Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Food Industry's Plan to Keep Americans Fat

I'm sure that you've heard of those commercials that say, "Nobody can eat just one."  Are these innocent jingles or, are there more insidious forces at work here that cause most of us to keep going back to the cookie jar or the potato chip bag to eat ourselves into oblivion?

Food Industry designs to keep us fat

Researchers and psychologists are definitely concluding that high sugar foods, particularly foods high in high fructose corn syrup, triggers the production of the body's natural opioids and can cause us to become addicted to them pretty much the same as with drugs.  It is no wonder then that fast food chains are reluctant to change their high sodium, high sugar food menus.  And the game doesn't end with adults, children have long been roped in with the promises for "Happy Meals" with toys etc.

The offending foods

There are  many foods that fall into this category, but some of the worst offenders are Oreos and Coke Soda Products.  Look at the number of Americans who regularly consume diet coke, or even regular coke and do not lose weight; it actually seems to be more of a cruel joke than a food item designed  to help us lose weight.  People are being enticed with the manufacturer's promise of low calorie or no calorie beverages for weight control and look what's happening - we're being addicted to this stuff so that we actually gain weight  rather than lose as we have the pleasure centers in our brains manipulated and, just think, it was manufactured this way!  We have become puppets for the profit of the food industry. 

The Price for Health

As difficult as it may be, the way to loose weight is through cutting down on the consumption of sugars, grains and carbohydrates.  These food ingredients have sadly become the mainstay of the American diet.  After 20, 30 and 40 years of over-consumption of these substances have lead us into the trap of becoming so addicted to them that it is hard to believe that a few decades earlier, our fore parents  consumed such unhealthy fare.

Further, these foods have also contributed to insulin resistance which has occurred with nearly all of us until most folks by the sixth decade in life will be borderline adult onset diabetes.

Stop the trend now

This is not an easy task, but it is the only way that we can help ourselves and our children.  The research shows that this generation of youngsters will probably be the first to succumb to chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease before their parents. We must go back to the simple foods: vegetables, water, fresh air in order to have a degree of health.


Dr. Mercola "As the EU Launches Shocking Fructose Health Claim Label, Oreos Are Found to Be as Addictive as Cocaine"       

Sherelynne's Blog: A Natural Guide to Beauty and Health: Dry Skin Relief for the Winter

Sherelynne's Blog: A Natural Guide to Beauty and Health: Dry Skin Relief for the Winter: Does this sound familiar?  "Child, put some Vaseline on those ashy knees and elbows!"  I can't tell you how many times that I...

Dry Skin Relief for the Winter

Does this sound familiar?  "Child, put some Vaseline on those ashy knees and elbows!"  I can't tell you how many times that I've heard my mother or other older women repeat that admonition for combatting dry, ashy skin, particularly after a bath or during cold weather. And, with the dry heat of our homes during the winter, this can prevent us from looking our very best during those seemingly endless dark, winter months. . This article will provide some dry skin updates for winter 2013 that will keep us happy, pretty and healthy.
High Nutrient Foods such as vegetables, fuits and antioxidants
help keep the skin well moisturized.

Natural and wholesome skin care - Beauty from the Inside Out

Thank goodness we know now that clog-blocking Vaseline isn't the cure-all for battling dry skin.  With each passing year, researchers are rediscovering the wholesome goodness in natural plants, herbs and oils that provide nourishment, antioxidants and vitamins to help us look our very best.  For example, we have been reading for years now that Omega -  3's are great for lowering cholesterol and battling depression, but did you know that that they also provide  moisture for the skin - from the inside out?  Usually, dry skin is a possible sign of an Omega - 3 deficiency. How? Well the Omega - 3 fats help to prevent dehydration in the skin cells.  This will help the skin cells stay full of moisture and decrease the appearance of fine lines.  Other ways that Omega -3 deficiency can manifest itself is through cracked heels, thick patches of skin and through skin problems such as eczema. Does any of this sound familiar? Well, keep reading for the cure.

Now, our next concern is where to get the healthiest Omega - 3 fats from.  Well, with pollution of the oceans such a problem, we have to be careful to pick and choose our sources of fish - we obviously want to opt for the less contaminated .  Well,  for starters, we might consider fish such as: sardines, anchovies and herring.  Remember, it is recommended to consume fish two to three times per week unless you are pregnant or a child.  In that case, follow the directions of your health professional. This is necessary because the high levels of mercury are neurotoxic to developing brain of children and the fetus.

What Can You do? Natural Steps to Take Control of Your Skin Health

Remember, it's common knowledge that stress management and avoidance, relaxation techniques  and rest are all the buzz as far as obtaining overall health. Stress is bad for the skin also! It has been shown that stress negatively affects the inflammation process.  Also, sugar in the diet can affect skin by providing nourishment for harmful bacteria that can cause acne. health and beauty.

Some other things to remember are to shower after sweating, because the sweat can cause skin irritation.  Also, avoid the very irritating, highly perfumed soaps and lotions, this can be a source of allergies as well.  Ooh, here's a biggie, stay away from mineral oil and petrolatum.  I know that these are used abundantly in health and beauty aids, but avoid them.  Research shows that they can block pores, causing bacteria buildup, cause allergies and other health problems. Avoid the parabens like the plague; these chemicals can mimic estrogen in the body and have been linked to breast tumors.

Finally, avoid fried and highly cooked and grilled foods which can contribute to inflammation and overall health problems.

Some great skin care oils

Some great skin care oils are emu oil and coconut oil. Also, African Soap is a wonder!  I started using that almost exclusively about a year ago  and I can't tell you the number of compliments that I receive on my skin. And, yes, it is safe for use on the face.

These are just some starters.  If you know of any natural oils, soaps and herbs that you 've used with success, please feel free to post it under comments so others can benefit too.

Dr. Mercola, "Dry, Flaky Legs - What's the Solution?" http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/10/eczema-dry-skin-treatment.aspx?e_cid=20130810_DNL_art_2&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art2&utm_campaign=20130810

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cleaning Products and Your Health: What You Should Know

Have you ever sat down and wondered what gives with the increase in learning and behavioral disabilities over the last twenty five years? As a mom of a now adult son diagnosed with learning problems, I know I have. ADD, ADHD, autism, dyslexia, behavior problems and on and on; these terms have become household descriptives for kids born in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. Is it that the medical and education professionals have become more adept at screening for and diagnosing these disabilities? Or, could it be that in our quest for a more perfect body and environment that we've become toxic from the overuse of chemicals to the point of self-destruction?

A Look at the dismal facts
More children have been diagnosed with ADD, autism and other genetic disorders than ever before in our history. Such genetic disorders were rare in previous generations. Sadly, the increased use of chemicals in our environments, on-and in our bodies, i.e. prescription drugs, food coloring and preservatives and chemicals in our homes could be a likely culprit.

Further, the food that we eat is laden with pesticides and has been genetically modified or GMO (genetically modified organisms). Household cleaners contain lethal ingredients which can cause sterility, breathing problems, rashes, cancer and other illnesses. Repeated use of such dangerous chemicals can result in genetic changes that can affect future generations.

Health and beauty aids are also loaded with dangerous chemicals such as ethylene glycol, methylparabens, petroleum, phalate producing plastics and sulfates. It is surprising that we're still breathing - and we all know how polluted our air is. (Dr. Mercola, "The Surprising Toxin that can Lead to Genetic Defects and Miscarriages")

The Genetic Factor

Science is demonstrating that such disorders may possibly be a result of the depression of certain genes that affect learning and behavior. And, these chemicals are known to accumulate in the body over decades. Those who are particularly vulnerable are pregnant women and small children whose bodies are particularly susceptible to the effects of the chemicals.

Chemical additives also disrupt the body's absorption of vital minerals and vitamins; for example, Vitamin D and the spectrum of B Vitamins whose role has been found to be essential in many body functions such as in blood pressure control, colon health and in the normal development of the fetal brain. Without such essential nutrients our bodies are open prey to the effects of chemicals and other toxins.

What can we do?
An educated consumer is the best consumer. Read the labels and become familiar with the names of common chemicals and preservatives and avoid them. And, as an educated consumer, demand full disclosure regarding GMO foods. (Ask questions where you shop and write letters to Washington to encourage legislation making disclosure mandatory). Shop at supermarkets where foods are certified organic, or at least pesticide-free. Patronize the stores that sell locally grown produce.

Read the labels on foods and be wary of foods with long lists of chemicals and preservatives. Avoid canned and boxed foods which are high in preservatives, salt, fat and sodium. Avoid eating large quantities of fast-foods, which are nutritionally void and loaded with. preservatives.

When it comes to health and beauty products, avoid the long, pronunciation-defying chemicals. Most are known to cause birth defects and cancer. These chemicals are also known to disrupt hormones in the body. Instead, use paraben and sulfate-free products. A rule of thumb is if you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin.

Avoid over-exposure to the sun and to other pollutants and dangerous chemicals. And, if this is not possible, use the appropriate personal protective equipment to limit dangerous exposure to chemicals that might cause health problems years down the road.

Good health to you.

Dr. Mercola, "The Surprising Toxin that can Lead to Genetic Defects and Miscarriages" http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/11/us-senate-fails-to-protect-innocent-children-from-dangerous-plastic.aspx

Friday, July 19, 2013

How exercise can benefit your child in school

Have you seen the scores of television commercials that tout learning programs to help a child overcome a learning problem or mental block when it comes to grasping and mastering a feared subject such as Math or Science ? Well, the solution might be much easier- and cheaper - than you might suspect.  What is that? Exercise.

Intelligence may be related
to how much you exercise.
Benefits of Exercise on learning
If your child is having problems in school, it might be a good idea to evaluate his level of fitness and activity.  Researchers have repeatedly found that there are connections between fitness and brain health.   According to the article, "Physical Fitness in Childhood Linked to Higher Reading and Math Scores," a study conducted by the University of North Texas indicates that having a healthy heart and lungs may be one of the most important factors for middle school students to excel in reading and math.  And, what's more is that exercise can also impact on the learning and retention ability of seniors as well.
How does exercise benefit the brain?
Exercise helps the brain by causing nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their connections (synapses) and protecting them from damage. Animal tests have shown that during exercise, never cells release proteins called neurotrophic factors. One protein in particular, BDNF, (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, triggers numerous other chemicals that enhance brain function.(" Physical Fitness in Childhood Linked to Higher Reading and Math Scores" Dr. Mercola)
What types of exercise improve brain power?
Also, according to the article, it's a good idea to incorporate a variety of exercises since each exercise offers its own unique benefits; both aerobic and resistance training are important for maintaining brain and cognitive health.  For example, aerobic exercise has been found to improve
the ability to coordinate multiple tasks.  It also helps to focus attention on a task for extended periods of time.  Resistance training seems to help in the ability to focus in on a tasks despite distractions.

Schedule your child's recreation

How do you get your child up and moving?  Well, the first thing is to set some limits on sedentary activities like computer games and watching tv.  A schedule is great. Some computer games and tv are fine, like one hour or whatever is appropriate for your child's age.  Then, encourage him to go outside for exercise.  Include neighborhood friends and other parents as well so as to make the idea work. (Everyone benefits from increased activity) Then include a schedule for snacks, homework and dinner. It's not easy, but obviously worth it.  Good health to you and your family!


"Physical Fitness in Childhood Linked to Higher Reading and Math Scores" Dr. Mercola


Thursday, July 18, 2013

How Fasting can Benefit you

Fasting has been touted by health enthusiasts as a way to stay healthy, cure certain ailments and to live longer.  But, on the other hand, there have been those who maintain that fasting is problematic for certain people. Which is it?

This brief post will present some of the latest findings on fasting and what it can do for the body.  Of course, if you suffer from health ailments, check with your primary healthcare provider before you begin a program of fasting.

Three ways that fasting can help your body

Scientist have stated that fasting can help the body in three ways:

1. Oxidative stress -  Fasting can decrease  the accumulation of free radicals (oxidative stress) in the cell. (Remember free radicals go scavenging around the bodies cells seek to disrupt things; ultimately, by stealing oxygen from cells, they can cause aging and sickness)  Fasting helps to prevent damage to cell proteins, lipids and nucleic acids which are associated with aging and disease.

2. Increases insulin sensitivity - Fasting increases insulin sensitivity along with mitochondrial energy efficiency (the mitochondria is the power house of the cell).  This helps to slow aging and disease.

3.  Increased capacity to resist stress, disease and aging - Fasting brings about a cellular stress response in which genes that increase the capacity to cope with stress and resist disease proliferate.
("The Intermittent Fasting Dilemma: How Many Meals Per Day Should You Eat?" Dr. Mercola)


"The Intermittent Fasting Dilemma: How Many Meals Per Day Should You Eat?" Dr. Mercola


The Benefits of exercise for the aging brain

The numbers of Americans with Alzheimer's Disease is growing.  By the year 2050,  there will be an estimated 16 million people with the disease.("How Fitness Protects Aging Brain", Dr. Mercola) Sadly, if an individual develops Alzheimer's Disease, it will make treatment of other diseases more difficult.  What are some things that can be done to prevent the onset of this disease?

Three Requirements for a healthy brain
The onset of many diseases in aging is as a result of years of poor diet and lifestyle, rather than solely being isolated to the aging process. Aging, coupled with poor diet and nutrition, poor exercise habits and exposure to environmental toxins and stress take their toll on the body.

But, there are three things that play a powerful role in maintaining sharp mental function, even in the aging brain:

  1. Regular exercise.
  2. Foods/diet.
  3. Managing stress.
The importance of staying active physically by engaging in exercise programs of walking, aerobic and strengthening exercises can't be underscored enough.  This is important in addition to mental exercises such as learning a new language, traveling, playing mentally stimulating games and puzzles. To emphasize this point, study results at the University of Edinburgh (" How Fitness Protects Aging Brain") demonstrate that people aged 70 and over were monitored via daily logs of their physical, mental and social habits.  Three years later their brains were imaged for shrinkage and damage to the white matter.  People who engaged in the most physical exercise showed the least amount of brain shrinkage. The hippocampus area of the brain (this is the brain area related to memory, showed an increase in volume).

Exercise and Stress Hormones

Stress plays its part in damage that accumulates in cognitive decline.  But, exercise can help:

  • Create new brain cells
  • Helps the brain cells to join the existing neural network.
  • Lifts the mood by boosting the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norephinephrine.
  • Increases insulin sensitivity.

Noteworthy is the fact that exercises doesn't have to be exhausting, just three to five hours per week has shown to extend its protective effects.

Diet and Cognitive Function

What we eat is of utmost importance.  Cut down on carbs and limit protein consumption to one gram/kilogram of lean body mass. Replace these with healthy fat such as butter, nuts, avocados and coconut oil. Antioxidants are also very important so make sure to consume five or more helpings of vegetables and fruits of different colors and plenty of water to help flush out toxins and keep everything well lubricated. Add in omega 3s from healthy fish such as salmon.

Supplement to battle Alzheimer's

Current research demonstrates that a diet low in vitamin can contribute to the development of Alzheimer's and mental decline.  Vitamin D is essential in fighting inflammation and probably best to have your PMD do a blood test to see where your vitamin D level is, and then follow his instructions for supplementation. Make sure to get out in the sun, this helps build levels of vitamin D. Follow your doctor's instructions regarding protection from the sun. (This can also block absorption).

Limit the intake of fructose to less than 25 grams/day. (The metabolizing of fructose over burdens the liver which takes it away from performing other important jobs like  making cholesterol).

Get adequate amounts of Vitamins B-12 and folate; both are important in the central nervous system for neuron formation and neurotransmitter formation.     


"How Fitness Protects Aging Brain Function" Dr. Mercola


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