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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Probiotics: The "Good" Bacteria

What are probiotics? Why are they so important for your immune system? Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, and Streptococcus residing in your intestinal tract. They manufacture vitamins, especially B vitamins like biotin, niacin, folic acid and B-6, that detoxify chemicals and metabolize hormones. They empower enzymes that maximize food assimilation and digestion.

Probiotics are an amazing fighting force. These disease fighters compete at a basic level with harmful microorganisms in your body:

*First, probiotics deprive undesirable bacteria of nourishment thus preventing their growth.

*Second, probiotics or acidophilus, attack specific pathogens by changing your body’s acid/alkaline balance to an antibiotic environment (Probiotic activity against vaginal yeast infections is a good example of this.) If you are taking long courses of drug antibiotics, remember that they kill all bacteria, both bad and good. All intestinal flora are severely diminished. For most people, poor digestion, diarrhea or constipation, flatulence, bad breath, bloating, tiredness, migraines, even acne are a result of long antibiotic treatment.

Probiotic organisms prevent disease, even treat infections by restoring micro-organism balance in your intestinal tract. It doesn’t matter how good your diet is if your body can’t use it. There are up to 4 lbs of bacteria in the human intestinal tract. Your body must maintain an ecological balance of these bacteria to protect your health. Our modern lifestyle destroys normal body balance. Health experts say most people have around 15% “good” bacteria and 85% “bad” bacteria… an environment ideal for disease development. Stress, alcohol, chemicalized foods, environmental pollutants, antibiotics and steroid drugs all hamper our ability to use nourishment. When unfriendly bacteria get the upper hand in balance, the door opens to infections.

The best way to get probiotics in your diet? Add them through foods like yogurt, kefir or raw sauerkraut. Think of probiotic supplements as an insurance policy for your health. Most supplements have lactobacillus acidophilus (which attaches in the small intestine), bifidobacterium (which attaches in the large intestine), and lactobacillus bulgaricus (three protective strains of flora). Together they produce hydrogen peroxide, a byproduct that helps maintain protective microbial balance and protect against pathogens.

What probiotics can do for you:

*Probiotics boost immune response, inhibiting growth of pathogenic organisms
*Probiotics detoxify the intestinal tract by protecting intestinal mucosa levels
*Probiotics develop a barrier to food-borne allergies
*Probiotics neutralize antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria
*Probiotics reduce cancer risk
*Probiotics reduce risk of inflammatory bowel disease, IBS and diverticulosis
*Probiotics synthesize needed vitamins (like vitamin K) for healing
*Probiotics prevent diarrhea by improving digestion of proteins and fats

Important new discoveries about probiotics:

Probiotics from foods and supplements are a viable way to improve your health. Probiotics play a key role in preventing osteoporosis. Bone loss is one unfortunate result of a lack of friendly microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin K, a vital building block of healthy bones, is a byproduct of lactobacilli.

We are always more than welcome to help you find what is right for you and your family. Contact us at 419-375-2659 or email us at with any questions that you may have regarding probiotics or any other concern!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summertime Pasta Salad

Here is a delicious pasta salad recipe to use up some of those vegetables from the garden!!

Summertime Pasta Salad:

1 (16 oz) box Spelt Penne Pasta
1 bunch spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 large red onion, diced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 small can sliced olives, drained
2 cups diced yogurt vegetable cheese
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

¾ cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Celtic Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to directions, drain. In a large bowl, combine pasta, spinach, onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, yogurt vegetable cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Mix well. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and Parmesan cheese. Pour vinaigrette over pasta salad and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. This salad is best made 1 day in advance to allow flavors to blend.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Controlling Cholesterol: Diet and Lifestyle Support Therapy

Nutritional therapy plan:

Cholesterol in foods like eggs isn’t a culprit. Research from Kansas State U. shows eating eggs in moderation has little impact on blood cholesterol levels. Eggs are a whole food, with phosphatides to balance the cholesterol. The big contributor to high blood cholesterol levels is saturated fat and over-eating. Focus instead on plant foods like red yeast rice (good results). Vegetarians who occasionally eat eggs and small amounts of low fat dairy are at the lowest risk for arterial or heart disease.

The key to lower cholesterol is to reduce bad fats and add daily dietary fiber. Reduce sugar to lower triglycerides.

Foods that lower bad cholesterol include soy foods (isoflavones), olive oil (research shows adults who consume 2 TBS of extra virgin olive oil a day for just one week have less LDL oxidation!), walnuts, avocados, yams, whole grain, high fiber fresh fruits and vegetables, garlic, onions, green tea, beans, yogurt and cultured goods. One of the best foods is Shiitake mushrooms.

Substantially reduce or avoid animal fats, red meat, fried foods, fatty dairy foods, salty foods, refined foods. Reduce or eliminate sugar and carbohydrates which elevate insulin levels, another high cholesterol culprit.

Eat smaller meals, especially at night. A little red wine with dinner reduces stress and raises HDL’s.

Lifestyle bodywork support:

Reduce your body weight. Many overweight people have abnormal metabolism today. If you are 10 pounds overweight, your body produces an extra 100 mg of cholesterol every day.
Exercise is preventative medicine for cholesterol. Even if you cut your fat, you need to exercise to lower your LDL’s. Take a brisk daily walk or other regular aerobic exercise of your choice to enhance circulation and boost HDL.

Eliminate tobacco use of all kinds. Nicotine raises cholesterol levels.

Practice a favorite stress reduction technique at least once a day. There is correlation between high cholesterol and aggression. Men who are the most emotionally repressive have the highest cholesterol levels.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Allergy Relief

It seems to me that it does not matter the time of year, allergies have been running rampant this year. If your main allergic reaction is an over-production of mucous, try avoiding sweets as well as dairy and wheat products, which can aggravate symptoms. It’s also a good idea to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Have a cup of green tea each morning and at bedtime to thin mucous. Take hot miso or chicken soup to release mucous. Celery juice daily helps flush allergens. Eat non-mucous-forming foods: fresh veggies and fruits (high antioxidants and anti-inflammatory activity reduce reactions), cultured foods like yogurt and kefir, high vitamin C foods like citrus and berries, seafood, and fundamental sulphur from cabbage, onions and garlic. Get plenty of essential fatty acids from Omega-3 oils like fish and flax and EFA’s from sea greens, arugula and spinach.

Homepathic Remedies Can Help

Homeopathic medicines which stimulate the body’s own natural immune response may help relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Here are several remedies that are popular:

Allium Cepa – This remedy from red onion works to relieve watery eyes and a burning nasal discharge that makes the upper lip feel raw. Also relieves hives and allergic swelling.
Kali Bichromicum – Runny nose that alternates sides. There is usually much sneezing, but the sneezing brings no relief.
Sabadilla – Copious, watery nasal discharge; spasmodic sneezing; itching in the nose and in the roof of the mouth; and red runny eyes.

If you are unsure of which homeopathic single remedy to take, a homeopathic combination may be helpful. Combinations contain several single remedies for allergies and will more than likely provide relief from those endless strings of sneezes.

Homeopathic Eye Drops – Similasan eye drops #2 stops itching and burning from allergies – these drops are really soothing.

Homeopathic Topical Ointments – If an allergic rash appears Calendula ointment or spray is an excellent topical medication to relieve itching, swelling and the rash itself. Echinacea ointment applied topically is also very helpful.

Vitamins and Herbal Supplements – Since allergies challenge the immune system, it’s a good idea to take vitamins and herbal supplements throughout the year – not just during allergy season – to keep your immune system functioning at an optimal level. Taking vitamin C with bioflavonoids during high risk seasons acts as a natural antihistamine.

Aller-Response – is a seasonal formula and your first line of defense against the challenges of allergies. Aller-Response features activated quercetin and bromelain combined with a scientific blend of supporting herbs including Ginkgo biloba, long pepper fruit, stinging nettle and low levels of natural synephrine from bitter orange peel. MSM, vitamins A, C, B-6, B-12, pantothenic acid and the mineral zinc are included for a healthy immune response. This formula can help you enjoy the change of seasons.

Aromatherapy – To relieve nasal congestion, mix one drop of the essential oil of lavender in a teaspoon of a carrier oil such as almond or grapeseed. Massage the mixture into the skin around the sinuses twice a day. Or try eucalyptus and peppermint oils, which are natural decongestants. Just dab a drop of the oil on a handkerchief and inhale.

Acupressure Points for Relief:
1.During an attack, press tip of nose hard as needed.
2.Press hollow above the center of upper lip as needed.
3. Press underneath cheekbones beside nose, angling pressure upwards

Exercise is important to increase oxygen uptake. Take a daily walk with deep breaths.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Swap Your Sugar for Xylitol & Lose the Belly Fat!

In his new book, The Belly Fat Cure, Jorge Cruise writes a lot about sugar. He believes that too much sugar consumption is the greatest contributor to obesity and the new, even more important health indicator—belly fat – in our culture today.

Belly Fat, Sugar and Premature Death
Belly fat is what he calls the “physical marker” of eating too much sugar—it’s the exterior consequence of a highly refined, processed diet filled with sweets, sodas, and nutrient-lacking foods. And sugar’s damage goes beyond the accumulation of fat around the waist. It has been linked to three of the most deadly health conditions that may not have any exterior signs until it’s too late: cardiovascular disease, cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. And if that’s not bad enough, too much sugar ages your body, causing more wrinkling and weakens the immune system. Now bring in the belly fat factor—the latest research findings show that a high waist circumference significally increases the risk of premature death—and you have multiple reasons to keep your sugar intake low and your waist circumference within a healthy range.

To allow you to do that is exactly why he wrote The Belly Fat Cure. Surprisingly, the way to lose belly fat is not simply what we’ve all been trained to think— more exercise, less food—but involves limiting your sugar intake and ensuring you get the proper amount of quality carbohydrates. It’s not the amount of calories so much as it is the kind of calories. Too much sugar causes insulin levels to increase in the body. In order to release belly fat, insulin levels need to remain low. Learning to live with less sugar is something all Americans could benefit from.

Artificial Sweeteners
Now you may be thinking the solution is to use alternative sweeteners, right? Nope. He highly recommends that you stay away from yellow, pink and blue! Those are the packet colors of the ubiquitous artificial sweeteners that you can find virtually everywhere—sucralose (yellow packets), saccharin (pink packets) and aspartame (blue packets). They are known as excitotoxins, which contain neurotransmitters that “overexcite” neurons in the brain, causing degeneration and even death in these critically important nerve cells.

A Sweet Secret
The good news it that nature provides a wonderful natural sugar that is sweet, safe and does not spike insulin and is actually good for your dental health! We’re talking about a sugar alcohol called xylitol. Xylitol occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables, and is even produced by the human body during normal metabolism. It is commercially produced from plants, trees and fibrous vegetation, and has the same sweetness as common table sugar but with one-third less calories and no unpleasant aftertaste. And the best part, in terms of losing belly fat, is that it metabolizes without insulin so it creates a significantly lower glycemic effect when eaten.
So instead of reaching for an artificial sweetener, carry packets of XyloSweet with you, it’s pure xylitol. Use it in iced tea, to sweeten lemonade, over oatmeal and in protein shakes.

Sweet Treats
You can also enjoy xylitol-sweetened gum, mints and candies. When I get a sweet craving between meals, I chew Spry gum or eat some Spry mints. It satisfies my sweet craving without adding to my daily sugar intake and I get the added benefit of Xylitol’s anti-bacterial properties that help prevent cavities.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Go Nuts To Lower Cholesterol

Want to lower your cholesterol? New research shows that may be as simple as consuming more raw nuts.
Researchers from Loma Linda University in California analyzed data from 25 nut consumption trials that were conducted in seven countries. These studies include 583 women and men with high or normal cholesterol levels. All participants were assigned to consume nuts, and none were taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Results showed those who consumed an average of 67 grams (about 2.4 ounces) of nuts a day had a 5.1 percent reduction in total cholesterol and a 7.4 percent reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol. They also experienced a boost in HDL (good) cholesterol.
“Raw nuts are a whole food that have been consumed by humans through-out history,” study authors conclude. “Increasing the consumption of nuts as part of an otherwise prudent diet can be expected to favorably affect blood lipid levels and have the potential to lower coronary heart disease risk.”
Dr. Oz suggests eating a handful of raw walnuts each day.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Chilled Summer Soup

The past few weeks have been hot and humid. With the rain last weekend, gardens are coming along nicely. It is once again time to think of recipes to have a variety of used for the produce that is fresh from the garden. The following recipe is great for the hot weather we have been having plus uses tomatoes and corn fresh from the garden! Hope you enjoy!

Gazpacho with Organic Corn

2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno 1 roasted red pepper 1 head cilantro, large stems removed ¼ small red onion 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon raw honey Dash cayenne pepper, optional Sea salt to taste 2 ears fresh organic corn, slice off kernels using a knife

Add everything, expect corn, to a food processor and pulse until combined. Stir in corn and serve. This delicious summer soup is easy to make with a food processor – it takes just minutes. Chill before serving and enjoy!