Connect with us

Health

The Healing Power Of A Gut Cleanse: 6-Day Detox

Published

on

Photo Credit: Getty

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

The body is an incredible machine. Each person’s body has a built-in detox system — starting with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract — that processes toxins, chemicals, and other harmful substances that your food inevitably contains. The GI tract begins to remove harmful substances from your food by sending them out of the body in your stool or to the liver and kidneys to be fully detoxified.

The GI tract also breaks down the food you eat, using the nutrients to build muscle, bone, brain, and other critical body tissues.

Over time, your gut can get overwhelmed from the toxins it absorbs from the food and water you consume, the air you breathe, and the products you use on a daily basis. A gut cleanse — sometimes called a colon cleanse — can ensure all those toxins aren’t affecting your ability to stay healthy.

Short Breakdown of the Gut Cleanse
  • Get Ready: Stock up on raw organic apple cider vinegar (ACV), distilled water, and healthy, plant-based foods, or fruit if you’re doing the fruit-only option.
  • Make ACV mix: Prepare six gallons of ACV mix by adding two tablespoons of ACV per one gallon of distilled water.
  • Days 1 to 6: Follow a healthy diet with three small meals throughout the day, such as avocado, nuts, or fruit. Drink an ACV mix throughout the day. Before bed, take an oxygen-based colon cleanser.
  • Post Cleanse: Follow a healthy, plant-based diet with three small meals throughout the day. Make sure to drink lots of water with fresh lemon.

Read the full details below.

What Does Your Gut Do for You?

When someone refers to the “gut,” they’re typically referring to the entire digestive system. That’s everything from mouth to anus — including the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, and large intestine, also called the colon.

Every section of the digestive tract has a function, and the colon is one of the most important. It’s a U-shaped part of the intestines that is up to six feet long. The colon has four sections: ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid. A whole ecosystem of gut bacteria resides inside the colon, helping to keep your digestion on track.

What Is a Gut Cleanse?

A gut cleanse is an incredibly effective way to improve your overall health and wellness, boosting your gut’s ability to digest food and detoxify harmful substances. A gut cleanse has three main components: eliminating, flushing, and replenishing.

First, you eliminate food items known to cause digestive issues, such as dairy, meat, gluten, and other allergens, while eating a clean diet — ideally, all fruit — for several days. Next, you flush your digestive system of all the extra waste, toxins, and organisms it has collected over time. Last, you replenish your gut’s beneficial organisms, also called probiotics.

A gut cleanse is a three-step process — eliminate, flush, and replenish — that can kick-start a new, healthy lifestyle.

Cleansing your gut is something you should regularly do — it’s not just a one-time quick fix. Your gut needs regular maintenance. Doing a gut cleanse is a great opportunity to kick-start new, healthy habits. You will feel so much better after clearing out the old gunk and welcoming in healthier foods, more beneficial probiotic bacteria, and smoother digestion.

Signs That It’s Time for a Cleanse

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is ruthless when it comes to messing with your gut health. All of the meat, dairy, sugar, wheat, and fried and processed foods unleash all sorts of havoc on your body, leading to accumulated toxins and even compacted fecal matter in the gut. Many people say that they can feel when it’s time for a gut cleanse.

Your body is constantly sending signals that you need to cleanse, and some people say they can even feel when it’s time for a gut cleanse!

Your body is pretty good at sending out signals to make sure you’re aware that something is off-balance. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s a pretty strong indicator that it’s time for a gut cleanse.

Gut Detox Protocol

To ensure you’re doing the gut cleanse properly, be sure to follow the dietary instructions below. In some ways, a cleanse is similar to fasting. You will be eliminating a lot of foods that you ordinarily eat unless you already follow a very clean diet.

Gut Cleanse Diet

You have two options for the gut cleanse diet. The fruit-only option is ideal, and you will get the best results with it. However, you can also do a gut cleanse by eating mostly plant-based foods.

Option 1: Fruit-Only Diet

While performing your gut cleanse, you should eat organic fruit. Choose fruits from the following list. These particular options are full of nutrients and water and are gentle on your digestive system. You can eat as much fruit as you want.

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • White grapes
Non-Fruit Option

If you need a heartier option, you can eat a plant-based diet; eliminate meat, dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, and gluten-containing products. Eat organic or locally grown food for best results. Below are a few additional tips:

  • Eat healthy, plant-based foods for six days straight with three small portions daily.
  • Eliminate meat, dairy, eggs, soy, GMOs, wheat and gluten-containing foods.
  • Eat lots of salads, vegetable soups, raw nuts, seeds, and fruits.
  • Do not cook any food in a microwave as this will reduce the effectiveness of cleansing.
  • Eat dinner at least one hour before bedtime.
  • Avoid all alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners like those in diet sodas and other diet products. Instead use honey, stevia, monk fruit, or coconut sugar.
  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup, molasses, white sugar, dextrose, sorbitol, processed fructose, and sucrose.
  • Replace table salt with seasonings like Himalayan salt.
Ingredients

You’ll want to make sure you have the proper ingredients for this gut detox on hand before starting. All the items on this list work together to balance out your gut microflora, remove toxins from your system, and normalize your digestive health.

The distilled water, lemons, and apple cider vinegar create a drink you’ll hydrate with throughout the cleanse. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Take one gallon of distilled water and pour out four ounces
  2. Add two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar
  3. Shake well
  4. Add the juice from half a lemon
  5. Mix and refrigerate
Instructions

This gut cleanse is a six-day process. Each day, make one gallon of the apple cider vinegar cocktail and drink it throughout the day.

Save eight ounces of the apple cider vinegar mixture for the end of the day. Just before you go to bed every night, use it to take six capsules of Oxy-Powder. If you have any left over after that, don’t save it — pitch the rest and make a fresh batch in the morning.

Select a personal affirmation that works for you, perhaps related to the reason why you’re doing the cleanse. Are you trying to improve your overall health? Try, “I am healthy.” Is it to rid yourself of toxins? Say, “I am clean.” Are you determined to lose weight? Repeat, “I am lighter.” Or pick an affirmation that aligns with your goals.

Important: Drink 12 to 20 ounces of the gut cleanse cocktail when you wake up and between meals.

Breakfast
  1. Take 3 Latero-Flora capsules 20 minutes before eating.
  2. Eat breakfast. Follow your dietary option.
  3. Drink 12 to 20 ounces of the gut cleanse cocktail.
  4. Repeat your affirmation nine times.
Lunch
  1. Eat lunch. Follow your dietary option.
  2. Drink 12 to 20 ounces of the gut cleanse cocktail.
  3. Repeat your affirmation nine times.
Dinner
  1. Eat dinner. Follow your dietary option.
  2. Drink 12 to 20 ounces of the gut cleanse cocktail.
  3. Repeat your affirmation nine times.
Bedtime
  1. Take six capsules of Oxy-Powder.
  2. Drink the remaining eight ounces of apple cider vinegar mix.
  3. Before closing your eyes, repeat your affirmation to encourage a restful night’s sleep.

Repeat these instructions for six days. After the first full day of the cleanse, you should expect to have three to five bowel movements every day. If you don’t, increase your Oxy-Powder intake by two capsules every night until you hit the three to five mark the following day.

Note: Because a gut cleanse flushes out most of the food and compacted waste that has accumulated in your gut, you will want to replenish your gut microbes with beneficial bacteria at the end of your cleanse. Take a probiotic supplement that can boost the results of your cleanse.

Benefits of a Gut Detox

A healthy gut means a happy body. When your colon and digestive system are working the way they should, your body’s natural ability to detoxify itself is at peak performance.

If your digestive system is not working properly, you most likely aren’t getting all the nutrients available from what you eat. Your body may also be having trouble absorbing enough water from your food. A gut detox can get your digestion to a better place. Below we list the top benefits of a gut cleanse.

Balance Your Emotions

When your gut is in proper working order, it can affect your mood in a good way. Several studies show that anxiety and stress increase with greater inflammation in the body — and inflammation occurs when your diet is less than optimal.[1] A gut cleanse can normalize this systemic redness and swelling, helping to balance out your emotions.

Regulate & Restore Your Immune System

The micro-organisms in your gut interact quite closely with your immune system, and depending on which organisms you’ve got, there’s a potential link to autoimmune diseases.

A gut detox can help eliminate the harmful organism in your body, helping the gut to heal and keeping your immune system on track while replenishing your gut with beneficial microbes.[2]

Relieve Constipation & Promote Regularity

Your body can have a hard time with digestion when you follow a poor diet that’s full of processed foods, meat, and sugar. An unhealthy diet can lead to compacted waste — or, in other words, constipation.

Since you eliminate unhealthy foods on a gut detox, while focusing on drinking water and eating fiber-rich foods, it helps your system, removing waste and flushing out the bad stuff.

Essentially, your gut will be reset following a cleanse, which means your bowel movements will likely be more regular and consistent, and you’ll be processing and digesting food at healthy levels again.

Increase Energy

One of the most commonly reported benefits following a gut detox is a big energy boost, especially if you follow it up by switching to a healthier diet.

You may not even need that cup of morning coffee anymore. You’ll not only feel more awake, but you will also just feel better overall.

Jumpstart Your Metabolism

Both new research and therapies focus on how the microbiome in your gut helps regulate metabolism. A gut cleanse could be just what you need to take your body’s innate calorie-burning power to a higher level.

As a bonus, once your biome is in top shape, it may help you fight against obesity. Early studies show that new therapies focused on gut flora could be effective at lowering obesity rates.[3] This is why replenishing the gut with beneficial probiotics is essential to the overall effectiveness of any cleanse.

Boost Nutrient Absorption

Within your gut, the colon absorbs nutrients from the food you’re eating. If your gut is unhealthy, those nutrients may not be properly absorbed.

When that happens, you’re at a higher risk for things like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), malabsorption syndrome, leaky gut, Crohn’s disease, and nutritional deficiencies.

Strengthen Your Brain

Recent research shows that the health of your gut can have a positive impact on brain function. Specific diets — like the healthy one you’ll adopt after your detox — can help normalize neurodevelopmental disorders.

Some probiotics are also known to influence brain activity, so be sure to add them back into your diet with supplements once the cleanse is over.[4]

Other Ways to Maintain a Healthy Gut

Once you’re done with the cleanse, make following a healthy diet your new norm, especially if you previously ate meat, dairy, or a lot of processed foods. There are other options for maintaining a healthy gut as well — things you should probably do together with that diet, listed below.

Manage Your Stress

Too much stress can cause a whole array of disorders, including ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).[5] If you’re stressed out, try healthy ways to manage it — like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.

Take Enzymes

Digestive enzymes have one main purpose — to break down food so you can digest it more efficiently — but they also boost your health in other ways.

Enzyme supplements support normal digestion, reduce bloating and gas, protect your cells and tissues from oxidative damage, and deter systemic redness and swelling.

Adopt a Plant-Based Diet

Animal-based diets have an undeniably negative affect on gut health.[6] plant-based diet that focuses on organic fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains helps to normalize mood, fight obesity, and promote a healthier gut microbiome.

A plant-based diet promotes strong digestion, and helps with heart health, anti-aging, and so much more. Herbal and green teas, as well as supplements, can add additional nutrients and antioxidants to your plant-based diet.

Incorporate Probiotics

Recent research shows that probiotics help restore healthy gut flora, normalize swelling, boost mood, improve skin health, and ease certain systemic diseases.[7]

Supplements can help introduce the right probiotics into your body. Choose supplements that contain many probiotic strains as well as prebiotics, fiber-rich “food” for the microbes. You can also add dairy-free probiotic foods to your diet for additional benefit. Many fermented foods, like kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi, naturally contain beneficial probiotics.

Start Exercising

Exercise is for more than just weight loss. It helps keep you alert, releases stress, and keeps your brain functioning at an optimal level — and it’s helpful for your gut, too.

When you exercise, it boosts the number of beneficial microbe species in your gut, which boosts digestion as well as your immune system.[8]

Points to Remember

A gut cleanse, also known as a colon cleanse, is an important part of regulating your digestive system and getting your body back on track. With an unhealthy internal system, you’ll feel sick and sluggish. A gut detox can also normalize your mood, immune system, and digestion — all the while promoting regularity.

We recommend our Colon Cleanse Kit as part of a healthy lifestyle to simultaneously support your gut and colon.

An ideal gut cleanse spans six days. During that time you will eat only fruit — or a clean, plant-based diet — allowing your gastrointestinal tract to clean itself out, lighten its load, and detoxify. Apple cider vinegar, lemon, and gut-detox supplements, taken at regular intervals, help the process. Taking a probiotic after you complete the cleanse helps ensure your gut stays healthy afterward.

Once you finish the cleanse, it’s important to maintain optimal gut health. You can do this by exercising, taking supplements, changing your diet, and controlling stress.

Article Sources
  1. Bested AC, et al. Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health: from Metchnikoff to modern advances: Part II – contemporary contextual research. Gut Pathog. 2013 Mar 14;5(1):3.
  2. Wu HJ, Wu E. The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity. Gut Microbes. 2012 Jan-Feb;3(1):4-14.
  3. Martinez KB, et al. The gut microbiota: the gateway to improved metabolism. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2016 Dec;45(4):601-614.
  4. 4 Fast Facts about the Gut-Brain Connection. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health. Updated 24 Sep 2017. Accessed 21 Dec 2018.
  5. Konturek PC, et al. Stress and the gut: pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2011 Dec;62(6):591-599.
  6. David LA, et al. Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome. Nature. 2014 Jan 23;505(7484):559-563.
  7. Hemarajata P, Versalovic J. Effects of probiotics on gut microbiota: mechanisms of intestinal immunomodulation and neuromodulation. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2013 Jan;6(1):39-51.

Monda V, et al. Exercise Modifies the Gut Microbiota with Positive Health Effects. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:3831972.

Originally published at Global Healing Center & reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Edward Group
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world. Dr. Group is a veteran of the United States Army and has attended both Harvard and MIT business schools. He is a best-selling author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs, documentary films, and in major publications.

Dr. Group centres his philosophy around the understanding that the root cause of disease stems from the accumulation of toxins in the body and is exacerbated by daily exposure to a toxic living environment. He believes it is his personal mission to teach and promote philosophies that produce good health, a clean environment, and positive thinking. This, he believes, can restore happiness and love to the world.

For more, please visit Global Healing Center.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Health

Coconut Oil Could Help Fight Tooth Decay

Published

on

Coconut Oil
Photo Credit: Pexels

Mary West, Guest Writer

Coconut oil is much in the news these days, being used by the natural health community to enhance many aspects of health. Now, scientists have discovered yet another benefit of this valuable food – it may be a powerful ally in the fight against tooth decay.

Parents will gladly receive word of this discovery, as the pain of tooth decay and the ensuing infections that sometimes occur often involve treatment with antibiotics, drugs that have adverse effects and can lead to antibiotic resistance. A common childhood malady, tooth decay affects 60 to 90% of kids in industrialized countries, as well as most of adults, according to researchers.

Coconut oil, a natural agent devoid of side effects, will be a welcome inclusion to the tools used to fight cavities. The findings were so promising that researchers suggest it could be added to dental care products like toothpaste and mouthwash to promote the health of our teeth.

Scientists Found That Enzyme-Modified Coconut Oil Is a Potent Killer of Mouth Bugs.

Scientists at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland evaluated the effectiveness of three different oils in attacking Streptococcus bacteria, acid-producing organisms that are common inhabitants of the mouth and a major cause of tooth decay. They tested natural coconut oil, olive oil and vegetable oil, in addition to the same oils treated with enzymes, simulating the digestive process. Only the enzyme-altered coconut oil displayed the ability to curtail the growth of most strains of the bacteria. It is believed that the breaking down of coconut oil by the enzymes release its components that fight bacteria.

Advantages of Using Coconut Oil in Dental Products

Lead researcher, Dr. Damien Brady said enzyme-altered coconut oil could be an attractive substitute for cavity-fighting chemicals currently added to dental care products. He points out its advantage of being effective at relatively low concentrations and emphasizes the importance of seeking alternative ways of fighting infections because of increasing antibiotic resistance.

Aside from the above benefits, another advantage is cost, as treating tooth decay can be very expensive in some regions. If the findings of the study hold up in further research, coconut oil could soon become an affordable means of preventing tooth decay.

The results were revealed at a recent meeting of the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Warwick.

Recommended Coconut Oil Based Toothpastes…
Article Sources
Recommended Articles by Mary West
About the Author

Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance overall wellness. Ms. West is the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies, and  the creator of alternativemedicinetruth.com, a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects.

This article was republished with permission from Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit LiveInTheNow.com to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to their Newsletter

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Health

4 Ways To Know If Your Body Is Overwhelmed By Toxins

Published

on

4 Ways To Know If Your Body Is Overwhelmed By Toxins
Photo Credit: Pexels

Mary West, Guest Writer

We live in a toxic environment, being exposed to an estimated 2.5 billion pounds of chemicals each year. Once these toxins accumulate in the body, they may manifest in an array of symptoms.

It is impossible to escape this continuous bombardment of harmful chemicals; we come into contact with substances that can negatively impact our system several times a day. We breathe toxic chemicals in the air, ingest them in our food and absorb them through our skin.

Synthetic ingredients are found in fragrances and lotions, and sodium laurel sulphates are present in some toothpastes, soaps and shampoos. And the chemical assaults in the home don’t end there.

Our homes are laden with the toxins found in household cleaning products, “air fresheners” and pesticides, and some clothing, furniture upholstery and carpeting are even treated with toxic, hormone disrupting flame-retardants.

And our food? Well, it’s no secret that our food is loaded with chemical additives such as MSG, dyes and sucralose, while food containers can contain BPA. OUCH!

Think you can cleanse with just a healthy dose of H2O? Think again. Water systems are contaminated with lead and have been treated with fluoride, chlorine and many other chemicals.

4 Signs of Toxicity
1. Constipation

Bowel evacuation is the body’s natural way of eliminating waste. If you do not have a good-sized bowel movement every day, toxins are being reabsorbed into the blood stream and affecting your health.

2. Bad breath

This problem can indicate that your colon and liver are not eliminating toxins well.

3. Extra sensitivity to smells

If you have strong reactions to smoke, perfumes and other smells, you may be experiencing toxic overload.

4. Overweight

Difficulty in shedding extra pounds can be due to eating the wrong foods, but toxicity can also play a role. Some toxins like dioxins and pesticides are stored in the fat cells. When the body is storing a large quantity of these harmful chemicals, it poses a greater challenge to weight control.

Symptoms of Toxicity

The maladies that can ensue from chronic toxicity are too numerous to mention, but here are a few. Toxic overload can cause headaches, joint pain and rashes along with difficulty concentrating, food cravings and acne. Diseases related to toxicity include cancer, depression and attention deficit disorder in addition to autoimmune conditions, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis.

11 Easy Ways to Detoxify
  1. Drink green tea, which is a natural purifier.
  2. Drink plenty of filtered water to flush toxins out of your system.
  3. Eat foods high in fibre, which include fruit, vegetables and grains as well as nuts and seeds. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli are especially helpful. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds per day is beneficial as well. Incorporate garlic, parsley and cilantro into your diet, as they are natural detoxifiers.
  4. Avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta. Get in the habit of reading food labels to avoid those that are high in additives.
  5. Exercise regularly to eliminate toxins through perspiration.
  6. Dry-brush your skin with a natural bristle brush or loofa sponge. Use brushing strokes that more toward the heart rather than away from it. If you need some dry brushing tip, check out this article.
  7. Practice deep-breathing techniques.
  8. Reduce alcohol intake and avoid taking unnecessary drugs.
  9. A 24-hour fruit fast is very beneficial for internal cleansing and eliminating toxins. In this type of fast you only eat only fresh raw fruits, instead of those that are canned or cooked.
  10. Fit for Life authors recommends a daily fruit fast by eating nothing but fruit and fresh fruit juices every morning until noon. It is a means of everyday cleansing.
  11. The use of a castor oil pack is a time-honoured method of detoxification.
Article Sources
Recommended Articles by Mary West
About the Author

Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance overall wellness. Ms. West is the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies, and  the creator of alternativemedicinetruth.com, a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects.

This article was republished with permission from Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit LiveInTheNow.com to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to their Newsletter

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Health

8 Foods That Boost Your Immune System

Published

on

8 Foods That Boost Your Immune System
Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

If you’re looking for an immune system boost, the right vitamins and minerals can help. Although diet gets little attention in conventional media when it comes to supporting the immune system, it is one of the most powerful methods for keeping colds and other illnesses at bay. Nutrition isn’t the only means of immune system support but it is one of the oldest and most reliable natural approaches.

The 8 Best Foods for Your Immune System

The majority of your immune cells reside in your intestines, so doesn’t it make sense to consume healthy foods for keeping your immune system top notch? Here are 8 foods you can eat right now to boost your immune system.

1. Bell Peppers

Reach for all the bell peppers you want because they can actually have twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits. In addition, bell peppers are a great source of beta-carotene, which not only helps maintain healthy skin and eyes but studies suggest they could also provide an immune system boost. [1] [2]

2. Citrus

Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C. Believed to increase the production of white blood cells, C is essential for fighting off infections. Since your body doesn’t produce or store this vitamin, load up on citrus to help keep your immune system up and running. Supplementation with the vitamin may be helpful, but it’s always best to receive the vitamin from its natural source.

3. Ginger

Ginger is thought to work much like vitamin C in that it can even stop a cold before it starts. That said, it’s also a great food to reach for after you’re sick. Ginger can have a little heat due to the gingerol, a cousin of sorts to capsaicin—the stuff that makes chilli peppers hot. It’s the “kick” of the gingerol that can even act as a strong soothing agent. [3]

4. Turmeric

You can find this spice in many curries; it’s bright yellow in color, and a little bitter in taste, but it can definitely be pretty amazing for your health. While it’s already been used for its soothing capabilities for arthritis (among other things), a recent study suggests high concentrations of curcumin—what gives turmeric its color—could also reduce fever. [4] [5]

5. Spinach

With vitamin C, beta-carotene, and plenty of antioxidants, spinach is a perfect vegetable for your immune system. If you want to get the most out of it though, cook it as little as possible or even keep it raw. But don’t stop at spinach; a study suggests that other leafy green vegetables are good choices as well. [6]

6. Broccoli

Like spinach, broccoli is another great vegetable choice packed with antioxidants and vitamins. With vitamins A, C, and E, broccoli could easily be one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. Just like with spinach, cook it as little as possible to retain its nutrients.

7. Yogurt

If you like yogurt, make sure you’re getting the full health benefit by eating the kind with live cultures. Recent research suggests these cultures may strengthen your immune system. [7] Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D, which can also help boost the immune system. [8]

8. Almonds

When your immune system needs a boost, vitamin E sometimes loses the spotlight to vitamin C, but both are crucial for a healthy immune system. Vitamin E is fat-soluble, which means fat is needed in order for it to be absorbed properly. You can get almost all of your daily allowance of this vitamin by reaching for a half-cup of almonds. How easy is that?

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References
  1. Hughes, D. A. Effects of carotenoids on human immune function. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 58 (3).
  2. Chew, B. P. & Park, J. S. Carotenoid Action on the Immune Response. The Journal of Nutrition. 134 (1).
  3. Grzanna, R. et al. Ginger—An Herbal Medicinal Product with Broad Anti-Inflammatory Actions. Journal of Medicinal Food. 8 (2).
  4. Jagetia G. C, & Aggarwal B. B. “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin.Journal of Clinical Immunology. 27 (1).
  5. Sultana, G. N. et al. Analgesic principle from Curcuma amada. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 163.
  6. Li, Y. et al. Exogenous Stimuli Maintain Intraepithelial Lymphocytes via Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation. Cell. 147 (3).
  7. Meydani, S. N. & Ha W. Immunologic effects of yogurt. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 71 (4).
  8. Aranow, C. Vitamin D and the Immune System. Vitamin D and the Immune System.
Recommended Articles by Dr. Edward Group
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world. Dr. Group is a veteran of the United States Army and has attended both Harvard and MIT business schools. He is a best-selling author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs, documentary films, and in major publications.

Dr. Group centres his philosophy around the understanding that the root cause of disease stems from the accumulation of toxins in the body and is exacerbated by daily exposure to a toxic living environment. He believes it is his personal mission to teach and promote philosophies that produce good health, a clean environment, and positive thinking. This, he believes, can restore happiness and love to the world.

For more, please visit Global Healing Center.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Health

Here’s What You Should Know About Pumpkins

Published

on

Here’s What You Should Know About Pumpkins
Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. MercolaGuest Writer

From the time you were a small child, you may have been conditioned to expect new and exciting things as autumn arrives. Every fall, children go back to school, see their friends and begin to anticipate the holiday season. One of the fruits closely associated with fall is pumpkin.

From pumpkin pie to pumpkin spice lattes or jack-o-lanterns it’s likely you associate fall with some type of pumpkin. Kathryn Lively, professor of sociology at Dartmouth College, spoke with a reporter from The Huffington Post about the expectations children have and how this conditions a response pattern that often travels into adulthood.1

Fall is a structural landmark, in the way significant dates help create structure in the perception of the passage of time.2 For example, just as January 1 is a landmark associated with developing personal growth and development goals, fall may be a time when your anticipation begins to grow, and you’re motivated to learn new skills or change behaviours.

Licensed psychologist and professor at Chapman University Amy Jane Griffiths, Ph.D., says, “We all crave the comfort and security that comes with traditions and predictability.”3 Many of us have traditions and events associated with fall weather, while others may dread the leaves changing or signs that winter is coming.

What Color Are Your Pumpkins?

Many have an interest in the science behind your anticipation of fall weather, fall foods and the hope of curling up with a blanket and a good movie. But it may still be difficult to explain the vast number of people who buy pumpkins each fall. In the U.S., Illinois is the No. 1 producer of this round orange squash, growing twice as many each year than in the other five top producing states.4

While you might think of it as a vegetable, the pumpkin is a fruit that’s known as much for its place in the kitchen as on your front porch. Mary Liz Wright, a University of Illinois Extension specialist, does not advise using your typical jack-o-lantern pumpkin in your fall recipes.5

This is because there are two distinct species of pumpkin. The first has been bred for size, structure and color to enhance your fall decor. The second is bred for consistency, flavour and texture of the meat. Pumpkins that are bred for flavour are tan or buckskin color on the outside with bright orange flesh on the inside.

They’re also more reminiscent of butternut squash in shape, rather than the more rounded outline of decorative pumpkins. Nathan Johanning, also a University of Illinois Extension specialist, spoke about the 2020 fall crop and the agritourism trade pumpkins support, sharing that one farm in Illinois had 5,000 tourists pass through in one weekend.

If you’re planning on saving the flesh from your pumpkins, Wright advises you cook and freeze it, since it is not advisable to can pumpkin or even pressure can it. The center of the dense flesh may not get hot enough to prevent botulism growth, which you can avoid by cooking it first and then freezing it.

Nutritious and Delicious Pumpkins

There are many health benefits to eating pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, as you’ll see in this short video. Although you can buy them year-round at the store, consider adding pumpkins to your garden since nearly every part of the plant can be eaten. You’ll be assured of a toxin-free fruit from which you can harvest the seeds as well as carve and cook your pumpkins in the fall.

Dried pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are high in healthy fats and rich in omega-3 fats, zinc, calcium, iron and an array of phytochemicals.6 After being dried and shelled, the seeds have just 180 calories in one-fourth cup and are also packed with manganese, phosphorus, copper and magnesium.7

People have used pumpkin seed extract and oil in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that may respond to the nutrients found in pumpkin seeds. Because most of the studies have involved extracts or oils from pumpkin seeds, it’s not possible to extrapolate the information to eating the pumpkin seeds themselves.8

The meat of the pumpkin contains only 49 calories in 1 cup of cooked mashed flesh. It is rich in riboflavin and vitamins A, C and E.9 The rich orange color indicates the high level of beta-carotenes and antioxidants that your body uses to neutralize free radicals.

The high levels of vitamin A and C have a positive impact on your immune system, and it is a major source of lutein and zeaxanthin linked to healthy eyesight.10 The high levels of potassium, vitamin C and fibre are all associated with cardiovascular benefits.

For instance, one literature analysis found an inverse association between potassium and the risk of stroke.11 Another study demonstrated people with higher levels of potassium intake had lower risk of high blood pressure.12 The levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C all contribute to healthy skin, collagen production13 and protection against the damage of ultraviolet rays.14

Pumpkin Seeds May Reduce Your Risk of Kidney Stones

In addition to the health benefits listed above, pumpkin seeds have a special superpower: They protect your kidneys by reducing the risk of calcium-oxalate crystal formation, better known as kidney stones. There are four types of kidney stones that can form, including calcium, struvite, uric acid and cystine stones.15 Of these, calcium oxalate is the most common.

Nearly 80% of calcium stones that form are calcium oxalate. By manipulating urine chemistry through dietary intake, you can help prevent calcium stone formation. The highest urine chemistry risk factors for calcium oxalate crystals are hypercalciuria and hyperoxaluria.16

Dietary risk factors that increase your potential for calcium oxalate stones include chronic dehydration and a diet that is rich in protein, oxalates, sodium and sugar.17 People with certain digestive disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, can also have a higher risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Oxalate can be found in these foods:18,19

BeansBeetsBeer
ChocolateCoffeeCranberries
PeanutsRhubarbSoda
Sweet potatoesTea (black)Dark green vegetables, such as spinach

One study evaluated the ability of pumpkin seed supplementation to change the chemistry of the participants’ urine and reduce the risk of calcium oxalate crystal formation.20 Researchers engaged 20 boys from the Ubol Province in Thailand where there is a high incidence of kidney stones.21

During the experiment the boy’s urine was measured before any intervention as a control period. During two periods of the intervention they received an oxalate supplement and a pumpkin seed or orthophosphate supplement. The participants’ urine chemistry was tested before and after each intervention.

The results of the study showed that while the boys were receiving the pumpkin seed supplement, the urine chemistry had the lowest potential risk for calcium oxalate crystal formation. The researchers found the high levels of phosphorus in the pumpkin seed may be a “potential agent in lowering the risk of bladder-stone disease.”22

Pumpkin Spice Blend Elicits an Emotional Response

The scents associated with pumpkin pie are not strictly from pumpkin but, rather, a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, which are the traditional spices used in the pie. This combination of scents can trigger a strong emotional response in your brain, which causes you to recall experiences associated with the smell.23

The emotional response that doors generate have an impact on your decision to like or dislike something. Your sense of smell and memory are closely linked since scents travel from the limbic system through the amygdala and hippocampus, which are regions of the brain related to emotion and memory.24

The scent of pumpkin spices is popular during the fall months, especially in homemade products and the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. Catherine Franssen, Ph.D., director of psychology at Longwood University, is a fan of the flavour and understands why this particular combination of spices elicits an emotional response. She commented to CNN:25

“Since these are popular spice combinations, it’s very likely we would have encountered some or all of them combined in a favourite baked good in a comforting situation, like a family gathering, early in life. It’s not just the pumpkin spice combo but that we’ve already wired a subset of those spices as ‘good’ very early in life.”

Starbucks seemed to stumble onto their popular Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003 when it was first released.26 Each fall the Pumpkin Spice Latte drink makes a return to stores, along with other “pumpkin-flavoured” drinks — which may or may not actually have pumpkin in them — and baked goods. This year it’s the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew.27

In a press release, Peter Dukes, product manager who led the development of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, commented, “Nobody knew back then what it would grow to be. It’s taken on a life of its own.”28

However, as enticing as the scent may be, the product is loaded with sugar and packs a whopping 52 grams of carbohydrates into a 16-ounce mug.29 Instead, consider making the healthy and tasty alternative at home demonstrated in the video below.

Neuroscience, Sugar Addiction and Marketing

The emotional response generated by scent is something marketers take advantage of. Pleasant scents affect your mood, which is a way of engaging your hand-to-wallet response.

In experiments comparing odourless placebo sprays against fragrances, researchers found while you will have a response to the placebo when you anticipate the fragrance, the actual scent has a dramatic effect on improving your mood.30

Although your preference is highly personalized, a general assumption is made that most people will find pumpkin spice in the fall and cinnamon during Christmas associated with good memories. As the scent of pumpkin spice triggers a happy memory, it can also trigger a desire to buy a cup. Franssen comments on the neuroscience involved in scent and advertising:31

“When an door or flavour — and 80% of flavour is actually smell — is combined with sucrose or sugar consumption in a hungry person, the person learns at a subconscious, physiological level to associate that flavour with all the wonderful parts of food digestion.

[For that reason] the pumpkin spice latte is actually, scientifically, kind of addictive. Not quite the same neural mechanisms as drugs of abuse, but certainly the more you consume, the more you reinforce the behavior and want to consume more.”

The popular trend of promoting all things pumpkin in the fall even generated a hoax in 2014 when a Facebook meme reported Charmin toilet tissue would soon be released in a new pumpkin spice scent. Not soon after Charmin Company tweeted: “While we love it, we can promise you this. You will not be seeing #PumpkinSpice Charmin anytime soon. #StopTheMadness”32

References
  1. Huffington Post, October 11th, 2016
  2. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2013;104(2)
  3. Bustle, September 14, 2020
  4. USDA: Pumpkins October 26, 2020
  5. The Southern Illinoisan November 8, 2020
  6. Nutrition Data, Seeds, Pumpkin and Squash Seed Kernels
  7. World’s Healthiest Foods, Pumpkin Seeds
  8. World’s Healthiest Foods, Pumpkin Seeds
  9. Nutrition Data, Pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
  10. Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi, 2011;45(1):64
  11. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2016;5(10)
  12. International Journal of Cardiology, 2017;230:127
  13. Nutrients, 2017;9(8)
  14. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012;96(5)
  15. Mayo Clinic, Kidney Stones
  16. CMAJ, 2006;174(10)
  17. National Kidney Foundation, Calcium Oxalate Stones, Who is at risk
  18. Michigan Medicine, Foods High in Oxalate
  19. National Kidney Foundation, Six Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones
  20. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1987;45(1)
  21. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1967;20(12)
  22. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1987;45(1)
  23. Social Issues Research Centre, The Smell Report
  24. The Harvard Gazette, February 27, 2020
  25. CNN, September 14, 2017 Para 6
  26. AdWeek, Give Me My Pumpkin Spice Latte
  27. Starbucks
  28. Starbucks Newsroom, September 5, 2017
  29. Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice Latte
  30. Social Issues Research Centre, The Smell Report
  31.  CNN, September 14, 2017 Section: Actually Scientifically Kind of Addictive
  32. Twitter

Originally published at mercola.com and reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Joseph Mercola
About the Author

Born and raised in the inner city of Chicago, IL, Dr. Joseph Mercola is an osteopathic physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Mercola served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center for five years, and in 2012 was granted fellowship status by the American College of Nutrition (ACN).

While in practice in the late 80s, Dr. Mercola realized the drugs he was prescribing to chronically ill patients were not working. By the early 90s, he began exploring the world of natural medicine, and soon changed the way he practiced medicine.

In 1997 Dr. Mercola founded Mercola.com, which is now routinely among the top 10 health sites on the internet. His passion is to transform the traditional medical paradigm in the United States. “The existing medical establishment is responsible for killing and permanently injuring millions of Americans… You want practical health solutions without the hype, and that’s what I offer.”

Visit Mercola.com for more information, or read Dr. Mercola’s full bio and resumé here.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Ezoicreport this ad
Advertisement Ezoicreport this ad

Trending Now

STAY AWARE

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

You have Successfully Subscribed!