January 24, 2017

Top Ten Foods For A Longer Life

by David Kekich

If you like to eat, you should have extra incentive to live longer. Just think—if you add only five years to your life—that means you get to eat at least 5,500 more meals. These foods will add length to your life…they’re all backed by major independent studies.

Top 10 Foods for a Longer Life1.Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a very powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Studies show lycopene cuts cancer rates by 40% and heart disease by 50%. And it makes the elderly function better mentally. Tomato sauce has five times as much lycopene as fresh tomatoes. And surprisingly, canned tomatoes have three times as much.

2. Olive oil

Reduces death from heart disease and fights cancer. Use extra virgin olive oil.

3. Red or purple grapes

Grape juice and red wine increase longevity. Two alcoholic drinks per day maximum.

4. Garlic

Packed with antioxidants. Garlic fights cancer and heart disease and overall is anti-aging.

5. Spinach

Follows right behind garlic for antioxidant protection. It’s rich in folic acid, which helps fight cancer, heart disease and mental disorders and may help prevent Alzheimer’s.

6. Salmon and other fatty fish

These contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which fight virtually every disease and keep your brain and heart functioning optimally. They also lower inflammation. Caution: make sure your salmon is wild Pacific or Alaskan salmon. Farm and Atlantic salmon can be contaminated.

7. Nuts

Eat over five ounces per week. They can cut heart attack deaths by 40% in women. People who eat about two ounces of nuts four times a week tend to live longer, in fact, up to two to three years longer! Almonds and walnuts lower cholesterol. Unsalted are best for you. And eat them raw if you can. You may want to avoid nuts altogether during pregnancy if you have a family history of asthma. If you have most any disease, or any kind of insulin-related problems, you may want to avoid large amounts of seeds and nuts except for flax, chia and walnuts.

8. Blueberries

High in antioxidants. One-half cup a day can retard aging and block brain changes leading to fading memory. Other dark, richly colored berries run neck-and-neck with blueberries.

9. Matcha green tea and black tea (maybe white too)

One cup per day of Matcha green tea can cut heart disease risk in half. (Note: Instant or bottled have little effect.) Other beneficial effects include improved mental alertness; lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels; reduced blood pressure; lower risk of breast, colon, lung, ovarian and prostate cancers; protection against Type II diabetes; improved exercise performance and lowered risk of obesity.

10. Pomegranate

New studies show pomegranate to be one of the richer sources of antioxidants.

You will live a long, healthy life to the extent you can: prevent oxidation; reduce inflammation; prevent glycation; and enhance methylation. Start with your diet to reverse aging. You’ll never have a chance to relive this moment.

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How to Overcome Multiple Sclerosis with Nutrition

A Diet to Fight MS

by Amanda Box, N.D.

Multiple sclerosis is a thief. It slowly steals a person’s mobility, eyesight and ability to think clearly. It is an unrelenting disease that is progressive and deemed incurable. This devastating disease is diagnosed in thousands of Americans each year. These victims are often left with minimal options for help and little hope for recovery.

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a chronic autoimmune disease that occurs twice as often in women as in men. It is also more common among Caucasians than any other ethnic group. MS slowly deteriorates the protective myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves in our brain and spinal column. This leads to:

Once diagnosed, MS may steadily worsen. Or, acute attacks may occur followed by remission of MS symptoms. The protective myelin is damaged in multiple sclerosis due to its autoimmune destruction. The specific cause of MS is not known, but exposure to and accumulation of heavy metals and other toxic compounds can induce MS.

The good news is that there is hope for those diagnosed with MS! Dietary changes and proper nutrition can dramatically improve MS symptoms. In some cases, MS symptoms can be eliminated completely! The body has the innate capacity to heal itself when given what it needs.

When addressing MS, it is also important to stop habits that disrupt and damage the immune system. Don’t forget that your body is made from natural materials and incorporates a system that needs natural products such as food to constantly build and heal.

Many of our modern day foods contain artificial ingredients that aren’t safe for human consumption. Some of these ingredients alter the normal activity of your nervous system, resulting in disease. So, it is important to understand the dangers and side effects of these artificial additives.

The Dark Side of Diet Soda

Many people with good intentions forego sugar-laden sodas and desserts in favor of their sugar-free counterparts. However, artificial sweeteners have a dark side. Aspartame in particular, the primary sweetener used in diet soda, has a distinct connection to MS.[1][2]

ASPARTAME in diet soda kills brain cells and lead to MS v2Aspartame is composed of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Aspartic acid raises the levels of both aspartate and glutamate in the blood. Once these compounds reach the brain, they can cause an influx of calcium into the brains cells. This influx excites the cells to the point of their death! This is why aspartate and glutamate are often referred to as excitotoxins. If you suffer from MS, these excitotoxins can freely enter the site of injury, magnifying the damage produced from MS.

Aspartame can also rapidly break down into methanol, which can easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Once methanol reaches the brain, it converts to formaldehyde and begins to break down the protective myelin sheath that surrounds our brain cells. This demyelination can lead to MS symptoms and other diseases such as:

Several other processed foods are also high in methanol and should be avoided. Some of the most common include:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Smoked foods
  • Overly ripe fruits and vegetables
  • Tomato sauce

Always read labels and be on the look out for aspartame and other artificial ingredients. These chemical additives cannot only cause symptoms of MS, but other diseases and chronic health problems as well. The damage caused by chemical preservatives and sweeteners can be catastrophic to the human body. These man made ingredients trigger a chain reaction of unnatural responses in the body, which ultimately lead to disease. MS is one of many diseases that can result from putting unnatural substances into our natural bodies! None of us would think of drinking formaldehyde, wood alcohol or other toxic substances. And yet, when we consume diet sodas or other processed foods that contain toxic chemicals, it’s like drinking poison!

MS and Leaky Gut Syndrome

Though rarely talked about, there is an intimate connection between the intestinal tract and autoimmune disease. A disorder called Leaky Gut Syndrome can play a role in the occurrence of MS.

Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the intestinal tract becomes permeable due to inflammatory damage and destruction from the overgrowth of microbes and yeast. This permeability allows toxins and microbes that your body would normally eliminate, leak from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream! Once these toxic substances begin to circulate in your system, inflammation can occur in other areas of the body. This can lead to autoimmune reactions, like MS, where the body attacks itself. This self attack mode is set off by the presence of toxins that would not be present if the intestinal tract was not leaking.

A recent study found a connection with leaky gut syndrome and MS.[3] The study found that mice infected with an MS-like disease not only had leaky gut, but had intestinal inflammation before they even showed symptoms of MS! Dr. Terry Wahls, former MS victim and author of the Wahls Protocol stated, “More studies are finding that increased intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’ has a role in the development of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders.”

The good news is you can prevent leaky gut, as well as cure it! Following specific dietary recommendations can heal the digestive tract, and halt inflammation system-wide! This can actually resolve MS symptoms and help those with MS regain a normal, active life!

A Diet to Fight MS

Dr. Terry Wahls was diagnosed with MS in 2000. A medical doctor herself, she sought out the best care and took the latest and most effective drugs on the market. However, her attempts at managing her disease failed and her MS worsened in 2003. She then completed the recommended chemotherapy, but became bound to a wheelchair. Soon after chemotherapy, she became bedridden.

nutrients protect from multiple sclerosisThis is when Dr. Wahl began to take her health into her own hands. She started researching nutrients that would feed her brain and halt the progression of her disease. She noted that in MS there was shrinkage of the brain due to poorly functioning mitochondria. Mitochondria are our cell’s energy source. They need specific nutrients to function at optimal capacity. Through her research, Dr. Wahl identified 3 specific nutrients that are essential for mitochondrial function:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids (from fish)
  • Creatine
  • Coenzyme Q10

She then began to research the proper nutrients needed to prevent damage to the myelin sheath, the primary cause of MS. She discovered the following were important in the maintenance and proper function of myelin:

  • B1
  • B9
  • B12
  • Omega 3 fatty acids (from fish)
  • Iodine
  • Antioxidants

Dr. Wahl also went on to discover the nutrients essential for neurotransmitter functioning. Our neurotransmitters are chemical messengers, which send information between nerve cells. The two most important nutrients for our neurotransmitters are:

  • Sulfur
  • B6

Much of the typical American diet is totally lacking in nutrition. Instead of consuming nutrient dense food, most op for processed and fast foods that are void of nutrients, but rich in artificial based preservatives and additives. It’s really no wonder that our health is declining and obesity rates are skyrocketing.

Dr. Wahls recommends following a paleo style diet that is high in essential nutrition for mitochondria and myelin sheath function. This diet includes:

  • Unlimited green vegetables – these are high in B vitamins and minerals
  • Onions and garlic – rich in sulfur
  • Fatty fish – contains omega 3 fatty acids
  • Grass-fed meat – rich in creatine and healthy protein
  • Organ meat (liver, heart, etc.) – a source of CoQ10 and protein
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables – contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Seaweed – a source of essential iodine

The Wahls protocol also recommends avoiding:

  • Starchy vegetables (corn and potatoes)
  • Grains (gluten in particular)
  • Dairy
  • All processed foods

Once Dr. Wahls began to follow this dietary protocol, her MS symptoms began to improve. Within a matter of months, she went from being bedridden to walking again! She is now symptom free and travels the globe spreading the good news of how proper diet can reverse MS!

Interestingly, this diet not only feeds the brain, but heals the gut as well! The principles outlined in the GAPS protocol, which is a diet designed to heal leaky gut syndrome, are nearly identical to the foods recommended in the Wahls protocol! A diet that addresses leaky gut syndrome is a powerful ally in the fight against any autoimmune disease.

Following these dietary recommendations allows you to heal the brain, but also heal your inflamed leaky gastrointestinal tract, the possible source of MS!! This will help end the source of inflammation and put an end to autoimmune reactions throughout the body.

In addition to the Wahls protocol diet, I recommend adding a powerful, multi-strain probiotic such as Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora. Supplementing with a probiotic helps balance the intestinal tract by boosting beneficial bacteria and crowding out damaging microbes.

A great rule of thumb when boosting nutrition is to add a lot of color to your daily meals. Colorful fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants which are essential in the health and integrity of our nerve cells. The following recipe incorporates the Wahls protocol by including grass-fed protein, green vegetables, sulfur rich onions and other colorful veggies. This recipe is so tasty you won’t even notice that it is grain free![4]

Tex Mex Paleo Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

  • tex mex paleo stir fry1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 oz white or baby portabella mushrooms, diced
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (optional for extra heat and flavor)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cups baby kale, chopped
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 12 grape tomatoes, diced

Instructions:

  1. Brown ground beef with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Next, sauté peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic in coconut oil.
  3. Once these veggies are browned, add salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and paprika.
  4. Place chopped spinach, kale and half the cilantro in a food processor with grape tomatoes and carefully process by pulsing on and off and stirring if necessary until finely chopped.
  5. Stir browned beef into the pepper mixture, and then stir in the greens and tomatoes until greens are slightly wilted.
  6. Add the juice of two limes freshly squeezed and add sea salt to taste. Garnish with the second half of the cilantro, finely chopped.

Green smoothies have become all the rage, and rightly so! What an easy and convenient way to condense lots of nutrition into a single easy-to-consume drink! The problem that most people run into, however, is making a green smoothie that tastes good. Many times people will try and hide the “grassy” taste of a green smoothie with high sugar fruit juices. The added sugar in fruit juices defeats the purpose and increases your risk of diabetes and weight gain.

This smoothie recipe not only incorporates healthy greens and vitamin rich fruits, but also has the addition of lemon flavored fish oil. Don’t worry…this oil doesn’t taste fishy! Rather, it gives the smoothie a slight lemony kick that is also packed with brain boosting omega 3 fatty acids!

Omega 3 Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • omega 3 green smoothie 1 1/2 cups coconut water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Carlson’s or Nordic Naturals lemon flavored fish oil
  • Juice of one small lemon
  • 1/2 apple (roughly chopped, seeds and core removed) OR 1 pear (roughly chopped, seeds removed)
  • 1/2 orange (peeled, roughly chopped)
  • 3 stalks of celery (roughly chopped)
  • 4 large kale leaves (ribs removed)
  • 6 romaine lettuce leaves

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve over ice.

Those of you who are battling MS, you don’t need to lose hope! This is a battle you can win with the proper dietary choices and nutrition.

  1. Begin by eliminating artificial additives and sweeteners, including diet soda.
  2. Then fill your diet with nutrient dense foods that nourish your brain cells and help to prevent any further deterioration.
  3. Also, add probiotics to your daily regimen to help promote a healthy gut and quell system wide inflammation.

A healthy, rejuvenated life free of MS symptoms can be your future! Give your body what it needs and watch your life transform!

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Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

Sources:
[1] http://www.truthinlabeling.org/Blaylock-AspartameAndMultipleSclerosis-Neurosurgeon’sWarning.html
[2] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/11/aspartame-dangers.aspx
[3] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0106335
[4] Recipe adapted from http://mamadweeb.com

Free Yourself From MS Naturally

Natural, safe and effective alternatives to the toxic conventional medicine

by Amanda Box

Being diagnosed with any disease is devastating. It can dash dreams, rob you of your joy and leave you in a state of uncertainty for your future. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that devastates thousands of lives every year. It is a disease in which your body literally turns on itself and begins attacking the protective coating of your nerve cells in the brain and spinal column.

This protective coating is called myelin. When an autoimmune disease like MS damages the waxy, protective myelin, the nerves begin to disintegrate over time. When this occurs, MS symptoms begin to manifest such as:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness and tingling of limbs
  • Balance problems
  • Tremors
  • Blurred vision

MS beginning symptomsMultiple sclerosis manifests in 4 different ways:

  • Relapsing-remitting: This form comes and goes over time. Symptoms can be severe for a time but then disappear. About 85 percent of multiple sclerosis patients develop this form of MS.
  • Secondary-progressive: After the initial attack, symptoms do not subside and the disease worsens.
  • Primary-progressive: People who develop this form are typically older in age. They decline slowly, without many ups and downs.
  • Progressive relapsing: Symptoms progress slowly, but eventually worsen over time.

Multiple sclerosis is unpredictable. No one truly understands why one person’s MS manifests differently than someone else’s. The cause of MS is still unknown. However, many in alternative and integrative medicine believe that nutrition and many other environmental factors play a large role.

When treating MS, neurologists typically prescribe drugs that suppress the immune system. The hope in prescribing these anti-inflammatory drugs is that they will halt the autoimmune attack on the myelin and lessen MS symptoms. However, these drugs have terrible side effects and often do more harm than good.

Though the initial diagnosis of MS can be crushing, there is hope! Fortunately, there are many natural, safe and effective alternatives to the toxic treatment methods offered by conventional medicine. 

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Weird Elephant Yam “Liberates” Antioxidants & Tames Cravings

Here is something you absolutely must know!   If you are not eating enough of this, then your body may not be absorbing essential antioxidants, like those found in berries and other fruits like pomegranate, teas, red wine, herbs or spices.

You see, many of these antioxidants simply are difficult for our bodies to break down!

Now, an Asian root known as the elephant yam, or konjac, has been shown to help the bodies naturally “liberate” the active ingredients in high antioxidant foods and supplements.

elephant yamFor hundreds of years, konjac has played an important role in the healthful Japanese diet.  Today, leading natural health experts, like Drs. Mehmet Oz, Andrew Weil and Mark Hyman, are all recommending Konjac’s  active ingredient – glucomannan.

Glucomannan is among nature’s most interesting soluble fibers. In your gut, it absorbs many times its weight in water.   Glucomannan contains five times more of the right types of soluble than oat bran.  The right kinds of soluble fiber nourish the good bacteria critical to healthy digestion and immunity.   In turn, the good bacteria break down the high antioxidant compounds into nutrients that the body can absorb.

The Dirty Little Secret Food Marketers Don’t Want You to Know About “Soluble” Fiber

Not all soluble fibers are created equal.  In fact, some “soluble fibers” on the market aren’t even natural. They’re manufactured so processed food manufacturers can “up” the fiber content on their nutrition labels.

You can tell these Franken-fibers because their names sound like something from a chemistry class. Biochemically, these are soluble fibers, but they do little to control appetite, reduce cravings or support heart health.

Put bluntly, they are cheap fiber fillers used by some food and supplement manufacturers to appeal to consumers seeking more fiber in their diet.

Glucomannan also has been shown to be a powerful ally for dieters.  Glucomannan helps dieters:

  • Feel full faster – when the glucomannan fiber swells in your stomach, you fill up faster.  And it’s not just that physical feeling of fullness at work.  Studies prove that fullness in the stomach triggers the release of hormones that tell your brain to send the “Stop Eating!” signals. That means you’ll push away from the table sooner.
  • Stay full longer – glucomannan is not broken down until it reach the large intestine (that’s why the good bacteria like it!). Because of that, they keep you feeling full and satisfied as it travels through your stomach and small intestine.
  • Fewer calories absorbed – The gel created by glucomannan and water mixes with the food you eat and slows digestion, and actually reduces the calories that are absorbed.
  • Regulates the blood sugar spike-crash-crave cycle.   As you probably know, our cravings go on overdrive when our blood sugar spikes and crashes. Glucomannan slows the digestion of carbohydrates and simple sugars. This helps reduce the blood sugar surge-and-crash cycle… which reduces cravings and prevents your appetite from raging out of control.

What’s the best way to get Glucomannan?  We recommend UltraTLC, a product recently introduced by our friends at Kardea Nutrition.   It is an incredible drink mix delivering therapeutic levels of glucomannan, plus antioxidants from natural berry and spice extracts.   Mix UltraTLC in water, juice or smoothies.

Better yet, UltraTLC transforms your protein shake into a high fiber and high antioxidant powerhouse.   SAVE 25% with Barton Publishing special coupon BARTON25%.  With your first purchase, Barton readers also get 3 FREE e-books that show you how to use UltraTLC to make healthy dieting easier and more delicious.  Order Now (and don’t forget to save with our special coupon code:  BARTON25%).

 

Rob Leighton from Kardea NutritionRob is known as a food passionisto and life’s magic moments occur over meals with family and friends. He happily wanders the aisles of gourmet food stores, farmers’ markets and ethnic delicatessens, preferring to end the day with a good cookbook. Rob brings a career as an executive in food and nutrition to reduce his cholesterol levels to the point where no medications are necessary. He wrote The Kardea Gourmet, Smart & Delicious Eating for a Healthy Heart, with Mayo Clinic-trained cardiologist, Dr. Richard Collins, also known as the Cooking Cardiologist. Rob is the founder of Kardea Nutrition. Kardea, which means heart in Greek, combines a love food with a deep knowledge on how to use the best natural solutions to support heart health.

 

 

The Eye is the Window to the… Body?

They say the eye is the window to the soul.  But, what if I told you the eye is the window to your body?

Your eye, specifically your iris, is a map of your body.  Reading this map (the iris), can reveal disease and health weakness in different parts of your body.

Reading of the Eyes

The reading of the eyes dates back to the Chaldeans, 1000 B.C.  Even several thousand years ago, the Chinese and Japanese knew how to recognize diseased organs in the body by looking at the eyes. Its popularity began in Europe (primarily in Germany) in the 1800s.  Diagnosing eye health became well known in America in the 1930s, thanks to famed Chiropractor Dr. Bernard Jensen.

This “reading of the eyes” is called iridology.  Here is one of the more “simplified” versions of an iridology chart.

The iridology chart is arranged very similar to the structure of our body.  The head is at the top of the chart and the legs at the bottom.  The right iris is connected to the right side of the body and the left eye to the left side of the body.

Obviously, it takes training and practice to be able to read the eyes.  Those who are trained are called Iridologists.  Many Iridologists are also Naturopathic Doctors, Chiropractors, Herbalists, or Acupuncturists.  This alternative practice is, in my opinion, a highly accurate way of finding imbalances in the body.  It is fun to look at your own eyes, but please seek a professional Iridologist to get a proper reading.

What Your Eye Color May Say About You

One of the most interesting things about iridology is that even your eye color says something about you.  This is called constitutional typing.  Understanding your constitutional type can give you an understanding of the inborn health weaknesses someone may struggle with through their life.

There are three basic colors that represent the three primary constitutions.  Beyond these three primary constitutions there are many subtypes. Those are categorized by additional colors and designs of the iris.  I will stick to describing just the three primary constitutions, as it gets quite complicated beyond this.

Lymphatic Constitution (Blue Iris)[am4show guest_error=’noaccess’ ]

This eye color is blue or blue gray.  The iris can also appear hazel, violet, grey or green.  You can easily see the iris fibers.

Weaknesses include:

  • Overactive immune system
  • Allergies
  • Acidity that leads to arthritis
  • Excess mucous production.  This can appear in the ears, sinus, throat, lungs, intestinal lining, vagina and bladder.
  • Anxiety
  • Ulcers
  • Children may have skin problems like eczema

Treatment includes: Avoiding mucous producing foods like wheat, dairy, and sugar can help with these health weaknesses.

Biliary Constitution (Light Brown Iris)

This eye color is a light brown color that typically has a lighter layer underneath.  Many times this under layer is a shade of yellow.  Those with biliary constitutions tend to have a weakness in the liver and gallbladder.

Other weaknesses include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Blood sugar problems

Treatment includes: Staying away from unhealthy fats and oils is very wise.  Taking herbs that support the liver, like dandelion and milk thistle, can also help keep the liver clean and strong.

Hematogenic Constitution (Dark Brown Iris)

This is the true brown eye.  It has so much pigment that it’s hard to see the iris fibers.  Many people with the hematogenic constitution have a tendency for disorders involving the blood (“Hema” means blood or hemoglobin).

Weakness may include:

  • Poor blood circulation
  • Varicose Veins
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Acne
  • Psoriasis
  • Gallstones

Treatment includes: Staying away from unhealthy fats and oils can greatly help.  Taking enzymes for digestion is recommended, as well.

Beyond Eye Color

These three constitutional types just scratch the surface of the complexities of iridology.  Your symptoms may very well not fit under your eye color.  Again, this is why it is important to visit an Iridologist.  They understand the many subtypes and iris irregularities that point to different health weaknesses.

I found that my weaknesses go right along with my eye color.  Do yours?  Comment below this article with your constitution type (eye color) and whether your health issues coincide. I’d love to hear from you!

To find an Iridologist in your area, go to http://www.iridologyassn.org/iipa2/iipa-certified-iridologists.aspx .  These Iridologists belong to the International Iridology Practitioners Association, a reputable organization.

Importance of Eye Health

It is quite fascinating that the eye can reveal the state of our body’s health.  But, we also must focus on the health of the eye itself.  Millions of Americans suffer from sort of eye problem.  From dry eyes to cataracts to simply needing glasses; if your eyes are 100% healthy you, then are truly one of a kind.  For those of you who suffer from one or many eye problems, there is hope.  There are many natural remedies that not only prevent eye problems, but also bring relief.

Key Eye Nutrients

78% of adult Americans wear some sort of corrective vision.  This is quite puzzling to me.  Did people always suffer such poor vision?  Or, has industrialization contributed to that rate? I personally believe that our modern diet is a lot of the problem.  Colorful fruits and veggies are the highest in the nutrients that feed our eyes.  But, our common modern diet is pretty void of color. Everyone knows that carrots are great for the eyes, but there are many more amazing foods that feed the eyes.  These foods are high in the antioxidant carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. The best of those (aside from carrots) include:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Egg yolks
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Orange bell peppers

Many studies have been performed on the power of lutein and zeaxanthin and their effect on our eyes.  Several of these studies establish a connection between the consumption of these two carotenoids and the incidences of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  A few of those studies include:

  • The Eye Disease Case Control Study found that those with the highest levels of lutein and zeaxanthin had a significantly lower risk of AMD.
  • The Nurses Health Study found that high amounts of both lutein and zeaxanthin (6 mg per day) lowered the need for cataract surgery.
  • The Health Professionals Follow Up Study also found that high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin (6.9 mg per day) lowered the need for cataract surgery.

Studies have also noted improved vision from these carotenoids.  The key is getting enough of the antioxidants to truly “see” the difference.  Your body does not make these nutrients so they must be consumed in your diet or by supplement.  In order to notice improvement, I recommend at least taking the following daily:

  • 8 mg of zeaxanthin
  • 9 mg of lutein

Check your multivitamin.  Many high quality ones contain a little lutein, as well.

What makes these nutrients so special?

  • Zeaxanthin works by protecting the cones of the eyes.  Your cones detect color and fine details and are responsible for your central vision.
  • Lutein works like internal sunglasses.  It filters blue light before it can damage the macula.

Both are pretty incredible nutrients and an extremely important part of maintaining, protecting and improving eye health.

Nature’s Most Powerful Eye Antioxidant

It doesn’t stop there! The newest and arguably the most powerful antioxidant/carotenoids for the eyes is astaxanthin.  Astaxanthin comes from an algae called Haematococcus pluvialis.  This algae produces the super antioxidant astaxanthin to protect itself from UV radiation.  This UV radiation protection carries over to us when we consume astaxanthin.

Dr. Tso of the Wilmer Eye Institute at John Hopkins University discovered that astaxanthin crosses into the tissues of the eye and acts stronger than any other carotenoid.  He believes that astaxanthin is effective at treating a plethora of eye diseases including:

.

Astaxanthin is a cousin to beta-carotene, but far more potent as a natural anti-inflammatory! In fact, it makes flamingo’s pink! For a natural source of astaxanthin, eat Wild Alaskan Salmon to prevent cataracts.

  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Glaucoma
  • Inflammatory eye diseases
  • Cystoid macular edema
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Central retinal arterial and venous occlusion

If you could choose just one supplement to take for eye health, choose astaxanthin. It’s just as powerful for the rest of the body as it is for your eyes.  I have taken it daily for the last 6 years.  Another fun fact is that it can prevent sunburns.  I’m fair complected and I’ve noticed that I don’t burn like I used to.  I don’t wear sunscreen either!  This is, again, because it protects against UV rays.  It’s also one of the most fantastic anti-aging supplements.  If you want to stay looking, feeling and seeing youthfully, add astaxanthin to your daily regime.  A great place to start is taking 4-10 mg astaxanthin a day.

Natural Relief for Dry Eyes

One of the most common eye complaints I get in my practice is dry eyes.  Many things can cause dry eyes:

  • Allergies
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Lasik surgery

I always recommend 6 mg astaxanthin for dry eyes, as well as omega-3 fish oil.  Make sure your fish oil has at least 800 mg of EPA and 500 of DHA.  Omega-3 fatty acids are very effective at moisturizing the eyes from the inside out.  As I always say, make sure your fish oil says on the label that it’s been tested to be free of PCB’s and heavy metals.

I have also found that the Dry Eyes Relief drops from Similasan work extremely well.  They are 100% natural and contain homeopathic medicine that addresses the root of your dry eyes.  During allergy season, I keep these drops on hand and have had great results.

The Future of Healthcare Through Your Eyes

Technology is moving quickly.  So fast in fact, that you will soon be able to send pictures of your eyes to your doctor through a phone app for diagnosis.  A mirror is also being developed that can help diagnose you by reading the eyes.  Even scientists realize the importance of iridology and using the iris of your eyes as a diagnosis tool.  The future is incredible and truly fascinating.

Keep your eyes moist and protect them from damage with the right antioxidants, lutein, zeaxanthin and astaxanthin.  You deserve to “see” the future.

 

Amanda Box is a Doctor of Naturopathy and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 10 years and currently has a Naturopathic consulting practice in Sioux Falls, SD.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic doctor to turn to for your personal needs, Dr. Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

 

 

Sources:
Eye Disease Case Control Study Group. Archives of Ophtalmology 1993;111: 104-109
Hankinson et al. 1992 British Medical Journal 305:335-9
http://www.ajcn.org/content/70/4/517.full
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For Your Eyes Only

Is It Really Possible to Improve Your Vision with Food?

From the Collection of the United States Postal ServiceWarning: blatant pop-culture references dead ahead…

When you think of improving vision with a certain food, which one darts into your mind faster than Bugs Bunny missing that left turn at “Alber-koiky?”

What’s up Doc?

Why it’s carrots, of course!

And what we aim to find out here today is if ole Bugs was on to something (other than annoying catch phrases) by eating carrots. If so,  what other foods can and should be used to improve overall vision and help reduce the impact of dreaded eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

But first, since ¾ of our country just doesn’t see so good – we’ll start with some interesting stats on corrective lenses.

Hey four eyes…over HERE!

The Vision Council of America says:

  • About 75% of adults here in the U.S. use some sort of corrective lenses.
  • 42% are men and 58% are women.
  • Surprisingly, only 30% of these folks are near-sighted (myopia – needing glasses to see distance).
  • Where 60% are far-sighted (hyperopia – needing glasses for up-close viewing).

Yes – you’re seeing that right. That adds up to only 90%…we’re not sure what happened to the other 10 – maybe they couldn’t see the question.

So if you were part of the group being teased for having “four eyes” in school, then…REJOICE! We were and still are part of the majority! Take THAT jock-guys and cheerleading prom-queens!

Still, for those of us who wear corrective lenses and would LOVE to put them on the nightstand – and LEAVE them there – the question remains: Do certain foods have the power to reverse myopia and hyperopia?

Fact is there is NO medical evidence that any one food or combination of foods can work to give you the ability to ditch the glasses.

However…if you want to hold on to the dream…have the patience to wait it out…and the stomach for it, many folks have reported that going vegan has improved their vision over time.

Also, there are simple eye exercises you can try that have offered some benefits to practitioners.

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13 Anti-Aging Remedies

Life span is ultimately determined by the fact that cells can only replicate a certain number of times a genetically predetermined cut-off point that prevents physical immortality. Understanding this, most researchers still believe that humans should live 120 years or more. Why then is the average life span hovering around age 70?

We deteriorate mainly due to damage from free radicals, produced as a byproduct of normal metabolism, or created by various toxins, pollutants, allergens, heavy metals, etc.

Additionally, 75% of Americans are not getting enough free radical fighting antioxidants, such as vitamin E, selenium or even vitamin C. These are quickly used up under stress, while adrenal, hormonal, immune and neurological imbalances further accelerate aging.

A number of herbs are highly prized and renowned for their anti-aging and longevity-promoting effects. Science has extensively verified that these complex plant medicines have the definite ability to prolong the duration and quality of life. Many of these anti-aging herbs are adaptogens and tonics, normalizing metabolic, adrenal, hormonal and neurological systems and stimulating cellular regeneration. Others have more focused effects on the brain, heart or immunity. They are safe for long-term use and disease prevention.

13 Anti-Aging Remedies

1. Ashwagandha

  • Tonic that slows aging, rejuvenates tissues throughout the body
  • Clears the mind, strengthens the nerves, promotes restful sleep
  • Improves memory, cholesterol, sexual ability; lessens hair graying

2. Fo-Ti

  • Chinese tonic herb that promotes longevity, strengthens the blood
  • Improves vitality, sexual vigor and fertility and can reduce hair graying.
  • Lowers cholesterol, improves arteriosclerosis, regulates blood sugar

3. Garlic

  • Protects nervous system, improves brain function, memory, learning
  • Prevents/treats arteriosclerosis, reduces clotting, lowers cholesterol
  • Increases life span in animal tests; inhibits viruses, bacteria, parasites

4. Ginseng

  • Rejuvenating, stimulating adaptogen, yet helps calm nerves, increases vitality
  • Reduces exhaustion; increases stamina, speeds wound healing
  • Enhances immune system; balances metabolism and stress response

5. Gotu Kola

  • Rejuvenating, longevity herb in the Ayurvedic and Chinese traditions
  • Increases intelligence, memory, creativity, learning ability, reduces mental fatigue
  • Strengthens nervous system, adrenals and immune system
  • Improves wound healing, reduces scar tissue, increases circulation

6. Green Tea

  • High in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids and especially polyphenols
  • Decreases cellular and tissue damage incurred with aging
  • Protective against cancer, heart diseases and is an immune stimulant

7. Hawthorn

  • Heart and circulation tonic; normalizes blood pressure, heart rhythm
  • Slows aging process, protects connective tissue and blood vessel walls
  • Reduces atherosclerosis, helps adaptation to physical and mental stress, protects against radiation, improves digestion and assimilation

Licorice by Flickr Accidental Hedonist

8. Licorice

  • Traditional Chinese longevity herb
  • Stimulates adrenal glands, balances
and conserves cortisol and energy during stress
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Has potent antioxidants that protect the digestive tract, liver and other tissues from the damaging effects of aging
  • Inhibits atrophy of thymus

9. Maca

  • Ancient Peruvian herb that increases vitality, strength and stamina
  • Invigorates libido and is a sexual restorative in both men and women
  • Alleviates signs of decreasing hormones in middle age and menopause

10. Reish

  • A traditional “elixir of immortality” in Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Treats a wide range of conditions, including heart disease and cancer
  • Normalizes blood pressure, cholesterol, platelet stickiness
  • Enhances immune and liver health, helps indigestion, eases tension, improves sleep

11. Rhodiola

  • Increases immunity, prolongs life span, increases exercise capacity
  • Clears toxins, strengthens nervous and digestive system
  • Reduces fatigue

12. Siberian Ginseng

  • Called the “king of adaptogens,” has a wide range of vitalizing effects
  • Increases hearing, improves eyesight, supports immunity and stress adaptation
  • Increases mental and physical work capacity

13. Suma

  • An adaptogen that is antiviral, antibacterial and immune stimulating
  • Increases muscle mass, protein production, overall physical endurance
  • Balances hormones, reduces blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides
  • Reduces fatigue, promotes liver and kidney regeneration, skin healing

God’s Prescription for a Healthy Heart

Precision Blood Pressure Design

Like the concert virtuoso who sets the tension on a violin string with precision, the Grand Maestro of the Universe determined a specific blood pressure, which would be essential to healthy human life. In the Garden of Eden, God looked at the living bodies he meticulously fashioned and said, “It is good.” In other words: even down to the diminutive details we all take for granted or never slow down to notice, all things both micro and macro, internal and external, are now perfectly set for healthy life to flourish and thrive.

Stating the obvious, without blood pressure, life is over. However, too much, or high blood pressure results in the delicate and intricate harmony of every bodily system breaking down. Vascular health determines the well-being and longevity of every cell and organ in the body.

Next time you find yourself sitting with someone both to your left and to your right, one of the three of you is likely suffering from high blood pressure. Researchers report that in 90-95% cases of hypertension (aka, high blood pressure) no known cause can be found. Of course Newton’s Law remains true that to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. That being said, something is boiling the blood of millions of people even if the majority of causes are not directly identifiable as medical in nature.

Merry Medicine for the Heart

The Bible says a lot about the heart, and even about the importance of having a healthy heart. Something as simple as joy directly affects blood flow. “A merry heart is like good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) Aside from the astonishing fact that this verse was written a couple millennia before modern medicine discovered the role of the bones in making blood for the heart, there is this now documentable reality that these seemingly non-biological factors directly affect us physically. This monthly column on the Spiritual Dimensions of Wellness is devoted to what was obvious even to healing practitioners in the ancient world – that a wide range of intangible dynamics, especially emotional factors and spiritual forces, directly impact our bodies for good and for bad.

At funerals I often quote the verse which states how, “None of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself,” which in context, refers to how dependant we are on God, each other and our environment. If things are not right in any of those three areas there is a direct correlation to our bodies breaking down. Before God ever created human life, he worked for a number of days on the ideal environmental conditions.

Secondary Blood Pressure Contributors

Those who research the mysteries of hypertension often mention in their medical journal articles how, in Eden-like settings like the tropical rain forests, no one has high blood pressure. Granted, these remote tribal peoples often have high mortality rates, but the point is these unknown factors contributing to hypertension are apparently not present.

Chocolate lovers will no doubt delight to know of the 2003 Harvard Study that uncovered the relationship between the Kuna Tribe in Panama having perfect blood pressure and the fact that tribal members drink five cups of cocoa each day. Chocolate has a relaxing effect on blood vessels due to the presence of flavonoids (a type of antioxidants). Flavonoids stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which acts as a blood thinner and increases blood flow.

Dr. Don Colbert in his book The Seven Pillars of Health asserts that something as simple as water will do wonders for our blood pressure as most of us are at least mildly dehydrated each day. Aging and family history of hypertension are considered related but secondary contributors.

Even more significant, medical research has confirmed the direct link to our sedentary lifestyles here in the West as contributing factors to hypertension and a host of other related ailments. For the better part of this past year the issue of health care reform has been debated and continues to make headlines. As contentious as this topic is, we all agree costs are out of control.

What’s shocking is that two thirds of medical costs in America are incurred treating chronic disease. Chronic disease is disease caused by things like poor diets and gluttony, alcohol and smoking, and promiscuity.  One researcher made a convincing case that best way to cut healthcare costs is for people to start living as the Bible tells us to live. Hardly a politically correct plan to promote, even so, it’s not hard to establish the relevancy of the Word of God to healthy daily living.

One True Remedy for Blood Pressure

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