Natural Health

Quick Tip – Label Reading

How carefully do you read labels? Hopefully pretty carefully. If not, it’s time to start!

Some ingredients that are 100% on the NOT GOOD FOR YOU AT ALL list include artificial preservatives (like BHT & BHA), artificial colors (FD&C Red No. 40 or anything that looks similar to that) and artificial sweeteners (like acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin, sucralose). These are all considered foreign invaders by the body and the liver in particular gets taxed the most when any of these artificial ingredients are consumed. Since the liver is typically busy doing normal detoxification of your system, which includes processing hormones and fat and more, you really don’t want to be giving this key organ any distracting and unnecessary work.

If you don’t already avoid these artificial offenders then getting them out of your diet is a fast and extremely beneficial change you can make today!

 

Parsley & Breast Health

You’ve probably heard that parsley is a great breath freshener (if not, now you know!), but recent research at the University of Missouri has shown that apigenin, a compound found in parsley, could prevent and slow the growth of breast tumors. Apigenin is most prevalent in parsley and celery, but it’s also found apples and oranges. So now there’s another good reason not to leave that green garnish lying lonely on your plate!

Juicing for Your Health

My dad first introduced me to juicing when I was very little (5ish) and I’ll never forget the smell or the taste of one of his mixtures –  it definitely included beets and garlic.. and I drank it right down. Oh yes, a glimpse into my vegetable-loving, all natural roots right there! :)

Experience and research really make me believe that one of the best things you can do for your health = JUICING!  Freshly made vegetable and fruit juices are packed with nutrients and enzymes that can easily and quickly be absorbed by your body. Anytime I’m feeling run down, one of the first things I’ll do is make a concoction of fresh fruits, vegetables and/or herbs. It  always makes me feel better! Juicing can also really help people dealing with serious and chronic health issues. There is pretty much a mixture out there for every health concern.

When it comes to juicing, it’s definitely best to use organic produce as much as possible. If you really can’t afford to go organic on items like apples and carrots then remove the skins prior to juicing.   Of course, vegetables juices are lower in sugar and lower in calories so it’s great to go heavier on the veggies and lighter on the fruit.  

Here are a few mixes to try, but the combinations are truly endless so great creative!

*All of the following recipes serve 1.

For Healthy Nails (this blend is especially high in silicon & potassium)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium parnsip
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 small bunch watercress
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint (optional)

How to:

  1. Juice all ingredients
  2. Top with fresh mint
  3. Enjoy!

Healing Skin Tonic (high in vitamin A, vitamin C, selenium & zinc)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 1 large slice pineapple
  • 1 kiwi
  • 2 oz raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 oz frozen cranberries
  • lime wedge

How to:

  1. Juice all ingredients
  2. Garnish with lime wedge
  3. Enjoy!

Skin Healer #2 (my absolute favorite)

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic carrot
  • 1 apple
  • 2 stalks celery
  • handful fresh parsley
  • fresh ginger (anywhere from centimeter to an inch, depending on how spicy you like it. Personally, I make it VERY spicy)

How to:

  1. Juice all ingredients
  2. Enjoy!

Green Energy Mix

Ingredients:

  • 1 -2  crowns (depending on size) of broccoli
  • 5 large leaves of kale
  • 2 celery stalks
  • handful fresh parsley
  • lemon and/or ginger (optional – for a kick)
  • apple and/or carrot (optional – for a little sweetness if you can’t fathom doing only greens)

How to:

  1. Juice all ingredients
  2. Enjoy!

The pics below are from making a carrot, celery and parsley juice… quite tasty!


Quick Natural Fact: Ginger

Ginger helps relieve:

  • motion sickness
  • migraines
  • high cholesterol
  • arthritis
  • high blood pressure
  • lethal blood clots

Two easy ways to incorporate it into your diet – start  including freshly grated ginger in stir-fries and drinking ginger tea regularly.

Forks Over Knives

Scheduled for release in early spring, Forks Over Knives traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, as they examine the profound claim that most, if not all, degenerative diseases can be controlled, or even reversed, by changing our diets (mainly by taking away animal-based and processed foods from our daily menus). The studies portrayed in the film are such a testament to the power of food and how crucial it is for everyone to examine their diet first and foremost when it comes to disease of any kind. We truly are what we eat!

This makes me think of one of my all time favorite quotes: “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” {Hippocrates}

Beginning this September, there will be advance screenings in many locations, but the official release is now set for Friday, March 11, 2011.In the meantime, you can support the film by joining their Facebook fan page.

Reminder: Take a Deep Breath

For so many of us, the daily stresses of life can lead us to take shorter, shallower breaths. Ironically yet not surprisingly, this kind of breathing only compounds stress in the body, by depriving the cells of oxygen and by not fully exhaling toxins from the lungs.  As few as three deep focused breaths can be extremely calming to your entire body and your mind. So next time you get stressed out, check your breathing – you’ll almost always find it’s shallow and that is the time to stop and take a deep breath.  Please don’t put it off  and remember “Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” {Montaigne}

{via we heart it}

10 Fat-Burning Carbs

This week a reader requested some dietary recommendations for healthy weight loss and a day later I came across this list on Health.com:  10 Fat-Burning Carbs. Perfect timing!

The list includes:

Bananas

Brown Rice

Oatmeal

White beans

Lentils

Potatoes

Plantains

Garbanzo beans

Pearl barley

Whole-wheat pasta



Vitamin/Hormone D, the Sun & Your Health

I was about to put together a post about smart sun exposure and the importance of Vitamin D, but GOOP (Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog) beat me to it and it’s by far, one of the best, most informative articles I have seen on the topic.

Favorite/Key Take Aways from “Vitamin D Defiency” by Dr. Frank Lipman:

  • Although called a vitamin, it is not. Vitamin D is in a class by itself, behaving more like a hormone
  • Studies show that as many as three out of four Americans suffer from Vitamin D deficiency
  • Bodies use sunlight to help the skin produce the Vitamin D it needs to build bones, quell inflammation, bolster the immune system and protect against cancer (including skin cancer)
  • Boost your “internal sunscreen” by consuming anti-oxidants and beneficial fats
  • Although irresponsible sunbathing is unquestionably harmful and precautions need to be taken, regular, moderate, unprotected sun exposure is essential for good health
  • Western medicine has made a practice of telling us to abstain from things that are bad for us in extreme quantities, when in fact those same things⎯fat, salt, and sunshine for example⎯are very good for us when consumed wisely and in moderation

Stay tuned for a post on natural/mineral sunscreen recommendations!