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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Dangers of Dehydration

(NaturalNews) The human body is composed of 75 percent water and 25 percent solid matter. To provide nourishment, eliminate waste and conduct all the trillions of activities in the body, we need water. Most modern societies, however, no longer stress the importance of drinking water as the most important "nutrient" among nutrients. Entire population groups are substituting water with tea, coffee, alcohol and other manufactured beverages. Many people don't realize that the natural thirst signal of the body is a sign that it requires pure, plain drinking water. Instead, they opt for other beverages in the belief that this will satisfy the body's water requirements. This is a false belief.

Common Beverage Substitutions Lead to Dehydration

It is true that beverages such as tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks, sports drinks and juices contain water, but they also contain caffeine, alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners or other chemicals that act as strong dehydrators. The more of these beverages you consume, the more dehydrated your body becomes because the effects they create in the body are exactly opposite the ones that are produced by water. Beverages containing caffeine, for example, trigger stress responses that at first have strong diuretic effects, leading to increased urination. Beverages with added sugar drastically raise blood sugar levels. Any beverage that provokes such a response coerces the body to give up large quantities of water. Regular consumption of such beverages results in chronic dehydration, which plays a part in every toxicity crisis (the body's effort to rid itself of accumulated toxins).

There is no practical or rational reason to treat an illness (toxicity crisis) with synthetic drugs or even with natural medications and methods unless the body's need for hydration has been met first. Drugs and other forms of medical intervention can be dangerous for the human physiology largely because of their strongly dehydrating effects. Most patients nowadays are suffering from "thirst disease," a progressive condition of dehydration. Some parts of the body may be dehydrated more than others. Unable to remove toxins from these parts due to insufficient water reserves, the body is faced with the consequences of their destructive effects (toxemia). The lack of recognition of the most basic aspects of water metabolism in the body more often than not becomes a "diagnosed" illness, when it is really the body's desperate cry for water. What doctors generally refer to as disease, is largely an advanced condition of dehydration and the resulting inability of the body to rid itself of waste materials and toxins.

Recognizing Dehydration

Those who have lived for many years without proper water intake are the most likely to succumb to the buildup of toxins in the body. Chronic disease is always accompanied by dehydration and, in many cases, caused by it. The longer a person lives on a low water ration and/or on a high ration of stimulating beverages or foods, the more severe and long-lasting will be the toxicity crisis. Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach ulcers, hypertension, cancer, MS, Alzheimer's, and many other chronic forms of disease are preceded by years of "body drought." Infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses cannot thrive in a well-hydrated body. Drinking enough water is, therefore, one of the most important disease-prevention measures you can take.

Those who do not drink enough water, or who unduly deplete their body's water reserves through overstimulation for a period of time, gradually lower the ratio of the volume of water that exists inside the cells to the ratio of the volume of water that is found outside the cells. Normally, the water ratio inside cells is higher than the one found in the cell environment. Under conditions of dehydration, the cells may lose up to 28 percent or more of their water volume. This certainly undermines all cellular activities, whether the cells in question are those of the skin, stomach, liver, kidney, heart or brain. Whenever there is cellular dehydration, metabolic waste products are not removed properly. This causes symptoms that resemble disease, but they are really just indicators of disturbed water metabolism.

Since more and more water begins to accumulate outside the cells in order to dilute and help neutralize the toxic waste products that have accumulated there, the dehydration may not be apparent to the afflicted person. He may, in fact, notice that he begins to hold on to water in his legs, feet, arms and face. His kidneys may also begin to hold on to water, markedly reducing urinary secretion and causing the retention of potentially harmful waste products. Normally, cellular enzymes signal to the brain when cells run low on water. Enzymes in dehydrated cells, however, become so inefficient that they are no longer able to register the drought-like condition. Subsequently, they fail to convey the emergency situation to the brain, which would normally push the "thirst alarm button."

Demetria, a 53-year-old Greek woman, consulted me to find relief for the painful condition of gallbladder disease. Her skin was dark gray, indicating a high concentration of toxins in her liver and throughout her body. Seeing how dehydrated (and swollen) her body was, I offered her a glass of water. She said, "I never drink water; it makes me sick!" I told her that her natural thirst signals were no longer working due to cellular dehydration, and that without drinking enough water, her body could not return to balance. It was obvious to me that her body would use any amount of water she drank to instantly remove some of the toxins lurking in her stomach, giving rise to nausea. In her case, any therapy other than drinking water would have been a waste of her time and money. Demetria's difficult condition required that she begin sipping small amounts of hot, ionized water every half hour (see directions in "General Guidelines" of Chapter 6, Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation, www.ener-chi.com) to help remove these toxins until she was able to drink larger portions of regular water.

A dehydrated person may also be suffering from a lack of energy. Because of a shortage of water inside the cells, the normal osmotic flow of water through the cell membrane becomes severely disturbed. Similar to a stream running down a mountain, the movement of water into the cells generates "hydroelectric" energy, which is subsequently stored as ATP molecules (the main source of cellular energy). As a rule, the water we drink keeps the cell volume balanced, and the salt we eat maintains the balanced volume of water that is kept outside the cells and in circulation. This generates the perfect osmotic pressure necessary for cellular nourishment and energy production. In a dehydrated state, the body fails to sustain this vital mechanism, thereby leading to potentially serious cell damage.

The Pain Connection

Another major indicator of dehydration in the body is pain. In response to an increasing shortage of water, the brain activates and stores the important neurotransmitter histamine, which directs certain subordinate water regulators to redistribute the amount of water that is in circulation. This system helps move water to areas where it is needed for essential metabolic activity and survival when facing such a shortage, as may occur during a drought. When histamine and its subordinate regulators for water intake and distribution move across pain-sensing nerves in the body, they trigger strong and continual pain. These pain signals may manifest, for example, in rheumatoid arthritis, angina, dyspepsia, low back problems, fibromyalgia, neuralgia, migraine, and hangover headaches. They are necessary to alert the person to attend to the problem of a widespread or localized form of dehydration.

Taking analgesics or other pain-relieving medications such as antihistamines and antacids can cause irreversible damage in your body. They not only fail to address the real problem (which may be dehydration), but they also cut off the connection between the neurotransmitter, histamine, and its subordinate regulators, such as vasopressin, Renin-Angiotensin (RA), prostaglandin (PG), and kinins. Although the action of pain-killing drugs can relieve localized pain for a while, it also precludes your body from knowing the priority areas for water distribution. This can greatly confuse your body's internal communications systems and spread chaos throughout the body. Antihistamines -- oftentimes referred to as allergy drugs -- effectively prevent the body's histamines from ensuring balanced water distribution.

The problem worsens once the body has reached a certain pain threshold. In addition to jeopardizing the water-regulating mechanisms, these painkillers become ineffective because the brain takes over as a direct center for monitoring pain perpetuation (unless, of course, the body is properly hydrated again). If your body produces lasting pain for no apparent reason (not caused by an injury), before drawing any other conclusions, you should interpret this as the body's cry for water and its attempt to remedy an unbalanced condition. Prescription pain medication suppresses the body's primary signal of dehydration. Pain killers "short-circuit" the body's emergency routes for water supply; they also sabotage proper waste elimination and sow the seeds of chronic illness.

There is enough documentation to show that pain medications may have fatal side effects. They can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, which kills thousands each year. The morphine-type compounds these legal drugs contain can also lead to serious, life-altering addictions. When the famous radio host, Rush Limbaugh, announced on his radio program that he was addicted to pain medication, his life was in shambles. But he is not alone in this. There are millions of people who initially started off by taking an "innocent" Advil for the occasional headache, but ended up being unable to live without strong painkillers. Once you start using dehydrating medications like these, you will mostly likely develop the same kind or even worse pain over and over again.

The most recently documented and widely popularized side effects of pain killers, such as Vioxx, Celebrex and the over-the-counter drug Aleve (Naproxen), should tell you that there are no safe painkillers. These drugs were found to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes by at least 50 percent. Aspirin and other "harmless" drugs belong to the same class of painkillers as the above. Today, there are millions of heart disease sufferers, who out of ignorance and misguided trust in the medical system, the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry, believed that taking a little innocent baby pill wouldn't do them any harm. The revelation that this little pill could destroy their heart or damage their brain if they took it for more than 10 days may be no less than shocking. But how many people listen to such warnings if all they want is to "get rid of that annoying pain"?

Taking a "harmless" little pill that makes you feel better within a matter of minutes and allows you to get on with your life may feel like the right thing to do. And, if the pain medicine tastes delicious, the "miracle drug" couldn't possibly do you any harm, or could it? Tylenol Extra Strength "cool caplets," the latest craze among painkilling medications, makes these dangerous drugs appear harmless. It's both a breath mint and a pain reliever. But is it really a sound idea to add the temptation of flavoring to a pain-reliever that, by the FDA's own admission, plays a role in at least 100 reported (a fraction of the real figure) unintentional deaths each year? This may change now that the scandals surrounding drug approval and the revelations concerning shoddy research are increasingly being exposed; or will it? If you were to ask people on the street if they considered acetaminophen to be a completely benign medication, most would respond with a "yes." That totally undeserved reputation may only be reinforced when mint flavoring is added to the mix.

Once you decide to end a drug addiction, life is not going to be easy. Those who are able to afford a rehabilitation treatment, can choose a rapid anesthesia detox for about $5,900. To become truly rehabilitated, though, they will need to deal with the underlying causes of the pain that originally led them to take addictive drugs. The bottom line is this: The body's natural pain signal is a perfectly normal response to an abnormal situation -- simple dehydration. In many cases, the body's blood vessel walls, liver bile ducts, lymphatic ducts, kidneys, intestinal tract, and other organs of elimination are so congested that chronic dehydration becomes inevitable. To restore health, the body needs to be cleansed and nourished properly, which is the main theme of my book.

Most people have no real understanding of what pain is. They rarely perceive it to be an important part of the body's healing efforts. Pain is always a sign of resistance to what moves or flows naturally. The resistance can occur either as a result of some physical obstruction, such as constipation or lymph congestion, or from an emotional resistance to a particular person or situation. Once recognized, the causes of resistance can usually be resolved. Fighting pain tends to lead to more pain, whereas releasing the resistance lessens the pain. Even if you experience some pain while supporting the body through cleansing, rest and good nutrition, the pain actually helps to accelerate the healing. If you stay with the pain, rather than suppressing it with drugs, you will find that it will decrease naturally in a matter of hours or a few days. Trying to combat every ache or pain with painkillers, on the other hand, is an addiction that causes much fear and more pain in your life. Feeling one's pain with an attitude of acceptance removes all kinds of fear from your life. In addition, the pain experience itself will stimulate the secretion of the body's own natural painkillers and healing hormones -- the endorphins. Overall, once you have identified and dealt with the causes of the pain, it is just a matter of time before the pain disappears altogether.

Of course, in the rare case that the pain becomes simply unbearable, the use of painkillers may be unavoidable. At the same time, the pain-afflicted person should get on a hydration and cleansing program, as well as end any dehydrating influences in his life.

"Body Drought" - The Strongest Type of Stress

The human brain, working round the clock, requires more water than any other part of the body. Typically, the brain contains about 20 percent of all the blood that circulates through the body. It is estimated that brain cells consist of 85 percent water. Their energy requirements are not only met by metabolizing glucose (simple sugar), but also by generating "hydroelectric" energy from the water drive through cell osmosis. The brain depends greatly on this cell-generated source of energy in order to maintain its hugely complex processes and efficiency.

Water deficiency in the brain tissue cuts down the brain's energy supply, and thereby subdues many of its vital functions -- a situation most people call depression. With a lower than normal level of brain energy, you are unable to meet your physical, personal and social challenges and subsequently succumb to fear, anxiety, anger and other emotional tribulations. You may feel drained, lethargic, stressed and depressed. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), for example, is mostly a symptom of progressive brain dehydration that results from the inability to readily remove all metabolic waste matter and cellular debris from the brain and other vital parts of the body. What CFS sufferers refer to as "brain fog" is actually an accurate description of the congestion that occurs in the brain. CFS is not a vicious disease that somehow gets hold of a person for no apparent reason. It may disappear quite spontaneously when the afflicted person stops stimulating the brain with such things as caffeine, tobacco, medication and animal products and begins a consistent program of cleansing, hydrating, and nourishing the body. [For more information on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), please see the articles page on the author's website, (www.ener-chi.com)]

The Stress Response

When dehydrated, the body has to put up the fight of a lifetime -- similar to the one experienced during a famine or a "fight or flight" situation. It responds to such a crisis by mobilizing several powerful hormones, including adrenalin, endorphins, cortisone, prolactin, vasopressin, and Renin-Angiotensin (RA). Endorphins, for example, help us to withstand pain and stress and allow the body to continue most of its activities. Cortisone orders the mobilization of stored energies and essential raw materials to supply the body with energy and basic nutrients during the crisis. This hormone actually allows the body to feed off itself, a situation that is warranted during a famine. Of course, this is also very stressful and potentially dangerous for the body, as can be seen by such emotional expressions as, "I cannot cope anymore," or "This is really eating at me."

Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS) or other degenerative diseases take cortisone drugs, which often give them a boost of energy and morale for a relatively short period of time. The "success" of the drug, however, only lasts for as long as the body can tap into any energy and nutrient reserves still left. Once the body has used up its emergency provisions, it will barely function anymore, and the symptoms of disease will worsen considerably.

Constriction of blood vessels

When the cells in the body are under-supplied with water, the brain's pituitary gland produces the neurotransmitter vasopressin, a hormone that has the ability to constrict blood vessels in areas where there is cellular dehydration. During dehydration, the quantity of water in the bloodstream is reduced. Vasopressin, as its name suggests, squeezes the vascular system, i.e., the capillaries and arteries, to reduce their fluid volume. This maneuver is necessary to continue having enough pressure in the vascular system to allow for a steady filtration of water into the cells. This gives vasopressin a hypertensive property. High blood pressure is a common experience among people who are dehydrated. A similar situation occurs in the liver's bile ducts, which begin to constrict in response to water shortage in the body. Gallstone formation is a direct result of dehydration.

Drinking alcoholic beverages suppresses the secretion of vasopressin and thereby increases cellular dehydration. If alcohol consumption is excessive, cellular dehydration may reach dangerously high levels. The typical "hangover" that occurs after alcohol abuse is nothing but an extreme state of dehydration of the brain cells. To survive the alcohol-induced "drought," the body has to secrete more stress hormones, among them the addictive endorphins. With regular consumption of alcohol, that is, having a drink every day for several months or years, dehydration increases even further, and endorphin production becomes an addictive occurrence. This may lead to alcoholism, a disease that has devastating consequences on a person's personal and social life.

Water Retention and Kidney Damage

The Renin-Angiotensin (RA) system becomes activated whenever there is a shortage of water in the body. This brilliantly designed system is used to direct the body to hold on to water wherever possible. It instructs the kidneys to inhibit urination and tightens the capillaries and the vascular system, particularly in areas that are not as vitally important as the brain and the heart muscles. At the same time, it stimulates an increase in the absorption of sodium (salt), which helps the body to retain water. Unless the body returns to its normal level of hydration, the RA system remains activated. But this also means that the pressure of the blood against the walls of the blood vessels remains abnormally high, thereby causing the damage that is known as cardiovascular disease.

Hypertension and the retention of urine in the kidneys may lead to kidney damage. Conventional treatments for this condition consist mostly of diuretic (urine-forming) drugs and restricted salt consumption. Both can have severe drawbacks. Diuretic drugs, which are used to normalize blood pressure, as well as reduced salt intake, strongly undermine the body's emergency measures to save the little water it has left for normal cellular activities. The resulting stress response causes a further increase in dehydration, and the vicious cycle is complete. Many of the kidney transplants performed today are a result of chronic dehydration, which is caused by something as simple as not drinking enough water, consumption of alcohol, eating foods high in animal protein, or overstimulation of the nervous system.

The Caffeine and Alcohol Drama

The caffeine contained in such beverages as tea, coffee, soft drinks and most power drinks, not only stimulates and stresses both the central nervous and immune systems, but also acts as a powerful diuretic. For every cup of coffee or tea you drink, your body has to relinquish up to three cups of water to remove the toxic caffeine. It cannot afford to give up this water without suffering some sort of damage. The caffeine-containing soft drink beverages work in a similar way. Caffeine, being a nerve toxin, stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete stress hormones and to trigger a strong immune response that may give you the false impression that this newly found energy and vitality was somehow provided by the consumed beverage.

The secret behind these stimulants is that the immune reaction mobilizes enough energy for you to feel perked up and clear-headed, at least for as long as your body remains stimulated. To remove the caffeine from the blood, the body is forced to take water from its cells. This results in cellular dehydration and temporary thinning of the blood. Because the thinning of the blood makes you feel good, you won't notice the imminent danger of dehydration. The dehydrating effect of the caffeine in soft drinks is ample reason to avoid them. Unfortunately, caffeine is not the only culprit in soft drinks.

Soft Drinks May Seriously Harm Your Health

New evidence confirms that soft drinks cause serious cell damage. Research from a British university suggests a common preservative found in drinks such as Coca-Cola, Fanta and Pepsi Max has the ability to switch off vital parts of DNA -- a problem more usually associated with aging and alcohol abuse. This can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. The findings reveal serious consequences for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who consume carbonated beverages. They also reopen the debate about food additives, which have been linked to hyperactivity in children.

The biggest concern centers on the safety of E211, known as sodium benzoate, a preservative used for decades by the $150 billion global carbonated drinks industry. Sodium benzoate derives from benzoic acid. It is used in large quantities to prevent mold from forming in soft drinks such as Sprite, Oasis and Dr Pepper. This common preservative is also added to pickles and sauces.

In the past, sodium benzoate had already been identified as an indirect cause of cancer. When mixed with the additive vitamin C in soft drinks, it produces benzene, a carcinogenic substance. Now, Dr. Peter Piper, professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at Sheffield University, England, has released the results of his research on the impact of sodium benzoate on living yeast cells in his laboratory. Professor Piper discovered that benzoate damaged an important area of DNA in the "power station" of cells known as the mitochondria. He told The Independent on Sunday, May 27, 2007: "These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: they knock it out altogether. The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it -- as happens in a number of diseased states -- then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA -- Parkinson's and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all, the whole process of aging."

While referring to outdated tests done by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization, Professor Piper said, "The food industry will say these compounds have been tested and they are completely safe. By the criteria of modern safety testing, the safety tests were inadequate. Like all things, safety testing moves forward and you can conduct a much more rigorous safety test than you could 50 years ago."

It is obvious that the government is not going to take a stand against the powerful food and beverage industry. It is up to everyone to protect themselves and their families against the careless policies and practices of those in charge of public health. Not allowing your children to drink soft drinks is one of the most important things you can do for their safety and good health. The same applies to sport drinks, which according to a report issued by the University of Californian in Berkeley can raise body weight a stunning 13 pounds each year if only one 20-ounce bottle is consumed each day.

A new study conducted at Boston University School of Medicine (released August 2007) shows that drinking as little as one can of soda -- regular or diet -- per day is associated with a 46 percent increased risk of metabolic syndrome which plays a major role in heart disease and diabetes. According to the study, other harmful side effects of soda, both diet and regular, include:

* A 31% greater risk of becoming obese.
* A 30% higher risk of having a larger waist line.
* A 25% higher risk of developing high blood triglycerides or high blood sugar.
* A 32% greater risk of having low levels of good cholesterol.
* A trend toward an increased risk of high blood pressure.

Over the long term, the effects of the acidity, sugars, artificial flavors and sweeteners, and such preservatives as E211 contained in soft drinks can be devastating to the body. It would take 32 glasses of water at an alkaline pH of 9 to neutralize the acid from just one 12 oz. cola or other soda. In response to ingesting a cola, apart from risking dehydration, the body will have to use up reserves of its own stored alkaline buffers, mainly calcium from the bones, teeth and DNA. This raises the body's alkalinity levels in order to maintain proper blood alkaline pH levels. Once these reserves are exhausted, your life is at risk. There are enough acids in one soda to kill you, if your body didn't possess a mechanism to neutralize them. How long it takes before your body succumbs to the acid attack and suffers an acidosis depends upon how soon your mineral buffers are depleted. Acidic blood levels are a leading cause of death!

Caffeine, which is a major component in most soft drinks, removes water from the body faster than the body can absorb it again, thereby generating constant thirst. People who frequently drink soft drinks are never really able to quench their thirst because their bodies continually and increasingly run out of cellular water. Some college students drink as many as 10-14 cans of cola a day. Eventually, they confuse their bodies' never-ending thirst signal with hunger and begin to overeat, causing swelling and excessive weight gain. Apart from its diuretic action and its addictive effects on the brain, regular caffeine intake overstimulates the heart muscles, causing exhaustion and heart disease.

Alcohol's diuretic effect on the body is similar to that of caffeine-containing beverages. For example, drinking one glass of beer results in the body forfeiting up to three glasses of water. As mentioned before, a hangover is the result of alcohol abuse, which causes the brain to suffer severe dehydration. If this occurs repeatedly, a large number of brain cells become damaged and die. As a result, many important brain functions slow down or become depressed. Recovery is possible to a certain extent if alcohol consumption is discontinued. To properly rehydrate the body, please carefully follow the directions in Drinking Water — The Greatest Therapy, Chapter 6 (of Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation).

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Top 3 Most Dangerous Pain Medicines

(NaturalNews) Pain medications and the adverse drug reactions to them are the fourth leading cause of death in the US. This is only behind cancer, heart disease, and strokes. But still, millions of people take some form of pain medication every single day. Prescription or over-the-counter, the vast majority of these people taking these just don't realize the incredible dangers.

The risk of you or someone you know dying directly from or from a side-effect from pain medication is higher than the chance of dying from illegal narcotics, diabetes, lung disease, or an auto accident. That's scary. Awareness is the only way we can help people realize just how dangerous these drugs really are. This information could save your life!

The top three most dangerous pain medications:

3. Opiate pain medications

Some of the most common opiate-based prescription drugs are Codeine, Morphine, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, and Oxycodone. These drugs are commonly prescribed after surgery, major accidents, severe injuries or for painful medical conditions.
These drugs may numb the pain but at an extremely high price. The number of overdose deaths is now greater than those of deaths from heroin and cocaine combined and over 15,000 people die annually from Opiate pain medication overdoses.


You have heard the names before: ibuprofen (Advil), naprosyn (Aleve), and Motrin. There are others. Researchers from Denmark showed that patients with a history of prior heart attack that took NSAIDs - even in the short term - had a greater risk of death, or another heart attack.

Legions of other studies have been done on NASIDs and they too report an increased rate of death and heart attack. NASIDs cause over 16,000 deaths per year. That's as much as AIDS.

1. COX-2 inhibitors

Celebrex is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) known as a COX-2 inhibitor. Celebrex is commonly used treat several conditions related to pain and inflammation.

What's deeply concerning: Celebrex is the only selective COX-2 inhibitor left on the market, as its close "cousins" were all pulled due to either their killing tens of thousands of people or to their unacceptably high heart risks. While studying the drug's potential as an anti-cancer drug, the National Cancer Institute discovered that those taking 400mg doses of Celebrex had a 250 percent greater risk of dying from heart attack or stroke and those taking 800mg had a 340 percent higher risk.

The bottom line

It cannot be stressed it enough. Pain pills are dangerous. Tens of thousands of people die every year from complications related to pain medications. Be very careful what you put in your body. Do your research so you or one of your family members are not the next victim of these deadly drugs.

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Kale: A Green Nutritional Powerhouse Everyone Should Eat

A delectable green nutritional powerhouse, kale is one of many superfoods that is a must-have in any kitchen. Like other superfoods like blueberries and green tea, kale provides a wealth of nutritional benefits from cancer prevention to anti-inflammation. But what else can kale do for you?

Some of Kale’s Many Benefits

Kale is rich in iron, vitamins K, A, C, and minerals manganese and copper. It’s also high in fiber, low in calories, and has no fat. There are several things that make it a healthy food, like other healthy foods. But those things that elevate it to super-food level are not your average vitamins and minerals.

The antioxidant concentration in kale is truly remarkable. It is particularly rich in carotenoids and flavonoids. Lutein and beta-carotene are two carotenoids that work to protect the body from oxidative stress while also boosting eye health and preserving vision – both are found in kale. As a result, kale may reduce the risk of eye problems like macular degeneration and other health problems related to cellular stress like hardening of the arteries and COPD. In addition, kaempferol, a flavonoid, and quercetin are both tied to cancer-prevention, and like the other carotenoids, kale has plenty of them.

Another powerful substance in kale that has been shown to help activate the detoxification enzymes within the liver is known as sulforaphane. This compound is produced when you chew or chop the vegetable.

So, what can kale actually do for you? Given the power of the numerous beneficial compounds within the vegetable, it is likely that kale can provide:

  • Protection against cancer
  • Improved digestion
  • Boosted immune function
  • Vision health
  • Heart health
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits
  • General detox
  • Reduced cholesterol

A Few Tips on Preparataion

But before you go buy several bunches from your local supermarket, a few words on choosing and preparing kale.

Kale is one of the “dirty dozen”, containing a higher concentration of pesticides and chemicals. So, when possible, buy organic and local kale. Even better, grow it yourself. If you must buy it from a local grocery store, make sure you wash it well before eating.

Raw kale is great and cooking can reduce some of its nutritional potency. On the other hand, research has shown that steaming it can increase its ability to lower cholesterol. So, eat it raw and eat it steamed—kale is so good for you that you should be eating it a few times a week. And of course, juicing kale is a great option as well.

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10 High Energy Foods to Boost Energy and Your Workout

fitnesscrunch2 245x153 Eating for Energy: 10 High Energy Foods to Boost Energy and Your Workout

For those of you continuing your workouts despite the growing chill: firstly, congratulations. Secondly, be sure that you’re getting the most out of your exercise, not only through activity level or type but through diet. The following 10 high energy foods are sure to amp your day, whether boosting up a workout or staying alert and awake. Eating for energy IS possible.

1. Coffee

It’s a good idea to avoid coffee for thirty minutes to an hour before working out, but the caffeine helps your stamina and endurance according to Molly Kimball, R.D. Green tea works the same way and comes with its own health benefits. Just be sure to nix the sugar, since it’s inflammatory and works against the caffeine.

2. Ginger

Do you regularly experience post-workout muscle soreness? Try taking half a teaspoon of raw or ground up ginger, an anti-inflammatory food. Gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone are more effective than NSAIDS, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain. Try some ginger tea with a spoonful of honey and coconut milk while relaxing after your workout.

3. High Energy Foods Containing Vitamin B12

When you eat right and get regular exercise, and still can’t seem to muster enough energy, you may want to consider vitamin B12 for an energetic boost. According to researchers, up to 40 percent of Americans don’t get enough of this energy-producing vitamin, yet it is one of the best vitamins for energy around.

You can consume fish, eggs, dairy products, or meat—or go with a simple vitamin B12 supplement. And if you’d like other natural ways to boost energy and fight sleepiness, you can try various other natural energy boosters to amp up your day.

4. Apples

Quercetin helps your metabolism to increase endurance, and there’s a lot of it in an apple. This fruit is also easy to store and travel with, making it an ideal snack on a bike ride or run.

5. Tomato juice

The lycopene found in tomatoes limits damage caused by free radicals during intense exercise. Try to avoid canned varieties to keep away nasty bisphenol-A – a harmful endocrine disrupting chemical tied to numerous health complications. Be wary, too, of the sodium content of your chosen brand!

6. Ginseng

Ginseng can act as a stimulant similar to how caffeine does, but without any added stress. Ginseng helps to feed the adrenal cortex by offering nutrients it needs to create stress-free energy.

7. Raisins

After running for 80 minutes, subjects in a University of California at Davis ate one of three items (100 calories of raisins, sports chews, or water) before embarking on an additional 5k run. Those who ate the raisins or chews ran a minute faster than the hungry water-guzzlers. UC Davis researchers believe that it’s because raisins have the carbohydrates to keep blood sugar levels steady during a workout.

8. Bananas

Appalachian State University researchers say that bananas can keep you going just as well as sports drinks can—but with much less inflammatory sugars  Bananas are full of carbohydrates to power you through and vitamin B6 to convert those carbs into energy. The potassium in bananas also leads to a boost in energy, and helps prevent muscle cramps.  For longer workouts, eat half of a banana every 15 minutes.

9. Beets

Eating for energy doesn’t get much easier when speaking of beets, which are among the best high energy foods. Researchers believe the beetroot juice may work to boost stamina by affecting how the body processes nitrate into nitric oxide, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen burned by the body during a workout. Several studies find similar results to one by Saint Louis University, which found that runners who ate a 7-ounce serving of baked beets a little over an hour before running a 5k finished 3 percent faster overall and 5 percent faster in the last stretch  Just be sure the beets are locally harvested or non-GMO!

According to researcher Professor Andy Jones:

“We were amazed by the effects of beetroot juice on oxygen uptake because these effects cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training…I am also keen to explore the relevance of the findings to those people who suffer from poor fitness and may be able to use dietary supplements to help them go about their daily lives.”

10. Greek yogurt

This food is loaded with protein, perfect for a post-workout or evening snack. You’ll repair tired muscles and make more overnight. With a spoonful of honey, its creamy texture will give you all you could ever want from a dessert without the caloric hit, too.

Beyond High Energy Foods – 3 Additional Tips

  • Colon Cleanse - Compacted fecal matter stuck in the intestinal tract can cause a huge surge of tiredness and leave you feeling lethargic. Left to rot, the compacted matter often compromises the health of the colon, which severely hinders your ability to fight off disease and operate on normal levels. If you have never cleansed your colon before, it is long overdue.
  • Fast – While eating for energy can work, fasting can be an excellent method for cleansing the body and providing energy. The body spends up to one-third of its energy on digestion and elimination. By engaging in a fruit fast or vegetable fast, you are giving your body a rest and allowing it to cleanse and work more properly overall – improving overall health and energy levels.
  • Digestive Enzymes - Individuals often lack energy because their body is unable to break down food efficiently. Digestive enzymes help to break down proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber, leading to the body’s ability to utilize vitamins and nutrients.

Remember that it’s best to snack on 200 to 300 calories of healthy carbs and protein about an hour before a workout. Don’t forget to hydrate with 8 ounces of water an hour before your workout and between 4 and 6 ounces of water every 15 minutes of intense exercise.

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/eating-for-energy-10-high-energy-foods-to-boost-workout/#ixzz2S0KTTkb8 
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Four Ways to Keep Your Hair Mosturized Longer


After finding a great conditioner and a good moisturizer, what more can you do to increase moisture retention?  The following are four tips that have helped me – and will hopefully help you in your natural hair care journey:

1. Wash your hair regularly and sufficiently

The drenching of the hair with water (a natural moisturizer in and of itself) can replenish dry strands. Washing with a cleanser also removes dirt, pollution, and product buildup that may block moisture penetration. Even though we have historically been taught that regular washing leads to dry hair, it is more so the TYPE of shampoo that translates to moisture loss. Stick with gentle shampoos that leave your hair feeling clean but not stripped.

2. Mix glycerin and aloe vera gel with your sealant

Sealing the hair with an oil and/or butter helps to ‘lock’ in the moisture (i.e., water) from washing and conditioning. However, sometimes we need a little more beyond sealing.  If you are a mixtress, try incorporating glycerin (a humectant), aloe vera gel (a moisturizer), and a little water into your sealant mixture for extra moisture retention.  (Use the appropriate preservative, if necessary.)  If you are not a mixtress, you may alternatively benefit from applying a heavy cream after sealing with an oil.

3. Choose the right material and weave for your bonnet

I work with polyester and silk regularly and have come to learn that there is such a thing as “good quality” polyester as well as “poor quality” silk.  Not all polyester is bad for our natural hair, and not all silk is luxurious.  Bonnets and scarves that are fabricated from polyester charmeuse (or, better known as “satin charmeuse”) or silk charmeuse are generally good quality.  Why is this? Well charmeuse is a type of weave that yields a softer-than-satin finish and a silk or polyester made with this weave may help with moisture retention better than any other weave.

4. Air-dry in medium twists or braids

Twists and braids force my hair to trap and better absorb the moisture in my strands. After a few days or more in twists or braids, I can wear a loose hairstyle that retains more moisture than had I worn the set for just one day. In my experience, protective styling is not just reserved for the mechanical protection of the ends. It has the added benefit of helping your ends absorb and retain moisture after a washing session.  Medium or small twists work better for me then big or jumbo ones.

Ladies, how do you increase moisture retention?

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Top 10 Anti-Cancer Vegetables

Photo by David Grunfeld

If you haven’t noticed, we are constantly bombarded with pleas from charities for cancer research money.
“Race for the Cure, Stand Up to Cancer, Buy Pink products, grow a Movember mustache….”
This is often accompanied by the message  that “we are running out of funding for cancer research”.  And of course this is a problem, because “without funding for more research, we will never find a cure”.
Cue the shots of bald women and children poisoned by chemo, accompanied by dramatic music. Then insert a high-profile celebrity to say, “The cure is just around the corner.
Together we can make cancer history. Please give today.”
Here’s the reality. The mega billion dollar pharmaceutical industry has plenty of money to fund research, they would just prefer that you fund it with your donations instead of theirs.
Real problem #1  They are running out of your money.
Real problem #2 They are only interested in medicines they can patent.
Real problem #3  Research on nutrition and natural therapies is ignored.
There are literally thousands of published peer-reviewed studies demonstrating that the 100,000+ phytonutrients in plants have the ability to prevent and reverse cancer.
But because the pharmaceutical industry can’t figure out how to extract these compounds, synthesize them, and patent them for profit, they are ignored.
Doctors can’t even use this published information or they risk losing their license.

But you can!

One of my favorite studies was published in Food Chemistry, January 2009 called,
“The antiproliferative and antioxidant activities of common vegetables: A comparative study”
The title is so boring I almost fell asleep typing it, but hold on, because the results are awesome.
Researchers studied the inhibitory (cancer-stopping) effects of 34 vegetable extracts
on 8 different tumor cell lines.
They basically just ran vegetables through a juicer and then dripped the extracted juice on different cancer cells to see what would happen. Here’s what they found…

The #1 most powerful anti-cancer food was Garlic.

Garlic stopped cancer growth COMPLETELY against these tumor cell lines:
Breast cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer,
childhood brain cancer, and stomach cancer.

Leeks were #1 against kidney cancer. Garlic was #2.

But not just garlic and leeks, almost all vegetables from the Allium and Cruciferous families completely stopped growth in the various cancers tested. Here they are:

  • Allium vegetables: Garlic, Leeks, Yellow and Green Onions
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Kale, Red cabbage and Curly Cabbage
  • Spinach and Beet Root also scored in the top ten against many of the cancers tested.
  • Honorable mentions: Asparagus, fiddlehead, green beans, radishes and rutabaga.
  • Poor Performers: Acorn Squash, Bok Choy, Boston Lettuce, Carrot, Endive, English Cucumber, Fennel Bulb, Jalapeño, Orange Sweet Pepper, Potato, Radicchio, Romaine lettuce, and Tomatoes.

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Best Breakfasts for Slimming Down


Breakfast eaters are usually thinner than those who skip their a.m. meal, but some breakfasts are better than others to help you slim down.

The latest studies show that a hi-pro, breakfast with about 20-30 grams protein (or 25% of total calories) may better stave off hunger and carb cravings throughout the day compared to cereal, toast, pancakes or other carb-rich breakfasts.

To help start your day right, we have some of our super fast best breakfasts for weight loss that take less than a minute or two to make. These breakfasts follow the meal plan guidelines in our new book, The Real Skinny, and have up to 400 calories, provide 20-30 grams protein and fiber to aid weight loss. If you’re on the road, we’ve also included some of the best bets from fast food outlets.

Best Breakfasts for Slimming Down

1. 1 cup cooked oatmeal with 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

2. Nonfat or lowfat Greek yogurt topped with fresh or frozen fruit (unsweetened) and 1/4 cup low-fat granola

3. Hi-pro whole grain cereal with skim or 1% milk and fresh fruit

4. 1 cup 1% cottage cheese with fresh or frozen fruit and sprinkled with cinnamon and chopped nuts

5. 2 slices Hi-pro whole grain toast with nut butter and 1 hard-boiled egg

6. 2 eggs + 1 egg white scrambled with veggies with 1 toasted Light whole wheat English muffin and piece of fruit (If you want to keep cholesterol levesl in check, use 1/4 cup egg white substitutes in place of each whole egg or 2 egg whites for each whole egg)

7. My favorite protein pancakes, made with eggs, nut butter and banana. Here’s the protein pancake recipe.

3 Best Fast Food Best Breakfasts

1. Cosi’s Spinach Florentine breakfast wrap, 334 calories.

2. Starbucks Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wraps, 290 calories

3. Dunkin Donuts Southwest Veggie Breakfast Burrito with small Latte, 410 calories

For more ideas, we have 10 more best breakfasts from RD Patricia Bannan.
–Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD

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Meet the Man Called "Crazy" by Doctors Who Cured His Own Colon Cancer

April 12th, 2013

Telling your mainstream medical doctor that you’d like to forfeit chemotherapy and instead adopt an organic lifestyle full of juicing and raw nutrition to treat your own cancer could lead him or her to label you as ‘insane’, but it could also save your life. In the case of one man with stage 3 colon cancer given a 60% chance to live for a maximum of five more years under chemotherapy, he decided to forfeit chemo and venture into a natural health lifestyle only to be more than satisfied 9 years later.

At 26 years of age, Chris faced a nightmare scenario that he simply did not know how to face. After a visit to the oncologist, Chris was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer — and it had spread far beyond the colon itself. In addition to carrying a tumor the size of a golf ball in his large intestine that was continuing to grow, Chris’ cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. And it all happened two weeks before Chris was preparing to celebrate Christmas with his family.

This is the point in which mainstream doctors pressure patients into immediate and expensive action, decrying ‘alternative’ therapies as baseless and downright dangerous. For Chris, he faced the exact same scenario. At first, he succumbed to the wishes of the doctor and decided to go in for surgery.

He was then given a 60% chance to experience up to 5 years more of his life, a life which included his wife and children. This is particularly strange as chemotherapy is not generally even used for such cancers, but for whatever reason Chris’ doctor was pursuing it. At this point, Chris had enough. Doing his own research into the reality behind cancer’s formation and alternative options, Chris told his doctor that he was going to give the route of natural health a chance. A route that puts nutrition and lifestyle far ahead of medical intervention, documenting how nutrition is actually at the heart of virtually all disease.

This was simply unacceptable to Chris’ oncologist, who at one point had told him it really didn’t matter what he ate after his initial surgery (and he was actually served Sloppy Joe after the surgery). Chris was labeled as a nutjob by the doctor, who discounted the natural route as nothing more than a joke. Because after all, diet plays no role in the health of the body, right?

Nine years later, Chris is now alive and healthy with his wife and two daughters thanks to his rigorous natural health lifestyle and raw food diet. His story has been seen by thousands on Youtube, and most recently has gone viral on the GreenMedInfoTV website. In his own words from his blog:

“The human body is intelligently designed to heal itself, and given the proper nutrients and care, it will. Despite what doctors may have told you, you have options. You have the power to transform your health. If I did it, you can too!”

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Don't be fooled by a salad just because it's a salad!

Don’t be fooled by foods that sound healthy but aren’t. When it comes to “salads” they’re often not as nutrient-rich and calorie-poor as you might think.

In fact, salads can often pile on more calories than a fast food burger and fries.

Here’s how to make sure your salad satisfies without becoming a diet disaster.

Healthy Fresh SaladEating salad can be a great way to boost important nutrients in your diet. One study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that just one salad serving per day boosted blood levels of folic acid, vitamins C and E, lycopene and carotenoids in the bloodstream and another study found that eating a large salad as your starter can reduce the overall calories you eat in that meal by 12 percent!

But salads aren’t always the best choice when watching your weight. You can easily build your own salad from a salad bar that tops 1,000 calories and many restaurant salads are drowning in dressing, sending calorie counts sky high. Consider: An Applebee’s Grilled Shrimp ‘N Spinach Salad has 960 calories and 65g fat and California Pizza Kitchen’s California Cobb with Ranch Dressing carries 940 calories and 72g fat.

Toppings that make salads rich in calories and unhealthy saturated fat include full-fat dressing, cheese, croutons, and mayo-rich options like tuna or egg salad. The best choices are obvious: salad greens, any raw or cooked veggies; beans; lean proteins like chicken or turkey and a light (not fat free) dressing.

Let’s compare two salads created from the same salad bar. Each contains the same portion of salad greens, six different toppings and dressing:

Calorie-Rich Salad
2 cups salad greens, 16 cals, 0g fat
Croutons, ¼ cup, 50 cals, 2g fat
Black olives, 5 pieces, 25 cals, 2.4g fat
Cheddar Cheese, ¼ cup shredded, 114 cals, 9.4g fat
Sunflower seeds, 2 Tbsp, 100 cals, 9g fat
Bacon bits, 2 Tbsp, 50 cals, 3g fat
Sliced almonds, 2 Tbsp, 100 cals, 9g fat
Ranch dressing, ¼ cup, 218 cals, 23g fat
Totals: 673 Calories, 58 grams fat

Build a Skinnier Salad

2 cups salad greens, 16 cals, 0g fat
Tomatoes, 5 cherry, 15 cals, 2g fat
Cucumber, ¼ cup sliced, 5 cals, 0g fat
Yellow bell pepper, 5 rings, 15 cals, 0g fat
Red kidney beans, 2 Tbsp, 24 cals, 0g fat
Carrots, ¼ cup shredded, 11 cals, 0g fat
Mushrooms, ¼ cup sliced, 4 cals, 0g fat
Ranch dressing, reduced-fat, 2 Tbsp, 59 cals, 3.7g fat
150 calories, 6 grams fat

Clearly, the toppings make a heavy difference. Salad #1 stacks up with over four times as many calories and almost ten times as much fat as Salad #2!

Use this salad toppings guide to choose leaner choices to build a better salad.

Salad Toppings Guide
Fat (grams)
Croutons, ¼ cup
Chinese noodles, 2 Tbsp
Bacon bits, 2 Tbsp
Sliced almonds, 2 Tbsp
Pumpkin seeds, 2 Tbsp
Sunflower seeds, 2 Tbsp
Raisins or dried cranberries, 2 Tbsp
Black olives, 5 pieces
Sliced mushrooms, ¼ cup
Red onion, 5 slices
Tomato, 5 cherry
Carrots, ¼ cup shredded
Bell pepper, 5 rings
Cucumber, ¼ cup sliced
Blue cheese, 2 Tbsp crumbled
Feta, 2 Tbsp crumbled
Cheddar cheese, ¼ cup shredded
Red kidney beans, 2 Tbsp
Chickpeas, 2 Tbsp
Tofu, ¼ cup diced
Chicken, ¼ cup diced
Hard boiled egg, 2 Tbsp
Light tuna, water-packed, drained, ¼ cup

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Be Happy!!!!!

5 Scientifically-Supported Tips for (Nearly) Instant Happiness

by Elizabeth Renter, April 23rd, 2013 

Some people are naturally happy. You probably know one, or maybe you are one. These people are quick to smile or offer the “bright side” when encountered with a friend who needs a boost. Minor setbacks are seen by this crew as just that—minor, rather than the serious life-changers that otherwise unhappy people experience. And while there is no true scientific formula for achieving happiness, there are indeed ways to be more happy more often, according to science.

Unfortunately, it seems that an astronomical number of Americans are lacking feelings of bliss and enjoyment. Instead, 21 million people (an underestimated figure, no doubt) suffer from depression, which is caused by everything from financial issues to a lack of love. And many individuals suffering from depression or sadness are on prescription drugs which are most often accompanied by more side-effects than benefits. While it’s hard to convince someone on depression medication that they may be able to reverse their situation completely naturally, it is possible.

5 Scientifically-Supported Ways to Boost Happiness

Here are a few research-backed strategies for increasing happiness in your own life:

1. Stop Eating Processed Foods and Fast Food - A study published in Public Health Nutrition found that those who consume fast food are 51% more likely to be depressed than those who abstain from unhealthy and processed foods. It was also found that the same held true for those eating baked goods and junk food. The abstract concludes with: “Fast-food and commercial baked goods consumption may have a detrimental effect on depression risk.”

2. Sleep - Not only does quality sleep boost your chance of making healthful food choices, it helps improve your overall mood. You’ve probably experienced this first-hand, but if you’re not convinced, the Science Channel explains how your body increases stress hormone production when you aren’t well-rested. The magic number is different for everyone, but aim for around 7 hours each night.

3. Develop Healthy Personal Relationships - In this age of technology, you would think our over-connectedness would bolster our moods. You’d be wrong. Life satisfaction has actually fallen with the increase in “connectivity,” leading to the belief that nothing is a substitute for real (face-to-face, not Facebook) friendships.

4. Meditate - Several studies have indicated the positive link between meditation and mental health. When we are depressed, we are “consumed by negative preoccupations, thoughts and worries,” explains researcher Catherine Kerr. Meditation helps temper that. Mindfulness meditation can cut the recurrence of depression by up to 50%, a significant rate for a half-hour of your time.

5. Go Outside - Not only has vitamin D (sunshine vitamin) deficiency been linked to depression, studies have found that something as simple as a walk in the park can dramatically improve your mood and reduce depression symptoms.

Depression is a serious problem. But too often people are quick to subscribe to the belief that the only control they have over it involves taking a pill. This simply isn’t the case. Natural, active health can lead to happiness.

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/5-scientifically-supported-tips-instant-happiness/#ixzz2S0AQjHaw 
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