Healing

Benefits of Clove Oil

abuyotam / Pixabay

Clove oil is extracted from clove buds, flower buds found on trees in the Myrtaceae family native to Indonesia. Clove is most commonly known in its ground form as an Indian spice.  Clove oil has historically been used for the treatment of many illnesses, the most popular being oral care. But as essential oil’s gain popularity and homeopathic remedies become all the rage, you may find yourself questioning what else clove oil can be used for?

1.)  Stye

A stye is an inflammation on or around the eyelash, you may experience pain, swelling, and irritation to the eyes. A stye is typically quite visible and easy to diagnose. Clove oil can be used to treat the eye and reduce the irritation and pain. Simply apply a small amount of clove oil directly to the stye, avoid getting the clove oil in your eye as it may cause irritation.

2.)  Ear Ache

Living with an earache can be difficult and painful; clove oil is believed to relieve both the pain and fight off infection. It is suggested that by placing a drop of clove oil in the ear canal, you can have near instant relief from an earache.

3.)  Insect Repellent

Clove oil has become a popular ingredient in insect repellent, especially insect repellant made completely of essential oils. Clove oil can be combined with other essential oils or diluted to use by itself. Do not apply clove oil directly to the skin, rather use a diluting oil or rubbing alcohol at a 1:10 ration of clove to a diluting agent. You can then place your homemade repellant in a spray bottle or roller ball for convenient use.

4.)  Dental Health

Due to the germicidal content in this type of oil, it is most commonly known for its uses to relieve dental pain. Clove is believed to be an effective way to relieve toothaches, cavities, sore gums, and bad breath. According to, Organic Facts, caution should be used when using clove oil to treat oral problems. Too much clove oil or no diluting it properly may lead to burns inside of the mouth.

5.)  Candida

Candida is the most common cause of fungal infection, such as athlete’s foot. Many varieties of candida fungal infections are harmless, but if the immune system is compromised, candida can cause dangerous disease. Candida is most common in the intestines and throat, which are well treated with this oil. Clove oil cannot eliminate candida overgrowth, however, it can be used in mild to moderate cases to manage the growth of candida, according to enatural healing.

Paleo and Diabetes: How Eating Paleo Can Lower Your Blood Sugar and Alleviate Symptoms 

The curiosity surrounding the paleo diet has been luring many people into making a lifestyle switch, but it still leaves many people questioning whether or not going paleo is the right choice for them and how beneficial it can be. For people who are living with diabetes, making sudden dietary changes can be risky. The benefits of a paleo diet can also be beneficial to those with diabetes but for some, not having the right balance when switching to a new diet can also be dangerous.

In a study published by, Bio Med Central marked improvements in glycemic control and several cardiovascular risk factors were shown in patients with type 2 diabetes who were advised to follow a paleo diet, in comparison to other diabetic diet plans. The study consisted of 13 patients with type 2 diabetes, that were instructed to eat a paleo diet based on lean meats, fruits, vegetables, root vegetables, eggs, and nuts; as well as diabetic aimed diet designed in accordance with recommended dietary guidelines. The study was monitored for 2 consecutive 3-month periods, along with, a four-day weighed food record. The participants of the study recorded their subjective rating of satiety. The satiety quotients were calculated as the intra-meal quotient of change in satiety during a meal and the amount of consumed energy or weight of food and drink consumed for that specific meal. All of the participants in the study answered the same group of questions in a survey following each diet.

The results concluded that participants were equally satiated on both diets. The paleo diet resulted in a greater feeling of fullness from energy per meal, energy density per meal, and glycemic load per meal. The conclusion was that the paleo diet resulted to be more satiating per calorie in comparison to a specific diabetic diet in patients with type 2 diabetes. The paleo diet was found to be instrumental in weight loss, though the test subjects did find that it was hard to adhere to.

It has always been believed that sticking to a well-balanced diet and weight loss can be a favorable treatment for type 2 diabetes. This being said, the paleo diet may not be an effective treatment plan for everyone with type-2 diabetes and it may not eliminate or alleviate symptoms for everyone. If you are considering switching to a paleo lifestyle to manage your type 2 diabetes, you should consult your physician and consider meeting with a nutritionist for the best results.

Thyroid Issues and Gluten: Why Gluten Accelerates Thyroid Conditions

Thyroid Issues photo
Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

If you had asked most people what gluten was 10 years ago, there is a good chance you wouldn’t have even known what it was; I didn’t. But, in recent years, gluten has gone from being an unknown to a pesky culprit that a lot of people are trying to eliminate from their lives. So what exactly is gluten and why is it so often associated with thyroid conditions?

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a form of protein that is found in wheat and other grains, such as, grains and barley. Gluten is responsible for the elasticity of dough, as well as, its ability to rise and delectable chewy texture. That being said, many studies have cited the negative effects that gluten has on the body. Many people are sensitive to gluten. One of the most popular reasons that people switch to a gluten-free diet is related to thyroid disease.

The Relationship Between Gluten and the Thyroid

Gluten contains a protein called gliadin, which is foreign to the human body. The foreign substance can lead to an immune response, which is often amplified for people with celiac disease. It’s not just people with celiac disease that experience negative effects from gluten. When consumed, the human body reacts to gluten like an enzyme needed to form chemical bonds within the human body. These enzymes are very much present throughout many organs, however, the thyroid possesses a higher concentration of this particular enzyme. When our body’s immune system begins to attack gliadin, it also causes an attack on the thyroid. As the immune response continues, the thyroid begins to suffer damage that can last for as long as 6 months after gluten consumption.

Over time, the overall health of your thyroid begins to degrade. Once your thyroid has begun to be affected, it can interfere with proper hormone synthesis, metabolism, weight, and energy. It has been determined that those with an autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD) should be regularly screened for celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

In such reactions, a chemical imbalance can affect the entire body. Because, organs such as the thyroid, have no control over hormone production. An imbalance in these hormones can cause issues with metabolism, fertility, mood, and even cardiovascular health. In these common circumstances, gluten can be the cause of many everyday ailments. For those who have an autoimmune disorder or sensitivity to gluten, should do their best to avoid gluten entirely. Avoiding gluten altogether is the best way to keep your thyroid functioning properly in these situations.

Build Your Immune System with Conjugated Linoleic Acids

Immune System photo
Photo by Lori Greig

Conjugated linoleic acids are a group of chemicals found in a fatty acid, known as, linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is the most common of all omega-6 fatty acids and is most commonly found in vegetable oils. According to, Authority Nutrition, there are 28 different forms of conjugated linoleic acids. Conjugated linoleic acids are commonly found in beef and dairy, especially from grass fed cows. Though these types of fats are typically considered to be un-healthy, in the case of conjugated linoleic acids they are beneficial to your health. Conjugated linoleic acid is an essential polyunsaturated fat that you can only obtain from your diet.

The many benefits associated with conjugated linoleic acids, include:

  • Aiding weight loss
  • Cancer prevention
  • Healthy digestion
  • Growth and developmental health
  • Bone strength
  • Muscle building
  • Reducing food related allergies

It has been suggested that microbes in the gastrointestinal tract can convert linoleic acid into different forms of conjugated linoleic acids through a bio hydrogenation process. The process causes changes to the position and configuration of the fat’s double bonds; this results in in a single bond between the double bonds.  It has been shown that conjugated linoleic acid has immune-enhancing effects. The conjugated linoleic acid that is found in saturated fats may be able to offset the adverse effects of the saturated fat content and have positive effects on many different areas, including, blood sugar regulation to hormone regulation. It has been proven that the quality of fatty acids you consume is extremely important in order to reduce the risk of cancer; conjugated linoleic acid have been shown to be healthy in many ways. They have also been shown to reduce inflammation, which leads to less free radicals in the body that is likely linked to lower cancer risk.

The overall health benefits of conjugated linoleic acids have been studied on multiple occasions and while more studies are still needed to confirm the absolute effects of its consumption; in the meantime, it is believed that Conjugated linoleic acids can have significant health benefits, despite that they come from fatty food sources. The overall effects of conjugated linoleic acids have direct results on the body’s immune system and its ability to ward of free radicals and illnesses. The top sources of conjugated linoleic acids are grass fed beef, full fat dairy products, and butter. The secret is to purchase high quality grass fed beef and dairy and to remember to consume them in moderation.

Spotlight on Herbs: Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera photo

Called the “plant of immortality” by the Ancient Egyptians, aloe vera has been used medicinally for centuries to heal the body, rejuvenate the spirit, and—according to the Egyptians, at least—add years to one’s life. Now, science is beginning to prove what ancient cultures have known all along—that aloe vera promotes health and beauty!

The Aloe Vera Plant

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in hot, dry climates. Its thick, fleshy leaves are made of a clear, odorless tissue with over 75 nutrients (including 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants). The gel from the leaves is what we usually associate with aloe vera products. Because of all the useful ways this plant can come to the rescue, many people enjoy growing aloe in their homes—it’s one of the easiest plants to maintain.

The Many Uses of Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel can be used externally and internally to treat a number of health and cosmetic issues. One of its most popular uses over time has been its powerful effect on healing burns; one study showed that applying the gel to burns could reduce healing time by about nine days compared to conventional treatments. Using aloe on sunburns in particular is quite popular.

However, did you know that aloe can be used for other skin issues, not just burns? Topical use of the gel may help with conditions like acne and psoriasis by soothing, moisturizing, and improving the appearance of dry, irritated skin.

Aloe vera is also completely safe for dental health, odd as it may seem. The gel fights the bacteria that cause cavities just as effectively as commercial toothpaste, and in fact, it may be a more tooth-friendly option for those with sensitive teeth.

Aloe vera is also available as a juice (though a variety of juices that are just full of sugar masquerade as “aloe juice”) and also as a supplement. Studies show that both uses of the plant relieve constipation, improve blood sugar levels in diabetics, and lower cholesterol levels. However, consuming aloe vera can cause severe cramping and diarrhea in some people, so it’s probably best not to use the gel this way unless you are being guided by a health practitioner.

Harvesting and Using the Gel

To harvest aloe vera gel directly from the plant:

  1. Choose a thick, unblemished leaf and use a sharp, clean knife or scissors to cut the leaf as close to its base as possible.
  2. Wash off the leaf, lay it flat, and then cut off its serrated edges.
  3. “Filet” the leaf down the middle into two equally thick halves.
  4. Use a butter knife to collect the clear gel from the leaf. Try to avoid collecting the lower layers of white gel and yellow liquid closest to the skin.

The gel can be used immediately, or you can store it in the refrigerator for later use. If you are looking to purchase aloe vera gel, check the packaging to make sure that the contents were prepared with very low heat. Cold pressing is another method that ensures that the gel remains packed with its nutrients and does not deteriorate over time.
Have fun and experiment with this versatile gel. Consider combining it with other healing and anti-inflammatory ingredients like honey, oats, tea tree oil, and coconut oil to make masks, serums, and scrubs. Your skin will thank you!

Issue No. 52

Could Your Nap Be Causing Health Problems?  

Nap photo

The words “to much sleep” or “dangerous nap” isn’t really something you would ever expect to say. Let’s be honest, the majority of people don’t get anywhere near enough sleep and naps, well, that’s a fairy tale in most people’s day to day lives. But in a new study set to be presented at the American College of Cardiology 65th Annual Scientific Session, naps and their length are taken into observation regarding overall human health. The analysis included data from 21 different observational studies that involving over 300,000 subjects, in an attempt to tie naps and daytime sleepiness to a greater prevalence of type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

The test subjects were all asked a series of questions in order to report their daytime sleepiness.  The answers to the series of questions were used to evaluate the participant’s history of metabolic syndrome. Obesity, and type-2 diabetes. The results of the study showed a connection between the amount of time spent napping and metabolic syndrome risk. It was shown that people who spent less than 40-minutes napping at a time, did not show any increased risk of metabolic syndrome. However, those who napped for 40-minutes or longer saw an increased risk of their chances of metabolic syndrome. Napping for 90-minutes showed an increased risk by as much as 50 percent, being overly tired during the day showed a similar 50 percent increase in risk.

Despite the close relationship between obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes; the study did not show an increased risk of obesity. All of the studies evidence showed a slight decrease in the risk factors of subjects who napped for less than 30-minutes a day. The National Sleep Foundation advocates that people’s naps should be between 20 and 30 minutes a day in order to improve alertness without remaining groggy afterward. However, the research all showed that more studies still need to be conducted in order to fully understand the connection between taking long naps and metabolic syndrome.

It is believed that future research may help physicians track patience nap habits in order to predict their other health problems, such as those related to metabolic syndrome. Though the data from the study was derived from more than 300,000 participants, it may not necessarily be a good representation of the world population as a whole.  All of the information regarding the study and physicians can be found through. The American College of Cardiology.

The 7 essential steps to start Paleo 

Paleo  photo
Photo by beau.raines

So, you have decided you want to try your hand at the paleo lifestyle, but you don’t know where to start? Well, it isn’t nearly as complicated as it may seem; contrary to popular belief, going paleo doesn’t mean that you have to be a miserable hermit who only eats meat and plant-based foods. Truthfully, with the proper amount of research, some creative recipes, and a little trial and error in the kitchen, you don’t really have to give up your favorite foods; you just need to re-invent them a little. Take a look at these 7 essential steps to switching to a paleo lifestyle.

1  Throw Out Unhealthy Food 

The first step you need to take to start your paleo lifestyle is cleaning out your pantry! There is no need to keep temptation lingering around the house, office, car, etc. Grab a trash bag and a box of the things you can donate to the local food pantry. The majority of things in your pantry may be pretty easily spotted as non-paleo. But, for the rest, you need to read labels! I cannot express this enough. Reading labels will become your best friend and before long, you will have a great idea of what things you can and cannot have a simple glance.

Remember to keep in mind the simple paleo rules:

  • Avoid grains, such as flour, bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, bagels, muffins, tortillas, chips, rice, quinoa, rye, oats, and buckwheat.
  • Avoid dairy including milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, and whey protein powders.
  • Avoid beans and legumes, meaning no soy in any form. This includes black beans, lentils, pinto beans, red beans, peanuts white beans, and garbanzo beans.
  • Avoid most oils, especially those labeled vegetable oil. Instead, use coconut oil or organic olive oil.
  • Avoid refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. This includes white sugar, corn syrup, malt syrup, Splenda, equal, and pretty much any other sweetener that is not 100% natural.

This list pretty much means you will be throwing out the majority of items in your pantry. If it is pre-packaged or pre-made, it is most likely not on the recommended eating list for a paleo lifestyle. Just be sure to check all of the labels just in case, many of the foods you have been eating as a healthy snack or healthy alternative, may not be so healthy once you glance at the label.

 2  Buy High-Quality Ingredients 

You wouldn’t believe how important it is to buy high-quality ingredients. This doesn’t just mean splurging on the “good olive oil” on occasion. Just like checking your labels to clean out your pantry, you will need to get in a good habit of checking labels on everything you buy. Eventually, this will get easier and you will have a routine of what you should and shouldn’t be buying. Shopping for high-quality ingredients isn’t about which item has the highest price tag or is imported. High quality in the paleo world means shopping for ingredients that are natural, have gone through minimal processing, organic, local, and raw.

  • Source out as many local ingredients as you can, such as high quality meats and seafood, organic produce, organic honey, etc.
  • Take a look at the health food department of your local grocery store and seek out natural organic ingredients.
  • Shop online for the items you can’t find locally; just be sure to use a trusted source of reliable high-quality ingredients.

 3  Plan Meals  

Once you switch to a paleo lifestyle, a quick trip into town for take-out isn’t really going to fit the bill anymore. The truth is, you will be spending a lot of time eating at home. The best way to beat the weeknight rush is to plant ahead. This goes for breakfast, lunch, and snacks too. Convenience food is not your friend! There is nothing about rushing into a convenience store, vending machine, or drive through that will meet your paleo lifestyle needs. Planning ahead will save you from a huge mid-week headache.

Start out by cooking what you know. Eating paleo is as much about eating healthy as it is to getting back to simplicity. The simplest meal can be so very satisfying when it is made with fresh, well-sourced, and quality ingredients. Meal planning is a relatively common practice with so many people living hectic lives. Start with a chart, calendar, list, or whatever works best for you. Then get to sourcing out ideas! Blogs, Pinterest, and recipe books can all give you some great ideas and recipes to make paleo cooking your own.

No matter how you choose to plan out your paleo meals, it won’t take long for you to get the hang of it and it will come as natural as picking up that take out menu.

4  Have Snacks Ready 

While it isn’t a requirement of your paleo diet to snack, most of us start searching for a snack at some point or another during the day or late evening. Obviously, most of the go-to snacks we have all come accustomed to grabbing from the pantry are off limits. But, that doesn’t mean you have to give up your daily snack altogether; you just need to switch it out for a healthier, paleo option. Try some of these simple switches:

  • If you normally go for a sweet snack, try going with a naturally sweet fruit. While fruits are still high in sugar, they are natural sugars that are good in moderation. Eating a hand full of fruit is the simplest switch, but possibly boring to some. With a little effort, there are other options, such as homemade fruit leather, pure dark chocolate, homemade fruit popsicles, etc.
  • For a savory snack substitute, some popular options are nuts, baked zucchini chips, homemade trail mix, hardboiled egg, homemade beef jerky, etc.
  • Some other simple options are the old faithful ones like baby carrots, cucumber slices, grape tomatoes, and other fresh produce picks.

You should also be prepared to pack snacks. When you pack your lunch for work, throw in a small snack, just in case. You never know when hunger will hit, especially early on when you are adjusting to the paleo lifestyle. The last thing you want is the 4 o’clock temptations of the snack machine at work.

5  Go for simple  

Making an entire lifestyle change most likely sounds like anything but easy. But keeping things simple will make the process go so much smoother. Overthinking is not your friend; do the research that you need to, come up with a plan, and do your best to stick to it. Switching the things that you love out for paleo versions is just as much a part of keeping things simple as anything else. Start out by making the simplest changes that you can, without overwhelming yourself.

To begin with, you may find it easier to gradually introduce paleo into your life. For instance, cook a few paleo dinners a week instead of making the huge switch all at once. Gradually change out more and more meals until you are comfortable enough to clean out your pantry and switch over every meal to paleo. Keep things simple and ease yourself into your new paleo lifestyle.

When switching to a completely new lifestyle, stress and anxiety can be key factors in the make it or break it factor. Don’t push yourself too hard and remember that taking your time will best suit your dietary needs in the long run. Keeping things simple also applies to new recipes. Fresh high-quality ingredients can do the work for you with simple and easy applications that are sure to prove that simple can be amazing.

 6  Make meals in batches (leftovers are your best friend)  

Any kind of cooking for only one or two people is, well, daunting. But it can also be a huge advantage. Think of it this way; the more you cook on Monday night, the more leftovers you have to eat during the week. You may be thinking, yuck! The same meal all week long, but different variations on one simple dish can make life easier in the long run. Plus, lunches and snacks can all be easily accommodated with leftovers.

There are several options when it comes to cooking meals in batches, whether you are looking to feed a house full or make meals last longer, all of these options can easily be adjusted to suit your needs.

  • A slow cooker can be your best friend! Slow cooker meals are an easy fix and with the proper ingredients, can make your week easier. Meat is the easiest thing to cook to last. For example, cook a large cut of meat with simple seasonings that can be used for many different things.
  • Grilling is another great option! If you are already planning to fire up the grill on the weekend, then what is the harm in throwing on a few extra cuts of meat that you can heat up or use in salads during the week.
  • Meat isn’t the only make-ahead option; vegetables can last just as well. Try cooking your favorite side dish in bulk and using it in as many ways as you can for a few days. You can also prep uncooked veggies in advance to make weeknight cooking easy. Even salads can be prepped and stored in individual containers for easy grab and go access.
  • Another extremely popular option is to pre-assemble meals and freezes them. Some people spend their entire Sunday prepping and cooking in bulk to last an entire week.

7 Do It With A Friend or Family Member 

Doing things in pairs can help ease the stress and anxiety of going it alone and making such a huge life transition. If you are attempting to make a lifestyle change with a house full of not so eager participants, buddying up with someone can help. Even if you can’t find anyone in your house to convince of your lifestyle endeavor, you can always go with someone outside of your household or convince a friend to go it with you. It isn’t just about having someone to say is going paleo with you, it is about having a support system. Lean on one another when things are feeling a little tough or buddy up to create the perfect paleo meal plan to ease the transition.

If you have tried without much luck to find a paleo lifestyle partner, you could also seek out a paleo support group. You won’t have as much of the one on one experience that you could have with a family member or friend; but it would give you the companionship that you could use to get you through the tough times, you know when the sugary snacks are calling your name. Regardless of whether you need someone to swap recipes with, meal plan with, or just have a paleo centered conversation; having a partner will ease the pressure and anxiety, thus making it a much smoother transition into your new paleo lifestyle.

Vitamin D3 Could Be Beneficial to Asthma Sufferers

Vitamin D3 has been touted to help with about every ailment from depression to cancer, but now research is catching up to what we already know.

Adding vitamin D supplements with standard asthma medication may lead to fewer asthma attacks for people with mild to moderate asthma, stated the new Cochrane review.

Researchers do caution that “relatively few trials, none of which has individually reported a statistically significant effect of vitamin D on risk of exacerbation requiring treatment with systemic corticosteroids as a prespecified outcome.” The review looked at 9 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials with 435 children and 658 adults with mild to moderate asthma.

 

Oral Vitamin D₃ Supplements and Asthma

Oral vitamin D₃ supplementation was administered for 4-12 months at 500-1200 IU/day (this is a really small amount to make a statistical change in blood work). Supplementation reduced the rate of severe asthma attacks from 0.44 to 0.22 per person. Supplementation also decreased the risk for hospitalization or emergency room visit from 6% reducing to 3% per 100 patients.

 

“What we don’t know is whether the benefits of vitamin D were restricted just to patients who were vitamin D–deficient or whether they were experienced by everybody, irrespective of their baseline status,” Dr Martineau explained.

Researchers continue to study the data about vitamin D3 supplementation and asthma with subgroup analyses and further testing.

According to Medscape:

“It is estimated that about 1 billion people around the world have vitamin D levels below 75 nmol/L, which is generally considered insufficient; levels below 50 nmol/L are considered deficient.

 In a large proportion of study participants, levels of vitamin D were deficient or insufficient. Mean/median baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations ranged from 48 to 89 nmol/L. In a small minority of participants, levels were below 25 nmol/L, which is considered to be profoundly deficient.

“In the context of other vitamin D studies done by us and others, the benefits of supplementation tend to be stronger in those with lower levels,” said Dr Martineau. “Our hypothesis is that we will see more marked effects in people with lower levels.”

Vitamin D has an anti-inflammatory effect on the lungs and induces innate antimicrobial mechanisms, he explained.”

“I think the association is there. At this point, it would be perfectly legitimate for general practitioners, pediatricians, and even pulmonologists who are following people with asthma to put them all on 500 to 1000 units of vitamin D a day,” Fernando Martinez, MD, director of the Arizona Respiratory Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson said.

“For adults who have persistent exacerbations, measuring vitamin D levels would also be justified, and if they have low levels, you could give them even more,” said Dr Martinez.

Resources:

 

European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress 2016: Abstract PA4112. Presented September 6, 2016.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/868575?nlid=109199_2863

Photo by AJC1

Photo by michaeln3

Benefits of Zucchini

zucchini photo
Photo by Wildcat Dunny

 

 

Zucchini is versatile summer squash that is delicious and easy to use. Zucchini’s flavor lends itself to both being the star of a dish or being easily concealed as a nutritious filler. Zucchini can be eaten both cooked and raw and is extremely versatile in preparation methods. It is grown in abundance during the summer months and quite easy to come by. Its affordability and ease of preparation make it an ideal choice for a healthy and hearty vegetable. Zucchini contains only 36 calories per 1 cup and 10 grams of the recommended daily value of dietary fiber. Zucchini is also a great source of vitamin c, vitamin A, manganese, and potassium. Zucchini has proven to be both delicious and beneficial to your overall health.

 

 

1  Lower Cholesterol 

Zucchini is rich in dietary fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol. Dietary fiber attaches itself to bile acids created by the liver from cholesterol that is used to digest fat. When the dietary fiber attaches to the bile, it affects the liver’s ability to quickly digest fat causing it to create more bile acid. The liver then uses up more cholesterol to produce the excess bile acid, lowering the overall cholesterol levels.

2  Lower Blood Pressure

The amount of magnesium and potassium found in zucchini promotes lower blood pressure and alleviate stress on the circulatory system. Consuming zucchini on a regular basis can prove to be a great benefit for those suffering from hypertension.

3  Skin Hydration

Zucchini has a high water content that is beneficial to hydrating your skin and flushing out toxins.

zucchini photo
Photo by briannaorg

Zucchini can help restore moisture to your skin and return it to a healthy glowing state. It is beneficial to your skin both when consumed and when used as a topical ingredient in scrubs and washes.

4  Eye Health

As a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc, and manganese; all of which are crucial to maintaining healthy eyes. The veggie may also be used as an external application to remove puffy bags around the eyes caused by water retention.

5  Prevents Gout

Yes, it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory carotenoids, which makes it great to counter the effects of gout. Antioxidants work to reduce joint inflammation. Gout can affect both the knees and the feet and often leads to extreme difficulty walking and standing. This veggie works against the uric acid in your joints, helping to remove the pain and inflammation.

Photo by csouza_79

10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

 

When you think of cinnamon, the first thing that comes to mind may be fall and all of the delightful, cinnamon filled treats. But, cinnamon has long been used around the world for its health benefits. Cinnamon has many benefits beyond being a loved spice and flavorful additive to both sweet and savory dishes.

1 Antioxidants

The majority of cinnamons health benefits can be attributed to the fact that it is rich in antioxidants. As a matter of fact, one teaspoon of cinnamon has just as many antioxidants as a full cup of pomegranate juice does. According to, Cinnamon Vogue, cinnamon is one of the top 7 antioxidants in the world.

2 Healing Properties

According to the, NCBI, Cinnamon has healing properties and can successfully be used to treat open wounds. The study showed significant improvement of pain, swelling, and redness in comparison to those not treated with cinnamon. 

3 Weight Loss

Cinnamon can help you lose weight by creating a chemical reaction when it is consumed. Your body reacts to the heat from the cinnamon and works to chemically digest it. This in turn speeds up your metabolism.

4 Sore Throat

It is believed that if you take cinnamon as soon as the symptoms of a sore throat and cough begin, the bacteria fighting agents in cinnamon will stop it in its tracks.

5 Food Preservative

Cinnamon may also be used to ward off bacteria and keep food fresh longer, even without refrigeration. According to, Cinnamon Extract, studies have shown that breads packed with cinnamon oil in the packaging combated 96% of mold growth compared to the bread packaged without it. It is believed that cinnamons antibacterial benefits are responsible for this outcome.

6 Massage Therapy

Cinnamon is extremely popular in massage oils for its natural heating effect. When combined with another oil, applying cinnamon oil directly to the skin is not recommended, it can be extremely useful for relieving muscle and joint pain.

7 Menstrual cramps

It is believed that the antioxidants and antimicrobial benefits of cinnamon can be used to relieve painful menstrual cramps. It is also able to fight microorganisms with its anti-inflammatory properties. More research is still needed to prove these effects one menstruation.

8 Cancer

Studies on animals have shown cinnamon to be beneficial in protecting against cancer. While far more research and clinical trials are still needed, cinnamon could give us a link to fighting of cancer in the future. It is believed that the cinnamon can reduce the growth of cancer cells and prevent blood vessels from forming in tumors.

9 Ant Repellant

Ants absolutely detest cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon at any entry point for ants in your home or areas where you have had a frequent ant problem. Sprinkling cinnamon directly on an ant bed will also cause them to move elsewhere. 

10 Cognitive Awareness

It is believed that just the smell of cinnamon is enough to keep your brain alert. Cinnamon oil is becoming extremely popular in perfumes and essential oil mixes. Cinnamon oil is mixed with a base oil and occasionally some others and then applied to the temples, forehead, neck, and even in oil burners to increase alertness and overall cognitive response.

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 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 superfood. They are packed full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Beets contain Betalain, which gives 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.

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.

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.

1 2