Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

Keep Your Eyes out for Bergamot Oil!

 

Aroma therapy / Bergamot
Aroma therapy / Bergamot

Keep Your Eye out for Bergamot Oil!

 

Known to build confidence and enhance your mood, bergamot oil is also used to kill bacteria, heal scars and minimize marks on the skin. Bergamot oil is also used to reduce pain from headaches and muscle tension as well as stimulate hormonal and digestive juices. Yes, no one-trick pony!

 

Where does bergamot oil come from? Bergamot is a plant that produces a type of citrus fruit and its scientific name is Citrus Bergamia. It’s defined as a hybrid between a sour orange and lemon, or a mutation of lemon.

 

The oil is taken from the peel of the fruit and used to make medicine. It’s derived through cold compression, which is different than the steam distillation of many other essential oils. The oil is commonly used in black tea, which is called Earl Grey.

 

Although its roots can be traced back to Southeast Asia, bergamot was more widely cultivated in the southern part of Italy. Bergamot essential oil was even named after the city of Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy, where it was originally sold. Bergamot oil is also produced in the Ivory Coast, Argentina, Turkey, Brazil and Morocco.

 

In traditional Chinese medicine, bergamot is used to help with the flow of vital energy so the digestive system can work properly. It’s also used to soothe indigestion and gas.

 

Bergamot essential oil is one of the main constituents for manufacturing perfumes due to its ability to balance the mix of aromas and harmonize all of the essences, enhancing the fragrance. It’s also used by the pharmaceutical industry, both to absorb the unpleasant smells of medicinal products and for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

 

Bergamot Oil Benefits the Whole Body

 

There are a number of a surprising health benefits from using bergamot essential oil as a natural remedy. Bergamot oil is antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. It’s uplifting, improves your digestion and keeps your system working properly.

 

Some of the most common benefits of bergamot essential oil include:

 

releases emotional pain

works as a powerful antidepressant

relieves joint and muscle pain

aids digestive system

soothes skin irritations

works as a sedative

cleanses oily skin

kills germs and bacteria

relieves stress

reduces cough

 

Bergamot Oil Uses

 

Antidepressant — Depression can manifest with a variety of different symptoms, including fatigue, sad mood, low sex drive, lack of appetite, feelings of helplessness and disinterest in common activities. Antidepressant medications have serious side effects, including suicidal thoughts, weight gain and personality changes. The good news is there are all-natural remedies for depression that are effective and get to the root cause of the problem. This includes components of bergamot essential oil that are antidepressant and stimulating. They create a feeling of joy, freshness and energy by improving the circulation of your blood. Use bergamot oil by rubbing 2–3 drops into your hands and cupping your mouth and nose. Breathe in the oil slowly. Try rubbing the oil on your feet and stomach too.

Stimulates hormonal secretions — Bergamot oil helps maintain proper metabolic rates by stimulating hormonal secretions, digestive juices, bile and insulin. This aids the digestive system and enables proper absorption of nutrients. These juices also assimilate the breakdown of sugar and can lower blood pressure. This benefits neurological and mental conditions as well. Just breathing in bergamot oil stimulates these juices — you can try using an oil diffuser or burner, or you can add 2–3 drops of oil to your temples or abdomen.

Cures infections — Bergamot oil is used in skin soaps because it inhibits the growth of germs, fungi and virus. When you apply the oil to your skin or hair, you reduce the risk of infection and won’t notice the shine come through. Bergamot oil also cures infections of the intestines, kidneys, colon and urinary tract. To take advantage of this amazing benefit, drink Earl Grey tea or rub bergamot oil onto your throat, abdomen and feet. Using a oil vaporizer is also a great option — the scent of bergamot oil alone can have a tremendous impact.

Relieves stress — Bergamot oil is a relaxant — it reduces nervous tension and feelings of stress and anxiety. This powerful oil can stimulate hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, which create feelings of sedation and relaxation. Relieve stress and anxiety by using bergamot oil in a diffuser or oil burner. The smell of the oil leads to a feeling of ease and contentment. (1)

Reduces pain — Because bergamot essential oil increases hormone secretions, it lessens the sensitively of nerves that create pain. For this reason, bergamot oil is a great way to reduce the symptoms of sprains, muscle aches and headaches. Instead of relying on pain killers that have nasty side effects, use this safe and natural oil to relieve pain and tension. Research shows that bergamot oil can be used in complementary medicine to minimize tension in the body. (2) To reduce pain, rub five drops of bergamot oil on sore muscles or where you feel tension.

Heals skin — Bergamot essential oil is used to minimize the look of scars and other marks on the skin; it tones the skin by making the supply of melanin even. These scars can be the result of acne or skin infections or irritations. To rid the skin of irritations, put five drops of bergamot oil on a cotton ball or pad and rub it on the infected area. You can also add 10 drops of bergmot oil to your warm bath water — the benefits of a bergamot oil bath go way beyond your skin. It’s great for your mood, hormonal balance and built-up tension.

Helps digestive system — Not only does bergamot oil stimulate the production of digestive juices, making the breakdown of foods in the digestive tract easier, it also stimulates muscle contractions in the intestines — quickening the digestive process by moving your waste through your intestines as your body absorbs nutrients. Some research even suggests that bergamot oil can be useful when fighting food poisoning because of its anti-bacterial properties. (3) Rub five drops of bergamot oil onto your stomach in order to ease digestive issues or regulate your appetite.

Deodorant — Bergamot oil prevents the growth of germs that cause body odor. The refreshing and citrusy smell of bergamot oil is used as a natural deodorant and air freshener. The strong scent eliminates odors on the body or in a room. You can add two–three drops of bergamot oil to the deodorant you already use every day, or you can even add the oil directly to your armpits. Many companies include bergamot oil in their perfumes and colognes. Try making your own fragrance with bergamot oil by combining it with your favorite scents. Some great options include lemon, cedarwood and sandalwood oils.

Reduces fever — Bergamot essential oil fights infections caused by harmful bacteria. It also reduces body temperature by alleviating stress and stimulating hormone secretions. The feeling of warmth that happens when your hormone levels are elevated leads to sweat, and this helps in reducing a fever.

Cavity protection — Bergamot oil helps infected teeth. It removes germs from your teeth when used as a mouthwash, and it protects your teeth from developing cavities. This is because of its germ-fighting properties, which make it extremely useful when fighting cavities. Rub 2–3 drops of bergamot oil on your teeth, or add it to your toothpaste.

Kills intestinal worms — Because bergamot essential oil kills germs, it’s used to treat intestinal worms. Intestinal worms result in malnourishment and can cause anemia, which develops when you don’t have enough robust, healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body. Eliminating these worms, especially in young children, is a major benefit of using bergamot oil. Rub 2–3 drops of bergamot oil into your hands, and rub it on your abdomen to kill infectious worms.

Protection from tetanus — Tetanus is a dangerous nerve ailment caused by the toxin of a common bacterium called Clostridium tetani. Bacterial spores are found in soil and house dust. If the spores enter a wound that penetrates the skin and extends deeper than oxygen can reach, they grow and produce a toxin that enters the bloodstream. Bergamot essential oil has disinfectant and antiseptic properties and the power to kill bacterium that lead to infections. Bergamot oil can keep wounds from becoming dangerously infected and therefore protects you from developing tetanus. Using a cotton ball, add five drops of bergamot oil and gently rub it onto the infected area.

Relieves congestion — Bergamot oil is an anticongestive, which means it relieves congestion and respiratory problems. This oil can be useful when battling a cold or cough. It loosens phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tract and helps the body to eliminate this undesired buildup by sneezing and coughing. This helps the body eliminate the germs and toxins that develop in your body when sick. Use a vaporizer or oil burner, or rub five drops of bergamot oil into your hands and cup your mouth and nose. You can also try rubbing the oil on your throat and chest. In addition, you can consume bergamot oil by adding it to tea or drinking Earl Grey tea that already includes the oil.

 

Research, Unique Compounds and Studies

 

An interesting study notes that citrus extracts, particularly bergamot essential oil, exhibit anti-cancer properties, but the poor water solubility, low stability and limited bioavailability prevent the use of bergamot oil in cancer therapy.

 

To overcome such drawbacks, researchers formulated bergamot oil liposomes, or artificially prepared doses, that improve the water solubility of the natural chemical compounds and increase their anti-cancer activity in vitro against human cancer cells. The results need to be investigated further, but the use of bergamot oil on cancer patients is an exciting prospect and proves that essential oils are powerful natural remedies. (4)

 

Another interesting study conducted in 2011 hypothesizes that applying blended essential oil to participants helps in treating depression or anxiety. The blended essential oil consisted of lavender and bergamot oils, and participants were analyzed based on their blood pressure, pulse rates, breathing rates and skin temperature. In addition, subjects had to rate their emotional condition in terms of relaxation, vigor, calmness, attentiveness, mood and alertness in order to assess behavioral changes.

 

Compared with the placebo, blended essential oil caused significant decreases of pulse rate and blood pressure. At the emotional level, subjects in the blended essential oil group rated themselves as “more calm” and “more relaxed” than subjects in the control group. The investigation demonstrates the relaxing effect of a mixture of lavender and bergamot oils, and it provides evidence for its use in medicine for treating depression or anxiety in humans. (5)

 

DIY Recipe

 

Many colognes contain synthetic fragrances that can be toxic. Instead, try this Homemade Men’s Cologne recipe! It’s easy to make, and the bergamot oil provides health benefits while adding a warm and masculine smell.

Note: Citrus essentials oils are highly concentrated and full of healthy acidic properties! Because of this, we recommend you use glass containers when storing them so they don’t eat away any of the plastic.

 

 

HOMEMADE MEN’S COLOGNE

Total Time: 2 minutesServes: 30

INGREDIENTS:

5 drops cedarwood essential oil

3 drops bergamot essential oil

2 drops sandalwood essential oil

1/2 pint (300 milliliters) 70 percent alcohol or vodka

Glass roll on tube or glass cologne spray bottle

DIRECTIONS:

 

Mix all ingredients together and store in a bottle

Adding bergamot essential oil to my Homemade Conditioner recipe is a great way to hydrate your hair, especially if it’s naturally oily. The result is soft, luscious and healthy hair. Bergamot oil removes germs from your hair and scalp, and leaves you feeling calm and serene.

 

You can also add bergamot oil to your shampoo, toothpaste, face wash, body wash and body lotion. Two–to–five drops of oil benefits your skin, teeth and hair.

 

Remember that bergamot oil is an ingredient in Earl Grey tea. If you want to take advantage of the amazing benefits of this powerful oil, drink tea with bergamot oil daily. It can impact your digestion, hormonal secretions, mood and appearance.

 

BERGAMOT OIL SIDE EFFECTS

 

Bergamot essential oil is safe for most people when added to food or applied topically in small amounts. Although the oil has been used extensively for many years, there are only been a few reports of phototoxic reactions to bergamot aromatherapy oil. (6)

 

It may make the skin sensitive to the sun and more vulnerable to skin cancer — people who work with bergamot can develop skin problems, including blisters, scabs, pigment spots, rashes, sensitivity to the sun and cancerous changes.

 

Because bergamot oil might increase your sensitivity to sunlight, applying it topically along with medication that increases sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun, especially if you use these types of medications.

 

There have been serious side effects in children who have taken large amounts of bergamot oil, and it shouldn’t be used by women who are pregnant or breast feeding.

 

Bergamot oil may lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. This could affect blood sugar control and cause blood sugar levels to go too low. If you use bergamot oil and have diabetes, make sure to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. If you are scheduled to have surgery, stop using bergamot oil at least two weeks beforehand — it may interfere with blood sugar control during the procedure.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

Homemade Coconut Milk

coconut milk

Coconut Milk is a wonderful alternative to pasteurized cow’s milk or to rice, soy or other processed milks. Unfortunately, the cans of most store bought versions of coconut milk are lined with BPA. New refrigerated carton varieties are somewhat better, but can be expensive and many have added sweeteners or preservatives.
Fortunately, making coconut milk at home is simple and very inexpensive. From my calculations, homemade coconut milk costs less than $1 per batch, and it can be used in smoothies, recipes, or just to drink by itself. It can also be flavored with natural vanilla, strawberries, or cocoa powder.
Coconut is packed with medium chain fatty acids and lauric acid. It has many health promoting benefits and is especially good for kids. Try this inexpensive way to make coconut milk:
Homemade Coconut Milk
Homemade coconut milk from shredded coconut for a healthy and inexpensive milk alternative.
Ingredients
· 4 cups of water
· 1.5-2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut.
Instructions
1. Heat water, but don’t boil. It should be hot, but not scalding.
2. Put coconut in blender or Vitamix and add water. (If all water won’t fit, you can add the water in two batches.)
3. Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy.
4. Pour through a mesh colander first to get most of the coconut out, and then squeeze through a towel or several thicknesses of cheesecloth to get remaining pieces of coconut out.
5. If you have to split the water, put all the coconut that you strained out back in the blender, add the remaining water, and repeat.
6. Flavor options- add in after all coconut has been strained out: ½ tsp vanilla extract, ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries, 2 tsp cocoa powder + ½ tsp vanilla.
7. Drink immediately or store in the fridge. Should be used in 3-4 days after making for best flavor and texture. Since there are no preservatives or fillers, the “cream” of the coconut milk may separate on the top if stored in the fridge. Just shake or stir before using.
Ever made coconut milk before? Planning to try sometime? Offer your favorite tips below!
 
Please share with friends and loved ones.
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Lemons

lemons

 

Fact or Myth: Can Lemons Help You With Weight Loss?

This is a FACT.

Research proves that lemons for weight loss provides several powerful benefits, including effectively lowering the glycemic index of foods, controlling blood sugar and insulin response, slowing digestion, and staving off hunger.

The cleansing and weight-reducing benefits of lemons may be the reason why stunning weight loss results are experienced by people who use the lemon-based Master Cleanse.

The Science of Lemons for Weight Loss

Studies show you can lower the glycemic index of a meal by 20-40% just by adding a few teaspoons of lemon juice to your meal.

The glycemic index refers to how much a food causes your blood sugar to rise. Lowering the glycemic index of a food helps keep blood sugar steady — good news for controlling hunger and losing weight. Lemon juice can also lower the insulin response to carbohydrates, and slow down the time it takes a meal to leave your stomach — also key to dropping weight.

And the peel offers as much benefit as the fruit. The pectin in lemon peels helps control hunger pains, with the added bonus of controlling cholesterol.

Lemons as the Core Ingredient of the Master Cleanse Diet

For those with more than a few pounds to lose, the Master Cleanse diet is a popular and super effective option that uses lemons as its core ingredient. Many celebrities — including Beyonce Knowles and David Blaine — have successfully used this diet to drop 20 pounds or more.

Master Cleanse Basics

The Master Cleanse requires a commitment of at least 10 days, during which you drink 6-12 glasses daily of a special mixture containing:

 

• Lemon juice

• Maple syrup

• Cayenne pepper

• Water

At night, you drink an herbal laxative tea, and first thing in the morning, you drink a quart of salt water.

 

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Astragalus

astragalus

 

Astragalus is the Unsung Cancer Fighter

                        Astragalus is used as a natural cancer treatment addition

 

Astragalus is an herb that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicinal for over 4,000 years. Astragalus is a non-toxic,

adaptogenic herb and plant extract that helps the body recover from and resist the damaging effects of stress while restoring the

body’s normal physiological function. Astragalus is best known for its ability to aid adrenal function. Astragalus doesn’t stop

there though! I also helps digestion, metabolism, combats fatigue, and increases stamina. Astragalus is very effective for helping

people with AIDS and has been proven to have an anti-tumor effect. Astragalus actually can increase the efficacy of

chemotherapy in cancer treatments.

 

A native plant of China, astragalus is officially known as astragalus membranaceus: AKA Milk Vetch Root and Huang Qi. Astragalus

is a perennial plant that grows up to 4 feet tall.  The root of the plant has a sweet taste and contains choline, flavonoids, amino

acids-gamma aminobutyric acid, canavanine, beta-sitosterol, saponins (astragalosides) and oil. The primary actions of astragalus

are adaptogenic (brings you up where you are low and down where you are to high) and also in modulating the immune system.

The secondary actions are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, cardiotonic, diuretic and hepatoprotective.

 

Medicinal Uses of astragalus

 

Astragalus is an herb that has actions in nearly all of the body systems. It is used to treat chronic colds, Epstein Barr Virus, HIV and

candida by preventing infection recurrence.  Astragalus stimulates bone marrow blood cells, while enhancing deep immune

strength. Studies show that the polysaccharides in astragalus increase phagocytosis (the engulfing of microorganism invaders by

the immune system), increase production of immunoglobulins and macrophages and modulate the pituitary-adrenal cortical

activity. Astragalus protects the kidneys and lungs from damage from autoantibody complexes, regulates sweating, decreases

fatigue and increases tolerance to stress.

 

Astragalus protects against oxidative damage by increasing mitochondrial function without increasing the mitochondrial oxygen

consumption.  In the liver, astragalus is a mild choleretic and also increases repairs in chronic viral hepatitis while reducing

inflammation and other symptoms. Astragalus also lengthens telomeres for longevity (TA 65 is a very pricey extract made from

Astragalus that is touted to reduce all the effects of aging and mimics pretty much all the benefits of the inexpensive herb form of

astragalus). Astragalus even increases motility of human sperm

 

Astragalus is an awesome cardio tonic

 

In the cardiovascular system, the saponins in astragalus inhibit lipid peroxidation in the myocardium and one study using

patients with angina revealed that cardiac output increased after two weeks of treatment.  Astragalus strengthens left

ventricular function and reduces free radical damage in patients after a heart attack and increases super oxide dismutase activity

in cardiac muscle.

 

Astragalus; the unsung cancer fighter

 

Studies at the University of Houston have shown that astragalus can improve immune function in cancer patients by increasing T-

cell counts. Astragalus increases the cytotoxicity of NK cells and T-cells while switching on the anti-tumor activity of Interleukin-

  1. In chemotherapy treatments astragalus provides anti-neoplastic activity and decreases immunosupression. Astragalus reduces

the negative consequences of both chemo and radiation of fatigue, weight loss, anemia, nausea and loss of strength while

increasing WBC production for leucopenia (a common side effect of immunosuppressive therapy), thereby decreasing life-

threatening infections.

 

Even though this incredible herb is listed on theBotanical Herbs Board Exams and in the Compendium of Pharmacological Actions

of Medicinal Plants and Their Constituents, naming the benefits of astragalus can bring a warning letter from both the FDA and

FTC as Dr. Andrew Weil found out when he listed the benefits of taking astragalus to prevent the Swine flu. So don’t expect to

see any of this information on a vitamin or herb label. Despite what modern medicine and the FDA says and would have you

believe, healing did occur long before pharmaceuticals were invented. True health comes by good foods, minerals, herbs, fasting

and cleansing. Astragalus is a good guy for natural health!

 

Please share with family and loved ones.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

If You Do Not Put the Right Gas in the Tank, The Car Will Not Run Right

gutbacteriagood

Not All Gut Bacteria Are Created Equal, or
If You Dont Have the Right Gas in the Car, it wont run right.
Gut bacteria, which number more than 100 trillion cells, have more of an impact on our health than medical experts previously realized. But not all gut bacteria are created equal. Among other things, “good” gut bacteria improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and manufacture the vitamins your body needs. On the other hand, “bad” gut bacteria can cause digestion nightmares, mental problems, skin conditions, and all kinds of other problems you’ll learn about in just a second.
A healthy gut isn’t made by trying to rid your body of gut bacteria altogether. It’s made by balancing the bacteria—limiting the bad guys and encouraging the good guys to grow. So let’s start at the beginning: how to figure out if your gut bacteria is unbalanced.
Are Your Gut Bacteria Imbalanced? 7 Things to Look for
How can you know if your gut bacteria are out of whack? It isn’t quite as easy as finding out if you have a fever. You can’t just take your gut bacteria’s temperature with a thermometer you bought over the counter. But there are common warning signs that something might be wrong. Keep an eye on them, and you’ll put yourself in the best position to get healthy.
Here’s what to watch out for:
Sign 1. Digestive Issues
When you think of the potential consequences of unhealthy gut bacteria, digestive problems are probably the first things that come to mind. Many doctors will prescribe drugs like Prevacid or generic antacids to help people struggling with these issues, but those medications only address surface level symptoms. They don’t get to the root cause of the problem, which is unhealthy gut bacteria. If you’re dealing with any of the following, you might have an unhealthy gut:
· Gas ( Gas is not a natural occurrence, besides what grandma told you)
· Bloating
· Heartburn/acid reflux
· Diarrhea
· Constipation
· Irritable Bowel Syndrome
· Irritable Bowel Disease (including Crohn’s, Celiac, Ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis and many others)
Sign 2: Mental Issues
Did you know the health of your gut could affect the health of your brain? It’s true. Scientists have already discovered that gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters. Now, they’re focused on another trend: people with certain mental disorders also tend to have disturbances to their gut bacteria. Also medication to take for these symptoms that are listed below, is another reason for your gut bacteria to be out of control.,
If you have any of these mental issues, your gut bacteria might be to blame:
· Depression and anxiety
· Brain fog
· OCD
· Autism
Sign 3. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
A healthy gut also plays an important role when it comes to helping your body produce and synthesize vitamins and minerals. When your gut bacteria is out of whack, your body has a harder time getting enough of the following essential vitamins and minerals:
· Vitamin D
· Vitamin K
· Vitamin B12 and B7
· Magnesium
If you’re deficient in any of the above (you can find out by getting a simple physical from your doctor), you might have an unhealthy gut. Even some doctors do not have the experience to determine vitamin deficiencies at their early stage. Give Health and Wellness a call to help you determine what you may be deficient in.
Sign 4: Antibiotics
Used correctly, antibiotics are one of the greatest innovations of modern medicine, but using them incorrectly can create gut issues. The food industry uses them indiscriminately on factory-farmed animals. Some doctors even use them on viral infections (which is useless). Antibiotics wipe out bad bacteria, but they also wipe out many of the good bacteria in the gut that are essential for your health. Research also suggests that good bacteria wiped out by antibiotics don’t replace themselves unless you intervene. If you were on antibiotic therapy to help with skin and acne conditions, you definitely have a gut bacteria problem, which some women can no longer have children because of this.
Sign 5: Chronic, Unmanaged Stress
Stress can wear you down, make you anxious, and increase your blood pressure…and it can also wreak havoc on your gut! Stress is inevitable, no matter how hard we try to avoid it. That isn’t an issue — until you let it go on for too long without managing it. Unmanaged stress raises cortisol levels, which can stop the gut from working properly. If you’ve been stressed for the past few months (or years, or decades) but haven’t acted to manage your stress, you’re more likely to have an unhealthy gut.
Sign 6: Skin Conditions
There’s been a lot of confusion about skin conditions over the years. Much of it comes from the common (but misguided) idea that the symptoms of a condition must appear in the same spot as the condition itself. For many skin conditions, the problem isn’t with the skin itself. It’s with an unhealthy gut. If you have any of these skin conditions, it could be due to unbalanced gut bacteria:
· Acne
· Rosacea
· Psoriasis
· Eczema
Sign 7: Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune diseases can be difficult to manage because the body is literally attacking itself. It can be even tougher to spot the source of the problem and address it there. But more research is emerging linking autoimmune diseases to unhealthy guts. If you’re dealing with any of the following, you just might be able to make your symptoms disappear by taking care of your gut:
· Hashimoto’s
· Rheumatoid arthritis
· Inflammatory bowel disease
· Multiple sclerosis
· Type 2 Diabetes
The conditions listed above in the various categories are only a sampling for each section . There are many conditions that can be treated, and if you feel that you have a gut bacteria condition, please call us for a personalized healthcare plan. As we stated before eliminating one type of food groups, cold turkey, can cause seizures.
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Foods, Vitamins and Supplements

Get Your Daily Dose with Foods

dailydose

Get Your Daily Dose With Foods
1. B Vitamins: This team of nutrients works together to convert food into energy. Too few Bs can make you feel anything from fatigue and irritability to muscle weakness and depression.
Gluten-free sources: GF oats, brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat, as well as leafy green vegetables, legumes, seeds, chicken, beef, milk products, and pork.
Get your daily dose: Covering all your B needs (other than folate) could be accomplished by eating 1 scrambled egg, 1 cup 2-percent milk, 1 ounce raw pistachios, 1/2 cup chopped chicken breast, 1 ounce dried sunflower seeds, 3 ounces roast pork tenderloin, and 1/2 cup each sliced cooked zucchini and cooked spinach. However, if you are a gluten-free vegan, you will likely need a B12 supplement since that vitamin is only found in animal sources. 2. Iron: An essential mineral, iron delivers oxygen to red blood cells and is necessary for cellular metabolism. When you don’t get enough, it can sap your energy, and you could develop anemia, which also drains your immune system, makes you feel cold, and can impair your work performance. As with B12, as long as you’re eating animal products, it’s not hard to meet your iron needs, says Nina Eng, R.D., chief clinical dietitian at Plainview Hospital in New York.
Gluten-free sources: Meat, seafood, legumes, spinach, GF oats, quinoa, and buckwheat. Pair iron-rich foods with those packing vitamin C such as bell peppers, citrus, broccoli, and tomatoes to enhance absorption of the mineral. Get your daily dose: To get your iron without resorting to fortified foods, you’d need to eat 1 scrambled egg, 3 ounces canned water-packed light tuna fish (drained), 1 cup cooked shelled edamame, 6 ounces lean beef sirloin, and 1/2 cup each cooked gluten-free oats, lentils, and spinach.
3. Folate: Part of the B-vitamin family, folate is often discussed separately due to its role in preventing birth defects. Even if you’re not in baby-making mode, your cells need folate to grow and function, plus it helps keep your heart healthy. Gluten-free sources: Beef liver, leafy greens, black-eyed peas, asparagus, and avocado.
Get your daily dose: You could eat 1 navel orange, 1/4 cup sliced avocado, 1 cup shredded romaine, 3/4 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup kidney beans, and 4 cooked asparagus spears to meet your needs.
4. Fiber: In addition to filling you up and keeping you regular, fiber is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Gluten-free sources: Legumes, air-popped popcorn, berries, nuts and seeds, artichokes, pears, and other fruit and vegetables. Get your daily dose: Hit your fiber target by consuming 1 medium apple, 3 cups air-popped popcorn, 1 cup each blackberries and raw spinach, and 1/2 cup each cooked lentils and Brussels sprouts.
5. Satiety: Twenty-seven percent of consumers eat gluten-free products because they think doing so will help them lose weight, but this often backfires, says Jaclyn London, R.D., senior clinical dietician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. “A majority of gluten-free products are made with very low-fiber potato or flour, and they can be low in protein, making them less satisfying.”
And if, as a result, you eat more, watch out: “Gluten free” is not synonymous with “low calorie.” Depending on the brand and product, labels read about the same, if not worse, on gluten-free foods. For example, one brand of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies comes in at 70 calories per cookie, whereas a top regular brand registers 55 calories a pop. And chances are your mouth doesn’t know that two gluten-free cookies is the same serving size as three non-gluten-free ones, and you’ll eat both to your stomach’s content.
Many gluten free products start out to present themselves for what they are. They become successful and are bought out by a larger company, and now we find items like GMO corn, dextrose, malto-dextrose, pulverized wheat, and such, which are just a sampling of ingredients that people should not eat.
NOTE: Never buy gummy vitamins!
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Vitamins and Supplements

Argan Oil: Hair and Nails

arganoil

Argan oil is the new miracle cure for hair, and for many reasons. Argan oil is especially great for hair because it is lightweight and full of nutrients, such as Vitamin E, D, and A. It is also full of nutrients such as carotene and squalene, which are great for healthy hair and skin. Because this healthful oil is absorbed easily by the hair, it can help address issues such as dry scalp, fragile hair, thinning hair, and damaged hair. Read on to learn about how great argan oil actually is and learn your own recipe for making it at home.

Hair Conditioner

Argan Oil is successful in treating and repairing split ends, as well as smoothing frizzy, out-of-control hair. You can add argan oil to your shampoo, conditioner, or leave-in conditioner. Or, simply apply a small amount (about a pea size) to wet or damp hair and run it through with your fingers, focusing on the ends.

Hair Styling

Thanks to its smoothing abilities, argan oil is a necessary tool in your styling arsenal. It adds a nice healthy shine to your hair without weighing it down or making it look greasy. If ends are looking extra-dry or frayed, simply apply a small amount, using your fingertips, to the ends to smooth them out and help the healing process.

Healthy Skin

Just as it moisturizes your hair, argan oil can moisturize your skin. Thanks especially to its vitamin E and fatty acids, it is a nutrient-rich, moisture-dense solution to dry skin. You can simply add a small amount to your body lotion or your warm bath. You can also use it on your face for a non-greasy moisturizer. Argan oil can help treat skin ailments such as acne, eczema, itchy scalp, and signs of aging, simply because of its rich moisturizing and nutritional benefits. The oil is also safe to use on dry, chapped lips for a fast-acting lip moisturizer and plumper.

Hand, Foot, and Nail Health

Just as it can moisturize your hair and skin, liquid gold is also great for moisturizing and supporting the health of your nails, and addressing rough patches on your hands, and feet. This oil can work miracles for dry, cracked hands or rough, calloused heels. Massage a few drops of the oil onto your trouble spots and on your cuticles each night for skin and nail health.

So now that you’re ready to start using argan oil as much as possible, here is a quick and easy recipe you can make at home so that you can enjoy the benefits of this miracle oil.

Ingredients:

  • Pure argan oil, 100 ml
  • Rosemary essential oil, 4-5 drops

Recipe

Simply add the 4-5 drops of rosemary essentiall oil to a 100 ml container of pure argan oil.

Application

Take a few drops of your mixture into your palm and run it between your hands and fingertips; apply to your hair, starting from your scalp and running it all the way through the ends. You can also just spot-treat dry ends by applying a bit more oil to just the ends. The Rosemary essential oil will help increase argan oil’s benefits for dry, dull hair and an itchy scalp.

Argan oil is one of the few oils that can be used in an undiluted form, which is why the above recipe is so simple. You don’t need to dilute it with another oil, and it doesn’t even need to be added to your lotion or conditioner (although mixing it in with something that is a bit thicker will stretch the number of uses from one bottle).

As with any new oil that you start using, apply it to a small section of skin first to make sure you don’t have a reaction. When the coast is clear, invest in a good amount of argan oil, and start using it on a daily basis for healthier hair, skin, and nail.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Rx to Wellness, Vitamins and Supplements

Vitamin C Slashes Stress

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Getting enough vitamin C has surprising effect

on mood, reveal investigators in The American

Journal of Clinical Nutrition. When C-deficient hospital

patients were given 500 mg of the vitamin daily for 8 days,

they experience a 71 percent reduction in symptoms

such as irritabillity, fatique and sadness and a 51 percent

decrease in anxiety.  The study authors explain that

vitamin C is critical for maintaining balance in the

brain chemicals that govern our emotional response

to stress.

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Vitamins and Supplements

Do you have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

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One of the pitfalls of

pursuing a healthy diet is that we are sometimes blind to nutrients we may be

missing. And in the world of healthy eating, one of the most common nutrient

deficiencies involves vitamin B-12, a crucial nutrient for nerve health

and the construction of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is especially common among vegetarians and vegans,

but it’s also surprisingly common in meat eaters, too. Why? Because vitamin

B-12 can only be absorbed in the small intestine, and due to common intestinal

ailments, even many meat eaters who consume high levels of B-12 are

unable

to absorb it in their gut.

This leads to a series of seemingly “mystery” health symptoms that

actually have a simple common cause: Vitamin B-12 deficiency!

Symptoms

of B-12 deficiency

B-12 deficiency is

shockingly widespread. Studies now show that up to 40% of the population

may be deficient in vitamin B-12

Here are some of the most common symptoms of deficiency (do you experience any

of these?):

* Chest pain or shortness of breath

* Fatigue or unexplained weakness

* Dizziness, trouble with balance, and fainting

* Confusion, memory loss or dementia

* Coldness, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet

* Slow reflexes or diminished nervous system function

* Pale skin or yellowing of the skin

* Sore mouth and tongue

… in addition,

vitamin

B-12 deficiency can actually cause brain shrinkage, according to a

University of Oxford study (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7595423.st…).

Although more work needs to be done, research is already suggesting a link

between vitamin B-12 deficiency and Alzheimer’s.

If you (or someone you know) shows any of the symptoms listed above, I urge you

to immediately investigate vitamin B-12 and determine if a deficiency in

this nutrient may be causing your symptoms!

Again, vitamin B-12 deficiency is especially common in vegans and vegetarians

because typical vitamin B-12 sources (meats, yogurt, etc.) are simply not

present in their diets. But even meat eaters can be deficient in B-12 due to

poor digestion. This is especially true for older people who suffer a

diminished ability to absorb nutrients in their small intestine.

In addition, diabetes medications and even pain pills can interfere with B-12

absorption, and intestinal parasites can also strongly block its absorption in

the gut.

Solutions

for vitamin B-12

Traditionally, people who

are deficient in vitamin B-12 have received injections of B-12. This is

extremely effective because it bypasses the digestive tract and goes right into

the bloodstream. But it has one obvious downside: It requires being injected!

So most people aren’t interested in this method.

Instead, most people supplement their vitamin B-12 using nutritional supplements.

But here’s where this can go wrong: The most commonly available form of vitamin

B-12 on the market is the cheap synthetic form that’s actually bound to a

cyanide molecule (yes, cyanide, the poison). It’s called cyanocobalamin,

and you’ll find it in all the cheap vitamins made by pharmaceutical companies

and sold at grocery stores and big box stores.

Action item: If you have any vitamin B-12 supplements, check the

ingredients label right now to see what form of vitamin B-12 they

contain. If they contain cyanocobalamin, throw them out!

Cyanocobalamin is a cheap, synthetic chemical made in a laboratory. It’s

virtually impossible for you to find this form in nature. Low-end vitamin

manufacturers use it because it can be bought in bulk and added to products

with claims that they “contain vitamin B-12!” What they don’t tell

you is that the vitamin is bound to a toxic, poisonous cyanide molecule that

must then be removed from your body by your liver. Cyanocobalamin is also up to

100 times cheaper than the higher quality methylcobalamin

which we’ll talk about below.

As Wikipedia explains:

“A common synthetic form of the vitamin,

cyanocobalamin, does not occur in nature, but is used in many pharmaceuticals

and supplements, and as a food additive, because of its lower cost. In the body

it is converted to the physiological forms, methylcobalamin and

adenosylcobalamin, leaving behind the cyanide…” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12)

Removing the cyanide molecule from the vitamin and then flushing it out of your

body requires using up so-called “methyl groups” of molecules in your

body that are needed to fight things like homocysteine (high levels cause heart

disease). By taking low-quality cyanobalamin, you’re actually

stealing

methyl groups from your body and making it do more work at the biochemical

level. This uses up substances such as glutathione that are often in short

supply anyway, potentially worsening your overall health situation rather than

helping it. This is one of the reasons why low-grade vitamins may actually be

worse for your body than taking nothing at all!

Cyanocobalamin, in summary, is a low-grade, low-quality and

slightly toxic

(cyanide) form of vitamin B-12 that’s used by all the cheap vitamin

manufacturers. I recommend avoiding it completely. It won’t kill you to take

it, of course, but there’s a better solution for B-12.

The

better choice: Methylcobalamin

The proper form of

vitamin B-12 to supplement is called methylcobalamin. This is the form

that exists in nature, and it is pre-methylated, meaning it’s ready for your

biochemistry to put to immediate use. Methylcobalamin has several key

advantages over cyanocobalamin:

* Increased absorption

* Better retention in tissues

* Contains no toxic cyanide

* Supports production of SAMe

As explained by Ed Sharpe:

“The coenzyme form of vitamin B12 is known as methylcobalamin or methyl

B12. It’s the only form of vitamin B12 which can directly participate in

homocysteine metabolism. In addition, converting homocysteine to methionine via

methyl B12 generates an increased supply of SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine), the

body’s most important methyl donor.” (http://www.health101.org/art_methylcobalamin…)

Every informed nutritionist knows that methylcobalamin is far superior to

cyanocobalamin. That’s why companies like Ola Loa (www.DrinkYourVitamins.com)

use only the high-end “methyl” form of B-12.

Why

99% of vitamin B-12 supplements are wasted

Taking vitamin B-12 as an oral dose is largely a waste of money. As much

as 99% of what you swallow is not even absorbed… it’s just passed through

your body. (http://www.health101.org/art_methylcobalamin…)

There are really only three methods for absorbing vitamin B-12 that reliably

work:

#1) B-12 injections, with no presevatives or cyanocobalamin, which is hard but

not impossible to find.

#2) Sublingual absorption.

#3) Skin absorption.

B-12 injections obviously require injections from a trained medical

professional, so few people pursue this route. Sublingual absorption is a

viable route, but nearly all the sublingual B-12 products use the cyanocobalamin

form of the vitamin (with the cyanide molecule).

A vitamin B-12 skin patch is now available that delivers methylcobalamin

through the skin, using a small medical-grade patch placed behind the ear. Each

patch delivers 1000 mcg of methylcobalamin (1,666% DV) in a steady

release over a 1-2 day period, after which the patch may be removed and discarded.

If you need help with a possible B12 deficiency please give us a call

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Vitamins and Supplements

Depression and Moods

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Depression and Moods, What to Do!

Depression and mood disorders are devastating health problems

today. When you go to your doctor, their answer is often a prescription for one

of the various popular anti-depressant drugs. Many doctors do not investigate

for metabolic or nutritional deficiencies that may be the ‘real problem’ for

your depression. Patients have no idea why they feel so awful or where to start

looking for the answer. They expect their doctor to give them real solutions.

Instead they get drugs as the easy fix. Drugs are not an easy fix because of

the serious side effects that come with taking them. Doctors prescribe these

drugs from information they get from the drug sales rep which often is only

part-truth. The side effects and dangers of these drugs are down-played or left

out altogether. Prescription drugs should only be prescribed after other

medical problems have been ruled out.

Learn About 10

Nutrient Deficiencies That Cause Depression and Mood Disorder Symptoms:

If you suffer from depression or mood disorders you may be

deficient in one of the nutrients below. Researchers have found that many

people who suffer from depression and mood disorders are deficient in not just

one nutrient but several, all contributing to the symptoms.

#1: Healthy Food Deficiency?

Junk Food Diet

Is your diet filled with sugar, junk foods, sodas, or processed

foods? Do you often skip meals. If you suffer from depression or mood

disorders, start a food diary of the foods you eat every day. You will find

answers to your health problems while doing that. Your shopping cart and

refrigerator tell the story of your health. My husband works as a cashier at

Walmart. People shopping for their family fill their cart with junk sugar

filled cereal, chips, candy, soda, , TV dinners, and over-processed food in

general. Seven-Elevens thrive on selling candy, soda, and chips to the

eat-on-the-run customers. There are very few fresh vegetables or fruit on the

average American’s grocery list. This is why so many Americans are obese,

depressed, and suffering from diabetes. If your life is not going well, eating

junk food is not going to improve your outlook.

#2: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Deficiency:

These are found in foods such as fish and Flax Seed Oil. A

deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids or an imbalance between Omega 3 and Omega 6

fatty acids may be one of the contributing factors to your depression. Omega 3

Fatty acids are important to brain function and your mental outlook on life.

They also help people who suffer from inflammation and pain problems.

Researchers have found that many patients with depression and mood disorders

are deficient in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It is important to buy fish oil that has

been cold processed and tested for heavy metals and other contamination. It

should state that on the label.

#3: Vitamin D Deficiency:

Important to immune function, bones, and brain health. Sunlight is

the richest source for natural Vitamin D. The Journal

Clinical Nutrition in Jan 21st, 2013

published the result

of research that analyzed over 18000 British citizens for Vitamin D deficiencies and

associated mental disorders links. They found that a deficiency of Vitamin D was present in

patients with depression and panic disorders. The study results stated that

people who are deficient in Vitamin D are at higher risk for developing

depression later in life. Most seniors are deficient in Vitamin D. Often people

working long hours in offices are deficient as well. Get out in the sun. Take a

walk during your lunch break or walk your dog. Play a game with your kids

outside away from computers and the television. Get out of the house and into

the sunshine. Just don’t overdo it if you are sensitive to the sun. Overdoing

it is not good either.

#4: B-Vitamins

Deficiency:

There is much research in Neuropsychiatry that proves the link

between B-Vitamin deficiencies and mood disorders including depression. Buy gel

capsules instead of tablets with at least 25 mg for each of the different B-

Vitamins included in the formulation.

#5: Zinc , Folate, Chromium, and

Iron Deficiencies:

Patients with depression are often found deficient in many

nutrients including these. Often today’s foods are sadly lacking in minerals

and trace minerals.

#6: Iodine Deficiency:

Iodine is necessary for the

thyroid to work properly. The thyroid, part of the endocrine system, is one of

the most important glands in your body. The thyroid gland affects every

function of the body including body temperature, immune function, and brain

function. Iodine is found in foods such as

potatoes, cranberries, Kelp, Arame, Hiziki, Kombu, and Wakame. This problem was

once solved by using Iodine enriched salt. Today

iodine deficiency is again becoming a problem with salt free diets. Salty

chips, processed foods, and junk food do not contain iodized salt.

#7: Amino Acids Deficiency:

There are 9 necessary amino acids that cannot be manufactured in your body. You

must supply them to the body by eating quality food choices.

Amino acids are found in meat, eggs, fish, high quality beans, seeds and nuts. You need to eat a variety of

different foods to furnish the body with all the amino acids needed to be

healthy. Not all foods contain all nine amino acids. Vegetable food sources for

amino acids include Moringa Oleifera leaves. Your brain uses the amino acids

found in the food you eat to manufacture neurotransmitters needed for optimal

brain function.

What are neurotransmitters and

what do they have to do with depression?

Healthy brain function needs the proper balance of

neurotransmitters. Some neurotransmitters calm the brain and others excite the

brain. Their balance in the brain creates stability of emotions and thinking.

Often depression and other mental disorders are caused by imbalances in

neurotransmitters. Dopamine, noradrenaline, and GABA are three important

neurotransmitters often deficient in depression. Orthomolecular physicians have

found that treatment with amino acids including tryptophan, tyrosine,

phenylalanine, and methionine can correct different mood disorders like

depression. The Orthomolecular doctor first takes urine and blood samples to

test your amino acid levels. Then if he finds imbalances, you will be given

amino acid supplements in the optimal dosage to correct the problem.

Orthomolecular doctors treat the base cause for the depression or mental

symptoms. If it is a nutritional imbalance such as a Omega 3 deficiency, you

will be prescribed that supplement. Instead of treating with drugs, they treat

the deficiencies that cause the mental symptoms with vitamins, minerals, and

amino acids.

There are tests that prove nutrient deficiencies. The problem is

often your standard medicine doctor will not give clearance for the tests, nor

will your insurance pay for them. Most doctors are not schooled in nutrition

and diet. They have no time to go over your eating and lifestyle habits. Saying

that, a few companies and health providers exist who do have preventive health

programs. The reality is a majority of people do not get quality preventive

healthcare, especially those on Medicaid or Medical. You need to visit a

holistic doctor who knows his nutrition. More than likely you will have to pay

out-of-pocket for the tests. You can go through Life Extension Institute. After

becoming a member, you can receive the tests through the mail. You take the kit

to a lab to get your blood drawn. You then send the kit back by mail and

receive the results by mail. They do not give you interpretation for the tests

nor how to correct the problems found by testing. You can at least find out

what vitamins and minerals you are deficient in. Drug-focused therapy is the

main reason that so many people never get diagnosed properly. Insurance plans

will pay for drugs but not nutritional supplements. That is the sad state of

our health care system here. You must take control of your health and find a

doctor whose goal is holistic and preventative medicine.

If you need assistance with this, give us a call at Health and

Wellness Associates.  Remember, we are

completely confidential, we do not report to your employer or medical insurance

company.  We offer a Fair Ability to pay

program to keep things between you and us.

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL