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Posts tagged ‘Alternative Therapies’

Your Cravings: Decoded

Your Cravings: Decoded

What do you crave?  The saltiness of potato chips, the cool creaminess of ice cream, or the rich flavor of chocolate?  Whatever you’re longing for, it may be your body’s way of letting you know you’re missing valuable nutrients.  Here’s how to decode your cravings.

All CravingsMost cravings are actually misinterpretations from our bodies that we are dehydrated.  By drinking a tall glass of water first, you may be giving your body exactly what it wants and alleviate the craving altogether. By some estimations, 80 percent of people are chronically dehydrated. So, before you reach for food to nix your cravings, quench them with some water. Then wait half an hour. More often than not, they’ll be gone.

Sweets—If you crave sweets of almost any kind you may be experiencing blood sugar fluctuations. Giving in to pie, candy, cake, or other goodies only makes the problem worse by causing blood sugar roller coasters that lead to more crav­ings. Instead, choose a piece of fruit when you’re craving sweets. And, regularly choose more high-fiber foods like beans and legumes, and complex carbohydrates like whole grains keep your blood sugar stable.

Salty Foods—Cravings for salty foods like potato chips or popcorn often means chronic stress may be taking a toll on your adrenal glands—two triangular-shaped glands that sit atop the kidneys and give us energy and help us to cope with stress of all kinds. Getting on top of the stress in your life is essential. Try medita­tion, breathing exercises, or other stress management techniques. Research at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City showed that people who take a break to breathe deeply or meditate before reach­ing for salty snacks reduced their stress hormones by 25 percent and cut the binging in half.

Chocolate—Cravings for chocolate often indicate that your body may be deficient in magnesium.  Many nutritionists estimate that more than 80% of the population is lacking magnesium in their diet, which may explain why so many of us reach for chocolate. While chocolate can contain beneficial antioxidants, they usually come alongside plentiful amounts of sugar.  If you eat chocolate be sure to reach for dark chocolate which is usually lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants. Additionally, eat foods high in magnesium, such as nuts, seeds, fish, and leafy greens.

Red Meat—Not surprisingly, cravings for red meat usually indicate an iron deficiency. Often people crave burgers or steaks. Women of menstruation age are especially vulnerable to iron deficiencies. Eat more iron-rich beans and legumes, unsulphured prunes, figs, and other dried fruits.

Cheese—Cravings for cheese or pizza often indicate a fatty acid de­ficiency, which is common in most people, since few people get enough Omega 3 fatty acids. Reach for raw walnuts, wild salmon, flax oil, and add ground flaxseeds to your diet.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to SlimWeekend Wonder DetoxHealing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body DetoxThe Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

 

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Leesa A. Wheeler

 

Leesa A. Wheeler

 

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

 

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6 Superpower Foods For Healthy Teeth & Gums

6 Superpower Foods For Healthy Teeth & Gums

 

We all know that oral care is important, and holistic oral care goes way beyond brushing and flossing. With alternative therapies such as oil pulling, and homemade solutions such as herbal mouthwash, there’s a lot you can do to ensure your smile stays beautiful and bright. But don’t overlook the powerful purification properties of simple, everyday foods. The following six are supercharged oral crime fighters, certain to keep your gums safe and pearly whites pretty.

1. Green Tea

Green tea contains complex compounds called “catechins” that can fight inflammation and actually control bacterial infections. It’s true! For example, one Japanese study found that men who drink green tea regularly have less occurrence of periodontal disease, as compared to infrequent tree drinkers. And another Japanese study showed that for both men and women, drinking one or more cups of tea per day was correlated with less tooth loss later in life. The antimicrobial “catechins” may in fact account for the oral health benefits associated with green tea, but as of now further study is needed. What we do know for sure, however, is that green tea consumption is good for oral health, period.

2. Strawberries and Kiwis (and to a lesser extent, Citrus Fruits)

Vitamin C is very important for the overall health of delicate gum tissue, because the vitamin C helps to prevent collagen from breaking down.  Without collagen, gums become extra tender, and thus susceptible to periodontal disease. Kiwis and strawberries have the highest concentration of vitamin C, but citrus fruits also boast good numbers.  These fruits also do double duty because of their astringency, which may help to reverse discoloration caused by commonly consumed beverages like coffee and wine.

3. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a great source of plant-based protein, and they pack in powerful teeth-healthy micronutrients such as phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and most importantly, calcium! Calcium is of course essential for strong bones and teeth, and dietary calcium may actually contribute to tooth remineralization. The nuts highest in calcium are almonds and brazil nuts. Sesame seeds are incredibly high in calcium as well, but make sure you get the unhulled variety

4. Onions

Onions, especially when eaten raw, boast powerful bacteria-busting prowess thanks to their antimicrobial sulfur-containing compounds. Recent research out of a Korean University has confirmed that raw onions were actually able to completely eradicate four strains of bacteria known to cause cavities and periodontal disease. Raw onion slivers can be eaten on sandwiches or in salads. However, if you simply cannot stomach them raw, cooked onion is better than no onion at all.

5. Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitakes contain lentinan, a natural sugar that may help to prevent gingivitis. Gingivitis is gum inflammation, characterized by redness, swelling, and possibly even bleeding, often caused by a build-up of bacterial biofilm. Recent studies show that antibacterial compounds like lentinan specifically target these biofilm-making microbes. In fact, they’re so precise that they kill cavity-causing bacteria while leaving the other, non-harmful bacteria completely unaffected.

6. Apples, Celery, and other Low-Acid, Fibrous Foods

Often referred to as “dental detergents” these water-rich fruits and veggies act by stimulating saliva production, which keeps oral bacteria in check. These high-fiber foods also have a scrubbing effect, literally cleansing the surface of your teeth as you eat, working to brush the bacteria away. Chewing these foods will disturb and dislodge newly formed dental plaque, preventing it from ever forming.

Leesa recommends choosing organic when available!

By Sayward Rebhal

Sayward Rebhal is a writer, a mother, a mover and a maker. Author of the Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide, Sayward also works as a Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator, and blogs about all things “socially conscious, totally fabulous” at http://bonzaiaphrodite.com.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

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8 Foods That Surprisingly Impact Sleep

8 Foods That Surprisingly Impact Sleep

 

 We all know that drinking coffee before bed will make it hard to fall asleep, and that drinking warm milk will help us fall asleep faster —  at least according to our mothers. But did you know that there are plenty of other foods that can impact our slumber? By making a few small changes in your diet, you may not be cured of your insomnia, sure, but you’ll be much better off for it. Check out some of the best — and worst — foods for a good night’s rest.

 

1. Good: Walnuts & Almonds

Almonds contain hefty doses of magnesium, tryptophan and melatonin, a trifecta of ideal sleep-promoting aids. Try eating a handful an hour or so before bed.

 

2. Bad: Grapefruit.

There’s nothing like heartburn for keeping you up all night, and grapefruit increases your stomach’s acidity. If you’d like to avoid heartburn, stay away from grapefruit and other citrus fruits and juices before hitting the sack.

 

3. Good: Oatmeal.

Most of us only eat the stuff in the morning, but the benefits of eating oatmeal before bed might change your habits. Oatmeal is full of plenty of sleep-promoting nutrients, like magnesium, potassium calcium and phosphorous.

 

4. Bad: Celery.

No, really! Celery is certainly a healthy veggie, but it’s not best to eat it before bed. Why? Well, celery is a natural diuretic, and, unless you want to disrupt your slumber with a middle of the night bathroom run, it’s best to avoid it.

Other Natural Diuretics to Avoid Before Bed: Ginger, Parsley.

 

5. Good: Raspberries & Tart Cherries.

Melatonin is a popular supplement for sleep aid, and there are a few, though not many, natural sources of the stuff. Your best bets are raspberries and tart cherries.

 

6. Bad: Greasy & Fried Foods.

People who eat fatty, greasy and fried foods in the evening tend to get less productive sleep than those who don’t. Your stomach is working extra hard to digest the stuff, and can lead to indigestion and heart burn. It’s fine to indulge in calorie-rich foods every once in a while, but try to do so at least 3 hours before you go to sleep.

 

7. Good: Bananas.

With plenty of potassium and magnesium, bananas are an excellent late night snack and natural muscle relaxer. It also contains tryptophan, the same amino acid that gives turkey its famous sleep-inducing reputation.

 

8. Bad: Spicy Foods.

Spicy foods will certainly take a toll on your gut, but they also may impact your sleep. It’s best to avoid spicy meals right before hitting the sack.

by Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

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6 Mood-Boosting Foods

6 Mood-Boosting Foods

 

Can you eat your way to a better mood? More and more scientific research is saying so. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is important for your general health, so why should it be any different for your mental health? From depression-fighting seeds to anxiety-zapping greens, read about the best nutrients for your mood.

 

1. Sesame Seeds.

Good things come in small packages. The unassuming sesame seed is loaded with mood-boosting nutrients. Sesame seeds are on of the best vegetarian sources of zinc, a mineral that has been linked to depression and anxiety. One study found that zinc treatment lowered the depression and anger levels of young women. Other studies have suggested using the mineral as a treatment for depression.

 

2. Chocolate.

A few bites of real, dark chocolate each day will help your mood and your tastebuds! Studies have suggested that dark chocolate reduces the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, in your body; it may also relieve anxiety. Leesa recommends 85% organic dark chocolate from Vivani!

 

3. Spinach.

As if you needed another reason to love spinach! This leafy green is loaded with all sorts of mood-boosting nutrients, from depression-fighting folates (more on that later) to anxiety-easing magnesium. Spinach also contains plenty of zinc — studies have shown that, the less zinc you have in your body, the more likely you are to be depressed.

 

4. Yogurt.

Yogurt is an excellent vegetarian source of vitamin B12, a vital nutrient for the formation of red blood cells. For reasons scientists aren’t exactly clear on yet, B vitamins seem to play a vital role in our mental health. Vitamin B12 deficiencies in particular have been linked to high rates of depression, and studies have suggested that strong intake of the vitamin may improve depression treatment outcomes. If your body doesn’t get enough of the stuff, it can actually lead to serious mental health issues. Because plants cannot make Vitamin B12, your best sources for the stuff are dairy products, eggs, seafood, and meat. Vegans and older adults are especially at risk of a Vitamin B12 deficiency, and may want to talk with their doctors about supplements or fortified foods.

5. Lentils.

Lentils, along with other foods rich in folic acid, are a key nutrient for treating depression. Like it’s B vitamin cousin, vitamin B12, plenty of research has linked low levels of folic acid to depression. It’s also thought that high levels of the vitamin will actually help anti-depressants work more effectively.  Healthy carbs help boost serotonin levels.

Other Foods Rich in Folates: Pinto, black, navy, kidney & garbanzo beans; spinach, asparagus, turnip greens and broccoli.

6. Flaxseeds.

The countries with the lowest rates of depression tend to have one thing in common: they also eat the most fish. Scientists think this is because fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that these polysaturated fats can improve your mood, and help treat depression and postpartum depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Though fish is probably your best source of omega-3 fatty acids, most healthy people can get all of it they need from flaxseeds and flaxseed oil. You can also check out supplements or sea vegetables if you are a vegan or a vegetarian.

Leesa recommends choosing organic when available.

By Katie Waldeck 

Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

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chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

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7 Winter Vegetables that Boost Your Health

7 Winter Vegetables that Boost Your Health
We rarely think of vegetables in the winter but it is important to eat your veggies this time of year to keep your immune system strong.
Beets Beets are one of the most overlooked superfoods.  They lower blood pressure, increase exercise endurance, and reduce inflammation.  They contain potent phytonutrients called proanthocyanidins which give beets their brilliant purple color.  Proanthocyanidins are proven anti-cancer compounds.  They are packed in nutrients like folate which is important to prevent birth defects, potassium which is critical for healthy muscles and nerves, manganese which helps build strong bones, and vitamin C for a strong immune system.  
Carrots – Just one carrot contains 13,500 IU of beta carotene which translates into a tremendous amount of nutritional power against free radicals.  Beta carotene is anti-cancerous, prevents cellular damage and premature aging, and is important to prevent cataracts.

Ginger—Ginger is one of the best natural anti-pain remedies.  Technically it is a spice but it is ideal for winter since it reduces joint pain that plagues so many people with arthritis this time of year.  It also adds warmth to foods and beverages making freshly minced garlic a welcome addition to most soups, stews, and curries.

Rutabaga—Contrary to popular belief, rutabagas are not turnips.  The most common rutabagas are larger than turnips, have purple and cream-colored skins, and tend to have a cream to yellow-colored flesh.  It is high in anti-cancer compounds, immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin B6 which is needed for a healthy nervous system. They are great in soups, stews, curries, and other places you’d use hardy winter veggies.  I love them cut into small cubes, tossed with a bit of olive oil and sea salt and roasted in the oven on 350 for about an hour.

Squash—Squash is rich in beta-carotene, the nutrient that gives squash its brilliant orange-colored flesh.  Enjoy it cut in half, seeded, and roasted.  Add roasted squash to soups, salads, stews, or in wraps and on sandwiches.  Use grated, raw squash in muffin recipes, in place of zucchini in zucchini bread recipes, or in other baked goods to increase their nutritional value.

Sweet Potatoes—Like squash, sweet potatoes are also high in beta carotene.   They also contain vitamins C, B6, and minerals like blood-building iron, energy-boosting potassium, and Nature’s relaxant, magnesium.  Enjoy them chopped into French fry-shapes, tossed in a little olive oil and sea salt and baked in the oven for about 45 minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Turnips—Turnips are a good source of fiber which helps to keep blood sugar levels steady and stabilize energy and moods.  They are also a rich source of glucosinolates—the precursors of isothiocyanates that are proven anti-cancer powerhouses.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to SlimWeekend Wonder DetoxHealing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body DetoxThe Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

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4 Ways to Use Music as Medicine

4 Ways to Use Music as Medicine

 

Human beings are governed by rhythms. From our pulsing heartbeat, to the  cadence of our speech patterns, to when we fall asleep and wake up—countless  rhythms drive our existence.

Perhaps this is why we are so mesmerized by music.

“From lullabies to funeral  songs, music is a part of our lives from the moment we enter the world,  until the moment we leave it,” says Diane Snyder-Cowan, director of the  Elisabeth Prentiss Bereavement Center for Hospice of the Western Reserve.

She describes a phenomenon called, “entrainment,” whereby people’s biological  rhythms become synchronized with the music they’re listening to.

Entrainment exerts such a powerful force that simply listening to and  focusing on soothing music can actually help a person enter a more relaxed state  of physical and mental functioning. Once people enter this state, they’re better  able to physically and mentally process things—from medications  to emotions.

A professional music therapist, Snyder-Cowan is part of a specially-trained  group of care providers who use melodies to achieve a particular treatment goal. “Music therapy is all about the intentional use of music to bring about a  particular change; whether that change is therapeutic, emotional or spiritual,” she says.

Melodies may be better than meds

Music therapists work in a variety of different settings, from hospitals to  halfway houses.

In some cases, music may even be more powerful than more traditional medical  interventions, such as prescriptions and physical therapy.

Here are a few studies that demonstrate how Mozart may trump medicine:

Singing helps the stroke-stricken to speak sooner: A study  conducted on a group of Finnish stroke sufferers found that listening to their  favorite tunes while recovering helped them regain their ability to recognize  words and communicate. When compared to stroke sufferers who listened to  audiobooks or nothing at all, those that listened to music for a few hours a day  experienced a much faster recovery of their verbal skills. The music listeners  were also less likely to be depressed and confused, two common post-stroke side  effects.

Pulsing pitches set pace for people with Parkinson’s:  Numerous studies have indicated that music therapy can allow people with  Parkinson’s to regain some of their overall functioning. In certain cases, music  may even prove more effective at helping a Parkinson’s sufferer move better than  traditional physical therapy techniques, according to an Italian study published  in, “Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine.” Music therapy  also upped the quality of life and overall feelings of happiness reported by  those dealing with the disease.

Classical compositions have calming cardiovascular effects:  German researchers discovered that people recovering from open-heart surgery had  lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, after listening to classical  music. Relaxing refrains also helped patients calm down pre-surgery. In some  cases, listening to music before an operation was more effective in getting  a person to relax than commonly-prescribed anti-anxiety medications.

Melodic intervention to manage grief

Music therapists also work with hospice care providers to assist a dying  person and his family as they go through the grieving process.

Depending on the unique needs and wishes of the ailing individual and her  family, a music therapist can perform services, such as helping to create a  compilation CD of songs that have special meaning to the dying person to give as  a legacy gift, composing a song about the person’s life, and selecting and  playing particular melodies meant to ease their emotional and physical  pain as they transition out of this life.

Harness the healing power of harmony at home

You don’t have to be formally trained to help an ill loved one reap the  holistic healing benefits of music. Snyder-Cowan offers a few simple  suggestions:

Make your own music: If you or your loved one have a passion  for playing a particular instrument, don’t hesitate to dust off the old  six-string and strum out a few chords. “Live music has its own set of special  rewards,” says Snyder-Cowan.

Travel to another time or place: Music and memory are  intimately intertwined. To help your loved one get in touch with their past, try  playing music that was popular when they were in their 20s and 30s.

Match tempo to temper: No one genre of music is more  therapeutic than another. According to Snyder-Cowan, it’s all about personal  preference. Pick songs that you and your loved one enjoy listening to. Keeping  in mind the principal of entrainment, try to synchronize the songs to the mood  you’re trying to invoke.

Highlight hobbies: For example, a sick person may not be  able to visit the opera like he used to, but that doesn’t mean he has to forgo  his favorite arias. You can help bring the opera to him by purchasing or  downloading some of his favorite performances and playing them.

Elderly Man Revitalized by Music (video)

Elderly Man Revitalized by Music  (video)
By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com  Editor
AgingCare.com  connects family  caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing  options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted  resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed  decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?   Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~  www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

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9 Brain Superfoods…Are You Enjoying Them Daily?

9 Brain Superfoods

 

Your brain controls every function in your body yet we rarely give it a  second thought.  And, few of us choose foods that protect or heal our  brain.  Here are some of the best foods for thought (literally):

1.  Spinach—More than Just for Popeye

A study of middle-aged rats fed diets with added spinach, strawberry extract,  or vitamin E for nine months found that spinach proved most potent in protecting  nerve cells against the effects of aging in two parts of the brain.  More  research needs to be done but it looks like Popeye was building more than  muscles when he ate spinach.

2.  Benefits of Blue for Grey Matter

Blueberries contain a group of plant nutrients called  proanthocyanidins.  Proanthocyanidins have a unique capacity to protect  both the watery and fatty parts of the brain against damage from some  environmental toxins.  Proanthocyanidins decrease free radical activity  within and between brain cells.  Blueberry proanthocyanidins have greater  antioxidant properties than vitamins C and E.  Blueberries appear to have  some of the highest concentrations of these powerful antioxidants.  In  other studies, researchers found that compounds in blueberries may reverse some  age-related memory loss and motor skill decline.

Blueberries are excellent anti-inflammatory agents. They increase the amounts  of compounds called heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age, thereby  causing inflammation and damage, particularly in the brain. By eating  blueberries regularly, research shows that these heat-shock proteins stop  declining and inflammation lessens, not to mention that they just taste  fabulous.

3.  From the Vine to Your Palate

A plant nutrient found in grapes, grape juice and red wine appears to protect  the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.  It’s called resveratrol, and it is  an antioxidant thought to be responsible for many of the purported benefits of  red wine on brain cells.  The researchers found that resveratrol protected  brain cells by mopping up free radicals before they can cause brain  damage.  And while people may prefer to hear that red wine is the best  source, the alcohol in wine is still damaging to brain cells.  Red or  purple grapes are the best option to load up on resveratrol.

4-7.  Omega 3s to Maintain a Healthy Brain (Wild Salmon,  Walnuts, Flax or Hemp Seeds)

The brain is 60% fat and requires healthy fats to reduce inflammation (linked  to most brain disorders) and maintain a healthy blood-brain barrier—a mechanism  intended to protect the brain from harmful substances.  Omega 3 fatty acids  like those found in salmon, walnuts, flax seeds or flax seed oil, or hemp seeds,  help to quell inflammation and support a strong blood-brain barrier, while  boosting our memory.  Be sure to choose only wild salmon  since high levels of mercury and PCBs have been found in farmed salmon and both  of these substances may have adverse effects on the brain.  Also, be sure  to choose raw walnuts, flax or hemp seeds or the oil made from  them since the fats contained in these nuts and seeds can have damaging effects  on brain health when heated.

8.  The Memory-Boosting Power of Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a powerful memory-boosting phytonutrient called “lycopene.”  Research shows that those who consume lycopene in their daily  diets had sharper memories than those who didn’t consume high amounts of  lycopene.  Tomatoes aren’t the only source.  Another great source of  lycopene is watermelon.

9.  Tea for Two Hemispheres

Researchers found that people who drank two or more cups of tea each day were  less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.  Black and green tea  (especially green tea) contains potent antioxidants with twenty times the power  to protect against free radicals than vitamin E.  Green tea also lowers the  risk of blood clots and clumping linked to stroke.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, Healing Recipes, The  Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?  Please complete the information at www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html to schedule your consultation.  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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11 Ways to Boost Your Lymphatic System for Great Health

11 Ways to Boost Your Lymphatic System for Great Health

 

The lymphatic system, or lymph system as it is also called, is a system made  up of glands, lymph nodes, the spleen, thymus gland and tonsils. It bathes our  body’s cells and carries the body’s cellular sewage away from the tissues to the  blood, where it can be filtered by two of the body’s main detoxification organs:  the liver and kidneys. This sewage is made up of the byproducts of our bodily  processes, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, illicit drugs, cigarette  toxins, other airborne pollutants, food additives, pesticides and other  toxins.

The Fat Flush Plan author Ann Louise Gittleman,  PhD, estimates that 80 percent of women have sluggish lymphatic systems and that  getting them flowing smoothly is the key to easy weight loss and improved  feelings of well-being.

If you are suffering from injuries, excess weight or cellulite, or pain  disorders like arthritis, bursitis, headaches or others, a sluggish lymphatic  system may be playing a role.  Here are 11 ways you can get your lymph  flowing smoothly.

1.  Breathe deeply. Our bodies have three times more  lymph fluid than blood, yet no organ to pump it. Your lymph system relies on the  pumping action of deep breathing to help it transport toxins into the blood  before they are detoxified by your liver. So breathe in that sweet smell of  healing oxygen. Breathe out toxins.

2.  Get moving. Exercise also ensures the lymph system  flows properly. The best kind is rebounding on a mini trampoline, which can  dramatically improve lymph flow, but stretching and aerobic exercise also work  well.

3.  Drink plenty of water. Without adequate water,  lymph fluid cannot flow properly. To help ensure the water is readily absorbed  by your cells, I frequently add some fresh lemon juice or oxygen or pH  drops.

4.  Forget the soda, trash the neon-colored sports drinks, and  drop the fruit “juices” that are more sugar than fruit. These sugar-, color- and preservative-laden beverages add to the already overburdened workload  your lymph system must handle.

5.  Eat more raw fruit on an empty stomach. The enzymes  and acids in fruit are powerful lymph cleansers. Eat them on an empty stomach  for best digestion and maximum lymph-cleansing benefits. Most fruits are  digested within 30 minutes or so and quickly help you feel better.

6.  Eat plenty of green vegetables to get adequate  chlorophyll to help purify your blood and lymph.

7.  Eat raw, unsalted nuts and seeds to power up your  lymph with adequate fatty acids. Choose from walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts,  macadamias, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

8.  Add a few lymph-boosting herbal teas to your day,  such as astragalus, echinacea, goldenseal, pokeroot or wild indigo root tea.  Consult an herbalist or natural medicine specialist before combining two or more  herbs or if you’re taking any medications or suffer from any serious health  conditions. Avoid using herbs while pregnant or lactating and avoid long-term  use of any herb without first consulting a qualified professional.

9.  Dry skin brush before showering. Use a natural  bristle brush. Brush your dry skin in circular motions upward from the feet to  the torso and from the fingers to the chest. You want to work in the same  direction as your lymph flows—toward the heart.

10.  Alternate hot and cold showers for several  minutes. The heat dilates the blood vessels and the cold causes them to  contract. Avoid this type of therapy if you have a heart or blood pressure  condition or if you are pregnant.

11.  Get a gentle massage. Studies show that a gentle  massage can push up to 78 percent of stagnant lymph back into circulation.  Massage frees trapped toxins. You can also try a lymph drainage massage. It is a  special form of massage that specifically targets lymph flow in the body.  Whatever type of massage you choose, make sure it is gentle. Too much pressure  may feel good on the muscles, but it doesn’t have the same lymph-stimulating  effects.

There are countless benefits of getting your lymphatic system moving more  efficiently, including more energy, less pain, and improved  detoxification.  Adapted from The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox  Plan.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, Healing Recipes, The  Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

9 Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy

9 Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy

 

 

Boosting your energy doesn’t have to cost a lot or feel like work. Just by  learning a few simple tricks you can have a great impact on your energy for the  rest of your life.

1. Start the day out with the juice of one lemon  squeezed into pure water. Not only do lemons contain over 20  anti-cancer compounds, they help to quickly restore your body’s pH.  While  lemons are acidic, when the juice is metabolized with water, it alkalizes your  body to help reduce pain or headaches, improve your energy levels, and optimize  your body’s natural enzyme processes.

2.  Eat fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is packed with  vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and of course, enzymes. We tend to deplete  our bodies’ own stores of enzymes by overeating and eating primarily cooked or  processed foods.  Adding fresh, raw fruit allows your body to divert its  own digestive energy to other functions in your body.  When eaten on an  empty stomach the fruit passes through your digestive system quickly to provide  you with a quick boost of energy.  Don’t overdo on extremely sweet fruit  like pineapples or bananas if you’re trying to lose weight.

3.  Snack on raw, soaked nuts and seeds throughout the  day. By soaking raw nuts for at least an hour (but preferably overnight) and  then draining them, you help to quash enzyme inhibitors found in nuts while  increasing the nutrient-content. Soaking them increases their water content and  digestibility, helping to make sure your body can assimilate their rich calcium,  magnesium, zinc and Omega 3 fatty acid stores. Nuts also make a great snack  because they help to keep blood sugar levels stable and that means weight loss,  greater energy and balanced moods for you.

4.  Keep a tray of crudités (raw veggie sticks) to  snack on or add to your meals. You’ll be far more likely to eat them on a  regular basis if they are already cleaned, cut, and ready to go.  Raw  veggies are loaded with vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

5.  Eat a large raw salad at a minimum of one meal a  day. That doesn’t include iceberg lettuce topped with a starchy tomato. I’m  talking about a large green salad, either Romaine, mesclun mix or your favorite  greens—just be sure they are actually green. But your salad doesn’t have to be a  boring plate of greens. Top with some fresh berries, garlic and ginger crisps,  brown rice noodles, salsa, roasted vegetables or raw walnuts. I’ve observed many  converts go from salad haters to salad lovers with a little creativity and some  delicious recipes.  And greens are among the most nutrient-dense food you  can eat so it’s worth the effort.

6.  Sip fresh juice. Enjoy a smoothie made with fresh  fruit and almond milk. Drink a freshly-made veggie and carrot juice between  meals. It’s easier and more delicious than you think to drink fresh juices. Once  you get in the habit of having fresh juice, you’ll never want packaged or  concentrated juices again. The added energy they’ll give you over time will be  reward for the minimal effort required to make them.

7.  Make a salad smoothie. Sounds disgusting but you’ll  be surprised how delicious, filling and nutritious this power drink can be. Toss  a large handful of mild greens like Boston lettuce, Romaine lettuce or spinach  along with berries, frozen banana, almond milk or other smoothie ingredients and  blend for an instant “green drink” and salad. I opt for a salad smoothie when  I’m pressed for time or am just feeling a little lazy and want my salad in a  hurry.

8.  Add sprouts to salads, wraps, sandwiches, noodles  or stir-fries after they’ve finished cooking. Sprouts are diverse and versatile.   They are nutrient- and enzyme-powerhouses, giving your body a serious  boost when eaten on a regular basis.  If you don’t like one kind, try  another.  There are many different varieties, including but not limited  to:  mung bean, onion, broccoli, alfalfa and red clover. Sprouts are  serious energy-boosting superfoods.

9.  Eat only until you are full. For many people eating  has become a pastime rather than something to nourish their appetites and  bodies. Reducing the amount you eat may increase longevity. Research shows that  even slightly restricting caloric intake increases the lifespan of laboratory  animals so this benefit may transfer to humans as well. Eat until you feel full  but not heavy. It may take some time to adjust to this concept. Most people eat  until they are bloated and heavy feeling and mistake that as feeling “full.” Stop well before that. You’ll use a lot less energy to eat only until you are  full than you would if you keep on eating.  And that frees up energy for  other things.  That doesn’t mean you should starve yourself, go hungry, or  use this advice as an excuse to support an eating disorder. Snack later if you  become hungry again, but pay attention to your body’s signals, not just to your  eyes and taste buds.

(Leesa recommends that your fruit and vegetable choices be organic!)

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, Healing Recipes, The  Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

18 Ways to Boost Your Health in 2013

18 Ways to Boost Your Health in 2013

 

Let’s face it:  most of us start out the New Year with the best  intentions, but soon we are back to our old habits.  Here are 18 ways to  help you get your health on track in 2013:

1. Eat a large green salad.  Greens are full of vitamins, minerals,  enzymes, and phytonutrients like chlorophyll that give our body a huge  boost.  Chlorophyll, in particular, helps build healthy and strong  blood.

2. Drink more water.  Water fuels every cell in our body.   Insufficient water spells the breakdown of cellular process that can eventually  cause illness.

3. Eat two or three pieces or servings of fruit (count ½ cup of fruit like  grapes, blueberries, cherries, etc. as a serving) daily.  It’s easy enough  to choose fruit instead of a less-healthy dessert.

4. Go for a brisk walk.  Walking gets your heart pumping, improves  circulation, and gets your lymphatic system (the system that eliminates toxic  build-up from your tissues) working more effectively.

5. Better yet, take your brisk walk in nature.  Breath in the rich  oxygenated air from the trees and enjoy the peace and quiet nature offers.

6. Drink a freshly made juice preferably with green veggies.  Ideally,  dilute your juice 1:1 with pure water.  Fresh juices are an easy way to  cleanse your body and give it a huge amount of nutrients.  Some people  spend a fortune on superfoods (which is fine if you have the money) but fresh  juices also tend to be rich in antioxidants and other critical nutrients and are  much cheaper.

7. Think of at least 10 things for which you are grateful each day.   Better yet, start a gratitude journal.  Just the act of appreciating what  you have can help you feel happier and better about your life.

8. Hug someone you love (make sure it is someone who actually wants a  hug).

9. Soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts.  The magnesium in Epsom salts  is readily absorbed through your skin to relax your muscles and ease  tension.  Many experts estimate that about 80% of the population is  magnesium deficient.  This is a delightful way to boost your magnesium  levels.  Try to stay in the water for at least 20 minutes for maximum  benefits.

10.  Meditate.  The act of calming your mind can relax the nervous  system, which tends to be in stress mode due to our high-stress, fast-paced  lives.

11.  Deep breathe for at least 5 minutes, as often as you can.   Research shows that breathing deeply can reduce the amount of the stress hormone  cortisol that is released from the adrenal glands.  Simply reducing this  hormone can reduce anxiety, stress, and even help with weight loss.

12.  Dry skin brush.  Brush your skin using a natural-bristled  brush.  Start with the legs and brush upwards toward the heart.  Then  brush the trunk of the body also toward the heart (avoiding the breasts), and  then brush the arms toward the heart.  This gets the lymphatic system  moving to eliminate toxins more effectively.  Take a couple of minutes  before hopping in the shower.

13.  Snack between meals on healthy snacks like almonds, veggie crudite,  hummus and whole grain pitas.  Snacking every few hours helps keep blood  sugar levels stable, which is critical to reduce mood swings, depression,  balance energy and to lose weight.

14.  Stop and smell the flowers.  It’s okay to slow down to a pace  that you actually enjoy life more.

15.  Eliminate at least one item from your life that contains toxic  chemicals (dryer sheets, most types of commercial laundry soap, dish soap, “air  fresheners,” etc.).  Choose a natural option from your health food store  instead.

16.  Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables.  We know we should eat  our vegetables but it’s difficult to remember sometimes.  Add mashed sweet  potatoes as a side dish, or saute some greens with freshly chopped garlic and  toss with a little fresh lemon juice and sea salt.  Even people who don’t  like greens tend to love this way of preparing them.  Check out my book Healing Recipes if you need more ideas for creating  delicious vegetable dishes.

17.  Dust off that piece of exercise equipment you’ve owned for years  and put it in front of your television.  If you’re watching TV, exercise on  the commercials.  No equipment?  Do pushups, sit-ups, crunches, or  other exercises on the commercials.  It’s easy and it adds up.  Soon,  you’ll be surprised how fit you are.

18.  Do something nice for someone.  It just feels good to do  something nice for someone else.  Usually we reap the greatest benefits out  of paying good deeds forward.  A positive attitude is contagious.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, Healing Recipes, The  Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/18-ways-to-boost-your-health-in-2013.html#ixzz2IYiSOvF4

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