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Posts Tagged ‘antioxidants’

If you are on pharmaceutical anti-depressants it is really important not to stop taking them without the support of your doctor—these should only be stopped or cut down under medical supervision.  For some people anti-depressants can help to put them in a state of mind where they can take positive action to their unique personal needs.

“Chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, and multiple sclerosis result in dramatic lifestyle changes, such as limited mobility and increased dependence on others. These illnesses can create limitations so that people like my mother can no longer engage in enjoyable activities or have hope about the future. With so many devastating changes, it’s easy to see why depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness. 

Occasionally, depression is actually a medication side effect. Also, depression can aggravate the symptoms of the illness itself, which spurs a negative cycle.

Early diagnosis and treatment of depression can reduce symptoms and decrease the risk of suicide. Therapy and medication are effective tools for battling depression. There is hope of significant improvement for your loved one. Here are a few tips for boosting mood and helping to reclaim your loved one’s lively spirit.” How to Avoid Depression Due to Chronic Illness http://www.homecareinphoenix.com/how-to-avoid-depression-due-to-chronic-illness/

Depression means literally a lowering of spirits—of feeling down, unhappy.  In the minds of those suffering, their stories don’t only portray someone who’s in pain, but whose soul is crying out ‘set me free’.  From our childhood years we were taught not to speak out emotionally, it was considered weak, feared as failure, of humiliation.  Depression disconnects and disturbs the whole mind/body internal communication network.  I do believe that our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies are all very tightly interwoven together…if there is an imbalance in one area, it will throw other areas off balance too.  Scientific studies have proven that powerful negative emotions can offset hormonal imbalances, immune dysfunction and inflammation.  Inflammation can be caused by a poor diet, stress and worry, artificial chemicals in the air and in the food and water we drink as well as cosmetics, drugs, bacteria, viruses and fungi. One of the major jobs of the immune system is to recognize our own cells from foreign cells (viruses, bacteria, parasites) which immunologists have deemed the ‘self’ and ‘nonself.  If the immune system is a highly sophisticated network of ‘fighter cells’ it has to know when not to fight back.  In other words it has to recognize our own body tissues so that it doesn’t ‘wage war’ against our own organs. But what happens when it becomes ‘forgetful’ or no longer remembers who we are and makes a mistake?

In Depression Part III we discussed neuropeptides called cytokines that signal the immune system when there is an injury or infection. Cytokines act as cellular messengers providing different messages to cells and also how they should act.  Cytokines are produced by the cells of the nervous system and also by the cells of the immune system to combat local and wide-spread inflammation in the body.  Usually when inflammation in our bodies is in the process of healing, then the inflammatory response has done its job and everything goes back to its normal state.  But sometimes the inflammation process doesn’t stop causing the body to defend itself against itself!

“This chronic inflammation is not beneficial; it can actually cause more damage and can eventually contribute to the development of various diseases.  The same process that the body uses to defend itself during short-term inflammation backfires when it becomes chronic and ends up harming the body.  It is much like an army that turns on the citizens and the country it was meant to defend.  In fact many diseases have now been linked to inflammation, for example, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver disease, and even obesity, [and depression] among others!” Advances IN ORTHOMOLECULAR RESEARCH ~ Volume 4

Cytokines are too large to pass through the blood brain barrier but they can signal the brain via the nervous system and especially through the longest nerve in the body called the vagus. This nerve runs from the lower part of the brain, down the base of the spine, branching out to the heart, respiratory, stomach and intestinal tract.   This proves there is a massive interactive of nerves moving through our body’s gastrointestinal tract which can easily get irritated causing a host of digestive problems.  The gut is one of the primary filtration systems of the body, when its plumbing, electrical and drainage system aren’t working quite right, the body starts absorbing toxins, clogging the system.  When the gut can no longer protect us, autoimmune problems can be triggered by a network of cellular communications and through our lymph nodes.  Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, poor motility, and trapped gas can all lead to obesity, high cholesterol, diverticulitis, pancreatic problems and more.  Toxic buildups are stored in the fat cells of the body…if these toxins leak into the fluids of the body, which includes the blood, they can cause fatigue, body aches, thyroid, heart and brain problems, as well as depression.

(It is thought that about 80% of your immune function is in your gut and a lot of that is governed by how the bacteria are able to function—there are 10 times more bacteria there than cells in our bodies so we are, like the earth, a symbiotic organism)

CHRONIC ILLNESS, STRESS AND DEPRESSION

When we don’t know what’s wrong with us and have had tests upon tests constantly coming back negative we become trapped in a cycle of fear, panic and mental/emotional deprivation. We look to the support of our families, they turn the other way and say ‘pull yourself together’ causing us to withdraw creating a thicker wall between us to protect our sanity. To add to the problem our doctors surmise our problems are anxiety-related and we’re shrugged off with a box of anti-depressants and dizzying tranquilizers.  And even though we’ve been on these drugs for longer than we can remember, we still find ourselves searching for answers to the symptoms we’re experiencing.  We’ve tried affirmations and talking our depressive moods away…but the feelings of melancholy are still there.

Stress, pain and pharmaceutical drugs can make us susceptible to hormonal fluctuations; our hormones go up and down like a yo-yo causing our bodies, moods and feelings to change constantly.  When our bodies are under stress we become extra-sensitive to developing allergies and food sensitivities and a host of other problems. A lot of these problems are not ‘all’ psychological…some may be the result of unbalanced chemistry in the gut and the physical brain.

 “I’m sharing my story because I know there are others like me, who for no reason dipped into a depression caused or triggered by a hormonal malfunction. I was misdiagnosed for years—doctors kept telling me that I was depressed, and kept giving a variety of antidepressants—six in all! These actually made me sicker, more complacent (and fat!) and only slightly better in other ways.  Every single thing in my life came undone; my friends couldn’t understand what I was going through, my family expressed their disappointment in me. The doctors I saw could not find any obvious problem. I did have a thyroid test which came back in the range of a ‘healthy thyroid’—their prognosis—stress!  I had to find out what was wrong with me.  I saw a therapist who thought I was just in a vulnerable place in life, making me more depressed than ever.  It was after this whole ordeal was over that I discovered the healthy range for thyroid hormones can be disputable.  

 I was finally diagnosed with a hypothyroid problem last May when my thyroid test finally reached the high-end of the range. Starting on Synthyroid .075 I felt immediate relief!  I was referred to an endocrinologist who ruled out any other problems (Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Sjogrens, etc) and much to my relief a hypothyroid was the main and only problem.” (Barbara M.)

Often our bodies swing back and forth between hyper-hypothyroid as the body feverishly tries to balance itself out. Mental/emotional stress can have an affect on the body’s digestive system causing an imbalance in our gut bacteria – if these bacterias become imbalanced they can cause thyroid changes. Bacteria are living organisms and are very sensitive to stress, (increasing inflammatory cytokines), antibiotics, poor food choices and even energy changes. Did you know there are over 400 species of bacteria in your intestines and if you could put them on a scale they’d weigh over 4 lbs all together?

“Depression and anxiety are widespread and can, in part, be related to chronic yeast overgrowth in the tissues. The reason, as described by J.P. Nolan in an article in the journal Hepatology, is the link between the gut and the brain.  “An individual’s ability to protect against brain-active substances depends upon the status of his or her intestinal flora, GI mucosal function and hepatic (liver detoxification ability).” This means that when leaky gut is present and the liver is over stressed, the door is open for toxins to reach the brain via the bloodstream.”  The Candida Cure: The 90-Day Program to Beat Candida and Restore Vibrant Health ~ by Ann Boroch

If your gut bacteria have been imbalanced for some time, then you may develop a ‘leaky gut’, which allows minute particles into the bloodstream that normally wouldn’t get through—the body sees these particles as invaders and attacks them. If these particles resemble molecules of your own body, then the immune system can start attacking them—as in the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  This form of the body attacking the body is quite possibly the most common cause of thyroid problems. The pattern begins with an overproduction of thryoxine and as the ‘attacks’ become more frequent, then the thyroxine levels drop, leaving you hypothyroid.

(When your thyroid hormone is low, your metabolism can slow too, leading to symptoms that can mimic clinical depression.)

“Clinical depression is a biological phenomenon, characterized by changes in neurotransmitters and hormones.  It is much different from simple sadness, which is caused by an unhappy experience or situation.  Sadness usually decreases as time passes; clinical depression generally does not improver over time, unless it is properly treated….

 Memory loss is also a common symptom of clinical depression.  As a rule, short-term memory suffers the most.  Frequently this short-term memory impairment occurs because depressed people are inattentive to new information, as a result of which they fail to adequately lay down new memories.  Their ability to lay down new memories is also impaired by their shortage of norepinephrine.” [Norepinephrine is a stimulating chemical in the brain that not only lays down new memories but also moves memories to either long or short-term storage.”  BRAIN LONGEVITY ~ Dharma Singh Khalsa with Cameron Stauth

Arthritis too is a chronic accumulation of toxicity within our body fluids and tissues…our joints are particularly sensitive to toxic accumulations because of the significant amount of physical stress they endure daily and because they are mostly composed of tissue that have poor blood and lymphatic circulation.  This makes it even more difficult for the tissues to access nutrients as well as the ability to eliminate waste products—especially if we don’t get adequate exercise.  When high levels of toxicity accumulate they irritate the tissues in our joints and interfere with the health and proper functioning of cells.  This leads to higher than normal cytokines in the blood, causing painful and restricted movement.  With joint aches and pains comes loss of coordination, an inability to concentrate with bouts of no energy.  Depression can easily set when we feel run down and can’t think straight anymore.

“The brain and the digestive system work together.  Scientists have long known the brain stimulates the digestive organs through parasympathetic activities such as sight, smell, and taste, which stimulates hunger.  Psychological factors also impact hunger and digestion, influencing the movements of the intestine, secretion of digestive enzymes, and other digestive functions.  Intense sadness or anger, for example, will set off a chain reaction that stimulates or reduces hunger, perhaps causing weight and digestive problems, and sometimes intestinal illnesses….

 Experts such as Michael Gershon, MD, propose that the stomach actually contains a second brain, rich with neurotransmitters of its own, which triggers IBS.  Gershon says IBS is an example of the gut working in isolation, though he recognizes the brain-gut axis such as when “butterflies in the stomach” occurs as a result of the brain sending a message of anxiety to the gut, which sends messages back to the brain that it’s unhappy.” Cyndi Dale ~  THE SUBTLE BODY: An Encyclopedia of your Energetic Anatomy

Almost every system in the body can be damaged by stress. An increase in corticosteroids (produced by the adrenals) can suppress the reproduction system causing irregular menstruation and problems with ovulation in women; impotency in men and loss of libido in both.  Loss of insulin during a stressful time can be one of the triggers for the onset of Type II diabetes. Chronic stress can be unrelenting making us more susceptible to colds and flu, which could worsen to specific diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis.

LOW STOMACH ACID

Low stomach acid is common in older people and with those suffering from hypothyroidism, food allergies, candidiasis, hepatitis, lupus, hives, eczema, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, psoriasis  and  many more.

The most common signs and symptoms of low acidity in the stomach are: feeling bloated after eating, indigestion, constipation, heartburn, food allergies, nauseous, fingernails weak or peeling, hair loss, undigested food in stools, chronic yeast infections.

If you are taking antacids for stomach pain, please be careful because antacids can seriously interfere with the absorption of minerals from your foods.  Also antacids can block enzymes from your pancreas and possibly interfere with nutritional absorption.

If you’re one of those people who wake up with a flat stomach but bloated by the end of day, try taking a probiotic (acidophilus/yogurt) a 1/2 an hour before your morning breakfast; they help to protect and cleanse your digestive system and helps in the absorption of nutrients. There are also many different plant-based enzymes on the market to help with digestion, because we all have different enzyme systems, you may need to explore these options.

DO WOMEN SUFFER DEPRESSION MORE THAN MEN?

Are women twice as likely to suffer an episode of clinical depression then men?  Possibly, but repeated bouts of depression have been proven to be equal for men and women…

“But if repeat episodes of depression are equal for men and women, doesn’t it stand to reason that they may be having first bouts at the same rate?  Maybe the discrepancy lies not in the number of men and women who are depressed, but rather, in how depression is expressed…the diagnostic tallies…ignore the fact that women are much more likely to report depression and seek help.  Men are more likely to try to fight through their depression, using strategies ranging from hard work to extreme exercise to drinking to violence.  Nearly four times more men than women kill themselves.”~  Laurence Gonzales

It’s understandable to think women would suffer from depression three times more than men …but we also have to realize our society has put a feminine face on this disease giving women permission to feel it and seek help for it. Men on the other hand were taught as children to be tough to be strong, silent, independent and hold their emotions in.

Our feelings are constantly being triggered inside us, we just haven’t been fully aware of them at least not until recently. In the past we suppressed our emotions and relied on our minds to steer us through life—emotions have been largely unexplored in our existence—emotional freedom is the next step in our evolution as we begin our journey through the Aquarian Age.

It’s wonderful that more and more men are coming forward, admitting to or believing they may suffer from depression.  Perhaps they realize they have been driving themselves to the ground, trying desperately to compensate for their suffering.

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Before we move on to the next section, postpartum depression needs to be addressed too.  This is another illness many women young and old are ashamed of having and shouldn’t.  We all have our own individual personalities and characters and should treat ourselves as individually as possible.

After the many hours of being in labor and the euphoria of giving birth to a beautiful baby, the mother starts to rapidly go through a steep decline in the levels of hormones in her body.  Once the placenta is removed, the hormones progesterone, estrogen and androgens take a drastic drop, sometimes way below pre-pregnancy levels. At the same time another hormone, prolactin, a pituitary hormone is increased to stimulate milk production.  Along with all this, cortisol level drops and the thyroid is signaled to return high hormonal levels to normal.  All this commotion causes chaos in the new mother’s body who understandably is teary-eyed and extremely rundown from lack of sleep.

“Postpartum depression is also under diagnosed.  Fully 80 percent of women experience the baby blues for up to two weeks after delivery.  Approximately 10 to 15 percent of women will go on to experience some form of mood disorder postpartum, ranging from major depression to anxiety disorders such as panic attack. If a woman has a history of depression, she is at significant risk of postpartum. Many women who suffer one postpartum depression will experience the same thing at each birth.  True psychosis occurs in about 1 in 1,000 births and is characterized as being out of touch with reality, hallucinating, and hearing voices.” Christian Northrup, M.D. WOMEN”S BODIES, WOMEN”S WISDOM

HEALING DEPRESSION NATURALLY

The first responsibility you have to take care of is you!  Your main focus is creating a healthy body, not constantly fighting some illness or disease.  How can we possibly do the best for ourselves, our families, and communities/society if we are constantly waging a no-win war against ourselves.  The mind/body connection is a powerful circuit of energy—you cannot be happy or sad, awake or asleep, sick or well without any of these messages being sent along circuits and networks of energy.  We are only beginning to understand the enormous capacities of the human brain and its connection/reaction to the 60,000 miles+ nervous system.  The body is a subtle and delicate instrument that must be handled with the greatest care and respect and tuned with deep sensitivity.

 “When you’re in solitary confinement you’re six feet under without light, sound or running water, there is no place to go but inside. And when you go inside, you discover that everything that exists in the Universe is also within you. Within you is great power.” ~ Rubin Carter

The key to healing isn’t to rush your way through or try to deny the pain isn’t there.  The first stage of healing is to get into its rhythm rather than try to rush out of it.  Being aware is simply stopping and listening to yourself; it’s about feeling and sensing your body’s inner language. Our spirit speaks to us through our intuition, our inner sense of knowing what is right or wrong for our bodies at any given time.  But many of us have ignored it for so long that it’s become lost in the shuffle and bustle of life and we’ve forgotten how to read it.

We have to know where we are before we can decide how to get where we want to go. In Depression Part II, we looked at the three stages of creating change in our lives.  They are called Awareness, Acceptance and Adjustment; each of these stages build upon another and each stage moves you closer to making the desired change you want in your life. You can see it here

Take responsibility to explore and educate yourself about your own health.  Doctors and therapists can assist in the process but you must do the work.  All of us, whether man, woman or child, must learn to nurture ourselves, respect the body and its processes and allow them to function at their best.  Holistic healing employs natural remedies and treatments along with wholesome foods, exercise, sunshine, fresh air, positive thinking, fulfilling work, and a balanced lifestyle.

“regardless of what you eat, don’t go more than four hours without eating or you’re going to feel drained” Dr. Joey Shulman, Winning the Food Fight”

Our mental and emotional states are vital in healing the body.  The health of the spirit and mind is not independent of the health of the body; emotional illness or imbalances don’t just happen, something underlying these has to be a trigger. Emotional changes are key characteristics of physical disorders…the physical body can easily become disturbed from anxiety, pain, sleeplessness, disturbing dreams, isolation, aimlessness etc., there is a connection between the mind and body that causes the origins of depression in the physical body.

Sometimes, even though we have a knowing of these things ourselves, we can get caught in cycles of negative energies and forget about the positives.  Our high tech society is one of the primary causes of where we get caught on these downward spirals.  We are constantly busy and pushing, pushing to get ahead; as much as we try to adapt to our changing circumstances, it taxes the body/mind and exhausts its energies. We need to counteract all this busyness with balances of rest, relaxation and appreciation or risk burnout of being out of control.  Why even a small change, like, to our eating habits can send signals this food is going to make us feel more energetic and boost our mood, our enthusiasm and immune system.

YOUR FOOD IS YOUR MEDICINE

“During World War II, scientists in the United States…pondered the effects of starvation on captured Gis living in Japanese POW Camps. To provide answers, a six month study was launched at the University of Minnesota using healthy young male conscientious objectors.  This study produced incredible results (although, of course, this kind of study would not be conducted today).

 The young men were deprived of more than half their normal food intake. Over the course of six months, many suffered severe physical and psychiatric changes, most of these disturbances lingered long after the experiment had ended.

 In the beginning, the men showed a high degree of tolerance and sociability with each other.  But gradually they began to avoid group activities. There were frequent outbursts of anger and irritability, and many grew deeply depressed. Some finally required hospitalization in a psychiatric ward.  One chopped off three of his fingers in response to stress’ another became uncontrollably violent.  Many expressed the fear that they were going crazy’ others talked of suicide. They all cried a lot and displayed wild emotional disturbances…

 After the study ended, the emotional symptoms continued. In fact, researchers noted that some of the men grew even more negative, depressed and argumentative, directly after the conclusion of the project….

 The growing awareness that natural substances are needed to create optimum brain functioning should have aroused tremendous interest in the scientific community.  Unfortunately, the concurrent worldwide development of the drug industry, with its promise of far more lucrative rewards, lead researchers in another direction.” Joan Mathews Larson PH.D. ~ 7 Weeks to Emotional Healing

This is not the only study that has proven that an improper diet can cause some form of depression.  We have discovered through testing that hormones are created from the food we eat and in order to create all the hormones we need, we have to get enough nutrients that create the enzymes and other substances to keep our hormones functioning normally.  Magnesium is probably the most important mineral our bodies need for good hormone balance and it is the most deficient mineral in the world because of modern farming methods.  Magnesium is also essential for your metabolism.  It activates enzymes, especially those related to energy production; if you’ve been feeling tired, try increasing your magnesium intake—sources of magnesium are nuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews and hazelnuts.  Whole grain products, wheatgerm, tofu and seaweed are also rich in magnesium.

Scientists and researchers know that our hormone system evolved in a world where food was very different from the food we eat today.  Our ancestors collected fresh foods from their immediate environment, such as nuts, seeds, fruits, roots, and even insects—these foods contained a totally different balance of nutrients than the foods in our diet today. Our modern diet is very different than the one our bodies were designed to function on.  Rich, heavy foods (such as pasta, steaks, rich sauces, breads, pastries and cakes) will leave you feeling heavy and lethargic, as will alcohol after the first rush has faded.

“Our liver, kidneys and small intestines are the body’s natural cleaning team, working together to package toxic compounds for removal. Over time, the function of these organs especially the liver can be compromised by illness, poor nutrition, stress, pollution or toxic lifestyle habits. (e.g., drugs, alcohol or tobacco)

When the clean-up process is not being carried out as it should, toxic byproducts cannot be properly neutralized.  As a result, toxic compounds from the liver are reabsorbed and stored in the fatty tissues of the body rather then excreted.” THE HORMONE DIET ~ Natasha Turner, N.D.

FOODS YOU SHOULD EAT

Fresh fruit and dried fruit

Fresh vegetables

Fruit or vegetable juices

Sprouted seeds and legumes (alfalfa, lentil, chickpea, sesame, sunflower, and possibly peanuts)

Nuts and seeds

Beans and legumes

Whole grains and cereals

Whole grain bread

Honey, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, rice syrup, barley malt

Herbal teas and coffee substitutes

Tofu and other soy products

Milk and dairy products in moderation

To eat a healthy diet we need to listen more to the actual needs of our bodies.  We have to observe how we feel after eating a meal and notice signals such as a rapid pulse, difficulty in concentrating, tiredness, irritability, unexplained emotions and over-reactions to simple daily things.

We all have different bodies, different enzymes, different muscles and nervous and hormone systems.  Each of us has to get to know ourselves and tune into our own body with the way it works best.

PHYTOCHEMICALS/PHYTONUTRIENTS AND ANTIOXIDANTS

Nature provides the human body and its immune system with an incredible array of anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-disease supports called phytochemicals and antioxidants, which are found in many common foods.  Antioxidants and phytochemicals give your cells layer upon layer of protection and accelerated healing.

Phytochemicals are an active compound found in plants that are proven to help the body resist many diseases.  They give hot peppers their burning sensation and garlic and onions their pungent flavor; dark chocolate its bitterness and tomatoes their dark red color. In the body, phytochemicals act as antioxidants, mimic hormones and help to suppress the development of diseases.  Cancer and heart disease are linked to processes involving oxygen compounds in the body and antioxidants are said to oppose these actions.

What Colorful Foods Are You Eating

Foods with the greatest phytochemicals and antioxidants are colorful foods like red and yellow fruits and berries: for example, carrots, yellow and red peppers, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, red currants, cranberries, peaches…all these are high in carotenoids and carotenoids decrease of the risk of many diseases…they feed the brain, your mental functioning and your memory.

Tomatoes and watermelon and grapefruit get their red color from a pigment called lycopene, an antixoidant.

Green vegetables such as broccoli, arugula, cabbage, bok choy, kale, collards rapini, all help to block tumor growth, suppress colon cancer and boost immunity.  For both men and women it helps to remove extra estrogen from the body, which helps to suppress breast cancer.

Herbs have powerful anticancer powers and potent antioxidants…some are turmeric, bilberry, hawthorn, cayenne, milk thistle, parsley, Echinacea, ginkgo biloba, green tea, grape-seed extract

Onions and Garlic are naturally antibiotics and help to fight bacteria, viruses and intestinal parasites.  They lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol and prevent blood clotting.

Citrus Fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes help to release carcinogens from the body, prevent lung disease, reduce cholesterol and boost immunity.  Because of their alkaline content they protect against stomach and pancreatic cancers.

NATURAL ANTIDEPRESSANTS

*This has been repeated from DEPRESSION PART III

Vitamin B12 and folic acid have been effective in raising mood.

Patients on antidepressants supplemented with B complex vitamins have been known to improve more than those on antidepressants who did not supplement with them. Vitamin B6 is needed by the body to produce serotonin.

SAM-e – S-adenosyl-L-methionine, is an amino acid that is thought to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine. It’s a super antidepressant.

5-HTP, L-Tryptophan and Melatonin – 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and L-Tryptophan are amino acids that are used by the body to make serotonin. They are helpful in the synthesis of melatonin, a hormone involved in healthy sleep. These supplements are super when having to wean off prescription antidepressants. As the dosage of the antidepressant is gradually reduced, one can slowly substitute 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan to help reduce the withdrawal reactions that are apparent with most antidepressants.

L-Tyrosine L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that the body uses to manufacture dopamine. It also uses L-Tyrosine to make thyroid hormone. It can be a very effective antidepressant for almost everyone. One of the ways to boost L-Tyrosine levels is to supplement with vitamin C, which helps the body manufacture it in greater amounts.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, flax seed, evening primrose, borage, blackcurrant seed oil) help to reduce inflammation and the absorption of nutrients.  It’s also known as a great brain food.  All brains would benefit from optimal levels of DHA and EPA. Depression is one of many common conditions that could benefit from omega-3 fatty acids. They influence something called the cytokine system in the brain. These cytokines are known as interleukin-1 -2 and -6, interferon-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. They can directly and indirectly influence the severity of depression.

Rhodiola rosea – This is an excellent herbal remedy for both anxiety and depression – Athletes have used this remedy for better stamina and higher energy. Check with your health care provider or health store as to how much you should take and if it can be increased gradually.

Valerian helps to calm the nerves and anxieties – it is especially recommended for nervous problems caused from emotional stress or pain.

AROMATHERAPY (Aromatic Anti-Depressants)

Grapefruit – sweet citrus fragrance, very uplifting and antidepressant

Rose – antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, sedative, stomachic, tonic, uterine

Melissa – anti-depressant, antihistaminic, bactericidal, nervine, works well with stress related disorders

Grapefruit, Rose and Melissa are quite powerful antidepressants. You can use them on their own or in a blend. You can add them to your bath – just sprinkle 4 to 8 drops of one or all essential oils on the water’s surface after the bath has been drawn.  These essences can also be used in a vaporizer or burner, rubbed or cotton or small cloth.

Bergamot delightfully citrus with a hint of spice
Geranium – Sweet and rosy with a hint of mint
Lavender – sweet floral that’s uplifting, calming and refreshing

You can use the above oils in a burner, bath or as a massage blend.
I also think that drinking Chamomile tea may also be helpful.

GREAT LINKS

Depression affects cells causing chronic illness – cytokines http://news.softpedia.com/news/Depression-Affects-Cells-Causes-Chronic-Illness-193485.shtml

Chronic illness can cause depression – emotional pain as a weakness

http://theadventuresofarthritisnfibromyalgia.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/when-chronic-illness-causes-depression/

Chronic Illness Can Lead to Anxiety and Depression http://rawarrior.com/anxiety-and-depression-with-chronic-illness/

This is a really great site that discussing inflammation, phytochemicals, antioxidants and other energizing foods. http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/reversing-chronic-inflammation/

Great site on how to feed the brain and be more alert  http://www.discovergoodnutrition.com/2013/10/mental-energy/

Gastrointestinal Disease can cause depression

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/06/can-inflammation-in-this-organ-be-at-the-root-of-your-depression.aspx

How to Avoid Depression Due to Chronic Illness http://www.homecareinphoenix.com/how-to-avoid-depression-due-to-chronic-illness/

http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/shamesadrenal.htm There is a major connection between low thyroid function and low adrenal. Low adrenal can actually cause someone’s thyroid problems to be much worse than it would be otherwise.

http://www.marilynglenville.com/womens-health-issues/general-health/ nutrition and lifestyle can increase your health

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“The prostate gland is a vulnerable part of male anatomy, often harboring stubborn infections in youth and enlarging in age to the point of interfering with urination.  The main irritants of the prostate are coffee and other forms of caffeine, decaffeinated coffee, alcohol, tobacco, red pepper, dehydration, and either too frequent or too infrequent ejaculation.  Prolonged sitting and repetitive jarring motion (as from riding a horse, bicycle, or motorcycle) also stress the gland. 

 Supplement the diet with zinc, 30 milligrams a day of the picolinate form.  Also increase intake of soy foods; their phytoestrogens might protect the prostate from the unbalanced influence of male sex hormones.

 Herbal treatment for prostatic enlargement relies on two plants: saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and pygeum) Pygeum africanum).  Use of one or both, following dosage recommendations on the products.  You can continue taking them indefinitely.

 For sexual deficiency, traditional Chinese medicine offers many treatments, including ginseng….the preeminent male sexual tonic.  Ayurvedic medicine contributes ashwaganda (Withania somnifera), newly available in health food stores.  Follow dosages recommended on the product.

 Mind/body methods are worth exploring in all sexual and genital problems, hypnotherapy and guided imagery therapy being especially useful.” SPONTANEOUS HEALING ~ Andrew Weil, M.D.  

Dr. Weil pretty much summed up Prostate 1 and 2, and started Part 3 too.  Now we’re going to look closely at the body/mind connection in relation to exercise, food, herbs, supplements and other alternative medicines.   Much of our bodily makeup was created from our mother and the land from which she ate as well as from your heritage/ancestors.  As you look at the many different remedies in this article, you may find yourself gravitating towards certain healing foods and  remedies closely attuned to your natural birthing ground.  If so, it could be your intuition trying to get your attention to gravitate towards these supplements that may help restore your body’s imbalance.

Many natural medicines work at the genetic cellular memory and consciousness of your own body makeup—your body contains within it a little pharmacy at your beck and call—sometimes, though, through neglect it needs a little jumpstart to activate it.  The key is for each of you to explore and intuitively feel what works and resonates within you.  Believe it or not, there is a connection between your unconscious mind and that of the consciousness of the planet Earth.  Utilizing its products with the intent to heal can initiate the healing process starting from a psychological, down to a cellular level.

Your brain hormones, sex hormones and other hormones all work together to keep your body and mind running at its most optimal level.  Your body is nothing more or less than a vast conglomeration of millions of cells that are constantly absorbing nutrients of all kinds from your environment.  How does absorption happen….basically through your five senses….not only do we hear, see, taste and smell the world around us…we also feel it within every inch of our skin.

“Hormones act as the body’s chemical messengers, orchestrating our metabolic processes by stimulating changes in body cells.  You can visualize them as musical instruments which can play together in harmony, producing a lovely symphony.  If they’re out of balance, the music is distorted, discordant.  You can either decide to take the role of conductor, ensuring that you get harmony, or let random influences control your hormones and risk cacophony.” Arabella Melville

 “Sexual energy underlies every act of individual expression. It is a creative force, the influence of which extends far beyond sexual activity to include thought, feeling, behavior, dress. Sexual energy informs art, music, fashion, even architecture and automotive design. It is an all-pervading force.” Christopher S. Kilham 

The sympathetic nervous system enhances the production of testosterone and very important for ejaculation, but if stress causes the adrenals to release too much norepinephrine and epinephrine in the body, the muscles in the body and in the prostate will suddenly contract and tighten their grip. The more the prostate tightens it grip the more it squeezes the urethra affecting the bladder and lower back.

If the electrical energy from the sympathetic nervous becomes unbalanced with the parasympathetic nervous system, the lower back muscles are usually its first target.  When these muscles become inflamed they clamp down upon the adrenals, and their output of adrenaline/cortisone and the sexual hormones.  With too much adrenaline, the feeling of ‘being wired’, electrified—adrenaline interferes with the brains neurotransmitters, leaving you feeling scattered, irritable, confused—physically, the stomach and hips begin to balloon.

“The lower back expresses all the weight and responsibility of being human.  It supports the wright from above, just as you carry the weight of responsibility of your world.  If there is no one to help with the load, no sense of being supported, this part of the back may give way…….

 This area also has to do with survival, security, and self-support.  If you are feeling insecure—perhaps unable to meet other people’s expectations—then the pressure may be felt in the lower back.

 Do you doubt your ability to support yourself:

  • Are you feeling isolated?
  • Are you trying to do much?  As the nerves that flow down the legs issue from the lower spine, pressure here can create pain or numbing sensations in the feet and legs, affecting your movement forward.        
  • YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro.

HORMONE HEALTH AND EXERCISE

Physical activity not only helps to keep your hormones balanced—it also keeps your organs and tissues healthy—reduces insulin levels and elevates your *glucagon levels.  Strength training also helps to expand blood vessels, allowing more nutrients and oxygen to reach your muscle tissue.  Exercise also increases the secretion of testosterone, cortisol, growth hormone, epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine and the human growth hormone HGH.  BUT over-training and overexerting yourself, hormone levels tend to go down instead of up—testosterone levels can actually fall by 40% after strenuous training and affect your cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine levels.

(*Both insulin and glucagons are produced by the pancreas and regulate glucose and fat—insulin promotes the production of fat and glucagons helps to burn fat stored in the body…moderate exercise expands the blood vessels in the body, allowing more nutrients and oxygen to reach muscle tissue while at the same time reducing the accumulation of lactic acid.  Exercises such as strength training help the body to secrete the human growth hormone HGH.)

Did you know when you’re actively playing a game like squash, that in just seven minutes your muscles will have produced enough heat to boil water for four cups of coffee!

Walking is by far the best exercise to keep the prostate in shape.  If you really are an exercise buff, all you need is about 30 minutes of exercise 3 X a week for a healthy body and to increase your mood, your metabolism and boost your testosterone levels—going over-board will only cause your energy to crash, due to increased levels of lactic acid.  Lactic acid is a substance that accumulates in your muscles, producing weakness and body aches.  Sugar, caffeine and alcohol also contribute to the increase of lactate in your body—lactic acid binds with calcium, causing not enough calcium to get to the brain—calcium is known as a powerful central nervous system depressant.

It has also been found that the accumulation of lactic acid encourages tumor growth in many areas of the body, including the prostate.  Lactic acid forms a halo around cancer cells, almost as a form of protection—it also inactivates the immune system which is needed to destroy cancer and other diseases.

Lactic acid found to fuel tumors http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081120171325.htm

Cancer cells produce lactate (lactic acid) http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/do-ketones-fuel-cancer-the-low-carb-experts-respond/10124

FREE RADICALS

“The more stiff, achy, and out of shape your muscles are the more prone they are to struggling with poor energy production and excess lactic acid. Too much lactic acid tilts cell metabolism into excess free radical production and inflammation, perpetuating poor health. Thus, an athlete without adequate antioxidants or anti-inflammatory nutrients injures muscles more easily or never achieves elite performance.” http://www.wellnessresources.com/health_topics/detoxification/lactic_acid.php

Where do free radicals come from?  If you grab an apple, cut it in half and leave it on the counter, it would eventually begin to turn brown.  The reason for this is…as it interacts with oxygen in the air, it oxidizes, which means it’s succumbing to free radical damage.  In fact, if you leave any kind of food out on the counter, it will begin to spoil from contact with free radicals in the air.  Even leaving your car outside in all types of weather will sooner or later begin to oxidize—it begins to rust away.

The cells in our bodies produce free radicals all the time—they are a naturally occurring from oxidizing food and oxygen to give the body energy.  But the amount of free radicals is small because it’s not sufficient enough to cause damage and so, you eliminate them by your lungs.  This is why you huff and puff when exercising vigorously…the body is getting rid the free radicals generated by your hard-working cells.  Your white blood cells also create free radicals when the immune system sense the body is under attack.  These free radicals tear into and rip bacteria and viruses apart, but when the body is fighting a chronic infection, your immune system can go out of control, creating huge amount of free radicals that start eating away at healthy tissue.

 “When free radicals assault us from external sources, they are referred to as exogenous (outside the body) free radicals.  External sources of free radicals include high heat, ultraviolet light, cigarette smoke, air pollution, x-rays, electromagnetic emissions and other forms of low-level radiation.  Exposure to trace metals, such as lead, mercury, iron, and copper, can also promote the production of free radicals. 

 Free radicals generated from internal and external sources can have a tremendous, and dangerous, impact on human health.” USER’S GUIDE TO NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS ~ Jack Challem 

Free radicals can damage any body structure by affecting proteins, enzymes, fats and even DNA.  They are the cause of more than sixty different health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, autoimmune disease and cancer. Free radicals age your body and slow down your metabolism  —you could say that our human bodies are, like an old car, slowly rusting away.  We are oxidizing.  We are succumbing to the effects of free radicals and one of the reasons is the way we are processing our foods.  Oils, for instance are easily radicalized.  Free radical damage increases in fats and oils much more than any other substance.  When we superheat oil and then fry food in it, we further increase the free radical volume of both the oil and the food that’s being fried.  French-fries, white bread, fried chicken and most fast food chains contain high levels of free radicals!  Free radicals buildup in our bodies and our bodies can only handle so much before the free radical waste begins to age our cells prematurely.

Scientists officially link processed food to Autoimmune disease   http://www.trueactivist.com/scientists-officially-link-processed-foods-to-autoimmune-disease/

XENOESTROGENS

“Researchers who study the endocrine system now realize that environmental estrogenic pollutants and substances are entering our bodies in tremendous quantities. When they do, they shift the balance from testosterone (androgens) to the estrogen side of the equation.  Like women, we do have estrogens in our bodies (just as they have testosterone), we just don’t have the same quantities, and we have a great deal more testosterone than they do. What is most important is the ratio of androgens to estrogens. Anything that upsets that balance changes who and what we become. We are not our chemistry, but we certainly are affected by our chemistry.  The power of our androgenic chemistry to shape who we are begins while we are still in the womb”. Stephen Harrod Buhner The Natrual Testosterone Plan: For Sexual Health and Energy

Somehow many synthetic chemicals in today’s environment are able to communicate with the cells in our body, in a pattern almost exactly like that of estrogen.  Until recently, testosterone was considered the bad buy in prostate problems—but new research is showing increases of xenoestrogens instead.  Xeno means foreign, so xenohormones are elements produced from outside the human body that are breathed in from the air and from the things we eat and drink.  We are exposed to these xenoestrogens everyday through products and situations that didn’t exist a 100 years ago.  Boys breasts are affected more than before, due to the strong increase in estrogen when their testosterone levels are still low.  Men who have had similar symptoms have shown to have a problem with their pituitary gland.

“One of the puzzling features of prostate malignancy is that while testosterone—the hormone people have been led to believe is responsible for male aggression—seems to promote its growth, this cancer is most typically a disease of older men.  Yet the body’s production of testosterone declines with aging.  Nor have men with prostate cancer been shown to have higher than average levels of testosterone.  As with estrogen receptors in breast cancer, it appears the sensitivity of tumour cells to normal concentrations of testosterone must have been altered.

 Like hormone secretion by the adrenal glands and the ovaries, the synthesis of testosterone by the testicles is under the complex feed-back control of the hypothalamic-pituitary system in the brain.  That network, highly reactive to stress and emotions, sends a cascade of biological substances into circulation.  Emotional factors can directly influence the male sex-hormone functioning for good or ill—just as the female hormone estrogen from the ovaries or adrenalin, cortisol and other hormones from the adrenal glands, are affected by psychic events.  It so happens that in a small series of patients, surgical removal of the brain’s pituitary gland did show positive results in the treatment of prostate cancer.” WHEN THE BODY SAYS NO, Gabor Mate, M.D.

ANTIOXIDANTS

As we age, our body’s own store of antioxidants diminish unless we regularly replenish them with an excellent diet or supplements.  As I have mentioned before, hormones, like the rest of our bodies, are created from the food we eat.  In order to create the hormones we need and in the right quantity, we have to have the right nutrients and the proper enzymes to produce and metabolize them.  The problem is, we don’t care enough about ourselves or the foods we eat.  Many of us eat junk food and wash it down with coffee, tea or carbonated drinks, which damage our cells and tissues, including our hormones.

Unfortunately as well, chemical farming and food processing, along with the lack of nutrients in the earth’s soil is affecting our hormone balance and our bodies.  Depleted essential trace elements such as selenium, zinc, chromium and magnesium are lacking in our diets and the lack of these elements have been said to be the cause of radical damage in our bodies and higher incidences of cancer.  The rise of long-standing diseases has risen dramatically over the last 30 years.  While we may be living longer, we are certainly not healthier.

Although our bodies from the inside look alike, there are slightly different balances in our enzymes, slightly different muscle characteristics, slightly different nervous systems and different hormone production.  Each of you has to get to know your self and tune in to your own body and how you can make it work best.

VITAMIN A

“Vitamin A is a fat-soluble compound [antioxidant], requiring fats and minerals for proper assimilation. Vitamin A consists of three biologically active molecules: retinol, retinal and retinoic acid. There are two forms of vitamin A, preformed vitamin A, (also called retinol and found in foods of animal origin) and provitamin A (derived from carotene, a pigment found in dark green, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits).  Beta-carotene is converted to usable vitamin A through the use of a hormone called thyroxine, produced by the thyroid gland…..when the diet lacks adequate vitamin A the body utilizes stores from the liver”. Barbara Bouyet

To learn more about vitamin A, see my previous article….

https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/vitamin-a-causes-prostate-cancer/

VITAMIN C

As far as antioxidants, vitamin C tops the list because its importance in the production of sex hormones.  The human body is unable to produce its own supply of vitamin C so it must be obtained through the diet. Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in the adrenal glands, which helps in the production of testosterone.  As a man approaches mid-life or andropause, the adrenal glands take an even increasing role in the production of his sex hormones.  So it’s essential you increase your intake of foods and supplements rich in this vitamin.  Vitamin C in the body is used up very quickly when exposed to chemicals, pollutants or if you smoke or are fighting an infection.

Vitamin C is always more effective when obtained through a natural source rather than chewables or capsules. Unfortunately, it only stays in the body for a short time, 10-20 hours, so it needs to be replenished every day.  Fresh made orange juice loses it vitamin C content in approximately 15 minutes after being exposed to the air.

Bioflavonoids and vitamin C are always found together in nature—bioflavonoids are water-soluble and enhance vitamin C’s protection.  Both of these can be found in most fresh vegetables, especially peppers, watercress, broccoli and new potatoes; fresh fruits, grapes, rose hips, prunes, oranges, lemons, cherries as well as berries, (wild blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries).  It’s also found in apples, pineapple and melons and in most tropical fruits.) When fruit isn’t as easy to buy in the winter, frozen works just as well—frozen, fruit don’t lose much of their antioxidant power.

Wheat and barley are very high in chlorophyll, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E and are some of the best sources of plant protein.

*Vitamin C and the mineral Iron work as a team to incinerate waste materials in the body.  Iron transports oxygen to every cell of the body and vitamin C works as a catalyst for this action.  Both iron and vitamin C help to protect you from colds and viruses.

VITAMIN E

Vitamin E is another controversial antioxidant in the use of healing ailments of the prostate—it also improves male and female fertility.  Studies have been done with taking Vitamin E ‘alone’ but like vitamin A and D, these vitamins are fat-soluble and need fat in the diet to be absorbed and utilized.  Vitamin E works well when combined with calcium, magnesium and flaxseed/omega oils.  Some researchers conducting these trials failed to tell us whether the people in these studies were feeding on high carbohydrates or drinking too much alcohol.  Carbohydrates and alcohol raise insulin levels which can lead to higher incidences of high cholesterol, high blood-pressure and heart disease (arteriosclerosis).  Unfortunately misconceptions like these are hard to overturn.

Every cell in your body lives by burning oxygen to give you warmth and energy—vitamin E regulates this action and prevents cells from burning out too quickly.  The normal life of a red blood cell is 120 days—a deficiency in vitamin E reduces cell life to about 70 days.  Vitamin E improves blood circulation by enlarging even the smallest blood vessels and arteries which provide oxygen and nourishment to all body cells—it also detoxifies from the body from harmful pesticides, chemical fertilizers, industrial pollutants, exhaust fumes and preservatives.  It has also been known to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin E also assists in the functioning of the entire nervous system and we know there are thousands of nerve fibers contained with the prostate and that the sympathetic nervous system, part of the central nervous system, enhances its production.

Naturally, vitamin E can be found in wheat germ oil, sesame seeds, almonds, hazel nuts, rice, cucumber, brazil nuts, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, oats, pecan nuts, asparagus, peas, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, apples, tomatoes, bananas, oranges, carrots, lettuce, grapefruit, celery, chestnuts, corn, alfalfa, barley, beans, soya beans, potatoes….

The Real Facts About Vitamin E http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-cooper/vitamine-e-prostate-cancer-_b_1016922.html  (great explanation of vitamin E)

New Vitamin E Study July 2012 http://thestar.com.my/health/story.asp?sec=healt&file=/2012/7/22/health/11363827

Vitamin E recharged by selenium http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v07n11.shtml

VITAMIN D3

Vitamin D is not an antioxidant, however, it is important for the body. Known as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, vitamin D3 is naturally produced by the action of  sunlight with an oily substance in our skin (Ergosterol) One of the main functions of vitamin D is it helps to regulate all mineral and vitamin metabolism, especially that of calcium and phosphorous—vitamin D also works with the thyroid and parathyroid glands in helping to manufacture hormones and  control the levels of calcium in your blood—it’s also vitally important for your endocrine and nervous system.

Vitamin D has been described as a hormone rather than a vitamin because it’s produced by the body, through the action of sunlight on the skin.  The darker the pigment of the skin, the more sunlight we need to get adequate amount of vitamin D

Young people who are outside in the sun will get all the vitamin D they need.  But the older we get, it seems harder for the skin to absorb vitamin D into our system.  The reason for this, could be that older skin doesn’t absorb vitamin D as well and the kidneys seem to have bit of trouble converting vitamin D to its active form.

There seems to be a lot of controversy over vitamin D supplements and its benefits and/or risks regarding the prostate.  When I googled ‘vitamin D prostate cancer’, there were conflicting results on the use of vitamin D supplements for prostate cancer. I think we have to be careful of swallowing (literally) what others are proclaiming to be magical cures.  As supplements are being studied more than ever before, it’s important we keep up-to-date with the information ~ remember supplements are chemicals that you’re putting in your body.

Vitamin D crucial to activating immune defenses

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100307215534.htm

Calcium and Vitamin D supplements make prostate cancer worse http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/08/health-calcium-supplements-prostate-worse_n_1754724.html

Scientists reveal how vitamin D slows prostate cancer http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/08/health-calcium-supplements-prostate-worse_n_1754724.html

B VITAMINS

“The B vitamins help to maintain the health of the nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver, and mouth, as well as healthy muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and proper brain function. 

 B-Complex vitamins act as co-enzymes, helping enzymes to react chemically with other substances, and are involved in energy production.  They may be useful for alleviating depression or anxiety as well. Adequate intake of the B vitamins is very important for elderly people because these nutrients are not as well absorbed as we age. There have been even cases of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease whose problems were later found to be due to a deficiency of vitamin B12 plus the B complex. The B vitamins should always be taken together, but up to two to three times more of one B vitamin than another can be taken for a period of time if needed for a particular disorder. There are spray and sublingual forms that are absorbed more easily; which are good choices for older adults and those with absorption problems.

 Because the B vitamins work together, a deficiency in one often indicates a deficiency in another ”.  Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th edition ~ Phyllis A. Balch

Physical activity increases the need for B vitamins http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/72/2/598s.full

How the body uses Vitamin B to recognize bacterial infection

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010131444.htm

B vitamins are important in the metabolism and production of energy from food.  They are found in wholegrain products such as bread and brown rice; wheat germ is a very rich source.  Beans and meat, particularly liver are also high in most B group vitamins.  Taking a B complex vitamin, 50 mg or 100 mg is adequate for a daily dosage.  If you exercise strenuously, smoke and/or consume alcohol on a daily basis, you should be taking a vitamin B-complex—alcohol, tobacco, stress, processed foods and drinks all inhibit or reduce your body’s intake and absorption of the B vitamins, as well as vitamin D and the minerals magnesium, zinc and calcium. Even drinking socially can have this effect, while drinking heavily can cause serious malnutrition, liver damage and hormone imbalances.

As we age, our bodies ability to assimilate essential nutrients is harder because we produce less stomach acids in the digestive system.  Deficiencies in B6 and B12 develop during the later years

Eat an avocado a day!  Avocadoes contain all the daily B group vitamins with an added boost of B1 (Thiamine) for food assimilation and digestion.  Without B1, (the vitamin of Courage) we’d have trouble digesting carbohydrates, which can become toxic to your whole system.

VITAMIN B1 (Thiamine) is known as the vitamin of Courage – it combines with pyruvic acid, to form a co-enzyme, which is required for the conversion of carbohydrates into Glucose, the brains most primary fuel. Without it we’d have trouble digesting carbohydrates, leaving you with too much pyruvic acid (which changes to lactic acid) in the blood.  This deprives the body of oxygen, causing confusion, loss of alertness, which reduces oxygen in the body causing loss of mental alertness, possible cardiac damage and difficulties of breathing, irritability and emotional insecurity.

Excellent food sources – rice bran, wheat germ, soya bean, sunflower seeds, peanus, sesame seeds, brazil nuts, pecans, pistachios, red and white beans, lima beans, cashew nuts, lentils, macadamia nuts, walnuts, chestnut, chickpea, watercress, pumpkin seeds, dandelion, parsley, figs, broccoli, potatoes

VITAMIN B2 (Riboflavin) is known as the Youth vitamin – also breaks down and utilizes carbohydrates – when we are deficient in this vitamin for a long time, our vision could be impaired, our hair may fall out or lack luster, we look older than our years and could suffer from arthritis and or even glaucoma.

Excellent food sources – almonds, wheat germ, wild rice, mushroom, safflower seeds, turnip greens, wheat bran, kelp, collards, soya bean, dandelion, kale leaves, parsley, cashew nut, broccoli, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, lentils, avocado, aparagus, spinach, peach, prune, dried apricot, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dates, figs,

VITAMIN B3 (Niacin) is important in the production of both male and female hormones. It also activates enzymes in the body as well as assisting the body in energy production and nourishes the nerves, brain, skin and hair—it is known to have a calming effect on many people and could be taken before bed.  It may cause a flushing or reddening of the skin, this is because its dilating the capillaries.  Vitamin B3 is required for good blood circulation and for the control of blood-cholesterol levels, which is very important for the prostate.  Niacin is also essential for the health of the nervous system, as are all the B complex vitamins.  Too much strenuous exercise depletes your reserves of B3 resulting in muscle weakness, general fatigue, indigestion, headaches, diarrhea, poor appetite, skin allergies and nervous disorders.

Excellent sources – rice bran, wheat bran, peanuts, wild rice, sesame seeds, kelp, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat, barley, almonds, dates, soya bean, lentils, chick pea, sweet corn, avocado, ppune, asparagus, pistachio, macadamia, parley, pecans,

VITAMIN  B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, (pyrixodine) and B12 are particularly important in balancing the immune system

VITAMIN  B5 (Panthothenic acid – water soluble) is found in every living cell of the body and is important for the body’s control and use of cholesterol from fats.  Vitamin B5 stimulates the adrenal glands to produce natural cortisone and other adrenal hormones, which are important for healthy nerves and skin.  This vitamin also prevents premature aging, wrinkles, baldness, arthritis, and cellular damage from radiation.  Vitamin B5 is useful for anemia, hypoglycemia, epilepsy, insomnia, arthritis, asthma, cancer and tuberculosis. A deficiency of this vitamin may create a wide variety of symptoms such as, apathy, depression, heart trouble, abdominal pains, increase to infection, nerve disorders, muscle weakeness..pins and needles in hand and feet.

Almonds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are an excellent source as well as brussel sprouts, collards, dates, celery, parsley, yoghurt, lentils rice, royal jelly, parsnips, kale, wheat, carrots, barley, oats, oranges, bananas, currants, grapefruit, grapes, wheat germ, soya beans and of course pumpkin seeds

VITAMIN B6 and ZINC

Both vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and zinc work well together in treating the prostate.  B6 is important in helping the absorption of zinc in the prostate, it is also required for the production of antibodies and healthy blood cells. It is very important that the body has ample supplies of both Vitamin B6 and Zinc.  B6 or pyridoxine The prostate gland contains ten times more zinc than anywhere else in the human body and zinc is a key player in the health of the prostate.

Vitamin B6 is essential for the brain and plays an important role in your immune system and nervous system’s balance—it’s also needed to convert stored blood sugars into glucose—the brains main fuel.  The pituitary gland is also affected when there’s not enough B6 in your system…which in turn can affect the entire body’s immune system and its health. Brain depletion of dopamine and serotonin occur without B6, which can lead to headaches, anxiety, insomnia and depression.  Without enough B6 in the body, levels of lactic acid could elevate, creating anxiety and stress.  This vitamin is also needed to help utilize protein for energy.

“Zinc supplements may play a role in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate gland seen in 60 percent of men between 40 and 59 years of age. Zinc treatment, in the form of zinc picolinate or zinc citrate, may be beneficial in reducing the enlargement of the prostate and to reduce the symptoms. The beneficial effects of zinc may be due to its involvement in hormonal metabolism. Zinc inhibits the conversion of testosterone to a more active form, which causes overproduction of prostate cells. It also inhibits the binding of hormones to receptor cells.  Zinc also acts to lower levels of another hormone, prolactin, which controls the uptake of testosterone in the prostate. Increasing zinc levels therefore restricts the actions of the hormones and leads to a reduction in prostate size.” The New Encylopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs ~ Nicola Reavley

(High levels of prolactin could indicate hypothyroidism—prolactin seems to inhibit the outward flow of emotions—attention is sluggish, dull–people are unable to express themselves, they feel something then doubt seeps in, making them hesitate and step back)

The brain too uses at least sixty zinc enzymes, so low zinc levels have been known to cause irritability, fatigue, anxiety and depression.  Zinc also plays an important role in removing toxic metals from the brain, particularly copper, lead, mercury and cadmium.  Without zinc, high copper level could cause paranoia, mood swings and schizophrenia.

Diabetics tend to lose high amounts of zinc in their urine and studies have shown good results with zinc supplements and improved glucose tolerance. (Olives are an excellent  source of zinc as well as vitamins B2, B3, and B6.)

Pumpkin Seeds are nourishing and energizing and very high in vitamin B-complex and zinc.  Zinc is an aid in the healing process, very useful in treating an enlarged prostate gland. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, potassium, niacin, folic acid, riboflavin, and thiamin. They also contain vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), unsaturated oils, and antioxidants.

Other good sources of B6 – walnuts, hazel nuts, yogurt, bewers yeast, torula yeast, rice brain, wheat germ, millet, soya beans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wheat bran, rye, almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, peanuts, barley, figs, olives, potato, banana cabbage, lettuce, celery, kale, avocado, spinach, broccoli,

VITAMIN B12

Did you know vitamin B12 and folic acid helps to improve the hand-grip strength in men and helps women and men with osteoarthritis?

Vitamin B12 is needed for tissue growth and repair and very important in the formation of red blood cells, the nervous system and skin.  B12 is heat sensitive and up to 85% of its content in meat is lost in cooking.  This is the only vitamin that plants cannot synthesize but is readily available from bacteria and fungi in the soil.    A deficiency in B12 may not show up for 5 – 10 years as the body is capable of reabsorbing it from the intestinal tract, which reduces the need for a regular supply.

Vitamin B12 has been effective in treating anemia, asthma, ulcers, angina, diabetes and neuritis…its helped with fatigue, nervous irritability, poor memory and concentration and muscle weakness too.

Vitamin B12 news http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/nutrition/vitamin-b12/news-and-features.html

What is Vitamin B12 http://newvitaminb12.com/vitamin-b12/

Vitamin B12 deficiency and cognitive problems http://www.ctvnews.ca/vitamin-b12-deficiency-may-lead-to-cognitive-problems-1.702874

Excellent sources of B12 – yogurt, cheese, fresh fish, meat, plankton, milk, eggs,

BIOTIN and FOLIC ACID both belong to the B group vitamins, are water soluble and required daily in your diet.  Biotin is known as a ‘slimming’ vitamin, it protects you from obesity, baldness, dermatitis and sleeplessness—without a regular supply your body would have trouble used the fats you eat  on a daily basis.  Folic acid also helps to promote a healthy appetite and cleans the digestive system.

Excellent sources of Biotin – walnuts, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, brewers yeast, torula yeast, mushrooms, raisins, soya beans, rice, cucumbers, apples, wheat, rye, black currants, grapfruit, melons, tomatoes,

Excellent sources of folic acid – green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, potatoes, almonds, cauliflower, sprouted seeds, legumes, whole grains, wheat germ, asparagus, beetroot, peas, parships kale, broccoli

CHOLINE, another B group vitamin, assists in the digestion of all types of fatty foods and is required for the storage of many vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and vitamin A.  It is usually found in good amounts and in combination with all vitamin B enriched foods…in fact it’s only effective when combined with them.  Choline is important for the health of the entire nervous system and has a direct relationship to the cholesterol levels in the blood.  A deficiency could play a role in high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and the tendency to gain weight.  It also prevents accumulation of fats in the liver and helps to distribute fats around the body and to the various cells.

Excellent sources of Choline – lecithin, spinach, asparagus, green beans, corn, soya beans, brewers yeast, torula yeast, sesame seeds tahini, pecan, wheat, oats, wheat germ, peas, cabbage, carrots turnips, rice bran, potatoes

Vitamins for Prostate problems

http://www.livestrong.com/article/290291-vitamins-for-prostate-problems/

Vitamins for a healthy prostate

http://www.livestrong.com/article/291318-vitamins-for-a-healthy-prostate/

CHOLESTEROL

Cholesterol is not as bad as you think, it exists in almost all of your organs and present in most of your hormones and aids to the formation of others.  Without cholesterol the cells in your body wouldn’t be built and you wouldn’t be able to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in your system, vitamins A, D, E and K from the foods you eat.  It is present in the blood, the tissues, and all the liquids within your body.  It contributes to producing bile, sexual hormones (estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone) and more.  Unfortunately it does have a bad-rap for contributing to prostate cancer and to the formation of plague that causes atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) a condition which eventually could cause strokes and heart attacks.

 “Cholesterol is transported in the blood by two different means, LDL and HDL.  Both are proteins.  LEL carries the cholesterol from the liver to the tissues—indeed, all tissues need cholesterol for their formation and maintenance (nerves, muscels, skin, organs).  If there is too much cholesterol in this circuit, the cells don’t absorb it anymore; it stay in the blood and attaches itself to the walls of blood vessels.  When it stagnates cholesterol become oxidized, thickens, and blocks veins and arterties.  HDL, transports cholesterol from the tissues to the liver, playing an opposite role,; it cleans the blood vessels.” Understanding the Messages of Your Body ~ Jean-Pierre Barral D.O.

We all need cholesterol in our blood to produce DHEA, adrenal and sex hormones…DHEA invigorates the body…  In some cases doctors have worked so hard to reduce a person’s cholesterol, it has interfered with their hormone function and their immunity.

(DHEA has been called ‘the mother of all hormones’, it is produced by the adrenal glands and a precursor to other sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.  DHEA helps the body’s resistance to stress and disease….it also appears to have a protective effect on the bones and the heart.  DHEA also helps to balance the negative affects of cortisol…too much cortisol and not enough DHEA in the blood can have serious ramifications with your health and your sexual functions.  As cortisol levels rise so too does your insulin levels and  your cholesterol).

FIBER

Men who eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, apples, bananas, mangoes and whole-wheat cereals and breads, have fewer prostate problems then men who don’t eat them.  Fiber works its magic by carrying the bad stuff….like cholesterol, carcinogens and other dangerous toxins out of our system.  Fiber also slows down the absorption of glucose in the body, allowing for a more gradual release of insulin which helps stabilize your blood sugar.  Fiber is one of the key ingredients in the battle against heart disease, cancer, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, constipation, digestive problems, diabetes and even overweight.

There are two types of fibers, soluble, which dissolves in water and insoluble which doesn’t   Most vegetables and fruits contain both types of fiber, though certain foods are richer in one or the other. The insoluble fibers have been called ‘roughage’…they absorb water, make stools softer, bulkier and easier to pass.  This keeps your food moving through the intestinal tract.  Solubles work different inside the body….their more gummy and sticky and work real well in picking up bile acids and other toxins and hauling them out of your body. And when these soluble fibers move these toxins out of your body, they draw cholesterol out of the bloodstream to be converted into more bile, which we conitnue to flush out of our body.

Excellent sources of fiber….whole-wheat breads, pumpernickel, all-bran cereals, Fiber 1, fruits such as strawberries, dates, prunes, oranges, apples, pineapple, bananas, cantaloupe, legumes and beans, vegetables…brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, tomato, beats, celery, corn,

MINERALS

Minerals are a part of every living cell in your body.  They are as important to your body as a new set of spark plugs are for your car.  You could see minerals as the spark plugs  and vitamins as the intital spark which is then distributed throughout your whole system.  When even one mineral is lacking from your diet the result will be felt by the entire body and certain vitamins will always be held back from being absorbed.  This could lead to fatigue,  lack of energy, feeling irritable,

CALCIUM works well with magnesium, sulfur and zinc, along with vitamin B12 and vitamin C and inositol for healthy sperm and sexual organs.  Horsetail and oatstraw contain high levels of silicon which is important for calcium to absorbed in the body.

CHLORINE stimulates the production of vital gastric juices (hydrochloric acid) which aids digestion, it also helps to eliminate waste, as well as  purifies and disinfects against germs and viruses. Chlorine also helps to regulate acid and alkaline balance of blood and hormone distribution.

Inorganic chlorine, which is not a naturally occurring substance, was used as a deadly war gas and nowadays it is a common ingredient used in the bleaching of flour and as an ingredient in many modern day medicines as pain killers and sleeping tablets.  This causes contraction of the blood vessels and a prarlyzing effect on the sensory nervous system.

IODINE is essential for regulating the thyroid gland, manufacturing the hormone thyroxine to control the metabolism of the body. It affects growth rate and helps burn excess fat.

MANGANESE is important for many different functions in the body, such as the nervous system (neuromuscular activity) and brain, maintenance of sex hormones, production of mothers’ milk and activates essential enzymes that are important in absorbing the B group vitamins.

MAGNESIUM is essential to metabolism…it ia a nerve mineral and in combination with calcium helps with digestion… it cannot be stored in the body for long periods and therefore the body needs to get it from the foods we eat. If your body is short of magnesium, you will be unable to absorb and utlilize vitamin B6.  It is crucial in maintaining hormone balance and is required for the formation of lung tissue and all other bodily tissues.  Magnesium helps to build a good memory by activating all muscular activity and for nourishing the white nerve fibre of the brain and spinal cord.  Magnesium in combination with manganese and vitamins B1 and B2, has a beneficial effect on the nervous system. nervous disorders, muscular and mental faculties.  Magnesium also regulates body temperature by converting glucose into an energy source.  The adrenal glands regulate the amount of magnesium with a hormone known as aldosterone…and aldosterone needs magnesium to be produced.  The pituitary gland in the brain needs magnesium too…when its magnesium levels are low, the pituitary can’t control the adrenals, causing an over-production of adrenaline.

POTASSIUM protects the body and keeps it healthy, when in combination with sodium (not salt) it prevents hardening of the arteries.  Cancer cells cannot live in a solution of potassium so this mineral can prevent cancers and tumors from growing.  Potassium combined with phosphorous is vital for the transportation of oxygen into the brain, which is essential for mental functioning.  Potassium is the foundation mineral of all muscular tissues.  It is essential for the repair and health condition of all the body’s muscles (cardiac – muscle of the heart);  (viscerel – muscles of the stomach and blood vessels; (skeletal muscles – arms, legs and spine).  A healing mineral that protects the body and keeps it healthy.  It repairs the liver and aids in waste elimination.

SELENIUM has been said to be more potent than vitamin E as an antioxidant.  In fact vitamin E and selenium work hand-in-hand in stopping free radicals and protection cells and tissues from oxidative damage.  It is known for its importance in sperm production and in the health of the testes. (Selenium is found in garlic, a herb long known for its ability to heal and normalize blood pressure.

ZINC

We’ve talked of zinc many times in this blog, showing the importance of this mineral in regard to a healthy prostate and healthy immune function.  Its importance cannot be denied.

The minerals Zinc, Copper and Selenium are vital and important for normal hormond production in men.  Selenium is necessary for testosterone production; and as we know, protects the sexual glands from free radicals and heavy metals.

Hair samples taken for mineral analysis in older men have shown low zinc levels with higher copper levels.  Zinc as we know is associated with testosterone but when zinc levels fall so does the testosterone.  What causes zinc deficiences to develop?  Stress is definitely at the front, as well as a diet too rich in sugar and processed carbohydrates.  If you’re a vegetarian, or don’t eat much meat and eggs…both of these are excellent sources of getting enough zinc.  Medications can also be a cause, like antidepressants, diuretics and anti-inflammatory medications (cortisone, Prednisone)…these tend to suppress the body’s absorption of zinc and interfere with the absorption of vitamin B6 and magnesium as well. Grians, especially those in unleavened bread have high levels of phytates.  When phytic acid binds with zinc, your body is unable to absorb it.

Food sources for zinc include red meat, eggs, and especially pumpkin seeds.  Vegetarians should definitely supplement this in their diet.

People who suffer from high copper levels, may experience symptoms of fatigue, depression, panic attacks, food cravings and mood swings…high levels of copper can also create free radicals that attack and erode joint cartilage .  Copper levels seem to rise when there is higher estrogen levels in the blood. Copper toxicity also affects your adrenal glands, thyroid and liver. If you’re a plumber or welder you may be at risk of absorbing higher than normal levels of copper.  As well, copper sulfate is added to many municipal drinking waters and swimming pools to keep away fungi, including yeast.

Other sources of high levels of copper can be found in vitamin and mineral supplements, high-soy diets, as well as shellfish, organ meats, wheat germ and brain, corn oil, yeast, margarine and even mushrooms.  If you or your wife cook with copper pots, you are most likely absorbing some of the copper.

High dozes of zinc has been known to reduce copper levels which can also lower the good cholesterol known as HDL.  Copper is essential for iron metabolism, lettuce is one of the best vegetable sources for both iron and copper and vitamin E and C.

OMEGA 3, 6, 9

“….essential fatty acids (EFAs) like omega-3 and omega-6 cannot be manufactured in the body and must be consumed wither through diet or supplements.  EFAs help the body repair and create new cells.  In addition to reducing inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids can actually create special roadblocks in the body, making it harder for cancer cells to migrate from a primary tumour to start new colonies.  Cancers that remain localized in one place are much easier to treat than those metastasize (spread throughout the body)”. REVERSING DIABETES ~ Don Colbert

more still to come…..

HERBS FOR THE PROSTATE

Damiana

Echinacea

Evening Primose Oil

Fo-ti

Gingseng

Gotu Kola

Licorice Root

Milk Thistle

Red Clover

Sarsaparilla

Saw Palmetto

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GIVING AND RECEIVING

The other day a friend asked me an astrological question regarding the North Node or True Node. As I attempted to answer her question, explaining the energies of both the North and South Node an interesting parallel to my last post came into focus. The Nodes are not planets but points where the Moon’s orbit intersect the Earth’s orbit. They signify the balance between receiving (North) and giving (South) in a person’s energy.

The North Node is connected to challenges, growth and moving beyond one’s boundaries…..it shows where we need to draw on other people’s support in order to reach our full potential. The South ‘on the other hand’ represents past achievements and shows us what we are already familiar with and can easily accomplish in this lifetime.

If these two energies are not in balance, there won’t be a link between our consciousness and unconscious, between mind and body, between spirit and psyche. Without this balance our heartfelt desires are deprived of bringing what we love into existence. We become stressed, frustrated, restricting the flow of energy to the heart, the most important central organ/muscle in the body. The fiery enthusiasm of the soul’s quest becomes depleted, losing its tremendous sense of pride and will. Instead of flowing outward from our center (self-worth), we find ourselves looking to others to help us decide our fate in the world. Our energy shrinks rather than expands affecting the heart and every organ, muscle, tissue, cell in the body. We lose contact with our vitality and our soul.

The adrenal glands, crucial in focusing our force of will, becomes exhausted causing wear and tear on the body. Instead of producing endorphins (happy heartfelt emotions) it produces an excess of cortisol, depressing the immune system, increasing blood pressure and cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol can cause calcium deposits to harden in our veins and arteries (cardiovascular system)…..our digestive system slows down, causing stomach ulcers, brittle bones, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, cancer, etc.

From http://www.worldwidehealthcenter.net/articles-415.html

Chronically excess cortisol may contribute to many diseases, including cancer, ulcers, heart attacks, diabetes, infections, alcoholism, strokes, skin diseases, psychosis, and possibly Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.5 Cortisol excess may contribute to obesity not only because of the metabolic derangements (including insulin resistance) that it promotes, but also because it induces “stress overeating,”

The above site helps us to understand how cortisol when balanced, can enhance our system…..and too much, can deplete it.

This proves that giving and receiving, loving another and loving ourselves is crucial and vital to the health of our heart and soul.

In this section we’re going to look at several different methods of stimulating, transforming and implementing a change of heart. We’ll look at nutrition, stretching exercises, yoga, breathing exercises, relaxation, music, dance, etc. that will help us recharge our batteries, let go of tension, strengthen our will, our self-worth and our ability to give/receive and lovingly connect with others.

NUTRITION

FRUITS

The winter holidays wouldn’t be complete without the addition of cranberries. Hmm, cranberry juice, sauces and jellies are a delight with stuffing and turkey. In fact cranberries are considered a potent source of antioxidants which help to cleanse and purify the body and a protector of heart disease and even cancer. But wait a minute you say, cranberries are known to treat urinary tract infections……and now you’re saying the heart too? Absolutely!!

“Three glasses of cranberry juice just might keep the cardiologist at bay.
That’s the suggestion of a small new study presented March 24 at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans. Researchers from the University of Scranton suggested that nutrients found in cranberry juice can effectively reduce the risk of heart disease — in some cases, up to 40 percent — mostly by increasing levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol. The juice was also shown to increase blood levels of antioxidant nutrients by up to 121 percent.”

http://preventdisease.com/news/articles/cranberry_juice_reduce_heart_disease.shtml

Also,

http://food-facts.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_health_benefits_of_cranberries
“Cranberries and Heart DiseaseBecause they contain flavonoids, studies reported by WebMD Medical News suggest that cranberries can be a weapon in the war against atherosclerosis, or what they used to call “hardening of the arteries”. Flavonoids help reduce the amount of bad cholesterol clogging the walls of your arteries while increasing the level of good cholesterol in your system.”

In fact if you google (cranberries) heart, you’ll learn a great deal about this fruit and its incredible source of nutrition, vitamins, antioxidants and as mentioned above, flavonoids.

Cranberries aren’t the only fruit that helps to heal the heart. Dark colored juices of grapes, beets and blueberries help to increase the production of red blood cells, supply the blood and tissues with potassiusm as well as eliminate accumulated salt from the tissues…..lowering blood pressure. Other fruits that drain out pounds of fluid (natural diuretics) are watermelon, watercress, pears, peaches and nectarines (to name a few). Citrus, black currants and grapes also helps in lowering blood pressure. Papaya contains an enzyme called carpain which has been seen helpful for the heart.

Potassium also helps in regulating the heartbeat and in combination with natural mineral Sodium (not table salt) helps to prevent hardening of the arteries. Pomegranates and its juice contains polyphenols (antioxidants) also combacts this disease as well as prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Fruits are the best cleansers of the body and 20-30% of our daily food supply should be fresh fruits. All fresh fruits are alkaline and vital for body development and repair….fruits store one of the greastest natural sources of energy on our planet….the Sun/Solar Energy.

Winter is a hard time to find fresh fruit…..frozen fruits work just as well.

VEGETABLES

We all heard the healing power of garlics and onions. Both of these are powerful in dissolving cholesterol and the gooey sludge that causes hardening of the arteries. Garlic also helps to increase the absorption of thiamine (B1)….without B1, or a deficiency of, we can suffer from shortness of breath and irregular heart beat.

B1 is found in many vegetables, some examples are artichokes, asparagus, avocado, brussel sprouts, dandelion, parsley, watercress as well as in rice bran, wheat germ, nuts and beans, etc..

Celery is a rich source of the important ‘natural’ mineral Sodium. Sodium is known to keep other mineral elements soluble in the bloodstream which helps to prevent a buildup of solid deposits. It also supplies the body with calcium, phospohorous, magnesium and vitamins A & C…..all of these help in the absorption and metabolism of calcium in the body. This vegetable and its cleansing action of the bloodstream is also helpful to those who struggle with weight problems.

Cucumbers improve circulation of the blood. Cucumbers contain an excellent source of vitamin E – the muscle vitamin. A lack of vitamin E slows down the effectiveness of muscles, especially the heart muscle. Vitamin E has recently been under alot of controversy…..

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,138184,00.html

“Vitamin E hasn’t proven to be good for the heart, and now a study suggests that too much vitamin E — daily doses of 400 IU or more — actually increases the risk of dying, according to new findings.”

Is the above statement true? I’m not sure….but food naturally containing vitamin E are safe! They help to improve circulation of the blood by dilating the blood vessels, even the smaller ones and also helps to nourish the cells, strengthen capillary walls and help in healing skin tissue that has been damaged. Vitamin E also helps to detoxify harmful pollutants we breathe in from our environment suc as industrial pollutants, exhaust fumes from cars, pesticides, chemical fertilizers and even preservatives.

I tried to find an intense list of vitamin E foods and couldn’t find them all in one place and decided to complile a list of my own….

Foods Rich In Vitamin E (not in alphabetical order)

Alfala Sprouts, Asparagus, Cucumbers, Avocado, Carrots, Lettuce, Grapefruit, Corn, Peas, Kale, Spinach, Brussel Sprouts, Chestnuts, Pumpin Seed, Wheat germ and wheat germ oil, Sesame seeds, Almonds, Hazel huts, Rice, Brazil nuts, Peanuts, Walnuts, Sunflowers Seeds, Oats, Pecan Nuts, Barley, Beans, Potatoes,

and I’m sure the list would go on……in fact a great resource for all vitamins and minerals can be found at this site http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/focus/nutrition/facts/vitamins_minerals/vitamin.htm

Brussel sprouts are an excellent source of antioxidant cartenoids (beta-carotene) that help protect our bodies from heart disease and cancer by boosting our immune system. They also help in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Broccoli as well is an excellent antioxidant http://www.phytochemicals.info/plants/broccoli.php

From http://www.alive.com/285a1a2.php?subject_bread_cramb=489
“The brassica family of vegetables, which includes broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and brussels sprouts, is one of your most powerful weapons in warding off many common diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.

All fruits and vegetables are valuable sources of nutrients that fight disease. They are naturally low in fat, cholesterol, calories and sodium; but rich in potassium, fibre, folic acid, beta-carotene and vitamins C and K. In fact, it is estimated that cancer rates would drop 20 per cent if Canadians ate five to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit each day. And it is the brassica family that contains the highest level of disease-fighting substances per serving. “

JUICING

I bought a juicer years ago and used it faithfully for about 3 months. It had been sitting in my laundry room and recently was resurrected and moved back to the kitchen. Juicing is making a comeback…..in my life anyways. As I’ve learned more and more about raw fruits and vegetables and their potent healing powers of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, the more I am eating and drinking them.

There are loads of recipes on the net to start juicing your way to health. Below, are a couple to get you started. It is recommended if you’re going to buy a juicer to get the masticating juicer that chews up the plant pulp and extracts the juice. Electric centrifugal juicers are good too. Just make sure the blades are stainless steel and not aluminum…..aluminum can react with the fruit acids.

Cholesterol fighting juice and more http://www.healthmad.com/Fitness/10-Exotic-and-Healthy-Juice-Recipes.82062

http://www.healingdaily.com/juicing-for-health/juicing-recipes.htm

MEATS AND POULTRY

Another controversial topic! Are meats good for us? An excellent and rich site regarding the pros and cons of meat is here…

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-wellbeing/health-news/is-meat-good-or-bad-for-us-425192.html

It’s heading states…..”It’s the best natural source of iron and protein – but it has also been linked to cancer. Maxine Frith investigates the pros and cons”

This site also talks of meat being the best source of zinc, iron, protein and B vitamins. It talks of high protein diets and their advantages to weight loss.

It also talks of the different meats…..”The three official red meats are pork, lamb and beef. Pork is the leanest, lamb the fattiest and beef the most nutritious.”

Definitely an interesting read!

Too much meat can affect our bodies and our thoughts. Meat is said to have a contractive effect, making the body to focus inward and ‘tighten down’. Vegetables and fruits are alkaline in nature as is our bodies….meat is very acidic. Our cells live in an alkaline environment….as they work to keep you healthy, they naturally produce an acid that our body’s in turn eliminate through the lungs. It’s your body’s way of getting rid of the acid created and generated from your hard working cells.

Our goal is not to add to this acidity by over-eating acid producing foods such as meats, poultry, nuts and even too much fish. A balance of all essential food groups is necessary for optinum growth and health.

The best foods to combine with meats and poulty are steamed or cooked vegetables with leafy green vegetables.

My father suffered health problems, especially heart related most of his adult life. His will to live led him to discover what combination of foods were best to enjoy life and have better health. He eliminated certain foods in his diet, reduced the intake of salt, coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, processed foods and snacks high in fats. He ate a diet rich in cooked fruits and vegetables as well as raw (used a juicer)…..and less in the meat and poultry department. About 25% of his diet consisted of meat and poultry, which helped him to live over the age of 80.

I do believe poultry is valuable to the diet…..Chicken and their eggs offers us a complete source of protein…….turkey (and chicken) contains Tryptophan, an amino acid our bodies cannot produce on its own. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan

The holiday season is upon us and many will be cooking the traditional turkey dinner with dressing with cranberries – yum! It was quite timely to find this wonderful site on eating turkey http://chemistry.about.com/od/holidaysseasons/a/tiredturkey.htm and if it makes us sleepy. It does talk of turkey containing Tryptophan and includes the influence of carbohydrates, overeating, alcohol and fats contributing to that sleepy feeling.

FISH

“A word of caution: live fishes may absorb contaminants found in the waters. Methyl mercury and PolyChlorinated Biphenyls that fish absorb by fishes may cause harm.
Research says that pregnant women and children should limit their intake of high-mercury species like swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, among others. Farmed fish like salmon have little mercury, but they may have PCBs.
Health Watch recommends peeling the skin and fat of the fish before cooking to minimise harm. They also suggest limiting the consumption of farmed and wild salmon. ” http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2005/apr/13fish.htm

Geez, everything we eat has a caution of some kind or another. With meat, we have Mad Cow Disease, with poultry the Bird Flu. However, adding fish to your weekly diet is still probably good for you, but I’d keep your protein intake at about 25% and the other 75% vegetables and fruits with a side of rice or potato.

Fish contains a high amount of the Omega 3 fatty acids and studies have shown it helps to lower cholesterol, prevents hardened arteries, decrease heart attacks and promotes a healthy circulatory system.

For seafood lovers, remember that crayfish, caviar, oysters, lobsters, crabs are very high in cholesterol.

“There are two fatty acids that are critical. They are ones deemed “essential” because we need them for our survival but our bodies cannot make them. We have to get them from food. They are linoleic acid (omega-6) and linolenic acid (omega-3) [polyunsaturates]. Without these essential fatty acids we perish. With enough of them (and in the presence of adequate vitamins and minerals), the body can manufacture all of the other fatty acids it needs –into arachidonic, gamma-linolenic, and many others……….

Our primitive ancestors had an answer. They were unable to extract oils from plants. They got all of the essential fatty acids they needed from the natural whole foods they ate, including poultry fat, animal fat, fish, avocado, egg yolk, olives, buter, nuts, and seeds and the like. There is wisdom in consuming our polunsaturates as part of the whole nut or seed, where nature’s package protects them from deterioration. It is risky to consume them as extracted and refined oils, in unnatural and potentially dangerous proportions……

Fish body oils contain unique polyunsaturates. The principal one of these is E.P.A. (eicosapentaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid that has been demonstrated to improve the flow characteristics of the blood. It prevents blood cells from sticking together to form clots that might otherwise prematurely plug up the arteries. E.P.A. also tends (a) to reduce serum triglycerides and total serum cholesterol and (b) to increase H.D.L. cholesterol (the “good” kind). E.P.A. is nature’s “antifreeze”, to keep the fish’s body from stiffening up from cold temperatures. Therefore, the colder the water the fish lives in, the higher its E.P.A. content. Almost any fish will do, but the best sources are salmon, mackerel, cod, herring, haddock, trout, whitefish, oysters and squid.” David W. Rowland, The Nutritional Bypass

SUMMARY

It seems that more and more we are somehow being pushed away from the ‘processed’ food industry. Recently, in Canada, we suffered a Listeria scare (bacteria) with processed meats that became a nationwide problem. We are discovering if we want to be and stay healthy, the body needs ‘whole foods’ not processed foods that considerably reduce the nutritional value of its content….they are also very high in salt, additives and chemicals. The more chemicals we injest, the harder our bodies have to work to eliminate these harmful substances….what can’t be eliminated begins to buildup and create havoc in our system. And the body’s health and energy becomes more and more depleted.

Is Mother Nature trying to give us a hint that we were designed to eats food grown naturally from the earth and not processed by man? Indeed I think She is! The Earth provides us with fresh ready-made whole foods in the form of vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds and nuts. Fresh meat, not processed, is beneficial as well, although too much of it is hard to digest on the body.

As I have looked to eat healthier, I’ve noticed my tendency to eat foods given to me as a child as well as those common to my culture. As my knowledge of the different food groups and what they have to offer has changed, so have my eating habits. Some foods tried didn’t have such an appeal, but many others did. Learning the nutrient content of vegetables, fruits, legumes, etc. and eating them has helped to improve my health.

Do I still eat processed and quick fix foods? Oh yes, but not as much as I used too! I still treat myself to my favorite foods, pizza, chocolate cake and apple pie, yum…..just not as often!

Fast foods are so convenient with our busy schedules, we throw it into the oven and literally scarf it down. Something I have done with my meals is add celery sticks, cucumbers and other raw vegetables and fruits to the meal. Also, the Crock Pot has made a comeback in many homes. There are hundreds of recipes on the net that taste great and easy and simple to prepare.

Although supplements weren’t discussed in this blog, we do need to look at why we find ourselves taking them to feel better. The more I’ve learned about the different food groups and the gifts they offer, the more I have reduced my visits to the health store. We need to seriously look at why we take something to physically ‘feel better’….obviously something is amiss within our diet. Supplements definitely do help, don’t get me wrong, especially with the deterioration of nutrients in our soil caused by chemicals, pollutants and bug sprays.

The next section on this blog turns our attention on triglycerides, carbohydrates and fats.  Triglycerides are produced in the liver from carbohydrates.  They are also the fatty substance (lipids) in the blood.  Too much fat can clog our arteries as well as protein and carbohydrates.

to be continued….

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