Digestion and Mental Health

dreamstime_m_53003952We obtain nutrients our body needs to survive through our digestive system. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and many other nutrients are primarily provided by the foods we eat and the fluids we drink. However, when the diet is lacking or if our digestive system is not working properly, nutrient deficiencies and a range of inflammatory immune responses  will occur, Continue reading

This can lead to a whole spectrum of health problems, including mental disturbances such as depression, anxieties and even schizophrenia.
Research shows that people with digestive-based conditions and diseases (e.g. celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome) are significantly more likely to suffer from mental health problems.

Unfortunately, the gut brain connections and digestive disturbances are regularly overlooked in mental health assessments. ADD, ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Depression, Bipolar disorder, even rheumatoid arthritis are now studied in connection to the gut flora.

Some of the most common causes of digestive problems that require treatment if present with mental health problems and digestive complaints are:

Food Allergies – Medications – Parasites and Pathogens – Digestive Enzyme Deficiencies – Stomach Acid Problems – Bacterial Imbalances and Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut).

We have more nerve cells in our bowels than we have in our spine and our brain and this must be given consideration when treating any of the above mentioned conditions.

Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite

dreamstime_m_13220557-600Bedbugs prefer warm environments, especially the inside of houses and places such as beds, bedding or other sleeping areas.

Bed bugs are mainly active at night which makes their detection difficult. They often lodge in dark crevices and soft Continue reading

materials, and the tiny adhesive eggs can be nestled by the hundreds in fabric seams. They spend only a tiny fraction of their life cycles physically attached to their hosts. Bedbugs prefer exposed skin, preferably the face, neck and arms of a sleeping person and they usually feed on their hosts without being noticed.

Bedbugs feed at five to ten-day intervals, and adult bedbugs can survive for up to five months without food. They are capable of surviving on domestic cats and dogs, though humans are the preferred host

Besides private homes they can also be found in apartments, dorms, hotels, library’s, taxi’s, buses, airplanes and similar places. They travel short distances or hitch a ride in someone’s luggage or clothing.

The recent reappearance of the bedbugs in North America is probably due to the fact that they never truly disappeared and contributing factors may be complacency, increased resistance to pesticides and international travel.

Check your bedding and mattresses regularly and at the first sign of an infestation call your local pest control professional.

Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite

Microbes in the Gut

dreamstime_m_66660741Our digestive system inhabits approximately 100 Trillion species of bacteria. It is now being recognized as the most important area affecting our health and well-being.

Research has shown that healthy peoples micro-organisms are distinctly different from that of individuals suffering from a number of health problems, including digestive issues, anxieties, chronic illness and more Continue reading

serious conditions including cancer.

It has also been established that obese individuals have fewer of the good or healthy micro-flora than normal weight people and are therefore more prone to a multitude of health problems.

Micro-organisms in the human body outnumber human cells 10 to 1 and our health depends on that bacterial population and the ratio of good and beneficial bacteria to the harmful species found inside the digestive tract.

Many individuals are struggling with extra weight gain and the inability to eliminate these unwanted pounds and any have reduced their food intake to smaller portions without successfully reducing their weight.

The number one reason is that we have to feed our good bacteria in the gut to be healthy and resistant to any invaders. One of the best and easiest ways to accomplish that is to add supplements in the form of probiotics to your diet to strengthen your resident flora.

Another way to increase the good bacteria is to consume fermented foods, such as plain yogurts, kefir and any type of a variety of pickled and fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut, cabbage etc. and to consume fiber rich vegetables.

15 Ways To Leave Your Blubber

51MOJaGDkqL._AA160_ (1)bbThis book presents an entertaining yet serious look at today’s obesity epidemic. By explaining step by step the actions required to a permanent weight loss, it is an easy-to-understand guide to a healthier and slimmer you.

READ MORE

With entertaining illustrations, it is an easy read and an enjoyable experience not to be missed. If you are serious about weight loss, this could be the answer you have been looking for. If you have been struggling to get rid of the extra weight, this book is for you. If you have been on the yo-yo train to nowhere, this book is for you. —  So sit down, relax, and enjoy.

Parasites Affecting Your Brain?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Is the thought of parasites in your body and the thought of microbes manipulating your brain making you feel sick? Microbes can influence the mind and perception. In the animal world microbes in a mouse brain may create an attraction to cats and the natural instinct to avoid its predator is then replaced with seeking out the natural enemy. Continue reading

Or consider Cordyceps, the parasite fungus that can grow into the brain of insects. It can force an ant to climb a plant before the brain is entirely consumed and the fungus released to find other hosts.

Research has shown that gum disease may contribute to dementia as bacteria involved in gum disease has been found in the brain. There is a connection between poor oral hygiene and Alzheimer which effects millions of people around the world

Earlier studies have linked certain bacterial and viral infections to an increased risk of stroke and Dementia. Exposure to infections, including those that can lead to lung inflammation and pneumonia can worsen cognitive performance and can affect memory, reasoning ability, mental processing and decision making.

Sometimes these invaders lay dormant for years – sometimes decades, only to emerge when the immune system is weakened and unable to fight these invasions. Keeping the immune system strong and to maintain a healthy bowel flora is a great way to keep these microbes in check and to prevent physical and mental decline.

Stiletto Heels In High Demand

dreamstime_m_28665819There is no denying that high heels and platform shoes are in high demand and with the history of high heels dating back many centuries, there are some interesting facts about high heeled shoes and their origin.

Foot wear has changed through the centuries and the first stiletto heels date back to about 1000 BC. Throughout the years they took on various roles and besides having functional value they were an indicator of social stature and importance.        Continue reading

High heels are defined as a shoe that has a heel positioned higher than the toe box. In the past high heels have been a symbol and defined the differences between social classes and the sexes.  They have also served as a symbol of class as they made women’s movements appear more elegant by these elevated heels.

Stiletto heels are particularly associated with sexuality and the image of the “femme fatale”. They are often considered to be a seductive item of clothing and have been featured in popular culture in this context.

The slender stiletto heel staged a major comeback in the early 2000’s when young women adopted the style for dressing up office wear or adding a feminine touch to casual wear, like jeans.

All high heeled shoes give the illusion of a longer, slimmer leg, a smaller foot and overall greater height. They alter the wearer’s posture and gait, flexing the calf muscles and making the bust and buttocks more prominent.  it takes practice to create the illusion of a natural and balanced movement.

Wearing Stiletto heels concentrates great pressure and a large amount of force into a small area. This pressure is greater than that of the feet of an elephant and can even cause damage to soft flooring, including carpets and vinyl coverings. The stiletto heel is also most impractical for outdoor wear on soft ground, such as grass, sand or mud.

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Kill Bacteria Naturally

babyDuring the 14th century in Europe about 25% of the total population died from the Bubonic Plague which swept the continent. Only the Gypsies seemed to be immune from the ravages due to their practices of using small amounts of ground-up silver in their veins. Continue reading

Silver kills bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast and mold. Silver is a powerful
natural anti-biotic and was used to prevent and treat infections in the late 19th and early 20th century for a variety of ailments. However in the early 1940’s the medical profession turned its attention to pharmaceuticals drugs and ant-biotics.

Virtually anyone reading this probably had a drop of silver nitrate dropped into their after birth, which became standard practice at the end of the 19th century to prevent blindness, in the event that the mother had a venereal disease.

Silver is an important trace mineral and minute particles were found in soil before it became depleted by overuse and now the only way to get silver one needs is in liquid form. There has never been a reported allergic or toxic reaction. Excess silver may be deposited in the skin and tissue and can cause discoloration.

 

The Amazing Benefits of Oil Pulling

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Astonishing results have been accomplished by practicing the age old Ayurvedic tradition of oil pulling. The exciting factor of this healing method is its simplicity. All it takes is a tablespoon of cold pressed sesame, sunflower or unrefined coconut oil to get to some of the root causes of chronic conditions and health problems. Continue reading

It is most beneficial to practice oil pulling in the morning before brushing your teeth, before breakfast – on an empty stomach. The art of slowly swishing the oil around the inside of the mouth and by sucking and pulling the oil between the teeth for five to twenty minutes, mixing it with your saliva, creates an interaction to activate enzymes needed to draw toxins from your body.

As the oil is being swished back and forth mixed with saliva, it becomes more watery and white and very toxic and under no condition should it be swallowed. Once the process is completed, remove the oil by spitting and thoroughly rinse your mouth afterwards to eliminate any trace of it. Normal activities can be resumed at this point.

For chronic conditions the oil pulling process can be repeated one or two more times during the day, but always on an empty stomach and before meals and always with proper rinsing afterwards.

One of the most striking results is the fastening of lose teeth, the elimination of bleeding gums and bad breath. The benefits can be far reaching since studies show that oral health is linked to general health and well-being.

 

Children’s Exposure to Bacteria

Children's Exposure to BacteriaIs the pursuit of a bacteria-free world making us sick? The rising incidence of asthma and allergies in the developed world could be tied to the relatively sterile environments our children live in compared to a generation ago. Children are not exposed to harmful bacteria and consequently are given antibiotics to kill bacteria, do not receive the germ Continue reading

exposure required to make antibodies. More specifically, they do not develop T-helper cells, which fight foreign cellular invaders and minimize allergies.

For several years scientists have been uncovering signs that illness can result when the immune system does not get enough practice fighting bacteria and viruses. Several epidemiological and experimental studies have put this hypothesis on firm ground. Although it had been thought that the immune system required periodic infections during childhood, researchers now argue that the main problem is that the children have become squeaky clean. They suspect that children need contact not with disease-causing microbes, but with bacteria in soil and untreated water, particularly with organisms called mycobacteria, to strengthen their immune system.

The continuing rise in allergies coincides with the acceptance and use of antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers, the ultimate in excessive cleaning. Antibacterial soaps are applied to the hands and bodies in the shower or during hand washing with warm water, allowing them to easily enter the body while pores are open. There is gathering evidence that these anti-bacterial ingredients are also carcinogenic. Washing hands the old fashioned way, with regular soap and water will send the bacteria down the drain and no harmful substances enter the body’s bloodstream. Read more….

Athlete’s Foot Prevention

athlete's footAthlete’s foot causes scaling, flaking, and itching of the affected area. Blisters and cracked skin may also occur, leading to exposed raw tissue, pain, swelling and inflammation. The infection can spread to other parts of the body, such as the groin, but is mostly manifested between the toes, with the space between the fourth and the fifth digits is most commonly afflicted. Continue reading

Athlete’s foot is a communicable disease caused by a parasitic fungus Trichophyton. As the fungus requires warmth and moisture to survive and grow, the primary method of  incubation and transmission is when people who regularly wear shoes go barefoot in a moist communal environment such as a changing room or shower, and then put on shoes.

Due to the much reduced ventilation of the skin in shoes and the tight space in which the toes are forced to be pressed together chances of infection are increased by not allowing moisture to escape. Fungus is only seen in a very small percentage of habitually (often) barefoot people, being barefoot allows full ventilation around the feet, causes them to remain dry and exposes them to sunlight, as well as developing stronger skin which will cause the fungus to be worn off before it can cause any infection.

When moving through an area that is likely to be infected it is important to remember that fungus requires for the foot to remain moist in order to grow. Since fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, keeping feet as dry as possible and avoiding sharing towels aid in  prevention. Always dry your feet thoroughly before putting on shoes and ensure that both the shoes and socks are clean and dry.

Since shoes are the primary mode of infection and incubation and since the fungus is almost non-existent in barefoot cultures the practice of keeping feet clean and dry is crucial in preventing re-infection.

 

Natural Probiotics and Super Foods

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Long before freezers and canning machines were available people in ancient times knew how to preserve fruits and vegetables in season for the long winters when food was scarce. These foods were often stored in caves, root cellars and sometimes even buried in the ground for years to come. Continue reading

The fermentation process was accomplished through lacto-fermentation, converting the sugars into lactic-acid and giving the fermented foods its characteristic sour taste. It is also a natural preservative and inhibits putrefying bacteria, preventing these foods from rotting. Vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid by its many lactic acid producing bacteria. These lactobacilli are ubiquitous and are present on the surface of all living things and especially plentiful on all leaves and plants growing near the ground.

This makes some vegetables such as cabbage, cucumbers and beets ideal for the many digestive issues. Sauerkraut (sour white cabbage) or cabbage juice has a long history of providing benefits for a variety of health conditions.

This superfood is made from finely shredded cabbage and salt which preserves the cabbage for the first few days while the probiotic bacteria begin to grow. These probiotic bacteria are extremely beneficial to human digestion and are the mechanism that turns cabbage into a super nutritious food. Naturally fermented sauerkraut does not contain vinegar, the sour taste comes from the process of fermentation.

The cabbage has to be raw – naturally fermented – to contain lactic acid and the living probiotic micro-organisms that are essential for the fermentations process. Fully cooked sauerkraut or cabbage does not have the same healing benefit since most of the micro-organisms have been killed due to the exposure to high heat

Is Raw Milk Healthy?

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Milk straight from the cow to the calf is similar to breast-feeding a baby. Raw milk has ingredients from the pasture and the environment the cow is raised at to protect its off-spring from possible diseases and health conditions the calf may encounter after birth. Continue reading

This heathy bacteria is the base of the early immune system and serves to protect the growing calf until its own immune system can take over.

Clean raw milk from grass-fed cows has all the essential amino acids and is a complete, balanced food. It has been used as medicine in the early part of the last century and this white life-saving liquid has nourished and healed millions of people.

Humans need 22 amino acids, these are the building blocks for protein. Eight of them are considered essential and they have to be obtained from foods, the others can be converted by complex metabolic processes into the remaining 14 amino acids necessary to sustain life.

Raw cow’s milk has these eight essential amino acids in varying amounts depending on the stage of lactation. Approximately 80% of these proteins in milk are caseins, which are reasonably temperature stable and are easy to digest. The balance of the amino acids fall into the category of whey proteins and although easy to digest they are heat sensitive and can easily be destroyed.

In addition approximately 65% of fat in raw cow’s milk is saturated – latest research shows that these are healthy fats. And includes two groups of vitamins, water and fat soluble in addition to a broad spectrum of minerals.

Through the process of fermentation, several strains of bacteria – naturally present, can transform milk into an even more digestible food. Soured or fermented dairy products such as yogurt, kefir – made with bacteria and yeast have a long history of health benefits and provide additional enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

Ancient Chinese Beauty Secret

Is your bed making you sickIt is reported that after China discovered silk, they chose to keep it a secret from the rest of the world for nearly 2000 years! While man has spent decades trying to copy silk with products like synthetic satin, nothing has ever come close to providing the benefits of the real thing. Continue reading

Sleeping with a silk pillow case is an ancient Chinese beauty secret. In fact, it is also known as the anti-aging secret to prevent wrinkles and hair loss. A silk pillow-case has numerous special qualities and besides hair loss and wrinkle prevention it is also effective to naturally regulate temperatures unlike synthetic satin and other man-made imitations.

If you ever woke up with one side of your face covered in wrinkles or if  you have unexplained hair loss than a silk pillow-case may be the answer to eliminate hair loss and wrinkles by reducing friction – known to tear out hair and leaving creases in the skin.

Silk also helps to trap moisture, creating a barrier to keep skin hydrated and soft, making a silk pillow-case a wise choice. Most are easy care and machine washable and can simply be slipped over a regular pillow case for the night.

A synthetic satin, such as polyester may feel nice and soft in your hand, but after 8 hours of sleeping your hair and facial skin can really feel the difference.  The silk pillow-case really gives definition to the term ‘beauty sleep’. Silk breathes. it is luxurious, smooth and beautiful – it is also hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.    More

Health Benefits of Sulfur

green leafy vegetableAfter calcium and phosphorus, sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in the body. It is concentrated mostly in muscles tissue, skin and bones. A shortage of sulfur contributes to loss of elasticity in connective tissues and cartilage leading to stiff muscles, painful joints, sagging skin and wrinkles. Continue reading

Sulfur is also needed for insulin production, detoxification on a cellular level and is part of one of the most important anti-oxidants the body produces – glutathione. Glutathione cannot work without sulphur.

Getting enough sulphur in the diet can be challenging, since there is a transition away from traditional foods such as bone broth for soups and stews from organically raised animals. A good alternate source is MSM known for reducing pain and inflammation and is widely used for arthritic conditions.

MSM is 34% sulfur by weight and is in almost all raw foods, especially in leafy green vegetables, raw milk and beer, coffee and port wines.  Due to food storage, transportation, processing, cooking, excessive washing and drying, the amount of available MSM is often reduced are lost. To get the most benefits, the foods must be raw or minimally heated and processed.

With its amazing anti-allergenic and anti-parasitic properties MSM is also a natural, safe histamine inhibitor without the negative side effects of traditional anti-histamines.

Original Ancient Grains

Ancient GrainsDue to the interest in living healthier lifestyles there is a renewed interest in ancient grains. A rise in food allergies is making wheat and especially gluten one of the most controversial foods in recent years.

Research has shown that ancient grains often provide a richer source of nutrients such Continue reading

as protein, Vitamin B2, iron, phosphorus, copper, selenium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc and many others. They are also less likely to be problematic for persons with food sensitivities, but special attention should be paid to grains containing gluten. Ancient grains are more nutritious and have less likely been modified. In addition to the health benefits, many people like the taste of these ancient grains, such as quinoa, amaranth, kamut and spelt which are often distinctive in flavour, texture and diversity.

10,000 years ago these ancientgrains were first cultivated in the fertile Crest at the dawn of the agricultural revolution and then introduced to Asia, Europe, Northeast Africa, India and Arabic peninsula. Ancient grains and seeds have come to us from past generations and remain true to their original form. Also known as heritage or heirloom grains, these ancient grains are just as nature intended them to be – simple and healthy. Most people limit their grains to wheat, barley, corn, oats and rice, but ancient grains can add variety to the diet and are worth exploring.

How Are Your Communication Skills?

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Effective language and communication skills are tremendously important. Words have meaning and the conscious choices and phrases of verbal communication play a vital part in personal interactions. It is an asset to have an open and friendly and disposition along with a warm smile and a winning personality. Continue reading

Finding the right words to express your feelings or to present an idea are skills that can be learned and can be improved with practice and adapted to different situation. These efforts will enhance your relationships, increase your market value, and build your self-esteem. Improving your verbal communication skills requires constant awareness, intentional effort, and the desire to improve

The tone often reflects the level of confidence and can be used to reinforce the degree of engagement which includes the manner and the words you choose, the tone of your voice, eye contact, and body language.

It is also important to show a sincere interest in what is being said, to ask relevant questions, listen for the message within the message, and avoid interrupting the other person. Meaningful conversation is a combination of being genuine, transparent and real. Verbal communication plays a defining role in personal and professional interactions.

White Fat vs. Brown Fat

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????In humans and mammals two types of adipose tissue or fats are present. Brown fat is mostly found in infants and hibernating mammals – white adipose tissue or white fat is common in adults. One of its functions is to store the extra calories, nutrients and energy and it is also responsible for ever expanding waistlines, muffin tops, love handles and bulging thighs. Continue reading

In contrast, brown fat expends energy in the form of heat and it is crucial for maintaining body temperature in newborns and hibernating mammals. Brown fat takes up very little space and until recently it was believed that adults had very little or none. With most brown fat cell disappearing as we get older – this explains why our metabolisms also slow down with age.

We know now that brown fat is stimulated by a signal sent to the brain to increase circulation and to release white fat when there is a change to cold temperatures.

One way to activate the brown fat cells is to gradually turn off the hot water towards the end of a shower and to spend another 30 seconds letting the cold water invigorate your neck and shoulders. This will stimulate the brown fat into action and assist in the breakdown of the unhealthy white fat accumulated in all the wrong places.

Dimples – A Mark of Beauty

DimplesDimples are considered a mark of beauty and loveliness. They are most prominent during wide smiles showing small folds or indentations in the fleshy part of the cheek. The truth is that dimples are actually genetic defects and are caused by shortened facial muscles. Continue reading

When some people smile, they have dimples in one or both cheeks. Dimples most often occur on both the cheeks and are rarely one sided.

This adorable facial feature is usually a genetically-inherited trait that is passed from one generation to the next.

Dimples are also linked with youth. Some children and youngsters show dimples at a tender age, but their dimples disappear when they grow up.

Transfer of dimples from parents to children occurs due to just one gene. Each parent provides one of these genes to the child.  So, if both the parents have dimples, the children have a 50-100% chance of inheriting dimple genes.

If, however, only one parent has dimple genes, the chances of the children inheriting the genes are only 50%. If neither of the parents has the dimple genes, their children will not have dimples. Dimples can be passed through multiple generations. The frequency with which a heritable trait is carried forth through genes is called penetrance.

But let’s face it – dimples are adorable!

 

 

The Four Basic Female Body Shapes

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The female figure is a combination of a woman’s skeletal structure and the quantity and distribution of muscle and fat. A woman’s body type is often expressed by bust, waist and hip measurements.

Estrogen level have a significant impact on a female’s body shape, especially during the productive years. Besides other functions, estrogen promotes the development of female secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts and the widening of the hips.

Continue reading

Height will also affect the appearance of the figure and a taller woman with similar measurements to a shorter counterpart will look slimmer and less curvaceous since the distance between the measuring points is at greater distance.

Independent of fat composition, weight and height, female bodies are categorized into four elementary geometric shapes with a wide variety of actual sizes within each shape.

Rectangular – if the waist measurement is less than 9 inches smaller than the hips and bust measurement with body fat being distributed in the abdominal area, the buttocks, chest and face, creating a typical rectangular shape.

Apple Shape – these women have broader shoulders compared to narrower hips and slim thighs with fat distribution in the abdominal area, the chest and the face.

Triangle Shape – the hip measurement is greater than the bust measurement and the fat deposits tend to go to the buttocks, hips and thighs. This body type supports a larger rear end, thicker thighs and a smaller chest.

Hourglass – the hips and bust measurements are almost equal with a narrow waist. Body fat distribution tends to be around both, the upper and lower body. This body type enlarges the arms, chest, hips and rear before the waist and the upper abdominal area.

A study conducted in 2005 found that 46% of females were rectangular shaped, about 20% were tringle shaped, 14 % were triangle shaped and only 8% fell into the category of hourglass shaped and the rest was a combination of shapes.

How Long Will You Live – 3 Tests

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Most people have a desire to live life to the fullest.. There are many parameters that may determine how long you live, however, this short article presents the findings of five researchers who identified three simple tests you can do at home to measure your ability to increase years to your life. Continue reading

The medical paper published in the British Medical Journal in 2014 revealed a 13 year study where they took 1,355 men and 1,411 women in 1999 when they were 53 years old and then checked to see who was alive and well 13 year later in 2012.

The following are the three tests that were evaluated. Standing on one leg with your eyes closed for 10 seconds or longer, having a strong grip, and being able to stand up and sit back down in a chair many times in a minute.

According to the researchers of this paper, these tests clearly represented tell-tale signs of longevity. Performed well in all three tests at age 53 or so and you should be healthy and vibrant 13 years later, when you are 66.

Researcher from University College London estimate that a 53 year old who can complete these tests successfully is up to 5 times more likely to be alive and well at 66 than someone who couldn’t complete the tests or who did them poorly.

Officially the tests are called the Chair Test (Standing up and sitting down in a chair 39 times in a minute for a man, and 36 times for a woman), the balance test (standing on one leg for 10 seconds or longer with eyes closed), and the grip test (ability to apply a pressure of up to 54.5 kg)

Compliments: www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com