Good Sleep Means Good Health

The rejuvenation of mind and body starts with a good night’s sleep.  If you’re having trouble reaching the desired 7-9 hours a night, you’re not alone,  it’s estimated that 3.3 million Canadians over the age of 15 have problems getting enough sleep which can harm their health.  A Canadian Community Health Survey found that 18 per cent of these people receive less than five hours of sleep a night.
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Multiple Interests Line Up Against Holistic Healing

There are many people who think of those interested in holistic healing as out of touch “hippie types” who have abandoned common sense in support of unproven theories inconsistent with mainstream scientific research. The fact that people feel that way is not an accident. Holistic health is under attack from a variety of outside forces with an agenda that may not have much to do with encouraging the well-being of others.

At first glance, the idea of intentionally marginalizing those who are committed to finding better ways to live seems counterintuitive, if not masochistic. If one looks deeper, however, the attack on holistic healing is predictable.

Holistic healing approaches health in a manner quite inconsistent with the reductionist tendencies of mainstream medicine. It looks for larger connections and recognizes the interrelationships between our physical systems and our psychological outlook. Instead of relying on chemical quick fixes, it hopes to inspire health via more natural methods and a whole-person outlook. Emphasizing prevention instead of focusing primarily on treatment and displaying a willingness to consider natural folk remedies and solutions to health problems that do not always comport with “business as usual”, the holistic outlook is a significant deviation from the dominant perspective on health.

That may sound innocent enough, but the perspective does pose a threat to some significant forces who would rather maintain the status quo. As is so often the case, the threatened party has reacted to protect its turf–and its specific interests.

The old expression “follow the money” comes to mind. The medical establishment is a huge element of our economy. People are generating billions of dollars in revenue every year by maintaining our current approach to health. The system may be broken and incapable of providing optimal health for people, but it is profitable. Holistic healing and other threats to the mainstream perspective’s near monopoly on healthcare poses a significant financial risk to those with a vested interest in the maintenance of the status quo.

Medical facilities are not interested in seeing their value decline as their services are used with less frequency. The massive and powerful pharmaceutical industry is banking on a continuation of our reductionist, pill popping ways. Politicians and policy makers are funded by special interest groups whose primary purpose is to protect traditional medicine.

It is not surprising that those who advocate holistic healing are portrayed as laughable fringe figures. Marginalizing the opposition is one of the most effective ways to protect one’s interests, after all. By regularly and loudly dismissing holistic perspectives while trumpeting the alleged virtues of a reductionist perspective marked with numerous obvious failures, these powerful forces are doing their very best to keep a medical revolution at bay.

Are You Feeding Your Pet Commercial Pet Food

Whilst processed, ‘convenience’ foods contribute to poor human nutrition, many commercial pet foods are similarly detrimental to our furry friends.

The pet nutrition industry is very similar to the human food industry – full of hype and false claims, peddling inferior nutritional choices. Much of the so-called “healthy pet foods” on the market contain inferior meat meals, cheap grains like corn and soy, fillers, by-products, food coloring, pesticides, preservatives, and other contamination’s.

Case in point: the widespread contamination of melamine (a chemical used in the production of plastics, which imitates protein) rocked the pet food industry not so long ago, and led to thousands of deaths and illnesses. More than 5,600 products by dozens of pet food makers – everything from cheap supermarket brands to prescription-only food – were recalled in the process.

Many Commercial Pet Foods Can Destroy Your Pet’s Health

Unfortunately, most widely available pet foods and even many of the brands conventional vets recommend do not contain clean, inspected ingredients, nor are they biologically balanced for your domesticated carnivore (cat) and scavenging carnivore (dog). Common symptoms associated with regular consumption of commercial pet foods include diarrhea, increased flatulence, dull coat, intermittent vomiting and prolonged scratching.

Dogs and cats have evolved in the wild consuming a variety of small prey animals, and once you remove the raw food, you disrupt nearly every important biochemical pathway in their body. This is a prescription for disaster, and maintaining your pet on completely cooked and refined foods can clearly impact their organ health. In fact, a growing number of veterinarians state that processed pet food (kibbled and canned food) is the number one cause of illness and premature death in modern dogs and cats.

In December 1995, the British Journal of Small Animal Practice published a paper contending that processed pet food suppresses animals’ immune systems, and causes liver disease, kidney disease and heart disease.

Why Your Pet Needs RAW Food

The introduction of commercially available raw food diets in the late ‘90’s offered tremendous additional health benefits to pets everywhere, because many varieties combined USDA inspected meats with human edible-quality vegetables and fewer grains, which is more biologically appropriate.

Several AAFCO approved homemade recipes also became available and contained options for living food additions. To argue whether raw food diets are appropriate for dogs and cats is moot; they have thrived consuming a variety of small prey for thousands of years!

The Two Main Problems with a Dry Food Diet

The biggest concern I hear about not feeding dry food is, “But what about their teeth?” Remember: eating crunchy granola doesn’t brush or clean your teeth. You have to brush your teeth. Likewise, eating crunchy kibble doesn’t brush or clean your pet’s teeth. You still have to brush your pet’s teeth. So please don’t use this rationale to feed your pet a diet of mainly dry foods.

There are the two major problems with an entirely dry food diet, Protein quality and Moisture content.

Protein Quality — Contrary to popular belief, protein requirements actually increase as pets age to combat catabolic processes, which can lead to muscle wasting. We have also learned that the biological availability of certain protein sources actually determines how easy or difficult they are to metabolize. For example, snouts and feathers, although 100 percent protein, are not nearly as digestible as lean muscle meat.

The quality of protein your pet eats is critical to reduce organ stress over time. The scary truth is that the majority of commercial pet foods on the market today are using rendered meats that are not approved for human consumption. Because kibbled foods made with these poor quality meats are so difficult to digest and assimilate, they can actually cause organ disease.

Moisture Content — Our carnivorous companions were designed to consume non-dehydrated foods. Species appropriate diets — foods free of corn, wheat, rice and soy — formulated in their biologically correct form, meaning raw or minimally processed, with non-denatured proteins, contain all of the moisture needed to process the food with minimum metabolic stress.

Did you know that the natural diet of dogs and cats is up to 70 percent water? That’s right: rabbits and mice, like our bodies, are primarily composed of water. Our pet’s bodies have evolved to consume a diet that is rich with water, not dehydrated, and not cooked. When food is cooked and dehydrated (which is how kibble is produced), several things happen, the most detrimental of which is that the food becomes dry. Far too dry to be healthy. This requires your pet’s body to provide sufficient moisture to reconstitute the food in their digestive tract. Although some animals may make a noble effort to consume enough water, many animals, and most cats, don’t. A lifetime of minor dehydration is stressful to multiple organ systems, but most notably the kidneys. It’s important to realize that this can easily be remedied by feeding canned or living food diets

Diet Recommendations

Some years ago, Dr. Francis Pottenger tried an experiment on several hundred cats. He divided them into two groups and fed one group their natural diet of raw meat and the other group a man-made diet of cooked pet food. He carried on this experiment through three generations. The cats that were fed their normal uncooked diet thrived. The cats that were fed a cooked diet developed the same diseases, and required the same medical treatment, as we humans.

Dr. Donald Ogden D.V.M. writes that commercial pet food (even the best known and most expensive brands) have had their nutrients altered, adulterated, devitalized and destroyed by heat, processing, coloring, preservatives and other chemicals. Feeding your animal such food on a regular basis causes waste-toxins to accumulate in the blood, lymphs and tissue which contributes to a weak immune system and renders our pet susceptible to chronic diseases.

Animals require the enzymes, amino acids and other nutrients in the raw meat in order to stay healthy. Animals need at least 30% raw animal fat, and their systems are not designed to handle cooked meat or cooked fat. In the wild, a panther or jackal does not barbecue, grill or smoke its prey.

For a return to health, your pet requires a diet which strengthens the immune system and most closely resembles that which they would get in the wild. It’s really easy to do, feed your pet a combination of raw meats and select from a host of raw vegetables with little to no grains, and LOTS OF WATER.

By: Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian

Sources: www.mercola.com and www.living-foods.com

Why We Should All Be Eating More Artichokes

By Sheryl Walters
 
Artichokes, which can be eaten or taken as artichoke leaf extract, have been shown to improve various digestive health disorders. They significantly lower blood cholesterol levels, prevent heart disease and atherosclerosis, enhance detoxification reactions, as well as protect the liver from damage.

History

The artichoke is a thistle-like plant native to the regions of southern Europe, North Africa and the Canary Islands. The most powerful part of the plant medicinally is its leaves.
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Have Stress? Try Bach Flower Essences For Relief

Bach Flower Essences

I thought I’d post this article sinse I am a big fan of Bach Flower Essences.  My favorite is definitely the Rescue Remedy.

For a long time now doctors have been talking about stress and high blood pressure – but they usually talk about “Type A” executives, driving themselves beyond their endurance to succeed more and more.

But those executives aren’t the only ones who experience stress. Even babies and household pets experience stress when the people around them are in turmoil. Right now, people of all ages are filled with stress over the uncertainty of the economy, politics, and war – in addition to the personal issues in their lives. And that can be dangerous to health.
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Can Vitamins Cure Skin Conditions

by Andrew Saul as featured in ‘Food Matters’


Skin troubles are a common, often painful problem. Topical applications of vitamin E, and/or vitamin C and niacin provide rapid relief. The first reports indicating that vitamin E, and concentrated topical and IV solutions of vitamin C were a highly effective treatment for burns surfaced over 50 years ago. Vitamins may be used to treat both thermal burns and sun burns, as well as wrinkles, pigmentation, scrapes, bug bites, and even bed sores.


Foods alone do not provide sufficient vitamins to provide maximum healing. Vitamins also provide protection against skin-aging damage caused by exposure to the sun. The benefits of vitamin C and niacin have been proven in numerous controlled clinical trials using high potency vitamin C and niacin creams.   The scientific literature contains at least 29 reports published since 2003 using niacin creams and 8 using vitamin C creams. Even before the Korean War, orthomolecular physicians were reporting topical vitamin E to be a superior treatment for burns.  Recent research conforms this.


Linus Pauling reviewed the scientific literature on burns in his book “How to Live Longer and Feel Better.” In the two decades since publication of this book, claims about burns have been tested and confirmed.  One animal study confirmed that, in severely burned animals treated with IV vitamin C, high intravenous doses of vitamin C are required to optimize burn treatment, equivalent to 120,000 mg/day for a human. 


Vitamin skeptics continue to argue that there are no proven benefits to vitamins at doses higher than the RDA. The case of vitamins and skin conditions is a clear case proving the skeptics wrong. It is time that physicians start to put the remarkable healing powers of vitamins to work for their patients. In the meantime, the low toxicity and ready availability of vitamin supplements and creams enables the self-educated to act for themselves.


For a full list of references visit the original article: http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v04n01.shtml


Food Matters - Learn from the World's Leaders in Nutrition and Natural Healing

Are You Drinking Enough Water – Effects of Dehydration

Effects of Dehydration

Most people don’t think they need to worry about dehydration. To them, dehydration is something that happens to travelers in the desert when they run out of water. But there is a chronic form of dehydration that does not have the sudden and intense nature of the acute form. Chronic dehydration is widespread in the present day and affects everyone who is not drinking enough liquid.

This list of 13 symptoms will inspire you to go get a glass of water, and then another, and another … (After each symptom we will show how lack of fluid affects the issue.)
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Anxiety – Possible Causes & Natural Supplements

Unfortunately, many doctors treat anxiety with medications that are often addictive, ineffective in the long run and are filled with negative side effects.

Fortunately, there are natural therapies that can be as or more effective in the long run, with no side effects.  Anxiety must always be treated physically and mentally.
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Benefits of Eating Olive Oil

Benefits of eating Olive Oil:

Olive oil is rich in anti-aging vitamin E and plays a vital part in the Mediterranean diet that has attracted lots of interest from nutritionists and health professionals in recent years. Its high concentration (over 70%) of monounsaturated fatty acids helps in reducing the level of bad LDL cholesterol in the blood while maintaining levels of good HDL cholesterol.
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Acid-Alkaline – Tips For Balancing Your Diet

Alkaline Diet

Almost all foods that we eat, after being digested, absorbed, and metabolised, release either an acid or an alkaline base (bicarbonate) into blood. Grains, fish, meat, poultry, shellfish, cheese, milk, and salt all produce acid. The mass consumption of these foods have caused our bodies to become overly acidic, which strips it of minerals. Over the long haul, those who do not balance their diet with alkaline foods (vegetables and fruits, primarily) become prone to weak bones, joints and muscles, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and a host of other health problems. In other words, long-term health and longevity have everything to do with acid-alkaline balance.

Consider the Inuit (a.k.a., Eskimos), who do not have access to many fruits and vegetables. Their diets consist largely of seal meat, fish and whale blubber. While they eat few grains, their diet is nevertheless highly acidic. Though a sturdy bunch, with healthy hearts, their bones start breaking down prematurely. Indeed, the Inuit people have the worst longevity statistics in North America.

Alkaline Diet

In contrast is Okinawa, where more people live to 100 years of age, longer than anywhere in the world. While meat, rice, soy and seafood (highly acidic foods) are squarely in the diet, so are a vast range of different vegetables and fruits, rich in anti-oxidants, as well as minerals that counteract acidity. A wealth of fascinating anthropologic and scientific evidence exists that supports the acid-alkaline theory of health and longevity; there is much information to research this further.

The typical American diet is similar to that of the Inuit in that there is entirely too much meat and not enough alkaline vegetables to balance it. Factory farms in the US manufacture meat and animal products in unhealthy ways, leaving them loaded with toxins and inflammatory compounds. Furthermore, charring meat adds flavor, as well as cancer-causing substances.

To make matters worse, the acidity of the American diet is compounded by all the starches and sweets consumed. Many of these processed foods can be as acidic as meat, chicken, fish and seafood (colas are even more acidic), but are not nearly as full of nutrients. Acidic foods are also generally lacking in fiber, which helps control blood sugar and improves bowel health. The friendly bacteria in the gut need fiber to function. Without them, not only does the digestive system suffer, but also the immune defenses.

The problem is not so much any particular food, but rather the cumulative effect of a highly acidic diet over many decades that eats away at our health.

So, where does that leave us? What can we do to reduce the impact of an acidic diet? For one, reduce the serving sizes of the acidic foods, while increasing the amount of greens and other alkaline veggies during a meal. This markedly reduces the total number of calories consumed, while reducing the acid impact. Learning about what foods are highly acidic or alkaline can help one balance the diet better.

Yet, to make it easy, here are a few suggestions that can help you add more alkaline foods to your diet – Have a big salad at least once a day using green leafy vegetables (especially collard or mustard greens, endive and kale) and add sprouts, broccoli, parsely, asperagus and peppers. Grind black pepper on everything savory. Squeeze lemon or lime juice on fish, salads or in your beverage. Munch on pumpkin seeds or add them to salads. Use sea salt (Celtic, French or Himalayan preferred) rather than regular table salt. Use Apple cider vinegar rather than Balsamic vinegar. Drink ginger tea instead of coffee. If you like radishes, eat them like candy. If you want something sweet, eat cantaloupe, tangerines, mandarins and assorted berries. Let vegetable juices be your summer thirst quencher. Quell a hunger with celery smeared with nut butter. Smear half of an avocado on toast, rather than margarine.

Green leafy vegetables and the foods mentioned above can make a major difference in the balance of things and protect the bones, joints, muscles, heart, brain, liver and kidneys. Alkaline bodies are also much more resistant to infection and cancer.

As far as diets go, these are not boring foods by any means. Indeed, there is a great variety to choose from, and hundreds of simple recipes to play with. In addition, many other healthy and tasty foods are alkaline forming, though not with the same impact as the foods listed above. There are also alkaline mineral supplements, such as the citrates of potassium, magnesium and calcium, which can have profound effects on health and well-being.Source: www.naturalnews.com