What Is Calcium?

Learn How Calcium Increases Bone and Teeth Health Calcium is, quite simply, an essential element that is highly important for living organisms to survive. This includes humans and 1.5 to 2% of a human’s overall body weight consists of the element calcium. Represented by the elemental symbol of ‘Ca’, a certain amount of calcium is required each day in order to avoid a deficiency and subsequent disease. Calcium is most well known for its ability to optimize and boost the health levels of bones and teeth, but it is also responsible for certain communications between the brain and other parts of the body. It is also particularly important when it comes to protecting against bone degenerating diseases like osteoporosis, which leads to the breakdown of bones and subsequent fractures. Calcium in the Body Up until the age of 20-25, calcium even builds upon the strength of the bones within the human body. After this age, when the bones reach what’s known as their ‘peak mass’, the element then goes further and assists in the maintenance and upkeep of the bones as well as helping to slow down bone density loss. While bone density loss is considered a ‘natural’ part of the aging process, an adequate and high quality form of calcium intake can help to defeat this issue through the adequate supply of calcium infusing the body with bone-enhancing properties. Upwards of 99 percent of the calcium within our bodies is stored within the bones and teeth, however other areas that utilize calcium also store at least small portions of the element. This includes the muscles and the blood in order to regulate muscle contraction, normal heartbeat, and proper blood coagulation. Hormone and enzyme release is another key characteristic of calcium, and is perhaps one of the most notable. Calcium directly helps blood vessels travel around the body as they should while being responsible for the release of many important hormones and enzymes. These hormones and enzymes help to regulate bodily functions, aid in proper assimilation of nutrients, and much more. Calcium Protects Against Obesity, Disease Calcium has even been found to be a major ally in the fight against unwanted fat. It was found in a 2010 study performed by North Carolina State University, in fact, that adequate calcium early in life can protect against obesity. The information brought awareness to the many functions of calcium outside of simple bone and teeth maintenance. According to one of the scientific researchers from the study: “While the importance of calcium nutrition throughout childhood and adolescence is well-recognized, our work suggests that calcium nutrition of the neonate may be of greater importance to lifelong bone health, due to its programming effects on mesenchymal stem cells.” Calcium Deficiencies A calcium deficiency can trigger life-threatening diseases over time, or generate symptoms such as as seizures and neck pain. Most popularly, osteoporosis has been linked time and time again to an inadequate calcium supply within the body. In the event [...]

2018-06-18T18:51:57+00:00 By |

The Top Nutritious Foods High in Fiber

Learn Which High Fiber Foods Help with Weight Loss and More Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body cannot digest. This essential nutrient is found only in plants; you can’t get it from animal products. Although fiber passes through your gut undigested, it’s a very important nutrient for maintaining health. The Benefits of a High Fiber Diet A high fiber intake supports your health in a number of different ways, but it’s best known for promoting regularity. Fiber adds bulk to your stool, preventing constipation and making bowel movements easier. Fiber’s benefits don’t begin and end in the bowels. Eating fiber helps you feel fuller faster, which supports healthy weight loss. It reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, obesity, constipation, and breast cancer.[1, 2] Unfortunately, most of us simply do not get enough fiber in our diets. Experts recommend that people should eat between 21 and 38 grams of fiber every day. The average American only consumes 16 grams.[3] Soluble Fiber vs. Insoluble Fiber There are two varieties of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel in your digestive tract. Soluble fiber is good for controlling cholesterol and supporting heart health. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water; it passes essentially unchanged through your digestive system. It aids digestion and helps relieve constipation.[3] What Are the Best High Fiber Foods? Because the average American diet contains so little dietary fiber, it’s important to plan your meals accordingly. Fiber supplements are readily available, but the best way to add fiber is always through food. Here are some of the best food sources of dietary fiber. All measurements are based on 100 gram servings unless otherwise stated. Vegetables Your mother knew what she was talking about when she told you to eat your veggies. A diet high in greens can lower blood pressure, improve heart health, and balance blood sugar. Vegetables are also an excellent source of fiber.[4] These are a few of the best veggies you can eat to increase your fiber intake. Brussels Sprouts When cooked, Brussels sprouts contain 2.6 g of fiber. They are also an excellent source of folate, manganese, and vitamins C and K.[5] Broccoli Chopped raw broccoli contains 2.6 g of fiber. Cooking actually concentrates this slightly to 3.3 g. Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies are loaded with health-promoting compounds called phenolics, which are associated with lower risks of coronary heart disease, type II diabetes, asthma, and other serious conditions.[5, 6] Artichokes Artichokes are the immature flower head of a type of thistle, and they are way more delicious than that makes them sound. One medium artichoke contains 6.8 g of dietary fiber, which is about 5.7 g per 100 g.[5] Fruit Fruit is cholesterol-free and naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. Many fruits are also an excellent source of fiber. Here are a few of the best fibrous fruits. Prunes There’s a reason they call prunes “nature’s [...]

2018-06-18T18:57:45+00:00 By |

12 Powerful Gratitude Practices That Bring Joy

Learn How Practicing Gratitude Improves Your Life “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ~A. A. Milne Gratitude didn’t come naturally to me. If there had been a championship for complaining, I would have been a serious contender. For years I felt entitled to everything, including the kindness of others. This didn’t make me very happy, since it was always easy to find something or someone to complain about. The more critical I grew, the less appealing life seemed and the worse I got on with others. The weather seemed awful, supermarket queues too slow, bosses too unappreciative, children too rowdy and messy, winters too cold, summers too hot, health too unsatisfactory, work too stressful, prices too high, quality too low, TV too boring, politicians too self-serving, traffic too slow, drivers too inconsiderate, and so on. If I had continued living like that, I might have ended up complaining that water was too wet and the sky too blue. Fortunately, I came across countless research studies about gratitude. How it reduced anxiety, depression, emotional exhaustion, and even suicidal thoughts, while boosting happiness and satisfaction with life. How it lowered blood pressure, boosted immunity, and encouraged healthy habits while improving sleep. Research even suggested that gratitude improved the quality of romance and marriage! Now that seemed like an irresistible offer. I started collecting practical tips for living in a more grateful way, and started trying them out. Warning: these ways of practicing gratitude could seriously damage your unhappiness! 1. Tell your partner exactly how a recent episode made you love them even more. Be very specific and detailed. For example, “I love that you thought about what I would really like for our anniversary, and that you made all the bookings because you know it takes me ages to pick a hotel.” It doesn’t have to be in connection with an annual event, such as an anniversary. It could be something as small as the way they hug you to cheer you up when they see that you’ve had a hard day. But tell them exactly what it is you loved about that, and why. This detailed expression of gratitude signals your responsiveness to your partner. It tends to make them more responsive too. Romance thrives on mutual responsiveness. 2. If your relationship is going through a rough patch, imagine the disappearance of your partner. This is counter-intuitive, but it makes you more grateful for all that is good in the relationship. People who suddenly lost their partner often tell of how relatively insignificant their petty disagreements now seem. They often say they would give anything to have their loved one back. If I even think about trying this, it immediately makes me way more grateful for my partner. It makes me realize how lucky I am. 3. Look beyond a gift. Think consciously about the trouble that somebody took to bring something [...]

2018-06-18T19:04:41+00:00 By |

Do Probiotics Have Side Effects?

Your gut is populated with “good” and “bad” bacteria. All these microorganisms make up what’s called the microbiota, and a healthy balance of all that good and bad bacteria in your gut can make a big difference in your health. But there are other factors like stress, toxins, and antibiotics—that can affect the diversity of the microbiota and balance of “good” bacteria. [1] What Are Probiotics? These good bacteria are also called called probiotics, and more and more people are taking them for the health perks. Studies suggest they can aid in digestion, boost the immune system—even regulate mental health. [2] [3] And if heart health is a concern, a probiotic might even help with that. [4] There’s also recent evidence suggesting probiotics can help you maintain a healthy weight. [5] Possible Side Effects of Probiotics Probiotics are far from perfect; there are side effects you should consider. For the most part, those side effects for healthy individuals are mild issues—things like gas or bloating. One study suggests, though, that probiotics could shorten diarrhea symptoms or help discourage much more severe gastrointestinal problems (such as Crohn’s disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome), so perhaps those slight side effects aren’t that bad after all. [6] Whenever someone is taking live bacteria, though, there’s always a possibility of danger. Those who are critically ill shouldn’t take probiotics for this reason. For example, a Dutch study suggests a higher death rate among acute pancreatitis patients when drinking a probiotic blend of six active cultures. [7] In this case, “good” bacteria is seen by the already weakened immune system as harmful and attacked as invaders. What Probiotics Can’t Do But, while they can certainly help supplement a healthy lifestyle, don’t think of probiotics as a miracle drug. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon without doing your research. After all, probiotics are something of a big business right now, with the latest research suggesting they could be worth about $45 billion by 2018. [8] So, yes, while there are a few things to consider when taking probiotics, if you’re healthy and think they’re right for you, try them! The probiotics market is currently flooded with hundreds of competing products, so you may feel a bit overwhelmed finding the right one for you. While needs differ from person to person, there are a few good rules of thumb to keep in mind. Look for a probiotic supplement with multiple bacterial species and a large number of CFUs (colony forming units). If you want to keep it very simple, give Floratrex™ a try. The standard formula contains 50 billion CFUs. Floratrex contain 23 distinct bacterial species, making Floratrex the most complete and comprehensive probiotic on the market today. Have you tried probiotics? What was your experience? Tell us about it in the comments! If you’re looking for a supplement that can improve your gut health, check out FLORATREX at the AlrightStore. References (8) David, L. A. et al. Host lifestyle affects human microbiota [...]

2018-04-28T02:31:04+00:00 By |

The Role of Oxygen in Healing the Body

“Healing” is a word that gets thrown around a lot and it’s important to understand exactly what it means. Healing means getting your body back into a balanced, functioning state. Think of it like balance scales – the kind you might see at a courthouse. When you’re sick, one side hangs lower than the other. When you’re healthy, they’re level. Your body wants to be in balance and will seek to heal itself if it’s out of balance. Or, at least, it will try to. What’s the deciding factor? Oxygen. Oxygen is necessary for healing in injured tissues. [1] Researchers at Ohio State University found that wounded tissue will convert oxygen into reactive oxygen species to encourage healing. [2] What Are Reactive Oxygen Species? Reactive oxygen species, also known as oxygen radicals or pro-oxidants, are a type of free radical. A free radical is a molecule that lacks an electron but is able to maintain its structure. To most people, that doesn’t mean much. We just hear from marketing messages that free radicals are bad. Which is true… when your body is not in control of them. When in balance, your body actually uses free radicals to heal. It has everything to do with the nature of oxygen. Oxygen is an element with eight protons and eight electrons. In this state, oxygen is completely neutral. Oxygen likes to share its electrons; that makes it reactive. Sometimes when it shares an electron or two, it doesn’t get them back. When that happens, oxygen becomes an ion, meaning it’s missing an electron. Ionized oxygen wants to replace the electron it’s missing. In this form, oxygen becomes singlet oxygen, superoxides, peroxides, hydroxyl radicals, or hypochlorous acid. These forms of oxygen try to steal an electron anywhere they can, this can be destructive. Forms of Reactive Oxygen Species Singlet Oxygen This radical form of oxygen can act in one of two ways. It can trigger the genes inside a cell to start cell death. Or, if it encounters a lipid or fatty acid, it will oxidize the lipid. [3] Think of it like corrosion. Superoxides We’re still learning about superoxides but it seems they affect how the body destroys cells and manages wound healing. [4] Peroxides Hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorite help heal tissue. [5] Oxygen radicals form when hydrogen peroxide interacts with reduced forms of metal ions or gets broken down and produces hydrogen radicals. Hydrogen radicals are destructive. [6] Hypochlorous Acid Hypochlorous acid contains oxygen and chloride. It can affect tissue through chlorination or oxidation. [7] Effects of Reactive Oxygen Species in the Body Every time your muscles contract, you produce and use reactive oxygen species. High-intensity exercise causes reactive oxygen species levels to increase, leading to fatigue and muscle failure. [8] The energy created by mitochondria creates reactive oxygen species. Exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol, toxic metals, pollution, chemicals, germs, and stress also creates reactive oxygen species. [9] When your body can keep up with and remove [...]

2018-04-28T03:33:05+00:00 By |

3 Ways to Prevent Senior Isolation

Social isolation in seniors is a lot more common than we’d like to think. Our families are more spread out than they used to be, and with the life expectancy growing longer and longer, surviving spouses go longer stretches on their own. Not only is isolation impacting a senior’s emotional well-being, but it has physical ramifications, as well. If you or a loved one are dealing with loneliness and isolation, life can start to feel meaningless — but nothing could be further from the truth. Making even one change isn’t easy, but it can have a profoundly positive impact on your life. If you’re looking to take control of your physical and mental health, here are a few ideas to try out today.   Join an Exercise Class for a Better Mood When it comes to social isolation, making fitness a priority benefits mental health in addition to physical health. Working out boosts your production of endorphins, the neurotransmitters that make you feel good and help you manage stress. Plus, joining classes offered by the fitness coverage in your Medicare Advantage plan gives you the chance to work out with other seniors. That means you’re building a community and making friends with people who understand where you are in life. Aetna offers Medicare Advantage plans that cover free gym memberships, along with other areas Medicare misses, like dental and vision.   Take a Walk with a Loving Companion Animal Some seniors hesitate to own a pet, wondering who would care for them if something happened. While that is a valid concern (and one that should be addressed before getting a dog or cat), there are so many benefits to pet ownership that seniors should also consider. First, getting a dog or cat provides you with some loving company, which many doctors say can keep depression and anxiety at bay. The simple act of petting an animal has been shown to lower blood pressure. Plus, playing with your pet and taking them for walks can keep both of you active. On top of that, taking a dog to an off-leash park or to a training class lets you interact with other people who love their pup as much as you do.   Volunteer for a Cause You Believe In Some seniors report that living alone doesn’t just make them feel depressed, but it also makes their lives feel somewhat meaningless. You’ve worked or raised a family (or both), and now that those two major roles are over, it’s hard to know what your purpose is. That’s where volunteering can make a big impact on your physical and mental well-being. Giving back is one of the most cherished purposes we have in life. Knowing someone is relying on your generosity and compassion can be even more meaningful than other roles you’ve held. Not only does volunteering combat social isolation — by getting out into the community to meet and work with new people — but it can [...]

2019-03-07T20:18:06+00:00 By |

The 22 Best Laxative Foods for Natural Constipation Relief

Constipation is a taboo subject for many people. If you’re too embarrassed to discuss it, know that you are far from alone. Constipation affects about 14% of adults in the United States and accounts for an astounding 3.2 million medical visits every year. It’s a common and widespread issue. Nobody wants to talk about it, but for the sake of our health, maybe it’s time we opened a dialogue.[1] Americans spend three-quarters of a billion dollars on laxatives every year, and it’s not helping.[1] Pharmaceutical laxatives and stool softeners often make constipation worse. Laxative overuse can lead to dependency, making it difficult or impossible to have a bowel movement without using strong laxatives.[2] Over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives also tend to produce some serious side effects including abdominal cramps, dehydration, dizziness, low blood pressure, electrolyte imbalance, and bloody stool.[3, 4] A better plan is to incorporate foods into your diet that have a natural laxative effect. While pharmaceutical laxatives tend to result in explosive emergencies, these foods produce a mild laxative effect. They won’t send you sprinting for the restroom, but if you incorporate a few of them into your daily diet, they should keep things moving so regularly that laxatives become completely unnecessary. Even better, these foods don’t come with the unpleasant side effects that make constipation more miserable than it needs to be. 22 Natural Laxative Foods High-fiber foods, like fruits, vegetables, and beans, support gut health and promote regularity. In addition to a high-fiber diet, look for foods that can stimulate the digestive system, encourage enzyme activity, or assist in detoxification. When possible, consume foods that are organic, pesticide-free, seasonal, and fresh. Avoid big-box grocery retailers and look to your local farmer’s market or organic produce store for the healthiest raw fruits and vegetables.[5] Each of the following 15 foods produces a natural laxative effect without the unwanted side effects of OTC laxatives. These foods can help relieve common symptoms of constipation, as well as many other gastrointestinal issues. Before you start taking laxatives or stool softeners, try incorporating more of these laxative foods into your diet. You will be surprised at how well they work. Here is a list of 22 of the best laxative foods and drinks. 1. Prunes and Plums We might as well start off with the fruit that’s most famous for its laxative properties. Recognized as “nature’s laxative,” prunes and plums are naturally rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, potassium, and iron. They are especially high in dietary fiber, which is what gives them their relieving properties. Prunes also promote the health of beneficial bacteria in the gut, making them a great addition to any colon-cleansing diet.[6] Prunes are one of the best laxative foods for babies, but remember that you shouldn’t give solid food to infants under four months old.[7, 8] You can also try prune juice, but be sure to read the ingredients label and get one that’s made only from prunes and water. Avoid anything with added [...]

2018-04-28T03:39:36+00:00 By |

The Top 10 Foods for Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient that’s involved with a lot of important processes in the human body. [1] Food is the primary source for this nutrient, with supplements being the secondary source for some people. Vitamin B-12 is structurally the largest and most complex of all the vitamins known to man. Interestingly enough, vitamin B-12 is integral to normal energy metabolism in all cells of the body as well as amino acid and fatty acid metabolism. Additionally, B-12 is extremely important in a myriad of other vital physiological processes such as brain function and nervous system health, myelin sheath health, blood formation, bone marrow health, and DNA synthesis/regulation. A unique essential nutrient, vitamin B-12 isn’t produced by plants, animals, or even fungi, instead being produced only by certain bacteria. Human requirements for vitamin B-12 as set by the Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) are 2-3 micrograms/mcg per day to upwards of 4-7 micrograms/mcg per day. [2] Naturally-occurring sources of Vitamin B-12 are found primarily in foods of animal origin and among fortified foods of vegetarian/vegan origin. If you are a practicing vegan, supplementation may be the best option for you to ensure you receive adequate to optimal daily intake. Top 10 Food Sources of Vitamin B-12 The majority of food sources for vitamin B-12 come from foods of animal origin, making vegan options somewhat limited. Certain soil bacteria synthesize B-12 and some people believe that eating unwashed vegetables may provide trace amounts of the vitamin. However, most people aren’t too keen on eating dirty vegetables. Further, there is no evidence that suggests soil bacteria generate any forms of B-12 the body can actually use.[3] Ensure you’re getting the B-12 you need with a high-quality supplement, such as VeganSafe™ B-12. It contains the two most bioavailable forms of B-12 to help you maintain your energy levels. Those of you who eat meat, eggs, and dairy will likely have an easier time getting B-12, but please remember, consuming animal products carries other health concerns. This is particularly true if the animal is raised in a conventional feedlot environment. While we at Global Healing Center always advocate a raw vegan diet, we understand that not everyone will adopt this lifestyle. For you, here are the highest non-vegan sources (and some plant sources) of vitamin B-12: 1. Liver (Beef) 71 mcg per 3-ounce serving Provides 2951% of DRI 114 calories 2. Mackerel 16 mcg per 3-ounce serving Provides 667% of DRI 174 calories 3. Sardines 8 mcg per 3-ounce serving (most cans are 3-4 ounces ea.) Provides 333% of DRI 189 calories 4. Fortified Cereals 5 mcg per cup Provides 208% of DRI 160 calories 5. Red Meat 5 mcg per 3-ounce serving Provides 208% of DRI 213 calories 6. Salmon 4 mcg per 3-ounce serving Provides 167% of DRI 119 calories 7. Fortified Soy 2 mcg per 3-ounces serving Provides 83% of DRI 45 calories 8. Milk 1.2 mcg per cup (8 fluid ounces) Provides 50% of DRI [...]

2018-04-27T23:59:08+00:00 By |

How Creativity Creates Mindfulness, Happiness, and Peace

“Mindful and creative, a child who has neither a past, nor examples to follow, nor value judgments, simply lives, speaks and plays in freedom.” ~Arnaud Desjardins No human being lives without experiencing the duality of life. Good and bad. Love and hate. Life and death. Acceptance and rejection. Success and failure. Joy and jealousy. Compassion and judgment. So why do we spend so much time trying to pretend that it’s bad to experience all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly? Even our weather men and women tell us it’s a going to be a bad day because it’s raining or snowing. I mean, come on! The earth rejoices when it rains; snow is a natural part of our eco-system. Why do we try so hard to suppress the difficult feelings and experiences in our lives? Because our brains are wired that way? Because we were traumatized? Because our parents, teachers, and God knows who else told us to? Does it really matter, as we heal, who, where, and why? I remember the first time I heard the quote “Thoughts are things.” I knew instantly that if that was true, I was in trouble because I had a lot of thoughts I wasn’t proud of and never voiced out loud. I was taught at a very young age not to “rock the boat” or be “too dramatic” and the worst, “Your mom is unhappy because of you kids.” Yikes! So, when things got bad at home or at school or at church, they got stuffed. In me. In my heart. In my gut and in my head. On the outside I looked fine. Cute, bubbly, artistic, smart. But on the inside I was scared, confused, and anxious, and did not have a clue how to interact comfortably with people. I tried really hard (unsuccessfully) to fit in. Luckily, I had the outlet of art. I drew, I painted, I sewed, I made batiks—whatever I could get my hands on in the art department at the Catholic High school I went to, or whatever my mom would let me touch at home. She was an amazing seamstress, but, with eight kids, had neither the time nor patience to teach me. Luckily I’m old enough that we had “Home Ed” in high school, so I learned to sew well enough that my mom would let me use her sewing machine. Being creative got me through high school and into college with no major consequences. I wasn’t insecure, lonely, or in need of an outlet. I didn’t drink too much, I wasn’t promiscuous, and I didn’t do drugs. Fast forward a couple decades and I can tell you that eventually, I did experience the consequences of trying to drink my thoughts and feelings away.  I stayed pretty creative as long as I could, but, as life goes, I grew up, got married, had kids, and started to work. The turning point was when I lost my family of [...]

2018-04-17T06:17:21+00:00 By |