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Posts tagged ‘Headaches’

6 Liver-Boosting Superfoods to Add to Your Diet

6 Liver-Boosting Superfoods to Add to Your Diet

Avocado—Research shows that avocado supercharges other foods eaten alongside of it.  In other words, it boosts the nutrient absorption of other foods, particularly of a group of nutrients called carotenoids.  You may have heard of beta carotene (forms vitamin A in your body) and lycopene. The absorption of both of these nutrients is increased with avocado consumption.  Avocados contain a type of fat that is found in seafood but rarely in foods found on the land. While they have a reputation for being “high fat,” the fats they contain are beneficial and even reduce inflammation in the body. This translates into many liver health boosting properties. If you’ve never eaten avocado, it tastes like butter. Use it in place of butter on bread, wraps, or sandwiches, or top a salad with avocado, use it to make a delicious guacamole or veggie dip.  Simply cut lengthwise around the avocado, twist slightly to release the flesh from the pit, then using a slow chopping action hit the blade of a knife against the pit, twist and the pit will pop right out.

Dandelion Greens—Not just a weed, dandelion greens are delicious food and powerful medicine. They contain blood-building chlorophyll which gives them their green color. They also contain bitter compounds that help cleanse the liver. Choose young dandelion greens since they are more palatable. The older ones become extremely bitter. You can steam, sauté or juice the greens. Roast and grind the root for a delicious coffee-like caffeine-free beverage. I love dandelion greens chopped and sautéed with some minced garlic and olive oil then topped with some fresh lemon juice and a dash of unrefined sea salt.

Soy foods—Lecithin, found in soy foods, helps the liver metabolize fats and reduce cholesterol. Like eggs, 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. Lecithin is naturally found in soy milk, tofu, and miso, as well as organic eggs. Choose only certified organic soy foods since soy is a heavily genetically-modified food.  Fermented varieties like miso and soy yogurt are best.

Onions—Onions contains sulfur that is required to increase enzyme activity that, in turn, 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. Like garlic, onions also kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Nuts and Seeds—I’ve counted these as 2 items but there are many different types of nuts and seeds, including: walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc. Consuming nuts and seeds is an all-natural way to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Be sure to choose raw, unsalted, nuts and seeds, preferably those found in the refrigerator section of your local health food store since the oils go rancid easily.

Leesa recommends eating only organic foods!

Adapted with permission from the book Weekend Wonder Detox by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, DHS, ROHP.  Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, DHS, ROHP.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Take the FREE WEEKEND WONDER DETOX QUIZ to determine which detox is best for you.

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

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6 Surprising and Natural Stress Relievers

6 Surprising (& Natural) Stress Relievers

Everyone gets stressed sometimes. Whether it be financial or personal, significant stress is an unfortunate aspect of modern living. But, too much stress can be a bad thing. Whether you have trouble sleeping or find yourself becoming more irritable, stress takes a toll on our bodies. It is the leading cause of innumerable diseases, and can be single-handedly responsible for symptoms such as hair loss, high blood pressure, headaches, depression, drastic weight changes, ulcers, and more. So, next time you feel the need to pop a chill pill, try one of these more natural remedies instead.
Lavender. If you ever have trouble falling asleep at night, try spritzing some lavender essential oil into the nighttime air. Lavender helps calm anxiety and can soothe the mind and body to help you sleep more soundly. Intrigued? Aromatherapy has been shown to trigger various moods and sensations, and can be used to fight depression, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, indigestion, et cetera. Find a specialist near you to learn more.
Sweet Potato. What do you normally reach for when you’re stressed out? Probably sweets or salty carbs, I’d gamble. Next time, try some sweet potato instead. It will kill your cravings, satisfy your frenzied emotions, and help you digest more slowly due to their high fiber content. Plus, there will be no post-splurge guilt, as there would be if you ate a huge piece (or two) of cake. If you are really craving comfort food, try steamed and mashed sweet potatoes with a dash of coconut milk. Yum!
Chamomile. Chamomile tea has been shown to relax the body and muscles before sleep. Although chamomile’s benefits have not been medically proven, it has been used for centuries for its sedative qualities as well as an immune booster. Go ahead and brew up a pot of fresh tea to give your body a helping hand. Even better, add some raw honey into your tea (once it has cooled to drinking temperature to retain raw honey’s beneficial enzymes) for an additional boost.
Dark Chocolate. As if you need another reason to enjoy chocolate! A recent study has shown that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate lowers your body’s stress hormones and reduces anxiety. The stress hormone cortisol, in particular, can easily become imbalanced and lead to long term disease and disfunction. It is well known that too much cortisol can also lead to accumulated belly fat, so, in a way, a small piece of chocolate a day could help to keep the belly fat at bay! (OK, it’s a lot more complicated than that, but a girl can dream.) Also, your brain releases endorphins when you nibble chocolate, so it’s a double-whammy of happiness! Just be sure to enjoy in moderation.
St. John’s Wort. Useful if you’re feeling down-and-out, this herb has been shown to significantly increase mood and attitude in patients with mild depression. It has been used for centuries as a natural anti-depressant and is a fairly ubiquitous plant, often regarded as a weed. However, be sure to consult your doctor before adding any new herbs or regimens into your diet to avoid allergic reaction or misdiagnosis.
Peanut Butter. If you aren’t getting enough sleep and are feeling cranky, grab a spoonful of organic, unsweetened peanut butter. Being high in vitamin B6, it helps to regulate blood sugar, which stabilizes mood swings. And, of course, peanut butter is another great comfort food. Just don’t go out of control. If those 6 remedies aren’t enough for you, some other excellent ideas are practicing yoga or meditation, regular exercise, enjoying a hot bath, or even writing in a personal journal. Relieving yourself of stress will make your life a lot healthier and more enjoyable. If you are stressed out and are reaching for the tub of cookie dough ice cream, try one of the 6 aforementioned edibles instead. Take time for yourself, let your mind relax, and enjoy a bit of this crazy ride we call life.
By Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at jordyncormier.com. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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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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.

 

Foods That Cause Headaches

Foods That Cause Headaches

Dealing with a headache is infuriating enough. Trying to figure out  exactly  what caused it … well, that in itself could just about give you a  headache.  Many people who suffer from chronic headaches, including  those who experience migraines,  often get so fed up with them that they discover the factors that  trigger  their headaches so that they can avoid them in the future. For  some people,  environmental elements, such as cigarette smoke or heavy  perfume, bring on  headaches. For others, excessive stress or lack of  sleep is enough to cause an  attack. And according to some experts, up to  30 percent of headache sufferers  are affected by the foods they eat.  What kinds of foods cause headaches, and  why?

Let the Cheese Stand Alone

There’s no conclusive evidence to prove which foods cause headaches,  and not  every headache and migraine sufferer is affected by food. But  the accepted  reality is that many people are, so avoiding headaches  means avoiding certain  kinds of food. One of the biggest triggers is cheese, specifically the aged varieties. Cheese  is high in an enzyme  called tyramine, an amino acid known to raise blood  pressure, which can  contribute to headaches. Tyramine forms from the breakdown  of protein  in foods, so the longer a food has aged, the greater the amount of   tyramine present. Blue or moldy cheeses, Brie, Muenster, Parmesan, and  cheddar  tend to be the worst offenders.

Plenty of foods besides cheese contain tyramine as well. People  who are  headache-prone are usually cautioned to avoid processed and aged  meat products  (like salami, pepperoni, and hot dogs), pickles, fava  beans, avocados, and most  kinds of nuts. Tyramine’s most severe effects  happen to people taking monoamine  oxidase inhibitor medications, but it  has the potential to affect anyone.

Red, Red Whine

Red wine negatively affects so many people that “red wine headache”  is  sometimes considered its own syndrome. Having a sensitivity to red  wine isn’t  the same as developing a pounding headache after drinking a  bottle or two  (that’s called a hangover, of course); true red wine  headaches usually develop  within just a few minutes after someone drinks  the wine. People used to blame  the headaches on sulfites, the compounds  added to wine to halt fermentation or  act as preservatives. In the  early eighties, the FDA began to require wine  producers to state on  their bottles whether their wines contained sulfites,  since a small  portion of the population is allergic to them, so many people  assumed  that sulfite allergies were what caused the infamous red wine  headaches.  In fact, sulfite allergies are much more likely to trigger breathing  problems than headaches and are far less common than people think. Also,  white  wine usually contains more sulfites than red wine, yet few people  complain of white wine headaches. No one is sure, but some  people think that it’s  actually the mouth-puckering tannins that cause  the reaction, since experiments  have shown that tannins cause the  release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that  has been linked to  headaches. Other scientists reject the tannin theory and  blame  histamines, which are present in red wine in levels twenty to two   hundred times those of white wine. Some believe that the histamines  trigger an  immune response and inflammation, which can result in a  headache. However,  there are inconsistencies and holes in all of the  theories about red wine, and  controlled experiments have failed to  pinpoint exactly what links it to  headaches.

A Chemical Culprit

Some food additives are known to trigger headaches in sensitive  individuals.  As with other triggers, scientists don’t know exactly what  about nitrates, artificial sweeteners,  MSG, and food colorings causes  headaches, but their prevailing belief  currently is that these substances  increase blood flow to the brain.  Headaches caused by additives tend to be  slightly different than regular  headaches. Those caused by MSG can result in  pressure or a burning  sensation in the face, neck, and chest, dizziness, and  abdominal  discomfort. Highly processed foods of any kind, such as Velveeta  cheese  or frozen TV dinners, also cause the same symptoms. Unlike migraines,   which are usually felt on only one side of the head, headaches caused by  food  additives tend to occur on both sides.

Other foods that have been known to cause headaches include  cultured dairy  products, chocolate, dried or pickled fish, canned soup,  nut butters, pudding  and ice cream, freshly baked bread, dried fruit,  overripe bananas, papayas, and  any beverages containing caffeine.

The list of foods that could potentially trigger headaches is so  long, it’s  nearly impossible to avoid everything. Doctors recommend  keeping a food journal  to monitor your diet and see how it correlates  with headaches. It’s a lengthy  trial-and-error process, but once you  find out exactly which foods seem to  trigger your headaches, it becomes  easier to avoid the specific offenders.

By Allison Ford, DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women  come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability,  and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by  writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real  women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re  discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel  and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

 

14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

Some of the best healing remedies to overcome inflammation also taste  fabulous (I can’t say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods  won’t cause the nasty side effects common to most pain medications.

1. Blueberries: Blueberries are also excellent  anti-inflammatory foods. They increase the amounts of compounds called  heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age.  When heat-shock proteins  are in short supply inflammation, pain and tissue damage is the result.

2. Cayenne Pepper: Ironically, cayenne pepper turns DOWN the  heat on inflammation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory compound  capsaicin.

3. Celery and 4. Celery Seeds: James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in  celery and celery seeds in his research, including a substance called apigenin,  which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action.  Add celery seeds to  soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.

5. Cherries: While many people opt for aspirin as their  first course of action when they feel pain, Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor  of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart  cherry extract is ten times more effective than aspirin at relieving  inflammation.

6. Dark Green Veggies: Veggies like kale and spinach contain  high amounts of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.  Both  minerals help balance body chemistry to alleviate inflammation.

7. Fish: According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis  expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil acts directly on the immune  system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines – compounds  known to destroy joints and cause inflammation.

8. Flax seeds and Flax Oil: Flax seeds are high in natural  oils that convert into hormone-like substances in the body to reduce  inflammatory substances. Add ground flax seeds to smoothies, atop pancakes or  French toast, and many other foods.  Do not heat.

9. Ginger: Dr. Krishna C. Srivastava at Odense University in  Denmark found that ginger was superior to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (NSAIDs) like Tylenol or Advil at alleviating inflammation.

10. Raspberries, 11. Blackberries, and 12. Strawberries: In  Dr. Muraleedharan Nair’s later research she discovered that these berries have  similar anti-inflammatory effects as cherries.

13. Turmeric: Research shows that the Indian spice  frequently used in curries suppresses pain and inflammation through a similar  mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side  effects).

14. Walnuts: Like flax seeds, raw, unsalted walnuts contain  plentiful amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids that decrease pain and  inflammation.

Adapted from Arthritis-Proof:  The  Drug-Free Way to Beat Pain and Inflammation by Michelle  Schoffro Cook, PhD.

By  Michelle Schoffro Cook

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.

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.

Best and Worst Foods for Menopause Symptoms

Best & Worst Foods for Menopause Symptoms

INSOMNIA AND HEADACHES

Studies suggest that eating carbs can increase the release of tryptophan, an  amino acid that helps the brain manufacture serotonin, which helps people fall asleep.

SAY YES TO:

  • Eating a piece of toasted whole grain bread or a small portion of  another  carbohydrate before going to bed.
  • Other foods that contain tryptophan are turkey, soy, cod, egg whites  and warm  milk.
  • Also, omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as salmon, trout and  tuna, play a role in sleep induction.
  • And don’t forget cherries. They contain melatonin, a substance found in  the body, which helps regulate sleep.

SAY NO TO:

  • Large meals.  When you eat a large meal, digestion brings blood into the  abdomen, raises body temperature and tells the hypothalamus in the brain to  send a signal that causes hot flashes. Eating smaller meals can help reduce  the number of hot flashes.
  • Caffeine.   Coffee, tea, colas and dark chocolate contain caffeine. They  may trigger  hot flashes and affect your sleep. So drink water and avoid caffeine,  especially in the late afternoon and at night.
  • Alcohol.   Alcohol can increase the hot flashes and affect sleep, mood  and weight.  eavy use can lead to osteoporosis because alcohol prevents  cells from  building new bone. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a  day.

BLOATING

During the menopause transition, another common midlife symptom is bloating,  which may be due to hormone fluctuations, overproduction of estradiol and  conversion of androgen (a so-called “male” hormone) to estrogen through a  process called aromatization, which increases with age and body weight.

SAY YES TO:

  • Foods and herbs that have diuretic properties, such as celery seeds,  parsley, dandelion, juniper berries, asparagus, artichokes, melon and  watercress.  And drink plenty of water and herbal teas.

SAY NO TO:

  • Sugary and high-sodium foods such as frozen dinners and  canned soups. Read the sugar and sodium content on food labels, and reduce  the amount of sugar and salt you add to foods and beverages.

MOOD SWINGS

Many women during the menopause transition report a decreased sense of  well-being due to irritability and mood swings. Good nutrition plays a major  role in moods. So it is important to understand which foods stabilize our moods and which ones to avoid.

SAY YES TO:

  • Omega-3  fatty acids in foods such as tuna, salmon and mackerel.
  • Eating vegetables such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts and beets, which  are rich in B vitamins. Green vegetables such as spinach and peas are high  in folic acid, a member of the B-complex group that may also help stabilize  mood because it’s needed to make serotonin. Don’t forget that spinach and  other dark, leafy greens can be used raw in salads and sandwiches as  well.
  • Chicken and turkey, which are rich in vitamin B, a player in the  production of serotonin in the body.

SAY NO TO:

  • Sugary foods, which cause a rise in blood sugar and may increase mood  disturbances.

DECREASED SEX DRIVE

For some women, menopause and its associated decline in “sex” hormones can  lead to a decline in sex. A lower level of estrogen is the main culprit and that  can lower libido and cause vaginal dryness. Recent information suggests that food  can spice up your love life.

SAY YES TO:

  • Granola,  oatmeal, nuts, dairy, green vegetables, garlic, soybeans and  chickpeas.   These foods contain L-arginine, which is thought to be helpful  in improving sexual function.
  • Avocados contain potassium, which regulates thyroid hormones and may  enhance female libido.
  • Chocolate intake releases serotonin in the brain, producing feelings of  pleasure similar to having sex. But indulge in moderation for its benefit,  and try  eating it as a prelude to lovemaking.
  • Asparagus  is a vegetable to consider due to its vitamin E content.
  • Fresh fruits. Feast on fresh fruits such as strawberries, pomegranates  and grapes, which are delicious and rich in antioxidants.

SAY NO TO:

  • Chile peppers. Eating chili peppers in excessive amounts can lead to  hot flashes.   This will not help you set the mood. However, when enjoyed in  a flavorful  recipe, these feisty peppers can also help trigger the release  of natural endorphins, creating a high that is not unlike  lovemaking.

Source: Red Hot Mamas via Ode Magazine

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.

15 Ways to Boost Your Liver for Great Health

15 Ways to Boost Your Liver for Great Health

15 Ways to Boost Your Liver for Great Health

 Your liver must perform over 500 functions, making it potentially one of the  most overburdened organs in your body.  Our modern lifestyle, replete with  air pollution, food additives and high amounts of stress ensure that the liver  has plenty to do.

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.

 

7 Pains You Should Never Ignore

7 Pains You Should Never Ignore

Pay Attention to Your Body’s Signals

Usually a headache is just a headache, and heartburn is nothing more than a sign that your last meal didn’t agree with you. Except when they’re not.

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t quite right. More often than not, you have some idea of what’s behind it. But when it comes on suddenly, lingers longer than usual, or just seems different, it calls for medical attention—and the sooner, the better. According to our experts, all of the following pain conditions should be considered red flags.

1. Chest pain

“If patients were to become well versed in what I think of as the subtle language of the heart, many could avoid needless worry and expense,” notes Arthur Agatston, MD, a preventive cardiologist. “Studies have found that women experience a wider range of heart attack symptoms than men do.” In Agatston’s experience, there are three good indicators that something isn’t right, and they can occur in either gender. They are chest pain that doesn’t go away, varied shortness of breath, and any upper body pain that hasn’t occurred before. If you experience any of these symptoms, he says, you should call your doctor or 911 immediately.

(Leesa recommends keeping aspirin available and getting medical care quickly makes a difference! Her sister’s husband had a heart attack at the early age of 47 this past week and survived due to her doing just that… Her sister and her husband recognized the early warning signs,  gave him an aspirin ASAP and got him to the hospital ASAP!  It saved his life!) 

2. Severe head pain

Chances are, it’s a migraine. But if it isn’t accompanied by other migraine symptoms (such as a visual aura), sudden, severe head pain can signal a brain aneurysm. “A burst aneurysm can cause brain damage within minutes, so you need to call 911 immediately,” advises Elsa-Grace Giardina, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Center for Women’s Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

3. A throbbing tooth

It’s likely that the tooth’s nerve has become damaged, probably because the surrounding pearly white enamel is cracked or rotting away. Unless you get it patched up quickly, bacteria in your mouth can invade the nerve. And you definitely don’t want that breeding colony to spread throughout your body, says Kimberly Harms, DDS, a dentist outside St. Paul, Minnesota. If your tooth is already infected, you’ll require a root canal, in which the tooth’s bacteria-laden pulp is removed and replaced with plastic caulking material.

(Leesa recommends making an informed decision  and recommends reading this article, http://bit.ly/cCpub0, and others like it about root canals on www.mercola.com)

 4. Sharp pain in your side

You may just need some Beano. But if you feel as if you’re being skewered in your right side, and you’re also nauseated and running a fever, you could have appendicitis. For women, another possibility is an ovarian cyst. Typically these fluid-filled sacs are harmless and disappear on their own. But if one twists or ruptures, it can cause terrible pain.

In both cases, you’re looking at emergency surgery. “If you don’t remove an inflamed appendix, it can burst,” says Lin Chang, MD, a gastroenterologist and co-director of the Center for Neurovisceral Sciences and Women’s Health at UCLA. A twisted cyst also needs to be removed right away, as it can block blood flow to the ovary within hours.

5. Abdominal discomfort with gas or bloating

For the past month, you’ve felt gassy and bloated more days than not, and it takes fewer slices of pizza to fill you up than it once did. If the symptoms are new, the worst-case scenario is ovarian cancer. In 2007, the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation released the first national consensus on early symptoms of this form of cancer: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, and difficulty eating. If you start experiencing them almost daily for more than two or three weeks, consider it a red flag. Schedule an appointment with your ob-gyn to discuss your symptoms.

6. Back pain with tingling toes

If you’ve just helped your cousin move into her new fourth-floor apartment, anti-inflammatories should banish the pain. But if they don’t work, hobble to an orthopedist. “One of your discs (the spongy rings that cushion the bones in your spine) could be pressing on the spinal nerve,” says Letha Griffin, MD, an orthopedist and sports medicine specialist in Atlanta. Without proper attention, you risk permanent nerve damage.

7. Leg pain with swelling

Your calf is extremely tender in one location, noticeably swollen, and red or warm to the touch. You might have deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), commonly known as a blood clot. Resist the urge to massage the area or to try walking off the pain. If the clot breaks free, it can travel through your veins up to your lungs and cut off your oxygen supply. Instead, see your doctor right away. He or she will do a CT scan or ultrasound to check for a DVT. If that’s what you have, you’ll need to take blood thinners—sometimes for up to a year—to dissolve it, says Suzanne Steinbaum, MD, director of women and heart disease for the Heart and Vascular Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Know the symptoms of a stroke

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious disability, according to the American Heart Association. If you or someone close to you is experiencing any of these symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

From The List Maker’s Get-Healthy Guide (Rodale, 2010).

By the Editors of Prevention


Rodale.com is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. Rodale.com focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice. Rodale.com features a Daily Newsletter, and provides simple, powerful tools including Recipe Finder and Home Remedy Finder to help audiences improve their health and their environment. Rodale.com also includes “Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen,” a personal blog where Editor-in-Chief and Rodale, Inc. CEO and Chairman Maria Rodale is “Cooking Up Trouble, Dishing Out Advice.”

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