Contact Now - info@ultimatehealthcheck.com

The Top 9 Food Ingredients to Avoid List

Want to have the top 9 food ingredients to avoid list? Want to know what foods they can be found in, so you can know, in an instance which foods to avoid while shopping? Would you like this information backed by research? 

The Top 9 Food Ingredients to Avoid List

The Top 9 Food Ingredients to Avoid List: High-fructose corn syrup, Artificial flavours, MSG (Mono-Sodium Glutamate), Partially hydrogenated oil, Food colouring, Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Benzoate, Carrageenan,… Click To Tweet

1. High-fructose corn syrup

What is it: HFCS is a highly processed form of glucose that is manufactured from genetically modified corn.

Other Names: Corn sugar

Found in: processed foods e.g. ketchup, soda, and salad dressing, candy, breakfast cereals and snack foods.

Diseases Associated: weight gain, insulin resistance, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Research: 

2. Artificial flavours

What is it: man-made chemicals

Found in: processed foods e.g. high flavoured food

Diseases Associated: reproductive issues, neurotoxicity, and cancer.

Research: 

3. MSG (Mono-Sodium Glutamate)

What is it: processed flavour enhancer

Found in: frozen dinners, salty snacks and canned soups.

Diseases Associated: migraines, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease

Other names: 40 different names, including yeast extract, citric acid, natural flavours, and maltodextrin.

Research: 

4. Partially hydrogenated oil

What is it: trans fat

Other names: Palm Oil, Shortening

Found in: baked goods, salad dressings, crackers. margarine, microwave popcorn and biscuits.

Diseases Associated: obesity, diabetes, and heart disease

Research:

5. Food colouring

What is it: derived from petroleum (like Red 3, Yellow 6, and Green 3)

Found in: cookies, cakes, and sugary drinks

Diseases Associated: Cancer, allergic reactions. Thyroid tumours

Research: 

6.  Sodium Nitrite

What is it: preservatives

Found in: processed meats e.g. bacon, sausage, hot dogs and ham

Diseases Associated: Cancer, diabetes.

Research:

7. Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Benzoate

What is it: preservatives are sometimes added to soda to prevent mould from growing

Found in: Soda, salad dressings, pickles, fruit juices and condiments.

Diseases Associated: a known carcinogen that is also linked with serious thyroid damage

Research:

8. Carrageenan

What is it: food additive extracted from seaweed to help thicken foods

Found in: low-fat dairy products and dairy alternatives e.g. almond milk, cottage cheese, ice cream, coffee creamers and dairy-free products like vegan cheese.

Diseases Associated: gastrointestinal diseases (Crohn’s disease, abdominal pain, etc.) and inflammation, which then leads to heart disease, cancers and diabetes with constant inflammation.

Research: 

9. Artificial Sweeteners

What is it: Chemicals

Other Names: aspartame, sucralose, saccharin and acesulfame potassium.

Found in: diet foods and beverages

Diseases Associated: links to cancer, migraines, weight gain, craving sweets, increased risk of metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Research:

More Information: Diet / Nutrition / Herbs

Would you like more Information on your diet and lifestyle or would you like know more about nutrition or would you like to know more about herbs? Then simply click on the relevant button below.

Top 10 Supplements for Beautiful, Healthy, Glowing Skin

Want a quick way to know what are the top 10 supplements for beautiful, healthy, glowing skin? Want to know the particular associated skin conditions these supplements can help that are backed up by research? Want to know what foods these vitamins and minerals are in?

Product Links and Guarantee

I use and highly recommend Vitamin Express which is an international company that can deliver to your door. Below is a link, for ease, if you would like to buy these products. Please note this is an affiliate link which provides a (very small) commission and helps support Ultimate Health Check to produce further health information. Thank you for any support. Guarantee: I would not recommend any companies if I did not believe in them and their products and/or use it myself and/or recommend it to my clients.

Top 10 Supplements for Beautiful, Healthy, Glowing Skin

Top 10 Supplements for Beautiful, Healthy, Glowing Skin: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Collagen, Magnesium, Omega-3 Fatty Acid, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Zinc, Calcium, Probiotics Click To Tweet

1. Vitamin A

Food Sources:

Retinol is in dairy products, meat, organ meats, and certain fortified foods. 

Beta-carotene include many plant-based foods, such as carrots, leafy greens, and tomatoes. 

Research:

Caution/ Interactions:

2. Vitamin C: Ascorbic Acid

Food Sources:

Vegetables and fruits e.g. broccoli, red peppers, citrus fruit, kiwi, tomatoes, and potatoes.

However easily lost in urine, so it’s ideal to consume Vitamin-C-rich foods throughout the day via fresh fruits and vegetables.

Research:

3. Collagen

Food Sources:

Collagen is sourced from the skin and bones of animals, primarily chicken, beef, and fish. 

Collagen can also be found in some foods, including bone broth and gelatine.

Research:

Increase skin elasticity, boost skin collagen production, resulting in more youthful appearance: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30681787/

Collagen: Increase skin elasticity, boost skin collagen production, resulting in more youthful appearance: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30681787/ Click To Tweet

4. Magnesium

Food Sources:

Dietary sources, such as bananas, legumes, milk, whole grains, and some nuts. 

Research:

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Food Sources:

Found in fish, nuts, seeds, and some plant foods.

Research:

6. Vitamin E 

Food Sources:

Leafy greens, nuts, and sunflower seeds.

Very difficult to consume through diet because it’s not found in many foods.

Research:

Vitamin E: Significantly improved symptoms of atopic dermatitis: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12010339/ Click To Tweet

7. Vitamin D

Food Sources:

Include eggs, fish, organ meats, and certain fortified foods such as almond milk

Research:

8. Zinc

Food Sources:

Grass-fed meat, oysters, nuts (sesame and pumpkin seeds), legumes (peas, and beans), and whole grains

You don’t want to go overboard with zinc because too much of it will put you at risk for copper deficiency

Research:

Zinc: Healing of damaged skin: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4120804/ Click To Tweet

9. Calcium

Food Sources: Cruciferous vegetables

Research:

10. Probiotics 

Food sources: fermented foods and beverages e.g. kombucha

Research:

Probiotics: Acne, rosacea, eczema, and premature ageing: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352647515000155 Click To Tweet

More Information: Ultimate MOT Health Package

The best way to tell what vitamins, minerals, etc. would be ideal for you to take is to find out your deficiencies. This can be done by undertaking the Ultimate Health MOT. For further information, please go to [link]

Top 11 Herbal Teas with Amazing Health Promoting Actions

Want a quick way to know what are the top 11 herbal teas and their primary amazing health giving actions so you can know in an instance which herbal tea to buy for you? Would you like this information backed by research? 

I drink different herbal teas throughout the day depending on how I am feeling. 

Top 11 Herbal Teas with Amazing Health Promoting Actions

Top 11 Herbal Teas with Amazing Health Promoting Actions: Chamomile tea (sleep aid), Peppermint Tea (digestive aid), Ginger Tea (anti-inflammatory aid), Hibiscus Tea (heart aid), Echinacea Tea (immune aid), Sage Tea (brain Aid),… Click To Tweet

1. Chamomile tea 

One Main Action: Sleep Aid

Research:

2. Peppermint Tea

One Main Action: Digestive Aid.

Research:

3. Ginger Tea

One Main Action: Anti-Inflammatory Aid (e.g. Nausea / period pain)

Research:

Ginger Tea: Research shows that ginger tea may also inhibit serotonin receptors, thus decreasing nausea and stress: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/ Click To Tweet

4. Hibiscus Tea

One Main Action: Heart Aid (e.g. blood pressure)

Research:

Interactions:

It shouldn’t be taken with a certain diuretic medication or at the same time as aspirin.

5. Echinacea Tea

One Main Action: Immune Aid (e.g. infections)

Echinacea Tea: Research: boost the immune system, which could help the body fight off viruses or infections: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12622467/ Click To Tweet

6. Sage Tea

One Main Action: Brain Aid (e.g. Memory)

Research:

7. Rose Hip Tea

One Main Action: Anti-Ageing Aid (High in Antioxidants, Vitamin C and E) 

Research:

Rose Hip Tea:Reduced the depth of wrinkles around the eyes and improved moisture and skin elasticity of the face: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26604725/ Click To Tweet

8. Passionflower Tea

One Main Action: Anxiolytic Aid (e.g. reduces anxiety)

Research:

9. Green Tea

One Main Action: Weight Loss Aid

Research:

Green Tea: Help to accelerate weight loss by boosting metabolism and encouraging the breakdown of fats—rather than glucose—into energy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12873714 Click To Tweet

10. Turmeric tea

One Main Action: Anti-inflammatory (e.g. Osteoarthritis)

Research:

11. Liquorice tea

One Main Action: Respiratory Aid (e.g. sore throats, reflux)

Research: 

Product link and Guarantee

I use and highly recommend Pukka teas as I know the two guys that set it up personally and I believe in their company and the quality of their teas. Below is a link, for ease, if you would like to buy these products. Please note this is an affiliate link which provides a (very small) commission and helps support Ultimate Health Check to produce health information for others. Thank you for any support.

I would not recommend any companies if I did not believe in them and their products and/or use it myself and/or recommend it to my clients.

More Information: Diet / Herbs / Nutrition

Would you like more Information on your diet and lifestyle or would you like know more about herbs or would you like to know more about nutrition? Then simply click on the relevant button below.

Window-sill Herb Garden – Top 12 Herbs that help fight Cancer and for Everyday Health

Benefits of an Indoor Herb Garden

Plants tend to lose their cancer-fighting benefits the longer they’re separated from their roots, so it’s ideal to pick herbs fresh and use them immediately in your cuisine.

Then there’s the emotional aspect. When you’re growing plants to use in your food, there is a special purpose and a completed cycle. There is also a connection to life that is personally fulfilling… the excitement when the seed produces its first leaves and then develops the flowers and finally the fruit. You just can’t wait to taste the fruit of your labor − literally.

Furthermore, the flavor of homegrown organic herbs is superior to supermarket produce so your meals have an added zing that is incomparable flavor and health-wise.

How to Plan & Grow Your Own Indoor Herb Garden

So, what do you need to get started?

  1. Make a plan of what you want to grow (see below for some plant suggestions).
  2. Choose a windowsill in a sunny location (south or southwest exposure for six consecutive hours in the day is best).
  3. Choose the types of pots you would like to use − hanging or windowsill ledge or both.
  4. You will also need to find an organic plant nursery, plant food, a table, newspaper, and a day or two to accomplish the task.

I go to the organic nursery and pick out the plants that I want to grow. I buy potting soil, compost, humus, organic plant food, pots or window boxes, plant hangers, and a misting bottle.

Putting Your Herb Garden Together

  1. After you get home with your purchases, gather some pebbles or small rocks to put in the base of the planters and hanging pots. Fill the bottom of each plantar/pot with a single layer of stones. This helps with drainage.
  2. Next, mix the soil in a bucket with one part each of compost, potting soil, and humus. (Note: You can also buy some potting soils that already combine all of these elements). Add the soil mixture to the planters, pots, and hanging pots you’ve selected.
  3. Water all the plants thoroughly, allow them to drain, and make a hole in the potting soil mixture for each plant.
  4. Place the plants in the planters and press firmly around the base of the plant and soil to set them in the planter.
  5. Wipe off the pots and planters and place them on the windowsill and/or install the triangular wall brackets for the hanging plants and put them on the hooks.

Ideas for What to Grow in Your Indoor Herb Garden

If you need a little inspiration, here is how I set up my own windowsill herb garden and why I choose these particular herbs and plants:

Mint is very easy to grow and goes well in a salad, smoothie, for garnishes, and many other culinary uses. It also adds a nice fragrance to the room and the flowers can be eaten for their trace minerals. There are several varieties available, but they all have similar flavors and health benefits.

Basil is important for pesto and complementing the spices in various dishes. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and tension soothing components. The aroma is very pleasant and relaxing as well.

Parsley is also nice in a window box so you might want to grow several plants and keep plenty on hand. It has many health benefits especially in salads and smoothies. Parsley is a great detoxifier and helps restore the alkaline balance in the body.

Oregano has many health benefits including immune boosting and cancer cell retarding properties. It will continue to grow all year long indoors so you can use it in many recipes. I like to give it a pot alone.

Thyme, sage, and rosemary are compatible in a box planter on the windowsill. Thyme is available in several varieties and is mostly used in salads, soups, and meat dishes. Sage is used in similar ways but is also good in tea for increasing brain function and its calming effects.

Rosemary is a nice herb for many uses in cooking, green smoothies, and aromatherapy. When you inhale the rosemary fragrance it clears your mind so it is easier to focus your thoughts.

Additionally, mint, sage, and rosemary are all high in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial components.

Cilantro is excellent for digestion and heavy metal detoxification. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, an internal deodorizer, and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It has a unique flavor that compliments many dishes including salad recipes, pesto, gazpacho, and guacamole. Its seeds (coriander) are very aromatic as well.

Nasturtium plants can be potted and hung from a hook made for hanging from the ceiling or wall triangle. They are beautiful flowers that come in several colors. Both the flower and leaves are edible with a spicy peppery taste that adds variety, trace minerals, and beauty to many dishes.

Nasturtium can be grown from seed or plants but you must be very careful in transferring the plants to a pot as the roots are very tender. A rich soil will produce more leaves and a poor soil produces more flowers. The flowers and leaves are concentrated with vitamin C, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Nasturtium also heals infections of the throat and intestines while increasing blood circulation.

Aloe Vera is a plant that grows best in a pot on the windowsill or a plant stand near the window. This is because the spiky leaves can spread which may be too wide for the windowsill. Aloe Vera is a very important plant used for healing the skin from burns, blemishes, and scars. The inner gel is excellent to add to your smoothies (the flavor is unnoticeable) and it heals your internal tissues.

This is great if you have some damage from radiation therapy or chemo-induced tissue damage. So you want to plant more than one to be growing abundantly for daily or weekly use. Aloe is also very easy to grow and it will reproduce itself without any intervention.

Ginger (local ginger from a quality organic shop) can be placed in a glass with a toothpick going through the upper center. It should be balanced on the glass so the ginger is stable and the base is in the water to produce roots. Once the root hairs have formed the ginger can be put into the soil in a pot to develop its leaves and become a plant. After several months you can harvest some of the root while allowing the plant to continue growing.

Turmeric is cultivated in much the same way as ginger. It can also be placed directly in a pot of soil and watered regularly until the green shoots come up. Turmeric is an important anti-cancer spice and is a liver and blood purifier. It is rich in antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial, and compliments almost everything − so it’s good to have plenty on hand.

Cherry tomatoes are nice to grow and pick fresh for your salads, casseroles, or just to snack on. They should be grown in a pot with a stick in the center to give the bush support when the tomatoes begin to develop. The pot can go on the windowsill, but a plant stand is also good depending on the depth of your windowsill. These small tomatoes are rich in lycopene which is a very important anti-cancer nutrient.

Make Fresh Herbs Part of Your Anti-Cancer Diet

This exercise should be fun for you and your family to do together. It will be very rewarding when you are able to pick the herbs and tomatoes and flowers and use them in your food. If you do have outdoor space for a garden, you can follow many of these same steps. Although herbs aren’t hardy in cold temperatures, plants can be brought indoors and overwintered in your sunniest window − for your year-round enjoyment.

It may look a little intimidating, but once you get started you will find it’s not as difficult as it sounds. If you feel overwhelmed, it may help to invite some gardening friends to do it with you. I like to have planting parties where several of my gardening friends get together on a morning or afternoon. We have tea and snacks while we get our hands dirty and generally make a mess.

However, we have a lot of fun getting excited about labeling the plants, making the pots, and putting the seedlings or baby plants in their pots. We move along watering and placing them on the windowsills, and hanging them from the wall or ceiling. It is well worth the time spent when you see the plants growing and you smell the fresh herbs.

You can delight in knowing you can clip them and mix them up for your recipes and teas. Drying them at the end of the growing season is also a great way to incorporate more herbs into your diet.

After you consume the fruits you should save the seeds for future planting. Some gardeners have seeds that have been handed down from generation to generation. These seeds are referred to as heirloom seeds. Then there are those special plants that you want to preserve and grow again because the fruit was especially good.

Always choose non-GMO seeds that have a high germination rate. Keep it as simple as possible at first and plant the seeds for plants that you know you will use on a regular basis. I have listed some suggestions but you should go for the ones that are the most useful (and delicious) to you. The plants will re-oxygenate your air and most will remove toxins from your indoor environment. Although plants serve more than one purpose… eating them is the most fun!

An Over-Toxified Body Could Be Causing Fibromyalgia – Here’s 12 Steps to Help

Are you in pain or even just generally fatigued?

It may be time to check underlying toxic exposures that create conditions which may be exacerbating how you feel.

We are electrical beings. There are many things in our world today that can deplete electricity.  Causes of depleted electricity can be linked to Fluoride, and medications containing fluoride such as SSRI’s, toxic cosmetics containing aluminum, mercury, and vaccines. Addictions causing a toxic liver can be a cause of depleted oxygen and energy. These include smoking, excessive alcohol, and sugar.  Food choices that can steal our energy and disrupt our hormones are pesticides in processed foods, MSG, Aspartame, HFCS and the SAD diet, all which can lead to increased risk for inflammation and other autoimmunity disorders. According to Science News, chronic fatigue is in our gut and not our head.(1) A toxic liver and toxic gut will affect all organs without exception. It could deter healing, slow down recovery, cause fatigue, weaken immunity, cause low energy, increase weight gain, depression, and ailments of all sorts including autoimmunity disorders. EMF’s can deplete our energy and disrupt our sleep patterns which continue to stress the mind and body. A high caffeine diet can exhaust adrenal glands.  And finally, deficiencies in Magnesium can steal our energy and oxygen-rich red blood cell count can be low.

Fibromyalgia is Difficult to Diagnose

There is a blood test called FM/a that identifies possible markers produced by immune system blood cells in people with fibromyalgia. But a diagnosis is really dependent on how you feel. (2) Fibromyalgia includes body pain, fatigue, and insomnia. But Fibromyalgia can also be called a skin condition.  Trigger points are inflamed tissue that’s located just below the skin and is generally especially sensitive to the touch. The pain symptoms of fibromyalgia are believed by many researchers to be related to the fascia of the body. In fibromyalgia, the amount of blood flow to the peripheral tissues (the skin) is substantially reduced.(3) In layman terms, the immune system within the skin is acting up and this involves the capillaries and small blood vessels. To make matters worst, fibromyalgia is found in our gut. Fibromyalgia pain is found mostly in the back of the head, neck, stomach, hip and knees. Most complaints are chronic headaches and nausea.

Today our children from about age 7 to 10 years old are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. (4) You may find this shocking. But if we check, it’s no surprise to find that these children can also have a toxic internal environment from a poor diet and lack of movement. They are also stressed. Subsidized school lunches can increase the risk for obesity. Increase wi-fi use can increase toxicities. Being overweight can play a causative role in pain, inflammation,(5) and low energy levels. Secondly, children are prescribed more antibiotics, Ritalin, statins (4) and antidepressants in the last decade. Medications can decrease good gut microbiome, decrease the quality of sleep and cause weight issues.

What Can We Do?

  1. Take more time to implement healthy habits. Notice that both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue have insomnia, depression and poor microbiome in common.
  2. Make time for exercise and avoid stimulants. Exercise can bring more oxygen into the cells, increasing circulation.
  3. Ditch fast food eating. Make time to chew your food and practice meditation. Focus on how you handle emotions and find healthy ways to release stress.
  4. Include homemade vegetable juice to your morning routine. You can add in organic green apples as they are an excellent food for sufferers of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
  5. Fresh homemade juices contain large amounts of enzymes that help break down inflammation, reduce pain, and supply the cells with energy.
  6. Purchase organic non-toxic skin-care products to relieve inflammation.
  7. Purchase non-toxic and fluoride-fee toothpaste and mouthwash.
  8. Try not to be on your computer or cell phone all day long. Children should never be given a cell phone before the age of 16.
  9. Coffee and caffeine deplete magnesium and stress the body. Cashews and Kale are found to be magnesium rich.
  10. Eat anti-inflammatory foods such as organic Maca, ginger, and turmeric root.
  11. Eat more colorful, antioxidant-packed produce, such as organic strawberries, organic bell peppers, and organic mangoes, all of which are particularly high in vitamin C. Choose only organic, as these have several hundreds of pesticides sprayed on them.
  12. Ask your doctor about weaning you or your child off of a medication, if you’ve been taking it for longer than 6 months. Every drug has side-effects.

Sources:

(1) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160627160939.htm

(2) https://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-diagnosis-and-misdiagnosis#2

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1526632/

(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17888225

(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2668698/

How Your Gut Flora Contributes to Anxiety

How your Gut Flora contributes to Anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety are awful. While everyone experiences anxiety a little differently, for most people it’s like a sense of dread that never fully goes away, but looms over you like a cold, wet blanket. For you, there may be periodic spikes in panic or fear that can come on seemingly out of nowhere, during an otherwise uneventful, happy day. Perhaps you are lying awake at night and thinking and replaying the same stressful thoughts. It’s like someone hit your rewind button and it got stuck.

No matter how you experience this, if you suffer from general anxiety you may expect it will become worse with time without treatment or prevention. And prevention is what I’ll help you with today. In a nutshell: gut bugs impact your brain.

You can soon stop fretting about relationships, money, family issues or job-related stress. I hope that what I tell you today will allow you to compartmentalize the intrusive thoughts that occupy your brain.

Today is the day to do something about it.

Eat More Bacteria, the Good Kind
What I am suggesting may surprise you—that probiotics, those friendly little bacteria that populate your digestive tract and make up what is known as your microbiome, impact your brain. You’ve heard of “probiotics”, they are a dietary supplement form of friendly gut bugs. It’s weird to think about it though, what on Earth does your digestive flora have to do with your mental and emotional state? Many of you reading this have been brainwashed to believe that drugs are the only answer… and that something so simple and cheap couldn’t possibly help!

Some of you are inflicting terror upon yourself with your food choices and few practitioners are willing to tell you this. If you eat crap and annihilate your friendly microflora, then opportunistic bacteria take over. Your gut becomes over-populated with the UNfriendly organisms that seek to destroy you. If you have a healthy microbiome, your mind will think more clearly and you’ll be happier, calmer and probably less aggressive. If your gut is populated with disgusting, pathogenic worms, yeast, fungi, bacteria or prions, you’ll feel tired, cranky and anxious.

Medications that May Spark Anxiety

Asthma inhalers and pills- Albuterol, salmeterol, theophylline and formoterol
Antihypertensives- Methyldopa and amlodipine
Estrogen-containing medications/patches/shots- Birth control pills, HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and breast cancer medications
Antibiotics- through their depletion of gut microflora, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is reduced
Stimulants to treat ADHD or fatigue- Amphetamines, Benzedrine, Dexedrine, and Ritalin, Concerta, and others; over-the-counter (OTC) stimulants such as No-Doz, Vivarin and cough medications that contain decongestants like pseudoephedrine.
Steroids- Dexamethason, Prednisone, Hydrocortisone
Thyroid Medications- Desiccated or other, mostly in excess dosages (versus therapeutic doses which should not cause anxiety)
SSRI antidepressants-Celexa, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft to name a few
Anti-seizure- Phenytoin
Anti-Parkinson’s- Levodopa
Decongestants- Pseudoephedrine, found in OTC allergy pills

The Role of Probiotics
Your natural gut flora do so many vital things for your body, yet they never get any credit. Among the most important, your gut bacteria is in charge of regulating your immune system. People with the worst allergies often have the worst diets, or they are eating something (such as sugar) that interferes with immune function, and instead of realizing this, they often live on allergy pills. Since the majority of immune function happens in the gut, paying attention to this area may improve allergies by retraining your immune cells to notice the difference between harmful and non-harmful things that you are exposed to like pollens.

In this way, restoring your microbiome by taking healthy probiotics may support healthy immune function. Gut bacteria (the good kind) helps your immune cells differentiate between “self” (like your thyroid gland) and “nonself” particles (from say, tuna fish) so that your immune cells don’t overreact to your own body. If you can’t tell self from nonself, your body just goes on a destruction spree and this is known as an autoimmune attack. When the attack is aimed at your nerves, it’s called multiple sclerosis, when it’s aimed at your joints and synovial fluid, it’s called rheumatoid arthritis, when it’s aimed at your thyroid it’s called Graves’ or Hashimoto’s disease, and so on.

Gut bacteria also improves the process of elimination and is thought to support gut transit. When your bowels function properly, you get fewer headaches.

Your intestines activate thyroid hormone, in fact about 20% of your active T3 thyroid hormone is activated in the gut, so again, improving your gut flora plays a role with energy, metabolism and skin/hair health.

Do Probiotics Work like Benzodiazepines?
Well, sort of. Benzodiazepine drugs work by improving your body’s use of your GABA, a calming hormone that is high when you sleep. GABA deficiencies are linked with anxiety, stress, insomnia and many diseases. Benzodiazepines don’t make more GABA, they just allow your own GABA to work a tad longer. Probiotics don’t make better use of your GABA, rather they actually create some! And the bonus is they’re not addictive like benzos are.

If probiotics can help you manufacture various neurotransmitters including GABA and serotonin, then you’re going to feel better over time. Both of these neurotransmitters play a role in anxiety and depression. Your gut bugs make more neurotransmitters than any drug can ever make. This is another reason NOT to annihilate them with soda pop and junk food. When you destroy them, you feel depressed and anxious. Healthy gut bacteria boosts the role of GABA, a restraining chemical that downplays the buzzing of excitable neurons.

Probiotics and Stress Reactions
Gut flora also influences the brain by affecting the stress response via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which plays a role in the making of and cycles of cortisol and other stress-related hormones. When the cyclical rising and falling of cortisol is disrupted, it plays a role in your mood and cognitive function, so getting this back on track supports mental and emotional health.

With high cortisol, you might look like you have Hashimoto’s actually, because the symptoms are fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, a puffy face, irregular menses, fertility problems and muscle aches and pain. Imagine getting diagnosed with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) or bipolar disease when it’s just poor probiotic status! Happens to thousands of you every day.

How many of you have been referred to a psychiatrist for a psyche eval or counseling when maybe it was just an imbalanced gut that needed detoxification and probiotic restoration?

Gut Microbiome and Science
Healthy microflora and probiotics are considered anti-inflammatory, and chronic inflammation is known to be one of the roots of depression and other mood disorders.

Strong evidence for the gut-brain axis as it’s called, comes from the University College Cork. Researchers fed mice with a probiotic strain called Lactobacillus rhamnosus, found in dairy and also probiotic supplements. The L. rhamnosus changed the levels of signalling chemicals in the animals’ brains, and was able to lower all behaviours associated with depression, stress and anxiety.

Lactobacillus increased the numbers of GABA receptors in parts of the brain associated with learning tasks, remembering things and emotional stability. Your GABA hormone is involved in fear and mood. For example, animals who express symptoms of depression have been shown to have lower levels of GABA receptors in the frontal cortex of their brain.

Basically the mice who regularly consumed food laced with the Lactobacillus strain, spent more time in an area of a maze that was wide-open and exposed (this is apparently a commonly accepted test for anxiety levels in mice). The mice who did not eat the probiotic-enriched meals spent more time hiding’and would just drift off motionlessly when plopped into water, thus the assumption of depression. Levels of cortisol and other stress markers were measured as well. So this is how the researchers determined that probiotics impact mood and fear levels.

The body of research supporting the ability of probiotics to lessen anxiety is already fairly robust and continuing to grow, even on human subjects. For instance, a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that healthy human subjects who took a probiotic containing Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175 for 30 days experienced less depression, anger, and anxiety. As an added bonus, they also enjoyed increased problem solving!

Anxiety is easy to target. It’s not just healthy folks who have benefited—a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study (considered to be the gold standard of study design) randomized 39 patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to either receive a probiotic containing 24 billion colony-forming units Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota or a placebo for two months. The patients who took the probiotic experienced a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms.

Even the Journal of the American Medical Association, a well-respected yet very traditional medical journal, is supportive of the link between probiotic use and lessened sensations of anxiety. It published a thoughtful review of the literature on the impact of probiotics on mental health in 2015.

If you are struggling with anxious thoughts or fear, consider that the real thing to be fearful of might be what you’re eating. Junk food, processed foods, refined sugars, certain medications and low-quality supplements may impact your gut, and then your gut-to-brain connection is hampered. This is one very likely cause for unstable moods and anxiety. Please don’t underestimate how much our bowels exert an influence on our behavior and emotional well-being! An accumulating body of evidence that shows how gut bacteria improve mood. Unfortunately, it’s much easier for people to pop mood-enhancing pills than repair the gut and avoid foods and beverages that so easily destroy it.

If you truly want to feel happier, less anxious and have a clear mind and memory, consider the following:
1. Some type of detoxification, whether it is a juice or water fast, or greens drink or other.

2. Some kind of gut-repair supplements. Avoid very high doses of supplements that contain glutamine because that can form glutamate and then you’re in trouble, as it’s highly anxiety-producing. Be careful with glutamine even though it’s pitched for gut health.

3. Look inside your medicine cabinet. See if there are medications in there from my list above. Maybe you can talk to your doctor about switching to another type of medicine that is less likely to produce anxiety.

4. Avoid junk food, refined white sugar and anything that triggers you. For some it is caffeine whereas for others, it’s gluten or dairy or MSG, or tartrazine or aspartame, or other artificial sweeteners. (That last category is a big one.)

5. Look at home, look at your relationships, your job and your friends. Do any of these areas cause gloom and stress? If there is a hardship anywhere or with anyone in your life, it can trickle into your entire day and cause unnatural anxiety. In this case, you have to do the hard work and tidy up your life, and the people you allow in it.

6. After detoxification and gut repair strategies, you can consider probiotics, but only high quality ones.

Studies:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20974015/
https://gutpathogens.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1757-4749-1-6
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2281702

 

12 common foods you had no idea could trigger headaches

12 Common Foods you had no idea could trigger Headaches

I freeze as a swarm of black clouds flood my vision. Reading and recognizing faces suddenly become difficult. A migraine is coming. As if in a dream, I fumble through the medicine cabinet. In my disoriented state, I can barely follow a conversation. I turn off the lights, lie down, and wait for the excruciating headache that is about to start.

You can be at home, work, in a meeting, on a date, at a party, or trying to get the kids into bed, and the warning signs begin. Some don’t have any warnings, and there’s an immediate onslaught of pain.
The things we eat have a significant impact on the way we feel. By making slight changes in our diet, we can be able to avoid migraines and live without any fear that an attack may come at the most inopportune moment.

What are Migraines?

Migraines are a recurring type of headaches, but with symptoms that vary from the average tension headache. They can occur once or twice a month, but some people suffer from them every week of even for a number of consecutive days.

Migraines usually occur within four stages: prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome.
Prodrome – the first sign of pain
Aura – impaired or disturbed vision
Headache – the height of the pain intensity (begins about 30-60 minutes after the prodrome)
Postdrome – the pain diminishes, but lingers (some stay for 24 hours)

Migraines are noted to be individual to each case, but here are the most common symptoms:
1. Intense or severe pounding on the head (most people have it on only one side)
2. Nausea, upset stomach, loss of appetite
3. Sensitivity to sound and light
4. Irritability
5. Blurred or blocked vision, seeing flashing lights or odd shapes and lines
6. Dizziness and shakiness
7. Numbness of weakness in the neck or facial muscles
8. Increased thirst
9. Inability to concentrate, speak normally or carry a conversation

A tension headache is not a migraine. Migraines last longer, have harsher symptoms, are harder to treat, and tend to occur on only one side of the head. Headaches are less severe and usually cause steady pain or tightness around the entire head, particularly near the neck and forehead.

What Causes Migraines?

1. Stress
2. Inflammation
3. Pain-inducing changes in nerve signals and neurotransmitter levels, such as insufficient levels of serotonin
4. Hormonal changes, possibly from poor diet or other health conditions
5. Lack of sleep
6. Reactions to medications
7. Genes: 70-90% of those who suffer from migraines have family members with similar symptoms.

Studies have shown about 20% of migraine sufferer have food triggers. Other researchers found that anywhere from 7% to 44% of these people can source their migraines to food. Here are the most common:

1. Chocolate – 75 %
2. Cheese (especially aged) – 48%
3. Citrus fruits – 30%
4. Alcohol (particularly beer and red wine) – 25%
Other foods triggers include:
5. Cured meats
6. MSG
7. Aspartame
8. Fatty foods
9. Ice cream
10. Food dyes
11. Caffeinated drinks such as cola, coffee, and tea
12. Dairy products

The strong diet-migraine connection can be due to the effect these products have on the body. Chocolate contains phenylalanine which can alter the blood flow to the brain or release other chemicals that cause headaches.
Caffeine has infamous effects on the central nervous system and the brain’s blood vessels.
MSG can make blood vessels narrow and contract which can trigger migraines. It can also stimulate receptors in the central nervous system or create the release of nitric acid, both of which lead to head pain.
Cured meats contain nitrates which can also release the nitric oxide and widen the blood vessels.

Foods to Eat During and After a Migraine

Here is a list of foods that are found never to trigger headaches:

  • Rice, particularly brown rice
  • Cooked green vegetables, like spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, or collard
  • Cooked orange vegetables, like sweet potatoes or carrots
  • Cooked yellow vegetables, like summer squash
  • Cooked or dried non-citrus fruits like cranberries, pears, prunes
  • Drink only water; even herbal teas can be triggers

Lifestyle Tips to Prevent and Treat Migraines

Once you know what to eat and what to avoid, here are other ways you can cure yourself of migraines for life!

Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet – A poor diet high in processed foods and sodium is a major trigger for migraines. Incorporate foods that fight inflammation into your diet such as fresh fruits and vegetables, products rich in omega-3 fatty acids (nuts, seeds, and wild-caught fish) and magnesium, and lean proteins.

Reduce Stress and Sleep –  A small amount and excessive sleep both increase head pain. Stress contributes to insomnia, muscle tension, and changes in blood flow. Be sure to have a regular sleeping, exercising, and eating schedule, and relieve stress with yoga, reading, meditation, and walking outdoors.

Journal Your Symptoms – If you are not sure what is causing your migraine, whether it is diet, nutrient deficiencies, exercise, or other factors, try logging your symptoms along with your meals, stress levels, time of day, the amount of sleep, and exercise performed. This can help you narrow down the pattern of what causes your migraine attacks.

Limit Screen Time and Light Exposure – Migraines can be triggered by blue light from electronic devices, and even from sunlight. Reduce your time on the phone or computer, and consider wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes when outside.

Optimize Essential Oils and Heat – Peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, and frankincense essential oils can be applied to the pained side of the head, neck, or other affected areas to alleviate the tension and stress. You can also try pressing a heated towel or pack, or an ice pack for about 15 minutes at a time to soothe the pain.

Sources:
(1) (4) Dr Axe. Migraine Symptoms to Naturally Treat + Causes to Avoid. https://draxe.com/migraine-symptoms/Accessed: November 1, 2016
(2) Health Union. Food and Drinks. https://migraine.com/migraine-triggers/food-and-drinks/ Accessed: November 1, 2016 (3) Physicians Committee. Migraine Diet: A Natural Approach to Migraines. https://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/a-natural-approach-to-migraines Accessed: November 1, 2016

ADHD – What Does the Science Say?

ADHD – What Does the Science Say?

6.5 million children (in America) have been diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and two thirds of those are receiving mind altering medication.”
I know many friends and colleagues who help with ADHD (along with myself) and therefore wanted to share this research which gives simple nutritional and diet advice to try such as omega-3 fatty acids, dietary sugar, allergic considerations, iron, and zinc. The research concludes that these simple treatable issues can have a profound effect on the diagnosis in question.

New Superfoods of 2016

New Superfoods of 2016

1. Pitaya (Dragon Fruit):

Includes lycopene, which one study shows may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

2. Freekeh:

Four times as much protein as the same amount of cooked brown rice.

3.Tiger Nuts:

Good for potassium and low calorie

4. Baobab:

Contains nearly six times as much vitamin C as oranges and twice as much calcium as milk.

5. Moringa (Horseradish Tree):

It contains as much calcium as milk, more potassium than a banana, and two and a half times the amount of Vitamin C as an orange.

6. Turkey Tail Mushroom:

Contain polysaccharides that support the immune system.

7. Hemp Seeds:

They contain all 10 essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, some omega-6 fatty acids, and are rich in magnesium and iron.

8. Black Rice:

This noir rice, also known as ‘forbidden rice,’ due to its rarity in ancient China. It contains a large amount of anthocyanins, which have been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks and control cholesterol levels.

9. Dandelion Greens:

Contains your entire daily requirement for vitamin A, and nearly as much vitamin K as kale.

10. Matcha:

137 times the amount of anti-inflammatory EGCG found in regular green tea.

11. Guayusa:

Contains polyphenols which reportedly help prevent degenerative diseases and chlorogenic acids, which may improve glycemic control and lower blood pressure.

 

https://www.teambeachbody.com/teambeachbodyblog/nutrition/the-11-superfoods-of-2016

Six most important dietary changes every cancer patient should make

Six most important dietary changes every cancer patient should make (along with everyone to help prevent cancer)

 

1. Eat an alkaline diet to reduce inflammation and improve intracellular pH

(It is composed primarily of organic leafy green vegetables, herbs and spices, root vegetables, onions, garlic, leek and chives, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages, beans, lentils and peas and nuts and seeds, combined with a small amount (a cup or two per day) of non-gluten grains such as rice. A serving of between two and four ounces of clean fish, organic poultry or grass-fed meat, several times per week, can be part of a healthy, alkaline oriented diet. Two to three pieces of whole fresh fruit a day help balance your vitamin and mineral consumption. The more of your vegetables and fruits you enjoy raw, the better).

2. Eliminate sugar:

Cancer cells use more glucose (sugar) per unit of time than other cells. (Moderation with fruit is important, as fructose has been shown to increase the rate of cancer cell division as much as two-fold – more than other forms of sugar).

3. Eliminate gluten:

Glutinous grains cause inflammation. Inflammation promotes cancer progression. (However, using “gluten free” prepared products is a mistake, as most of them have added sugar or processed oils and will therefore fall outside of the alkaline diet parameters for cancer).

4. Eliminate dairy products:

Dairy products create inflammation, cause bone deterioration (yes it is true, because of the high acid production during digestion of dairy) and promote cancer progression in a similar fashion to sugar.

5. Use only olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil in your diet:

naturally anti-inflammatory.

6. Change what you drink:

eliminate alcohol consumption and canned and bottled fruit juice and reduce coffee consumption.