By far the chief wreckers of our health today are sugars and bad fats. So which are the good ones and which ones are bad? My aim is to enable you to make better food choices for you and your family.
Sugars are more than just the white grains you put in your coffee or tea. Sugars are also to be found in the caffeine in coffee, alcohol, honey, fruit juice without the pulp and peeled potatoes. Even the so-called slow sugars, such as whole grains, are still sugars.
We are the descendants of Stone Age men. By an evolutionary twist, this man was a mammal whose liver was not capable of converting sugar into vitamin C (most mammals can, in fact, do this). Thus we need to get our vitamin C from external sources, such as vegetables and fruit. We are not genetically equipped to deal with a whole lot of sugar.
One needs to distinguish between fast and slow sugars. Fast sugars are sugars
which are not converted into energy by the liver but into fat instead. These are more or less immediately released into the bloodstream, causing your blood glucose levels to rise. This in turn provokes an insulin response by the pancreas to stabilize your blood sugar by bringing it down. Insulin is also responsible for the conversion of these sugars into fat. Basically your body is in survival mode because excess sugar levels can cause serious health complaints such as high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, candidiasis and other bowel disorders, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer, insulin shock and death. It is the job of your pancreas to prevent this from happening.
Western food is, however, loaded with fast sugars, causing a daily panic in our bodies. Since too much insulin in the system can also be sickening and because our body is constantly trying to find a balance, we develop insulin resistance. This causes you to be free of complaints for many years. However, it is a pseudo-balance and it is therefore no coincidence that most people develop complaints and ailments in midlife. As the accumulated damage spans a period of 20 to 30 years, most people will not trace their health problems back to the food they have been consuming all these years. We are currently experiencing an explosion of cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. And these diseases are occurring at an increasingly younger age too!
Diabetes is not called sugar diabetes for nothing. Sugar sickens. Diabetes is nothing more than a used-up, weakened or worn-out pancreas. It has been working overtime for years and is now no longer capable of producing sufficient amounts of insulin to regulate the blood sugar, resulting in pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer or other afflictions of the pancreas. On top of this, insulin resistance causes your body’s insulin to be increasingly less effective. The only way to reverse the process is to eliminate fast sugars in your food.
Start drinking your coffee or tea black (without that dead, ultraheated creamer as well) and don’t eat products containing sugar. Which is kind of a pain because it’s in nearly all our food. Check the ingredients on the label – and that goes for products from health-food stores too. Watch out for glucose, fructose, dextrose, sucrose, invert-sugar syrup, but also ‘natural’ alternatives such as raw cane sugar, corn syrup, rice syrup, date syrup and wheat syrup. Our bodies were not made to process that much sugar, natural or otherwise.
Slow sugars are also sugars. They’re in whole-grain products such as brown bread, brown rice, brown pasta, etc. These are called whole grain because the germ, the outer bran as well as the inner starch, are used. Particularly the bran slows down the sugars of the starch. White bread is therefore a fast sugar because the bran has been removed from the grain, leaving only the starch. For that reason, brown bread, brown rice and brown pasta are healthier than their white varieties. It’s the fiber in bran which slows down the sugars, slowing down their release into the bloodstream.
The same happens with potatoes and fruit. Those of you who remove the skin from an apple are refining the apple by throwing away the fiber and leaving only the fruit sugar. Peel a potato and you’re doing the same. Without its skin, a potato is merely a starch bomb and therefore a fast sugar. For this reason, fruit juice without the pulp fiber is nothing more than liquid candy. Nature didn’t intend it this way, otherwise she would have produced apples and potatoes without pulp and fiber. So don’t buy commercial fruit juice from a pack but squeeze your own fruit juice and don’t forget to drink the pulp either. Choose sour and bitter fruits instead of sweet ones, particularly berries, sour apples and citrus fruits such as lemon and grapefruit. Sour and bitter fruits are the original fruits and were eaten by Stone Age men.
Though slow sugars are better than fast sugars, this does not mean you can consume brown bread, rice, pasta and whole sweet fruits unlimitedly! Once again, we were not made to pump large quantities of sugars into our system. Therefore you should eat no more than two slices of bread and have brown pasta or rice only twice a week. So what should you eat instead? A much more complex form of carbohydrates is in vegetables. Try eating a salad a day containing, for example, carrot, green leafy vegetables, alfalfa and sprouts with a dressing of lemon juice and extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil and see how long that keeps you going. I guarantee you will get more energy and feel less hungry. You will also shed those excess pounds fast because you have drastically lowered your sugar intake, reducing your risk of diabetes and making you feel healthier and more vital. Don’t forget that viruses, parasites and cancer cells feed on sugar too.
Though honey has many healing qualities it should nevertheless be regarded as a fast sugar. Nature made the stuff so darn sweet for a reason – you should eat it only in small quantities. Because of its healthy aspects, honey need not be avoided. Make sure you eat raw honey (available in health-food stores or from local bee keepers), though, and not the highly processed honey supermarkets sell, which has been industrially heated and robbed of all its nutrients. Very often the bees were fed ordinary sugar as well, so this kind of ‘honey’ is nothing more than sugar disguised as honey.
A very special role is reserved for the caffeine in green tea. Just like alcohol,
caffeine is a natural substance which, when used sparingly, can have a healing effect. In coffee, the caffeine is however released at lightning speed, which makes coffee a fast sugar. This is of course why we drink coffee in the morning, to kickstart the brain into action. If you don’t want to give up your coffee, limit yourself to two cups a day.
Drinking green tea is better, though. For reasons yet unknown, there is a substance in green tea which slows down the release of caffeine into the blood, making it a slow sugar and giving you only the health benefits of caffeine. It gets even better: green tea also ‘eats’ the glucose in your blood, helping you to stabilize your blood sugar and supporting the pancreas so it doesn’t have to produce massive amounts of insulin.
Please don’t let this be a reason for you to fall into the trap of using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sorbitol, saccharine and other cancerous chemicals! Teach yourself to avoid sweet foods and enjoy the natural taste of real food instead. People who add cream and sugar to their coffee are really drinking coffee-flavored candy. It’s time we become adults and appreciate all four tastes (sweet, sour, salt and bitter) instead of only two (sweet and salt). If we did this and used all the colors of the rainbow, we would automatically make better food choices. We have been conditioned since we were children toward sweet and salty foods by a powerful food industry and therefore as adults, we often still have the taste of a four year old.
Our government tells us that unsaturated plant fats are good for us and saturated animal fats aren’t. This is a little too black and white. Here’s the grey area:
First off, it’s essential that we look at the omega fatty acids in vegetable and
animal fats. Next to sugars, it’s necessary to reduce your omega-6 intake. Omega-6 is a natural and healthy fatty acid but only at the right ratio to omega-3. We can eat unlimited amounts of omega-3 fats but too many omega-6 fats will inevitably lead to health problems.
The omega-3 to 6 ratio in Paleolithic times was no more than 1:4. What is it today? Anything from 1:20 to a staggering 1:50! Time, therefore, to up your omega-3 intake and lower your omega-6 intake. Eat fewer grains and avoid grain-based oils such as corn oil. Other omega-6 oils which are best avoided are soy oil and sunflower oil. Commercial meat and dairy comes from animals fed grain pellets and therefore also contain too much omega-6. Besides the animals’ suffering and the antibiotics, growth hormones, and the GMO’s they get, this is another reason to choose organic, grass-fed meat and dairy. Cows are supposed to eat grass and clover. So are pigs. Did you know chickens also eat grass?
So where do we get all these omega-3 fats? From anything with a green leaf. Green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of omega-3, particularly when raw. For cooking, also use green veggies, such as kale, sprouts, broccoli, etc. Other vegetable fats containing omega-3 are flaxseed oil and walnut oil. Be careful, though, as these oils do not allow themselves to be heated. Use only extra virgin olive oil for this or use olive oil cold. The best animal source of omega-3 is wild fatty fish and cod-liver or krill oil. These contain the long-chain EPA and DHA omega-3 fats.
For years we’ve been hearing that saturated fats are bad because they increase cholesterol levels. This is a persistent myth. In Asian, African and South American countries people cook with butter, coconut oil, and lard all the time and look at the health of these people! Saturated fats can withstand high temperatures and can be used multiple times and are therefore perfectly suited for frying. The best fats for frying are butter, coconut oil and olive oil. Natural saturated fats (animal fats but also plant fats like coconut fat) are processed by the body without difficulty and are not fattening. What makes people fat and unhealthy are sugar and refined oils (trans fats). By all means, help yourself to an organic egg fried in butter, full-fat yogurt or organic grass-fed meat.
Trans fats are the missing link between unsaturated and saturated fats. It’s not saturated fats which are the enemy but trans fats. Trans fatty acids are formed by solidifying cheaply available unsaturated plant fats like sunflower oil, soy oil, corn oil, peanut oil, etc. Through a heating process, the liquid is extracted from these fats, either in part or whole. Then a hydrogen atom is added. This results in the transformation of unsaturated fatty acids into saturated fatty acids, a kind not found in nature and which is alien to the body. When you consume these fats, your body doesn’t know what to do with them, giving them free range to form free radicals and cause damage even at the cellular (DNA) level!
Which products contain trans fats? It’s better to ask which ones don’t nowadays. Frying oil, potato chips, coffee creamer, cookies – chances are they contain hydrogenated or partly hydrogenated fats. Even peanut butter is no longer exempt. And it isn’t just foods either: make sure you also read the labels of vitamin supplements, ointments, creams, gels, lotions, cosmetics – even the ones you buy in health-food stores. It’s very important that you check the labels for these and other ingredients. You will find empty foods very often also contain sugar, salt, flavour enhancers and chemical sweeteners to hide the fact that they taste like cardboard. Food should be prepared in a kitchen, not in a lab.
Interestingly enough, trans fats are not completely unnatural. Meat and dairy from hoofed grazing animals (ruminants) naturally contains 2 to 3% trans fats. Tests have been done to measure the potential harmful effects of natural and unnatural trans fats. Natural trans fats turned out to be completely harmless, whereas chemical trans fats did prove harmful to natural organisms, even though they looked identical under the microscope. Nobody knows why this is. My guess is other micronutrients play a role in cancelling the potentially harmful effects of natural trans fats in, for example, butter. We see the same mechanism at work with the caffeine in green tea. Nature works in complex synergistic wholes, never with isolates. We are only beginning to discover the complex interaction of these micronutrients.
The deadly cocktail of sugars and trans fats is responsible for the many health challenges we face today. Our blood and blood flow suffer particularly because of their devastating effect on the liver, guts, kidneys and heart. No wonder so many of our modern diseases affect exactly those organs.
About the author
Mike Donkers is an English teacher from the Netherlands who started taking care of his own health in October 2006 because doctors couldn’t help him. His interest in the connection between food and health has led to more in-depth research, particularly in the role sea minerals can have in the regeneration of cells. He is also a self-taught guitarist and singer. He is the songwriter and frontman of his own band, The Mellotones (www.nubluz.com).
Article extracted from: http://www.naturalnews.com/023085_sugar_fat_fats.html#ixzz24YuZGphH
A new study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group found the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in over 50 percent of the name-brand canned goods tested. In some cases, a single serving was enough to expose a woman or infant to BPA levels that were 200 times higher than the government’s safe level for industrial chemicals.
What you need to know -
• BPA is an industrially produced chemical commonly used in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. BPA-containing resins are a common ingredient in the linings of canned goods.
• BPA is a known estrogen mimicker, and can cause hormone-disrupting
effects, toxicity or even neurotoxicity, low sperm counts and cancer. Some of these effects can occur in concentrations as low as two parts per billion. More than 200 animal studies show that BPA is toxic at very low doses, and the Centers for Disease Control explains that it has found BPA in 95 percent of patients being tested at levels that raise health concerns.
• The study found that cans of chicken soup, infant formula and ravioli had the highest levels of BPA. One to three servings of these foods was enough to expose women or children to BPA levels that have been shown to cause harm in animal tests.
• One in 10 of the cans tested — and one in three cans of infant formula — contained concentrations high enough that a single serving contained levels less than five times lower than the dose shown to cause harm in animal studies. Typically, the government classifies exposure as dangerous if it is within 1,000 to 3,000 times that shown to harm animals.
• Quote: “Given widespread human exposure to BPA and hundreds of studies showing its adverse effects, the FDA and EPA must act quickly to revise safe levels for BPA exposure based on the latest science on the low-dose toxicity of the chemical.” – Environmental Working Group
What you need to know – Alternative View
Statements and opinions by Mike Adams, author of Grocery Warning: How to identify and avoid dangerous food ingredients
• It is worth noting that bisphenol-A is only found in processed, manufactured foods and packaging. Consuming fresh, raw produce avoids the ingestion of bisphenol-A.
• Food packaging that has long been considered “safe” by the FDA is now being found to be surprisingly hazardous to human health. As a general rule, the more fresh food you eat and the less processed, packaging food you eat, the lower your risk will be for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders and many other diseases.
Article extracted from : http://www.naturalnews.com
There are many lifestyle and environmental causes of low sperm count. We’ve compiled a check list. Positive changes can help!
Half of all infertility cases are male related! The good news is that low sperm count is the most common reversible cause of male factor infertility.
Firstly, there are certainmedical conditions or prescription medicationsthat can interfere with male fertility.
Some common medical conditions or previous testicular injury can impair sperm production. It’s advised to have a general check up with your personal physician to diagnose or manage any health issues that may contribute towards low sperm count. Occasionally a change or an adjustment of a particular medication may be required. If necessary your doctor will refer you onto a specialist for further evaluation.
Sperm quality is just as important – some of these factors below also effect sperm motility (movement and speed) and morphology (shape). Semen can also suffer (fluid that contains spermatozoa). These criteria influence the chances of conception taking place.
Causes of low sperm count and other abnormalities
Often there’s a few contributing factors -
Stress – adrenal hormones can interfere with the production of our major sex hormones. Chronic stress leads to other health ailments which can eventually interfere with the reproductive system.
Nutritional deficiencies and poor eating habits – lack of fresh organic fruit and vegetables. Eating too many processed products, refined foods, sugars, and fats.
Pesticides - present on conventional fruit and vegetables. Responsible for numerous health issues.
Growth hormones - found in conventional animal products. Associated with estrogen dominance related conditions.
Too much alcohol – depletes vitamins and minerals from the body. An overworked liver can cause a rise in estrogen.
Excessive caffeine consumption – linked to several sperm problems. Mostly found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, energy drinks, and some medications. There are other types of caffeine based stimulants people use to help keep awake (e.g. in tablet form).
Overheating of the scrotum – one of the common causes of low sperm count. Hot baths, saunas, and electric blankets can overheat sperm
producing cells in the testicles. Exposure to heat in the work environment. Using a laptop on your knees (heat produced by battery) has been proved to increase scrotal temperature. Long hours driving or sitting. Tight underwear or trousers, or constantly keeping legs crossed/pressed together can trap heat.
Sleep deprivation – an array of health complaints and illnesses including fertility problems.
Lack of exercise – too little physical activity can lead to sluggish circulation and poor health, which can become causes of low sperm count.
Overexertion - some men go to the extreme and overexert themselves, which risks sperm supply by overheating. Prevalent in endurance athletes.
Regular bike riding - poses a risk because of pressure and friction against the seat restricting blood flow to the testicles.
Obesity – fat cells secrete estrogen. The consequence is a diminished testosterone level (hormone needed for sperm production). Skin folds covering the genital may also be a problem for obese men, as the testicles can overheat effecting sperm count.
Underweight - hormonal imbalance is a possibility. Lack of essential nutrients required for sperm production.
Smoking cigarettes – major cause of poor sperm quality. Known to cause agglutination (sperm cells clumping together). Can damage genetic material within the sperm cells.
Abuse of anabolic steroids - suppresses the testes ability to produce testosterone.
Marijuana use – includes sperm motility problems which make it harder to reach the female egg.
Other recreational drugs, substance abuse – can cause DNA damage, therefore putting future offspring at risk.
EMF exposure (electromagnetic field) – cell phones in pockets near the crotch, laptops placed on knees, and electric blankets.
X-rays – any rapidly dividing cells are affected, including sperm cells. The genital area should have a protective shield whenever possible. Higher doses of x-ray radiation have more severe effects on sperm production.
Hidden environmental toxins and hormone disruptors (xenoestrogens) – one of the not so obvious causes of low sperm count! Found all around us in a variety of unsuspecting places, such as cleaning products in the home, plastic food packaging, and the personal care products that we use on a daily basis.
Hazards in the workplace - many men work with and around toxic substances, chemicals, and heavy metals, which can be damaging to sperm cells. Precautionary measures should always be enforced and practiced.
Recent sickness – illness, infections, and fever can result in temporary sperm depletion for up to three – four months after the ailment has passed.
Frequent ejaculation – can lower sperm count.
Lubricants – There’s specifically designed lube for couples trying to conceive. Only use sperm friendly lubricants as other brands are inhospitable to sperm cells and can damage or kill them.
Help with the above common causes of low sperm count!
Sperm cells are constantly being produced, although they take around three – four months to mature enough for ejaculation. Certain lifestyle adjustments can make a difference! By addressing any factors that can decrease sperm count (given time) you can help replenish your “swimmers” and improve their quality.
Article Extracted from:
Courtesy of www.fertility-health.com
Millions of individuals are shocked to find that their doctor advises them that they have high blood pressure (hypertension). Often there are no symptoms, no reason to suspect that the pressure of blood in the arteries is high, putting pressure on the arteries and veins. These blood vessels become more rigid with age giving rise to blood vessels being more inclined to burst.
About 90% of people who have high blood pressure have no obvious underlying cause. This is medically called essential hypertension, but there are certainly increased risk factors and these will be discussed later in the article.
This condition is extremely common affecting 10 to 20 per cent of the UK adult population. Hypertension is more common in men that in women and occurs more frequently in middle and old age, although a surprising number of young adults are being found to be hypertensive.
In 10% of cases there is a definite cause of high blood pressure. This is called specific hypertension. These causes include certain disorders of the adrenal glands. One of the hormones that the adrenal glands produce is called aldosterone. Aldosterone controls the amount of sodium and potassium that there is in the blood and tissues. This alters fluid levels in the cells and the fluid around the cells and can cause the blood to become too thick, thus increasing blood pressure. Also,in some cases of kidney disese, hypertension may occur due to changes in the production of angiotensin, a protein that is involved in narrowing small blood vessels in tissues. This causes an increase in blood pressure. There are certain congenital heart defects that give rise to specific hypertension and certain drugs can cause high blood pressure. Taking the combined contraceptive pill appears to increase the risk of hypertension.
How do I evaluate how serious my problem is?
The doctor or nurse will measure your blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer (try to pronounce it!) to measure the force on the blood vessels as the heart pumps and the pressure of the vessels when the heart is at rest in between beats. This gives two figures that you are no doubt familiar with. Below is a rough idea of how the doctor will assess the results. Remember that everyone’s blood pressure rises temporarly and falls because this is a natural occurence in the body. It becomes a problem when it is constantly high, or becomes high very suddenly. So oftentimes you will be asked to return and perhaps be seen by a nurse, to ensure that you are not suffering from ‘white coat syndrome” (stress of having blood pressure taken by a doctor can naturally cause a rise in blood pressure in some people, which could be wrongly interpreted).
- Borderline hypertension: 120-16-/90-94 mmHg
- Mild hypertension: 140 -160/95-104 mmHg
- Moderate hypertension: 140-180/105-114 mmHg
- Severe hypertension: 160+/115+ mmHg
What can I do to help high blood pressure?
The good news is that about 80% of individuals fall into the borderline to moderate hypertension range and most cases can be brought under control very successfully by change in lifestyle, diet and taking natural remedies and herbal remedies that are known to help hypertension. These methods can often be superior to drugs in cases of borderline and moderate hypertension.
It is true to say that all drugs have side effects. Diuretic drugs and beta-blockers have side effects listed including incresed risk of heart disease and most medical professionals will try and avoid giving these if they can unless the problem is persistent and doesn’t respond to lifestyle changes.
If you suffer from severe hypertension (160+/115+), drugs are indicated. However employing all the measures by eating a diet rich in nutrients can help tremendously in cases of moderate high blood pressure. It appears that when drug therapy is necessary ACE inhibitors or calcium channel blockers seem to be the safest options.
General Lifestyle, Diet and Natural Remedy Guidelines for Helping Hypertension
Many individuals are enlightened regarding healthy eating. But there are some specific areas that someone with high blood pressure should particularly consider.
- Lose weight if necessary
- Avoid high alcohol consumption, caffeine and smoking. Exercise and reduce stress.
- Eat plenty of fibre obtained from unrefined grains, nuts and fruit and vegetables and pulses. We should eat at least 30g of fibre per day. If your intake of these foods are low, consider taking either LOCLO orTNT(Total&Nutrition&Today) or other natural fibre supplements that you can buy from this site.
- Eat plenty of celery, garlic and onions. Garlic and onions have been researched and have shown to reduce the systolic blood pressure in hypertensive people by 3.1%. If you don’t like eating a lot of garlic, try taking Garlic- High Potency. Take the equivalent of 4g fresh garlic per day.
- Studies show that omega-3 oils can help to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure by up to 9 points(mmHg). Considerably reduce intake of animal fats (fatty meat, dairy products) adn increase your consumption of 1 tablespoon of cold pressed vegetable oils daily. This can be done by daily making salad dressings, mixing in potatoes and soups. Eating nuts and sprinkling freshly ground seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, linseeds or sesame seeds into soups or on cereals is helpful . Increase your intake of oily fish to at least 3 times per week. If you find this difficult to do, try taking either a high quality fish oil (not cod liver oil) or a flaxseed oil product. Try either, or a combination ofOmega 3 EPA and/or Flax Seed Oil . Since you need to be taking in about 1 tblsp oil, then large numbers of capsules are necessary. Try taking 4 of each daily. If they repeat on you, keep them in the refrigerator and take the cold capsules as soon as you can. They then melt further down in your stomach.
- Reducing salt intake can be helpful in some cases (sodium chloride). Steaming vegetables makes them tastier and reduces the need for salt. Avoid processed foods as they often contain high levels of salt. Eat plain nuts as opposed to salted and avoid potato crisps (chips). The body does need salt, so the best way to obtain this is by using Celtic Salt or Himalayan Salt
- There is a substance which is sythesized (produced) by the body called Coenzyme Q10, sometimes known as ubiquinone. Interestingly 39% of people suffering from hypertension are short of this coenzyme. Although no one knows what effect this has, if a person is deficient, it seems to negatively effect metabolism. Its not easy to get from one’s diet since the body manufactures it from other raw materials, but it is available from black grapes. Correcting this deficiency can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure by as much as 10%. How do you know if you are one of the 39% who are deficient in CoQ10? Some signs are gum disease, high cholesterol levels, and arteriosclerosis or diagnosed heart disease. You need to take about 60mg twice daily.
- Stress plays a large part in elevating blood pressure. If your doctor thinks this is your problem, click on the section in this site in the search library onto ‘Stress, anxiety” , Nutricalm contains important B vitamins as well as soothing chamomile.
- Vitamin E is the vitamin that we would say is one of the most important for the heart, as an antioxidant and to prevent blood inappropriately clotting. Its properties for healing tissue , which would include blood vessels is well documented. We suggest that a dose of 400 – 800 iu’s per day is a therapeutic dose for hypertension. We prefer to use mixed tocopherols rather than a single kind of vitamin E
- Lead toxicity is often linked to hypertension (see related article) andvitamin C. The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine Vol. 24, August 1939, No. 11, pp. 1119-1127 increased cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C is really important to promote excretion of lead from the body. People who live in soft water areas may have higher amounts of lead and lower amounts of calcium and magnesium (protective against high blood pressure) due to the high acidity of the water. If you suspect your water may be high in lead, take 500mg-1000mg 4 times daily of
- Magnesium can help lower blood pressure because it is involved in
activating the pump that allows potassium into the cell and sodium out of the cells. This in turn affects the body’s response to the amount of fluid present in the blood. Again, think of taking extra magnesium if you live in a soft water area. Consider taking 500mg to 1000mg daily (divide dose) for 3-6 months. If you have kidney disease or severe heart disease (high grade atrioventricular block), do not take magnesium. Magnesium is also helpful in combatting stress and anxiety
- Vitamin B6 taken in a B complex or in the combination supplementMega Chel . This contains an array of nutrients that support the entire circulatory system – arteries, veins, tissues and organs that service this amazing body system. We use Mega Chel in our clinic.
Diets low in potassium and high in sodium (salt) is linked to hypertension so this is where a diet high in potssium from fruit and vegetables comes in. Increasing dietary potassium can really help high blood pressure. If your diet is low in fruit and vegetables, supplementation may help, particularly if you are over 65. If you are suffering from kidney disease or taking digitalis, potassium sparing diuretics or ACE inhibitors, potassium supplements must not be taken without consulting your doctor. A high quality salt such as Himalayan salt or Celtic salt, which are rich in many minerals, are worth considering as these salts have a similar combination of minerals as extracellular fluid. We do need about half a teaspoon of salt daily.
- More obscure suggestions for causes or contributing factors for essential hypertension is the effect that geopathic stress can have on some people. Moving bedrooms or repositioning the bed, sitting in a different chair from where you usually sit may help in alleviating stresses.See related article.
- Herbal formulas have been used for centuries to help support the systems of the body. They provide nutrients and phytochemicals that can have extraordinary but safe actions on body systems. They work not by blocking chemical reactions as drugs to, but by balancing body metabolism. Hawthorne is known to have a mild effect on blood pressure and is also well known as a heart tonic. We have mentioned garlic which is a food/herb. Many herbs and fruits contain proanthocyanadins that have antioxidant properties and reduce inflammation in the arteries and veins and help to strengthen them. This is very important in helping to reduce the risk of strokes and coronary attacks. Examples of these are pine bark, bilberry and strawberry. See in the summary below some suggestions for you to try.
So as you can see there is plenty you can do to help your hypertension with natural remedies, diet and herbal remedies. Obviously the more serious your problem, the more intense your treatment programme needs to be. Please do keep it up for at least 3 months minimum. Remember that symptoms and signs take a very long time to manifest themselves, therefore the body needs plenty of time to recover. If your regime is working, continue on with the programme for at least 6 months. You can then consider reducing to a mantainence programme to help to keep things stable.
Always pay attention to what you eat. These are your raw materials that the body uses to function. If anything is missing from your diet, your body will eventually tell you with symptoms of ill heatlh. Hypertension is not a death sentence if you take care of yourself. Your body is the most precious thing you have. Look after it.
There are many natural remedies that can help strengthen your arteries and veins. Taken as a long term programme, they have shown to be very effective for a lot of people. You can purchase these high quality supplements from this website by clicking on the links below.
ARTICLE EXTRACTED FROM : http://www.turnaroundyourhealth.co.uk/Herbal-Remedies-for-Hypertension—High-Blood-Pressure/B156.htm
Arthritis treatment primarily aims to provide pain relief. Effective pain relief can be obtained with natural healing remedies for arthritis which are gentle and mild. Conventional medications typically include analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs or anti-inflammatory drugs. Treatment generally depends on the type of arthritis you have.
Natural healing remedies for arthritis include herbal treatments, nutritional supplements and vitamins. The key to getting great results from them is dosage and consistency. For example, if you are drinking herbal teas, you will need to be consistent in drinking at least 2-3 cups a day. If you are taking superfoods, again you must be consistent in order to get the maximum effect from the nutrients.
Osteoarthritis responds well to herbal remedies such as devil’s claw. It contains iridoid glycosides in its roots and has been proven effective in treating osteoarthritis. Another herb, Boswellia (also known as Indian frankincense), is quite effective in treating the symptoms of arthritis. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and contains boswellic acids which impede the chemical reactions that cause the inflammation.
A ready-made natural remedy containing both devil’s claw and boswellia as
well as glucosmaine is JointEase Plus from Native Remedies. Regular use of the remedy will help to maintain health and mobility in the joints without the risk of side effects of conventional medicines.
Cayenne is used in an infused oil and rubbed into arthritic joints for pain relief. Other useful herbs for pain relief is alfalfa. It can help to soothe the affected area in a gentle manner without any harsh side effects. Ginger and willow bark extract contain chemicals found in conventional pain-killers. You can buy all these pain remedies in health food and herbal supply stores.
Diet and nutrition
Eat a diet high in essential nutrients and low in processed foods, additives and sugar. Also avoid excessive caffeine.
Dietary supplements like glucosamine can also be used to provide natural pain relief as well as to repair cartilage, maintain joint mobility and diminish joint deterioration.
Another supplement, chrondroitin fish oil, contains omega-3 fatty acids and is
known for controlling inflammation. It improves the shock absorbing capacity of the arthritic joint by directing fluid into the cartilage. Sardines, salmon, and anchovies are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can easily get fish oil capsules from health food stores.
Another kind of essential fatty acid known as gamma-linolenic acid has also been found to be helpful in treating arthritic pain. This acid can be found in black currant seed oil, borage and evening primrose oils.
Vitamins also help controlling pain. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant and works effectively in osteoarthritis. Vitamin E curbs joint damage caused by free radicals and helps reducing the pain.
Helpful techniques to manage the pain associated with the various forms of arthritis include controlling your body weight and gentle exercise.
Swimming, biking and water aerobics can reduce joint pain. Exercise increases blood flow, builds strong muscles. Yoga and stretching exercises help you stay flexible while preventing stiffness and joint deformities.
If you are overweight you need to control your weight to reduce the strain on your knees or ankles. Follow a healthy eating plan or natural weight loss program under the supervision of a dietician.
You can reverse arthritis by giving your body what it needs to repair itself through natural healing remedies, exercise, nutrition, detoxification and diet.
The body’s own immune system, if sufficiently strengthened and boosted by natural means, can resist or surmount an attack by any natural biological organism. Other deadly organisms exist today which are not natural in origin, but rather have been bioengineered in genetic engineering laboratories located mostly in the United States. These pathogens were intentionally designed to circumvent and cripple the body’s immune system and ensure the lethality of the disease. Two well known bioengineered diseases are AIDS and Ebola. There are some new ‘mystery’ diseases which have recently made their appearance and yet other virulent bioengineered diseases which are waiting in the wings for the ‘right time’ (see Population Control under New World Order ). Bioengineered organisms require special consideration and technologies to defeat them, but they are defeatable.
The main focus of our organization is the promotion of non-pharmaceutical medicine. We all possess the innate ability to protect ourselves from disease. This wondrous disease prevention system is the immune system, which has been , much like the value of proper nutrition, largely forgotten and ignored. Proper nutrition is one of the easiest ways to boost the immune system.
The overuse of pharmaceutical drugs, and the lack of information concerning immunity boosting has left the average American’s immune system efficiency level at 40% or 50%, at best. Some countries, like Japan, have a traditional diet that creates a stronger immune system and consequently Japanese people (who embrace the traditional diet) usually live a longer lifespan. It’s no coincidence that Japanese women are among the longest living people on the planet.
- There is so much to be said about supplements that we will not even attempt to cover everything, as there are already a number of organizations who have constructed websites with a wealth of information on this topic (many of these can be found on our links page). However, we will provide you with information on a few of the more extraordinary supplements that we have found to be especially effective for general immunity boosting, as well as treatment of specific ailments:
- Flax Seed Oil
Over-consumption of “bad” highly saturated fats, low in essential fatty acids (EFA’s) results in fat deposition causing obesity and fatty degeneration. When “good” unsaturated fats rich in EFA’s are added to the diet, food utilization and energy production are enhanced and less fat is deposited. The richest source of Omega 3 fatty acids is flax seed oil with 55-65% Omega 3 and 15-25% Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 fatty acids are essential but are less likely to be deficient in the American diet.
EFA’s and their derivatives serve a number of vital functions including transport and metabolism of both cholesterol and triglycerides, normal brain development and function, required in the structure of cell membranes, increase metabolic rate, oxygen uptake and energy production, slow down growth of cancer cells, candida and other anaerobic organisms, production of prostaglandins and replenish skin oils to combat dryness and wrinkling.
Conditions associated with fatty degeneration include cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, rheumatism, acne and other skin conditions, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibro-sis, glandular atrophy, asthma, kidney, liver and gall bladder problems. In addition to general immunity boosting, flax seed oil has proven to be effective in the following conditions: Cardiovascular disease, Cancer, tumors, Obesity, Diabetes, Hypoglycemia, Skin conditions, Glandular atrophy, Liver and gall bladder, Kidney problems, etc.
Our reccomended dosage is one or two teaspoons daily. Although taking flax seed oil by swigging it down or by the spoonful is not very palatable, so you may wish to add it to foods.
Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C)
Sodium Ascorbate powder is a non-acidic form of Vitamin C. Vitamin C has intrinsic antiviral and antibacterial activity though its main effect is improvement in host resistance. Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C Powder) may be beneficial in: General immunity boosting, helping to ward off or prevent colds & flus, assisting the healing of wounds, aiding the body in fighting infection, etc.
Unlike most animals that produce their own Vitamin C, the human body does not synthesize any. Whether for general immunity boosting or for the treatment of a specific condition, one requires more Vitamin C than our contemporary diet supplies. The amount of vitamin C you take daily determines its effectiveness. 60 mg per day is the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance for adults). This is easily obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables. 500 mg to 5 gm (grams) per day has proven to be beneficial in the prevention of colds, and general immunity boosting. However, Vitamin C dosage of over 1 gm can realistically only be obtained through supplements.
Sodium Ascorbate provides, on average, between 4 and 5 gm of Vitamin C per teaspoon. Our reccomendation for general immunity boosting is one teaspoon (approximately 4.5 gm) daily. If you are experiencing cold symptoms, we suggest a dosage of 4 to 5 gm (usually one teaspoon) per hour. If this treatment is started in the early stages of a cold, it will often fail to develop. If the cold has already developed, this treatment will usually lessen the effect of the cold, and speed recovery. Dissolving the powder in water (or juice, if you find the taste especially unpleasant) is the preferred method of consumption.
Sodium Ascorbate appears to be the most well-known Vitamin C supplement, although there are a number of others available. They are as follows:
- Calcium Ascorbate
- This seems to be nearly as well-known as Sodium Ascorbate. If you cannot find Sodium Ascorbate, this will perform virtually the same effect. The proponents of calcium ascorbate claim that calcium in this form of vitamin C is well utilized.
- Magnesium Ascorbate
- Magnesium is essential for calcium utilization.
- Potassium Ascorbate
- The addition of potassium may lower blood pressure.
- Zinc Ascorbate
- The zinc may give an added boost to the immune system.
- Manganese Ascorbate
- Chromium Ascorbate
- Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum)
Perhaps the single most wonderful and most beneficial herb in the entire herbal kingdom is Capsicum, or Cayenne Red Pepper. Many herbalists have said that if they could have only one herb to work with, they would choose Capsicum.
Cayenne is a pepper well known for its benefits to the circulatory system. It aids the body to balance pressure levels and resist abnormal bleeding. Cayenne is also used as an overall digestive aid: It stimulates the production of gastric juices, improves metabolism, and even helps relieve gas. It appears to have a beneficial effect on blood fats as well. This plant assists in the body’s utilization of other herbs, when used in an herbal combination. When applied topically, it helps relieve minor discomfort.
According to a 1987 study published in the Journal of Bioscience, rats fed a diet high in cayenne experienced a significant reduction in blood triglycerides and low density lipoproteins (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. Capsaicin, a compound found in cayenne that gives the spice its “kick,” is an antiinflammatory. Recently, cayenne has been used successfully to treat patients with cluster headaches, a particularly painful type of headache. Used externally, cayenne liniment can soothe the stiffness and pain of rheumatism and arthritis.
Cayenne will work nicely as a general immune booster, or as an addition to treatment of almost any ailment. Our reccomended dosage is as follows 1/4 to 1 teaspoon 3 times a day, taken with plenty of water or juice at mealtime, unless instructed otherwise. If using Cayenne capsules, take 2-3 three times a day with with a large glass of water, unless instructed otherwise.
Peace & Relaxation
- One of the best ways to lower your immune system and make yourself sick is stress. Similarly, negative emotions like worry and anger will also lower your immune system. So as you might expect, one good way to boost your immune system, as well as to improve the general quality of your life, is to eliminate these negative emotions.
The following are methods of doing this which we have found to be effective:
Meditation has become increasingly popular in the western world. It provides a simple way to relax yourself, relieve stress, boost your immune system, and create more well-being and happiness in your life. The method of meditation you choose is not so important as achieving the desired result–a quiet mind, which promotes inner peace and relaxation. There are many different types of meditation, and our suggestion to you is to choose whatever you enjoy and feels right. If you’re not very familiar with meditation, here are a few techniques we reccomend:
“There’s nothing to it!” is something I often here when someone is describing general meditation, and franky, it’s absolutely true. General meditation is as simple as quieting your mind. Find a quiet place and time when you won’t be disturbed, close your eyes, and clear your mind of any thoughts. Sit like this, attempting to eliminate all thoughts and experience total peace, for whatever period of time feels comfortable. Often beginners find it difficult to meditate for more than five or ten minutes. If you find yourself in such a situation, don’t despair. You will find yourself able to sit for longer and longer intervals as time progresses. If you have never meditated before, consider starting your meditations in intervals of five minutes. When you feel comfortable, increase your intervals to ten minutes. When you feel comfortable with that, try to move to fifteen minutes, and continue like this until you feel a length of time that suits you.
Focused breathing is another very popular, yet tremendously simple, meditation. As in general meditation, find a quiet time and place where you won’t be disturbed, close your eyes, and clear you mind of any thoughts. From there, focus on your breathing. Focus on the in-breath, and the out-breath. This is also commonly known as conscious breathing, because as opposed to our normal breathing which we do not focus on or attempt to control, “focused breathing” is consciously monitored and controlled. You simply “watch” yourself breath, so to speak, and attempt to bring your breaths to a slow, rhythmic pace (whatever pace feels comfortable to you). By focusing on your breath, you draw your attention to that, and eliminate random thoughts, which creates a feeling of inner peace. To help focus on their breath, people will often draw their attention to the air entering their nostrils, and the air leaving their mouth. You may also wish to draw your attention to the rising and falling of your chest. Use whatever method you feel comfortable with. As for controlling the pace of your breath, some people count a certain number of seconds between each breath and attempt to maintain this slow, rhythmic, controlled pace. Others prefer not to count. Other use different techniques still. We suggest you use whatever feels comfortable to you.
Excerpt taken from: http://educate-yourself.org/immunboosting/
Things to Know About Kidney Stones
About 80% of all stones are made up of calcium oxalate. This can be caused by
excessive calcium absorption from the digestive system and sometimes due to use of poor sources of calcium in the diet and in supplements. Stone formation can also be due to excessive intake of refined carbohydrates and sugars in the diet. This is because the consumption of these foods caused insulin to be released from the pancreas which then causes extra calcium to be excreted into the urine. Dehydration is also a key causative factor in the development of stones because it causes the urine to become too concentrated and increases the likelihood of stone formation.
Another form of stones is produced due to high amounts of uric acid within the
blood. These stones are also common in people who suffer from frequent
urinary tract infections. Other risk factors include people who suffer from Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or have a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars or oxalic acid foods. Other factors include low urine volume or low urine pH.
- Folic Acid – reduces uric acid production
- Zinc – inhibits crystallisation of kidney stones
- Vitamin A – promotes healing of the mucous membrane lining of the urinary tract
- Aloe Vera Juice – prevents stone formation and can reduce the size of the stones during an acute attack
- Bicarbonate – can solubilise uric acid stones
- Magnesium – reduces the formation of calcium stones
- Activated B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate) – reduces urinary oxalate excretion
- Water – 2.5-3L per day
- Reduce animal protein to 1g per kg of body weight
- Avoid alcohol and all caffeinated beverages – includes coffee, black/green tea, coke and other soft drinks, V and red bull etc.
- Reduce oxalate rich foods – celery, carrots, chocolate, cucumber, grapefruit, kale, peanuts, sweet potato and chillies
- Potassium citrate – reduces calcium stone formation
- Probiotics – especially if antibiotics have been prescribed or used during periods of hospitalisation
- Shark Cartilage – inhibits calcium oxalate crystallisation
Are you depressed?
Depression is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms in a questionnaire test, the most common being the Hamilton Rating Scale of Depression, or HRS for short. This contains questions about your mood, guilt feelings, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, agitation, anxiety, physical problems, sex drive, and so on. Depending on your test score on these questions, you will be diagnosed with either “mild,” “moderate,” or “severe” depression. Here’s a simplified depression test questionnaire to check your mood.
Try the Depression Test
Do you feel downhearted, blue and sad?
Do you feel worse in the morning?
Do you have crying spells, or feel like it?
Do you have trouble falling asleep, or sleeping through the night?
Is your appetite poor, or conversely, do you have strong cravings for carbohydrates?
Do you feel unattractive and unlovable?
Do you prefer to be alone?
Do you feel fearful?
Are you often tired and irritable?
Is it an effort to do the things you used to do?
Are you restless and unable to keep still?
Do you feel hopeless about the future?
Do you find it difficult to make decisions?
Do you feel less enjoyment from activities that once gave you pleasure?
If you answered yes to:
Fewer than 5: You appear to be generally positive, optimistic and able to roll with the punches. The information below will give you clues on how to handle those occasions when things aren’t going so well for you.
5 to 10: You may have a mild to moderate case of the blues. Read on to see how this can happen, and then, to the solutions. You might also consider seeking help and advice from your GP.
More than 10: You may be moderately to markedly depressed. Besides following the advice below, we recommend you seek professional help.
What causes depression?
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of depression. There might be underlying biochemical or psychological issues that predispose an individual to depression. There might be a trigger such as a stressful event, a bereavement, loss of a job, or break up of a relationship. If you are suffering with a low mood, whether you consider that it is depression or not, you should see your GP who can rule out medical causes, recommend counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and psychotherapy, and assess your medication. Exercise is also very important and there’s lots of evidence that regular exercise boosts mood, especially if you’re able to exercise outdoors in a green environment. Even a walk in the park or a stroll by the river is thought to be beneficial.
There are a number of nutritional imbalances that can make you prone to depression. These are:
• Essential fats –do you need more Omega 3?
• Homocysteine level – is it too high, corrected with B vitamins?
• Serotonin levels – do they need boosting with amino acids?
• Blood sugar balance – is yours within the healthy range?
• Chromium – are you getting enough?
• Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin
• Food intolerances – could food could be making you sad?
To find out more about these factors read on, or click on our
Action Plan for Depression
DIET & NUTRITION – WHAT WORKS
INCREASE YOUR OMEGA 3 FATS
Omega-3 fats are called essential fats, because unlike some other substances,
they can’t be manufactured within the human body, and therefore it is essential that you take them in through your diet. The richest dietary source is from oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, pilchards, herring, trout and fresh but not tinned tuna. Surveys have shown that the more fish the population of a country eats the lower is their incidence of depression. There are two key types of omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA and the evidence suggests that its the EPA which seems to be the most potent natural anti-depressant.
There have been six double-blind placebo controlled trials to date, five of which show benefit. The first trial by Dr Andrew Stoll from Harvard Medical School, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, gave 40 depressed patients either omega 3 supplements versus placebo and found a highly significant improvement. The next, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, tested the effects of giving twenty people suffering from severe depression, who were already on anti-depressants but still depressed, a highly concentrated form of omega 3 fat, called ethyl-EPA versus a placebo. By the third week the depressed patients were showing major improvement in their mood, while those on placebo were not. A recent pooling of trials (a meta-analysis) which looked at all good quality trials of omega-3 fats and mood disorders concluded that omega-3 fats reduced depressive symptoms by an average of 53% and that there was as correlation between dose and depressive symptom improvement, meaning that higher dose omega-3 was more effective that lower dose. Of those that measured the Hamilton Rating Scale, including one ‘open’ trial, not involving placebos, the average improvement in depression was approximately double that shown by anti-depressant drugs, without the side-effects. This may be because omega 3s help to build your brain’s neuronal (brain cell) connections as well as the receptor sites for neurotransmitters; therefore, the more omega-3s in your blood, the more serotonin you are likely to make and the more responsive you become to its effects.
Where’s the evidence? Click here for a list of scientific studies on omega 3 and depression.
Side effects? Very occasionally, when starting omega-3 fish oil supplementation, some people can get slightly loose bowels or fish-tasting burps, but this is quite rare. Supplementing fish oils also reduces risk for heart disease, reduces arthritic pain and may improve memory and concentration.
See action plan for our recommendations.
INCREASE YOUR INTAKE OF B VITAMINS
People with either low blood levels of the B-vitamin folic acid, or high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, (a sign that you are not getting enough B6, B12 or folic acid) are both more likely to be depressed and less likely to get a positive result from anti-depressant drugs. In a study comparing the effects of giving an SSRI with either a placebo or with folic acid, 61% of patients improved on the placebo combination but 93% improved with the addition of folic acid. But how does folic acid itself, a cheap vitamin with no side-effects, compare to anti-depressants?
Three trials involving 247 people addressed this question. Two involving 151 people assessed the use of folic acid in addition to other treatment, and found that adding folic acid reduced HRS scores on average by a further 2.65 points. That’s not as good as the results with 5-HTP (discussed below) but as good, if not better than antidepressants. These studies also show that more patients treated with folate experienced a reduction in their Hamilton Rating score of greater than 50% after ten weeks compared to those on anti-depressants.
Having a high level of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid found in the blood, doubles the odds of a woman developing depression. The ideal level is below 7, and certainly below 10. The average level is 10-11. Depression risk doubles with levels above 15. The higher your level the more likely folic acid will work for you.
Folic acid is one of seven nutrients – the others being B2, B6, B12, zinc, magnesium and TMG – that help normalise homocysteine. Deficiency in vitamin B3, B6, folic acid, zinc and magnesium have all been linked to depression. Having a low homocysteine means your brain is good at ‘methylating’ which is the process by which the brain keeps it’s chemistry in balance. So it makes sense to both eat wholefoods, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, high in these nutrients and supplementing a multivitamin.
Side effects? There are none, except lower risk for heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s and improved energy and concentration. However, if you are B12 deficient (most likely if you are elderly, vegan, or are on medication to reduce stomach acid), taking folic acid on its own can mask the B12 deficiency symptoms, but the underlying nerve damage caused by B12 deficiency anaemia can persist. So, don’t take folic acid without also supplementing vitamin B12 (sub-lingual forms are better absorbed, particularly in the elderly).
BOOST YOUR SEROTONIN WITH AMINO ACIDS
Serotonin is made in the body and brain from an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan is then converted into another amino acid called 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP), which in turn converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophan can be found in the diet; it’s in many protein rich foods such as meat, fish, beans and eggs. 5-HTP is found in high levels in the African Griffonia bean, but this bean is not a common feature of most people’s diet. Just not getting enough tryptophan is likely to make you depressed; people fed food deficient in tryptophan became rapidly depressed within hours.
Both tryptophan and 5-HTP have been shown to have an antidepressant effect in clinical trials, although 5HTP is more effective – 27 studies, involving 990 people to date, most of which proved effective. . So how do they compare with anti-depressants? In play-off studies between 5-HTP and SSRI antidepressants, 5-HTP generally comes out slightly better. One double-blind trial headed by Dr. Poldinger at the Basel University of Psychiatry gave 34 depressed volunteers either the SSRI fluvoxamine (Luvox) or 300 mg of 5-HTP. At the end of the six weeks, both groups of patients had had a significant improvement in their depression. However, those taking 5-HTP had a slightly greater improvement, compared to those on the SSRI, in each of the four criteria assessed—depression, anxiety, insomnia, and physical symptoms—as well as their own self-assessment, although this improvement was not statistically significant.
Since anti-depressant drugs, in some sensitive people, can induce an overload of serotonin called ‘serotonin syndrome’ characterised by feeling hot, high blood pressure, twitching, cramping, dizziness and disorientation, some concern has been expressed about the possibility of increased risk of serotonin syndrome with the combination of 5-HTP and an SSRI drug. The balance of evidence suggests that there is little to no risk, however, if you wish to take 5-HTP or tryptophan alongside a serotonergic drug (SSRI or tricyclic antidepressant that boosts serotonin levels), you should first consult your prescribing doctor.
Exercise, sunlight and reducing your stress level also tend to promote serotonin.
Side-effects? Some people experience mild gastrointestinal disturbance on 5-HTP, which usually stops within a few days. Since there are serotonin receptors in the gut, which don’t normally expect to get the real thing so easily, they can overreact if the amount is too high, resulting in transient nausea. If so, just lower the dose or take it with food.
BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
There is a direct link between mood and blood sugar balance. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose and your brain runs on glucose. The more uneven your blood sugar supply the more uneven your mood. In fact, our experience at the Brain Bio Centre is that poor blood sugar balance is often the single-biggest factor in mood disorders amongst the people that seek our advice.
Eating lots of sugar is going to give you sudden peaks and troughs in the amount of glucose in your blood; symptoms that this is going on include fatigue, irritability, dizziness, insomnia, excessive sweating (especially at night), poor concentration and forgetfulness, excessive thirst, depression and crying spells, digestive disturbances and blurred vision. Since the brain depends on an even supply of glucose it is no surprise to find that sugar has been implicated in aggressive behaviour, anxiety, and depression, and fatigue .
Lots of refined sugar and refined carbohydrates (meaning white bread, pasta, rice and most processed foods,) is also linked with depression because these foods not only supply very little in the way of nutrients but they also use up the mood enhancing B vitamins; turning each teaspoon of sugar into energy needs B vitamins. In fact, a study of 3,456 middle-aged civil servants, published in British Journal of Psychiatry found that those who had a diet which contained a lot of processed foods had a 58% increased risk for depression, whereas those whose diet could be described as containing more whole foods had a 26% reduced risk for depression.
Sugar also diverts the supply of another nutrient involved in mood – chromium. This mineral is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because insulin, which clears glucose from the blood, can’t work properly without it. There is more on chromium below.
The best way to keep your blood sugar level even is to eat what is called a low Glycemic Load (GL) diet and avoid, as much as you can, refined sugar and refined foods, eating instead whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and regular meals. The book, the Holford Low GL Diet Bible, explains exactly how to do this so this is a great resource if you really want to improve your blood sugar balance. Caffeine also has a direct effect on your blood sugar and your mood and is best kept to a minimum, as is alcohol.
Where’s the evidence? Click here for a list of scientific studies on sugar, caffeine and depression.
Side effects? None.
UP YOUR INTAKE OF CHROMIUM
This mineral is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because insulin,
which clears glucose from the blood, can’t work properly without it. In fact it turns out that just supplying proper levels of chromium to people with atypical depression can make a big difference.
If you answer yes to a five or more of these questions and you might be suffering from atypical depression.
• Do you crave sweets or other carbohydrates?
• Do you tend to gain weight?
• Are you tired for no obvious reason?
• Do your arms or legs feel heavy?
• Do you tend to feel sleepy or groggy much of the time?
• Are your feelings easily hurt by the rejection of others?
• Did your depression begin before the age of 30?
It is called atypical because in ‘classic’ depression people lose their appetite, don’t eat enough, lose weight and can’t sleep whereas with atypical, the opposite is generally true. Atypical depression affects anywhere from 25 to 42 percent of the depressed population, and an even higher percentage among depressed women so it’s extremely common rather than being ‘atypical’. A chance discovery by Dr Malcolm McLeod, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, suggested that people who suffer with ‘atypical’ depression might benefit from chromium supplementation.
In a small double-blind study McLeod gave ten patients suffering from atypical depression chromium supplements of 600mcg a-day and five others a placebo for eight weeks. The results were dramatic. Seven out of ten taking the supplements showed a big improvement, versus none on the placebo. Their Hamilton Rating Score for depression dropped by an unheard of 83%; from 29 – major depression – to 5 – not depressed. A larger trial at Cornell University with 113 patients has confirmed the finding. After eight weeks 65% of those on chromium had had a major improvement, compared to 33% on placebos.
In our experience at the Brain Bio Centre, people with atypical depression generally have other symptoms of poor blood sugar balance, so if this sounds like you, then in addition to supplementing chromium, you should focus on improving blood sugar balance.
Side effects? None, except more energy and better weight control. Chromium, if taken in the evening, can increase energy and hence interfere with sleep.
See action plan for our recommendations.
BRING ON THE SUNSHINE
Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, around 90% of our vitamin D is synthesised in our skin by the action of sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is increasingly being recognised as a common problem around the globe and may be implicated in depression, particularly if you feel worse in winter.
You are most at risk for vitamin D deficiency if you are elderly (since your ability to make it in the skin reduces with age), dark-skinned (you require up to 6 times more sunshine than a light-skinned person to make the same amount of vitamin D), overweight (your vitamin D stores may be tucked away within your fat tissue), or you tend to shy away from the sun – covering up and using sun-block. Of course, you should never risk your skin health by getting sun-burned.
Side effects? None
See action plan for our recommendations.
BAD MOOD FOODS
Some foods are associated with mood problems. For example, in a huge population study, Coeliac Disease (a severe intolerance to gluten – the protein found in wheat, rye and barley) was associated with an 80% increased risk for depression. It is thought that Coeliac Disease is vastly underdiagnosed in the UK. Your GP can test for it, and should test you if you have fluctuating digestive symptoms including diarrhoea, constipation or bloating, and especially if you have unexplained anaemia. In fact, you can have mood symptoms relating to gluten, even without Coeliac Disease.
At the Brain Bio Centre we routinely test individuals with low mood or motivation for food intolerance. It is not at all uncommon for us to find that putting a person on the allergy-free diet they need relieves symptoms of depression, insomnia or anxiety.
Peter is a case in point. When he came to the Brain Bio Centre he had had a long history of mental health problems, which left him unable to work, and years of trying various anti-depressants. He had severe periods of depression, along with many unpleasant side effects from the medication. He felt he wanted to be able to “enjoy life to the full” but wasn’t able to.
When we tested him for IgG based food intolerances he reacted to many foods including gluten, egg white, corn and barley. After removing these foods from his diet, along with a supplement programme to support his general health he began to experience fewer spells of feeling down and had noticed what he described as a “huge improvement” in his general wellbeing and mood.
So if you suffer from poor concentration, insomnia, anxiety or other symptoms of depleted mental health, it’s well worth investigating whether food intolerances play a part.
If you score high on the following questions there’s a good chance you have hidden food intolerances.
Your food sensitivity check
1. Do you suffer from allergies?
2. Do you suffer from IBS?
3. Can you gain weight in hours?
4. Do you get stomach pains or bloating sometimes after food?
5. Do you sometimes get really sleepy and tired after eating?
6. Do you suffer from hay fever?
7. Do you suffer from excessive mucus, a stuffy nose or sinus problems?
8. Do you suffer from rashes, itches, eczema or dermatitis?
9. Do you suffer from asthma or shortness of breath?
10. Do you suffer from headaches or migraines?
11. Do you sometimes get depressed or have ‘brain fog’ for no clear reason?
12. Do you suffer from intermittent joint aches or arthritis?
13. Do you suffer from colitis, diverticulitis or Crohn’s disease?
14. Do you suffer from other aches or pains that come and go?
15. Do you get better on holidays abroad, when your diet is completely
16. Do you use painkillers most weeks?
Interpreting Your Score
If you answered yes to 5 or more of these questions, it is well worth exploring the possibility of a food intolerance either by excluding suspect foods for a trial period or doing an IgG food intolerance test. The most likely culprits are gluten (wheat, rye, barley), wheat, dairy (all types – cow, sheep, goat, milk, cheese, cream etc), soya, yeast and eggs.
Of course, you shouldn’t make dramatic changes to your diet or cut out whole food groups without professional guidance to ensure your diet remains healthy and balanced.
Side effects? None, if changes are made with professional guidance. Dramatic changes to diets without professional supervision may cause nutrient deficiencies, especially over the longer term.
Article Extracted From:
”The amount of antioxidants in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live.”
- Dr. Richard Cutler, former Director of the National Institute of Aging, Washington
Antioxidants are the nutritional equivalent of man’s best friend – they are loyal protectors and nurturers of our cells, repelling disease, and promoting good health. Antioxidants can come from healthy eating or in the form of supplements, and they include a family of naturally formed components like vitamin A, beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamin E, and more. They are believed to
protect cells from free radicals, harmful oxygen molecules thought to damage cells that result in cancer,atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, and they may be the underlying reason why we age.
Free radicals are formed naturally in the body, but their production is increased by factors such as smoking, alcohol, air pollution, infection, stress, excessive sunlight, and toxins like radiation and asbestos.
It’s ironic that the oxygen we need to survive is also the catalyst for the production of free radicals. When an oxygen molecule (O2) becomes electrically charged or “radicalized” it tries to steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage to the cell’s DNA. Over time, such damage may become irreversible and lead to disease. The job of antioxidants is to “mop up” free radicals, meaning that they neutralize their electrical charge and prevent the free radical from taking electrons from other molecules.
Even the healthiest among us have some free radicals in our systems, but when free excessive radicals are formed in the body, the harmful condition known as oxidative stress occurs, possibly leading to disease.
Antioxidants can also slow some of the physical signs of aging by minimizing wrinkles and preserving skin’s natural “glow”. Some studies also suggest that antioxidant supplements help protect skin from sun damage. German researchers found that 1,000 IU’s of vitamin E and 2,000mg of vitamin C daily for eight days boosted resistance to sunburn by 20%. Other research found a mixture of beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein – three potent antioxidants – taken for three months also reduced incidence of mild sunburn.
Supplementing with antioxidants will help balance your antioxidant load, one of the best ways to get your antioxidants is in food that you eat. In short, a regular diet rich in antioxidants will help keep you healthy, inside and out.
By Naturalpath.com Staff Writer
Article extracted from : http://www.organicauthority.com/health/health/the-health-benefits-of-antioxidants.html
<tag> The Health Benefits of Antioxidants</tag> <tag>Herbal products in Nigeria</tag> <tag>Swissgarde</tag>
Bloodshot eyes are not an attractive condition to suffer from. This redness is the result of blood vessels close to the surface of the eye becoming dilated and enlarged. There are many reasons for this to occur, some of which are relatively harmless and some that may be a cause for concern. While the condition isn’t always painful, eyes that are red and irritated definitely do not give the appearance of good health and vitality.
One of the most common causes of bloodshot eyes is a condition known as
conjunctivitis, or pink eye. Pinkeye occurs when the protective layer that covers the eye becomes inflamed. This inflammation can be caused by something as simple as a cold or as serious as a bacterial infection or exposure to a toxic substance.
People whose eyes tend to be dry often find themselves suffering from red and bloodshot eyes. Eyes require moisture in order to be healthy and look their best, and when this moisture is not available, the blood vessels on the eye’s surface become inflamed and red.
A condition known as blepharitis also results in bloodshot eyes, but is accompanied by itching along the eyelid, soreness, and a crusty or greasy discharge. Blepharitis is the result of a skin infection in the follicles of the eyelid, and must be treated by an eye care professional.
Red and bloodshot eyes may also be caused by a condition known as
subconjunctival hemorrhage, or more simply put, a burst blood vessel. When the vessel bursts, the blood leaks under the clear coating of the eye and causes the entire eye to appear bloodshot. These vessels may break for many reasons from a hard sneeze, to vomiting or high blood pressure.
In some people, bloodshot eyes can be the result of contact lens wear. The lenses sometimes cause the eye to become dry, which leads to redness and irritation. In those cases, use of a special moisturizing drop for contact lens wearers can bring relief. In an unlucky few, the eyes are extremely sensitive to any foreign object and the redness will appear whenever contact lenses are worn.
Injury is another common cause of bloodshot eyes. When any type of injury to the eye occurs, the body attempts to heal itself by bringing cells to the injured area causing the eye to appear red and irritated.
Surprisingly, overuse of eye drops designed to remove redness from the eye can actually cause the reverse effect. If the drops are used too often, the vessels in the eye sometimes dilate, resulting in eyes that are even more bloodshot than they were before the medication was used.
There are many reasons for eyes to become bloodshot, from conditions that are virtually harmless, to those that require medical attention in order to heal. Bloodshot eyes that don’t resolve within one or two days, or are accompanied by pain, drainage or itching should always be treated promptly by an eye care professional.
Article Extracted from: http://www.glassescrafter.com/information/cause-of-bloodshot-eyes.html