Apples are renowned for their nutritive benefits. Most weight loss diets include this fruit. The good news is that there is an even better way of enjoying this delicacy. Apple Cider Vinegar (or ACV) is beginning to excite health and nutrition experts – for good reasons.
It is important to understand that ACV did not become relevant in the modern era. Actually, the man who holds the enviable title of ‘Father of Medicine’ Hippocrates, is credited with having used ACV to cure a host of illnesses. He especially loved using this substance to dress wounds.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
To create this wonder drink, one has to crush apples, thereby exposing the fruits to yeast and fermentation. The sugar in the fruits is turned into alcohol. The ensuing substance is mixed with bacteria to transform it into ascetic acid through fermentation. In essence, ACV’s main component is ascetic acid.
When making ACV, one may opt to filter the mixture to have a smooth liquid. This type of vinegar is used for cleaning as well as culinary purposes. However, at the surface of the ACV that has not been filtered is a thick substance called ‘Mother’. This version of ACV contains beneficial proteins and bacteria that look like cobwebs.
What Are The Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar?
From the onset, it is crucial to realise that there are many benefits associated with ACV. However, not many of these have been verified scientifically. They are just assumptions. Over the years, ACV was used as a home-made remedy for a range of complications. Some families still use it out of custom handed down generations.
Because it kills bacteria and other pathogens, ACV is widely used in home cleaning. Warts, lice, fungus and nail infections were customarily treated using this type of vinegar. It is for the same reason that this substance is used to preserve food.
Like the apples it is made from, ACV can be of great help to people who want to lose weight. It fills the tummy so that one feels full even when they have not eaten much. This in turn reduces the urge to eat – a powerful reason for weight gain. Moreover, CV contains very few calories and this helps in curtailing weight gain.
ACV has also been found to be effective in managing diabetes. It helps to lower blood sugar levels. The ascetic acid in this substance is anti-glycemic and this is important in dealing with sensitivity of the insulin.
Apple Cider Vinegar is also important as a detoxifier. The same way it deals with bacteria and other harmful organisms in the house, it helps the body fight infections. The liver will benefit from an intake of ACV just as the lymph nodes. When these body parts function optimally, illnesses are kept at bay.
The benefits of ACV cannot be exhausted in one article. One can only understand them through experimentation.
Here Are A Few Tips On How To Get The Most Out Of Apple Cider Vinegar:
- Pour 1 to 2 teaspoons of ACV into a glass of water and you have a rejuvenating drink before you.
- Pour two drops of ACV into your smoothie to enrich the latter.
- Take the same drink in the morning to clear your digestive system and prevent you from overeating.
- A few drops of ACV used to dilute water will create a drink that can help overcome indigestion and other temporary stomach problems.
- Having a problem with heartburn? Mix half a teaspoon of ACV in water and take the drink for immediate relief.
- Use ACV to dress your salads the same way you would use balsamic vinegar.
- If you want to have whiter teeth, gargle with ACV to remove stains in your gums and mouth.
- Mixed with water and essential oils, ACV is one of the most effective all-purpose cleaners for your home.
- You can also use ACV as a facial toner when you mix it with water and apply the mixture to your face using cotton wool.
- Mix half a teaspoon of ACV in a glass of water and use the mixture to rinse your hair, to make the latter healthy and vermin-free.
Your Grace Guru
The joy, enthusiasm, optimism and productivity exhibited by creative people is infectious. If you are the inventive type, losing your spark is the last thing you want to happen. Even those who don’t consider themselves imaginative crave for the day they will exude positivism without struggling.
We all can do with an injection of originality in thinking. Creativity invigorates your mind and gives you the impetus to face challenges and pursue new endeavors. Are you suffering from momentary or prolonged dearth of imagination?
Here are ten tips to help you become creative again…
- Embrace Good Old Nature
Human beings often forget they are part of nature. The outdoors, especially the woods, water bodies and hilly areas can ignite the spark that is lying idle in you. Take a walk and breathe fresh air. Listen to the chirping of birds. Learn from the diligence of bees. Your creativity will come back in a flood.
- Exercise Regularly
Sitting down for long constricts your muscles and blood vessels. Blood does not reach your body cells, tissues and organs as effectively as it should. You feel lethargic because oxygen is not reaching every part of your body. Why not join a fitness club or create an enjoyable exercise routine? You will realize that every time you exercise, you lose bad moods and redundant thoughts and feel fresh to think again.
- Take A Journey To New Territory
Creativity often takes a plunge because we are so much used to the familiar. Your eyes need to see a new world to feed the brain with novel ideas. Take a physical journey to an exciting place you have never visited before. Let your juvenile curiosity be awakened again. Get lost in the wonder of new frontiers as this will bring back your creativity.
- Become Playful And Childlike Again
Once upon a time, you were a little child who was mesmerized by fairy tales and ogre stories. You played hide and seek without any care as to what people thought about you. You mimicked other people; laughed at the slightest provocation, and shed tears of joy and pain in equal measure. That unfettered, jovial, carefree and playful child is still within you. That boy or girl still craves happiness. Play with little children. Engage in their games.
- Sleep, Baby, Sleep
In our busy world, sleep is fast becoming a luxury. We are too busy running errands and eking out a living to care about taking a nap. Your brain and body need rest. That way you recuperate and get the strength you need for another day. Think of a baby and how it cries when it lacks sleep. Think of how playful the same baby becomes moments after waking up from restful sleep. That is what will happen to you when you embrace regular sleep or unscheduled naps.
- Do Something Else
Creativity decreases with monotony. When you perform repetitive tasks, your body is overwhelmed by your predictable movement. If you have been writing for hours and are bored, why not listen to music? Get rid of the junk in your house. Do whatever will make you break the monotony and your will begin to think creatively again.
- Inject Yourself With A Dose Of Laughter
You have heard that laughter is medicine to the bones. Sometimes you need to look at the funny side of life. Find something to laugh about, including your past mistakes. Go and watch that comedy at the theater. How about a funny movie or a sitcom featuring your favorite comedian? Doing this revitalizes your mind and your creative energies.
- Hook Up With Friends
People you love and whose company you enjoy can be your greatest source of inspiration. When your creative fuel tank is almost empty, call that funny friend of yours and share a cup of coffee. Relieve those funny experiences that you share.
- Admit Defeat And Move On
When you think about failure constantly, your creativity suffers. To avoid this, be sincere with yourself and admit it when you have failed. You are not a paragon. You are made of flesh and blood. Nobody said you must know everything. When you can’t handle an issue anymore, and it is costing you more than you are investing in it, admit defeat and look for another challenge.
- Indulge Your Senses
You will do yourself a great favor if you find a way to invigorate each of your senses when your creativity goes down. When was the last time you plucked a rose flower, and imbibed its sweet aroma? Eat that meal you have craved or never tried. Go for a full-body massage. Go birdwatching. Listen to a different kind of music. This way, your creativity will be revived.
Whatever you choose to do, remember you cannot accomplish much when your creative batteries are running low.
Your Grace Guru
One of the most renowned experiments on the close connection between the body and the mind is the placebo effect. Simply put, the placebo effect holds that when a sick person is given a counterfeit pill or one that resembles an actual pill but has zero effect, the patient will be cured, not because the medicine has any effect, but because of the patient’s unreserved belief in the efficacy of that pill.
The Starting Point
That will form the starting point as we seek to understand the powerful effect the mind has on other faculties of the body. Dr Lissa Rankin, a physician and researcher established in a study that the prevalence of diseases and concomitant expenditure was almost as high in poor neighbourhoods as they were in posh California areas.
The Poor And The Rich, Alike, Get Sick
While everybody would expect poor folks to have higher risks of falling sick due to poor dietary practices, lack of exercise, smoking and drug abuse among other practices, people in wealthier areas were also at risk, to the surprise of many. This study brought to the fore the fact that contrary to the teachings of conventional medicine, it was important to unleash a holistic approach to treatment of illnesses, especially to embrace the marvels of the mind.
The Law of Attraction
Another important issue to consider when pondering how strong the power of the mind is lies within the law of attraction. Over the years, philosophers, theologians, quantum physicists and other professionals have come to the conclusion that when the mind consistently holds on to a thought pattern, whatever is being thought about comes to pass.
There have been many reports of people who have transformed their financial fortunes as well as other spheres of life by using the law of attraction. Some terminally ill patients, who had been informed by physicians that they would not live for long, have been known to walk out of their hospital beds into flourishing wellbeing.
Now, To The Immense Powers Of The Mind
These and other developments in the study of the mind illustrate just how powerful this organ is. However, in order to understand, to a greater depth, the powers of the mind, let us delve into the specifics.
1. Healing Of Diseases: For many years, faith healing has been practiced but is always dismissed by most medical practitioners. The field of medicine or conventional healing has been aided to an extent by the discovery of the power of the mind. According to experimental studies carried out at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine, located in Massachusetts, patients who underwent a number of mindfulness techniques (e.g. meditation, and mantra) demonstrated significant gene changes, which helped to decelerate ageing, improve metabolism and relaxation, and regulate insulin in their bodies.
The practice of mindfulness created changes in the DNA that led to remarkable health improvements for participating patients. In essence, the power of the mind was called into action to aid conventional medicine and what resulted was more than could have been accomplished through common therapeutic means. With more experiments, we could witness a decrease in global expenditure on medicine and healthcare. The irony is that this power has always been with us yet medical practitioners did not find it prudent to try it on human beings.
2. Assuaging Of Physical Pain: The study of the mind has also led to interesting findings that have impacted the way we understand and deal with pain. To begin with, the placebo effect indicates that the mind actually has control over the body. While pain is real and cannot be wished away, it is evident that the human body has its own healing mechanisms which are domiciled in the mind. It is possible now to understand how faith-healers work, whether they (faith-healers) understand the rationale or not. The moment one believes that they are going to be healed, the mind starts to work towards the healing of that person.
The connection between the mind and the body, though unseen, is very powerful to the point of bringing relief from pain. This discovery has led many to believe that what we call ‘miracles’ of healing are merely the manifestations of the healing power of the mind on body maladies. Again, if such a discovery is actualized people will spend less on medicine and healthcare systems will not be as strained as they are today.
3. Emotional Healing: Did you know that emotional pain is as excruciating as physical hurt? The fact that people who hurt emotionally may not exhibit physical injuries does not mean that they are hurting less. Studies have established that the same mechanisms that work in emotional throbbing are the ones involved in physical pain. The brain is created in such a way that it does not differentiate between sources of pain. When people lose a loved one or go through a breakup, the aching they feel has the same potency as if they had been hurt physically.
But there is something that should worry you more. While physical pain lasts for certain duration and disappears, emotional pain stays for a longer time. Every time a person is reminded of the hurtful event that stung their feelings, chances are that the wound will become fresh again and pain even more. It takes time and deliberate acceptance of circumstances for the mind to bring about healing. Need we be careful about the emotional pain we inflict on other people? We should.
4. Managing Stress: Another important area of medical research that has benefited a lot from understanding the power of the brain is stress management. One fact about the brain is that it cannot differentiate between real threats and those that don’t exist. We all know the reality of stress even when it emanates from genuine issues that put the lives and comfort of those we love and ourselves at risk. And life has so many of these, many of which emanate from the people we interact with daily.
However, we need to understand that even imagined stress can have a devastating effect on our lives because the brain considers it stress. Whatever we imagine that can bring pain into our lives eventually hurts us. The solution, thankfully, lies in the same mind. We can visualize ourselves doing away with both real and imagined stress and it will be gone as simply as it came. The moment we realize that we can change our thinking and change our circumstances, we rid ourselves of negative stress that can easily destroy us.
5. Learning Through Visualisation: The mind is so powerful that we can use it to learn without actually being in a learning environment. The brain has a capability called neuroplasticity, which implies that it devices new pathways on a continuous basis. By repeating a routine when learning a skill, we strengthen the pathways which carry the respective action. That happens when you are in a classroom trying to learn a skill. However, the brain does not differentiate between what you actually perform and what you visualise.
According to the great Albert Einstein, you are better off with imagination than with knowledge, if you were to choose between the two. In essence, if you imagine carrying out some action using your brain, the mind will react as if you are in actual practice. Visualization is, therefore, a very important aspect of learning. This should be of great interest to educationists.
6.Goal Achievement: Now, this may shock many because it is unprecedented. Did you know that when you speak about your goals, your brain believes you have achieved them? Wow! Your mouth may be your downfall, after all. Experts have established that the moment you start telling others of the goals you intend to achieve, the brain confuses your talking for action, thus depriving you of the motivation to achieve an ‘already attained’ goal.
Talking about your goals gives you satisfaction and sends the signal to the brain that you don’t need any more inspiration and inner strength to reach out. Methinks we should keep quiet about our dreams and wait until we have accomplished them. Once again, a goal in mind tells the brain to give you the resources you need to achieve it. What a discovery!
7. Boosting Your Mood: Put a smile on your face now because there is good news. Did you know that your facial expression affects your emotions? The brain (how “confused” this organ is) cannot differentiate between a fake and a genuine smile. This means that the moment stress engulfs you, you can laugh your way out of it. A fake smile has the same effect on your brain and relieves stress the same way a real smile does. When you facial muscles move to form a smile, the brain interprets it as a positive emotion and stress takes a flight.
Something is the matter and you are stressed? Laugh at your problems. Hide from people and smile your way out. Someone is stressing you out, pretend not to be upset and smile instead. Don’t frown because this will strengthen bad moods. Make it your reaction to always meet stress with a smile because you have a brain that is so powerful that it does not realize you are pretending you are happy!
The Parting Shot
This space is not enough to elaborate exhaustively just how powerful the mind is. However, with this knowledge, you can live a better life because you can handle physical and emotional hurt as well as ubiquitous stress.
Hopefully, scientists and other interested parties will continue to discover other marvellous capabilities of the brain that would help us live happier and longer lives. Until then, let us toast to the most powerful computer ever created – your brain!
Your Grace Guru
Happiness is something that all of us crave and search for all the time. It comes and goes, sometimes very quick and sometimes it stays a bit longer! Ask any person you meet what they want from life and chances are they will mention happiness are very high. We spend a lot of money trying to attain all that bliss, we go to great lengths – to the end of the world – just to feel that serenity and gladness that we crave so much.
So why is it that we don’t remain happy for long?
Here are 10 simple things you need to do to become happier or to inculcate an attitude of happiness:
1. Live a simple life: Most of us forget that life is meant to be enjoyed and the best way to do it is to live as simply as possible. Often, it is not the money and material things that bring happiness into life. Rather, it is the simple things that matter. Appreciate the very fact that you are alive and healthy; that you can talk to people and listen to the beautiful sound of nature. Much of these can be enjoyed away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Think about it this way: how would you live if you were taken to a world without modern technology?
2. Imbibe the fresh air from outdoors: There are few things that are as refreshing and invigorating as the outdoor. You level of happiness is likely to spike when your brain imbibes fresh air. After hours of interacting with many people and machines, some of them irritating, you need an injection of freshness and happiness from nature. Create time over the weekend or after work to visit that park or lake where nature teems. The blood in your brain needs that freshness to bring back happiness.
3. Exercise gratitude: It has been proved that people who accept themselves as they are often experience high levels of happiness compared to those who are always complaining. Learn to give thanks for the people around you like family and friends. Be happy when things go right and learn to appreciate when you don’t get your way. Instead of basing your daily disposition on the weather, train your body to appreciate all kinds of weather. Grateful people often find more reasons to become happier.
4. Engage in regular workouts: Regular exercise relieves the body from stress. It stretches out your muscles and brings relaxation. Your brain becomes invigorated because fresh air is mixed in the blood. Your mood is boosted and you begin to feel happier. Rarely will you go into the gym with a foul mood and low spirit and return with the same disposition. People who exercise regularly are among the happiest on earth.
The only bad workout, is the one that never happened!
5. Focus on the good, not the bad: To become happier, you need to identify issues that make you happy and those that sadden you. Your focus should be on maximizing on the positive issues and minimizing or eradicating the negative. In life, there will always be some things and people that exasperate you. Remember you cannot control what comes your way but you can decide how to react to all stimuli. Choose to be happy. Choose to see what is good inside you instead of focussing on the bad that some people associate with you.
6. Spend adequate time on sleep: The human body is designed with its own mechanism for happiness, and part of this is getting enough sleep. There is no way you will be happy when you deprive your body of sleep. Most of the time when you are irritable and likely to pick a fight with other people, it is because you have not slept adequately. It is important that you sleep for between six and eight hours daily since this will naturally rest your body and give you greater happiness.
7. Extend a helping hand: Human life was never designed to be a lonely and selfish affair. We are what we are because someone helped us along the way, we only become happier when we extend the same kind of assistance to other people who need it. Human nature is such that when we lift the spirits of others our joy is amplified. And there are many people in need of your help. Orphans, widows, the homeless, the sick and so on, can benefit from some of the surplus resources you have.
8. Have quality social time: Your friends and relatives play a great role in your life. They know you better than anybody else. Your good and bad moments are all engraved in their minds. Your happiness is connected with theirs. It follows that as their happiness increases, so does yours. Consequently, plan to spend more quality time with those who love you. Attend special occasions such as weddings and birthday parties to show support and enjoy these people’s company, and your happiness will increase.
9. Meditate: One of the most acknowledged strategies of making you happier is to meditate. Meditation helps you to bring your mind, body and spirit into conformity. It eliminates your inner conflicts, giving you peace of mind and contentment. The moment you give your inner nature contentment, you begin to become more positive and pleasurable to live with. Learn to spend time is silent contemplation of your life, listening to your inner voice.
10. Treat yourself well: Your happiness depends on how well you value yourself and how you treat yourself. You cannot make others happy if you are not happy with yourself. The battle must begin within you. Money may not buy happiness but you can use money to increase your happiness. Treat yourself to that special meal in the restaurant you like. Make that special trip to a place where you have always craved to visit. Buy that special smartphone or latest kind of clothing or car if you can afford it. You deserve it as this will make you happier.
When all is said and done, happiness begins with you appreciating yourself. Becoming happier is possible when you extend this love to others, appreciate what life brings your way, and find little ways to make life more bearable for all human beings.
Your Grace Guru
Milk is one of the most loved and healthy drinks in the world. Billions of litres are consumed globally every day. Cow’s milk is the most popular and renowned type of milk. However, there is another version of milk that has many more benefits than cow milk.
Though from a much smaller animal, goat milk is packed with powerful and healthier nutrients than cow’s milk. The 2% global consumption of goat milk may seem negligible statistically, but that does not in any way diminish its true value.
Beware of Cow’s Milk!
Before delving into the amazing advantages of goat milk, it is important to ponder the serious disadvantages of cow milk. Did you know that part of the reason many of us have bloated tummies and chronic indigestion is because of our constant consumption of cow’s milk?
This is hardly surprising to those who understand the modern process of milk production. Unlike conventional practices where cows are fed on grass, the modern animal consumes a concoction of antibiotics, vaccines, growth hormones and GMO feed. This is what you get for taking pasteurized milk, which ostensibly, is supposed to be safer.
So, Why is Goat Milk More Beneficial?
Our interest is particularly on the raw, fresh, unpasteurized and organic version of cow’s milk.
- Goat milk is easy to digest, compared to cow milk: This is because the fat molecules in cow milk are much larger than those in goat milk. When food is easily digestible you get most of the nutrients from it. We are so much used to cow’s milk that we don’t realize there is a better alternative.
- It averts accumulation of mucus: Most people who experience more-than-normal mucus and various allergies do so because of taking cow milk. The high content of fat in milk is responsible for the secretion of excess mucus. In addition, goat milk does not cause gut irritation like cow milk.
- It keeps diseases at bay: There several foods and nutrients that boost the immune system and goat milk and inherent selenium, fall into this category. People who take goat experience better disease-fighting abilities and have strong bodies, performing optimally.
- Goat milk has anti-inflammatory abilities: While this is the subject of on-going research, there is a close link between reduction of inflammation in the body and consuming goat milk. Bowel inflammation is one condition that would be significantly reversed if people took goat milk.
- It is more similar to human milk than cow milk: You may be too old to remember how your mother’s milk tasted but you know the amazing and essential benefits of this substance especially in the first six months after birth. Goat milk is not only easy to digest; it is also assimilated more efficiently than cow milk; just like human milk. This also means that you absorb most of the nutrients in goat milk.
- Goat milk boosts metabolism: Goat milk is important especially for people with low metabolism because it helps to absorb nutrients such as iron, phosphorus, copper, calcium, potassium and vitamin B. This implies that for equal amounts of goat and cow milk, you benefit much more from the former than from the latter, and this means better body metabolism.
- It is essential for general body growth and development: If you need protein in large amounts, goat milk fits the bill. The implication is that your body will have healthier muscle, cells, tissues and bones. Moreover, as your metabolism improves, you will enjoy improved well-being and normal body growth.
- Goat milk boosts bone-health: It is a documented fact that cow milk contains calcium, an important mineral for strengthening of bones in our bodies. But the amount of calcium in goat milk is far higher than that which you get from cow milk. What more? You will also get tryptophan, a crucial amino acid for body functioning, when you take goat milk.
- Your heart is healthier with goat milk intake: The amount of fatty acids in goat milk is two-fold what you find in cow milk. This means that goat milk can significantly lower the amount of cholesterol in your body. These fatty acids together with potassium ensure that when you take goat milk you are at a much more reduced risk from heart attacks, coronary diseases, strokes, blood pressure and many other complications of the cardiovascular system.
- Goat milk is likely to be less toxic than cow milk: Contemporary methods of rearing cows entail the use of hormones that boost milk production in an abnormal manner, and these hormones can easily harm you. In contrast, goat milk is produced naturally and all its nutrients are intact by the time you drink it.
Now you know it! Goat milk may not be as tasty as cow milk and may not be as widely accepted, but the former contains much more benefits. Tyr it today and you will be glad you did.
Your Grace Guru
Obsession with Veggies!
Hello gorgeous ladies, I have written this article just for you!
It is not possible to talk about the human body without mentioning the word hormones! Many people do not understand about these chemical secretions and reactions, but all of us have to deal with hormonal issues every now and then. Hormonal imbalance is a serious health complication for many people, especially to women in all stages of life.
Owing to the complex lifestyles and dietary choices we make today, we have compromised the composition of hormones in our bodies. Incidentally most of the illnesses wreaking we have in our lives emanate from hormonal disproportion. It is important that you understand exactly what it means to have hormonal imbalance.
Vitamin D in Riviera Maya
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, then your body is having problems balancing your hormones.
1. Lethargy: If you are the type that feels weary most of the time and needs to have some snack to make your body active, it is likely your hormones are not well-balanced. Is it becoming common for you to feel exhausted, befuddled and lazy? Have yourself checked for hormonal inequality.
2. Bloating and other digestive complications: Many a times when you experience problems of the digestive track, you tend to associate them with poor dietary habits. However, it is also possible that your digestive hormones are not being secreted normally.
3. Uncontrolled weight gain: One of the main problems facing women today is excess weight. It is true that most of this is caused by excess consumption of carbohydrates and processed foods. However, if your hormones are not working optimally, this problem will persist.
4. Depression: A dip in mood and emotions is often a sign of hormonal imbalance. It happens when we don’t get enough rest, are stressed, or when the body has a large number of toxins.
5. Poor sleep patterns: Hormonal imbalance may also manifest itself through erratic sleeping patterns. Insomnia tends to affect every faculty of the human body. Unless you align your body to the natural sleeping order, you are going to experience interruptions in your daily routines.
6. Low libido: Sex is controlled by hormones. The moment your hormones don’t work exactly as they should, you will experience lack of or low sexual drive.
7. Hot flushes and night sweats: If you are starting to experience increased temperatures and unusual sweating at night, it is time you were checked for hormonal disproportion. Don’t just dismiss it as any other complication.
The best way to deal with such health complications, then, is to balance your hormones. There are a number of ways you can do this. The most popular (but unfortunately not the best) is hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). Considering hormonal imbalance is a problem for many people, especially women, HRT practitioners are making a kill. The actual problem with HRT is that it does not treat the cause of the problem but deals with the symptoms only.
Despite this, we should not be fast to condemn HRT. Many perimenopausal women will tell you that when they begin to experience hot flashes and night sweats, the fastest method to relieve the pain and discomfort is to take respective pills. What we are saying though is that it is better to use more long lasting methods, most of which are natural and less expensive compared to HRT.
Natural Strategies of Balancing Hormones
1. Ensure that you have healthy weight: The level of oestrogen in your body increases with increases in adipose tissue, the latter being as a result of excess fat. This is because the adipose tissue performs a similar role as the endocrine glad at this point. To avoid unnecessary secretion of surplus hormones, therefore, you need to have healthy weight. Know your BMI and always live by it. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Remember having the right weight is also good for your general outlook and health.
2. Include cruciferous veggies in your diet: Indole-3-carbinol is the element in cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and related plants that generates diindolylmethane (DIM) after metabolism. With these two elements, the secretion of oestrogen in your body is regulated thus preventing hormonal imbalance. In addition, it has been proved that eating cruciferous veggies helps to prevent cancer, especially the type that affects the breasts. Stock up on these vegetables and find ways of including them in as many as your foods as possible.
3. Introduce phytoestrogens in your food: This is one of the best approaches to dealing with hormonal imbalance since it happens naturally. Instead of buying expensive HRT medication, simply eat food rich in soy and also consume generous amounts of seeds such as sunflower and flax as well as beans sprouts. Other foods rich is phytoestrogens include peas and garbanzo beans. By simply eating such food, you will regulate hormones in your body without experiencing negative side effects. And you don’t have to worry because these seeds are found in abundance in areas close to you like grocery stores.
Healthy Food Choices Inspiration
4. Consume avocados and coconut oil: Another relatively inexpensive way to curb unusual fluctuations in body hormones is to consume foods that contain fatty acid chains of varying lengths. The best examples of these are avocados and coconut oil. This category also includes salmon derived from natural habitats and butter from grass-fed animals. Apart from having your hormonal levels restored to normal you will experience improved metabolism and increased loss of weight. Instead of using expensive drugs, look for these food products and eat them as often as possible.
5. Reduce your intake of caffeine: Coffee and tea are favourite beverages for many, but herein lies a problem for those with hormonal imbalance. When you take caffeine, especially before you sleep, you tend to lose sleep, but more significantly, the hormonal level in your thyroid is interfered with. This is the moment you experience all sorts of chaos in your body since hormonal activity is significantly altered. We are not intimating that you avoid these beverages altogether (although this is advisable for those with critical hormonal imbalance problems) but reducing intake, especially before going to sleep is important.
6. Sleep adequately: Your hormonal imbalance problem is likely to be as a result of not getting enough sleep. If you are not getting between seven and eight hours of quality sleep every day, your hormonal activity will be affected negatively. Your body is designed to have reduced activity at night and this is when sleep sets in. The moment you disturb this order, you also interfere with your hormonal activity. Make sure you sleep by around 10 pm as this will ensure you get quality sleep. Make sure you have lie on a comfortable bed and that your room is dark enough. Avoid watching television or gazing at smartphone screens before you sleep.
7. Practise deep breathing: To deal with night sweats and hot flashes, you don’t have to resort to HRT all the time. The simple routine of breathing from the belly two times every day with each session lasting fifteen minutes will bring you natural relief from hormonal discrepancy. Deep breathing helps your lungs to imbibe enough energy to be fed to the blood, which ensures the blood that reaches your cells is clean. When your blood is clean, you will have not only stronger immunity from illnesses, but your hormonal activity will also be balanced correctly.
8. Herbal remedies can help: There are herbal medicines that have been proven to deal effectively with hormonal imbalance. Shatavarim, an Ayurvedic herb, is known for its ability to reduce mood swings and irritability that comes with menopause. There are even herbs that are known to deal with the physical pain and psychological distress associated with hormonal imbalance. However, it is important to talk to an expert before you begin using herbal remedies for this problem.
9. Avoid conventional birth control: While this may not be a popular kind of advice when dealing with hormonal problems, it is important to consider the rationale behind it. Did you know that birth control pills are essentially hormonal therapies that alter how your body works? More importantly, these pills make you more vulnerable to breast cancer, migraines, weight gain, nausea, mood changes, high blood pressure and breast tenderness, among other issue that should worry you. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to look for more natural and harmless ways of controlling child bearing than to interfere with hormonal activity and expose you to some much pain?
10. Get vitamin D and lots of It: This vitamin is known for its ability to boost mode and general wellbeing. To this end, vitamin D helps to control hormonal activity. This implies that you need to get enough time in the sun, though you should take care not to be harmed by the sun’s rays. Bask in the early morning and late evening hours. If you do not have this privilege, look for vitamin D supplements. This is especially true if you live in an area where you don’t have adequate exposure to the sun.
So now you have it! HRT may work over some time but it is not sustainable for hormonal imbalance problems in the long term. Go the natural way and you will never suffer from painful side effects or have to worry about the possibility of contracting dreadful illnesses again!
Your Grace Guru
The quest for global food security has over the years witnessed aggressive efforts to create plants that can withstand changing climatic conditions and plant diseases. The most prominent of these attempts is the creation of genetically modified organisms, popularly known by the acronym ‘GMO’. Fortunately or unfortunately, while this development is worthy celebrating, it is surrounded by serious controversy and inherent danger.
From the onset, it is important to state that GMOs are far from being safe as many would have us believe. But before we delve into the dangers of GMO, let us first understand what GMO is all about.
Let us begin from the known and proceed to the unknown. By nature, every organism has its unique composition, the DNA that differentiates it from others. A natural plant is one that has all its genes intact as it was created or as it has evolved over the years. In essence, natural corn, for example, should have all the qualities of corn as we have known it over the years.
Scientists, however, argue that as plants and animals continue to evolve, they undergo changes that may alter their chemical and nutritional composition. This is especially because soils continue to lose their fertility and plants cannot get all the nutrients they used to earlier. Animals feed on the deprived soil. Moreover, the use of fertilizers and chemicals means that the genetic makeup of the plant can be altered. The consequence is that the plants we know today are of lower nutritional value than before.
It is also argued by experts that plant diseases and pests have over the years lowered the quality of plants and other organisms thus the need for mechanisms to prevent the harmful effects of these diseases. Unless these diseases are prevented from affecting and destroying organisms, some plant and animal species will disappear soon. These and other reasons are used to front GMOs.
A GMO is an organism that has had its genetic composition interfered with through artificial means especially in a laboratory. Through a process called genetic engineering, scientists extract the DNA of one type of plant or animal and replace the removed material with others from sources that have no relationship with the original organism.
The sources of new genes are often other animals, plants, insects, viruses, bacteria or even animal tissue. It is important to remember that this is contrary to the natural way in which crossbreeding among species occurs. Next time you come across the term ‘transgenic’ organisms, you need to realize it has the same meaning as GMO since it denotes the transfer of genes between different organisms.
When this is done, the plant has to change in terms of its nutritional and chemical composition and in some cases the physical appearance. Moreover, and more importantly, genetic engineering not only alters the genetic infrastructure of an organism, but is also unpredictable and extremely mutative. Moreover, allergic reactions and toxins often follow genetic engineering.
We also need to realize that in the past there have been other attempts to improve the quality of species. These include tissue culture, selective breeding and hybridization. The difference between these traditional genetic methods of gene improvement and genetic engineering is that the former actually aids nature instead of circumventing it.
The other complication is that genetic engineering may actually act contrary to the ideals of improving the genetic quality of organisms. For example, some crops return lower yields after genetic engineering. The same happens with nutritional value. Allergic reactions and toxicity are attendant problems, but even more worrying is environmental degradation stemming from GMOs.
GMO research was at first perceived to be for research purposes only, but with time, it became clear that there were commercial interests. Today, many food crops have been genetically modified to some extent. We are talking of papaya, soybeans, corn and other plants such as cotton. Despite this, most of the food we eat remains natural and this includes rice, oats, where, tomatoes, beans, grapes and barley.
In relation to animals, there are no GMO creatures at this time. Well, there was an unsuccessful attempt to create GMO pigs, but it was shelved after a short trial. However, the fact that animals feed on GMO corn and soy means that the negative impacts of GMO will affect people who feed on such animals. The fact that GMO foods are not clearly labelled puts everybody at risk.
Why, should you be concerned?
It would be unfair not to underline that research on the harmful effects of GMOs is on-going. However, it is important to note that there are regions that have adopted a wait-and-see attitude instead of rushing to adopt GMOs. For example, in the EU, GMOs crops are rarely grown and any GMO products must be clearly labelled to help a buyer to make a personal decision on whether to consume such products or not.
Secondly, some scientists have expressed reservations to GMOs on the basis that the allergies witnessed during genetic engineering might affect consumers. This is a genuine concern considering the prevalence of diseases such as cancer, which primarily involve irregular multiplication of body cells. One wonders, then, whether it is necessary to eat GMO food when there are natural alternatives.
Another concern related to GMOs is that the entire process eventually harms the environment. This is especially true in relation to GMO farming. Pesticides are the main issue here. Companies that manufacture GE seeds are also the main producers of pesticides. While GE seeds are made to withstand herbicides, farmers must purchase chemicals to kill weeds. The problem is that farms develop weeds that resist chemicals in the long run thus requiring even more harmful insecticides.
It is obvious that when the environment is harmed by chemicals, human beings will suffer. Polluted air, soil and water in turn contribute to death of marine life, global warming, toxicity in water sources, death of plant and animal life and the plethora of illnesses that we are battling today. In essence, we can suffer direct and indirect consequences of developing, nurturing and consuming GMOs.
What should we do?
As intimated earlier, it is imperative that we ask ourselves whether we really need GMOs. Nature is resilient and altering its cause can only results in disaster in the long run. Global warming and its consequences are clear evidences of that fact. Before you introduce GMOs in your diet, ask yourself whether you have exhausted all existing natural alternatives.
We must start reading labels on the food materials we buy and ensure we don’t form a habit of constant consumption of GMOs. It is important to be careful when we buy canola, alfalfa, papaya, corn, soy, and sugar beets. These are foods that have undergone extensive genetic engineering. Some, like, soy, are totally transformed from what we were used to.
We need also to ask ourselves whether GMOs are manufactured for the benefit of humanity or the firms than create them. Why is it that the largest manufacturers of GE foods are also the leading makers of chemicals to fight weeds? Are we helping businesspeople to make more money at our expense or we really need GMOs for survival of the human race?
Most of us often suffer from symptoms; strange symptoms and we don’t even know what the reason behind it is! Do you have symptoms such as mood swings, sinus infections, intestinal distress, brain fog, hormonal imbalance, yeast infections, headaches, chronic fatigues, and itching? However diverse these symptoms may sound the cause is often a fungus, known as Candida Albicans. This disease is often misdiagnosed, but in this article, I will explain what Candida actually is, its symptoms and how it can be treated.
What is Candida?
Candida is a type of fungus that affects the intestines. Any imbalance in your digestive or immune systems can have adverse consequences to your gut often leading to a leaky gut. Stress and certain antibiotics lead to an imbalance of this particular fungus. Often when you are stressed, lots of Candida Albicans are rapidly produced and released into your intestines. Large amounts of this fungus are toxic because it produces a range of by-products that include uric acid and a neurotoxin called acetaldehyde.
Acetaldehyde is a harmful by-product, it is known to cause brain fogs and chronic headaches. This has also recently been listed as a possible carcinogen. It’s a pathogen that can have a dangerous effect on the human body. Uric acid on the other hand, when in large amounts, can lead to gout or joint pains. Any change in the balance of your intestines can result in oral thrush, yeast infections, and various duodenal problems.
Here are some things you may do that can lead to Candida overgrowth within our bodies:
High sugar diets
The amount of sugar you consume can lead to Candida imbalance in your system. Unhealthy sugary foods taken over a long period causes Candida overgrowth.
Take a walk in your local restaurant, convenient store or mall. All these stores sell foods with added sugars. It is almost virtually impossible to ignore these sugars. Whether, its pasta sauce, meats, bread, cereals, margarine they all contain added sugars in them. These sugars are the exact kind of foods that Candida needs to proliferate. – In other words processed food!
It’s important to note that eating healthy foods and having a bar of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream once a week will not lead to increase in Candida amounts. Sugary diets consumed over longer periods of time will lead to Candida imbalance.
I know you have probably suffered from stress in the past. It’s a tough world we live in. The bills are increasing and your pay might not necessarily balance out right with your daily needs. Some of these issues sometimes lead to stress. Always worrying about what lies ahead of you can result in changes to your body. Stress sometimes leads to depression and it is often seen as one of the leading causes of ailments today.
There are different ways in which stress can lead to a Candida burst in your body.
The first thing that stress does is raise sugar level in your body. In biology, the increase in sugar levels is commonly referred to as the fight or flight effect. A state of constant worry will make your body build up lots of energy in preparation for any sudden occurrence. To boost energy levels and be ready for anything, the sugar levels in your body will have to be high all the time because it’s this sugar that broken down to form energy. And as we already know, high sugar levels will then lead to high Candida levels in the body.
The second thing is that your immune system will deteriorate once your body is under stress. Once it’s weakened, your body won’t be able to form defenses against any Candida growth in your body.
They are the most common cause of increased Candida levels. The importance of antibiotics shouldn’t be ignored, but unfortunately, they have adverse side effects. Yes, I know there are times that your body would need antibiotics to heal properly but sadly, most doctors often give antibiotics even for the commonest body diseases such as flu or the common cold. They don’t give much thought to them.
One particular type of antibiotics known as broad spectrum antibiotics can have serious effects on your immune and digestive systems. All that broad spectrum antibiotics does is to kill all bacteria in your body. However, as its common knowledge, not all bacteria is harmful to the body. We actually can’t live without certain types of bacteria.
A fully grown human has more than 400 different types of bacteria and more than 90 trillion single bacteria. That’s a lot. It means it’s almost impossible for us to eliminate all bacteria from our bodies.
Broad spectrum antibiotics and other various types of antibiotics kill most of these beneficial bacteria in our bodies. This eventually leads to digestive and immune systems complications. Once these bacteria are eliminated, one particular bacteria takes advantage of this. And yeah, you guessed it right, it’s the Candida Albicans. This bacteria won’t feel the pressure of fighting for space and food in your intestines. There won’t be any competition for the resources, and this would, therefore, mean that Candida will flourish and expand their colonies. There will be a surge of this bacteria leading to an imbalance in your gut.
Mercury in the tooth fillings
Some tooth fillings such as silver amalgam contain up to 40%-50% mercury which can have adverse effects on the Candida levels in the body. When you grind or brush your teeth, the fillings may dissipate in your mouth and consequently in your gut.
Once the mercury is absorbed into the bloodstream, your immune system will be weakened, and it can lead to serious health complications. One of these health problems can be Candida. After the mercury reaches your gut, it kills the beneficial bacteria in your digestive system allowing Candida to flourish.
There are no acceptable levels of mercury permitted in the body. If you have tooth fillings that contain even the smallest amounts of mercury, make an appointment with your dentist and have them replaced.
Fluoride and Chloride.
Chlorine is a common chemical almost like added sugars that I have named above. It’s commonly found in drinking water. This means the water you cook with, drink, bath and wash your clothes with has this chemical. It is a powerful disinfectant that ensures the water you drink is free from all pathogens.
However, sometimes chlorine kills the useful body bacteria which might eventually lead to high Candida levels in the body. Fortunately, there are ways of reducing the amount of chlorine intake in the body. You could switch to natural friendly products for your laundry needs. Another thing you can do is install filters in the water system your household uses to ensure your body takes in fewer amounts of this chemical.
Fluoride is another chemical commonly used by toothpaste manufacturers. It’s preferred because of its disinfecting nature. It kills germs found in the mouth and sometimes some of this fluoride may kill the good bacteria leaving the Candida bacteria to flourish.
Diabetic people are more susceptible to Candida because diabetes leads to fluctuating blood sugar levels. When the sugar levels are high, especially for the women, the Candida bacteria will surge in the body. High Candida yeast levels can lead to body imbalance which can eventually cause health problems.
Recent scientific research has it that Candida outbreak can be attributed to the use of the contraceptive pill. The human body is made up sensitive parts especially the stomach. To digest foods in the stomach, we need to have just the right amounts of yeasts, microorganisms, and bacteria. The right balance of these digestive chemicals is critical, but this delicate and important chemical equilibrium can be thrown off by improper hormonal balances triggered by the contraceptive pill.
Such imbalances give room for the Candida to flourish and outnumber its competitors in the digestive tract. Estrogen, commonly found in the pill leads to yeast infections.
Copper IUD is another contraceptive that leads to yeast growth in a similar manner that estrogen found in the pill. Be wary of such problems when choosing your contraceptive method.
Other common causes of Candida outgrowth include
- Drinking lots of alcohol
- Consuming fermented food products such as pickles and kombucha.
- Eating diets with lots of refined carbs
As mentioned above, candidiasis can sometimes be misdiagnosed due to the similarity of its symptoms to other diseases. It’s also quite difficult to diagnose due to the different effects it has on people. The way it can affect me may not be necessarily the same way it will affect you.
Sometimes patients diagnose themselves because of the confusing symptoms. Due to such unclear effects, it’s a common consensus that the number of people suffering from candidiasis is way more than those who are correctly diagnosed.
Common symptoms include:
You may feel the following
Poor coordination, panic attacks, poor memory, low libido levels, insomnia, sweets and alcohol cravings, dizziness, irritability, hyperactivity, anger and bitterness, and brain fog.
The gastrointestinal tract
Itching anus, constipation, bloating, constantly burping after meals, gassiness, nausea, mucus in the stool, acid reflux, diarrhea, stomach upsets, stomach cramps, and hemorrhoids.
Hives, body odor, dermatitis, acne, eczema, athlete’s foot, fungal infections on the nails, psoriasis, and cysts.
Tongue with cracks and thrushes, metallic mouth taste, canker sores, enlarged lower lip, bleeding gums, halitosis, and bad breath.
The respiratory system
Asthma attacks, persistent cough and sore throat, mucus in the throat, sinusitis, flu and hay fever-like symptoms, and the congestion of the sinus.
Itchy eyes, bags under the eyes, blurred eyesight and light sensitivity.
Ear infection and ringing ears.
The urinary tract
Persistent urinary and yeast infections. Others include fungal rash, bladder inflammation and menstrual abnormalities.
The immune system
Allergies and sensitivity to particular diets or chemicals. The common cold being a little bit more frequent, and the flu.
The body retains lots of water and weight loss.
Other common symptoms include the following:
Muscle aches chronic joint pains, heartaches, and joint stiffness.
Doctors are human, just like me, and you and they can misdiagnose Candida for some other disease due to its varying symptoms. The reason being, candidiasis can manifest itself using a combination of any of the named symptoms often leading to misdiagnosis.
Listed below are some common misdiagnoses that doctors do depending on the symptoms your body is exhibiting.
Gastroenteritis, IBS, and Crohn’s disease – Symptoms include indigestion, abdominal pains diarrhea, gas and bloating
Athlete’s foot – Fungal infection on the toenails
Arthritis – Recurring joints pains
A misdiagnosis of Candida can have adverse repercussions on your body health. To avoid such, ensure you tell your physicians all the symptoms you are feeling. Don’t leave anything behind because he may prescribe medication that may lead to Candida overgrowth.
The Healing Process
Healing from candidiasis isn’t such a long and painful process as some would imagine. There are some things listed below that you have to keep in mind as you begin the treatment plan.
First try some Detox supplements:
What should be avoided…
This is the first thing you should switch as you begin your treatment plan. There are some foods you will have to reduce so that the amounts of Candida in your body can be lowered to tolerable levels
The first being, reducing the sugar diets you consume. As I mentioned earlier in this article, sugar supports the expansion of Candida colonies so a reduction of sugars will support your healing process as the Candida will be deprived of the nutrients they require to expand. Avoid consuming candy, lots of chocolate, flours and drinking alcohol.
Consider beginning your treatment process with the cleansing of your body off Candida toxins.
Also, avoid eating fermented diets. These foods support the growth of yeast in the body leading to increased Candida. A complete elimination of such products is recommended for you to heal completely.
Reduce the amount of fresh, canned and dried fruits you consume. Fresh juice should also be reduced as it contains high amounts of natural sugars which feed Candida. However, fresh fruits have their advantages to the body, and should, therefore, be introduced in small portions when the Candida amounts in the body are in control.
Nuts such as peanuts and cashews should be reduced as they contain high amounts of mold.
Dairy products except ghee, probiotic yogurt, kefir and butter should be avoided when healing from a Candida overgrowth. Yogurt and kefir are preferred to milk because the lactose that promotes yeast growth is eliminated during the fermentation process.
Most fish contain high levels of toxins and metallic products. These toxins and metallic products suppress the immune system which may lead to an expansion of Candida. However, fish such as sardines and wild salmons can be consumed.
Meat products especially pork should be avoided as it contains retroviruses that survive the cooking process which can be harmful to you if you have a weak digestive system. Processed meats, on the other hand, contain added sugars and sulfates which aren’t good for your body
What should be consumed…
In place of sugar, use sweeteners such xylitol and stevia. They have a lesser effect as compared to ordinary sugars, but only if necessary. I am not a big fan of sweeteners at all!
I know the foods I mentioned above are the kinds of dishes and diets you enjoy cooking at home or having at the local restaurant you like visiting with your family. So you probably think there is nothing left for you to eat. However, don’t despair as there so many other delicious foods that you can consume to ensure you live a healthy life.
Consume non-starchy vegetables and reduce complex carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, yams and pasta. Only steam, grill or eat your vegetables raw
Kefir and probiotic yogurt contain nutrients that will repopulate the good bacteria in your body and hence restore balance in your body
You can consume eggs, turkey, chicken, lamb, and beef. They should, however, be organic and fresh. Processed meats should be avoided.
For the beverages, drink licorice tea, peppermint tea, cinnamon and ginger tea as they contain useful antifungal properties.
Season your foods using sea salt, black pepper, organic raw vinegar, and apple cider.
Spices and herbs such as dill, ginger, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and cinnamon contain antifungal and antioxidant properties that are great if you are suffering from a Candida overgrowth.
What should be reintroduced…
Beans such as black beans and azuki beans, grains, e.g., lentils, chickpeas, split peas, navy beans, can be slowly reintroduced into the diet because they contain some antifungal advantages and fiber which are useful for those suffering from candidiasis.
Have small portions of fruits as you recover from a Candida overgrowth. Consume fruits e.g. blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries a maximum of four times a week.
It’s recommended that a fully grown human being should have at least a pound of bacteria in their body. Anything more would be detrimental to your system and would cause a system imbalance.
Candida is a fast growing yeast, and the main purpose of antibiotics is to kill bacteria. Certain types of antibiotics can kill useful bacteria giving room to Candida to flourish leading to an overgrowth.
Probiotics are beneficial to the body as they will help reintroduce the useful and supportive bacteria to your system. They will also crowd out the Candida colonies and ensure you have the right amount of acidity in your stomach.
Start taking your probiotics as soon as you begin your strict anti- Candida diet mentioned above. You should avoid taking them and antifungals at the same time.
They come in either powder or a capsule form. However, tablets are recommended as they will ensure the introduction of bacteria into your digestive system without too many getting destroyed in the process.
It’s also suggested you take the soil based probiotics instead of the conventional regular lactic based solutions because these organisms colonize the digestive system more efficiently and are more likely to reach the small intestine tract.
My favorite ones that I use are from: ParaGone
Buy yours here today!
Anti-fungals are the last essential element of a Candida healing process. There is a variety of antifungal products you can add to your diet. Antifungals will destroy the walls of the Candida yeast and reduce the colonies in your system.
The most popular antifungal treatments include grapefruit extract and caprylic acid. Others include nystatin and eraxis.
Natural anti-fungal remedies include the following
- Oregano Oil
- Olive Leaf Extract
- Grapefruit Seeds
- Black Walnut
- Aloe Vera
- Golden Seal
Cook using coconut flour instead of the standard baking flour. Coconut bread is a great substitute for the wheat bread you consume every morning as wheat bread supports the growth of yeast in the digestive system.
Coconut oil, which can be added to your cooking, is an inexpensive type of anti-fungal remedy. Take a maximum of two tablespoons of coconut oil. Consuming too much of it might lead to diarrhea and stomach cramps. Apart from inhibiting Candida growth, coconut oil is also great for your skin and hair and will enhance your immune system. Another Coconut oil benefit is that it doesn’t break down into fats when cooked at high temperatures
Use coconut vinegar and aminos to make some delicious dressings instead of using the standard soy sauce. You can also use coconut vinegar to make marinades, as it is packed with nutrients and is also great in reducing the growth of Candida in the digestive tract.
This is it about the bad, bad, bad Candida disease! I hope this article is useful to you and you can start applying changes to your everyday diet and make a life changing progress. We all suffer from some light Candida effects and to make a detox and cleansing ones or twice a year is recommended for everyone.
With Love Your,