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Strategies to Avoid a Wintertime Heart Attack

6 Strategies to Avoid a Wintertime Heart Attack

 

Whatever their cause, heart symptoms should never be taken lightly—especially  during the winter months. According to Cynthia Thaik, M.D., a cardiologist  and member of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart  Association, research has shown that cardiovascular deaths spike by about 18  percent as the days shorten and the weather cools.

Why do cardiovascular concerns increase in winter?

Cold weather, being indoors more often, stress, lack of vitamin D and changes  in the daylight to nighttime ratio all play a role in increasing a person’s  overall risk of cardiac problems during the winter, says Thaik. There’s also  something about the holiday season that seems to be hard on the heart—Christmas  and New Year’s top the list of dangerous days for cardiovascular problems and  death.

And, according to recent research, it doesn’t seem to matter whether you live  in icy Wisconsin, or sunny Florida—the winter months can still take a toll on  your ticker.

Researchers from the University of New Mexico discovered that people who  lived in Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Los Angeles experienced the same jump in  heart-death risk as those residing in cooler states, such as Massachusetts and  Pennsylvania.

There are things you and your loved one can do to shelter your heart against  winters’ dangerous effects:

Bundle up: Despite the findings of the University of New  Mexico study, Thaik says it’s still important to keep warm during the winter  months because temperature does have an effect on the cardiovascular system.  Cold weather can cause blood vessels to constrict, blood pressure to elevate and  blood to become more prone to clotting, according to Neal Kleiman, M.D.,  cardiologist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center in Houston.

Don’t fall off the wagon: Bitter weather and savory comfort  foods make for an unhealthy combination—especially during the holiday season.  While it’s okay to indulge a bit during celebrations, overall Thaik urges people  to, “keep good habits going during the wintertime.” This means sticking to a  regular exercise  routine and eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole  grains.

Don’t forgo meds: Just as maintaining a healthy diet and  exercise plan is important in the winter, so too is sticking to any existing  medication regimen you may have. Kleiman urges people not to “slack off on their  medications,” and other health maintenance habits.

Get happy: Seasonal  affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that strikes during the  winter months. Shorter, cooler days spent inside can cause a person to become  lethargic, hungry and uninterested. As with any type of depression, people  suffering from SAD may be less likely to practice healthy behaviors, such as  engaging in regular physical activity and eating a well-balanced diet. Thaik  says it’s important to avoid getting into this depressive cycle. Make sure you  take time to do things that lift up your mood, such as going for a walk, or  spending time with your family (if doing so doesn’t stress you out).

Don’t be an early bird: According to Thaik, one of the  unrecognized side effects of fewer daylight hours in the winter is that people  tend to try and start their days earlier. But, because blood pressure naturally  spikes in the morning, these early birds could be putting themselves at greater  risk for a heart  attack. She suggests keeping early morning activities to a minimum during  the winter months. “The heart likes to take time and warm up,” she says, “take  things gradually in the morning.”

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.

6 Foods That Make You Smell Good

6 Foods That Make You Smell Good

 

Cinnamon: its lovely scent not only suffuses your home, but also lingers on to make you smell good!

Citrus fruit: split open a ripe orange, and you’re greeted with an instant  burst of refreshing fragrance, and a light spray of juice. Eat the orange, and  you’ll feel your mouth feel fresh, too. What’s more, citrus fruit is more  readily absorbed by the body, so you give off a pleasant scent.

Cardamom: the sweet, spicy seeds of green cardamom are a favorite ingredient  in mouth fresheners.  I never buy commercial packets, preferring instead to  simply split open a pod and pop the seeds in my mouth. For a long time after,  the mouth feels fresh. Besides, cardamom is a powerful healing spice that boosts  immunity.

Fenugreek seeds: they are a wonderful aid to smelling good. They are also  excellent for strengthening bone health. Soak them overnight in clean water, and  munch on them in the morning. At first, they taste slightly bitter, but as you  chew, the flavor sweetens and feels wonderful in your mouth.

Milk: tone down the strong odor of garlic by adding milk to your menu.  Low-fat or whole fat, either version of milk improves the way you smell.

Jasmine tea: if you’ve been in a lift with someone who has just had coffee,  you know what that smells like. A cup of pleasant, floral jasmine tea, on the  other hand, leaves you smelling good. If you drink herbal tea often, your  digestive system works better, which in turn helps your body smell good.

In general, avoid red meat, which are proven to cause unpleasant body odor. A  plant-based diet consisting of fresh produce, whole grains, sprouts, nuts and  seeds cleanses you from within and keeps you smelling fresh.  (Leesa recommends choosing organic when possible!) 

By Shubhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan, Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential  Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003),  Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004),  and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House  India, 2011).

7 Foods that Help You Sleep Well

7 Foods that Help You Sleep Well

“Eat healthily, sleep well, breathe  deeply, move harmoniously.” ― Jean-Pierre  Barral

If you find yourself staring at the ceiling late into the night, try these  foods to help you drift into blissful sleep.

A cup of chamomile tea. For centuries, chamomile has been  harnessed as a herb that alleviates anxiety and promotes relaxation.

A handful of almonds: soak almonds in clean water in the  morning. At bedtime, slide off their skins and munch on them slowly. The  magnesium in almonds relaxes muscles and their protein content keeps your sugar  levels stable while you sleep.

A bowl of oatmeal: Every now and then, I stir up oatmeal for  dinner because it feels so warm and comforting. Only recently, I learned that  I’m actually helping myself sleep better by doing so. The fiber and minerals in  them do a wonderful job of easing the body and mind. Do avoid sugar in your  oatmeal, though.

Half a cup of cottage cheese: the slow-digesting proteins in  cottage cheese/paneer keep your digestive system relaxed all night long.  Besides, it contains tryptophan, the amino acid that plays a key role in  promoting better sleep.

A bunch of grapes: I was surprised to know that grapes are  the only fruit that contain melatonin, the hormone famous for coming to the  rescue of those who cannot sleep. Just munch grapes on their own or stir them  into a bowl of yogurt for a lovely and soothing bedtime snack.

A banana: the secret here is three-fold—potassium, magnesium  and tryptophan, which combine in one wonderful fruit to help you say ‘goodnight.’

Toast: it’s hot, filling and comforting. And surprise, toast  actually helps you sleep well, thanks to its being a trigger for insulin  production, which in turn boosts the sleep-friendly brain chemicals serotonin  and tryptophan.

(Leesa also recommends Good-Night™.   Are you getting enough sleep? Even when you do, are you still waking up feeling tired? Do you toss and turn all night? Does your brain seem to never shut off allowing you to relax?  Finally there’s an all-natural, fast-acting solution to your problem! Fall asleep faster, sleep through the night and wake up refreshed with Good-Night™. Good-Night™ is a fast acting formula that works in harmony with your natural sleep cycle to support a sound, tranquil sleep so you can awaken refreshed and energized without any grogginess.*  Good-Night™  helps relax the mind, combat stress and optimize neurotransmitter production which is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep.* )  (*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.)

By Shubhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential  Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003),  Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004),  and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House  India, 2011).

6 Health and Beauty Secrets from Across the World

6 Health and Beauty Secrets from Across the World

 

Each culture has its own set of “secrets” for feeling and looking great. Here  is my opinion on the top 6, from Japan to Turkey!

Japan: Japanese people eat a lot of fish and  fruit and  drink many cups of tea. Eating their food with chopsticks helps them eat slowly  and consume less.

India: Our love of spices and herbs, of course, has its  health benefits. Spices such as cumin, turmeric, black pepper and coriander  boost immunity. Mint, Holy basil and cilantro– our favourite herbs– lavish us  with antioxidant benefits, vitamins and other nutrients.

China: In addition to healthy cooking techniques such as  steaming and stir-frying, the Chinese like to stay away from sugary foods. At a  Chinese restaurant, dessert is usually something light, featuring seasonal  fruit. And sugar, as we all know, is notorious for causing all sorts of health  problems, right from weight gain to diabetes.

Germany: Sure, they love their meat and potatoes, but the  Germans are very fond of whole grain bread, particularly rye bread, which is  high in fiber and helps good digestion.  Their love of sauerkraut (sour  cabbage) keeps them protected from coughs and colds.

France: French women are very particular about their beauty  routine. They regularly apply face masques, keep their skin well hydrated and  love to use face oils and natural spa waters to keep their skin glowing.

Turkey: Turkish people love to munch on chestnuts, pistachio  and walnuts, which are fiber-rich, contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids and  reduce bad cholesterol.

By Shubhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential  Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003),  Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004),  and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House  India, 2011).

Wonder Nut: Walnut

Wonder Nut: Walnut

Do you love walnuts? Do you constantly look for ways to include them in your  daily diet? If yes, congratulations—you’re getting more potassium, magnesium,  calcium, and Vitamin E. What’s more, you’re getting much less sodium than those  who prefer salted peanuts. You’re boosting your memory and brain power, and… oh,  the benefits of walnuts are simply too many to count!

Walnuts are a wonder nut indeed. Just seven of them a day can keep you free  of many health problems. Here’s a brief list of their amazing benefits:

1. Whole, unskinned walnuts are rich in phenol, whose  antioxidant properties are known to boost immunity and delay aging. 2. In fact, walnuts contain almost twice as many antioxidant  polyphenols as Brazil nuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamias, hazelnuts,  cashews and pecans. 3. The omega-3 essential fatty acids in  walnuts improve your blood lipid profile, protecting you from strokes and  coronary disease. 4. Walnuts have a special kind of Vitamin  E, which further protects the heart. 5. The high-quality  protein in walnuts can substitute for meat. 6. The nutrients  in walnuts have been found to be effective against certain cancers, especially  prostate and breast cancer. 7. Ayurvedic healers recommend  giving one walnut a day to growing children, because the nut is known to nourish  the brain. Modern research has corroborated this, thousands of years after  vaidyas first recommended walnuts as a brain-sharpening nut! 8. Eaten in moderation—7 walnuts a day—they calm the Kapha dosha, which  means you have more energy and fewer colds, among other things. 9. Studies have shown that walnuts are beneficial for those with Type 2  diabetes. 10. Another research study indicates that walnuts  contain melatonin, an antioxidant that regulates sleep.

Walnuts are wonderfully versatile, too. You could munch them raw, which is my  favorite way of enjoying them, or you could sneak them into your cereal and  salads. Do share your tips and ideas for enjoying this lovely butterfly-shaped  nut. I will soon share mine, too.

And now, off I go to get my daily quota of 7 crunchy walnuts! (Why only 7,  you ask? That’s because 7 walnuts make 1 ounce, and that ounce of protection is  all you need to keep the doctor away!)

By Shubhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential  Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003),  Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004),  and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House  India, 2011).

10 Ways to Alkalize Your Body Today

10 Ways to Alkalize Your Body Today

 

Acidity has been linked to pain, excess weight and many other health issues. Fortunately, making your body more alkaline (the opposite of acidic) is easy.  Here are 10 ways to alkalize your body for more energy and vitality:

1. Start your day with a large glass of water with the juice of a whole, freshly-squeezed lemon. While lemons may seem acidic, they have the opposite effect on your body as it metabolizes them.

2. Eat a large green salad tossed in lemon juice and olive oil. Greens are among the best sources of alkaline minerals, like calcium.

3. Snack on raw, unsalted almonds. Almonds are packed with natural alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium, which help to balance out acidity while balancing blood sugar.

4. Drink an almond milk and berry smoothie with added green powder like spirulina, chlorella, or other greens. Choose almond milk over cow’s milk, since the latter is acid-forming.

5. Go for a brisk walk or some other exercise. Exercise helps move acidic waste products so your body can better eliminate them.

6. Breathe deeply. Ideally, choose a spot that has fresh, oxygen-rich air. And, sorry Febreze, Glade, and all the other so-called “air fresheners”: air filled with these scents is not what I’m talking about here.

7. Go meat-free for a day… or longer if you like. During the metabolism of meat, there is an acid residue left behind.

8. Skip the sugar-laden dessert or soda.  Sugar is one of the mosyogt acidic foods we consume. You need over 30 glasses of neutral water just to neutralize the acidity of ONE can of soda.

9. Add more veggies to your diet. No, potatoes don’t count. But sweet potatoes are a good choice (provided you’re not slathering them in sweeteners or butter).  Asparagus, squash, peppers, and other vegetables are also excellent choices.

10. Sprout it out. Add more sprouts to your daily diet. They are extremely alkalizing and supercharged with nutrients and energy-boosting enzymes.

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 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-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

Foods that Boost Serotonin

Foods that Boost Serotonin

Serotonin plays an important role in regulating happiness, problem-solving and  concentration. When the level of serotonin fluctuates, it can directly change an  individual’s mood, sleep  patterns, appetite, memory, ability to learn and comprehend, body  temperature, heart performance and muscular functioning. A deficiency in  serotonin is sometimes regulated with medication but consuming specific food  items can boost the level of this chemical in the brain.

Fruits that Increase Serotonin

Various fruits boost serotonin and other mood-improving chemicals in the  brain. Plums, pineapple, bananas and sour cherries can directly influence  serotonin production. Bananas contain high levels of a chemical called  tryptophan. This chemical is converted to serotonin in the brain. Melatonin, a  chemical known for improving sleep, is found in sour cherries.

Serotonin Boost from Protein Sources

Turkey is another food known to contain high levels of tryptophan. Many  people report feeling drowsy after eating turkey. The sleepiness following a  large meal with turkey, such as the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, is somewhat  due to tryptophan and serotonin but it is also due to eating a larger quantity  of food. Other foods that can boost serotonin in the protein family include  eggs, beef, wild fish and most animals that are free of growth-promoting  hormones.

Carbohydrate-based Foods that Increase Serotonin

Carbohydrates can make a person feel full. Any grain or sugar-containing item  is usually considered to be a carbohydrate source. When an individual feels the  full sensation in the stomach, it can be rewarding in different ways. The person  may feel satisfied because basic nourishment has been fulfilled, but the brain  may also produce more serotonin as a result of the sugar and make up of the  carbohydrate-based food. Examples of carbohydrate foods include pasta, bread and  white potatoes. Dairy products consist of sugars that boost serotonin  production. Examples include milk, Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese. The cheeses  can increase other mood-boosting chemicals in the body having the same effect as  an increase in serotonin.

Sweet Treats Boost Mood

Eating a favored sweet treat, like dark chocolate, can increase mood not just  because it is so well-liked but also because it increases serotonin levels in  the brain. Some sugary snacks can lead to a dip in energy, causing the  individual to feel sleepy instead of energized or happier. For the purpose of  increasing serotonin, foods lower in sugar will have a more lasting effect.

Things to Consider

Every individual will respond differently to various foods. The exact  quantity of each food needed in order to increase serotonin has yet to be  determined. Eating foods known to boost serotonin is not a recommended method of  treatment for depression or other mood disorders associated with serotonin  deficiencies. Instead, mood-boosting foods can be eaten during illness or other  short-term events that cause a negative mood, fatigue, trouble concentrating and  sleep problems.

by Sarah  Harding, Contributor to Holistic  Nutrition on Allthingshealing.com

All Things Healing (allthingshealing.com) is an online  portal and community dedicated to informing and educating people across the  globe about alternative healing of mind, body, spirit and the planet at large.  We are committed to bringing together a worldwide community of individuals and  organizations who are working to heal themselves, each other, and the world. We  offer 39 healing categories, 80 plus editors who are experts in their fields, a  forum for each category, and an extensive “Find Practitioners” listing. Our  Costa Rica Learning Center and Spiritual Retreat is coming soon. Join  us!

7 Warm-Weather Foods with Surprising Health Benefits

7 Warm-Weather Foods with Surprising Health Benefits

The days are getting warmer and longer, inspiring people to engage in  backyard barbecues, and midday picnics.

Even if your elderly loved one isn’t able to take part in traditions like  cookouts, or holiday parties, you can introduce seasonal celebrations into their  lives through food. Many popular warm-weather foods even offer the added bonus  of helping a senior get the nutrients they need to remain healthy.

Here are some popular spring and summer treats that may offer some unexpected  health benefits for you and your elderly loved one. Ruth Frechman, M.A., a  registered dietician and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Nutrition and  Dietetics, offers her perspective on how these foods can be both tasty and  nutritious for seniors.

Watermelon: Synonymous with summer, this juicy fruit is not  only low-fat, it also contains a staggering amount of nutrients seniors need.  Pound for pound, watermelon  has more lycopene than any other fresh fruit or veggie. Also found in tomatoes,  lycopene is an antioxidant that has been shown to combat certain forms of cancer  and heart disease. Watermelon is also packed with potassium, which can be a boon  for seniors suffering from potassium deficiency, or hypokalemia. According to  the National Institutes for Health, hypokalemia in seniors can sometimes be  brought on by certain heart failure and blood pressure meds, and can cause  problems with heart and muscle function. Watermelon also contains significant  amounts of vitamins A, C, and B6.

Iceberg lettuce: Don’t forgo a spring salad just because it  has romaine lettuce in it. Oft-maligned as the less-healthy relative of spinach  and romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce actually has more of the antioxidant  alpha-carotene than either of them. Alpha-carotene (and its companion,  beta-carotene) can be transformed by the body into vitamin A, which can help  maintain good eye health. Research has shown that alpha-carotene, on its own,  may also play a role in lowering a person’s risk of dying from ailments such as  cancer and cardiovascular disease. Iceberg lettuce also has a good deal of  vitamin K, which can help combat osteoporosis and regulate blood clotting.  Frechman says that, because the amount of alpha-carotene in iceberg lettuce is  relatively low compared to other veggies, so you may want to add some carrots,  tomatoes, and spinach to a salad to boost its overall carotene content.

Spices: Seasoned sauces and rubs are the cornerstones of a  delicious warm weather cook-out. Spices can serve the dual purpose of making  food more flavorful to seniors whose ability to taste has been diminished, as  well as helping them fight off disease. From tumeric, whose primary compound,  curcumin has been shown to be beneficial in fighting off diseases such as  Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer; to cinnamon, which can help people with  type 2 diabetes by lowering their blood sugar, total cholesterol, and  triglycerides, spices have numerous potential health benefits.

Popcorn: Going the movies to see a popular summer flick can  be a simple, fun way for caregivers and their elderly loved ones to get out of  the house. Popcorn has been a cinema staple for years, and often gets a bad rap  for being unhealthy. But, if you forgo the extra salt and butter, recent  research indicates that popcorn may actually have health benefits. Researchers  found polyphenols—a group of beneficial antioxidants—to be more plentiful in  popcorn than certain fruits and veggies. Popcorn is also a pure source of whole  grain, an important dietary element for seniors. (Leesa recommends the bag of Organic Popcorn in Olive Oil found at Trader Joes!)

Party dip: Perennial components of popular party dips, tomatoes and avocados  can offer seniors an array of healthy nutrients. Salsa comprised of tomatoes and  other vegetables can provide an elderly person with part of their daily  recommended vegetable intake, as well as antioxidants such as lycopene. Though  they are high in (“good”) fat, avocados, the main component of guacamole, are  full of vitamins and minerals that can deliver a host of health benefits to  seniors. (Leesa says to make sure the veggies are organic!)

Eggs: Sometimes shunned as a member of the protein portion  of MyPlate, eggs are actually a good source of protein and contain many essential  vitamins and minerals, including vitamins: A, D, E, B6 and B12. And, it’s  not just egg whites that contain health benefits. According to Frechman, egg  yolks contain choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin—several nutrients that are  essential for good eye health. (Leesa recommends using free-range organic eggs.) 

Chocolate: In moderation, certain types of chocolate  are actually good for you. Dark chocolate is chock-full of antioxidants and has  been shown to have numerous health benefits, including: reducing blood pressure,  and increasing insulin sensitivity. (Leesa recommends Vivani Organic Dark Chocolate – order yours today from Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/vivanichocolate. )

While this article is directed at the elderly, Leesa says everyone can enjoy the benefits of these foods! Enjoy!

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com  Editor

AgingCare.com provides online  caregiver support by connecting people caring for elderly parents to other  caregivers, elder care experts, personalized information, and local resources.  AgingCare.com has become the trusted resource for exchanging ideas, sharing  conversations and finding credible information for those seeking elder care  solutions.

7 Ayurvedic Tips for Fighting the Common Cold

7 Ayurvedic Tips for Fighting the Common Cold

 

I am sure we all have our own little tricks for dealing with the common cold.  Some of us straightaway pop decongestant and sinus-relief tablets, others try to  blow it all out loud and clear.

Ayurveda, I have realised, offers some truly helpful advice for increasing  your immunity, so that the nuisance simply doesn’t happen—or at least bugs you  much less frequently. I’ve tried all these tips, with success. Sharing them with  you:

1. Keep your digestive machinery running smooth. If there is  constipation, a cold is usually not far behind. The reason: all that undigested  material is rotting inside your system, creating a ‘seedbed,’ so to say, for  agents of disease to thrive on.

2. Include ‘warming’ spices in your diet: specifically black  pepper and cumin. Freshly crushed black pepper, mixed with a spoonful of honey,  is a cold-fighter that generations have used.

3. Stewed fruits, such as apple, pears and peaches, cooked  with cloves and cinnamon, warm you up nicely and keep the a-tissues away!

4. Turmeric is my absolutely favourite spice for boosting  immunity. It has innumerable healing benefits, among which is its capacity to  destroy germs and ease inflammation. So, cook your greens, stews and stir-fries  with a touch of turmeric. You get both golden colour and healthy  respiration.

5. Avoid certain ‘mucus-forming foods’ such as yogurt and  cheese at night. They increase Kapha, which is associated with ‘congestive’ disorders.

6. Basil and honey make another powerful combination,  because both are known to boast antiseptic and immunity-boosting properties. How  about a soothing honey-basil tea? It’s delicious, too.

7. Here’s an obvious one, which surprisingly many people do not  follow: stay warm. When you have a cold, you should not sit in  an airconditioned room or wear skimpy clothes. Your body needs warmth and  protection to arm itself against the nasty cold.

Happy healing!

By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential  Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003),  Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004),  and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House  India, 2011).

15 Ways to Boost Your Liver for Great Health

15 Ways to Boost Your Liver for Great Health

So, it’s no surprise that the liver can become sluggish, making it a factor  in many health conditions, including: allergies, arthritis, asthma, bad breath,  chronic fatigue syndrome, cravings for sweets,  depression, environmental  illness/multiple chemical sensitivities, fatigue, fibromyalgia, headaches and  migraines, hepatitis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels,  hypoglycemia, hormone imbalances, immune system disorders, irritable bowel  syndrome, overweight or obesity, poor digestion, recurring nausea and/or  vomiting, skin diseases, and ulcerative colitis. Of course there are other  factors involved in these conditions so it is important to see a physician if  you suffer from any of them.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the liver is its ability to  regenerate itself.  When it is given the critical nutrients, a healthy  whole foods diet, and herbs to help it function, it can be restored to health in  most circumstances.  Strengthening the liver is one of the ways to boost  energy, balance weight, and strengthen overall health.

Here are 15 ways to give your liver a boost:

1.  The liver requires high amounts of vitamins and minerals to perform  its many functions.  Your diet should be high in fruits and vegetables and  fibrer-rich foods.

2.  Your liver must filter food additives.  Eliminate processed  foods, artificial food additives, colors, and preservatives from your diet to  give your liver a break.

3.  Eat plenty of fresh carrots and beets, both of which are powerful  liver cleansing and rebuilding foods.  In addition, eat plenty of green  foods.  The chlorophyll, which gives plants their green color, helps  cleanse the liver.

4.  Try to eat two heaping tablespoons of ground flaxseeds.  They  bind to hormone receptor sites, preventing excess hormones including synthetic  xenoestrogens from plastics and other chemicals, from floating around your  bloodstream.  One of the liver’s five hundred jobs is to filter excess  hormones.  By eating flaxseeds and flax oil you are helping it function  more effectively.  Flaxseeds can be sprinkled on cereal, toast, salads, or  blended into smoothies.

Keep reading to learn about the best liver-boosting herbs and  nutrients…

5.  There are many great herbs that help strengthen the liver,  including: milk thistle, dandelion root, globe artichoke, turmeric, slippery  elm, greater celandine, balmony, barberry, black root, blue flag, boldo,  fringetree bark, vervain, and wahoo.  I regularly use turmeric and milk  thistle to help strengthen the liver.  If you are pregnant, have a serious  health condition, or are taking medication, consult a qualified health  practitioner before using herbs.

6.  Significantly reduce refined sugar and avoid synthetic sweeteners  altogether.

7.  Lecithin helps the liver metabolize fats and reduce  cholesterol.  It contains a substance called phosphatidylcholine and  essential fatty acids that help keep liver cells healthy and help prevent fatty  deposits from building up in the liver.  Lecithin also helps reduce high  blood pressure by allowing the blood vessels to relax to allow better blood  flow. You can get lecithin in organic soyfoods like soy milk, tofu, and miso, as  well as organic eggs.  Alternatively, take 4000 mg of lecithin in capsule  form daily.

8.  Take a high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement to avoid any  deficiencies.  The liver depends on many nutrients to detoxify  properly.  Even a single nutrient deficiency can be harmful.

9.  In addition, take 1000 to 2000 mg of vitamin C daily, even if there  is vitamin C in your multivitamin.

Keep reading to learn about the foods that ensure toxins are neutralized, not  made more dangerous…

10.  Eat lots of garlic, onions and broccoli since these foods contain  sulfur that is required to increase enzyme activity that boosts  liver  cleansing. Without adequate levels of sulfur, the phase 2 of liver  detoxification cannot keep pace with level 1, meaning that many toxins can  become MORE dangerous in your body.

11.  Avoid eating large meals.  Instead, eat small meals made up of  plenty easy-to-digest foods.

12.  Eat steamed vegetables, raw salad greens, raw fruits, and bitter  greens.  The bitter greens, especially, help to cleanse the liver.

13.  Eat whole, raw, unsalted nuts and seeds for their essential fatty  acids as well as their usable protein.

14.  Avoid eating heavy, fatty foods since they just create more work  for the liver. Avoid margarine, shortening or commercial oils or any foods made  with them.

15.  Avoid eating for at least three hours before bedtime to allow the  liver adequate time during the night to perform its many functions, unimpeded by  other bodily processes like digestion.

Adapted with permission from The 4-Week  Ultimate Body Detox Plan by Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, PhD, RNCP,  ROHP.

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