Thursday, December 22, 2011

Alkaline-Forming Foods List: How to Eat to Help Cure Diseases

 Image result for yin yang
There are two types of foods: acid-forming or alkaline-forming. The differences between the two are like night and day. Or, diseased and not diseased. 
Your body is designed for your blood pH balance to be between 7.35-7.45. Too much acid in the blood causes imbalance and eventually, diseases. Whenever you eat something that is incomplete (not wholesome) and acidic, your body has to pull the nutrients out of your body’s minerals to try to neutralize the acidity. 
For instance soda, which has one of the lowest pH levels, if consumed, your body will have to use its water to stabilize the acid. Your body is intelligent and will always try to work with whatever you give it. Unfortunately, it can only do this for so long. 

How Your Blood’s pH Balance Relates to Diseases

Let’s take a look at arthritis. Or any other so-called disease ending with -itis. All itis means is inflammation. Arth means joint. Arthritis literally means inflammation of the joints. We are trained to give these “diseases” exotic names and deem them to be incurable. But the truth is, WE give these “diseases” strength when we succumb to them and let them claim our lives. 
What causes the inflammation that gives you “arthritis”? Too much acid in the blood. No acid, no inflammation. No inflammation, no “arthritis”. Isn’t life simple? 
When your body is alkaline-based, you are in optimum health. This is why certain people that “look” healthy die or contract the same “diseases” that unhealthy people have. Because, even though they “look” good, they were probably consuming very acidic foods. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

12 Top Nutrients For A Healthy Heart

12 Top Nutrients For A Healthy Heart

Image result for heart
By Tony Isaacs -
The heart is our most important and most active muscle.  In addition to the benefits for the heart of having a healthy active lifestyle and eating a healthy diets, there are several key herbs, minerals vitamins and other nutritional items which can provide great boosts for heart health.
Here are 12 of the best: 
1. Cayenne. Sometimes referred to as the “King of Herbs”, cayenne is one of the most powerful heart-healthy substances. It strengthens, stimulates, and tones the heart, balances circulation and blood pressure, and calms palpitations. Due to its fiery punch, you may want to start small and work your way up to larger amounts of powder or extract added to juice. 
2. Hawthorn. Along with cayenne, hawthorn was one of famed herbalist Dr. Christopher’s favorite herbs for the heart. Hawthorn is rich in flavonoids that protect small capillary vessels from free-radical damage. It normalizes blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and fat deposits in the liver and aorta and helps conditions such as angina, arrhythmia, arteriosclerosis, blood clots, and hypertension. Though it may take months to realize hawthorn’s full benefits, often a dropper of hawthorn berry extract will settle irregular heartbeats in short order. 
3. Magnesium. Magnesium helps prevent heart attacks, regulates high blood pressure and helps ease heart arrhythmia, in addition to having a great many other vital health benefits. Thanks to today’s SAD diet and mineral depleted soils, it is estimated that anywhere from 80 to 95 percent of us are deficient in magnesium.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Natural Pain Killers

Natural pain killers
Many who suffer from problems of restlessness, decreased immunity, depression and anxiety can consume these natural pain killers, which are as effective as medical drugs.

Fish oil: Fish contains two essential omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid and decosahexaenoic acid. These can help block the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body, known as cytokines and leukotrienes. Researchers have established that eating about 3 g of fish fats a day can relieve of joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil can also help reduce the severity of Crohn's disease and these patients can stop consuming anti-inflammatory medications and steroids.

Olive oil: This is a natural chemical with anti-inflammatory properties like ibuprofen. Oleocanthal is the natural ingredient in this oil. 50 g of extra virgin olive oil is comparable to about 10% of ibuprofen dose recommended for adult pain relief.

Tart cherries: Researchers of Michigan State University opine that eating about 20 tart cherries may relieve pain better than aspirin. These cherries exhibit antioxidant properties comparable to vitamin E. Anthocyanins which is found in cherries inhibited cyclooxygenase-1 and 2 enzymes, which are the targets of anti inflammatory drugs at doses more than ten times lower than aspirin. Arthritis and gout can be controlled by daily consumption of cherries.

Saliva: This is found to generate a natural pain killer six times stronger than morphine. Human saliva is similar to opiorphin and it acts as a natural pain killer far better than the traditional drug morphine which has addictive and psychosomatic side effects.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Spices Stop Blood Clots Better Than Drugs

Spices do a whole lot more than liven up food. Research has found that the active ingredients in several common spices can help keep you alive by preventing platelet aggregation and blood clot formation up to 29 times better than aspirin, offering a much safer alternative to anti-clotting drugs such as Plavix. And they do it without side effects.
Scientists in India have done extensive testing to determine the health benefits of spices traditionally used in Indian cuisine. The latest research to come from the Central Food Technological Research Institute evaluated the effect of the active principle spice compounds eugenol, capsaicin, piperine, quercetin, curcumin, cinnamaldehyde, and allyl sulphide on human platelet aggregation. They demonstrated that each compound evaluated was able to significantly inhibit blood clotting. Furthermore, the compounds performed their anti-platelet aggregation activity against several different factors that promote the clotting of blood.
Eugenol and capsaicin were found to be the most potent inhibitors of induced platelet aggregation. This ability was shown by the other tested compounds too in the declining order of curcumin, cinnamaldehyde, piperine, allyl sulphide, and quercetin. Eugenol was found to be 29-fold more potent than aspirin in inhibiting ararachidonic acid induced human platelet aggregation. Both eugenol and capsaicin inhibited production of clotting factors in a dose-dependent manner.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Can Tea Reduce Anxiety Levels?

Theanine (L-theanine) which is found in tea leaves may reduce anxiety and improve attention and the ability to focus in people who have high anxiety levels.  Japanese researchers reported these findings in a recent issue of the Journal Of Functional Food.
Theanine is an amino acid that has a chemical structure similar to glutamate, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in memory.  Previous studies have shown that theanine can pass through the blood-brane barrier and thus can have a direct impact on the brain.
In a new current study university students were broken up into two groups.  One group had high anxiety levels and the other had low.  Both groups were given water or water plus 200mg of L-thanine per 100mg water.  The test was conducted repeatedly and evaluations were done between 15 and 60 minutes after the students ingested the water or water plus theanine.
Results indicated that students who were highly anxious and who received theanine had a slowed heart rate, improved attention and a better reaction time when compared with high-anxiety students who took the placebo.  Students with low anxiety did not experience any significant benefit from taking theanine.
The authors of this research noted that unlike other conventional treatments for anxiety, theanine does not cause drowsiness, impair concentration or slow down reflexes.  Rather, 200mg of thanine enhanced performance in visual attention tasks and reaction time responses among the subjects with high anxiety propensity symptoms.
Just shows we English have had it right all along. Crisis strikes, have a nice cup of tea :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yoga boosts stress-busting hormone, reduces pain, study finds

The study is the first to look at the effects of yoga on cortisol levels in women with fibromyalgia. The condition, which predominantly affects women, is characterized by chronic pain and fatigue; common symptoms include muscle stiffness, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal discomfort, anxiety and depression.

Previous research has found that women with fibromyalgia have lower-than-average cortisol levels, which contribute to pain, fatigue and stress sensitivity. According to the study, participants' saliva revealed elevated levels of total cortisol following a program of 75 minutes of hatha yoga twice weekly over the course of eight weeks.

"Yoga promotes this concept -- that we are not our bodies, our experiences, or our pain. This is extremely useful in the management of pain," she says. "Moreover, our findings strongly suggest that psychological changes in turn affect our experience of physical pain."

This alone should be a good enough reason to practise yoga twice weekly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Looking to the Dietary Gods: Eating Well According to the Ancients

By eating well, we can be proud and transparent, rather than secretly uncomfortable. For starters, by eating more naturally (protein-dense, appropriate portions), we reduce our footprint—the amount we ask of the world to give us. By caring about the quality of what we ingest, we opt out of brutal factory farming and toxic industrial agriculture—keeping excessive blood off our hands. And by eating locally, we support small businesses and entrepreneurs instead of corporate behemoths who have few qualms about poisoning and fattening us (by doing the same to their “product”) if it means greater profits.

Makes perfect sense. The full article is definitely worth a read.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Anneli Rufus - Why Prescription Ecstasy or LSD Could Happen Much Sooner Than You Think

Research to the rescue. High-tech brain scans reveal that psilocybin inhibits blood flow in parts of the brain that regulate sensory input. Less blood flow means less regulation. Flooded with perceptions, a psilocybinized brain can help PTSD patients reprogram their fears, Doblin says. New tools also provide new insight into LSD's ego-dissolving "catharsis effect." And the ecstasy chemistry: MDMA reduces blood flow in the fear-processing amygdala while increasing blood flow in the prefrontal cortex, which facilitates our ability to put things into context.

"With MDMA, the fear circuitry is reduced," Doblin explains. This helps PTSD patients remember and re-examine long-buried aspects of their traumas. Aided by MDMA, "these memories don't immediately go straight to fear." Say you were traumatized by a bat-wielding, red-hatted assailant. Under MDMA, "the neural pathways connecting bats, red hats and fear are not so strong." Recontextualized in an MDMA-activated prefrontal cortex, triggers lose their power -- sometimes forever, he says.

"Under the influence of MDMA, people can make emotional changes that persist after the MDMA is out of their systems." On MDMA, "you operate on this much smoother level, and then you lose it -- but not all of it. You get so much material from that experience, which you can learn to integrate."

This doesn't mean you can recover by hitting a few raves. A key theme of the medical-psychedelics movement is that it's medical. These drugs are so strong and long-lasting that, for clinical use, Doblin says they must be administered in "a safe, supportive, controlled setting" overseen by professionals.

This is really good news, I just hope it comes to fruition. Enough mind altering drugs are used anyway so why not use some clinically that may actually have some long lasting positive effects.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mindfulness meditation training changes brain structure in eight weeks

Participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. In a study that will appear in the January 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers report the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain's grey matter.

"Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day," says Sara Lazar, PhD, of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, the study's senior author. "This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing."

An excellent article with supporting research for those who need even more convincing that meditation is a worthwhile practice.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bananas and Blood Pressure - Do Bananas Lower Blood Pressure - RealAge

Cheap and plentiful year-round, bananas are bursting with potassium. And a review of several major studies suggests that people who add the potassium equivalent of an extra 1 1/2 to 2 bananas to their day could drop their blood pressure 2 to 3 points.

More Points for Potassium
Dropping BP by 2 or 3 points is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, it's enough to lower stroke risk. In other research, people with the highest potassium intake levels cut their stroke risk by a whopping 38 percent compared with the people who got the least potassium. This magical mineral works by encouraging your kidneys to filter more pressure-boosting sodium out of your bloodstream. It also helps tiny blood vessels relax and makes pressure sensors in artery walls function more efficiently.

Even people who generally don't like fruit make an exception with bananas, so there really is no excuse...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nutrition: Sweet Potato (A Paleo Exception) - Explore Fitness

The sweet potato is a moderate GI (glycaemic index) carbohydrate and is very high in Vitamin A (a fat-soluble antioxidant).  Vitamin A (beta-carotene) is what gives sweet potatoes the rich orange colour (some sweet potatoes are purple in colour).
To maximise absorption of vitamin A ensure you have adequate fat with your meal to ensure the body is better able to utilise this antioxidant.
Interestingly a study several years ago of 10,000 Finnish smokers found that those with higher levels of Vitamin A (beta-carotene) in the blood had a lower incidence of lung cancer.  This was only the case with Vitamin A from natural sources though, not that coming from synthetic vitamin supplementation where lung cancer rates where actually found to be higher! [1]  Another reason to stick to natural sources for antioxidants!
In Loren Cordain's book "Paleo Diet For Athletes" the sweet potato is also considered as one of the better options for recovery from extended endurance work.  This book goes into great detail of nutrition for pre-, during and post-activity.
The sweet potato also includes Vitamin C, E, B6 - the micronutrients manganese, copper and traces of potassium and iron.  Anthocyanin is a colour related pigment which studies have shown to have anti-inflammatory properties another property supporting one's recovery from activity.[2]
Here's a recipe for Sweet Potato Chips (using coconut oil for adequate fat intake).
Excellent alternative to potatoes, especially if you are avoiding the deadly nightshade family because of joint pain.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Olive oil 'helps prevent stroke' - BBC News

Olive oil can help prevent strokes in people over 65, a study suggests.
Researchers followed around 7,000 people aged 65 and over living in three French cities, for at least five years.
They found those who used a lot of olive oil in cooking or as a dressing or dip had a lower risk of stroke than those who never used it.
The researchers say older people should be given new dietary advice regarding olive oil, based on the findings, which are published in the journal Neurology
Good to see at last commonsense healthy eating is being researched and verified.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lose Weight by Eating 30 Grams of Protein Within 30 Minutes of Waking

So says Tim Ferris in his book The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

Let me know your thoughts, or results, in the comments.