GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) can be taken in supplement form by using evening primrose oil or borage oil and it’s also found in hemp seeds.  Studies have shown supplementing with GLA can support healthy progesterone levels.

4. Heal Leaky Gut 

Leaky gut is a condition that not only affects your digestive tract but also causes hormone issues and can more specifically target your thyroid.

When undigested food particles like gluten leak through your gut into your blood stream it will cause inflammation of the entire body and more specific organs like the thyroid.

Also, most people with leaky gut have an a deficiency of probiotics in their gut.  Probiotics actually help your body in producing certain vitamins that effect hormone levels like insulin.

The top foods and supplements that can support healing leaky gut include: bone broth, kefir, fermented vegetables and good sources of fiber like vegetables and sprouted seeds.

In addition, supplements like digestive enzymes and probiotics can aid in repairing your gut lining, which in turn can balance your hormones.

Some of the main things that damage your digestive health include processed foods, gluten, hydrogenated oils and emotional stress.

5. Eliminate Toxic Kitchen and Body Care Products

Another way to eliminate toxins in your body is to stay away from conventional body care products that are high in DEA, parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate.

The Environmental Working Group has evaluated over 72,000 products and rank them in an easy-to-understand guide to make sure you have a resource to keep your family safe. Check out EWG’s “Skin Deep Cosmetic Database” today!

Also, the use of plastic bottles should be replaced with glass and stainless steel because of BPA’s, and switching from teflon pans to stainless steel, ceramic or cast iron can make a big difference in your hormonal health.

6. Interval Exercise

One of the best all-around activities you can do for your health is burst training. If there is a silver bullet out there, this is it! Exercising opens the hormone faucet to release the right amount of hormone that your body NEEDS!

Whether endorphins, testosterone, growth hormone or insulin, burst training will help reduce stress levels, enhance your immune system, regulate metabolic function and keep you at the body weight your body was designed for.

But don’t overdo it, bursting 20 minutes 3x a week is plenty and if you want to add in more exercise try classes like Barre and Pilates.

7. Get More Sleep

Unless you’re getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night, you’re doing your body no favors. Lack of sleep and sleeping at the wrong time, actually may be the worst habit people have that disturb hormone balance.

Why? Because hormones work on a schedule! Case in point: cortisol, the stress hormone, is regulated at midnight. People who go to bed late at night, therefore, never truly get a break from the sympathetic flight/fight stress response, which has led to widespread stress-related health disorders in our country.

To maximize hormone function, get to bed by 10:00 p.m. Endocrinologists (hormone experts) claim that one hour of sleep between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. is equal to 2 hours of sleep before or after these time slots!

8. Limit Caffeine

Ok, don’t kill the messenger! Drinking too much caffeine is almost as bad as not getting enough sleep. It elevates your cortisol levels, lowers your thyroid hormone levels and basically creates havoc throughout your entire body.

If you need a little boost, try not to drink more than 1-2 cups of matcha green tea or tulsi tea. You’ll keep your hormones in check and enjoy the weight loss and cancer-killing benefits as well!

9. Supplement with Vitamin D3

According to an article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vitamin D3’s role in promoting human life is more profound than previously suspected.

These physiologic arenas are the adaptive immune system, the innate immune system, insulin secretion by the pancreatic β cell, multifactorial heart functioning and blood pressure regulation, and brain and fetal development.” 

This is why people who live in dark areas suffer from significant depression and health disorders unless they supplement.

Most people should supplement with around 2,000IU to 5,000IU daily of vitamin D3 on days they’re not in the sun.

10. Back Off Birth Control Pills

I will keep on harping on this until birth control pills are banned.  JUST SAY NO! In its simplest sense, “the pill” is hormone therapy that raises estrogen to such dangerous levels that it causes:

  • Increased risk of breast cancer
  • Increased risk of blood clotting, heart attack and stroke
  • Migraines
  • Gall bladder disease
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea, irregular bleeding or spotting
  • Benign liver tumors
  • Breast tenderness

I cannot urge you strongly enough to stop using them immediately. There are many other (safer) ways to prevent pregnancy.

Have You Struggled With Hormone Issues?  Have You Found Any Natural Remedies To Help Hormones?

Hormone balancing infographic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

  • Kris-Etherton PM, et al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71(1):179S-188S.
  • Carrington J. Using hormones to heal traumatic brain injuries. [Internet]. Available at: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2012/jan2012_Using-Hormones-Heal-Traumatic-Brain-Injuries_01.htm.
  • Kresser C. How too much Omega-6 and not enough Omega-3 is making us sick. [Internet]. Available at: http://chriskresser.com/how-too-much-omega-6-and-not-enough-omega-3-is-making-us-sick.
  • Panda S, et al. Withania somnifera and Bauhinia purpurea in the regulation of circulating thyroid hormone concentrations in female mice.  Journal Ethnopharmacology 1999; 67(2):233-9.
  • Panda S, et al. Changes in thyroid hormone concentrations after administration of ashwaganda root extract to adult male mice. Journal of Pharmacology 1998; 50:1065-1068.
  • Kalani A, et al. Ashwagandha root in the treatment of non-classical adrenal hyperplasia. BMJ Case Reports 2012; 10(1136).
  • Agrawal P, et al. Randomized placebo-controlled, single blind trial of holy basil leaves in patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996; 34(9):406-9.
  • Gholap S, et al. Hypoglycaemic effects of some plant extracts are possibly mediated through inhibition in corticosteroid concentration. Pharmazie 2004; 59 (11):876-8.
  • Khan V, et al. A pharmacological appraisal of medicinal plants with antidiabetic potential. J Pharm Bioallied Sci 2012; 4(1):27-42.
  • Norman A. From vitamin D to hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health. Am J Clin Nutr August 2008; 88(2):491S-499S
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Oil Pulling For Whiter Teeth and Better Breath

Oil Pulling HeaderWhat is Oil Pulling?

It has taken quite some time, but oil pulling has finally gained some popularity in the United States. Used primarily in Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling is a fantastic oral detoxification procedure that is simply done by swishing a tablespoon of oil (typically coconut, olive or sesame) in your mouth for 10-20 minutes.

Oil pulling works by cleaning (detoxifying) the oral cavity in a similar way that soap cleans dirty dishes. It literally sucks the dirt (toxins) out of your mouth and creates a clean, antiseptic oral environment that contributes to the proper flow of dental liquid that is needed to prevent cavities and disease.

This unbelievably effective procedure has been used for centuries as a traditional India remedy to:

Oil Pulling Benefits

 

In fact, oil pulling is mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita where it is claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases ranging from headaches and tooth decay to diabetes and asthma.

How to Do Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil

We recommend using unrefined, organic coconut oil and a drop or two of clove or tea tree essential oils to achieve the best antiseptic and anti-fungal effects of oil pulling. Here are some tips:

1. Put 2 teaspoons of coconut oil into your mouth. The best time to oil pull (like most other detoxification procedures) is first thing in the morning right after you get out of bed.

2. Swish for 20 minutes.  Don’t let the 20 minute time frame deter you. You won’t even notice 20 minutes have gone by if you do this during your normal morning routine (i.e. while you shower, put your clothes on and prep for the day).  But, if you can only do it for 5-10 minutes, it’s still worthwhile.

3. Spit oil into the trash. Don’t be shocked if the oil/saliva mixture you spit out is milky white or yellow.

4. Immediately afterwards, rinse your mouth out with warm water. Use salt water for added antimicrobial properties.

5. Finally, brush your teeth as normal.  For additional benefits, use my natural toothpaste recipe with baking soda, coconut oil and clove essential oil.

Note: This should be a relatively relaxing process, so don’t feel compelled to vigorously swish your mouth with oil for the entire time or else you’re bound to get sore jaw muscles. Simply move the oil in your mouth and through your teeth without swallowing any of it.

The Research

As stated by one study, “The myth that the effect of oil-pulling therapy on oral health was just a placebo effect has been broken”.

Here are just a couple studies proving oil pulling benefits on your oral and whole body health.

Oil Pulling To Prevent Cavities

In 2008, the Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventative Dentistry published a triple-blind random control trial that evaluated the effects oil pulling with sesame oil has on Steptococcus mutans bacterial count in plaque and saliva.

Twenty boys were recruited to be part of two groups; one in which 10 practiced oil pulling and another that used regular mouthwash for 10 minutes every day in the morning.

After collecting samples for 2 weeks, it was discovered that, even though the chemicals in mouth wash were slightly more effective in reducing the bacteria, oil pulling was significantly effective in killing S. mutans, one of the primary causes of cavities.

However I believe if coconut oil was used which has anti-microbial properties unlike sesame oil we may have seen that coconut oil was just as effective or more effective. 

Oil Pulling Heals Gum Disease and Bad Breath

In 2010, the same journal shared the results of a similar study that evaluated the effects oil pulling has on bad breath and oral yeast. Again, taking 20 young volunteers, the results of this study were even more in favor of oil pulling than the one above.

According to the authors, “Oil pulling therapy has been equally effective to the chemicals in mouth wash on bad breath and candida”. Additionally, the researchers discovered that oil pulling also has statistically significant effects on reducing the gingival index, a marker that determines the severity for gingivitis (gum disease).

At the end of the day, you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain from oil pulling. There are relatively no known oil pulling side effects and, as we’ve seen in the research, the list of benefits is quite remarkable. Try it today and make it a part of your natural hygiene routine!

References:

  • Asokan S, et al. Effect of oil pulling on halitosis and microorganisms causing halitosis: a randomized controlled pilot trial. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2011; 29(2): 90-4.
  • Asokan S, et al. Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study.  Indian J Dent Res 2009; 20(1): 47-51.
  • Asokan S, et al. Effect of oil pulling on Steptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2008; 26(1): 12-17.
  • Asokan S, et al. Mechanism of oil-pulling therapy – in vitro study. Indian J Dent Res 2011; 22(1): 34-7.
  • Singh A, et al. Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2011; 2(2): 64-8.
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Top 5 Lavender Oil Benefits For Healing

Lavender BenefitsAncient texts tell us that lavender essential oil has been used for medicinal and religious purposes for over 2,500 years. The Egyptians used it for mummification and as a perfume. The Romans used it for bathing, cooking and for scenting the air.

And, quite possibly the most famous usage of all, Mary used it to anoint Jesus with her hair and and some believe spikenard was made from lavender essential oil.

“Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” ~ John 12:3

Many researchers claim that 2,000 year ago lavender was referred to as spikenard or simply nard from the Greek name for lavender, naardus, after the Syrian city Naarda. This really puts the power of lavender into perspective doesn’t it?

Today, lavender oil benefits your body in the following ways: 

  • Reduces anxiety and emotional stress
  • Heals burns and wounds
  • Improves sleep
  • Restores skin complexion and reduces acne
  • Slows aging with powerful antioxidants
  • Improves eczema and psoriasis
  • Alleviates headaches

Lavender benefits infographic 3

So, How Far-Reaching Are Lavender’s Health Properties?

The truth is, we don’t know. In comparison to its rich history, science has only recently started to evaluate the range of health benefits that lavender essential oil contains.

To give you a feel of how potent this ancient plant is, we put together what we believe are the Top 5 health benefits of lavender oil and the reasons you should consider using it.

1. Antioxidant Protection

Arguably the most dangerous and most common risk factor for every disease that affects Americans, free radicals (toxins, chemicals, pollutants, etc.) are responsible for shutting down your immune system and can cause unbelievable damage to your body.

So, what’s the solution?

Antioxidants!

The body’s natural response is to create antioxidant enzymes – especially glutathione, catalase, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) – which prevent these free radicals from doing their damage.

Unfortunately, your body can actually become deficient in antioxidants if the free radical burden is great enough. Sadly, this has become relatively common in the U.S. because of poor diet and high exposure to toxins.

Thankfully, natural options abound, such as lavender essential oil, which has been proven to be nature’s antioxidant super hero.

For instance, researchers from China have recently discovered that lavender essential oil helps your body produce three of your bodies most powerful antioxidants, glutathione, catalase, and SOD within 22 hours of using lavender essential oil!

Also, Romanian scientists have seen similar results after just seven days of inhaling lavender essential oil vapor for 60 minutes a day.  They found that diffusing lavender oil protected cells from damage that can lead to cancer.

*I have many of my patients use a diffuser with their essential oils for health benefits.  I personally have one going on the desk of my office and then we have the diffuser going in the living room during the day.

2. Diabetes Treatment

Possibly the most exciting of all research concerning lavender came out in 2014. Scientists from Tunisia set out to complete a fascinating task: to test the effects of lavender essential oil on blood sugar to see if it can help diabetes.

During the 15-day study, the results observed by researchers were absolutely amazing. In a nutshell, lavender essential oil treatment protected the body from the following symptoms of diabetes: 

  • Increase in blood glucose (the hallmark of diabetes)
  • Metabolic disorders (especially fat metabolism)
  • Weight gain (ever wonder why as diabetes continues to rise, so do our waistbands!)
  • Liver and kidney antioxidant depletion (one of the reasons diabetes is lethal)
  • Liver and kidney dysfunction (ditto)
  • Liver and kidney lipoperoxidation (when free radicals “steal” necessary fat molecules from cell membranes)

Surprisingly, the radical-scavenging antioxidant activity of lavender was actually more robust than ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)!

Does this tell us that lavender essential oil should be used as a treatment option for diabetics? Maybe.

It’s just one study, but a powerful study nonetheless! We look forward to more research on this topic as natural approaches to diabetics continue to fill the scientific literature.

*You can apply lavender essential oil topically on your neck and chest, diffuse it in the air, or supplement with it for the health benefits.  

3. Improves Mood And Supports Brain

In addition to the groundbreaking diabetes research we just saw, 2013 was the year lavender was put on the pedestal for its unique ability to protect against neurological damage.

Traditionally, lavender has been used to treat neurological issues like headaches, stress, anxiety, and depression so it’s exciting to see that the research is finally catching up to history.

Just last November, for instance, an evidence-based study was published by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice.  

The study found that supplementing with 80 mg capsules of lavender essential oil alleviates anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression.

Additionally, in the study there were no adverse side effects from using lavender oil to treat anxiety, insomnia and depression.  Whereas we know pharmaceutical drugs like prozac have dangerous side effects.

And according to research, lavender essential oil benefits don’t stop there, it has also been shown to reduce symptoms and development of Alzheimer’s disease!

Last year, the journal Phytomedicine published a study which highlighted that inhaling lavender essential oil vapor for 60 minutes a day was shown to prevent brain oxidative stress in rats with dementia.

Another study published in 2012 took 28 high-risk postpartum women and found that by diffusing lavender in their home they had a significant reduction of postnatal depression and reduced anxiety disorder after a four-week treatment plan of lavender aromatherapy.

Also in 2012, the Swiss journal Molecules printed the results of a study that shockingly proved that lavender is a viable treatment option for stroke. Yes stroke!

Another study proving that lavender aromatherapy improves mood was done on people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The results revealed that just 80 mg of lavender oil per day helped decreased depression by 32.7% and dramatically decreased sleep disturbances, moodiness, and overall health status in 47 people suffering from PTSD.

*To relieve stress and improve sleep, put a diffuser by your bed and diffuse oils while you sleep at night or in the family room while you’re reading or winding down in the evening.  Also, can be rubbed topically behind your ears for the same benefits.

4. Lavender Heals Burns and Cuts

Widely known for its antimicrobial properties, lavender has a rich history of being used to prevent various infections and combat bacterial/fungal disorders. In fact, almost 100 studies have been conducted establishing this truth over and over again.

Also, we have found that lavender oil speeds the healing of burns, cuts, scrapes and wounds and a big part of this is because of it’s anti-microbial properties.

For example, in a study evaluating how lavender’s antimicrobial ability is enhanced when blended with other essential oils like clove, cinnamon and tea tree oil. Specifically, a 1:1 ratio of these oils was found to be the most effective in fighting against Candida albicans and Staph aureus, which are both common causes for many fungal and bacterial infections that lead to respiratory pneumonia and skin funguses.

*For burns or eczema, mix lavender oil with coconut oil in 1:5 ratio for rapid healing.

5. Lavender Oil Benefits Skin 

Most likely due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics, lavender essential mixed with aloe or coconut oil has profound benefits on your skin.

Just 10 drops per 1 ounce of aloe vera or oil will sooth the worst sunburn and bring rapid healing to dry skin, minor cuts and scraps.

Research has even proven its ability to speed recovery from canker sores and can prevent allergic reactions!

Want to reduce age spots?  Try mixing lavender oil with frankincense essential oil and put it on your skin first thing in the morning, right after you shower and right before bed.  Success stories of these two oils improving age and sunspots are numerous.

Do you want to smell good without using toxic perfumes?  Lavender oil is a great scent for women and for men, you may consider using cedar wood essential oil or frankincense essential oil.

As you can see, lavender essential oil benefits are incredible and it has many medicinal and therapeutic uses.

When buying lavender essential oil make sure you are buying from a high quality brand that is therapeutic grade and that is organic, so it hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals.

Are YOU excited to try lavender essential oil?

Update:

Learn more about my upcoming line of essential oils, click here and watch the video.

 

References:

  • Sebai H, et al. Lavender (Lavandula stoechas L.) essential oils attenuate hyperglycemia and protect against oxidative stress in alloxan-induced diab etic rats. Lipids Health Dis 2013; 12(1):189.
  • de Rapper S, et al. The In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity of Lavandula angustifolia Essential Oil in Combination with Other Aroma-Therapeutic Oils. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013; 2013:852049.
  • Amorati R, et al. Antioxidant activity of essential oils. J Agric Food Chem 2013; 61(46): 10835-47.
  • Hancianu M, et al. Neuroprotective effects of inhaled lavender oil on scopolamine-induced dementia via anti-oxidative activities in rats. Phytomedicine 2013. 15; 20(5): 446-52.
  • Hichem Sebai, et al. Lavender (Lavandula stoechas L.) essential oils attenuate hyperglycemia and protect against oxidative stress in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Lipids Health Dis 2013; 12:189.
  • Wang D, et al. Neuroprotective activity of lavender oil on transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice. Molecules 2012; 15; 17(8):9803-17.
  • Kasper S. An orally administered lavandula oil preparation (Silexan) for anxiety disorder and related conditions: an evidence based review. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract 2013; 17 Suppl 1:15-22.
  • Conrad P, et al. The effects of clinical aromatherapy for anxiety and depression in the high risk postpartum woman – a pilot study. Complement Ther Clin Pract 2012 Aug; 18(3):164-8.
  • Uehleke B, et al. Phase II trial on the effects of Silexan in patients with neurasthenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or somatization disorder. Phytomedicine 2012; 19(8-9):665-71.
  • Altaei DT, Topical lavender oil for the treatment of recurrent aphthous ulceration. Am J Dent 2012; 25(1):39-43.
  • Kim HM, et al. Lavender oil inhibits immediate-type allergic reaction in mice and rats. J Pharm Pharmacol 1999; 51(2):221-6.
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20 Unique Apple Cider Vinegar Uses and Remedies

Apple cider vinegar is one of my top two natural remedies that I use every day along with coconut oil.  I recommend it to my patients and take it personally for several reasons including detoxification, improved digestion and for a quick burst of energy.

Also, I use it for personal care reasons like conditioning my hair, whitening my teeth and as a household cleaner.

New medical research also suggests that apple cider vinegar can help cure acid reflux, lower blood pressure, improve diabetes, and support weight loss.  The benefits of apple cider vinegar come from it’s powerful healing compounds which include acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes.

Make sure when buying apple cider vinegar you buy it raw and with the “mother” which means it still contains the beneficial compounds including probiotics.

Here are the top 20 reasons you should be using apple cider vinegar everyday!

Apple Cider Vinegar Infographic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Detox Your Body

Apple cider vinegar is a liver and lymphatic tonic which can help detox your body.  It helps balance your body’s pH and stimulates cardiovascular stimulation, bowel motility and lymphatic drainage.  For this reason it’s one of my key ingredients in the Dr. Axe Secret Detox Drink.

2. Natural Conditioner to Make Hair Shine

ACV can be used as a natural hair conditioner and makes your hair shine!  Take an old shampoo bottle, then fill it will 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water.  Pour this on your hair after shampooing three times per week for best results.

3. Natural Teeth Whitener

Take finger and rub apple cider vinegar on your teeth for 1 minute.  Then rinse mouth out with water.  The pH of apple cider vinegar can remove stains from your teeth which helps naturally whiten.

4. Can Cure Acid Reflux and Heartburn

Some of the main causes of acid reflux and heartburn are an imbalanced stomach pH and lack of enzymes and probiotics.  Apple cider vinegar is full of all of these nutrients. Adding 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water and drinking it five minutes before meals can cure acid reflux.

5. Can Kill Candida (Yeast) and Boost Probiotics

Millions of people around the world struggle with candida and yeast.  The side effects can be bad breath, lack of energy, UTI’s and digestive issues.  ACV contains probiotics and a type of acid that promotes the growth of probiotics which help kill off candida.  Remove sugar from your diet and consume 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar 3x daily as part of a candida cleanse.

6. Regulates Your Bodies pH

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which is acidic in nature but has a more alkaline effect on the rest of your body.  Balancing your bodies pH can reduce your risk of chronic illnesses like cancer and can dramatically increase your energy.

7. Can Support Weight Loss and Metabolism

A study published in the Journal of Diabetes Care found that consuming apple cider vinegar could promote weight loss.  There are several reasons ACV promotes fat loss but one of those reasons include that ACV reduces sugar cravings and improves detoxification.  Another study found that supplementing with the acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar reduced body fat in mice by 10%.

8. An All-Natural Household Cleaner

The anti-bacterial properties and the balanced pH of apple cider vinegar make it a perfect household cleaning product.  Fill a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% ACV then spray windows and counters for cleaning.

9. Soothe a Sunburn

Put 1 cup of apple cider vinegar in a lukewarm bath along with 1/4 cup of coconut oil and lavender essential oil to ease sunburnt skin.

10. Balances Blood Sugar and Improves Diabetes

Medical research has proven that the acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar can balance blood sugar and improve diabetes.  Put apple cider vinegar on salads or consume 1 tablespoon in water before meals.

11. Heal Poison Ivy

The minerals in apple cider vinegar like potassium can help reduce swelling and inflammation, improving poison ivy.  Also, ACV can help detox the poison out of your skin helping poison ivy heal more quickly.

12. Repel Fleas on your Pets

Mix a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar together and soak your pet in a tub.  Do this 1x a day for several weeks to rid your pet of a flea infestation.

13. Lower Blood Pressure

In a 2009 12-week study they found that consuming apple cider vinegar lowered triglycerides and blood pressure significantly.

14. Fight Seasonal Allergies

Another miracle cure of ACV is for allergies.  ACV helps break up mucous in your body and support lymphatic drainage.  It also supports the immune system and can clear your sinuses.  Put 2 tablespoons in a large glass of water and drink 3x daily for allergies.

15. Kill Fungus on Toes and Skin

The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds in apple cider vinegar make it a great natural cure for skin and toenail fungus.  Simply rub on the area of fungus 2x daily.  Also, using a mixture of coconut oil and oil of oregano is great for killing fungus.

16. Skin Toner for Eczema and Acne

The pH of apple cider vinegar make it an excellent remedy for skin issues.  Rub apple cider vinegar on an area or use it to wash an area then put coconut oil and essential oils on area to support further healing.

17. Ease Varicose Veins

Apple cider vinegar is excellent for varicose veins because it improves circulation in the vein walls and is anti-inflammatory so reduces bulging veins.  Combine apple cider vinegar with witch hazel and rub on veins in circular motion and you should see improvements in two weeks.

18. Natural Deodorant 

Bad bacteria and yeast are a major cause of body odor.  The armpit can stay damp which also makes it a breading ground for bad bacteria.  Simply dabbing some apple cider vinegar on your fingers and running it into your armpit can kill yeast and neutralize odors keeping you smelling fresh all day.

19. Cure a Cold and Sore Throat 

Apple cider vinegar is the ultimate remedy to cure a cold and sore throat fast!  Because it’s loaded with vitamins and probiotic boosting acetic acid it’s a great natural cure.  Take 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in one glass of water 3x daily to cure a cold.

20. ACV Cures Warts 

Put apple cider vinegar topically on wart and then cover in band aide or bandage.  Leave on overnight and remove in the morning.  You may see results in one week or it could take longer.  Thousands have sworn that apple cider vinegar cured warts and other skin issues.

This is only a few of the many apple cider vinegar uses and natural remedies.

Do you use apple cider vinegar?  If so, how do you use it?

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8 Greatest Probiotic Foods You Should Be Eating

8 Ult Probiotic InfographicAre you getting enough probiotic rich foods in your diet? Chances are you’re probably not.  Probiotic foods are essential for your digestive health, which most people already know.

But did you know there are hundreds of other health benefits of consuming probiotic rich foods that you might not be aware of?

In this article I want to cover the great 8 probiotic foods you should consider adding into your diet today and how they can benefit you.

Probiotic Foods Incredible Benefits

Probiotics are good bacteria that primarily line your gut and are responsible for nutrient absorption and supporting your immune system.  If you don’t have enough probiotics, the side effects can include: digestive disorders, skin issues, candida, autoimmune disease and frequent colds and flus.

Historically, we had plenty of probiotics in our diet from eating fresh foods from good soil and by fermenting our foods to keep them from spoiling.

However, today because of refrigeration and dangerous agricultural practices like soaking our foods with chlorine, our food contains little to no probiotics and most foods today actually contain antibiotics which kill off the good bacteria in our bodies.

By adding more probiotic foods into your diet, you could see all of the following health benefits:

  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased energy from production of vitamin B12
  • Better breath because probiotics destroy candida
  • Healthier skin, since probiotics improve eczema and psoriasis
  • Reduced cold and flu
  • Healing from leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Weight loss

Sound good?  If you want all of these benefits, then it’s time to start consuming these probiotic foods for better health.

The Great 8 Probiotic Foods

 

Glass pitcher of milk standing on grass close up#1 Kefir – Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of milk and fermented kefir grains.  Kefir has been consumed for well over 3000 years and the term kefir was started in Russia and Turkey and means “feeling good”.

It has a slightly acidic and tart flavor and contains anywhere from 10 to 34 strains of probiotics.  Kefir is similar to yogurt, but because it is fermented with yeast and more bacteria the final product is higher in probiotics.

 

Sauerkraut with carrot in wooden bowl garlic spices cabbage on a cutting board#2 Cultured Vegetables (Sauerkraut and Kimchi) – Made from fermented cabbage and other vegetables, sauerkraut is not diverse in probiotics, but is high in organic acids (what gives food it’s sour taste) which support the growth of good bacteria.  Sauerkraut is extremely popular in Germany today.

Kimchi is a cousin to sauerkraut and is the Korean take on cultured veggies.  Both of the fermented formulas are also high in enzymes which can aid digestion.

 

Grape Kombucha#3 Kombucha -  Is an effervescent fermentation of black tea that is started by using a SCOBY also known as a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.  Kombucha has been around for over 2,000 years originating around Japan.

Many claims have been made about kombucha but it’s primarily health benefits include digestive support, increased energy and liver detoxification.

 

Fresh Organic Coconut Water in a Glass ** Note: Shallow depth of field#4 Coconut Kefir - Made by fermenting the juice of young coconuts with kefir grains.  This dairy-free option for kefir has some of the same probiotics as traditional dairy kefir but is typically not as high in probiotics.  Still, it has several strains that are great for your health.

Coconut kefir has a great flavor and you can add a bit of stevia, water and lime juice to it and make a great tasting drink.

 

a container of natto(fermented soy beans) on the table#5 Natto – A popular dish in Japan consisting of fermented soybeans.  Natto contains the extremely powerful probiotic bacillus subtilis which has been proven to bolster your immune system, support cardiovascular health and enhance digestion of vitamin K2.

Also, Natto contains a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme called nattokinase that has been proven to fight cancer.

 

A bowl of yogurt with fresh raspberries on top with a spoonful of it.#6 Yogurt – Possibly the most popular probiotic food is live cultured yogurt or greek yogurt made from the milk of cows, goats, or sheep.

Yogurt in most cases can rank at the top of probiotic foods if it comes from raw grass-fed animals.  The problem is there is a large variation on the quality of yogurts on the market today.  It is recommend when buying yogurt to look for 3 things.  First, that it comes from goat’s or sheep milk, second, that it is grass-fed, and third, that it is organic.

tankard of kvass and rye breads with ears, on wooden table on brown background#7 Kvass – This is a common fermented beverage in Eastern Europe since ancient times.  It was traditionally made by fermenting rye or barley, but in more recent years has been created using beets, fruit along with other root vegetables like carrots.

Kvass uses lactobacilli probiotics and is known for it’s blood and liver cleansing properties and has a mild sour flavor.

 

Parmesan Cheese  Isolated On White Background Close Up. Piece Of#8 Raw Cheese – Goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and A2 cows soft cheeses are particularly high in probiotics, including thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus.  Always buy raw and unpasteurized cheeses if you want to receive any probiotics.

 

 

 

What is your favorite probiotic food?  Have you experienced health benefits from taking probiotics?

8 Probiotic Foods Infographic 1

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Honey and Cinnamon Benefits and Natural Cures

Honey and Cinnamon Natural CuresCould the honey and cinnamon cure work for you? Cinnamon has been used by Chinese and Ayurvedic folk medicine for over 2,000 years and honey also has a rich history dating back to ancient Greek, Roman, Vedic, and Egyptian texts.

The healing properties of honey were even referenced by Aristotle (384 – 322 BC) and Aristoxenus (320 BC). Countless stories from people being cured from everything from diabetes (type 2) to acne have filled the natural health testimonials since honey and cinnamon were first discovered.

Here are some of the most historically common ways honey and cinnamon have been used to treat and heal various health conditions:

Honey Cinnamon Infographic 3

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Honey and Cinnamon Under Fire

Ever since Beatrice Dexter wrote an article for The Weekly World News tabloid in 1995 claiming that honey and cinnamon can cure virtually anything, this tasty combo has been under hot scrutiny by health enthusiasts and scientists alike.

At this point, conclusive evidence suggesting that a honey and cinnamon mixture will produce miraculous results is lacking in the scientific literature, which is why the medical community is quite reluctant to recommend it to their patients.

However, in my opinion, if you take the individual healing properties of each, it is not preposterous to assume that if one is good by itself, then the two combined can only be great!

I see this a lot in essential oil studies where specific blends have healing property several times more potent than the individual ingredients and I suspect the same thing is true with honey and cinnamon.

Honey and Cinnamon Health Benefits

Cinnamon (cassia) has been shown to be especially beneficial in treating digestive disorders, menstrual discomfort and joint pain because of its high content of cinnamaldehyde (the anti-inflammatory molecular compound that gives cinnamon its flavor and odor).  Honey is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to being full of nutrients such as:

  • Amino acids
  • Vitamin C
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Zinc

At the end of the day, recent research is just tapping into the powerful antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics of honey and cinnamon. It is most likely that these powerful healing properties have led to “miracle” healings for countless people since the beginning of time.

8 Medicinal Uses for Honey and Cinnamon

The reasons these two superfoods create such a powerful effect on the body vary, but they generally center on their ability to control inflammation, combat free radicals and boost the immune system. Some other common health benefits oftentimes experienced by people mixing honey and cinnamon together are:

1. Allergies – A perfect example of how cinnamon can help with allergies can be seen in an Egyptian study that evaluated its ability to control the powerful allergen house mites. This allergen has become a global problem and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment states that at least 45% of young people with asthma are allergic to house dust mites!

Researchers from Egypt tested the effect that various essential oils had in killing the highly allergic house mite and found that cinnamon was the most potent agent.

Regarding honey, taking just a teaspoon of local raw honey every day can boost your immune system by helping build a tolerance to local pollen and naturally fight allergies.

The International Archives of Allergy and Immunology published an article that tested this theory and discovered that pre-seasonal use of birch pollen honey helped people with birch pollen allergies by lowering total symptoms by 60%, experiencing twice as many asymptomatic days, having 70% fewer days with severe symptoms, and by using 50% less antihistamines compared to the group that took conventional meds.

2. Diabetes – Recent studies published out of the journals Nutrition Research and Parmacognosy Research suggest that up to 1,500 mg of cinnamon supplementation benefits the lipid profile, liver enzymes, insulin resistance, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in diabetics and people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients (the #1 cause of liver disease in the world).

According to a study out of Dubai, honey has been observed to cause a lower elevation of plasma glucose levels in diabetics compared to dextrose and sucrose. Some suggest that the insulin boosting power of cinnamon can counteract this glucose elevation in honey, which would make your honey/cinnamon mixture a low glycemic index food!

3. Acne & Skin Infection – Cinnamon oil mixed with honey is used all over the world to treat skin conditions such as acne and skin infections because of its antimicrobial capacity.

Researchers from Iran have even discovered that because of its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties honey is actually more potent in treating wounds and burns and result in less skin infection than conventional medicine!

4. Common Cold – In a study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, cinnamon essential oil was found to be highly effective in slowing the growth of a number of bacteria and fungus including E. coli, Candida, and Staph aureus (microorganisms that can cause a number of diseases including the common cold).

Essentially, when regularly combined with immune-boosting raw honey, many people never get sick at all. Or, if they do get sick with the common cold, they recover rapidly!

5. UTI – The Iran Journal of Medical Sciences published a study this past year that evaluated 28 plant extracts against Gram-negative such as E. coli (the main cause of urinary track infections).

Cinnamomum zeylanicum ranked in the top 4 most potent, which provides an explanation to why people who supplement cinnamon and antibacterial honey into their diets reportedly suffer from less UTI’s than people who don’t.

6. Digestive issues – Honey and cinnamon have become quite popular in managing digestive issues such as constipation, nausea, and ulcers. Because honey is predigested nectar, it is easy for the body to break it down, which can soothe an aggravated system.

Cinnamon, because of its antimicrobial characteristics, has helped countless people with bacterial overload in their digestive system; especially with people suffering from an E. coli infection as you just read in the study out of Iran.

7. Energy – Chinese folk medicine has used cinnamon to promote a healthy flow vital energy for centuries, and because of its insulin-boosting property, cinnamon has been known to give people energy as it stabilizes your blood sugar.

And, of course, honey is pure energy. So, when you take a teaspoon mixture of the two, you get a low-glycemic boost to help fuel your burst training or when you simply need a pick-me-up throughout the day!

8. Gingivitis – The past few years, several studies have come out claiming that Manuka honey can help cure gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Due to its superior antimicrobial properties, researchers from the School of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand discovered that chewing/sucking on a Manuka honey product not only caused a 35% decrease in plaque, it led to a 35% reduction in bleeding sites in people suffering from gingivitis!

When combined with the powerful antimicrobial cinnamon, regular use of the amazing mixture can do wonders to your smile!  Honey and cinnamon benefits are proving to be a winning combination.

To make this amazing and simple recipe just mix:

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Do you eat honey and cinnamon? What benefits have you found from this amazing superfood mixture?

 

References:

  • NCCAM. Cinnamon. [Internet]. No copyright – public domain. Available at: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/cinnamon
  • Potter M. House dust mites. [Internet]. Copyright 2010. Available at: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef646.asp.
  • Saad el-Z, et al. Acaricidal activities of some essential oils and their monoterpenoidal constituents against house dust mite, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Acari: Pyroglyphidae). J Zhejiang Univ Sci B 2006; 7(12):957-62.
  • Ooi LS, et al. Antimicrobial activities of cinnamon oil and cinnamaldehyde from the Chinese medicinal herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume. Am J Chin Med 2006; 34(3):511-22.
  • Yaghoobi R, et al. Evidence for Clinical Use of Honey in Wound Healing as an Anti-bacterial, Anti-inflammatory Anti-oxidant and Anti-viral Agent: A Review. Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod 2013; 8(3):100-104
  • Saarinen K, et al. Birch pollen honey for birch pollen allergy–a randomized controlled pilot study. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2011; 155(2):160-6.
  • Askari F, et al. Cinnamon may have therapeutic benefits on lipid profile, liver enzymes, insulin resistance, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients. Nutr Res 2014; 34(2):143-8.
  • Al-Waili NS. Natural honey lowers plasma glucose, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and blood lipids in healthy, diabetic, and hyperlipidemic subjects: comparison with dextrose and sucrose. J Med Food 2004;7(1):100-7.
  • Ranasinghe P, et al. Effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) on blood glucose and lipids in a diabetic and healthy rat model. Pharmacognosy Res 2012; 4(2):73-9.
  • English HK, et al. The effects of manuka honey on plaque and gingivitis: a pilot study. J Int Acad Periodontol 2004; 6(2):63-7.

 

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Turmeric Proven Superior To 10 Medications At Reversing Disease

http://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/Turmeric, the main spice in curry, is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and reversing disease.  It has so many healing properties that currently there have been 6,235 peer-reviewed articles published proving the benefits of turmeric and one of it’s renowned healing compounds curcumin.

This puts turmeric on top of the list as one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs in all of science and the next most popular studied herbs include garlic, cinnamon, ginseng, ginger and milk thistle.

Of the 6000+ studies referencing curcumin, the most interesting finding is that when turmeric is compared to conventional medicine it’s benefits equal that of the pharmaceutical medications.  In fact, a number of studies have even reported that using curcumin is more advantageous than prescription drugs.

Just look at these turmeric benefits:

Turmeric Benefits Infographic

 

When examining the research, turmeric benefits go beyond that of these 10 drugs:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Anti-depressants (Prozac)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Anti-coagulants (Aspirin)
  • Pain killers
  • Diabetes drugs (Metformin)
  • Arthritis medications
  • Inflammatory bowel disease drugs
  • Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor)
  • Steroids


Now let’s jump deeper into the research on turmeric benefits at reversing specific diseases.

10 Drugs That Cannot Compare to Turmeric Benefits

Although the list is much longer, we’ve selected 10 drugs that pale in comparison to turmeric in reversing disease. As you read this report, keep in mind that one of the most powerful advantages curcumin has over the traditional medical approach is the lack of side effects.

1. Anticoagulants/Antiplatelets

Medical intervention generally includes the following medications to slow and prevent blood clotting:

  • Aspirin
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Diclofenac
  • Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)
  • Naproxen
  • Warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Unfortunately, for people with conditions that are treated by these drugs (i.e. deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism), this approach may not always be the wisest decision. In addition to common side effects like excessive bleeding and hemorrhage, the risks associated with anticoagulants abound and include everything from back pain to headaches to difficulty breathing.

Turmeric, on the other hand, has relatively no known side effects unless taken in extremely excessive amounts.

Additionally, ever since several groundbreaking studies in the mid-1980s, the curcumin in turmeric has been suggested by researchers as actually being a better option for those with vascular thrombosis.

2. Anti-depressants 

Although few studies have been conducted on humans, dozens of research trials have proven that turmeric is especially effective in correcting depression symptoms in laboratory animals.

To address this issue, the journal Phytotherapy Research published the results of an amazing, innovative study this past year.  The study took 60 volunteers diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and split the group to determine how patients treated by curcumin fared against fluoxetine (Prozac) and a combination of the two. 

Not only was it discovered that all patients tolerated curcumin well, but they discovered curcumin was as effective as Prozac in managing depression.

According to the authors, “This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in patients with Mild Depression.”

3. Anti-inflammatories

Arguably, the most powerful aspect of curcumin is its ability to control inflammation. 

The journal Oncogene published the results of a study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective, while curcumin, is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world

This news should have reached every household in the world after the study was conducted because inflammation puts people at risk for almost every disease process known to man.

Diseases today such as cancer, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, high cholesterol and chronic pain can be the result of inflammation.

As you will see below in several other articles related to chronic illness, keep this in the back of your mind: Turmeric’s key to disease reversal may be its ability to keep inflammation at bay. 

4. Arthritis management 

Because curcumin is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reducing characteristics, a study was conducted on 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients to compare the benefits of curcumin in turmeric to arthritis drugs (diclofenac sodium), that put people at risk of developing leaky gut and heart disease.

The study split these volunteers into three groups: curcumin treatment alone, diclofenac sodium alone, and a combination of the two. The results of the trial were eye-opening:

The curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall [Disease Activity Score] scores and these scores were significantly better than the patients in the diclofenac sodium group. More importantly, curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not relate with any adverse events. Our study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA, and highlights the need for future large-scale trials to validate these findings in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions.

Published by Phytotherapy Research in 2012, the results of this study has encouraged more human research to evaluate the amazing effects curcumin-rich plants like turmeric has on people suffering from various different types of arthritis.

5. Cancer treatment 

Of all the various topics scientists have tackled in regards to the curcumin and disease reversal, cancer (of various types) is one of the most thoroughly researched topics. In the words of global authorities like Cancer Research UK,

A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells. 

A 2007 American study that combined curcumin with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer cells in a laboratory showed that the combined treatment killed more cancer cells than the chemotherapy alone. 

States-side, the American Cancer Society states,

Laboratory studies have also shown that curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread. Researchers have reported that curcumin blocked the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in rodents.

Recently, curcumin has received a great deal of focus because of it’s ability to reduce tumor size and kill cancer cells.

Bottom line: Turmeric works incredibly well to help stop cancer in its tracks and is especially effective at treating breast cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer.

6. Diabetes management 

For lowering blood sugar and reversing insulin resistance there’s arguably no better natural treatment than adding turmeric into your diet.

In 2009, Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications published a study out of Auburn University that explored how supplementing with turmeric can help reverse diabetes.

The study discovered that curcumin in turmeric is literally 400 times more potent than Metformin (a common diabetes drug) in activating AMPK which improves insulin sensitivity which can help reverse Type 2 Diabetes.

In addition to correcting the causes of diabetes, curcumin has also been proven to help reverse many of the issues related to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia.

Take, for instance, diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy.  One of the most common complications of diabetes is damaged blood vessels which cause blindness.

A study found that supplementing with curcumin can delay this horrible complication of diabetes because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

7. Gastrointestinal treatments 

Oftentimes, people with digestive and stomach complaints become intolerant to medical interventions because the stomach flora is already compromised and drugs can literally tear up the mucosal lining.

An in-depth analysis of all the studies evaluating curcumin’s ability to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBS, Crohn’s disease, and Ulcerative Colitis) found that many patients were able to stop taking their prescribed corticosteroids because their condition improved so dramatically by taking curcumin! 

For many patients with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) corticosteroids reduce their pain symptoms, but damage the intestinal lining over time actually making the condition worse.

However, supplementing with curcumin did not have these side effects and, because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties, actually helped heal the gut and supported the growth of good bacteria (probiotics).

8. Cholesterol regulators 

One of the reasons heart disease is such a problem in the U.S. is that people are developing pre-diabetes (excessive blood sugar) at an alarming rate.

In turn, diabetics and non-diabetics alike are suffering from a common complication called oxidative stress, which damages the inside of blood vessels.  Because of this damage to the arteries, cholesterol begins to build up to patch up the damaged areas which leads to high levels of LDL cholesterol. 

Traditionally, statin drugs (like Lipitor) are widely known to harm the kidneys and liver and cause a number of deadly side effects.  They do bring cholesterol down but never address that actual cause which is oxidative stress that is caused by high blood sugar levels and inflammation.

Thankfully, medical doctors are becoming more and more aware of the dangerous side effects of statin-drugs and prescribing natural alternatives like curcumin and fish oil instead!

A study done by Drugs in R & D found that curcumin was equal or more effective than diabetes medications at reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the treatment of high cholesterol.

Studies like these are causing pharmaceutical companies to try and design a synthetic form of curcumin that unfortunately, will not work as well as the real thing.

9. Painkillers 

One of the more widely accepted properties of curcumin in scientific communities is its ability to manage pain.

Just this past year the European Journal of Pharmacology published research that discovered curcumin naturally activates the opioid system in diabetic rats. Typically manipulated by drugs, this natural process serves as the body’s inherent pain-relieving response. 

Not being limited to diabetic pain conditions, an interesting study also published late last year gives us a clue as to the wide array of pain conditions that can be treated by curcumin.

Take, for instance, severe burns. Typically, burn victims are treated by dangerous opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. However, because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research suggests that, curcumin should be used to treat burns instead of these conventional medications.

The trend should becoming clear at this point. Therapeutic use of turmeric and other curcumin-rich plants are displacing conventional medical treatments.

10. Steroids 

Lastly, we’ll take a look at how turmeric affects the many conditions normally treated by corticosteroids such as:

  • Psoriasis
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Chronic pain                                                                                                                                                                                  

In a 1999 breakthrough clinical study, it was found that curcumin has the ability to cure chronic inflammation of the eye.  Typically this condition was only treated with steroids but today it’s common for medical doctors who practice functional medicine to prescribe curcumin instead.

What cannot be overstated, however, is that although statistically “comparable” to steroids in managing and reversing chronic disease, “The lack of side effects with curcumin is its greatest advantage compared with corticosteroids,” as stated by the authors in the above study out of K.G. Medical College.

To give you a sense of the amount of suffering alleviated by curcumin, the following is a sample of steroid side effects listed by the UK’s National Health Services (NHS):

  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cataracts
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Diabetes onset
  • Glaucoma
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Increased appetite (oftentimes leading to increased weight)
  • Indigestion
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney and thyroid issues
  • Mood disturbances (including aggression, irritability, short temperament and rapid mood swings mimicking bipolar disorder)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea
  • Risk of infection
  • Stunted growth in children
  • Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
  • Thinning skin (leading to easy bruising)

Ultimately, when taking into account the large amount of deadly complications these 10 drugs puts your body at risk for, it is easy to see how taking therapeutic curcumin is superior to most medicines. If you have any of the diseases above, you will want to consider this natural approach first. For those of you who aren’t sick, taking turmeric will serve you well as a preventative measure.

What If I Have To Take Drugs?

If you’re in the position where you must be on prescription medications, don’t discount the need to include ample amounts of fresh, organic turmeric into your diets because it will help reduce the adverse affects of the medicine.

A study that was published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology describes how combing curcumin with prednisolone (a steroid) effectively reduces the side effects of this dangerous medication.

One of my favorite recipes for including turmeric benefits into your diet is turmeric tea “liquid gold”.

Amazingly, anti-arthritic activity and a marked reduction in steroid toxicity was seen when supplementing with curcumin.

At the end of the day, the research speaks for itself and we cannot think of one reason why EVERYONE shouldn’t be taking some form of turmeric every day.   Whether as a supplement or a spice to flavor your food, you will certainly be satisfied with turmeric benefits for your body!

References:

American Cancer Society. Turmeric. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/turmeric.

Banafshe HR, et al. Effect of curcumin on diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain: Possible involvement of opioid system. Eur J Pharmacol 2013; [Epub ahead of print].

Cancer Research UK. Can turmeric prevent or treat cancer? Available at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/cancer-questions/can-turmeric-prevent-bowel-cancer.

Cheppudira B, et al.  Curcumin: a novel therapeutic for burn pain and wound healing. Expert Opin Investig Drugs 2013; 22(10): 1295-303.

Kuncha M, et al. Curcumin potentiates the anti-arthritic effect of prednisolone in Freund’s complete adjuvant-induced arthritic rats. J Pharm Pharmacol 2014; 66(1): 133-44.

Lal B, et al. Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis. Phytother Res 1999; 13(4): 318-22.

NHS. Anticoagulant medicine – side effects. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Anticoagulant-medicines/Pages/Side-effects.aspx.

NHS. Side effects of corticosteroids. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Corticosteroid-(drugs)/Pages/Sideeffects.aspx.

Ng SC, et al. Therapeutic strategies for the management of ulcerative colitis. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2009; 15(6): 935-50.

R Srivastava, et al. Effect of curcumin on platelet aggregation and vascular prostacyclin synthesis. Arzneimittelforschung 1986; 36(4): 715-7.

Sanmukhani J, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Phytother Res 2013; [Epub ahead of print].

Sun J, et al. Preventive effects of curcumin and dexamethasone on lung transplantation-associated lung injury in rats. Crit Care Med 2008; 36(4): 1205-13.

Taylor RA, et al. Curcumin for inflammatory bowel disease: a review of human studies. Altern Med Rev 2011; 16(2): 152-6.

Teayoun K, et al. Curcumin activates AMPK and suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression in hepatoma cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2009; 388(2): 377-82.

Usharani P, et al. Effect of NCB-02, atorvastatin and placebo on endothelial function, oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, 8-week study. Drugs R D. 2008; 9(4): 243-50.

Yasunari Takada, et al. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-kappaB activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D1, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation. Oncogene 2004; 23(57): 9247-58.

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40 Coconut Oil Uses and Cures

40 Coconut Oil InfographicCoconut oil might just be the most versatile health food on the planet. Not only is it my favorite cooking oil, but coconut oil uses are countless and can be used for everything from deodorant to toothpaste and body lotion to weight loss aid.

Coconut oil contains a three unique fatty acids in lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid that are some of the rarest in nature.  These medium chain fatty acids (MCFA’s) have tremendous health benefits and are easy burn as fuel for energy and have anti-microbial properties.

 

 

Some of the top benefits of using coconut oil include:

  • Balance Hormones
  • Kill Candida
  • Improve Digestion
  • Moisturize Skin
  • Reduce Cellulite
  • Decrease Wrinkles and Age Spots
  • Balance Blood Sugar and Improve Energy
  • Improve Alzheimer’s
  • Increase HDL and Lower LDL Cholesterol
  • Burn Fat

Are you ready to see some incredible results?  Here are my top 40 coconut oil uses in 3 categories: Food Uses, Body Care and Natural Medicine.

Food Uses

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1. Cooking at High Heat - Best oil for cooking because it has a high smoking point and is superior to olive oil.

Cooking coconut

2. On Toast Instead of Butter – Spread coconut oil on your sprouted grains bread instead of butter.

3. Energizer - Mix 1 tbsp coconut oil with 1/2 tbsp chia seeds as energy fuel.  The MCT’s in coconut oil plus nutrients in chia will send your energy soaring.

4. Coconut Oil Coffee – Adding a spoonful of coconut oil to your coffee can give you an extra boost of energy and replace dairy creamer.

5. Chocolate Fondue – Mix 4 tbsp coconut oil with 1 dark chocolate bar then melt on medium heat.  Then take fruits like strawberries and banana’s and dip then in the chocolate sauce.

6. Smoothies - Add 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil to fruit smoothie to improve texture and increase healthy fat intake.

7. Popcorn topping – Use in making homemade stovetop popcorn.  Pour over organic popcorn and then sprinkle on some sea salt for non-GMO popcorn.

8. Non-stick oil – Best oil to use when cooking eggs for non-stick.  Let skillet with coconut oil get warm then add eggs in to cook.

9. Homemade Mayo – Use as oil in homemade mayonnaise recipe mixed with egg yolks.

10. Sweet Potato Topping – Put on baked sweet potato and then sprinkle on cinnamon.  Also, use for sweet potato fries recipe.

11. Baking Oil - Use in baking recipes like brownies to replace other oils.  Also perfect for greasing pans so foods don’t stick.

Body Care

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12. Skin moisturizer - Apply 1 tsp of coconut oil to hands and rub into needed areas for hydration.

13. Mineralizing toothpaste - Mix equal parts of coconut oil with baking soda then add a few drops of peppermint essential oil for homemade toothpaste.

14. Lip Balm – Can soothe chapped lips.  Can also mix with beeswax and lavender essential oil for homemade chap stick.

15. Coconut Shampoo – Coconut can cleanse hair and great if used with apple cider vinegar.

Coconut tincture

16. Oil Pulling – To oil pull Swish oil between teeth for 5-20 minutes to kill bad bacteria and freshen your breath.

17. Natural Deodorant Excellent as natural deodorant and can be used for deodorant recipe by mixing with baking soda and essential oils.

18. Face Wash – Coconut oil can be used in natural face wash recipe to cleanse an moisturize.  Lavender and tea tree essential oils are also excellent.

19. Wound Salve – Perfect to use as wound ointment because of anti-microbial properties.  Put on just like you would neosporin.

20. Hair Conditioner - Add to hair as conditioner to repair split ends.  Rub in hair and leave in for 30 minutes, then rinse.

21. Body Lotion – Use coconut oil by itself as natural body lotion or mix as part of body butter recipe with shea butter.

22. Cellulite Solution – Use as cellulite-reduction cream with grapefruit essential oil.  Mix 1 tbsp coconut oil with 10 drops of grapefruit essential oil then massage into area after getting out of shower.

23. Eye Makeup Remover – Use with cotton swab as eye makeup remover instead of chemicals.

24. Shaving cream – Excellent replacement for shaving lotion that provides a gentle glide for a razor and soothes skin.

25. Bath Soak – Mix 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil, with 1/4 cup epsom salts for an incredible healing bath.

26. Sunscreen / Sunburn remedy – Coconut oil is an SPF 4 and can soothe and moisturize skin from sunburn.

27. Personal Lubricant – Often used as personal bedroom lubricant and won’t disturb vaginal flora like other lubricants.

28. Anti-Aging Skincare – Put coconut oil on skin before bed to reduce age spots and wrinkles.

29. Massage Oil – Coconut oil works as the perfect massage oil and when mixed with lavender and peppermint essential oils can relax and heal sore muscles.

30. Insect repellent – Mixing coconut oil with essential oils of peppermint, rosemary, tea tree and citronella are more effective and safer than DEET at keeping bugs away.

Natural Medicine

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Coconut tincture

31. Alzheimer’s Treatment - Take 1 tbsp daily to support brain health and prevent Alzheimer’s as part of ketogenic diet.

32. Aromatherapy – Used as perfect carrier oil when making home remedies with essential oils.

33. Candida Killer – Coconut oil contains caprylic acid which has anti-microbial properties that can kill yeast and candida.

34. Fat Burning Supplement - The MCT’s found in coconut oil have been proven to support weight loss and help your body burn fat for energy.

35. Hormone Balancer – The healthy fats in coconut oil support the thyroid and adrenal glands which can lower cortisol to naturally balance hormones.

36. Digestive Support – Coconut oil is easy to digest and contains compounds that destroy bad bacteria, promote growth of probiotics and heal leaky gut.

37. Anti-Fungal Cream – Can be used topically to treat athletes foot and skin fungus.

38. Blood Sugar Stabilizer – Coconut oil can help balance blood sugar levels and has been medically proven to improve diabetes.

39. Healing Ointment - Can be used as cream to heal dry and flaking skin for those with Eczema and Psoriasis.

40. Cholesterol Supplement – The healthy fats in coconut oil have been proven to increase HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol supporting heart health.

As you can see, coconut oil uses are numerous and so are the health benefits.

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Do you use coconut oil?  If so, how do you use it?

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Coconut Remedies Infographic

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Raw Milk Heals Skin, Allergies and Immunity

Pouring milk in the glass on the background of nature.If you’ve been told that drinking raw milk is dangerous, you’ve been mis-lead!  The truth is raw milk benefits your body in many ways and you shouldn’t miss out on this amazing superfood.

I did extensive research on claims made by the FDA and CDC that raw milk is dangerous and found that their accusations were completely unwarranted.

In fact, according to medical researcher Dr. Ted Beals, MD, you are 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than you are from raw milk!

The CDC reports show an estimated 48 million food borne illnesses each year and only 42 (about 0.0005) are reported from those who drink fresh, unprocessed milk.
As you can see, most concerns over raw milk have been overstated and I believe that the heath benefits have been extremely underrated.  Raw milk benefits are numerous and can help address a large number of nutritional deficiencies you may be experiencing.

Some of the main reasons over 10 million Americans drink raw milk on a regular basis include:

  • Healthier skin, hair and nails
  • Stronger immune system
  • Reduced allergies
  • Increase in bone density
  • Neurological support
  • Weight loss
  • Building lean muscle

And these are just a few of the benefits!  What makes raw milk such an incredible superfood?  Let’s take a look at it’s nutritional profile and it will become quite clear.

Raw Milk Nutritional Profile

Raw milk is truly one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world and has a nutritional profile unlike any other food.  I understand if you’ve been cautious in the past about drinking raw milk because of all the negative media, but I’m sure you’ll see why more and more people are drinking raw milk everyday.  Here are 5 reasons raw milk benefits are out of this world!

#1  Fat Soluble Vitamins A, D, and K2 – Since raw milk comes from cows grazing on grass, research studies have shown that it contains a higher level of heart healthy, cancer killing, fat-soluble vitamins.

Studies have shown that one of the most common deficiencies in children is a lack of fat soluble vitamins.  These vitamins support the brain and nervous system and are crucial for development, focus and brain function.  Also, fat soluble vitamins support bone density and help naturally balance hormones.

#2  Short Chain Fatty Acids, CLA and Omega-3’s – In addition to being high in Omega-3s, raw milk is a rich source of butyrate, a short chain fatty acid that is widely known to control health issues related to inflammation, slow metabolism and stress resistance.

In fact, researchers in Japan conducted a study on mice that suggests that butyrate can be used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease!

Also, raw grass-fed milk is packed with CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which has been proven to fight cancer and help reduce body fat.

#3  Minerals: Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium – Raw milk is one of the highest sources of minerals.  One serving of raw milk contains about 400 mg of calcium, 50 mg of magnesium and 500 mg of potassium.

These minerals are vitally important for cellular function, hydration, building bone density, circulation, detoxification, muscle health and metabolism and also happen to be three minerals many people are deficient in.

#4  Probiotics: Kefir, Cheese, Yogurt – Probiotics are only found in small amounts in raw milk but when you ferment raw milk to make kefir, yogurt or cheese the good bacteria dramatically increases.  In fact, there are no other foods in the world as high in probiotics as cultured dairy products.

Probiotics are microorganisms that line your gut and support nutrient absorption and protect you from foreign invaders like E. coli and parasites. The best way to include probiotics in your diet is in their most natural state, which includes raw milk products such as cheese, kefir and yogurt. Some disorders probiotic rich foods are known to help with include:

  • Colon cancer
  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Skin infections
  • Weakened immune system
  • Urinary track infections
  • Vaginal yeast infections

#5  Whey Protein and Immunoglobulins – By far, the best tasting curds and whey come from raw milk.  Whey protein is fantastic for anyone who is looking to burn fat and build muscle.  Whey is high in the following enzymes and proteins and the best way to get these immunity boosters is in their natural form which is real, raw milk.

  • Alpha-lactalbumin
  • Beta-lactoglobulin
  • Bovine serum albumin
  • Immunoglobulin

As you can see, raw milk is loaded with nutrients that support healing.  There is no other food in the world that contains such a stunning nutritional profile.

Problems With Pasteurization

Dairy products have gotten a bad rap over years because of the pasteurization process.  When milk is pasteurized it destroys many of the nutrients that make raw milk beneficial.

According to medical studies the following nutrients that are destroyed or altered during pasteurization include:

Nutrient and Immune Factors Pasteurized Milk Raw Milk
  Vitamin A  35% Reduction  100% Active
  Vitamin C  25 to 77% Reduction  100% Active
  Vitamin E  14% Reduction  100% Active
  Iron  66% Reduction  100% Active
  Zinc  70% Reduction  100% Active
  B-Complex Vitamins  38% Reduction  100% Active
  Calcium  21% Reduction  100% Active
  Enzymes  100% Destroyed  100% Active
  Immunoglobulins  Damaged  100% Active
  Whey Protein  Denatured  100% Active

As you can see, nutrients are greatly reduced during the pasteurization process, but in truth the damage is much worse than this chart shows.

If you consider the fact that many of these nutrients are not only reduced, but altered from their original state, you can understand that some of these nutrients are completely unavailable for your body to use.

For instance, in a study published in the Journal of Dairy Research found low temperature pasteurization decreases vitamin C content by 25%.

But the authors go on to explain that the vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is oxidized into dehydroascorbic acid which is an inactive degraded form of vitamin C.  So in reality, you may not be digesting any vitamin C at all.

Another major negative of pasteurization is that it destroys the enzymes needed to break down and absorb certain nutrients.  In the previously mentioned study, they found lactase (the enzyme in dairy) levels are greatly reduced with pasteurization so we now have an explanation to why so many people are lactose intolerant.

A survey conducted by the Weston A. Price Foundation found that of the 700 families interviewed 80% of those diagnosed with lactose intolerance stopped having symptoms when they switched to raw milk.

Raw Milk Benefits for Skin

As we’ve seen, the benefits of raw milk are numerous but possibly the most common reason people consume it is to benefit their skin.  The success stories of people consuming raw milk to improve conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne are very common.

Raw milk benefits the skin for the following reasons:

Healthy fats - because raw milk contains large amounts of healthy saturated fats and omega-3 fats it supports skin hydration.

In fact, some people don’t only consume raw milk, they use raw milk as a moisturizer topically.  Today, goat milk soap bars are popular as well as making homemade moisturizing face cream.

To make raw milk face cream simply mix:

  • 2 tablespoons of raw cream
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Then put on face for 2-5 minutes then rinse off.

Probiotics - the probiotics in raw milk can kill off bad bacteria in your gut and in your face that can cause acne and skin issues like eczema.

Kefir is quite possibly the highest probiotic rich food on the planet. Using kefir as a face wash and taking it internally can kill off bad bacteria that is a main cause of dry, flaking skin and acne.

Raw Milk Benefits for Allergies

Studies are now proving that children who drink raw milk are 50 percent less likely to develop allergies and 41 percent less likely to develop asthma compared to other children.

This study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology was done on 8,000 children and the researchers believe that by drinking raw milk you are “naturally immunizing” the body the way God created.

Nutrients like probiotics, vitamin D and immunoglobulins (antibodies) found in raw milk naturally boost the immune system and reduce the risk of allergies in both children and adults.

Where to Buy Raw Milk

There are 3 main places I personally buy raw dairy products.

1. Local farmers market – I go to my local farmers market and buy raw goat’s milk kefir, raw cheeses and plain raw milk.  In the state I live it is labeled “for pet consumption only” and while I do give raw milk to my dog, my whole family enjoys the benefits of raw milk from the farmers market.

2. Whole Foods Market - I buy a lot of “raw” cheeses at health food stores.  Whole Foods has a large selection of raw cheeses including raw sheep cheese which is my absolute favorite.  For an appetizer or dessert we will dip our cheese in raw local honey.

3. Online – There are online companies that sell raw dairy products like Beyond Organic, Wise Choice Market and Real Milk where you can have raw cheese shipped right to your front door.

Do you drink raw milk or eat raw dairy products?  What do you consume and what do you love about them?

References:

CDC. Raw Milk Questions and Answers. [Internet]. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-questions-and-answers.html#history.

University of Granada. “Goats’ Milk Is More Beneficial To Health Than Cows’ Milk, Study Suggests.” ScienceDaily 2007.

Guyenet S. Butyric Acid: an Ancient Controller of Metabolism, Inflammation and Stress Resistance? 2009.

Medical News Today. Gut bacteria’s fatty acid boost immune system, reducing inflammation.

Macdonald LE, Brett J, Kelton D, Majowicz SE, Snedeker K, Sargeant JM. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of pasteurization on milk vitamins, and evidence for raw milk consumption and other health-related outcomes. Journal of Food Protection 2011: 749(11): 1814-32.

Lewis, L.R., The relation of the vitamins to obstetrics, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 29.5:759. May, 1935.

Panfili G, Manzi P, Pizzoferrato L. Influence of thermal and other manufacturing stresses on retinol isomerization in milk and dairy products. Journal of Dairy Research 1998: 65: 253-260.

Zurera-Consano G, Moreno-Rojas R, Amaro-Lopez M. Effect of processing on contents and relationships of mineral elements of milk.  Journal of Food Chemistry 1194, 51(1): 75-78.

Gabriella Study Group. The protective effect of farm milk consumption on childhood asthma and atopy. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2011. 128(4): 766-773.

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Astaxanthin Benefits 6,000x Stronger Than Vitamin C

Astaxanthin benefitsYou may have heard of beta-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin and lutein, but have you heard of astaxanthin?  Astaxanthin is found in wild caught salmon and krill and astaxanthin benefits are numerous especially when it comes to reducing age spots and boosting energy levels.

Astaxanthin is an anti-oxidant in the carotenoid family that gives salmon it’s red-orange color.  Research published in The Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism suggests astaxanthin can reduce oxidative stress, inflammation and enhance the immune system! According to several studies when it comes to eliminating free radicals astaxanthin can be as much as:

*550 times stronger than vitamin E

*800 times more powerful than CoQ10

*6000 times more potent than vitamin C Astaxanthin was even found to be more than 500 times more powerful than catechins found in green tea!  Here is a quick summary of astaxanthin benefits for your health.

  • Reduce wrinkles and age spots
  • Improve vision
  • Support joint health
  • Reduce signs of aging
  • Improve endurance and exercise recovery
  • Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Improve skin and reduce sun damage
  • Increase energy
  • Improve focus and ADHD 

As you can see the health benefits of astaxanthin are truly amazing!

Benefits of Astaxanthin on Aging

As we age, our cells change and can more easily become damaged through oxidation.  Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that protects your cells from oxidation so your cells stay younger and free from damage.  According to researchers at Washington State University, taking an astaxanthin supplement could have a major impact on slowing the aging process and giving you glowing clear skin.

Another study confirms the findings of the above research.  Animals given 20 mg astaxanthin daily for four months had improved cellular function in their white blood cells and also better glutathione levels. The scientists who tested the animals believe that the supplement worked by repairing damage to their DNA and protein, two vital processes in the body tied closely to aging.

Astaxanthin Benefits Reduce Age Spots

In the early 1990s, astaxanthin showed up as a food supplement on health food store shelves but wasn’t as well-known for its properties as beta-carotene or other carotenoids. That may be because there were far more studies on other carotenoids or because its anti-inflammatory properties aren’t as sensational as that of fish oil or curcumin.

However, astaxanthin has antioxidant benefits that far-outweigh those of fish oil by itself. In one Japanese study, scientists gave 3 mg supplements of astaxanthin twice daily to 30 women between the ages of 20 and 55 at the end of breakfast and dinner. The women also applied an additional 1 ml of astaxanthin topically onto their face twice daily after they washed their face in the morning. They did this for eight weeks.  Japanese researchers found that by taking the astaxanthin, the women’s skin improved with respect to wrinkles, texture, elasticity, and age spots.

And in another study by the same researchers, men who took the oral supplements (but not the topical application) experienced similar decreases in wrinkles and elasticity of the skin. As we age, there are major changes that occur in the skin in all these areas that the scientists tested. Our number of wrinkles increase, sometimes to the point where we don’t even want to look in the mirror. 

Our skin elasticity decreases, becomes less supple, and age spots can begin to occur. The skin’s production of oil decreases as well as the moisture content, especially in those with dry skin. As a result, we tend to look tired and not as vibrant as in our younger years.  But with astaxanthin, we find this decline is delayed and improved. Astaxanthin has also been found to inhibit the negative effects of UV-A light by decreasing the secretion of IL-6.

This means that this carotenoid would significantly protect against photo-aging damage such as sagging and wrinkles. There is strong evidence that astaxanthin could be the most powerful anti-aging antioxidant in the world but it has other benefits as well including improving energy and endurance.

Astaxanthin Benefits Increase Energy and Athleticism

One of the best ways to determine whether or not a supplement works for athletes is to test its effects on free radicals and antioxidant levels in the body after exercising. Exercise is a known producer of free radicals.  The greater the body’s ability to quench free radicals, the quicker an athlete can recover from a workout session. 

Researchers who tested the health benefits of astaxanthin on soccer athletes who took supplements of astaxanthin for 90 days found they had excellent results. Exercising increased all the soccer athletes’ free radical production and oxidative stress. However, the group that took the astaxanthin prevented the rise in free radicals and depletion of antioxidants.

This says a lot for how the supplements could make a difference in recovering from workouts. Tests on athletes who were cyclists in Louisiana found that a supplement of 4 mg astaxanthin per day taken for 28 days had significantly better cycling time trial scores and greater power output than those who didn’t.

Should you use astaxanthin? It’s up to you… but if you goals are to slow aging, enhance energy and improve brain health then it’s an excellent choice.

References

Tominaga, K., Hongo, N., Karato, M., and Yamashita, E. Cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin on human subjects. ACTA Biochimica Polonica 2012, Vol. 59, (1):43-47.

Sugarnuma, K., Nakajima, H., Ohtsuki, M., and Imokawa, G.. Astaxanthin attenuates the UVA-induced up-regulation of matrix-metalloprotein-1 and skin fibroblast elastase in human dermal fibroblasts. J Dermatol Sci 2010 May;58(2);136-42.

Djordevic, B., Baralic, I., Kotur-Stevuljevic, J., Stefanovic, A., Ivanisevic, J., Radivojevic, N., Andjelkovic, M., and Dikic, N. Effect of astaxanthin supplementation on muscle damage and oxidative stress markers in elite young soccer players. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2012 Aug;52(4):382-92.

Earnest, C.P., Lupo, M., White, K.M., and Church, T.S. Effect of astaxanthin on cycling time trial performance. Int J Sports Med 2011 Nov;32(11):882-8.

Park, J.S., Mathison, B.D., Hayek, M.G., Zhang, J., Reinhart, G.A., and Chew, B.P. Astaxanthin modulates age-associated mitochondrial dysfunction in healthy dogs. J Animal Science 2013 Jan;91(1)268-75.

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Oregano Oil Benefits Superior To Prescription Antibiotics

Benefits of Oregano OilDesigned specifically for bacterial infections, antibiotics are medical doctors’ favorite tools against most issues that walk into their offices. But oregano oil benefits are proving to be superior to some antibiotics, without the harmful side effects. 

Unfortunately, the antibiotics prescribed by most medical doctors today have horrendous side effects including: causing antibiotic resistance, destroying good bacteria (probiotics), reducing vitamin absorption and damaging the digestive lining causing leaky gut.

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Magnesium Benefits Plus Top 10 Magnesium Rich Foods

Top 10 Magnesium Foods“Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency and it’s the missing cure to many diseases,” according to Dr. Norman Shealy. Magnesium is an essential mineral for cellular health and is essential for over 300 biochemical functions in the body.

A study published in BMC Bioinformatics found that your body has 3,751 magnesium binding sites. This indicates that magnesium benefits are far greater than previously imagined. Because your body requires and uses magnesium for so many different functions, you can quickly become deficient. 

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Splenda Linked To Diabetes, IBS and Cancer

splenda-linked-diabetes-cancer2

New ground-breaking research reveals that SPLENDA® may cause Diabetes and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  Also, it could increase your risk of cancer. This comes as a shock to many people in the diabetes and weight loss community who were told by the creators of Splenda that it would NOT effect their blood sugar and metabolism in any way.

Well I’m here to tell you, you’ve been lied to!  Splenda has now been scientifically proven to harm your digestive system and cause insulin spikes increasing your risk of diabetes.

The ingredients that make up Splenda (sucralose) are chlorine, dextrose and maltodextrin (which are made from GMO corn).  Splenda is made by replacing hydrogen atoms with chlorine atoms.  And because of the large amount of chlorine you are getting when you consume sucralose you can actually get chlorine poisoning and cellular toxicity!

Splenda Linked To Type 2 Diabetes

Does Splenda cause Diabetes? A new study published in the journal Diabetes Care, has discovered that if you are consuming Splenda the risk of developing diabetes is profound. 

According to the study daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 36% greater risk of metabolic syndrome and a 67% greater risk of having type 2 diabetes!

Late last year, Diabetes Care published an article that evaluated this phenomenon for the first time with human subjects. Taking 17 obese individuals who were insulin sensitive, oral glucose tolerance tests were evaluated after consuming either sucralose or water 10 minutes before the test. 

In addition to revealing that there was an “increase in peak plasma glucose concentrations” in these people, it was discovered that there was a 23% decrease in insulin sensitivity, which prevents glucose absorption in cells.

If that side effect of Splenda wasn’t bad enough research also suggests that sucralose destroys probiotics and can lead to digestive disorders like IBS and leaky gut.

Sucralose Causes IBS and Leaky Gut

Several years ago, researcher Xin Qin MD, PhD from New Jersey Medical School found that consuming Splenda causes IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The researcher Dr. Qin made this discovery when he found that in just 20 years Alberta Canada experienced a 643% increase in IBD prevalence!

This led Qin to conduct his study and here’s what he found:

Sucralose has a more detrimental effect on gut bacteria than other artificial sweeteners such as saccharin because 65% to 95% of sucralose is excreted through feces unchanged!

In 1991, Canada became the first country in the world to approve the use of sucralose as an artificial sweetener.

Confidentially, there was as direct correlation between the amount of sucralose consumed and the increase in inflammatory bowel disease.

Essentially, the understanding we now have is that, because the body cannot digest sucralose, it travels through the human GI track damaging it as it goes killing probiotics and harming the intestinal wall causing leaky gut.

Several studies have confirmed Qin’s suspicions. For instance, the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health published a study out of Duke University Medical Center describing that Splenda not only significantly reduces beneficial bacteria in the gut, is also increases your fecal pH which will decrease the amount of nutrients you can absorb.

Splenda and Cancer

Can Splenda cause cancer?  Any animal or human that consumes chlorine on a regular basis is at risk for developing cancer.  The Merk Manual and OSHA Harzardous Waste Handbook states that chlorine is carcinogenic (means causes cancer) and emergency measures should be taken when exposed via swallowing, inhaling or through the skin.

If you are only exposed to a small amount of chlorine on occasion your body can eliminate chlorine through detoxification channels like your bowels, kidney’s and liver.  But if you consume it daily it could increase cancer risk.

Also, a new study published in the journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that when you cook with sucralose (Splenda) at high temperatures it generates chloropropanols which is a toxin that has been linked to cancer.  So make sure you never cook with Splenda because it becomes even more harmful.

Stevia to the Rescue!

I’ve written about it before and I’ll continue to promote a more natural sweetener. I just recently stumbled up an amazing study that compares the effects of stevia, sugar, and alternative sweeteners on food consumption, satiety (the feeling of being “full”) and glucose/insulin levels after eating.

And guess what? Stevia won again!

The article, published in the journal Appetite, took 19 healthy lean people and 12 obese individuals between 18 and 50 years old and had them complete three tests in which they consumed stevia, sucrose (table sugar) or aspartame before eating lunch and dinner.

It’s no surprise that when these people consumed stevia they did not feel hungry and overeat during their meals like they did when they consumed sucrose.

Additionally, the researchers also reported that, “Stevia significantly reduced post-meal glucose levels compared to to those who consumed sugar or aspartame.

In other words, they discovered that stevia literally helps normalize blood sugar levels and reduce your risk for diabetes compared to the blood sugar spike people experience when they drink sugary or diet beverages before, during or after meals.

This information needs to be shared. Many of our friends and family have been duped to believe that artificial sweeteners like SPLENDA® are the “savior” to prevent diabetes and obesity. But nothing is further from the truth. The health risks associated with these toxins are veritably limitless and as research continues to investigate the details, more negative effects are surfacing!

Share this article with your loved-ones who consume these harmful chemicals today!

Sources:

  • http://www.splenda.com/faq/no-calorie-sweetener#how-is-splenda-brand-sweetener-made
  • Swithers SE. Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements. Trends Endocrinol Metab 2013; 24(9): 431-41.
  • Frank GK, et al.  Sucrose activates human taste pathways differently from artificial sweetener. Neuroimage 2008; 39: 1559–1569.
  • Ford HE, et al.  Effects of oral ingestion of sucralose on gut hormone response and appetite in healthy normal-weight subjects. Eur. J. Clin Nutr 2011; 65: 508–513.
  • Qin X. What made Canada become a country with the highest incidence of inflammatory bowel disease: Could sucralose be the culprit? Can J Gastroenterol 2011; 25(9): 511.
  • Abou-Donia MB, et al. Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p-450 in male rats. J Toxicol Environ Health A 2008; 71(21): 1415-29.
  • Pepino MY, et al. Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glucose load. Journal Diabetes Care 2013; 36(9): 2530-5.
  • Nettleton JA, Lutsey PL, Wang Y, Lima JA, Michos ED, Jacobs DR Jr. Diet soda and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis. Diabetes Care 2009; 32(4): 688–694.
  • Pepino MY, et al. Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glucose load. Diabetes Care 2013; 36(9): 2530-5.
  • Qin X, et al. Etiology of inflammatory bowel disease: a unified hypothesis. World J Gastroenterol 2012; 18(15): 1708-22.
  • Abou-Donia MB, et al. Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p-450 in male rats. J Toxicol Environ Health A 2008; 71(21): 1415-29.
  • Stephen D. Anton, et al. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite 2010; 55(1): 37–43
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Is Palm Oil as Good as Coconut Oil?

Palm-Oil-Vs-Coconout-OilOf all the tropical oils, coconut oil gets the most attention while, up until recently, red palm oil (the virgin, unrefined version) has been relatively ignored by most folks in the U.S.

At this point, a growing number of health enthusiasts are aware that coconut oil is not only a super food, but the reigning king of healthy oils. Grocery shelves are stocked with it in health food and general stores alike. For most people unrefined, virgin coconut oil has a distinct pleasant flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes. Red palm oil, on the other hand has a distinct flavor, that many Americans don’t like. Maybe because it’s unfamiliar to our palates or maybe because we’ve been spoiled by coconut oil!

In either case, thanks to a Dr. Oz review and a ton of research coming out, many are wondering if red palm oil has taken over the #1 spot and should be crowned the new king of healthy oils.

Palm Oil and Natural Health

People spanning the coastal regions of West and Central Africa and Central and South America have heralded it as a “sacred food” for over 4,000 years, and for good reason.

According to Cambridge World History of Food, “The view still persists in some circles that palm oil is an unhealthy tropical grease, and it is difficult for palm oil producers to counter this perception because the product had little or no public image among Western and Asian consumers before the start of the recent media debate.”

However, this image seems to be changing as palm oil has gained considerable attention the past few years in natural health and research circles.

Benefits of Red Palm Oil

It all started about a decade ago during the early 2000s, in what appears to be an independent search. Researchers from Monash University (Australia) and University of Uyoin (Nigeria) began to analyze the key components that make palm oil so unique and both came up with strikingly similar conclusions:

Red Palm Oil Benefits It is one of the few fatty fruits in existence, it’s likely to hold a substantial place in the human diet and is the second most consumed vegetable oil in the world. It is different from other plant and animal oils in its fatty acid composition (50% saturated, 40% unsaturated, and 10% polyunsaturated) in that it does NOT promote atherosclerosis or arterial thrombosis.

Where coconut oil has around 90% MCFA’s (fat your body can easily burn for energy) palm oil only contains around 50% MCFA’s.

But in addition to MCFA’s, palm oil is also loaded with the following phytonutrients:

  • Carotenoids (alpha-,beta-,and gamma-carotenes)
  • Sterols (sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol)
  • Vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols)
  • Water-soluble powerful antioxidants, phenolic acids and flavonoids

Subsequently, the health benefits of palm oil include reduced risk of a variety of disease processes including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arterial thrombosis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Cataracts
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Macular degeneration
  • Platelet aggregation (blood clotting)
  • Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol levels)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Vitamin A deficiency

Fresh vs. Oxidized Palm Oil

Palm oil can be sold in a fresh state or at various levels of oxidation. Oxidation is a result of processing the oil for various culinary purposes. However, a considerable amount of the commonly used palm oil is in the oxidized state, which poses potential dangers to the biochemical and physiological functions of the body.

Unlike fresh palm oil, oxidized palm oil induces an adverse lipid profile, reproductive toxicity and toxicity of the kidney, lung, liver, and heart. This may be a result of the generation of toxicants brought on by oxidation. In contrast to oxidized palm oil, red or refined palm oil at moderate levels in the diet of experimental animals promotes efficient utilization of nutrients, favorable body weight gains, induction of hepatic (liver) drug metabolizing enzymes, adequate hemoglobinization of red cells and improvement of immune function.

Avoid Processed and Hydrogenated Palm Oil

In a nutshell, you want to avoid all processed, hydrogenated oils like the plague. Even the amazing health benefits of palm oil are completely negated due to this harmful process that extends shelf life. Stay safe and keep your shelves stocked with UNREFINED, COLD-PRESSED oils!

Positive Effects on Inflammation and Oxidative Stress 

At the end of 2013, the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study that evaluated the antioxidant activity of the oral application of oil palm leaves extract (OPLE) in mice with diabetes. Just 4 weeks after administering a relatively high dose in the animals, scientists observed that OPLE began to improve kidney dysfunction and fibrosis, which are commonly associated with diabetic neuropathy.

Fascinatingly, they also noticed that oxidative stress markers and inflammation, which are directly related to the most common causes of death in the world (cancer and heart disease) began to decrease. Although doctors are hesitant to announce that palm oil is the new treatment for these deadly diseases, this type of research is certainly turning heads!

More Vitamin A, E than Any Other Plant-Based Oil

Arguably one of the most beneficial of its many positive attributes is that red palm oil contains the most abundant amount of vitamins A and E of any plant-based oil.

Vitamins A and E are praised for everything from killing cancer cells to preventing strokes. No wonder palm oil production has doubled since 1995.

In 2011, Ohio State University Medical Center researchers set out to determine just the potency of α-tocotrienol, the most potent neuroprotective in Vitamin E. They observed some pretty amazing results. Not only did they discover that a 200 mg tocotrienol-enriched supplement significantly reduced stroke-induced lesions in the brain, it literally prevented loss of white matter fiber tract connectivity.

Essentially, this tells us that Vitamin E-rich foods like red palm oil can help protect the brain from ischemic attack. Scientists also noticed that red palm oil induced new blood vessel growth, which in turn provides further protection for the brain and heart during a stroke.

Is Palm Oil Better Than Coconut Oil?

At this point in the research game, it appears that discovering new benefits of red palm oil are only limited by funding and the creativity of scientists and doctors to design new studies.

To answer the question everyone seems to be asking: “Which is better, Palm Oil or Coconut Oil?” 

Although I love what I’m seeing about palm oil, at this point coconut oil still maintains a strong #1 position in my opinion, with red palm oil coming in second. If I had to pick a third, it would be extra virgin olive oil.

The jury may still be out on this one, but it looks like we have a good race going on here!

Final Note:
When buying palm oil, make sure to only buy CSPO certified sustainable palm oil. Unfortunately there are some large companies that are destroying trees in order to harvest palm oil. Simply check the brand you’re buying to make sure they are certified sustainable and you won’t only be improving your health but you will be improving the world.

What is your favorite type of oil or fat you cook with?

Resources:

  • Cambridge World History of Food. Palm Oil. Available at: http://www.cambridge.org/us/books/kiple/palmoil.htm
  • Edem DO. Palm oil: biochemical, physiological, nutritional, hematological, and toxicological aspects: a review. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2002; 57(3-4): 319-41.
  • Rink C et al. Tocotrienol vitamin E protects against preclinical canine ischemic stroke by inducing arteriogenesis. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2011; 31(11): 2218-3
  • Varatharajan R, et al. Antioxidant and pro-oxidant effects of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) leaves extract in experimental diabetic nephropathy: a duration-dependent outcome. BMC Complement Altern Med 2013; 13: 242.
  • Wattanapenpaiboon N, et al. Phytonutrient deficiency: the place of palm fruit. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2003; 12(3): 363-8.
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Secrets for Reversing Hair Loss and Balancing Hormones

The cause of hair loss is linked to an increase in an androgen hormone called DHT (DiHydroxy Testosterone). Managing this and other hormones is key to halting and reversing hair loss.

In this video I go over the 6 compounds that you should be consuming to balance your hormones and keep your hair full and healthy.

1. Saw Palmetto is an herb that’s been shown to block DHT. Supplement with 1500mg per day

2. Adaptogenic Herbs help your body adapt and deal with stress, balance hormones and reduce cortisol levels (also known as the aging hormone). Ashwaganda and Rhodiola are two of the adaptogenic herbs that help stop and reverse hair loss. Take 500mg of each per day.

3. Pumpkin Seed Oil is packed with zinc which has been shown to stop hair loss. Supplement with 1 Tbsp per day.

4. B-Complex Vitamins – Biotin helps thicken your hair naturally and Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) supports your adrenal glands

5. Zinc boosts your immune system and repair your gut

6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids (fish oil) reduce inflammation and balance hormones, Look for a high quality fish oil like Axe Naturals, Garden of Life or Nordic Naturals.

Bonus Tip: Grains and sugars feed bad bacteria, cause estrogen to increase, and cause DHT to increase which promotes hair loss.

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Dr. Axe Show – Ep. 22 – Tony Horton talks P90X and his newest book “The Big Picture: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life”


IMG18551-199x300Meet Tony Horton, the master behind the best selling fitness program in America P90X.  Tony helps people get fit all over the world by keeping them motivated in health, physique, and lifestyle.  Over the last 20 years Tony has acquired, perfected, and shared his fitness expertise with countless individuals across America. From professional athletes, sports teams, television and major movie stars, recording artists to the average American, Tony has helped people turn their lives around with the perfect mix of encouragement, humor, discipline and fun.

In his newest book, The Big Picture: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life ($18 on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1dOsGnJ), Tony offers “11 Laws that provide a clear path and purpose for achieving life goals and obtaining optimal health.”

In this interview, we’ll talk about how Tony went from aspiring actor to Rock Star Trainer in Los Angeles. Tony  explains the importance of a defined purpose that gets you out of bed in the morning, and we’ll also dig into his new book The Big Picture: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life.

Click Here to Download the Transcript – Ep. 22

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7 Reasons to Drink Kombucha Everyday

Benefits of KombuchaKnown as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with tremendous health benefits

Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and cane sugar that is used as a functional food.  Kombucha contains b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic, and lactic), which have the following health benefits:

  • Improving Digestion
  • Weight Loss
  • Increasing Energy
  • Cleansing and Detoxification
  • Immune Support
  • Cancer Prevention

The sugar-tea solution is fermented by bacteria and yeast and is commonly known as a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).

You can make kombucha yourself at home or buy it for $3-5 a bottle at most health food stores and some coffee shops. An article published in the journal Food Microbiology has established that the following probiotics make up this health elixir.

Good Bacteria and Yeast (Probiotics):

  • Gluconacetobacter (>85% in most sample)
  • Acetobacter (<2%)
  • Lactobacillus (up to 30% in some samples)
  • Zygosaccharomyces (>95%)

Ultimately, this cocktail of good bacteria interact together in a unique way to produce some unbelievable health benefits for those who drink it.

7 Health Benefits of Kombucha Infograph

Why Every Person Should Drink Kombucha

In the newest research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food 2014, researchers from the University of Latvia say the following about the health benefits of kombucha:

It is shown that [kombucha] can efficiently act in health preservation and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of boosting immunity.

We agree! In fact, according to research there are 5 main health benefits of kombucha.

#1 Detoxification – The detoxifying capacity of kombucha is immense. A perfect example has been observed in its ability to counteract liver cell toxicity.

In one study, the liver cells being evaluated were protected from oxidative injury and actually maintained their normal physiology, in spite of being exposed to the toxin! According to researchers, this was “probably due to its antioxidant activity and could be beneficial against liver diseases, where oxidative stress is known to play a crucial role.”

#2 Digestion – Naturally the antioxidant prowess of this ancient tea counteracts free radicals that create mayhem in the digestive system. However, the greatest reason kombucha supports digestion is because of its high levels of beneficial acid, probiotics and enzymes.

Extensive work has even been conducted to test kombucha’s ability to prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers. No surprise to us, it was proven to be as effective as drugs like Prilosec, which are commonly prescribed for heartburn, GERD, and ulcers.

#3 Energy – Kombucha’s ability to invigorate people has been credited to the formation of iron that is released from the black tea during the fermentation process.  It also contains some caffeine and b-vitamins, which can energize the body.

Through a special process known as chelation, the iron released helps to boost blood hemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy producing process at the cellular level. In other words, by helping the body create more energy (ATP), the ancient tea can help those who regularly drink stay energized for extended periods of time.

#4 Immune Health – The overall effect that kombucha has to modulate the immune system is best seen in its ability to control free radicals through unbelievable antioxidant measures.

Clinically proven to decrease oxidative stress and related immuno-suppression, a powerful antioxidant known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL) has been discovered during the kombucha fermentation process that is not found in black tea alone. Also, we know the probiotics found in kombucha support the immune system.

Scientists suspect that DSL and the Vitamin C present in kombucha are its’ main secrets in protecting against cell damage, inflammatory diseases, tumors and overall depression of the immune system.

#5 Joint Care – Kombucha can help heal, repair and prevent joint damage in a number of ways. Kombucha is loaded with glucosamines, which increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. This supports the preservation of collagen and prevents arthritic pain. In the same way it supports joint collagen it can also support collagen of the entire body and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

#6 Cancer Prevention – Kombucha has also been proven beneficial for cancer prevention and recovery.  A study published in Cancer Letters found that by consuming glucaric acid found in kombucha reduced the risk of cancer in humans.

President Reagan reportedly drank kombucha daily as part of his regimen to battle stomach cancer.

#7 Weight Loss – Data from a study in 2005 showed evidence that kombucha can improve metabolism and limit fat accumulation.  Though we’ll need to see more studies before we can confirm these results, it makes sense that kombucha supports weight loss since it’s high in acetic acid and polyphenols which have in other studies been proven to increase weight loss.

 

As you can see kombucha boasts many health benefits! So drink up for your health.

Have you ever made or consumed kombucha?  Do you consume it for the health benefits or for the taste?

 

References:

  • American Cancer Society. Kombucha Tea. Available at: http://www.cancer.org
  • Bhattacharya S, et al. Protective effect of kombucha tea against tertiary butyl hydroperoxide induced cytotoxicity and cell death in murine hepatocytes. Indian J. Exp Biol 2011; 49:       511–524.
  • Bhattacharya S, et al. Hepatoprotective properties of kombucha tea against TBHP-induced oxidative stress via suppression of mitochondria dependent apoptosis. Pathophysiology 2011; 18:221–234.
  • Banerjee D, et al. Comparative healing property of kombucha tea and black tea against indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration in mice: possible mechanism of action. Food Funct 2010; 1: 284–293.
  • Danielian LT. Kombucha and Its Biological Features. Meditsina, Moscow, 2005.
  • Dufresne C, et al. Tea, kombucha and health: a review. Food Res Int 2000; 33: 409–421.
  • Fu NF, et al. Clearance of free silica in rat lungs by spraying with chinese herbal kombucha. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013; 2013:790792.
  • Marsh AJ, et al. Sequence-based analysis of the bacterial and fungal compositions of multiple kombucha (tea fungus) samples. Food Microbiol 2014; 38:171-8.
  • Rashid K, et al. An update on oxidative stress-mediated organ pathophysiology. Food Chem Toxicol 2013; 62:584-600
  • Sai Ram M, et al. Effect of kombucha tea on chromate(VI)-induced oxidative stress in albino rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2010; 71: 235– 240.
  •  Vīna I, et al. Current Evidence on Physiological Activity of Kombucha Fermented Beverage and Expected Health Effects. J Med Food 2013; [Epub ahead of print]

 

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Surprise! What’s Really In a Chicken Nugget?

What's Really in a Chicken NuggetWe’ve known for a long time that fast food chicken nuggets aren’t healthy, but new research is showing just what these fast food favorites are really made of, and it includes high amounts of partially hydrogenated oils, GMO oils, sodium, “other” ingredients and numerous chemicals.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine has found that 60% of the meat in a chicken nugget is actually fat, blood vessels, ground bone and gristle. 

Companies like Burger King claim “all white meat”, KFC says “100% breast meat, and McDonald’s states “made with USDA inspected white meat” but the research is showing otherwise..

If you consider that only 50% of the nugget itself is made up of chicken that means that only 20% of a chicken nugget is actually meat so what makes up the other 80%?  You’re about to find out.

According to the ingredients listed on McDonald’s website they also put these suspect ingredients into their chicken nugget mix:

  •  TBHQ
  •  Autolyzed Yeast Extract (often contains MSG)
  •  GMO Corn
  •  Dimethyl Polysiloxane Anti-foaming Agent
  •  Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
  • Sodium
  • Bleached Wheat (gluten)
  • Sugar (dextrose)

These ingredients are downright scary at best and dangerous to your health and your families’ health.

Overall Nutritional Composition May Surprise You

Ten nuggets served without sauce gives you 22 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 30 grams fat, 270 calories, and 900 mg sodium.  The protein isn’t bad but the large amount of hydrogenated fat and sodium are extremely high for the amount of calories.

 

Unhealthy Hydrogenated Oil

Most everyone in the health industry agrees that hydrogenated oils cause disease and obesity. The 30 grams of fat in these nuggets are sure to cause heart disease and inflammation throughout the body.

The different types of genetically modified oils in nuggets include canola oil (banned in Europe), soybean oil (GMO), corn oil (GMO), partially hydrogenated soybean oil (this is trans fat!), cottonseed oil, monoglycerides, diglycerides, and hydrogenated soybean oil (soon to be banned). None of the fats are saturated and stable; they are all highly reactive to heat, generating a hefty load of free radicals into the food.

A Frightening Amount of Sodium

The salt content (salt, sodium phosphates) is quite frightening if you’re salt-sensitive and you can blow up like a balloon with too much sodium intake. The recommended intake of sodium is 2000 mg to 3000 mg per day for those with high blood pressure.  10 Nuggets alone contain nearly 1000 mg of sodium.  Part of the problem is that there’s no potassium in chicken nuggets to balance the sodium.

TBHQ and Dimethlypolysiloxane 

No fast food nugget get’s created without its share of added chemicals. You’ll find dimethylpolysiloxane, tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ); a preservative and anti-foaming agent, respectively.

TBHQ is a petroleum-based preservative that extends shelf life.  According to the Consumer’s Dictionary of Foods Additives, one gram of TBHA can cause nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, and delirium.  And as reported by animal studies, TBHQ has been linked to these health issues including:

  • Liver damage (low doses)
  • Cellular mutation
  • Biochemical changes (low doses)
  • Reproductive effects (high doses)

Dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) is a silicone based ingredient used in cosmetic products and silicone based lubricants. PDMS has also been used as a filler in breast implants although its use has decreased because of safety concerns.

The Wheat Content Alone Can Damage Your Health

Really, it’s a lot easier than you might think to make your own real chicken nuggets at home. For the breading, you can use gluten free flour and coconut shreds that won’t raise blood sugar levels. Why not use it instead of genetically-modified wheat flour or wheat gluten and modified food starch, created from GMO-derived foods? That way you can control the spices you add, not relying on yeast or dextrose used in the food industry to make foods taste better. Or, if you prefer wings, check out my healthy gluten-free buffalo wing recipe.

The wheat flour and gluten can also damage your health according to William Davis, M.D., NY Times bestselling author, Wheat Belly. This cardiologist tracked the development of modern-day wheat and found a complete change in the chromosomes. Ancient wheat had only 14 chromosomes; modern day wheat has 42.

Modern day wheat has been hybridized and now has double the gluten and higher levels of starch.  Over 300 different diseases are linked to gluten intolerance.  Today’s wheat also contains endorphins (appetite stimulators), which are chemicals that give you a ravenous hunger for more and more nuggets!

Chicken nuggets from fast food restaurants aren’t really what I consider “food” nor do they contain very much chicken for that matter. They’re  a fake food that can make you fat, sick and toxic.

Do you make your own chicken tenders at home? Let me know in the comments below. 

References 

  • DeShazo RD, Bigler Steven, Skipworth LB. The Autopsy of Chicken Nuggets Reads “Chicken Little”. The American Journal of Medicine 2013; 126(11): 1018-1019.
  • McDonald’s Ingredients List 2014: http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/ingredientslist.pdf
  • Davis, M.D., William. Wheat Belly. Rodale Press, 2011.
  • Mercola, Joseph. What’s in Fast Food?  What’s in the Non-Chicken Half of the McNugget, 2011.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/whats-infast-food_b_805190.html

 

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Dr. Axe Show Podcast – The Truth about GMOs with Jeffrey Smith – Ep. 21


click here to view this episode in iTunes

Jeffrey Smith talks GMOsJeffrey M. Smith, International best-selling author and filmmaker; Executive Director, Institute of Responsible Technology and leading spokesperson on the health dangers of GMO’s.

Listen as we talk the truth about GMOs and his new book, Seeds of Deception

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Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) Linked to Tumors, Allergies and Early Death

A recent study published in the journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology is proving genetically modified organisms (GMO) may cause kidney damage, liver failure and early death. Until recently there were no long term studies done on GMO’s but the more we learn, the more we’re realizing how dangerous these “frankenfoods” really are.

Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are just what the name implies. Organisms, in this case foods, that have been altered genetically.

Genetically modified foods alter genetic codes of the DNA in an organism by wiring in genes from other forms of life including other plant forms, insecticides, pesticides, bacteria and viruses.  Most GMO foods today have been modified to tolerate or produce pesticides (like canola oil).

According to a report by Dr. Oz, more than eighty percent of the foods we eat on a daily basis contain one or more type of GMO.  And what’s more distressing is that the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) doesn’t require these foods to be labeled!

Health Concerns with GMO Foods

If you haven’t been convinced of the damaging effects of GMO’s yet then this next study may cause you to think twice.

Eating genetically modified corn (GMO corn) and consuming trace levels of Monsanto’s Roundup chemical fertilizer (commonly used in GMO) caused rats to develop horrifying tumors, widespread organ damage, and premature death.

The study has been deemed “the most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GMO crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats.”

In a 2011 review published in Environmental Sciences Europe, 19 studies of mammals, fed GMO soybeans and corn, were evaluated.  The 90-day long trials indicate liver and kidney problems as a result of GMO foods.  Kidney’s were disrupted by 43.5% and liver by 30.8%.

GMO effects on rats

 

These are the photos taken from the study and you can see the deadly effects GMO’s had on these rats.

According the researchers:

“The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. [Editors note: this level of Roundup is permitted in drinking water and GE crops in the US]

In females, all treated groups died 2-3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs.

Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments.

In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5-5.5 times higher… Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3-2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls, which occurred up to 600 days earlier.

Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.”

According to reports, individuals who consumed GMO’s also experienced the following side effects:

  • Increase in allergies
  • Increase in antibiotic resistance
  • Problems with endocrine system
  • Disorders of the reproductive system
  • Increase in aging symptoms
  • Cancerous Tumor growth

A 10-year study in Norway has found GMO’s may cause obesity, digestive problems, and damage to major organs including liver, kidneys, pancreas and genitals.

In one of the most recent studies published in the Journal of Hematology and Thromboembolic Disease indicates GM crops that contain Bt toxin increase risk of leukemia.

This is just the tip of the iceberg according to many leading scientists and researchers. In fact, some countries (notably the European Union), do not allow GMO foods to be imported.  In addition, if more than .9% of their foods contain GMO’s they must be labeled so the consumer knows exactly what they’re getting and consuming. 

The U.S.D.A. and related government agencies in the U.S. argue against any labeling of GMO foods on the grounds that this “…would imply that GMO’s are different”.

Well… isn’t that entirely true? Big agricultural companies like Monsanto have raised millions of dollars to fight against labeling because they know it would negatively effect sales.

Recent polls shows that about ninety percent of Americans are in favor of labeling foods that contain GMO.

The truth is the public is becoming more aware! Many food companies like Chipotle are already starting to make a switch to non-GMO ingredients and also labeling what is GMO.

Monsanto is the largest producer today of genetically modified foods like corn, soy, and canola.  And now there are even companies working to produce genetically modified salmon and cattle.

While the list of GMO’s is undoubtedly growing, here are the most commonly found GMO foods are must be aware of:

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Canola
  • Alfalfa
  • Sugar Beets

If you are buying any of the above foods and the label doesn’t say “Organic” or “Non-GMO” you can be fairly certain the food is GMO.

When you see the words on a nutrition label like corn syrup, soybean oil or even sugar, a majority of the time that ingredient has been genetically modified.

Other foods that may also be GMO or have GMO residue include: cottonseed oil, non-organic dairy, and papaya.

The benefit claims of GMO foods are that they can be grown in less than optimal soils. One problem from growing food in less than optimal soils is the foods provide less than optimal vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients.  And the long term effect GMO’s have on our soil and ecosystem cannot be overstated.

How to Avoid GMO Foods

The following are my top recommendations for keeping GMO foods out of your body:

  • Avoid all foods with corn, canola, and soy.
  • Look for and buy foods that are labeled GMO free.
  • Shop for organic foods. (By law they must contain less than 5% GM Products.)
  • Shop at your local farmers market or plant your own garden.
  • Read and stay informed on natural health websites

Follow these steps and you can be GMO free and help spread the word about the dangers of GMO’s. It is my hope that sometime soon we will see GMO’s labeled or even better–banned altogether.

How to Avoid GMO Foods

Helpful GMO Resources

 

References

Seralini GE, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, Malatesta M, Hennequin D, Vendomois JS. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2012; 50(11): 4221-4231.

Mezzomo BP, Miranda-Vilela AL, Souza Freire Id, Pereira Barbosa LC, Portilho FA, Marques Lacava ZG, Grisolia CK. Hematotoxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis as Spore-crystal Strains Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2Aa in Swiss Albino Mice. Journal of Hematology and Thromboembolic Diseases 2013; 1(1): 1000104.

Dr. Oz. Genetically Modified Foods: Get the Facts. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/genetically-modified-foods-get-facts?page=1 (accessed 3 June 13).

Non GMO Project. e.g. Training and certification. http://www.nongmoproject.org/ (accessed 2 June 13).

De Vendômois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D, Séralini GE. A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. International Journal Biological Sciences 2009; 5(7):706-726

Jack Kaskey. ‘Mounting Evidence of Bug-Resistant Corn Seen by EPA. Bloomberg Businessweek September 2012. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-04/mounting-evidence-of-bug-resistant-corn-seen-by-epa

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8 Medically Based Reasons You Should Be Consuming Coconut Every Single Day

Coconut is one of the best super foods available. Here are 8 medically based reasons you should be consuming coconut every day.

8 Medically Based Reasons for Consuming Coconut - Dr Josh Axe

1. Coconut increases fat loss within 1-3 months

2. It reduces the risk of alzheimer’s and can boost brain health

3. Helps wounds heal faster and is also effective at reducing cellulite

4. Coconut can help reduce yeast and candida

5. It can naturally boost testosterone levels in men and helps balance hormone levels in both men and women

6. Coconut helps balance both HDL and LDL cholesterol, which improves heart health

7. It increases nutrient absorption of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin D, A and E

8. Coconut improves bone health

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How to Naturally Reverse Cavities and Heal Tooth Decay

heal-cavities-naturally-dr-axeThere is a common belief today about cavities that once you have tooth decay, that cavity can NOT be reversed or healed. Then the only solution is to have part of your tooth drilled out and filled with a synthetic material.

But according to a study published in the British Medical Journal cavities and tooth decay could potentially be healed or reversed with diet.

A study was performed on 62 children with cavities and they were divided into three different diet groups.  Group 1 ate a standard diet plus oatmeal (rich in phytic acid).  Group 2 consumed their normal diet and supplemented with vitamin D.  Group 3 ate a grain-free diet and took vitamin D.

The results found that group 1 who had a diet high in grains and phytic acid had an increase in cavities. Group 2 had improvements in cavities and less form. Group 3 who followed a grain-free diet rich in vegetables, fruits, meat, milk and took vitamin D saw the greatest improvements in which nearly all cavities healed.

cavities in dietary groups

This study along with the backing of many doctors and dentists is proving we have been misinformed about what causes cavities and if they can truly be reversed.

Dentist Ramiel Nagel who authored the book Cure Tooth Decay has helped many of his patients “reverse” their tooth decay and would rather not put in fillings. He believes that you can prevent and heal cavities with nutrition.

In this article I am going to go over the causes of tooth decay and how it may be prevented and in many cases even reversed.

The Cause of Tooth Decay

To understand the link between diet and tooth decay we must start with one of the most well-respected dentists who ever lived Weston A. Price.

West A. Price lived in the early 1900’s and was the chairman of the National Dental Association (1914-1923), and a pioneer for the ADA.

Weston Price traveled the world searching to discover what causes tooth decay. Dr. Price found a common link between eating modern foods and cavities. He witness that many indigenous isolated tribes had perfect teeth and little tooth decay. But once they were exposed to a western diet they experienced tooth decay, bone loss and chronic illness.

According to the American Dental Association this is the cause of tooth decay:

“[Tooth decay] occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as milk, pop, raisins, cakes or candy are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.”

But the truth is the ADA is only hitting on 1 of the 4 things that could contribute to tooth decay.

According to the insights of Dr. Edward Mellanby, Dr. Weston Price and Dr. Ramiel Nagel there are 4 main things that contribute to tooth decay:

  1. Lack of minerals in the diet (calcium, magnesium and phosphorus)
  2. Lack of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) (especially D)
  3. Too much consumption of Phytic Acid rich foods
  4. Too much consumption of processed sugar

Let’s discuss the 4 aspects that cause tooth decay and how they can be addressed with diet.

Natural Approaches To Oral Health

Don’t be fooled, there in addition to brushing and flossing daily, there are several ways you can reverse cavities and maximizes your oral health without resorting to taking in fluoride. Here are just a few for you to consider:

Removing Sugar – Probably the worst culprit of them all for anyone who desires healthy, cavity-free teeth, sugar should be avoided like the plague. Not only does sugar feed oral bacteria that prevents a healthy flow of dental fluids, it is highly acidic and can literally decalcify or demineralize the structural content of teeth that create dental decay.

This means staying away from soda, candy, and baked goods with sugar. Additionally, use raw honey and maple syrup and drink juices sparingly as too much sugar can contribute to cavity formation. Be careful of artificial sweeteners because of their health risks as well. Bottom line: Make stevia your new best friend along with raw honey in moderation!

Removing Phytic Acid – Phytic acid (phytate) is a mineral blocker and enzyme inhibitor found in grains, nuts, seeds and beans which can serious health problems in our diets. The main reason phytic acid has become an issue today is because we have stopped ancient food preparation techniques such as sprouting or sourdough fermentation which kills off the phytic acid.



According to research published in the The Lancet a diet high in phytic acid will create mineral deficiencies and cause osteoporosis.

80% of phosphorus in grains and beans is bound to phytic acid so it is completely un-absorbable. In addition to blocking phosphorus availability in humans, these molecules bind minerals necessary for oral health such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc; thus, causing them to be unavailable for proper utilization. Consuming foods high in phytic acid decreases magnesium absorption by 60% and zinc by 20%.

Phytic acid not only doesn’t allow you to absorb in minerals in your food, it also leaches minerals out of your body, bones and teeth!

Subsequently, the powerful anti-nutritional effects of phytic acid have been known to cause digestive disorders, lack of appetite, nutrient deficiencies, and tooth decay. A good rule of thumb is to limit your grain consumption and stay completely clear from unfermented soy products. Because phytic acid is much higher in foods grown using modern high-phosphate fertilizers than those grown in natural compost, try to only eat foods that are organic and GMO-free.

If you are aiming to improve your health and reverse cavities, foods high in phytic acid like grains, beans, nuts and soy should be avoided. However, if you soak grains or nuts and then sprout them or do sourdough fermentation you can reduce phytic acid by around 50 – 100%.

Raw Dairy and Nutrient Rich FoodsRaw dairy is filled with the vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy dental fluid flow and help maintain strong teeth. Loaded with calcium, vitamin K2, vitamin D3, magnesium, phosphorus, and fat-soluble vitamins it is a good idea to consume raw dairy products at least weekly. I recommend goat’s milk kefir, raw cheeses and organic grass-fed butter are great options.

Remember, if you’re going to beat tooth decay, you need to increase your fat soluble vitamin intake and mineral intake. If I were creating an ideal diet to follow, it would look like this:

  • Rich in animal foods like bone broth, meat, fish and eggs.
  • Raw and cooked vegetables especially green leafy vegetables.
  • Raw dairy like kefir, cheese and grass-fed butter
  • Fruit one piece daily early in day
  • High vitamin D – get plenty of sunshine and days not in sun supplement with 5,000IU daily of D3.
  • Foods high in healthy fat like coconut oil, avocado, olives and fish or fermented cod liver oil.
  • Fermented grains only and in moderation such as true sourdough bread (or even better no grains at all). You can buy raw flours and breads here: bluemountainorganics.com and wisechoicemarket.com
  • Nuts, seeds and beans only that have been sprouted. You can find sprouted nuts and seeds at: bluemountainorganics.com.
  • Finally, NO processed food, packaged food or fast food.

Mineralizing Tooth Paste – First of all, I know it can get expensive, but there are several brands of fluoride-free toothpaste that you won’t have to pay a small fortune to get your hands on. Second, if you’re looking to save a buck or two and also want to remineralize your teeth in a particularly powerful way, try making your own!

  • 4 tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Baking Soda (aluminum free)
  • 1 tbsp. xylitol or 1/8 tsp. stevia
  • 20 drops peppermint or clove essential oil
  • 20 drops trace  minerals or (calcium/magnesium powder)

Oil Pulling – Used for centuries by Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling is a fantastic oral detoxification procedure that has gained some popularity in the U.S. the last several years. Simply done by swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 20 minutes, this simple process has been praised to cure everything from gingivitis to headaches to systemic diseases like diabetes! 
If you can’t do 20 minutes, 3-5 minutes is still good. I recommend using coconut oil or MCT Oil and a drop or two of clove and/or tea tree essential oils for maximal antiseptic and antifungal power. Here are some tips:

  • The best time to oil pull (like most other detoxification procedures) is first thing in the morning right after you get out of bed.
  • Don’t let the 20 minutes time frame deter you. You won’t even notice 20 minutes have gone by if you do this during your normal morning routine (i.e. while you shower, put your clothes on and prep for the day).
  • Immediately afterwards, rinse your mouth out with warm water. Use salt water for added antimicrobial properties.
  • Don’t be shocked if the oil/saliva mixture you spit out is milky white or yellow.
  • Finally, brush your teeth as normal.

Note: This should be a relative relaxing process, so don’t feel compelled to vigorously swish your mouth with oil for the entire time or else you’re bound to get sore jaw muscles. Simply and gently move the oil in your mouth and through your teeth without swallowing any of it.

In a nutshell, these natural approaches to reversing cavities are extremely effective and cost-efficient for anyone to employ without hesitation. Take charge of your oral wellness today and show off your new, healthy smile with pride!

References:

Mellanby M, Pattison CL. The Influence of a Cereal-Free Diet Rich in Vitamin D And Calcium on Dental Caries in Children. British Medical Journal 1932; 1(37): 507-510.

Guyenet, Stephan. Reversing Tooth Decay. Available at: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/03/reversing-tooth-decay.html.

Nagel R. Living with phytic acid. Available at: http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/living-with-phytic-acid.

Southward K. The systemic theory of dental caries. General Dentistry 2011; 59(5): 367-73.

Wills MR and others. Phytic Acid and Nutritional Rickets in Immigrants. The Lancet, April 8, 1972, 771-773.

Navert B and Sandstrom B. Reduction of the phytate content of bran by leavening in bread and its effect on zinc absorption in man. British Journal of Nutrition 1985 53:47-53;

Bohn T, et al. Phytic acid added to white-wheat bread inhibits fractional apparent magnesium absorption in humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004 79:418 –23.

Dephytinization of wheat bran by fermentation with bakers’ yeast, incubation with barley malt flour and autoclaving at different pH levels. Journal of Cereal Science 2008 48(2):471-476.

Wellness Mama. Homemade remineralizing toothpaste recipe. Available at: http://wellnessmama.com/2500/homemade-remineralizing-toothpaste-recipe/.

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6 Reasons Calorie Counting Is Crazy

6 Reasons Calorie Counting Is CrazyDespite the fact that every lasting healthy lifestyle (whole foods, paleo, vegetarian, low-carb, low-glycemic, Mediterranean, etc.) focuses on what we eat rather than how much we eat, the mainstream still seems to insist that if we just counted our calories more conservatively, we could end the obesity epidemic. The proven fact is that calorie counting approaches fail 95.4% of the time. That’s a higher failure rate than quitting smoking cold turkey.

Just Breathe Less

Blindly eating less to cure obesity is like breathing less to cure allergies. It may offer temporary “relief” but ultimately fails because it is masking symptoms rather than fixing causes. Will eating only 1,200 of anything cause you to lose weight? Yes. So will cutting off your leg. That doesn’t mean either is a good idea. Counting calories is a euphemism for starvation. It’s the definition of an eating disorder. And the sooner you are able to free yourself from oppressive calorie myths, and instead enjoy eating more—but higher-quality food—the sooner you will live your best life.

How To Free Yourself From Oppressive Calorie Myths

Shifting our focus from calorie quantity to food quality is easier said than done considering the constant barrage of calorie myths we’re hit with daily. To help you free yourself from disproven calorie math, here are six of my favorite common sense reasons calorie counting cannot be required for long term health and fitness.

  1. Nobody Knew What A Calorie Was BEFORE the Obesity Epidemic
    If we need to constantly count calories to avoid obesity, then how did we have about ten times less obesity before anyone knew what a calorie was, let alone count them?
  2. Every Other Species Avoids Obesity Without Counting Calories
    If we need to constantly count calories to avoid obesity, how does every other animal on the planet avoid obesity even though they cannot count?
  3. We Don’t Need to Count Anything Else We Eat
    If we need to constantly count calories to avoid obesity, why don’t we need to count everything else? What about Vitamin C in and Vitamin C out? How about Zinc in and Zinc out? And what about counting the other 18 minerals, 12 vitamins, 9 essential amino acids, 8 conditionally essential amino acids, and the 2 essential fatty acids?
  4. No Other Life Sustaining Bodily Function Needs to Be Counted
    If we need to constantly count calories to avoid obesity, then why don’t we need to “count” blood sugar to avoid diabetes? Or what about “counting” blood pressure to avoid hypertension? And how is it that when we take more water in, more water out happens unconsciously?
  5. It Is Impossible to Count Calories In
    The only way to actually count calories in the real world would be to only eat food that has nutrition facts labels on them. Even in this impossible case, these labels have a 10% margin of error. While this may not seem like a big deal, considering that the average person eats about a million calories per year, and 10% of a million is 100,000 calories margin of error, which translates into 30 lbs. worth of body fat, couldn’t we each gain 30 lbs. of fat per year even after counting every calorie we eat due to measurement error?
  6. It Is Impossible to Count Calories Out
    If we need to constantly count calories to avoid obesity, then how do we accurately account for the 400 to 700 calories our liver burns daily? Or what about the 200 to 400 calories we burn digesting food daily? And how do we count the 100 to 700 calories we burn per day building and repairing bodily tissue? 75% of the calories we burn every day have nothing to do with exercise, walking, or anything measured by any expensive fitness gadget, so how are we supposed to accurately and practically keep track of these?

The Flat Earth Theory of Weight Loss

Counting calories is the flat earth theory of weight loss. It’s reasonable. It’s intuitive. But it is wrong once we understand modern science. The research is clear and the common sense is undeniable. Every single society and species that ever existed that focused foods found directly in nature—vs. processed low-calorie edible products—stayed slim without counting calories. Similarly, when any culture or creature starts eating processed edible products, they start seeing increasing rates of obesity and diabetes.
Ending obesity is not about eating less or exercising more just like ending depression is not about frowning less and smiling more. Both health and happiness are about quality, not quantity. They are about filling ourselves with so much good that we don’t have room for bad. It’s what we did prior to the obesity and diabetes epidemics and it’s what we’ll do to end them. No math needed.
Here’s a quick how-to video to help you focus on food quality instead of calorie quantity.

- Jonathan Bailor
New York Times Best Selling Author of The Calorie Myth

jonathan bailor calorie myth—–
Collaborating with top scientists for over 10 years, analyzing over 1,300 studies, and garnering endorsements by top doctors from Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, Yale, and UCLA, Jonathan Bailor is a New York Times Best Selling nutrition and exercise expert and former personal trainer who specializes in using high-quality food and exercise to simplify wellness.

He has registered over 25 patents and authored the New York Times Best Seller The Calorie Myth (HarperCollins). Bailor serves as a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, hosts a popular syndicated wellness radio show, blogs on The Huffington Post, and consults for organizations around the world. His free 28-day quick-start eating and exercise guide is available at BailorGroup.com.

A Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of DePauw University, Bailor lives outside of Seattle with his wife Angela and works to enable others to live better through simple, proven science.


1Crawford D, Jeffery RW, French SA. Can anyone successfully control their weight? Findings of a three year community-based study of men and women. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 Sep;24(9):1107-10. PubMed PMID: 11033978. &amp; Summerbell CD, Cameron C, Glasziou PP. WITHDRAWN: Advice on low-fat diets for obesity. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jul 16;(3):CD003640. Review. PubMed PMID: 18646093. &amp; Pirozzo S, Summerbell C, Cameron C, Glasziou P. Should we recommend low-fat diets for obesity? Obes Rev. 2003 May;4(2):83-90. Review. Erratum in: Obes Rev. 2003 Aug;4(3):185. PubMed PMID: 12760443. &amp; ” A word about quitting success rates .” American Cancer Society :: Information and Resources for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Prostate, Lung and Other Forms. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2011. &lt;http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GuidetoQuittingSmoking/guide-to-quitting-smoking-success-rates&gt;.
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5.. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2013. Print.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/ &amp; http://www.prb.org/Articles/2002/HowManyPeopleHaveEverLivedonEarth.aspx &amp; http://www.google.com/publicdata/directory
Urban LE, Dallal GE, Robinson LM, Ausman LM, Saltzman E, Roberts SB. The accuracy of stated energy contents of reduced-energy, commercially prepared foods. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Jan;110(1):116-23. PubMed PMID: 20102837; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2838242.

A sampling of supporting research:
- Wang Z, Heshka S, Zhang K, Boozer CN, Heymsfield SB. Resting energy expenditure: systematic organization and critique of prediction methods. Obes Res. 2001 May;9(5):331-6. Review. PubMed PMID: 11346676.
- 1998: Poehlman E T; Melby C Resistance training and energy balance. International journal of sport nutrition 1998;8(2):143-59.
- Whitehead, Saffron A.; Nussey, Stephen (2001). Endocrinology: an integrated approach. Oxford: BIOS. pp. 122. ISBN 1-85996-252-1.
- FAO/OMS/UNU. Necessidades de energia e proteína: Série de relatos técnicos 724. Genebra: Organização Mundial da Saúde, 1998.

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Green Tea Benefits Cancer Killing and Fat Burning

greenteaMatcha is not your typical green tea. You probably won’t find it in the tea bags of a ladies luncheon. No, matcha is unique. It’s a special powdered green tea traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies; and as a fat-burner and even a cancer-fighter, matcha leaves other teas in its dust.  Green tea benefits by itself are amazing but when you consume it in it’s most concentrated form in matcha the health benefits are amplified!

The secret behind matcha’s super strength is found in its polyphenol compounds, particularly catechins, a type of antioxidant found in superfoods like green tea, cocoa, and apples. Heralded for being more catechin-dense than most items, green tea (and especially matcha) provides unbelievable health benefits for people who regularly drink it.

Catechin Super Power

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the catechins in green tea (EGCG, EGC, ECG, and EC) are so powerful that it is believed that they actually help prevent cancer. It might seem outrageous that regularly drinking something as common as green tea can put you at a lesser risk, but it’s not that far-fetched. The NCI provides the following explanation:

  1. The chemicals in green tea, especially EGCG and ECG, have substantial free radical scavenging capability and have been proven clinically to protect cells from DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species.
  2. Tea polyphenols have also been shown to inhibit tumor cell development and induce apoptosis (cancer cell destruction) in laboratory and animal studies.
  3. The catechins in green tea activate detoxification enzymes, such as glutathione S-transferase and quinone reductase, which are praised for preventing tumor growth.
  4. Lastly, research has supported that the catechins in green tea not only protect against damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) B radiation, but also they can improve immune system function.

That’s a pretty impressive list of attributes, right? If that were all matcha could do, that’d be a lot. But it does more than fight tumors. It also fights the battle of the bulge.

Weight Loss Benefits of Catechins

When it comes to boosting your metabolism and helping with weight loss, few things are more beneficial than matcha green tea. Comparing the effects of drinking one bottle of oolong tea containing 690 mg catechins versus drinking one bottle containing 22 mg catechins, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition presented the results of an evaluation of thirty-five healthy Japanese men who were divided into two groups with similar BMI and waist circumference distributions.

They gave one group the 690 mg tea and the other group the 22 mg tea. After twelve weeks, they observed that body fat mass, BMI body weight subcutaneous fat area, and waist circumference were all “significantly lower” in the 690 mg catechin group than in the 22 mg group. Even more astounding were the modifications in LDL levels that changed because body fat mass and total fat area had decreased so dramatically.

From these results, researchers confidently concluded that, “Daily consumption of tea containing 690 mg catechins for twelve weeks reduced body fat, which suggests that the ingestion of catechins might be useful in the prevention and improvement of lifestyle-related diseases, mainly obesity.”

Not all Green Teas are Created Equal

Science has established that catechins found in green tea are of the utmost benefit to our health and wellbeing. It wasn’t until a decade ago, however, that researchers tackled the idea that one type of tea may be more advantageous than another.

To test the hypothesis that matcha is more catechin-dense than other green teas, researchers from the University of Colorado Springs conducted a comparison study between matcha and other common green teas utilizing micellar electrokinetic chromatography; a process that separated mixtures into their individual parts using various mediums.

Published in the Journal of Chromatography, the results were groundbreaking as the authors discovered that, “The concentration of EGCG available from drinking matcha is 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from China Green Tips green tea, and at least three times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas.

Matcha Green Tea Benefits and Beyond

Another fascinating aspect of matcha green tea is that clinical tests suggest it can not only help speed recovery in athletes whose focus is high-intensity workouts like burst training, but also it has been shown to reverse cellular damage caused by oxidative-nitrosative stress. Oxidative-nitrosative stress is just a fancy term for the internal imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants, which is an imbalance that ultimately destroys cells, prevents their repair, and causes disease.

A study published in Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology evaluated the potential affect EGCG has on mice with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) that were forced to swim for six minutes a day for fifteen days straight. After this intense activity regimen, they discovered that the animals experienced significant increases in oxidative-nitrosative stress and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels, which is a biochemical marker for cell death. Astoundingly, by administering continual dosages of EGCG, the researchers found that both of these alterations were literally reversed.

Because it contains some of the highest level of catechins of all natural antioxidant rich foods, there is every reason in the world to assume that drinking matcha regularly can greatly aid in workout recovery, burn fat, encourage strength at a cellular level, and even prevent chronic disease like cancer. So, if you’re looking to maximize the power of tea in your daily routine, then look no further than brewing up a nice, hot cup of matcha!

Do you drink green tea or any other type of herbal teas like white, oolong, black or rooibos?

References

Nagago, T. “Ingestion Of A Tea Rich In Catechins Leads To A Reduction In Body Fat And Malondialdehyde-Modified LDL In Men.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005; 81(1): 122-129.

National Cancer Institute. “Tea And Cancer Prevention: Strengths And Limits Of The Evidence.” National Institute of Health. 2010 (Internet). Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/tea.

Weiss, D.J. et al. “Determination Of Catechins In Matcha Green Tea By Micellar Electrokinetic Chromatography.” Journal of Chromatography. 2003; 1011(1-2): 173-180.

Ichinose, T. et al. “The Effect of Endurance Training Supplemented with Green Tea Extract on Substrate Metabolism during Exercise in Humans. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.” 2011; 21(4): 598-605.

Sachdeva, A. et al. “Protective Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate in Murine Water-Immersion Stress Model of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology. 2010; 106: 490-496.

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Milk Thistle Detox for Heavy Metals, Chemotherapy, and Radiation

milk-thistleMilk thistle is known as an elixir for your liver and the king of detoxifying herbs. No herb is more beneficial and more powerful at cleansing than milk thistle.

Milk thistle has been proven effective in supporting the liver in detoxification from:

  • Heavy Metals
  • Prescription Medications
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Alcohol
  • Environmental pollution

Milk thistle has long been used to support liver function. Milk Thistle contains powerful antioxidants that may protect your body from nerve damage, abnormal brain aging, and cancer.

The active ingredient in it is called Silymarin and it has incredible cleansing effects on the liver and gallbladder.  As Gene Bruno of Natural Health Research Institute reports, Silymarin can protect against glutathione depletion and increase glutathione levels in the liver. Milk thistle strengthens the liver cell walls, buffering them from invading toxins, and supports liver regeneration.

Silymarin helps increase levels of glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD) your bodies two most powerful intracellular anti-oxidants.

Glutathione is known as your bodies master antioxidant and maybe your bodies most important antioxidant to prevent disease. There are over 89,000 medical articles about it and it’s benefits to support healing or preventing cancer, heart disease, dementia, autoimmune disease, autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

Glutathione is a molecule that is produced naturally in your body and is a combination of three amino acids: cysteine, glycine and glutamine.

The secret behind glutathione’s detox power is the sulfur compounds it contains. According to Dr. Mark Hyman MD, sulfur is sticky and acts like fly paper and all of the toxins in your body like free radicals, mercury and radiation stick to it and are then eliminated by the body.

Benefits of Milk Thistle



People who have supplemented with milk thistle have reported improvements in:

The largest benefit of supplementing with milk thistle is found in it’s ability to cleanse your body of environmental toxins.  We live in a toxic world and are exposed to pollution and chemicals every single day. So for this reason milk thistle is also great at preventing disease.

Workers exposed to chemical xylene showed huge improvements when supplementing with milk thistle as did those who had liver damage from alcohol and prescription drug use.  Milk Thistle has also been studied for its effectiveness in lower oxidation of LDL cholesterol and in treatment for diabetic neuropathy.

A study published in the journal of Molecular Carcinogenesis found that milk thistle can reduce the damaging effects of radiation and detoxify your body of radiation. From cell phones to microwaves we are exposed to radiation continually and this can add up and have a negative impact on your health over time.

If you want to reduce the damaging effects that toxicity can play on your health then consider using milk thistle. As you can see, milk thistle has some incredible detoxification benefits because of it’s ability to improve liver function and increase intracellular antioxidants like glutathione.

The recommended daily intake for doing a milk thistle detox is 150 mg 1-3x daily for treatment or 50 to 150 mg daily for maintenance.

References
Chtourou Y, Mouldi Garoui E, Boudawara T, Zeghal N. Protective role of silymarin against manganese-induced nephrotoxicity and oxidative stress in rat. Environmental Toxicology 2013; 10.1002: 21845.

Venkataramanan R, Ramachandran V, Komoroski BJ, et al. Milk Thistle, a herbal supplement, decreases activity of CYP3A4 and uridine diphosphoglucuronosyl transferase in human hepatocyte cultures. Drug Metabolism and Disposition 2000; 28(11): 1270-1273.

Ladas et al. A randomized, controlled, double-blind, pilot study of milk thistle for the treatment of hepatotoxicity in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Cancer, 2009 116(2).

Sreekanth N, Chapla, Gagan D, Rajesh A. Silibinin inhibits ultraviolet B radiation-induced DNA-damage and apoptosis by enhancing interleukin-12 expression in JB6 cells and SKH-1 hairless mouse skin. Molecular Carcinogenesis, 2013

Huseini HF, Larijani B, Heshmat R, et al. The efficacy of Silybum marianum(silymarin) in the treatment of type II diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research 2006 20;1036-9.

Greenlee H, Abascal K, Yarnell E, Ladas E. Clinical applications of Silybum marianum in oncology. Integrative Cancer Therapy 2007; 6(2): 158-65.

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How to Reverse Diabetes Naturally…In 30 Days or Less

diabetes-image

“Alarm bells are ringing. The CDC estimates that one third of all Americans will develop diabetes and will live 15 years less and lose quality of life. No public health problem compares in scale.” – Dr. Mehmet Oz

According to top medical doctors, nutritionists, scientists, and now even the media type 2 diabetes is a completely reversible condition. Yet, millions of people all over the world are being told that diabetes is “genetic” and that they have to live with it the rest of their life.

But there’s good news! In this article I will go over the exact steps you need to take to reverse type 2 diabetes naturally and improve type 1 diabetes.  In most cases, type 2 diabetes can be reversed in less than 30 days. I also layout a sample eating plan and supplement regimen that you can follow or share with someone you love who needs this information.

I will also address the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and differences in treatment.

25% of the Population is Pre-Diabetic… And They Don’t Know It

Diabetes has grown to “epidemic” proportions and the latest statistics revealed by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that 25.8 million Americans have diabetes. Also, research from the ADA shows that 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes, which is 25% of the US population!

The cost of diabetes to our nation is a staggering $245 billion dollars a year as of 2012. That’s $176 billion in direct medical costs and another $69 billion loss in productivity.

Diabetes in the US - Dr Josh Axe Infographic

Aside from the financial costs of diabetes the more frightening findings are the side effects and the fact that diabetes is the 7th leading disease killer in America today. The most common side effects of diabetes include: high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, neuropathy, Alzheimer’s and amputation.

So let’s discuss what actually causes diabetes and the difference between type 1 and type 2.

The Cause of Diabetes

Diabetes is an illness related to elevated blood sugar levels.

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The damage to the pancreatic cells leads to reduced ability or complete inability to create insulin. Some of the common causes that trigger this autoimmune response may include a virus, GMO organisms, heavy metals, vaccines, or foods like wheat, cows milk, and soy.

The reason foods like wheat and cows milk have been linked to diabetes is because they contain the proteins gluten and A1 casein. These proteins can cause leaky gut which in turn causes systemic inflammation throughout the body and overtime can lead to autoimmune disease. In order to reduce the autoimmune response and improve type 1 diabetes, I suggest you implement the advice in this article and follow the steps I layout for you here: 4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease.

Type 1 Diabetes is rarely reversed but with the right dietary changes major improvements in blood sugar levels can be seen and a person can often reduce their dependence on insulin and medications.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is caused by insulin resistance. It is a metabolic disorder that is caused by high blood sugar. The body can keep up for a period of time by producing more insulin, but over time the insulin receptors sites get burned out.

draxe-Insulin Resistance infographic2

Now, we know the main causative factors in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes include foods that spike blood sugar levels and cause intestinal inflammation. Next, let’s go over the top foods you MUST get out of your diet to reverse type 2 diabetes and support overall health for type 1 diabetes.

Foods You Must Remove to Reverse Diabetes Naturally

Refined sugar rapidly spikes blood glucose and soda, fruit juice and other sugary beverages are the worst culprits. These forms of sugar enter the blood stream rapidly and can cause extreme elevations in blood glucose. Even though natural sweeteners like raw honey and maple syrup are better options, they can still affect blood sugar. Your best option is to switch to stevia.

Grains, especially gluten containing grains like wheat, contain large amounts of carbohydrates which are broken down into sugar within a few minutes of consumption. As discussed earlier, gluten can cause intestinal inflammation which affects hormones like cortisol and leptin, and can lead to spikes in blood sugar. I would remove all grains from your diet for your first 90 days on this healing program and after that time you can introduce back in sprouted ancient grains in small amounts.

Conventional cow’s milk, should be eliminated especially for type 1 diabetics. Dairy can be a fantastic food for balancing blood sugar if it comes from goat’s, sheep, or A2 cows. Stay away from all other forms of dairy because the A1 casein produced by conventional cows will harm the body and trigger an immune response similar to gluten. When buying dairy, only purchase raw and organic from pasture raised animals.

Alcohol can dangerously increase blood sugar and lead to liver toxicity. Beer and sweet liquors are high in carbohydrates and should be avoided.

GMO corn, soy, and canola have been linked to kidney and liver disease and may promote diabetes. I suggest removing all GMO foods and all packaged foods from your diet. Also, remove hydrogenated oils from your diet including vegetable oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and canola oil.

Top Foods to Cure Diabetes

If you want to reverse diabetes quickly or prevent diabetes I suggest you add the following foods into your diet.

High fiber foods help slow down glucose absorption. Aim for at least 30g of fiber per day from vegetables, avocados, berries, nuts, and seeds.

Foods high in chromium can improve GTF glucose tolerance factor in your body and naturally balance out blood glucose levels. Broccoli, raw cheese, green beans and grass-fed beef are all high in chromium, however broccoli has the highest amounts by far.

MCFA’s found in coconut and red palm oil can help balance blood sugar levels and be a preferred fuel source for your body rather than sugar.

Wild-caught fish contain Omega-3 fats and reduce inflammation which can help counteract some of the negative effects of elevated blood glucose.

Foods with a low glycemic load tend to not spike blood sugar as much as high glycemic foods. Low glycemic foods include vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut, organic meat, eggs, wild caught fish and raw pastured dairy.

Sprinkling herbs like cinnamon, turmeric, and parsley on your food may also help balance blood sugar levels.

The 5 Best Supplements for Balancing Blood Sugar

1. Chromium Picolinate (600 mcg daily) Helps improve insulin sensitivity.

2. Cinnamon (2 tsp daily) Add to food, smoothie or tea to help improve blood sugar control.

3. Fish Oil (1,000 mg daily) Omega-3s are necessary for proper insulin function.

4. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (300-1200 mg daily) Improves insulin sensitivity and reduces symptoms of neuropathy.

5. Fiber Powder (10 g) Fiber from vegetables and seeds can control blood glucose. I recommend finding a supplement that contains sprouted chia and flaxseeds.

Other supplements that may support diabetes include: magnesium, rhodiola, green coffee extract, bitter melon, and gymnema sylvestre.

30-Days to Reverse Diabetes’ Eating Plan

If you want to balance your blood sugar and see results quickly, then follow this plan as closely as possible. I want you to focus on getting plenty of protein, healthy fat, and fiber in every meal.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.06.12 AM
Exercising Balances Your Blood Sugar

Exercise is another crucial part of improving insulin sensitivity. It naturally supports metabolism by burning fat and building lean muscle. To prevent and reverse diabetes I recommend getting outside and walking 20-30 minutes a day. This has been shown to be especially beneficial following meals.

In addition to walking, you also need to do interval training cardio (like burst training) or weight training 3 to 5 days a week for 20-40 minutes.

Burst training can help you burn up to 3x more body fat than traditional cardio and can naturally increase insulin sensitivity. You can do this on a spin bike with intervals or you can try my BurstFIT home training program. Burstfit has a variety of workouts for all levels of fitness.

Strength training using free weights or machines is also recommended because it helps you build and maintain muscle, which supports balanced blood sugar and sugar metabolism.

Do you struggle with blood sugar issues or diabetes?

Have you, or do you know someone, who has overcome diabetes naturally?

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on diabetes and treatments in the comments below.

 

References

CNN. Reversing Diabetes is Possible. http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/28/reverse.diabetes/ (accessed September 2013).

American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Statistics. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/ (accessed September 2013).

Monetini L, Cavallo MG, Manfrini S, Stefanini L, Picarelli A, Di Tola M, Petrone A, Bianchi M, La Presa M, Di Giulio C, Baroni MG, Thorpe R, Walker BK, Pozzilli P. Antibodies to bovine beta-casein in diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. Hormone and Metabolic Research 2002; 34(8): 455-9.

Hansen D, Brock-Jacobsen B, Lund E, Bjørn C, Hansen LP, Nielsen C, Fenger C, Lillevang ST, Husby S. Clinical benefit of a gluten-free diet in type 1 diabetic children with screening-detected celiac disease: a population-based screening study with 2 years’ follow-up.. Diabetes Care 2006; 169(21): 2029-32.

Wein S, Wolffram S, Schrezenmeir J, Gasperiková D, Klimes I, Seböková E. Medium-chain fatty acids ameliorate insulin resistance caused by high-fat diets in rats. Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews 2009; 25(2): 185-94.

Kalman D. Chromium picolinate and type 2 diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003; 78(1): 92.

Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2003; 26(12): 3215-8.

Ziegler D, Ametov A, Barinov A, Dyck PJ, Gurieva I, Low PA, Munzel U, Yakhno N, Raz I, Novosadova M, Maus J, Samigullin R. Oral treatment with alpha-lipoic acid improves symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy. Diabetes Care 2006; 29(11): 2365-70.

Little JP, Gillen JB, Percival ME, Safdar A, Tarnopolsky MA, Punthakee Z, Jung ME, Gibala MJ. Low-volume high-intensity interval training reduces hyperglycemia and increases muscle mitochondrial capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Applied Physiology 1985; 111(6): 1554-60.

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The Dr. Axe Show – Ep. 14 – Gluten-free and paleo cooking secrets revealed with Elana Amsterdam

Download this episode in iTunes

elana-thumbWellness expert and gluten-free guru Elana Amsterdam is the founder of elanaspantry.com, where she shares healthy recipes and lifestyle advice with her readers.

Her first book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook went into its 5th printing just a year after its release. The book was named one of the “Best Cookbooks of 2009” by the Denver Post.

Listen to the interview in iTunes: Ep. 14 Elana Amsterdam Interview

Visit her website: elanaspantry.com

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4 Tips to Naturally Improve Your Gallbladder & Digestion of Fats


 
If your gallbladder has been removed, these tips are going to help you transform your digestive health and your ability to digest fats.

If your gallbladder has not been removed, these tips will still apply since most people today have a gallbladder that does not function at 100%, or as well as it should.

Why Is Fat Digestion Important?

Fat digestion is important for digesting fat-soluble vitamins. So if your body is not digesting fats well, this means you aren’t digesting vitamins like D, E, A and K. These are important for brain health, and also your nerve and immune system.

It’s vitally important that your body is able to absorb healthy fats, and absorb the vitamins in those fats. Check out the video for my top 4 ways to improve fat-digestion and gallbladder health.

Here are my TOP 4 TIPS for improving your gallbladder and digestion of fats.

1. Remove any form of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Especially Canola Oil, Soybean Oil or Corn Oil. These oils are very difficult to digest and cause inflammation.

2. Remove Mono-Unsaturated Fats (like Olive Oil) and replace them with Coconut Oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil can have great health benefits, BUT if you’ve had your gallbladder removed or you’re struggling to digest healthy fats, I recommend using Coconut Oil.

3. Supplement

  • Lypase: Helps with fat digestion.
  • Ox Bile: Helps you break down fats and support the growth of good bacteria.
  • Probiotics: Supports digestion.
  • Milk Thistle: Helps detox your liver.

4. Switch to a Raw Food Diet. Here are the main five foods I recommend: Vegetables, Fruits, Sprouted Nuts and Seeds, Organic Meat, Raw and Fermented Dairy.

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Bone Broth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis, and Cellulite

making-bone-brothFor thousands of years there have been traditional foods like fermented vegetables and cultured dairy that have been touted for their health benefits.

But one common healing food that is now being recognized for it’s incredible health benefits is bone broth.  Bone broth benefits are numerous and extensive so let me share a few ancient secrets with you.

 

I have found bone broth to be the #1 thing you can consume to:

  • Heal leaky gut
  • Overcome foods intolerances and allergies
  • Improve joint health
  • Reduce cellulite
  • Boost immune system

Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul: there’s a reason that it’s prescribed by doctors and mothers alike when you’re feeling under the weather.  All bone broths beef, chicken, fish, lamb and more are staples in the traditional diets of every culture and the basis of all fine cuisine.  That’s because bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and–they boost healing.

Bone broth or stock was a way our ancestors made use of every part of an animal.  Bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments that you can’t eat directly, can be boiled then simmered over a period of days.  This simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine that have the power to transform your health.

Nutrition researchers Sally Fallon and Kaayla Daniel of the Weston A. Price Foundation explain that bone broths contain minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others.  They contain chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.1

A study of chicken soup (broth) conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center wondered what it was in the soup that made it so beneficial for colds and flu.  They found that the amino acids that were produced when making chicken stock reduced inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion.  Also, research is proving it can also boost the immune system and heal disorders like allergies, asthma, and arthritis.2

Sally Fallon explains that most store bought “stock and “broth” today aren’t “REAL”.  Instead, they use lab-produced meat flavors in bouillon cubes, soup and sauce mixes.  Also, manufacturers began using monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is recognized as a meat flavor but in reality is a neurotoxin.

If you want real bone broth you can make it yourself at home which I will explain at the end of this chapter.  You will need to get grass fed bones from your local farmers market or from a online health food store like Wise Choice Market.

The Magic of Collagen and Gelatin

Real collagen is the source of stock’s immune-boosting properties.  You’ve probably seen this jiggling layer atop the broth in your cooling roasting pan and discarded it but think again next time–this is the good stuff.

Collagen is the protein found in connective tissue of vertebrate animals.  It’s abundant in bone, marrow, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.  The breakdown of collagen in bone broths is what produces gelatin.

  • Gelatin (the breakdown of collagen) was one of the first functional foods, used as a medical treatment in ancient China.
  • Dr. Francis Pottenger and other world class researches have found gelatin and collagen to have the listed benefits:
  • Gelatin helps people with food allergies and sensitivities tolerate those foods including cows milk and gluten.
  • Collagen protects and soothes the lining of the digestive tract and can aid in healing IBS, crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and acid reflux.
  • Gelatin promotes probiotic balance and growth.
  • Bone broth increases collagen reducing the appearance of wrinkles and banishing cellulite.
  • Because gelatin helps break down proteins and soothes the gut lining, it may prove useful for leaky gut syndrome and the autoimmune disorders that accompany it.
  • Gelatin provides bone-building minerals in easily absorbable ways, preventing bone loss and reducing join pain.3

And here is another incredible benefit from the collagen found in bone broth, it can make your skin look amazing!  According to Donna Gates, author of Body Ecology, bone broth makes your skin supple and can decrease cellulite!

She says cellulite comes from a lack of connective tissue and if someone has very smooth skin it’s because their skin is high in connective tissue.  Donna explains that consuming collagen-rich bone broth can reduce cellulite and tighten your skin making you look younger.

Healing Amino Acids

Gelatin in bone broths contains “conditional” amino acids arginine, glycine, glutamine and proline.  These amino acids also contribute to stock’s healing properties.

Conditional amino acids are those classified as nonessential amino acids that are essential under some conditions: you don’t produce them very well if you are ill or stressed.

Kaayla Daniel points out that unhealthy Western diets, heavy on processed carbohydrates, low in quality grass-fed animal products, and devoid of homemade soups and broths, make it likely that these amino acids are chronically essential.

What do these conditional amino acids do?

Arginine

  • Necessary for immune system function and wound healing
  • Needed for the production and release of growth hormone
  • Helps regenerate damaged liver cells
  • Needed for the production of sperm

Glycine

  • Prevents breakdown of protein tissue like muscle
  • Used to make bile salts and glutathione
  • Helps detoxify the body of chemicals and acts as antioxidant4
  • Is a neurotransmitter that improves sleep and improves memory and performance

Proline

  • Helps regenerate cartilage and heal joints
  • Reduces cellulite and makes skin more supple
  • Helps repair leaky gut

Glutamine

  • Protects gut lining
  • Metabolic fuel for cells in small intestine
  • Improves metabolism and muscle building

Talk about some incredible health benefits!  For these reasons, I have most of my patients consume bone broth as a partial fast, detox, or during meals to help heal their gut and detoxify their cells, gut and liver.

How to Make Bone Broth

There are a few important basics to consider when making good stock.  You can make bone broth with animal components alone but in his chicken soup study, Dr. Rennard found that the combination of animal products and vegetables seemed to have synergistic effects, working together to be more beneficial than either alone.

broth1Sally Fallon says that it’s important to use body parts that aren’t commonly found in the meat department of your grocery store, things like chicken feet and neck.

You’ll also want to buy animal products that you know are pasture-fed and free of antibiotics and hormones.

Fallon describes the essentials as bones, fat, meat, vegetables and water. If you’re making beef broth or lamb broth, you should brown the meat before putting it into a stock pot.  Fish and poultry are fine to put in a pot without browning first.  Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to your pot to help draw the minerals from the bones.

Cooking Suggestions

  1. Place bones into a large stock pot and cover with water.
  2. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out important nutrients from the bones.
  3. Fill stock pot with filtered water.  Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
  4. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours.  Remove scum as it arises.
  5. Cook slow and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 48 hours. A low and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around bone.
  6. You can also add in vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrots, and celery for added nutrient value.

After cooking, the broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top.  This layer protects the broth beneath.  Discard this layer only when you are about to eat the broth.

Bone Broth Benefits as Therapy

Remember, bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine, and proline.

The collagen in bone broth will heal your gut lining and reduce intestinal inflammation.  In addition, collagen will support healthy skin and can reduce the appearance of cellulite.  Also, the glycine in bone broth can detoxify your cells from chemicals and improve brain function.

I recommend consuming 8oz 1-2x daily as a soup, a plain beverage, or doing a bone broth fast.  I typically drink 8oz upon waking every morning.

Have you ever had bone broth?  Do you think you might give it a try?

References
Kaayla T. Daniel, “Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin,” Weston A. Price Foundation.  http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/why-broth-is-beautiful (accessed 18 June 2013).

University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Chicken Soup for a Cold”  http://www.unmc.edu/publicrelations/chickensoup_newsrelease.htm (accessed 21 October  2011).

Kaayla T. Daniel, “Taking Stock: Soup for Healing Body, Mind, Mood, and Soul,” Psychology Today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/naughty-nutrition/201202/taking-stock-soup-healing-body-mind-mood-and-soul (accessed 20 February 2012).

Sekhar RV, Patel SG, Guthikonda AP, Reid M, Balasubramanyam A, Taffet GE, Jahoor F. Deficient synthesis of glutathione underlies oxidative stress in aging and can be corrected by dietary cysteine and glycine supplementation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.2011;94(3):847-53

Gersten D, The 20 Amino Acids: What They Are and How They Keep You Alive and Vibrant. http://www.imagerynet.com/amino/20_amino.html (accessed 28 June 2013).

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How To Not Gain 10lbs on Thanksgiving Day

Check out my brand new fitness DVD series here: burstfit.com/fire

For many people, Thanksgiving is about over-indulging and gaining unwanted weight, but it doesn’t have to be! You can still have fun, eat good food and keep your waistline the same through the holidays. I have some simple tips you can follow to enjoy Thanksgiving and stay healthy and fit.

1. Get Active Outside - First thing Thanksgiving morning, go outside and get active for 20 minutes. If you can’t get outside, do a 20 minute burst workout.

2. Be Active with Family – Play a game like football or go for a jog or 5k with your family. It will get everyone moving and it can be a great tradition year after year.

3. Eat More Protein – Turkey is full of tryptophan and other amino acids that support your immune system and help improve your mood. Go easy on the stuffing and gravy and load up on healthy veggies.

4. Monitor Your Meals- Some pumpkin pie is fine, a little cranberry sauce is ok, but stick to just one serving of each.

5. Have a Healthy Breakfast- Starting your day with a superfood smoothie will help keep you from over-indulging during the day and will help keep the weight off. I recommend combining a good quality protein powder, coconut milk and 1/2 cup of berries.

I hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving!

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Burst Training Studies Prove Fast Weight Loss

Women Push UpsI’m about to share with you the single best exercise for burning fat. But first, I want to explain the number one mistake people are making in the gym, today.

This mistake is leading to some pretty big consequences like:

  • Causing you to age faster
  • Breaking down your joints
  • Causing your body to STORE fat, instead of burn it
  • Causing your hormones to get out of balance

The number one mistake is doing way too much cardio.

Most people who want to burn fat and lose weight falsely assume that going to the gym and doing traditional aerobic exercise, like jogging on the treadmill, is the best way to see results.

But recent research is proving that long distance cardiovascular exercise is NOT the fastest way to burn fat and lose weight.

If you’ve been spending hours on the treadmill and not seeing any results, it’s because long distance cardiovascular exercise can decrease testosterone and raise your stress hormone levels like cortisol (1). Increased levels of cortisol stimulate the appetite, increase fat storage, and slow down or inhibit exercise recovery.

A recent study in Psychoneuroendocrinology showed evidence of long-term high cortisol levels in aerobic endurance athletes.  Researchers tested levels of hair cortisol in 304 endurance athletes (runners, cyclists, and triathletes) and compared to non-athletes.  The results showed higher cortisol levels with higher training volumes (1).

The Journal of Sports Sciences found that long periods of aerobic exercise increased oxidative stress leading to chronic inflammation (2).

So, What’s the #1 Exercise to Burn Fat Fast?

If you want to see results fast without the negative benefits of cardiovascular exercise, your best option is burst training (3).  Burst training (aka interval training) combines short, high intensity bursts of exercise, with slow, recovery phases, repeated during one exercise session.  Burst training is done at 85-100% maximum heart rate rather than 50-70% in moderate endurance activity.

Similar exercise methods to burst training include High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and the Tabata method. With burst and other types of interval training you are getting the same cardiovascular benefits as endurance exercise but without the negative side effects.  Also, burst training is the fastest way to lose weight and burn fat fast.

Essentially, burst training is exercising like a sprinter rather than a marathon runner.

One of the major benefits of burst training is that it can be done in the comfort of your own home with no or minimal equipment.  An easy example of burst training would be going to a track and walking the curves and sprinting the straight aways.  Or getting on a spin bike and cycling hard for 20 seconds then going easy for 20 seconds, then repeating that cycle for between 10 to 40 minutes.

Burst (or interval) training isn’t necessarily new. Elite athletes and Olympians have known this secret to exercising and have been doing interval training for years. The research proves that anybody – not just elite athletes – can do interval training and achieve amazing results, no matter your experience or fitness level.

Research from the University of New South Wales Medical Sciences found that burst (interval) cardio could burn more than 3 times more body fat than moderate cardio. The researchers studied two groups and found that the group who did eight seconds of sprinting on a bike, followed by 12 seconds of exercising lightly for 20 minutes, lost THREE TIMES as much fat as other women, who exercised at a continuous, regular pace for 40 minutes (4).

The reason burst training works is because it produces a unique metabolic response in your body. Intermittent sprinting causes your body to not burn as much fat during exercise but after exercise your metabolism stays elevated and will continue to burn fat for the next 24-48 hours!

Also, chemicals called catecholamines are produced which allow more fat to be burned and this causes increased fat oxidation which drives greater weight loss. The women from the study lost the most weight off their legs and buttocks.

Another study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, April 2007, researched eight different women in their early 20’s. They were told to cycle for 10 sets of four minutes of hard riding, followed by two minutes of rest.

After two weeks, the amount of fat burned increased by 36 percent, and their cardiovascular fitness improved by 13 percent (5).

Key Benefits of Burst Training

  • Can burn up to 3x more body-fat than moderate cardio
  • After two weeks of interval training, fat burning increased by 36%
  • Your body will continue to burn fat for the next 48 hours after you are done exercising
  • You can workout in less time and see better results

Complete Burst Training Program

I’ve put together an amazing resource if you want to take your burst training to the next level.

If you’re interested in adding burst training to your workout routine and really want to see dramatic results, check out my new fitness video called BurstFit Fire.

It’s a complete guide to doing burst training at home, with 6 sessions, a warm-up and cool-down, and a simple calendar to follow for each workout – check out the brand new DVD series here: BurstFit Fire.

Burst Training Testimony

Dear Dr. Axe,

In the last 6 weeks I have lost 37 pounds. I have incorporated your exercise regimen with burst training. I’ve also been working on incorporating as much real food as I can in my diet. Lost 4 inches in my waist during these last 6 weeks. It has been so invigorating to do things properly and healthy and get super results! I’m a 5’9” male and six weeks ago I was 276 pounds, 47” waist. Today, I am 239 pounds with a 43” waist. Thanks for all the valid exercise and nutritional information!

Sincerely, Jeremy H.

References

Skoluda, N., Dettenborn, L., et al. Elevated Hair Cortisol Concentrations in Endurance Athletes. Psychoneuroendocrinology. September 2011. Published Ahead of Print.

Packer, L. Oxidants, Antioxidant Nutrients, and the Athlete. Journal of Sports Science. June 1997. 15(3), 353-363.

Marzatico, F., Pansarasa, O., et al. Blood Free Radical Antioxidant Enzymes and Lipid Peroxides Following Long-Distance and Lactacidemic Performances in Highly Trained and Aerobic and Sprint athletes. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 1997. 37, 235-239.

M. Heydari, J. Freund, and S. H. Boutcher. Journal of Obesity Volume 2012, Article ID 480467.

Talanian, JL. Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases capacity for fat oxidation. Journal of Applied Physiology April 2007.

 

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My Top 5 “Travel Supplements” To Keep You From Getting Sick During The Holidays


Learn more about my new fitness series – burstfit.com/fire.

Traveling can be hard on your body. Being exposed to things you haven’t been exposed to before or missing out on healthy nutrients or habits can also take a toll on your health.

I’ll cover the top 5 supplements to take with you when you travel, plus a couple extra tips to keep off the “holiday weight” and keep from getting sick.

1. Multi-Vitamin – A quality multi-vitamin will cover your bases when it comes to the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Also, carbs deplete your body’s B vitamins, so if you’re going to have some holiday stuffing, make sure you bring a multi-vitamin that has extra B vitamins.

2. Vitamin D3 – Boosting your body’s levels of Vitamin D3 will help kill off bad bacteria and help boost your immunity. I recommend taking 5000 I/U per day when traveling.

3. Protein Powder – Brown rice or grass fed whey protein are great sources of healthy protein.

4. Greens Powder – A greens powder will help you get the much needed veggies you may be missing.

5. Immune Boosting Herbs – Echinacea, Elderberry &amp; Oregano. These healthy herbs will boost your immunity while you travel.

Also, make sure to stay active! Doing a workout like BurstFit only 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week for a total of 1 hour per week, can keep you from getting sick or packing on the “holiday pounds”.

And finally, plan ahead. Pick up some healthy snacks like kale chips or sprouted almonds before you travel.

Do these simple things and you’re sure to stay healthy this holiday season!

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5 Easy Tips For Not Gaining Extra Weight Over The Holidays

Learn more about my new fitness series – burstfit.com/fire

It can get pretty difficult to stay healthy and not gain weight during the holidays. Here’s my top 5 secrets for not getting sick or putting on that extra few pounds during this holiday season.

1. Stay Active – Try going for a light walk before or after eating. My family usually does a local 5k race.

2. Get More Vitamin D3 – Get out in the sun or you can supplement with a high quality Vitamin D3 supplement. Make sure it’s D3 and not D2 (synthetic).

3. Eat More Organic Protein and Veggies – Meat and vegetables will help keep blood glucose and insulin levels down, help you burn fat, and keep you from getting sick.

4. Lower your Sugar and Carb Intake – A little bit of stuffing and pie is ok! But if you want to keep from getting sick during the holidays, this is the number one thing you can do.

5. Try Some Healthy Recipes – Stay away from the highly processed white flours, sugars and hydrogenated oils. Try some healthier recipes using dates, organic pumpkin and maple syrup. Your family won’t even know the difference!

I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy holiday season!

 

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Ep. 11 – The Omni diet, eating like our ancestors for fat loss, and reversing disease with Tana Amen, The Omni Diet

Download this episode in iTunes

tanaamen2Tana Amen is a NY Times Bestselling Author, highly respected health and fitness expert, and a nationally renowned speaker. On this episode we dive into the most important topics from her recent book, “The Omni Diet”, which is already a NY Times Bestseller.

Listen as we talk about the Omni diet, eating like our ancestors for fat loss and reversing disease. We’ll also cover some details about the popular diet called, The Daniel Plan, which involves her husband, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Mark Hyman, and pastor Rick Warren.

Listen to the interview in iTunes: Ep. 11 Tana Amen Interview

Visit her website: tanaamen.com

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The Top 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Core to Prevent Low Back Pain

(To learn more about burst training, check out my new series BurstFIT Fire.)

Millions of Americans struggle with low back pain and it’s one of the top questions I get asked about. The problem of low back pain can usually be traced to not having a strong enough core. I’ve put together my top 5 exercises you can do to strengthen your core and lower back muscles to help prevent pain and injury.

1. Planks – the #1 core stabilization exercise

2. Cat and the Cow – Stretches the low back

3. V-ups – Strengthen the ab muscles

4. Swimmers – Stengthen the low back muscles

5. Rows – Strengthen the upper back muscles

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.