Natural Ways To Prevent And Treat Gout

 

A few days ago I featured an article about how almonds can help with controlling uric acid and gout. At the time I knew there had to be other all-natural things that would help and made a mental note to do some research on the topic. Then voilà,  there was an article by Danette May in my inbox about which foods to eat and which to avoid when it comes to gout.

Years ago my father was put on a prescription drug for gout, without the doctor first verifying that he actually had gout. He also didn’t tell my father beforehand that once you get on the drug you need to stay on it for the rest of your life. What? No bueno, medical professional! Unfortunately this was back in the time when people didn’t think of questioning a doctor’s diagnosis or plan of treatment, so my father just went along with everything.

The particular drug he was put on comes with a number of potentially serious side effects, all of which he has ended up experiencing, so I’m hoping that by featuring information on natural ways of preventing and alleviating gout, others won’t end up in the same situation my father did.

 

Healthy Hack Lowers Your Risk of Gout by 40%

Most people have heard of gout, but few know what it is.

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid building up in the body.

Uric acid forms when the body breaks down purines found in some foods.

Most of the time, uric acid goes through the kidneys and is passed in our urine. When we have too much for the kidneys to handle, it can build up and travel to our joints.

This causes pain, stiffness and swelling.

There are many factors that can put you at risk for gout, including being overweight or taking diuretics.

Gout also runs in families.

Gout flare-ups are treated with medicine and rest, but there are many ways that you can reduce the chances of having an attack in the first place.

Many of the best gout preventions have to do with food.  If you have gout, there are foods you should stay away from and foods you should eat.

9 Food Fixes for Gout

1. Eat plenty of complex carbs.

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients and help you keep your weight down. Here’s a good list of carbs you should be eating.

2. Drink lots of of water.

Studies show that when people with gout drink 8 to 16 glasses of water a day, they have fewer attacks.

3. Eat lean proteins or plant based proteins.

Look to foods like Greek yogurt (I like Fage 0%) or almond milk.  These increase the excretion or uric acid.

Protein can also come from lean meat, fish and poultry, but no more than 4 to 6 ounces per day. Stay away from high-fat red meats, fatty poultry and organ meats like liver.

4. Understand Purines. 

Some foods that contain purines are safe, especially beans or lentils which have lots of protein. High-purine vegetables like asparagus, spinach, and cauliflower are good for you too.

HOME REMEDY FOR GOUT

drink-acv-600

Mix 1 Teaspoon of raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s Brand is best) in 1 cup of water.

Drink 3 times daily.

5. Avoid seafood  that has high levels of purines.

These include sardines, scallops, tuna, anchovies and herring.

6. Avoid beer and liquors like rum, whiskey and vodka.

These increase uric acid production. Wine does not.

Alcohol also can also lead to dehydration, so it is probably best to cut back or cut it out completely.

7. Get more Vitamin C.

Vitamin C has been shown to lower uric acid levels, so add foods like grapefruit, red peppers and oranges to your daily diet.

8. Snack on cherries.

Some studies have shown that eating cherries or cherry juice concentrate twice a day can cut the risk of having a flare-up of gout by 50%.

Scientists think that the cherries reduce uric acid levels

9. Pour Another Cup of Java.

Drinking 4 to 5 cups of caffeinated coffee has been shown to lower the risk of gout attacks by 40%. And drinking 6 or more cups lowered the risk by 59%.

I don’t recommend drinking that much coffee as it can disrupt your adrenals. I personally drink one cup of coffee per day. Also, make sure you only drink organic.

One of the biggest risk factors for gout is obesity. Weight loss improves insulin resistance and lowers uric acid levels in the blood.

Eating a *healthy diet and adding moderate exercise can go a long way towards improving your health and lowering your risk of gout attacks.

*Personal Note: Don’t forget almonds!

Source: http://danettemay.com/top-10-foods-to-relieve-gout/

Want to know more about gout and uric acid? Go here for an in-depth article by Dr. Mercola, where he questions drinking wine and mentions how staying away from sodas, fruit juice and things with high fructose corn syrup is so important. He also goes into more detail about using cherries and cherry juice…..

Tart cherries contain two powerful compounds, anthocyanins and bioflavonoids. Both of these compounds slow down the enzymes Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and -2, which helps to relieve and prevent arthritis and gout in your body.43 Cherries, along with strawberries and other berries, are also a rich source of antioxidants. This means they help prevent or repair damage done to your body’s cells by free radicals. The antioxidants replace the free radicals in your body before they can cause any damage. Dr. Wei, a nationally known, board-certified rheumatologist, recalled this story about the powerful effect of cherries on gout:

“Dr. Ludwig W. Blau, relating how eating a bowl of cherries one day led to complete relief from pain, sparked off the interest in cherries in the treatment of gout. Dr. Blau’s gout had been so severe that he had been confined to a wheelchair. One day, quite by accident, he polished off a large bowl of cherries, and the following day the pain in his foot was gone. “(Dr. Blau) continued eating a minimum of six cherries every day, and he was free from pain and able to get out of his wheelchair. Dr. Blau’s research led to many other people suffering from gout who reported being helped by cherries.”

Dr. Wei said that good results have also been reported with strawberries, which may be due to the fact that this food helps your body eliminate uric acid.44 There are a number of ways you can enjoy your berries while they go to work benefiting your gout. If fresh cherries are out of season, or if you just want more variety, try concentrated cherry juice.45

Cherry juice concentrate can contain about 55 to 60 tart cherries in every ounce. That’s a single recommended serving, so in other words, you’d have to eat 55 to 60 cherries to get the same health benefit (and I don’t recommend eating 55 to 60 cherries, as that is too much sugar… but with a concentrate, you can get the health benefit of the cherries without all the sugar).

And besides cherries, this post by Dr. Axe mentions using celery seed extract, nettles, fish oil, magnesium and proteolytic enzymes as natural remedies for gout. The Natural Society also mentions using bromelain, beet juice, and baking soda. There’s also a foot soak recipe using epsom salt that’s supposed to ease gout mentioned in this Self-help Health post.

FYI, you can find many of the items mentioned in this post, including raw apple cider vinegar, high quality Vitamin C, organic tart cherry juice at any health food store and even some regular supermarkets. However, I always buy mine on-line because it’s much less expensive that way. One of my favorite discount places to shop is iHerb.com; use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off, plus no sales tax, and free shipping, and there’s always extra savings by taking advantage of iHerb’s Trial Offers and Specials sections. 

Vitacost.com is another on-line favorite of mine and each week adds more new items to their inventory. If you are new to Vitacost and make your first purchase through the link on my webpage, you will receive a $10 off coupon. And if you plan on shopping again after that, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at eBates.com. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost (and 100s of other popular stores) and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, eBates also offers some reward (I got a $10 gift card) when you place your first $25 order at a store through them. How does it get any better than that?!

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine

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The Almond, Uric Acid, Gout And Stroke Connection + Free Event

 

I’ve always known almonds were good for us; that’s one reason why I featured a recipe a few days ago that had them as one of the main ingredients . But I had no idea of their connection with reducing uric acid and preventing gout. Now I will enjoy eating those almond-fueled sweet potato brownies more than ever! AND this article on uric acid, gout and stroke gives me even more ways to add almonds to my diet with some tasty sounding recipes at the end. Yea!

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Gout

The painful sign your stroke risk is growing

However, even where there is no history of any heart troubles, there is another factor that can greatly increase your risk…

Hyperuricemia.

That’s a condition related to high levels of uric acid in the body resulting from the natural breakdown of cells and as a byproduct of the foods you eat.

Hyperuricemia may be a condition that you’ve never come across before. But I bet you may know this one sign that you could be suffering from it…

And that’s gout — a type of recurrent arthritis commonly associated with high levels of uric acid.

In addition to causing a painful gouty joint (most often in your foot), uric acid is also an important biomarker of your vascular function.

On a more sinister level, high levels of uric acid can be a sign of coronary artery disease (CAD). And in fact, studies show that each 1 mg/dL increase in blood uric acid levels increases the risk of heart-associated death by 12 percent!

In recent years, the Western diet — full of sugar and refined carbohydrates — has been responsible for increasing levels of uric acid in many people.

But as luck would have it, there is a very simple way to reduce uric acid in your body…

Eat almonds every day

When researchers gave 150 CAD patients 10 grams of almonds each morning on an empty stomach for 12 weeks, they discovered their uric acid levels were 14 to 18 percent lower than those consuming no nuts.

So what is it about almonds that douse uric acid and protect you heart attack, stroke and gout?

Almonds provide a wide range of highly bioavailable nutrients that not only have a positive impact on uric acid levels but provide plenty of other health benefits, too.

A small handful of almonds provides:

  • Magnesium (96 mg) – for optimal heart and muscle function
  • Calcium (96 mg) – for maintaining strong bones
  • Potassium (262 mg) – for regulating blood pressure
  • Phosphorus (172 mg) – for energy production and bone mineralization
  • Vitamin E (9 mg) – a powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation
  • Soluble fiber (4.5 g) – for optimal digestion, blood sugar and cholesterol regulation
  • Protein (6 g) – to support effective cell building and to stabilize blood sugar
  • Monounsaturated fat (7 g) – to correct cholesterol irregularities with proven ability to increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol
  • L-arginine (1 g) – a precursor to nitric oxide, a compound that promotes healthy circulation and blood pressure

Snacking on almonds directly is obviously one way to consume them. And all it takes to reduce uric acid levels is a measly 7 to 8 nuts per day.

But if you want to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by 28 percent, munch on a small handful each day, the equivalent of one ounce or around 23 nuts.

Of course, you don’t have to eat almonds plain because there are other interesting ways to include them in your menu:

  • Opt for almond flour when baking
  • Make your own trail mix using almonds
  • Use almond meal as a stuffing base instead of breadcrumbs
  • Add crushed almonds to your cereal or smoothie
  • Spread almond butter on toast, apple slices or celery
  • Add slivered almonds to salads
  • Make a jar of spiced toasted almonds

Source: https://easyhealthoptions.com/painful-sign-stroke-risk-growing/

Related Self-Help Health posts:

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/a-great-way-to-eat-more-sweet-potatoes/

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/jp-sears-takes-on-the-american-heart-association-plus-the-health-benefits-of-almonds/


 

And here’s a way to help de-stress your life (amen to that!) and nourish you on a more spiritual level. It’s a free event  on Sept 20th featuring Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle, two of my favorite representatives of wisdom and conscious living……

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, ocean and text

  • Strengthen Your Inner State of Peace and Security
  • Regain a Sense of Oneness and Connection with Yourself and Your Community
  • Feel more Calm, Present, and Joyful Every Day

You can sign up here: https://www.chopra.com/webinars/awakening-from-the-illusion-of-separateness-b#sm.000018z5yprdidtqu031b976bybqk

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

A Great Way To Eat More Sweet Potatoes! :-)

 

Okay, so I thought about featuring an article about the horrible conditions discovered at a pig farm, and if you eat pork it’s definitely something you should read so you’re more aware of the kind of place your food is likely coming from. I also considered re-posting Food Babe’s exposé  on “natural” flavors. Eye-opening and more of what we need to be aware of in regard to the perils and pitfalls of our food system.

But with all the intense situations going on in the world these past few weeks, weather-wise and otherwise, I thought it was a good time to focus on something light and fun (and yummy), so I decided to feature this recipe for sweet potato brownies that I tried yesterday and thought was a winner….

 

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The secret behind these moist, super-chocolatey brownies? A Paleo, powerhouse ingredient: sweet potatoes!

Sweet potatoes are not only sustaining as a complex carbohydrate—they are also an excellent source of vitamin A (thanks to their beta-carotene content) and dietary fiber. But this isn’t merely a case of trying to hide a healthy ingredient in something palatable like brownies. No, these sweet potatoes make for some of the moistest brownies you’ve ever laid hands on. These sweet potato brownies strike just the right balance between cakey and fudgy.

They are easiest to make when you have some leftover, cooked sweet potato in the fridge, although the natural (unsweetened and unprocessed) canned version works too. If you don’t have any pre-cooked sweet potato to start, simply bake them in the oven at 400°F for 45 minutes or until you can poke them easily with a fork.

Our recipe may have the occasional chunk of sweet potato throughout the brownie, which makes for a nice textural element. If you’d like to mask the sweet potato more, you can try puréeing the cooked sweet potato with a little water for a smoother texture before stirring it in.

With only a handful of simple ingredients, these sweet potato brownies are as easy to make as they are tasty. They’re even customizable: you can top with chocolate chips or add nuts to the batter. They’re the perfect chocolatey base for a host of Paleo-friendly treats, like coconut milk ice cream or chocolate frosting. If you prefer sweeter, not as dark chocolatey brownies, opt for more maple syrup. Honey works here, too. If you’re a chocolate fiend, pair these with a warm cup of Paleo hot chocolate.

time
Total time: 40 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Prep Time: 10 mins
Serves:10
Recipe by:  Courtney Hamilton

Ingredients:

  •  *3 eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, or more to taste
  •  ½ cup melted coconut oil + extra for greasing
  •  ¾ cup almond meal
  •  1/3 cup cocoa powder
  •  1 tsp baking powder
  •  1 cup cooked sweet potato
  •  Optional: chocolate chips for topping

Instructions:

  •  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease baking pan with coconut oil.
  •  Whisk together the eggs, syrup, and coconut oil until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine almond meal, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  •  Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet. Whisk in the sweet potato.
  •  Pour brownie batter into baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If using chocolate chips, lightly press them on the brownie shortly after it comes out of the oven.

Source: http://blog.paleohacks.com/sweet-potato-brownies/?utm_source=mg&utm_medium=mgemail&utm_campaign=brownies

Personal Note: I knew I wanted to try this recipe this weekend, so I had saved a cup of mashed sweet potatoes from two days before. That made putting things together so much quicker. And I didn’t have “official” almond meal, so I took 3/4 cup of sprouted raw almonds I had and ran them through a small food processor. They ended up more like a fine grind, rather than meal, but I liked the texture that added to the final product. And instead of just whisking the wet ingredients, I actually put the eggs, maple syrup, oil and sweet potato in the processor until everything was nice and velvet-y before adding to the dry ingredients. Also, I added 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and next time I think I’ll even use a full teaspoon.

Baking time depends partly on the size pan you use  and partly on how gooey you want the brownies to be. I used a 10″ round tart pan and cooked them for about 25 min so they wouldn’t be too firm. I didn’t feel they needed the optional chocolate chips, but I did have the thought that some french vanilla ice cream or raspberry sorbet might be nice, if you want to fancy the finished product up a bit. I may never get around to trying them like that since I ended up eating a 1/4 of the pan right out of the oven. The recipe says “Serves 10,” but that certainly wouldn’t be the case in my house. Oh well, got to splurge every once in awhile. 🙂

*If you are avoiding eggs, you can check out this sweet potato brownie recipe, although I haven’t tried it myself.

Related Self-help Health posts:

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

JP Sears Takes On The American Heart Association, Plus The Health Benefits Of Almonds

 

Okay, today we’ll interject some humor into the mix with one of the latest videos in JP Sears’ Ultra Spiritual series. This time he uses his tongue-in-cheek delivery style to focus on coconut oil, heart health and the terrible job the American Heart Association is doing in providing us with unbiased, accurate information. He always manages to stimulate, inform and get his point across, while making me laugh at the same time.

Hey, they say laughter is the best medicine, so you might end up a little healthier just from watching this. 🙂

 

Related Self-help Health post:  Coconut Oil:Yummiest Health Aid Ever

And speaking of foods that help prevent or off-set heart disease, look no further than tasty, versatile almonds. I remember years ago reading where Edgar Cayce, aka “The Sleeping Prophet,” recommended eating 2 to 3 almonds a day as a cancer preventative, but this article from the Food Revolution Network focuses on the heart and cardiovascular benefits of eating a handful daily. Eating almonds on a regular basis could also help with type 2 diabetes, eye issues, weight loss and more…….

Health benefits of almonds

By GreenMedInfo Research Group • Originally published on GreenMedInfo.com

Almonds are familiar to many people as a healthy food, but how exactly do they affect our health? Rich in many compounds that can be lacking in a Standard American Diet (appropriately abbreviated S.A.D.), almonds can be a tasty solution to many of the chronic health conditions and diseases seen today.

Almonds are one of those nutrient-dense foods that can be hard to stop munching on once you’re crunching on the first one or two. Whether you’re sipping on a glass of creamy homemade almond milk, taking your first bite of strawberry-topped almond meal pancakes, or enjoying stir fry sprinkled with slivered almonds, you’re not just satisfying your appetite, you’re deliciously optimizing your health.

Seeds carry all of the nutrients and genetic information required to grow and develop, so too does the almond bring vital health knowledge in the form of antioxidants, heart healthy fats, protein, and inorganic compounds like minerals, which are crucial to life as we know it.

How can something so small have effects so large when it comes to addressing serious health concerns? While we may never know the full biochemical explanations behind each way the almond fulfills its triumphant quest for homeostatic health, we can continue to sing its praises and enjoy a handful a day without remorse.

According to the CDC, over 600,000 people succumb to heart disease every year, which accounts for roughly 25% of the total annual deaths. So why don’t doctors prescribe a daily handful of almonds instead of a pharmaceutical for cholesterol issues?

High cholesterol has been seen as a primary cause of heart disease and is often treated with a class of drugs called statins. While statins shut down the enzyme pathway that synthesizes cholesterol, they also wipe out the highway to producing CoQ10 (an essential enzyme for producing energy in the body), and sometimes that damage is irreversible.

But naturally, there is a much safer solution that can be grown at home, purchased at the local grocery store, or health food store. One of the clinical studies on almonds and improvements in HDL cholesterol used only 10g of almonds per day, which is roughly 12-15 almonds, and this study was in patients who had pre-existing coronary artery disease.

Not only did HDL cholesterol improve, but there were reductions in triglycerides, total cholesterol including LDL cholesterol and VLDL (very low density lipoprotein), and the atherogenic index, which is strongly correlated with chronic inflammation and the development of vascular diseases [Jamshed, 2015].

Another health crisis emerging onto the global stage is type 2 diabetes, which is justly titled a pandemic [Hu, 2015]. The number of people worldwide projected to have type 2 diabetes by 2035 is almost 600 million, what a staggering statistic, and that’s not even considering the health care costs associated with diabetes.

While an imbalanced diet can be a causative factor in type 2 diabetes, nutritional improvements can reverse some of the harmful changes. Diabetes is a disease of improper glucose (sugar) metabolism, and is generally preceded by a cluster of conditions called metabolic syndrome. While the pharmaceutical model may target a disease from one pathway or direction, the almond has innumerable approaches to countering imbalance and restoring homeostasis.

Consuming just 60g (about 2 ounces) of almonds daily for four-weeks showed reductions in insulin resistance, fasting insulin and glucose. Other health outcomes that demonstrated improvements were cholesterol ratios, body fat percentage, and nutritional status (magnesium, fiber, fatty acid profile, etc.) [Sing-Chung, 2011].

The doctrine of signatures, dating back to the first century AD, is upheld in the carrot and almond’s uncanny resemblance to the human eye. While carrots may be the best-known food that benefits the eyes, almond’s have their own pedestal to stand on. Not just an adjective for eye color, almonds are incredibly important for proper functioning of our eyes. Our eyes are exposed to numerous chemicals and toxins that evade our five sense detection. The vasculature of our eyes contains some of the smallest blood vessels in our body, and when damage occurs, repair can be difficult, if not impossible.

Rich in vitamin E, almonds can help prevent abnormal changes to the lens, which can accelerate the development of cataracts. A study conducted in Finland concluded that, “a low plasma vitamin E level (lower quartile) was associated with a 3.7-fold excess risk (95% confidence interval 1.2-11.8) of the progression of early cortical lens opacities compared with the highest quartile (p = 0.028)” [Rouhiainen P, 1996].

We know the old adage, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” but imagine what an apple covered in almond butter would do to the pharmaceutical industry.

In a 2015 study, eating  cup of almonds (43g) with breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a standalone snack reduced blood sugar, and the snacking group of participants actually showed the largest decrease.

“DISCUSSION: Snacking reportedly increases the risk for weight gain, but such a broad generalization may mask differential responses to selected foods. This study compared the acute post-ingestive and the short-term effects of incorporating almonds in a meal or consuming them alone as snacks. It also allowed the assessment of possible physiological adaptations to almond consumption that could accentuate or diminish behavioral responses after 4 weeks of daily ingestion [Chen, 2015].”

It’s best to find imported Italian or Spanish almonds and sprout them for several hours or overnight (read more here). Depending on which health outcome you’re searching for, a mere 10-60g of almonds (the range used in the aforementioned studies) incorporated into your diet can ameliorate type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eye issues, and many other health conditions.

Food should taste good, but more importantly, it should relay valuable biologic information that with each bite can positively affect our state of being. So keep almonds in your desk, purse, backpack, cupboard, and close to your heart, because they’ll be protecting yours.


From the editor: An important note about raw almonds:

In the last decade, it has become difficult to find healthy, raw, organic almonds. Almonds grown in the U.S. make up 80% of the world’s almond supply. But in 2007, the USDA made it a requirement that all almonds commercially sold in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico must be pasteurized. If they’re not steamed, they must be fumigated with a chemical called propylene oxide or PPO.

Pasteurized almonds and almond butter may still confer significant health benefits – but if you prefer truly raw almonds, what’s the best option?

You may find almonds that claim to be “raw,” but companies can make this claim, even if it isn’t true, because no labeling requirement exists. In reality, “raw” may simply mean pasteurized with steam, as opposed to the “roasted” flavor in roasted almond butter. If the almonds you find are grown in the U.S., most likely they are pasteurized. If you want truly raw almonds, you may have to choose almonds that are imported from Spain or Italy because they are not subject to these same requirements.

As pointed out in a GreenMedInfo article, there is one “secret” exception to the U.S. mandate about almond pasteurization. The only way to purchase raw, unpasteurized almonds grown in the U.S. is to buy directly from the farmer who grows them. The author mentions Bremner Farms as an option for raw, organic, unpasteurized almonds and other nuts. You can find other options online as well – including potentially through a farmer’s market.

Source: https://foodrevolution.org/blog/almond-health-benefits/

AND another way to promote cardiovascular health is by taking a certain type of probiotic called Lactobacillus plantarum. You can read more about the research behind it here:

http://doctormurray.com/probiotics-can-affect-more-than-just-digestion/

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Celery: Chomped or Juiced = Multiple Health Benefits

 

I’ve always thought celery was fairly tasteless and only good when a stalk is filled with something like peanut butter, herbed cream cheese or the like. But that’s really short-selling a first-rate vegetable that offers loads of health benefits all on its own. And it can be used in so many different types of recipes, whether part of a soup base, Waldorf salad, crudité platter, veggie juice, etc……

 

There are a wealth of health benefits of celery that many people are not aware of, including the fact that celery is rich in vitamin C, it lowers cholesterol, prevents cancer, manages pain from arthritis, helps weight loss attempts, detoxifies the body, reduces high blood pressure, and promotes overall health in a vast number of ways.

Nutritional Value of Celery

Celery contains minerals such as calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium.  It contains fatty acids and vitamins including vitamin A, C, E, D, B6, B12 and vitamin K. It also contains thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid and fiber.

Health Benefits of Celery

The health benefits of celery include the following:

Reduced blood pressure: Celery contains pthalides, which are organic chemical compounds that can lower the level of stress hormones in your blood. This allows your blood vessels to expand, giving your blood more room to move, thereby reducing pressure. When blood pressure is reduced, it puts less stress on the entire cardiovascular system, and reduces the chances of developing atherosclerosis, or suffering from a heart attack or a stroke.

Reduced cholesterol: Eating celery every day may reduce artery-clogging cholesterol (called LDL or “bad” cholesterol). The pthalides in celery also stimulates the secretion of bile juices, which works to reduce cholesterol levels. Less cholesterol means less plaque on the artery walls and a general improvement in heart health. The fiber that is found in celery also works to scrape the cholesterol out of the bloodstream and eliminate it from the body with regular bowel movements, further boosting cardiovascular health.

Antiseptic: Celery seeds help in the elimination of uric acid because it is commonly used for its diuretic properties, meaning that it stimulates urination. Therefore, celery is good for people with bladder disorders, kidney problems, cystitis, and other similar conditions. Celery seeds also assist in preventing urinary tract infections in women.

celeryHealthy joints: Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism and gout.  It had anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Celery sticks also act as a diuretic, which helps to remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort of frequent joint use. It can also increase the regrowth of tissue in inflamed joints.

Prevents cancer: Celery contains phthalides, flavonoids, and polyacetylenes. These cancer-fighting components detoxify carcinogens. Celery also contains coumarins that enhance the activity of certain white blood cells, which can effectively stave off cancer as well.  These antioxidant components seek out free radicals floating in the body and damaging organs and neutralize them before they can result in the development of serious conditions like cancer.

Improved immune system: Celery is rich in vitamin C, which greatly boosts the strength of the immune system. Stimulated by the activity of other antioxidants in celery, it becomes more active and efficient. Because of the high content of vitamin C in celery, eating it regularly can reduce your risk of catching the common cold, as well as protecting you against a variety of other diseases.

Reduces Asthma Symptoms: Vitamin-C prevents free radical damage and it also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma.

Cardiovascular health: The notable presence of vitamin C, fiber, and other organic chemicals in the roots of celery promotes cardiovascular health.

Diuretic activity: Celery is rich in both sodium and potassium, and both of these minerals help to regulate the fluid balance in the body. Potassium also acts as a vasodilator, reducing blood pressure.

Relief from migraines: The presence of coumarins can provide relief from migraines. The exact mechanism isn’t completely understood, but research points to a suppression of Nitric Oxide release in the brain which can cause headaches and migraines.

Treats rheumatism: Celery extracts, which contain 85% 3nB, are effective for treating arthritis and muscular pains.

Diabetes Health: Celery leaves are also eaten for treating diabetic conditions, particularly because they are high in fiber, which has been shown to help manage diabetic symptoms.

Relief from ophthalmological diseases: Dripping celery tea drops on eyelids is good for certain ophthalmological conditions, and can improve your eye health, reduce your chances of developing cataracts, and protects you against macular degeneration.

Nerve calming properties: Celery contains high calcium and due to this it is commonly used to calm the nerves.

Weight loss: Health benefits of celery include weight management. Regular drinking of celery juice before meals may help you to reduce your weight. This is because celery is very low in calories, but it is very filling because of the fiber content. Therefore, it can help reduce the tendency to overeat and help you keep the weight down without feeling hungry all the time!

Other benefits: Celery acts as an antioxidant as well, and in truth, all parts of celery including the seeds, roots and leaves can be used. Eating celery regularly helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver and gallbladder; neuritis, constipation, asthma, high blood pressure, catarrh, pyorrhea and dropsy, mental exhaustion, acidosis, anemia, obesity and tuberculosis. It also helps in the overall health and strength of teeth.

Celery: How to select and store?

Celery is easily available in markets all over the world. Choose the celery which is green in color, has no discoloration, has fresh and crisp leaves. Store it in refrigerator and use in 5-7 days. Make sure you do not freeze it.

Word of caution: Celery seeds contain volatile oils, flavonoids, coumarins and linoleic acid and are therefore not good for pregnant women because they may cause contractions in the uterus. Other than that, eat as many of those crunchy, green, and healthy stalks as you can!

Source: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-celery.html

Some added info about celery from ph360…..

  • It contains certain plant sterols that can pass the blood-brain barrier, providing some benefits to brain cells.
  • It can help calm the body and reduce internal pressure, because increased blood pressure and anxiety can contribute to sleep disturbances.
  • It can help maintain the structure and elasticity of blood vessels, joints and tissues thanks to its copper content. Copper plays an important role in the activity of the enzyme lysyl oxidase needed for collagen and elastin.
  • Its manganese content is great for the brain and nervous system’s health and function.
  • It’s a natural source of phosphorus, which is good for healthy bone formation, improved digestion, and hormonal balance.
  • It is one of the best sources of natural nitrate, a natural vasodilator. To get the best nitrate benefit the best ways to have celery are: raw, cooked with mild heat (50 °C, 10–30 min), or include it in a juice you drink right away.
  • The quercetin content of celery (which provides the body protection from oxidative stress) is maintained when simmered or made in a soup because this flavonoid gets transferred into the water or broth.
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties come from its potent phenolic antioxidants which protect from oxidative damage to blood vessel walls.

More on the many benefits of celery, especially in connection to high blood pressure:

http://www.thealternativedaily.com/just-four-stalks-celery-day-can-reduce-high-blood-pressure

And even though my post on celery juice included a video about some of its benefits, I found the video below even more enlightening as to how and why celery juice is so good for our bodies…

Related Self-help Health post:

The Benefits of Celery Juice

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my Evolution Made Easier website’s To Your Health page and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine

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Mycobacterium vaccae: Bacteria That’s GOOD For Your Brain!!

 

Reading this article will give you yet one more reason for spending plenty of time outdoors, whether walking through the woods, working in the garden, or making mud pies with the neighborhood kids. 🙂

 

Get Outdoors and Try to Get “Infected”
With These Brain-Healthy Bacteria

We know that eating a variety of organic fruits and vegetables promotes good health…

We also know spending time in nature, whether it’s walking through green spaces or spending time in the garden, can increase feelings of well-being and reduce cortisol, the stress hormone.

Now researchers have discovered another reason why spending time outside makes us feel so much better: Soil contains a beneficial strain of bacteria that can improve cognition and lower some risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Read on to learn more about this friendly microbe and how it can keep your brain strong…

The helpful bacterium is known as Mycobacterium vaccae (or M. vaccae). It’s abundant in soil. When we’re outdoors we breathe it in the open air…

As you may know, science is homing in on the connection between our microbiome – the beneficial microbes in our gut — and brain function. Some researchers even go so far as to call the gut the second brain. (For more information on gut and brain health, see Issue #205.)

A 2013 study published in the journal Behavioral Processes provided more evidence for this theory when researchers Dorothy Matthews and Susan Jenks fed a group of mice live M. vaccae bacteria and then had them run a maze. A control group ran the maze without the benefit of the microbe.

The results were stunning. Mice that ate the bacteria before and during the trials “completed the maze twice as fast as controls and with reduced anxiety-related behaviors.”

M. vaccae acts like an “old friend”

The “old friends” or “hygiene” hypothesis of stress-related diseases states that, because we spend less time in nature and overuse antibacterial soaps and other germ-killing aids, our bodies no longer reap the benefits of microbes like M. vaccae, which have helped humans survive and thrive for thousands of years.

The hypothesis gets its name from the strategy of ‘reintroducing’ humans to their old friends [beneficial bacteria] to promote optimal health and wellness.

Without them our bodies fall prey to the negative effects of stress and chronic inflammation, and this adversely affects our bodies’ own ability to prevent diseases.

Chronic inflammation also contributes to depression, which is not only a danger in its own right, but is also a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (see Issue #117).

In a 2016 study published in the journal Trends in Immunology, researchers “immunized” mice with M. vaccae and found that their exposure to the microbe (or infection, if you will) prevented stress-induced colitis and reduced fear, anxiety, symptoms of inflammation and poor stress management.

The Connection Between M. Vaccae,
Serotonin and Alzheimer’s Disease

The reason for the animals’ decreased anxiety in the above studies is that ingestion of M. vaccae stimulates the release of serotonin in the brain. Higher levels of this neurotransmitter elevate mood and decrease anxiety.

Serotonin is the “feel good” neurotransmitter that’s also essential to synaptic functioning. Your neurons need serotonin to communicate with each other. This molecule also plays a crucial role in memory and learning.

Serotonin production naturally slows as we age. Research suggests that this decrease could be linked to depression, decreased cognition, memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

Studies of autopsied brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease have shown serious serotonin deficiencies. Being low on serotonin doesn’t necessarily cause cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, but it is an indicator that overall brain health and functioning has been compromised.

Big Pharma has been trying to create drugs that boost serotonin, but so far they haven’t been effective. So your best bet to prevent low levels of serotonin is to actively stimulate its production with M. vaccae – and by other means.

How to Increase Your Intake of M. vaccae

Spending time in green places, city parks and uninhabited woods alike, increases your exposure to M. vaccae. Get outside and breathe the fresh air as often as you can.

Eating fruits and vegetables directly from the tree, shrub or vine also helps you to ingest beneficial quantities of this microbe. As long as they’re grown without pesticides and herbicides, you’ll be pretty safe to eat them without washing. (I’d be wary of vegetables grown in or near the ground, especially in manure-rich soil. Those I’d wash.)

Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that gardening or otherwise closely interacting with the earth gives you even more M. vaccae.

Long-time gardeners swear that spending time among their plants is therapeutic. Now we have a new reason to think so.

Spend some time playing in the dirt with your kids or grandkids. Try planting a small flower garden that you all can tend together. Grow one or two vegetable plants and eat the produce right off the plant. Or visit a local farm and sample their wares.

As long as you’re outside, eating organic fruits and veggies and getting dirty once in a while, you’ll be doing your brain a favor.

 Source: Brain Health Breakthroughs Newsletter by Lee Euler

Related Self-help Health posts:

Walking: Just Do It (In Nature!)

Natural Ways To Treat Alzheimer’s

Trees: They’re Not Just For Hugging

FYI, there’s a free on-line series starting on the 12th that ties in nicely with the idea of spending more time digging in the dirt. It’s the 3rd Annual Home Grown Summit. which will feature 38+ presenters sharing their best “secrets” about growing food, living sustainably, creating community, and more….

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You can go to my “What’s New” page to find out more about the summit, plus see the list of e-books and reports the Grow Network offers for free.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

Onions: In Your Food, On Your Feet, By Your Nightstand…..What?!

 

A couple of years ago I read somewhere about onions being such strong anti-bacterial agents that if you cut one in half and put it in a dish on your nightstand, in the morning it would be all black from attracting all the germs and “greasy grime” in the environment. I was thinking about that a few months ago and wishing I’d saved the article because I wanted to refresh my memory on the facts, plus include the info in a post about onions because they keep coming up, along with garlic, as such good anti-cold and flu agents.

Anyway, I had been wanting to research the topic, but hadn’t found the time to get around to it. Then boom and viola! An e-mail showed up right after that that actually contained info about that very thing. Talk about synchronicity and serendipity!

 

 

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Onions: Don’t Leave Home Without Them! 🙂

Onions have countless uses in the kitchen and are a chief ingredient in many sauces, salads and entrees, but to think of them only as a cooking ingredient overlooks the fact that they are also nutritional and healing powerhouses. Eating an onion a day (ideally raw) could be one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to safeguard your health, especially during wintertime.

Rich in disease-fighting quercetin

Onions, particularly red and yellow onions, are fantastic natural sources of the well-studied flavonoid quercetin. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, quercetin acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, and can guard against heart disease and cancer. These claims are now being proven by research. For example, one study published in Gastroenterology in January 1996 found that eating half of an onion a day could cut the risk of developing stomach cancer by 50 percent. Wow! And a later study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that quercetin could significantly reduce the concentrations of LDL cholesterol in overweight subjects, thereby decreasing their risk of cardiovascular disease.

High in allicin

The pungent taste and aroma of onions, as well as their famous release of eye-watering gases when chopped, is due to their allicin content. Allicin is also found in garlic, another common kitchen ingredient and nutritional powerhouse. Allicin is an organic sulfur compound which, like quercetin, possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can help prevent cancer. Moreover, research featured in Microbes and Infection in 1999 showed that allicin is a potent anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-bacterial, and can kill common (and increasingly antibiotic-resistant) microbial cultures in the body such as Candida albicans and E. coli. Since viruses thrive in cold weather, eating more onions in winter really is a good idea!

Lower blood sugar

Although the allicin in onions is best-known for treating disease, it has also been linked to reduced blood sugar. A research paper published back in 1975 in Experientia proved that diabetic rabbits that were treated with allicin extracts experienced “significantly reduced” blood sugar levels and glucose-nitrogen ratios. We now know that this is because allicin competes with insulin in the liver, which encourages the body to manufacture more of it. This helps transport glucose through the body, thus reducing blood sugar levels. Additionally, onions are also a top source of chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the actions of insulin. Therefore, diabetic or pre-diabetic individuals can help stabilize their blood sugar levels by adding more allicin-rich foods like onions to their diets.

Surprisingly dense in nutrients

One medium-sized onion also contains a surprising number of additional nutrients. This includes approximately 20 percent of our recommended daily intake of the essential antioxidant vitamin C, as well as varying amounts of protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron and most of the B vitamins. Obtaining these nutrients from whole foods like onions is the best way to optimize biosorption rates.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/045470_onions_natural_treatment_allicin.html#ixzz3QvE6uFew


 

And from The Alternative Daily, here are 11 of the amazing ways you can use onions more often…..

Stop a bloody nose

If you get a nosebleed, as soon as possible after it starts, slice an onion and hold it just underneath your nose. The fumes from the onion act as a natural coagulant to stop the bleeding.

Cure insomnia

While it definitely sounds a bit bizarre, onions are even said to cure insomnia. Just cut into a raw onion and take five to ten deep breaths of its aroma. For the best results, place it into a glass jar and put it beside your bed – take a whiff just before laying down.

Eliminate dark spots on the skin

To remove dark spots on your skin, slice a red onion and rub it directly onto dark areas of the skin after cleansing. Used on a daily basis it can help lighten hyper-pigmentation.

Soothe menstrual cramps

Onions are known as one of the best soothing agents for menstrual cramps. Consuming raw onions regularly during four to five days before your period can help ease the pain.

Improve sexual drive

The agent that gives onions their strong smell, allicin, is also responsible for increasing blood flow to the sexual organs, resulting in increased sexual drive.

Strengthen the immune system

As onions contain a significant amount of phyto-chemicals in addition to high levels of vitamin C, they can help strengthen your immune system, providing a strong defense against the common cold or flu.

Detoxification

Onions’ sulfur-containing amino acids offer a detoxifying effect which helps the liver process things like caffeine and acetaminophen as well as converting pesticides, lead and dry-cleaning solvents into forms that are less toxic and easier for the body to eliminate.

Support good oral health

Forgetting about the issue with foul breath for a moment – chewing raw onions for several minutes can help prevent tooth decay and oral infections by killing harmful germs present in the mouth. Just brush your teeth and use a mouthwash afterward to get rid of the smell. Chewing a fresh sprig of parsley can also help.

Stabilizing blood sugar levels

Studies have shown that consuming onions regularly can also help balance blood sugar levels. Onions are a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and many other micro-nutrients, compounds which further help to support normal blood sugar levels.

Fresh bulbs of onion*Preventing cancer

Research has found that organosulfur compounds, found in both onions and garlic, prevent the development of cancers by detoxifying carcinogens and stopping cancer cell growth. High onion intake has been associated with a 56 percent lower risk of colon cancer and a 25 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to no onion intake.

*More on this in a follow-up post on onions

Eliminate pimples

Rubbing half an onion on your face daily can help to eliminate blemishes without leaving acne scars or the long list of side effects which can come from acne medications.

Onions are truly an amazing food – use them frequently in your meals. They’re one of the most versatile vegetables and can be consumed raw or cooked, imparting a unique flavor to almost any recipe.

Onions for fever
I heard one of my teenage daughters talking to someone the other day about treating a fever, and she said, “Put some onions on your feet.” I couldn’t believe how bizarre that sounded. However, that is how I raised my kids. From as young as they can remember, I would initially treat a low-grade fever with white onions, putting a few slices on each foot and pulling on their socks.

Using onions for healing is nothing new. In Europe, onions were used to fight off sickness in the early 1900s, and Ayurvedic medicine has been using a poultice for the chest or feet to treat coughs, flu and fevers for centuries. The Hutterites, a North American pacifist community similar to the Amish, place cut onions throughout their home during cold and flu season because they believe the onions keep the germs away.

Onions are rich in sulphur-containing compounds that are naturally detoxifying. In addition, onions are the richest dietary source of quercetin, a highly potent antioxidant that has been shown to thin the blood, combat asthma, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, infections, and has been linked to inhibiting certain cancers. Onions also have strong anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral properties. So, don’t forget to add plenty of onions to your diet to help protect you from even the nastiest of bugs.

Source: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/11-amazing-uses-onions-clearer-skin-better-sleep/


 

For a really great, in-depth article on onions and which ones are highest in certain nutrients, and how to store and use in cooking, and extensive list of what health issues they help address, check out this post by Dr. Mercola. It also mentions how, when peeling an onion, you should only remove the outer most papery layer because a lot of the nutrients are in the next few layers……

Ideally, peel off only the outermost paper-like layer. Peeling too many layers can reduce the onion’s quercetin and anthocyanin content by as much as 20 percent and 75 percent respectively.20 One piece of good news is that quercetin does not degrade when cooked over low heat, so when you’re making soup, for example, it simply transfers into the broth.


 

And now for the fun and exciting part about onions that came in the e-mail I was talking about. It was from Dr. Jane Goldberg, health enthusiast and owner of La Casa Day Spa in NY. She’s always got some interesting information to pass along and this time it was exactly what I’d been waiting for. Here’s what she said….

And now for a novel but smelly idea:
 –
The following information comes from La Casa friend, Rev. Zoe Chang. As Zoe tells the story:
 –
In 1919, when the flu killed 40 million people, so it is said, there was one doc who visited his neighbor farmers to see if he could help them combat the illness. As he was to discover, many of them, as well as their families, had contracted the flu, and had died.
However, the doctor came upon one farmer, and saw that everyone in his family was still healthy. The wife explained that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in each of the rooms of the home. The doctor was puzzled, and asked if he could have one of the onions to examine it under the microscope. He found the flu pathogen in the onion. The onion had seemingly absorbed the flu pathogen, thereby, happily storing it away from the family, and keeping them healthy.
 –

The story gets better: A few years ago, a hairdresser was having trouble because so many of her employees and customers were coming down with the flu. When flu season came the next year, she decided to try the onion remedy, and placed several bowls with onions around her shop. She was happy to report that for that year none of her staff got sick.And, yet more, from a woman in Oregon:

 –
“Thanks for the reminder. I don’t know about the farmer’s story, but, I do know that I contracted pneumonia and needless to say, I was very ill. I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, and place the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs. Sure enough, it happened just like that. The onion was a mess and I began to feel better.”
 –
Onions have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.  The fact that they have the capability of absorbing bacteria and viruses is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu. But this is, also, the very reason we shouldn’t eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open. Leftover onions are toxic.
 –
One of the people providing information for this piece took a tour at Mullins Food Products, an Illinois company that makes mayonnaise. Questions about food poisoning came up during the tour, and the guide’s answer was surprising. He maintained that all commercially-made mayo is completely safe.
 –
“It doesn’t even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it’s not really necessary.” He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the summer picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table, and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.
The guide said that when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the ‘victim’ last ate onions. He was clear that the culprit is not the mayonnaise (as long as it’s not homemade mayo) that spoils in the outdoors–but rather, it’s much more likely to be the onions.

He explained that onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. He suggested to be careful with onions on hot dogs at the baseball park, and never keep a portion of a sliced onion. He said it’s not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator. It becomes highly toxic when left open for even a single night, and creates bacteria which can cause adverse stomach infections, or food poisoning.

 –
And, finally, dogs should never be given onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize them.
 –
I’m definitely going to try the onion on the nightstand (and soles of my feet) routine and see what happens. Fascinating stuff! Also, since reading the part about not using leftover cut onions, I have been more cautious about keeping them more than a day or two in the fridge. So far I haven’t had a problem, but then I use a BerryBreeze™ unit, which neutralizes pesticides and toxins, so that might be the reason.
Related Self-help Health posts: Let’s Hear It For Red Onions!
 –

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my new website Evolution Made Easier and blog of the same name for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.