January 20, 2017

4 Naturally Cleansing Drinks You Have to Try

Make Your Own Drinks For a Nutrient Boost

By Jessica Sanders

Whether you need to drop that last five pounds or want to cleanse the toxins from your body, there’s a drink for you. Many whole foods, such as lemon, apple cider vinegar and romaine lettuce are rich in antioxidants, potassium and other vitamins, all of which work to reduce inflammation, water weight and more.

Drinks are easy to make and help the digestive system absorb nutrients easily. These four drinks will keep you hydrated, give your body a needed nutrient boost and keep your vital organs in their best possible health. As a bonus, you’ll feel and look great!

Green Tea

Green tea is a perfect addition to your naturally cleansing drink list because it can be found at nearly every grocery store. Its benefits are simple: green tea is rich in antioxidants. These work to reduce the oxidative stress and free radicals in our body and help reduce inflammation.

One of the most potent antioxidants in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC). This abundant antioxidant in green tea (and white tea) may boost your metabolism and allow you to burn more fat. Note: studies have been done that both support and negate this claim.

How to Benefit from Drinking Green Tea

Both “detox” branded green teas and traditional green teas are great options. If you’re choosing a special detox tea, however, check the ingredients. Natural additions like lemon grass and ginger in detox green teas help cleanse your body and liver (blocking the amount of fat stored), making them a great choice. However, some brands may sneak in “natural” sugar that you might want to avoid. Brewing hot tea has been found to preserve tea’s high level of antioxidants.

how to benefit from drinking green teaTry It: Ginger Green Tea

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag green tea
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, sliced thin (Lowers fasting blood sugar)

Directions:

  1. Boil water and add tea bag and ginger.
  2. Let steep for 3-5 minutes and drink any time of day.

Sip your way to optimal health and reap the benefits of this hot, green liquid. Go green and let it be your cup of tea! 

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, a household staple, may be just what you need to cleanse your body and curb your appetite. This vinegar is high in pectin, which expands the stomach, helping you feel full faster. It’s also high in potassium, which flushes excess sodium from the body, reducing water weight and bloating.

How to Benefit from Drinking Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Properly dilute the organic apple cider vinegar with water—1-2 tablespoons with a 16-ounce glass (or bottle) of water. You can add a small amount of honey (1-2 teaspoons) for flavor and sip throughout the day.

Bragg, one of the largest manufacturers of organic apple cider vinegar, recommends having this drink three times a day to realize its benefits. Take careful note of whether you experience any bodily changes in your stool or urine, or feel any discomfort. Remember that too much of anything can be harmful, so reserve this high dosage for short periods of intensive detoxing.

Vegetable Juice 

Vegetables should be a staple of your diet, but sometimes it may seem impossible to get the recommended 2-3 servings a day. Luckily, putting your veggies through a juicer, rather than eating them whole, will not only ensure you get all the vegetables you need for the day, but will also help you cleanse your body and store less fat.

A daily green smoothie can kick off a chain-reaction of lifestyle changes that reduce or eliminate the factors that exacerbate disease, and may even reverse some conditions in certain individuals.

The key is to focus on green vegetables, such as spinach, cucumber, celery and green apple. These won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels like sweet vegetables (beets or carrots) do. When your blood sugar spikes, and you don’t have a way to burn the sugar—which turns to carbohydrates when digested and not used immediately—that sugar eventually stores as fat. Green vegetables help you avoid this dilemma.

How to Benefit from Drinking Vegetable Juice

Make sure that your juice is at least 1/3 green vegetables—you can add some sweeter vegetables or a small amount (1/2 cup) of fruit for sweetness.

If you’re not sure which greens to go with, romaine lettuce is always a good option, says Dr. Ben Kim, but don’t hesitate to change it up with kale, spinach, collard greens, etc. for variety.

green detoxing machineTry It: Green Detoxing Machine

Ingredients:

  • 2 celery stalks (celery is a diuretic)
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 small cucumber
  • 1/4 green apple, sliced

Directions:

  1. Add each item to your juicer for a delicious, detoxing beverage that ill help you reduce fat storage. Feel free to switch out the romaine lettuce for another leafy green vegetable if you prefer.

Lemon Water 

Water is a natural detoxifier, helping to flush sodium and toxins out of your body on a regular basis. Add lemon and you have a fat-burning, detoxing beverage that you can sip on every single day.

Lemons are high in potassium, the mineral that helps flush excess sodium out of your body, reducing bloat and water weight. Lemons are also high in vitamin C. While this doesn’t directly correlate to fat loss, it indirectly helps you achieve your weight loss goals: vitamin C supports your adrenal glands, helping you to better handle stress. Stress often causes weight gain, so improving your reaction to stress can also curb potential weight gain.

How to Benefit from Drinking Lemon Water 

You can drink lemon water once or twice a day, with 1/4-1/2 of a lemon, freshly squeezed. To get more from your drink, add a small amount of 100 percent cranberry juice or 100 percent grapefruit juice, both of which provide similar benefits—detoxification.

Whether you want to get rid of a few last pounds or simply cleanse your body, these drinks will help revive you from the inside. Sip on green tea, lemon water, vegetable juice and organic apple cider vinegar to reduce inflammation, detox your body, speed up your metabolism and help you feel great at the same time.

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Kidney Cleanse for Ultimate Renal Health

The Kidney Flush Diet

The 2011 U.S. Renal Data Systems Report found that 15.1% of Americans over the age of 20 have chronic kidney disease (CKD) at varying levels. This adds up to more than 26 million people with CKD![1]

Kidney function declines with age, but you can take good care of your kidneys to prevent the risk of developing kidney problems.

the kidney flush diet The kidneys are among the most vital organs of our body. In fact, a well functioning renal system is essential for many aspects of our body’s daily functions! Most people attribute kidneys merely to the formation of urine, but they do far more. Your kidneys:

  • Normalize blood pressure
  • Stimulate red blood cell production
  • Regulate water balance in the body
  • Filter wastes from the blood
  • Regulate sodium and electrolyte levels
  • Balance the body’s pH
  • Process vitamin D

When the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, the body can become extremely out of balance; sickness and disease follow.

  • High blood pressure is one of the most common results from a weak renal system.
  • Unbalanced blood electrolytes can also occur from poor kidney function. Maintaining electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, within a normal range is absolutely crucial. Electrolytes generate electricity, contract muscles, move water and fluids within the body. Even the slightest change in electrolyte levels from kidney malfunction can result in heart arrhythmias, nerve dysfunction, muscle weakness and even death!
  • Wastes and toxins that would normally be removed from the bloodstream continue to circulate throughout the body causing problems.

But I have good news! Just as there are natural preventive and treatment measures for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, there are also safe all-natural methods for keeping your kidneys healthy!

Signs of Weak Kidneys

Your kidneys work extremely hard as part of your body’s inherent detoxification system. Every day the kidneys filter 180 liters of plasma! This incredible job is not easy and over time, sediments can build up, which can eventually form painful kidney stones. Bacteria, viruses and parasites can also accumulate in the kidneys causing infection and damage to the kidneys.

Your body will often tell you when something is out of balance. However, many symptoms of kidney impairment or weakness go unnoticed or are attributed to other things. Some little known of signs of kidney impairment include:

  • signs of weak kidneysTinnitus
  • Low back pain
  • Loss of balance or equilibrium
  • Infertility
  • Low sex drive
  • Thin skin and nails
  • Foggy thinking
  • Bladder issues

Edema, which is an accumulation of water in the body’s tissues, is a telltale sign of weak kidneys. If you notice swelling in your feet or legs, or you have accumulated fluid in other areas of your body, then give your kidneys some TLC to help your body recover.

Kidney Cleanse Basics

A kidney cleanse is one of the best remedies for kidney health. A cleanse provides plenty of beneficial fluids, which flush out unneeded toxins and wastes from these vital organs. The foods and drinks consumed during this week-long kidney cleanse also supply nutrients needed to help maintain the delicate balance of blood electrolytes and keep hypertension at bay.

Because toxins can affect your entire body, there is no question that supporting your kidneys is crucial for keeping your overall health in check. Every adult could benefit from taking the time to nourish and restore their kidneys.

Nonetheless, those with hypertension, chronic electrolyte imbalances and edema desperately need this kidney cleanse to improve and reverse these conditions.

Cleansing the kidneys is a simple process and doesn’t require an exhaustive supply of tools or ingredients to work. There are 3 foundational principles of this kidney cleanse:

  1. Increase fluid intake.
  2. Eliminate kidney-harming foods and drinks.
  3. Consume kidney-nourishing foods and herbs.

Incorporating each of these three principles into a week-long kidney cleanse can provide lasting results for kidney health. Most of these principles can also be adopted into a life-long routine for healthy living! Regular kidney cleanses are now mandatory considering the stresses we put our kidneys under thanks to our “modern” lifestyles.

Kidney Cleanse Step #1: Drink more Water!

During this week-long kidney cleanse, it is very important to drink at least a gallon of water a day. Just drinking plenty of purified water is the first step toward an effective flush. Many of the herbs have natural diuretic properties and require extra fluid to properly flush the kidneys. Extra water helps avoid dehydration as well.

Kidney cleansing helps to flush excess uric acid out of the body as well as bacteria and other accumulations within the kidneys. Flushing excess uric acid from the kidneys can prevent or eliminate gout and kidney stone formation.

Not drinking enough water while using diuretics can worsen gout symptoms by causing uric acid to become more concentrated in the bloodstream. This is why drinking a gallon of filtered water a day during this kidney cleanse is extremely important.

Nonetheless, adequate water intake is always important, not just during a kidney flush. On a daily basis:

  • Men should always drink close to 3 liters a day.
  • Women should drink 2 liters of fluid a day.

The following kidney cleansing drinks may provide an extra cleansing boost.

Lemon and water

Each morning, begin your day with the juice of one lemon in a cup of warm water. Lemon has natural pH balancing properties, which contributes to healthy pH of the urine as well as the blood. It also contains citric acid which prevents the formation of kidney stones.

For a quick lemon kidney cleanse, squeeze 4-5 lemons into a quart of cold water and drink up. Or, for a warming beverage, squeeze one quarter to one half a lemon into 8 ounces of hot water daily.

Dandelion or Corn Silk Tea

Drink one cup of either dandelion or corn silk tea in the morning, as well as another cup midday. Dandelion and corn silk both have natural diuretic properties, which help to flush the kidneys of accumulated toxins and wastes. Dandelion leaf is also a good natural source of potassium, and will replenish any potassium that may be lost due to the diuretic action of other herbs. You can purchase these teas at your local health food store or online.

Kidney Cleanse Step #2: Foods to Avoid

It is very important during this kidney cleanse to eliminate foods and drinks that put unneeded stress on the kidneys. Many of these foods and drinks increase oxalate and uric acid levels in the body, which then lead to kidney stone formation.

The following foods and drinks should be eliminated from your daily diet during your one-week kidney cleanse.

  • Processed, packaged and fast foods (these foods are high in sodium and contain chemical additives)
  • Dairy
  • Coffee (try Dandy Blend herbal coffee substitute instead)
  • Grains (aside from quinoa)
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Red meat
  • Alcohol
  • Salt

Kidney Cleanse Step #3: Recommended foods

When it comes to kidney health, it pays to eat foods high in antioxidants and other properties that support good health. These foods contain active enzymes that help in their digestion, rather than needing the body to manufacture extra digestive enzymes for breaking down the food. Digestion requires a tremendous amount of energy and that energy could be better used in supporting the kidney detox.

The list below contains those foods which are highest in antioxidants, vitamins, and electrolytes that contribute to health and detoxification of the kidneys.

  • Celery
  • Lemon
  • Parsley
  • Red clover
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Watermelon
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grapes
  • Spirulina
  • Blueberries
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Asparagus
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Olive Oil

Before you begin your cleanse, plan out your meals for the week and purchase all the foods you will need for 7 days.

An example of a day of the cleanse is as follows:

  • purifying parsley juice blendUpon waking: 1 cup of warm water with the juice of one lemon.
  • Breakfast: Dandelion tea and an omelet with asparagus and onion.
  • Snack: ½ cup blueberries or watermelon
  • Lunch: Mixed greens topped with grilled chicken or salmon, assorted veggies and lemon and olive oil.
  • Snack: A handful of almonds
  • Dinner: Corn silk tea with baked fish served over quinoa with a side of sautéed veggies.

Remember to always drink at least one gallon of water throughout the day as well!

Juicing is also highly recommended while cleansing. If you have a juicer, try the following blends for their ability to purify the renal system.

Purifying Parsley Blend

  • ½ cup parsley
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 cucumber
  • ½ green apple

Watermelon Flush

  • 3watermelon kidney flush cups of chopped watermelon
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 lemon

Watermelon is often touted for its ability to cleanse the kidneys. It helps the liver process ammonia, a waste product from protein digestion, into the safer form of urea. This eases the burden on the kidneys. Like the name implies, watermelon contains lots of water keeping the kidneys flushed and the body hydrated.

Below is a recipe that can be used as a meal during the week-long kidney flush or anytime for that matter! Fish is a great protein that is easy on the kidney and pairs well with fruit such as the watermelon salsa below. The easy-to-prepare meal leaves you feeling fresh and full of energy, not tired and bogged down.

Watermelon Salsa With Broiled Mahi Mahi

Watermelon Salsa

Ingredients:

  • watermelon salsa2 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 jalapeno minced
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 cup mango chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion minced
  • 2 ½ cup watermelon (seeds removed) chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine watermelon, mango, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt, to taste.[2]

Broiled Mahi Mahi

Ingredients:

  • 6 mahi mahi fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon wedges

Directions:

  1. Arrange the oven rack so that it is about 4 inches from the broiler. Preheat broiler to high and line cookie sheet with foil.
  2. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry.
  3. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the fillets on the baking sheet and squeeze lemon juice over them.
  5. Broil on high for around 8 minutes.
  6. Serve alone or over quinoa topped with the fresh watermelon salsa.

Healthy kidney function is just as important as heart health, bowel health and even brain health. Our body is a system made of parts that function as a whole. If one part isn’t healthy, the entire system falls apart. This is why it is important that every system in the body get the proper care and support it needs and deserves.

Give your kidneys the time and attention they require for optimal health by taking a kidney cleanse. Flush out wastes, banish high blood pressure and prevent kidney stones by cleansing this important part of your body’s elimination system.

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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.emedicinehealth.com/chronic_kidney_disease/page4_em.htm
[2] http://damndelicious.net/2013/07/09/watermelon-mango-pico-de-gallo/?crlt.pid=camp.xubc4rvF7qbR

Solution Guide to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Robin had to move several times in the past two years because she is so sensitive. Her first house in Santa Barbara had a lot of new work done. There was an addition put on with new carpeting, which she found was leaching formaldehyde. So, she had to leave.

Robin then moved to a “clean” condominium with wood floors and all-natural furniture. But, the gardeners were spraying weed-killer and fertilizer – so she had to move again.

This time, she moved to another home where she could control her environment. Unfortunately, the next-door neighbor was covering her garden with bug spray, which drifted over the fence. This made Robin feel fatigued and ill.

debilitating MCS reactionFinally, Robin moved out of town. But thanks to industrialization, chemical toxicity is everywhere. If only avoidance were as simple as it sounds. For Robin, it is almost impossible to navigate the world without being immersed in tens of thousands of potentially troublesome human-made chemicals to which she reacts.

Chemical companies no longer deny that chemicals accumulate in our bodies, simply by virtue of being alive. While the too-low concentrations of those chemicals supposedly exist to cause any harm, MCS would suggest otherwise. The brutal sensitivity to the cumulative effects of these interacting chemicals causes extreme suffering. These can begin to have many adverse symptoms that slow or prevent normal functions of the body. People with MCS can be sensitive to anything, and it can change over time, trapping them in a modern, chemical world.

Medical Doctors and MCS

Mainstream medicine doesn’t recognize MCS as a real disease, having failed to agree on a case definition for the disease. This makes getting a diagnosis a battle. Many doctors consider it an emotional or psychological problem.

Studies have failed to recognize any consistency in symptoms, diagnosis, or treatment. A person with MCS may have reactions to a chemical at one time, and not another. Furthermore, different people respond differently to each type of chemical stimulus. Moreover, both the severity of the reaction and the types of sensitivities change over time.[1]

The problem with the way we do research is that by using groups of people we assume they are similar, when, in this case, none of them are. The factors responsible for MCS are numerous, including the function of multiple enzymes and detox pathways, as well as the burden of various toxins already in the body. All of this changes continuously, making quantification of sensitivity very difficult.

What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is just what the name implies. People are sensitive to many things in their environment, food, or even their own waste. This is brought on by a broad array of everyday chemicals. Exposure levels far below those that seem to affect the rest of the population provoke the symptoms.

The experience of each person is constantly changing, due to the environment. These are better and worse over time, due to a wide range of toxins. MCS has been equated to other problems including:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sick building syndrome
  • Gulf war syndrome (GWS)

Symptoms of MCS may include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Joint pain
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleep problems
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Food intolerances
  • Difficulty breathing

These and other symptoms may come on during exposure to certain substances, and they go away when avoiding problem chemicals and exposure.[2]

Causes of MCS

Of course, a multi-factorial illness will not have a single cause. There are many factors which lead to this problem, most of which may include:

  • Drugs
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Poor digestion of food
  • Yeast overgrowth
  • Inadequate absorption of nutrients
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Stress
  • Genetic detoxification weaknesses
  • Dysbiosis (bad bacteria in the intestines)
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Emotional factors
  • Celiac disease
  • Viral infections
  • Previous chemical exposures
  • Heavy metals
  • Food allergies

MCS Diagnosis

While we can test for the problems above, none of the tests are diagnostic for MCS. People may test positive for Leaky Gut Syndrome, for example, but do not have MCS. Diagnosing MCS is purely clinical. It’s the patient who comes in with the diagnosis, having noticed that they are sensitive to many different things.

  • Some of these sensitivities may be perfectly natural, such as an actual deficiency in amino acids due to incomplete breakdown of proteins in the digestive system.
  • Others may be sensitive to toxic substances such as alcohol, dyes, or pesticides.
  • Still others are sensitive to smells. The actual molecule that stimulates the olfactory (smell) system isn’t big enough to create an immune reaction. However, even natural perfumes may create a debilitating reaction.

Since these sensitivities are not usually created by the immune system, they are not true allergies. This is why allergy testing is not useful. Moreover, the actual sensitivity may change over time. For all these reasons, we rely on the patient to notice environmental triggers of their symptoms.

The Shoe Factory

Karen had MCS for a couple of years as a result of her job in a shoe factory. After working there several months, she began to notice that when she went to work she got tired and achy. She would get fatigued. She began to have headaches and dizziness. Her eyes hurt, and she would get shortness of breath with only walking.

Since she was in her 30s and usually active, she wondered why this only happened at work. After a period of time, she found that when she just walked into the building she would immediately start feeling her symptoms. She thought she must be crazy, and maybe she was just stressed at work, but she liked her job, and was generally happy there.

After months of getting worse, she finally was unable to go to work, and decided to take a leave of absence so she went out on disability. It took about six months of treatment for her to feel normal again, but when she tried to go back, she got the same symptoms. She had to quit her job, and find another that allowed her to be away from the glues and offgassing of the shoe factory.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Treatment

So, this begs the question about getting relief from MCS. Do people really have to move multiple times, avoid contact with others, leave their work, severely limit their diet, or live in a bubble all their lives? No.

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Metabolic Syndrome: Dr. Saunders Recovery Protocol

 

Frank is in his late fifties, and was a little overweight. Mostly, he carried his excess weight around his midline, making his waist much bigger than his hips. As a child he had a sweet tooth and ate a lot of candy. For most of his life he ate pre-sweetened cold cereal, mostly two or three times per day. He liked soft-drinks, downing as many as six in one day.

Frank came to the office with a classic case of metabolic syndrome.

  • His body isn’t able to burn fat.
  • He has low testosterone and high estrogen levels.
  • He is pre-diabetic.
  • He has hypertension and elevated triglycerides.
  • He can’t see his belt when it’s on.
  • He came to see me because he has had chest pain and difficulty breathing. Since he has young children, he got worried about a heart attack or stroke so he came looking for help.

Let’s follow Frank through the process of recovery from this problem.

In the 1980s, a new term was coined for an old problem. Those with a collection of symptoms and struggled with metabolism were put in a special group. They suffered from metabolic syndrome. The syndrome affects how people make energy because of high blood sugar, central obesity, hypertension (i.e, high blood pressure), and high triglycerides.

This syndrome is a specific collection of symptoms that occur together. Not everyone with diabetes has hypertension, for example. Nor do most people with hypertension also have the other symptoms like obesity. The definition of metabolic syndrome requires three of the following five symptoms:

It’s important to note that a syndrome is not a disease, but rather just a group of symptoms. It has had other names over time, including:

  • Dysmetabolic syndrome
  • Hypertriglyceridemic waist
  • Insulin resistance syndrome
  • Obesity syndrome
  • Syndrome X

dangers of metabolic syndromeWhat’s more, it is related to other problems including:

  • Fatty liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Gallstones
  • Strokes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Inflammation
  • Excessive clotting

How Does Metabolic Syndrome Happen?

One of the most amazing facts about our bodies is the ability to adapt. We have whole civilizations living on mostly fat and protein. Other civilizations have almost no protein, yet both groups of people adapt to their nutrition. There are, however, limits to adaptation. Some people cannot adapt to certain dietary habits that others tolerate. This is part of the difference in genetics.

Our genes don’t determine our destiny, but they do play an important role in determining how we respond to our environment.

Two people on the same diet, for example, may have very different results, depending on their genetics. Click to Tweet.

Today’s environmental factors interact with our genetic predisposition to store energy as body fat. The culprits of metabolic syndrome are:

  • Large portion sizes
  • Commercially prepared foods high in salt, simple sugars, and saturated fats.
  • And the multiple factors that promote sedentary lifestyles, including:
    • The wide variety of home entertainment options
    • Work-place automation
    • And reliance on automobiles

In our case above, Frank had gained the weight in his abdomen over many years of eating processed foods. He didn’t have fat on his arms, legs, chest, or neck – only around the waist. He may have had a genetic weakness to release more insulin than usual. But, his over-the-belt belly could also be a result of eating sugar, starch, and processed foods over the years.

The key feature, or the root of the metabolic syndrome, is insulin.

Insulin:

  • Lowers the HDL
  • Raises the triglycerides
  • Raises the blood pressure
  • Causes fat to be deposited in the abdomen
  • Causes type 2 diabetes, with elevated blood sugar[2]

How Do We Treat Metabolic Syndrome?

Medical school teaches doctors to treat each part of the syndrome with a separate set of medications. I have had metabolic syndrome patients on two medications for cholesterol, three for hypertension, and two for diabetes – and they still weren’t healthy. So, they come to see me. Practicing medicine has taught me that most medications are not appropriate for this syndrome. They only mask the symptoms, as the underlying problem gets worse.

Now that we know that insulin is the root cause of all the symptoms, it’s crucial we treat it naturally. The cornerstones of metabolic syndrome treatment include these 3 steps.

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10 Ways to Keep Your Liver Healthy

by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

When I was a medical student at UCLA, I happened to be on the liver transplant team. In those days, there were only a couple of surgeons who could transplant a liver so we would fly all over California to remove livers from bodies on life support. We would then fly back to UCLA and put the livers into needy recipients. It struck me as funny that the wonder of our noble cause was diminished when we wrapped the livers in saline-soaked cloths, and put them on ice in an Igloo ice chest for transportation. They even let me, the lowest man on the team, carry the precious cargo!

Those who received the livers were so grateful for the gift of life. To date, we have no way to replace the function of the liver, so those in failure were slowly dying. It was sad to see so many people who were barely hanging on to life because of liver failure.

Your liver is vital to so many aspects of your health. For example, everything you ingest has to go through the liver before it gets into the body. In this way, the liver is the primary protection for your body from toxins.

The liver is the second largest organ in the body (the skin is the largest). It is the only organ able to regenerate itself. We can lose 50% of our liver and within 2 weeks, we would have another complete liver.

The liver is an amazing organ that is essential for our body to function. Most liver specialists believe there are over 500 different functions of the liver. Besides detoxifying the things we eat, the liver also is necessary for:

  • Storing nutrients
  • Detoxifying and recycling waste
  • Regulating and storing energy
  • Regulating hormones
  • Digestion of fats
  • Making proteins
  • Making cholesterol
  • Regulating blood sugar

Primary detoxification

The primary function of the liver is detoxification. Without this vital organ, we become overloaded with toxins and die.

It’s the liver’s job to cope with chemicals as they travel from the environment via food or drink into your body. The liver acts like a filter through which the blood flows. It removes toxic substances from the bloodstream. Some of these toxins include:

  • Bilirubin from the turnover of red blood cells from the spleen
  • Ammonia from all the proteins in the body
  • Drugs and medications
  • Alcohol
  • Toxins from the intestines such as pesticides, food additives, and bacterial toxins

acetaminophin leads to liver failureThe most common cause of acute liver failure from toxicity is ACETAMINOPHEN (Tylenol). The medication itself is not toxic, but the liver makes it into another chemical, NAPQI, which causes immediate death of liver cells. Thankfully, we don’t collapse and die every time we take Tylenol because the liver has a way to detox the NAPQI by combining it with GLUTATHIONE. Glutathione is one of the most important anti-oxidants in the body. As long as we maintain enough glutathione we will be protected from acetaminophen toxicity, but ingesting more than the liver can handle causes liver damage, and death.

Fatty Liver Disease

Besides acetaminophen, alcohol, and food additives, the liver must break down nutrients from regular food. Some foods are very toxic and damage your liver. In fact, the most common cause of liver damage is not alcohol or acetaminophen, as one of my patients, Daniel, found out.

Daniel came in to my office because his liver enzymes were slightly elevated and his life insurance company refused to give him a policy. Elevated liver enzymes means that inflamed or injured liver cells are leaking certain enzymes, into the bloodstream. Higher enzyme levels indicate more liver cells are dying. Since his disease was mild, Daniel had none of the symptoms of liver disease:

  • Pain
  • Bloating
  • Enlargement of the liver
  • Changes in stool
  • Turning yellow (jaundice)

We needed to find out why he had so many dying liver cells. There are several things that can cause elevated enzymes, including toxins and infections. Tests showed Daniel to have “fatty liver,” a condition created by dying liver cells.

Until recently, alcohol was the primary cause of fatty liver disease because every drop of alcohol damages the liver. One drink can cause the enzymes to be elevated on a blood test. However, because liver cells regenerate quickly, limited alcohol intake doesn’t create any permanent damage. Only people that have a slow detoxification system are more likely to get cirrhosis, or scaring of the liver, with alcohol. Less common causes include protein malnutrition, hypertension, cell toxins, and anoxia (lack of oxygen) including sleep apnea. However, now alcohol has been surpassed by a more insidious toxin.

The Worst Liver Toxin

One of the most common substances we eat has become the primary liver toxin. We give it to children, adults, old people, and even sick people. Most people don’t even know they are eating liver toxins, but what was once completely unknown has become an epidemic today. It’s sugar!

Daniel was a victim of this epidemic. Over the years, he didn’t know that sugar was building up in his liver cells. Sugar is naturally stored in the liver for use when there is no food. However, eating it every day causes sugar to fill up the cells until they can contain no more. When the cells are overloaded with sugar, they start to die, and the excess sugar is made into fat. Over time, the liver becomes riddled with fat, which is known as fatty liver disease.

The insurance company didn’t care what caused Daniel’s liver to fill with fat, whatever the toxin is, they know that fatty liver is a sign of damage, which can be deadly, so they wouldn’t insure him.

Viral Hepatitis Infections

Toxins are just one way that the liver can be damaged. When I was on the transplant team, we transplanted livers into people with all sorts of liver disease. Some of these were toxic problems, but many had infectious diseases. There are a number of infections that can damage the liver. Most of these are viruses that will only grow in liver cells.

Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by viruses that attack liver cells. Sometimes these are very mild infections that people hardly even know they have, but other times they can cause a great deal of damage. There are several different viruses that do this, the most common being Hepatitis A, B, and C.

hepatitisHepatitis A – is found in unsanitary water or food. It is a common infection where there are no water treatment facilities. There is a vaccine for Hepatitis A that gives lifetime immunity.

Hepatitis B – is everywhere. But in some places, such as Southeast Asia, it is more common. It is transmitted by direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of a carrier. About half of the cases have an unknown cause because no risk factors are found. It can cause chronic hepatitis and lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis B also has a vaccine.

Hepatitis C – is the most common blood-born illness in the United States. There is no vaccine against it, and it is transmitted in the same way as hepatitis B. It also leads to liver failure and cancer.

Hope

The most wonderful thing about the liver is that it is very forgiving. If damaged, the liver regenerates itself – that is, until it gets scarred (cirrhosis). For example, people who abuse their livers with alcohol can quit drinking and return to normal, as long as there is no cirrhosis. Those that get infected with a virus can take antibiotics to clear the infection, and often return to normal as well. By decreasing inflammation and improving the immune system, liver damage can be minimal.[am4show guest_error=’noaccess’]

Keeping a healthy liver

10 ways to keep your liver healthyThe best way to keep your liver healthy is to avoid all things that may cause damage. Don’t engage in risky behaviors that may bring on an infection, and avoid toxins that damage the liver. This also includes daily maintenance, and periodic cleansing.

10 Ways to Keep Your Liver Healthy

1. Eat organic food

People who eat organic have a lower body burden of toxins. This includes organic meat, as well as vegetables. Remember, the chicken is what it eats, too! Choose from the organic section of the store. Or, better yet, grow your own and eat your own vegetables fresh from the garden.

2. Avoid alcohol

3. Avoid sugar

Especially avoid added fructose. Fructose found in sugar and juice is made into fat and contributes to inflammation and fatty liver, as well as hypertension.

4. Avoid trans fats

Hydrogenated oils contain trans fats, which are toxic to the liver, causing fatty liver and inflammation.

5. Eat raw foods

Raw foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds contain the nutrients needed for the liver to detoxify our metabolism.

6. Use natural household products

This includes bug sprays, cleaning solutions, soaps and personal products. The general rule is, if you can’t eat it (safely), then don’t bring it home.

7. Avoid medications

Every medication has an effect on the liver; we talked about some of these earlier. Blood pressure medications, antibiotics, cholesterol medications, and even diabetes medications can damage the liver. They have their place, but limit their use as much as possible.

8. Exercise

While the liver is the second-biggest detoxification organ, the skin is the largest. There is a great deal of benefit with exercise to get the blood moving, to open up the blood vessels, and to sweat out toxins. Many go in to a sauna to sweat, but a workout produces more benefit.

9. Do a liver cleanse

There are many different liver cleanses, such as the Master cleanse, the bone broth cleanse and herbal tea cleanse, which are all modified fasts. Fasting helps get the excess toxins out of the liver since we are not eating anything that puts more toxins in. I have patients who perform liver cleanses monthly, quarterly, or annually. Your frequency depends on your need for detox.

10. Supplements

There are several supplements that help keep your liver detox mechanisms up to par. The liver produces glutathione, and there is no good direct way of supplementing it. But, we can make more of it by taking Cysteine, an amino acid, and making sure we have adequate selenium, a trace mineral.

There are also herbs that help the liver with toxins. These include:

  • Milk thistle extract
  • Turmeric
  • Grape seed extract
  • And green tea

Another useful supplement is Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA). ALA helps to regenerate anti-oxidant potential in the liver.

I am not advocating taking these supplements all the time, but everyone could benefit from a periodic (monthly) liver cleanse for a week’s time.

love you liver monthly cleanseDo the following for one week every month:

  • Cysteine – 500 mg twice per day
  • Selenium – 200 mcg daily
  • Milk Thistle extract – twice per day
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid – 300 mg per day

Daniel’s problem was an overload of sugar, especially fructose, as well as trans fats. He lived on Danish Pastries, since his wife loved to bake these tasty treats. It was very difficult for him to give up sugar and fatty foods. But, he was able to do so long enough to lose weight, have a more fit body, and normal liver functions so he could get insurance.

Stress Relief

Until we have a problem, we often think more about the maintenance of our cars than our own bodies. We change the oil in the car every 3,000 miles to keep it running smoothly. Plus, we would never put dirty gas in the tank, or re-use our old motor oil.

Why not keep our livers going with daily maintenance?

When we avoid toxins, eat healthy food, perform periodic liver cleanses and take supplements this brings tremendous benefits. Most of all, your stress tolerance will increase. Stress tolerance is not a yes/no question, but rather on a scale as illustrated in the diagram.

Life is hard. It is stressful. Stress is all around us. There is no way to avoid all kinds of stress – it’s an integral part of life. When we try to de-stress, we merely choose a different set of stressors.

In one way or another, all of the stress in our bodies is handled by the liver, including:

  1. Energy production problems
  2. Toxic insults
  3. Emotional stress
  4. Hormonal changes
  5. Infections

For this reason, the healthier the liver, the better we are able to handle stress. If our liver health is very low, stress may cause us to become incapacitated or sick, but when we have a healthy or vigorous liver, we can take whatever life throws at us. This is one reason why the same stressors cause widely differing symptoms in people. A well-maintained car can handle the extra stress of pulling a trailer, for example, and in the same way, we can handle the extra stress of life if we keep our liver healthy and vigorous.

 

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Dr. Scott SaundersDr. Scott D. Saunders, M.D. (Ask-an-MD) is a practicing physician, specializing in preventative health care, who utilizes eclectic health care for the whole family, including conventional, orthomolecular and natural medicine. He is also the medical director of The Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara in Lompoc, CA. He went to UCLA medical school and is board certified in family medicine. View natural remedies with Dr. Saunders at: http://drsaundersmd.com

 

 

 

 

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Liver Cleansing for Optimal Health

by Amanda Box, N.D.

“I can’t eat that! I’m on a detox.” You’ve probably heard this phrase by now. Detoxing and cleansing have become quite the trends lately. As natural health methods and healing become more mainstream, I partly find this exciting, but, I also want to roll my eyes.

I have found, for the most part, that people who are detoxing don’t fully understand why they are doing what they are doing. They blindly jump on the detox bandwagon because they hear it can help them lose weight.

Although detoxing can help you lose weight, there are so many more benefits to a good clean out. But, it is a process that should be carefully considered and taken seriously. Detoxification is far more than an attempt at weight loss. It is a process that can change your life.

Most detoxes and cleanses today focus on: eliminating something (e.g., sugar, gluten, etc.); weight loss (via fasting or juice cleanses); or colon cleansing. Although these are fantastic cleanses, they only scratch the surface of detoxification.

In the deluge of detoxes, one of the most important organs goes unnoticed: the liver. This large and overloaded organ truly deserves its turn at detoxifying.

The word “liver” is derived from the word “life”, and rightly so! Your liver literally gives your body life every single day by performing over 300 functions! Some of the liver’s functions include:

  • Storing iron for hemoglobin production
  • Filtering out bacteria and resisting infections by producing immune factors
  • Helping to regulate blood sugar levels
  • Contributing to digestion
  • Regulating amino acids (building blocks of protein) in the blood
  • Removing toxic compounds from the blood
  • Removing and inactivating excess hormones

Signs of a Stressed Liver

signs of a stressed liverLiver detoxification is essential for keeping your liver at optimal functioning capacity. Because the liver filters so many toxins day in and day out, it can become sluggish and struggle to work efficiently. You may begin to show signs of liver impairment like:

  • Hormonal imbalance (PMS, Menstrual cramping, PCOS)
  • Acne, rosacea or psoriasis
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Joint Pain
  • Allergies
  • Digestion problems (diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating)

Chinese medicine recognizes some interesting signs when your liver is under stress.

The first symptom is waking up between the hours of 1 and 3 am every night. According to the Chinese medicine’s meridian clock, each organ has a 2-hour time segment in which it is most active. The liver belongs to the 1-3 am time frame.

Secondly, your face can also tell you if you have some liver impairment. Vertical lines between your eyebrows are often referred to as the “liver lines.” I personally saw my liver line fade dramatically after completing a liver cleanse.

Wrinkles aren’t just a part of aging. In Chinese medicine, the lines in our face tell a story of what is happening in our body! Broken capillaries and redness of your left cheek towards the bridge of your nose can be a sign of inflammation or congestion in the liver.

Lastly, your eyes can manifest symptoms of liver dysfunction. Many of you know that if the whites of your eyes change yellow, it is a sign of jaundice. The liver’s inability to properly break down bilirubin in the blood causes jaundice.

A white ring around your iris can be a sign of fatty buildup in the blood. Since the liver breaks down fat and cholesterol, this can also be an indicator that the liver isn’t working as it should.

Cyour liver is stressed ifhinese medicine also assigns different emotions to different organ systems. Anger, frustration and resentment are emotions associated with the liver. If you often find yourself dealing with these emotions, your liver may need some attention. Beyond the relational, psychological, and spiritual reasons for not holding onto anger and resentment, there are real physical reasons as well. Carrying around these emotions can cause liver problems. Forgiving and letting go of these toxic emotions can keep you healthy physically and in every other respect!

Clean Eating for Liver Health

I believe that every adult could benefit from liver detoxification. We live in a toxic world and no matter how hard we try, we are exposed daily to chemicals and harmful substances. Our liver is the organ responsible for filtering these destructive components out of our body. It bears the brunt of these toxins to save us from being poisoned on a regular basis.

But the liver, being self-sacrificing, can become damaged from toxic exposure. It can also become congested from the massive amount of fat and cholesterol it has to process. Thankfully, the liver is an organ designed to regenerate.

The liver can reconstruct and restore healthy liver cells to optimal function if given the proper attention. This amazing process is the reason why liver detoxification can change your life!

Not every organ in your body can return to normal after being damaged or impaired. Giving the liver a healthy reboot can move you from a diseased state to one of good health.

Liver detoxification starts with what you eat. You cannot expect your liver to repair itself if it continues to be bombarded with toxic substances from the food you eat. Perhaps you have heard of Clean Eating. Clean Eating is a style of eating that truly encompasses its name. “Clean” means free from contaminates or unwanted matter. Eating a clean diet is one of the best ways to repair and rejuvenate the liver. To engage in a clean diet:[am4show guest_error=’noaccess’]

  • Eliminate processed foods: This includes packaged, canned, and frozen meals. Also, avoid white flour, white sugar, and artificial ingredients of any kind.
  • Increase your fruit and vegetable intake: Adding two to three servings of veggies to each meal can boost your intake and fill you up. For a healthy snack between meals, choose fruit.
  • Cut out unhealthy fats: This includes hydrogenated oils, most vegetable oils, and fried foods. You can, however, use olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil in moderation.
  • Eliminate Alcohol Consumption: A glass a day of red wine is typically okay. However, alcohol puts stress on the liver and should be completely eliminated while detoxing.
  • Exclude sugar and artificial sweeteners. Use other sweeteners like honey and stevia sparingly.
  • Reduce your grain intake by at least half and cut out gluten completely. Instead of wheat, incorporate a little quinoa, rice, or oatmeal into your daily diet. Grains should be a small part of your daily food intake.
  • Limit your dairy intake and only use organic or rBgh-free dairy products. Raw dairy from a local farmer is best. Using grass-fed butter is also fine. But while liver detoxing, lowering your intake of healthy fat can be helpful in giving the liver a rest.
  • Consume only healthy sourced meats: Feedlot meats contain antibiotics and growth hormones. Not to mention, the conditions are dreadful and unsanitary. Find a local farmer, or quality meat at a local health food market. Farmer’s markets often have locally raised beef and chicken. Also, be wary of high mercury fish like salmon and tuna.

Herbs for Liver Detoxification

Eating a clean diet can dramatically benefit your liver by decreasing its toxic load. But, detoxifying herbs and supplements can take your liver from being exhausted, to rejuvenated! There are specific herbs that stimulate liver cells to regenerate, neutralize toxins, cleanse and unclog the liver.

I must note that you should never begin a liver detox before first cleansing the colon. If your colon is not cleansed, toxins on their way out of the body from your liver get stuck in your waste. When this happens, your system reabsorbs these toxins and you lose the progress you’ve made. Having a clean, functioning colon helps facilitate these toxins out of the body where they belong!

I recommend beginning your clean diet a week before starting a liver cleansing supplement regime. During this week, you can take supplements, which stimulate bowel movements and help clear the colon, readying it for the liver cleanse. One great supplement is Renew Life’s Cleansemore or Bowel Cleanse. You can continue colon-cleansing supplements after you begin to add the liver cleansing herbs. This will keep toxins moving efficiently out of the body.

There are 5 specific herbs that I recommend for liver detoxification.

5 herbs for liver detoxDandelion

This pesky weed is a very effective herb for your liver! It not only helps cleanse the liver, but also contributes to regenerating liver cells! Dandelion removes excess water from the body and increases bile production. Increasing bile boosts detoxification of toxic substances out of the body.

Milk Thistle

This herb is by far the #1 used natural remedy for the liver. In Europe, doctors prescribe milk thistle to treat hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, and alcohol-induced liver damage. It has the remarkable ability to both protect the liver, as well as stimulate regeneration of damaged liver tissue. Milk thistle is also an antioxidant and protects the body’s cells from free radical damage. Silymarin is the active component in milk thistle. For optimum results, look for milk thistle containing at least 80% silymarin.

Burdock root

Primarily known as a blood purifier; burdock is also a fantastic liver cleanser. It stimulates bile flow and protects liver cells with its many natural antioxidant compounds.

Artichoke

Artichoke contains compounds called caffeoylquinic acids, which have liver restorative properties. They both protect liver cells and prevent further damage. Artichoke also stimulates the flow of bile, thereby helping the liver and gallbladder break down fats.

Turmeric

This bright orange spice is one of the most potent antioxidants available. It not only protects the liver, but also stimulates the restoration of healthy liver cells. Turmeric aids in liver detoxification and reduces inflammation. The active component in turmeric is called curcumin. Turmeric that contains at least 90% curcuminoids produces the greatest results.

Most quality liver cleansing supplements will contain at least three of these five powerful herbs. My personal favorite is by Enzymatic Therapy. I have used it several times and often recommend it to others. It contains all five herbs and is a two-week regimen that can be repeated, as necessary. Taking the time to cleanse and detoxify your liver can bring new life to your whole body!

Give your liver the restoration it needs by eating a clean diet and using liver cleansing supplements. Your skin will clear, your energy levels increase, and your digestion will be strengthened. Many also see their cholesterol and blood pressure drop to healthy levels after a liver cleanse. Don’t ignore your liver any longer! Begin your journey today towards a cleaner, happier, and healthier life!

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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.

 

 

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7 Things You Need to Know About Your Liver

by Sarah Stanley

When we think of our health, we don’t tend to think of our health in separate parts.  We usually eat with our eyes. “Look, a pretty donut!” But, we fail to realize how a donut will affect our heart, cholesterol, blood, and yes, even our liver.

Each of the health choices we make is a drop in the bucket that adds up over time. The thoughts we think, the food we eat, the beverages we drink and how we move our body is all connected together either for disease prevention and good health, or for disease and poor health.

  • If we don’t have a good immune system, then we’ll be more susceptible to diseases and get sick often.
  • If we have lung problems, then it will be challenging to walk up stairs or a small hill.
  • When a part of our body isn’t functioning properly, other parts have to work extra hard to compensate. They become drained and fatigued as a result.

Everything works together. This is why it’s important that we live a life that supports holistic wellness. God designed our bodies with intricate detail and it’s up to us to treat our bodies the way he intended: with great care and thought.

7 things you need to know about your liverWhich brings us to a part of our body that does so much for us: our liver! You might think about your legs, arms, brain, and beating heart frequently. But, when was the last time you thought about your liver? Our liver plays a vital role in keeping us well. What makes our liver so special? Here are 7 important things you need to know about your liver!

#1. Key to life

Without a healthy liver, a person cannot survive! The liver might only weigh about 3 pounds, but this organ is essential to our life and well-being. The liver plays a crucial role in helping our body fight disease, get rid of toxins (i.e., detox), and support our immune system.

Because we live in a toxic world, our liver is constantly working to keep us healthy. From the food we eat, the air we breathe and even the water we drink, the liver is one of the most important organs in our body’s natural detoxification system.

Thankfully, the liver regenerates itself so we can keep on living our lives. But, if we don’t take care of it and abuse this wonderful part of our body, our liver will slowly start to deteriorate.

#2. Key to metabolism

Everyone wants a better metabolism, right? Did you know your liver could help with that? It’s true!

Our liver has hepatocyte cells, which perform most of the liver’s functions. These cells metabolize carbs, protein and lipids (fats and fat-soluble vitamins) into energy.

This is why eating real foods is so important. When we consume things that aren’t healthy, the liver has to work extra hard at processing these toxins. Over time, the liver breaks down from processing prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and junk food.

Oreos are an example of junk food. I’m sure we can all agree they are an unhealthy “food.” Organic vegetables would be an example of a good, or real food that gives us energy. We keep our liver alive with real foods, so the liver can keep us alive.

What our liver does with cholesterol is interesting for our metabolism.  Generally speaking, most people fear cholesterol. This is due in part to misleading information from Big Food. Products claiming to be cholesterol free are, in fact, filled with additives, coloring dyes and other toxic ingredients. Sorry, but Fruit Loops will never be a healthy item. Don’t be fooled by marketing!  People need to know that man-made cholesterol is never a good thing.

But we do need God designed-cholesterol for health and vitality. Cholesterol is essential because the liver uses it to produce bile, which is then stored in the gallbladder. Why is this important? Because the body needs bile to digest fatty foods. How Stuff Works describes bile as an emulsifier.(1)

The liver produces and metabolizes cholesterol. When we eat real, organic sources of cholesterol (like eggs, for example), the liver produces less cholesterol, which makes for a happy organ!(2) As you can see, our liver is really an amazing part of our body!

#3. Key to digestion

You may not have thought about how your liver helps digestion, but the liver plays an important role! Although the digestive system has many parts (mouth, stomach, small intestine, and pancreas to name a few) the liver helps process what you consume. Your liver digests fat, minerals and vitamins for your body to use. It contributes to good eyesight, clear thinking and a healthy heart. So the next time you take a bite, thank your liver for giving you life.

#4. Key to detox

When you hear the word “detox,” your mind probably thinks of going on a 7-day juice binge because you are going to the beach next weekend. And you’re dreading being hungry all the time! But, don’t think of detox this way. Instead, detox should be something we think about on a daily basis, not just in swimsuit panic mode!

If a person eats an unhealthy diet, then the liver cannot possibly “detox” all that junk in a short period of time. It’s already been working overtime to keep the person alive! Drinking alcohol, taking over the counter drugs and prescription drugs are all heavy toxins to the liver and body.

If you ask a person why they are detoxing, usually it is to lose weight. But weight isn’t gained in 3 days, so it is unrealistic to think it will come off in 3 days! (Note: people will lose weight on a detox, but it’s mainly water weight as opposed to true weight loss.)

A proper detox focuses on cleansing the liver, blood, brain (via the second brain, the gut), kidneys and colon. Plus, the time frame is longer than just 3 or 5 days.

This is why I am a proponent of living a detox life. What does this mean? It’s simple. Whatever you put in your mouth, ask yourself if this is serving your body well. Does this have to make my liver work harder or is it happy that you are nourishing it?

If you routinely rely on short detoxes throughout the year as a quick fix for the problem, then switch to a detox lifestyle. A detox lifestyle means:

  • Eating real organic foods
  • Limiting alcohol consumption (try a kombucha instead!)
  • Avoiding OTC drugs
  • Making lifestyle choices that enable you to stop the use of prescription drugs

Your liver is begging you to make wise, healthy and natural detoxing choices!

If there’s one thing that most people understand about the liver, it’s that it serves as the body’s liquor control board. Alcohol is the one thing that bypasses the normal digestion process when consumed and goes straight to the liver. If you continue to drink excessively, you’re making your liver work overtime.

While the liver is working diligently to process the sugar and carbs from the alcohol, it will have consequences on your health.  Because the liver has to process other environmental toxins, the liver dreads when alcohol is consumed! So when the liver starts to shut down, health problems begin to happen: food intolerance, trouble falling asleep, allergies, acne, exhaustion and hormonal imbalance.

To embrace a detox lifestyle, I recommend incorporating these organic real foods on a daily basis, or at least 4 times a week:

  • detox the liver withParsley
  • Avocado
  • Kale
  • Garlic
  • Beets
  • Lemons (squeeze fresh lemon juice into filtered water)
  • Turmeric
  • Seaweed (One of my absolute favorite snacks is Sea Snax. Try it and you’ll see what I mean!)
  • Filtered water (Check out these awesome water purification sticks for your reusable water bottle!)

Detoxing shouldn’t be a crunch time decision. Be kind to your liver on a daily basis and, in turn, your health will be rewarded!

#5. Key to immunity

Remember how everything is linked together? Although 80% of the immune system lives in our gut, our liver helps process what is in the GI tract.(3) When the liver isn’t working right, foreign invaders bypass the liver, enter the bloodstream, and overtax the immune system. Cleaning out the liver with a good liver detox program improves your liver’s ability to produce immune factors and remove bacteria from the blood.

So if your liver isn’t strong and healthy, then your immune system is compromised and your gut health will suffer, too. See how everything is connected?!

#6. Key to storage

What happens to the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you are eating? The liver is storing what it needs and also getting rid of what doesn’t serve it. The liver delivers (say that 10 times fast!) the vitamins and minerals such as A, D, E, K to the tissues of the body that need it. When you eat for health it means you are eating to nourish each part of your body and your liver helps keep your body healthy.

#7. Key to health

The liver also produces several important vital proteins in blood plasma that keep the body from infections and blood disorders. These proteins help form blood clots. They also work to keep the body in perfect balance by making sure the cells of the body don’t gain or lose water in essential body fluids.

Another thing your liver does is to balance your hormones. And as mentioned before, the liver helps to burn fat, keeps libido functioning, and can either speed up or slow down aging. So, if you experience things such as mood swings, low sex drive, or are aging more quickly than you should, then you might want to eat some liver-nourishing real organic foods!

As you can see, the liver is a VIP! After reading this, I hope you won’t take your liver for granted again. I also hope you took some sips of filtered H2O and began to think of how you can change your lifestyle to support a healthy, happy liver to live a healthy and happy life!

 

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SarahStanleySarah Stanley is a wellness educator, endurance athlete, speaker, author, and founder of #wellnesschat & {wellprint}. Passionate about healthy living Sarah lives what she speaks about, practicing a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle that fuels her ultrarunning adventures. Her goal is to empower others to be knowledgeable about what they put in & on their body so they can live healthy, disease-free and happy life. She’s been featured in SELF, SHAPE, Ladies’ Home Journal and Washingtonian. Find Sarah on Twitter (@SarahStanley)G+ (+SarahStanley) and visit SarahStanleyInspired.com to start your wellness journey today.

 

(1)http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/cardiovascular/cholesterol/how-the-body-uses-cholesterol.htm
(2) http://authoritynutrition.com/how-many-eggs-should-you-eat/
(3) Campbell-McBride, 2010

 

 

 

Successfully Beat Lupus The Natural Way

By Amanda Box, N.D.

At just 19 years old, I had been working at the local health food store for just a couple of months.  I absolutely loved working there and was absorbing everything like a sponge.  I knew even then, that this was the path I was supposed to head down for my career.  This was where “true health” resided.  Not at the bottom of a diet coke can or a box of low fat cookies.

I remember when we had a special guest named Pam come and speak to the staff. I sat there inquisitively, taking in everything she had to say.  I was intrigued and wanted to know how she went from sick to well using only natural foods and products.

Pain Lupus symptoms by flickr Phoney NickleShe started by saying, “I had Lupus.  My doctors gave me no hope for relief and my symptoms continued to worsen. But, then my friend from California told me about natural medicine.  I connected with a Naturopath who helped me make dramatic changes in my life and health.  Now I have been Lupus free for over 5 years!”

I didn’t even know what Lupus was at the time.  I had never heard of it!  But, once she described her symptoms and elaborated on how miserable they made her life, I knew how serious it was.  Her symptoms, were typical of Lupus.  She battled with:

  • Constipation
  • Painful joints
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Rashes and dry skin, especially on her face
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain

The passion with which she spoke gave me confirmation, even as a young 19 year old, that natural remedies work!  Many of the remedies she spoke of, I remember to this day and will be included in this article.  If you suffer from Lupus, fear not!  Wellness is just a few steps away!

A Clean Start

The first thing Pam did to beat her Lupus was to cleanse and detoxify her body.  Many times autoimmune disorders are birthed out of an accumulation of toxic chemicals in the body.  Many toxins, like the ones in our environment, are virtually unavoidable.  We eat, breath, and sleep amongst them every single day. There is:

  • Mold in the air breathe…
  • BPA in many of the plastics we drink and eat from…
  • And fluoride and chlorine in the water we drink…
  • These toxins are linked to allergies, birth defects and even cancer.

Everyone’s body is different and some of us process toxins out of our body’s much easier and more efficiently than others.  However, there are some whose body’s become bombarded from the accumulation of toxins and disease results, such as Lupus.

Pretty much anyone could benefit from a fresh start, whether you have an autoimmune disorder or not!  I recommend it to nearly to all my clients.  Cleansing and detoxification facilitates the removal of the accumulated toxic waste in our bodies. It is a foundational principle in Naturopathic Medicine and has been practiced for centuries!

The main organs you want to focus on cleansing are the colon and the liver. These are the two primary organs that deal with the processing and removal of waste from the body.  Once accumulated toxins are cleansed from the colon and liver, then your body can better focus on healing and repairing itself.  As a result, you will naturally decrease inflammation in the body and prevent further tissue damage from in the joint, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels and brain. Your body can then take full advantage of healing itself.

When detoxing, always begin by cleansing

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Dr. Saunders’ Easy DETOX Program – For Life!

Strolling through a vitamin aisle or searching on the internet will bring a very wide array of products and services for detoxification.

  • Some are potions of multiple herbs and foods.
  • Some are simple such as vinegar.
  • Diets of all kinds are advocated.
  • Other detox modalities include enemas, saunas, foot pads and so much more!

How do we make sense of all this?

Chemicals are everywhere.  Our air and water are filled with thousands of toxins, even prescription drugs have been found in the water supply.  In some cases, these toxins can build up in our bodies and cause us to feel bad, sick, or just plain yuck. It turns out we don’t always have control over what’s in our air, food and water.

Product Of Our Environment

At age 69, Larry’s neurologist told him he had Alzheimer’s disease.  He was given a drug that was supposed to help him think more clearly, but it didn’t help at all and was told there was nothing else that could be done.  His wife then brought him into my office to see if there was something better than the drugs.  After evaluation, we found the lead in his body was more than 50 times the acceptable level.  We have him a series of chelation therapy treatments to remove the lead and he became normal again, able to think clearly.

The truth is those things that are part of our environment become part of us. We need to be able to use the normal mechanisms of our body to excrete those things that are harmful back into the environment. The process of detoxification has two components: 1) avoiding toxins and 2) getting rid of toxins, which we cannot avoid.

Avoiding Toxins

Larry was a welder, but never wore a mask to filter the metals.  The torch he used vaporized the metals and, as a result, he was breathing them over many years.  Since lead isn’t easily excreted from the body, it built up and became toxic to his brain.

When we are aware of a potential toxin that could be absorbed by our body one way or another, it is important for us to consider the many ways to avoid exposure to that toxin.  Safety officers on every job should try to make the workplace free of toxins.

Anne was a very active interior decorator in her early 50s.  She started getting illnesses frequently. “I catch everything that goes around,” she complained.  Moreover, she was getting more and more fatigued.  She felt achy all over.  The usual tests failed to find a cause of her problems, so she was referred to an environmental medicine specialist.  The doctor found she was reacting to a toxin made by a mold, which was apparently growing in the older house she was renovating.

Avoiding mold is very difficult because it is so prevalent in our environment.  You can’t avoid all toxins, but you can significantly diminish them in your own body.

Those who eat organically-grown foods, for example, have much lower levels of heavy metals, pesticides and chemical fertilizers detectable in their bodies.

There are many chemicals that can be part of our everyday dietAvoiding these is essential to maintaining a healthy metabolism.

  • Both artificial and natural flavorings often contain ketones and aldehydes.
  • Artificial colorings can poison cellular systems.
  • Even common additives such as MSG can be dangerous to some people.  MSG is an excitotoxin on the nervous system.  Those who have adequate supplies of inhibitory neurotransmitters may be spared, but the rest will lose brain cells.
  • One toxin to avoid at all times is artificial sweeteners.  These have multiple toxic effects on the body from neurotoxicity to causing dysbiosis (killing the normal bacteria in the bowels).

Detox Program

Because we are constantly exposed to toxins, both internally and externally, it is important that we maintain a lifetime detox program.  Most detox programs only deal with the liver because it is the primary organ in our body which neutralizes and excretes toxins.  However, just as important in detoxification are the minor players: the intestines, kidneys, lungs, and skin.  We will discuss how to maximize the benefits from each of these systems. 

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Detox: Quieting the Cluttered Life

Silent Fast

As I write this article, the youth and young adults in our church are doing a media fast. Some of their leaders noticed how distracted teenagers are today and so they felt led to call a seven-day fast from all forms of electronic and social media. Having teenagers myself I have overheard comments that fasting from food would be easier than fasting from Facebook.

If you are still wondering, a media fast is a period of voluntary abstinence from media for the purpose of hearing God’s voice more clearly by silencing all the others. Media includes television, radio, cell phones (except emergency calls or calls from parents), texting, movies, video and computer games (Angry Birds, too!!), internet and all music except worship music.

When I was in seminary we would spend time exercising the “Spiritual Discipline of Silence.” This was back in the days of typewriters, long before texting. But even back then, at first, silence can be deafening. We are so used to so much commotion that when it is silenced, it is a bit disconcerting. However, getting quiet is a pre-requisite to getting to God know more personally and intimately.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

It takes a few days in quietness for my mind and heart to settle down. Few realize just how much goes on in our mind and spirit and, as a result, what that commotion and noise does to us physically and emotionally. Unprecedented numbers of people are popping pills to quell the panic and anxiety. Many more crank down the caffeine to better cope and keep up.

Ironically, all of the above merely add when what is needed is subtraction.

Quiet is the key to recharging the batteries that run and power things like our creativity and ingenuity.

Toxic Fast

One of the hats I wear, besides being a pastor, is that I’m a state legislator. Many have written me to decry the distracted driving so prevalent today as youth and young adults text while driving. When you get behind the wheel of a car your focus should be on one thing: the road before you. What is true with regard to driving is true for any who seek to navigate life successfully. The less distraction the better.

This issue of Home Cures That Work is focused on detox has other contributors addressing natural ways and the health benefits to detoxifying our bodies. Somewhere in all this, is my hope that you will come away with the understanding that so much is toxic to our bodies. Even more, so much is toxic to us physically and emotionally. Toxic means poisonous. Graphically, it is symbolized by the skull and crossbones.

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“Pornography is inherently violent, inherently unloving. It is a perversion of sexuality, not a true form of it, and one that teaches violence and degradation at the expense of mutual pleasure and intimacy. It is about conquests, about conquering. It is the very opposite of God’s intention for sex. It tears love from sex, leaving sex as the immediate gratification of one’s most base desires. It lives beyond rules and ethics and morality. It exists far beyond love.” ~ Tim Challies


Seeing the skull and crossbones on things like rat poison and drain cleaner is common and necessary. What if we put the skull and crossbones on things like pornography or internet chat rooms? No study is needed to know that far more lives have been devastated by pornography than by people eating rat poison.

Natural health experts have made great strides in recent years bringing forth data showing how the build up of a variety of toxins in food preparation and pharmaceuticals results in a slow poisoning. Those of us who deal daily with people’s emotional and spiritual lives can make a case that there is a slow poisoning of sorts that happens when people are living lives inundated by internet and media, advertisements, endless activities and entertainment addictions. We weren’t made for any of that, we were made to interact with God.

If entertainment is a diversion of the mind, then what are you being diverted from? Or rather, what are you being diverted toward? The problem with being entertained by too many things of earthly origin is

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