Holistic Health Journal

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brain-imaging-sugarHave you ever wondered why you binge eat on donuts and chocolate, chips and other junk food instead of lettuce, kale, and zucchini? 

The explanation is fairly simple, and yet very complicated at the same time. 

Why We Binge on Junk

We binge on junk foods instead of healthy foods because we are addicted to them. Put simply, we binge on junk food because junk food stimulates the reward center of the brain, and healthy food does not. 

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Brain imaging shows high-sugar, high-fat foods activate the same regions of the brain as heroin, opium, and morphine. Processed sugar and fat, wheat, and salt stimulate the rewards center of the brain, causing many people to eat cookies, chips, soda, and other foods when stressed, tired, or bored. In many senses it is an addiction.

Although typically when we think of addiction we think of things like drugs, alcohol, smoking, and other highly addictive substances, junk food addictions are very real and very prevalent. Addiction has been traditionally looked at in terms of substances, but the American Society of Addiction Medicine is now looking at addiction with a broader definition that includes behavioral or process addictions, such as binge eating junk food. Just about anything can become an addiction, as everything we ingest is a substance and everything we do is a behavior. However, it is the things that stimulate the reward center of the brain that are most worrisome. 

Why You Don’t Binge on Healthy Foods

You don’t binge eat healthy foods because they do not cause the same reaction in the brain. And they do not have the same addictive qualities. Eating junk food can be as much of an addiction as alcoholism. The impact on others is less, and the consequences are not as immediate, but it can still be an addiction. Next time you get home after a long day of work and reach for chips or ice cream, and think to yourself, “At least I’m not an alcoholic or addict” think again. 

Many people suffer from a junk food addiction. How can you know if you are one of them? If you quit eating it will you experience cravings or withdrawal? Can you stop eating sugar, or drinking caffeinated sodas without becoming irritable, experiencing headaches, or craving the junk food? Can you even stop? 

Change can be hard, especially if there is prolonged behavior and a history of binge eating junk food. However, like any addiction there are things that can be done to help! You can try to break the addiction on your own or seek professional help. 

If attempting to curb your junk food binge eating on your own, consider the following tips:

1. Consciously look for a more productive way to de-stress:

One of the most common causes for binge eating is stress. Familial stress, financial stress, work stress. It doesn’t really matter what kind, when people feel stressed they look for comfort, and binge eating can provide a temporary comfort. However, there are more productive ways, and less harmful, to achieve the same thing. Meditation, yoga, exercise, journaling, 

2. Try to Eliminate Triggers.

Are you more likely to binge eat if it is late at night? Go to bed earlier. Do you junk food binge when you are hungry and short on time? Plan ahead better, and have healthy options readily available. Does talking to your mother-in-law always stress you out? Keep a stress ball, a mug of green tea, and a good book to dive into on hand for when you talk to her. Track your behavior, and pinpoint the triggers in your life that lead to binge eating, and look for ways to reduce and eliminate those triggers. 

3. Fight the Addiction. 

Go cold turkey if you want to, for one week, and cut out sugars, processed foods, soda, and other junk foods. And don’t put yourself in situations where you would give in. Just like an alcoholic shouldn’t spend time in a bar, don’t have junk food readily available in your home. See how long you can go, and identify your weaknesses so you can find ways to combat them. 

It may not be as rewarding, but next time you feel the urge to binge eat, try Brussels sprouts, kale salad, and a spinach smoothie.

In less than 10 years, there will be a national shortage of 800,000 nurses,about the population of South Dakota. To address this issue, LicencedPracticalNurse.com came out with this graphic showing practical ways to take preventative measures — beyond diet and exercise. 

The graphic focuses on the brain, shoulders, ears, eyes, heart, lungs, intestines, back, hands, knees, legs, skin, and feet. Enjoy:

your-nurse-first

DandelionMost people in western society have grown up without using bitter herbs on a regular basis. Bitter herbs are not the most tasty, but they are outstanding for our health. These herbs help produce digestive enzymes and improve liver and gallbladder function as well as anything. Utilizing bitter herbs on a regular basis is a fantastic health strategy for optimal digestion and detoxification.

When the tongue recognizes the bitter flavor it sets off a set of reactions in the neuroendocrine system that is labeled the “bitter reflex.” This process is mediated by the hormone within the stomach called gastrin which stimulates the flow of hydrochloric acid. This reflex then goes down and helps with liver and gallbladder secretions of bile and pancreatic enzyme secretions (1).

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Experts believe that the bitter reflex helps to improve the structure and function of all the digestive organs. Bitter is good for the liver” is a popular slogan describing the benefits of these herbs. They are also good for cleansing the blood, digestive system, kidneys and urinary tracts.

Bitter herbs are divided into two major categories: cholagogues, which increase the flow of bile, and hepatoprotectants which repair and protect the liver from overexposure to toxins. The cholagogues include dandelion root, parsley, burdock root, artichoke, ginger and goldenseal. While hepatoprotectants include turmeric and milk thistle.

Be sure to include some of these bitters in your meals and in your juicing schedule.

Dandelion:

This is rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids. They are also very high in highly absorbable methylating agents such as vitamin B2, B6 and folate. Rich in minerals such as potassium, iron and zinc, it releases excess fluid out of the body detoxifying the kidney and liver. Dandelions support digestion, reduce swelling and inflammation, and treat jaundice, edema, gout, eczema and acne (2).

Parsley:

Parsley is super rich in chlorophyll and also contains about three times the amount of vitamin C by volume as an orange. Vitamin C is extremely important for healthy immune function and youthful skin & joints. Additionally, it contains carotenoid anti-oxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which enhance eye function and help the body neutralize damage from UV radiation (3).

Coriander/cilantro: 

This is a powerful heavy metal detoxifier. This is due to its strong array of phytonutrients and chlorophyll. This is extremely good for blood, liver and kidney purification. Be sure to utilize cilantro in your juices to help pull out heavy metals like aluminum, mercury and nickel (4).

Ginger:

Ginger is classified as a carminative (reducing intestinal gas) and an intestinal spasmolytic (soothes intestinal tract) while inducing gut motility. Ginger is known to reduce fever related nausea, motion sickness, and feelings of “morning sickness.” Additionally, it helps aid in the production of bile, making it particularly helpful in digesting fats (5, 6).

Turmeric:

The orange Asian herb turmeric has been traditionally used for centuries by Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. Curcumin is the most powerful active anti-inflammatory compound within turmeric. Curcumin has been shown to detoxify the liver, boost glutathione levels and be a powerful suppressor of chronic inflammatory mediated disease processes (7).

Milk thistle:

Milk thistle was used by medical herbalists in the late nineteenth century to treat varicose veins and liver, spleen and kidney disorders. Today, it is primarily used to improve the function of the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal system. Many individuals have seen dramatic improvement using milk thistle for health issues such as psoriasis, menstrual problems, jaundice and poor circulation (8).

Sources:

1) http://www.westonaprice.org

2) http://umm.edu 

3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

http://truthwiki.org/turmeric

Aloe VeraAloe vera plant is a non-toxin, succulent plant which store water in their fleshy leaves and its succulence allow this juicy plant to survive in areas of low natural rainfall. There are many Aloe vera benefits from health to nutrition, from acne treatment to skin care. Aloe vera plant is widely grown as an ornamental plant; however it is equally popular as medicinal plant due to several Aloe vera uses.

1. Weight Loss

You must have taken slimming tablets or tried all the exercises and diets to lose weight. However, you didn’t get the desired results. Do you want to lose weight naturally? Aloe vera juice is the easy and natural weight loss solution. It reduces weight by stabilizing the metabolic rate, reducing lipid levels and helping burn fat.

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2 Control Diabetes

Aloe Vera is good for diabetes patients because it helps to regulate the blood sugar levels when consumed regularly. However, consult your doctor before you start consuming the aloe juice.You need to have the dose prescribed by doctor so that it doesn’t interfere with the medicines you are having to curb blood sugar. Aloe vera plant is considered to be a miracle plant because of its too many curative and healing health benefits.

3. Increase Immune system

Drinking aloe juice regularly replenishes the amino acid deficiency in your body. The high vitamin content in it boosts up your body’s immune system and self-defense mechanism.

4. Control many disease

Drinking aloe vera juice help ease congestion, stomach ulcers, colitis, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections and prostate problems.

5. Skin Care

Brighten skin. Aloe can decrease pigmentation and dark spots. Make skin new again with an exfoliating, organic sugar scrub by mixing together two tbsp. of aloe vera, 2 tbsp. of organic brown sugar and 1 tsp. of organic lemon juice.

6. Hair care

Speed up hair growth by massaging aloe into the scalp, letting it sit for 30 minutes, and rinsing. Reduce hair dandruff by mixing aloe vera juice with coconut milk and wheat germ oil. Massage into scalp and rinse.

7. Stimulates Metabolism

Aloe vera juice also increases energy level and helps to maintain a healthy body weight. Drinking aloe vera juice regularly stimulates the metabolism and helps the body to burn calories more quickly. So aloe vera keeps you slim naturally.

8. Help in reproduction

Aloe vera tonic is wonderful for the female reproductive system. It helps to rejuvenate the uterus. It is very beneficial to drink aloe vera juice if you are experiencing painful menstrual cycle.

9. Use as shaving cream

In-the-know beauty buffs swear by pure aloe as the perfect shaving cream: It’s antibacterial, which is great for nicks; it’s slippery, allowing for a nice close shave; and it moisturizes, too. You can use it on its own, or combine with other nourishing ingredients for a more luxe (but still DIY) product.

10. As Face wash

Mix 1 Tbsp aloe vera gel with 1 tsp almond milk, and 1 tsp lemon, wash and let sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Since some minerals found in aloe are antibacterial, this face wash is ideal for sensitive skin, breakouts, and rosacea, says Pekar. Need an anti-aging boost? Mix 1 Tbsp aloe with 1 tsp 100% raw organic coconut oil, massage into hands until the contents are warm, then wash and rinse.

11. Control bad breadth

Come a little closer…no, actually—don’t. When bad breath hits, drink up to 1/4 cup pure aloe vera gel dissolved in a 1/2 cup of water or apple juice, suggests herbalist Letha Hadady, author of Healthy Beauty. Aloe vera contains an anti-inflammatory compound called B-sitosterol that soothes acid indigestion, a common cause of bad breath. But resist the urge to chug; in large doses, aloe vera can work like a laxative.

12. Wrinkle Repair

Skin loves Vitamins C and E which are present in Aloe, helping to improve skins firmness and keep it hydrated. Combining virgin coconut oil can make a creamier way to supplement nutrients, essential fats and moisture. Aloe Vera gel penetrates skin almost four times faster than water, and its super emollient qualities help it moisturize the under layers of skin.

13. Gastrointestinal disorders

For gastrointestinal disorders like indigestion, heartburn, stomach ulcers, haemorrhoids, congestion, urinary infections, colitis, prostate problems, rheumatism pain and arthritis, aloe vera juice can be taken orally. It helps in comforting these disorders.

14. Get rid of Eczema

Aloe vera can be applied topically to minimize inflammation, puffiness, and also itching onto the skin by using a lotion, cream, gel or shampoo. It is also available in tablet form, as a juice and a few other forms for the patients who wish to consume it orally.

15. Repair damaged tissue

Minimize damaged tissues because of frostbite. Try natural aloe gel from a bottle or perhaps straight from a plant’s stem on to the infected place two times a day.

16. Vitamin and Mineral Source

Every day our body needs to ingest several vitamin and minerals and aloe vera juice contains a great deal of these. It includes vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin and folic acid. In addition to these, it also contains chromium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, potassium, iron, sodium, calcium and others.

17. Detox

Aloe vera juice can be a great natural option for detoxing. Because of the way we live including stress, pollution and junk food, we need to occasionally cleanse our systems. Aloe vera juice is an ideal way to do this because it contains many trace elements, vitamins and minerals that can help the body deal with daily stresses and strains.

18. Cardiovascular Health

Some research has shown that when doctors inject aloe vera extract into the blood, it drastically multiplies the diffusion abilities of red blood cells as well as the oxygen transportation. It contains nutrients that can regulate blood pressure, improve blood oxidation and circulation, lower cholesterol and make blood less sticky.

If you know more uses of aloe vera juice feel free to ad in comment section.

Article Source:

http://health.howstuffworks.com http://www.stylecraze.com http://www.prevention.com http://www.thebeautypixie.com

Astragalus The human immune system is a remarkable network of biological structures and processes. When functioning properly, it has the ability to remember diseases that it has previously encountered for more efficient removal, trigger immediate responses to emergencies through its advanced communication systems and much more.

Despite its sophistication, however, the immune system is notoriously fragile, and even the healthiest of us can suffer from compromised immunity from time to time. During these difficult periods, when we’re at a far greater risk of infection than usual, it is a good idea to supplement our diets with herbs that are well-known for their immune-boosting properties. Three of the best of these herbs are listed below.

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Astragalus

Astragalus is a perennial plant native to the northern and eastern regions of China, as well as Korea and Mongolia. Its antioxidant-rich root, which resembles a garlic bulb, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to strengthen the body against disease. Moreover, Astragalus‘s adaptogenic qualities make it effective at fighting disease as well.

Astragalus has been well-studied in the West, and numerous studies confirm its alleged immunity-boosting properties. A study published in Cellular Immunologyin 2011, for instance, found that Astragalus polysaccharides could stimulate the body’s production of macrophages (white blood cells that tackle foreign invaders and cancer cells).(1) A later study, published in Microbial Pathogenesis in January 2014, also discovered that Astragalus polysaccharides could regulate the production of T cells (white blood cells that defend the body from pathogens) in infected mice.(2)

Echinacea

Echinacea is a flowering plant that grows throughout North America and Europe. It was immensely popular in its native lands as an immunity booster and general “cure-all” during the 18th and 19th centuries, but its use began to decline after the advent of antibiotics. Fortunately, the West — prompted by growing research into its health benefits — seems to have rediscovered Echinacea in recent decades.

Studies into Echinacea‘s immunity-boosting properties are considerable, and new research is being published every month. For example, a study featured in International Immunopharmacology in March 2014 found that Echinaceapolysaccharides could regulate T cell cytokine response, thus enhancing the body’s defenses against infection.(3) These results were reinforced by another study published one month later in Natural Product Communications, which concluded that Echinacea preparations can bolster immunity by decreasing the “number and function” of regulatory T cells.(4)

Cat’s claw

Cat’s claw is a woody vine native to the Amazon Rainforest of South America. While the indigenous people of Central and South America have used cat’s claw — which is named after its hook-like thorns — to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, it is especially revered for its ability to strengthen immune function.

Few studies have been conducted on cat’s claw compared to Astragalus and Echinacea, but the limited amount of research we currently possess is promising. A study published in Phytotherapy Research in August 2011, for example, discovered that cat’s claw extracts could boost immunity by modulating “distinct patterns of the immune system in a dose-dependent manner.” (5) A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in March 2007 also listed cat’s claw as one of three herbs (the others being saw palmetto and Echinacea) that could regulate immune function by activating disease-fighting macrophages.(6)

Sources:

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Magnesium ComplexHeart failure affects millions of people around the world, with over 650,000 diagnoses being made every year. It’s one of the most serious conditions that can affect the human body, and its prevalence is only increasing as time goes on. The term itself is one of the most resigning names for a condition out there, and leaves hardly any room for optimism when it comes to treatment. Let’s face it – hearing that you’re suffering from “heart failure” is something that can be hard to recover from on its own, let alone the actual effect on blood pumping.

Heart failure can be caused by a number of different factors, including:

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  • Heart attacks
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Thyroid disease

Regardless of how it’s caused, it is possible to take actionable steps to prevent its occurrence. It starts by understanding the underlying mechanisms of heart failure that characterize it in the first place.

So, how does heart failure work?

A diagnosis for congestive heart failure (CHF) is made when your heart’s left ventricle becomes incapable of pumping a sufficient amount of blood to fuel your body. As a result, a buildup of blood starts to pool in the heart and some of it gets shot back up into the lungs (leading to shortness of breath, wheezing, etc.) and can even collect in your lower legs.

Despite the main cause behind it, the majority of them (listed above) come back to your body not having the energy needed to perform the blood pumping function, or it occurs as a result of muscle damage in the affected area. So, understanding these two common factors is helpful because conquering them both simultaneously should yield some beneficial results.

Thankfully, there is one mineral that both improves energy levels and prevents muscle damage – magnesium.

What does magnesium do?

Well, as already mentioned, magnesium can keep your energy levels and muscle health in an optimal state. With heart failure generally being considered fatal, doctors often resort to drugs when it comes to treating the condition; unfortunately, taking regular supplies of these drugs can often have a negative effect on magnesium levels in the body. Basically, they drain you of your magnesium supply.

At the same time, magnesium affects your likelihood of experiencing heart failure in two pivotal stages:

  • Magnesium actually prevents your arteries from dealing with spasms, and fights against abnormal blood clot formation. It can also help relax your arteries, bringing your blood pressure back to a healthy level.
  • Having a healthy supply of magnesium can help reduce inflammation from an excess of calcium in the arterial wall (which would interfere with blood flow).

Without magnesium, the heart would give in to a number of different bodily functions that ultimately end in heart failure. Remember, there are so many different causes of the actual condition – but in the end, a lot of them also link back to not getting enough magnesium in your diet (at least to help fight the problem). There are a number of different foods out there that can give you your daily dose (and then some), so incorporating them into your day will help keep your heart health in check.

Vitamin D3Maintaining good health through nutritious foods isn’t just important for every day well-being but can be crucial when the body needs to repair itself following an injury. Our bodies have miraculous healing capabilities, which can be heightened with a little extra help from nature’s vitamins.

Luckily for us, everything that we need to be healthy is found naturally in our environment, and this includes elements that are helpful for healing. Scientists believe that humans require just 13 different vitamins to stay healthy, all of which offer unique health benefits.

While science has already unlocked many benefits of vitamin D, this latest bit of research unveils yet another remarkable revelation: Healthy vitamin D levels help the brain recover and function better following a heart attack.

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“Vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of poor neurological outcome after sudden cardiac arrest by 7-fold”

Conducted by Dr. Jin Wi, the study sought to observe how vitamin D deficiencies affect patients recovering from cardiac arrest, so far a poorly researched subject.

Not only did the study’s outcome show that low vitamin D levels increased the risk for poor brain function after sudden cardiac arrest by sevenfold, but the deficiencies were also linked to a higher chance of death following sudden cardiac arrest.

While presenting his findings at the Acute Cardiovascular Care 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Wi said:

In patients resuscitated after sudden cardiac arrest, recovery of neurological function is very important, as well as survival. Vitamin D deficiency has been reported to be related to the risk of having various cardiovascular diseases, including sudden cardiac arrest. We investigated the association of vitamin D deficiency with neurologic outcome after sudden cardiac arrest, a topic on which there is no information so far.

Dr. Wi and his team analyzed clinical data from 53 unconscious patients who were resuscitated after experiencing sudden cardiac arrest at Severance Cardiovascular Hospital in Seoul, Korea. The patient’s “neurologic outcome” was measured using the Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) score six months after discharge.

A CPC score of 1 to 2 was considered a “good” neurologic outcome, while scores 3 to 5 were considered “poor.” Of the 53 patients analyzed, CPR was performed on 41 one of them, or 77 percent.

Those with high risk of cardiac arrest should avoid vitamin D deficiencies

Based on the results, scientists were able to conclude that the patients with poor neurological outcome had significantly lower vitamin D levels than those who had a good neurological outcome.

About 65 percent of the patients with vitamin D deficiencies experienced a poorneurological outcome six months after discharge compared to 23 percent of patients with healthy vitamin D levels.

“Patients with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have a poor neurological outcome or die after sudden cardiac arrest than those who were not deficient,” said Dr. Wi.

Nearly 30 percent of patients with vitamin D deficiencies passed away at the six-month mark compared to none of the patients with healthy vitamin D levels.

“Nearly one-third of the patients who were deficient in vitamin D had died 6 months after their cardiac arrest, whereas all patients with sufficient vitamin D levels were still alive.”

Scientists say people with a personal or family history of heart disease should especially avoid vitamin D deficiencies. “Other risk factors for cardiac arrest include smoking, obesity, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and drinking too much alcohol,” warned Dr. Wi.

A large, randomized trial is required in order to learn whether or not vitamin D supplements can actually be used to treat people that are at high risk for developing heart complications.

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imagesMany nutritionists consider the avocado, which is native to the region stretching from the central highlands of Mexico to the Pacific Coast of Central America, to be one of the healthiest fruits in the world. This is because, unlike most other fruits, these green-skinned, single-seeded berries are rich in beneficial fats that are proven to boost our health in countless ways.

However, avocados are also bursting with many other nutrients lacking in the Western diet, making them an excellent “all-round” food for correcting deficiencies and tackling diseases. This article takes a closer look at the health benefits of this often misunderstood fruit, which deserves far more attention in the Western world than it currently receives.

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Rich in disease-fighting fats

We can expect to receive an impressive 29 grams of total fat from the average avocado grown in Florida and California. Around 67 percent of this fat is monounsaturated, 16 percent is polyunsaturated and 15 percent is saturated. (1)

The primary monounsaturated fatty acid in avocado is oleic acid, which can prevent the onset of several serious diseases. For example, a study published in Nutrition in 2004 found that oleic acid (along with certain polyunsaturated acids) could be “useful for decreasing risk factors for cardiovascular disease.” (2) A study published in Lipids in Health and Disease in 2009 also discovered that oleic acid could reverse the negative effects of inflammatory proteins in obese and diabetic patients, suggesting that it can help prevent and possibly even treat type 2 diabetes. (3)

Hormone-balancing properties

Avocados contain certain plant sterols, such as beta-sitosterol, that possess antiestrogenic properties, meaning they can block the estrogen receptors in our cells and reduce estrogen absorption rates. Consequently, progesterone levels in women and testosterone levels in men are increased. (4) This makes avocados an especially valuable food in today’s world of widespread pollution and gender-bending chemicals, which can greatly compromise endocrine function.

Packed with carotenoids

Avocados are rich in a beneficial group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, which are plant-based precursors to the powerful antioxidant vitamin A. One of the carotenoids found in avocados, beta-carotene, is especially well-known for its cancer-fighting benefits. A study published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications in August 2013, for instance, found that beta-carotene could inhibit the growth of tumors associated with neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer that affects young children. (5)

Two other carotenoids found in avocados, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in high concentrations in the macula of the human eye and are renowned for their vision-boosting properties. According to a report published by the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, lutein and zeaxanthin supplements can even prevent age-related macular generation, the most common cause of vision loss in Westerners aged 50 or older. (6)

High in nutrients

One American avocado supplies our bodies with approximately 33 percent of our recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, 53 percent of our RDA of vitamin K, 28 percent of our RDA of potassium and similarly high amounts of other beneficial nutrients such as vitamin E, manganese, magnesium and most B vitamins. Additionally, one avocado contains a whopping 13 grams of dietary fiber, which is over 50 percent of our RDA. (7) This is far more fiber per weight than most other fruits, making avocados one of the best foods for treating constipation.

Sources:

(1) http://healthyeating.sfgate.com

(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(3) http://www.lipidworld.com

(4) http://www.everydiet.org

(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(6) https://www.macular.org

(7) http://nutritiondata.self.com

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FeverfewAn herb discussed below caused a big upset a few years back when researchers realized it could be more successful at killing cancerous cells than an expensive chemo drug. Since that discovery, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has fast-tracked the plant compounds to be used in pharmaceutical meds. Want to know how to get yours from the natural source without paying Big Pharma for their patents? Read on.

Feverfew (tanacetum parthenium)also known as wild chamomile, is no small herb. Its properties are so powerful it has been shown to outperform anti-leukemia chemo drugs. The active ingredient in feverfew, which is responsible for much of its healing power, is known as Parthenolide.

Until recently, feverfew was used by herbalists primarily as a treatment for migraine headaches and nausea, but it turns out that the extent of its true healing powers were being overlooked.

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One abstract concluded:

“It has multiple pharmacologic properties, such as anticancer, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, antispasmodic, an emmenagogue, and as an enema for worms. In this review, we have explored the various dimensions of the feverfew plant and compiled its vast pharmacologic applications to comprehend and synthesize the subject of its potential image of multipurpose medicinal agent. The plant is widely cultivated to large regions of the world and its importance as a medicinal plant is growing substantially with increasing and stronger reports in support of its multifarious therapeutic uses.”

Parthenolide has shown great promise in treating multiple cancers, though admittedly not in human testing. It works by reducing the spread (metastasis) or the recurrence of several types of cancerous cells, including breast, prostate, lung, bladder, leukemia, and myeloma.

Another study, published in the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, concluded:

“The parthenolide can inhibit the cell growth, migration, and induce the apoptosis in human pancreatic cancer. These findings may provide a novel approach for pancreatic cancer treatment.”

Harikrishna Nakshatri, associate professor of surgery, biochemistry, and molecular biology, and Marian J. Morrison, an investigator in breast cancer research, has discovered that parthenolide could block the activity of a protein called NF-kB in breast cancer cells. NF-kB promotes the production of proteins that block cell death. In moderation, that’s a good thing, but when NF-kB becomes overactive, cancer cells become resistant to chemotherapy drugs.

Fortunately, the active feverfew compound, parthenolide, is not highly soluble in water, which makes it harder for pharmaceutical companies to extract the compound and patent it. They have to modify its structure slightly for it to still work to kill cancerous cells. But you could also just take the much less expensive herb, and get the compound as nature intended it. Feverfew can also be grown in your own garden, and you can take the herb to induce cancer cell apoptosis for pennies.

“When once planted it [feverfew] gives year after year an abundant supply of blossoms with only the merest degree of attention.”

I’m quite certain the American Medical Association and American Cancer Society wouldn’t want you to know that.

Thyroid SupportIs your hair thinning or falling out? When you look in the mirror, does it seem that the outer edges of your eyebrows have disappeared? Have you gained or lost weight without changing your diet? Are you tired all the time? You may be one of the millions of Americans with undiagnosed thyroid disease.

Thyroid disease has become epidemic in the United States with numbers of confirmed cases at more than 12 million and estimates of undiagnosed cases doubling that number. With our overtired, fast paced, malnourished, caffeine laden, chronically stressed out lifestyle, and the radiation exposure from Fukushima, the perchlorate contamination of municipal and well water (trace amounts of this chemical used to make rocket fuel damage the thyroid), damage to the thyroid due to prescription drug use, and the explosion of auto-immune diseases, thyroid disease is on the rise. However, thyroid disease is often misdiagnosed, especially in the elderly, when clear symptoms of the disease are passed off as aging, and doctors neglect to administer diagnostic tests.

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So how do you know your thyroid may not be functioning properly? Who is at risk? And what are the symptoms?

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include: weight loss, nervousness, moody, weakness, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, shaky hands, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, hair loss, and red, itchy skin.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

Thyroid ActivatorSymptoms of hypothyroidism include: weight gain or difficulty losing weight, fatigue, thinning hair, thinning eyebrows or loss of outer edges of eyebrows, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, impaired memory, adult onset ADHD, slow healing, feet or hands that get cold easily, insomnia, poor sleep habits, poor sleep quality, daily sleepy spells, menstrual irregularities, anxiety, nightmares, dry skin, and yellow skin (due to difficulty converting beta carotene to vitamin A), and muscle and joint pain (which can be severe and may be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia).

Six percent of the American population suffer from one of these two conditions; 78.7% suffer from hypothyroidism, while 21.3% suffer from hyperthyroidism.

Other diseases and conditions of the thyroid include: thyroiditis, an overall inflammation and swelling of the thyroid gland caused by a viral infection or an autoimmune disease; goiter, a singular non cancerous swelling that can be associated with Hashimoto’s or an iodine deficiency; thyroid nodule, a small, abnormal, non-cancerous mass or lump that may secrete excess hormones causing hyperthyroidism; thyroid storm, a rare form of extremely high hyperthyroidism that causes extreme illness; and thyroid cancer.

Foods that benefit the thyroid

The thyroid gland must have iodine to produce T3 and T4. Good food sources include the well known meat, seafood, yogurt, milk, and eggs, as well as…

Vegan sources of iodine:

  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Seaweed
  • Himalayan Crystal Salt
  • Navy Beans
  • Cranberries
  • Kelp
  • Dulse

Selenium is essential to the process of the body breaking down T3 into T4. Seafood, and meat are high in Selenium as well as many vegan friendly foods…

Vegan sources of selenium:

  • Brazil Nuts
  • Shiitake/White Button Mushroom
  • Lima/Pinto Beans
  • Chia Seeds
  • Brown Rice
  • Seeds (Sunflower, Sesame, and Flax)
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach

Foods to avoid when you have a thyroid problem

If you have hypothyroidism, medical professionals warn against eating raw cruciferous vegetables or suggest you radically limit their intake. Foods in question with hypothyroidism include: broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, soy, peanuts, linseed, pine nuts, millet, cassava, mustard greens, asparagus, and sweet potatoes. They also recommend we avoid alcohol and tobacco, and while I agree with that, I don’t necessarily agree with the cruciferous vegetable recommendation. A varied diet of fresh, raw vegetables can fix almost anything, including any adverse reaction to the foods themselves. Though, obviously you have to use common sense; if you smoke, drink lots of coffee, or rarely get enough sleep then a large kale smoothie and a kale salad every day isn’t the smartest choice.

For those with severe thyroid disorders, occasionally (depending on the thyroid disorder and the person’s diet), cruciferous vegetables can be debilitating if not cooked first. It doesn’t take much heat to remove the glucosinolates and therefore the threat to the thyroid.

I know it’s being said to death lately to avoid wheat, and in some cases maybe over used, but I have found that many people have to eliminate gluten before their thyroid will heal. Typically, people with issues towards gluten need to detoxify and clean their intestinal system. And in every case of thyroid problems I’ve encountered, the person needed B vitamins as well and a good whole food multivitamin/mineral supplement. Check out the first two sources for more on thyroid healing naturally.

Sources: 

http://www.healingthebody.ca

http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com

http://www.healthaliciousness.com

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com