Admin – Cymantra May 31 2017
Admin – Cymantra May 31 2017
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The balance in life is essential, and this is also true about the diet you consume, and the pH levels in your body.
Namely, in order to maintain health and prevent numerous ailments, the body needs to have balanced ph levels. After the consumption of acid-forming foods, the body releases alkaline-high minerals, like magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, in the attempt to balance the pH level of the blood.
Therefore, if our diet is poor in these important, alkaline-forming foods, the body will need t use the minerals in our organs, teeth, and bones, and thus lead to exhaustion, and a weakened immune system, making us more susceptible to diseases.
Acid-forming foods are meats, fish, most grains, fast foods, beans, dairy products, and processed foods. Hence, a balanced diet when it comes to Ph consists of 20-40% acid-forming foods and 60-80% alkaline-forming foods.
Here below we reveal some of the best alkaline-forming foods, and you should consider incorporating them into your daily diet in order to strengthen your system and avoid numerous health issues.
The consumption of unripe bananas may lead to acidity in the stomach, constipation, and poor nutrient absorption. On the other hand, ripe bananas with brown spots will provide numerous minerals, vitamins, and will alkalize the body.
Being one of the most potent alkaline-forming foods, with a pH of 8.5, asparagus is also loaded with minerals, vitamins, water, fiber, and antioxidants.
Despite their delicious taste, their pH level is 8.0, so they effectively neutralize acidic foods. They can be added to your salad, guacamole, sandwiches, and much more!
It is a highly alkalizing food, high in important nutrients and fiber, and it will maintain the alkalinity of your body, and will keep you full longer.
Spice your food up and neutralize acidic foods, like eggs, cheese, meat, and fish. In this way, you will also consume numerous nutrients and fiber.
Almonds and almond milk are also one of the best alkaline foods, and they will enhance the function of the brain, help digestion, reduce cholesterol levels and promote a healthy balance in the body.
Even though lemons have an acidic taste, they are powerful alkalizing substances. You can squeeze some lemon juice or add a few slices in your bottle of water and drink it all day long.
With a pH of 9.0, watermelon is also deservedly on this list. It is loaded with minerals, vitamins, and water, which support the balance of electrolytes. Moreover, watermelons are high in fiber, so they are great for detoxification of the body.
Papayas promote a healthy digestion, and they are rich in minerals, water, vitamins, and fiber, so they enhance the overall health. They are also a powerful alkaline-forming food.
Despite its numerous health benefits, it is a potent alkaline-forming ingredient, with a pH of 8.5. Moreover, it lowers blood pressure, detoxifies the body, improves brain function, and stimulates circulation.
Featured image source: www.davidwolfe.com
May 25, 2016
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By Dr. Mercola
Many foods have been heavily promoted as being healthy when they are nothing more than pernicious junk foods. In the featured article, Clean Plates1 founder Jared Koch shared his list of nine staple foods that are far less “good for you” than you’ve been led to believe.
Here, I expand on the selections that are mentioned in the featured article.
Many leading brands of canned foods contain BPA — a toxic chemical linked to reproductive abnormalities, neurological effects, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems. According to Consumer Reports‘ testing, just a couple of servings of canned food can exceed the safety limits for daily BPA exposure for children.
High acidity — a prominent characteristic of tomatoes – causes BPA to leach into your food. To avoid this hazardous chemical, avoid canned foods entirely and stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, or switch over to brands that use glass containers instead—especially for acidic foods like tomatoes.
As Koch warns, processed deli meats like salami, ham, and roast beef are typically made with meats from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
This means they’re given growth hormones, antibiotics and other veterinary drugs, and raised in deplorable conditions that promote disease, these meats are also filled with sodium nitrite (a commonly used preservative and antimicrobial agent that also adds color and flavor) and other chemical flavorings and dyes.
Nitrites can be converted into nitrosamines in your body, which are potent cancer-causing chemicals. Research has linked nitrites to higher rates of colorectal, stomach and pancreatic cancer. But that’s not all. Most processed deli meats also contain other cancer-promoting chemicals that are created during cooking. These include:
The truth is, processed meats are not a healthful choice for anyone and should be avoided entirely, according to a 2011 review of more than 7,000 clinical studies examining the connection between diet and cancer. The report was commissioned by The World Cancer Research Fund2 (WCRF) using money raised from the general public. Therefore the findings were not influenced by any vested interests, which makes it all the more reliable.
It’s the biggest review of the evidence ever undertaken, and it confirms previous findings: Processed meats increase your risk of cancer, especially bowel cancer, and NO amount of processed meat is “safe.” You’re far better off ditching the deli meats and opting instead for fresh organically-raised grass-fed meats, or wild caught salmon.
The unfortunate result of the low-fat diet craze has been the shunning of healthful fats such as butter, and public health has declined as a result of this folly. There are a myriad of unhealthy components to margarine and other butter impostors, including:
Good-old-fashioned butter, when made from grass-fed cows, is rich in a substance called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Much of the reason why butter is vilified is because it contains saturated fat. If you’re still in the mindset that saturated fat is harmful for your health, then please read the Healthy Fats section of my Optimized Nutrition Plan to learn why saturated fat is actually good for you.
Of all the destructive foods available to us, those made with heated vegetable oils are some of the worst. Make no mistake about it–vegetable oils are not the health food that you were lead to believe they were. This is largely due to the fact that they are highly processed, and when consumed in massive amounts, as they are by most Americans, they seriously distort the important omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Ideally, this ratio is 1:1.
Anytime you cook a food, you run the risk of creating heat-induced damage. The oils you choose to cook with must be stable enough to resist chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, or you run the risk of damaging your health. One of the ways vegetable oils can inflict damage is by converting your good cholesterol into bad cholesterol—by oxidizing it. When you cook with polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as canola, corn, and soy oils), oxidized cholesterol is introduced into your system.
As the oil is heated and mixed with oxygen, it goes rancid. Rancid oil is oxidized oil and should NOT be consumed—it leads directly to vascular disease. Trans-fats are introduced when these oils are hydrogenated, which increases your risk of chronic diseases like breast cancer and heart disease.
So what’s the best oil to cook with?
Of all the available oils, coconut oil is the oil of choice for cooking because it is nearly a completely saturated fat, which means it is much less susceptible to heat damage. And coconut oil is one of the most unique and beneficial fats for your body. For more in-depth information about the many benefits of coconut oil, please see this special report. Olive oil, while certainly a healthful oil, is easily damaged by heat and is best reserved for drizzling cold over salad.
Perfluoroalkyls, which include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), are chemicals used to keep grease from leaking through fast food wrappers, are being ingested by people through their food and showing up as contaminants in blood. Microwave popcorn bags are lined with PFOA, and when they are heated the compound leaches onto the popcorn.
These chemicals are part of an expanding group of chemicals commonly referred to as “gender-bending” chemicals, because they can disrupt your endocrine system and affect your sex hormones. The EPA has ruled PFCs as “likely carcinogens,” and has stated that PFOA “poses developmental and reproductive risks to humans.” Researchers have also linked various PFCs to a range of other health dangers, such as:
I strongly recommend avoiding any product you know containing these toxic compounds, particularly non-stick cookware, but also foods sold in grease-proof food packaging, such as fast food and microwave popcorn. Clearly, if you’re eating fast food or junk food, PFCs from the wrapper may be the least of your problems, but I think it’s still important to realize that not only are you not getting proper nutrition from the food itself, the wrappers may also add to your toxic burden.
Your best bet is to buy only organic fruits and vegetables, as synthetic agricultural chemicals are not permissible under the USDA organic rules. That said, not all conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are subjected to the same amount of pesticide load. While Koch focuses on potatoes, as they tend to take up a lot of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals present in the soil, I would recommend reviewing the “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce”6 by the Environmental Working Group.
Of the 48 different fruit and vegetable categories tested by the EWG for the 2013 guide, the following 15 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organically:
|✓ Apples||✓ Celery||✓ Cherry tomatoes|
|✓ Cucumbers||✓ Grapes||✓ Hot peppers|
|✓ Nectarines (imported)||✓ Peaches||✓ Potatoes|
|✓ Spinach||✓ Strawberries||✓ Sweet bell peppers|
|✓ Kale||✓ Collard greens||✓ Summer squash|
In contrast, the following foods were found to have the lowest residual pesticide load, making them the safest bet among conventionally grown vegetables. Note that a small amount of sweet corn and most Hawaiian papaya, although low in pesticides, are genetically engineered (GE). If you’re unsure of whether the sweet corn or papaya is GE, I’d recommend opting for organic varieties:
|✓ Asparagus||✓ Avocado||✓ Cabbage|
|✓ Cantaloupe||✓ Sweet corn (non-GMO)||✓ Eggplant|
|✓ Grapefruit||✓ Kiwi||✓ Mango|
|✓ Mushrooms||✓ Onions||✓ Papayas (non-GMO. Most Hawaiian papaya is GMO)|
|✓ Pineapple||✓ Sweet peas (frozen)||✓ Sweet potatoes|
Salt is essential for life—you cannot live without it. However, regular ‘table salt’ and the salt found in processed foods are NOT identical to the salt your body really needs. In fact, table salt has practically nothing in common with natural salt. One is health damaging, and the other is healing.
Given that salt is absolutely essential to good health, I recommend switching to a pure, unrefined salt. My favorite is an ancient, all-natural sea salt from the Himalayas. Himalayan salt is completely pure, having spent many thousands of years maturing under extreme tectonic pressure, far away from impurities, so it isn’t polluted with the heavy metals and industrial toxins of today. And it’s hand-mined, hand-washed, and minimally processed. Himalayan salt is only 85 percent sodium chloride, the remaining 15 percent contains 84 trace minerals from our prehistoric seas. Unrefined natural salt is important to many biological processes, including:
While natural unprocessed salt has many health benefits, that does not mean you should use it with impunity. Another important factor is the potassium to sodium ratio of your diet. Imbalance in this ratio can not only lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) and other health problems, including heart disease, memory decline, erectile dysfunction and more. The easiest way to avoid this imbalance is by avoiding processed foods, which are notoriously low in potassium while high in sodium. Instead, eat a diet of whole, ideally organically-grown foods to ensure optimal nutrient content. This type of diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium.
Sadly, most of what you have been led to believe by the media about soy is simply untrue. One of the worst problems with soy comes from the fact that 90 to 95 percent of soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered (GE), and these are used to create soy protein isolate. Genetically engineered soybeans are designed to be “Roundup ready,” which means they’re engineered to withstand otherwise lethal doses of herbicide.
The active ingredient in Roundup herbicide is called glyphosate, which is responsible for the disruption of the delicate hormonal balance of the female reproductive cycle. What’s more, glyphosate is toxic to the placenta, which is responsible for delivering vital nutrients from mother to child, and eliminating waste products. Once the placenta has been damaged or destroyed, the result can be miscarriage. In those children born to mothers who have been exposed to even a small amount of glyphosate, serious birth defects can result.
Glyphosate’s mechanism of harm was only recently identified, and demonstrates how this chemical disrupts cellular function and induce many of our modern diseases, including autism. Soy protein isolate can be found in protein bars, meal replacement shakes, bottled fruit drinks, soups and sauces, meat analogs, baked goods, breakfast cereals and some dietary supplements.
Even if you are not a vegetarian and do not use soymilk or tofu, it is important to be a serious label reader. There are so many different names for soy additives, you could be bringing home a genetically modified soy-based product without even realizing it. Soy expert Dr. Kaayla Daniel offers a free Special Report7, “Where the Soys Are,” on her Web site. It lists the many “aliases” that soy might be hiding under in ingredient lists — words like “bouillon,” “natural flavor” and “textured plant protein.”
Besides soy protein isolate, ALL unfermented soy products are best avoided if you value your health. Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.
The only soy with health benefits is organic soy that has been properly fermented, and these are the only soy products I ever recommend consuming. After a long fermentation process, the phytate and “anti-nutrient” levels of soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system. To learn more, please see this previous article detailing the dangers of unfermented soy.
Contrary to popular belief, studies have found that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame can stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain. In one of the most recent of such studies8, saccharin and aspartame were found to cause greater weight gain than sugar.
Aspartame is perhaps one of the most problematic. It is primarily made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness. That phenylalanine methyl bond, called a methyl ester, is very weak, which allows the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol.
You may have heard the claim that aspartame is harmless because methanol is also found in fruits and vegetables. However, in fruits and vegetables, the methanol is firmly bonded to pectin, allowing it to be safely passed through your digestive tract. Not so with the methanol created by aspartame; there it’s not bonded to anything that can help eliminate it from your body.
Methanol acts as a Trojan horse; it’s carried into susceptible tissues in your body, like your brain and bone marrow, where the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzyme converts it into formaldehyde, which wreaks havoc with sensitive proteins and DNA. All animals EXCEPT HUMANS have a protective mechanism that allows methanol to be broken down into harmless formic acid. This is why toxicology testing on animals is a flawed model. It doesn’t fully apply to people.
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If you don’t want to play chicken with infections, viruses and diseases, add an egg or two to your diet daily. Just one large egg contains almost a quarter (22%) of your RDA of selenium, a nutrient that helps support your immune system and regulate thyroid hormones. Kids should eat eggs, especially. If children and adolescents don’t get enough selenium, they could develop Keshan disease and Kashin-Beck disease, two conditions that can affect the heart, bones and joints.
Among the lesser-known amazing things the body can do: It can make 11 essential amino acids, which are necessary to sustain life. Thing is, there are 20 essential amino acids that your body needs. Guess where the other 9 can be found? That’s right. A lack of those 9 amino acids can lead to muscle wasting, decreased immune response, weakness, fatigue, and changes to the texture of your skin and hair.
If you’re deficient in the 9 amino acids that can be found in an egg, it can have mental effects. A 2004 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences described how supplementing a population’s diet with lysine significantly reduced anxiety and stress levels, possibly by modulating serotonin in the nervous system. For more relaxing foods, check out these 20 Foods That Keep You Slim for Life!
Two antioxidants found in eggs — lutein and zeaxanthin — have powerful protective effects on the eyes. You won’t find them in a carton of Egg Beaters — they only exist in the yolk. The antioxidants significantly reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, which are among the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness in the elderly. In a study published in theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants who ate 1.3 egg yolks per day for four-and-a-half weeks saw increased blood levels of zeaxanthin by 114-142% and lutein by 28-50%!
Eggs are one of the few natural sources of Vitamin D, which is important for the health and strength of bones and teeth. It does this primarily by aiding the absorption of calcium. (Calcium, incidentally, is important for a healthy heart, colon and metabolism.)
Ginger is in the same plant family (Zingiberacea) that includes the medicinal powerhouse turmeric, and which only recently was proven to be 100% effective in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes in prediabetics, according to a study published in the American Diabetes Association’s own journal Diabetes Care.
In the new ginger study, titled “The effect of ginger consumption of glycemic status, lipid profile and some inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus,”[i] 70 type 2 diabetic patients were enrolled in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the objective of which was to assess the effect of ginger consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and some common inflammatory markers associated with the condition.
The trial participants were divided randomly into a ginger group and control group, receiving either 1600 mg ginger or a 1600 mg placebo daily for 12 weeks. The patients were measured before and after the intervention for blood sugar levels, blood lipids, C-reactive protein, prostaglandin E2 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα).
No significant differences in HDL, LDL and TNFα between two groups (p > 0.05).
The researchers concluded:
This is, of course, not the first study to establish the value of ginger for diabetes. Simply dropping the two search terms “diabetes” and “ginger” into Pubmed.gov will draw up 63 results. Our database of abstracts on ginger contains a number of gems on its benefit for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes which can be viewed here: Ginger Health Benefits.
Additionally, the research on turmeric (and its primarily polyphenol curcumin) as a diabetes aid is far more plentiful, with 123 results for the search terms “turmeric” and “diabetes,” and 252 for “curcumin” and “diabetes,” on the National Library of Medicine’s Pubmed.gov database. To view our curated research on turmeric’s diabetes benefits (as well as for 600 other disorders), view our page on the topic: Turmeric Health Benefits.
The amount of ginger used in the study amounted to 1.6 grams, which is a non-heroic, ‘culinary’ dose of approximately a quarter of a teaspoon. In the study, participants were given two doses of 800 mg, delivered twice daily, orally through capsules. This dose scheme points to the fact that higher doses does of complex plant extracts within the spice category are not necessarily better, and in fact, in some cases, may actually have effects opposite to the expectation. This study, for instance, found that rosemary at a lower dose (750 mg) improved cognition whereas a higher dose (6,000 mg) interfered with it. The point is that lower doses, as used traditionally in culinary applications, passed down to us through previous generations as ‘recipes’ (literally: ‘medical prescriptions’), may be more effective than higher ones; a perspective that obviously turns conventional pharmacological wisdom and practice on its head. Learn more here.
The GreenMedInfo.com database now contains 350 abstracts on 180 natural substances that have been researched to have potential value in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, and which can be viewed on our Type 2 Diabetes Research page. The resource also includes Problem Substances (e.g. fructose, BPA), Therapeutic Actions (e.g. yoga, low carb diets) and Problematic Actions (e.g. vaccination, microwave cooking) linked to this condition in the published research. We also have a curated health portal on Blood Sugar Problems (click hyperlink to view) which aggregates both our research sections on type 1 and type 2 diabetes and our reporting on various studies related to these conditions in greater depth.
[i] Tahereh Arablou, Naheed Aryaeian, Majid Valizadeh, Faranak Sharifi, Aghafatemeh Hosseini, Mahmoud Djalali. The effect of ginger consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and some inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Feb 4. Epub 2014 Feb 4. PMID: 24490949
This article was republished with permission from greenmedinfo.com.
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Did you know that the bacteria in your body outnumber your body’s cells 10 to 1?
It’s true, and most of them reside in your gut.
But there really is no need to panic, most bacteria are quite harmless.
Having the right bacteria in there has even been linked to numerous health benefits (1).
This leads us to the topic at hand, probiotics.
Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain these friendly bacteria, and are supposed to help colonize our guts with health-boosting microorganisms.
The importance of this can not be overstated.
Taking care of your gut, and the friendly bacteria that reside there, may be one of the single most important things you can do for your health.
According to the official definition, probiotics are “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host” (3).
You can get probiotics from supplements, as well as foods that are prepared by bacterial fermentation.
Probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi and others.
There are actually dozens of different probiotic bacteria that have been shown to have health benefits.
The most common groups include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Then there are many different species within each group, and each species has many strains.
Interestingly, different probiotics seem to work for different health conditions. Therefore, choosing the right type (or types) of probiotic is essential.
Many probiotic supplements combine different species together in the same supplement. These are known as broad-spectrum probiotics, or multi-probiotics.
Keep in mind that this is a new but rapidly expanding area of research.
Although the evidence is promising, it is not conclusively proven that probiotics help with all the health conditions mentioned in this article (5).
Bottom Line: Probiotics are live microorganisms that cause health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. There are many different types, and you can get them from foods or supplements.
Your gut actually contains hundreds of different types of microorganisms, with some numbers going as high as 1000.
This includes bacteria, yeasts and viruses. The great majority is bacteria.
Most of the gut flora is found in the colon, or large intestine, the last part of the digestive tract.
The metabolic activities of the gut flora actually resemble those of an organ. For this reason, some scientists refer to the gut flora as the “forgotten organ” (7).
The gut flora actually performs many functions that are important for health. It manufactures vitamins, including vitamin K and some of the B vitamins (8).
However, not all organisms in the gut are friendly. Some are good, others are bad.
Probiotics (and prebiotic fibers) can help correct this balance, making sure that our “forgotten organ” is functioning optimally (24).
Bottom Line: Your gut flora consists of hundreds of different types of microorganisms. Probiotics help your gut flora perform optimally.
Probiotics have been studied most in regard to digestive health (25).
The strongest evidence has to do with antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
When people take antibiotics, especially for long periods of time, they often suffer from diarrhea for a long time after the infection has been eradicated.
This is because the antibiotics kill many of the natural bacteria in the gut, which shifts the balance and allows the “bad” bacteria to thrive.
Probiotics have also been shown to be beneficial against irritable bowel syndrome, a very common digestive disorder. They can help reduce gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and other symptoms (29, 30, 31).
Some studies also show that probiotics may be beneficial against inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (32).
If you currently have digestive problems that you can’t seem to get rid of, then perhaps a probiotic supplement is something you should consider.
Bottom Line: Probiotics have been shown to be effective against various digestive problems. This includes antibiotic-associated diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.
The most impressive study on this was published in 2013. It was a study of 210 individuals with central obesity (lots of belly fat).
In this study, taking the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri caused people to lose 8.5% of their belly fat mass over a period of 12 weeks (44).
When they stopped taking the probiotic, they gained the belly fat back within 4 weeks.
There is also some evidence that Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis can help with weight loss and obesity prevention (45).
However, this needs to be studied more before any recommendations can be made.
There are also some animal studies showing that other probiotic strains could even lead to weight gain, not loss (46).
Bottom Line: There is some evidence that the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri can help people lose belly fat. This needs to be studied a lot more.
Getting into all the incredible benefits of probiotics is beyond the scope of this article.
However, there are a few that are definitely worth highlighting here:
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Probiotics have been studied, and shown to be beneficial, for a wide range of other health problems.
Bottom Line: Probiotics have been shown to have numerous health benefits. They may reduce depression and anxiety, improve heart health and enhance immune function, to name a few.
Probiotics are generally well tolerated and considered safe for most people.
After this initial adaptation period is over, your digestion should be better than it was before.
Probiotics can be dangerous, and even lead to infections, in people with compromised immune systems. This includes people with HIV, AIDS and several other health conditions (61).
If you have a medical condition, definitely consult with your doctor before taking a probiotic supplement.
Bottom Line: Probiotic supplements may cause digestive symptoms, but this should subside within a few days. They may be dangerous for people with certain medical conditions.
There are hundreds of different probiotic supplements available.
If you have a health problem and you want to try a probiotic for that purpose, then it is very important that you choose the right strain.
I recommend looking around on Amazon at the different options available. There you can see which strains the supplements contain.
Make sure to buy probiotics from a reputable manufacturer. Dietary supplements are not regulated, so many of these products may not contain what the labels say they do.
According to one study, it is best to take probiotics either right before, or with, a meal that contains some fat (62).
Beyond that, make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. Keep in mind that some products need to be refrigerated.
Maintaining a healthy gut goes way beyond just taking a probiotic supplement.
What you do from day to day is just as important.
Living a healthy lifestyle, getting good sleep, and eating real food with lots of fiber is the key.
In many cases, probiotic foods and supplement can be helpful as well.
I recently started taking a probiotic supplement myself (this one here).
It has significantly improved my digestion, and I feel that my energy levels and thinking have improved as well.
I now consider probiotics to be an essential component of my own personal health strategy.
Contributor – Kris Gunnars
What is Okra?
This therapeutic vegetable is grown all throughout the tropical and warm mild districts around the globe for its stringy fruits or “pods”. Okra can be consumed as a vegetable. Okra aka “Lady’s finger” is in with the Malvaceae (mallows) family and is named deductively as Abelmoschus esculentus.
These are the medical advantages of Okra:
Brings Down Bad Cholesterol: Okra (soluble fiber pectin) helps lower the serum (bad) cholesterol and avoids atherosclerosis.
For Pregnancy and Fetal advancement: Okra helps prevent unnatural birth cycles, promotes development of the fetal neural tube, and prevents imperfections in the tube.
Skin Detoxifier: Okra (Vitamin C, fiber aids toxic) is utilized to repair body tissues, heal psoriasis, eliminate pimples, and other skin conditions.
Treats Genital Disorders: Okra treats genital issue like syphilis, extreme menstrual bleeding, leucorrhoea, dysuria, and gonorrhea.
For Asthma: It can shorten the duration of asthma manifestations and prevent deadly attacks. Okra is high in vitamin C, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Reduces Colon cancer risk: Okra cleans out the intestinal tract with its insoluble fiber, diminishing the danger of colon-rectal tumor. The high cell reinforcements in Okra aid in securing the immune system against unsafe free radicals and avoid transformation of cells.
Immunity Booster: Okra is a decent immune booster food high in antioxidants and vitamin C. Other vital minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, battle against unsafe free radicals and support the immune system.
Rich Fiber Source: Okra helps regulate digestion, and regularization of entrails with its filaments.
Rich Protein Source: The superb wellspring of top notch vegetable protein and oils, cystine, advanced with amino acids like tryptophan, and other sulfur amino acids content are contained in the seeds of Okra.
Lively Hair: Okra is an extraordinary hair conditioner, battles dandruff and lice, scalp cream for dry and irritated scalp and adds a youthful sheen to your hair.
Treats Sun strokes: Okra eases general misery, weakness, and fatigue.
Relieves Constipation: the mucilaginous and rich fiber content in Okra cases helps enhance stool mass, binds poisons, guarantees simple solid discharges, encourages fitting assimilation of water, and lubricates the intestines with its common purgative properties.
Probiotics: Okra facilitates the propagation of probiotics and helps the natural production of vitamin B complex.
Diabetes: Okra regulates glucose levels. The kind of fiber found in Okra i.e. Eugenol, aids in settling glucose by controlling the rate at which sugar is ingested from the intestinal tract. Learn how to make okra water in the video below.
Feeds Blood Network: Okra helps build the structure of blood vessels.
Respiratory soother: The antioxidants in okra along with a large content of vitamin C are effective in treating respiratory problems and has shown to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks in patients.
Counteracts Anemia: Helps red blood cell production.
Prevents Obesity: the Okra’s fiber helps in keeping you full, and the copious supplements sustain you.
Ulcers: The same mucilage in okra which helps ease digestion can also heal and relieve the pain of stomach ulcers.
Strong Bones: Okra is an excellent source of vitamin K which is vital for reinforcing bones and counteracting osteoporosis.
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By Dr. Mercola
Dr. Wayne Pickering is a naturopathic physician on the East Coast of Florida, and was a good friend of fitness legend Jack Lalanne. He gave a beautiful eulogy at Jack’s funeral. At the age of 67, he swims several miles a week in addition to extensive biking and a wide variety of calisthenics, pushups and pull ups.
He has quite an impressive exercise regimen and is a personal inspiration to me as I hope to be in as good a shape as he as that age. He also has one of the most positive attitudes of anyone I know.
He eats plenty of fruit and caused me to seriously reevaluate my position on consuming fruits and I have gradually been increasing my intake of them, especially mangoes, which is his pseudonym (Mango Man). He even has a variety of mangoes named after him. I actually have two of the Pickering mangoes growing in my yard.
But one of the things he’s known for in the nutrition world is food combining—and he is truly like a walking billboard for his program. The man looks about 20-30 years younger than his calendar age.
“Age is not a matter of years; it’s a matter of condition. You can keep your health up until you die because you have 75 to 90 trillion cells in your body that work symbiotically on your behalf striving towards health. You cut yourself? It’s going to heal without a thought. It just does,” he says.
Improper food combining is one of the primary factors that cause gas, flatulence, heartburn, and upset stomach. What’s worse, poor digestion can also contribute to malnutrition, even if you think you’re eating a decent diet.
In his youth, Dr. Pickering was no different from most Americans today—severely overweight, out of shape, and eating the wrong foods. He recalls the key moment that turned his life around:
“I was in Illinois when I came back from Vietnam. I stayed up there for a year in Rockford. A little lady found me one day in a distraught situation. She owned a health food store. I went in there, and I bought a bottle of vitamins and a little book, How to Be Healthy with Natural Foods, by Edward E. Marsh.”
He also found a postcard-sized food combining chart. He’d had frequent stomach pains for years, and was absolutely shocked when 24-hours after putting the information into practice, he didn’t suffer with indigestion anymore.
Since then, Dr. Pickering has become an avid teacher of natural health, in which health and longevity is the natural outgrowth of proper nutrition—which also encompasses proper food combining, to optimize digestion.
Many are under the mistaken belief that the human body is a frail instrument, prone to disease and pre-programmed to decay. Dr. Pickering wholeheartedly disagrees, and I second that motion. The truth is, your body is infinitely wise, with a natural inborn “instinct” toward health, and by following certain natural principles, you allow your body to do what it does best, which is to maintain an equilibrium of health. Dr. Pickering’s three basic principles of health are:
- You are automatically healthy, by design, and sick only by default
- You don’t catch disease; you “earn” it, as it stems from “crud in the blood from being drunk with junk,” as he says
- You get well by what comes out of you, not by what goes into you
In essence, health is as much based on getting rid of toxins and other harmful substances as it is based on optimizing your nutrition. Part and parcel of this philosophy is that food is your number one ally. And while certain nutritional supplements can be beneficial, they will not allow you to circumvent a poor diet. They can only complement your diet; they cannot take the place of a meal.
“Nutrition doesn’t heal. It doesn’t cure. It doesn’t do anything,” Dr. Pickering says. “It’s a science though and it never changes... Here’s what nutrition is: it’s a series of four processes that your body employs to make food materials for the body to use.”
Those four processes are the following:
According to Dr. Pickering, one of the most important factors when it comes to healthful eating is to make sure you’re eating foods that are in season. Your constitution changes with the seasons of your local climate, and eating local foods when they’re in season is a natural way to harness that intrinsic relationship your body has with the Earth.
Seasonal foods will typically be at their cheapest when they’re in season, and will be readily available in most stores and farmers markets. Dr. Pickering’s food combining guide1 can also help you determine which foods are in season, in addition to how to combine them for optimal health.
Next, Dr. Pickering advises eating foods that are indigenous to your area. Eskimos, for example, are not going to reap the same nutritional rewards from watermelon as someone living in the American South where watermelons grow naturally. The climate itself makes nutritional demands on your body.
Third, you also want to select foods according to the type and amount of physical activity you’re involved in (an office worker, for example, will not benefit from the diet of a triathlete), and lastly, you want to choose foods according to your body’s digestive chemistry. As a side note, albeit an important one, Dr. Pickering also points out the importance of your thoughts.
“Your thoughts, you see, help to govern chemistry,” he explains. “When you sit down to eat, it’s crucial to not talk about problems at the dinner table; talk about joyous things just because it gives you a chance to get together [with each other].”
Recent research has even confirmed that if you want to make your food taste better, and more thoroughly enjoy the experience of a meal, perform a ritual first. One of the most rewarding rituals you can do before a meal is to stop and give thanks for your food.
Not only might this make your food taste better, but also people who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. People who give thanks before they eat also tend to eat more slowly and savor the meal more so than those who do not, lending a natural transition to mindful eating, which has a direct and beneficial impact on digestion.
Wayne is probably best known for promoting the importance of food combining. If the food you eat is not digesting properly, not only can painful gas, heart burn, acid reflux and other stomach problems arise, but your body will also be deprived of critical nutrients.
The short definition of digestion is: you put food or liquid into your mouth, swallow it, and then your body breaks these molecules down into a size it can absorb. What your body doesn’t use is excreted as waste. These are the four processes listed above—digestion, absorption, assimilation and elimination. But food is actually broken down in a number of different areas, including in your mouth, stomach, and the first and middle sections of your small intestine, called the duodenum and jejunum respectively. Furthermore, you have two kinds of digestion:
- Mechanical (chewing and churning) digestion
- Chemical digestion
Food combination takes into account the area and complexity of digestion of each food, to ensure it goes through your entire digestive system with ease. Dr. Pickering explains:
“There’s only one food that chemically breaks down in the stomach and that’s protein. Proteins require pepsin, a very highly acidic [enzyme] in conjunction with hydrochloric acid. But the hydrochloric acid doesn’t have the ability to break the food down. It just sets the medium for the concentration of the amount of pepsin that’s poured into the stomach to digest whatever food that’s in there. The intelligence of this human body is phenomenal.”
There are three primary categories of food: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Proteins, again, begin their digestion chemically in your stomach. Carbohydrates are divided into two categories: fruits and starches. While fruits pass through your digestive system with relative ease, starches require three levels of breakdown; the very first stage is in your mouth. That’s why it’s crucial to carefully chew starchy foods.
According to the rules of food combination, you do not want to mix proteins and starches in the same meal. This means, no bun with your hamburger, no meatballs if you have pasta, no potatoes with your meat… Why is that? Dr. Pickering explains:
“Starches require an alkaline digestive medium to digest. If you put your fist in your stomach while it’s digesting steaks and all that, chances are, you wouldn’t have a hand anymore. The acid is intense… When you mix them both together – an acid-type of food and an alkaline – basic chemistry shows that they don’t digest. They neutralize. Then what happens? If the food is not digesting… it’s going through your body [undigested], throwing it into all kinds of turmoil.”
Related Article: What Happens to your body when you eat Meat & Potatoes Together
Dr. Pickering lays out three basic commandments of eating that he recommends you not deviate from:
- No proteins and starches at the same meal, as they neutralize each other and prevent proper digestion of either food. To ensure proper digestion of each food, wait two hours after eating a starch before eating protein. And wait three hours after eating protein before eating a starch.
- No fruits and vegetables at the same meal. Fruits are either a single or double sugar, whereas the starches are a triple sugar. Fruits mechanically break down in your stomach, but chemically, they don’t break down until they reach the third and fourth stage of your digestive system, which are in your small intestine. Starches, again, are broken down in three different stages, starting in your mouth.
According to Dr. Pickering, this is also why it’s crucial to not eat dessert after a meal. When you do, it gets trapped in your stomach with all that other food, where it starts to rot as it’s not being chemically digested there. Therefore, eat fruit 30-60 minutes before dinner. The same applies if you want to eat another piece of fruit. Acidic fruits, such as lemons for example, also do not combine well with starches. Lemon and banana is but one example of a combination that is sure to lead to gastrointestinal upset…
Many people consider tomatoes a fruit, yet it’s commonly added to salad. Dr. Pickering classifies tomatoes as a “fruit-vegetable,” because even though they don’t have the sugar like most fruits, they’re still an acidic fruit-vegetable. As such they’re okay to combine with other vegetables. He suggests the following recipe for an excellent salad:
“Any kind of vegetable that has seed in it; for example summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, bell peppers, and okra—those are all fruit-vegetables. Your tomatoes go well with those. And since lettuce and celery have a neutral effect, as far as the breakdown of food, the celery and the lettuce combine very well with all of that. You can also add avocados.”
- “Eat melon alone, or leave it alone, or your stomach will moan.” In short, melons do not digest well with other foods and will frequently cause problems unless consumed by itself.
According to Dr. Pickering, the amount and sequencing of the foods you eat can also make a difference. He recommends the following eating schedule:
- Morning meal: The least concentrated foods, in the greatest amount. Ideal food choice: fruits
- Middle of the day: More complex foods, but in a smaller amount than your first meal. Ideal food choice: starchy carbs
- Evening: The most concentrated foods, but in the least abundant amount. Ideal food choice: protein
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