Posts tagged: natural health tips

How To Make Amazing Naturally Flavored Water

How To Make Amazing Naturally Flavored Water
How To Make Amazing Naturally Flavored Water. Photo – TheYummyLife.com (with permission)

Finally – a way to drink something that has tons of flavor as well as super health qualities! Although I say “finally” – aficionados of the natural way will not be surprised that these “ancient recipes” beat all comers. Because as they say, “There’s nothing new under the sun”! We think this is infinitely better than some trademarked artificial-additive drink in a plastic bottle. The link to the full recipe is at the foot of the article, after our commentary (as usual).

Part of the problem people often have with staying hydrated is, quite simply, that chugging water throughout the day seems boring. But that’s how they get you – with artificial beverages that excite your taste buds, but might even harm you in the long run. Making your own fruit water gives you some delicious flavor and nutritional qualities while also being super-hydrating!

These easy-to-make natural waters are made with just water, fruit (organic please!), ice and herbs. They are full of nutrition, healthful qualities, delicious flavor and look fantastic as you can see! Imagine the reaction you are going to get from your guests! These drinks could also be amazingly perfect if you are detoxing or simply if you are seeking something that is refreshing and delicious without containing any artificial sugars or other chemical additives.

Another great benefit of this refreshing “DIY” fruit water, in addition to the amazing nutritional content: You are completely eliminating the use of evil plastic bottles and other disposable packaging.

Plastic bottles are reported to leach toxic chemicals such as BPA (and possibly phthalates, which you really don’t need) into their contents. Also, plastic garbage is spreading far and wide across the world… slowly breaking down and entering the food chain. [1] This is horrendous and needs to stop! I think it’s time to start thinking seriously about banning plastic and using natural alternatives. “Detox” and “plastic” don’t really sit very well together…

If you’re truly committed to caring about life and future generations, you will be doing all that you can to limit your use of single-use plastic bottles. Use (and re-use!) high quality food-grade glass containers. They don’t leach anything into your food, don’t contribute to the hideous mountain of discarded plastic.. .and they look cool as well. Speaking of which, did you know that you can get Ball Mason Jars on Amazon?

Here, then, is the link to the Five Amazing Recipes For Healthy Naturally Flavored Water

Note – it’s mentioned in the recipes at the link but we think it expedient to say it again – be sure to wash fruit thoroughly, especially if you are planning on leaving the drinks overnight before drinking them. You don’t want bad bacteria or even pesticides messing up your drinks.

How To Make Amazing Naturally Flavored Water
How To Make Amazing Naturally Flavored Water. Photo – TheYummyLife.com (with permission)

Reference:

[1] Great Pacific garbage patch. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch

Detox Your Body

Detox Your Body ChartImage – © herbs-info.com. Photo – © Von Schonertagen – Fotolia.com (under license)

Although modern medicine tends to cast a cynical eye at detoxification practices such as fasting and colon washing, nobody can deny that the human body is exposed to a lot of toxins, and that bioaccumulation is real. Relief from such toxins can only bring benefits.

Unsurprisingly, the most common organs targeted by detox protocols are the ones directly responsible for dealing with the toxins that enter the body: the liver, the kidneys, and the intestines or colon.

Here are some science-supported ways you can clean up your body and feel better, stronger, and healthier through the consumption of detoxifying foods:

Liver: The liver is The Great Detoxifier. It is the part of the body that takes all those noxious chemicals and fats that we ingest, and then turns them into something that can be excreted by the body. [1] But that doesn’t mean the liver can’t use a little detoxifying itself.

Alcohol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and diabetes are just some of the liver’s top enemies. These can all cause injury and inflammation to the liver, preventing this organ from doing its job properly.

One lesser-known natural food item that can detoxify the liver from the effects of alcohol, NSAIDs, and diabetes is bitter gourd. This fruit reduces liver oxidation and inflammation caused by alcohol consumption, [2] stimulates the scavenging of liver free radicals caused by diabetes, and increases glutathione levels, which alleviate liver inflammation caused by NSAIDs. [3][4]

Other natural food items that have been scientifically proven to detoxify or rejuvenate the liver include lemons, [5] avocados, [6] apples, [7] dandelion leaves, [8] and garlic. [9]

Kidneys: The kidneys are blood filters. It is their job to collect and eject toxins from our blood. But the kidneys themselves can be vulnerable to toxins such as drugs, microorganism infections, and even excessive calcium or blood sugar. [10]

For detoxifying the kidneys, few natural food items are as well known as cranberry juice. Research has proven that cranberries do help clear the kidneys of viral infections [11] and calcium deposits. [12]

You probably didn’t know that onions have been reported by scientific research to show effectiveness in counteracting kidney toxicity from cadmium intoxication. [13] They are also useful support for renal Toxoplasma gondii infections. [14] Red onions are considered healthier than white overall and this is a valuable health switch to make.

Intestines After our food has been mashed up into liquid form by the stomach, the small intestines absorb the food nutrients and send them out to the bloodstream to be delivered to the rest of the body. The unusable parts – the wastes – are then pushed into the large intestines / the colon.

In other words, the colon is like the body’s trash can. Imagine how disgusting it can get if it isn’t regularly emptied. A lot of bacteria-filled waste material can be left behind to wreak havoc in our body. Lentils have shown effectiveness in helping eliminate this material from the colon, and that makes them an excellent colon detoxifier. [15]

Now if you feel like washing out the colon for good measure, there’s no need to go for a colonic irrigation. (In any case, many doctors do not recommend colonics anyway, because it heightens our risk of bowel perforation, infection, and electrolyte imbalance.) [16]

Instead, try drinking pineapple juice! This vitamin and fiber-rich liquid is so good at clearing the bowels, it has been consumed to help clear the colons of patients who are about to undergo a colonoscopy procedure. [17]

Finally, don’t forget to encourage the healthy growth of beneficial microorganisms in your colon. One proven way of doing that is by eating globe artichokes. [18]

Indeed, though modern medicine may pooh-pooh the benefits of faddish “detoxification” methods, we find rich scientific evidence supporting common-sense ways of detoxification: eat healthy food and avoid unhealthy ones.

Some foods, though, have been proven healthier and more powerful detoxifiers than others, and since we can only eat so much, it is good to know which foods confer the greatest benefits.

After all, with all the toxins around us in our modern world, our body can use all the help it can get…

References:

[1] http://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=anatomy-and-function-of-the-liver-90-P03069

[2] http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c3fo60449g

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19795081

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15927932

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24754177

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/24860825/

[7] http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0308-8146(12)01542-7

[8] http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0278-6915(13)00256-1

[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24646302

[10] http://www.kidney.org/kidneydisease/howkidneyswrk.cfm

[11] http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.200600276

[12] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14616463

[13] http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10534-008-9148-5

[14] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24312764

[15] http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=7491890

[16] http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/consumer-health/expert-answers/colon-cleansing/faq-20058435

[17] http://www.karger.com/?DOI=10.1159/000354094

[18] http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0007114510001571

Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame

Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame In Scientific Trial
Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Photos © eyewave, psdesign1 – fotolia.com (under license)

Millions of people take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat their arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. There is a need to increase awareness of available natural remedies that are possibly safer, at least as effective, easily accessible, and inexpensive. For one, despite decades of research and thousands of preclinical studies indicating the therapeutic value of turmeric, not many people are aware that the common kitchen spice can serve as a valuable alternative for a number of health conditions. [1]

Turmeric For Osteoarthritis

A recent human study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine clinically confirms the medicinal value of turmeric. Results showed that the turmeric’s curcuminoid extract can reduce inflammation in patients who suffer from knee osteoarthritis. [2]

The study was conducted by randomly dividing patients into two groups. One group was assigned to take 25 mg of diclofenac sodium three times a day for four weeks. The other group was asked to take 30 mg of the turmeric extract (curcumonoid) three times daily for the same period of time. Researchers compared the effectivity of curcuminoid extract to that of the drug diclofenac sodium in reducing the secretion of the inflammatory cycloxygenase-2 enzyme by the synovial fluid’s monocytes. [2]

An egg yolk-like liquid, synovial fluid is found within the synovial joints’ cavities. It reduces friction between the articular cartilages during movement. People who suffer from knee osteoarthritis are known to have increased secretion of the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme in their synovial fluid. [2]

Results of the study show that the turmeric’s curcuminoid extract and the NSAID drug diclofenac sodium are both capable of significantly decreasing the secretion of COX-2 enzymes. The two alternatives displayed nearly identical potency. The exact results were as follows:

In curcuminoid group the average scores were 1.84±0.37 and 1.15±0.28 respectively (p<0.001). In diclofenac group the average scores were 1.79±0.38 and 1.12±0.27 respectively (p<0.001). In curcuminoid group the decreasing score of cycloxygenase-2 secretion was 0.70±0.51 while in diclofenac group was 0.67±0.45. There was no significant difference in decreasing the score of cycloxygenase enzyme secretion between both treatment groups (p=0.89). [3]

A Safer Alternative

The study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine is not the first to confirm turmeric’s efficacy. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2010 revealed that 2,000 mg of turmeric extract works as effectively as 800 mg of ibuprofen in treating symptoms of inflammation and pain. There are hundreds more of studies that confirm the COX-2 reducing and anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric. What makes the more recent study stand out is what it reveals about the safety of choosing turmeric over pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs, which have been linked to adverse health effects, including seizure, miscarriage, and mortality. [1]

One way to compare the relative toxicity of turmeric’s curcumin and the NSAID diclofenac sodium is by considering their Material Safety Data Sheets, which reveal detailed information on their toxicity. Results reveal that there are considerably higher chances of experiencing adverse health effects from diclofenac sodium compared to turmeric. Considering that there are 100 adverse health effects linked to the NSAID drug – and 600 beneficial effects linked to turmeric, this is not a hard choice to make in terms of risk-benefit analysis. [1]

Here’s our video on the health benefits of turmeric:

References:

[1] GreenMedInfo. Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/turmeric-extract-puts-drugs-knee-osteoarthritis-shame

[2] Acta Medica Indonesiana – The Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine. Ability of Curcuminoid Compared to Diclofenac Sodium in Reducing the Secretion of Cycloxygenase-2 Enzyme by Synovial Fluid’s Monocytes of Patients with Osteoarthritis. http://www.inaactamedica.org/archives/2012/22745140.pdf

[3] National Center for Biotechnology Information. Ability of curcuminoid compared to diclofenac sodium in reducing the secretion of cycloxygenase-2 enzyme by synovial fluid’s monocytes of patients with osteoarthritis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22745140