Search Term: " Addicive "
How Does Excess Sugar Affect The Brain?
May 03, 2019 04:21 PM
Excess sugar intake is unambiguously harmful to the body and the brain. In addition to widely understood risks like diabetes and obesity, elevated blood sugar can produce anxiety and interfere with emotions and mood. Eating too much sugar can also impact your brain’s reward-response system in ways that make you hungrier and more prone to overeating. High blood sugar can also constrict blood vessels, contributing to impaired cognitive functioning. Eating more fresh fruit as a substitute for added sugar and DRINKING more water can help reduce sugar levels in the brain.
"Excess sugar intake does damages our bodies in more ways than one."
Read more: https://www.longevitylive.com/anti-aging-beauty/excess-sugar-brain/
CBD Oil: Health Benefits and Risks
February 12, 2019 01:14 PM
CBD is currently being touted as a new treatment for a range of health concerns. However, we do not yet fully understand its long term effects. CBD has been shown to effectively treat epilepsy and have some success as an anti-inflammatory medicine. CBD is not considered to be addictive according to the WHO. It also does not have the intoxicating effects that THC has. However, some people do experience side effects including sleepiness, fatigue, and diarrhea.
"CBD oil is thought to have potential benefits for the treatment and management of a wide variety of disorders due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, antipsychotic, analgesic, and muscle relaxing effects, among others."
Read more: https://www.news-medical.net/health/CBD-Oil-Health-Benefits-and-Risks.aspx
Industrially processed fructose is just as addictive as alcohol andeven morphine, concludes study
January 10, 2019 04:26 PM
Did you know that over 50 pounds of fructose is consumed annually each year by the average individual? Many people are unaware that this fructose can lead to an addiction that is just as strong as alcoholism. In fact, the Journal of the American Dietetic Association specifically found that there are similar social and metabolic components when you compare alcoholism to someone with an addiction to fructose. This shows just how dangerous everyday exposure to the artificial additive can be.
"Sweets are well-loved by millions of people across the world, with at least 50 pounds of processed fructose being consumed per year."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-21-industrially-processed-fructose-as-addictive-as-alcohol-morphine.html
How A Powerful Type of Salt and An Ancient Spice Can End ChronicPain For Good
November 09, 2018 04:51 PM
Pain is of course a fact of life, as is the reasonable pursuit to end, or at least mitigate it. But, it's that ending of pain that can prove problematic. Last year Consumer Reports revealed that as many as 4 million plus U.S. citizens bought pharmaceutical interventions of some type in an attempt to deal with a pain. Unfortunately, most pharmaceutical interventions are not without side effects, some of them very serious. Moreover, although these types of interventions can help sufferers cope with symptoms, they can also mask other important symptoms. In general, pharmaceutical pain relievers block receptors that would allow the brain to acknowledge pain. They can also cause a mild euphoria. The most potent type of pharmaceutical pain killers, opioids are also highly addictive. Millions of people abuse prescription drugs and hundreds of thousands die due to overdose every year. There are other options. Alternative forms of holistic treatment have been around for thousands of years, long before many of today's modern interventions. Today, science is discovering that many of them have a right to be considered potent medicine in their own right. Two holistic alternatives to pharmaceutical pain relievers are turmeric and cayenne. Curmerin, the inflammation-fighting component of turmeric, has been proven to fight inflammation-caused pain as well as Ibuprofen. In the same way, the capsaicinoids, which are inherent in cayenne, also work to alleviate inflammation, thereby alleviating pain. Another holistic remedy, Epsom salts, also alleviates pain when users soak in it.
"Big Pharma seems to be working very hard at creating customers, rather than cures. When you take a drug, it often leads to more problems, and ultimately, more drugs."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/powerful-type-salt-ancient-spice-end-chronic-pain/
CBD oil reduces chronic illness pain
July 30, 2018 01:53 PM
One of the compounds in marijuana is cannabidiol (CBD), whose interactions with the endocannabinoid system of the human body can produce a number of beneficial health effects, including helping with pain control. CBD is a safe, non-addictive, non-narcotic compound with few side effects that can reduce inflammation and pain in patients with fibromyalgia, intestinal complaints, multiple sclerosis and other conditions. We are just starting to understand CBD and the endocannabinoid system, and there is an urgent need for more research into this emerging field of medical knowledge.
"CBD oil, in particular, is growing in popularity, for its ability to treat a number of ailments without the psychoactive effects typically associated with regular cannabis."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-06-21-cbd-oil-reduces-chronic-illness-pain.html
CBD may help smokers quit cigarettes, finds new study
June 20, 2018 04:44 PM
Humans have what is called a electrochemical system that can be directly impacted by substances referred to as endocannabinoids. One of these is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD oil was given to 30 participants in a 2013 study, and it showed that it helped them successfully reduce the amount of cigarettes that they smoked by 40%. More studies have to be done to determine a direct correlation, but this is good news for those who are continuously struggling to find natural ways to quit.
"In 2013, a study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors found that smokers who were given a CBD inhaler reduced their cigarette consumption by around 40% compared to those given a placebo."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/cbd-may-help-smokers-quit-cigarettes-finds-new-study/
CBD 101: Everything You Need To Know About Giving Your Cat CBD
June 01, 2018 09:16 AM
Hemp, which hails from the genus cannabis, as does its far better known cousin marijuana, is distinct from marijuana for a variety of reasons, the most important undoubtedly being that the substance which makes marijuana a psychoactive substance, capable of producing its signature high' is all but missing in hemp. So, while both plants have components with healing properties, hemp offers users the benefits without the addictive component.
Today, these benefits are being actively pursued by pet owners and not just humans. In the case of cat-owners, CBD as an oil is the best way to administer CBD, although humans have the option of sprays and other means. This is because with oil the dose can be titrated over time, to ensure that the smallest health-giving dose is administered. The odds of any side effects of note are rare, but erring on the side of caution is best. For the sake of legality do make sure that the oil you are using is derived from phytocannabinoids hemp. Know that a reputable provider will make a lab report available too.
"Cannabidiol(CBD is found) in all cannabis plants. Both hemp and marijuana plants come from the genus Cannabis. Hemp has no THC unlike marijuana, and as such, it can’t get you high. Therefore, you should always get your CBD oil from hemp ensuring you never get your cat high unless it’s with catnip—that’s completely fine."
Read more: http://www.tgdaily.com/health/cbd-101-everything-you-need-to-know-about-giving-your-cat-cbd
What is cannabidiol, or CBD, and is it right for me?
February 20, 2018 07:59 AM
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a chemical that is naturally produced in the brain but is also found in marijuana. CBD has become very popular these days as users have said that it has a calming effect and helps with battling anxiety. Another great thing about CBD is that it is not psychoactive which means that it will not get a person high. It can be taken in various ways such as orally and smoked. It is legal to buy and purchase in the United States which is another reason that it has become very popular.
"This non-addictive molecule offers patients many of cannabis’ medicinal benefits, without the negative side effects associated with psychoactive THC. Could CBD be right for you?"
Read more: http://www.greenstate.com/explained/cannabidiol-cbd-right/
WHO to DEA: You Are Completely Wrong About Marijuana
December 20, 2017 03:59 PM
The article writes about how the DEA is still classifying marijuana as bad as heroin even tho that is clearly not the case. There have been several studies on cannabidiol that prove that it has a helpful effect in curing or helping with certain illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease while also having no toxic or addictive properties. The article tries to show the DEA that their are many medically valid reasons that marijuana should be reclassified.
"In a preliminary report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) last month, a non-psychoactive substance in marijuana, cannabidiol, which the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers to be a Schedule I drug that has no medical use and can be abused, is, in fact, not harmful, and has been shown to be a benefit to those who are ill."
Read more: https://sputniknews.com/society/201712171060065986-who-to-dea-wrong-about-marijuana/
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound in marijuana that shows promise in epilepsy and pain ...
December 18, 2017 03:59 PM
CBD is the non psychoactive part of marijuana that does not get you high. The purpose of CBD is to reduce pain and has been found to be very useful for epilepsy. The DEA wants to put CBD in the same classification as heroin. There is no danger of CBD becoming addictive but the DEA is trying to classify it as that. People are turning to dangerous narcotics for pain when they could be turning to CBD.
"The World Health Organization's new report on cannabidiol (CBD) found that the compound (which does not produce any kind of high -- and may actually counteract the psychoactive properties of THC) is not addictive, has no potential for abuse, and shows promise in a number of medical trials."
Read more: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/17/science-based-works.html
Why cannabis oil should be available on the NHS
November 28, 2017 03:59 PM
An article in an online English newspaper argues that cannabis oil should be made readily available for patients. The writer states that cannabis and hemp plants have a substance, Cannabidiol (CBD), which does not get a person high, but can be used to treat pain. He states that CBD is legal and is used by as many as 25,000 people in the UK. The author argues that further development of this product as an alternative to opioids is hindered by the perception of cannabis as dangerous.
"Cannabis is a plant that has been used effectively for thousands of years, causes no physical dependency, and has never been shown to cause a single fatality."
Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/11/27/why-cannabis-oil-should-be-available-on-the-nhs-7105262/
Sugar: A Dangerous and Addictive Drug?
October 12, 2017 10:14 AM
Sugar has been known to be addictive for a while. The body and brain can begin to crave it. It can cause many health problems as well if it is not controlled. Be careful not to consume too much sugar if you want to remain healthy. Your body will thank you. Sugar negatively affects many parts of it including the teeth. Diabetes can occur if you overindulge as well. A weight problem can also occur.
"Two hundred years ago, the average American ate 2 pounds of sugar per year. Today, we each eat about 152 pounds a year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services."
Read more: https://www.theepochtimes.com/sugar-a-dangerous-and-addictive-drug_2320725.html
1 Pinch Of This Magical Ingredient In Lemon Water Will Vanish Your Migraines And Headaches!!
October 11, 2017 12:14 PM
Migraines are not just normal headaches. They are extremely painful. They can have other symptoms as well such as a feeling of nausea. Lemon water can help, though, and this is good news for many. Migraines can be very hard to treat. It is hard to even find the cause so you can cut it out of your life. Many who suffer are at a loss and don't know what to do about it, and even doctors can be stumped at times.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8dZ-tbHxQU&rel=0
"Your pain will disappear in an instant. The remedy that we are suggesting is so powerful and easy to make."
HOW TO FIX ALL YOUR SLEEP PROBLEMS WITH THIS TWO NATURAL INGREDIENTS!!
September 02, 2017 05:14 AM
This was an informational video about solutions for sleep problems. It is recommended that adults get 6-8 hours of sleep a night, but many people have sleep difficulties. Medications are often prescribed, but the video does not recommend using those, as they can be addictive. The video explained what happens to our brains and bodies during different phases of sleep. At the end of the video, there was a provided recipe (all-natural) that you can try for your sleep issues.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8nqiUjLYY0&rel=0
"Lack of magnesium in the body can cause insomnia and lack of required amount of potassium can remove the ability to sleep consistently throughout the night."
Study: Single Dose Of CBD Shown To Reduce Blood Pressure
August 25, 2017 09:14 AM
A recent study conducted at the University of Nottingham in England has shown that a single dose of Cannabidiol can effectively lower blood pressure for individuals that are suffering from high blood pressure. This is great news, considering Cannabidiol is a non-addictive, natural medication. It is also an amazing breakthrough because this means that it can treat many other cardiovascular disorders, not just hypertension. Cannabidiol is believed to be a neuroprotectant that can help prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke, in addition to lowering an elevated heart rate.
"Nearly 75 million adults in the United States suffer from hypertension, or high blood pressure. That means around 32 percent of the population is at an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. It’s very promising that CBD has the possibility of reducing and preventing certain cardiovascular disorders."
Read more: http://www.cannatech.news/2017/08/21/single-dose-cbd-shown-reduce-blood-pressure/
Should You Give Up Sugar?
August 20, 2017 09:14 AM
Obesity and type 2 diabetes is on the rise, because of this people are trying to quit sugar. Sugar can be as addictive or rewarding neurologically as drugs are, so it's not an easy task. Average consumption of sugars comes to 75 lbs. a year, this begs the question "what is the right does of sugar?". Since this is a recent development, we are only beginning to see the effects of this type of diet. This isn't the only factor however, as we have seen a change in diet toward sugars, we shifted away from fats and cholesterol. In reality while this was a shift intended to reduce the negative effects of those things, we ended up with a trade that wasn't much better. We should all try to find a balance in diet, and avoid unneeded sugars as much as possible. Stopping soda or reducing sugary drinks is a great way to start.
"Mainly, it’s a source of quick energy that rapidly raises blood sugar"
Read more: http://www.nextavenue.org/stop-eating-sugar/
Is marijuana a secret weapon against the opioid epidemic?
July 13, 2017 09:14 AM
Addiction to opioids is a huge problem,. It often starts with pain meds. Doctors prescribe opioids for pain and then the patient becomes addicted and needs more and more. This can ruin families and lives. Some believe marijuana can help because that can be used for pain instead. It does help some with pain already. Medicinal marijuana is already allowed in some places and people are swearing by it for pain and other issues. Others say marijuana can be addictive as well, though, so that would create its own problems.
"The reality is that the literature right now suggests that if anyone is using an opioid — whether it be a prescription painkiller or something like heroin — a prescription painkiller is more likely [than marijuana] to lead to drug abuse, she says, because it’s more addictive and obviously can be more lethal."
Read more: http://wunc.org/post/marijuana-secret-weapon-against-opioid-epidemic
The ABCs of CBD
June 14, 2017 09:14 AM
There is a lot of fear and doubt concerning medical marijuana. A lot of people think it is just bad and that is it. Many of them do not stop to consider the myriad of benefits it can provide to people. It is actually a very useful tool that nature has given to us. One of the benefits is that it can prevent you from taking opioids, which are addictive. There are many different useful compounds found in cannabis.
"CBD has been found to be helpful in treating autism, anxiety, depression, psychosis, insomnia, inflammation, pain and cancer, just to name a few."
Read more: http://vegasseven.com/2017/06/06/the-abcs-of-cbd/
Famous MMA fighter Bas Rutten reveals how CBD oil helps professional fighters stay off addictive opioids
June 08, 2017 12:14 PM
Bad Rutten, a former MBA fighter opened up about how opiods used for dealing with pain can have adverse reactions and how his personal experience with CBD oil was much better and kept him off of the opiods. In 2006, Rutten admitted that he had a pain killer problem and found that CBD oil treated his pain in a non addictive way. Before trying CBD oil, he used Vicodin and was told that it would be bad for his liver. Next he tried oxycodin and it stopped working. Overall his experience with CBD was a positive one.
"Rutten also highlighted the fact that in states where medical cannabis and CBD oil is legal and accessible, the rates of opioid abuse have dropped significantly."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-06-06-famous-mma-fighter-bas-rutten-reveals-how-cbd-oil-helps-professional-fighters-stay-off-addictive-opioids.html
Medical Cannabis Patients Use Less Opioids, Antidepressants and Alcohol, Study Finds
May 06, 2017 10:44 PM
The medical cannabis argument is still raging. People swear by it but others say it doesn't help or that it actually causes addiction. This talks about some positive outcomes of using it. Patients using medical cannabis use fewer opioids which is a huge plus because they are highly addictive. They also use fewer antidepressants and they drink less. These are very good things because most medications and alcohol have a negative affect on our internal organs.
"A 2013 survey found a majority of physicians — 76 percent — approve of the use of medical marijuana for their patients."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/medical-cannabis-patients-use-less-opioids-antidepressants-alcohol-study-finds/
CBD as a Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
April 27, 2017 10:29 AM
Anxiety is a condition that affects thousands of people. It is one that is oftentimes treated with medications and lifestyle changes, but now, people suffering from this condition have another treatment option. CBD is now recommended as an anxiety treatment option. It is all natural, and offers outstanding results. CBD may provide the answer that you have been searching for if you're dealing with an anxiety order that makes it difficult to maintain your lifestyle.
"Ancient doctors prescribed it for everything from pain to childbirth. It is safer than most prescribed pills, and not addictive like Xanax and Valium."
Read more: https://www.greenrushdaily.com/2017/04/17/cbd-treatment-anxiety-disorders/
These foods HARM your brain : beware
April 26, 2017 10:59 AM
There are foods that can harm both your memory and ability to learn. The biggest offender is fructose, not only can it harm your brain but it can cause insulin resistance and increase belly fat. Fruits contain fructose but are high in fiber and can be eaten in small amounts. Trans fats can cause harmful inflammation. Mercury found in some foods can cause memory loss. Wheat-based gluten products can be addictive and cause your brain to crave more, causing weight gain. Fortunately turmeric for fighting inflammation and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can counteract these damaging foods.
Read more: These foods HARM your brain : beware
Opium-like painkiller alternative can be found growing in your backyard
April 15, 2017 01:29 PM
If you suffer from pain, it is a good idea to look for alternatives to taking painkillers. They are addictive, and often mask the underlying instead of effectively dealing with it. There are many herbs and spices out there that can address the inflammation that causes pain and some of these herbs grow in your backyard. Wild lettuce is a plant found in yards all over the country and has been used for a long time in treating pain. Read this article for more details into the effectiveness of wild lettuce for pain.
"Also known as Lactuca Virosa, opium lettuce, or bitter lettuce, this medicinal plant has long been used in folk medicine as a substitute to opium, hence its name opium lettuce."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-04-09-opium-like-painkiller-alternative-can-be-found-growing-in-your-backyard.html
Do you have this natural painkiller growing in your back yard?
April 02, 2017 06:59 AM
Wild lettuce is a natural pain reliever, nicknamed "the poor man's opium". It can be used as an alternative to traditional, addictive pain killers. The sap is the important part of this plant, offering the pain relieving benefits. The sap also can be used as a sedative. The sap works like morphine dulling the central nervous systems ability to feel pain. There are numerous other uses as well, including a cough suppressant and asthma reliever. In current years pain has been a major problem and traditional methods can lead to major problems, like addiction.
Read more: Do you have this natural painkiller growing in your back yard?
Medical cannabis - The healing pros and cons
March 18, 2017 01:44 PM
Medical cannabis is becoming more widely accepted across the world as studies continue to show the phenomenal results patients have obtained with its use. There is no question that medical marijuana has an array of positive benefits associated with its use that you should know. But, are there disadvantages of using medical marijuana? Nothing is perfect, so it is only expected that some disadvantages exist. Learn more about both the pros and the cons of medical cannabis without delay.
"The use of medical cannabis is currently legal in 28 states, and proponents say the herb is changing lives by granting relief to people suffering from such problems as chronic cancer pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, anxiety and sleep disorders."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-03-15-medical-cannabis-the-healing-pros-and-cons.html
Fight pain naturally with these powerful natural remedies
February 22, 2017 02:59 PM
Every day, millions of people rush to the pharmacy for some over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription pain medication. Most of us who live with the debilitating effects of chronic pain would do almost anything to find relief. While painkillers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) or the more addictive opioid drugs can help manage your pain, know that they can also cause severe damage to your body.
"The good news is, more and more people are seeking natural alternatives to ease their aches and pains. So before you rush off to the pharmacy, check out the natural remedies below to heal your body and fight pain naturally."
Yes, you can stop yourself from mindlessly eating. Here's how.
February 05, 2017 10:59 AM
DO YOU OFTEN find that, while making a peanut butter sandwich, you just end up lazily spoon-feeding yourself a bunch of PB on the couch? Or maybe you've found yourself sitting in the Taco Bell drive-thru, wondering how you got there, with only a hazy recollection of ordering 10 Cheesy Gordita Crunches just minutes earlier?
"Nothing ruins a diet plan like catching yourself mindlessly eating all the time—but it's an all-too-familiar situation for people struggling with their weight."
These Are the Drugs That Cause the Most Overdose Deaths
January 02, 2017 08:19 AM
A new report has shown that the number of deaths caused by an overdose of Fentanyl has doubled in a single year. The Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings and guidelines to combat the rising epidemic that has effected more than 1.9 million people since 2013. While Heroin is the most dangerous and addictive drug, causing over 10,000 deaths per year, Fentanyl is on the rise.
"Drug overdoses killed 50,000 Americans last year."
5 Reasons the DEA's Marijuana Ruling Is Absurd and Indefensible
December 31, 2016 11:59 AM
On December 14, 2016, in the Federal Register, DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg made cannabis a Schedule I controlled substance by making it illegal to use. People suffering from medical issues often use cannabis (CBD) and CBD oil in their treatment. Opponents to the new classification argue that cannabis should not be included in Schedule 1 drugs. For starters, they say it’s not psychoactive, addictive, or dangerous. Also, the US government has conducted research on the drug and concluded that it has medical benefits. In addition, it has been helpful in treating other coditions, like seizures and schizophrenia.
"While it’s possible to abuse marijuana (along with anything else), dependence and addiction are rare."
Kava Roots Helps Those Suffering From Anxiety
Anxiety is a common mental disorder. Many treatment and preventive tips are available for these illnesses. For those who want to avoid prescription drugs, consider trying kava root as an alternative.
Kava Root has been used for:
Another common uses of kava root is for the improvement of sleep quality and pattern, and the relief of general body malaise, asthma attacks, insomnia and menopausal symptoms.
Reduce Caloric Intake with Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural sweetener which was discovered long back in 1891 but since 1960s it is used as a good alternative for refined sugar to sweeten a number of edible products. It reduces caloric intake and the chances of cavities in your dental line. But before discussing the benefits of this alternative sweetener you should know the harms of white sugar on your health which compelled people to adopt it as an effective alternative.
Harmful Effects of Refined Sugar on your Health
Sugar is a kind of drug that contains additive chemicals but no nutritional value. Most of the people use it in their day-to-day life due to its addictive properties. According to various health experts white sugar affects your brain like cocaine. In fact, the added sugar in your day-to-day diet can be the single item that is most unhealthy for you. Most people eat it as they are ignorant about the harmful effects of white sugar on their health. It has been proven that white sugar can;
After realising the harmful effects of white sugar on their health many people have started to adopt alternative sweeteners like Xylitol etc. to replace white sugar and protect their health from its ill effects.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural product which is produced by human body in normal metabolic conditions and is also found in various vegetables and fruits like fibrous vegetation, hard wood trees and birch etc. It is produced commercially from these fruits and vegetation plants due to the quantity of sucrose and sweetness it provides without giving unpleasant aftertaste and increasing calories. When you eat Xylitol it gives cooling sensation in your mouth.
How it replaces sugar effectively?
Xylitol has been approved to be used in various oral health and pharmaceutical products like cough syrups, lozenges, chewable pediatric multivitamins, mouthwashes and toothpastes etc. It is also permitted to use in various food items like hard candies, chewing gums and gum drops etc.
Benefits of Xylitol as alternative sweetener
Xylitol is good in taste without any unpleasant flavour. It can be used in same quantity as in sweetness it is equal to sugar. Helps in reducing the chances of cavities in your teeth and reduces the formation of plaque in your teeth. Xylitol also helps in repairing damaged enamel of your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva. It provides 2.4 calories per gram which is about 1/3 of the calories provided by same amount of white sugar.
Most of the healthcare providers advice it as a useful alternative to sugar to their diabetic patients. Thus, Xylitol can be used as an effective alternative to white sugar to reduce the chances of a number of health problems caused by the later one.
The Holiday Sugar Trap; All There is to Know
The festive season can be a tempting affair to any healthy eater. Hopping from one party and family gathering to another might easily see you indulging in unhealthy dishes and drinks. It is quite difficult to hold back on the wide varieties of delicious treats unless your will is exceptional. Counting the calories in the food you eat when in the middle of a conversation with a long lost friend or family members isn't easy. What you regard as 'just a once off affair' might ruin the rest of the year for you. There is a lot of hidden sugar in holiday treats such as; syrup, cakes, flavored pop corn, cookies, soda, juices, lemonades and ice cream.
Reasons to Avoid Sugar During the Festive Season
Sugar plays a harmful role in tooth decay. Plaque, a harmful bacteria responsible for tooth decay, uses sugar as a form of energy. This way, the plaque multiplies and becomes thick hence making it difficult for it to be washed away by saliva. Sugar is also used as a form of glue for the bacteria to firmly stick to the teeth.
Added sugar for instance fructose corn syrup contains a lot of empty calories with zero nutrients.These calories do not contain any protein, minerals, vitamins nor any essential fats. It is purely energy which is converted into fats in the body hence weight gain.
Did you know that indulging in all that sweetness at the Christmas table might be the beginning of your sugar addiction? Sugar shuttles tryptophan in the brain which further converts to serotonin hence having a physiological addictive effect.
When the refined sugar intake is high, the body might be forced to produce more leptin and insulin. This is due to the high carbohydrate and processed food diet. When these two rise, blood pressure might go up leading to leptin and insulin resistance. Insulin is responsible for the storage of magnesium meant for the relaxation of muscles in the body. When the insulin is interfered with, the lack of magnesium in the cells may lead to the inability of your your hearts' vessels to fully relax hence narrowing them. This overworks your heart hence increased blood pressure.
Refined sugar has been proven to cause diabetes, obesity as well as other conditions that put your heart at risk. New studies have linked sugar with unhealthy cholesterol and increased triglyceride levels. When you consume a lot of refined sugar, the excess is stored in the liver as tryglecirides (a form of fat that sticks to your arteries). This fat travels through the blood stream and may clog it up.
That extra can of soda might leave you struggling with life altering health conditions. It is important to consider healthy alternatives to refined sugars. A perfect example in this case would be unsweetened or stevia calorie free sweetners. Sweet leaf and Truvia are made of stevia which is a natural herbs that are commonly found in South and Central America. Stevia is 40 times sweeter than sugar yet contains no empty calories which makes it a suitable alternative. These sweeteners are easily available in local stores and can be used in almost anything; tea, coffee, cereal, yogurt and even fruit.
June 30, 2014 09:54 PM
Top reasons why gluten free diet is necessary
January 27, 2014 09:31 AM
What is Gluten
Gluten is a protein found mainly in grains, which include wheat, farro, durum, bulgur, spelt, semolina and many others. It is also found in other foods and is present in some toothpaste brands. Gluten is difficult to completely digest and can cause serious health problems for some people. It is for this reason that many people are increasingly consuming gluten free diet in an attempt at avoiding its negative health effects. The following is a look at the adverse effects of gluten in the human body.
What Gluten can Do
Some people’s bodies react to the presence of the protein by attacking it and the body tissue surrounding it, which results to numerous health problems in the body. Gluten is responsible for a condition referred to as celiac disease, which is a serious form of gluten sensitivity. This disease is considered an autoimmune disease because the body’s immune system attacks the protein and the cells of the digestive tract’s enzymes. This leads to bloating, gas, stomach pain, anemia, skin rashes, muscle cramps and bone pain. Other symptoms include missed periods in women, stunted growth in children, seizures, mouth sores, calcium deficiency, nerve damage and nutrient malabsorption.
Other serious effects of ingesting gluten
Include increased risk of developing some forms of cancer and chronic diarrhea. The protein has also been found to cause intestinal inflammation and degeneration of intestinal lining. Weakened intestines are dangerous because they can permit foreign substances into the blood stream, which is common in persons suffering from celiac disease.
Gluten is also associated with numerous disorders of the brain. Conclusive studies have associated the protein to a condition referred to as cerebellar ataxia. Its symptoms include difficulties in coordinating balance, problems with speech and movement. Gluten free diet results to significant improvement in health for persons suffering from autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia.
It has been observed that gluten may be addictive, which is why many people crave for meals made of wheat and other grains. This has not been conclusively proven but there are studies that suggest that traces of the protein’s exorphins can find their way into the human brain.
Gluten free diet is healthy because it improves a person’s bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Any people experience significant benefits in their mental, emotional and physical health after eliminating the protein from their diets. It is, therefore, important that a gluten free diet be consumed especially by people who react negatively to it.
The Differences and Benefits
December 27, 2012 10:23 AM
There are different sources of healthy foods and ingredients that people can consume to boost their health and performance. Honey is one substance that is considered natural and has great various health benefits to prevent serious ailments, increase stamina, and improve the health of the skin and the overall body system. When talking about natural products related to honey and bee activities, people can also enjoy great benefits from royal jelly, bee pollen, and Propolis.
Value of Royal Jelly:
Although they are made through the same bee activities, the source of their existence is different; thus, leading to different health benefits and usages.
For a starter, let's talk about royal jelly first. Royal jelly is a substance that is milky or white in trait. The substance is produced by worker bees' gland in order to feed the queen bee. Although the royal jelly is also given to the larvae, it is the staple food for the queen bee. Queen bee gets to consume the jelly for life, while the larvae can only consume it for three days. The jelly is believed to contain healthy substances that make the queen bee survive for about four to five years.
The reason for the health benefit of the royal jelly is the pantothenic acid and acetylcholine levels which are quite high. They are responsible in delivering nerve message between cells, in order to make sure that the body system works perfectly. The acetylcholine is believed to be responsible for Alzheimer disease. When the acetylcholine level is low, the possibility of suffering from Alzheimer is increasing. On the contrary, when the acetylcholine level is high, people can prevent the ailment.
The bee pollen is gained from plants' pollen. When the worker bees collect the pollen and they mix it up with their saliva and the nectar, they create small pellets that are then used to feed the male bees. The drones (the male bees) are usually residing within the beehive.
Nutritive value of bee pollen:
The bee pollen itself is believed to have great health benefits since it is rich in nutrition, vitamins, and minerals. Since the pollens are rich in antioxidants, protein, carbs, amino acids, and coenzymes, the benefits people can get from consuming the pollens are:
Propolis is another product from the bee. Known as the bee glue, the resinous and sticky substance is mainly used by bees to seal off the cracks in their hive. They collect it from tree buds, so the composition, colors, and odor are different - depending on the resin source.
When Propolis is produced as cream, it is said to treat minor burns, help opening the genital herpes lesions, and heal cervix inflammation. When used as nasal spray, it can treat running nose or throat infection. When used as mouthwash, it can reduce the plaque formation, help treating gum inflammation, and reduce the numbers of bacteria.
Basically, each of these products is beneficial for people as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrition. People only need to choose which product suits their needs the most.
But to answer the question, royal jelly is believed to be the most beneficial!
What Is Kava Root?
December 19, 2012 03:53 PM
Kava root or piper methysticum is a kind of shrub that can be found all throughout the South Pacific islands. Locally called as kava kava, this plant is a close relative of black pepper. Its shrubs have woody roots or rhizomes that contain medicinal properties. People in the South Pacific islands use kava mainly during traditional ceremonies and they have been using this herb as medicine for centuries already.
Traditionally, kava is prepared as a tea or an intoxicating ceremonial beverage. But nowadays, it now comes into several forms such as capsules, extract forms, liquids, tablets, and even topical creams. One of the main benefits of kava is that it promotes relaxation.
Calming effects of kava
Its calming effects are due to a substance called kavalactone. It works almost exactly like a mild sedative and muscle tension reliever. Taking supplements with kava root induces sleep without the hangover effects. Because of that, kava root can help a person sleep easier.
Additionally, the quality of the sleep is also improved. Kava can also elevate the mood of a person promoting the sense of well-being and satisfaction. Kavalactone has calming effects as it can interfere with the brain activity by slightly stimulating the brain waves which eventually make people feel better. Kava is definitely not addictive but its effects may decrease with regular use.
The calming effects of kava root can relieve anxiety, restlessness and some other stress-related symptoms like muscle tension and spasm. Another active compound that naturally occurs in kava is the flavokawain B which is known as a cancer-fighting property. Other potential benefits of kava root include treatment for ADHD or attention deficit disorder, depression and migraine. When applied topically, kava creams and lotions hastens the healing ability of the skin and treat several skin diseases like leprosy.
If taken improperly, kava supplements can only bring about adversarial effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, gastrointestinal issues and tremors.
Nevertheless, kava can still be very beneficial most especially if taken properly.
Health Benefits Of Chamomile
December 03, 2012 07:56 AM
It is believed that ancient Egypt saw Chamomile as an effective cure for most illnesses. In the modern world too, this golden herb retains its healing properties and is used for treating many a disease and discomforts of the body. Most commonly, German chamomile blossoms are infused to prepare 'Chamomile tea' which is a fragrant concoction full of medicinal properties. The tea can be combined with honey to enhance the taste.
Health Benefits Of Chamomile Tea Chamomile tea, supposedly, helps to bring about restful sleep. It is thus of great value for people suffering from insomnia and other sleep-related disorders. Due to its soothing and relaxing effects, it is generally taken before a person goes to bed. Since time immemorial, Chamomile has been considered a remedy for stomach ailments. Known to soothe gastric and bowel related problems, the herb is a blessing for people with stomach aches.
All in all, Chamomile helps facilitate the complete digestion process by promoting bowel movement. For women facing menstrual cramps and nausea every month, Chamomile tea comes as a welcome relief. Research indicates that regular consumption of Chamomile tea increases the level of glycine in the body. Glycine is a compound that controls muscular spasms, thus it tends to calm menstrual cramps. A healthy cup of golden chamomile tea has also been found to combat the morning sickness of pregnancy. However nothing has been proven till now to this effect. Some studies suggest that this wonder herb accelerates the wound healing process too.
Many researchers are of the belief that age-old Egyptians and Greeks used Chamomile flowers on wounds to speed up their healing time. Though there is no established evidence as such regarding this subject, history stands witness to the magical healing properties of Chamomile in more ways than one. Diabetes patients are also in for some good news concerning Chamomile tea. Many ongoing studies and surveys conducted worldwide are hinting at Chamomile playing a role in diabetes management.
Consumed regularly in the form of tea, the herb may arrest complications arising out of diabetes and may also prevent hyperglycemia. What's more, the golden herbal tea prepared from chamomile is caffeine-free and will not be addictive in any way. However, it is always a good idea to take professional advice before going all-out for Chamomile. Some people may display allergic reactions to the herb and suffer side-effects.
Therefore, it is best to try the herb first in small amounts before one decides to include chamomile tea in the daily routine of life. Besides its therapeutic uses, chamomile is being increasingly used as an ingredient in cosmetic products and is being considered a good friend of the skin. Since Chamomile is known to be a stress-buster, a cup of chamomile tea after a hectic work day might just prove to be the right beverage to save the evening. With its sedative, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and benefits, Chamomile is sure to become more popular by the day. Used wisely, the golden herb is no less than gold itself.
Coconut Oil Help Sugar Cravings?
October 05, 2011 01:00 PM
Craving for sugary foods is a form of refined sugar addiction. For you to totally end your addiction towards sugar, you need to eat healthy foods to keep you well nourished hence, you will no longer feel the necessity of the stimulating effect of refined sugar. Engaging in to various ways and means to cut your cravings for refined sugar is very necessary to protect yourself from various disease conditions that are associated with too much intake of glucose like diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is one condition that affects many people across the globe. Since this condition can lead to more serious health ailments there is a great need for us to stop the root cause of diabetes which is too much intake of sugar-rich foods. Here are some useful ways that you may consider that can help you put an end your cravings for foods that are excessively sweet hence, will make you more vigorous and healthy.
Fats that are considered healthy like unrefined coconut oil is very beneficial in helping you regulate your blood sugar levels. The essential fats that unrefined coconut oil contains can enhance vitamin and mineral absorption and at the same time decrease the rate of carbohydrate absorption. Several studies can already prove the capacity of unrefined coconut oil as a remedy for hypoglycemia and sugar addiction. Coconut oil is also vital for those people who often encounter problems with regards to fat digestion.
Eat as much fruit as you can
Eating fresh fruits as well as consuming fruit derivatives (dried fruits, smoothies, and fruit juices) on a regular basis is very helpful in keeping you healthy. Compared to refined sugar, fresh fruits contains abundant amount of vitamins and minerals that would guard your body from incurring diseases that will impede you from doing the things that you like to do. What makes fruit and natural fruit products even better is the fact that it does not contain any addictive properties that are present in refined sugar.
Prevent blood sugar fluctuations
If you want to cut down your cravings for foods that have high sugar content, you should learn how to control your blood sugar levels within normal boundaries. When the blood sugar level of your body is too low (hypoglycemia) the body tends to compensate by increasing cravings for sugar. If you do not want to experience such feeling, then you have to make sure that you do not skip any meals. Small frequent meals are also very helpful so as regular exercise.
Try super foods
Super foods are foods that contain liberal amounts of vitamins and minerals that are all necessary in keeping your body lean and healthy. These kinds of foods are also necessary in controlling unreasonable cravings. Here is a list of the most common super foods that you can readily avail in the market today: mangosteen, wheatgrass juice, seaweed, and acai.
Controlling your cravings for unrefined sugar is very important to prevent yourself from developing disease conditions brought about by too much consumption of sugary foods. So live healthily and enjoy life to the fullest!
Relax With Passion Flower, and Overcome Your Insomnia
June 09, 2011 11:33 AM
Passion flower is used by many people to help them relax and overcome their insomnia. People who find it difficult to sleep have discovered that a few drops of passion flower extract or a passion flower tea before bed can help them relax and get to sleep. They are amongst a growing number of people trying to avoid diazepam and Valium as a means of relaxation and overcoming stress, because it doesn’t get them hooked.
According to a study carried out by some PhD researchers and reported in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics in 2001, the alkaloids and flavones contained in passion flower are just as good as these oxazepams at calming your general anxiety levels, yet do not impair your ability to work as the likes of diazepams such as Valium do, and are also non-addictive.
Passion flower works by calming you down through its effect on the neurotransmitters in your central nervous system, and not only overcomes general anxiety symptoms, but helps you to relax and sleep well at night. It is a natural substance, unlike the synthetic chemical nature of diazepam and other oxazepams and many insomniacs find it a godsend.
Cascara sagrada can help with constipation
August 25, 2010 02:18 PM
Cascara sagrada and Constipation
Cascara Sagrada was introduced to the Spanish explorers by Native Americans when they complained of problems with constipation. The Spanish then gave this herb its name, cascara sagrada, which means sacred bark and used it as a natural laxative. The Spanish explorers brought the herb back with them to Spain when they returned. In 1877, this herb was admitted to the U.S. Pharmacopoeia and is still included as an official medicine to this day.
Cascara sagrada is believed to be one of the best herbs for treatment of chronic constipation. This is because it enhances the peristaltic action that takes place in the intestines and increases the secretions of the stomach, liver, and pancreas. This herb is also helpful in relieving hemorrhoids because of its nonirritating nature and softening action on the stool.
Cascara sagrada is found in many over-the-counter preparations that are used for the intention of relieving constipation. This is because it acts on the large intestine to increase the muscular activity of the colon. The anthraquinones that are found in cascara sagrada are believed to encourage intestinal contraction. This herb is used to restore natural bowel movement without griping and to restore tone to the bowel.
Additionally, an element in cascara sagrada is known as quinine emodin. This element is being studied for its usefulness in treating lymphocytic leukemia and Walker carcinosarcoma tumor system. More research is needed before it will be recommended for treatment, but so far, the findings have been promising.
Cascara sagrada can be used often, as it is not considered to be addictive. Preparations should be made from bark that has been aged for a least a year before use. This must be done because fresh bark is poisonous and can cause nausea and extreme griping on the intestinal system. Cascara sagrada can be found in various forms including capsules, liquid extracts, and dried bark. Although it tastes bitter, the dried bark can be made into a tea. A typical dosage of cascara is a 300 mg capsule which is taken in the early evening to stimulate a bowel movement in the morning. The laxative effect usually occurs 6 to 12 hours after cascara is taken. Products containing cascara sagrada should not be used for more than eight or ten days. Those women who are pregnant and nursing should avoid this herb, as well as people with intestinal blockage, undiagnosed stomach pain, or symptoms that may indicate appendicitis. People with diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, or intestinal ulcers should not take this herb.
Additionally, children younger than twelve with constipation should not be treated with cascara sagrada.
The bark of cascara sagrada should be used to provide alterative, antineoplastic, antispasmodic, hepatic, lithotriptic, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C. Primarily, cascara sagrada is beneficial in dealing with colon problems, constipation, gallbladder problems, gallstones, gas, gastric disorders, hemorrhoids, intestinal problems, liver disorders, and worms. Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating colitis, coughs, croup, dyspepsia, gout, indigestion, insomnia, jaundice, excessive mucus, pituitary problems, and spleen ailments.
For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by cascara sagrada, please contact a representative from your local health food store. Always choose name brands of this wonderful herbal laxative to ensure quality and purity and gentleness of its properties on the intestinal tract.
October 26, 2009 12:34 PM
Guarana is a climbing plant that is part of the maple family, Sapindaceae. Native to the Amazon basin, this plant can especially be found in Brazil. Guarana has large leaves and clusters of flowers and is best known for its fruit. The fruit of this plant is about the size of a coffee berry. As a dietary supplement, guarana is an effective energy booster, containing about twice the caffeine found in coffee beans. Similar to other plants producing caffeine, the high concentration of caffeine is a defensive toxin that repels pathogens from the berry and its seeds. The fruit of the guarana plant ranges in color from brown to red and contains black seeds that are partially covered by white arils. The contrast in color when the fruit has been opened is similar to that of eyeballs.
Guarana plays a key role in Tupi and Guarani Brazilian culture. A myth of one of the tribe’s claims that guarana’s domestication began with a diet killing a beloved village child. To console the villagers, a god plucked the left eye from the child and planted it in the forest, which resulted in the wild variety of guarana. Then, the other eye of the child was plucked by the god and planted in the village, giving rise to the domesticated guarana. The guaranais would make tea by shelling and washing the seeds and pounding them into a fine powder. Then, this powder was kneaded into a dough and shaped into cylinders. This product could then be grated and immersed into hot water along with sugar. In the seventeenth century, guarana was introduced into western cavitations and commercialized by 1958.
Guarana was used by some Native American tribes as an energy source when traveling for long periods of time and distances. A South American legend explains the use of guarana by the Incas, hundreds of years before the Europeans colonized. Guarana was an extremely important part of the social life of the Amazon Indians, as they used this herb for energy, as an aphrodisiac, and to treat conditions such as malaria and dysentery. Some Japanese soldiers chewed guarana during World War II to increase stamina and alertness.
This herb is most known for its caffeine content. It is a stimulant on the nervous system. One of the richest sources of caffeine, guarana contains between three and five percent by dry weight. Because of this, it should be used with caution, as caffeine can be harmful and addictive. Guarana causes stimulation to the heart and increased blood flow.
Guarana is often used to lose weight, as the caffeine content is thought to work as an appetite suppressant. This herb may be found in combination with other herbs in weight-loss formulas. It should again be noted that this herb should be used with caution.
The seeds of the guarana plant are used to provide anorectic, astringent, febrifuge, narcotic, nervine, nutritive, and stimulant properties. Primarily, guarana is extremely beneficial in dealing with lack of alertness, lack of energy, lack of stamina, and weight conditions. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by this herb, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Kava Kava Root
September 05, 2009 12:11 PM
Kava is an ancient crop of the western Pacific. The word kava refers to both the plant and the beverage that is produced from its roots. Kava is a tranquilizer that is primarily consumed to relax the body without disrupting mental clarity. The active ingredients found in this herb kavalactones. Kava extract is marketed as an herbal medicine in some parts of the Western world, fighting against stress, insomnia, and anxiety. It has been concluded that this herb is more effective than a placebo at treating short-term social anxiety. Safety concerns have been raised over liver toxicity, but research indicates that this may be largely due to use of stems and leaves in supplements, which were not indigenously used.
Kava is used by many island communities in the Pacific in their ceremonial drinks as a mild sedative and relaxant. Among these include Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. This herb was used to relax the body and mind and to promote restful sleep. Kava is considered to be an important herb for pain relief. It is also helpful for insomnia and nervous conditions.
This herb is recommended to be used as a strong muscle relaxant. It is considered to be one of the most powerful of all of the herbal muscle relaxants. Kava is used as an analgesic sedative, for rheumatism, for insomnia, and to relax the body.
Studies have determined that kava contains anticonvulsant and muscle-relaxing properties. This may be extremely helpful to those people who have stress-related muscle tension or seizures. Those individuals who drink kava often relate the effects to a sense of tranquility and sociability. The herb helps to achieve a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Kava seems to have an advantage over other drugs that are prescribed for anxiety and insomnia because it does not seem to lose effectiveness over time. A variety of studies have shown that there is a significant benefit for individuals who are suffering from anxiety. This is extremely promising for those individuals who require long-term therapy for anxiety disorders. Kava is not addictive and is free of associated complications. This is different from many of the medications that are routinely prescribed.
Kava also provides benefits as an analgesic for pain relief. The chewed leaves of this herb cause numbness in the mouth. This anesthetic activity is similar to cocaine and it lasts longer than benzocaine.
The root of the kava plant is used to provide alterative, analgesic, anesthetic, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium and magnesium. Primarily, kava is extremely beneficial in dealing with insomnia and nervousness.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, pain, rheumatism, uterine infections, vaginitis, and venereal diseases. It is important to consult your health care provider before taking this herb so that you do not have any adverse reactions to medication which is associated with this herb. In order to obtain more information on the many beneficial effects provided by kava, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
DHA for Attention and Focus
September 29, 2008 05:33 PM
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder emerged in scientific research at the turn of the 20th century when Dr. George Still was introduced to a disobedient, troubled, nine year-old boy. Today, research still just touches the edge of this serious disorder, but our understanding has steadily grown throughout the 20th century. Dr. Still believed that ADHD is not just the result of bad parenting, but also of some sort of condition in the brain. The symptoms that comprised ADHD were considered minimal brain dysfunction or minimal brain damage in the 1940s or 1950s, while others called it hyperactivity. By 1987, scientists were referring to the condition as ADHD.
Today, no one has yet to pinpoint the exact cause of ADHD, but there has been some interesting research that has lead to the discovery of many different facts. Identical twins are much more likely than fraternal twins to both suffer from ADHD, as identical twins share genetic material, causing researchers to believe that ADHD may have a genetic component. A study of adults with ADHD showed that ADHD brain cells were less active by eight percent and used glucose less effectively in the areas of the brain that involved attention control. About seventy percent of ADHD children continue having ADHD when they become adults. Additionally, a study found that fifty-seven boys with ADHD suffered from a slight structural abnormality in the brain, with the prefrontal cortex, caudate, nucleus, and globus pallidus being slightly smaller on the right side than in fifty-five boys who didn’t suffer from this disease. All of these areas are parts of the brain that are believed to inhibit our actions.
The American Psychiatric Association says that children can have ADHD if they have six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattention for six months or longer. Other possible symptoms include: frequently not paying close attention to details; frequently having trouble staying focused on tasks; frequently not following through on instructions; frequently having difficulty organizing duties and activities; frequently failing to listen when directly spoken to; frequently avoiding or hesitating to be involved in tasks requiring continued mental effort; frequently losing objects needed for duties or activities; frequently distracted by external stimuli; and frequently forgetting daily activities.
Other symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity would include: frequently fidgets with hands or feet; frequently squirming while sitting down; frequently leaves seat in places where remaining seated is the accepted norm; frequently running around or climbing in places that are inappropriate; frequently having difficult playing quietly; frequently appearing on the go; frequently speaking excessively; frequently blurting out answers before questions are completed; frequently having trouble waiting his turn; and frequently interrupting conversations or games with others.
The most commonly prescribed treatment for ADHD is medication, often being Ritalin, which is a stimulant that helps to enhance the effect of the brain chemicals that help nerve and brain cells to receive messages from each other. Ritalin can help ease the suffering of a child with ADHD, making them more attentive and less aggressive. However, there are many drawbacks to the use of Ritalin, which include it being a form of amphetamine, becoming a popular drug to abuse, having many significant side affects, and being psychologically addictive. Natural alternatives are available such as Dha or essential fatty acids which are suppose to promote proper brain function.
Set Your Snooze Control With Herbal Supplements
December 27, 2007 02:03 PM
Over one-third of adults say that they have symptoms of insomnia over the course of any one year. Unfortunately, about 10-15 percent of adults struggle with chronic insomnia. Lack of sleep can be traced back to too much stress, anxiety, caffeine, and discomfort from a medical problem, depression, work shift issues, or travel. For some people, insomnia presents itself as trouble falling asleep, while others have trouble staying asleep, and still others wake up too early. It all comes down to the same thing, people aren't getting enough restorative sleep, which leaves insomniacs feeling tired, irritable, and unfocused all day.
Before pharmaceutical sleeping pills were on the market, herbs were the treatment of choice to cure a restless night. As the list of adverse effects to sleeping pills grows longer and longer, herbal sleep aids are again becoming the option of choice. Valerian has been known to give insomniacs better sleep for more than 1,000 years as it eases stress and has been scientifically documented for its sedative effect. Even better, valerian is non-addictive and includes no morning hangover from using it. A study on valerian extract found that the time to fall asleep can be reduced to that of what prescription sedatives promise. Earlier in the year, a similar study found that the combination of valerian and hops shortened the time it takes to fall asleep in a group of twenty-seven insomniacs from what was almost an hour to just about twelve minutes. Chamomile tea has a soothing, sedative effect and is still a pleasant drink. Additionally, chamomile can be used for anxiety and to soothe intestinal upset such as indigestion and heartburn. Other mildly sedating herbs include lemon balm, catnip, passion flower, and skullcap. Still other herbs to consider include corydalis, which encourages feelings of relaxation, in turn helping people to fall asleep, and lavender oil, which acts as a great calming agent.
Green tea, which contains L-theanine, has a calming effect in the body and also strengthens immunity. When feelings of anxiety interfere with sleep, help can be found by taking L-theanine about an hour before one’s desired bedtime, as L-theanine interacts with the brain receptors that are associated with relaxation, therefore inducing a relaxed state of mind.
Serotonin also plays a huge role in sleep, while 5-HTP helps to make this chemical. Studies have proven that by taking 5-HTP, insomnia can be helped a great deal in terms of sleep quality and longer REM sleep periods. About 100-300 mg of 5-HTP should be taken before bedtime for most people. Since some people can feel a little nauseous when first taking 5-HTP, starting with 50 mg for the first few nights and building up to higher doses is advised. Some reports of vivid dreams and even nightmares have been reported fro taking large amounts of 5-HTP and those people who are taking anti-depressants should not take 5-HTP. L-Tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted into serotonin and has been proven to be a successful remedy for insomnia. Although this supplement was unavailable for several years, it is now back on the market.
Melatonin also plays an important role in regulating the body's clock as it is secreted for several hours each night. People with insomnia tend to have lower levels. Therefore, taking supplemental melatonin, especially in a time-release form, an hour or so before one’s desired bedtime can help to get back into a better sleep schedule. Lastly, magnesium can help resolve sleep issues, especially in those people who have sleep problems because of restless leg syndrome (RLS).
No matter what herbal supplement or mineral you decide to use, always consult your health care practitioner before adding vitamin supplements and herbs to ones diet while taking prescription medication. The above mentioned herbal supplements can be found at your local or internet health food store.
Stevia: Sweeten Your Life With Out The Weight Gain
November 13, 2007 02:55 PM
It is possible to sweeten your life with stevia, and without any weight gain, since it as exceptionally sweet herb. In fact it is member of the sunflower family, and is native to parts of South and Central America where it has been used as a sweetener since time immemorial. Also known as sugarleaf, it is a commercial crop, and is available as a dietary supplement.
Extracts of stevia have been found to be up to 300 times as sweet as cane sugar, although does not metabolize in the body to glucose. In fact it is thought to enhance the glucose tolerance of some diabetics, and can be used by people suffering from that condition as a natural sweetener, thus dispensing with the need for artificial sweeteners.
It is also useful for those on diets, especially carbohydrate controlled diets, and any other sweet-toothed person wanting to lose weight and still enjoy their favorite drink or desert. Many recipes have been published using stevia for the preparation of delicious sweets. So why is stevia so sweet and what other uses does it have?
Basically the sweet taste comes from glycosides, which are molecules in which a sugar is bonded to another molecule. The two main glycosides in stevia are called stevioside and rebaudioside. These are formed through glucose combined with the diterpene steviol in different ways, though some minor glycosides also contain rhamnose. Although they contain glucose, the glucose is not released into the bloodstream during digestion and the subsequent biochemistry.
Japan began the cultivation of the plant in the 1970s rather than produce artificial sweeteners that were suspected carcinogens (saccharin and cyclamate). Japan is now the world’s biggest consumer of stevia, even being used in the Japanese Coca Cola plants. Around 40% of Japan’s total sweetener volume is stevia. However, apart from its use as a natural alternative sweetener to sugar, stevia has specific properties, already alluded to, that renders it of particular attraction to certain groups of people, and we shall now take a closer look at these.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is essential to regulate the glucose content of the blood. It stimulates the cells of the body to take in blood glucose and convert it to glycogen that can be used for energy. Without insulin the blood sugars would increase in concentration without regulation leading to very serious health issues that would eventually result in death.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce sufficient insulin, does not use the insulin it produces properly, or produces no insulin at all. Hence, a sweetener that did not exacerbate this situation by being eventually metabolized to glucose, as most sugars are in the body, would be of great benefit to diabetics. This is exactly what stevia is. It is a very powerful sweetener, 250 – 300 times sweeter to the taste-buds than sucrose, normal table sugar, and it does not metabolize to glucose. It is heaven-sent sweetener for diabetics that have a sweet tooth.
It is very safe for them and has been consumed for centuries without any side effects. In fact, studies have indicated that stevia might even regulate the pancreas and help to stabilize the levels of blood glucose in the body, rendering it an effective and safe supplement for those suffering from hypoglycemia (excess blood sugar), diabetes and candidiasis, a yeast infection that thrives on sugar.
Apart from that, stevia is also popular with those who are on a calorie controlled diet – or any other diet for that matter, since an excessive sugar intake invariably leads eventually to weight increase. The 21st century western diet is drowning in sugar, with up to 10 spoonfuls of sugar in every small bottle of cola. There is sugar in cookies, hot dogs, bread, soy sauce, ketchup, cans of beans and peas, and even sugar in cigarettes, though that is the least of the health worries there!
For the first time in history, there are now more overweight and obese people in the world than hungry people, yet the sugar corporations claim that there is no scientific proof that sugar leads to weight increase. Worldwide, diabetes kills 6 people every minute, and obesity caused by the consumption of too much sugar leads to Type II diabetes. It had been shown that fructose is a major player in that corn syrup (fructose) is contained in many soft drinks and foods.
One of the major problems with refined sugars is that they contain nothing but pure carbohydrate. All the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients have been removed, so that when they are consumed, your body has to provide these nutrients needed to metabolize the sugar to glucose and then to energy. Humans cannot live on sugar alone, and in fact you are better drinking water than corn syrup or cane sugar solutions since at least water does not make demands on your existing nutrient store.
It was noted in 1929 by Sir Frederick Banting, one of those scientists credited with the discovery of insulin, that there was a significantly large proportion of diabetes among the sugar plantation owners that ate large quantities of refined sugar, whereas there was none detected in the cane harvesters who were able to chew on only the raw cane. The raw cane contains the minerals and vitamins needed to metabolize the sucrose.
Stevia is a potential answer to this problem, and it is such an obvious one that there are a lot of politics regarding its use. The big USA sugar corporations will undoubtedly be opposed to it, and the FDA has refused to allow its use as a food additive, only as a dietary supplement, yet its use in Japan has been very successful. It is also used throughout East Asia, including China, Korea and Taiwan, and also in South America, Israel and some areas of the Caribbean. It is available as a green powder in its crude form, and also brownish syrup redolent of licorice, but also as a more refined white powder that is likely best used as weak solution due to its sweetness.
It is totally free of calories; this may come as a surprise to many since it tastes so sweet. It is an excellent sweetener for children’s drinks since it does not cause cavities: unlike sugar it is not degraded by bacteria to produce the corrosive acid that eats into the enamel. It does not metabolize to a burst of energy that is practically addictive, since that generally then leads to tiredness and the need for more sugar to make up for it.
Stevia does not cause diabetes in any form, is not a food for yeast and it is beneficial to the pancreas. In short, it is a completely safe food supplement that has been used for centuries without ill effect, and if you want to prevent yourself from adding weight and protect against the possibility of Type II diabetes in particular, then stevia should be your sweetener of choice.
THE FDA AND STEVIA
July 15, 2005 12:45 PM
THE FDA AND STEVIA
While stevia in no way qualifies as an “artificial sweetener,” it has been subject to rigorous inquiry and unprecedented restraints. In 1986, FDA officials began to investigate herb companies selling stevia and suddenly banned its sale, calling it “an unapproved food additive.” Then in 1991, the FDA unexpectedly announced that all importation of stevia leaves and products must cease, with the exception of certain liquid extracts which are designed for skin care only. They also issued formal warnings to companies and claimed that the herb was illegal. The FDA was unusually aggressive in its goal to eliminate stevia from American markets, utilizing search and seizure tactics, embargoes and import bans. Speculation as to why the FDA intervened in stevia commerce points to the politics of influential sugar marketers and the artificial-sweetener industry.
During the same year, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) began their defense of the herb with the goal of convincing the FDA that stevia is completely safe. They gathered documented literature and research on both stevia and other non-caloric sweeteners. The overwhelming consensus was that stevia is indeed safe, and the AHPA petitioned the FDA to exempt stevia from food additive regulations.
Food Additive vs. Dietary Supplement
FDA regulations of stevia were based on its designation as a food additive. The claim was that scientific study on stevia as a food additive was inadequate. Ironically, extensive Japanese testing of stevia was disregarde—regardless of the fact that this body of documented evidence more than sufficiently supported its safe use. Many experts who have studied stevia and its FDA requirements have commented that the FDA wants far more proof that stevia is safe than they would demand from chemical additives like aspartame.
Stevia advocates point out that stevia not a food additive, but rather, a food. Apparently, foods that have traditionally been consumed do not require laborious and expensive testing for safety under FDA regulations. The fact that so many toxicology studies have been conducted in Japan, coupled with the herb’s long history of safe consumption, makes a strong case for stevia being accepted by the FDA as a safe dietary substance. Still, it was denied the official GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status and designated a food additive by the FDA.
The FDA Reverses Its Position
As a result of the Health Freedom Act passed in September of 1995, stevia leaves, stevia extract, and stevioside can be imported to the United States. However, ingredient labels of products that contain stevia must qualify as dietary supplements.
Stevia had been redesignated as a dietary supplement by the FDA and consequently can be legally sold in the United States solely as a supplement. Its addition to teas or other packaged foods is still banned. Moreover, stevia cannot, under any circumstances, be marketed as a sweetener or flavor enhancer.
SUGAR, SUGAR EVERYWHERE
Ralph Nader once said, “If God meant us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.” The average American eats over 125 pounds of white sugar every year. It has been estimated that sugar makes up 25 percent of our daily caloric intake, with soda pop supplying the majority of our sugar ingestion. Desserts and sugar-laden snacks continually tempt us, resulting in an escalated taste for sweets.
The amount of sugar we consume has a profound effect on both our physical and mental well-being. Sugar is a powerful substance which can have drug-like effects and is considered addictive by some nutritional experts. William Duffy, the author of Sugar Blues, states,“The difference between sugar addiction and narcotic addition is largely one of degree.” In excess, sugar can be toxic. Sufficient amounts of B-vitamins are actually required to metabolize and detoxify sugar in our bodies. When the body experiences a sugar overload, the assimilation of nutrients from other foods can be inhibited. In other words, our bodies were not designed to cope with the enormous quantity of sugar we routinely ingest. Eating too much sugar can generate a type of nutrient malnutrition, not to mention its contribution to obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, and other disorders. Sugar can also predispose the body to yeast infections, aggravate some types of arthritis and asthma, cause tooth decay, and may even elevate our blood lipid levels. Eating excess sugar can also contribute to amino acid depletion, which has been linked with depression and other mood disorders. To make matters worse, eating too much sugar can actually compromise our immune systems by lowering white blood cells counts. This makes us more susceptible to colds and other infections. Sugar consumption has also been linked to PMS, osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.
Why Do We Crave Sweets?
Considering the sobering effects of a high sugar diet, why do we eat so much of it? One reason is that sugar gives us a quick infusion of energy. It can also help to raise the level of certain brain neurotransmitters which may temporarily elevate our mood. Sugar cravings stem from a complex mix of physiological and psychological components. Even the most brilliant scientists fail to totally comprehend this intriguing chemical dependence which, for the most part, hurts our overall health.
What we do know is that when sugary foods are consumed, the pancreas must secrete insulin, a hormone which serves to bring blood glucose levels down. This allows sugar to enter our cells where it is either burned off or stored. The constant ups and downs of blood sugar levels can become exaggerated in some individuals and cause all kinds of health problems. Have you ever been around someone who is prone to sudden mood swings characterized by violent verbal attacks or irritability? This type of volatile behavior is typical of people who crave sugar, eat it and then experience sugar highs and lows. Erratic mood swings can be linked to dramatic drops in blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia: Sign of Hard Times?
It is rather disturbing to learn that statisticians estimate that almost 20 million Americans suffer from some type of faulty glucose tolerance. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are the two major forms of blood sugar disorders and can deservedly be called modern day plagues. Hypoglycemia is an actual disorder that can cause of number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. More and more studies are pointing to physiological as well as psychological disorders linked to disturbed glucose utilization in brain cells. One study, in particular, showed that depressed people have overall lower glucose metabolism (Slagle, 22). Hypoglycemia occurs when too much insulin is secreted in order to compensate for high blood sugar levels resulting from eating sugary or high carbohydrate foods. To deal with the excess insulin, glucagon, cortisol and adrenalin pour into the system to help raise the blood sugar back to acceptable levels. This can inadvertently result in the secretion of more insulin and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
A hypoglycemic reaction can cause mood swings, fatigue, drowsiness, tremors, headaches, dizziness, panic attacks, indigestion, cold sweats, and fainting. When blood sugar drops too low, an overwhelming craving for carbohydrates results. To satisfy the craving and compensate for feelings of weakness and abnormal hunger, sugary foods are once again consumed in excess.
Unfortunately, great numbers of people suffer from hypoglycemic symptoms. Ironically, a simple switch from a high sugar diet to one that emphasizes protein can help. In addition, because sugar cravings are so hard to control, a product like stevia can be of enormous value in preventing roller coaster blood sugar levels. One Colorado internist states: People who are chronically stressed and are on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of day. Their adrenals are not functioning optimally, and when they hit a real low point, they want sugar. It usually happens in mid-afternoon when the adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. (Janiger, 71) Our craving for sweets in not intrinsically a bad thing; however, what we reach for to satisfy that craving can dramatically determine how we feel. Stevia can help to satisfy the urge to eat something sweet without changing blood sugar levels in a perfectly natural way and without any of the risks associated with other non-nutritive sweeteners.
Diabetes: Pancreas Overload?
Diabetes is a disease typical of western cultures and is evidence of the influence that diet has on the human body. Perhaps more than any other disease, diabetes shuts down the mechanisms which permit proper carbohydrate/sugar metabolism. When the pancreas no longer secretes adequate amounts of insulin to metabolize sugar, that sugar continues to circulate in the bloodstream causing all kinds of health problems. The type of diabetes that comes in later years is almost always related to obesity and involves the inability of sugar to enter cells, even when insulin is present. Diabetes can cause blindness, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, the loss of nerve function, recurring infections, and the inability to heal. Heredity plays a profound role in the incidence of diabetes, but a diet high in white sugar and empty carbohydrates unquestionably contributes to the onset of the disease. It is estimated that over five million Americans are currently undergoing medical treatment for diabetes and studies suggest that there are at least four million Americans with undetected forms of adult onset diabetes. Diabetes is the third cause of death in this country and reflects the devastating results of a diet low in fiber and high in simple carbohydrates. Most of us start our children on diets filled with candy, pop, chips, cookies, doughnuts, sugary juice, etc. Studies have found that diabetes is a disease which usually plagues societies that eat highly refined foods. Because we live in a culture that worships sweets, the availability of a safe sweetener like stevia, which does not cause stress on the pancreas is extremely valuable. If sugar consumption was cut in half by using stevia to
Caffeine - a nervous system stimulant
June 21, 2005 12:14 PM
Caffeine when used in moderation, acts as a mild stimulant to the nervous system and is harmless but potentially addictive to most persons. Caffeine increases the heart rate and rhythm, affects the central nervous system, and increases urination. It also stimulates secretion of stomach acids and is therefore harmful to individuals with ulcers.
Caffeine helps restore mental alertness or wakefulness when experiencing fatigue or drowsiness. The recommended dose of this product contains about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Limit the use of caffeine-containing medications, foods, or beverages while taking this product because too much caffeine may cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness and occasionally rapid heartbeat.
Do not give to children under 12 years of age. For occasional use only. Not intended for use as a substitute for sleep. If fatigue or drowsiness persist or continues to occur, consult a physician. Do not use if you are diabetic.
June 14, 2005 06:26 PM
by Catherine Heusel Energy Times, October 1, 1998
Quitting a bad habit presents quite a challenge. Just ask anyone who's ever tried to give up cigarettes. Or alcohol. Or even coffee. You start out with the best of intentions but cravings can push you off the straight and narrow. The result: giving up a nasty habit often means regenerating your resolve and trying again. And again. And again. While some blame an inability to give up a bad habit on poor will power, in actuality, the tenacious chains of these habits may derive from the body as well as the mind. "People don't seem to realize the effects these substances have on the body," says Joan Mathews-Larson, Ph.D., director of the Health Recovery Center, in Minneapolis, and author of Seven Weeks to Sobriety. Dr. Mathews-Larson is one of a growing number of addiction professionals who stress physical recovery when giving up a drug, whether it's caffeine or cocaine. "You can't disrupt your internal chemistry for months or years on end and then expect your body to automatically bounce back," she says. "You have to give it some help."
Breaking Off is Hard to Do
The substances we love to overdo all share a common characteristic: they mimic or enhance the body's chemical messengers. Opiate drugs such as heroin, for example, are virtually identical to substances called endorphins, neurochemicals that the body produces to mask feelings of pain. (When an injured Kerri Strug performed her final Olympic vault, her endorphins enabled her to push past her protesting nerve endings.) Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can provide a "rush" similar to that produced by adrenaline and noradrenaline, the neurochemicals that provide the quick and excited feeling that swells down your spine during frightened or thrilling moments. On the other hand, some drugs (notably alcohol and cocaine) boost the activity of several different neurochemicals, including those that control sensations of pleasure. From a biological perspective, then, none of the drugs that people take are totally unfamiliar to the body. Your body makes similar chemicals all the time, in response to specific events and needs. "The main advantage of drugs is that they act powerfully and immediately," explains Andrew Weil, M.D., in his book, From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind Altering Drugs. "Their main disadvantage is that they reinforce the notion that the state we desire comes from something outside us."
Another serious disadvantage of drugs resides in their impact on the body's everyday neurochemical balance. Under normal circumstances, the body maintains its internal chemical environment on a fairly even keel. It may pump out oodles of adrenaline in response to a specific threat, like a near miss on the highway, but for every such scary "high" a corresponding low sets in: that rubbery-kneed sense of relief you feel when things calm down.
Over time, the body mistakes the introduction of mind-altering, foreign chemicals as an excess of its own production of neurochemicals. As a result it slows down its own manufacture of these vital substances. So when you stop drinking caffeine or other stimulating drugs, the body finds its neurochemical receptors begging for relief: Cravings raise their ugly heads while so-called withdrawal symptoms raise your discomfort level. A general sense of ill health sets in until the body's natural production of neurotransmitter production reaches an acceptable level.
Breaking a bad habit may be complicated by a lack of regenerative health habits. "A proper diet is pretty low on an addict's list of priorities," says Mathews-Larson. "Most of the people we see live on fast food and junk food." Many people trying to give up bad habits are attacked by the chemical and physical problems resulting from eating fatty foods and not exercising: their bodies are chemically and physically challenged from a poor lifestyle.
Fortunately, recovery from a bad habit can be enhanced by balancing your diet, exercising and using nutritional supplements to straighten out your interior biochemical environment.
"We target substances that are essential for maintaining optimal brain chemistry," points out Mathews-Larson. Foremost among these substances are a variety of amino acids that the body needs to rebuild its supply of neurotransmitters. In addition, nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin C are often in short supply among those who indulge in addictive drugs and alcohol.
Exercise and meditation are equally important to recovery, since both activities naturally prompt production of mood-enhancing neurochemicals. (The so-called "runner's high" is believed to result from endorphins and other neurochemicals stimulated by jogging.) More importantly, natural stimulation that pushes the body to create its own, endogenous supply of feel-good chemicals produces a longer sense of well-being than the transitory high induced by drugs and alcohol. "The potential for highs is always there, and many techniques exist for eliciting them," declares Dr. Weil. "Drug highs differ from other highs only in superficial ways."
To experienced treatment professionals such as Mathews-Larson, kicking a long-standing habit depends on learning to appreciate the natural high of good health, through an overall healthy lifestyle. "It's not enough to just stop using the substance you abused," she contends. "You have to build a high quality of life for yourself, so you can fully enjoy every day."
Recommended Reading: Seven Weeks to Sobriety, by Joan Mathews-Larson (Fawcett Books, 1997) Healing Anxiety With Herbs by Harold H. Bloomfield. (Harper Collins, 1998.)