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Simple strategies to Improve Blood Sugar

by: Dr. David Jockers of Natural News

Sweet foods and starches are not genetically congruent to eat on a regular basis. Our ancestors looked at these as rare delicacies. Most people in our society today are raised on a steady diet of sugars, grains and other starches. Here are the best strategies to lower the blood sugar/insulin response when consuming carbohydrate rich foods.

Foods are measured for their effect on blood sugar through the Glycemic Index (GI). The GI ranges from 0-100. Foods that have a GI index under 55 are considered low GI. A range of 56-69 is considered medium GI while 70+ is considered high. It is recommended to eat foods that are low GI and to utilize different strategies to lower and/or buffer these GI responses in your body.

Another way of ranking the blood sugar response of different foods is through the Glycemic Load (GL). The GL measures how long the food will release sugar into the system. Many foods may be high GI but low GL. An example of this would be fruit such as watermelon. Other foods are low GI but high GL such as oatmeal, which releases sugar into the system for an extended period of time.

A GL of 20 or more is high; a GL of 11-19 is medium; and a GL of 10 or less is low. High GL foods are inflammatory in nature, so it is advisable to stick with foods that are low GI and GL as much as possible or to use advanced strategies to buffer the glycemic response in the body.

Simple Strategies to Improve Blood Sugar Signaling

1. Use Lemon: The citric acid in lemon helps to buffer the release of blood sugar. Additionally, the anti-oxidants and trace minerals within lemon help to improve insulin signaling, boost liver function and stabilize blood sugar. Squeeze a lemon on as many foods as possible and drink it freshly squeezed in purified water.

2. Use Apple Cider Vinegar: Vinegar is very high in acetic acid. This acid has been shown to reduce the glycemic response of a typical carbohydrate based meal by 31%. Another study reduced a carbohydrate meal from a typical glycemic index of 100 to 64. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) also provides enzymes, probiotics and trace minerals that enhance blood sugar signaling. Use ACV on as many foods as possible.

3. Use Fermented Foods: This would include coconut kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, & kimchi. Raw, grass-fed fermented dairy includes yogurt, kefir, amasai, fermented whey & raw cheese. These foods have a natural acid to slow the release of blood sugar, and they provide enzymes, probiotics and other bioactive nutrients that enhance blood sugar signaling. Use a variety of different fermented foods every day.

4. Use Cinnamon: Cinnamon has been shown to reduce gastric emptying rate, improve insulin receptor sensitivity and inhibit enzymes that inactivate insulin receptors. Cinnamon also has an extremely powerful anti-oxidant potential that prevents inflammatory conditions that damage cell membranes and insulin receptors.

5. Whole Food Multi-Vitamin with Chromium: Whole food multi-vitamins help the body by supplying tons of highly bioavailable trace minerals and B vitamins that are critical for healthy blood sugar balance. One such nutrient is chromium, which both increases the production and activates the glucose transport molecule GLUT-4.

Chromium activates GLUT-4 to shift its location from deep within the cell to a position on the cell membrane. This opens a window in the cell that allows glucose to flow into the cell through a concentration gradient where it can be metabolized for energy while lowering circulating blood sugar to stable levels.

About the author:
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.comDr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals.

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www.healingpowerhour.com 

8 of the World’s Healthiest Spices & Herbs You Should Be Eating

By Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D.,

As a registered dietitian and associate nutrition editor at EatingWell Magazine, I know that herbs and spices do more than simply add flavor to food. They let you cut down on some less-healthy ingredients, such as salt, added sugars and saturated fat, and some have inherent health benefits, many of which Joyce Hendley reported on for EatingWell Magazine.

Modern science is beginning to uncover the ultimate power of spices and herbs, as weapons against illnesses from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. “We’re now starting to see a scientific basis for why people have been using spices medicinally for thousands of years,” says Bharat Aggarwal, Ph.D., professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and author of Healing Spices (Sterling, 2011).

Aggarwal notes that in his native India, where spices tend to be used by the handful, incidence of diet-related diseases like heart disease and cancer have long been low. But when Indians move away and adopt more Westernized eating patterns, their rates of those diseases rise. While researchers usually blame the meatier, fattier nature of Western diets, Aggarwal and other experts believe that herbs and spices-or more precisely, the lack of them-are also an important piece of the dietary puzzle. “When Indians eat more Westernized foods, they’re getting much fewer spices than their traditional diet contains,” he explains. “They lose the protection those spices are conveying.”

While science has yet to show that any spice cures disease, there’s compelling evidence that several may help manage some chronic conditions (though it’s always smart to talk with your doctor). What’s not to love? Here we’ve gathered eight of the healthiest spices and herbs enjoyed around the world.

Chile Peppers
May help: Boost metabolism.

Chile peppers add a much-appreciated heat to chilly-weather dishes, and they can also give a boost to your metabolism. Thank capsaicin, the compound that gives fresh chiles, and spices including cayenne and chipotle, their kick. Studies show that capsaicin can increase the body’s metabolic rate (causing one to burn more calories) and may stimulate brain chemicals that help us feel less hungry. In fact, one study found that people ate 16 percent fewer calories at a meal if they’d sipped a hot-pepper-spiked tomato juice (vs. plain tomato juice) half an hour earlier. Recent research found that capsinoids, similar but gentler chemicals found in milder chile hybrids, have the same effects-so even tamer sweet paprika packs a healthy punch. Capsaicin may also lower risk of ulcers by boosting the ability of stomach cells to resist infection by ulcer-causing bacteria and help the heart by keeping “bad” LDL cholesterol from turning into a more lethal, artery-clogging form.
Ginger
May help: Soothe an upset stomach, fight arthritis pain.

Ginger has a well-deserved reputation for relieving an unsettled stomach. Studies show ginger extracts can help reduce nausea caused by morning sickness or following surgery or chemotherapy, though it’s less effective for motion sickness. But ginger is also packed with inflammation-fighting compounds, such as gingerols, which some experts believe may hold promise in fighting some cancers and may reduce the aches of osteoarthritis and soothe sore muscles. In a recent study, people who took ginger capsules daily for 11 days reported 25 percent less muscle pain when they performed exercises designed to strain their muscles (compared with a similar group taking placebo capsules). Another study found that ginger-extract injections helped relieve osteoarthritis pain of the knee.
Cinnamon
May help: Stabilize blood sugar.

A few studies suggest that adding cinnamon to food-up to a teaspoon a day, usually given in capsule form-might help people with type 2 diabetes better control their blood sugar, by lowering post-meal blood-sugar spikes. Other studies suggest the effects are limited at best.

Turmeric
May help: Quell inflammation, inhibit tumors.

Turmeric, the goldenrod-colored spice, is used in India to help wounds heal (it’s applied as a paste); it’s also made into a tea to relieve colds and respiratory problems. Modern medicine confirms some solid-gold health benefits as well; most are associated with curcumin, a compound in turmeric that has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin has been shown to help relieve pain of arthritis, injuries and dental procedures; it’s also being studied for its potential in managing heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Researcher Bharat Aggarwal is bullish on curcumin’s potential as a cancer treatment, particularly in colon, prostate and breast cancers; preliminary studies have found that curcumin can inhibit tumor cell growth and suppress enzymes that activate carcinogens.

Saffron
May help: Lift your mood.

Saffron has long been used in traditional Persian medicine as a mood lifter, usually steeped into a medicinal tea or used to prepare rice. Research from Iran’s Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital at Tehran University of Medical Sciences has found that saffron may help to relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and depression. In one study, 75% of women with PMS who were given saffron capsules daily reported that their PMS symptoms (such as mood swings and depression) declined by at least half, compared with only 8 percent of women who didn’t take saffron.
Parsley
May help: Inhibit breast cancer-cell growth.

University of Missouri scientists found that this herb can actually inhibit breast cancer-cell growth, reported Holly Pevzner in the September/October 2011 issue of EatingWell Magazine. In the study, animals that were given apigenin, a compound abundant in parsley (and in celery), boosted their resistance to developing cancerous tumors. Experts recommend adding a couple pinches of minced fresh parsley to your dishes daily.

Sage
May help: Preserve memory, soothe sore throats.

Herbalists recommend sipping sage tea for upset stomachs and sore throats, a remedy supported by one study that found spraying sore throats with a sage solution gave effective pain relief. And preliminary research suggests the herb may improve some symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease by preventing a key enzyme from destroying acetylcholine, a brain chemical involved in memory and learning. In another study, college students who took sage extracts in capsule form performed significantly better on memory tests, and their moods improved.
Rosemary
May help: Enhance mental focus, fight foodborne bacteria.

One recent study found that people performed better on memory and alertness tests when mists of aromatic rosemary oil were piped into their study cubicles. Rosemary is often used in marinades for meats and poultry, and there’s scientific wisdom behind that tradition: rosmarinic acid and other antioxidant compounds in the herb fight bacteria and prevent meat from spoiling, and may even make cooked meats healthier. In March 2010, Kansas State University researchers reported that adding rosemary extracts to ground beef helped prevent the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs)-cancer-causing compounds produced when meats are grilled, broiled or fried.

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Couch Potatoes Have Higher Risk of Having A Heart Attack After Sex

Sex and exercise can trigger heart attacks in older people who don’t get much of either, a new analysis finds. The risk is low, but it’s a good reminder that slackers should change their exercise habits gradually, especially in middle age.

People who exercise regularly have a much smaller risk of having a heart attack immediately after sexual or physical activity, said lead author Dr. Issa Dahabreh of Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

“It would be really bad if someone thought our paper means people should not exercise,” Dahabreh said. “If anything, it’s the opposite.”

The analysis, appearing in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, combined results from 14 studies involving more than 6,000 patients.

The studies involved only people who’d had heart attacks or had died suddenly from a heart problem. The studies looked at what the people were doing during the hour or two before their heart attacks and compared that to the same people’s activity on normal days with no major heart problems.

That study design is used to try to answer the question, “Why did the heart attack occur now?”

Physical activity and sex increased the risk of heart attack by a factor of about three, according to the analysis of the pooled results. Exercise increased the risk of sudden cardiac death by nearly five times. The researchers didn’t find a triggering relationship between sex and sudden cardiac death, that is, a sudden death from a heart problem.

The risk for any one person is extremely low.

“If you were to follow 10,000 people for a year and if they all decided to increase their physical activity by an hour a week, you could expect to see two to three more heart attacks,” Dahabreh said.

That risk is offset for most people by the benefits of exercise. The more frequently people exercise, in general, the less risk they have of exercise or sex triggering a heart attack.

Most of the patients in the studies were in their late 50s and early 60s, but the findings are a cautionary tale for people in any age group who are slowing down.

Exercise might even be considered cross-training for sex, said Mercedes Carnethon, a heart disease researcher at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the research.

“Engaging in regular physical activity is a requirement for maintaining a long, safe, healthy sex life,” Carnethon said.

“If this isn’t more motivation for people to maintain some degree of physical activity, I’m not sure what is,” Carnethon said. “Get out and walk. Do something.”

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www.HealingPowerHour.com

 

Why You Shouldn’t Drink Milk

The Truth about Dairy

According to Dr. Willett, who has done many studies and reviewed the research on this topic, there are many reasons to pass up milk, including:

  1. Milk doesn’t reduce fractures. Contrary to popular belief, eating dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the Nurses’ Health Study dairy may increase risk of fractures by 50 percent!
  2. Less dairy, better bones. Countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.
  3. Calcium isn’t as bone-protective as we thought. Studies of calcium supplementation have shown no benefit in reducing fracture risk. Vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures.
  4. Calcium may raise cancer risk. Research shows that higher intakes of both calcium and dairy products may increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 30 to 50 percent. Plus, dairy consumption increases the body’s level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) — a known cancer promoter.
  5. Calcium has benefits that dairy doesn’t. Calcium supplements, but not dairy products, may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  6. Not everyone can stomach dairy. About 75 percent of the world’s population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products — a problem called lactose intolerance.

  

Based on such findings, Dr. Willet has come to some important conclusions:

  • Everybody needs calcium — but probably not as much as our government’s recommended daily allowance (RDA) and calcium from diet, including greens and beans is better utilized by the body with less risk than calcium supplements.
  • Calcium probably doesn’t prevent broken bones. Few people in this country are likely to reduce their fracture risk by getting more calcium.
  • Men may not want to take calcium supplements. Supplements of calcium and vitamin D may be reasonable for women
  • Dairy may be unhealthy. Advocating dairy consumption may have negative effects on health.

 

If all that isn’t enough to swear you off milk, there are a few other scientific findings worth noting. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently asked the UDSA to look into the scientific basis of the claims made in the “milk mustache” ads. Their panel of scientists stated the truth clearly:

  • Milk doesn’t benefit sports performance.
  • There’s no evidence that dairy is good for your bones or prevents osteoporosis — in fact, the animal protein it contains may help cause bone loss!
  • Dairy is linked to prostate cancer.
  • It’s full of saturated fat and is linked to heart disease.
  • Dairy causes digestive problems for the 75 percent of people with lactose intolerance.
  • Dairy aggravates irritable bowel syndrome.

 Simply put, the FTC asked the dairy industry, “Got Proof?” — and the answer was NO!

Plus, dairy may contribute to even more health problems, like:

• Allergies
• Sinus problems
• Ear infections
• Type 1 diabetes
• Chronic constipation
• Anemia (in children)

Due to these concerns, many have begun to consider raw milk an alternative. But that isn’t really a healthy form of dairy either …

Yes, raw, whole, organic milk eliminates concerns like pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and the effects of homogenization and pasteurization — but to me, these benefits don’t outweigh dairy’s potential risks.

From an evolutionary point of view, milk is a strange food for humans. Until 10,000 years ago we didn’t domesticate animals and weren’t able to drink milk (unless some brave hunter-gather milked a wild tiger or buffalo!).

If you don’t believe that, consider this: The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase – the enzyme needed to properly metabolize lactose, the sugar in milk — sometime between the ages of two and five. In fact, for most mammals, the normal condition is to stop producing the enzymes needed to properly digest and metabolize milk after they have been weaned.

Our bodies just weren’t made to digest milk on a regular basis. Instead, most scientists agree that it’s better for us to get calcium, potassium, protein, and fats from other food sources, like whole plant foods — vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and seaweed.

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6 Tips for Dealing with Dairy

  1. Take your Cow for a Walk. It will do you much more good than drinking it”s milk.
  2. Don’t rely on dairy for healthy bones. If you want healthy bones, get plenty of exercise and supplement with 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily.
  3. Get your calcium from food. These include dark green leafy vegetables, sesame tahini, sea vegetables, and sardines or salmon with the bones.
  4. Try giving up all dairy. That means eliminate milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream for two weeks and see if you feel better. You should notice improvements with your sinuses, post-nasal drip, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, energy, and weight. Then start eating dairy again and see how you feel. If you feel worse, you should try to give it up for life.
  5. If you can tolerate dairy, use only raw, organic dairy products. I suggest focusing on fermented products like unsweetened yogurt and kefir, occasionally.
  6. If you have to feed your child formula from milk, don’t worry. The milk in infant formula is hydrolyzed or broken down and easier to digest (although it can still cause allergies). Once your child is a year old, switch him or her to real food and almond milk.

Still got milk? I hope not! Remember, dairy is not crucial for good health. I encourage you to go dairy-free and see what it does for you.

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Read More About The HarmFul Effects Of Milk

Health Benefits of Vitamin C “Ascorbic Acid”

The Health Benefits of Vitamin C

The health benefits of Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid include the prevention and cure of scurvy, treatment of common cold, boosting the immune system, lowering hyper tension, cure of lead toxicity, curing cataracts, treatment of cancer, combating stroke, maintain elasticity of skin, healing of wounds, and controlling the symptoms of asthma.

Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid is the one of the most effective and safest nutrients. It is a water soluble vitamin. It is the powerful antioxidant for the synthesis of collagen which helps to make blood vessels and body muscles strong. Human body doesn’t have the capacity to generate Vitamin C. Therefore, it needs to receive it through foods and other supplements.

Deficiency Symptoms:
A severe deficiency of Vitamin C can cause scurvy, a fatal disease. The symptoms of scurvy are loose teeth, bleeding and bruising, joint pain and swelling, tooth and hair loss, hemorrhages, inability to fight infections, and mild anemia.

Important Sources:
The important sources of Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid are any citrus fruits such as oranges and grapes. Strawberry, raspberry, cabbage, cauliflower, other leafy vegetables, red pepper, potatoes, broccoli, chilies, watercress, parsley, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, mange tout, and kiwi fruit are also rich sources of this vitamin. The cooking of food at low temperature and for short time is important to keep the Vitamin C preserved.

Benefits:

  • Prevention of Scurvy: Scurvy is prevented by sufficient intake of vitamin C. The symptoms of scurvy appear due to the weakening of connective tissues, bones and blood vessels which include collagen. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is required for the production of collagen.
  • Treatment of Common Cold: It enhances the immune system of our body which protects us from cold and cough. It facilitates the absorption of iron and hence strengthens the resistance to infection. It fights with viruses.
  • Lowering Hypertension: People with hypertension are at high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The supplement of vitamin C intake helps in lowering the blood pressure.
  • Treatment of Vasodilation: Treatment with vitamin C has effectively resulted in proper dilation of blood vessels in the cases of atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, angina pectoris, and high blood pressure. Results have been found that supplements of vitamin C improve blood vessel dilation.
  • Cure of Lead Toxicity: Lead Toxicity is a severe health problem found mostly in children, especially in the urban areas. Abnormal development and growth has been found in children who are exposed to lead. They develop behavioral problems, learning disabilities and have low IQ. It may damage the kidney and increase blood pressure in adults. Vitamin C supplements reduce the blood lead level.
  • Curing Cataracts (Eye Disorder): Cataracts are the most common reasons of visual problems. Decrease in the level of vitamin C in the lens of the human eye has been found with increased number of cataracts. Increase of vitamin C intake increases the blood supply to the visual zones of the body.
  • Treatment of Cancer: Researchers have found that high consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits have a linkage with a minimised risk for the various types of cancer. The studies have shown that increased consumption of vitamin C is connected with the decreased possibilities of cancers of lung, mouth, vocal chords, throat, colon-rectum, stomach, and esophagus.
  • Combating Stroke: Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid helps in reducing the risk of stroke, a kind of cardiovascular disease. A diet full of vegetables and fruits produces good quantity of vitamin C which maintains the appropriate blood pressure level. It also protects the body from free radicals which could be the reason for the stroke.
  • Mood: Vitamin C plays a key role in the production of neurotransmitters, norepinephrine. They affect the mood of a person as they are critical to the proper functioning of the brain.
  • Immunity: Immunity is another important benefit of this vitamin. Vitamin C is widely known for its contribution to the immune system of the body.
  • Wound repair: Vitamin C helps to repair wounds. It facilitates the growth of the connective tissues, which fastens up the process of healing of wounds.
  • Controlling Asthma: It also helps to reduce the symptoms of asthma.It helps to protect against the harmful effects of pollution on human body.
  • Curing Diabetes: One of the chief reasons for diabetes as found by various studies is lower levels of vitamin C. Supplements of vitamin C are beneficial as a cure to diabetes as they help in processing of insulin and glucose.
  • Preventing Heart Diseases: Adequacy of vitamin C is essential for protection of blood vessels from the damage that free radicals can cause to them. This could be a major cause of a heart disease called atherosclerosis. Vitamin C acts as a preventing agent of this heart disease as well as various other cardiac problems.

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