Posts tagged immune system

“The Healthy Home” – 31 Ways to Protect Yourself & Your Loved Ones From Hidden Toxic Damage

“The Healthy Home”

31 Ways to Protect Yourself & Your Loved Ones From Hidden Toxic Damage

In their exceptional, informative N.Y. Times best-selling book The Healthy Home: Simple Truths to Protect Your Family From Hidden Household Dangers, son and father team Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz tackle the topic of toxins from room to room, starting with the bedroom and ending with the car, garage, and yard. “Every second of every day, we face an onslaught of unnecessary dangers—toxic chemicals, negative energies, unforeseen side effects, and more—in our modern world,” writes Dave, the younger Wentz.

Myron, his father, who holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology with a specialty in Immunology & Virology from the University of Utah, throws in the statistics: “A new chemical substance is discovered every nine seconds during the workday. Chemists discovered the eighteenth millionth chemical substance known to science on June 15, 1998. Many thousands more have been developed since then.” Wrap your brain around that figure for a moment. It looks like this: 18,000,000 and rapidly increasing!

Their N.Y. Times Best-Selling book is an excellent, comprehensive resource to learn how, exactly, we go about protecting ourselves from all the toxins. Following are just 31 of the numerous simple immediately applicable solutions they pepper throughout the book.*

1. Cut down on the wrinkle-free materials. Five minutes of ironing will spare you from a lifetime of PFC exposure.

2. Make certain your body is wrapped in safe, natural material for at least a third of the day by purchasing pajamas and bedding made from organic cotton.

3. Train and trust your nose. Of all our senses, smell makes the most direct connection between the outside world and your brain.

4. Use 1/2 cup of white vinegar in place of fabric softener in the washer to reduce static cling and soften clothing.

5. Unwrap and air out your dry-cleaned garments for at least two days in an exterior area, like a garage—never in a closet or bedroom.

6. Whenever you launder your sheets, open your windows and leave your mattress exposed in order to allow your bed to off-gas for the day.

7. Unplug your electronic gadgets and appliances when they aren’t being used.

8. Buy nightlights, alarm clocks, and other bedroom electronics that are illuminated with red light, which is less disturbing to melatonin production than white or blue light.

9. Open a window whenever you can to let in some fresh, cleansing air. The air outside is cleaner.

10. Cut down on toxic preservatives like parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde by first replacing products that sit on your skin all day—like a moisturizers—with more natural, preservative-free alternatives.

11. Avoid aerosol products that have non-spray alternatives. If you must use aerosols, open a window and run your bathroom fan. Wash products off your face as soon as you get home instead of waiting until bedtime. A few additional chemical-free hours each day could add up to more than six years over a lifetime.

12. Don’t use antiperspirant during cooler months or on weekends when it doesn’t matter if you sweat a little.

13. If you’ve been exposed to mercury, consider taking a nutritional supplement containing N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) and alpha-lipoic acid to aid in detoxification.

14. Give your immune system a boost with the beneficial bacteria found on a probiotic supplement. Just be sure to look in your pharmacy or grocery store for a product that contains “live and active” cultures.

15. Avoid buying products that contain triclosan and its chemical cousin, triclocarban. Simply wash your hands with regular soap and water to get rid of germs.

16. Start with good antioxidant protection, supplemental B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and lots of CoQ10. Also, try one or more of the foods that have been shown to lower cholesterol, such as steel cut oatmeal.

17. Start each day with an alkalizing glass of lemon water by squeezing a fresh lemon (no sugar) into purified water. Make sure you include the pulp.

18. Trade in your table salt for natural sea salt, which contains a mixture of alkaline complexes. And use pepper or other spices to liven your meals.

19. Maintain a good distance—at least ten feet in front or five feet to the side—between yourself and the microwave when it’s on.

20. If you must use a PTFE-lined pan, keep your burner on medium or low. And never preheat an empty pan.

21. If you plastic wrap, ensure it is LDPE-based plastic, and regardless of what type it is, never use it in the microwave.

22. Purchase reusable grocery bags made of natural materials such as cotton and use them as often as you can.

23. Use a pitcher with an activated carbon filter to reduce contaminants in your water. Although it won’t filter out all pollutants, it’s a good start at a low cost.

24. If you are cleaning with products that you wouldn’t eat, wear gloves!

25. Instead of using an aerosol freshening spray, mist your room with real citrus scent. Simply pour a few drops of orange, lemon, or lime essential oil into a spray bottle of water.

26. Buy the best vacuum you can afford. Optimally, get one with a HEPA “completely sealed” system.

27. Use a regular, corded telephone when at home or at work. Cutting even 20 percent of your daily RF exposure is a step in the right direction.

28. If you have Ethernet ports in convenient areas, you can access the Internet using good, old-fashioned wiring.

29. Don’t set your car’s air conditioner or heater to re-circulated air. Selecting the outside air option on your dashboard will reduce the number of pollutants you’re circulating inside the car.

30. Take a daily vitamin D supplement with at least 2,000 IUs (International Units) during the winter or year-round if you can’t get out into the sun each day.

31. Plant a large, diverse range of plants in your yard—native species are best. The more the merrier and healthier.

*For more information, and to purchase the new revolutionary ground-breaking N.Y. Times Best-Seller “The Healthy Home: Simple Truths To Protect Your Family From Hidden Toxic Dangers In And Around The Home, Car, and Workplace” go to http://www.amazon.com or your favorite internet book seller or book store.

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Get Your Digestive Tract Back on Track After Holiday Indulgence by Herbal Papaya

Get Your Digestive Tract Back on Track After Holiday Indulgence
by Herbal Papaya

http://www.herbalpapaya.com

Don’t let overindulgence get you down this holiday season! If you can’t resist the excess, follow these tips to find a healthy balance again in your life.

We always recommend moderation as the best course of action for most aspects in life, but the holidays are a difficult time not to indulge, unless you have self-control of steel.

We’re not here to judge anyone for what they want to indulge in this holiday season. Instead, we’d like to help you out if you happen to go a little overboard at that holiday work party coming up.

We’re only human and it happens to the strictest of us, but it’s important to focus on what to do once the damage is done. Don’t make indulgence a habit, but be proactive about owning up to it and supporting your body through the worst.

Why, might you ask, is our digestive system such an important component to our health? Well besides feeling crummy after indulging in too rich or too much food, a healthy digestive system is the key to longevity and preventing degenerative issues later in life from a buildup of toxins.

If you’re just unable to resist another serving of your favorite holiday foods (for the 3rd time today), never fear! We have you covered to get you back on track and ready for the new year, feeling healthier and happier than ever.

Herbal Tea

Avoiding caffeine and hitting the herbal tea can be one of the best ways to support your immune system and flush out the bad toxins in your body.

Mint, chamomile, and lemon grass teas are especially great for a variety of health benefits, but most importantly, they all aid your digestive system in some way.

Herbal teas are also a good way to increase your hydration, but make sure to also be drinking more water on a regular basis around the holidays if you’re prone to overeating or drinking alcohol excessively.

Papaya Seeds

Sometimes what you need after a night or week of indulgence is a complete detox. Papaya seeds are a smart choice for liver detoxification after one too many mulled wines, hot toddies, or glasses of champagne.

In addition to their liver cleansing capabilities, papaya seeds are also great for digestion because they’re high in the natural enzyme, papain.

Green Smoothies/Juices

Speaking of detox, green smoothies and juices are another option to consider for cleansing out your system. They not only help with digestion and moving toxins out of your body, but replenish you with a variety of helpful and important nutrients.

Get creative and try your own version of a green smoothie, mixing and matching a few of the best ingredients for digestion, such as pineapples, ginger, parsley, avocados, lemon juice, celery, spinach, flax seeds, and cucumbers.

Natural Enzymes

Pineapples and papayas are perfect digestion aids due to their rich natural enzymes in the form of bromelain and papain, respectively. They are both important enzymes for breaking down the nutrients that our daily food intake provides us with.

Focusing on finding the best natural enzymes to help with digestion can provide relief from issues such as gas, stomachaches, and even constipation and diarrhea.

Fiber-Rich Foods

A lot of holiday type meals lack a very important piece to a heathy digestive tract – fiber! Without fiber your digestive system actually slows down and it takes longer for foods, and the toxins that may come with them, to get through your body.

Get your fill of fiber-rich foods during and after the holidays to keep your digestive tract at optimal health. Fiber-rich foods include bran, beans, berries, sweet peas, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, squash, wholesome whole grains, and a variety of every day fruits.

Ginger

As you may have noticed from a lot of our articles, ginger is a very powerful addition to any healthy diet. Ginger is great for digestion because it speeds up the journey of food from the stomach to the small intestine. It is also known for balancing gastric juices.

Ginger is the perfect remedy if you suffer from bloating issues, intestinal gas, or a regular upset stomach from rich foods.

Fermented Foods

The big secret to why fermented foods are a great comeback for digestive health after the holidays is because of the stress that comes with the season.

Stress is horrible for digestion. It actually has the power to destroy the healthy bacteria in your large intestine. If you’re prone to stress around this time of the year, think about taking a probiotic supplement, or even better, eating a few fermented foods on a regular basis.

Plain yogurt, kombucha, and kimchi are great to add to your diet for increasing the amount of healthy bacteria in your system.

Work Out

This suggestion is perhaps one of the more obvious ones, but working out is always a great response to bad eating habits and holiday-induced stress.

Working up a sweat not only helps your metabolism, but increases your energy levels and keeps your digestive system running smoothly.

If you just had a huge meal, don’t get out and immediately do strenuous exercise for the next hour. Instead, think about walking around the block instead of giving into the tryptophan drowsiness. By doing this you can reduce your chance of heartburn and support a speedy digestion while you’re at it.

What do you do to overcome holiday indulgence? How do you prefer to detox your body throughout the end of the year?

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Everything You Need to Know About Super Immune Boosters by Herbal Papaya

Everything You Need to Know About Super Immune Boosters by Herbal Papaya
http://herbalpapaya.com

What you should be eating to boost your immunity, and the importance of a healthy digestive tract.

As the nights get shorter and the days get colder, it’s time to start thinking about boosting our immunity for the long haul of fall and winter. After all, it’s no fun being sick during the holidays!

Firstly, it’s important to understand how your immune system functions. Your immune system is your body’s natural defense mechanism from bacteria, viruses, microbes, toxins, and parasites.

Your immune system goes about protecting your body from these infections through 3 actions:

1. It creates a barrier against said infections

2. If the bacteria gets through the barrier, the immune system tries to identify what that bacteria is and attempts to block it from reproducing in your body.

3. If the bacteria successfully reproduces and therefore causes you to have physical symptoms, such as strep throat or a cold, it’s the immune system’s job to then find a way to eliminate it.

Your immune system is made up of various components inside your body that work together, some of which include your thymus, spleen, bone marrow, white blood cells, antibodies, and hormones.

By taking care of your body, getting enough rest, drinking a lot of fluids, and paying attention to what you eat, you’re able to support how well your immune system functions.

In this article, we’ll focus specifically on what to eat and how certain foods can help increase the chance of your immune system fighting off nasty viruses and bacteria.

These are our recommendations for the best super immune boosters to take this fall with your health in mind.

Garlic

Italian food enthusiasts unite! Garlic has been known for years for its healing properties and immunity boosting capabilities. Garlic contains the active ingredient allicin that helps fight bacteria and infections and thus helps to boost your immunity.

Yogurt

Natural probiotics are a type of healthy bacteria that actually help keep the gut and intestinal tract clean from tenacious germs. Two 6 ounce doses a day of yogurt is recommended for the most immune boosting benefits.

Oats/Barley

Some studies have proven that oats and barley are even more beneficial than the immunity-friendly echinacea. What makes them so great for boosting immunity is the beta-glucan they possess, which is a type of fiber that has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

Mushrooms

A food that has been linked to a healthy immune system for awhile now, mushrooms help to increase the production of white blood cells in your body and can even make them more aggressive against outside invaders. The kinds that have the biggest immunity boosts are shiitake, maitake, and reishi.

Cut down on the sugar

Have you ever noticed that kids tend to get sick after Halloween, Easter, and Christmas? There have been multiple studies linking the negative side effects of too much sugar, mainly it tends to decrease your natural immune responses.

Fermented/Pickled Foods

Whether you prefer miso soup, pickles, or something in between, fermented and pickled foods add good bacteria into your digestive tract and help boost your natural defenses.

Zinc

One of the more important nutrients for digestive health, zinc also helps with hormone regulation, neurological function, and of course, immune health. Beans, mushrooms, cocoa, wheat germ, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and nuts are all high in zinc.

Ginger Root

Ginger is another diet-friendly food that has been known for its health benefits for years. It helps to improve digestion, clean the GI tract, increase antioxidant levels, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity.

This is just brushing the surface of possible foods you could add to your diet to boost your immunity, but these are some of our favorite ones that we would consider the “super” immune boosters for anyone’s diet.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

A note on digestive health and the immune system

You may have noticed a common thread with many of these foods, and that’s the fact that a lot of them help with digestion. You may be surprised to learn that your digestive tract and immune system are closely tied together. Your digestive tract is actually responsible for a lot of the daily functions in your body that you’re probably not aware of.

Your digestive tract relies on the abundance of “good bacteria” to function properly, but it works vice versa as well. Your immune system also relies on your digestive tract for strength and consistency.

The reason why your digestive tract is so important to your immunity is because you intake so many pathogenic organisms each day. The digestive tract has most of the innate immune responses in your body that naturally kill bacteria from saliva and stomach acid. A clean digestive tract therefore helps the immune system focus on and protect the rest of the body through its automatic responses.

This is why it’s so important to create a well-rounded diet that includes foods that naturally help to cleanse out your digestive tract and keep it healthy – it’s connected to so much of your wellbeing!

This fall, it’s time to start thinking about the key aspects of your body that do so much for your daily health – your digestive tract and immune system!

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Nutrition to Balance Hormones That Affect Your Mood

Nutrition to Balance Hormones That Affect Your Mood
From Herbal Papaya Newsletter – http://www.herbalpapaya.com

Now that summer is on the way, you’re undoubtedly ready to get outside and start doing “summer things.” You’ve probably noticed that you’re feeling better and that your mood is a bit more buoyant.

That’s not just a coincidence; vitamin D deficiency has been linked solidly to being moody, and sunshine is the only natural source of vitamin D. Therefore, when you’re out getting plenty of it, it’s entirely possible that your mood improves, too!

You may be surprised how much a healthy diet contributes to balanced hormones and helps with your mood, but there’s plenty of solid research to back up the theory that you are what you eat.

B vitamins are also being studied for their link with unhappy mood. Specifically B12, and to a lesser degree B6 and folate, have been linked strongly to feeling sad. This is a particular concern for vegetarians and vegans because B12 is found almost exclusively in animal products. Supplementation is necessary for that part of the population.

Vitamin C has historically been known as the vitamin that boosts the immune system. However, people who are unhappy often report significant boosts in mood after taking vitamin C. The studies here are fairly new but are promising.

One particular group of nutrients called carotenoids are linked significantly to brain, prostate, heart, eye and mental health. Carotenoids are phytonutrients found in yellow, red and orange fruits and vegetables and are powerful antioxidants. Some, but not all, convert to vitamin A in the body. Others, such as lycopene, may not convert but are still extremely valuable for their ability to bond to free radicals and help keep you healthy.

For instance, the minerals zinc and magnesium are being closely studied in relation to brain health. Both seem to play significant, though largely mysterious, roles in assisting with mood chemical production and uptake in the brain. A notable percentage of people who suffer from mood swings are found to be deficient in one or both of these minerals.

The carotenoids lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin were studied in a group of almost 1800 people age 20-85. People with the highest levels of circulating carotenoids were a whopping 37% less likely to suffer from mood swings than those who had low levels.

A Japanese study of men only showed that men with the highest levels of carotenoids were an astounding 67% less likely to suffer from mood issues than those with the lowest levels. The studies are piling up.

Carotenoids are found in high amounts in foods that are bright orange, yellow, red or green such as:

sweet potatoes
papayas
red peppers
mangos
green leafy veggies
carrots
squash
dried apricots
cantaloupe

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What Are Phytonutrients? – Hippocrates Health Institute

What Are Phytonutrients? http://hippocratesinst.org

The Hippocrates Health Institute have been studying food for a very long time. We have found that there are certain nutrients in food that have a dramatic impact on human health. One of the most important and relatively recent discoveries is that of phytonutrients. These are chemicals in plants that help protect themselves in nature from germs, fungi, bugs, and disease. We are very excited about this discovery because these same chemicals happen to have a similar beneficial effect on us when we eat the plants.

Phytonutrients have powerful health-promoting properties including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Whenever you hear the word antioxidant think “anti-aging.” This is because antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause cellular damage which can lead to wrinkles and dry, sagging skin. Free radicals come from alcohol, air pollution, radiation, stress, coffee, and cooked food to name just a few. Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response wherever there is infection or injury. The affected area swells as your immune system sends more blood to deliver those components needed to recover.

Scientists have identified more than 25,000 phytonutrients in plant foods. Many phytonutrients give plants their distinctive colors such as the green, orange, and red in spinach, carrots, and bell peppers.

Here are just a few:

Chlorophyll – wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, and in all leafy greens. Good for healthy blood, brain, all bodily tissues, detox, lowers blood pressure, glowing skin.

Beta-carotene – carrots, yams and green leafy vegetables. Good for Healthy eyes, skin, hair, bones, teeth and sex.

Lycopene – tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruits and apricots. Good for boosting the immune system and cancer of the mouth, esophagus, lung, stomach, intestines, prostate, cervical and colon.

Selenium – brazil nuts and walnuts. Boosting the immune system especially for people dealing with colds, flus, AIDS/ HIV, and tuberculosis. Excellent for the thyroid and it is anti-aging!

Diindolylmethane – broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and collard greens. Strengthens the immune system.

Allyl Sulfides – garlic, onions, and shallots. Strengthens the immune system, good for allergies, colds, and flu.

Curcuminoids – Turmeric. This phytonutrient has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, pro-digestive, and anti-infectious activities.

Organic fruits and vegetables have far more phytonutrients than nonorganic plants. This is because nonorganic plants become dependent upon the artificial, chemically-synthesized pesticides and fungicides farmers spray on them to help them grow. Consequently, the plants stop producing many of the antibodies needed to naturally deal with these challenges. Phytonutrients are also very sensitive to heat and are destroyed by the cooking process. Therefore fresh, ripe, raw, organic, and whole fruits, vegetables, and sprouts are the best source of these powerful defenders for your immune system.

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The Value of Organic Foods by David Wolfe

The Value of Organic Foods by David Wolfe

The value of organic raw foods, superfoods, and herbs is critically
important for a safe, healthy, and happy future for all of us, our children,
and our children’s children. The evidence is increasingly pointing towards
an organic future.

Organics foods are known to have the following characteristics:

Organic food is richer in minerals:

Organic farmers, in general, are more interested than conventional farmers
in growing mineral-rich produce. The famous Rutgers study demonstrated that
organic food was superior in the following minerals: phosphorus, calcium,
magnesium, potassium, sodium, boron, manganese, iron, copper, and cobalt. It
all starts with mineral-rich soil. When more minerals are available to the
plant, the plant’s vitamin, polysaccharide, and enzyme content, as well as
overall immune system are improved. When we eat mineral-rich food we absorb
the nutrients that made the plant healthy. We also enjoy more conscious
choices and freedom as the cells throughout our body become healthier and
more vital. Entire books have been written on how rich soils help build
enormous civilizations and how subsequent mismanagement of crops and the
soil leads to a loss of soil minerals and the subsequent collapse of these
civilizations.

Organic agriculture is sustainable:

Organic food production has existed for thousands of years. It will continue
as long as humans walk the planet. Organic agriculture is non-toxic (it
leaves no permanent toxicity). The pesticide and artificial fertilizer
industries are toxic and not sustainable. These industries have covered the
entire planet with dangerous chemicals. The story of DDT is known to nearly
all of us. DDT went into commercial distribution in 1948. Because of its
unsustainable toxicity, DDT was banned in the United States in 1972 and soon
after was banned worldwide. DDT is a known neurotoxin and carcinogen. Who
was brought to justice after the facts about DDT were revealed? How many
people, children, and animals were (are) injured by this chemical? How much
longer is it possible to continue to spray the Earth with poisons?

Organic agricultural supports being chemical-free:

With the explosion of cancer and disease in Western culture, who has the
authority to say that any artificial chemicals are safe on our food?

Consider the summary from the following 2003 research article in which
pesticide exposure was at least six times higher in the diets of children
eating conventional food (as compared to organic food):

“We assessed organophosphorus (OP) pesticide exposure from diet by
biological monitoring among Seattle, Washington, preschool children. Parents
kept food diaries for 3 days before urine collection, and they distinguished
organic and conventional foods based on label information. Children were
then classified as having consumed either organic or conventional diets
based on analysis of the diary data. Residential pesticide use was also
recorded for each home. We collected 24-hr urine samples from 18 children
with organic diets and 21 children with conventional diets and analyzed them
for five OP pesticide metabolites. We found significantly higher median
concentrations of total dimethyl alkylphosphate metabolites than total
diethyl alkylphosphate metabolites (0.06 and 0.02 µmol/L, respectively ; p =
0.0001) . The median total dimethyl metabolite concentration was
approximately six times higher for children with conventional diets than for
children with organic diets (0.17 and 0.03 µmol/L ; p = 0.0003) ; mean
concentrations differed by a factor of nine (0.34 and 0.04 µmol/L) . We
calculated dose estimates from urinary dimethyl metabolites and from
agricultural pesticide use data, assuming that all exposure came from a
single pesticide. The dose estimates suggest that consumption of organic
fruits, vegetables, and juice can reduce children’s exposure levels from
above to below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current
guidelines, thereby shifting exposures from a range of uncertain risk to a
range of negligible risk. Consumption of organic produce appears to provide
a relatively simple way for parents to reduce their children’s exposure to
OP pesticides.”

Taken from “Organophosphorus Pesticide Exposure of Urban and Suburban
Preschool Children with Organic and Conventional Diets” by Cynthia L. Curl,
CL, RA Fenske and K Elgethun, 2003. (www.ehponline.org/docs/2003/5754/abstract.html)

Organic food is safer on our hormone system:

The endocrine or hormone system may be more susceptible to toxicity than the
nervous system. A growing body of research is indicating that an
inappropriate exposure to certain pesticides during the developmental cycle
of growth in humans and animals can cause serious long-lasting endocrine and
hormone disorders.

The Environmental Working Group recently published the following statements
(www.foodnews.org/reduce.php): “Many pesticides are now considered
‘endocrine disrupters,’ in part because the term is something of a catch
phrase for chemicals that cause a variety of changes in normal hormone
signaling. Some better known examples of highly toxic endocrine disrupting
pesticides are DDT (and its metabolite DDE) which are now known to exhibit
much of their toxicity through anti-androgenic (de-masculinizing)
properties, vinclozolin, a heavily used fungicide that is also
anti-androgenic, endosulfan, a DDT relative with estrogenic properties that
is found more often in food than any other pesticide, and atrazine, a weed
killer with broad hormonal activity, that contaminates the drinking water of
about 20 million people in the United States.

Eating organic foods, superfoods, and herbs is safe, easy, and fun!

You can grow organic foods anywhere with seeds, nice soil, sunshine,
sufficient moisture, smiles, and lots of love. Gardening skills are
attractive and make for a safe, healthy hobby. Organic foods have
been proven over thousands of years to be safe to eat.

Conventional foods have been proven over 50 years to be unsafe to eat. I saw
a conventional lettuce farmer near Santa Barbara, California climb out of
his tractor in a space suit on in order to protect himself from the
chemicals he was spraying. Does this sound like progress or a bad horror
movie?

Remember, you vote with your dollar. Cutting corners cheats everyone. Let’s
vote for organic farmers.

TIP OF THE WEEK:
SHOPPER’S GUIDE – BUY ORGANIC & AVOID THE “DIRTY DOZEN” FRUITS & VEGETABLES
According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) analysis of data from over 43,000 tests on pesticides in conventional produce, over 90% of ingestion of pesticides in foods can be eliminated by avoiding the most contaminated foods. The “Dirty Dozen” most contaminated foods are peaches (97 percent tested positive for residue), apples (92 percent tested positive), sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes. The “Consistently Clean” are onions (90 percent tested negative), avocados (90 percent), sweet corn (90 percent), pineapples, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli and papaya. “Federal produce tests tell us that some fruits and vegetables are so likely to be contaminated with pesticides that you should always buy them organic. Others are so consistently clean that you can eat them with less concern.” Says EWG Senior Vice President Richard Wiles. Download your wallet-sized shopper’s guide here: http://www.foodnews.org

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Gut Health – from Yuri Elkaim and Hippocrates Health Institute

Foods to repopulate good bacteria in the gut from Yuri Elkaim
http://www.totalwellnessconsulting.ca

Is your gut infested with dangerous belly bugs?
Chances are that it is, especially considering the overuse of friendly bacteria-killing agents like chlorinated water, antibiotics, and high sugar foods.

These are all triggers that kill off good bacteria and provide a breeding ground for bad bacteria… ultimately leading to a condition called “dysbiosis” (or an imbalance of good to bad bacteria in your gut).

Why is this a problem?
First of all, 80% of your immune system resides around your gut and communicates directly with the bacteria within it.
Hundreds of studies have shown that dysbiosis creates a host of immune disorders and makes you more susceptible to frequent colds and infections, and even worse.

Second, bad bacteria are known to give off a deadly toxin called lipopolysaccharides (LPS). An unhealthy gut becomes a factory for LPS, which can then seap back into your blood stream and cause major damage throughout your body.

For example, LPS have been shown to:
* disrupt thyroid hormone activity, leading to low thyroid symptoms (no wonder, it’s hard to lose weight).
* create NEW fat cells (yes, new ones!). So unless you enjoy storing more fat, this is not good at all.
* increase your risk of insulin resistance (can you say “hello diabetes”?)

And more!
Needless to say, the health of your gut is paramount to your overall health.
Thankfully, I’ve come to your rescue again by hooking you up with 3 foods that repopulate more good bacteria into your gut and fight off those nasty, toxin-producing bad bacteria.

#1 – Kefir

Kefir means “feel good” in Turkish. Kefir is a probiotic beverage made with either kefir grains or a powdered kefir starter culture. Kefir grains eat the sugar in a food, leaving behind a more nutritious probiotic-rich beverage because of the lactic acid and beneficial bacteria it adds.

#2 – Kombucha

Kombucha is an all-natural health beverage, made from fermented tea and a starter culture called a SCOBY. It’s chockfull of probiotics and other healthy amino acids. Brewing kombucha at home is a simple and rewarding process. If you can make a cup of tea, you can make kombucha.

#3 – Sauerkraut

Cultured veggies (like cabbage) are the ultimate enzyme-rich food and they’re loaded with natural probiotics as they undergo fermentation.

They are already predigested before you even eat them, which makes their digestion so much easier. The fermentation also enhances the nutrients found within by making them much more available to us. Sauerkraut goes amazingly well in salads.

The Power of Probiotics – from Hippocrates Health Institute http://hippocratesinst.org

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that live in your gut. This includes things like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactic acid bacteria, Bifidobacteria, Bifidobacterium longum, and Escherichia coli to name just a few. Probiotics aid in digestion, help you synthesize and absorb nutrients from your food, and boost your immune system. When the digestive tract is healthy, these beneficial bacteria filter out and eliminate things that can damage it, such as harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals, and other waste products. On the flip side, it takes in the things that our body needs (nutrients from food and water) and absorbs and helps deliver them to the cells where they are needed.

Probiotics also serve many other important functions such as:

Helping lower cholesterol
Helping lower blood pressure
Helps with allergies
Reducing inflammation
Managing urogenital health
Support the development and functioning of the gut

The majority of probiotics colonize in the large intestine. These living organisms form a neural network that is sometimes called your “second brain.” This neural network in your gut takes in information from your external environment and remains in constant communication with your first brain through your central nervous system helping it make decisions. Hence the term, “gut feeling.”

Probiotics maintain a balance in your gut between beneficial bacteria and pathogenic bacteria. Drinking chlorinated water and the use of antibiotics destroys all living organisms in your gut including beneficial bacteria. Stress can also contribute to an overgrowth of harmful bacterial. During a delivery through the birth canal, a newborn picks up bacteria from his/her mother. These good bacteria are not transmitted when a Cesarean section is performed and have been shown to be the reason why some infants born by Cesarean section have allergies, less than optimal immune systems, and lower levels of gut microflora.

A lack of sufficient amounts of beneficial bacteria weakens your immune system and leaves you open and exposed to germs, bad bacteria, and virus that can make you sick. Raw sauerkraut and Kim Chee is an excellent way to repopulate you gut with probiotics. The supplemental use of LiveGive “Instinct” is another powerful way to restore a balance of your intestinal microflora.

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