January 20, 2017

Clear Up Tinnitus with Food

I have some great news for those who suffer with that annoying buzzing or ringing in the ears. Clearing up tinnitus really can be as simple as eliminating certain foods!

By Amanda Box

Millions of Americans are plagued by tinnitus, but most do not recognize a direct connection between their affliction and the foods they eat. Some of the most common food or additive culprits that trigger tinnitus are…

5-tinnitus-triggersMSG

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer common in most processed foods and a staple in oriental foods. It is an excitotoxin, which causes neurons in the brain to “excite” until their death. Putting it plainly, MSG kills neurons in your brain.  MSG is also tied to migraine headaches and allergic reactions.

Artificial sweeteners

The artificial sweetener aspartame (Nutrasweet or Equal) acts nearly identical to MSG in the brain.  Aspartame is also an excitotoxin, speeding neurons to their death.  Other chemical-based sweeteners like saccharin (Sweet and Low) and sucralose (Splenda) can also cause allergic responses that can result in tinnitus, plus a whole host of other health issues.

Sugar

Refined sugar is an obvious contributor to high blood sugar levels in the body. According to a 1984 study (1), 82% of the study participants with inner ear problems also had elevated blood sugar levels. Other studies have shown that 84% to 92% of those who suffer with tinnitus also have a disorder called hyperinsulinemia (2) Hyperinsulinemia is also known as prediabetes or insulin resistance.  It is typically caused by a heavy daily intake of carbohydrates and sugar. Avoid sugar at all costs if you having ringing in the ear!

Caffeine

Caffeine’s principal problem with regard to tinnitus is the restriction of blood flow and elevated blood pressure. Most doctors recommend limiting your caffeine intake as a general rule anyway. In the case of tinnitus, caffeine can reduce the flow of blood to the head and ears – constricting the capillaries and aggravating your symptoms.

Hydrogenated oils

These unnaturally saturated fats increase cholesterol deposits in the arteries.  These deposits inhibit blood flow, setting the stage for tinnitus.  Adequate blood flow maintains healthy cells and removes toxins from the inner ear.

The Plague of Oriental Foods

I really enjoy oriental food.  Whether it is Chinese, Thai, Korean, or Vietnamese – I love it all.  Unfortunately, most oriental food contains at least one of the above listed “tinnitus-causing” ingredients.

Years ago I spent 2 summer months in Thailand.  I can still recall the sites and the wonderful smells of the street foods, which I adored.  Many of those that traveled with me would hit up the local McDonalds or KFC (Yes, they have McD’s and KFC in Thailand. Crazy!)   Not me!  I became addicted to trying all the different exotic foods available.  I noticed, however, that I was getting frequent dull headaches.  I would also hear  “noise” whenever I was in a silent room.  I attributed it to the stress of traveling and adjusting to a new time zone. But, there was another contributing factor I was unaware of at the time.

msg-and-tinnitusWhile in Thailand, Som Tom was my all time favorite dish. I ate it nearly every day.  It was a green papaya salad that had a salty, sweet and sour dressing with a kick of Thai pepper.  They make the salad fresh each order in a mortar and pestle.  I wanted to be able to replicate it when I returned to the States so I began to observe how they made it.  I recognized all the ingredients except a white powder they sprinkled in at the end.  I knew it wasn’t salt, so I asked my Thai friend what it was.  She said it was a special spice that made all food taste better.  It was at that moment that I realized it was MSG. From then on, I had them leave the “special spice” out.  They believe it is harmless and always looked confused by my request, but I knew better.

It wasn’t long before the headaches and the tinnitus ringing stopped. I took note of the correlation and have never knowingly consumed MSG since.

Thankfully, my reaction to MSG was mild compared to most. But, I still go out of my way to avoid MSG.  The best way to do that is by preparing my own oriental dishes rather than eating out.

I am going to share with you my two favorite oriental recipes. The first is a version of Som Tom, my favorite dish from Thailand. Som Tom traditionally contains green papaya (unripened papaya), but it is very hard to come by.  If you’re lucky enough to find it, then by all means use it.  I use cucumber instead because it has a similar texture and you can buy it anywhere.

Som Tom is very good for you.  My Thai friend Joy would always say that it makes you “slim.”  This is because it contains virtually no carbohydrates, no fat and has very few calories. You can even make it “sugar free” by substituting stevia for the sucanat.

Thai Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • thai-cucumber-salad-to-reverse-tinnitus2 cups of shredded cucumber or green papaya
  • ½ cup of shredded carrots
  • 5 cherry tomatoes cut into halves
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp sucanat (for sugar free use 1/2 packet of Nu Naturals stevia)
  • 1 Thai chili chopped (less or none according to taste)
  • 2 tbsp of peanuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix the lime juice, fish sauce, sucanat (or stevia), chilies, and garlic in a bowl. Although traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, you can mash the garlic and chilies with a fork to release their flavor.
  2. Now add the shredded cucumber, carrots and tomatoes.  Toss well.  Top with the peanuts and serve.

Korean Lettuce Wraps with Pineapple Salsa

My husband begs for this dish.  Actually, we are making it tonight per his request.  It’s a great dish for men, because they typically want their portion of meat. Since the marinade is made from scratch, there are no hidden tinnitus triggers like MSG or refined sugar.  Sesame oil adds such a great flavor and is a healthy unsaturated fat.

Also, there are three parts to this recipe: preparing the Korean BBQ beef, then the pineapple salsa to go with it, and finally wrapping it all together with lettuce leaves. If you choose to include steamed rice in this dish, you’ll want to prepare it beforehand as well.

Korean BBQ Beef

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of Braggs Liquid Aminos (or fermented soy sauce like Shoyu)
  • 3 tbsp of Sesame Oil
  • 3 tbsp of Sesame Seeds
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 packet of Nu Naturals Stevia or 3 tbsp of honey
  • Splash of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 lb of beef sliced thin (any cut of steak will work)

Directions:

  1. Mix all the above ingredients together and marinate the beef for at least 2 hours.
  2. Grill to your preferred temperature for red meat.

pineapple-salsaPrepare the Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 pineapple chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
  • 4 green onions choppe
  • ½ jalapeño seeded and chopped
  • ½ lime juiced
  • Dash of salt

Directions:

We like to grill our pineapple beforehand.  You don’t have to do this, but it adds a nice grilled flavor and sweetness to the pineapple.  We cut the pineapple into round slices, grill until slightly browned and then chop.

Toss all the above ingredients in a bowl.  The flavor gets better as the night goes on. It’s also fantastic with tortilla chips.  Be careful – it’s addicting!

Wrapping it all up

Ingredients:

You need two more things to “wrap” this dish all together:

  • Rice (optional, skip if you want to go low carb)
  • Boston Bibb or Butter Lettuce

Directions:

I typically let everyone build his or her own wraps.  Start with the lettuce, then add the rice, beef, and top with the pineapple salsa.  Wrap it like a burrito and eat!  My mouth is watering knowing I’m just a couple hours away from indulging in this myself!

You really can “eat” your way to tinnitus relief.  Cooking from scratch and avoiding tinnitus triggers is the best way to do just that.

I hope you enjoy my recipes! I would love to here about any modifications – or trial and error attempts! 

 

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.
(1) May 1984 issue of “Acta Oto-Laryngologica”
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12970590

 

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Biodynamic Food: An Old, New Trend

Regenerative agriculture and gardening

 by Rob Fischer

Just when you thought organic food production was the standard, they raised the bar again. The new standard is called biodynamics and embraces the whole system of food production and more.

But I feel compelled to warn you, we can look at biodynamics through two different world views.

Biodynamics – Magic Potions

Some chase its beginnings back to Austrian philosopher Dr. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of a philosophical theory called anthroposophism (man’s wisdom). Steiner attached a heavy spiritual aspect to biodynamic agriculture in which “farming can be attuned to the spiritual forces of the cosmos.”[1]

Many modern scientists consider application of Steiner’s philosophy to agriculture and other disciplines as pseudoscience.[2] After all, consulting the cosmos should never paralyze or unduly postpone one’s work. This spiritual side of biodynamics would find itself at home with New Age beliefs.

Biodynamics – the Art of Gardening

Another way to look at biodynamics is very pragmatic. Go back in time at least several centuries before the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides. Farms were smaller and the majority of earth’s inhabitants had strong ties to agriculture. These family farms not only allowed their owners to sustain their lives from the food they produced, but agriculture itself was self-sustaining.

Everything needed for the farm was right there:

  • Seeds were harvested and saved for next year’s planting
  • Chickens had free-range and helped fertilize the soil and keep weeds and pests at bay
  • Cows and other farm animals produced manure to enrich the soil
  • Inedible vegetable matter was composted and returned to the soil
  • Crops were grown appropriate for the climate and available water

Biodynamic agriculture meets all the standards of organic practices, but it goes beyond those in a few distinct ways. For a farm or garden to earn the official title as biodynamic, it must meet stringent requirements and receive its certification from Demeter USA. Demeter is an international, non-profit organization established to promote biodynamic agriculture.[3]

Biodynamic agriculture views the whole farm as a complex organism that is self-contained and self-sustaining. Everything on the farm, including its people, live in a symbiotic relationship and everything goes back to the soil.

principles of biodynamic farmingBiodynamic farmers must:[4]

  • Meet National Organic Program standards
  • Refrain from using any chemical pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides
  • Use farm-generated, natural solutions for pest control and fertility
  • Set aside at least 10% of their total acreage for biodiversity
  • Reduce continually any imported materials necessary to sustain the farm

With those tight standards, converting your garden or mini-farm to biodynamic agriculture can be difficult. So why would you want to convert to biodynamic gardening?

If you garden already, you know the difference between fresh green beans harvested from your garden and the frozen variety in the store. But the difference is not only in the taste, texture, and appearance. Commercially grown vegetables that are not organically grown have been exposed to numerous chemicals in the fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides. Unavoidably, some of those chemicals find their way into your body.

Those agricultural chemicals are typically petroleum-based and are therefore carcinogenic. They also leach and poison the soil, so that future crops become dependent on continued use of those chemicals.

Biodynamic farming shares with organic farming the elimination of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. But unlike organic farming, biodynamic farming uses, in addition, a series of fermented manure, plant, and mineral-based preparations which are added to the soil, crops, and compost. Legumes, for instance, put nitrogen back into the soil. Nitrogen is a primary ingredient in chemical fertilizers.

Why Biodynamic Gardening?

Besides the obvious healthful reasons already mentioned, a huge advantage of biodynamic gardening is that you can grow a lot of food in very little space.[5]

Consider the following real life example. In 1966, the University of California’s Santa Cruz campus offered British horticulturalist, Alan Chadwick, the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of biodynamic gardening. Chadwick was given four acres of barren desert to garden. With nothing more than hand tools, Chadwick soon transformed this desert plot into a beautiful, lush paradise brimming with vegetables and flowers.[6]

John Jeavons, Director of the Biointensive Mini-Farming program, further improved upon Chadwick’s methods. His goal was to create the optimum yield from any space however small. John’s biodynamic gardening methods produce between four and six times the average U.S. per acre yield![7]

Bring the practices of Biodynamic Gardening to your own garden[8], [9]

biodynamic gardening practices v2I assume that most reading this don’t keep cows and chickens or other farm animals. Additionally, if you garden, chances are your garden may be more of a hobby garden than one you depend on for sustenance or your livelihood. That being said, here are some tips for converting your garden to biodynamic principles:

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Foods to Calm and Lower Anxiety

Controlling Gut Behavior

by Amanda Box, N.D.

We have all felt it at some point in our lives. The feeling that paralyzes us sends us into a cold sweat and lends our heart to beat at the speed of light. Anxiety is fear incarnate. It originates from our worries, our fear of failure or simply believing worst is bound to happen.

I personally battle with anxiety. I loathe the awful sense of powerlessness that anxiety brings. But it is a battle over the mind and one that isn’t always easily won!

Releasing negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones can overcome anxiety. One important way to do this is processing through thoughts and fears on paper and with a friend or counselor.

However, what you put into your body can also affect the intensity of your anxiety. Though much of anxiety originates from thoughts and mindset, a healthy body is important for a healthy mind! Our mind, body and spirit are interconnected. So keeping all three aspects healthy is imperative for overcoming anxiety.

Food affects our mood. Particular foods create calm, while other foods produce anxiety. The key to overcoming afflicting anxiety just may be a diet that enhances a sense of peace and a calm mind.

Below are two lists of foods. The first is the list of foods to avoid that promote anxiety. These foods stimulate the nervous system or increase stress hormone production like cortisol. If you battle anxiety, then totally eliminate these foods from your diet to feel your best.

The second is a list of foods that help ease anxiety. These foods contain nutrients that promote a calm mind and help lower stress levels in the body. Make them a regular part of your diet and they will keep you calm and lower your anxiety.

4 Foods to Avoid for Anxiety

1. Caffeine

This is by far the most obvious food on the list to avoid. Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant and can cause physical manifestations of anxiety, even if anxious thoughts aren’t present. It speeds the heart rate and can lead to an over-excited jittery feeling that exacerbates or creates anxiety. Some people do well with just a small amount of caffeine in the morning. However, eliminating it all together is best for calming the mind and body.

2. Sugar

When I refer to sugar, I am not just referring to white sugar. I am referring to all things that encompass sugar: fruit juice, corn syrup and honey, etc. All these sugary foods can negatively affect the body.   They spike blood sugar levels which, in turn, flood your body with cortisol, a stress hormone. When cortisol levels are high, you can feel on edge and anxious. Therefore, steer clear of sugary drinks and desserts. Instead, opt for natural sweeteners that do not affect the blood sugar such as stevia.

3. Processed Foods

Processed foods included already made meals like boxed foods and fast foods. These foods contain a plethora of ingredients that are nearly unpronounceable. This abundance of fake food is not tolerated well by your body. Chemicals from the artificial preservatives and other ingredients can aggravate the brain by exciting neurotransmitters. This creates a sense of anxiousness and overstimulation. Many of the artificial ingredients are additive as well. Your body begins to crave these processed foods and you become anxious if you’re not able to eat them. The best way to avoid processed foods is to choose foods as close to their natural state as possible and cook your meals from scratch.

Also, read labels. If you see ingredients that sound more like chemicals than food, but it back on the shelf and buy something healthier!

4. Alcohol

Many people drink alcohol to help calm their nerves. However, alcohol can backfire. It can cause an even higher level of anxiety the following day.

  • Alcohol depresses the body.
  • That depression can carry through to the following day.
  • Depression feeds anxiousness.

The short term fix that alcohol creates can also be addictive, creating a cycle of anxiety and more depression.

Foods to Eat to Calm Anxiety

Pumpkin Seeds

Green pumpkin seeds are high in zinc. Studies have found that anxiety is linked to a zinc copper imbalance. Too much copper and not enough zinc in your body can cause anxiety. Just a small handful a day of pumpkin seeds provides a daily dose of zinc! Pumpkin seeds provide a healthy balance that offers relief for people suffering from anxiety.

Fatty Fish

Fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon and sardines can increase EPA levels in the brain. EPA is the primary anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid for the brain. High levels of EPA are correlated to a calmer mood and lessened anxiety. Essentially, EPA will make you happier and better able to handle stress. If you don’t consume large amounts of fish, then purified fish oil supplements can increase your EPA.

dark chocolate can reduce stress and anxietyDark chocolate

In a study of chocolate’s health benefits, eating 40 grams of dark chocolate (74% cocoa) every day for two weeks significantly reduced stress hormone levels. Those tested also noted feeling less anxious after eating the chocolate. This is likely due to cocoas flavonol content. Flavonols are a subclass of flavonoids, natural chemicals found in plants, fruits and vegetables that repair cellular damage. Flavonoids are antioxidants so they help to lower stress and inflammation throughout the body.

Turkey

Turkey is high in amino acid l-tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps you feel calm. Tryptophan found in protein like turkey has been found in studies to lower anxiety levels!

Full-fat yogurt or kefir

The majority (95%!) of serotonin, your feel good neurotransmitter that keeps you happy and calm, is produced in the gut. Therefore it is important to eat foods that help maintain proper intestinal balance.

To cultivate proper bacterial balance in the gut, go no further than your refrigerator! Naturally elevate your mood and reverse anxiety with fermented foods. The bacteria in fermented foods create an environment suitable for proper serotonin production. Fermented foods like kefir and yogurt contain probiotics that restore your gut health. Since gut microbes may influence your behavior, this is proof that fermented foods make us happier!

Tea (chamomile and green tea)

Each of these teas has anxiety reducing benefits.

The effect of chamomile is to soothe and calm the nervous system. When feeling anxious, drink chamomile to relax. Studies showed drinking chamomile tea lowered anxiety in 2 weeks! Best of all, chamomile comes without the nasty side effects of traditional anxiety and depression medications.

Green tea contains amino acid l-theanine, which has a soothing, calming effect on people who drink it. L-Theanine stimulates production of brain waves known as alpha waves. Alpha waves indicate a person is relaxed. L-Theanine also increases the levels of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain. These two neurotransmitters directly affect a person’s mood and help induce a sense of calm and relaxation.

So, alleviate your mood and feel better by drinking quality green tea!

eggs induce relaxation and promote sleepEggs

Eggs contain copious amounts of choline, needed for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is essentially the opposite of adrenaline. It induces a state of relaxation and promotes sleep. Farm raised cage free eggs are the best choice. They are fresher and have higher levels of nutrients. Eggs just may give you a new reason to come out of any depressing anxiety phase!

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are low in calories, and high in many nutrients, including magnesium. Magnesium is a natural nervous system relaxant. A lack of magnesium can cause electrical changes in your brain.

Most diets are deficient in magnesium, and stress causes our bodies to deplete this important mineral. This is why getting enough magnesium in your diet while you’re stressed is so important. This essential mineral is key to relaxation and a lowered sense of anxiety. Nutrition just may trump any other form of self-help anxiety methods!

The Gut-Brain Connection

As mentioned earlier, our gut and our brain have an intimate connection. Many refer to the gut as the second brain, and for good reason! Our enteric nervous system is the name of the nervous system that resides in our gastrointestinal tract and enables us to “feel” the inner world of our gut and its contents. It is equipped with its own reflexes and senses to control gut behavior.

Our central nervous system, which is located in our brain and spinal column, is connected through the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain stem down to the abdomen.

It is through the vagus nerve that gut bacteria transmit information to the brain. Thus, the nerves in our gut probably influence a big part of our emotions.

Also, the gut produces more serotonin in the gut than it does in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps us to feel good and it produces a sense of calm. This gut-brain connection applies to anxiety levels as well.

Dr. Kirsten Tillish, a lead author in a study of gut bacteria and anxiety stated, “Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut.”

All of this makes creating a healthy gut environment key to overcoming anxiety. I believe there are 3 keys to creating a healthy gut.

1. Probiotics

Supplementation with a daily multi-strain probiotic is important in creating a healthy bacterial environment in the gut. Fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and kombucha are also great to add into your daily diet to boost healthy bacteria.

2. Prebiotics

Prebiotics are dietary fibers that act as food for good bacteria. This allows the healthy bacteria to multiply. Some foods containing prebiotics include:

  • Chicory Root
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Jerusalem artichoke

3. Going Gluten Free

More and more research is pointing out that gluten intolerance and diseases such as Celiac, can cause anxiety and depression. Shockingly, as much as 80% of the population is thought to have some degree of gluten sensitivity!

Lectins contained in gluten can cause intestinal inflammation and permeability of the intestinal walls allowing toxic microbes to pass through the gut, into the bloodstream and to the brain causing anxiety! Some even believe that gluten itself can cause anxiety. Dr. Rodney Ford, a New Zealand-based pediatrician and author of The Gluten Syndrome, believes that gluten harms your nervous system directly and produces symptoms such as anxiety.

Going gluten free takes a firm commitment and cannot be done partially. I’ve been gluten free for nearly a year now and have no plans to go back. It has changed the health of my gut and my mind dramatically and has been worth the sacrifice. Honestly, with the rise of gluten free alternatives, I haven’t had to sacrifice much. Nearly every gluten product now has a tasty gluten free version.

Incorporating these 3 keys will create a healthy “second brain” and lower your anxiety levels. You’ll truly be amazed at how powerful the gut-brain connection is once you begin to make changes to your diet!

Below are two recipes to get you on the road to lowered anxiety and a healthy gut. The first is a salmon recipe. This incorporates the omega 3s from fatty fish and prebiotics such as garlic. Serve this with a healthy serving of asparagus on the side for even more prebiotic power. This recipe is also gluten-free!

garlic salmon with asparagusGarlic Salmon with Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb wild caught salmon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp cold organic butter, cubed
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the lemon juice and minced garlic; allow the lemon juice to reduce to 1 tablespoon. Add in 1 tablespoon of butter, remove pan from heat and swirl so the butter starts to melt. Place back on the heat for a few seconds, removed and continue to swirl until butter completely melts. Repeat with second tablespoon of butter. When butter is completely melted, remove sauce from stove.
  3. Place the salmon filet in a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Using a brush or spoon, brush the salmon with the garlic butter sauce. Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Cover with foil so that all sides are properly closed so the sauce does not leak.
  4. Bake the salmon for 12-14 minutes or until firm. Open the foil and allow the fish to broil under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, keeping an eye on it so the fish does not burn. Remove from oven, top with parsley. Serve with a side of steamed asparagus.

This next recipe incorporates the mood lifting power of dark chocolate with zinc rich pumpkin seeds. Though only two ingredients, these little bites can calm a sweet tooth as well as calm the mind.

dark chocolate pumpkin seed bites Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bites

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp of dark chocolate (at least 74% cocoa content)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (raw or roasted)

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave for 20 seconds. Heat for 10 second intervals, making sure to stir in between.
  2. On a piece of wax paper drip chocolate from a spoon and make 8 even circles around the size of a quarter.
  3. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds into the chocolate and slightly press down.
  4. Let dry for around an hour or place in the fridge for even faster results.

Remember, what you eat can have a huge influence on the levels of anxiety you’re feeling. Don’t rely on simply medications any longer! Take your health into your hands and begin eating in a way that lowers your anxiety. I have personally experienced the power of food choices on my anxiety and I encourage you to as well!

 

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon recipe adapted from littlespicejar.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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Lower your Risk of Disease with Lots of Fresh or Frozen Produce

How to Add a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet to Protect Your Health

by David Kekich

The quarter of the population eating the fewest fruits and vegetables has over three times as much heart disease as the quarter of the population that eats the most. Eat a minimum of six servings of fresh vegetables per day. This isn’t as much as it seems. One serving equals only one-half cup or one cup if they are leafy vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to stay with brightly colored veggies. And eat a wide variety—mostly raw and organic, if possible.

Also add one to three servings of fresh fruit per day. Again have a wide variety—and again, raw and organic if possible. Buying local produce may be more important than buying organic, since freshness is so important. You’re better off buying fresh, vibrant, conventionally grown produce than wilted organic.

How to Add a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables to Your DietStay away from white potatoes, too. Your body reacts to them like it reacts to white bread. Increasing vegetables and fruits from two servings to only five servings a day can cut the incidence of many cancers in half. That’s only two and one-half cups. Consider getting a Vita Mix. It’s like a kitchen in one appliance and is the best juicer on the market.

Make sure you get your money’s worth from your juicer. Drink five glasses of fresh juiced fruits and veggies every week. I combine them in my drinks, changing the mix each time. As an alternative, you might get a high quality “green drink” in powder form. Mix with water and drink every day. There are lots of good ones on the market. I use Barlean’s Greens and Life Extension’s Vital Greens Mix.

The human body evolved with a diet that was high in fruits and vegetables. If you fight nature with your diet, your health and energy level will tank. People are shocked at how much better they feel after substituting high-fiber foods for fast foods and processed foods. You need fiber to regulate your bowels, for good colon health and for weight loss if you are overweight. Eating fruits and vegetables increases your fiber intake. Juicing makes it easy.

How you combine your foods is also important. The best combinations are proteins or fats with vegetables, vegetables with simple carbohydrates or vegetables with fat. Combining your fruit with protein and healthy fats slows sugar/carbohydrate absorption. In fact, make protein the first bite of each meal to slow absorption even more. That means less fat storage, longer lasting energy levels and fewer food cravings shortly after you eat. And you will easily accomplish that by eating less. In fact, even if you eat unhealthy food from time to time, eating less of it at each meal can be almost as important as eating the right food.

Remember to lower your carbohydrate intake by replacing high-calorie, low-nutrient carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, rice, table sugar, soda, candy) with low-calorie, high- nutrient carbohydrates (brightly colored fruits and vegetables and sweet potatoes).

If you add sweeteners to anything, the healthiest sugar substitute we know of is stevia. Stevia is a delicious natural herb sweetener with added health benefits. You can find it your local health food store. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Most are toxic and can undermine your health.

splenda dangers 2For example, high doses of aspartame may lead to neurodegeneration. Aside from the damage it can do to your brain, aspartame can cause cancer. One well-controlled, peer- reviewed, seven-year study even found that as little as 20 mg per day can cause cancer in humans. One 12-ounce diet soda contains about 180 mg of aspartame, so you do the math for that risk!

It can also lead to multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, memory and hearing loss and hormonal problems.

How about Splenda? That’s harmless, right? Well, look at what a recent study, published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found. Splenda reduces the amount of good bacteria in your intestines by 50 percent, contributes to weight gain, increases the pH level in your intestines (bad for your digestion) and affects a glycoprotein in your body that can have crucial health effects, particularly if you’re on certain medications.

Diet soda anyone?”

In addition to changing what you eat, consider changing when you eat. The fluctuations in your insulin levels, which are so damaging to your system, can be controlled by eating smaller, more frequent meals. This will also boost your metabolism, causing calories to be burned faster, and will raise your energy level.

Research indicates that eating certain foods can help lower your risk of several diseases.

Eat at least four servings of vegetables a day — Vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals, contain fiber, have no cholesterol, and are low in fat and calories. They’re a great source of many nutrients that appear to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Eat a variety of vegetables to get all the health benefits.

Eat at least three servings of fruits a day — Fruits are filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Except for a few, such as avocado and coconut, they’re virtually free of fat. Fruits are a major source of nutrients that may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Choose a variety of fruits to get the most health benefits.

Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acidsEating at least two servings (about 4 ounces each) a week of fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids — such as salmon, trout, tuna, herring and sardines — can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Instead of frying, bake or grill the fish. Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children to avoid king mackerel, shark, swordfish and tilefish (golden bass or golden snapper), which are higher in mercury. Tuna steak and albacore tuna generally have more mercury than canned light tuna. Plant sources of omega-3s may not have the same effect. These include canola oil, soybeans (whole and oil) and walnuts (whole and oil).

Choose whole-grain foodsEating whole grains may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. In addition to the more familiar wholegrain breads and cereals, add variety to your diet with hulled barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta and wild rice.

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David KekichDavid Kekich (Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs) is President/CEO of Maximum Life Foundation that focuses on aging research, a 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to curing aging-related diseases. For more information, visit: www.MaxLife.org. David contributes to our column Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs. MaxLife is helping to make the anti-aging dream a reality with cutting edge Bio-Engineering research and products.

Detoxification and Health Restoration after Vaccination

Three Important Steps to Clear Toxic Vaccine Ingredients from Your Body

by Amanda Box

Having been in the natural health industry for nearly 15 years, I’ve been on the receiving end of all sorts of criticism. I’ve heard the natural methods I’ve supported for years referred to as new age, witchcraft, a placebo effect, old wives tales and hippy.

But, I prefer to describe natural medicine using words like effective, safe, holistic and natural. I’ve seen lives changed, health transformed, and diseases cured using alternative medicines like herbs, supplements and, most importantly, a healthy diet.

most common symptoms of vaccine damageI’m not opposed to all conventional medicines. I believe some pharmaceutical medicines have their place and truly have no natural replacement.

However, I must say the most heated discussions I have ever been a part of regard the controversial subject of vaccination. Vaccine debates can get downright ugly. I’ve seen fear mongering tactics and mudslinging coming from both sides.

But beneath the vaccine controversy regarding autism, measles outbreaks and safety for children, lies one simple truth. Vaccines do not make us healthy.

Some of you may argue with this statement, but please hear me out. When I use the word “healthy,” I mean free of any harmful side effects. Healthy also implies that something improves the body’s state of wellness. Unfortunately, vaccines do the opposite. They damage our health by compromising the integrity of our immune system.

Vaccine Damage

Vaccines contain a cocktail of chemicals ranging from heavy metals, like mercury, to toxic preservatives such as formaldehyde. These toxins accumulate in the body’s tissues and can lead to:

However, the most common symptoms from vaccine damage include:

Many of the health issues caused by vaccines are rooted in autoimmune reactions. This is because the body recognizes many of the toxic chemicals in vaccines as foreign invaders. When these chemicals accumulate in different areas of the body, the immune system activates and attacks. Inflammation is the result of this attack, which leads to pain, degeneration of tissue and even disease. The vaccines themselves are also designed to stimulate the immune system, which results in even more inflammation. Unless you cleanse these toxins from the body, the symptoms will continue.

Many of you have chosen to vaccinate or you cannot avoid vaccination due to a job requirement. If this is the case, I urge you to consider detoxification. Vaccine antigens weaken the body’s immunity and its toxic preservatives cause damage and inflammation. Furthermore, repeated vaccinations can be extremely damaging to the body. The toxins continue to build and often migrate from place to place at any time throughout the body causing systemic damage. This is why, in many cases, vaccine damage occurs months or even years after the shot was administered!

3-Steps to Health

Thankfully, our bodies have the innate ability to heal and come into balance when given the proper resources. Accumulated toxic chemicals from vaccines can be broken down and cleansed from the body.

There are three important steps to clear toxic vaccine ingredients from the body and regain your health:

  1. Detoxification
  2. Nourishment
  3. Maintenance

Following these three steps is imperative after vaccination. They will detoxify the body of harmful toxins, but also bring the body back into balance and a state of good health!

Detoxification

Incorporating the proper supplements will both stimulate and accelerate the detoxification process. It is important to cleanse the blood, intestinal tract and liver because these organs are the main hotbeds of toxin accumulation. The following supplements can be used to draw vaccine toxins out of the body safely and effectively.

Activated Charcoal

activated charcoal for vaccine toxin detoxificationActivated charcoal has the amazing ability to attract toxins like a magnet. It uses a process called adsorption, which is different than absorption. During absorption, material passes into or through a tissue or material. Adsorption, however, involves the attraction of material to the surface, similar to a magnet.

When you ingest activated charcoal, it attracts toxins and heavy metals like mercury. Because it is not digested, it stays inside the digestive tract until it is eliminated, taking the toxins out with it in your waste!

Just a warning, charcoal will turn your stools black. It is recommended that you take some sort of laxative to keep your bowels moving in order to push the waste out of your body. Also, because charcoal is so powerful, it can sometimes interfere with mineral absorption. Therefore take it on an empty stomach at least an hour before eating or taking vitamins.

For vaccine toxin detoxification, take 2000 mg a day for one month. Divided this into two doses, one for the morning and one for the evening. A half dosage can be given to children under 12.

Chlorella

This powerful green food, micro-algae is very small in size. Its small size and molecular structure make it excellent at detoxification. Similar to charcoal, chlorella bonds to metals and chemicals, removing them safely out of the body. This makes chlorella a dynamic choice for post-vaccine detoxification. It safely and effectively bonds to heavy metals and chemical residues that are left behind in the body after vaccination. Chlorella is also rich in chlorophyll, which aids in:

  • Repair and growth of tissues
  • Balances the body’s pH
  • Processing of oxygen

Chlorella is perfectly safe for children and can be given in a dosage of 2000 mg a day. Adults can take 2000-5000 mg a day.

Blood Cleansing Blend

chlorella for post vaccination detoxVaccine residues and chemical by-products can remain in the blood for years after vaccination. This makes cleansing the blood itself very crucial for system-wide post vaccination detoxification.

When purchasing an herbal blend for blood detoxification, it is important to make sure it contains at least two of these three powerful blood detoxifiers.

Burdock

This powerful blood purifier has been used for centuries to cleanse the blood and increase elimination of wastes. This root eliminates long-term impurities from the blood quickly through its action on the liver and kidneys. Burdock root is also said to neutralize and eliminate poisons in the system.

Yellow Dock

Another powerful blood purifier, yellow dock helps cleanse the blood by removing waste products from the system. It is also a liver cleanser and does so by stimulating bile flow. Increased bile flow equals increased elimination of toxins. Yellow dock root also contains anthraquinones and anthraquinone glycosides, which give it a cleansing laxative effect. It not only improves elimination of wastes out of the body, but also reduces bowel inflammation.

Red Clover

Known for the last few centuries for it’s ability to clean “dirty blood,” red clover acts as an excellent blood purifier. It is also known for it’s anti-cancer properties. Dr. John Christopher, a pioneer of herbal medicines, called it the “antidote to cancer.” This herb also has diuretic properties as well as liver cleansing properties.

Some great blood cleansing blends that contain these detoxifying herbs include:

Natural Fiber

During detoxification, you must consume additional fiber to keep the bowels moving, as well as absorb excess toxins. As you are detoxifying, vaccine residues will end up in your waste and eventually be carried out of the body. Adding fiber helps sweep the bowels, cleaning up accumulated toxins and rotting fecal matter in the intestinal tract.

There are several great forms of fiber. Some of my favorites include:

  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Fiber
  • Apple Pectin

Renew Life makes an amazing fiber blend called Fiber Smart that also contains soothing herbs and beneficial probiotics. I highly recommend it during your detoxification.

Herbal Laxative

During post vaccination detoxification, toxins can accumulate in the intestinal tract as they are making their way out of the body. Unfortunately, if they are not eliminated in a timely fashion, they can be reabsorbed into the bloodstream! This makes keeping your bowels moving very important!

Taking an herbal laxative during detoxification helps keep waste moving out of the body. Frequent bowel movements during detox will help you avoid detox symptoms such as fatigue and headaches.

I personally recommend Triphala. It is an Ayurvedic herbal blend, which supports digestion and regular bowel movements. Other herbs such as cascara sagrada and senna can be harsh and cause cramping. Triphala is much more gentle and works well for daily bowel elimination.

Nourishment

The most important part of supporting detoxification and health is a well balanced diet. NO matter what supplements you take, without eating properly, your body won’t be able to properly detoxify. This is because proper detoxification cannot occur if you are continuing to fill your body with foods that add to toxin accumulation.

This healthy, detox promoting diet should be followed for at least a month after vaccination. However, I encourage you to incorporate these principles into a life-long commitment of lifestyle change and health! Try this detox protocol even if you were vaccinated years ago. Detoxing periodically every year for heavy metals, environmental pollutants, microbes, toxic food chemicals and inoculations is a wise and prudent way to prevent future health issues and to stay on the wellness track.

The first step is to eliminate foods that contribute to toxic overload in the body. These foods should NOT be consumed during detoxification:

  • Processed foods (boxed or canned in particular)
  • Fast foods
  • Sugar
  • Refined grains

Removing these foods from your diet allows the body to efficiently use its elimination channels and cleanse accumulated toxins.

best veggies for detoxInstead, fill your plate with plenty of vegetables. Some of the best veggies for detoxification include:

  • Broccoli
  • Organic spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Garlic
  • Asparagus

Healthy, toxin free sources of protein are also important. Avoid fish because they often contain mercury and other heavy metals. Many sources of chicken and beef can also contain chemicals from pesticide-laden feed and antibiotic use. Instead, choose from these healthy sources of protein:

  • Grass-fed beef
  • Free-range chicken
  • Free-range eggs
  • Quality sugar-free whey, hemp, or rice protein

Healthy fats are also important in detoxification. Refined oils such as canola are high in pesticide residues. Instead, incorporate healthy oils such as:

It is also important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Fluid flushes toxins out of the body. Women should typically drink 3 liters a day and men 4 liters. Avoid sugar-laden drinks including fruit juice. Green tea, herbal teas and lemon water are great beverages for flushing toxins from the body.

Maintenance

Once you have detoxified your system and nourished it with the proper foods, it is time to maintain your new state of health and wellness! Maintenance requires 3 important steps:

  1. Following a healthy, well-balanced diet free from toxic additives
  2. Regular exercise
  3. Supplementation of health building supplements

With all the supplements on the market, it may be difficult to choose what to take on a daily basis. However, I recommend a daily foundation of supplements that include:

1. Quality Multivitamin

Multivitamins are important to fill in the gaps where you may miss from what you’re eating. I personally don’t recommend taking a multivitamin daily, but rather every other day. Multi-vitamins contain unnecessary amounts of vitamins and much of them wasted because they aren’t absorbed. Taking them every other day allows the body to absorb more.

It is also important to note that you shouldn’t buy your vitamin from a big box store. These vitamins are cheaply made and have very poor absorption rates. Whole food vitamins purchased from quality companies are best. Some of my favorite brands are Garden of Life, MegaFood and Pure Essence.

2. Antioxidants

Supplementing with some form of antioxidant helps slow the aging process and keep our bodies healthy. Free radicals are destructive and can cause damage throughout the body. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals, preventing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer! There are so many antioxidants to choose from. However some of my favorites include:

3. Fish Oil

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) contained in fish oil are great for heart health, memory and skin hydration. Fish oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it useful in treatment and prevention of problems such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis. Many of us don’t get enough EFAs in our diet and supplementing with fish oil is a great way to keep our bodies balanced and healthy!

4. Probiotics

Often overlooked, but probably one of the most crucial parts to maintaining health, is the state of your gut. Eighty percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system! This makes a healthy gut paramount in maintaining optimal health.

Probiotics are friendly bacteria that help your body thrive. They enable your body to better digest and assimilate your food. Probiotics also increase your immune response and have anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore, probiotics are powerful detoxifiers and are capable of drawing out toxins as well as fighting toxic microbes in the gut.

Probiotics can be consumed in foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. They can also be supplemented in pill form, which I highly recommend. A great daily dose would be a probiotic with several strains and at least 15 billion cultures per capsule.

Renew life and Garden of Life are companies that I have used and trust for quality probiotics.

Pre-Vaccination Buffers

For those of you who plan to vaccinate or are required to for your job, I recommend using a homeopathic remedy called Thuja. Take a dose of 30 c immediately after being vaccinated and every hour thereafter for 4 hours. This homeopathic medicine can help can help neutralize possible side effects that can occur hours or even months after vaccination!

I also recommend taking 2 charcoal tabs immediately before vaccination as well, to absorb any toxins that might end up in the intestinal tract. Both of these can be purchased at your local health food store or online.

Vaccines are not healthy and you don’t have to let them rob you of your health!

  • Take the steps to detoxify your body from the toxic chemicals and heavy metals found in vaccines with safe and effective supplements.
  • Nourish your body with toxin-free, life promoting foods, which will enhance detoxification and restore your health.
  • Lastly, maintain your health with daily supplements to support total body wellness.

No matter where you stand in the vaccine debate, one thing is true. If you’ve been vaccinated, then take the time to detoxify your system. It is a smart and powerful way to gain a life that is full of robust lifelong health.

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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.

 

 

How to Naturally Protect Your Kidneys

Innovative Strategies for Kidney Health

Ray was 56 years old and facing dialysis. A recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes had him in a downward spiral of blood sugar issues, pain in his feet, and now kidney failure! Leading up to this, Ray’s prediabetes and nearly “normal” blood sugar allowed his kidney damage to go unrecognized.

Even when diabetes is not full blown, high sugar levels in prediabetes can cause problems throughout the body.

One of the main organs damaged by high blood sugar is the kidney. Over time, the high levels of sugar in the blood damage the millions of tiny filtering units within each kidney. This eventually leads to kidney failure.

The heart, and nerve cells are also sensitive to fluctuations in blood sugar because they don’t store any form of energy. Diabetes cannot turn the sugars you eat into useful energy. The consistently high levels of sugar cause a constant supply of oxygen free-radicals that result in gradual damage to the nerves and blood vessels. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly.

Most of the time, those who experience kidney failure already have signs of it before they are even diagnosed with diabetes. In fact, the most common cause of kidney failure is diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes).

Since Ray already had signs of renal failure, we immediately started him on intravenous alpha lipoic acid. Alpha lipoid acid is a super nutrient and turns “used” antioxidants into “available” antioxidants for your body to use for making energy.

At the same time, we recommended dietary changes such as eating fewer carbohydrates, and drinking water instead of soda. He also needed to give up beer and ice cream.

How Your Kidneys Work

Saunders Kidney diagramProtecting your kidneys is so important. Our kidneys are the constant filter of the body. Healthy kidneys maintain all the things our cells need to function in the blood, while letting go of waste and toxins. The design is amazing!

  • Blood runs through a filter (5)
  • Filtered water goes down the tube (4)
  • Blood, protein stay in vessels (3)
  • Water and nutrients leak out into the kidney tissue (2)
  • Nutrients that the body wants are re-absorbed into blood vessels (1)
  • Waste is sent to the bladder (6)

First, there are millions of filters called the glomeruli. These tiny filters let fluid out of the blood, but keep cells and proteins. The glomeruli function very much like a coffee filter. Whatever is dissolved in the water of your blood goes through the filter, but particles stay in the blood. Then, the fluid goes through tubes where sodium, potassium, amino acids, water, and so forth, are re-absorbed into the blood. Your kidneys will release them to return to the body when the need arises.

All that is left is a little water and filtered wastes, which then move down to the bladder and are released into the toilet (or wherever☺) as urine.

Essentially, each of your glomeruli acts like a sieve that helps keep normal proteins and cells in your bloodstream and allows wastes, excess fluid and other substances to pass. In this way, your kidneys regulate your body’s level of these substances.

The remarkable nature of this system is that it allows the body to keep all the nutrients it needs, while allowing any sort of waste or toxin to be washed out of the body. The kidneys don’t have to know what is bad, only what is good – waste is whatever is not wanted.

It is essential that we consider the health of our kidneys. According to CDC data, since 1999, the age-adjusted death rate for kidney disease has increased by 11.5 percent, compared to downward trends for heart attacks and strokes.[1] Of course, most of these are due to the increasing rate of diabetes, but there are many with renal failure who don’t have diabetes.

Another Cause of Kidney Failure

Sometimes the filters (glomeruli) don’t work for other reasons. Josie came in with swelling of the legs and feet. She had been to several doctors and was told she had Nephrotic Syndrome: damage to the clusters of small blood vessels in your kidneys that filter waste and excess water from your blood.

This damage allows protein normally kept in the blood to leak into the urine in large amounts, which reduces the amount of protein in your blood. Since the protein in the blood helps keep fluid in the bloodstream, some of this fluid leaks out of the bloodstream into your tissues, causing swelling.

Imagine using coffee filters that had little pinholes in them so you keep finding sediment in your coffee. The “pinholes” in the glomeruli of the kidneys are generally caused by what we think are “immune complexes” or autoimmune disease. Antibodies against either the kidneys or other cells can “poke holes” in the filters, causing them to leak.

The problem with kidney failure is that there are no symptoms until about 80% of normal kidney function is lost. This means that, unfortunately, many people never realize they have a kidney problem until a symptom such as back pain or blood in the urine appears. By then, it’s usually too late to restore normal function.

Thus, the key to avoiding kidney disease is PREVENTION!

We had to work with Josie to calm down her immune system and stop the leaks. Then, we restored kidney function just enough so she no longer has swelling. She still loses a little protein in the urine, but the liver can make enough to keep up with it.

The glomeruli are the most important part of the kidney to protect. Like Ray and Josie, most kidney problems are from the waste filters. Protection of your kidneys is not hard, and doesn’t take a great deal of time. You don’t have to think about it, just follow good health practices.

How to Naturally Protect your Kidneys

Low salt diet leads to early deathTwo of the most important functions of your kidneys are:

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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.

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

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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Pollutant-Free Eating for MCS

Environmental pollution… Oil spills…Climate change…Ozone depletion… we live in a world that is slowly dying by the hands of man. Industrialization, poor waste management, and greed have left our earth more contaminated than ever before in the history of this planet.

But, I’m not here to speak on behalf of environmentalist and scientists. I am here to point out a reality that is overlooked amidst the mass concern of our carbon footprint. Yes, nature has responded to this age of industrialization, which leaves scientists and environmentalists concerned about the future of our planet. They cry out on behalf of the trees and the animals that walk the earth. But millions of people are left saying, “What about me?”

Today, chemicals, pollutants, and manufacturing wastes have left millions of people with illnesses that never existed before this modern age. We humans are made of the same basic elements as the plants and animals, so what pollutes them, pollutes us. Tragically, when a person is affected by pollution or chemicals, they are often written off as having some sort of psychological issue. Even the American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs believes that Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) should not be considered a recognized clinical syndrome.

Can you imagine being chronically sick and knowing that it is caused by chemical substances that you’re exposed to, only to be called a quack? Maybe you can imagine that because you’ve experienced this yourself. If so, I’m so sorry that in the pursuit of all things modernized and efficient, industries have failed to recognize the damage they are doing to the human body.

Ironically, in a time where technology and medicine are saving more lives than ever before in human history, millions are simultaneously being poisoned. Chemical exposure is leaving millions ill and pushed aside with no answers. It is a tragedy that no one wants to hear about.

What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?

Most people who become chemically sensitive were once healthy individuals who tolerated chemical exposures with no noticeable side effects, just like everyone else. At some time in their lives, they were exposed to chemicals at a level from which they did not recover.

Some developed MCS after a renovation or newly built home, having carpets installed in their office, or exposure to pesticides. Other people became ill over a period of years, from cumulative exposures of everyday life that built up in their body’s tissues.

On-the-job hazards are a common cause of these life-altering exposures. Some of the most common MCS inducing jobs include:

  • Construction
  • Metalworking
  • Woodworking
  • Automotive
  • Textile
  • Agriculture
  • Information technology
  • Waste management
  • Cleaning

MCS chemical exposure sicknessLiving with multiple chemical sensitivity can be devastating. Those suffering with this life-altering illness often live isolated from society. Many are forced to wear gloves or respirator masks when they venture into public. People with MCS become sick by low level exposures to many common chemicals that typically don’t bother the average person. Some of the most offending chemicals include:

  • Perfume
  • Pesticides
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Fresh paint
  • New carpets
  • Air freshener
  • Vehicle exhaust
  • Cleaning products

People with MCS can become extremely ill after exposures of only a few seconds to tiny amounts of these substances. Chemically sensitive people also frequently react to foods, drugs, molds, and electromagnetic fields.

Treating MCS

Treating multiple chemical sensitivity requires something more than just a medicine or pill. The two, most efficient ways to treat MCS are:

  • Avoidance
  • Nutrition

The most effective way to avoid offending chemicals is to adopt a natural lifestyle. This includes using natural alternatives for:

  • Skin and body care
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Water (filtered is best)
  • Yard and pest products
  • Home construction (using tile or wood floors instead of carpet, etc.)

With the growing popularity of natural and “green” products, it is now easier than ever to replace your regular household items with safer alternatives. Even those who do not suffer with MCS can prevent future harm to themselves and their family by switching to all-natural alternatives. The internet is brimming with blogs and websites devoted to this way of life. Even this magazine, Home Cures That Work, is devoted to the lifestyle of maintaining health and wellness by adopting a chemical free, natural lifestyle!

However, nutrition is often overlooked in treating multiple chemical sensitivity. Many people who are chemically sensitive have numerous nutritional deficiencies. These deficiencies lead to a detoxification system that does not function properly. Our enzymatic, metabolic, and detoxification pathways are dependent on adequate vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. This makes nutrition of obvious importance and concern for those with MCS.

Studies have shown that those with chemical sensitivities tend to have deficiencies in magnesium, B6, and vitamin C. They also have lowered levels of antioxidants throughout the body, which in turn impairs neutralization of free radicals and toxins. In one study, patients with chemical sensitivities were treated with antioxidants like vitamin C, selenium, and zinc.[1]

With these antioxidants, they exhibited both improvement and relief of symptoms!

What separates a typical person from someone with MCS is the ability to safely detoxify chemicals out of the body. This is why improved nutrition is key to the resolution of symptoms in those with chemical sensitivities! When someone with MCS is given the proper nutrients, they can detoxify, neutralize, and metabolize chemicals. This allows them to resume a normal life!

Chemical sensitivities can be caused by several factors, one of which could be fungal infections.  The body will sometimes allow Candida in to use as a storage unit for chemicals or heavy metals or any number of harmful synthetics that could harm the body if not contained. Candida releases these toxins, which are not easily metabolized in those with MCS due to a lack of detoxification ability. This results in an overall feeling of fatigue and general state of feeling unwell. The good news is once the fungal infection is gone and the immune system is boosted; the body no longer over-reacts to the chemicals to which we are constantly exposed.

If a person has a high body burden of heavy metals, those heavy metals are thought to contribute to the development or aggravation of MCS. Heavy metals are part of the “total load” of toxins in the body, and may reduce the ability of the multiple chemical sensitivity patient to cope with other low dose toxins. These metals can accumulate in the tissues and cause neurological issues and severe mineral imbalances.

Here again, diet can help correct the inadequacies in those with chemical sensitivities. Proper nutrition can switch on the body’s ability to detoxify, allowing those with MCS to rid their body of chemicals and therefore avoid adverse reactions. It can also help them overcome candida and cleanse excess metals out of the body.

When given the rights foods, the body can restore normality and truly give someone with MCS and new lease on life!

Clean Eating for MCS

Clean eating is a new term in the natural health world used for a diet that is free of chemicals and artificial ingredients. Just as we want a clean environment that is free from pollutants, we should aim for a body that is free from pollution as well!

What you eat determines the cleanliness of your body. For example, eating processed foods with chemical additives and pesticide residues is going to pollute the environment inside your body. However, eating whole foods packed with nutrients gives each bodily system what it needs to metabolize, detoxify, and function at its highest capacity! This can reduce symptoms of MCS and help bring back normality into your life!

Eating for MCS is centered around two main principles:

  1. Consume foods free of pesticides, preservatives, and other artificial ingredients.
  2. Focus on foods high in antioxidants, magnesium, B6 and vitamin C.

Avoiding pesticide residues in foods is no easy task. Today’s produce is heavily sprayed and mass produced in order to keep up with demand. Pesticides keep the pests away, therefore increasing yield. However, spraying the food we consume comes with consequences. Pesticides are designed to kill and their effects on the human body should not be ignored.[2]

Side effects from pesticide exposure can not only induce or aggravate MCS, but can also cause:

  • Pesticide exposure leads toSkin irritations
  • Respiratory problems
  • Organ failure
  • Damage to nervous and immune systems
  • Birth defects
  • DNA damage
  • Disruption of the hormonal system
  • Cancer

Unfortunately, scrubbing, soaking, and peeling the skin off of produce does not eliminate pesticide residue. Using these techniques may reduce pesticides, but sensitive individuals, such as those with MCS, shouldn’t rely solely on these methods. This is because pesticides are sprayed throughout the growing process and absorbed throughout the entire plant, not just the outer surface.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are highest in most of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants needed by those with MCS. But, avoiding them altogether would be counterproductive. Thankfully, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tests fruits and vegetables each year and rates them from the highest in pesticides to the lowest. For example, in 2014 the average grape they tested contained 15 different pesticides! On the other hand, only 1% of the avocados tested contained any detectable pesticides.

Each year, after testing the foods, the EWG puts together the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. The Dirty Dozen ranks the top 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residues. The Clean Fifteen however contains the 15 lowest levels of pesticides residues.


DirtyDozen-CleanFifteen-2015Shopping from the Clean Fifteen list and avoiding the Dirty Dozen is one of the best ways to reduce pesticide residues in your diet. However, buying organic is truly the only way to bypass pesticides. The organic seal assures you that the farmer did not use chemical pesticides when raising his crops. Personally, I use my Dirty Dozen list as my “buy organic” list.

Avoiding artificial ingredients is also extremely crucial for MCS. These chemical additives are known for causing serious allergic reactions. Lab-created, chemical-based preservatives and artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners can not only cause allergic reactions, but trigger disease!

Always read labels before consuming anything you eat and if you spot a name that doesn’t sound like food, it likely isn’t.

Some common artificial ingredients and their side-effects[3] include:

  • Sodium benzoate: ADHD, DNA damage, cancer
  • Monosodium glutamate: heart palpitations, migraines, chest pain
  • Sodium nitrite: Irritability, headaches, cancer[4]
  • Sulfites: fever, rashes, asthma attacks
  • Potassium sorbate: migraines, swollen eyes, mouth, and throat
  • Aspartame: altered serotonin levels, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, cancer

Lastly, it is important to incorporate foods that contain the micronutrients that are often lacking in those with MCS: magnesium, B6, and vitamin C. These nutrients are important in metabolism and detoxification processes throughout the body.

Foods rich in magnesium include:

  • Raw organic spinach
  • Brown rice
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Avocado

Foods rich in B6 include:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chicken (organic)
  • Pistachio’s
  • Banana’s

Food’s rich in vitamin C include:

  • Organic kale
  • Organic strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Oranges

I also want to note that eliminating gluten, sugar, and dairy can also benefit those who suffer with MCS. These foods tend to aggravate the digestive tract and lower immunity, exacerbating allergenic reactions. Taking a probiotic supplement and drinking probiotic rich drinks like kombucha and kefir water may also help. They will strengthen the digestive system and build the immune system, which can ease allergenic symptoms in those with MCS.

It is important to remember throughout your journey of clean eating, to keep a food diary. Even foods that are free of chemical additives can sometimes cause reactions in those who are chemically sensitive. Note any sort of reaction whether it is gas, headache, or heartburn. Try eliminating the offending food and note any improvement in your symptoms. This may take a bit of trial and error, but every individual is different and unfortunately there is no “one size fits all” diet for MCS.

Below are two recipes that will help in your quest towards pollutant-free eating. The first is a clean crockpot chicken recipe. I love crockpot recipes because they are not only easy to prepare, but always produce such a tender and delicious chicken! So many crockpot recipes contain powder mixes or canned soups, which contain chemical additives. This recipe contains all-natural ingredients and is absolutely delicious served over brown rice for a warm, comforting dinner.

Crock Pot Curry Chicken

Ingredients:

  • all natural crock pot chicken curry recipe3 pounds of organic or free-range chicken (breasts, thighs, chicken on the bone, etc.)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped small
  • 2 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp organic mustard (condiment, not the spice)
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (liquid) or milk
  • 1/2 cup organic chicken stock or water
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the carrots, onion and garlic at the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Next place the raw chicken pieces on top of the vegetables, layering the chicken.
  3. Add the spices over the chicken.
  4. In a small pot melt the coconut oil and mix in the chicken stock or water and coconut cream until combined. Pour this over the chicken.
  5. Cook on low for 6 hours (it can go longer if you are not home yet).
  6. When done, remove the pieces of chicken and puree the liquid for gravy with an immersion blender. Serve over rice or quinoa. Enjoy![5]

Everyone needs a little sweet in their life! This all-natural healthy peanut butter fudge contains no added sugar and is packed full of protein, making it not only a healthy dessert, but a great snack as well! Peanut butter is high in both magnesium and B6 and bananas also contain magnesium and other important nutrients like potassium and manganese!

Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients:

  • Healthy-Peanut-Butter-Fudge1/2 cup organic peanut butter (use almond butter if peanut sensitive)
  • 1 large banana (can sub with 2/3 cup coconut butter)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/16 tsp salt (
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter OR melted extra virgin coconut oil
  • One packet or 15 drops of stevia

Directions:

  1. Stir peanut butter until there is no longer oil on the top.
  2. You can either combine all ingredients in a small blender until completely smooth, OR mash the banana and stir together ingredients very patiently by hand until completely smooth.
  3. Scoop into a small plastic container, parchment-lined glass container, candy molds, mini cupcake liners.
  4. Freeze until firm. Due to the melting nature of coconut, this fudge is best stored in the freezer.[6]

MCS symptoms can be drastically reduced and eliminated with a diet that is full of nutrient-dense and chemical-free foods! Don’t let the environment inside your body become polluted any longer! Clean up the environment inside your body by revolutionizing the way you eat. Your body is an ecosystem of it’s own. When you eliminate the toxic pollution, you will see your life flourish once again!

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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.aehf.com/articles/treatment_options_mcs.html
[2] http://www.nursingdegree.net/blog/926/8-possible-side-effects-of-pesticides/
[3] http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/10/14/5-food-additives-avoid/
[4] http://www.wholevegan.com/junk_food.html#Sodium%20Nitrite
[5] Adapted from realfoodforager.com
[6] Adapted from: chocolatecoveredkatie.com

 

 

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