The Health Benefits of Eating Grapes
Once again research has found that consuming grapes may help protect against organ damage associated with the progression of metabolic syndrome. What Is Metabolic Syndrome ?
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together -- increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist or low HDL (the good cholesterol) and increased blood triglycerides -- significantly increasing the risk for heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. Intake of fruits and vegetables is thought to reduce these risks, and grapes have shown benefits in multiple studies. Metabolic syndrome is a major public health concern, and is on the rise in the U.S.
Specifically, the results showed that three months of a grape-enriched diet significantly reduced inflammatory markers throughout the body, but most significantly in the liver and in abdominal fat tissue. Consuming grapes also reduced liver, kidney and abdominal fat weight, compared with those consuming the control diet. Additionally, grape intake increased markers of antioxidant defense, particularly in the liver and kidneys.
"Our study suggests that a grape-enriched diet may play a critical role in protecting against metabolic syndrome and the toll it takes on the body and its organs," said Seymour. "Both inflammation and oxidative stress play a role in cardiovascular disease progression and organ dysfunction in Type 2 diabetes. Grape intake impacted both of these components in several tissues which is a very promising finding." Other benefits of eating grapes are:
- Grapes are rich in a polyphenolic,phytochemical compound called resveratrol. It is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants which has been found to play a protective role against cancers of colon and prostate, coronary heart disease (CHD), degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer's disease and viral/ fungal infections.
- Resveratrol reduces the risk of stroke by altering the molecular mechanisms in the blood vessels. It does so firstly by reducing susceptibility of blood vessel damage through decreased activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would otherwise elevate blood pressure) and secondly, through increased production of the vasodilator substance, nitric oxide (a beneficial compound that causes relaxation of blood vessels).
- Anthocyanins are another class of polyphenolic anti-oxidants present abundantly in the red grapes. These phyto-chemicals have been found to have an anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, as well as anti-cancer activity.
- Catechins, a type of flavonoid tannin group of anti-oxidants, found in the white/green varieties have also shown to possess these health-protective functions.
- Grapes are rich source of micronutrient minerals like copper, iron and manganese. Copper and manganese are an essential co-factor of antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is especially concentrated more in raisins. In addition, 100 g of fresh grapes contain about 191 mg of health benefiting electrolyte, potassium.
- They are an also good source of vitamin-C, vitamin A, vitamin K, carotenes, B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine, riboflavin, and thiamin.
Two recent scientific studies, independent of one another have discovered that the Mediterranean diet has some major health benefits.
In addition, the Mediterranean diet
has being found to be a heart-healthy eating plan, credited with lowering cholesterol in men, even among those who didn’t lose weight. Researchers have shown again that the Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts could improve brain power of older people. Researchers at the University of Navarra in Spain reported that the Mediterranean diet could provide even more mental health benefits than a low-fat diet. The study found that those on either of the Mediterranean diets scored higher than those on the low fat diet.
By comparison to the low-fat diet, the Mediterranean diet
is characterized by its use of virgin olive oil as the main culinary fat. It also includes a high consumption of fruits, nuts, vegetables and legumes, as well as moderate to high consumption of fish and seafood. This diet typically consists of low consumption of dairy products and red meat, but includes the moderate intake of red wine.
Additionally, the findings held true irrespective of other factors, including age, family history of cognitive impairment or dementia, or the presence of ApoE protein which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. These findings also noted educational attainment, exercise levels and vascular risk factors, as well as energy intake and depression.
Past research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet
reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers the risk of overall cardiovascular mortality as well as reduced incidence of stroke and cancer, research has shown that it has also reduced the incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
The other team of researchers at the Ohio State University discovered a compound that re-educates cancer cells - teaching them to die on time like normal cells.
The research team identified a plant-based compound apigenin as a cancer preventer. The compound was found to bind with an estimated 160 proteins in the human body. Once there, the apigenin “re-educates” forming cancer cells and stops them from inhibiting their own death.
Breast cancer, in particular, seemed to be very responsive to such preventative treatment. Apigenin is found most commonly in chamomile tea, parsley and celery — but can also be obtained from many other fruits and veggies common to a Mediterranean diet.
This should be of no surprise to anyone adhering to a healthy eating regime. Andrea Doseff an associate professor and co-author of the Ohio State study, put into words precisely why these scientific discoveries are important: "We know we need to eat healthfully, but in most cases we don't know the actual mechanistic reasons for why we need to do that."
Scientific evidence lets us know that these foods aren't just hype or a passing trend. Their benefits are rooted in actual, measurable chemical reactions within our bodies. Reactions that utilize good, old-fashioned home remedies to create a healthier, cancer fighting humanity of tomorrow.
Leg Cramps during pregnancy occur mainly as a result of nutritional deficiencies, electrolyte imbalances, and/or circulatory changes, in addition to the strain placed on the legs by the extra weight. Suggestions:
- Increase your calcium and potassium intake by eating foods such as almonds, bananas, grapefruit, low-fat cottage cheese, oranges, sardines, sesame seeds (tahini), low-fat goat’s yoghurt, oats, millet, figs, watercress, seaweeds in soups, stews or salads .Adequate calcium is also needed to help prevent high blood pressure and for fetal development.
- While relaxing or sleeping, elevate your legs so that they are higher than your heart. I used to raise my legs and lean them up against a wall while I was lying on the couch reading a book or watching TV. Then when I went to bed at night I placed one or two pillows under my feet to keep them elevated. Keep yourself as comfortable as possible.
- Do not stand in one place for too long. Shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes.
- Walk at least a kilometer a day to stimulate the circulation of blood through the legs.
- Make sure your levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium are correctly balanced. It is often easier to take a single formula that contains all three minerals in the correct proportions.
- To relieve cramps, try to relax as far as possible, try to pull your foot forwards with your hands, wiggle your feet up and down, massage your feet and legs vigorously.
- When experiencing a cramp, apply a hot water bottle or heating pad to the cramping area and apply pressure with your hands.
Herbal teas rich in calcium can also be made from:
Wild oats, meadowsweet, horsetail, valerian root, nettles, plantain
Drink a cupful two to three times daily. There is a herb, suitably named cramp bark or guilder rose, which is specific for cramps. It can be taken as a hot decoction, singly or in conjunction with any of the above herbs three times daily.
If you consider that tension or stress could be causing your cramps, then add to the cramp bark herbs such as: Skullcap, passionflower, chamomile, valerian, lemon balm, lime flowers
Ginger, hawthorn or angelica can be taken regularly to aid circulation.
Chamomile, lavender or ginger oils can be used to massage the legs, not only to relax over-tense muscles, but also to enhance the circulation through them.
Hot foot baths can be taken at night before bed using the same oils.
Take care with varicose veins – do not massage over them. Alternate hot and cold bathing will stimulate the circulation.
(A Natural Approach to Pregnancy
- E-book by Barbara Karafokas)
Without an ounce of a doubt, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives your body essential nutrients, jumps starts your brain, gives your metabolism what it needs to get working for the day and keeps you slim.
Studies have found that what you eat for breakfast tends to influence what you eat the rest of the day.
Also, people who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to be obese and have diabetes than those who don’t.
Whether you’re too busy or not that hungry in the morning, one of these healthy breakfast ideas will fit into your lifestyle and help you achieve your health and weight loss goals.
- Chop up a couple of pieces of fruits, add a tablespoon of yoghurt, crushed almonds and a sprinkle of cinnamon. This is a high protein, high fiber and low fat breakfast. Cinnamon has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. This breakfast is guaranteed to keep you full all morning.
- Sliced banana’s coated with a couple of tablespoons of sugar free muesli. Yum! You could add in a tablespoon of yoghurt or some almond milk to this. The potassium in the banana is beneficial for preventing strokes.
- Smoothies. Quick, simple and highly nutritious. Simply blend a couple of your favourite fruits like mango’s and peaches, add in tablespoon of yoghurt, 1/2 a glass of water and you’ve got a healthy on the go breakfast loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, especially if you add in a superfood like carob powder, spirulina, chlorella, maca or some bee pollen.
- Instead of a morning coffee, have a mug of green tea. Research shows that it can increase your metabolism having weight-loss benefits in addition to being heart protective.
- In a calorie reduced diet, people who have eggs for breakfast instead of your regular toast, lost 65% more weight. Use organic eggs. They are not that much more expensive than regular eggs but are much higher in the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Have them poached, scrambled, boiled or as an omelet.
- Have a heart healthy sandwich in a multi-seed brown bread bun filled with avocado, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers sprinkled with cayenne pepper.
- For one of those days when time is short and you want an easy and super quick solution - grab a healthy, sugar free bar and an apple, and away you go !
- For my chocoholic friends… shave a couple of squares of dark chocolate over a cup of low fat yoghurt and mix. The antioxidant-loaded dark chocolate can help reduce the stickiness of “bad” LDL cholesterol and keep your arteries supple.
With a little guidance and some helpful tips it is possible to not have to spend a fortune to eat a healthy, balanced diet. In fact an authentic, traditional Mediterranean diet is a nutritious and balanced diet to follow for life.
The traditional Mediterranean diet consists of fruit and vegetables, carob, honey, whole grains, beans and other pulses, fish, eggs, goat’s cheese, yoghurt, virgin olive oil, garlic, onions and herbs, wild edible plants and mushrooms, nuts and seeds, red meat is eaten once a week and let’s not forget that glass of red wine.
Foods made from refined sugar and grains such as white bread, cakes, cookies and pastries are consumed in very small amounts. All for a healthier weight, less belly fat, and a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.
There have been recent studies claiming healthy food is only for the rich, this can make sense when you visit the health food shop and find yourself with a three-figure bill starring at you as you had happened to add in wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef and organic cheeses, eggs and a couple of healthy bars.
For more realistic measures and economical buys for healthy eating and living, here are a couple of tips to follow:
- Focus more meals around beans, pulses and vegetables. Reducing the amount of meat, snack foods and dessert items in your shopping cart, keeps more cash in your pocket, can help you lose weight and improve your health. A little note here. You can still buy organic pulses, whole grains and rice as they are still reasonably priced.
2. Shop for powerfood bargains. These may include:
- Canned or fresh sardines - loaded with calcium, omega-3’s,
- Beans - are one of the best sources to lose weight as it contains cholecystokinin which works as an appetite suppressant naturally. As per a study conducted on 8 subjects, it was found the hormone levels of the subjects had increased by consuming a meal full of beans. Beans also aid in maintaining the blood sugar level in the body and keep the cholesterol level in control.
- Lentils - high in calcium, iron and magnesium, phosphorous, sulfur and vitamin A. Lentils are a good source of proteins and are a nutritional powerfood.
- Black rice with more antioxidants and fiber than blueberries
- Dark meat chicken, packed with protein, B vitamins, and minerals like iron and zinc. (remove the skin of course)
- Oatmeal - normalize blood glucose in diabetes, helps neutralise excess cholesterol, contains high amounts of calcium, iodine, phosphorous, iron, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins. Most sugar free mueslis are made with oats and are delicious eaten with a banana and a tablespoon of yoghurt and some cinnamon.
- Eggs are the best source of protein that help you to feel full for a longer period of time and curbs the urge to eat. They have some vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc and some selenium. Organic or free range eggs are best.
3. Be choosy about produce.
Local, in-season is riper and tastier and costs less than buying out of season. Fruit and veg is more expensive at the beginning of it’s season and then towards the middle or end it becomes more plentiful and is cheaper to buy. Farmer’s markets is another place to hang out at. There you can buy large quantities of fruits, vegetables and other home made items such as whole grain breads, cheeses and wines.
4. Organic or grow your own:
Fruit and vegetables that would be worth growing your own or buying organic due to the high pesticide levels are: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach (or most leafy green vegetables such as lettuces, fresh coriander, Swiss chard etc), nectarines, grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes.
5. Sweet treats:
Dark chocolate, fruits, healthy bars, honey and walnuts, dried fruits.
6. Studies show that you’ll make 30 per cent fewer
unhealthy, impulse buys at the supermarket if you go shopping after a meal and pay with cash. So make sure to go shopping on a full stomach and cash in your wallet !
New Evidence That Natural Substances in Green Coffee Beans Help Control Blood Sugar Levels
Scientists described evidence that natural substances extracted from unroasted coffee beans can help control elevated blood sugar levels and body weight that underpin type 2 diabetes.
The Scent of Rosemary May Help Improve Your Memory. The aroma of rosemary essential oil may improve prospective memory in healthy adults. It was found that this essential oil may enhance the ability to remember events and to remember to complete tasks at particular times in the future.
Couch Potatoes May Be Genetically Predisposed to Being Lazy, Rat Study Suggests Studies show 97 percent of American adults get less than 30 minutes of exercise a day, which is the minimum recommended amount based on federal guidelines. New research from the University of Missouri suggests certain genetic traits may predispose people to being more or less motivated to exercise and remain active. Frank Booth, a professor in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, along with his post-doctoral fellow Michael Roberts, were able to selectively breed rats that exhibited traits of either extreme activity or extreme laziness. They say these rats indicate that genetics could play a role in exercise motivation, even in humans.
Sustained Stress Heightens Risk of Miscarriage Several studies have examined the impact of stress on a pregnancy both chronic stress, such as workload, and acute stress associated with traumatic events like the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They conclude that stress can lead to adverse birth outcomes, including miscarriage and premature birth.
Following the pregnancies of women from the Israeli town of Sderot, which is constantly under threat of rocket bombings from Gaza, and women from nearby Kiryat Gat, which is outside of Gaza's rocket range, the researchers demonstrated that those living under rocket fire were 59 percent more likely to miscarry than their neighbors.
New Link Between Heart Disease and Red Meat: New Understanding of Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Vegan, Vegetarian Diets A compound abundant in red meat and added as a supplement to popular energy drinks has been found to promote atherosclerosis -- or the hardening or clogging of the arteries -- according to Cleveland Clinic research published online this week in the journal Nature Medicine.
The study shows that bacteria living in the human digestive tract metabolize the compound carnitine, turning it into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), a metabolite the researchers previously linked in a 2011 study to the promotion of atherosclerosis in humans. Further, the research finds that a diet high in carnitine promotes the growth of the bacteria that metabolize carnitine, compounding the problem by producing even more of the artery-clogging TMAO.
The study tested the carnitine and TMAO levels of omnivores, vegans and vegetarians, and examined the clinical data of 2,595 patients undergoing elective cardiac evaluations. They also examined the cardiac effects of a carnitine-enhanced diet in normal mice compared to mice with suppressed levels of gut microbes, and discovered that TMAO alters cholesterol metabolism at multiple levels, explaining how it enhances atherosclerosis.
The researchers found that increased carnitine levels in patients predicted increased risks for cardiovascular disease and major cardiac events like heart attack, stroke and death, but only in subjects with concurrently high TMAO levels. Additionally, they found specific gut microbe types in subjects associated with both plasma TMAO levels and dietary patterns, and that baseline TMAO levels were significantly lower among vegans and vegetarians than omnivores. Remarkably, vegans and vegetarians, even after consuming a large amount of carnitine, did not produce significant levels of the microbe product TMAO, whereas omnivores consuming the same amount of carnitine did.
Lift Weights to Lower Blood Sugar? White Muscle Helps Keep Blood Glucose Levels Under Control Researchers in the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan have challenged a long-held belief that whitening of skeletal muscle in diabetes is harmful. In fact, the white muscle that increases with resistance training, age and diabetes helps keep blood sugar in check, the researchers showed.
Widely Used Filtering Material Adds Arsenic to Beers Researchers concluded that the arsenic was released into the beer from a filtering material called kieselguhr, or diatomaceous earth, used to remove yeast, hops and other particles and give the beer a crystal clear appearance. "We concluded that kieselguhr may be a significant source of arsenic contamination in beer," Coelhan said. "This conclusion was supported by analysis of kieselguhr samples. These tests revealed that some kieselguhr samples release arsenic. The resulting arsenic levels were only slightly elevated, and it is not likely that people would get sick from drinking beers made with this filtration method because of the arsenic. The arsenic is still at low levels -- the risk of alcohol poisoning is a far more realistic concern, as stated in previous studies on the topic."
Low on Self-control ? Surrounding yourself with strong-willed friends may help.
"What we have shown is that low self-control individuals seem to implicitly surround themselves with individuals who can help them overcome temptation -- you get by with a little help from your friends," says Shea.
This research was supported in part by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada.
By Mike Adams, Natural News
Many people don't investigate what's really in the products they swallow. When something is sold as an herb, vitamin, superfood or supplement, they think it's automatically safe. And while the natural products industry has a truly remarkable safety record—especially in contrast to the massive number of deaths caused by pharmaceuticals—it still suffers from a lot of hidden toxins that are routinely used throughout the industry.
After reviewing this list, you will probably throw out quite a few products in your refrigerator and pantry. Few people are willing to tell you the truth revealed here, so some of this may come as a complete shock (see #1 and #2, below). 1) Maltodextrin (from GM corn)
If you pick up a natural product and the ingredients list says "maltodextrin," chances are very high that the maltodextrin in the product is derived from Monsanto's GM corn.
Virtually all the maltodextrin used throughout the natural products industry is genetically modified. Products that are certified USDA organic, however, are not using GMO maltodextrin. Look for tapioca maltodextrin instead (or no maltodextrin at all). 2) Vitamin C “ascorbic acid” (from GM corn)
Nearly all the "vitamin C" sold in vitamins across America right now is derived from GMO corn.
This means that many of the supplements sold at Whole Foods, the vitamins sold on Amazon.com, the pills at your local pharmacy, and especially the products at the grocery store are (nearly) all routinely made with genetically modified vitamin C. It's typically called "ascorbic acid," and nearly 100% of the ascorbic acid used in the natural products industry is derived from GMOs. 3) Hexane-extracted soy proteins
Much of the "natural" soy proteins sold in the USA are extracted in China using a hexane extraction method.
Hexane is a highly explosive chemical. It is not only extremely hazardous to the environment; there may also be trace amounts of hexane left remaining in the resulting protein products. Hexane extraction, by the way, is also used in the manufacture of textured vegetable protein (TVP). 4) High levels of Aluminum in detox products
Natural News helped expose high aluminum levels (over 1,200ppm) in a popular detox liquid, causing the main U.S. distributor to issue a "recall" notice and provide over $1 million in refunds to customers.
The manufacturer of this product, Adya Clarity, intentionally and knowingly deceived consumers by mislabeling the product and not mentioning the 1,200ppm of aluminum it contained. The FDA seized some of the products and ran its own lab tests, confirming the high aluminum level as well as identifying multiple labeling violations.
Adya Clarity is just one of many so-called "detox" products containing alarming levels of aluminum and other metals. Ingesting these in order to "detox" your body may be harmful to your health. 5) Lead and arsenic in herbs from China
China is the most polluted nation on the planet (by far), yet many fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown in China and exported to North America for use in natural products.
High levels of lead and arsenic are routinely found in various food, supplement and herbal products from China. I'm not concerned about 1ppm or lower, by the way, of heavy metals like lead and mercury. Even aluminum isn't necessarily a problem when found organically grown inside foods that test at higher levels such as 150ppm. But when lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium get to high saturation levels (or are present in inorganic forms), it makes the products potentially a source of heavy metals poisoning for consumers.
Astonishingly, many of the small and medium-sized companies that import and retail products from China conduct no metals testing whatsoever. 6) Inorganic minerals in cheap vitamins
Would you eat iron filings and call it nutrition? The majority of people don't know that most of the cheap vitamins sold today are made with iron filings. "Scrap metal," almost.
The calcium found in cheap vitamins is often just ground-up seashells, and magnesium is often sold as cheap magnesium oxide which may be completely useless to your body's cells. If you're buying mineral supplements, you may be wasting your money unless the minerals are in the right form: Magnesium orotate or malate, for example.
When it comes to mineral supplements, you'll often find trace levels of scary things like barium and lead in liquid supplements, but these are typically at such low levels (ppb) that they are no real concern. But the No. 1 best source for all minerals is, not surprisingly, fresh plants. If you really want to boost your minerals, feed 'em to sprouts or garden plants, then eat or juice those plants. Your body wants "organic" minerals from plants, not inorganic minerals from rocks. 7) Carrageenan
The Cornucopia Institute, a highly-effective food activism group that we've long supported, recently published a warning about carrageenan in foods. Cornucopia says carrageenan is linked to "gastrointestinal inflammation, including higher rates of colon cancer, in laboratory animals
It goes on to report: Given its effect on gastrointestinal inflammation, Cornucopia urges anyone suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms (irritable bowel syndrome/IBS, spastic colon, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, etc.) to consider completely eliminating carrageenan from the diet to determine if carrageenan was a factor in causing the symptoms.
For the record, I definitely don't consider carrageenan to be anywhere near as worrisome as, say, aspartame, GMOs or MSG. 8) Acrylamides
Acrylamides are cancer-causing chemicals produced during the cooking of carbohydrates. Fried snack chips, for example, contain acrylamides. They don't have to be listed on labels because they are technically not "ingredients." They are chemicals produced during cooking or frying. Consuming acrylamides increases kidney cancer risk by 59 percent.
The FDA has published an extensive reference guide on acrylamide levels in foods, revealing that french fries have the highest levels of all. But they are also present in prune juice and even breakfast cereals.
A bag of organic snack chips can have just as many acrylamides as a bag of conventional snack chips. This is why fried snack chips should be eaten only sparingly, or never at all.
Interestingly, it turns out that vitamin C blocks acrylamides from causing damage to your body. But if your vitamin C is from a GMO source (see above), you may want to rethink that strategy. If you eat fried foods of any kind, make sure you ingest a lot of vitamin C, astaxanthin and chlorella before and after your meal or snack. 9) Hidden MSG / yeast extract
Hidden MSG is a huge issue across the natural products industry. Pick up almost any veggie burger, and you'll find it's made with yeast extract, a hidden form of MSG (monosodium glutamate).
Yeast extract is unbelievably prevalent in the food industry because it looks nicer on the label than "MSG." Most people are trained to avoid MSG, but yeast extract slips by, so food manufacturers put it into canned soups, dip mixes, snack chips, microwave dinners and especially in vegetarian products, many of which are so loaded with chemicals and additives that I won't dare touch them. Just because a food says "vegetarian" doesn't mean it's healthy.
Hidden MSG is also labeled as "autolyzed yeast extract" or "torula yeast" or even "hydrolyzed vegetable protein." 10) Fluoride in green tea
Green tea is famous for being contaminated with high levels of fluoride. This is frustrating, because green tea is phenomenally good for your health. It has been proven to lower "bad" cholesterol levels, and it may even help prevent cancer and neurological disorders. It's probably one of the healthiest beverages you can ever drink.
The tea plant that produces green tea just happens to uptake a huge amount of fluoride from the soils. So when there's fluoride present in those soils, the green tea will have a surprisingly high concentration, sometimes as much as 25ppm.
While this fluoride in green tea might not be a health hazard all by itself, the governments of the world seem insistent on pumping even more synthetic, chemical fluoride into the water supplies, thereby creating a high risk for fluorosis. The final "dirty little secret" of the natural products industry
Finally, there's one more secret you need to know about. Most importers, packers, vendors and retailers of natural products foolishly trust the lab results provided by the manufacturers and exporters!
So once again, buyer beware. You need to be asking for lab test results on anything from China, and it's good to ask for them on just about everything else as well. Touchstone Essentials Member
: ID#13463 Whole-food nutrition harvested right from the earth, bottled, delivering 100% uncompromised goodness.
Stress can be seen as one of the first contributing causes of most diseases. Research continues to link stress to more and more symptoms and diseases, both acute and chronic.
Stress is inevitable in today’s world and of course we need a certain amount to function. The key is to be able to manage our level of stress.
What is stress ? It is our reaction to our external environment as well as our inner thoughts and feelings. Stress in essence is our body’s natural response to dangers, the “fight or flight” mechanisms – the body’s preparedness to do battle or flee from danger.
Stress in today’s world is mainly a result of continuous high demands that are imposed on us by work, family, and lifestyle, or that we impose upon ourselves through our desire to accomplish.
Mild stress acts as a useful motivation for activity and productivity. But when the stresses in our life are too extreme or too many, this may result in all kinds of problems.
Long-term stress is dangerous. A state of continual stress eventually wears the body out. Because of its effect on immune response, stress increases susceptibility to illness and slows healing.
Please realize that in most cases of stress, it is not the situations or incidents themselves, rather real stress comes from the way we react to them
. Learning to create healthy mental attitudes and finding positive outlets for our stress is a very important for our long-term health and wellbeing. “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin Natural Stress Management Recommendations
- Eat a diet of 50 to 75 percent raw foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables not only supply valuable vitamins and minerals, but are rich in compounds called flavonoids, many of which scavenge and neutralise dangerous free radicals.
- Avoid processed foods and all foods that create stress on the system, such as artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, eggs, fried foods, junk foods, pork, red meat, sugar, white flour products, foods containing preservatives or heavy spices, and chips and similar snack foods.
- Limit your intake of caffeine. Caffeine contributes to nervousness and can disrupt sleep patterns.
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and mood-altering drugs. While these substances may offer temporary relief from stress, they do nothing to really address the problem and they are harmful to your health. The stress will still be there the next day...
- Practice Deep Breathing.- This can be done when facing a stressful situation – at home, at work, in your car, or elsewhere. Holding your breath is also good for relieving stress. Inhale deeply with your mouth closed, hold your breath for a few seconds (do not wait until you are uncomfortable), then exhale slowly through your mouth, with your tongue placed at the top of your teeth, next to the gum line. Do this four or five times, or until tension passes.
- Monitor your internal conversations. The way we talk to ourselves has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves and our environments. Telling yourself things like “I should be able to handle this better, “ only adds to the stressfulness of situations and does nothing to resolve them.
- Take a day off ! That’s what weekends are for. Take a drive, listen to music, go to the beach, read- whatever you find relaxing and rewarding.
- Avoid hassles. Identify the things that are making you feel stressed out and either eliminate them from your life or prepare yourself to cope with them.
- Do not repress or deny your emotions. This only compounds stress. Emotions need regular venting, and unexpressed emotions are the building blocks of stress, pain and illness.Keeping strong feelings bottled up only causes them to resurface later as illness. Don’t be afraid to cry. Learning to cry can help you to manage stress. Crying can relieve anxiety and let loose bottled-up emotions.
- Work on creating a stress-free home environment. Keep the noise level down – noise contributes to stress. Turn down the radio, stereo, television. Throw rugs and wall hangings absorb noise are good additions to décor.
- Colour therapy – colour is another important element of your environment to consider. Certain colours are much more calming and soothing than others. Also use as much natural lighting in your home as possible. Unnatural fluorescent lighting can be aggravating.
- Try not to take life too seriously. Learn to laugh. Read Humour books, watch comedies. Laugh with friends.
- Have more fun. Do things that you enjoy and that help you relax.
- Get Good Sleep: Poor sleep or sleep habits do not let your body really rest, discharge tensions, and recharge.
- Learn relaxation exercises: These can help a great deal in reducing stress through letting go of mental stresses and experiencing moments of inner peace. This quiet, “nothing happening” space is where, I believe, the healing process begins.
- Exercise: Regular physical exercise is one of the best ways to clear your tensions and feel good, with more energy and a better attitude toward life.
- Develop good relationships: It is important to have friends in whom you can confide and find support. Those who love and accept you and will advise but not judge you are your true friends. It is also meaningful to be a true friend to another.
- Experience love and satisfying sex: A primary relationship that is loving, sensual, and sexual can also be a major stress reducer. Having an understanding, accepting, and warm partner to receive your hardworking body and mind can be the best therapy available. Often an intense relationship can also be quite stressful. It is important to find a balance in all you do, in each endeavor and in your life as a whole.
- Change perceptions and attitudes: When ideas or views are not serving you, it is wise to examine and adapt them. It is important to learn to respond to life’s situations and not react. This is a true response-ability! Hanging onto frustrations, holding grudges, and accepting the victim-blame game are not in your best health interests.
- If stress-related symptoms become chronic or recurrent, consult your doctor to rule out an underlying illness.
- If you feel you simply cannot handle the stresses in your life, consider seeking outside help. It may be worth it to consult a qualified counselor or other practitioner who can help you to handle your problems and learn effective stress-reduction techniques. It is often enlightening and beneficial to talk with someone who can offer an objective response, whether a trusted friend or a professional counselor.
You may use these herbs individually or for a powerful anti-stress tonic, mix 1/2 teaspoon of any three of the herbs listed below and steep in 2 cups of boiling water for at least 5 minutes
Alternatively you may use essential oils. These have a wonderful effect on both the mind and body. Essential oils that are particularly good for relieving stress include chamomile, Bergamot, sandalwood, lavender, and sweet marjoram
. Add 10 – 20 drops of one or more of these oils to a warm bath and relax in the bath, or simply dab a couple of drops of oil on a tissue or handkerchief and inhale the aroma periodically during the day.
- Catnip is an effective anti-stress herb that also causes drowsiness.
- Chamomile is a gentle relaxant. It is a good nerve tonic, soothing to the digestive tract, and a pleasant sleep aid. Caution. Do not use this herb on an ongoing basis and avoid it completely if you are allergic to ragweed.
- Lavender has a wonderfully relaxing effect on mind and body. It makes a good remedy for anxiety, nervousness, and physical symptoms caused by stress such as tension headaches, migraine, palpitations and insomnia.
- Rosemary is a wonderful tonic, particularly to the heart, brain and nervous system. It has been used for anxiety, tension, exhaustion, lethargy, depression and insomnia. (Never use in early pregnancy)
- Sage is one of the most valued herbs of antiquity. It has powerful antioxidant properties, is a tonic to the nervous system and has been used to enhance strength and vitality. (do not use in pregnancy or while breastfeeding).
- Hops helps to ease nervousness, restlessness, and stress. It also decreases the desire for alcohol.
- Valerian keeps the nervous system from being overwhelmed. It is also a powerful sleep aid when taken at bedtime and helps to ease stress-related headaches.
Anise is a well known Mediterranean herb, used by people therapeutically for centuries. Ancient Greek physicians, including Hippocrates, were using it for common cold and the flu. In ancient Rome, Anise was used in making an Anise cake that was eaten after their big feasts as an aid for digestion. Historically, Anise was used quite commonly for flatulence, colic and nausea because of its pleasant flavour. The herb was also known in ancient China where it was used for indigestion, flatulence and as a breath freshener.
Anise is used in the treatment of indigestion, flatulence, intestinal colic, asthma, cough, stomach pain and toothache.
External use: anise essential oil can be used against scabbies and lice.
Stimulant: Anise has been found to stimulate the function of the heart, the lungs, the liver and even the brain.
Children: Anise tea is very effective against children intestine colic and also infantile catarrah or cold.
Woman: It's seeds are a galactogogue and will increase the production of milk in nursing women while, on the other hand, it is sometimes used to relieve women from menopausal discomforts.
Men: Anise has been used lately for the treatment of some forms of prostate cancer.
In case of toothache, put a few (3 - 4) drops of anise essential oil in a cup of water and gargle.
Do not take anise during pregnancy and also if your doctor has prohibited the use of birth control pills due to anise having some estrogen activity.
With high levels of the neurotoxin mercury and toxic PCBs in many fish species, millions have turned to “purified” fish oil as a source of essential fatty acids.
However, the molecular distillation process that helps remove mercury is the same process that renders fish oil from its natural form to one that is semi-synthetic, which research shows make it less likely to be absorbed in the body.
In their natural form, omega-3s in fish oil occur in the form of triglycerides. Yet most fish oil supplements are not in this form, but are in a form known as ethyl esters. To undergo molecular distillation, fish oil is first exposed to the solvent ethanol then the oil is heated under high vacuum, which concentrates the omega-3s to ethyl esters.
While this process removes some contaminants such as mercury, it leaves others behind. Recent ConsumerLab.com testing shows low levels of PCBs were found in almost ALL fish oil supplements.
Another fact gaining attention is that omega-3s in fish oil—primarily EPA and DHA—are not actually essential fatty acids. By definition, “essential” nutrients are those the body cannot make and must get from food. Our bodies can
make EPA and DHA as needed so long as the foundational nutrition is provided through parent essential oils.
Parent essential oils are LA (linoleic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Flooding the body with derivatives (EPA and DHA) offers no benefits. Click here to view/download a report
on parent essential oils by scientist Brian Peskin.
Unlike fish oil, plant-based oils provide the building blocks to help your body form omega-3s, including EPA and DHA, naturally. For natural essential fatty acids that your body can readily use, turn to healing plants, including borage, flax seed, pumpkin seed and coconut. Wellspring’s
formula of organic vegetarian oils provides a rich source of essential fatty acids from plants, combined with broad-spectrum whole food antioxidants, creating a unique blend to soothe joints and support heart health.*
See what people are saying about Wellspring. “For a couple of years, one of my big toe joints has been stiff and painful when walking. After about a month on Wellspring the joint is much more flexible and the pain is gone.”
—Karin Granstrom, MD “After starting to use the Pure Body I felt more alert than I had for many years and so couldn’t wait to start using the Wellspring. My family has a history of diabetes and heart disease and at 60 years young I wanted to protect my joints as I started to become more active as a result of my feeling so good. Within a couple of weeks of taking just 2 Wellspring capsules a day, I noticed more natural oil to my scalp rather than dryness and a youthful bloom to my skin.”
—Sandra Nundy “I have had a chronic knee problem for about 10 years. It's quite uncomfortable and limits a lot of activity, many exercises, dancing, playing tennis. I started on the Wellspring and within 2 weeks’ time, I could do anything I wanted with literally no pain. I now do high impact jazzercise 5 times a week and run up and down the 18 steps in our home about 25 or 30 times a day. Wellspring has been a miracle product for me.”
—Barbara Gitomer “I am in my sixties and live in the north woods of Wisconsin. My driveway is about a quarter mile long. When the snow falls I have a snow blower to clear the drive way. Each time I go out I take Green Energy before and the oxygen level gives me all the endurance I need not only to complete the job but along with Wellspring I have no joint pain and feel good afterwards. The walk is about 1.75 mi. I love these products and my doctor’s reports are backing it up.”
—Robert Goetz “At age 58 I wasn't about to let stiff and sore joints slow me down. I went to many specialists with little if any results and a very expensive bill! When I heard that Wellspring was to be released I couldn't wait for its arrival. When the package arrived I immediately tore the box open and took two of the capsules. Being the kind of person I am I took six capsules the first day and continued to take six per day for the first week. After three days I noticed my feet weren't as stiff and sore as usual. I am on my feet all day at my job and at the end of most days I just want to sit down and prop up my feet. The pain in my knees and hip was greatly reduced as well. After the first week I take two capsules daily. I have even been going back to the gym and my workouts have improved and are mostly pain free. Heck, I'm even running a mile three days a week before my workout. This stuff is awesome!!”
—Steve Kruse “I build electrical panels and am often in tight places with my hands. Recently my hand slipped and I hit the back of it very hard on a sharp, hard object. My hand swelled and became bruised very quickly. When I got home from work I immediately took 2 Wellspring. Within an hour the swelling was nearly gone and the bruise seemed to be lighter. I took 2 more Wellspring before bed and the next morning the spot was barely visible. Wellspring works well for inflammation!”
—Brian Smith “I'm from Wisconsin and love to snowmobile. I was out for the first two days of snow this winter. I put on 225 miles. My wife asked me if I was sore after riding. I told her I have been riding for 40 years and always sore after the first days. Well, not this year! I told her it was from taking the Wellspring. I love it. Thank you Touchstone!”
—Tom Klein “About 3 years ago, I dislocated my ring finger on my right hand when trying to catch my son's falling laptop computer. I was able to get the finger back in place but my original size 6 had turned into a size 9! Not only did it hurt, it also meant that I could no longer wear some of my special rings. Doctor friends said that even when the pain and stiffness went away, it probably would not get much smaller than the size 9. This year after being on the suggested serving of Wellspring for 1 week, I tried on a ring at a Christmas bazaar to see how it looked. When I asked the size, I was shocked to learn that it was a 7! What a difference Wellspring has made!"
to your AutoShip or order online by visiting http://www.coliving.mytouchstoneessentials.com/wellspring/ today!