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integrative health

154 articles in integrative health

Breath Of Youth

Learn How to Breathe Fully for Ageless Aging and Improved Health

Every one of our cells needs a continual supply of oxygen. It is this oxygen that feeds our brain, sparks metabolism and calms nerves. One of the reasons why regular aerobic exercise is so beneficial in slowing down the rate at which you age and warding off degenerative diseases is because it improves your use of oxygen. So can learning to breathe fully. It can also improve your mood, increase your resistance to colds and illness, and improve sleep as well. Full breathing is also an important tool for encouraging waste elimination. It is a kind of spring-cleaning process that can go on all year round every day of your life. Chinese medicine (which I spent three years studying and working with) has a long tradition of natural-law ageless aging. And a great deal of it centers around the use of the breath. This is something to which we give little attention in the West and it is strange to think that specific breathing techniques are so ignored when the body's use of oxygen is the central determinant of the rate at which we age. Few people breathe fully. Most of us, particularly if we have sedentary jobs, breathe high - that is we breathe quickly and shallowly concentrating the inhalations in the upper chest area which is the part of the lungs which holds the smallest quantity of air. Not only does this kind of breathing inhibit oxygen intake, it can also encourage the lungs to atrophy and to lose much of their natural elasticity - something which is a common occurrence as people get older. Other people, who allow the air to flow deeper into their lungs are mid-breathers - an improvement over breathing high because it encourages the ribcage to move and brings more oxygen into the lungs for body use. But to make the best use of oxygen for ageless aging it's important to develop the habit of taking total breaths so they become your normal way of breathing. The Total Breath This is not something that you can learn overnight for there is nothing more unconscious and habitual than the way we breathe and that takes time and a little persistent effort to change. In breathing totally all of your breathing apparatus comes into play - the chest and ribs are lifted but not by themselves. The intercostal muscles also expand the ribs outward to create a large space in which your lungs can inflate to their maximum. Finally the diaphragm moves down, pulling the lower ribs outward which lets even the very bottom of your lungs fill up completely with air. With total breathing a much higher proportion of your lung power is used, as are most of your chest, rib and stomach muscles. Practice it lying down for five minutes a couple of times a day - perhaps just on awakening or just before going to sleep - and gradually it will become an automatic way of breathing which will not only help in ageless aging but will also improve your resistance to fatigue, improve the glow of your skin and help protect you from minor illness. Here's How Lying flat on your back with a small pillow beneath your neck, place one hand on your abdomen and rest the other on one side of your ribcage. Now inhale slowly through your nose while imagining that you are sending your breath to a place about 2 inches below your navel. Your tummy will start to well outward rather like a balloon. This has the effect of filling the lower part of your lungs with fresh air. As the in-breath continues, let it fill the rest of your stomach and then expand your ribcage outwards to the side as well as the midsection of your chest. You can feel this side expansion by keeping your hand against one side of your ribcage and making sure it moves outward. Now let the fresh breath fill the upper part of your chest area as well, watching it as it expands outward and to the side. (The whole process of inhalation should take about 5 seconds altogether.) Hold your breath for another 5 seconds. (In time you will find you can hold it much longer which gives your lungs a good opportunity to absorb all the oxygen available to them.) Now exhale following the same process you did in inhaling: first contract your lower abdomen gently to move the air upwards then as the lower lungs deflate you should feel the ribcage contracting again followed by the upper chest. This process too should take about 5 seconds. Rest for a second or two before beginning the whole cycle again.

Bedtime Snacks

Good & Bad Sleep Foods Revealed: Bananas, Figs & More

Below you will find a list of good sleep foods and bad sleep foods. good sleep foods Bananas Figs Dates Yogurt Tuna Wholegrain Crackers Nut butter Turkey bad sleep foods Caffeine Alcohol Sugar Cheese Chocolate Sauerkraut Bacon Ham Sausage Aubergine Potatoes Spinach Tomatoes

Surprising Truths About Osteoporosis

Are Milk & Dairy Products Really Toxic? Here's the Real Truth!

In the way so many half-truths get blown up by commercial interests, we have been led to believe that all men and women need for strong bones is to get lots of calcium—either by popping pills or drinking milk. Millions of pounds and dollars have been spent to propagate these fantasies. Bottom line? Both these beliefs are fiction. Meanwhile, after four generations of aggressive milk promotion, the incidence of osteoporosis has reached epidemic proportions in the West. In countries where milk is not drunk, osteoporosis hardly exists. FORGET MILK So negative an effect can milk and milk products like some cheeses exert on a man or woman's health that, if you would care to experiment by leaving all milk products out of your diet for three weeks, you are likely to find you look and feel better, as well as experiencing great boosts in vitality. Sometimes doing this can be more difficult than you expect, however. Why? Because, in one form or another, milk finds its way into most convenience foods, including breads, biscuits, and sauces. It is even in a lot of nutritional supplements. Why, I cannot imagine! Milk is designed by nature for a very specific purpose—to feed young mammals until they can feed themselves. Cow’s milk was made for cows, and human milk for humans. As we grow up, our bodies lose the ability to produce lactase, the enzyme that digests the sugar in milk. This creates what is known as a lactose intolerance. Studies show that three out of every four adults in the United States have some degree of lactose intolerance and are therefore unable to digest milk properly. When they include dairy products in their diet they experience lower energy, their bodies produce more mucus in an immune reaction, and they experience food sensitivity reactions with symptoms that can include mood swings, depression, aches and pains and many other undermining issues, often with no sense of what has been causing them. UNDERMINES HEALTH Milk is the most common food allergen in the western world. Wheat follows close behind. But you find milk in one form or another just about everywhere—in cheese, cream, foods with cream sauces, yogurt, ice cream, breads, and all sorts of other manufactured food products. There is also strong evidence that milk—the pure white food which we are continually told will give us good bones, strong hair and “a lot of bottle”—is toxic to many. Dr Daniel Cramer at Harvard Medical School discovered that using milk products increases the risk of ovarian cancer in lactose-intolerant women. After extensive analysis of lactose-intolerant women in 36 countries, as well as meticulous examination of human and animal studies, researchers concluded that galactose, one of the milk sugars, is toxic to the ovaries and interferes with fertility. It may even trigger birth defects. According to Executive Director of The Dairy Education Board, Robert Cohen and many others, the consumption of milk and milk and milk products are in no small part to blame for a long list of health problems: rheumatoid arthritis stroke kidney stones acne heart disease multiple sclerosis diabetes breast cancer REAL MILK IS DIFFERENT Milk that comes from pastured cows containing all the natural fat, has not been processed and is not pasteurized or homogenized is the way to go, provided you are one of the lucky ones whose body can handle milk without any of the negative side effects. It is taken from healthy cows under sanitary conditions. Raw milk is full of natural components which kill pathogens in the human body and strengthen the immune system: Lacto-peroxidase and lactoferrin as well as anti-microbial components in blood, helpful carbohydrates (polysaccharides and oligosaccharides), healthy fats (medium chain fatty acids, phospholipids and spingolipids), and wonderful enzymes to aid digestion as well as growth factors, beneficial bacteria, bifidus factor and B12-binding protein. These natural ingredients in real raw milk are inactivated and destroyed when milk is pasteurized. Yet the huge dairy industry and governments continue to spread false information about the “dangers” of real milk and even to forbid its sale in some countries. WHAT ABOUT CALCIUM? Far from turning to milk as a source of calcium, most men and women who value wellbeing and good looks would be better off clearing out milk and milk products from their diet altogether. But hear this: If you are going to cut milk out of your diet, you need to get rid of anything that might contain milk products such as milk solids, sodium caseinate, sodium lactate, milk fats, whey, or lactose. So read labels carefully. As for taking pills, a number of researchers have shown that calcium supplements do little to stop the loss of cortical bone tissue. They have virtually no effect at all on trabecular bone in the spine and the hip, where most osteoporotic fractures occur. Yet having been told it again and again, most people still believe that the best source of calcium is milk or milk products. Of course, the question which is rarely asked is: Where does the calcium in milk come from in the first place? EAT YOUR GREENS Cows get calcium from eating green foods—grass, silage, herbs and plants. Only plants can take the calcium from the soil and turn it into a form available for absorption by animals. Beetroot tops, chinese leaves, roquette, lettuce, seaweeds, herbs and broad-leafed green vegetables are all excellent sources of calcium. A cup of any of these vegetables supplies as much calcium as a cup of milk. And vegetable-based calcium is easily assimilated, along with a collection of other important minerals and trace elements, without having to deal with possible negative side-effects of using milk products. Include plenty of leafy green vegetables in your meals and you’ll need never give calcium another thought. Incidentally, the reason why taking calcium supplements or drinking masses of milk has no effect in halting osteoporosis is this: The problem is not an absence of calcium in the body, but rather a disorder in calcium metabolism. A DELICATE PROCESS Calcium metabolism is a very complex process. In most people, absorption of calcium in general tends to be highly inefficient. Only somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of the calcium you take in through your foods will actually be absorbed. The rest gets filtered through your blood and then excreted in urine and sweat, or eliminated through the feces. Many factors influence just how much calcium your body will absorb at any time. When you are growing rapidly or when you place stress on your bones doing weight bearing exercise, your absorption of calcium is increased. When your body is in great need of calcium it is also absorbed more effectively. In fact, the smaller the supply of calcium available from your foods and the greater the need your body has for this mineral, the more efficient calcium absorption becomes. The opposite is also true. When large quantities of calcium are available—say if someone has been drinking a lot of milk, or has taken masses of calcium supplements as many women do—then the absorption of calcium is markedly decreased. It is worth remembering that in the United States, where the consumption of calcium supplements and milk products is highest in the world, so too is the incidence of osteoporosis. METABOLIC KEYS For calcium to function properly in relation to bone building, it has to be accompanied by phosphorus—but not too much—as well as magnesium, Vitamins A, B6, C, D, E and K. Zinc is also important, since zinc is a co-factor in the intra-cellular conversion of beta carotene to Vitamin A which in turn helps manufacture the collagen matrix of bone. Zinc has to be present in sufficient quantities for the body's enzymes to make the conversion. Even the trace elements boron and silicon, which are needed only in the most minute quantities, play important roles in bone strength. ALL POWERFUL MAGNESIUM What surprises most women—doctors too, for that matter—is that it is taking extra magnesium that can make the greatest difference to good calcium metabolism. Magnesium is another element essential for the proper metabolism of calcium. Magnesium probably acts as a catalyst for more enzymes in the body than any other mineral, in fact. Magnesium is plentiful in whole grains—brown rice, buckwheat, millet, whole wheat, whole rye and in legumes such as beans, lentils and peas, but low in highly processed foods. Adequate magnesium helps the body absorb calcium. Where there is a magnesium deficiency, not only can osteoporosis develop easily; so can joint and soft tissue calcification. Low intracellular magnesium undermines immune functions too, making women susceptible to infection and such hard-to-handle conditions as M.E. in which women with low intracellular magnesium have been found to have unnaturally shaped bone mineral crystals. Magnesium deficiency is common in both men and women with osteoporosis. Milk is relatively deficient in magnesium—another reason why it is a poor food for protection against osteoporosis. Magnesium deficiencies are particularly widespread in women over 35 who have long been living on the standard diet of convenience foods. PMS expert Guy Abraham MD showed that giving women 600mg of magnesium a day could bring about a significant increase in bone mass in nine months, although the women he treated were also given other vitamins and minerals as well as HRT, so it is impossible to determine just how much of the improvement was due to the magnesium. In an Israeli study, however, where 31 post menopausal women were given between 250-750mg of magnesium a day for two years, bone density increased between 1-8 percent in 75 percent of the cases and remained unchanged in the remaining 25 percent, while women who refused magnesium supplements altogether experienced losses in bone density of 1-3 percent. START EARLY IF YOU CAN Osteoporosis prevention is best started early—preferably in the teens, twenties and thirties, while the density of bones is still increasing. This makes it easy to build good strong bones and to establish good habits that can carry you through the second half of your life with no trouble. If you are female and osteoporosis has already begun, you may want to make use of topically applied, natural progesterone cream to help restore normal bone density, then keep you permanently osteoporosis-free. Finally, just in case all this sounds like a tall order, take heart. The benefits an osteoporosis-protective lifestyle can bring to overall health and good looks are immense. Such a lifestyle helps keep your immune system functioning well, helping to protect you from illness, countering early aging and degeneration, and enhancing your energy all round. Such a program begun at any age can make you look and feel great. Learn more: http://www.realmilk.com http://www.llli.org/FAQ/bflength.html http://www.notmilk.com/ http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/

Baking Soda's Healing Secrets

Unbelievable Uses of Baking Soda: From Splinter Removal to Fighting Colds!

Sodium bicarbonate—commonly known as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda—is derived from naturally occurring mineral deposits. It’s something that most of us keep around the house for cleaning or, as its name suggests, baking purposes. It’s been used in this way for more than 150 years. I personally use it to clean my teeth, and it works a treat. But this humble powder has many more applications than you might imagine. It can become a common cure for simple maladies, ranging from removing nasty splinters to clearing a common cold. In this day and age, where drugs of questionable safety are thrust upon us for just about every ailment, it’s a relief to know you can call on an inexpensive, old-fashioned natural product for help when you need it. GOOD FOR COMMON COMPLAINTS Chances are, you’re familiar with taking a little baking soda(bicarbonate of soda) in water to clear a sudden case of indigestion. Its alkalinity (or high pH) lends itself well to this purpose when used occasionally. You can also use it to take the fire out of minor burns and sunburns, as its endothermic (heat-absorbing) nature means it can draw heat from the skin. But here’s a less common use for this humble powder. Did you know that it can even be used to fight—as well as prevent—colds and flu? Many attest to its efficiency, though it’s not yet known for sure how it works to ward off ills and chills. One theory is that it stabilizes the pH balance in the bloodstream, strengthening the immune system in the process. It was used as far back as the late 1910s by a Dr. Volney S. Cheney. With the help of plain old baking soda, the good doctor helped many of his patients fight off the dreaded fight swine flu—with quite some success. He then went on to publish his discovery in 1924. You might like to try it for yourself next time you feel you’re coming down with something, and see what happens. It certainly won’t do you any harm. For, unlike pharmaceuticals, Dr Cheney’s treatment carries no nasty side-effects. HERE’S HOW: The recommended dosages based on Cheney’s findings are as follows. Day 1: Take six doses of ½ a teaspoon baking soda in a glass of cool water, with two hour intervals. Day 2: Take four doses of ½ a teaspoon baking soda in a glass of cool water, with the same intervals between. Day 3: Take two doses of ½ a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cool water, morning and evening. Thereafter, ½ a teaspoon each morning in a glass of cool water until cold symptoms have cleared. AND WAIT—THERE’S MORE Baking soda’s marvelous healing abilities don’t end there. Got a troublesome splinter? Try making a paste with a tablespoon of soda and a small amount of water, applying to the affected area twice daily until the splinter emerges. Alternatively, you can put the paste onto a bandage and leave it on for 24 hours. This should encourage the splinter to the surface; it may even fall out on its own. Stop an itch. You can also apply this type of paste to insect bites to soothe itching, or to itchy or painful rashes such as from poison ivy. Natural deodorant. Try using it as a natural deodorant—you’ll avoid the nasty parabens and aluminum found in most commercial types. Great foot soak. Add a few tablespoons to a tub of warm to hot water and enjoy a delightful foot soak; or make a paste of 3:1 baking soda to water and use as an all-over body exfoliant. MASTER OF ALL TRADES Is there anything practical that baking soda can’t do? You may well ask. I continue to find new uses for this stuff like freshening carpets with baking soda and some essential oils, mixing it with white vinegar, a bit of dish soap and warm water to create a heavy duty floor cleaner, and mixing a dash of the powder with my shampoo to clear any buildup of impurities, so my hair becomes soft and manageable. It will even remove crayon marks from walls and painted furniture when you apply it to a damp sponge and rub lightly, and will clear the inside of a porcelain cup. Just wet the inside, pour some into the bottom and scrub. Coffee and tea stains disappear. Finally, you can make your nails ready for the perfect manicure by scrubbing them and the cuticles with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle, circular motion over your hands and fingers to exfoliate any dead skin. Then rinse with warm water, and apply varnish if you wish. Give a few of these things a try. You may become as enthusiastic about this humble powder as I am.

Spring Clean

Spring-Clean Your Body For Ageless Aging in Weeks!

No matter how sparse and how good your diet or how many antioxidants you take, no matter how conscientiously you deal with stress and how enthusiastically you exercise - all of which are central to ageless aging - it can be helpful periodically to spring-clean your body from within. Controlled fasts are not the only way of doing this. In fact I have come to believe that they are not even the best way. The natural-law approach to age retardation and the long tradition on which it is based also offers a number of other simple methods. Some - such as a spring-clean semi-fast or the sauna - are helpful when used every few weeks, while others, such as techniques for improving lymphatic drainage, can be used to advantage every few days or even more often. The whole purpose of spring-cleaning is to stimulate your body's eliminative capabilities so that any sluggishness in the blood and lymph circulation and any stasis in the tissues is cleared away. Then whatever toxicity may be present - heavy metals and cross-linkers for instance - can be broken down and eliminated via the skin and lungs, bladder and colon before it can cause degenerative damage and premature aging to your body.

Power Up Your Brain

Age Doesn't Matter Unless You're Cheese: Unlock Brain Enhancement Secrets!

“Age is something that doesn’t matter unless you’re a cheese.” Billie Burke Your brain and lifelong personal development need a rich environment filled with smells and textures, sights and sounds, as well as new ideas and the best possible biochemical medium to thrive. Each time you experience anything, learn anything, or encounter anything, your brain forges new connections. To hold onto new facts, experiences and memories, neurons must grow new dendrites. These dendrites reach out towards other neurons, creating links that have never existed before. This is why it is so important, as you grow older, not to become complacent with your life, get into a rut, or allow it to narrow by doing the same things all the time in the same way. Forget the pharmaceuticals and all their nasty side effects. State-of-the-art natural substances work better. They intensify your experience of excitement, deep relaxation, sensuality, and memory, as well as enhance your creativity and your capacity for joy. GREAT BRAIN SUPPORT There are more than fifty neurotransmitters that affect the brain. Many are found only within the brain and the gut. There is no need to concern yourself with all of them, but it’s useful to be aware of some of the most important. Dazzling advances in brain enhancement have come out of the knowledge we now have about how to support these neurotransmitters naturally, using freeform amino acids, herbs and nutritional supplements. These can not only enhance brain functions but health all round. For instance choline, some of the B complex vitamins, and minerals such as potassium are necessary in truly adequate quantities (not the easiest thing to get as you grow older) for nerves to fire properly. There is also a rapidly developing awareness that we can use natural compounds, such as acetyl L-carnitine, GABA and phosphatidylserine to help counter depression, insomnia and other neurologically-related conditions. Let’s look at two important neurotransmitters and one essential phospholipid found in every cell, the roles they play in keeping your brain young, your emotions balanced, and your body vital, and how you can support them naturally. WHAT THEY DO Serotonin—alters mood, controls appetite and the emotional perception of pain, brings calm and improves memory. Antidepressant drugs known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)—like Prozac/Fluoxetine and Zoloft/Sertraline—elevate serotonin by blocking the chemical’s recycling and inactivation. But beware! These pharmaceuticals have potentially dangerous side-effects. What you need to know is that cells in your brain and gut can synthesize serotonin naturally when you provide them with abundant access to the amino acid L-tryptophan, and to 5-hydroxytryptophan. (5-HTP) Phosphatidylserine—enhances learning, improves memory, and protects from high levels of stress hormones. GABA—an inhibitory neurotransmitter brings calm and relaxation as well as a sense of remarkable wellbeing. SEROTONIN FOR MEMORY Serotonin is one of two neurotransmitters that look after learning and memory. It has many other health-enhancing properties as well. This is an inhibitory neurotransmitter—fundamentally calming to the brain and to the rest of the body. Serotonin plays a vital role in regulating appetite and sleep, both of which go awry when insufficient serotonin is available. Low serotonin can produce depression, insomnia and appetite disorders, including food cravings that are never sated. When you have adequate serotonin, you feel satisfied as well as relaxed and comfortable in your own skin. Serotonin also improves memory. In animal studies, when serotonin levels are increased, the ability to store memories and to learn is enhanced. Drinking alcohol decreases your brain’s ability to concentrate and to remember. Studies show that when people have been given natural substances which produce greater concentrations of serotonin at the synapse, alcohol-related memory deficit does not occur. How serotonin levels affect mood and behavior: Adequate Serotonin Good concentration Easy going attitude Responsive behavior No carb cravings Good sleep patterns Dream recall Rational thinking Loving responses Good natured personality Low Serotonin Depression Poor attention span Reactive behavior Cravings (carbs and sweets) Insomnia Poor dream recall Impulsive behavior Anger and frustration Bad temper Your body makes serotonin by converting the amino acid tryptophan into another metabolite, 5-hydroxy tryptophan (5-HTP), and then changing 5-HTP into serotonin itself. Some of your serotonin then gets converted into melatonin—the hormone used to regulate your body clock. Serotonin is also found in your digestive system and in blood platelets where it helps control blood clotting. Much migraine has been linked to a serotonin deficiency. Many popular migraine drugs are serotonin agonists. This means they heighten serotonin levels in the brain. Increasing serotonin is a goal of many of the anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac, too. They try to correct or mitigate imbalances in the amines—also known as monoamines—which include serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Many antidepressant drugs act by increasing specific amino amines in the brain. While they may be successful in temporarily alleviating depression, all of these drugs cause serious side-effects including insomnia, anxiety, allergic reactions and nervousness. There are better, easier, and more natural ways of increasing serotonin. They include taking supplements of L-tryptophan or 5-HTP on an empty stomach or using an extract of St. John’s Wort or both. Caution: Do not use 5-HTP or St. John’s Wort if you are currently on tranquilizers. Ask for help to gradually get off the drugs before using them. GABA HELPS YOU STAY COOL Glutamine, gamma-Aminobutyric acid and glutamate amino acids, together are known as the GABA system. Discovered in 1950, they are the “calmers”—the most important inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain. They work to balance and control levels of the stimulatory neurotransmitters, such as noradrenaline. Adequate GABA is important if you are to experience reduced anxiety, deep relaxation and to sleep well. All sorts of tranquilizing drugs like Valium or Ativan, other barbiturates, and benzodiazepines, which have sedative effects, try to manipulate levels of the GABA. Nutritional supplements of L-glutamine improve levels of the GABA system naturally, and in the process can help eliminate food cravings and alcohol cravings. L-glutamine has also shown good results in the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients. Mainstream media and scientists tell us that taking GABA itself is not a good way of increasing GABA, since, they say, GABA cannot not cross the blood-brain barrier. However, critics of Big Pharma’s propaganda counter this claim insisting that supplements of GABA, taken together with either L-theanine or the amino acid glycine, activate GABA receptors and provide a wonderful sense of peace and wellbeing. I have certainly found this to be true in my own life. It is usually taken in doses of 550mg of GABA on an empty stomach with 200mg L-theanine once or twice a day. It’s also helpfut taken just before bed to support good sleep. STRESS FREE PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE Not a neurotransmitter but a special form of phospholipid which supports many neurotransmitters improving cognitive function, clearing depression, and enhancing memory and mood, phosphatidylserine (PS) blunts cortisol and helps us deal with stress. PS works best when combined with the omega-3 fat DHA. It can work wonders wherever there is a deficiency of the omega-3 fats or the methyl donors (vitamin B12, folic acid and SAMe) which prevent the brain from making adequate quantities of phosphatidylserine by itself. Supplements of this important phospholipid have been used effectively to clear depression and improve mental functions in the elderly, thanks to phosphatidylserine’s ability to orchestrate so many important tasks. These include stimulating the release of many brain neurotransmitters, regulating the availability of glucose and activating the transport of nutrients into the cells. For your brain to learn efficiently, it needs adequate levels of phosphatidylserine. Levels tend to decline with age. As with any nutritional program designed to enhance brain function, it is never enough only to tackle the issues at a biochemical level alone. There are other actions you can take to transform brain functions while dramatically improving your health and slowing aging. Here are a few of the best. 9 STEPS TO BRAIN POWER 1. Forget high-carb-low-fat diets forever. Make sure you have plenty of good quality protein from fish, organic chicken, organic meat and eggs, as well as lots of phytonutrients from low glycemic, low density carbohydrate vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, bok choy, fresh herbs and low-sugar fruits like berries and melons. 2. Get moving: Physical exercise increases the circulation to your brain. Mental exercise helps create new synapse connections, protects you from the loss of brain cells and can even help you grow new ones. 3. Manage stress: The number one enemy to brain health is stress, because of the effect of cortisol and other stress related compounds which actively destroy brain cells. Take up meditation. Give yourself plenty of time for relaxation, no matter how much responsibility you have for looking after others. Above all, decide to live your life in line with what you really want yourself, rather than living by someone else’s rules. 4. Steer clear of poisons: Eat only organic foods. Avoid GMO foods, herbicides, pesticides, drugs and other compounds that poison your body and stress your liver. Clear your home and workspace of all chemical cleaners, air-fresheners and other products. Use aluminum free baking soda. It’s safe and works great for all cleaning jobs. There are strong links between a buildup of these elements in the brain and the development of diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. 5. Get a hair analysis every five years: A simple hair analysis carried out in a medical laboratory can check for levels of heavy metals such as cadmium, aluminum and lead which build up to damage brain tissue. If you find that they are present, put yourself through a controlled detoxification program. 6. Keep alcohol to a minimum: In any amount, alcohol can damage brain tissue. If you are going to drink at all, make it infrequent and drink only the very best. Forget the plonk. Top quality wine is better than beer or distilled alcohol such as whiskey. 7. Look after your liver: Support the health of your liver with periodic detoxification supported by liver-protective plants such as milk thistle and phosphatidylcholine. Damage to the liver causes damage to the brain. 8. Prescription drugs, over the counter drugs and illegal drugs have side-effects that negatively undermine the health of the liver and the brain when taken over the long term. Stay away from them. Don’t take drugs of any kind unless they are absolutely necessary for life. I’ll share with you products which I have used myself with excellent results: SEROTONIN: NOW FOODS, MOOD SUPPORT NOW Mood Support is a nutritional supplement that contains both nutrients and herbal extracts that aid in the support of a healthy nervous system and a positive, balanced mood state. Buy Mood Support together with NOW FOODS, L-TRYPTOPHAN L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid; therefore, it is not synthesized by the body and must be obtained from the diet. L-Tryptophan is critical for the production of serotonin and melatonin, which can help to support positive mood, healthy sleep patterns, and proper immune system function. Every lot of NOW L-Tryptophan is tested to be free of Peak E and microbial combination. Buy L-Tryptophan GABA: 200 MG OF ZEN 200 mg of Zen contains a combination of L-theanine and GABA. L-theanine is found in green tea (Camellia sinensis). Buy Gaba PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE SOURCE NATURALS, PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE Phosphatidylserine (PS), a phospholipid and DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, are major components of cell membranes, particularly the membranes of nerve cells. They facilitate the electric signals that are the basis of neuron communication, supporting memory, mood, concentration, stress control and other cognitive functions. This DHA conjugate form of PS is believed to increase the delivery of this vital compound to the brain, supporting advanced brain protection and enhanced cell function. Buy Phosphatidylserine

Sacred Truth Ep. 60: Sleep Your Fat Away

Are 9 Hours of Sleep The Key to Effective Weight Control?

Want to control your weight? The key to this may be simpler than you think: get more sleep. A brand new study of 1800 sets of twins reveals that the twins who slept nine plus hours a night had a drastically increased ability to combat genetically-predisposed weight gain compared to the twins who slept less than seven hours. What this means is that when you do get enough sleep, your genes become less critical in determining how much weight your body lays down. But you need no longer be at the mercy of your DNA. If at the same time you make good lifestyle choices like eating a healthy diet and getting some regular, enjoyable exercise, this can set the stage for living a long, slim, healthy life. If you’ve long struggled with weight control, this is great news. A few extra hours of sleep a night could throw the ball of weight control right back in your own court. The word leptin means “thin” in Greek. Leptin is an important hormone that helps regulate your metabolism. It tells your brain when you have had enough to eat—an experience known as satiety. A number of early studies have shown that when you are sleep deprived, the body’s levels of this hormone drop and you develop what is known as leptin resistance—a condition that interferes with fat burning. Meanwhile, levels of another important hormone ghrelin (leptin’s hunger-signaling counterpart) rise. This results in you experiencing increased appetite and food cravings—especially for carbohydrates like grains, cereals, sugars, and junk food—all the stuff that makes us fat and destroys our health. John Keats, in his Sonnet to Sleep, called sleep the “soft embalmer,” praising its “careful fingers” and “lulling charities.” How right he was. The benefits that sleep bestows on us extend far beyond weight control. Sleep heals our body and our mind, enabling us to integrate new information with ease. But when we are sleep deprived, our bodies can come under powerful biological stress. They begin to respond in negative ways in an attempt to protect us: Muscles get tense. Heart rate and blood pressure go up. Digestion is disturbed and the stress hormone corticosterone floods your system. Then your body lays down yet more fat deposits while refusing to let go of the ones already there. But here’s the rub about sleep deprivation. In case you think you can “catch up” after prolonged periods of too little sleep, you can’t. For sleep to become an ally in your fat-fighting armory, you need to get plenty night after night. The new twins research shows that some of us need nine or more hours sleep a night to receive weight control benefits. But there are no hard-and-fast rules. So instead of trying to adhere to a strict eight or nine-hour-a-night regime, listen to your own unique body. When you do, it will tell you how much sleep you should be getting. Life factors such as age, stress or illness, occupation, sex, diet, and pregnancy mean that some people will need more sleep and others less. Check this out: Are you often tired upon waking? Do you get sleepy throughout the day? Experiment. See how you feel after different amounts of sleep and find what works for you. Your entire being—not least of all your slimmer waistline—will thank you for it.

Laugh Your Way To Health

Laugh & Heal: Uncover Gelotherapy Benefits & Learn What To Do!

“Take two jokes and call me in the morning.” It’s the prescription of physicians and psychologists who are aware that, if we want to look and feel our best, we should laugh more. Joy and laughter are fundamental to health and healing. Some of these men and women work diligently in research institutes, measuring cortisol levels while subjects watch Marx Brothers films. Others lead seminars for healers, doctors and business executives, helping them increase effectiveness and heighten pleasure by learning to see the funny side of things. Many work with cancer patients and the families of the seriously ill. This new breed of professionals comes in many sizes and shapes. You will often find little signs posted on their clinic walls saying things like: “I thought I made a mistake once, but I was mistaken” or “The Joys of Hypochondria” or "'I’m not afraid of dying. I just don't want to be there when it happens” (Woody Allen). ENTER GELOTHERAPY It is now well-known that our emotional state exerts a major influence on health and longevity. Laughing has a highly beneficial influence on the immune system. Thirty-four years ago, Normal Cousins wrote his still-famous book Anatomy of an Illness (New York: Norton). In it he describes how laughter, together with massive doses of vitamin C, brought about his complete recovery from an excruciating form of arthritis known as ankylosing spondylitis—a crippling spinal disease. Cousins was a renowned American political journalist, author, professor and world peace advocate. While dangerously ill, he discovered that 10 minutes of rich laughter watching Laurel and Hardy or old clips from Candid Camera would bring him two hours of pain-free sleeping with no side effects. When laboratory tests were carried out to measure inflammation—a serious symptom of the illness—they revealed that inflammation was greatly reduced after each bout of laughter. This validated Cousins’ subjective experience and started a revolution in gelotherapy—the word for the therapeutic use of laughter. After his illness had healed, Cousins was invited by Dean Sherman Mellinkoff, of the University of California at Los Angeles, to join the faculty as Adjunct Professor of Medical Humanities. Until this day at The Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, a task force of high-caliber scientists continue to map the ways in which the relationship between mind and body affects health and healing—especially the vital role that humor, laughter and other positive emotions and attitudes like determination, love, purpose, hope and the will to live can both heal and lengthen lives. Cousins wrote, “It becomes necessary therefore to create a balanced perspective, one that recognizes that attitudes such as a strong will to live, high purpose, a capacity for festivity, and a reasonable degree of confidence are not an alternative to competent medical attention, but a way of enhancing the environment of treatment. The wise physician favors a spirit of responsible participation by patients in a total strategy of medical care.” LAUGHTER IS CONTAGIOUS In Europe, Britain and the United States, many hospitals provide “humor rooms” where patients go to watch videos and laugh. Organizations like John Cleese's “Video Arts Program” offer courses which make use of laughter to teach managers how to handle difficult situations more effectively through humor. American psychiatrist William Fry, M.D. is someone who has been investigating humor's beneficial effects on healing for decades. He says, "We now have laboratory evidence that mirthful laughter stimulates most of the major physiologic systems of the body.” A good belly-laugh which speeds up the heart rate, improves blood circulation and works muscles all over the body is every bit as beneficial as a bout of aerobic exercise. After the laughter is over, you feel wonderfully relaxed. It benefits the heart, increases the consumption of oxygen, reduces muscle tension, pulse and blood pressure. Fry believes that laughter is a kind of blocking agent—a buffer which helps to protect us from the damage that negative emotions (particularly those that arise during illness) do to the body. He says, “In any serious illness there's a sense of panic and helplessness that have direct psychological effects. Humor is one of the full range of positive emotions that help establish a new flux.” Fry has also discovered that laughter and humor diffuse rage—the violent emotion at the core of Type A personalities, with their high disposition to cardiovascular disease. LAUGH STRESS AWAY At Loma Linda Medical Center in the United States, Research Professor of Pathology Lee S. Berk carefully charted many of the ways in which laughter is good for you. Most of them revolve around humor’s ability to counter the ravages of the classic stress response. When we are under stress, certain hormones such as noradrenaline, cortisol and adrenaline shoot up. Adrenaline constricts blood vessels, raising heart rate and blood pressure. Over time this can lead to tachycardia, heart palpitations and hypertension. Frequent laughter significantly reduces these negative consequences. Berk finds that cortisol levels are also significantly reduced when we laugh. High cortisol levels tend to suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness and premature aging. Humor lowers cortisol, modulating the immune system. DO IT YOURSELF Some wonderful organizations have grown up to help those of us who have forgotten how to laugh rediscover the art. One of the most highly respected is The Humor Project, founded by American educator Joel Goodman in Saratoga Springs New York. It acts as a clearinghouse for information and programs worldwide designed to help people find successful ways of applying humor in their lives. This was the first organization in the world to focus full-time on the positive power of humor. Right from its inception, their mission has been to make a difference to the lives of individuals, organizations and nations. They do a great job of it too. You can order books, DVDs, props and software to help you personally or professionally. They host teleseminars and international Humor and Creativity Conferences which attract health care professionals and groups of humorists from around the world, as well as ordinary people wanting to improve their health and the quality of their lives. A month ago, Scientific American published an interesting article called “How Happiness Boosts the Immune System.” It examines some of the research now taking place, not only in respect to the influence laughter has on the immune system and healing in general, but on gene expressions. Professionals working with laughter are quick to point out that laughter is not just for the ill and infirm. It is for everybody. One of the best things about humor is that it breaks through the tendency each of us has to take ourselves and our values too seriously. It breaks down the roles we play and liberates the essential being locked within. It is the tendency we humans have to identify with our own self-created image, fears, beliefs and assumptions that takes us away from the joy which is our birthright. We all need to seek out and spend time with people who make us laugh. It is high time we rediscover the art of being silly—like a child. Learn More: How Happiness Boosts the Immune System Scientific Research on Laughter at Loma Linda University The Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA The Humor Project

Antioxidants And Free Radicals: Fact And Fiction

Miraculous Benefits of Moderate Antioxidant Intake: Harmon's Story

Denham Harmon is an extraordinary researcher. Like most of the great scientists what he writes is easy to understand, even to a non-technical person. He writes about free radicals very much as a philosopher might explore life and death - yet at a molecular level. Harmon's work makes clear that free radical reactions are indeed essential to life. So much is this the case that it is likely to be redox reactions that produced life on earth and which largely engineered evolution through their effect on DNA. Harmon is also quite clear that for high level health and the prevention of premature aging most of us need to use antioxidants in some form from the age of 27 onwards. And does he take antioxidants himself? You bet he does. Yet not in excess as some anti-aging enthusiasts urge us to do. He takes them in moderate doses - 400 iu vitamin E and 2 grams vitamin C, 30mg coenzyme Q-10, plus 25,000 iu beta carotene every other day. He would take more, he says, but he can't afford to be fatigued. forget magic bullets What does this mean when just about every book and article on aging these days urges us to take more and more? It means that in all our enthusiasm to get on the free radical band wagon many of us have fallen into the same trap of mechanistic thinking that limits much of orthodox medicine. In an attempt to slow aging we tend to treat antioxidants as "magic bullets" losing all awareness of the importance of interrelationships between them and synergy in the body. More and more antioxidants does not necessarily mean better and better. Taking too many antioxidant supplements can eventually leave you chronically tired with weak muscles. Harmon and his colleagues have discovered through animal experiments that very large quantities of antioxidants such as BHT - a synthetic commonly used as a food preservative - will actually suppresses the proper functioning of the mitochondria (the little energy factories in the cells), as well as the production of ATP (the body's own energy currency). There is no question that we need antioxidants, yet there is no simple answer as to exactly how much of vitamin E, selenium, vitamin C, and the carotenoids, we optimally take. go for balance 20 years ago I became aware of the importance of taking antioxidants to protect the body as a result of my having interviewed some of the top anti-aging experts in the world. Later, when I was writing Ageless Aging, I put into practice what they taught me. To put it simply: that the more antioxidants you take the healthier and the better protected from premature aging you would be. Yet as the years passed, certain things began to bother me. I wanted to know, for instance, how much of the various antioxidants are enough? And can you take too many? I couldn't understand how free radicals could be so bad since they were also necessary for life. Finally I was curious about my own body's reaction to taking high doses of antioxidants - 1600 iu vitamin E and 150,000 iu of mixed carotinoids, and 10 grams of vitamin C a day. Doing all this, I figured, should have had me feeling full of energy. Yet as the years passed I found myself more and more fatigued despite being perfectly well. None of it made sense. I figured if you want the straight story you had better get it from the horse's mouth. So I went back to the work done by Denham Harmon, MD, PhD, the man who conceived the free radical theory of aging in the first place, way back in 1954 and one of the most celebrated experts on aging in the world. I had been taking too many antioxidant supplements. Don't get me wrong. These free radical scavengers did work. I looked around me to find that my skin was not falling apart as was that of many friends of the same age, yet I still had this problem with energy. After learning what I should have known all along I cut down my intake of antioxidant nutrients only to find that within a couple of weeks my energy increased dramatically. Recently The Alliance for Aging Research, a nonprofit organization based in Washington DC recommended that people who are generally healthy need somewhere between 100-400 iu of vitamin E, 17,500-50,000 iu beta-carotene, and 200-1000 mg of vitamin C a day. Exactly how much is right for you depends on a lot of things: Do you smoke? Do you live at high altitudes? Do you drink more than a glass of alcohol a day? Do you eat convenience foods rich in junk fats? Do you eat sugar? Doing any of these things increases your need for antioxidants. Eating a high raw diet of fresh unprocessed foods dramatically decreases it.

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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