Month: August 2016

Why You Should Try Sardines Today.

Sardines
Health Benefits of Sardines

I learned early on in elementary school that bringing sardines in for lunch was…not the most popular choice. The fish have a very distinct smell, but they certainly are tasty! Before you give up on these little guys because of their pungent aroma, take a minute to learn more about why these snacks of the sea are so great.

There are actually many fish known as “sardines,” but they’re all so closely related genetically that they’re usually just considered to be the same fish. It’s said that Napoleon was responsible for the sardines’ rise in popularity—who knew?

Why Eat Sardines?

  1. Sardines are packed with calcitriol, a form of vitamin D that regulates cell cycles. Because cancer is caused by cells functioning incorrectly, keeping these cycles regulated is a very effective form of cancer prevention.
  2. The protein in sardines gives us necessary amino acids that build and regenerate our bodies. These amino acids repair tissue by grabbing into oxygen and carrying it around efficiently.
  3. The most prevalent nutrient in sardines, vitamin B12, clocks in at a whopping 337% of what you need every day! B12 reduces homocysteine, which is known to degenerate bone through osteoporosis. Thanks to their homocysteine-smashing properties, sardines support bone health.
  4. Sardines are one of the absolute best places to get omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy omega-3s help reduce the risk of inflammatory conditions like heart disease by fighting oxidation.

Anchovies, sardines—tiny fish get a bad rap sometimes. But sardines have a rich, flavorful taste without a fishy aftertaste, so there’s really nothing unusual about them at all. When you’re ready to take the plunge and become addicted to delicious sardines (it’s easier than you might think!), there are a few things to keep in mind.

How to Choose Sardines

  1. If you want whole, uncanned sardines, some stores have them at the seafood counter. You can ask them to remove the large bones for you, but you can leave the little bones; cooking the sardines softens them, and you won’t even know there’s still a few bones floating around.
  2. You can buy canned sardines in water, soy oil, canola oil, tomato sauce, and olive oil—make sure to read the labels. It’s best to avoid those packed in soy oil, canola oil, or tomato sauce (which is filled with sugar). Water is always a solid choice; you can spice up your fish with some homemade Paleo mayo or get creative.

Remember that while sardines are a great snack, that’s just one of their many uses. Try mashing your sardines with avocadoes for a great veggie dip. Be adventurous!

10 Foods that Fight Inflammation

10 Foods that Fight Inflammation
Inflammation occurs when the body is fighting off harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, and irritants. Inflammation is the body tissues natural response to such situations. In some diseases, such as arthritis, the body’s immune system triggers an inflammatory response. When the body triggers an inflammatory response without any pathogens to fight, it is an autoimmune disease. The immune system begins to cause damage to its own tissue and the body responds as though tissues are infected or somehow abnormal. Inflammation is also suspected to play a role in obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Consuming foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar, can also increase inflammation. Anti-inflammatory agents can be found in many foods that we consume relatively often without even knowing they contain anti-inflammatory properties.

 

1.) Fish
Fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce inflammation. The EPPA and DHA in fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna can all help to reduce inflammation in the body and lower a person’s risk for cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease and asthma. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to slow down the growth of plaques in the arteries, thus reducing inflammation in the body, according to WebMD. When introducing more fish into your diet is is always good to consider the cooking method. Deep frying fish isn’t as beneficial as grilling or broiling. If fish just isn’t on your palate, a good alternative is fish oil supplements, which have been linked to many medical benefits.

2.) Beets

Beets contain a healthy dose of betaine that helps to combat inflammation. Beets also have a number of other benefits, such as, boosting your stamina and lowering blood pressure and are becoming known as a super food. They are packed full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Beets contain Betalain, which give beets their identifying color, have been demonstrated in cutting down inflammation, as well as stiffness and are powerful anti-oxidants according to, Self-Growth. Beets can be cooked, pickled, turned into juice, and as of recently you can purchase a beet powder supplement to drink or add to smoothies.

3.) Tofu

Tofu and other foods that are made of soy can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Soy is packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids that combat the inflammation. Soy based foods such as tofu, miso and edamame are all good sources to fight inflammation. Soy protein has been shown to reduce pain and swelling in joints. Tofu can be purchased in most produced departments for use in recipes or smoothies, it can also be purchased in the form of vegetarian dishes that are prepared and ready to cook.

4.) Tomatoes

Lycopene, a natural carotenoid found in tomatoes is believed to have various health benefits. One of the benefits of tomatoes that is believed to be the source of its health benefits is its protective ability to down-regulate the inflammatory response. This includes a release of pro-inflammatory inhibitory response, such as reducing reactive oxygen species and the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Studies also suggest that the lycopene found in tomatoes exhibits anti-inflammatory activity through induction of programed cell death in active immune cells. Most of us consume tomatoes in some form or fashion on a daily basis. But it probably wouldn’t hurt any of us to eat fresh raw tomatoes more often.
 
5.) Almonds
Almonds, like any other anti-inflammatory foods, are full of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also packed full of magnesium, monounsaturated fats, copper, alpha-tocopherol and phytonutrients. It is believed that the combination of all of the nutrients in almonds work together to decrease inflammation in the body and prevent chronic disease. Almond milk is a good option for those who are looking to be more health conscious, but aren’t such fans of eating nuts; and it is a great alternative to cow’s milk that can be easily made at home with no additives.
6.) Garlic
Garlic is often sought for its medicinal properties and has been suggested to have both cancer-preventative potential anti-inflammatory properties, according to the NCBI. It is thought that garlic elicits anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative responses in the body to help fight against diseases. Research has found that garlic prevents inflammatory cytokines from developing and increases its anti-inflammatory benefits when it has been heated.

7.) Olive Oil
Olive oil is believed to have anti-inflammatory abilities similar to those of ibuprofen, according to Paul Breslin PhD.  Studies have shown that a compound in the oil, oleocanthal, stops the production of pro-inflammatory COX-1 and COX2 enzymes. Inhibiting the pro-inflammatory enzymes impedes the production of chemical messengers that cause pain and inflammation. Though, guzzling a bottle of olive oil isn’t going to kill a headache. Consuming a healthy dosage in your daily diet could have the same long term effects on the body as taking an aspirin a day.

8.) Blueberries
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, known as anthocyanins, that fight inflammation. Blueberry’s increase anti-inflammatory cytokines and protect your body against inflammation and free radicals. Blueberries are believed to have more antioxidant value over any other berries. Blueberries are a quick and easy way to introduce antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents into your body naturally.

9.) Kale

Kale is full of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and Vitamin E; as wells as many minerals such as, copper, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. 100 calories of kale contain 30 percent of the recommended omega-3 fatty acid daily recommended consumption. Vitamin K is believed to be the nutrient responsible for regulating our body’s inflammation. While kale may not seem like the most appetizing food, it is easily hidden in green smoothies and when roasted makes a great chip.

10.) Pineapple

Possibly one of the most well-known foods for aiding in the reduction of inflammation is pineapple. Athletes have long used it to aid in healing after injuries. The high content of bromelain is what gives pineapple its anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed that pineapple juice may reduce inflammation and reduce the swelling of soft tissue injuries.

4 Unknown Health Benefits of Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries

Unlike the majority of super foods that are growing in popularity, cherries are common and don’t require any googling to figure out what they are or where to find them. But just the same, when was the last time you considered how many health benefits cherries could have? Cherries are extremely beneficial in comparison to most things found in our refrigerators and probably have far more nutritional value than they are given credit for.  In most cases, tart cherries have been shown to have more beneficial properties than sweet cherries. Cherries contain many of the daily required nutrients for maintaining optimal health, such as: vitamin C, vitamin A, bioflavonoids, ellagic acid, perillyl, and anthocyanins.  Not to mention, that of the vitamin packed options out there, they rank pretty high in preferred taste.

1. Sleep Aid

One of the many secret benefits of cherries, is that they contain melatonin.  Studies have shown that cherry juice before bedtime can be just as beneficial as taking a melatonin supplement before bed. In a world where the majority of people have some sleep troubles or insomnia, melatonin supplements have become readily available and extremely popular. It is believed that simply drinking a glass of cherry juice before bedtime in place of a melatonin supplement, will have the same effect on your body.

2. Arthritis

Cherries have long been associated with the relief of inflammation. A recent study by the USDA, showed that cherries may reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. The study revealed that after the test subjects consumed cherries and were tested, they had lower levels of urate and nitric acid in their body’s. For those who are suffering from arthritis and gout pain, it may mean that consuming cherries on a daily basis could bring relief to a portion of your discomfort.

3. Weight Control

While cherries don’t necessarily have any miracle weight loss properties to them, they are an ideal option for someone looking to stay or get into shape. A full cup of cherries come in at under 100 calories and are relatively filling. They also contain a good deal of your body’s daily nutritional value, such as fiber and vitamin B, which are essential to a healthy metabolism.

4. Help Fight Cancer

Another great reason you should be eating your share of cherries is that they are packed with antioxidant’s. Antioxidants work to heal damaged cells in your body caused by free radicals. Antioxidants replace the free radicals in your body before they can cause damage. Cherries also contain ellagic acid, POH, and queritrin, all cancer fighting agents.

Fish Oil and Alzheimer’s – Is This the Cure?

Fish Oil and Alzheimer’s – Is This the Cure?

 

 

What is the link between fish oil and Alzheimer’s? Alzheimer’s is a life changing diseases that affects every aspect of a person’s health and as of now, has no known cure. Some medications may relieve symptoms, though, there is still no scientific evidence of the effects; Fish oil contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids that some believe can prevent and even cure Alzheimer’s Disease.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Most anyone you ask has surely heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but most mistakenly believe that is a natural part of growing old. That is a false assumption. Alzheimer’s Disease is in fact a type of Dementia, that develops slowly over time and often worsens as time goes on. Alzheimer’s is a Neurodegenerative Disease. It is most typically noticed long after it has begun to develop, but rather worsens to a point that it becomes noticeable to those around you. Some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease can seem minimal, but are sure to progress as time goes on; such as forgetfulness and the inability to remember to most recent of events. As the disease progresses, the symptoms often worsen to things such as: disorientation, loss of language, inability to properly care for ones-self and behavioral issues. As persons Alzheimer’s Disease worsens, their body slowly loses function, ultimately leading to death.

It is generally believed that genetics are to blame for one developing Alzheimer’s Disease, but there is no sure scientific answer, nor is their currently a cure. Some medications may be used to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s or minimize the effects, but they will only prolong the end result. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s will inevitably continue to worsen over time. The average person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, will live four to eight years after the time of diagnosis; but may live for up to another 20 years depending on the severity and effects of the disease. Alzheimer’s comes in stages, though the severity and the time frame may differ from person to person.

  • Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease is considered the beginning stage when symptoms are not yet noticeable, but slow changes in the brain are taking place.
  • Mild Alzheimer’s Disease is the early stage of Alzheimer’s. In the early stages most people with Alzheimer’s continue to function independently in their daily lives. A person may begin to feel as though they are having lapses in memory and family may begin to notice signs and symptoms.
  • Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease is the middle stage. This is most often the longest stage and may last for years. In this stage a person may become more and more dependent on the help of others to complete everyday task.
  • Severe Alzheimer’s Disease is considered the late stage. By this point a person will most likely require constant daily care to complete the basic needs such as personal care. A person may begin to loose awareness of the most recent events as well as their surroundings. A person will also start to experience changes in their physical abilities such as walking, sitting, and eventually even their ability to swallow and consume solid foods. At this stage people become more vulnerable to illness and have increased difficulty communicating.

What is fish oil?

Fish oil, is as it sounds, an oil extracted from the tissues of oily fish. The extracted fish oils contain a high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. The fish used in the extraction of fish oils do not naturally produce the fatty acids, rather, they accumulate them through consumption of other fish with fatty acid stores. The Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are thought to be beneficial in the treatment of many diseases and conditions, none of which have been scientifically proven. Many people still continue to consume fish oil supplements daily in hope that fish oil will help prolong one life and decrease the risk of many health conditions. Fish oil is among the most popular supplements on the market, with approximately $800 million in annual sales. Many physicians recommend taking fish oil supplement’s daily, though there is still no compelling evidence to support and of the thought benefits of fish oil consumption.

Is fish oil the cure for Alzheimer’s?

Many would love to believe that fish oil is a long sought after cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, but thus far there is no scientific evidence to support this theory. Studies have in fact shown that patients who began to supplement their diets with fish oil prior to the on-set of Alzheimer’s, have shown a decreased risk in developing the disease. Studies have also shown, those who continuously eat a healthy diet rich in fish, especially those containing high levels of fatty acids, are also less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease.

Studies suggest that the fish oil aids in preventing inflammation, which many believe may be the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers have conducted a vast number of studies and the out-come is mostly conflicting data that still leaves us with no answers. Scientist believe that for fish oil to have any effect on the development of Alzheimer’s Disease, it would need to have been taken far earlier on in one’s life.

According to a review published by, The Cochran Collaboration, they based their findings on a study of 4080 patients over a 40-month period. The research concluded that the trials show no supporting evidence of the benefits of fish oil and cognitive health in older individuals. The review included studies of healthy participants over the age of 60 who were fully cognitively healthy at the beginning of the study. Participants were randomly selected to receive either extra omega-3 in their diet or the placebo, olive oil.  The main points of interest within the study were newly diagnosed cases of dementia during the study time period; along with any decline in cognitive health and side effects. The overall outcome of the review is that further, longer and more detailed research is still needed to confirm any real benefits on cognitive health by taking fish oil supplement’s daily.

5 Ways to Stop Sugar Cravings and Sugar Addiction

No Sugar Cravings on Paleo
No Sugar Cravings on Paleo

 

 

 

Combating the craving for something sweet and sugary may be that hardest thing that we as people face when trying to lose weight and stay healthy. After all, sugar can be found in just about everything in the supermarket, even the things you wouldn’t consider as “sweet”. Every time you leave the house sugar can be found just about anywhere you go; whether it’s the vending machine taunting you into temptation at work or the conveniently placed sweets at checkouts.  It is no mystery that sugar leads to obesity and so many other health issues, the bottom line is it really just isn’t good for you. Cutting out sugar all together isn’t an easy task, but with everything, moderation is always best when you just can’t completely drop your love affair with sugar out of your life. The following five steps will help you learn to beat your sugar cravings and sugar addiction! 

1. Stop eating sugar

The most obvious thing to do when trying to eliminate sugar from your diet is to stop eating sugar. Sounds simple right? Well, maybe not for the majority of people. Start by being aware of the things that you eat and read the labels! Sugar is hidden in nearly everything that you buy pre-made or packaged in the market. When you can’t resist the urge to eat sugar, try drinking a glass of water and waiting ten minutes. You can also try eating something that is naturally sweet like a Tablespoon of organic honey or a small amount of fruit. Many people find that eating a small amount of quality dark chocolate can also help you to ease off the sugar consumption. If you are still having trouble, try a food diary. Holding yourself more accountable for what you consume and making you aware of every gram of sugar, you take in, can help you be more aware and more dedicated. Being on the Paleo eating plan helps with eating sugar. Paleo focuses on low-gycemic foods and minimal sugar.

2. Reduce Stress

The amount of stress in your life can significantly affect the way that you eat. Seeking out comfort food when you are feeling overwhelmed, sad or even sometimes happy, is a normal response. Being sure that you are getting a full eight hours of sleep is a great place to start. If you feel like you are too overwhelmed with life to even consider not breaking your diet, try meditating and focusing on something other than your cravings. 

3. Drink Water

Are you craving sugar? This may actually be a cry for your body – for water. At times our bodies can’t differentiate between dehydration and hunger. When you are trying to curb a sugar craving, try drinking a full glass of water and waiting ten minutes to see if the craving begins to subside. Always try to stay hydrated to keep yourself healthy and curb your hunger longer.

4. Take L-Glutamine for cravings

L-Glutamine is an amino acid found in the human body; it is the most abundant amino acid in the blood stream and makes up approximately 30 percent of the amino acid nitrogen in our blood. Glutamine powder is most commonly known for use to help lose weight, build muscles and burn fat. L-Glutamine works to aid with fat metabolism and supports new muscle growth.

According to, Food Renegade, due to our sugar cravings, we consume a diet rich in refined carbs. Thus, displacing the healthy and nutrient rich foods that we should be consuming. Nutritional deficiencies increase the cravings for sugar. Eating enough dietary rich foods can supply your body with enough dietary amino acids to repel these deficiencies and sugar cravings. Taking an L-Glutamine supplement doesn’t have to be permanent in order to kick sugar. Taking it for approximately a month is said to do the trick, especially if you are eating a healthy enough diet to give your body the nutrition that it needs to ward off the cravings on its own. 

 

5. Limit sugar to a cheat day, once a week

As with most diets and nutritional changes, torturing yourself won’t get you anywhere. The longer you make yourself miserable by denying your cravings, the more likely you are to give up. Allow yourself to have a cheat day! That doesn’t mean that you should go out and eat every sugar filled thing you desire. But, allow yourself to indulge once a week in the sugary sweets that you love the most. Just remember to stay on track for the rest of the week. You will look forward to your “reward day” and be proud of yourself for making it through the rest of the week sugar free!

The Connection Between Gut Microbiota and the Human Brain

The Connection Between Gut Microbiota and the Human Brain

What Is gut microbiome?

Gut microbiota is a complex community of micro-organism species that live within the digestive tract. It is the largest reservoir of micro-organisms mutual to both humans and animals. The Gut microbiome consist of as many as 1,000 types of bacteria. The microbiome also consists of as many as 10 times the amount of cells and roughly as many as 150 times as many genes as the human genome contains. The microbiome has a symbiotic relationship with its human host and it co-evolves. The gut microbiome is a finely tuned eco-system, but its development depends on a number of factors, such as:

  • If a person is subject to anti-bodies
  • The food a person consumes
  • Infections
  • Which micro-organisms a person absorbs from the mother’s birth-canal at birth
  • Stress
  • Genetic predisposition

Studies have shown that gut microbiota is involved in the regulation of many brain functions, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Cognition
  • Mood

The intestinal microbiome is in place at birth. It is initially influenced by the delivery and feeding, and reaches a mature adult like state within the first few years of life.

The influence of the brain by gut microbiota

An increasing amount of research suggests, that the importance of the gut-brain axis for neurology and indicates that the triggers for a number of neurological diseases may be located in the digestive track. It is possible that the gut microbiome may in fact, influence the central nervous system as well as the development of the nerve cells and the immune system. The gut brain axis refers to signaling taking place between the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system.

The Human gut microbiome is the aggregate of gut micro-organisms, consisting of all of its bacteria, archaea, viruses, and fungi. It has previously been thought that the connection between the microbiome and the possibility that it could also be responsible for processes outside of the digestive tract, were unimaginable. However, more and more studies are revealing more in depth detail on the matter. While scientist are working to prove the connection, it has been proven that the gut and the brain do in fact communicate. They do this through multiple routes, such as, the vagus nervous system, the immune system, the enteric nervous system and by way of the microbial metabolic system. An example of the gut and the brain communicating, is the intestinal bacteria converting carbohydrates into short chain fatty acids, in order to strengthen the connection of the cells and reinforce the blood brain barrier. The blood brain barrier serves as a cell based wall to protect the brain from inflammation and infections.

Many of the studies involving the link between gut microbiota and the brain, are influenced by Autism spectrum disorder. Research shows that approximately 90% of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder also have severe to moderate gut issues. Studies have shown that those with Autism, had far fewer types of bacteria, thus making the gut more vulnerable to attack for disease causing pathogens. Studies have also noted that there was a difference in the bacteria found of those with Autism Vs. those without. Discovering the connection between gut microbiota and the brain could help researches discover what causes Autism and how to treat it in the future.

Microbiome’s role in regulating the brain process

Neurologist firmly believe that the gut microbiome regulates important brain processes that are necessary to the development of neurological diseases. The scientific research being conducted on gut microbiome is, in all possibility, a door to discovering the cure for Multiple Sclerosis. The gut brain axis is an emerging concept that could lead to developing new therapies and treatments for central nervous system disorders by modifying the gut microbiota. The possibilities for evolving medical care are endless within the research of gut microbiota and the brain.

The studies conducted are done so using germ free animals. The study then compares the germ free animals to normal animals that were later exposed to pathogenic bacterial infections, probiotic bacteria and antibiotic’s. Scientist then compare the differences of many aspects and functions in order to report data and gain further information on the gut microbiota and brain function.

Gut microbiotas ability to communicate with the brain and effect behaviors is a progressive concept. Microbiota interacts with the host forming essential relationships that govern homeostasis. Despite the unique bacterial combination of each individual, there seems to be, a specific balance to reach in order for it to be beneficial to our health. It is also suggested, that a decrease in the desirable gastrointestinal bacteria will lead to deterioration in the gastrointestinal neuroendocrine, or immune relationships and lead to disease.

Conclusion

Some research has suggested that probiotics, such as those found in yogurt, may alter the signals from the gut to the brain when you are afraid or anxious. Studies have shown a dampened response from people with depression, they exhibited muted response in areas involving processing and sensation. The long term goal of studies such as this, is to determine if taking probiotic supplements or eating probiotic yogurt, regularly can have a positive effect on the balance of bacteria in your gut and possible alter emotional responses to negative situations. Like most areas focusing on the study of microbiota and the human gut, far more research is still needed and quite possibly, under way.

The range of diseases linked to gut microbiota is vast, some of the effected diseases could range from autoimmune disease, metabolic disease, gastrointestinal disease, brain disorders, type 2 diabetes, psychiatric disorders and autism spectrum disorder, just to name a few. That’s not even counting the other effects that microbiota could possibly have on the body such as: mood, learning, emotion, appetite, satiety, and memory. The growing research that is being directed at microbiota and its connection to the human brain could help provide many answers, therapies, and possibly even cures for an outstanding amount of diseases and illnesses. The further research and scientific findings are a great achievement for the scientific community and could mean many helpful steps forward for the coming generations. Understanding how microbiota can affect our brain and contribute to so many diseases and changes in the human body is a very hot topic across the scientific community and we can expect to see more and more research and findings, as the curiosity continues to grow.

Sources:

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-05-gut-microbiota-brain.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gut%E2%80%93brain_axis
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21303428
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/841748
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20120524/probiotics-exploring-the-gut-mind-connection
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141114-autism-gut-brain-probiotic-research-biology-medicine-bacteria/

The Dangers of a Low Salt Diet

Dangers of a Low Salt Diet
Dangers of a Low Salt Diet

The dangers of a low salt diet

Salt, also known as sodium chloride, is needed by everyone in order to properly function. Salt helps maintain the body’s balance of fluids. Salt is also found in many foods as a preservative by helping to keep it from spoiling and keeping certain foods safe to eat. But according to the FDA, nearly all Americans consume more salt than they need, according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The FDA’s recommended salt consumption guidelines

The natural salt in food accounts for about 10 percent of total intake, on average, according to the FDA guidelines. The salt that we add to our food when cooking and at the table adds another 5 to 10 percent. About 75 percent of our total salt intake comes from salt added to processed foods by manufacturers and salt that cooks add to the food at restaurants and other food service establishments.  The FDA states that the possible negative health effects of salt, such as high blood pressure, can lead to heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease.

The amount of salt in products is labeled as “sodium” on the nutrition facts label on food packaging. It is recommended that the daily consumption of salt for the general population is no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, approximately a teaspoon of table salt. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of salt than others. The FDA suggests that in order to lower your daily salt intake you should eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, Flavor food with pepper and other spices opposed to salt, choose unsalted snacks and be sure to read food labels and choose things with lower sodium. The FDA also suggests that you should consume foods that are rich in potassium. Potassium can help dull the effects of sodium on a person’s blood pressure. You can also choose to use a salt substitute, which contains potassium chloride, and can be used to replace the salt in your diet. There are no known ill effects in healthy individuals from consuming potassium. However, people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease, could experience harmful effects from consuming to much potassium. You should always check with your doctor before consuming salt substitutes. The full FDA guidelines can be found at FDA.GOV.

Is the FDA recommended low salt diet a good choice for everyone?

According to recent research conducted by Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, suggest that only those who have hypertension and an extremely high salt diet, should be concerned by a low salt diet. According to Hamilton University, the worldwide study shows that a low salt diet may actually increase the risk of Cardiovascular Disease. The study consisted of more than 130,00 people across the globe. The findings of the research show that regardless of whether a person has high blood pressure or not, a low salt diet is associated with more heart attacks, strokes, and mortality, in comparison to those who consume an average amount of salt. The Population Health Research Institute looked directly at the relationship between the amount of salt consumed and its relation to mortality. They also looked at the relationship of salt and its contribution to heart disease and stroke. All of which differs in people who have high blood pressure, in comparison to those who have normal blood pressure.

“These are extremely important findings for those who are suffering from high blood pressure,” said Andrew Mente, lead author of the study, a principal investigator of PHRI and an associate professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. “While our data highlights the importance of reducing high salt intake in people with hypertension, it does not support reducing salt intake to low levels. “Our findings are important because they show that lowering sodium is best targeted at those with hypertension who also consume high sodium diets.”

Previous studies have also shown that low salt intake is related to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death, despite the fact that low salt intake is considered relevant to achieving lower blood pressure. The new study shows that the risk of consuming less than 3 grams per day, is consistent regardless of whether or not a person has hypertension. It is believed that even though there is a risk to how little salt a person should consume, the harm that is associated with high sodium consumption is limited to those who have high blood pressure. It was noted that the normal daily consumption set for many may indeed be too low. “Low sodium intake reduces blood pressure modestly, compared to average intake, but low sodium intake also has other effects, including adverse elevations of certain hormones which may outweigh any benefits. The key question is not whether blood pressure is lower with very low salt intake, instead it is whether it improves health,” Mente said

Dr. Martin O’Donnell, a co-author on the study and an associate clinical professor at McMaster University and National University of Ireland Galway, said: “This study adds to our understanding of the relationship between salt intake and health, and questions the appropriateness of current guidelines that recommend low sodium intake in the entire population.” “An approach that recommends salt in moderation, particularly focused on those with hypertension, appears more in-line with current evidence.”

In conclusion, it appears that while we have all been acknowledging salt guidelines to reduce the amount of sodium that we consume, we may have in fact been doing more harm to our bodies than good. A low salt diet may not in fact be benefiting your health at all, unless of course you suffer from high blood pressure. Regardless, you should always speak to your doctor or health care professional before making a drastic change in your diet, including removing or reducing your salt intake.

Fat vs Glucose

Fat vs Glucose

Why is fat the preferred fuel for the human body over glucose?

There are many arguments, especially those based around Paleo diets, as to whether or no fat is the preferred fuel for the body over glucose. So, what is the difference between fat and glucose when it comes to our body’s fuel and energy levels and do our body’s prefer one over the other?

We depend on our daily food intake to replenish our daily fuel supply and the body requires this fuel in order to function at a normal rate. Our body’s fuel takes on three forms: Carbohydrates, which are converted into glucose, fat, and protein. The body can also store some fuels in a form that offers our muscles an immediate supply of energy.

What is glucose and how do our bodies use it?

Glucose is derived from carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, and is the body’s principle source of energy. Glucose can immediately be used as fuel for the body or it can be sent to other parts of the body, such as the liver and muscles, where it is stored as glycogen. The body’s liver can convert the glycogen back into glucose as well, but it is then directly released into the blood stream in order to maintain the bodies blood sugar level also known as blood glucose levels.

When you are exercising, your muscles pick up a portion of the glucose and use it as energy in addition to their glycogen stores. Blood glucose is also the most significant source of fuel for the body’s brain, both while exercising and when at rest. The body requires less oxygen to burn energy from glucose compared to energy from fat. Your body is constantly using glucose and working to replenish your glycogen stores. Both, the amount of carbohydrates you consume and the amount of physical activity you endure, effect the size of your glycogen stores. Your body is limited on the amount of muscle and live glycogen is can store, at approximately 1,800 to 2,000 carbohydrates or roughly 90-120 minutes of vigorous physical activity. As you exercise, your reserve continues to deplete and your body relies more on blood glucose to meet your body’s energy needs.

How fat is used for energy

While glucose is the principle source of energy for our body’s, Fat is the most concentrated source of energy and supplies more than twice the amount of energy of carbohydrates (glucose) and protein. As you exercise, stored fat in the body is broken down into fatty acids, which are then transferred through the blood to the muscles to be used as fuel. The process is however, slower than that of carbohydrates being broken down into fuel. During the process, fat is also stored within the muscles where it can be easily accessed during vigorous activity. Unlike the limited storage of glycogen, fat has a virtually unlimited supply of energy.

Fat is also a more efficient fuel in comparison to carbohydrates, mostly because carbohydrates must be stored along-side water. If our bodies were to the same amount of fuel from carbohydrates as it does fuel from fat, we would be double our body weight, due to the added weight of the water needed to store the carbohydrates. Thus leaving glucose as an unrealistic source of all our bodies energy supply. The body also continuously converts and stores excess calories from all of the named energy sources as body fat that we in turn burn off as an energy source. Fat provides a much more concentrated amount of energy in comparison to glucose and it aids in endurance by preserving glycogen reserves within the body.

Protein used for energy within our bodies

As for protein, it doesn’t stand much of a chance in this argument. Our body’s do not maintain official reserves of protein for later use as energy. Protein, is more used towards building and maintaining body tissue and synthesizing certain hormones and enzymes. Typically, protein only meets 5% of the body’s energy needs, with the exception of when glycogen is depleted within the body, in which case muscle is broken down and used as energy within the body.

Overall, fat is the most substantial source of energy for our body’s for many reasons.

  • Though glucose is the body’s principle source of energy, it is not the most substantial. Glycogen stores are limited and can burn out easily, leaving you depleted and low on energy. Especially, when you are involved in a highly vigorous activity.
  • Fat is also, the most concentrated form of energy for our body’s. Fat supplies us with more than double the amount of energy supplied by carbohydrates and protein. Thus, allowing your body to withstand more vigorous activity for longer periods of time.
  • Fat is a far more efficient source of energy for our body’s due to the water storage needed to store glycogen. Fat is virtually an unlimited supply of energy for our bodies as it has no limit on its storage capacity within the body.
  • Though too much fat can be a bad thing, leading to obesity. It is also, extremely beneficial to the body’s source of energy. Since the body can continuously store fat, you also need to continuously burn fat in the form of energy.

In conclusion, our body’s need both Fat’s and glucose in order to function properly. Both supply our body’s with different energy sources, of which we need. In the long run, they work together. Fat helps to reserve the glucose stores within our body that we count on to supply our brains with an adequate amount of oxygen. Which otherwise, would quickly deplete when solely depending on glucose as a source of the entire body’s energy supply. Meanwhile, fat can be stored in much easier quantities and doesn’t deplete in the same sense as glucose, providing us with a longer lasting supply of energy. Fat is also a more concentrated form of energy providing your body with the energy needs for longer periods of activity.

Sources:

http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/the-bodyrsquos-fuel-sources
http://dl.clackamas.edu/ch106-07/carbohyd1.htm
http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/08/10/fat-not-glucose.aspx

10 Benefits of Chia Seeds

10 Benefits of Chia Seeds

If you have taken a recent glance at healthy recipes online lately, then you have probably come across an interesting, newly popular, ingredient called chia seeds. You may have even started spotting them in tiny packaged at your local grocery store. That is because chia seeds are an up and coming super food that is gaining a lot of popularity, for all the right reasons. Chia seeds are exactly what their title says, seeds; but they are packed full of nutrition! Chia seeds are extracted from chia plants, Salvia Hispanica, a type of flowering plant native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. The chia plant is a flowering species that produce purple and white flower clusters at the end of its stems.

Though some believe that chia seeds are the secret key to weight loss, the truth is, there isn’t a magic seed for weight loss. However, the first step to weight loss and overall health is starting with what you consume. Though studies have yet to prove that chia seeds can in fact keep you full longer and help you lose weight, the nutritional value in chia seeds can still give you a kick start to healthy weight loss. Just a 2 Tablespoons serving can give you nearly half of your daily recommended nutritional intake.

  • Antioxidants

Chia seeds are packed full of antioxidants; they help to protect the fats within the seed from going rancid. Antioxidants work to ward of the production of free radicals within the body. Free radicals can damage cell molecules and contribute it diseases, such as cancer. Antioxidants also have great benefits for your skin. Antioxidants work to speed up the skins natural repair system and prevent future damage. Chia seeds can also help to prevent premature aging of the skin caused by inflammation free radical damage, according to Dr. Axe.  Chia seeds have a higher antioxidant value than any other whole food!

  • Protein

Another great benefit of chia seeds, is the amount of protein that they contain. Chia seeds are compiled of roughly 14 percent protein. High protein consumption can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol. Chia seeds contain 10 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.

  • Fiber

When you first glance at the nutritional facts on a package of chia seeds you may be turned off by the carbohydrates. But wait, if you look closely you will see that of their 48 percent of carbohydrates, 83 percent of those carbs are in fact fiber, according to, Authority Nutrition. Approximately 95 percent of the fibers are insoluble fibers, which have been related to a reduced risk of diabetes. When chia seeds are placed into water or other liquid, they absorb approximately 10 times their weight in liquid and turn into a gel consistency.

  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids

One of the most sought after benefits of chia seeds is the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids that they contain. Nearly 75 percent of the fats in chia seeds are omega-3 fatty acids and around 20 percent omega-6 fatty acids.  Though the omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds aren’t as potent as those found in fish, chia seeds are one of the best plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Blood Sugar

Maintaining low blood pressure is an essential to maintaining your body’s well-being. Lowering your blood sugar can help prevent type 2 diabetes. It also helps to keep you energized longer. Chia seeds help to lower and maintain your blood sugar in a few different ways, such as, the amount of soluble and insoluble fibers. They work to slow down your body’s conversion of starches into sugar.  When consumed with a meal they can allow you to maintain your energy for a longer period of time.

  • Regularity

With the amount of pre-made and processed foods that most people are consuming now days, most of us aren’t getting nearly the amount of fiber that we need. One of the most noticed effects of these poor eating habits is irregularity. In order to maintain regularity, you need a consistent amount of soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet. The outer coating on chia seeds is made up of insoluble fiber, meaning it is unable to be digested. In turn, it works to help keep the digestive process moving smoothly. While the soluble fiber keeps the colon hydrated.

  • Versatility

Sneaking some healthy foods into your diet may be a bit of a challenge, after all there are only so many things you can hide spinach in. Chia seeds are extremely versatile and can be packed into a number of things. Chia seeds, even make a great substitute of butter, oil and eggs in baked goods and breads, even pancakes can be packed full of chia nutrition. Some of the most popular ways people are sneaking chia into their diets are smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, drinks and muffins.

  • Skin Care

The oils in chia seeds are great for keeping your skin hydrated! Chia seed oil reduces trans-epidermal water loss and prevents moisture loss, even in the driest of skin. You can rub chia seed oil directly onto dry areas, you can even add chia seed oil into other products, such as the moisturizer you already use.

  • Muscle

The packed full nutritional value in chia seeds help to boost your body’s metabolism and increases muscle mass. Chia seeds also help to regenerate damaged muscle tissue. The high protein and balanced amino acids work towards maintaining lean muscle mass.

  • High Nutritional Value

Chia seeds don’t just contain higher values of protein, fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also packed full of a number of other vital nutrients, according to, Health With Food.

Beautiful Skin on the Paleo Diet

Beautiful Skin on the Paleo Diet

Eating nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods is a staple of eating like a Cave-Woman or Man, while also avoiding inflammatory, nutrient-void foods (like grains, processed sugars, and unhealthy oils).

Health benefits abound such as weight loss, mental clarity, improved digestion and metabolism, and a feeling of overall wellbeing.

BUT – what about the benefits for skin? Acne, roseasa, eczema, etc. are all avoidable. These conditions are caused by inflammation in the body, and with the right environmental and nutrient-rich lifestyle, these conditions can be lessened and even cleared.

Can Paleo make you look better, too?

The benefits of the Paleo diet for weight loss have been well-documented and touted across many online blogs, but the powerful effects on skin often go unnoticed.

Skin is our largest organ, and it can act as a tool for measuring our body’s health at times. If you’re constantly suffering from rashes, redness, or blemishes, your body may be trying to tell you that everything is not alright inside – it could be inflammation, allergies, or other side effects of an unhealthy diet.

Skincare isn’t just about what you put on your face – it’s about what you put in your mouth! In fact, skincare begins with what you eat. Healthy fats and foods rich in antioxidants should be a staple of any healthy diet.

Omega-3 to Omega-6 Balance

I’m sure you have heard about Omega-3’s and the great benefits of fish oil and foods (such as eggs) that are fortified with Omega-3’s. These healthy fats help protect our cells from oxidation and inflammation.  Omega-3 fats promote health of cell membranes, which acts not only as barriers to harmful things, but also as the passageway for nutrients to enter the cell and flush waste products.  Having a strong healthy barrier controls the cell’s ability to hold water, which leads to skin that is moister, softer and wrinkle-free. Plus, these fatty acids help reduce your body’s production of inflammatory compounds that can cause skin flare-ups.

Elimination of certain foods, which are Paleo No-No‘s, also helps your skin. Vegetable seed oils (think corn, soybean, and canola) and hydrogenated oils add excessive amounts of omega-6 fats to our diet, which disrupts important processes within the body and can manifest as inflammatory skin conditions. Eliminating these types of oils with Paleo can reduce inflammation. As Paleo balances out levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, it decreases the body’s overall inflammatory burden, reducing the inflammatory response that leads to redness and swelling at irritated hair follicles.

Here are some foods that are rich in Omega’s

  1. Fish
    • The best fish for Omega 3’s is wild-caught Alaskan salmon (very pricey, but delicious), and sardines (which is very economically priced). LINK to sardines with olive oil
  2. Avocados
  3. Healthy oils (Olive, Coconut, Grass-Fed Butter)

Many people who have suffered from inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or rosacea have been able to clear them up, or at least manage them, with a well-balanced Paleo diet.

Sugar and Processed Foods

Another key to controlling inflammatory processes that can damage your skin: avoiding foods that spike insulin levels. This means simple carbohydrates (white sugar, white flour, starchy foods) – all avoided on a Paleo diet. Any food that causes insulin to spike can cause inflammation, which can irritate many skin conditions, including the way skin ages. This means fruits as well. Fruits that are high in sugar cause a spike in insulin, which can cause havoc on the body. For decreased fructose intake, limit your consumption of the following fruits:

  • cherries
  • any dried fruit
  • grapes
  • bananas
  • mangos
  • figs
  • tangerines

Collagen is Key for Healthy Skin

Collagen is often over-looked in the search for beautiful skin. Collagen is the main protein in connective tissues, the building blocks for skin elasticity and smoothness.

Luckily, there’s evidence that dietary collagen (from Paleo foods like bone broth, tendons, and skin) helps to reduce wrinkles. Other options for boosting your collagen count include homemade gummies or gelatinous cuts of meat. 

Vitamins & Minerals

The variety of a balanced Paleo diet also provides us with tons of nutrient-rich foods and high levels of the vitamins and minerals that our skin needs to flourish.

A balanced Paleo diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables with high nutrient-density – particularly of Vitamins A, E, and zinc, as people with acne tend to have lower serum levels of these nutrients.

Vitamin A-rich foods (leafy greens, squash, carrots, cantaloupe) help regulate cell turnover, essentially allowing skin cells to perform as optimally as possible.

Anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables are one of the most important aspects of a healthy Paleo diet. One of the most powerful antioxidants, lycopene, can be found in tomatoes, guava, watermelon, and papaya.

Combining those healthy omega-3 fatty acids with foods rich in vitamin E, like nuts, can also protect skin from UV damage, reducing the effect of the sun on aging skin. 

Digestion/Gut Problems

Common skin problems can also be visible through poor gut health and digestion – in fact, the gut-skin axis theory suggests that the health of your gut is directly reflected in the health of your skin.

Leaky gut is a common cause of skin issues rashes, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and poor skin tone. In leaky gut syndrome, the cells of your small intestine lose their integrity and become porous, inducing more inflammation and skin issues. Some of the common offenders in leaky gut include: grains, corn, beans, refined foods, alcohol, sugar, dairy, and poor quality fats and oils.

The good news is this condition can be reversed pretty easily with a paleo diet, which creates healthier intestinal cells. A Paleo diet reduces gut-damaging foods like grain proteins (especially wheat gluten) and excessive alcohol, and promotes gut healing through inclusion of things like bone broth, fermentable fibers, and fermented foods.

For even more gut-healing nutrients, eat foods with good bacteria, such as kimchi and raw sauerkraut. Soluble fiber is also great for improving gut health, and can be found in foods like sweet potatoes and butternut squash.

Top 5 Healthiest Oils That Should be in Your Cupboard

Top 5 Healthiest Oils That Should be in Your Cupboard

When it comes to cooking everyone is always trying to find the healthiest oil to use. Some people even choose to use no oil at all. But in order to stay healthy, you don’t have to eliminate all oils from your diet. Not all oils are bad, and some are even beneficial to your health and diet. Not only do you need to use healthy oils when you are cooking, you also need oils that will retain their nutritional value after being heated during the cooking process. When certain oils are heated to a high heat, they undergo oxidation, which is where they react with oxygen to form free radicals and harmful compounds that you don’t want to consume. According to, the Cleveland Clinic, even though you are switching to a healthier oil, you should still try to consume as little oil as possible.

  • Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is the best oil to use when cooking at a high temperature. More than 90 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are saturated, making them resistant to high heat. Coconut oil has been gaining ground in popularity for its many health benefits and holistic uses. Coconut oil is very rich in a particular fatty acid called Lauric Acid, which is believed to improve cholesterol as well as kill bacteria and pathogens. The fatty acids in coconut oil consist of 92 percent saturated fat, 6 percent monounsaturated fat and 1.6 percent polyunsaturated fat. Coconut oil also slightly boosts metabolism and increases the feeling of fullness in comparison to other fats. When shopping for coconut oil, you should be sure to choose virgin coconut oil as it is organic and has many health benefits.

  • Olive Oil

Olive is extremely popular and is becoming more popular to its health heart benefits. Olive oil is made from pressed olives and has a very simple processing procedure. Olive oil can raise good cholesterol and lower the bad cholesterol in your blood stream. Olive oil is fairly resistant to heat but can still burn at high temperatures. The fatty acid composition of olive oil is 14 percent saturated fat, 75 percent monounsaturated fat, and 11 percent polyunsaturated fat.  When shopping for olive oil you should choose a good quality extra virgin olive oil, it contains more nutrients and antioxidants than refined oils. Olive oil needs to be stored in a cool, dark and dry place to avoid it going rancid. When shopping for olive oil, be sure to avoid the lower quality oils that can be processed with chemicals, rather than through traditional olive pressing. The cheaper varieties may even be diluted with other cheaper or lower quality oils. Light olive oil is refined and extracted with solvents and then treated with heat and sometimes with other oils, like canola and soybean oil.

  • Butter

Butter is among the most feared oil there is. It has long been shamed for its high saturated fat content. The reality is that processed margarine is the one you should stay away from. Real butter actually contains nutritional value and is good for you, in moderation. Real butter contains many vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K2 and Vitamin E. It also contains a great deal of the fatty acids Conjugated Linoleic (CLA) and Butyrate which have powerful health benefits. CLA is believed to lower body fat percentages and butyrate helps fight inflammation and improve gut health. The fatty acids in butter consist of 68 percent saturated fat, 28 percent monounsaturated fat and 4 percent polyunsaturated fat. The downfall to cooking with butter is that it can easily burn when used at high heats due to the sugars and proteins in it. When shopping for butter you should look for butter that is made from grass-fed cows, it contains more vitamins and nutrients in comparison to others.

  • Ghee

Ghee is a form of clarified butter. Ghee is made by simmering butter and removing the liquid residue. Spices can be added to the ghee after it is clarified. The texture, color and flavor all depend on the quality of the butter and milk quality, as well as the duration it is boiled. The difference between clarified butter and ghee is the variations in the production process. Clarified butter is done once all of the water is evaporated and the fat separates from the milk solids. When making ghee you simmer the butter along with milk until it is caramelized, giving it a nuttier flavor.

  • Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a mild flavored oil that can be used for many purposes and in case you were wondering, it doesn’t taste like avocado.  Avocado oil has a very high smoke point which makes it suitable for all cooking methods and temperatures. Research shows that avocado oil has many of the same health benefits of olive oil. It is also a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Research suggests that avocado oil can help increase collagen and decrease inflammation from topical use. It works just as well in salad dressing as olive oil and deep frying like vegetable oil. Avocado oil isn’t as easy to find as some other oils, but it can be found.

12 Healing Remedies of Local and Organic Honey

12 Healing Remedies of Local and Organic Honey

We all know that local and organic honey is as natural as it gets when it comes to sweetener. But what about all of its other uses? Modern times have turned us all towards pharmacy isles for the care of everyday ailments. However, those products haven’t always been available. Our ancestors turned to honey to do more than just sweeten; it was a common natural home remedy for many body issues. Raw honey is unprocessed; it goes directly from the hive to the bottle with no pasteurization. This is a very important part of using honey as a home remedy. Commercial honey is heated, pasteurized and overly processed. Raw honey still contains all of its natural vitamins, enzymes, and other nutrients because they aren’t removed during processing. Raw honey has been used by humans for hundreds of years for healing purposes and is still a common fix to everyday ailments today. Organic honey is similar to raw honey but, it is held to a much higher standard. It is tested for quality and to be sure that it is completely free of toxins. The beekeepers are also held to a high standard and the process, treatment and hives are all monitored to meet organic qualifications.

Honey is an environmentally friendly, cheap, and easily accessible choice for a number of different things, which is what makes it a great choice who trying to eliminate consuming so many processed items. But what about all of the processed and chemical filled products that we use on the exterior of our bodies? That’s where honey can come into play in more ways than you ever imagined.

It is important to keep in mind that children under the age of one should not be given honey in any form. The American Pediatrics Society warns against the possibility of bacterial infection, botulism. Once a child reaches a year old, their digestive systems are then strong enough to kill any botulism germs.

  • Wound Treatment

Many studies have suggested that honey is a great option for treating wounds. It can help to prevent infection and promote proper healing in wounds. Honey may be applied directly to a wound or applied to the dressing or bandages. According to WebMD, Honey can be used to treat wounds such as: Burns, cuts, abrasions, wounds from surgery, abscess, ulcers and more. When using directly you can apply 3 to 6 teaspoons to the wound and then cover with gauze.

  • Makeup Remover

Making a makeup removal balm is quick, easy, and chemical free! The same mixture is also often used as an eyelash balm. The recipe is from the National Honey Board and contains just two simple ingredients; honey and castor oil. Combine 1 teaspoon of honey and 3 teaspoons of castor oil. Cover and list sit for one week, stirring occasionally until, a homogenous consistency is achieved. Use the honey mixture daily to remove makeup and moisturize eyelashes.

  • Sunburn Relief

Using honey as a home remedy for sunburns is as simple as creating a burn balm or cream from with honey, beeswax, coconut oil, and aloe Vera jell. The cream can be applied directly to a sunburn or minor burn for quick relief.

  • Dandruff relief

Honey is a great natural option to moisturize the scalp and fight away pesky dandruff. Honey is a natural humectant that helps hair hold onto moisture. Simply use slightly diluted natural/organic honey, just enough water to make the honey easier to apply, massage into the scalp for 3 minutes. Then, allow to sit on scalp for 3 hours.

  • Acne

Honey is often used in home remedies to treat acne and acne scars. There are many different washes, mask, creams and balms you can make at home with simple natural ingredients and honey. One simple honey treatment is to apply natural/organic honey to your face with a brush and allow it to set for 20 minutes. Rinse face and repeat daily until acne is clear, then spot treat with honey as needed.

  • Scar Treatment

Honey is a great option for natural scar treatment. Honey scar cream can be simply made by combining four teaspoons each honey, lemon juice and an egg white. Apply the cream directly to the scar and allow to sit for 20 minutes, then rinse and dry. Repeat daily until satisfied.

  • Blackhead removal

Ridding your skin of blackheads is as simple as applying a mixture of honey and baking soda. Combine a 2:1 ration of honey and baking soda, massage into the skin in a circular motion and allow to sit for 20 minutes.

  • Eczema

Honey naturally has anti-inflammatory properties; this makes it a great option to treating eczema at home in a natural way. Simply apply raw/organic honey to the area for 20 minutes and then rinse away.

  • Dark Circles

Honeys anti-inflammatory properties can also help to cure many other skin ailments, such as dark circles around the eyes. Simply apply raw/organic honey to the area and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Wash away the honey and repeat twice a week until the darkness begins to fade. 

  • Razor burn and bumps

No one enjoys the feeling of razor burn slowly appearing after you shave. Honey can be used to prevent skin irritation after shaving. Apply raw/organic honey to the shaved area after shaving and allow to set for 10-15 minutes, then rinse away.

  • Promote healthy nails and cuticles

Honey helps to strengthen your nails and soften the nail cuticles. It is a very simple combination of one part natural/raw honey and one-part apple cider vinegar. Apply to nails and cuticles and allow to set for 10 minutes, then rinse away.

  • Arthritis

Honey and cinnamon are among the oldest traditions of home remedies. A combination of honey and cinnamon can be used as a home remedy to treat and ease arthritis by using a combination of the two and creating a paste. Apply it to the affected area and massage into the skin slowly.

The Benefits of Oil Pulling

The Benefits of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is becoming increasingly popular as people search for more and more home remedies, and more natural ways to increase health benefits. It is thought that oil pulling can help to remove toxins from the body as well as improving your overall dental health. According to Wikipedia, it is an old folk remedy that began making an appearance in mainstream home health in the early 90’s. It has since grown and has many committed followers who opt for oil pulling over modern dentistry.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is when you place a small amount of oil in the mouth and then lightly swish is around, being sure to guide it though every tooth. You place approximately a tablespoon of oil in the mouth and swish it around for 15-20 minutes. You swish it until it has changed from a liquid state into more of a thick white consistency. If at the end of oil swishing the oil in your mouth seems the same as it was when you put it in, you either haven’t done it long enough or you moved it around too fast. The oil changing forms is supposed to be a visible sign of it picking up the bacteria within your mouth. When you are done spit out the oil into a tissue or trash as it could clog your drains. Then brush your teeth and repeat each morning. It is suggested that you should complete oil pulling first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This way the bacteria that has formed in your mouth overnight won’t be spread to the rest of your body through the food you are consuming. Also, swishing oil around your mouth might not be the most pleasant feeling at first and an empty stomach might be best in the even you feel ill from the oil. You should always be cautious not to swallow the oil, as then you would ingest all of the toxins you have just worked so hard to remove. If your mouth, gums, or cheeks are sore or achy, try slowing down and swishing much more gently and keep your muscles relaxed. If soreness continues to be a problem, try cutting down on the amount of oil you are using, as you may have your mouth to full.

Types of oil used in oil pulling

Essentially, you can use any type of oil for oil pulling, but the following are among the most popular in use today:

Sesame oil –  Traditionally sesame oil has been used for oil pulling. In studies, sesame oil has been found to be useful at reducing plaque and bacteria, but not as much so as a mouthwash. Though sesame oil may have been what our ancestors used, the majority of people prefer the less harsh taste and expense of other oils.
Coconut oil –  In recent years, the use of coconut oil has skyrocketed. It is believed to be among the healthiest oil and people have begun to substitute its use in every aspect of their lives. Coconut oil can be found in nearly everything, especially when you are looking for healthier and more beneficial options. Many suggest that it is a favorite of oil pullers do to its less harsh flavor. But it is also in a solid state, so some reviewers have also mentioned having to chew it for a few minutes in order for it to dissolve.
Olive oil –  Much like coconut oil, olive oil, has been growing in popularity. It is among the top oils used in the practice of oil pulling. For the most part people believe that it doesn’t matter which oil you choose to use in oil pulling, however some have noted that they had different effects with each oil. Some of the additional effects mention by using coconut oil are: loosing addiction to caffeine and nicotine, hair and nail health improvement, mood changes, weight loss, and sinus health. 

What are the benefits of oil pulling?

Though there is no scientific proof to support any of the theories and suggested health benefits; According to Earth Clinic, People across the world truly believe in and are committed to their daily oil pulling routines. Users are flocking to it in recent years because they believe it to be safe, inexpensive and preferred to mouthwash. It is believed that while you are swishing the oil around your mouth, it is removing many things, such as: Bacteria, Viruses, parasites, and any other toxins that may be present. Thus helping to prevent gingivitis, gum disease, bad breath, cavities’ and other negative oral health effects. Many believe that oil pulling can also effect other aspects of the body’s health besides oral hygiene. By removing toxins from within the mouth you may be reducing the effects of headaches, arthritis, heart disease, infections, eczema, and anxiety. The though is that removing the toxins from within your mouth prevents them from moving to others parts of the body, thus, preventing your immune system from having to fight them off in the rest of the body.

Committed users of the oil pulling method have also said that they feel an overall increase in oral health as well as appearance. Oil swishing is believed to whiten teeth as it is removing toxins and give the feeling of oral freshness. Others believe this is because nothing can stick to your teeth when you cover them in oil every morning.

Is there any health risk to oil pulling?

When it comes to the dangers of oil pulling, scientist don’t feel that there are any. Though, there isn’t any research proving any dental or health benefits of oil pulling; scientist don’t feel that there are any disadvantages to it if you can stand to swish the oil around your mouth for 20 minutes every day. The majority of dentist are not on board will oil pulling and the American Dental Association suggests that you stick with brushing, flossing and using mouthwash daily.

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