Be healthy with the latest information and tips on diet, nutrition, and natural medicine!

Iodine Deficiency During Pregnancy Impacts Children’s Brain Development

Iodine Deficiency During Pregnancy Impacts Children’s Brain Development You probably know that pregnant women are encouraged to take additional vitamins and minerals for the sake of their baby’s development. Folic acid, calcium, and iron have long been considered the holy trinity of prenatal wellness. But here’s one you may not be so familiar with: iodine. Iodine is Necessary for Good Health Though its health benefits have long been known, new research is now indicating that iodine deficiency in pregnant women can have significant negative effects on unborn children’s brain development. [1] [2] Iodine is an important mineral necessary for making thyroid hormones [3] — the hormones that regulate growth and development. According to the National Institutes of Health, thyroid hormones, and thus iodine, are also necessary for adequate bone and brain development from pregnancy through infancy. [4] New Findings Suggest Many Pregnant Women Are Deficient According to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), approximately one third of pregnant women are at least mildly deficient in iodine. [5] This deficiency can be dangerous to the unborn baby and could negatively affect the child’s metabolism, leading to impairments in his or her motor skill and cognitive functions and, sometimes, irreversible mental damage. According to the journal Nutrients, “Iodine deficiency can be defined as the world’s greatest single cause of preventable brain damage.” [6] The Rise of Supplements Inspired by the findings of this study, news sources that have historically discouraged supplement use, such as Reuters and AAP’s own Pediatrics journal, are now encouraging pregnant and nursing women to take iodine supplements. [7] They suggest that pregnant and nursing women ingest at least 290 micrograms of iodine each day. Pediatricians maintain that women should only use supplements in addition to, not as replacements for, an iodine-rich diet. AAP still recommends that pregnant and nursing women ingest iodine naturally as much as possible. However, the primary sources of dietary iodine — dairy, seafood, and iodized salt — may not be appropriate for everyone, including vegans and those who wish to avoid hormone additives, toxic metals, and other chemicals found in those food sources; making supplemental iodine even more important. By simply adding nascent iodine, the best form of supplemental iodine, to their prenatal care routines, pregnant women will have one less nutritional need to worry about. Be aware that, like everything, there is an upper limit to how much iodine you should consume and no point in consuming more than your body needs. [8] If you’re looking for a supplement to boost your iodine levels, check out DETOXADINE at the AlrightStore. References (8) Iodine — Health Professional Fact Sheet. National Institutes of Health" 2015. 21 Apr. 2016 Sardana, Divya, Smiti Nanda, and Simmi Kharb. "Thyroid hormones in pregnancy and preeclampsia." J Turkish-German Gynecol Assoc 10.3 (2009): 168-71. "Iodine in diet: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. U.S. National Library of Medicine" 2006. 21 Apr. 2016 National Institutes of Health. Iodine: Fact Sheet for Consumers. National Institutes of Health. [...]

2018-04-26T22:17:41+00:00 By |

11 Natural Methods for Detoxing Your Body

Cleansing diets, herbs, and fasting programs may seem like a modern health trend, but societies have used natural cleansing methods to detoxify the body for hundreds of years. Many religions encourage people to fast as a means of cleansing both the body and the mind for spiritual practices. Toxins in food, air, water, and the environment, make cleansing the colon, liver and other organs more important now than ever. The burden of over-pollution may be responsible for deleterious effects on the immune system, a scenario which makes us highly susceptible to chronic degenerative diseases. Below, we’ll describe several of the current methods and foods that naturally help the body achieve a detoxified state. Keep in mind that accelerating the removal of toxins from your body won’t help if you continue to put toxins into your body. In other words, avoid refined foods, sugars, MSG, yeast, dairy products, caffeine, chocolate, soy, peanuts, alcohol, and non-whole-grain starches while performing any cleanse or fast. 11 Natural Detox Methods 1. Liver Cleanse Regimes for cleansing the liver incorporate bitter greens and chlorophyll juices such as wheat grass and dandelion greens.[1, 2] Other liver-happy foods include carrots, celery, limes, lemons, and beets.[3] Spices that offer cleansing effects on the liver include turmeric, rosemary, cayenne, cumin, and curry.[4] It’s best to avoid coffee, milk, and sodas; instead, opt for purified water and/or apple juice.[5] To help support your cleansing efforts, add Livatrex® to a gallon of apple juice or water and follow these liver cleansing instructions. 2. Oxygen Colon Cleanse One of the best natural detox methods is a six or seven day cleanse using distilled water, organic, raw apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, Oxy-Powder, and a probiotic supplement. This cleanse is a quick and effective way to purify your digestive tract. Here are my recommended instructions for performing a colon cleanse. If you’re looking for a supplement to help cleanse your colon, check out OXY-POWDER at the AlrightStore. 3. Candida Cleanse A candida cleanse is designed to remove candida within the body by removing all foods containing sugars. The candida diet requires avoiding all forms of sugar (including fruit and fruit juice), all refined flour and wheat products, any foods containing yeast, as well as all natural sweeteners such as agave nectar or raw honey.[6] During a candida cleanse you should also avoid alcohol, dried fruit, mushrooms, cheese, pickled vegetables, and soy sauce. Taking organic oregano oil and a probiotic like Latero-Flora™ can enhance your candida cleansing efforts. If you’re looking for a supplement that can eliminate candida, check out LATERO-FLORA at the AlrightStore.   4. Harmful Organism Cleanse There are many herbs you can take to take care of harmful organisms that may be affecting your health. Wormwood, black walnut hull, clove, and American wormseed are four herbs that create an environment within your intestinal tract that’s hostile to invading organisms.[7] Taking a probiotic supplement will also support balance and discourage any unwelcome visitors.[8] 5. Liquid Cleanse A liquid [...]

2018-04-28T02:50:59+00:00 By |

Does the Vitamin B-12 Shot Have Side Effects?

Vitamin B-12 is to the human body what gasoline is to a car; without it, you’re not getting anywhere. A diet that includes meat, fish, and dairy products can provide natural sources of B-12; however, these foods typically carry a heavy toxic load. Vegetarians and vegans can suffer from B-12 deficiency, so can meat eaters, making B-12 deficiency a common problem many people solve with supplementation or a B-12 injection. For those who don’t care for a shot, dietary supplementation like VeganSafe™ B-12, with the two active forms of B-12, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, may be as effective as a B-12 shot. What is a Vitamin B-12 Shot? The shot delivers a high dose of therapeutic B-12, usually in the form of cyanocobalamin or hydroxocobalamin. For those who don’t care for a shot, oral supplementation with the two active forms of B-12, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, may be as effective as a B-12 shot. [1] Those who cannot digest or absorb B-12 as a result of inherited genetics or damage to the stomach and small intestine require more than can be absorbed from sublingual supplementation. In situations where a high dose is needed, or where injection is the only option, the B-12 shot is used. In some cases, B-12 shots are used as an energy booster, since B-12 plays a critical role in cellular energy production. Reasons for a B-12 Shot Vitamin B-12 deficiency symptoms include depression and mood disorders, fatigue, memory failure, anemia, low blood pressure, and high homocysteine levels. While the shot addresses B-12 deficiency, it may also be prescribed to boost energy, as a therapy for depression, or to drive cognitive function. Researchers are also exploring its potential as a therapy for bipolar disorders, shaky leg syndrome, and autism. Getting the B-12 Shot Before getting the shot, make sure to inform your doctor of any allergies, nutritional supplements you may be taking, or if you’ve recently consumed large amounts of alcohol. At the appointment, the doctor or healthcare professional delivers the shot directly into muscle, usually into the thigh or upper arm, for easy absorption into the bloodstream. B-12 Shot Side Effects The dosage amount and the type of B-12 used appears to have some control over side effects. As a note, the common side effects of excess vitamin intake include flushing, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Here are the side effects you might experience from the two common B-12 shots: Hydroxocobalamin This form of B-12 is the one we find in our food. When delivered as a B-12 shot, mild side effects may include soreness at the injection site, itching, diarrhea, and swelling. Serious side effects include muscle cramping, weakness, or an irregular heartbeat. Although rare, some very serious side effects are chest pain, shortness of breath, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, and weakness on one side of the body. You should always contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these reactions. Cyanocobalamin This is the synthetic version of vitamin B-12 used [...]

2018-04-27T23:37:52+00:00 By |

Nutrients and Supplements That Can Improve Your Sleep Quality

Did You Know Vitamin D Improves Sleep?   If you intend to live a long and healthy life, sleep needs to be a priority. Anyone struggling with chronic disease — which is at least half the adult population in the U.S. — would be wise to take heed, as sleep cannot only contribute to the problem but also counteract any healthy lifestyle strategies you’re using to address it. As a general guideline, seek to get right around eight hours of sleep every night. Anything below seven hours really starts to impact your health (if you’re an adult). The good news is there are many ways to improve your sleep, including nutrients, which is the main focus of this article. While I don’t recommend relying on sleep aids long-term, certain supplements can help improve sleep, and can be used while you’re implementing more permanent changes. A number of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and hormones are also critical for sleep quality, and deficiency in one or more of them may be part of your problem if you’re struggling with poor sleep. Lastly, I’ll address two commonly overlooked environmental factors that can rob you of sleep, namely your exposure to blue light and electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Three Vitamins That Improve Sleep While you’re probably aware of one or more herbs that can help you sleep, few are aware that certain nutrient deficiencies can wreak havoc on your sleep. As noted by Drs. Arielle Levitan and Romy Block, who wrote “The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health,” vitamin deficiency is “an often-overlooked factor in sleep problems … We need adequate levels of key nutrients to get good quality sustained sleep.”1 Three vitamins known to have this kind of influence include: • Vitamin D: A number of studies have linked low vitamin D to poor sleep quality,2 and have shown reaching and maintaining a vitamin D level of 60 to 80 ng/mL can improve sleep.3 According to the authors: “Comparisons of brain regions associated with sleep-wake regulation and vitamin D target neurons in the diencephalon and several brainstem nuclei suggest direct central effects of vitamin D on sleep. We propose the hypothesis that sleep disorders have become epidemic because of widespread vitamin D deficiency.” • Vitamin C: Research4 published in PLOS ONE found those with low vitamin C in their blood reported more trouble sleeping, and were more likely to experience interrupted sleep. Foods high in vitamin C include5 guava, red and green bell pepper, kiwi, oranges, strawberries, papaya and broccoli. If opting for a supplement, I’d recommend liposomal vitamin C, as it has better absorption. • Vitamin B12: Low B12, which is extremely common in the general population but even more so among vegans and vegetarians, is known to cause neurological problems, including disturbed sleep. Levitan and Block recommend getting 250 to 500 micrograms (mcg) per day to avoid deficiency symptoms. Minerals That Influence Sleep Quality Similarly, certain minerals are important for sleep [...]

2018-10-12T15:44:17+00:00 By |

Green Tea Boosts Heart and Brain Health

Green Tea Helps Prevent Plaque in Both Arteries and Brain!   High-quality teas — green tea in particular — contain polyphenol antioxidants recognized for their disease prevention and antiaging properties. Polyphenols can account for up to 30 percent of the dry leaf weight of green tea. Within the group of polyphenols are flavonoids, which contain catechins. One of the most powerful catechins is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), found in green tea. EGCG has been shown to positively impact a number of illnesses and conditions, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Tea Helps Lower Blood Pressure and Protects Your Heart Previous research1,2 has shown long-term tea intake can improve your blood pressure readings. One systematic review of 25 randomized controlled trials found those who regularly drank either green or black tea for 12 weeks had an average of 2.6 mm Hg lower systolic blood pressure and 2.2 mm Hg lower diastolic pressure compared to those who did not drink tea. Green tea provided the best results, followed by black tea. According to the authors, this reduction "would be expected to reduce stroke risk by 8 percent, coronary artery disease mortality by 5 percent and all-cause mortality by 4 percent at a population level … These are profound effects and must be considered seriously in terms of the potential for dietary modification to modulate the risk of CVD [cardiovascular disease]." While unable to determine exactly how much tea you need to drink to receive these benefits, a number of previous studies have suggested the ideal amount lies around three to four cups of tea per day.3 For example, one 2007 study4 found "clear evidence" showing that three or more cups of tea — in this case black tea — reduced the risk of heart disease. Similarly, drinking three to four cups of green tea daily has been shown to promote heart and cardiovascular health,5 and to aid in the prevention of arteriosclerosis, cerebral thrombus, heart attack and stroke, courtesy of its ability to relax blood vessels, improve blood flow and protect against blood clots.6 EGCG Helps Prevent Plaque in Both Arteries and Brain More recent research supports these earlier findings. Researchers at the University of Leeds and Lancaster University say the EGCG in green tea can help prevent heart disease by dissolving arterial plaque.7,8 (Other recent research9 has found this compound also has the ability to inhibit amyloid beta plaque formation in the brain, associated with Alzheimer's disease.) According to these findings, EGCG actually alters the structure of amyloid fibrils formed by apolipoprotein A-1 (apoA-I) — the main protein component of high-density lipoprotein shown to accumulate in atherosclerotic plaques — when heparin (a naturally occurring anticoagulant produced by certain cells) is present. As reported by New Atlas:10 "[ApoA-I] is fundamental to the development of amyloid deposits seen in both Alzheimer's and atherosclerosis. The hypothesis in this new study is that EGCG can effectively alter the form of these amyloid fibrils, making them less toxic. 'The health [...]

2018-10-12T15:56:47+00:00 By |

What Doctors Say Are CBD Benefits Observed in Actual People, not Mice

CBC Can Treat Depression, Anxiety and Stress   There’s definitely no lack of anecdotal stories about the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound in the cannabis plant. As a result, companies are flocking to offer hemp-derived CBD products to help with ailments such as pain, addiction, stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, there’s still only few human clinical studies that confirm CBD benefits us in many way. Therefore, it’s exciting to hear medical professionals share their opinions about the effectiveness of CBD on actual people. What Doctors Say About CBD Benefits: It’s a Potential Treatment for Nicotine Addiction A small clinical trial occurred in England a few years ago. The study looked at the affect that CBD had on 24 smokers. Some of the smokers used an inhaler with CBD and others a placebo. The study lasted one week. Scientists C.J. Morgan et al from the University College London wrote: Over the treatment week, placebo treated smokers showed no differences in number of cigarettes smoked. In contrast, those treated with CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by ~40% during treatment. Of course, a longer-term study with a larger sample size is much needed. Yet, for a heavy smoker, this potential CBD effect may be a ray of hope. Tobacco addiction is so deadly that the Center for Disease Control claims it is accountable for 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. It’s an Effective Pain Reliever Pain relief is likely the most common benefit people attribute to CBDs and medical cannabis. This is where products like a CBD salve play an important role. Daniel Clauw, M.D. and Director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, believes that CBD may offer true relief to patients suffering from chronic pain. He bases his opinion on a clinical double-blind, randomized trial with 320 participants. This trial tested how 4.2% CBD gel affected pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee. Based on his observations, Dr. Clauw states: I don’t think we have that many good drugs for pain, and we know that CBD has fewer side effects than opioids or even nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which can cause bleeding and cardiovascular problems. If I have an elderly patient with arthritis and a little bit of CBD can make their knees feel better, I’d prefer they take that than some other drugs. It Could Treat Depression, Anxiety and Stress Poor mental health is a massive issue. For example, the World Health Organization claims that depression is the primary cause of ill health globally. It affects an estimated 322 million people worldwide, of which more than 16 million are Americans. These staggering statistics clearly show that we desperately need safe treatments for mental illness. This is where CBD steps in. The substance interacts directly with certain serotonin receptors in the human brain. These receptors have regulatory control over anxiety and depression, as well as certain addictive behaviors. As a result, producers are making CBD-infused products that strive to help with anxiety [...]

2018-10-12T16:04:54+00:00 By |

5 Secrets to Sustain a Daily Meditation Practice

A Journey to a Daily Meditation Practice!   I learned to meditate as a child and my parents are lifelong meditators. I began to take my own practice more seriously when I was 20, but it wasn’t until nine years later that I was really meditating every day. It was an uphill battle, but I can say without hesitation that it has changed my life for the better. Daily meditation is a “pearl of great price” that I don’t take for granted. It’s the most important thing I do each day. Meditation makes me a more intuitive, loving, calm, and joyful person. It allows me to cut through habitual thought patterns and create new ones that result in an ever-more fulfilling life. From a scientific standpoint, meditation creates stronger neural pathways in my frontal lobe, the seat of “executive function” and problem solving. Esoterically, it draws my consciousness toward my spiritual eye, the seat of wisdom. Here are a few hard-won lessons that I found on my journey to a daily meditation practice: 1. Create a sacred space. Somewhere in your home, find a way to carve out a little place to call your own and dedicate it to your practice. Keep your space beautiful and be sure you have what you need: a chair or pillow, layers for warmth, a candle or soft light, pictures that inspire you (nature, saints, sacred places, etc), objects that you consider sacred, and uplifting smells like incense or essential oils. Make your sacred space appeal to all five senses in an uplifting way. 2. Choose a time of day (or two). Stick with a schedule. Even if it’s not a specific time, try to select an order for meditation in your daily flow. For me, it is when I first wake and before sleep. Of course, with my two small kids, it’s not always that simple, but my husband and I work as a team to make meditation happen for both of us. 3. Never miss your meditation. Even if all you have energy for is to sit on your cushion and take a few long breaths or say a prayer, just do it. Like your daily ritual of brushing teeth, habit is your friend, but it is only going to work if you make it real. I haven’t missed a day brushing my teeth in my entire adult life; so this can be the same! I have two children under five years old; I know tired, I’m with you. But don’t let your ego get you down in the dumps with the “I’m so tired, I deserve to go to bed,” argument. Just sit up straight, even in bed, take a few yogic breaths (filling the belly and then the lungs with air), fix your gaze toward the horizon behind closed eyes, and rest there for a few minutes. It will send you into the day, or into sleep, with a higher state of consciousness. 4. Find [...]

2018-10-15T12:04:19+00:00 By |

Black Tea May Be Good for Your Heart Health, Gut Flora and More

Black Tea May Aid in Weight Loss!   Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. In America alone, around 158 million people drink tea each day. The Tea Association of the USA also reveals that the total tea consumption in the country amounted to a whopping 3.8 billion gallons in 2016, more than 80 percent of which was black tea.1 Black tea is undoubtedly a well-loved drink in Western culture, and for good reason. Its bold flavors make for a satisfying beverage that can be enjoyed any time of the day. Best of all, it contains a wide array of nutrients that are beneficial for your health. What Is Black Tea? Like green tea, white tea, oolong and pu’erh, black tea is also a “true tea” that is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. What makes these teas different from each other is the way they were processed. With organic black tea, the leaves are allowed to wither after harvest in order to reduce their moisture content. The withered leaves are then rolled by hand or a machine to break their cell walls, thereby exposing their enzymes to oxygen and allowing the oxidation process to take place.2 The oxidation stage lasts between two and four hours and results in the formation of two new flavonoids called theaflavins and thearubigins. These flavonoids give black tea its distinctive taste and color, and contribute to its potential health benefits.3,4 Once the leaves have oxidized, they’re dried using a high heat process, such as baking or firing, before being sorted and packed. Despite its bold flavor profile, black tea is often mixed with other ingredients, particularly fruits, flowers and spices, to create other flavorful blends. Some of the most popular black tea blends include Earl Grey, which is blended with bergamot, and masala chai, which is flavored with various spices. Black tea is also sold by its origin. Some good examples are Darjeeling and Assam black tea.5 Another popular variety is English breakfast tea, which is made from a blend of black teas, such as Assam, Kenyan and Ceylon. What Does Black Tea Do for Your Health? Black tea not only warms your body with every sip, but it may also provide you with antioxidants, polyphenols, tannins and various minerals. Here are some of the impressive health benefits that black tea has to offer: Helps improve gut microbiome: A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition suggests that the polyphenols in black tea may help improve gut microflora.6 Black tea may also act as a prebiotic since its molecules, which are too large to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and liver, remain in the intestines, supporting the growth of friendly gut bacteria. May aid in weight loss: Black tea may help contribute to weight loss and reduce the risk of obesity by supporting the formation of microbial metabolites, which plays a role in the regulation of energy metabolism.7 Helps [...]

2018-10-12T13:13:04+00:00 By |

Why Fasting Is Such a Powerful Treatment Strategy for Diabetes

Did You Know Fasting Can Resolve Insulin Resistance, the Cause of Diabetes?   We have an epidemic of diabetes in the United States. An estimated 30.3 million Americans, nearly 1 in 10, have Type 2 diabetes.1 Another 84 million American adults — about 1 in 3 — are prediabetic, and most are unaware of this fact. Prediabetes2 is defined as an elevation in blood glucose over 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) but lower than 125 mg/dl, at which point it formally becomes Type 2 diabetes. However, any fasting blood sugar regularly over 90 mg/dl really suggests insulin resistance, and seminal work by the late Dr. Joseph Kraft, author of “Diabetes Epidemic and You: Should Everyone Be Tested?” suggests that 80 percent — 8 out of 10 — Americans are in fact insulin resistant,3 which means they’re already on their way toward developing diabetes. That's the bad news. The good news is Type 2 diabetes is curable, and the cure is less than free. It actually saves you loads of time and money. In his book, “The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally,” Dr. Jason Fung details how to address this exceptionally common problem. Fung is a nephrologist (kidney specialist) with a practice in Toronto. Two years ago, I interviewed him about fasting, which is one of the most powerful interventions for Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Fung was also one of the experts who peer reviewed my book, “Fat for Fuel,” which integrates some of his work. Why Identifying Insulin Resistance Is so Important There are two types of diabetes, Type 1, or insulin dependent diabetes, and Type 2 diabetes, which is lifestyle related. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases and is the topic of this particular discussion. Prevalence of Type 2 diabetes started to rise in the 1980s, at a time when obesity had yet to become a significant trend. However, as obesity became more prevalent, so did Type 2 diabetes. “But the fundamental underlying problem of Type 2 diabetes, which is insulin resistance, is actually much more widespread than that,” Fung says. “And the innovative thing Kraft did was that he took a standard glucose tolerance test, and measured blood insulin levels instead of blood glucose. Because if you think about what's happening, when you ingest 75 grams of glucose [the amount administered prior to the test], your blood glucose may stay normal. But, your body may be producing a huge amount of insulin to really shove that glucose into the cell. Because one of the functions of insulin is to move the glucose from the blood into the cell. Insulin resistance refers to the fact that blood glucose is simply not getting in there. So, if your body needs to produce two, three, four, five times the amount of normal insulin to get that glucose in there, you have a problem, which is not detectable if you just measure blood glucose. [...]

2018-10-12T11:58:03+00:00 By |