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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 

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How to avoid eating Genetically Modified Foods

by: Melanie Grimes from Natural News

Concern about eating genetically modified foods alarms many health conscious consumers. Mike Adams has likened these genetically altered foods to the Frankenstein monster and has raised concerns about the FDA’s approval of a genetically altered salmon for human consumption. He has called the GM salmon a “Frankenfish.” Concern that the GM salmon will destroy fish populations, such as the Atlantic salmon already on the endangered species list, is added to concerns about the health effects from eating this fish. There are a few steps consumers can follow to help avoid GMOs in their food.

Avoiding genetically modified foods is not easy because the foods are not labeled as such. Some organizations, like Whole Foods Market, the Center for Food Safety and the Non-GMO Project, are now working to support organic agriculture, to source products not containing any GMOs and to help consumers identify non-GM foods.

Buy Organic Foods to Avoid GMOs
Food that is labeled as organic, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), must be produced without the use of any chemical fertilizers or GMOS. Feed for animals that is sold as organic must contain only 100% organic feed. Foods labeled as “organic” are not allowed to contain ANY ingredients sourced from GMOs. Foods labeled “100% organic” must have only 100% organic food sources. Foods labeled as “organic” may be 95 to 100 percent organic, but the other five percent may not be from GMOs. Foods and products labeled as “made with organic ingredients” are only required to contain 70 percent organic food, but all of the ingredients, 100 percent, must be from non-GMO sources. This means that buying organic foods or foods “made from organic ingredient” will protect consumers from GMOs in their food.

Avoid GM Soy, Corn and Canola
The most commonly modified crops are soy, corn, beet sugar and canola oil. To avoid corn and soy means avoiding soy oil and corn syrup, which are added to many foods. Read labels to verify food contents of any prepared or packaged foods.

Eliminate Sugar from the Diet
Sugar from beets is commonly added to prepared foods, desserts and candies. Aside from the GMO aspect, white sugar contains no nutritional value. Instead, use sorghum, honey or molasses to sweeten foods.

Avoid GM Artificial Sugars
Artificial sweeteners are known to be carcinogenic. In addition, some are created from a GM derivative. These synthetic sugars are commonly added to candy, soda pop, diet coffee drinks, and even chewable vitamins and oral prescription drugs like antibiotics. Use fruit and fruit syrups to sweeten foods, or honey and molasses. Even if they don’t add calories, the artificial sweeteners increase the toxic load to the body.

To see a long list of foods that are genetically modified please click here
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The Cause, Prevention and Detoxing of Candida Yeast

By Tammy Handsheik

The incidence of people with bowel troubles is on the rise in the western world. Though the afflictions bear several names, it is my belief that all of them are fungus based. Various species of candida, most notably candida albicans, are at the root of these problems. How do they enter into your system? Well, for the most part they’re already there. Like all natural fungi they serve a useful purpose and candida are therefore a natural part of your intestinal flora. Problems arise when these yeast fungi lead to overgrowth as a result of three different triggers: sugary foods, drugs and stress. Compare that to the western lifestyle and you can see why so many people have bowel problems today. It’s a wonder some people don’t have yeast overgrowth!

Yeast bacteria can also enter your system by eating molded bread or being exposed to molds at home or elsewhere. As soon as the environment is favorable to these bacteria they will immediately increase their numbers and colonize their living environment, starting with the intestines and then moving on to other parts of the body by developing spores and traveling through the bloodstream. Antibiotics and other ‘medicines’ are the worst culprits. ‘Antibiotic’ means ‘anti-life’. Antibiotics are designed to kill any bacteria in their path and that includes friendly probiotic gut bacteria who, contrary to candida, are not resistant. Other promoters of yeast overgrowth include cortisone based hormonal drugs (including skin applications) and painkillers. Stress and sugary foods are also detrimental to probiotic gut bacteria.

This clears the path for yeast colonization. They seem to favor mucus membranes particularly and will damage them wherever they decide to settle. They can damage the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract by making it porous. As a result, food particles can enter the bloodstream undigested and cause toxic and allergic reactions. This is known as a “leaky gut”. Candida fungi can also slip through these pores and enter the bloodstream. By dwelling in various other parts of the body they can then cause allergic symptoms in the weirdest places. Hence fungal toenails, thrush, sinusitis, etc. They are very clever and adaptable and the more they spread and grow in number, the more they will inhibit the immune system; causing anything from chronic nose-colds, flus and hay fever to psoriasis, hypoglycemia, arthritis, diabetes and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, even depression. Candida thrive on sugary foods and by eating and drinking them people will actually feed the candida. People developing various allergic symptoms will rarely trace back these symptoms to their foods and lifestyle, however.

Fatal and Vital Foods For Dealing With Candida

Sugars

Bad foods can either cause a fungal problem or help exacerbate it, or both. Good foods, on the other hand, can help cure fungal overgrowth. So what’s good and what’s bad? Candida love a sweet environment. Thus all sugars are bad. Dietitians will often say only fast sugars are bad and slow sugars are good. Thus they will advise against white sugar and white flour and will advocate the use of raw cane sugar and whole-grain products. Sorry if you’re a sweet tooth and “carboholic”, but all sugars are out if you really want to starve candida.

This means you will have to wean yourself off:

    • sugar, refined or unrefined;
    • natural sweeteners, other than stevia
    • grains, refined or unrefined;
    • starchy foods;
    • sweet fruits;
    • pasteurized milk products;
    • alcohol;
    • coffee.

You will be amazed at how many products contain sugar and/or grains. In fact, you will find that many so-called “health products” are also loaded with sugars and grains. Life will become a little bit more difficult when shopping for food items and you will have to learn to read the list of ingredients instead of the nutritional information. Forget calories and, whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of buying anything that is labeled “diet” or “light”, particularly if these products contain artificial sweeteners such as the very dangerous neurotoxin and carcinogen aspartame and other related additives such as sucralose (Splenda), which are all made in a lab instead of a kitchen. These include flavor enhancers such as MSG (mono sodium glutamate) and other neurotoxins. The supermarket is not the best place to get food items, so this is a good reason to buy organic and to do it from local farms, if you care about avoiding food additives, pesticides and growth hormones.

Although honey and maple and agave syrup can and have been proven very beneficial to people’s health they are a definite no-no if you have candida. The same is true for pineapple, bananas, papaya and other sweet fruits – even caffeine and alcohol in small amounts. The point is not to feed the candida any sugars, period. The only exception is stevia, which is a plant that is 300 times sweeter than sugar, yet it is perfectly healthy for you. You can buy it as a tincture with alcohol (not recommended), diluted in water, or in its pure form as a powder. I recommend getting the latter but be very careful when using it as it is extremely sweet. You can get stevia on the web, just Google for it.

Starchy foods are not necessarily bad for you either. Jacket potatoes are better than peeled ones. That is because you are refining the potato by removing the fiber (peel), leaving only the sugar (starch). Sweet potatoes and yams are very good foods indeed, but not if you have candida. Once again, the idea is to starve candida by not giving them sugars.

Unpasteurized, raw milk products can be very beneficial to your guts and liver. It naturally contains all the probiotic bacteria present in yogurt. Why raw milk is banned and yogurt isn’t is beyond me. Think about it, dairy farmers are obliged to use pasteurized milk as a basis for yoghurt and then reintroduce the same bacteria they killed when they heated the milk to make the yogurt! Although commercially available yoghurt, including organic yoghurt, is all made from pasteurized milk it is still a product I highly recommend. The reintroduction of probiotic bacteria largely undoes the damage caused by pasteurization.

As you can see, the truth is sometimes somewhere in the middle. Simple sugars are bad, complex sugars are not. Milk lactose is one such complex sugar. The sugars in, for example, cabbage and green leafy vegetables are all complex sugars, or polysaccharides. They are complex because chemically they consist of a longer chain than simple sugars. Basically, the shorter the chain the faster the sugar and the worse they are for your health. Some natural foods contain very long-chain sugars. These foods, interestingly enough, taste bitter! A good example of this is mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake and maitake, all of which are non-destructive and healing fungi. Which brings me to the next subject.

Fungi

Just like there are good sugars, there are also good fungi. Eating ordinary mushrooms is not a good idea if you have candida because you’re feeding it its own kind. There are, however, medicinal mushrooms which are actually a great idea to consume, either raw or as a tea or stock or even as a supplement. Asian cuisine, most notably Japanese cuisine, has a long history of eating and preparing medicinal mushrooms. Examples of these are shiitake, maitake and reishi. Bear in mind that the longer you cook these mushrooms the more you are converting the complex sugars into simple sugars (carbohydrates), just the way pasteurization changes the chemical structure of milk and other foods.

Eating blue cheeses is also not a good idea if you have candida. These fungi are introduced into the cheese and, though they are tasty, are harmful to your health if you have a fungal problem. In the same vein, Brie and Camembert are also out.

Yeast

Another aspect of the anti-candida diet is avoiding products containing yeast and yeast extract. This means you will once again have to learn to read the labels. Once more, you will be amazed to see how many products contain yeast extract. In fact, yeast extract is very often a hidden source of MSG!

Not all fermented products are bad for you. Naturally fermented products are in fact good for you because they contain wild yeast which makes its way into the product from the air and consists of natural probiotic bacteria which are also present in your guts. For that reason, even whole-grain yeast bread is bad for you because it contains baker’s yeast, but sourdough bread is good for you because it is naturally fermented bread and the yeast bacteria use the sugar from the starch as food. For the same reason, bio live yoghurt is good. In fact, any naturally fermented product, as long as it doesn’t contain alcohol, is permitted because these are natural probiotics. Sauerkraut is fine, for example.

Detoxing

Try the above no-sugar-no-grains-no-yeast-no-fungi diet for four weeks. You will find yourself going through a detoxification period which can last the whole four weeks or end after one or two weeks, depending on how much detoxing you have to do. The first week is the worst. You will feel absolutely miserable, have cravings for sweets and junk foods, experience moodiness, near-depression, everything is possible. This is because the candida are demanding their nutrition. You must be strong at this stage and not give in. You will also experience windiness of a very smelly kind, a sign of detoxification of the intestines. You may have a ‘brick-in-your-stomach’ feeling for some time, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness – even vomiting is possible. Do not despair, as there will be a turning point where you will increasingly start to feel better.

After the first four weeks, you can then slowly reintroduce healthy foods which were forbidden before such as honey, maple syrup, dark, unfiltered agave syrup (the lighter variety will still give you a sugar hit), corn, (sweet) potatoes, yams, and various sweet fruits back into your diet. Because of the detoxing you have done you will now get a pure, unbiased and more or less immediate reaction from your body. If the food feels good, continue eating it but don’t overdo it. If it feels bad, stop eating it straight away. It’s that simple.

These food choices are very easy on the liver and guts, which means they not only help battle candida, but they are also powerful immune boosters. They will help you lose weight as well as help maintain your natural weight, ward off diabetes, arthritis, viruses, parasitic and bacterial infections, and promote overall good health of skin, bones, tissue, cartilage, etc.

The great news is you don’t have to sacrifice a thing taste-wise. In fact, by freeing yourself from the sweet and salty carb-rich foods our toxic food environment provides us with you are making use of all four tastes nature has provided you with. Once you discover that whole, living foods give you more energy and need not cost more both money-wise and health-wise, you won’t be able to go back to potato chips, burgers, cookies and other empty junk foods. You will find that your appetite will go down and you will need less food to keep you going for a longer time. And even if you do end up spending more money on good-quality foods, my question to you is: which would your rather pay with, your wallet or your health?

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www.healingpowerhour.com

Effective Eating Tips to Prevent Fatigue

In today’s fast-paced world many of us suffer from fatigue. Fatigue from being over-extended between family, work and children responsibilities. Fatigue from lack of rest, poor diet and poor sleeping habits. And fatigue from just being too tired.

People can look to healthy eating to prevent fatigue because we really are what we eat. Our bodies use the nutrition we provide it to build cells and produce energy. If the nutrition is a twinkie and a soda then the energy we produce will be substandard.

If you are searching for healthy eating to prevent fatigue then you must avoid the foods that give you an initial boost of energy but then leave you flat on your face. These foods include most that are high in sugar such as cookies, candy, soda, fruit drinks, and other foods with caffeine such as chocolate and coffee. These are an effective short-term solution to a long-term problem. Work on getting rid of them slowly so you will have a better feeling for your more natural energy.

There are other foods that cause an immediate problem instead of a boost and then fall in your energy levels. These foods include carbohydrates that will cause you to be drowsy because of the altered level of serotonin in your brain. They may be good before bedtime snacks but not to treat the mid-day slump.

Healthy Eating Habits Help Prevent Disease

If you are searching for healthy eating habits to prevent fatigue then you must avoid the foods that give you an initial boost of energy but then leave you flat on your face.

These foods include most that are high in sugar such as cookies, candy, soda, fruit drinks, and other foods with caffeine such as chocolate and coffee.

These are an effective short-term solution to a long-term problem. Work on getting rid of them slowly so you will have a better feeling for your more natural energy. There are other foods that cause an immediate problem instead of a boost and then fall in your energy levels.

These foods include carbohydrates that will cause you to be drowsy because of the altered level of serotonin in your brain. They may be good before bedtime snacks but not to treat the mid-day slump.

Positive Action to Prevent Causes of Fatigue

Now let’s focus on what you should do instead of what you shouldn’t do to prevent fatigue.

One trick to help prevent the afternoon nap is to eat pure protein at lunch.

Protein will be broken down in digestion into amino-acid building blocks that increase the production of chemicals, which will increase your level of alertness and energy.

For instance your lunch might be broiled fish and a few vegetables or a hard boiled egg and tuna.

You can include a few carbohydrates later in the day when you are past the 2-4 o’clock slump in the mid-afternoon.

Quality Nutritional Supplements Help Reduce Fatigue

Healthy eating also includes getting enough of the necessary vitamins and minerals that support your body’s function. One of those is iron.

Many women don’t get enough iron and loose it each month with their period. Unless it’s replaced you can suffer from iron deficiency anemia, which leads to chronic fatigue.

You should also get as many fruits and vegetables as possible. The USDA recommends we eat 7 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Most people don’t come anywhere close.

Many people swear by a natural herb boost each day. In the mid-afternoon a tea from ginseng and ginkgo biloba may be just what you need.

Lack of exercise is also one of the causes of fatigue.

It may seem counter-intuitive but exercise will actually increase the amount of energy you have each day.

Getting 30 minutes of exercise during lunchtime will help to boost your metabolism and keep your engines running for the afternoon.

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

Six Healthy Eating Tips to Prevent Bingeing

Knowing exactly how much (and what kind) of food your body needs to stay healthy and maintain your weight—or lose if need be—is not an exact science. Far from it, as anyone who has ever noshed until they were uncomfortably full knows all too well. These six tips will teach you how to spot hunger and eat to stay satisfied, so you can control calories and shed pounds without “dieting.”

1. Use the hunger scale
Do you really know what hunger feels like? Before eating, use our hunger scale below to help figure out your true food needs:

Starving: An uncomfortable, empty feeling that may be accompanied by light-headedness or the jitters caused by low blood sugar levels from lack of food. Binge risk: high.

Hungry: Your next meal is on your mind. If you don’t eat within the hour, you enter dangerous “starving” territory.

Moderately hungry: Your stomach may be growling, and you’re planning how you’ll put an end to that nagging feeling. This is optimal eating time.

Satisfied: You’re satiated—not full, but not hungry, either. You’re relaxed and comfortable and can wait to nosh.

Full: If you’re still eating, it’s more out of momentum than actual hunger. Your belly feels slightly bloated, and the food does not taste as good as it did in the first few bites.

Stuffed: You feel uncomfortable and might even have mild heartburn from your stomach acids creeping back up into your esophagus.

2. Refuel every 4 hours
Moderate to full-fledged hunger (our ideal window for eating) is most likely to hit 4 to 5 hours after a balanced meal. Waiting too long to eat can send you on an emergency hunt for energy—and the willpower to make healthful choices plummets.

To slim down: If you’re feeling hungry between meals, a 150-calorie snack should help hold you over. Munch on whole foods such as fruit and unsalted nuts—they tend to contain more fiber and water, so you fill up on fewer calories.

3. Eat breakfast without fail
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition tracked the diets of nearly 900 adults and found that when people ate more healthy fats and carbohydrates in the morning, they stayed satisfied and ate less over the course of the day than those who ate their bigger meals later on.

To slim down: If you’re feeling full-blown hunger before noon, there’s a chance you’re not eating enough in the morning. Shoot for a minimum of 250 calories and make it a habit, with these three strategies.

  • Prepare breakfast before bed (cut fruit and portion out some yogurt).
  • Stash single-serving boxes of whole grain cereal or packets of oatmeal and almond or soy milk at work to eat when you arrive.
  • Eat a late breakfast if you can’t stomach an early one.

4. Build low-cal, high-volume meals
Solid foods that have a high fluid content can help you suppress hunger. “When we eat foods with a high water content like fruits and vegetables, versus low water–content foods like crackers and pretzels, we get bigger portions for less calories,” says Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan and a professor of nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University.

To slim down: Eat fewer calories by eating more food. Try the following healthy ways to fill up.

  • Start dinner with a salad, or make it into your meal (be sure to include protein such as sea food or beans).
  • Choose fresh fruit over dried.
  • Boost the volume of a low-cal frozen dinner by adding extra veggies such as steamed broccoli or freshly chopped tomatoes and bagged baby spinach.

5. Munch fiber all day long
Because the body processes a fiber-rich meal more slowly, it may help you stay satisfied long after eating. Fiber-packed foods are also higher in volume, which means they can fill you up so you eat fewer calories.
To slim down: Aim to get at least 25 g fiber a day with these tips.

  • Include produce such as apples and carrots—naturally high in fiber—in each meal and snack.
  • Try replacing some or all of your regular bread, pasta, and rice with whole grain versions.

6. Include healthy protein at each meal
When researchers at Purdue University asked 46 dieting women to eat either 30% or 18% of their calories from protein, the high-protein eaters felt more satisfied and less hungry. Plus, over the course of 12 weeks, the women preserved more lean body mass, which includes calorie-burning muscle.

To slim down: Boost your protein intake with these ideas.

  • Have a serving of lean protein such as egg whites, chunk light tuna, or baked fish at each meal. A serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand—not including your fingers.
  • Incorporate beans into your meals. Black beans, chickpeas, and edamame (whole soybeans) are low in fat, high in fiber, and packed with protein.

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter 

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page