OUTRAGE! Jimmy Kimmel makes fun of vaccine-damaged children, revives hate speech bigotry on national TV
(NaturalNews) Throughout U.S. history, certain selected groups of citizens have been subjected to extreme verbal, judicial and even physical abuse at the hands of bigoted oppressors. The historical abuse of African-Americans -- subjected to generations of abusive language and racism...
(NaturalNews) With the food industry doing everything in its power to avoid having to tell the public that its products are laced with genetically modified (GM) additives, pesticides and other poisons, grassroots efforts to raise awareness about GMOs are flourishing. Recent laboratory...
Measles hysteria leads daycare directors to order parents to subject children to invasive blood draws
(NaturalNews) The mainstream media is politicizing the recent measles outbreaks, using the disease to create a dichotomy to divide Americans. The vaccinated are being pitted against the unvaccinated and a blame game has been riled up. This pointless debate, gripping news headlines...
Mainstream media has become a shocking exhibit of intellectual bigotry and thought coercion
(NaturalNews) Parents who don't vaccinate their children are ignorantly letting celebrities like Jenny McCarthy dictate their medical decisions."Anti-vaxxers" reject sound science when they forego the CDC's official vaccination schedule, which has been proven to save lives.The...
Flashback: Merck created hit list to 'destroy,' 'neutralize' or 'discredit' dissenting doctors
(NaturalNews) Merck made a "hit list" of doctors who criticized Vioxx, according to testimony in a Vioxx class action case in Australia. The list, emailed between Merck employees, contained doctors' names with the labels "neutralise," "neutralised" or "discredit" next to them. (Story...
High acid diet may have negative effects on kidney health
Among patients with chronic kidney disease, patients who consumed high acid diets were 3-times more likely to develop kidney failure than patients who consumed low acid diets, research concludes. Low acid load diets are rich in fruits and vegetables, while high acid diets contain more meats.
U. S. antionwide survey reveals widespread use of mind and body practices
A large nationally representative survey shows that the number of Americans using mind and body approaches to improve health and well-being remains high. Of note is a significant increase in the use of yoga since 2002. In addition, almost as many Americans practice meditation or receive chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation.
Psychological factors play a part in acupuncture treatment of back pain
People with back pain who have low expectations of acupuncture before they start a course of treatment will gain less benefit than those people who believe it will work, according to new research. Conversely, those people who have a positive view of back pain and who feel in control of their condition experience less back-related disability over the course of acupuncture treatment.
Taking too much folic acid while pregnant may put daughters at risk of diabetes and obesity
Mothers that take excessive amounts of folic acid during pregnancy may predispose their daughters to diabetes and obesity later in life, according to a new study. With high dose supplements being widely available, the study calls for a need to establish a safe upper limit of folic acid intake for pregnant women.
Drinking green tea before taking supplements may offer protection from toxicity
As high doses of green tea extract supplements for weight loss become more popular, potential liver toxicity becomes a concern. In the last decade, dozens of people have been diagnosed with the condition. However, drinking green tea in the weeks before taking supplements likely reduces risk, according to researchers.
Kale is all the rage when it comes to superfoods. And it certainly is a powerhouse veggie loaded with vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals. But let?s face it. Kale can be bitter and it?s not everyone?s favorite.
In fact, the 2015 National Dining Trends Survey found that just 27 percent of Americans said they love kale, while 30 percent said they?re ?over it.?1 If you?re a ?kale hater,? I?d recommend listening to your body.
There?s no reason to force yourself to eat kale, as there are many healthy alternatives, including those in the green leafy vegetable family. Even if you?re still into kale, the vegetables that follow are great to add into your regular meal rotation.2
6 Healthy Veggies That Aren?t Kale
1. Bok Choy
Bok choy, which is also referred to as Chinese white cabbage, contains vitamins C and K, plus a higher concentration of beta-carotene and vitamin A than any other variety of cabbage.3
It also contains important nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, all wrapped up in an extremely low-calorie package (some classify bok choy as a zero-calorie or negative-calorie food).
One cup of bok choy contains only about 20 calories, but its high levels of dietary fiber will fill you up, making it an excellent food for weight loss. Bok choy is actually the most popular vegetable in China, although in the US it?s often overlooked.
This member of the cruciferous family shouldn?t be passed by, however, as it contains powerful antioxidants like vitamins A and C and phytonutrients such as thiocyanates, lutein, zeaxanthin, isothiocyanates, and sulforaphane, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes and may protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers.
Bok choy also contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients including thiocyanate, an antioxidant that?s been found to protect cells from inflammatory substances produced in response to injury or infection in your body. Researchers believe thiocyanate may hold clues to treating serious inflammatory disorders including cystic fibrosis, heart disease and diabetes.4
Sulforaphane in bok choy and other cruciferous vegetables has also been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function.5 Bok choy is also an excellent source of calcium? so good that nutrition experts from The Harvard School of Public Health called out bok choy as being a better source of dietary calcium than dairy products.6
Bok choy can be used in place of red or green cabbage in recipes, as well as eaten raw (such as in salads, coleslaw, or juicing). You can also use bok choy as a side dish (avoid overcooking) or as a base when making fermented vegetables (although, in the US, it tends to be more expensive than green cabbage).
2. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard belongs to the chenopod food family, along with beets and spinach. It?s an excellent source of vitamins C, E, and A (in the form of beta-carotene) along with the minerals manganese and zinc.7 When you eat Swiss chard, you get a wealth of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. As reported by the George Mateljan Foundation:8
?The range of phytonutrients in chard is even more extensive than researchers initially suspected, and at this point in time, about three dozen antioxidant phytonutrients have been identified in chard.
[These would] include betalains (both betacyanins and betaxanthins) and epoxyxanthophylls. Many of these antioxidant phytonutrients provide chard with its colorful stems, stalks, and leaf veins.?
The betalin pigments in Swiss chard (which are also found in beets) support your body's Phase 2 detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body.
Swiss chard also contains an important mix of nutrients, including high amounts of both magnesium and vitamin K1, to support your bone health.
In addition, Swiss chard contains a flavonoid called syringic acid, which may help regulate blood sugar and provide benefits to those with diabetes, along with kaempferol, a flavonol that may help fight cancer and lower your risk of chronic diseases including heart disease.
Cabbage is inexpensive yet powerful. Cabbage contains potent antioxidants like vitamins A and C and phytonutrients such as thiocyanates, lutein, zeaxanthin, isothiocyanates, and sulforaphane, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes and may protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers.9
Cabbage also contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check. Among them are anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol that?s particularly plentiful in red cabbage, although all types of cabbage contain anti-inflammatory polyphenols.
Glucosinolates are phytochemicals that break down into indoles, sulphoraphane and other cancer-preventive substances. Indole-3-carbinol, for example, halts the cell cycle in breast cancer cells without actually killing the cells.10
The cell cycle is a rigidly prescribed series of steps a cell must go through before it can divide in two, involving the duplication of the cell's contents and a final split.
If you can alter specific components of the cell cycle, you can stop the growth of cancer cells without killing normal cells. Indole-3-carbinol interferes with the cell cycle in a way that turns off a gene for an enzyme important in the cell's growth cycle.
Interestingly, different types of cabbage (red, green, and Savoy) contain different patterns of glucosinolates, which suggests you should try to eat a variety of cabbage for the best health effects.
Further, just one serving of cabbage can provide you with 85 percent of your body?s daily requirement of vitamin K. Cabbage also contains healthy amounts of B vitamins, including folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, and vitamin B5. B vitamins are not only important for energy, they may also slow brain shrinkage by as much as seven-fold in brain regions specifically known to be most impacted by Alzheimer?s disease.
Cabbage juice is one of the most healing nutrients for ulcer repair as it is a huge source of vitamin U (which is actually not a vitamin but an enzyme known as S methylmethionine). Research shows that vitamin U, administered as raw cabbage juice, is effective in promoting the rapid healing of peptic ulcers.11
Cabbage is best prepared as close to raw as possible, sometimes called tender-crisp, to preserve its many nutrients. Cabbage can also be juiced, as mentioned, and fermented, which will provide your body with healthy amounts of beneficial bacteria and, if certain starter cultures are used, vitamin K2. You can find in-depth instructions here for how to make your own fermented cabbage.
4. Collard Greens
Collard greens are a close cousin to kale and they are, nutritionally, very similar. Rich in vitamin K and phytonutrients ? caffeic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol ? collard greens help lower oxidative stress in your cells while fighting inflammation.
Collard greens contain glucosinolates called glucobrassicin that can convert into an isothiocyanate molecule called indole-3-carbinol, or I3C, a compound with the ability to activate and prevent an inflammatory response at its earliest stage.12
Other phytonutrients in collard greens, specifically diindolylmethane and sulforaphane, have been clinically proven to combat breast, prostate, ovarian, cervical, and colon cancer cells, by helping prevent their growth and even helping prevent them from forming in the first place.13 Also noteworthy, collard greens are especially high in fiber, with more than 7 grams per cup, making it ideal for digestive support. They?re also particularly useful for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. According to the George Mateljan Foundation:14
?In a recent study, steamed collard greens outshined steamed kale, mustard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage in terms of its ability to bind bile acids in the digestive tract. When this bile acid binding takes place, it is easier for the bile acids to be excreted from the body. Since bile acids are made from cholesterol, the net impact of this bile acid binding is a lowering of the body's cholesterol level. It's worth noting that steamed collards show much greater bile acid binding ability than raw collards.?
For the best collard greens flavor and texture, choose slightly smaller leaves than the toughest outer layer. If you?re not sure how to cook them, try this 5-minute collard greens recipe.
If you?re in the mood for something other than leafy greens, try cauliflower. One serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It?s also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese. Cauliflower is a good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development, and contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check, including I3C, which may operate at the genetic level to help prevent the inflammatory responses at its foundational level.15
Adding to cauliflower?s appeal is its extreme versatility. You can eat it raw, add it to salads, or use it in your cooking. Cauliflower can even be seasoned and mashed for a healthier version of mashed ?potatoes.? Compounds in cauliflower also show anti-cancer effects. According to the National Cancer Institute:16
?Indoles and isothiocyanates have been found to inhibit the development of cancer in several organs in rats and mice, including the bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung, and stomach.?
Cauliflower also helps your body?s ability to detoxify in multiple ways. It contains antioxidants that support Phase 1 detoxification along with sulfur-containing nutrients important for Phase 2 detox activities. The glucosinolates in cauliflower also activate detoxification enzymes.17 It?s a rich source of fiber, as well, and has significant digestive benefits. According to the George Mateljan Foundation:18
?Researchers have determined that the sulforaphane made from a glucosinolate in cauliflower (glucoraphanin) can help protect the lining of your stomach. Sulforaphane provides you with this health benefit by preventing bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori in your stomach or too much clinging by this bacterium to your stomach wall.?
Beet roots have always been included in my most recommended vegetables list, although they are in the ?use sparingly? category because of their high carbohydrate levels. Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may also help to ward off cancer. Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water, for instance, while beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast and prostate cancers.19 Drinking beet juice, meanwhile, may help to lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. One study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points.20
The benefit likely comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. As with Swiss chard, the betalin pigments in beets support your body?s Phase 2 detoxification process, and beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. It?s also known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases.21
Looking for Even More Vegetable Variety?
If you?re tired of eating the same vegetables day in and day out, take a look at my recommended list of vegetables, which provides a guide to the most nutritious vegetables, and those to limit due to their high carbohydrate content. There are many to choose from, so there?s no need to limit yourself to broccoli and spinach (or, like most Americans, potatoes and tomatoes, which are the top two most commonly consumed ?vegetables? in America22). Freshness is a key factor in vegetable quality, so if you can?t grow your own, look for those farmed locally or, better still, farmed locally and organically. Organic vegetables may be more nutritious23 and they?ll also carry a lower pesticide load. So, as a general guide, the following list of vegetables details some of the best and worst vegetables for your health.
Visit Our Food Facts Library for Empowering Nutrition Information
If you want to learn even more about what's in the food you're eating, visit our Food Facts library. Most people are not aware of the wealth of nutrients available in healthful foods, particularly organic fruits and vegetables. By getting to know your food, you can make informed decisions about how to eat healthier and thereby boost your brain function, lower your risk of chronic disease, lose weight, and much more.
Food Facts is a directory of the most highly recommended health foods to add to your wholesome diet. Its purpose is to provide you with valuable information about various types of foods including recipes to help you maximize these benefits. You'll learn about nutrition facts, scientific studies, and even interesting trivia about each food in the Food Facts library. Remember, knowing what's in your food is the first step to choosing and preparing nutritious meals each and every day. So visit Mercola Food Facts today to get started.
In today's world it's harder than ever to keep your weight under control, as evidenced by the fact that two-thirds of American adults and one-third of children and teens are either overweight or obese.1
Weight management is a concern for most people, and many struggle to determine what they're doing wrong. Even exercising regularly can fail to make a dent for some people.
It is important to understand that while exercise is certainly part of the formula for success, the foods you choose to eat are three times more important for controlling your weight than your exercise.
It's very easy to sabotage yourself with processed foods and sweetened beverages. Many also do not get enough fiber, which research suggests may be another key component for effective weight loss.
Simply upping your fiber intake may actually help you achieve results rivaling more complicated diets. Previous research has demonstrated that fiber has appetite-suppressant qualities that helps you feel more satiated2,3,4,5 thereby preventing unhealthy snacking.
It's also been shown to improve metabolic markers such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar. Fiber also helps protect your heart6and cardiovascular7health, and appears to reduce mortality from all causes.8,9,10,11
High-Fiber Diet Rivals Calorie Restriction for Weight Loss
In the most recent study on fiber, the researchers12,13,14, enrolled 240 people with signs of prediabetes, randomly assigning them to one of two eating plans:
The American Heart Association15 (AHA) diet, which involves reducing daily calorie intake and limiting saturated fat
A plan that simply called for adding a minimum of 30 grams of fiber per day from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
No exercise recommendations were provided. After one year, both groups lost about the same amount of weight. The mean weight loss for those on the AHA diet was 2.7 kilos, compared to 2.1 kilos for the high-fiber group.
Like those on the AHA diet, the high-fiber group also improved their cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and inflammation markers, although far more people proceeded to develop diabetes in the high-fiber group compared to the AHA diet?a total of seven, compared to just one in the AHA group.
Still, the researchers are encouraged by the results, which suggest that adding more fiber to your diet is a simple measure that can significantly improve your diet and health status. As noted by Time Magazine:16
"[Study author Dr. Yunsheng] Ma notes that while dietary guidelines to lower the risk of various diseases have been around for decades, obesity, heart problems and diabetes remain the most common conditions affecting Americans.
"Very few people reach the goals that are recommended," he says. Asking them to focus on eating more of a certain food?rather than telling them what not to eat?may help people to think more positively about changes in their diet, and make the goals more achievable.
From there, it might be easier to make the other changes, such as those included in the AHA diet. '[Adding fiber] might be one new idea for how to get people to adhere to a diet,' he says. That's the first step, and perhaps most important, to eating healthier."
Are You Getting Enough High-Quality Fiber?
Dietary guidelines call for 20-30 grams of fiber per day. I believe an ideal amount for most adults is around 32 grams daily. Most people, however, get only half that, or less?despite the fact that most eat a diet high in grains.
What many fail to realize is that grain-based fiber is far from ideal as the grains that accompany it can actually promote insulin and leptin resistance. Processed foods are also a poor source of beneficial fiber. So what is fiber and where do you find the good stuff? There are basically two types:
Soluble fiber, found in cucumbers, blueberries, beans, and nuts. Soluble fiber dissolves into a gel-like texture, helping to slow down your digestion. This helps you to feel full longer, which can help with weight control
Insoluble fiber, found in foods like dark green leafy vegetables, green beans, celery, and carrots, does not dissolve and helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food to move through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination
Many whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, naturally contain bothsoluble and insoluble fiber. This is ideal, as both help feed the microorganisms living in your gut. These beneficial bacteria in turn assist with digestion and absorption of your food, and play a significant role in your immune function.
The same cannot be said for grains (including whole grains) and processed foods, as the carbohydrates found in both can serve as fodder for microorganisms that tend to be detrimental to health. Gliadin and lectins in grains may also increase intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky gut can cause digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal cramps, as well as cause or contribute to many others symptoms such as fatigue, skin rashes, joint pain, allergies, psychological symptoms, and more.
So, to maximize your health benefits, focus on eating more vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Following is a small sampling of foods that contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber.
A simple tip to increase the amount of fiber and biodense nutrients in your diet would be to add sunflower sprouts to your meal. They work great in salads but can also be added to virtually any dish to radically improve its nutrition.
Organic whole husk psyllium is another effective option. Taking it three times a day could add as much as 18 grams of dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble) to your diet. Opting for an organic version of psyllium will prevent exposure to pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, as conventional psyllium is a very heavily sprayed crop. I also recommend choosing one that does not contain additives or sweeteners, as these tend to have a detrimental effect on your microbiome.
Boost Your Health and Weight Loss Efforts by Eating More Fiber
There's little doubt that fiber is an important part of a healthy diet. According to a report17 by the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation (CRNF), if American adults over the age of 55 with heart disease took psyllium dietary fiber daily, it could reduce health care costs by nearly $4.4 billion a year. These savings would primarily be related to reductions in heart disease-related medical events. The report estimated that it costs a mere 30 cents per day to take psyllium fiber at "preventive intake levels," noting that it also helps support healthy cholesterol levels by inhibiting its absorption in your intestine.
Just keep in mind that all sources of fiber are not created equal. Fresh whole vegetables are among the best. And while many recommend whole grains, I caution against whole grains if you're already struggling with insulin and leptin resistance?and half of all Americans are?as whole grains will raise your insulin and leptin levels, thereby exacerbating your condition.
Moreover, processed grains and processed foods boasting added fiber are more or less worthless, and will not provide you with the health benefits you're looking for. If you still fall short of the recommended 30-32 grams per day (20 grams being a bare minimum), consider adding organic psyllium husk and/or sprouted sunflower seeds to your diet, both of which can help bring you closer to this ideal amount, along with plenty of high-fiber vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. To learn even more about how you can optimize your health through diet, please refer to my free online nutrition plan.
New US Guidelines Will Lift Limits on Dietary Cholesterol
By Dr. Mercola
Many Americans are still under the false impression that eating cholesterol-rich foods will cause your cholesterol levels to skyrocket and increase your risk of heart disease.
Many also avoid healthy animal foods like butter, grass-fed beef, and eggs because the cholesterol they contain has been vilified by conventional nutritionists working off of public-health agency guidelines.
As recently as 2010, US dietary guidelines described cholesterol-rich foods as "foods and food components to reduce."1 They advised people to eat less than 300 milligrams (mg) per day, despite mounting evidence that dietary cholesterol has very little to do with cholesterol levels in your body.
Now, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) has done a complete about-face. They are finally acknowledging what the science shows, which is that "cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption."2
This latter statement, which came from a DGAC meeting, is expected to change the books, so to speak, when it comes to dietary cholesterol recommendations in the soon-to-be-released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The 2015 guidelines have not yet been finalized, but, according to a report in the Washington Post, "a person with direct knowledge of the proceedings said the cholesterol finding would make it to the group's final report, which is due within weeks."3
No More Limits on Dietary Cholesterol
DGAC has recommended limits on dietary cholesterol be removed from the upcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This is a reversal of the cholesterol limitations that have been widely circulated since the 1960s.
Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Steven Nissen told USA Today: "It's the right decision. We got the dietary guidelines wrong. They've been wrong for decades."4
Indeed, Dr. Nissen estimates that only 20 percent of your blood cholesterol levels come from your diet. The rest of the cholesterol in your body is produced by your liver, which it makes because your body needs cholesterol.
One survey of South Carolina adults found no correlation of blood cholesterol levels with "bad" dietary habits, such as consumption of red meat, animal fats, butter, eggs, whole milk, bacon, sausage, and cheese.5
Consumption of more than six eggs per week also does not increase your risk of stroke and ischemic stroke,6 while eating two eggs a day does not adversely affect endothelial function (an aggregate measure of cardiac risk) in healthy adults.
This supports the view that dietary cholesterol may be far less detrimental to cardiovascular health than previously thought.7 According to Chris Masterjohn, who received his PhD in nutritional sciences from the University of Connecticut:8
"Since we cannot possibly eat enough cholesterol to use for our bodies' daily functions, our bodies make their own. When we eat more foods rich in this compound, our bodies make less. If we deprive ourselves of foods high in cholesterol -- such as eggs, butter, and liver ? our body revs up its cholesterol synthesis.
The end result is that, for most of us, eating foods high in cholesterol has very little impact on our blood cholesterol levels. In seventy percent of the population, foods rich in cholesterol such as eggs cause only a subtle increase in cholesterol levels or none at all. In the other thirty percent, these foods do cause a rise in blood cholesterol levels.
Despite this, research has never established any clear relationship between the consumption of dietary cholesterol and the risk for heart disease? Raising cholesterol levels is not necessarily a bad thing either."
You Might Be Getting Too Little Cholesterol in Your Diet
Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), also believes it's difficult to get "too much" cholesterol in your diet, particularly in the standard American diet. But you may very well be getting too little, and that can cause serious problems.
She points to the research of Weston A. Price, a dentist by profession who traveled all around the world studying the health effects of indigenous diets. Interestingly enough, many indigenous diets are shockingly high in dietary cholesterol based on today's conventional medical standards.
Cholesterol-rich foods like caviar, liver, and the adrenal glands of bears were highly valued in some cultures that also had very low rates of heart disease and other modern diseases. Dr. Seneff believes, as do I, that placing an upper limit on dietary cholesterol, especially such a LOW upper limit as is now recommended, is likely causing far more harm than good.
Cholesterol has been demonized since the early 1950s, following the popularization of Ancel Keys' flawed research. But cholesterol has many health benefits. It plays a key role in regulating protein pathways involved in cell signaling and may also regulate other cellular processes,9 for instance.
It's already known that cholesterol plays a critical role within your cell membranes, but research suggests cholesterol also interacts with proteins inside your cells, adding even more importance. Your body is literally composed of trillions of cells that need to interact with each other.
Cholesterol is one of the molecules that allow for these interactions to take place. For example, cholesterol is the precursor to bile acids, so without sufficient amounts of cholesterol, your digestive system can be adversely affected.
It also plays an essential role in your brain, which contains about 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body. It is critical for synapse formation, i.e. the connections between your neurons, which allow you to think, learn new things, and form memories.
In addition to helping produce cell membranes, cholesterol also plays a role in the production of hormones (including the sex hormones testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen) and bile acids that help you digest fat.
It's also important for the production of vitamin D, which is vital for optimal health. When sunlight strikes your bare skin, the cholesterol in your skin is converted into vitamin D. It also serves as insulation for your nerve cells.
Meat and Soda Industries Fight New Dietary Guidelines
Doing away with dietary cholesterol limits was only one aspect of DGAC's report. The Committee also recommended that Americans eat more fruits and vegetables and less sugary drinks and red meat. They also, for the first time, recommended that Americans consider the sustainability of their food.
I don't agree that red meat is a problem, provided it comes from a high-quality source and is pasture-raised (see below). However, reducing red meat that comes from unsustainable sources, like concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), is sound advice. The report even pointed out the meat industry's role in environmental destruction.
"Current evidence shows that the average U.S. diet has a larger environmental impact in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use and energy use," said the report. "This is because the current U.S. population intake of animal-based foods is higher and plant-based foods are lower."
It's also because in the US most animal-based foods do not come from small organic farms; they come from CAFOs, which are among the worst polluters on the planet. Not surprisingly, the meat industry wasn't happy with the report, calling it "nonsensical" and describing the sustainability references as "well beyond its scope and expertise."10
The DGAC report even recommended that sugars should be reduced in the diet and not be replaced with low-calorie sweeteners, an important distinction, since artificial sweeteners are just as bad, if not worse, than natural sugar. The American Beverage Industry took issue with this, claiming such sweeteners help with weight loss, when in reality they've been linked to weight gain. ABA also bulked at the report's suggestion to reduce intake of sugary beverages, noting "restricting one food or food group is not the best approach? for maintaining a healthy weight.11"
Why Feasting on Cholesterol-Rich Foods Is Good for You
Many of the healthiest foods also happen to be rich in cholesterol and saturated fats. Like cholesterol, saturated fat has also been wrongly vilified. In 2010, a meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition came to the conclusion that there's "no significant evidence... that saturated fat is associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease."12
And last year, another meta-analysis reached the same conclusion that current evidence does not support guidelines that encourage low consumption of saturated fats.13 After cholesterol, the flawed guidelines to limit saturated fat deserve attention. As noted by Forbes:14"[Dr.] Nissen also said that advice about reducing saturated fat and salt may be wrong, but no major change in these areas is expected in the new guidelines." Getting back to your diet, cholesterol- and saturated-fat-rich animal foods are featured in my nutrition plan because of their many health benefits.
Following are just a few examples:
Organic Pastured Eggs: Eggs are a phenomenal source of protein, fat, and other nutrients, including choline, selenium, biotin, B vitamins, phosphorus, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. They are so good for you that you can easily eat one dozen eggs per week.
Organic Pastured Raw Butter: Butter is a veritable health food rich in vitamins E, K2, and A, along with minerals, iodine, antioxidants, and healthy fats. Butter also contains the anti-cancer agent conjugated linoleic acid (CLA along with Wulzen factor, a hormone-like substance known to prevent arthritis and joint stiffness (only in raw butter).
Grass-Fed Beef: Some of the benefits of grass-fed and grass-finished beef include high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and other healthy fats. It also has a more balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 (compared to grain-fed beef) and is higher in beta-carotene, certain minerals, vitamin E, and B vitamins.
Liver: Liver from grass-fed animals is rich in high quality amino acids, fat, B vitamins and B12, CoQ10, minerals, and "fat-soluble activators" (vitamins A, D and K), important for mineral absorption.
Oxidized cholesterol is formed when polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as soybean, corn, and sunflower oils) are heated. A primary source is fried foods. This oxidized cholesterol (not dietary cholesterol in and of itself) causes increased thromboxane formation?a factor that clots your blood. Two of Dr. Fred Kummerow's papers pertain to how these oils harden your arteries and play an important role in the development of atheorosclerosis. Dr. Kummerow has studied heart disease for more than 60 years. As noted by the New York Times,15 these oils are precisely the types of fats that Americans have been, and still are, urged to consume in lieu of saturated fats like butter.
"The problem, [Dr. Kummerow] says, is not LDL, the 'bad cholesterol' widely considered to be the major cause of heart disease. What matters is whether the cholesterol and fat residing in those LDL particles have been oxidized... 'Cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease, except if it's oxidized,' Dr. Kummerow said... [He] contends that the high temperatures used in commercial frying cause inherently unstable polyunsaturated oils to oxidize, and that these oxidized fatty acids become a destructive part of LDL particles. Even when not oxidized by frying, soybean and corn oils can oxidize inside the body."
So while naturally cholesterol-rich foods are good for you, if those foods are fried or heated to high temperatures, the cholesterol may become oxidized? and this form of cholesterol should be avoided. There is some compelling evidence to suggest that heated fats may worsen insulin resistance more than sugar and may be more dangerous.
How to Optimize Your Cholesterol Levels
The goal of the guidelines below is not to lower your cholesterol as low as it can go, but rather to optimize your levels so they're working in the proper balance with your body. Again, the majority of your cholesterol is produced by your liver, which is influenced by your insulin levels. Therefore, if you optimize your insulin level, you will tend to automatically optimize your cholesterol. This is why my primary recommendations for safely regulating your cholesterol have to do with modifying your diet and lifestyle as follows (what you won't find on this list is taking cholesterol-lowering medication or eating a low-cholesterol diet):
Reduce, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars in your diet. It is vitally important to eliminate gluten-containing grains and dangerous sugars especially fructose.
Consume a good portion of your food raw.
Make sure you are getting plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega 3 fats, such as krill oil. Research suggests that as little as 500 mg of krill per day may improve your total cholesterol and triglycerides and will likely increase your HDL cholesterol.
Replace harmful vegetable oils and synthetic trans fats with healthy fats, such as olive oil, butter, and coconut oil (remember olive oil should be used cold only, use coconut oil for cooking and baking).
Include fermented foods in your daily diet. This will not only optimize your intestinal microflora, which will boost your overall immunity, it will also introduce beneficial bacteria into your mouth. Poor oral health is another powerful indicator of increased heart disease risk.
Optimize your vitamin D levels, ideally through appropriate sun exposure as this will allow your body to also create vitamin D sulfate?another factor that may play a crucial role in preventing the formation of arterial plaque.
Organic, free-range eggs are one of the best foods you can eat, morning, noon, or night. The way you cook them makes a big difference in their nutritional value, however, as does their source.
My advanced nutrition plan recommends eating your eggs raw, provided they come from a high-quality source, and this is because it?s the best way to preserve their valuable nutrients.
A simple way to do this is to incorporate whole organic raw eggs into a morning smoothie; you won?t even know they?re there. Just be sure to add them in after the blending (just stir them in gently with a spoon) to avoid damaging their proteins or molecular structure.
Next to Raw, Poached Eggs Are Best
In my beginner nutrition plan, eggs are still included and you can prepare them any way you like them. That being said, the less you cook them, the better. Scrambled or fried eggs are the worst, as this oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk.
If you have high cholesterol this could pose a problem, as oxidized cholesterol may cause some damage in your body. Egg yolks also contain valuable antioxidants, which are reduced by as much as 50 percent when the egg is fried or boiled. Microwaving your eggs will result in an even greater reduction in antioxidant content.
Heat will also alter the chemical composition of the egg protein, which can easily lead to allergic reactions. When consumed in their raw state, the incidence of egg allergy is very rare. If you choose not to eat your eggs raw, poached or soft-boiled would be the next best option.
This leaves the yolk still runny and the cooking method is gentle enough to preserve many of the nutrients and antioxidants.
What Makes Eggs So Good for You?
If you eat them in the healthiest forms (i.e. raw or poached), you can easily eat one dozen eggs per week as a simple and cost-effective way to add valuable nutrition to your diet. Each egg contains about six grams of high-quality protein, and two raw egg yolks have antioxidant properties equivalent to half a serving of cranberries (25 grams), and almost twice as many as an apple.1
Eggs also contain choline, selenium, biotin, B vitamins, phosphorus, and more, making them are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. And, contrary to popular belief, eating eggs may actually help prevent disease, including heart disease. For example, previous studies have found:
Consumption of more than six eggs per week does not increase the risk of stroke and ischemic stroke2
Eating two eggs a day does not adversely affect endothelial function (an aggregate measure of cardiac risk) in healthy adults, supporting the view that dietary cholesterol may be less detrimental to cardiovascular health than previously thought3
Proteins in cooked eggs are converted by gastrointestinal enzymes, producing peptides that act as ACE inhibitors (common prescription medications for lowering blood pressure)4
A survey of South Carolina adults found no correlation of blood cholesterol levels with "bad" dietary habits, such as use of red meat, animal fats, fried foods, butter, eggs, whole milk, bacon, sausage, and cheese5
High-Quality Eggs Are Important for Nutrition and Safety
The best eggs are those that come from hens with access to the outdoors, who are allowed to roam and eat their natural diet. Free-range eggs are far more nutritious than commercially raised eggs.
In one egg-testing project, Mother Earth News compared the official US Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs with eggs from hens raised on pasture and found that the latter typically contains:6
1/3 less cholesterol
¼ less saturated fat
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E and 7 times more beta carotene
The dramatically superior nutrient levels are most likely the result of the differences in diet between free ranging, pastured hens and commercially farmed hens. If you?re purchasing your eggs from a supermarket, be aware that labels can be very deceptive.
The definitions of "free-range" are such that the commercial egg industry can run industrial farm egg-laying facilities and still call them "free-range" eggs, despite the fact that the birds' foraging conditions are far from what you'd call natural.
In addition, conventionally raised eggs are far more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella, which is why, if you're eating raw eggs, they MUST be organic pastured eggs.
Poached Eggs with Collard Greens and Shiitake Mushrooms
Today?s recipe is adapted from The George Mateljan Foundation?s Poached Eggs Over Collard Greens & Shiitake Mushrooms.7 It?s an excellent combination, both in flavor and nutrition.
Collard greens, rich in vitamin K and phytonutrients ? caffeic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol ? help lower oxidative stress in your cells while fighting inflammation.
Collard greens contain glucosinolates called glucobrassicin that can convert into an isothiocyanate molecule called indole-3-carbinol, or I3C, a compound with the ability to activate and prevent an inflammatory response at its earliest stage.8
Other phytonutrients in collard greens, specifically diindolylmethane and sulforaphane, have been clinically proven to combat breast, prostate, ovarian, cervical, and colon cancer cells, help prevent their growth and even help prevent them from forming in the first place.9
Also noteworthy, collard greens are especially high in fiber, with more than 7 grams per cup, making them ideal for digestive support. They?re also particularly useful for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.10
Shiitake mushrooms are another veritable superfood. They contain a number of health-stimulating agents, including lentinan, which has been isolated and used to treat stomach and other cancers due to its anti-tumor properties. It has also been found to protect your liver,11 relieve other stomach ailments (hyperacidity, gallstones, ulcers), anemia, ascites, and pleural effusion.
In another study, adding one or two servings of dried shiitake mushrooms was found to have a beneficial, modulating effect on immune system function.12 So by eating the delicious recipe that follows, you?ll be flooding your body with the nutrients it craves to maintain and reach optimal health.
Poached Eggs over Collard Greens with Fresh Mushrooms
Prep and Cook Time: 20 minutes
6 cups chopped collard greens
1 medium onion
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
4 fresh organic, free-range eggs
About 4 cups water
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
3 medium pressed garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and white pepper to taste
Slice onions and press garlic and let sit for 5-10 minutes to bring out their health-promoting benefits.
Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a steamer pot.
Rinse greens well. Roll or stack leaves and cut into 1/4-inch slices and cut again crosswise. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
Steam collard greens, mushrooms, onion, and garlic together for 5 minutes.
While steaming greens, get ready for poaching eggs by bringing water and vinegar to a fast simmer in a small, shallow pan. You can start on high heat, and once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer before adding eggs. Make sure there is enough water to cover eggs.
Mix together lemon juice, ginger, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Poach eggs until desired doneness. This will take about 5 minutes, or just until the white is set and the yolk has filmed over.
Remove vegetables from steamer and toss with dressing. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and place on plate of tossed greens.
How Nutritional and Alternative Treatments Can Help You Avoid Using Drugs for Depression
By Dr. Mercola
Depression is a very serious health problem and can be terminal, as up to 30,000 people who are depressed commit suicide every year. But are antidepressants the best approach?
Contrary to popular belief, there are safer?and oftentimes far more effective?alternatives to the drug route, as explained here by Dr. Hyla Cass, a practicing psychiatrist who uses integrative medicine.
Dr. Cass appears regularly on TV and radio shows, and is an associate editor of Total Health Magazine. She also serves on the boards of California Citizens for Health and the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), of which I was a member for some time.
Her father was a doctor, practicing out of their home in Toronto, so Dr. Cass was exposed to medicine first hand from a very early age. Her father?s old-fashioned medical values of personal care and attention was the model of healing after which she eventually modeled her own career.
?Doctors really relied on their own judgment then. It wasn?t just a pill for every ill,? she notes. ?In my own practice, I began to notice that what people ate and how they lived actually influenced their health.
People who were eating junk were not doing very well. People who were eating healthier, more natural foods, actually were feeling better, doing better, were healthier (have less colds, flus and all the rest), and even, were nicer people to be around!?
Why Focus on Natural Interventions for Depression?
Early on, Dr. Cass began searching for other doctors of like mind, and discovered a mentor in Dr. Abram Hoffer, the co-founder of ?orthomolecular medicine.? This refers to the concept of nutritional deficiencies being a source of mental illness, and the right nutrients or molecules can correct the problem.
?While I was in my residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, I began to notice that medications had side effects...It would be okay if the side effects were worth it, but most of the time they weren?t...?
Side effects of antidepressants run the gamut from sexual side effects to lack of emotions or ?emotional flatness,? restlessness, sleep disturbances, brain damage, and thoughts (and actions, tragically) of suicide, and even homicide. Virtually all of the school and mass shooters, for example, have been on antidepressants.
?You could say, ?Well, of course, they were on antidepressants. They were disturbed and that?s why they did the shooting.? But a comparable number of people who were not on antidepressants and having similar problems did not become school shooters,? Dr. Cass notes.
?The difference was, first of all, they were genetically predisposed to have that reaction to the medications -- but nobody?s looking at genetics when they prescribe medication.
These shooters were either just newly on medication, or had just had some sort of change in their medications or dosage; ie regardless of details, there was something going on with their medications before the event. And that?s a terrible tragedy. A lot of this information has been suppressed, too.?
Nutrition Is Essential for Proper Brain Function
Long before holistic health became a catch phrase, Dr. Cass began pursuing the use of nutritional supplements rather than medication, and lo and behold, her patients improved.
A huge drawback of the conventional mental health care system is that few doctors have the time, or take the time, to sort out the root of the problem with each patient. It?s a lot easier to simply write a drug prescription. Dr. Cass, on the other hand, takes the time to focus on finding, and then treating, the root cause.
?It?s so scary when you think of what these medications do. They?re not to be handed out the way they are. That really is disturbing to me. People think, ?My doctor knows what he or she is doing.? Well, that?s not always true. I think it?s up to people to educate themselves,? she says.
?At Cedars-Sinai I was trained in a more psychoanalytic way. That?s actually good. It?s a Freudian model. I don?t practice that way now, but it was a good basis; understanding that there?s an unconscious and that we have scripts in us that are outside of our regular awareness.
And when we make them conscious, we actually are liberated . We can go on and live more fulfilling lives. I began looking first of all, at their psyche, but also at their lifestyle ? what they were eating and drinking,and their attitudes. So many things go into being healthy.?
The Placebo Effect in Action
People can get quite defensive when you mention that antidepressants may be doing more harm than good, and that there are better alternatives. Many insist their whole life changed for the better once they started taking an antidepressant, and they cannot conceive living without it.
According to Dr. Cass, this can often be the placebo effect in action. You are in essence healed by your belief. If you think the drug will work, it likely will. But the same power of belief could be applied to virtually any other treatment modality, including a sugar pill.
One 2010 study1 concluded that there is very little evidence to suggest antidepressants benefit people with mild to moderate depression, as these drugs work no better than a placebo in at least 80 percent of cases.
An earlier meta-analysis2 published in PLoS Medicine also concluded that the difference between antidepressants and placebo pills is very small. Other research3 into the placebo effect noted that ?the placebo effect is an unacknowledged partner for powerful medications.?
"Here we are with these miracle bodies. What we have to do is feed them right and treat them right, and we'll get the most wonderful results," Dr. Cass says.
?On the other hand, if we overuse or misuse medication, which is often the case, you?re just going to cause these side effects, some of them very dangerous, and won?t ever deal with the root cause.
We need to look at psychodynamics. But we also must take a look at nutritional status. Is there an infection? Is there toxicity? Is there a Vitamin B12 deficiency? Is there an iron deficiency anemia? There are so many medical issues that actually appear as depression.
When a doctor just hands you a prescription for an SSRI, they are not doing you a favor unless they?ve first given you a thorough medical workup, looking hormonal imbalance including thyroid or adrenal, or gluten sensitivity, to name a few of the possible causes.?
Gluten Sensitivity?A Common But Hidden Cause of Depression
You may not have realized this, but the gluten level in our grains is much higher today than it ever was before, thanks to various breeding techniques, and gluten can produce depression if you're sensitive to it. In such a case, the key is to remove gluten from your diet entirely. You cannot simply cut down. It must be removed completely. In Dr. Cass' practice, she's seen many people recover from severe depression when going gluten-free.
?They start to feel better, their mood improves. The depression, it turned out was really due to gluten sensitivity. And you may ask, ?How can gluten affect your brain like that? What is going on?? It has to do with inflammation,? she explains. ?When gluten is inflaming your gut, it?s also inflaming your brain. Whatever?s going on in your gut is also going on in your brain. They?re very connected.
The gut is the second brain. In fact, there are more serotonin receptors in the gut than anywhere else in the whole body. What I?m saying is, to summarize, it can be gluten sensitivity, thyroid imbalance, anemia, some kind of infection, Lyme disease, or chronic fatigue syndrome. Many medical issues will show up as depression. Depression is a symptom. Depression is not a condition. It?s not an illness; it?s simply a symptom...
We have this three-pound sophisticated organ, the brain,, the control center of our whole body, and it does not get evaluated. No one looks at it. You have a symptom of depression, anxiety, or insomnia, and you get a prescription. That?s crazy. That is not good medicine. I?m saying I?m not even practicing alternative medicine; I?m practicing good medicine.?
An important issue to address is junk food, which also promotes gut inflammation. So one of the first steps in addressing problems like anxiety and depression is to clean up your diet and address your gut health. Otherwise, you?ll have virtually no chance of getting healthy emotionally and mentally. As noted by Dr. Cass, there are times when temporary use of an antidepressant may be warranted, but such occasions are really quite rare.
"I think that if we use the right doses of specific herbs and supplements, and get exactly the right diagnosis, the right biological, biochemical diagnosis, we probably won't need to use the meds," she says.
High Dose Niacin for Psychosis
Before he attended medical school, the mentor I mentioned, Dr. Abram Hoffer, received a PhD in biochemistry specializing in vitamin B research. So when he became director of the largest psychiatric hospital in Saskatchewan, he used his knowledge to research the administration of high doses of niacin (vitamin B3) to schizophrenic patients.
Amazingly, he was able to get many of these very ill mental patients well enough to be released, get married and go on to lead normal lives. It turns out that pellagra, a disorder caused by niacin deficiency, produces the same psychiatric symptoms such as irrational anger, feelings of persecution, mania, and dementia that were found in many of these ? hopelessly incurable? patients. The cure was giving them the deficient B vitamin. Sadly, despite ?performing miracles? on these hard-to-treat patients, Dr. Hoffer?s ground-breaking research was discredited by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which was sadly more interested in promoting drugs.
?As long as the patients continued to take their niacin, as well as vitamin C, they were OK. On the other hand, nowadays if psychotic patients stop their medication, they may or may not relapse. This brings up another issue; we?re seeing more relapses than we used to in psychosis and depression. It may be due to the meds. Before people were on meds to the extent that they are, they would have a depressive episode, [then] recover and not necessarily have another one...But we?re now having far more chronically relapsing depression and psychosis than before the introduction of medication.
Moreover, we?re having more bipolar illness than we ever had. Something is going on. The medications are actually changing the brain. This is what is so scary. We have people who start off being depressed, being put on antidepressants for their depression, end up becoming bipolar, and then they?re placed on a whole cocktail of medications. And they?re kept on that cocktail indefinitely, which frequently ends their ability to function normally.?
How to Revert from Antidepressants to More Natural Treatments
If you?re currently on an antidepressant and want to get off it, ideally you?ll want to have the cooperation of your prescribing physician. Some doctors are happy to help you to withdraw if they know that you?re going to be responsible about it. Others may not want to bother, or they don?t believe that you can get off the medication. As noted by Dr. Cass, you may need to do some reading in order to be better prepared. Dr. Joseph Glennmullen from Harvard wrote a very helpful book on how to withdraw called The Antidepressant Solution.
You can also turn to an organization with a referral list of doctors who practice more biologically or naturally, such as the American College for Advancement in Medicine www.ACAM.org. Also, it doesn?t make much sense to withdraw unless you?re implementing some other strategy to address the cause of your depression. In summary, Dr. Cass suggests keeping the following guidelines in mind:
Under your prescribing physician's supervision, start lowering the dosage of the antidepressant you're taking. There are protocols for gradually reducing the dose of the medication that your doctor should be well aware of.
At the same time, start taking a multivitamin. Start taking low doses. If you're quitting an SSRI under doctor supervision, you can go on a low dose of 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).
For bipolar patients, Dr. Cass and other holistic psychiatrists may prescribe nutritional supplements such as fish oil (omega-3 fats), inositol, tryptophan, and others, depending on the individual's need.
Bipolar symptoms can also be related to Lyme disease, so if Lyme infection is present, that needs to be addressed, also by a more functionally oriented doctor.
Chronic inflammation in general appears to be a significant underlying factor causing symptoms of depression, so keeping inflammation in check is an important part of any effective treatment plan. If you're gluten sensitive, you will need to remove all gluten from your diet. A food sensitivity test can help ascertain this.
Vitamin D deficiency is another important biological factor that can play a significant role in mental health. A double-blind randomized trial4 published in 2008 concluded that: "It appears to be a relation between serum levels of 25(OH)D and symptoms of depression. Supplementation with high doses of vitamin D seems to ameliorate these symptoms indicating a possible causal relationship." Recent research5 also claims that low vitamin D levels appear to be associated with suicide attempts. Ideally, maintain your vitamin D level between 50-70 ng/ml year-round.
Unbalanced gut flora have also been identified as a significant contributing factor to depression, so be sure to optimize your gut health, either by regularly eating traditionally fermented foods, or taking a high quality probiotic.
The inability to fall asleep and stay asleep can be due to elevated cortisol levels, so if you have trouble sleeping, you may want to get your saliva cortisol level tested with an Adrenal Stress Index test. If you?re already taking hormones, you can try applying a small dab of progesterone cream on your neck or face when you awaken during the night and can?t call back to sleep. Another alternative is to take adaptogens, herbal products that help lower cortisol and adjust your body to stress. There are also other excellent herbs and amino acids that help you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Meditation can also help. A new piece of technology that can be quite useful is a headband sensor called Muse.6 It gives you real-time feedback on your brain wave frequencies, which can help train you to enter into deeper states of relaxation and meditation. I've been using it for 15 minutes twice a day for about six months, and I've noticed some really impressive improvements. Slowing your breathing through meditation and/or using the Buteyko breathing technique also increases your partial pressure of carbon dioxide (CO2), which has enormous psychological benefits.
Other helpful tools to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety include Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). EFT is well-studied, and recent research found it significantly increased positive emotions, such as hope and enjoyment, and decreased negative emotional states like anger and shame. Another recent review found statistically significant benefits in using EFT for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and phobias.
Many 'Depressed' Women Are Actually in Perimenopause
Amazingly, 23 percent of women over the age of 40 are on antidepressants. According to Dr. Cass, this is likely due to misdiagnosis of perimenopause or other hormonal imbalances. Women are entering perimenopause at younger ages these days; some even before the age of 40, and this phase can last for years.
?Women who have never had PMS or mild PMS are suddenly having bad PMS. They are feeling depressed and irritable. They?re yelling at their kids and their partners. They?re having a very hard time. They may be fatigued and feeling like they?re falling apart. What do they do? They go to their doctor, and guess what they get? They get a prescription for an antidepressant. Guess what they shouldn?t get? An antidepressant.
They need to get their hormones balanced. Start with all the usual things: good diet, make sure your liver is able to detoxify properly so you may need some liver supportive herbs like milk thistle or bupleurum. There are also well-researched herbs for menopausal and PMS symptoms like dong quai, black cohosh and vitex.
You can also move into bioidentical hormones. [They are] very safe, particularly progesterone. Very safe. When these women get the hormones that they need, they stop feeling anxious and irritable, and start to feel good again. Their PMS goes away. And it doesn?t take long: one or two cycles and they are likely feeling great. They have a whole new lease on life.?
For more information, please see Dr. Cass? website, CassMD.com. She has also authored four books on these subjects: Natural Highs, 8 Weeks to Vibrant Health, and The Addicted Brain: How to Break Free, which details how to get off addictive substances including medications. Another book, Supplement Your Prescription, deals with detecting and treating the nutrient deficiencies caused by medications. All four books are available on her website. She also has a special report called Reclaim Your Brain, available for free on her site, in which she discusses the different nutritional substances you can use to address conditions like anxiety, depression, and lagging memory.
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Individuals with multiple sclerosis who live within a reasonable radius of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign may be eligible for one of two studies about falling. Even though falling is a major concern for people with multiple sclerosis, few studies have targeted fall prevention, especially involving home exercise.
Chronic fatigue syndrome a physical illness, not psychological
Researchers have found an immune system signature that is present in people who have been newly diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), providing "robust evidence" that the disease has a biological basis.
Led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the researchers looked at the immune systems of 298 patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and 348 people without the disease
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