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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.

www.healingpowerhour.com

How to Detox Your Body After Halloween

Sugar: It’s Not a Food

by Skyscape.org

Have you ever heard that you must eat a good,healthy diet but you’re not sure what that means? You’ll be surprised how many people believe that white bread is healthy because it’s been “enriched.” You may have heard that overweight people are unhealthy and thin people are not. These statements have some truth and some falsehoods in them. If you are more than twenty kg’s overweight, then you are putting stress on yourheart and joints The more obese you become beyond that the more damage you cause. On the flip side if you are remaining thin because of unnatural eating habits then you are also harming yourself.

When studying nutrition some definitions of words are so loosely used that its important to clearly define them.

Diet – is the types of food you eat on a regular basis. Many people think the word “diet” applies exclusively to those foods eaten when you are trying to lose weight. That is one of the meanings of the word “diet” but it’s not the one we are using here. Healthy-nourishing, able to sustain life. Sustain-continuing, keep going.

If you want your body to be well, have lots of energy and remain slim you have to work at it and work sensibly. The majority of your diet must contain nourishing, life-sustaining food. Whenever you have to make a food choice you must always ask yourself three questions:

1) Is it nourishing?
2) Does it sustain life?
3) Will it cause any harm?

The first thing you need to understand about your body is that your cells are continually being replaced. Millions of cells that make up blood, lung tissue, fingernails, eyelashes etc. are constantly being made and old dead cells removed. If you supply the incorrect food to your body it starts to fall apart. You can’t make blood or lung tissue by living off sausages, fried chips, burgers, chocolate shakes and sweets. Your body can’t make new cells to replace those that have died if you spend most of your time depriving your body of the fuel it needs

Paraffin is a fuel. It works well in lamps and people use it in paraffin stoves to cook their food on. However if you filled up your car’s petrol tank with paraffin you’d blowup the engine. Why? Because that fuel is unsuitable for motor vehicles.

Some people nibble on chocolates or sweets throughout the day to stop themselves from feeling hungry. Sugar does supply some energy but if you are using sugar to ward off hunger pangs and depriving your body of proper nutrition then your body is slowly deteriorating. Sugar is devoid of nutrients. It is highly refined and causes havoc with your blood-sugar levels, pancreas and immune system — all of which need nourishing food.

That leads us to look at nourishing. The majority of your food must be nourishing. In your twenties your body can cope with junk food and lots of sugar. It does this by slowly removing the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs from your blood, teeth and bones. If you don’t feed your body nourishing food to replace what your body is using up then suddenly things start to go wrong.

Some women who want to stay thin use one of the most dangerous drugs to keep their bodies slim and shapely- sugar. If you fool your body into believing it has been fed by giving it sugar, you don’t get hungry. However if you are doing this daily then your body will start removing the nutrients it needs by breaking down cells and recycling those nutrients to build new cells. The big problem with this is that nutrients are used up and unhealthy, nutrient -deficient cells start being made. These cells cannot function properly. It’s like a dot matrix printer whose ribbon no longer has ink. The printer continues to go through the motions but the results are unsatisfactory as no-one can read the work. When your body becomes depleted of nutrients all types of weird problems and diseases show up.

Increased nervousness and worsening PMS symptoms. Lack of energy, tiredness and headaches. You start bruising easily because your capillary walls are weak allowing blood to seep into the surrounding tissues Chronic constipation which leads to piles. Your immune system works badly as sugar depresses it, so you get sick more often and for longer periods of time. Breast cancer has been linked to a high intake of refined sugar.

www.healingpowerhour.com

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

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