About Larry

My hobby is research. I am been conducting research on a number of subjects for many years. This blog is one result of my research.

Dandelion root, a cancer cell killer, has a long history as medicine

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(NaturalNews) The roots, leaves and flowers of the dandelion plant are a potent and healthy herbal medicine, although folks might think those yellow dots popping up in their landscape are just nuisance weeds. Not so, as reported by Reset.me, who emphasizes that the botanical name for dandelion – Taraxacum officinal – aptly describes its medicinal potential. Taraxacum translates into an “inflammation curative.” Officinal means that the lowly dandelion is revered as a bona fide, official medicinal plant. The use of the dandelion plant as a healing agent “predates written records,” but it is understood that the Greeks and the Chinese used dandelion compounds to aid in digestion, and as a liver tonic and diuretic. (RELATED: Learn more about natural remedies at Remedies.news)

Traditional herbalists, both in the East and the West, have utilized the properties of the dandelion for liver support and as a blood purifier. It is this blood purifying action that intrigued Canadian researchers at the University of Windsor to pursue whether dandelion roots could be effective for individuals suffering from end stage blood cancer. The team experimented by applying dandelion root extract into petri dishes on “blood drawn from a leukemia patient and lab rats.” They discovered that the “dandelion root extract was effective in inducing apoptosis, or cell suicide, in tumor cells, while leaving healthy cells alone.”

This remarkable outcome garnered approval to test their dandelion root protocol on thirty Canadian cancer patients. It is the first time in Canada that a natural extract has been approved for utilization in a clinical trial. The lead researcher is Dr. Siyaram Pandey, a biochemistry professor at Windsor, who discovered the power of dandelions from an oncologist whose own patients had had enough chemotherapy and chose to drink dandelion tea instead – and lived!  Dr. Pandey shares his unusual introduction to dandelions, a simple explanation of what cancer is, and some of his initial thoughts about the clinical trial in this Tedx  presentation:

Each body is unique and all cancer treatment decisions are personal and made only after sound deliberation. A combination of clean food, nutritional and immune building modalities – among many other alternative medicine treatments – may be required to ultimately win an individual’s battle against cancer. Yet it is generally agreed that chemotherapy is a shotgun blast of toxicity that kills cells indiscriminately and cripples the immune system. Your backyard dandelion’s roots specifically kill only the cancerous cells and enhances the immune system. Dandelions are not toxic, and they also offer a bevy of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin A, K, B6 and B12.

Herbalists who live in America are not allowed to treat cancer patients, says author and internationally traveled herbalist Demetria Clark, who has taught thousands through her Heart of Herbs Herbal School. Dandelion is used enthusiastically by Clark as a “supportive therapy” with whatever cancer protocol her client has chosen. If a client has chosen chemotherapy, Clark says that dandelion will “support the liver and help the body detoxify.”  She also says that dandelion leaves put into smoothies can help with mouth sores and nausea. The dandelion can boost one’s appetite and also “get the digestive juices flowing.”  Clark believes that the available empirical evidence clearly shows that the dandelion “can enhances the immune system and supports the liver and kidneys with no toxicity and a high amount of nutrition.”  She encourages children and pregnant women to use the benefits available from the simple, but profound, dandelion.

Have you ever wondered why are there so many dandelions? Perhaps nature is trying to give all of us a gentle yellow immune boost.

Sources:

Reset.me

YouTube.com

HeartOfHerbs.com

Science.NaturalNews.com

Why the Mediterranean Diet Is so Successful

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By Dr. Mercola

The Mediterranean diet is one that has managed to maintain popularity through changing fads, and for good reason. A number of studies have confirmed its health benefits — most of which are likely due to it being low in sugars, moderate in protein and high in fresh fruits and vegetables, along with healthy fats.

Contrary to popular belief, there’s actually no single “Mediterranean diet.” At least 16 countries border the Mediterranean Sea, and dietary habits vary from country to country due to differences in culture, ethnic background, religion and agricultural production.

That said, a primary hallmark of a Mediterranean-style diet is a focus on whole, minimally processed foods. The emphasis on fresh vegetables alone makes it far healthier than the standard American diet, which is very high in processed foods.

Health Benefits Associated With a Mediterranean-Style Diet

Eating a Mediterranean-style diet has been linked to a number of health benefits, including:

Prevention and/or reversal of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.

One review of 35 clinical trials found it helped reduce belly fat and high blood pressure, elevate HDL cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels, compared to those who ate a low-fat diet.1

Improved cardiovascular health and a significantly reduced risk of stroke— effects linked to higher amounts of animal-based omega-3 fats (primarily from fish).2,3

According to recent research, marine animal-based omega-3 may lower your risk of heart disease even if you’re already at increased risk due to high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and/or triglycerides.4,5

Higher levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from seafood or supplements was associated with a 16 percent lower risk of heart disease in those with high triglycerides, and a 14 percent reduced risk in those with high LDLs.

Reduced risk of acne in adult women. According to recent research, adult women who ate fresh fruits, vegetables and fish less than four days a week had double the risk of adult acne.6,7

Reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis,8 Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.9

Improved overall health and longevity. In one study, women who closely followed a Mediterranean-style diet in their 50s and 60s were 46 percent more likely to live past the age of 70 without chronic illness or cognitive problems.10

Mediterranean Diet Linked to Healthier Brain

Overall, the Mediterranean diet is one of the best conventional diets for brain and heart health. For example, research has shown diets rich in healthy fats from nuts, avocados and olive oil may boost memory and cognition in older adults.11,12

Previous research has also suggested a Mediterranean diet may lower your odds of Alzheimer’s disease, but it wasn’t clear whether the diet was responsible, or if people who eat this way also make many other healthier lifestyle choices that decrease their risk.

In an effort to shed more light on the potential links between diet and cognition, the researchers randomly assigned nearly 450 seniors with risk factors for cardiovascular disease — such as overweight, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol — to follow one of three diets:13,14

  • A Mediterranean diet supplemented with 1 liter of extra virgin olive oil per week
  • A Mediterranean diet supplemented with 30 grams of nuts a day
  • A low-fat diet

Brain function tests were conducted before and after the study. Those following a Mediterranean diet with supplemental nuts showed significant improvement in memory, while those who got supplemental olive oil experienced significantly improved cognition.

The low-fat group, on the other hand, experienced a significant decrease in both memory and cognitive function.

Older Adults Suffer Less Brain Shrinkage on Mediterranean Diet

More recently, scientists found that a Mediterranean-style diet also helps reduce age-related brain shrinkage in older adults. As reported by the LA Times:15

“In a group of 562 Scots in their 70s, those whose consumption patterns more closely followed the Mediterranean diet experienced, on average, half the brain shrinkage that was normal for the group as a whole over a three-year period …

The researchers used the food-frequency surveys to divide the group into two — those who at least approximated a Mediterranean-style diet and those who came nowhere close.

Even though many in the Med-diet group were far from perfect in their adherence, the average brain-volume loss differed significantly between the two groups.”

 

Your Brain Needs Healthy Fats for Optimal Function

Results such as these certainly make sense when you consider how important healthy fats are for your brain function. After all, your brain is composed of at least 60 percent fat — the most important of which is DHA, found in seafood such as clean fish and krill oil. That said, it’s important to choose your seafood wisely.

What you’re looking for are fish high in healthy fats, such as omega-3, while also being low in mercury and other environmental pollutants. Good choices include smaller fatty fish like sardines, anchovies and herring.

As a general rule, the lower on the food chain the fish is, the less likely it is to contain harmful levels of contaminants. Many of these smaller fish also contain higher amounts of omega-3, so it’s a win-win. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is another healthy choice. If you avoid fish, it’s important to take a high-quality omega-3 supplement such as krill oil.

Besides fish, other examples of beneficial fats that your body (and your brain in particular) needs for optimal function include avocado, organic grass-fed raw butter, clarified butter called ghee, olives, organic virgin olive oil and coconut oil, nuts like pecans and macadamia and free-range eggs.

It’s also important to avoid sugars and processed grains. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89 percent increased risk for dementia, while high-fat diets are associated with a 42 percent reduced risk.16

Omega-3 Is Important for Other Psychiatric Conditions as Well

Animal-based omega-3 in combination with vitamin D has also been shown to improve cognitive function and behavior associated with certain psychiatric conditions, including ADHD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia — in part by regulating your brain’s serotonin levels.17,18,19

The omega-3 fat EPA reduces inflammatory signaling molecules in your brain that inhibit serotonin release from presynaptic neurons, thereby boosting your serotonin levels. DHA — which is an important structural component of your brain cells — also has a beneficial influence on serotonin receptors by increasing their access to serotonin.

Other diets shown to be particularly beneficial for brain health include the DASH and the MIND diets,20 the latter of which emphasizes fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens and berries, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, beans, poultry and fish, while limiting red meat, cheese, butter, sweets and fried foods.

What these three diets have in common is an emphasis on whole foods, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables, and at least SOME healthy fats. Considering the importance of eating real food, it’s not so surprising that the DASH diet, Mediterranean diet and MIND diet rank No.1, 2 and 3 respectively as the best overall diets for good health, according to a panel of health experts.21

Benefits of the DASH Diet

The DASH diet in particular has been shown to be quite effective for lowering your risk of hypertension. However, I believe the real reason for this effect is not due to the reduction in salt but rather the reduction in processed foods, which is high in fructose.22,23 As your insulin and leptin levels rise in response to net carbs, it causes your blood pressure to increase.

Excess fructose promotes hypertension to a far greater degree than excess salt. One 2010 study24 discovered that those who consumed 74 grams or more per day of fructose (the equivalent of about 2.5 sugary drinks) had a 77 percent greater risk of having blood pressure levels of 160/100 mmHg (stage 2 hypertension). Consuming 74 grams or more of fructose per day also increased the risk of a 135/85 blood pressure reading by 26 percent, and a reading of 140/90 by 30 percent.

Elevated uric acid levels are also significantly associated with hypertension (by inhibiting nitric oxide in your blood vessels), and fructose elevates uric acid. In fact, uric acid is a byproduct of fructose metabolism. So, by eliminating excess sugar and fructose from your diet, you effectively address root issues that contribute to high blood pressure.

I recommend keeping your total fructose consumption below 25 grams per day. If you’re insulin resistant (about 80 percent of Americans are), have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or other chronic disease, you’d be wise to limit your fructose to 15 grams or less per day, until your condition has normalized.

As for the issue of salt (which the DASH diet restricts), it’s important to realize that salt is actually essential for maintaining and regulating blood pressure. The key is to use the right kind of salt. Ideally, replace all processed table salt with a natural unprocessed version, such as Himalayan salt, which contains a variety of trace minerals your body actually needs.

Part of the DASH diet’s effectiveness for hypertension may also have to do with the fact that it focuses on vegetables, which helps improve your sodium-to-potassium ratio. Your body needs potassium to maintain proper pH levels in your body fluids, and it plays an integral role in regulating your blood pressure. It’s actually possible that potassium deficiency may be a greater contributor to hypertension than excess sodium (but not likely a greater factor than fructose).

Mediterranean Diet May Cut Your Heart Disease Risk by Nearly One-Third

The importance of healthy fats cannot be overstated in my view. Fats are important for so many biological processes, especially those related to your brain and heart function. In the case of the latter, a Spanish trial,25 which included nearly 7,450 volunteers between the ages of 55 and 80, was stopped early for ethical reasons as the low-fat control group was deemed to be at a dangerous disadvantage.

The participants had all been diagnosed with high risk of cardiovascular disease, but were asymptomatic at the outset of the study. Participants were followed for a median of 4.8 years. The volunteers were randomly divided into three groups (two intervention groups and one control):

  • Mediterranean diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, whole grains and mono-unsaturated fats, very low in meat and dairy and supplemented with 30 grams (1.05 ounces) of nuts per day (15 grams walnuts, 7.5 grams almonds and 7.5 grams hazelnuts)
  • Mediterranean diet (as above) supplemented with 50 milliliters (1.7 ounces) of virgin olive oil per day instead of nuts
  • Low-fat diet (control)

There were no calorie restrictions for any of the groups, nor was physical activity promoted or required. Compliance with olive oil and nut consumption was tested via blood and urine analysis. The primary end point was a composite of myocardial infarction, stroke and death from cardiovascular causes. Secondary end points were stroke, myocardial infarction, death from cardiovascular causes and death from any cause.

Remarkably, in less than five years, the two intervention groups achieved a 30 percent relative risk reduction for cardiovascular disease, and stroke reduction was an impressive 49 percent. No wonder they felt the trial had to be stopped for ethical reasons!

Sadly, low-fat diets remain among the most accepted diets in the medical community, both for weight management and cardiac health. There’s no telling how many millions of people have prematurely died from this fatally flawed and scientifically-refuted advice.

Are You Eating Enough Fish?

According to the latest report26 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Americans increased their seafood consumption by nearly 1 pound per person in 2015, to an average of 15.5 pounds per year, or just over 4.75 ounces per week.

That’s the largest increase in seafood consumption in two decades, yet we still fall short of dietary recommendations, which call for 8 ounces of seafood per week. Ideally, aim for two to three servings of fish like salmon or sardines, anchovies, mackerel and herring each week, to obtain healthy levels of omega-3. Avoid canned tuna, mackerel, swordfish, grouper, marlin, orange roughy, snapper and halibut, as they have some of the highestlevels of contamination.

For more information about mercury in fish, see the Mercury Policy Project’s website, “Mercury and Fish: The Facts.”27 They have a helpful guide you can print out for reference.28 A 2015 article in Investigate West also addressed this issue, and includes a guide to how many meals per week you can safely eat based on any given seafood’s contamination level.29

Why Higher Fish Consumption Is Likely Part of Mediterranean Diet’s High Success Rate

Besides omega-3 fats and other valuable nutrients, fish is also a good source of high-quality protein. However, most fish contain only HALF of the protein found in beef and chicken, and this is actually a very good thing. While we do need protein for muscle, bone and hormone health, eating more than your body actually needs can stimulate your mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) — a pathway that plays an important role in many cancers, among other things.

In fact, Valter Longo, Ph.D.,30 — a professor of biological science at the University of California and a well-known longevity researcher — believes the reduced protein content in fish may be one reason why the Mediterranean diet is linked to life extension and reduced risk for chronic disease. In essence, those who eat more fish than red meat automatically get far less protein, thereby preventing the excessive stimulation of mTOR.

For Health and Longevity, Be Sure to Optimize Your Omega-3

If you do not eat this amount of fish on a weekly basis, consider taking a daily omega-3 supplement such as krill oil. As for dosage, the amount of omega-3s you need depends on your body size, age, health status, the type of omega-3 and more. Your best bet is to get an omega-3 index test. This test measures the omega-3 in your red blood cells, which is really the only way to determine if you’re getting enough from your diet or supplements. Your index should be above 8 percent.

While there’s no set recommended standard dose of omega-3 fats, some health organizations recommend a daily dose of 250 to 500 milligram (mg) of EPA and DHA for healthy adults. Higher amounts (upwards of 1,000 to 2,000 mg of EPA and DHA daily) are typically recommended for the prevention of memory loss, depression and heart disease.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, your body will likely require additional omega-3 fats. The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada recommend pregnant and lactating women (along with all adults) consume at least 500 mg of omega-3s, including EPA and DHA, daily.

Other Vital Reasons Why Mediterranean-Style Diet Is a Good Choice

Aside from the important dietary components mentioned above, there are at least three other lifestyle factors that contribute to the benefits achieved by those actually living in the Mediterranean countries. The obvious one is that these are subtropical countries and most people are able to achieve a healthy level of sun exposure, as the opportunities to go outside with minimal clothing on are far more frequent than for most of us living in the U.S.

The other two are related in that they are social variable. There is less reliance on cars and automated tasks that allow them to walk and be more active and mobile than many of us in the U.S. Additionally, there is an important social component to most meals that is typically not encountered in the U.S.

Is There Something Better Than the Mediterranean Diet?

If you are healthy and have an ideal body fat percentage, then the dietary choices discussed above are a sound choice, especially if you integrate the other variables discussed in the section above.

But the sad reality is that well over 80 percent of those in the U.S. do not fit this profile, as they are either overweight, have cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune or neurodegenerative diseases. If this applies to you or someone you love, then I firmly believe you need to teach your body to burn fat as its primary fuel before you engage in this type of diet.

My new book, “Fat for Fuel,” discusses how to radically limit your carb and protein intake while integrating periods of feast and famine cycling, which will help your body regain its ability to burn fat as its primary fuel. Once you normalize your weight and other conditions, and your body has regained the capacity to burn fat as your primary fuel, then it makes loads of sense to shift to a Mediterranean

Sources and References

Doctors agree with censored study that concludes unvaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children

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Image: Doctors agree with censored study that concludes unvaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children

(NaturalNews) The assertion that vaccines may cause systematic changes to children’s immune and nervous systems is accepted as a possibility by a large number of doctors, including many who consider themselves “pro-vaccine.”

“If you don’t ask the right questions, you can’t find the right answers,” said Tommy Redwood, MD, an emergency room doctor in Atlanta, Georgia, with 26 years of medical experience. “If you summarily dismiss the possibility that the increasing rates of childhood illnesses, including ADD, autism, asthma and other auto-immune disorders are connected to vaccines, you can’t figure out if our children’s health problems are vaccine-related injuries.”

Redwood says he suspects that over-vaccination plays a role in the worsening health outcomes seen among children in recent decades.

Chronic disease risk higher

The most recent, peer-reviewed study was accepted for publication by the journal Frontiers in Public Health, according to Jennifer Margulis, PhD. The study was assigned a DOI number and the abstract published on the journal’s website. Several days later, all signs of the study vanished from the site without explanation

Margulis is the author of Your Baby, Your Way and the co-author (with Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D.) of The Vaccine-Friendly Plan.

According to Margulis, the abstract described a study comparing health outcomes of 660 fully vaccinated or fully unvaccinated children between the ages of 6 and 12 living in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oregon. Information was collected via parental survey in 2012.

The researchers found that while unvaccinated children were significantly more likely to get chickenpox and pertussis (whooping cough), they were significantly less likely to have allergies, ear infections, pneumonia, or central nervous system disorders (including autism) than the fully vaccinated children.

Indeed, vaccinated children had twice the risk of chronic illness and four times the risk of autism, learning disabilities, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Vaccinated children who had been born prematurely were six times more likely to suffer from autism or other central nervous disorders than unvaccinated children.

Several prior surveys of parents comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated children have shown similar results.

Doctors call for more research

The reality of vaccine injury is obvious to many doctors, such as integrative physician Kelly Sutton MD of Fair Oaks, California. Sutton says she sees vaccine-injured patients every day.

“It’s not a rational thing to think that we can just give an ever-increasing number of vaccines without causing damage,” Sutton said. “There’s a tipping point for many people in terms of the toxins that they can handle.”

Sutton says she regularly hears from parents who chose to leave younger children unvaccinated that the unvaccinated children in the same family have better health, social adjustment and academic performance than their vaccinated siblings.

Bose Ravenel, MD, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, used to scoff at the idea of a connection between vaccines and autism. But after examining the scientific data for himself, the 78-year-old doctor said he could no longer support the party line.

“There is clearly a relationship between vaccines and autism,” Ravenel said. “But to say that ‘vaccines cause autism’ is an inaccurate, non-nuanced statement. At the same time, to say that ‘vaccines don’t cause autism’ is also inaccurate. In certain conditions, like with mitochondrial dysfunction, vaccines certainly can cause autism or contribute to it.”

Ravenel supports research into the risks of vaccines in order to find ways to improve their safety.

Such perspectives are common among “pro-vaccine” doctors who are willing to examine the research without bias. A similar line is taken by neuroscientist Rene Anand of Ohio State University.

Anand, who says vaccines have saved millions of lives, researches genetic susceptibility to brain disorders. And he rejects as scientifically inaccurate the claim that vaccines do not contribute to autism.

The large numbers of parents who saw immune and cognitive function decline immediately after vaccination are indicative of something, Anand says. And that needs to be investigated.

Sources:

HealthImpactNews.com

NaturalNews.com

Industrial Farming Threatens Food Security in the US

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By Dr. Mercola

It is indisputable that we are negatively affecting our air, soil and water in a way that is drastically impacting the earth itself.

If you look down while on an airplane, you can’t help but notice the vast exposure of soils into perfectly-carved squares below. These exposed soils are a tragic sign of an unsustainable practice that leads to erosion, runoff pollution while also decreasing soil organic matter and impacting our air quality.

Please use my search engine to find previous interviews with experts like Gabe Brown, Joel Salatin, Will Harris or other articles related to regenerative agriculture.

Agriculture has undergone massive changes over the past several decades. Many of them were heralded as progress that would save us from hunger and despair. Yet today, we’re faced with a new set of problems, birthed from the very innovations and interventions that were meant to provide us with safety and prosperity.

For decades, food production has been all about efficiency and lowering cost. We now see what this approach has brought us — skyrocketing disease statistics and a faltering ecosystem.

Fortunately, we already know what needs to be done. It’s just a matter of implementing the answers on a wider scale. We need farmers to shift over to regenerative practices that stops depleting our soil and fresh water supplies.

Frustratingly, farmers are often held back from making much needed changes by government subsidy programs that favor monocropping and crop insurance rules that dissuade regenerative farming practices.

Will American Farming Create Another Dust Bowl?

The Great Depression of the 1930s was tough for most Americans, but farmers were particularly hard hit. Plowing up the Southern Plains to grow crops turned out to be a massive miscalculation that led to enormous suffering.

Three consecutive droughts (1930 to ’31, ’33 to ’34 and 1936) turned the area into an uninhabitable and unworkable “dust bowl.” As the natural winds that cross the Plains picked up the dry soil, dense clouds of dust called “black blizzards” covered the region in an unprecedented years-long “storm.”

As noted by bioethicist George Dvorsky in a recent Gizmodo article,1 research2suggests modern agricultural methods cannot protect us from a repeat of those devastating conditions.

“Researchers Michael Glotter[, Ph.D.,] and Joshua Elliot[, Ph.D.,] from the University of Chicago ran computer simulations to predict the effects of a Dust Bowl-like drought on today’s maize, soy and wheat crops.

‘We expected to find the system much more resilient because 30 percent of production is now irrigated in the United States, and because we’ve abandoned corn production in more severely drought-stricken places such as Oklahoma and west Texas,’ noted Elliott in a press release.

‘But we found the opposite: The system was just as sensitive to drought and heat as it was in the 1930s,'” Dvorsky writes.

 

Massive Changes Could Decimate Agriculture

Is the U.S. about to face another dust bowl episode? According to simulations, if the U.S. were to experience the same kind of drought as in 1936, we’d lose nearly 40 percent of the commodity crops grown today.

The best-case scenario? If rainfall remained normal, a 4-degree increase would result in the same kind of losses experienced in the 1930s, meaning we’d lose 30 to 40 percent of our crops.

“Given recent predictions3 that parts of the U.S. could soon experience ‘megadroughts’ lasting for as long as 35 years (yes, you read that correctly), these results should serve as a serious wakeup call,” Dvorsky writes.

 

Industrialization Versus Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture that makes use of cover crops, no-till and herbivore grazing can help solve many of our most pressing problems, including reducing atmospheric Co2 levels and normalizing weather patterns.

For example, an interesting study that highlights the importance of grazing animals found that reindeer grazing on shrubs on the Arctic tundra actually help combat global warming by increasing surface albedo (the amount of solar energy being reflected back into space). As noted by the Climate News Network:4

The effect reindeer grazing can have on albedo and energy balances is potentially large enough to be regionally important. It also points towards herbivore management being a possible tool to combat future warming.

Most of the Arctic tundra is grazed by either domesticated or wild reindeer, so this is an important finding.”

Even if regenerative agriculture cannot completely solve all of our issues, it’s still the only way forward, as factory farming makes everything worse. It’s important to realize that agriculture has a significant impact on life on Earth.

Not only does it provide us with food, it’s also an integral part of the ecosystem as a whole. Done correctly, it supports and nourishes ALL life, not just human life.

Drawbacks of Industrialized Agriculture

The drawbacks of industrialized farming are many, including the following:

Degrades and contaminates soil

Grains account for about 70 percent of our daily calories, and grains are grown on about 70 percent of acreage worldwide. The continuous replanting of grain crops each year leads to soil degradation, as land is tilled and sprayed each year, disrupting the balance of microbes in the soil.

Top soil is also lost each year, which means that, eventually, our current modes of operation simply will no longer work. Soil erosion and degradation rates suggest we have less than 60 remaining years of topsoil.5

Forty percent of the world’s agricultural soil is now classified as either degraded or seriously degraded; the latter means that 70 percent of the topsoil is gone.

Soil degradation is projected to cause 30 percent loss in food production over the next 20 to 50 years. Meanwhile, our global food demands are expected to increase by 50 percent over this span of time.

As explained in Peter Byck’s short film, “One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts,” farm animals form symbiotic relationships where one species helps keep parasites from overwhelming another.

It is the separation of crops and animals into two distinctly different farming processes that has led to animal waste becoming a massive source of pollution rather than a valuable part of the ecological cycle.

Contaminates water and drains aquifers

Agriculture accounts for 70 percent of our fresh water use. When the soil is unfit, water is wasted. It simply washes right through the soil and past the plant’s root system.

We already have a global water shortage that’s projected to worsen over the coming two or three decades, so this is the last thing we need to compound it. On top of that, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are a major water polluter, destroying what precious little water we do have.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has noted that U.S. states with high congregations of CAFOs report 20 to 30 serious water quality problems each year.6 According to a report7 by Environment America, corporate agribusiness is “one of the biggest threats to America’s waterways.”

Tyson Foods Inc. is among the worst, releasing 104.4 million pounds of toxic pollutants into waterways between 2010 and 2014; second only to a steel manufacturing company.

Contributes to greenhouse gas emissions

While fertilizer production produces its share of greenhouse gases, most of the emissions occur upon application.

According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 1 out of every 100 kilos of nitrogen fertilizer applied to farm land ends up in the atmosphere as nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas (300 times more potent than CO2) known to deplete the ozone.8

In 2014, the amount of N2O created by nitrogen fertilizer spread on American farmland was equal to one-third of the N2O released by all cars and trucks in the U.S. More recent research suggests the real number is three to five times higher than that.

Reduces biodiversity

The efficiency model of large-scale industrialized agriculture demanded a reduction in diversity. Hence we got monoculture: farmers growing all corn, or all soy, for example. Monoculture has significantly contributed to dietary changes that promote ill health.

The primary crops grown on industrial farms today — corn, soy, wheat, canola and sugar beets — are the core ingredients in processed foods known to promote obesity, nutritional deficiencies and disease.

According to a report by the Royal Botanic Gardens in the U.K., one-fifth of all plants worldwide are now threatened with extinction, primarily through the expansion of agriculture.9

Ethanol and corn sweetener subsidies have also led to farmers abandoning conservation measures designed to preserve fragile lands and protect biodiversity in the natural landscape.10

Worsens food safety and promotes pandemic disease

Agricultural overuse of drugs, especially antibiotics, has led to the development of drug-resistant disease,11 which has now become a severe health threat. Pandemic outbreaks are also becoming more prevalent in CAFOs, revealing the inherent flaws of industrialized animal farming.

In 2015, an avian flu outbreak spread across 14 states in five months. The year before that, a pig virus outbreak killed off 10 percent of the American pig population. As noted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy:12

“The rapid spread of new disease strains … is one very visible reason why the expansion of factory-style animal production is viewed as unsustainable.”

Threatens food security by decimating important pollinators such as butterfly and bee populations.13

Promotes nutritional deficiencies and poor nutrition

Industrial farming is set up and subsidized to grow ingredients used in processed foods. This is the cheapest way to feed the masses. However, what people really need more of in order to thrive is fresh produce.

According to research14 presented at the 2016 American Heart Association’s Epidemiology meeting, reducing the price of fruits and vegetables by 30 percent could save nearly 200,000 lives over 15 years by lowering rates of heart disease and stroke.

If people added just one additional serving of fruits and vegetables a day, up to 3.5 million deaths from heart disease could be prevented in just two years.

Necessitates the use of toxins, poisons and harmful mechanical farming methods

Industrialization led to the separation of crops and livestock farming into two different specialties. That change alone has done tremendous harm, as livestock are actually a core component of regenerative agriculture.

As a result, a whole host of land maintenance services that animals serve for free have had to be replaced with chemical and mechanical means — all of which have detrimental effects on human health and the environment.

Regenerative Agriculture Can Help Solve Many of Our Problems

Around the world, farmers are waking up to the many adverse effects of industrialized agriculture. While chemicals and machines have allowed farms to expand and increase production, there’s growing awareness about how these strategies harm the soil, ecology and, ultimately, human health.

As a result, a growing number of farmers are transitioning over to more sustainable and regenerative methods that do not rely so heavily on chemical and technological means. While regenerative strategies may appear “novel” to born-and-raised city slickers, it’s really more of a revival of ancestral knowledge. In the video above, Dr. Joel Gruver demonstrates sustainable agriculture techniques taking place at Allison Farm, the largest organic research farm in Illinois.

Regenerative agriculture — which includes strategies such as crop rotation, diversification, cover crops, no-till, agroforestry and integrated herd management — can help rehabilitate land turned to desert, improve water management and protect water quality. It also eliminates the need for toxic fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.15 Importantly, by improving soil quality, regenerative farmers can produce more nutrient-dense foods.

You can also consider attending a Regernation International event of webinar. Regeneration International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving soil fertility and biodiversity through regenerative agriculture techniques. Click below for a list of upcoming events.

Fear of Losing Crop Insurance Holds Many Farmers Back From Using Cover Crops

Crazy enough, certain valuable regenerative practices such as the use of cover crops are discouraged by the current crop insurance system. One example of how a regenerative farmer was financially punished by doing the right thing is detailed in a recent article by the Food and Environment Reporting Network.16

Insurance rules require cover crops to be completely killed off before the market crop is planted. In this case, high winds had prevented Gail Fuller, a farmer in Texas, from successfully killing off the cover crops before planting his corn, soy and barley.

When a serious drought in 2012 destroyed a good portion of his crops, the insurance refused to pay because he’d failed to destroy the cover crop. Indeed, fear of losing their crop insurance is a major reason why many farmers don’t use cover crops, despite the environmental benefits.

Some Crops Are More Sustainable Than Others

Besides cover crops, certain food crops can perform similar functions. Pulses, such as peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils, are among the most sustainable crops on the planet, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.17

They have much deeper root systems, which help keep carbon sequestered in the soil, thereby improving the organic matter content while simultaneously reducing atmospheric Co2. This in turn helps support the entire ecosystem. As noted by the Organic Consumers Association:18

Pioneers in soil regeneration, or carbon farming, bear proud testament to a substantial list of potential benefits of carbon-rich soils. Such lands are more drought-resistant, they mitigate flooding when those around them are under water, support more wildlife and beneficial insects, restore natural stream flows, retain nutrients, reduce the number of pests, weeds and crop diseases and produce more nutritious food, all at lower input costs, which means higher profits.

If we continue with our chemically-dependent farm business as usual, we can expect crop productivity to fall as soils are depleted and as raw resources become more costly, more scarce and more undependable, as overall production costs rise in concert with oil prices … It’s time to start demanding support for carbon farming to rescue our agricultural and privately owned natural resource lands from systemic collapse.”

 

Creating Carbon Capture Gardens

Science Daily19 recently reported how brownfield sites, “those unloved areas of stony rubbish usually dismissed as wasteland,” could be a valuable tool in the effort to lower atmospheric Co2 levels. As explained in the article, soil is a major reservoir for carbon. In the soil, carbon promotes soil fertility and health; in the air, it is a greenhouse gas thought to contribute to global weather alterations.

Brownfield sites contain a lot of calcium. When combined with atmospheric CO2, it forms calcite (calcium carbonate). What makes brownfield sites so useful for sequestering atmospheric Co2 is that inorganic carbon in calcite forms much more rapidly than in other soils. A single hectare (2.47 acres) can sequester up to 85 tons of atmospheric carbon per year. According to Science Daily:

“The U.K. has 1.7 million [hectares] of urban land. If only 700,000 [hectares] of this was managed proactively it could meet 10 percent of the U.K.’s annual CO2 reduction target.

They also surveyed the sites’ plant and animal life, as well as their potential for recreation, education and food production — and again came up with fascinating findings … ‘We found that carbonation is widespread on brownfield soils, and that these soils can also support a diverse range of plants. We recorded more than 180 plant species on the 21 sites,’ Goddard says.

The results have important implications for how we develop our gardens — as well as our towns and cities. The SUCCESS project team is now engineering artificial soils to capture as much CO2 as possible, and conducting experiments to find out which plants are best at channeling carbon from the atmosphere into the soil via photosynthesis.

If successful, they will be able to recommend designer plant communities that maximize carbonation as part of ‘carbon capture gardens’ — urban green spaces that soak up CO2 as well as being places for recreation and wildlife.”

Applying crushed silicate rock to their land is another method farmers could use that would encourage greater carbon sequestration.20The rock would also release phosphorous, potassium and silica, which are important minerals for healthy plant growth. There are serious drawbacks to such a scheme, though.

For starters, it would require major mining operations and transportation. In addition to the environmental destruction associated with mining, it would also add to carbon emissions. What we really need are environmentally friendly carbon neutral or carbon negative solutions, and regenerative farming fits the bill, solving not just the problem of carbon sequestration but also many others.

What You Can Do to Promote Positive Change

One way to improve your diet and promote a more sustainable food system is to grow some of your own food. During World War II, 40 percent of the produce in the U.S. was grown in people’s back yards in so-called “victory gardens,” and this trend has started taking root once again. If you’re unsure of where to start, I recommend starting out by growing sprouts. Broccoli, watercress and sunflower sprouts are foods that virtually everyone can and would benefit from growing.

It’s inexpensive, easy and can radically improve your overall nutrition. If you’re fortunate enough to have your own home and some land, you can start to rebuild your own topsoil. Simply applying biomass will convert to soil in a few years. Over the past three years, I have added about a million pounds of wood chips on my property from local tree removal services, and plan on doubling that.

The chips need to be finely ground and ideally have some leaves in the mix to balance the carbon to nitrogen ratio. Even then it will take a few years for the chips to convert to soil with high levels of humates. It is also important to never plant directly into the chips, only below them. The chips and mulch help retain the moisture and decrease water requirements. My interview with Paul Gautschi, master arborist and gardener for more than half a century, goes into even more details.

Another way is to join a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. As a CSA member, you basically buy a “share” of the vegetables the farm produces, and each week during growing season (usually May through October) you receive a weekly delivery of fresh food. Joining a CSA is a powerful investment in your local community and economy, as well as your own health.

Thriving CSAs can help revitalize a community and allow residents to form strong bonds with the farmers who grow their food. It’s also really helpful for the farmer, who is able to collect money needed to seed, sow and harvest up-front. Alternatively, buy as much food as you can from your local farmers or farmers market. If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods:

EatWild.com

EatWild.com provides lists of farmers known to produce raw dairy products as well as grass-fed beef and other farm-fresh produce (although not all are certified organic). Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass-fed products.

Weston A. Price Foundation

Weston A. Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass-fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.

Grassfed Exchange

The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass-fed meats across the U.S.

Local Harvest

This website will help you find farmers markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.

Farmers Markets

A national listing of farmers markets.

Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals

The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, hotels and online outlets in the United States and Canada.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.

FoodRoutes

The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs and markets near you.

The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products, and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO “organic” production from authentic organic practices.

RealMilk.com

If you’re still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area.

The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund21 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.22 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.

Sources and References

US Seafood Consumption Is Up, but Many Are Still Making Unhealthy Purchasing Choices

Source

According to the latest report1 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Americans increased their seafood consumption by nearly 1 pound per person in 2015, to an average of 15.5 pounds per year, or just over 4.75 ounces per week.

That’s the largest increase in seafood consumption in two decades. While this is good news, we still fall short of dietary recommendations, which call for 8 ounces of seafood per week.

Shrimp, salmon and tuna top the most-consumed list of seafood. Unfortunately, both shrimp and tuna have serious drawbacks.

On the upside, salmon, as long as it’s wild caught in Alaska is a great choice, and one-third of the increase was in fact attributed to people buying more canned Alaskan salmon. As reported by NPR:2

“That increase may stem from The Emergency Food Assistance Program at the USDA, which purchased more than $40 million in surplus canned Alaskan salmon in 2014 and 2015 and distributed it to food banks across the country.”

 

Eat More Seafood, but Be Mindful of Your Choices

As noted by NPR, warnings about sustainability and toxicity led many Americans to shy away from seafood over the past couple of decades. Indeed, it can be tricky to gain clarity about what’s healthy and what’s not. There are plenty of pitfalls and hazards these days.

Cold-water fatty fish is a great source of vitally important fats — both saturated and omega-3s — but the benefits of eating fish can easily be negated by selecting varieties that tend to be highly contaminated with mercury. Surprisingly, farmed fish have been shown to be even more toxic than wild fish.

There’s also the issue of food fraud. So how do you make sense of it all? I’ll do my best to break it down for you in this article.

The Case Against Shrimp

As noted in Larry Olmsted’s book, “Real Food/Fake Food,” the seafood industry struggles with quite a few problems. A majority of his book focuses on food fraud, but he also covers a number of other issues, including environmental sustainability.

Most shrimp sold in the U.S. are raised in shrimp farms in Southeast Asia. Mangroves — which are nature’s filtration system and defense against tsunamis — are cut down to house these farms. Toxic waste and chemicals from these farms also flow into waterways and destroy the ecosystem.

In addition to that, there’s well-documented use of slave labor in the shrimp farming industry. As noted by Olmsted, “It’s kind of a triple whammy. Bad for us, bad for the world, bad for the people involved — and the shrimp frankly doesn’t taste very good.”

In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had a record number of import refusals for shrimp. This is when shrimp is tested and found to contain unacceptable contaminants, such as banned antibiotics or elevated levels of toxins.

Some of the antibiotics used in shrimp farming are not allowed in American food production because they’re carcinogenic. Olmsted recommends avoiding shrimp in restaurants unless you’re absolutely convinced the shrimp were caught in the Gulf of Mexico.

However, there’s still the challenge of potential contamination from the oil spill and subsequent use of corexit, a chemical that is more toxic than the oil itself. It’s unclear how seafood in the Gulf of Mexico has been affected by that environmental catastrophe.

The Case Against Tuna and Sushi

Sushi is another seafood niche rife with fraud. Tuna — whether you buy it as sushi, tuna steaks or canned tuna — has the added disadvantage of being high in mercury and other contaminants.

Research3 published in 2010, which quantified the contributions to total mercury in the U.S. seafood supply by 51 different varieties of fish and shellfish, found tuna was responsible for more than one-third of Americans’ total exposure to methylmercury.4

If you eat tuna, you need to be aware of this, and take proactive measures — such as taking a handful of chlorella tablets with your meal — to counteract it.

Why Farmed Fish Are Best Avoided

At first glance, farmed fish may seem like a good idea to help protect wild seafood populations from overfishing. In reality, the industry is plagued with many of the same problems surrounding land-based concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), including pollution, disease, toxicity and inferior nutritional quality.

Many farmed fish are fed genetically engineered (GE) corn and soy, which is a completely unnatural diet for marine life. Others are fed fishmeal, which is known to accumulate industrial chemicals like PCBs and dioxins.

According to toxicology researcher Jerome Ruzzin, farmed salmon is one of the most toxic foods on the market — five times more toxic than any other food product tested.

Farmed fish waste also promotes algal growth that harms the water’s oxygen content, posing risks to coral reefs and other aquatic life. Concentrated antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals are also commonly used to fight diseases and parasites common to fish farms.

Summary of Seafood to Avoid

To summarize, seafood that is best limited or avoided altogether include:

Shrimp, unless you can verify it was caught in the Gulf of Mexico and is clear of contamination

Sushi

Tuna (all kinds)

Farmed fish (all kinds)

Any fish high in mercury. Canned tuna, mackerel, swordfish, grouper, marlin, orange roughy, snapper and halibut have some of the highestlevels of contamination and are best avoided, especially if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

For more information about mercury in fish, see the Mercury Policy Project’s website, “Mercury and Fish: The Facts.”5 They have a helpful guide you can print out for reference.6

A 2015 article in Investigate West also addressed this issue, and includes a guide to how many meals per week you can safely eat based on any given seafood’s contamination level.7

Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon — Best of the Bunch

When selecting fish, you need to weigh the health benefits against the risk of contamination. Mercury levels can vary more than 100-fold from one species to another, so by making wise choices, you can maximize benefits while minimizing risks. Here, wild-caught Alaskan and sockeye salmon stand out above the rest. They’re among the safest in terms of contamination, and among the highest in healthy omega-3 fat.

They’re also not allowed to be farmed, and are therefore always wild-caught. The risk of sockeye accumulating high amounts of mercury and other toxins is reduced because of its short life cycle, which is only about three years. Additionally, bioaccumulation of toxins is also reduced by the fact that it doesn’t feed on other, already contaminated, fish. The two designations you want to look for on the label are:

  • Alaskan salmon (or wild Alaskan salmon). Canned salmon labeled “Alaskan salmon” is a less expensive alternative to salmon fillets
  • Sockeye salmon

As a General Rule, the Smaller the Better

As a general rule, the closer to the bottom of the food chain the fish is, the less contamination it will have accumulated, so other safer choices include sardines, anchovies, mackerel and herring. Like salmon, all of these are also high in healthy fats and omega-3s.

They’re also far less prone to fraud than other fish, in part because they’re less popular and therefore less expensive, and in part because they’re packed whole. You cannot chop up another fish to make it look like a sardine. Olmsted recommends canned seafood from Spain, which is known for the high quality of their canned seafood. Just be sure to avoid fish packed in olive oil, as the oil will undoubtedly be the cheapest possible. Opt for those packed in water instead.

Summary of Seafood to Eat More of

To recap, there are several types of fish that can provide you with valuable nutrients, including healthy fats and omega-3s, while being low in contaminants such as mercury, PCBs and other toxins. I personally have a can of sardines most days of the week and frequently include anchovies. Other top choices include:

  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmon (canned or fresh) and sockeye salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring

How to Avoid Being Defrauded When Buying Seafood

To avoid being defrauded when buying seafood, your best bet is to buy your fish from a trusted local fish monger. When buying seafood from grocery stores or generic big box retailers, look for third party labels that verify quality:

  • The best known one is the Marine Stewardship Council (their logo features the letters MSC and a blue check mark in the shape of a fish).
  • I don’t recommend eating farmed fish, but if you choose to do so, look for the Global Aquaculture Alliance Best Practices symbol.
  • Alaska does not permit aquaculture, so all Alaskan fish is wild caught. They have some of the cleanest water and some of the best maintained and most sustainable fisheries. To verify authenticity, look for the state of Alaska’s “Wild Alaska Pure” logo. This is one of the more reliable ones, and it’s a particularly good sign to look for if you’re buying canned Alaskan salmon, which is less expensive than salmon steaks.

When Buying Shrimp, Look for These Labels

While I do not recommend it, if you do decide to buy farmed shrimp, look for certifications by NaturLand, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), or Whole Foods Market’s Responsibly Farmed label. These groups certify that the shrimp has been raised according to aquaculture guidelines that protect the environment and prohibits the use of antibiotics.

If you’re buying wild-caughtshrimp, opt for shrimp that has been responsibly harvested. Look for MSC certified products.8 This certification assures that every component of the manufacturing process — from how the raw materials are harvested to how the product is manufactured — has been scrutinized by MSC and has been independently audited to ensure it meets sustainable standards.

Sustainability Matters

Last but not least, opt for sustainably harvested wild-caught fish. Seafood Watch, which is part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, offers a sustainability guide9 and Sustainable Seafood app10 for your smartphone. Labels that indicate more sustainable seafood products include:

  • Whole Foods Market Responsibly Farmed 3rd Party certification.
  • Fishwise: identifies how the fish was caught, where it came from and whether the fish is sustainable or environmentally threatened.
  • Seafood Safe: involves independent testing of fish for contaminants, including mercury and PCBs, and recommendations for consumption based upon the findings.

Sources and References

Sugar Scandal — Industry-Biased Study Questions Validity of Sugar Guidelines

Source

By Dr. Mercola

Research spanning many decades shows excess sugar damages your health, yet the sugar industry successfully buried the evidence and misdirected the public with faux science.

According to the sugar industry, sugar is harmless and may even be an important part of a healthy diet. To this day, they’re promoting the myth that saturated fat is to blame for weight gain and ill health, not sugar, along with the thoroughly debunked calories-in, calories-out (energy balance) theory.

Fortunately, the truth is emerging and taking hold, and some great books have been written exposing the history and extent of the cover-ups. Two examples are science journalist Gary Taubes’ book, “The Case Against Sugar,” and Marion Nestle, Ph.D.’s, “Soda Politics.”

Sugar Industry Has Influenced Health Recommendations for Decades

Dr. Cristin Kearns, a dentist and fellow at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), also made headlines with her Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine paper,1 which details the sugar industry’s historical influence on dietary recommendations.2,3,4,5,6,7

Evidence has also emerged showing how the sugar industry influenced the scientific agenda of the National Institute of Dental Research, which back in 1971 created a national caries program — again downplaying any links between sugar consumption and dental caries.8

In 2012, Taubes and Kearns co-wrote “Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies,” an exposé featured in Mother Jones.9

“For 40 years, the sugar industry’s priority has been to shed doubt on studies suggesting its product makes people sick. On federal panels, industry-funded scientists cited industry-funded studies to dismiss sugar as a culprit,” they wrote.

To combat the flow of industry-funded misinformation, dozens of scientists at three American universities banded together to create an educational website called SugarScience.org,10 aimed at making independent sugar research available to the public.

Recent media reports have also revealed devastating evidence showing a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) executive aided a Coca-Cola representative in efforts to influence World Health Organization (WHO) officials to relax recommendations on sugar limits.11

The damning email correspondence between Coca-Cola and the CDC was obtained by the nonprofit consumer education group U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).12

New Sugar Limits Put Junk Food Industry in a Pickle

For the first time ever, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting the amount of sugar you eat to 10 percent of your total daily calories.13 For a 2,000 calorie diet this amounts to 10 to 12 teaspoons, or just over the amount found in one 12-ounce can of regular Coke.

Based on the evidence from some studies, even this amount can trigger health problems, but it’s certainly better than no limit at all. Other health organizations have gone even further.

For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) now recommends kids between the ages of 4 and 8 limit their added sugar to a maximum of 3 teaspoons a day (12 grams). Children aged 9 and older should stay below 8 teaspoons.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting daily added sugar intake to:14,15,16,17,18,19,20

  • 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men
  • 6 teaspoons (25 grams) for women
  • 6 teaspoons (25 grams) for toddlers and teens between the ages of 2 and 18
  • Zero added sugars for kids under the age of 2

Twenty-five grams of sugar per day is my recommended limit for men and women alike, with the added caveat that if you have insulin or leptin resistance (overweight, diabetic, high blood pressure or taking a statin drug), you’d be wise to restrict your total fructose consumption to as little as 15 grams per day until you’ve normalized your insulin and leptin levels.

Not surprisingly, these new recommendations — along with the new requirement to declare the total amount of added sugars on food labels — place the sugar and processed food industries in a tight spot and threaten profits.

Industry-Funded Study Claims War on Sugar Waged With ‘Low-Quality’ Evidence

The junk food industry’s answer? Create another study to refute the validity of the recommended limits on sugar.21,22,23,24 As reported by CBS:25

“The study26 from McMaster University claims that the evidence for prior knowledge in how sugar intake is proportionate with weight gain, across nine public health guidelines, is ‘low-quality.'”

In conclusion, these industry-funded science reviewers found that:

“Guidelines on dietary sugar do not meet criteria for trustworthy recommendations and are based on low-quality evidence. Public health officials (when promulgating these recommendations) and their public audience (when considering dietary behavior) should be aware of these limitations …

At present, there seems to be no reliable evidence indicating that any of the recommended daily caloric thresholds for sugar intake are strongly associated with negative health effects.

The results from this review should be used to promote improvement in the development of trustworthy guidelines on sugar intake.”

Who Funded This Scientific Review and Why?

The review was funded by the North American branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a trade group representing the Coca-Cola Company, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, the Hershey Company, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo and many others.

In an accompanying editorial,27 Dr. Dean Schillinger, professor of medicine in residence at UCSF and chief of the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine, along with Kearns, note that ILSI has a history of opposing sugar limits. This in and of itself raises questions about the findings. Moreover, as reported by Medscape:28

“The editorialists also take issue with some of the premises of the review. One is that the authors cite inconsistency among recommendations made between 1995 and 2016 as a basis for needing a new review of guidelines. ‘One would expect recommendations spanning more than two decades to evolve as scientific knowledge evolved,’ Schillinger and Kearns write …

Schillinger and Kearns say using the AGREE II measure is problematic to assess guideline quality because it is designed for clinical-practice guidelines in treating illness. Dietary guidelines are meant to gauge risk of consumption at a population level, they write, ‘not to evaluate interventions to reduce consumption.’ The authors, using that tool, downgraded the trustworthiness of guidelines.”

 

‘Trust Us, We’re Impartial’

Ironically, the only “limitation” listed for this study29 was that “The authors conducted the study independent of the funding source, which is primarily supported by the food and agriculture industry.” Essentially, what they’re saying is that, yes, the study was funded by the food industry, but you can trust the results because we made sure we stayed completely impartial.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t find that particularly convincing. Moreover, a corrected version of the disclosure statement reveals that ILSI did review and approve the scope of the protocol for the study.30 AP News also found that one of the review’s authors, Joanne Slavin, Ph.D., a professor at University of Minnesota, had received undisclosed funding in the amount of $25,000 from Coca-Cola in 2014. Meanwhile, Slavin did disclose a grant from the Mushroom Council.

Slavin defended her decision not to disclose funding from Coca-Cola, saying the grant had been received through the university’s foundation and therefore was not subject to disclosure. This is a loophole that researchers appear to use with some frequency to justify non-disclosure of clear conflicts of interest.

She also did not disclose a grant received from Quaker Oats, owned by PepsiCo, nor did she include her work on a 2012 ILSI-funded paper on sugar guidelines. According to AP News, Slavin claims she plans to file an updated disclosure to include all of these conflicts of interest.

Review Shows Massive Research Bias Based on Funding

To help eliminate research bias, Kearns and Schillinger suggest scientific journals should refuse to publish studies funded by the food and beverage industries as a matter of policy, noting that many leading journal editors have stopped accepting studies funded by the tobacco industry. They also suggest that when policy makers are faced with claims that sugar guidelines are based on junk science, they would be wise to consider the source of such claims.

Schillinger and Kearns should know. In November 2016, the pair, along with two other authors, published a paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine titled “Do Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Cause Obesity and Diabetes? Industry and the Manufacture of Scientific Controversy.”31 In all, they looked at 60 studies published between 2001 and 2016 to examine the potential links between funding and study outcomes.

“We comprehensively surveyed the literature to determine whether experimental studies that found no association between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity- and diabetes-related outcomes (negative studies) are more likely than positive studies to have received financial support from this industry,” they write.

The results? Of the 60 studies, 26 found no link between sugary drinks and obesity or diabetes, and ALL were funded by the beverage industry; 34 did find a relationship, and only one of these positive studies had received industry funding. In conclusion, they noted that: “This industry seems to be manipulating contemporary scientific processes to create controversy and advance their business interests at the expense of the public’s health.”

Some of the studies giving sugar a free pass has industry fingerprints clearly visible all over it. For example, one paper32 came to the unbelievable and highly unlikely conclusion that eating candy may help prevent weight gain, as children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who don’t.

The source of the funding reveals the basis for such a bizarre conclusion: the Confectioners Association, which represents candy makers like Butterfingers, Hershey and Skittles. Coca-Cola and Pepsi-backed research has also come to the highly improbable and irresponsible conclusion that drinking diet soda is more helpful for weight loss than pure water.33

Biased Research Used in ‘Propaganda War’

As reported by Time magazine:34

“This is not the first time the soda or sugar industry has been criticized for interfering with public health. In October, a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reported that between 2011 [and] 2015, 96 national health organizations accepted money from Coca-Cola, PepsiCo or both companies.

In 2015 it was revealed that Coca-Cola funded an organization called the Global Energy Balance Network that tried to shift public health messaging away from a focus on diet and onto exercise. 35

‘The reality is we are in a public health war with diabetes right now,’ says Schillinger. ‘In every war there is propaganda. What the public should take away from [these findings] is that we are being played. If you exclude the studies funded by industry and only look at the independently funded studies, it becomes apparent that sugar-sweetened beverages cause obesity and diabetes.'”

One company breaking ranks with its ILSI peers is Mars Inc., which issued a statement saying the paper “undermines the work of public health officials and makes all industry-funded research look bad.”36

How Much Sugar Is Too Much?

In 1812, people ate approximately 9 grams of sugar per day.37 That equates to about one can of soda every five days. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates the average American now consumes 15 teaspoons of added sugar per day.38 The CDC puts the average percent of total daily calories from added sugars at about 13 percent.39

As noted by Schillinger,40 if the public were to follow guidelines to restrict sugar to 5 or 10 percent of daily calories, “this would mean that profits for junk food companies would fall by half. So there is both a lot of money and a lot of lives on the line.”

You may recognize your cake, candy or sweet treat is loaded with sugar but may not think about your condiments, salad dressings, canned foods and drinks other than sodas. For instance, just 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce can contain as much as 10 grams of sugar.41 There are also different types of dry and syrup sugars that may go unnoticed as you read the labels. Examples of added sugars you may not be aware of include, but are not limited to, the following:42

Blackstrap molasses

Buttered syrup

Cane juice crystals

Evaporated cane juice

Caramel

Carob syrup

Fruit juice

Honey

Fruit juice concentrate

Brown rice syrup

Corn syrup solids

Florida Crystals

Golden syrup

Maple syrup

Molasses

Refiner’s syrup

Sorghum syrup

Sucanat

Treacle

Turbinado

Barley malt

Corn syrup

Dextrin

Dextrose

Diastatic malt

Ethyl maltol

Glucose

Glucose solids

Lactose

Malt syrup

Maltose

D-ribose

Rice syrup

Galactose

Maltodextrin

Castor

With greater media attention and consumer demand, some companies are beginning to make minor changes. For instance, Yoplait reduced their sugar content in the popular strawberry yogurt from 26 grams — 1 gram less than a Snickers bar43 — to 18 grams.44 Still, with a max limit of 25 grams, a single yogurt equates to 72 percent of your daily allotment!

Crush Your Sugar Addiction

Sugar causes very real damage to your body and cells, and the addiction to the substance is also very real. There are several strategies you can use to reduce or eliminate your intake of added sugars, while still enjoying your meals and feeling satisfied after eating.

Knowledge Is Power

Making permanent changes to your lifestyle and nutritional choices is easier when you know the why behind the change. You can see a quick list of the 76 different ways sugar negatively impacts your health in my previous article, “The Truth About Sugar Addiction.”

Reduce Your Net Carbs

Sugar is metabolized as a carbohydrate in your body, spiking your blood sugar and insulin levels. Your net carbs are calculated by taking the total grams of carbs and subtracting the total grams of fiber.

By keeping your net carbs below 100 grams per day, and for a healthier diet as low as 50 grams per day, you will reduce your cravings for sweets. If you keep your net carbs at 50 grams or below for a long time, it would be wise to increase it to 100 to 150 grams per day once or twice a week unless you are treating a serious illness.

Eat Real Food

If a food is boxed, canned or bottled, it’s likely also been processed and may include added sugar. Whole, organic and non-genetically engineered (GE) foods provide your body with the nutrition you need to function optimally and natural sugars bound to fiber that reduces your net carbs.

Read Labels

On processed foods you do purchase, scour the label for ingredients that represent sugar to evaluate the total amount. The less sugar you eat, the less you’ll crave.

Use Safer Sweeteners

Not all sugar substitutes are created equally. Avoid using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. Safer alternatives include Stevia, Lo Han Guo (also spelled Luo Han Kuo), and pure glucose (dextrose). Contrary to fructose, glucose can be used directly by every cell in your body and as such is a far safer sugar alternative. It will however raise your net carb intake.

Reduce the Sugar You Add Gradually

If going cold turkey hasn’t worked for you in the past, try slowly reducing the amount of sugar you add to your drinks. This helps give your taste buds time to adjust to drinking your favorite tea or coffee without the added sweetener.

Increase Your Healthy Fat Intake at Meals

Fat increases your satisfaction with meals and your food, reducing your craving for something sweet afterward. Avocadoes, coconut oil, nuts and seeds increase your healthy fat content, fill you up and reduce your sweet cravings.

Include Fermented Foods

Fermented foods support your digestive health and improve your gut microbiome, and the sour taste naturally helps reduce your sweet cravings.

Try Turbo Tapping

Emotional and stress eating is not uncommon. Using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) you can address your stress levels and the discomfort you may feel from giving up junk foods in your diet.

Turbo tapping is a form of EFT designed specifically for sugar addiction and is well worth a try if you’re struggling to give up soda and other sweets.

Sources and References

20 Top Health Tips from 2016

Source

By Dr. Mercola

It’s that time again — time to embrace a new year and a fresh start in our continued journey toward a healthier, happier life.  With a nod to our upcoming 20th anniversary in 2017, I’ve selected 20 tips from my 20 most popular articles of 2016.

If you haven’t yet read them all, you’re in for a treat, as they cover a wide variety of health topics.

Implementing some or all of these could help protect your health and well-being in the years to come. And be sure to stay tuned to the newsletter for more empowering health wisdom as 2017 unfolds.

The heading of each section is a hyperlink and if you click on it you will go to the article that has far more details.

1.Optimize Your Mitochondrial Metabolism

We’re now starting to realize that mitochondrial dysfunction is at the core of virtually all diseases, and support for nutritional ketosis is growing by leaps and bounds. 2016 was a breakthrough year for this kind of information.

For over 80 years, nutritional ketosis has been the standard of care for intractable seizures in children.

Now we’re finding it can benefit a wide array of other diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, obesity, diabetes, heart failure, heart disease, arthritis and more.

One of the reasons it works so well is because it drives your inflammation down to very low levels. When inflammation disappears, your body can heal. It also takes the proverbial foot off the gas pedal of aging. My next book, “Fat for Fuel,” scheduled for release in May, 2017, will explain it all in detail.

Without this information, people will continue to die prematurely. At present, the cancer industry is focusing on the downstream effects of the problem, which is why the “war on cancer” has been such a miserable failure.

When you view cancer as a metabolic disease, you can actually target and manage the disease without creating systemic toxicity. You do this primarily by targeting the fuels the cancer cells use (primarily glucose).

Without the appropriate fuel, the cancer cells cannot grow and multiply. Five strategies that will help optimize your mitochondrial function include:

  1. Peak Fasting and other types of fasting
  2. Eating foods low in net carbs and protein and high in healthy fats
  3. Optimize your iron levels by getting ferritin to 60 ng/mL
  4. Exercise
  5. Reduce mitochondrial ROS production by avoiding food for at least three hours before bedtime
  6. Get sensible sun exposure, as a majority of the energy your body needs to maintain systemic equilibrium comes from environmental infrared light exposure, and avoid light-emitting diode (LED) lighting (see next section)

2.Avoid LED Lights

The importance of near-infrared light exposure to health and the adverse effects of LED lighting, as explained by Dr. Alexander Wunsch, a world class expert on photobiology, was another breakthrough health revelation of 2016.

LED lighting may actually be one of the most damaging, non-native EMF radiation exposures you have on a daily basis. You cannot feel near-infrared as heat, and you cannot see it, but it’ has a major beneficial impact in terms of health.

Near-infrared frequencies are what is missing in non-thermal artificial light sources like LEDs and fluorescents. Importantly, it appears to promote age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness.

The primarily blue light emitted by LEDs also generates excessive amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS), thereby exacerbating health problems rooted in mitochondrial dysfunction, which run the gamut from metabolic disorder to cancer.

The healthiest indoor lighting includes clear incandescent light bulbs (a 2,700 K incandescent, thermal analog light source), low-voltage halogen lights operated on DC (not AC, which generates dirty electricity), and/or fragrance-free candles.

Be particularly mindful to only use incandescents at night. After sunset, consider it is best to put on a pair of  blue-blocking glasses.

3.Try Peak Fasting

One lifestyle factor that appears to be driving obesity and many chronic disease processes is the fact that we eat too frequently. When you eat throughout the day and never skip a meal, your body adapts to burning sugar as its primary fuel, which down regulates enzymes that utilize and burn stored fat.

Many biological repair and rejuvenation processes also take place when your body is not busy processing food. Mounting research suggests your body was designed to cycle through periods of feast and famine, and without periods of fasting, your health suffers.

Intermittent fasting, which mimics the eating habits of our ancestors, helps restore your body to a more natural state that allows a whole host of biochemical benefits to occur.

“Peak fasting” involves fasting for 13 to 18 hours each day and eating all of your meals within the remaining window of 6 to 11 hours. To make this schedule work, you need to skip either breakfast or dinner. However, if you chose to eat dinner, be sure to do so at least three hours before bedtime.

When sleeping, your body needs the least amount of energy. Eating at a time when energy is not needed ends up creating a situation in which your mitochondria create excessive amounts of damaging free radicals.

This is another important factor that can help optimize your mitochondrial function and limit cellular damage that drives aging and disease.

4.Monitor Your Iron Levels

Iron overload is incredibly common and likely as dangerous to your health as vitamin D deficiency. Elevated iron creates excessive free radicals that damage your mitochondrial DNA, cell membranes and electron transport proteins.

If left untreated, it can damage your organs and contribute to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and many other disorders.

The serum ferritin test measures your stored iron. I strongly recommend all adults to get this test done on an annual basis.

Ideally, your serum ferritin should be between 20 and 80 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL); somewhere between 40 and 60 ng/mL is the sweet spot for adult men and non-menstruating women.

If your ferritin level is above 80 ng/mL, the solution is to donate your blood. If it’s over 200 ng/mL, a more aggressive phlebotomy schedule is recommended.

5.Boost Your Body’s Repair and Regeneration

The term autophagy means “self-eating,” and refers to the processes by which your body cleans out various debris, including toxins, and recycles damaged cell components.

By boosting your body’s autophagy process, you dampen inflammation, slow down the aging process, and optimize biological function. Here are four strategies to boost your body’s autophagy process:

1.Exercise. The amount of exercise required to stimulate autophagy in humans is still unknown; however, it is believed that intense exercise is more effective than mild exercise.

Research shows the “Goldilocks zone” in which exercise produces the greatest benefit for longevity is between 150 to 450 minutes of moderate exercise per week, lowering your risk of early death by 31 and 39 percent respectively.

Spending at least 30 percent of your workout on high-intensity exercises further boosts longevity by about 13 percent, compared to exercising at a consistently moderate pace. Following these general guidelines will likely put you in the most advantageous position for maximizing autophagy.

2.Avoid excessive protein. One of the quickest ways to shut down autophagy is to eat large amounts of protein, as this stimulates mTOR, and IGF-1, both of which are potent inhibitors of autophagy.

To avoid this, limit your protein to 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of lean body mass, or one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

3.Fasting is another biological stressor that produces many beneficial results, including autophagy. In fact, some of the benefits associated with fasting — such as a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease — can at least in part be attributed to this process.

4.Nutritional ketogenesis is a fourth strategy that will help boost autophagy, and to accomplish that, you need to cut down on the non-fiber carbs and increase the amount of healthy fat in your diet, along with a moderate amount of protein.

6.Implement Nutritional Ketosis

Nutritional ketosis is an effective way to improve your health, and can be used both for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease, including cancer and diseases rooted in toxicity. If your mitochondria are functioning well, they will efficiently metabolize fat. If they don’t, it suggests you’re primarily burning carbohydrates as a primary fuel.

Nutritional ketosis involves removing sugars and processed carbohydrates, replacing the lost calories with healthy fats and a moderate amount of high-quality protein. Doing so will shift your body into a metabolic state in which your body burns fat rather than glucose as its primary fuel.

As a general rule, you’ll want at least 50 to 75 percent of your total calories (some may benefit from as much as 85 percent) from healthy fats, such as olives, avocados, coconut oil, MCT oil, organic pastured butter, cacao butter, raw nuts such as macadamia and pecans, seeds such as black sesame, cumin, pumpkin and hemp seeds, organic pastured eggs, grass-fed meats, lard and tallow.

A tool that will radically improve your ability to understand what you’re eating and follow a ketogenic diet is a nutrient tracker. There are a number of them available, but the most accurate one is Cronometer.com/Mercola. That’s our revision of the basic tracker, and it’s already set up for nutritional ketosis.

7.Increase Your Consumption of MCT Oil

The disastrous “low-fat diet” dogma of the last half century has led to a devastating drop in most people’s intake of healthy saturated fats, including MCTs. Besides coconuts, coconut oil and palm kernel oil, small amounts of MCT can be found in butter and other high-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows and goats.

MCTs can be divided into four groups based on their carbon length, which ranges from six to 12 carbons.1 As a general rule, the shorter the carbon chain, the more efficiently the MCT will be turned into ketones, which are an excellent source of energy for your body — far preferable to glucose, as ketones produce far less ROS when they are metabolized to produce ATP.

My personal preference is straight caprylic acid (C8), as it converts to ketones far more rapidly than the more common C8 and C10 mixtures. Since MCT oil, and especially caprylic acid (C8) oil, is a far more concentrated source than coconut oil, it’s often appropriate for clinical uses, which include:2

  • Appetite reduction and weight loss3,4
  • Improved cognitive and neurological function with possible implications in neurodegenerative diseases
  • Increased energy levels and improved athletic performance
  • Improved mitochondrial function and subsequent reduced risk for diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases and epilepsy5
  • Prevention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)6

8.Eat More of These 18 Foods to Promote Muscle Growth

The common belief is that if you want to build muscle, you need to eat lots of protein and carbohydrates because carbs fuel your muscles and protein builds them up. However, carb- and protein-loading can have significant drawbacks in terms of long-term health, and mounting evidence suggests you don’t need either in excessive amounts to build muscle.

One particularly intriguing finding is that your body has a mechanism that allows it to build muscle even when deprived of food. Certain amino acids — most notably branched chain amino acids like leucine — signal muscle genes to grow and to build protein, and they do that even during times of food deprivation as long as these amino acids are circulating through your blood stream.

Including the following foods in your cooking as often as possible will provide you with leucine and other nutrients that play important roles in muscle building and maintenance. Just be careful to limit whey protein to days that you are strength training.

Wild-caught Alaskan salmon Avocado Spinach
Coconut oil MCT oil Kale
Sprouts Berries Bananas
Watermelon Grapefruit Papaya
Raw nuts Grass-fed beef Mushrooms
Authentic virgin olive oil Whey protein Broccoli

9.Properly Manage Your Intake of Vitamins and Nutrients

As a general rule, I recommend getting the bulk of your nutrition from eating real food. That said, in some cases, taking specific nutrients may be therapeutically valuable or necessary, and can be far less toxic and less expensive than drug treatments. Moreover, in my view there are certain supplements that most people will benefit from taking.

Vitamin D3 (unless you’re able to get sufficient amounts of sun exposure year-round) is at the top of that list, along with vitamin K2. Animal-based omega-3 fat, such as the fat found in krill oil, is another nutrient that most people simply don’t get enough of.

If you still have not shifted away from processed foods, vitamin C may be worth considering, as processed foods will not provide you much of this vitamin. If you’re not eating traditionally fermented foods, you’d also be wise to take a high quality probiotic supplement, and at the very least consider increasing your consumption of fresh vegetables, as the fiber provides important nourishment for beneficial bacteria in your gut that help calibrate your immune system.

When selecting a high-quality dietary supplement, be sure it is as close as possible to its natural (whole food) form and follows industry standards for quality assurance including ISO 9001, ISO 17025, and Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) certifications.

10.Maintain Healthy Kidneys

Kidney stones can be truly agonizing. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent them from ever occurring. Recent research shows that an extract of a compound called hydroxycitrate from the Asian garcinia cambogia fruit, also known as Malabar tamarind, has the power to inhibit the growth of kidney stones. It can even be used to dissolve them after a stone has been generated.

If all goes as hoped, hydroxycitrate would be the most dramatic advance in treating kidney stones in three decades. However, rigorous trials in humans have not yet begun, so it’s still too early to justify its use. In the meantime, to prevent keep your kidneys healthy and prevent kidney stones:

  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • Limit your protein intake to one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass
  • Avoid foods high in oxalate, such as Swiss chard, beets, tea, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, chocolate, okra, almonds and spinach if you’re at high risk for kidney stones
  • Make sure you’re getting enough magnesium (especially if you avoid the high-oxalate foods above, which are also high in magnesium)

11.Eat Magnesium Rich Foods

Magnesium is vitally important for biological function and optimal health. If you’re lacking in cellular magnesium, it can lead to the deterioration of your cellular metabolic function, which in turn can snowball into more serious health problems. Importantly, magnesium is vital for the optimization of your mitochondria.

Eating plenty of organic unprocessed foods tend to be your best bet, but since most soils have become severely depleted of nutrients, some magnesium experts believe virtually everyone needs to take supplemental magnesium.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is around 310 to 420 milligrams (mg) per day depending on your age and sex, although some researchers believe we may need as much as 600 to 900 mg/day for optimal health. One way to identify your ideal dose is to use your intestinal reaction as a marker. Start out by taking 200 mg of oral magnesium citrate per day, and gradually increase your dose until you develop slightly loose stools.

When your body has too much magnesium it flushes it out, so in this way you can determine your own individual cutoff point. (Be sure to use magnesium citrate, as it’s known for having a laxative effect.)

When it comes to magnesium supplements, my personal preference is magnesium threonate, as it seems to be most efficient at penetrating cell membranes, including your mitochondria, which can help boost your energy level. It also penetrates your blood-brain barrier and may help improve memory.

12.Try These Low Carb Vegetables

Most vegetables are very low in net carbs while being high in healthy fiber and the valuable vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal health. However, some are more beneficial than others. Among the top performers are:

  • Sprouts, especially watercress, broccoli sprouts and sunflower seeds
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli
  • Leafy greens such as kale, beet greens, arugula, spinach, Swiss chard and collard greens
  • Peppers, such as bell peppers, banana peppers, Poblano and chili peppers
  • Certain root vegetables, specifically ginger, turmeric and onions

13.Manage Your Sugar / Fructose Intake

As much as 40 percent of U.S. health care expenditures are for diseases directly related to the overconsumption of sugar.7 One of the key mechanisms by which sugar promotes cancer and other chronic disease is by causing mitochondrial dysfunction. As mentioned earlier, sugar is not an ideal fuel as it creates far more ROS than fat. This generates free radicals, which in turn causes mitochondrial and nuclear DNA damage along with cell membrane and protein impairment.

I recommend reducing your total fructose intake to a maximum of 25 grams per day from all sources, including fruit. If you are insulin resistant, you’d do well to make your upper limit 15 grams per day. Cancer patients would likely be best served by even stricter limits. Moreover, I personally believe that most would benefit from reducing all non-fiber carbs (total carbs minus fiber), not just fructose, to less than 100 grams per day.

The easiest way to dramatically cut down on your sugar and fructose consumption is to switch to REAL foods, as most of the added sugar you end up with comes from processed foods. Other ways to cut down includes:

  • Cutting back on the amount of sugar you add to your food and drink
  • Using Stevia or Lo Han instead of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. You can learn more about the best and worst of sugar substitutes in my previous article, “Sugar Substitutes — What’s Safe and What’s Not
  • Using fresh fruit in lieu of canned fruit or sugar for meals or recipes calling for a bit of sweetness
  • Using spices instead of sugar to add flavor to your meal

14.Do This to Help Fight Gray Hair

Your hair color comes from pigment called melanin. With age, melanin is reduced, which is why your hair turns gray and, ultimately, white once there’s no melanin left. In 2016, researchers discovered a gene that accounts for about 30 percent of hair graying. The other 70 percent is likely due to factors such as age, toxic exposures, nutritional deficiencies and stress. To limit the grays:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Minimize oxidative stress by avoiding pollution and stress
  • Eat a healthy antioxidant-rich diet
  • Increase your vitamin B12 intake
  • Normalize your weight

15.Eliminate Gluten from Your Diet

Mounting research confirms that many people experience adverse reactions to gluten even if they test negative for celiac disease — an autoimmune disorder in which gluten must be avoided at all cost. This suggests gluten-sensitivity is a real problem,8 and that gluten-free diets may benefit many, not just those with celiac.  In one recent study,9,10 people who reacted to gluten despite not having celiac disease were found to have leaky gut, which is likely what caused the immune activation.

The obvious treatment for celiac disease and gluten intolerance is a gluten-free diet, which means abstaining from any food that contains gluten.

This is largely because most is contaminated with Roundup used in the drying process, which tends to damage your intestinal cellular connections. However, keep in mind that while gluten-free has many advantages, just because a food is gluten-free does not automatically make it healthy. There are plenty of gluten-free junk foods out there, so be mindful of your choices.

16.Exercise to Combat Osteoarthritis

If you have osteoarthritis — a degenerative form of arthritic joint disease — exercise is absolutely crucial to your well-being. The notion that exercise is detrimental to your joints is a misconception; there is no evidence to support this belief. Importantly, exercise can help reduce joint pain and make it easier for you to perform daily tasks.

That said, people with arthritis should be careful to avoid activities that aggravate joint pain, and any exercise that strains a significantly unstable joint. Aside from that, you can include a range of activities in your exercise program, just as any other exerciser would.

Weight training, high-intensity cardio, stretching and core work can all be integrated into your routine according to your ability. The featured article also includes a series of flexibility exercises that will help strengthen your hips, which are suitable for those with hip osteoarthritis.

17.Don’t Let Political Stress Overtake You

This year’s presidential election has unleashed an avalanche of anxiety and emotional distress, with more than 8 in 10 voters reporting feeling “repulsed” by the campaign.11 Sadly, many have fallen into victim mentality, forgetting that the power of the individual is still alive and well even in this deeply flawed system.

It becomes yours by stepping OUTSIDE of the system with every decision and purchase you make. With every action you take, you also set the example for others to follow, thereby making you a change-agent within your own small circle of family, friends and acquaintances. In the end, our collective actions will create the changes that are so desperately needed.

If you don’t like the state of the nation (or the world), stop eating processed and ultra-processed junk foods. Some may initially think this decision would have nothing to do with anything that is wrong in the world, but if you really give it some thought, you’ll realize that the more independence you gain with your food, the more independence you will create in other areas as well.

18.Save Time by Exercising More Efficiently

Workout intensity and workout volume are inversely proportional, so the greater the intensity, the less time you spend working out, and the less frequently you need to exercise. High intensity interval training (HIIT) can significantly reduce the amount of exercise you need to do, cutting your hour-long workouts down to 15 minutes once a week or less.

Moreover, as intensity goes up, you also need longer recovery times in between sessions, so the frequency of your workouts also goes down. At most, you might be able to do HIIT three times a week. You can perform HIIT using a recumbent bicycle, a treadmill, or by sprinting, for example.

Or you can use weights — a technique known as SuperSlow weight training. A sample workout routine is given in the featured article. In terms of health effects, HIIT may help improve a number of biomarkers associated with improved metabolic activity and good health, including:

  • Improved insulin sensitivity and reversal of type 2 diabetes
  • Normalized cholesterol, eliminating the need for statin drugs
  • Reversal of bone mineral loss and reversal of osteoporosis
  • Improved C-reactive protein levels (marker for inflammation)

19.Address Your Heart Burn Without Hazardous, Habit Forming Drugs

Research clearly shows that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are severely overprescribed and misused, and do far more harm than good in the long run.12 If you suffer from frequent heartburn, there are many alternative treatment strategies that can help you eliminate this problem without the serious side effects associated with PPIs, which include kidney disease, pneumonia, osteoporosis, hip fractures, dementia, and an increased risk for heart disease13 and heart attacks.14

The long-term answer to heartburn and acid indigestion is to restore your natural gastric balance and function. The most important step is to eat real food, as processed foods and sugars are a surefire way to exacerbate acid reflux. Reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria, either from traditionally fermented foods or a high quality probiotic supplement is also important. Other drug-free treatment strategies include the use of:

Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar Baking soda Aloe Vera juice Ginger root Vitamin D
Astaxanthin Slippery elm Glutamine Folate (vitamin B9) and other B vitamins Betaine

20.Consider Seeing a Wellness Chiropractor

Contrary to popular belief, chiropractic can be used to optimize wellness, not just treat pain. Research suggests chiropractic treatments can help prevent progressive spinal degeneration, i.e. osteoarthritis or disc disease.

Your spinal column, the vertebrae, and the discs, protect your most delicate and important system — your nervous system — and impingements can contribute to a number of health problems and ailments. Hence protecting and nurturing spine will promote greater expression of nerve intelligence and more vibrant health.

Granted, some chiropractors focus primarily on pain and injuries, and do not have the full skill set required to address issues like allergies or disease. So make sure the chiropractor you choose has the appropriate vitalistic philosophy.

Wishing You and Your Loved Ones a Happy and Healthy New Year!

We remain committed to helping you take control of your health. Together, with your help, we have made it easier for millions to make informed health choices, and we hope that with our continuous service, you will stay motivated to take control of your health this year, and well into the future.

I also want to express my sincere thanks. Time and time again, your participation has allowed this valuable work to be accomplished. Truly, it is through your participation and engagement in important issues that change is being manifested.

You are the ones changing the world — one Facebook post, Twitter share, petition signature and donation at a time. So, from the Mercola.com family to yours, may 2017 be a year when you take the reins of your life firmly in hand to manifest the highest level of health and happiness possible.

Sources and References

Action Plan for 2017 — and the Rest of Your Life

Source

By Dr. Mercola

Happy New Year! Have you made any New Year’s resolutions yet? About half of Americans make them, but by the time February or March rolls around, many have already abandoned their efforts.

Overall, it’s estimated that 92 percent of Americans fail to achieve the goals they commit to on New Year’s Day.1 For this reason, I propose making a commitment to simply make healthier choices and live better this year.

Changing your lifestyle is an ongoing process, and not something you can achieve overnight or even in a few weeks. Rather, it’s a lifetime plan that you stick with over the long haul.

10 Healthy Lifestyle Strategies to Implement in 2017

Are you ready to start fresh in 2017? Then read on. The 10 positive changes that follow are the crème de la crème of lifestyle strategies that will allow you to live a longer, healthier life, boosting your happiness and well-being all the while.

1.Give up soda

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver damage, osteoporosis and acid reflux are just some of the health conditions linked to soda consumption.

If you’re still drinking soda on a regular basis, committing to swapping it for healthier beverages like water, sparkling water and the occasional cup of tea and/or organic black coffee could be one of the most health-promoting decisions of your life.

When you consume soda your body increases dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure centers of your brain — a physically identical response to that of heroin, by the way. This explains why so many find it difficult to give up their daily soda fix. It can be done though, and you’ll feel better for it.

If you struggle with soda or sugar addiction, try Turbo Tapping. Don’t make the mistake of switching to “diet” sodas and other artificially sweetened drinks. Research shows these actually wreak the same or worse havoc on your metabolism and health as sugar-sweetened sodas.

2.Eat an avocado every day

Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fat your body can easily burn for energy. Because they are so rich in healthy fats, avocados also help your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients from other foods.

Research2 has shown that adding avocado to salad allows your body to absorb three to five times more carotenoids, antioxidants that help protect your body against free radical damage.

Avocados also provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium and vitamins E and B (including folate). Avocados have a long list of potential health benefits.

Besides its anti-inflammatory properties, research suggests it can help improve your lipid profile, protect against liver damage and inhibit oral cancer cells. I personally have two avocados a day as they fit in perfectly with optimizing mitochondrial health.

3.Make fermented vegetables with family or friends

Fermented foods are potent chelators (detoxifiers) and contain much higher levels of beneficial bacteria than probiotic supplements, making them ideal for optimizing your gut microbiome.

In addition to cutting back on sugar and antibiotics, consuming fermented foods will give your gut health a complete overhaul, helping to clear out harmful microbes and promoting the spread of healing, nourishing microorganisms instead. In so doing, fermented foods may help:

  • Prevent obesity and diabetes
  • Prevent gut and bowel disorders and related diseases
  • Lower your risk for cancer
  • Improve your mood and mental health
  • Prevent acne and reduce dental plaque that can lead to cavities

Just one-quarter to one-half cup of fermented vegetables per day can have a dramatically beneficial impact on your health. You can even start a new tradition by getting together with friends and family to make big batches of fermented vegetables together.

4.Donate blood and test your vitamin D and Omega-3 levels

These three may be among the most important yet most frequently overlooked health tests out there, and I recommend doing all of them at least once a year.

Donate blood while anemia is a concern for some, a far greater yet less recognized health hazard is iron overload. In fact, most adult men and non-menstruating women have damaging levels of iron that, if left untreated, can damage your organs and contribute to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and many other disorders.

The serum ferritin test measures your stored iron. I recommend adults get a serum ferritin test on an annual basis. Ideally, your serum ferritin should be somewhere between 20 and 80 ng/mL, definitely no higher than 80 ng/mL. As a general rule, somewhere between 40 and 60 ng/mL is the sweet spot for adult men and non-menstruating women.

When you get your results, be sure to check the actual level as most labs use “normal” levels that are FAR too high for good health. If your iron level is above 80 ng/mL, the solution is to donate blood. Once your levels are normal (and you’re not a menstruating woman), continue donating blood two to three times a year.

If ferritin levels are over 200 ng/mL, a more aggressive phlebotomy schedule is recommended. Although your local blood bank may not realize this, recent U.S. legislation allows all blood banks to perform therapeutic phlebotomy for hemochromatosis or iron overload. All you need is a doctor’s order.

Vitamin D deficiency increases your risk of a wide variety of ailments and chronic diseases, from cold and flu to diabetes, multiple sclerosis, depression and dementia.

The vitamin D test you’re looking for is called 25(OH)D or 25-hydroxyvitamin D. This is the officially recognized marker of overall D status and is most strongly associated with overall health. An optimal range is between 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

If you live in the U.S., January and February are ideal months to find out if you’re vitamin D levels are low. As for raising your levels, sensible sun exposure is the ideal way. However, winter and indoor work prevent most people from achieving ideal levels from sunlight alone.

In that case, make sure to supplement with vitamin D3 (not synthetic D2), and increase your vitamin K2 as well, either from food or supplementation.

Omega-3 fats are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) your body needs for digestion, muscle activity, blood clotting, visual acuity, memory and much more. They’re particularly important for proper cell division and function of cell receptors.

Low concentrations of the marine animal-based omega-3 fats EPA and DHA have been shown to accelerate cognitive decline and increase your risk of death from all causes. Omega-3 deficiency is thought to be an underlying factor of about 100,000 premature deaths each year.

While there is no set recommended standard dose of omega-3 fats, some health organizations recommend a daily dose of 250 to 500 milligrams (mg) of EPA and DHA for healthy adults.

This is where testing comes in handy. Getting your level tested is the best way to customize your dosage to ensure sufficiency, because requirements for omega-3 vary depending on your lifestyle, such as your intake of fatty fish and level of physical activity.

The test you’re looking for is the Omega-3 Index Test,3 which is commercially available from several labs. Your index should ideally be above 8 percent.

If you find yourself lacking, boost your level by eating more cold-water fatty fish that are low in mercury and other pollutants, such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon and smaller fish like sardines, anchovies and herring. If opting for a supplement, krill oil has a number of benefits over fish oil.

5.Get more consistent and regular movement into your life

More than 10,000 published studies confirm that sitting is an independent risk factor for illness and premature death. In fact, inactivity carries a mortality risk similar to that of smoking. It’s important to realize that your body is designed for near-continuous movement during the day.

Setting a goal of taking 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day (which is just over 3 to 5 miles, or 6 to 9 kilometers) can go a long way toward getting more movement and less sitting into your life. This should be over and above any exercise regimen you may have. In addition, consider a stand-up desk rather than a regular one if you have an office job.

6.Eat more fish

Protein is essential for your health as it’s a structural component of enzymes, cellular receptors, signaling molecules and a main building block for muscles and bones. That said, eating excessive amounts of protein could actually be worse than eating too many carbs.

Excessive protein can stimulate biochemical pathways that accelerate aging and cancer growth. For optimal health, I believe most adults need about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass (not total body weight), or 0.5 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

One way to reduce your protein consumption is to trade out some of your beef for fish. Cold-water fish such as Alaskan salmon and sardines also provide healthy fats, including omega-3. Just be sure the fish is responsibly harvested, wild-caught and not farmed, and is low in mercury and other pollutants.

No matter what type of fish you’re considering, look for those that have received Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. This certification assures that every component of the manufacturing process has been scrutinized by MSC and has been independently audited to ensure it meets sustainable standards.

Other labels that signify more sustainable products include Fishwise, which identifies how the fish was caught, where it came from and whether the fish is sustainable or environmentally threatened, and the Seafood Safe label, which involves independent testing of fish for contaminants, including mercury and PCBs, and recommendations for consumption based upon the findings.

Seafood Watch has a searchable database that can help you find sustainable seafood options, and they even offer a Sustainable Seafood app for your smartphone.

7.Go American grass-fed certified

When buying beef, dairy, poultry and pork, make sure it’s grass-fed or pastured in accordance to organic standards. Recent research4,5,6 published in the British Journal of Nutrition found clear differences between organic versus conventional milk7 and meat.8 Said to be the largest study of its kind, the researchers analyzed 196 and 67 studies on milk and meat respectively.

Echoing previous studies, the largest difference in nutritional content was its fatty acid composition, certain essential minerals and antioxidants. Organic grass-fed and grass-finished meats are also free of antibiotics and other drugs used in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). With antibiotic-resistant disease being a major public health hazard, buying organic meats is an important consideration.

The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass-fed meats across the U.S., and the Cornucopia Institute’s egg report and organic egg scorecard ranks 136 egg producers according to 28 organic criteria. Organic raw dairy sources can be found on RealMilk.com. Certification by the American Grassfed Association is the highest assurance you can have that the food is authentically raised to the highest standards.

8.Start Peak Fasting

One lifestyle factor that appears to be driving not only obesity but also many chronic disease processes is the fact that we eat too frequently. Our ancestors didn’t have access to food 24/7, and biologically your body simply isn’t designed to run optimally when continuously fed. If you eat throughout the day and never skip a meal, your body adapts to burning sugar as its primary fuel, which down regulates enzymes that utilize and burn stored fat.

Moreover, research has confirmed that many biological repair and rejuvenation processes take place in the absence of food, and this is another reason why all-day grazing triggers disease. In a nutshell, your body was designed to a) run on fat as its primary fuel, and b) cycle through periods of feast and famine. Today, most people do the complete opposite.

Intermittent fasting is a term that covers an array of different meal timing schedules. As a general rule, it involves cutting calories in whole or in part, either a couple of days a week, every other day, or even daily. The key is the cycling of feasting/feeding and famine/fasting. By mimicking the eating habits of our ancestors, who did not have access to food around the clock, you restore your body to a more natural state that allows a whole host of biochemical benefits to occur.

“Peak fasting” involves fasting for 13 to 18 hours each day and eating all of your meals within the remaining window of 6 to 11 hours. To make this schedule work, you need to skip either breakfast or dinner. Which one to omit is up to you. However, if you chose to eat dinner, be sure to do so at least three hours before bedtime.

When you’re sleeping, your body needs the least amount of energy, and if you feed it at a time when energy is not needed, you end up creating a situation in which your mitochondria create excessive amounts of damaging free radicals. This is another important factor that can help optimize your mitochondrial function and prevent cellular damage from occurring.

9.Get eight hours of sleep every night

Sleep deprivation has the same effect on your immune system as physical stress or illness, which helps explain why lack of sleep is tied to an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases.

Sleep is also intricately tied to important hormone levels, including melatonin — a potent antioxidant with powerful anti-cancer activity — which is diminished by lack of sleep. Small adjustments to your daily routine and sleeping area can go a long way to ensure uninterrupted, restful sleep and, thereby, better health. For example, one important factor is to sleep in total darkness.

Recent research reveals being exposed to even dim light during sleep can have adverse effects on brain function and cognition, even after a single night. If you’re not sure how much sleep you’re getting, a fitness tracker can be beneficial for helping you keep track of the actual time you’re asleep (as opposed to the time spent in bed). If you need more sleep, read through my full set of 33 healthy sleep guidelines for details on proper sleep hygiene.

10.Eat more fiber

Most Americans need to eat more fiber. A high-fiber diet can help reduce your risk of premature death from any cause, likely because it helps to reduce your risk of some of the most common chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Researchers have also found that short-chain fatty acids produced by bacteria that feed on plant fiber are major epigenetic communicators. In other words, they actually communicate with your DNA, thereby providing protection against disease. 9,10,11

When it comes to boosting your fiber intake, be sure to focus on eating more vegetables, nuts and seeds (not grains). Recent research confirms that in order to work, the fiber must be unprocessed.12,13 Processed supplement fiber such as inulin powder does not provide gut bacteria with what they need.

Organic whole husk psyllium is a great fiber source, as are sunflower sprouts and fermented vegetables, the latter of which are essentially fiber preloaded with beneficial bacteria. Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are other excellent fiber sources.

Making a Plan for Life

Remember, most New Year’s resolutions fail for one reason or another. So, this year, try making a simple commitment to live healthier from here on out. Start small and go slow, as little changes can make a big overall difference in your health. And, when you commit to lifestyle, it’s no longer about meeting a particular goal, like losing 10 pounds. It’s about living a little bit differently, a little bit better, so that ultimately you’re happier and healthier for it.

Sources and References

 

The 9 Best Essential Oils To Stockpile For Cold & Flu Season

Source

The 9 Best Essential Oils To Stockpile For Cold & Flu Season

By Robin Marri

It’s the time of year when the winter season bestows upon us its magical charms and beauty. Crystalized, winter landscapes lend to frosted-over ponds ripened for ice skating. Ice-capped mountains call upon the adventurous skier. And the snow-covered trees of the forest sound out for the hunters of the season.

For many homesteaders, spending time in the outdoors during winter is a way of life. Unfortunately, so is coming down with colds, and maybe even worse, the flu.

That means it’s time to stockpile essential oils for the cold and flu season. Did you know that there are more than 200 types of viruses that cause the common cold?

Essential oils have many antimicrobial, antiviral, astringent, disinfectant and antiseptic properties that can kill the cold and flu viruses before they even have a chance to set in. But with proper preventive measures, and with the right combinations of essential oils, you can stop cold and flu viruses in their tracks.

If you do end up coming down with a bug, essential oils have powerful healing properties.

Methods Of Using Essential Oils

There are several methods of using essential oils for prevention of colds and flu relief. They are:

  • Diffuser/humidifier aromatherapy
  • Spray bottle disinfecting blends
  • Massage aromatherapy
  • Bath aromatherapy
  • Steam inhalation
  • Hot and cold compresses

I will go over the methods as I come to the remedy sections for each essential oil.

9 Essential Oils You Should Stockpile

1. Oregano essential oil

Oregano can immediately relieve your cold and flu symptoms. It has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, digestive and anti-allergenic properties.

Remedies

I never recommend taking essential oils internally, but oil of oregano can be bought as an ingestible form. Make sure you stockpile with ingestible oil of oregano and as soon as you feel the symptoms of a cold coming on, place several drops under your tongue and let it sit for about 30 seconds before swallowing. This method of sublingual administration is a powerful way to absorb oregano essential oil quickly into your system.

Or, try this massage or diffuser blend:

  • 3 drops oregano essential oil.
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil.
  • 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
  • 1 drop peppermint essential

Use the blend in your diffuser or humidifier to help relieve your symptoms. Or, add four teaspoons of a carrier oil and massage the blend onto your chest area or where you have inflammation or bodily aches or pains.

2. Eucalyptus essential oil and …

3. Tea tree essential oil

Eucalyptus essential oil encompasses about 67 percent eucalyptol. This makes this essential oil a powerful remedy for relieving stuffed-up noses and chesty coughs, as well as to ease breathing. (Do not take eucalyptus essential oil orally, as it can be toxic.)

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Tea tree essential oil has antiseptic, antiviral, antimicrobial properties and is a natural germ killer and disinfectant.

Remedies

Methods for preventing airborne infection from spreading:

  • 4 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil.
  • Use the blend in a diffuser or a humidifier to kill airborne viruses and germs.
  • Or, drop it into a 16-ounce spray bottle with water and spray all surfaces in the household, including light switches, door knobs, remotes, computer keyboards, cabinet knobs, etc.
  • You even can add some pine essential oil and mop your floors and clean your bathroom with this blend.

Chest rub to relieve chesty coughs:

  • 4 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
  • 4 drops cedarwood essential oil.
  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil.
  • 4 tsp carrier oil.
  • Massage the blend into your chest, day and night.

To relieve bodily aches and pains:

  • 3 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
  • 3 drops ginger essential oil.
  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil.
  • 1 drop tea tree essential oil.
  • 4 tsp carrier oil.
  • Massage into your body to reduce aches and pains, as needed.

Or,

  • Use as a hot or cold compress to place on the body.
  • To do this, you can warm up a dampened, cloth towel in the microwave and add a few drops of this blend, or chill a dampened, cloth towel in the refrigerator or freezer and add several drops of the blend.

4. Lemon essential oil

The 9 Best Essential Oils To Stockpile For Cold & Flu Season

Image source: Pixabay.com

Lemon is considered a cure-all fruit. It’s a natural healer and antiseptic, is great for reducing fevers, is a natural diuretic, and can fight off fatigue.

Remedies:

The great thing about lemon essential oil is that it is found right in the peel of the fruit. Therefore, you can boil lemon peels in a pot of water, let it cool, and drink it. The powerful, lemon-infused water will act as a natural diuretic, fight off fatigue, lower your fever, while at the same time, heal your body.

For an additional bonus, as the lemon peels boil, they also release essential oils into the air, which purifies your home.

Virus-fighting blend. Diffuse:

  • 5 drops lemon essential oil.
  • 3 drops lavender essential
  • 3 drops turmeric essential oil.
  • Or, 4 tsp carrier oil for massage blends.

5. Lavender essential oil

I’m sure you have heard of the powerful and wonderful healing powers of lavender essential oil. Lavender not only heals your body, aids in insomnia and takes away aches and pains, but it is also an anxiety-reducer.

Remedies:

Hot bath blend to relieve aches and pains and reduce anxiety:

  • 3 drops lavender essential oil.
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil.
  • 2 drops black pepper essential oil.

Sleep aid and decongestant:

  • 4 drops lavender essential oil.
  • 3 drops chamomile essential oil.
  • 3 drops cedarwood essential oil.
  • Or, add 4 tsp carrier oil to create massage blends.

 6. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil can help to progress concentration and battle fatigue. It’s perfect for soothing an upset stomach and relieving nausea.

Because of its potent concentration of menthol, using peppermint essential oil for cold and flu relief is ideal because menthol is valuable for relieving symptoms such as congestion and stuffed-up noses.

Furthermore, peppermint essential oil has a mild, warming effect,which is perfect for making sore and tense muscles feel better.

Remedies:

To ease an upset stomach and stop nausea:

  • Inhale peppermint oil from a tissue

A warming massage blend for aches and pains:

  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil.
  • 3 drops nutmeg essential oil.
  • 4 drops rosemary essential oil.
  • 4 tsp carrier oil for a massage blend.

Steam inhalation blend to relieve congestion, clogged airways and headaches:

  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil.
  • 6 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
  • For a headache, add 2 drops lavender essential oil.
  • Boil hot water and pour into a bowl. Drape a towel over your head. Lean over the bowl and wrap the towel around the bowl while it is still draped over your head. This will contain the steam. Inhale deeply until the oils have dispersed from the water.

7. Rosemary essential oil and …

8. Frankincense essential oil and …

9. Cedarwood essential oil

All three of these essential oils have powerful healing, pain-relieving and other beneficial properties. You can substitute them into any of the above recipes.