Connect with us

Healthy Living

Top 7 Health Benefits Of Flax Seeds

Published

on

Photo Credit: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Flax seeds or linseed are tiny brown or yellow seeds that have been used therapeutically for centuries. They have some excellent nutritional and medicinal benefits and can help with various health conditions, such as constipation, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and digestive disorders. Flax seed has a unique combination of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and plant compounds, which make them a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

1. Prevents Constipation

Flax seeds are an excellent source of dietary fibre. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, which contribute to digestive health by preventing both constipation and diarrhoea. Two tablespoons of ground flax seed provide 16% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of fibre for the whole day. They act as a stool softener, stimulating the digestive system and easing bowel movements. Flax can also help improve the micro biome of the bowel by nourishing good bacteria.

2. Lowers Cholesterol

Flax seeds lower cholesterol for a few reasons. First, soluble fibre is proven to lower LDL cholesterol levels by binding to the cholesterol and preventing it from entering the bloodstream. Flax seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA prevents plaque build-up in the blood vessels due to high cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

Fatty acids, lignans, and fibre all work together to treat and prevent hypertension or chronic high blood pressure. In one study, 110 hypertensive patients were given either flax seed or a placebo every day for six months. The test group showed a significant reduction in blood pressure compared with the control group. This study suggested flax seed has some of the most potent dietary blood-pressure-reducing effects.

4. Balances Blood Sugar

Flax seeds may affect blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, flax seed possesses hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties thanks to its abundant omega-3 and antioxidant and low carbohydrate content. The study noted a nearly 20% reduction in fasting blood glucose levels in subjects supplementing with flax seed.

5. Fights Cancer

Flax seed possesses powerful antioxidant properties that can help prevent the growth of cancer cells. One of the anti-cancer components of flax seed is lignans — phytoestrogens found in many fibre-rich plants. Flax seed contains as many as 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. In addition to aiding cancer prevention, flax seed may also reduce tumour growth in late stages of carcinogenesis among postmenopausal women with breast cancer, and could be beneficial in the treatment of colon, lung, and skin cancer.

6. Fights Inflammation

The omega-3 fatty acids and lignans abundant in flax seed can help reduce inflammation, improving symptoms of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. One study shows that flax seed may reduce inflammatory markers in people with obesity.

7. Improves Symptoms of Menopause

Some studies indicate flax seed supplementation can reduce the occurrence of hot flashes in women going through menopause by up to 50%. This may be due to the presence of lignans, which have estrogenic effects. Other studies do not prove the efficacy of flax seed in reducing menopausal symptoms, but experts agree that there are no adverse effects of supplementing with flax seeds.

A Brief History Of Flax Seeds

Sometime between 4000 and 2000 BC, flax cultivation became a common practice in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and in regions of the Middle East, and there is some evidence that flax cultivation may have started even thousands of years earlier, during the Neolithic Era of approximately 10,000 BC. From the very beginning, the value of flax was both culinary and domestic, since flax fibres could be spun into linen to provide clothing and other textile-related products.

To this day, flax cultivation has remained both culinary and domestic, although crop production has become more specialized and wide scale. In the United States and Canada, most commercial flax production involves oilseed varieties of flax, in which the seeds will eventually be dried and crushed and used to produce different grades of oil. Non-food grade flax seed/linseed oil is used in wood finishes, paints, coatings, and other industrial supplies. Food grade flax seed/linseed oil can as be used in livestock feed, or as a culinary oil. (It is much more common, however, for livestock feed to contain flax seed meal versus flax seed oil.) Oilseed varieties of flax are typically classified as oilseed crops along with soybeans, rapeseed, cottonseed, sunflower seed, and peanuts. Canada is the world’s largest producer of oilseed flax, followed by Russia, France, and Argentina.

Tips For Adding Flax Seeds To Your Diet

Consume ground seeds rather than whole.

Opt for ground flax seeds, as they are easier to digest.

You won’t reap as many benefits from whole flax seeds, as your intestines cannot break down the tough outer shell of the seeds.

That being said, you can still buy whole flax seeds, grind them in a coffee grinder and store the ground flax seeds in an airtight container.

What About Flax Seed Oil?

The resurgence of the use of flax seed oil is due to its nutritional properties and health benefits.

It’s usually extracted by a process called cold pressing.

Given that oil is sensitive to heat and light, it’s best kept in dark glass bottles and stored in a dark, cool place like a kitchen cabinet.

Because some of its nutrients are heat sensitive, flax seed oil is not suitable for high-temperature cooking.

Nevertheless, some studies have shown that using flax seed oil in light stir-frying of up to 350°F/177°C did not cause any reduction in the quality of the oil (Trusted Source).

It’s worth noting that flax seed oil contains more ALA than flax seeds. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds contains 1.6 grams, while one tablespoon of flax seed oil contains 7 grams.

Nonetheless, flax seeds contain a host of other beneficial nutrients that are not included in its extracted oil, such as fibre. To fully reap the health benefits of flax seeds, ground flax seeds will make a great first choice.

How Much Do You Need?

The health benefits noted in the studies above were observed with just 1 tablespoon (10 grams) of ground flax seeds per day.

However, it’s recommended to keep serving sizes to less than 5 tablespoons (50 grams) of flax seeds per day.

With many proven health benefits and possibly more, there’s no better time than now to grab some flax seeds from your local grocery store.

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

Share This Story
Continue Reading

Health

The 9 Best Fermented Foods For Your Gut

Published

on

Natto
Photo Credit: www.healthydirections.com

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

Fermented food has made a comeback in recent years, partially thanks to the popularization of Weston A. Price teachings. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi aren’t considered to be the most appealing types of food; however, research exploring these and other fermented products on gut, brain, and body health has revitalized public interest.

The fermentation process encourages essential bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria to flourish. This makes fermentation a good source of probiotics for vegans, since many fermented foods are plant based. Vegetables are submerged in a salty brine during preparation to kill off dangerous, pathogenic bacteria. The good bacteria break down lactose and other sugars and starches in the food, making digestion easier. And once they reach your gut, they continue to help break down food and keep out bad guys like E. coli and C. difficile

The Best Fermented Foods

When it comes to fermented foods, your options aren’t limited to sauerkraut or fermented soy. There’s other fantastic options that are considered “fermented,” including tea, yogurt, and various vegetables. Here are the 9 best fermented foods you should be eating for your gut.

1. Yogurt

Yogurt has many benefits, mostly due to its rich probiotic content. Brands of yogurt that contain billions of live active cultures may support digestion, and some research indicates it could even benefit the skin. [1] Raw, unpasteurized yogurt is ideal if you can handle dairy. Personally, I tend to skip dairy altogether, but you can find dairy-free yogurt options at many stores these days, some of which are made from coconut and almond milk. Be sure you’re choosing yogurt that contains live active cultures, and try to choose plain, full-fat versions in order to avoid sugar. Yogurt that contains sugar can be counterproductive, as sugars feed pathogenic bacteria and contribute to sugar overload.

2. Natto

Natto is prepared with soybeans and is fermented so it forms the beneficial bacteria Bacillus. It’s an excellent source of calcium, iron, dietary fibre, and vitamin K2. You may not have heard a lot about it, but K2 is essential for heart health as it keeps calcium out of your arteries and gets it to your bones where it’s needed. Natto also contains nattokinase, a powerful anti-clotting agent that protects your heart and brain and lowers your blood pressure.

3. Kefir

Kefir is a bit like yogurt, except that it’s more of a drinkable consistency. Researchers report kefir may reduce irritation in the intestines, preventing toxins and other pathogens from getting into the blood. [2] If you’re choosing to drink dairy kefir, make sure it’s organic and isn’t loaded with refined sugar. There are options for making your own dairy-free water kefir, and many health food companies online sell kefir grains specifically for this purpose. You can also check out our recipe for making coconut milk kefir.

4. Kombucha

Made from tea, clean water, sugar, yeast, and bacteria, kombucha has become popular recently for its probiotic qualities. Its fizzy bite is also popular among those used to drinking soda. Research finds this fermented tea fights off E. coli and Staph bacteria in the digestive tract, possibly protecting against illness and aiding digestion. [3]

5. Sauerkraut

Traditional sauerkraut preparation uses water, salt, and cabbage, and very little heat is applied to the final product in order to prevent killing off beneficial microbes. The sour taste comes from lacto-fermentation, or the breakdown of lactose by the probiotic bacteria native to the cabbage. A serving gives you a powerful dose of healthy probiotics that aid digestion, and research has found raw sauerkraut prevents cancer cells from forming. [4] Be sure to purchase raw sauerkraut, or better yet, make it yourself with organic cabbage and Himalayan salt.

6. Kimchi

This spicy Asian fermented cabbage, similar to sauerkraut, provides you with loads of probiotics. Extensive research indicates it contributes to colon health, lower cholesterol, better thinking, a stronger immune system, healthy skin, and weight loss. Additional research also shows it has anti-oxidative, anti-aging, and immune-supporting properties. [5]

7. Tempeh

This Indonesian ‘cake’ has a nutty flavour and chewy texture, and because of this it is often used as a replacement for meat in many vegan recipes. Traditionally made from soybeans and a yeast starter, it undergoes controlled fermentation that makes it a great source of probiotic bacteria. Tempeh is also a great source of calcium, iron, and magnesium.

8. Pickles

Raw pickles, much like sauerkraut, makes for a great introduction to fermented foods. Pickles made by lacto-fermentation makes this a delicious snack and a great food for aiding digestion and supporting a strong immune system.

9. Lassi

Yogurt and fermented dairy play an important role in Indian cuisine. Lassi is made by combining yogurt and milk (or water) and sometimes fruit and spices to create a great probiotic-rich drink. It digests quickly, helps restore friendly gut bacteria, and soothes irritation in the colon. Again, I don’t recommend consuming conventional dairy, especially from cows. If you are going to drink lassi, it’s best to find a product using grass-fed, free-range goat milk. Goat milk tends to digest more easily. If you’re vegan, try finding or making lassi with organic coconut or almond milk yogurt.

Other Tips to Support Digestion

Each of these 9 probiotic foods will help restore balance to your intestinal ecosystem, but they’re not the only way to support digestion. Prebiotics, or foods containing inulin, sustain your current gut bacteria by providing them the foods they need to thrive. Probiotic supplements, digestive enzymes, and colon and liver cleansing are also great ways to support your digestive system.

What probiotic foods do you eat?

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

Article Sources
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 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.

Share This Story
Continue Reading

Health

The Importance Of A Kidney Cleansing Diet

Published

on

The Importance Of A Kidney Cleansing Diet
Photo Credit: www.diabetes.co.uk

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

The importance of maintaining a kidney cleansing diet cannot be overemphasized. Healthy kidneys are essential to a variety of body functions. Your kidneys help detoxify your blood by removing toxic compounds and passing them out through the urine. If blood cleansing becomes impeded, toxins can remain and circulate throughout the body to cause harm.

Choosing a diet that naturally supports your kidneys will help keep them functioning at their best.

The Function of the Kidneys

Healthy kidneys help manage body fluid stability by regulating the balance of sodium and water. The kidneys also manage the balance between alkalinity and acidity, and they regulate the hormones and enzymes responsible for controlling blood pressure. In addition, as mentioned previously, your kidneys help filter out toxins that build up in response to diet and the environment.

The imbalance of body water caused by toxic kidneys has been linked to negative emotional states, such as stress, paranoia, uncontrolled muscle shaking, general feelings of insecurity and fear, and even panics attacks. Kidney cleansing helps promote the optimal function of the kidneys. When in optimal health, your kidneys can purify your blood up to 60 times per day.

Teas That Cleanse the Kidneys

There are many teas that you can brew yourself that will help cleanse your kidneys.

Dandelion root removes excess water from the body by stimulating urine production. Dandelion root tea can be made by boiling 1 to 2 tsp. of organic roasted dandelion root in 8 ounces of pure water.

Ginger root and turmeric tea can be made by boiling a few dashes of turmeric powder with peeled ginger root. If consumed after lunch and dinner, the tea not only flushes toxins from the kidneys but also helps with digestion.

Cleansing with Fruits and Vegetables

You can also find many organic fruits that will help your body with kidney cleansing. Organic grapes can be eaten raw to provide nutrients and antioxidants that support detoxification. Grapes help flush uric acid and other waste products from the kidneys.

Organic cranberries provide us with quinine, a compound that is sent to the liver. Hippuric acid, which is converted from quinine, helps remove urea and uric acid from the kidneys and urinary tract. It also helps discourage bacteria from attaching to urinary tract walls. Cranberry juice is a great kidney supporter.

Organic apples are one of the best natural foods you can eat, and they also support natural cleansing. Beet juice is another great addition to help you cleanse your entire body. Check out this beets liver cleansing juice recipe.

There are also several organic cleansing vegetables that are readily available in almost every grocery store.

Garlic is a natural diuretic that helps stimulate urine production and flush out the kidneys. Cucumbers also work as a natural diuretic and can help dissolve kidney and bladder stones. Sprouts help flush out the kidneys because they contain so much water.

Onions have been reputed to help people pass kidney stones. The onions are boiled, then liquefied in a blender along with the water they were cooked in. Kidney beans, soybeans, and peas contain a vital amino acid called arginine that helps cleanse the kidneys of ammonia.

A General Rule of Thumb

Eating pure, whole, and raw foods will provide the necessary support for your kidneys as well as every other detoxifying organ in your body. Most raw leafy greens, low-sugar fruits (think berries), and nuts and seeds can support your health in numerous ways, not just for cleansing. Also, it is imperative that you drink enough pure, filtered water every day in order to provide an easier route for toxins to evacuate your kidneys. You can use distilled water for this purpose; simply add 1 tbsp. of raw apple cider vinegar to an 8-ounce glass to give it an extra boost.

What are your experiences with cleansing?

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

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 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.

Share This Story
Continue Reading

Healthy Living

How Does The Alkaline Diet Affect Gut Health?

Published

on

Photo Credit: www.cookinglight.com

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

The alkaline diet is a popular diet aimed at managing acidity levels within the body. The alkaline diet claims you can consume certain foods to adjust your body’s acidity, or pH levels, to improve your health.[1]

The pH scale runs from 0 (acidic) to 14 (basic or alkaline); 7 is neutral.[2] The body uses nutrients and electrolytes to maintain balance, which exists within a narrow pH range. It requires a slightly alkaline environment between 7.35 and 7.45, usually around 7.4.[3]

The human body is a complex collection of systems, organs, and fluids that work together to sustain life. While some systems seem more important than others, each one has a very specific purpose. When the various bits and pieces work together in harmony we call it homeostasis. If just one system is out of balance, homeostasis is disrupted and health and wellness can suffer. Although your body’s pH is important, it is one of many components that contribute to homeostasis.

Studies show the modern diet increases the body’s acidity levels.[4] The alkaline diet suggests that you can manage your internal pH levels, especially in your gut. The gut does have an incredibly important role in your health, but before we get into that, let’s take a closer look at this diet.

What Is the Alkaline Diet?

Also called the acid-ash diet, the alkaline diet is an effort to eat foods with certain pH levels for the purpose of influencing body acidity. The idea makes sense, but it’s important to understand that it’s not the pH level of the food itself that matters, but the effect that food has on the body.[5] For example, a lemon itself is acidic, but once in the body, it encourages alkalinity.

People who follow the diet (including celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham[6]) claim to experience benefits such as weight loss, increased energy, and better resistance to certain diseases. However, despite its popularity, the scientific data has not yet proven these claims to be true.

It’s hard to say if the alkaline diet really has any effect on the body’s pH balance. The human body does require regulation and management of pH but it uses internal buffering agents to accomplish this. Your body automatically regulates its own acid-base equilibrium regardless of what you eat.[7]

In other ways, however, the diet does seem to offer real benefits; largely thought to be the result of healthier eating in general, as the alkaline diet tends to encourage foods that are a good source of important nutrients and antioxidants. Research suggests such a diet helps support normal hormone levels, bone health, and muscle mass.[8]

Does the Alkaline Diet Work?

To determine if a diet “works,” it’s important to establish the specific goals and indicators of success. Is it an attempt to lose weight? Gain energy? Build muscle?

From a purely nutritional standpoint, the alkaline diet is strong. It centres heavily around fruits and vegetables. Researchers suggest the absence of these foods in people’s diets is what contributes to many of today’s health problems.[9, 10] Do keep in mind, however, that any diet that includes natural foods will better support your health than a diet that doesn’t. But, eating healthy, natural foods, not a change in acid levels, is what appears to prompt the benefit.

Another goal of the alkaline diet is to slow or stop osteoporosis. It’s based on the acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis. This hypothesis is that a diet high in proteins and grains and low in potassium causes bone loss. Some studies suggest men and women with higher blood acidity have a higher rate of bone loss.

Unfortunately, research doesn’t seem to support the claim. Studies do not show that the alkaline diet prevents calcium loss from osteoporosis.[11] Recent research shows collagen cross-linking, a part of bone formation, has a more direct role in osteoporosis.[12]

The bottom line is that your body is a complex system. Vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and other nutrients affect many different systems. Before you start a diet, consider how it measures results.

Measuring the Diet’s Results

Advocates for this diet claim its success can be determined by the pH of urine. It’s true that the food you eat changes the pH of your urine. Meats and cheeses, for example, make it more acidic. Fruits and veggies make it less.[13]

However, urine acidity alone is not an accurate test. The acid-alkaline status of your body is much more complex than a simple urine test can reveal and a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests urine pH may be an unreliable measurement.[14] Urine only tells you how much acid you’ve excreted. It doesn’t provide complete information on the internal pH levels throughout your body.[15] You have a lot of different fluids in your body and they all have different pH levels. Urine pH ranges from 4.6 to 8[16] while your blood typically hovers around 7.4.[17]

That said, the alkaline diet may “work,” just not in the way you might think, or want. Again, it’s hard to go wrong eating a lot of fruits and vegetables!

Potential Benefits of the Alkaline Diet

Your body keeps tight control over your acid-alkaline levels. The foods you eat may alter urinary acid levels, but do little to alter your pH otherwise.[18] The alkaline diet may not live up to its claims with respect to influencing acidity, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make good dietary recommendations. To the contrary, it promotes many natural, organic plant based foods high in vitamin C, selenium, iron, and zinc; all of which support gut health and the immune system.[19] Spinach and almonds, cashews, and peanuts contain kidney-stone-preventing oxalates.[20] Sweet red peppers, broccoli, and carrots offer large amounts of vitamin A. This promotes healing and recovery in your skin, especially from conditions like acne.[21]

Many of the foods suggested by the alkaline diet provide nutrient-dense, low-calorie alternatives to traditional dietary choices.[22] Lower calorie foods can improve energy levels and support a healthy body weight.[23] When you cut out foods high in omega-6 fatty acids, you reduce your levels of arachidonic acid, which causes the inflammation associated with heart disease and joint pain.[24] An alkaline diet also encourages you to avoid processed foods and refined sugars, neither of which offer any nutritional benefits and both of which are common causes of insomnia. Eliminating them from your diet can help you get deeper, more restful sleep.[25]

The “efficacy” of the alkaline diet has nothing to do with your pH levels but is rather all about the many benefits of eating organic food. The nutrients delivered have a far greater impact on your health than the pH of your urine. Nutrition affects your gut health and overall wellness more than any other factor.

Role of Nutrition in Health and Wellness

Gut health has a tremendous influence on your overall health; that’s why regular cleansing is so important — to remove toxins and encourage your gut to be in good, working order. Cleansing supports the many systems in your body that are designed to work together and strengthen each other. Their functioning in harmony is the definition of wellness. When you provide your body with adequate nutrition, whether it’s labelled as “the alkaline diet” or otherwise, you’re encouraging a harmonious environment that’s best suited to experience homeostasis.

The Diet We Recommend for Gut Health

Nutrition and cleansing can support each other and are two of the most important things you can do for your wellness. If you’re looking for a plan for healthy eating, I recommend the Body Cleansing Diet, which I believe is the best eating plan for the average person to keep their body healthy and clean. It consists of raw, organic fruits and vegetables, and the benefits are many — incredible nutrition, toxin removal, and a healthy gut environment. (Check out the Body Cleansing Diet here.) You might notice similarities between the Body Cleansing Diet and the alkaline diet. I didn’t aim for that when I created this program, but foods thought to help you maintain a pH balance also happen to be the same as those that best cleanse and nourish your body.

No matter what you eat, try to understand the role of nutrition in health. Food is fuel. You wouldn’t put bad gas in your car, so don’t put bad food in your body.

What tips do you have for healthy eating?

References
  1. “What Is PH.” Brooklyn College. Brooklyn College, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  2. “What Is PH?” EPA.gov. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 22 Feb. 2016. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  3. Waugh A, Grant A. Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness. 10th edition. Philadelphia, Pa, USA: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2007. Print.
  4. Pizzorno, Joseph, Lynda A. Frassetto, and Joseph Katzinger. “Diet-induced Acidosis: Is It Real and Clinically Relevant?” British Journal of Nutrition Br J Nutr (2009): 1. Web.
  5. Bliss, Rosalie Marion. “Plant Foods for Preserving Muscle Mass.” USDA. United States Department of Agriculture, 23 May 2008. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  6. “Top Diets Review for 2016.” NHS Choices. GOV.uk, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  7. Caroline, Nancy L., Bob Elling, and Nancy L. Caroline. Nancy Caroline’s Emergency Care in the Streets: 7th Edition. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2013. 347-49. Print.
  8. Schwalfenberg, Gerry K. “The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health?” Journal of Environmental and Public Health 2012 (2012): 727630. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  9. Katz DL. Plant Foods in the American Diet? As We Sow…. The Medscape Journal of Medicine. 2009;11(1):25.
  10. Guenther, Patricia M., Kevin W. Dodd, Jill Reedy, and Susan M. Krebs-Smith. “Most Americans Eat Much Less than Recommended Amounts of Fruits and Vegetables.”Journal of the American Dietetic Association 106.9 (2006): 1371-379. Web.
  11. Fenton, Tanis R., Andrew W. Lyon, Michael Eliasziw, Suzanne C. Tough, and David A. Hanley. “Meta-Analysis of the Effect of the Acid-Ash Hypothesis of Osteoporosis on Calcium Balance.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 24.11 (2009): 1835-840. Web.
  12. Saito, M., and K. Marumo. “Collagen Cross-links as a Determinant of Bone Quality: A Possible Explanation for Bone Fragility in Aging, Osteoporosis, and Diabetes Mellitus.” Osteoporosis International Osteoporos Int 21.2 (2009): 195-214. Web.
  13. Remer, Thomas, and Friedrich Manz. “Potential Renal Acid Load of Foods and Its Influence on Urine PH.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 95.7 (1995): 791-97. Web.
  14. Bonjour, Jean-Philippe. “Nutritional Disturbance in Acid–base Balance and Osteoporosis: A Hypothesis That Disregards the Essential Homeostatic Role of the Kidney.” British Journal of Nutrition Br J Nutr 110.07 (2013): 1168-177. Web.
  15. Brooks, David W. “Ph Of The Blood – Control Mechanisms.” University of Nebraska–Lincoln. University of Nebraska–Lincoln, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2016.
  16. “Urine PH Test.” Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2 Nov. 2014. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  17. Kellum, John A. “Determinants of Blood pH in Health and Disease.” Critical Care 4.1 (2000): 6–14. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  18. De Santo, NG, G. Gapasso, G. Malnic, P. Anastasio, L. Spitali, and A. D’Angelo.“Effect of an Acute Oral Protein Load on Renal Acidification in Healthy Humans and in Patients with Chronic Renal Failure.” Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 8.5 (1997): 784-92. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  19. Kirkpatrick, Kristin, MS, RD, LD. “Eat These Foods to Boost Your Immune System – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic.” Health Essentials. Cleveland Clinic, 15 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  20. “Diet for Kidney Stone Prevention.” National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  21. Pappas, Apostolos. “The Relationship of Diet and Acne: A Review.” Dermato-endocrinology 1.5 (2009): 262–267. Print.
  22. “Low-Calorie, Lower Fat Alternative Foods.” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  23. Galgani, J, and E Ravussin. “Energy Metabolism, Fuel Selection and Body Weight Regulation.” International journal of obesity (2005) 32.Suppl 7 (2008): S109–S119. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  24. Sears, Barry, and Camillo Ricordi. “Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition as a Pharmacological Approach to Treat Obesity.” Journal of Obesity 2011 (2011): 431985. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
  25. Zeng, Yawen et al. “Strategies of Functional Foods Promote Sleep in Human Being.”Current Signal Transduction Therapy 9.3 (2014): 148–155. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
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 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.

Share This Story
Continue Reading

Health

The Stages Of Fasting: What Happens To Your Body When You Fast?

Published

on

Photo Credit: www.instyle.com.tr

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

While fasting is nothing new, it is experiencing a resurgence in popularity as many discover its health benefits. If you are planning your first fast or looking for ways to improve your next one, there are a few things you should do to prepare. The first step is learning about the different stages of fasting. This knowledge helps you mentally and physically prepare for what happens to your body when you fast.

The stages of fasting outlined below are based off a water fast, a traditional fast in which you abstain from any food and only drink water for 12-48 hours or longer. Personal experiences can vary depending on the type of fast, age, or health of the individual, but these should give you a general idea of what to expect when you fast.

Stage 1: Day 1-2

Stage one lasts for the first couple of days of the fast or about 12-48 hours from your last meal. Usually, it is a good idea to put some planning and preparation into how and when you will start a fast. Try selecting a start day and time and then make preparations in your schedule for the duration of your fast.

How You Feel: Hungry

This stage is when your body transitions into fasting mode and, for many people, it’s the most challenging part of their fast. This stage is where you start to feel the hunger pains as you skip your regular mealtime routine. Most first time fasters start to feel a reduction in their energy levels. These effects can induce a negative mood or irritability for most fasters. It’s wise to prepare yourself for the possibility of being short on patience during this stage.

What’s Happening With Your Body: Battery Save Mode

Several things happen at the cellular level that cause hunger and fatigue during this first stage. When you’re eating regularly, your body breaks down glucose to get the energy it needs to function properly. While you’re fasting, your body needs to produce sugar for energy, so it begins a process called gluconeogenesis. During gluconeogenesis, your liver converts non-carbohydrate materials like lactate, amino acids, and fats into glucose. As your body goes into “battery save mode,” your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, becomes more efficient and uses less energy. This power saving process includes lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. At this stage, you may feel drained. However, if you stick it out for a little longer, some of that lost energy will return.[1]

Benefits: Mental Strength and Heart Health

Fasting these first few days can be difficult, but there are mental and physical benefits. Mentally, the act of fasting is an excellent way to exercise your willpower. Similar to the strength runners might feel after pushing their body to run that extra mile, people who choose to fast can feel strength as they fight through those natural urges to eat. Physically, there are incredible cleansing and heart health benefits taking place, too. As BMR lowers, fat in the blood starts to disappear as it’s metabolized for energy. This process promotes a healthy heart, and for some, improves cholesterol levels by boosting HDL levels.[2]

Stage 2: Day 3-7

Stage two starts around the end of day two and lasts until day seven. A lot of changes begin to happen at this stage, and you may start to notice changes in your physical appearance, as well as how you feel.

How You Feel: Less Hungry and More Energetic

By stage two, ketosis has begun. Ketosis is a critical phase of the fast where your body starts to burn stored fat as its primary power source. As the processes of ketosis are carried out inside your body, you might stop feeling hungry and tired. The practice of putting your body into ketosis has a growing movement behind it. It is ideal for weight loss, balancing blood sugar, and more. Best of all, you don’t even have to fast to put your body into ketosis. Eating the right foods at the right time can be enough to start this fat burning process. There are even vegan ketogenic diet plans available so you can still eat health-promoting foods to stay in ketosis.

What’s Happening With Your Body: Fat Burning Mode

When you consume a typical diet of carbohydrate rich foods, your body breaks down sugars and starches into glucose. Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body. However, when you fast or go into ketosis glucose becomes limited, and your body must turn to fat stores for the energy it requires. Your body breaks fat down into glycerol and fatty acids. The liver synthesizes ketones using glycerol. The glycerol is broken down by the liver for additional glucose, and finally, those ketones are used by your brain as glucose becomes less available.[

Benefits: Weight Loss and Cleansing

Burning fat has several benefits for your health—the first being weight loss. Ketosis is a predictable way to target fat stores that otherwise remain untouched even with a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, getting rid of that extra fat has a detoxifying effect on the body. Your body’s natural defences use fat stores to store toxic metals and other toxins so they can’t wreak havoc on your system. However, during ketosis, these toxic metals and toxins are safely expelled from your body as fat reserves get used up.[3] This cleansing effect may temporarily alter some people’s complexion or cause other signs of a healing crisis.

Stage 3: Day 8-15

Stage three typically falls between day eight and 15. This stage includes dramatic improvements in mood and mental clarity and is the stage seasoned fasters look forward to the most.

How You Feel: Clear Minded

By the third stage a sort of “fasting high” begins. This boost happens when your body fully adjusts to fasting. While not everyone reaches this stage, those who do report a dramatic improvement in how they feel. These improvements include an elevated mood, increased energy levels, and a type of clear mindedness unique to fasting.

What’s Happening With Your Body: Healing Mode

During stage three, your body starts to enter into a “healing mode.” This healing process begins as your digestive system takes a rest from the common stressors and toxins it endures on a daily basis. As a result, your body has fewer free radicals entering the mix, and oxidative stress decreases.[4]

On the flip side, fasting causes a stress that provides an added benefit. This is a kind of mild stress that is comparable to the stress caused by exercise, which ultimately makes you stronger and your immune system more resilient.[5]

Benefits: Healthy Aging

When the cumulative effects of this stage add up, they can be the catalyst for significant health improvements. Anytime you limit free radicals and oxidative stress you are encouraging healthy aging and positioning yourself for fewer health complications.[6] While less researched, this healing process seems to improve health for some.

Stage 4: Day 16 and Beyond

Stage four occurs sometime around day 16 and continues through the duration of your fast. While there may be some changes moving beyond this juncture, there is a daily balance that starts to set in.

How You Feel: Balanced

If you make it to stage four, you are at a place most have never gone. This stage, while doable, should only be attempted under close supervision from a trusted health care professional. For those that do make it this far, there are not any drastic shifts that occur in how you feel. Instead, a steady balance seems to set in.

What’s Happening With Your Body: Healing Mode Extended

Stage four is the extension and completion of the healing and cleansing processes that began during the earlier stages. The longer you fast, the more time and opportunity your body has to heal and cleanse itself.

Benefits: Personal Goals and Growth

If you make it this far, the benefit becomes personal. Fasting, especially beyond the first seven days, takes steadfast dedication. What you get out of the fast in these later stages can be a culmination of all the earlier stages or an accomplishment of a personal health goal. For some, it is weight loss, for others, it is a strategy to heal a particular health complication.

Stage 5: Breaking the Fast

Stage five may come sooner or later, depending on your fasting goal. While we don’t assign a specific target day, you may want to make breaking your fast a planned event you can look forward to and celebrate when it’s all done.

How You Feel: Accomplished

Whether you fasted for half a day or a full month, you should feel accomplished. Taking deliberate action to improve your health or testing your limits is something worth celebrating.

What’s Happening With Your Body: Easing Out of Fasting Mode

How you choose to end your fast is critical. Depending on how long you fast, you may need to ease your way back into eating solid food. Fruit juices, cooked vegetables, and broths can help acclimate your body and digestive system to eating as internal mechanisms come back online.

Benefits: Start Something New

With careful planning and thought, fasting can be an incredible springboard into a healthier lifestyle. One suggestion is to make plans before you even start your fast. Write down what you’re hoping to get out of it and what you want to accomplish. If done correctly, the end of a fast is the perfect time to begin a dramatically healthier diet and lifestyle.

Additional Fasting Tips

Bowel movements and bad breath are two subjects that most people usually avoid discussing, but when fasting, you need to be aware of both.

During stage one and two of the fast, your body will still be expelling toxins and damaged cells every time you go to the bathroom. Using an intestinal cleansing product, like Oxy-Powder will help more thoroughly cleanse and detoxify your body.

Bad breath will be a concern throughout every stage of a fast. Slightly offensive breath is completely natural and part of the detoxing processes. If you are worried about your breath while you fast, I have created an all-natural solution. It’s called Fresh Mouth, and it comes in a convenient spray bottle that fits in your pocket. Just a few sprays and your mouth will feel fresh and smell great!

Do you have any experience with fasting?

References
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 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.

Share This Story
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending Now

STAY AWARE

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

You have Successfully Subscribed!