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Natural Ways to Balance Hormones

Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues and organs. They work slowly, over time, and affect many different processes, including metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, mood and much more. Endocrine glands, which are special groups of cells, make hormones. The major endocrine glands are the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal glands and pancreas. In addition, men produce hormones in their testes and women produce them in their ovaries. Hormones are produced in a complex process, but depend on beneficial fats and cholesterol, so lack of these important dietary factors can cause hormone problems simply because the body doesn’t have the building blocks to make them. The entire endocrine system works together to control the level of hormones circulating throughout your body, and if one or more is even slightly imbalanced it can cause widespread, major health problems.
Hormonal imbalances are caused by a combination of factors such as diet, medical history, genetics, stress levels and exposure to toxins from the environment. Research shows that your gut health plays a significant role in hormone regulation. If you have leaky gut syndrome or a lack of beneficial probiotic bacteria lining your intestinal wall, you are more susceptible to hormonal problems, including diabetes and obesity. That’s because inflammation usually stems from your gut and then impacts nearly every aspect of your health. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of hormone imbalances include: infertility and irregular periods, weight gain or weight loss (that’s unexplained and not due to intentional changes in your diet), depression and anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, low libido, changes in appetite, digestive issues, hair loss and hair thinning.

Conventional treatments for hormonal imbalances usually include synthetic hormone replacement therapies, birth control pills, insulin injections, thyroid medications and more. Unfortunately, for the majority of people suffering from hormonal disorders, relying on these types of synthetic treatments often does three things. It makes people dependent on taking prescription drugs for the rest of their lives in order to keep symptoms under control. It simply masks the patient’s symptoms but doesn’t solve them, which means that the patient can continue to develop abnormalities in other areas of the body while the disorder progresses. It causes a higher risk for serious side effects such as stroke, osteoporosis, anxiety, reproductive problems, cancer and more.

Hormones — such as oestrogen, testosterone, adrenaline and insulin — are extremely important chemical messengers that affect many aspects of your overall health. Hormones are secreted by various glands and organs, including your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles and pancreas. The entire endocrine system works together to control the level of hormones circulating throughout your body, and if one or more is even slightly imbalanced it can cause widespread, major health problems.

Eating a variety of foods high in short, medium and long-chain fatty acids is the key to keeping your hormones in check. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol. Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss. Healthy fats have the opposite effect of refined carbohydrates, which lead to inflammation and can mess with the balance of your hormones.

Four sources of anti-inflammatory, healthy fats are coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild-caught salmon. Coconut oil has many uses. For example, coconut oil (or cream/milk) has natural anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and fat-burning properties. Avocado’s benefits include improving heart health, lowering inflammation, controlling your appetite and contributing to your daily intake of fibre and nutrients such as potassium.
Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower inflammation and help with cognitive functions. Omega-3 fatty acids are a large component of brain-cell membranes and are important for cell-to-cell communication in the brain. To avoid antibiotics and other chemicals stay clear of farmed salmon as much as possible and also steer clear of oils that are high in omega-6 fats (safflower, sunflower, vegetable, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean and peanut), and load up on rich sources of natural omega-3s instead (wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and grass-fed animal products). There is a type of omega-6 fat that you want to get in your diet called GLA. GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) can be taken in supplement form by using evening primrose oil or borage oil, and it’s also found in hemp seeds.

Adaptogen herbs are a unique class of healing plants that promote hormone balance and protect the body from a wide variety of diseases, including those caused by excess stress. In addition to boosting immune function and combating stress, research shows that various adapotogens such as medicinal mushrooms, rhodiola, Holy basil and thyme (both the common garden variety and broad leaf thyme which is also known as wild marjoram or Mexican marjoram) can: lower cholesterol naturally, reduce anxiety and depression, reduce brain cell degeneration, stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels and support adrenal gland functions. Thyme oil improves progesterone production, which helps to treat or relieve health issues like infertility, menopause, depression, fibroids, hair loss and insomnia. To help balance your hormones naturally, add 2 drops of thyme oil to a warm water bath or rub 2-3 drops with equal parts coconut oil into your abdomen. Holy basil, which is also known as tulsi, helps to regulate cortisol levels, thereby working as a natural remedy for anxiety and emotional stress. Studies show that holy basil can also protect your organs and tissues against chemical stress from pollutants and heavy metals, which are other factors that can lead to hormone imbalance.

Maca is a hormone boosting tuber originally from Peru. Women who use it often see improvements in fertility, reduction in PMS and better skin/hair. It can help men with sperm production, testosterone levels and muscle composition. Maca is a good source of minerals and essential fatty acids, which is one of the ways it supports hormone balance, however, its use should be discontinued during pregnancy.

Ashwagandha, in particular, can be extremely effective at balancing hormones. It benefits thyroid function because it promotes the scavenging of free radicals that cause cellular damage. Ashwagandha can be used to support a sluggish or overactive thyroid, and it can also help to overcome adrenal fatigue. Your adrenals can become overtaxed when you experience too much emotional, physical or mental stress, leading to the disruption of hormones like adrenaline, cortisol and progesterone.

Chaste Tree Berry nourishes the pituitary gland. It lowers prolactin and raises progesterone. For some women, this alone will improve symptoms.

Red Raspberry Leaf is a well know fertility herb that is also helpful in reducing PMS and cramping. It has a high nutrient profile and is especially high in calcium and is a uterine tonic. It is available in capsule form but makes an excellent hot or cold tea.

Magnesium is vital for hundreds of functions within the human body and many of us are deficient in this mineral. There are several different ways to get magnesium into your system. Topical application, by applying magnesium oil to the skin is often the most effective option for those with a damaged digestive tract or severe deficiency. Epsom salt baths or a refreshing drink of organic cocoa with a teaspoonful of black strap molasses are other ways to get magnesium into your body.

Vitamin D, a pre-hormone is supportive of hormone function. It is best obtained from the sun if possible, or from a D3 supplement or Cod Liver Oil (a good source of Omega-3 and Vitamin D). Make sure not to get too much, and optimally, get Serum Vitamin D levels checked to monitor levels.

Gelatin and collagen powders support hormone production and digestive health in various ways. Gelatin powder can actually “gel” while collagen protein does not but is easily added to soups, smoothies, coffee, tea or any other food.
Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners believe that the emotions of fear cause disease in your reproductive organs, kidneys and adrenals, affecting cortisol levels. This can lead to serious conditions like PCOS and infertility. The emotions of frustration, impatience and un-forgiveness cause disease in your liver, which can lead to an oestrogen imbalance and emotions of worry and anxiety can cause issues with your insulin levels, which can then affect several hormones.

A major component of balancing your hormones naturally is addressing any emotional imbalances that you are dealing with. You can do this by reducing stress levels, engaging in personal reflection and taking time for yourself. Practicing meditation or healing prayer can be extremely beneficial, and so can deep breathing exercises, spending time outdoors and exercising every day. Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies like acupuncture and massage can also help to improve hormonal balance, combat stress and improve blood flow.

Your emotions and hormones are connected, so by working to balance one, you are impacting the other. If you are ever feeling stressed, angry, agitated or even fearful, understand that this is affecting your hormone balance and can lead to even bigger health issues. Keep working on your emotional balance by making it part of your daily routine.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, internal emotions have a direct impact on a person’s health and addressing emotional imbalances, external factors and lifestyle choices can help to prevent health conditions associated with hormonal imbalances.

To balance your hormones naturally, it’s important that you eliminate toxins in your body by avoiding conventional body care products that are made with potentially-harmful chemicals including DEA, parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate. A better alternative is to use natural products made with ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, shea butter and castor oil.

Clary sage helps to balance oestrogen levels because it contains natural phyto- oestrogens. It can be used to regulate your menstrual cycle, relieve PMS symptoms, treat infertility and PCOS, and even reduce the chances of uterine and ovarian cancer. It also serves as a natural remedy for emotional imbalances, like depression and anxiety. Diffuse 3-5 drops of clary sage to help balance hormone levels and relieve stress. To ease cramps and pain, massage 5 drops of clary sage with 5 drops of coconut oil into your stomach and any other area of concern.

Problems with your gut health have been found to cause autoimmune reactions, including thyroid disorders. Use fennel essential oil to relax your body, improve your digestion and gut health, boost your metabolism and reduce inflammation. You can rub 2 drops of fennel into your stomach or add 1-2 drops to a class of warm water or tea to take it internally.

Lavender: Lavender oil promotes emotional balance, as it can help to treat anxiety, depression, moodiness and stress. It can also be used to promote restful sleep, which will help to balance your hormone levels as well. Diffuse 5 drops of lavender oil at home, add 5 drops to a warm water bath or apply 3 drops topically to your temples, back or neck or wrists.

Sandalwood: Sandalwood essential oil can be used to increase your libido, reduce stress, promote relaxation, boost mental clarity and even help you to relax. The powerful fragrance triggers peaceful feelings and results in the overall reduction of stress that can lead to hormone imbalances. Inhale sandalwood directly from the bottle, diffuse it at home or apply 2-3 drops to your wrists and bottoms of the feet.

Get a lot of natural light during the day, and spend at least 30 minutes outside each day if possible. The wide-spectrum of natural light helps boost serotonin levels which balance melatonin levels at night. In fact, sun gazing within the first hour of sun rise is extremely beneficial for balancing hormones, decalcifying the pineal gland and improving eyesight. Remember, if the pineal gland is not decalcified it will not vibrate at the higher frequencies necessary for optimum production of four major hormones: melatonin, serotonin, DMT and melanin.

Avoid artificial light as much as possible after the sun goes down. Install F.lux (it is free) on all computers and devices to reduce blue light and help you sleep better (it is also easier on the eyes). Drink enough water during the day and stop drinking about 2 hours before bed so you don’t have to wake up to use the bathroom. Take a soothing salt bath about an hour before bed with some relaxing music or a great book. Pray, meditate or find a way to reduce stress.
It’s sometimes necessary to supplement in order to fill nutritional voids that can be leading to a hormone imbalance. Evening primrose oil contains omega-6 fatty acids, such as LA and GLA, that support overall hormonal function. Supplementing with evening primrose oil can help to relieve premenstrual and PCOS symptoms. It also helps to create a healthy environment for conception.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D almost acts like a hormone inside the body and has important implications for keeping inflammation levels low. This is why people who live in dark areas often suffer from seasonal depression and other health problems unless they supplement with vitamin D. Sunshine is really the best way to optimize vitamin D levels because your bare skin actually makes vitamin D on its own when exposed to even small amounts of direct sunlight. Most people should supplement with around 2,000–5,000 IU daily of vitamin D3 if they live in dark areas, during the winter, and on days when they’re not in the sun.

Bone broth soothes the digestive system and supplies the body with nutrients that can be easily absorbed. Consuming bone broth or protein powder made from bone broth is especially beneficial to your health because it contains healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine, which have the powder to boost your overall health.

Probiotics: Probiotics can aid in repairing your gut lining, which in turn can balance your hormones. When undigested food particles, like gluten for example, leak through your gut into your bloodstream, it causes disease-causing inflammation that impacts the entire body — especially glands like the thyroid that is very susceptible to heightened inflammation. Most people with leaky gut have a deficiency of probiotics in their guts. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can actually improve your production and regulation of key hormones like insulin, ghrelin and leptin.

The side effects of some medication can disrupt your hormone balance, leading to fatigue, appetite changes, altered sleeping patterns, low libido, sadness and even depression. Some medications that can mess with your hormone balance include corticosteroids, stimulants, statins, dopamine agonists, rexinoids and glucocorticoids. Beware of your medications, talk to your doctor about the side effects and research natural alternatives whenever possible.

Birth control is another dangerous medication that alters hormone levels. “The pill” is a type of hormone therapy that raises oestrogen levels to such dangerous levels that it can cause many complications. There are many other (safer) ways to prevent pregnancy.

Unless you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, you are doing your body no favours. A lack of sleep or disturbing your natural circadian rhythm can be one of the worst habits contributing to a hormone imbalance. A lack of sleep, long-term use of corticosteroids and chronic stress are three of the biggest contributors to high cortisol levels. A report published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism stated that “Stress can lead to changes in the serum level of many hormones including glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone and prolactin.”

Sleep helps balance stress hormones, builds energy and allows the body to recover properly. Excessive stress and poor sleep are linked with higher levels of morning cortisol, decreased immunity, trouble with work performance, and a higher susceptibility to anxiety, weight gain and depression. To maximize hormone function, ideally try to get to bed by 10 p.m. and stick with a regular sleep-wake-cycle as much as possible.

In some cases, synthetic hormonal treatments (such as insulin or thyroid medication) will be necessary to treat a hormonal imbalance. However, the majority of people can feel a lot better by making the lifestyle changes described above. For people with diagnosed hormonal disorders — including type 1 or type 2 diabetes, adrenal insufficiency, Addison’s disease, Graves’s disease and Cushing’s syndrome, for example, it is always important to speak with your doctor before discontinuing medication use. The natural treatments above can still help you overcome your illness and greatly reduce symptoms, but these recommendations should not take the place of medical supervision. Because hormone imbalances vary so widely in terms of severity of symptoms, always keep track of how you’re feeling, do your research and evaluate how you respond to different treatments.

Natural treatments include eating an anti-inflammatory diet, consuming enough omega-3s, getting good sleep, exercising and controlling stress.

Disclaimer: The information given here is not to be considered as medical advice. You should always contact your medical practitioner regarding matters that affect your health.

How to Protect and Repair Your DNA

DNA contains all the instructions that transform us from a fertilized egg into a full human being. DNA also contains all the programming that facilitates biological growth and repair, fights infection and disease and aids the normal function of vital organs like the heart, brain and gut. Unfortunately, DNA and genetic expression can be damaged by diet, stress, lifestyle, emotions and injury, which may advance the physical and mental deterioration often associated with aging.
However, limiting the factors that cause the most genetic damage can help reverse disease and restore proper biological function. The most common causes of DNA damage include:index-triple-strand-dna
• Free Radical Damage – Free radicals form in the body as a by-product of the proDNAcesses that break down food for energy, fight infection and  hazardous chemicals. They are highly unstable molecules that encourage oxidation, or cellular rust, that interferes with energy production and may be related to symptoms of extreme physical and mental fatigue in the elderly.
• Mistakes in DNA Replication – Mistakes can be made during DNA replication that result in the accumulation of genetic mutations that increase the amount of time it takes to repair and replace “old” DNA.
• Errors during DNA Transcription – When various amino acids are missing during DNA transcription, the process of encoding specific information into our genes, which are used in the creation of enzymes and proteins, vital components of health and biological repair, can be altered that may encourage the development of disease.

Most people today are consistently exposed to substances that are known to damage our DNA. Radiation (from the sun , increased radiation from mobile phone masts or x-rays), viruses, toxins, pollution, plastics, cigarette smoke, chemicals in soft drinks, pesticides, and many more common substances have all been found to damage our DNA. It’s unfortunate because when our DNA is damaged, we are subjected to numerous health problems. Our cells become inhibited in producing what our bodies need and our bodies become challenged in re-growing healthy cells. Some results of damaged DNA are: premature aging, cancer, diabetes mellitus (diabetes itself may cause DNA damage), Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, chronic fatigue syndrome, and many other conditions. Worse yet, the effects of our chemical exposure and lifestyles are passed to our children and our children’s children. Fortunately though, our DNA has the ability to repair itself and below are a few easy ways to start your DNA on the road to repair. Vibrational or physical control, by others, is established through various means, one of which is toxic additives in the food supply and products that we use. For example, fluoride which is added to drinking water is a highly toxic, poisonous, neuro-suppressant. It calcifies the pineal gland and interferes with DNA functioning (see my article on the dangers of fluoride). The world’s most prestigious medical journal, the Lancet, has recently categorized fluoride as a neurotoxin.dna-24559__180

In fact, there are endless food additives that disrupt normal DNA functioning, which is why they are placed into so many products, to prevent the human being from functioning at his/her optimal. Genetically modified organisms, or GMO crops are being forced into the food chain and these organisms also disrupt DNA functioning. After looking at the data on how the human body processes these and other forms of GMOs, a team of researchers discovered that DNA from GMOs is not completely broken down by the body during the digestion process. What would normally be degraded into smaller constituents like amino acids and nucleic acids was found to remain whole. Not only this, but these larger DNA fragments were found to pass directly into the circulatory system, sometimes at a level higher than actual human DNA.

Cells cannot function properly if the DNA is damaged. However, the cells CAN, through chemical processes, reverse the damage themselves. It is estimated that, on average, there are 800 incidents of DNA damage in our bodies per hour. That’s 19,000 hits to our DNA every day. And that DNA damage can cause mutations that can give rise to cancer—if not repaired. Thankfully, the regulation of DNA repair may be added to the list of biological processes that are influenced by what we eat and, specifically, that this might constitute part of the explanation for the cancer-preventive effects of many plant-based foods.

Nine fruits and vegetables were tested to see which were better for boosting DNA repair: lemons, persimmons, strawberries, oranges, choy sum (which is like skinny bok choy), broccoli, celery, lettuce, and apples. Which ones came out tops? Lemons, persimmons, strawberries, apples, broccoli, and celery each conferred DNA protection at very low doses. Lemons cut DNA damage by about a third. Was it the vitamin C? No, removing the vitamin C from the lemon extract did not remove the protective effect. However, if you boiled the lemon first for 30 minutes, the effect was lost. Now you can see another benefit of drinking lemon juice with water or green tea first thing in the morning. A combined group of carotenoid nutrients known as xanthophylls, combat DNA damage and boost DNA repair mechanisms. This in turn slows the development of cancer and other age related disorders such as advanced macular degeneration (gradual loss of eye sight).dnacropcircle

Hempseed and hempseed oil have been found to be a factor in DNA repair. Hemp has the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) needed by the human body. One ‘job’ of Omega 3 is cellular repair. Hemp is 65% protein, 35% of which is globulin edestin protein. It is the protein that is closest to human globulin, and is very easily digestible by the body.The protein is a major factor in DNA repair, as the cells use that protein to correct the DNA damage. Because hemp is the highest source of edestin protein AND is responsible for boosting the immune system, it is a perfect addition to the diet. Vitamins B3 (Niacin), B9 (Folate), and B12 (Cobalamin) have also been found as essential for DNA metabolism..

What are the causes of cancer? What makes us older? If lifestyle choices like smoking cigarettes or drinking cola increase our risk of cancer, what can we do to try reverse or slow aging? Are cancer and aging related? Adequate, or more than adequate, levels of vitamins and minerals are thought to play a significant role in DNA repair and protection. The repair and protection of DNA is then thought to play a critical role in preventing cancer and slowing aging. Carotenoids (vitamin A precursors) such as beta-carotene are now conclusively considered anti-oxidants which ensure genomic stability. Their role in preventing cancer, however, is still considered somewhat controversial, with some studies reporting that carotenoids prevent cancer, and other studies reporting no effect. Vitamin D has also been shown to play a role in stabilizing DNA structure, and has been proven to help in bone health, multiple sclerosis, hypertension and possibly cancer. Vitamin E is a lipid scavenger which makes it very effective at reducing chromosome damage.snapshot-silence-meditation
It can also happen if a person is exposed to radiation through x-ray imaging, nuclear power, or fallout from nuclear weapons. If severe enough, radiation damage may cause cancer, birth defects, heart disease, and other serious health problems. Doctors try to protect people undergoing radiation therapy for cancer by using low doses, being precise about targeting the radiation, and minimizing side effects.

Radiation damage can cause a number of symptoms. These are common side effects when a person undergoes radiation treatment for cancer:
• Hair loss
• Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
• Low white blood cells (leucopenia)
• Itchy skin at the site of the radiation
• Sore mouth or mouth ulcers (oral mucositis)
Radiation sickness or radiation emergency happens after exposure to a large amount of radiation. Acute radiation sickness occurs within 24 hours of exposure. Chronic radiation syndrome is a range of symptoms occurring over a period of time. These symptoms can happen immediately or months or years after exposure to radiation:
• Radiation syndrome includes fatigue, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fever, headache with bleeding and complications affecting the digestive system, nervous system, heart, and lungs.
• Central nervous system diseases
• Kidney, liver, or gastrointestinal problems
• Poor growth in children
• Skin conditions
• Pericarditis (inflammation of the sac around the heart)
• Lung infections or conditions, respiratory failure
• Vision problems, including cataracts
• Problems with the reproductive organs
• Heart disease

Damage happens when radiation interacts with oxygen, causing certain molecules to form in the body. These molecules can damage or break strands of DNA in cells. The cells may die. Apart from chemicals in the food, air, water and clothes we wear the greatest threat to our health is from radiation.
People who have been exposed to radiation and who also have the following conditions or characteristics are at risk for developing radiation damage:
• High dose of radiation exposure
• Young age at time of exposure
• Use of chemotherapy, antibiotics
• Exposure to radiation before birth (while in the womb)
These nutritional tips may help reduce side effects from radiation therapy:
• People undergoing radiation and that means everyone in the world should maintain a healthy diet. It is best to work with a nutritionist who understands the unique needs of people with cancer and people receiving radiation therapy.
• Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil. Avoid cooking olive oil at high temperatures to prevent carcinogens from forming.
• Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in commercially-baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.

Supplements may be helpful in terms of managing the side effects of radiation therapy while others may interfere with the effectiveness of certain cancer treatments. Another supplement you may want to consider is a probiotic supplement containing 5 to 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day. Probiotics may help reduce diarrhoea in people receiving radiation therapy for cancer in the pelvis or abdomen.snapshot-sun-gazing
Herbs are generally available as standardized, dried extracts (pills, capsules, or tablets), teas, or tinctures/liquid extracts. Mix liquid extracts with your favourite beverage. Dose for teas is 1 to 2 heaping tsp. per cup of water, steeped for 10 to 15 minutes (roots need longer).
If you are undergoing radiation therapy for cancer, ask your oncologist before taking any herb.
• Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) standardized extract, 80 to 200 mg, 1 to 3 times a day, may offer some protection from radiation damage, although more research is needed. Milk thistle may interact with a variety of medications, and may even have estrogen-like effects in certain people. Speak with your doctor.
• Green tea (Camellia sinensis) standardized extract, 250 to 500 mg daily, for antioxidant effects. You may use caffeine-free products. You can also prepare teas from the leaf.
• Panax ginseng (Panax ginseng) standardized extract, 100 to 200 mg, twice daily, may offer some protection from radiation, although more research is needed. Some studies show that ginseng may reduce fatigue, which is a common side effect of radiation therapy. Ginseng may interact with a number of medications, so ask your doctor before taking it. You should not take ginseng for more than 3 months. If you have diabetes, heart disease, an autoimmune disease, insomnia, or schizophrenia, you should avoid ginseng.
• Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) standardized extract, 400 mg daily, may offer some protection from radiation, although more research is needed. You can also prepare teas from the root. Holy basil may increase the risk of bleeding if you take blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin.
• Chamomile oral rinse (Kamillosan), used 3 to 4 times daily, for mouth soreness or ulcers due to radiation therapy.
• Calendula (Calendula officinalis) topical cream, apply externally to irritated skin, 2 to 3 times daily. One study of women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer found that using calendula ointment at least 2 times a day reduced skin irritation, pain, and redness.
• Aloe vera (Aloe vera) topical gel or cream, applied externally to irritated skin, 2 to 3 times daily. Studies are mixed about whether aloe helps reduce skin irritation and pain from radiation.

Other foods that repair DNA are…. Selenium, kale, broccoli, spinach, water cress, guavas, kiwi fruits, beans (red kidney beans, black beans, split peas, lentils and chick peas, all very good sources of fibre, protein and folate which is an excellent source of vitamin B. Avocados and asparagus are also high on the list. If you are undergoing radiation therapy for cancer, ask your oncologist before taking any herb. Pulses, seeds of legumes that use nitrogen from the atmosphere to make protein are an important protein source worldwide. So valuable in ancient Rome, prominent families derived their names from beans and peas; for example, Cicero is from the Latin word for chickpea.1780645_10201507347347138_78346458_nancestors-dna

Cosmic radiation (galactic radiation) reaches earth every single moment. Human DNA is holding ALL information needed to build and “run” the human body. Human DNA is the software of life. The main role of DNA molecules is the long term storage of information. Molecules interact at atomic level with incoming radiation. But the mechanism of how highly energetic radiation interact with the DNA structure is not yet properly understood.

The effects depend on the characteristics (frequency, speed of particles, etc.) of the interacting radiation and how it is absorbed or deflected by the “guest” structure. Sun-gazing is a very effective way to consciously change your DNA for the better but you have to adhere to some simple, basic guidelines. The best times are an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset as the sun’s rays are not powerful enough at that time to damage your eyes. This process is even more beneficial if you are standing barefoot on grass, naked earth or sand at the same time, a process known as earthing or grounding. You can begin by doing this for about ten seconds and gradually work your way up and the health benefits are said to be tremendous. Protecting your DNA is not only important from a physical perspective but also spiritually as it works with your pineal gland in raising your level of consciousness and connectivity to your inner being,, your fellow man and the greater consciousness that controls the universe.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are not intended to replace a one to one relationship with your health practitioner nor are they meant as medical advice. You are encouraged to do your own research and make your own decisions in partnership with your medical practitioner.

Cholesterol Myth Debunked

High cholesterol is not the problem it’s made out to be since 75% of the people who have heart attacks have what is considered to be normal levels of cholesterol. 75% of the cholesterol that circulates in your blood is made by your liver the other 25% comes from food but none from plants. Normally cholesterol helps the cells in our body do their job but when cholesterol levels are unusually high it can lead to the accumulation of plaque in the arteries causing them to narrow, thus restricting the flow of blood. This blockage, known as atherosclerosis can trigger heart disease and has also been associated with strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. So……

What is cholesterol and why we need it?

Put simply, cholesterol is a type of fat that is carried in the blood and stored in fat cells throughout the body. One of its most important functions is to help in the production of steroid hormones, without which we would not be able to function properly with regard to sex, weight, bone health, digestion and mental status. Testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone (the primary pregnancy hormone) are all produced by cholesterol, in fact, without cholesterol your body could not produce any hormones at all. Cholesterol is also used to help the liver create bile which helps with the digestion of foods. It is also a major constituent of the brain which has the most cholesterol of all the body’s organs. It plays a vital role in your cells ability to communicate with each other, helps your nerves function correctly and helps with the synthesis of vitamin D from sunshine. In fact, if your body stopped producing cholesterol you would die. Low cholesterol is associated with cancer, liver disease, stroke and more and a study from 2005 in the American Academy of Neurology concluded that “high total cholesterol in late life is associated with a REDUCED risk of dementia”.

How do you get high cholesterol?
index.jpg Cuts of meat

There are usually no symptoms of high cholesterol but it is simple to detect and there are many ways to bring it down. Detection is carried out by way of a blood test known as a “fasting lipoprotein profile” which measures the different types of cholesterol in your blood, after you have fasted for about 9 to 12 hours. The results will show the levels of HDL “good” cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, another type of fat. Total cholesterol is a combined measurement of HDL, LDL and VLDL (very low density lipoprotein, a precursor to LDL). When checking cholesterol it is the ratio that is important. Take your overall cholesterol figure, divide it by your HDL figure and if the result is 4 or less that is fine. If the figure is slightly higher there is still no need to worry as slightly high cholesterol is not as dangerous as very low cholesterol. If it is unusually high 7+ then you should take immediate steps to bring it down.

There are several factors that can make you more likely to develop high cholesterol but for most people saturated fat and trans-fats are the biggest culprits. Below are some factors for high cholesterol. Women usually have lower levels of total cholesterol than men of the same age and higher levels of HDL “good” cholesterol. This is due to the female hormone oestrogen, which drops off after a woman’s child bearing years causing a rise in cholesterol levels after about age 55 years. Some factors for high cholesterol …….
• A family history (genetics)
• Being overweight
• Getting older

image001.jpg vegetable oils

• Eating a diet high in saturated fat, cholesterol and trans-fats.
What are trans-fats? Trans –fats are made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oils through a process called hydrogenation, which makes the oil less likely to spoil. Using trans-fats in the manufacturing of foods helps the foods stay fresh longer, have a longer shelf life and have a less greasy feel. They are unsaturated fats which are not common in nature although small amounts occur naturally in beef, lamb and full fat dairy products. Like saturated fats, trans-fats raise LDL “bad” cholesterol and lower HDL “good” cholesterol, thus increasing the risk of heart disease. Trans-fats also go by the name of trans- fatty acids or partially hydrogenated fats and are usually found in fast foods, packaged foods, fried and frozen foods, margarine spreads and many baked goods. Ironically, fully hydrogenated oils do not have the same adverse side effects as partially hydrogenated oils. So read your food labels carefully.

Chemical remedies for high cholesterol.
index.jpg Pills and Drugs

Statins are the most prescribed drug for high cholesterol and in the UK about 7 million people per year take them on a daily basis. This figure is set to rise to about 10 million. Research has shown, however, that about 25% of people who were on statins have stopped taking them. Statins work by blocking the production of cholesterol in the liver but they have been reported as having severe adverse side effects, some of which are headaches, nausea, muscle pain, vomiting, constipation, sleep disturbances, decreased insulin sensitivity, depression, memory loss and erectile dysfunction.
Two other major side effects of statins are (1) that they may drive your cholesterol down to too low a level, which could lead to memory loss and even dementia, violent behaviour, aggression and moodiness due to a reduction in the hormone serotonin (2) Statins also reduce the hormone Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) which performs some important functions in your heart and every cell in your body, including the regulation of your heartbeat. As you age your body produces less of this hormone which makes the situation worse if you are also taking statins.
Niacin (vitamin B3) is also very effective in reducing cholesterol but comes with a side effect known as “flushing”, which is a tingling, burning sensation on all or parts of the skin, which can last for about three to four minutes and is extremely uncomfortable. Taking an aspirin half an hour before taking niacin is said to prevent flushing. Alternatively, taking niacin in a form known as Inositol does away with the flushing.

Natural ways to lower high cholesterol

canstock5771099.jpg antioxidantsThere are simple but very effective ways to reduce high cholesterol naturally. Losing weight, giving up smoking, exercising, drinking alcohol in moderation and eating a healthy diet low in saturated fat is top of the list. Adding certain herbs and spices to your low fat diet will also reduce high cholesterol and without the adverse side effects associated with drugs. Herbs such as fenugreek (methi), fennel, holy basil (tulsi) and garlic, although the latter may interact adversely with some medications, are very effective. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves and turmeric and fruits like coconut and avocado are all very effective in reducing cholesterol levels and one must not forget soluble fibre from sweet potatoes, oats, barley, plantains, breadfruit, okras, lentils and beans, olive oil and fish oils, mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines and tuna but beware of the high mercury content of tuna. Both garlic and turmeric are blood thinners and can be used as natural alternatives to aspirin. Among its many attributes turmeric also raises HDL “good” cholesterol, reduces LDL “bad” cholesterol and helps the liver eliminate excess cholesterol in a similar way to fibre. Needless to say this is a process which can become an everyday part of your diet and not a quick fix.

Co-enzyme q 10

Coenzyme q 10 is a natural antioxidant which the body produces but is also found in many foods. Its main function is the generation of energy within cells. It is found in every cell in the body but there are higher concentrations in the organs with higher energy requirements such as the heart, liver and kidneys. In heart muscle cells it also plays a vital role in the use of oxygen. Research suggests that CoQ10 may slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and low levels have been observed in people with Parkinson’s disease.
CoQ10 is sold as a dietary supplement and not a medicine so the quality can vary tremendously. A broad rule of thumb is that the lower the price the more inferior the product, so you could as well save your money if you are buying a cheap brand. The best way around this is to buy CoQ10 in a form known as Ubiquinol which is more readily absorbed by your body. Two other points to remember here are that ubiquinol is fat soluble which means that it should be taken with a meal, as the meal should contain some fat and also anything that is fat soluble can be stored in the body, similarly vitamins A,D,E and K. So, what has all of this got to do with cholesterol? It has more to do with the most popular drug used to reduce high cholesterol. Yes, statins. As you can see CoQ10 is extremely important for heart health and proper heart functioning and one of the reported side effects of statins is that they destroy CoQ10. So, if you are taking statins and you intend to stay on them then you should also take a proper CoQ10 supplement. It would, however, be better to consider getting off these drugs and reducing your cholesterol naturally by eating plant based foods which have no cholesterol whatsoever but lots of soluble and insoluble fibre. Remember there is no problem with moderately high cholesterol.

7 Pillars of Good Nutrition

There are seven pillars of good nutrition and every meal as far as practicable should include them in some form. This way you are eating a balanced diet which is essential for good health. The seven pillars are listed below.

Sweet PotatoCarbohydrates are sugars, starches and fibres found in most foods. They provide energy, regulate digestion, support immune functions and help with communication between cells. They are two types, simple (cakes, soft drinks, biscuits, bread, pasta) and complex (sweet potato, wild rice, plantain) the latter providing more health benefits. The more complex the carbohydrate the slower the glucose and hormones are released into the body. This makes for a more stable and sustainable energy level. Complex carbohydrates also assist with appetite control and provide the body with dietary fibre which in turn helps with elimination, lowering of cholesterol, colon cleansing and the provision of food for the good bacteria in your gut. Simple carbohydrates on the other hand release glucose very quickly into the blood stream, give you an immediate burst of short term energy (spike) and leave you feeling hungry after a short period of time. This is not conducive to good health as these spikes can damage your organs.Barbeque 1

Proteins are the second most common element in the body after water. They are used by the body to build, maintain and repair muscle tissue. They make hormones, enzymes, skin, blood, bones, cartilage and other body chemicals and the immune system. Proteins are made up mainly of amino acids of which they are about twenty, nine of which are considered essential, mainly because they must be supplied by your diet. Proteins come from beef, pork, lamb, fish, chicken and eggs and also pulses and legumes such as beans and black eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, almonds and Greek yoghurt. Proteins from these non-animal sources are low in fat and cholesterol and are full of fibre. A diet with a heavy concentration on animal protein often provides much more protein than the body needs and can be toxic, as meat is acid forming and an imbalance of acid/alkaline can lead to inflammation and disease. Vegans and vegetarians should vary their diet regularly, as plants do not contain the full amounts of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Varying the types of vegetables and herbs means that what is not available in one vegetable is made up for by another. Proteins have a high thermogenic effect that helps stimulate your metabolism. This is because it takes more calories to chew and digest protein than carbohydrates so proteins can help with weight loss.

index.jpg Coconut oil in jarFats provide your body with energy and also help with the assimilation of vitamins A, D, E and K. It also insulates your body and the fatty acids play a role in brain development, blood clotting and the management of inflammation. They also help the body use proteins and carbohydrates more efficiently and when eaten make you feel more satisfied. There are three types of fats. Saturated fats are found in animal products (meat, milk) and are said to increase HDL “bad” cholesterol. Current thinking is that saturated fats that come from grass fed animals and free range chickens that are corn fed are quite healthy. However there are some saturated fats that are unquestionably beneficial to the body and help with the promotion of good health. One such fat is lauric acid from coconut oil. Trans- fats are formed when vegetable oils are hydrogenated to prolong their shelf life. They are found in processed and baked foods and are considered to be very unhealthy. Unsaturated fats are considered the healthiest of all and are derived mainly from fish (omega 3) nuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, mackerel, herring, salmon, avocados and olive oil. It is important when choosing unsaturated fats (oils) to avoid those that say “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”.canstock5771099.jpg antioxidants

Vitamins are essential for good health. They help heal wounds, boost your immune system, help convert food into energy and repair damage to cells and lack of vitamins can result in the contraction of certain diseases. Vitamins can be fat soluble, meaning they should be taken with fat and can be stored in the body (A, D,E, K) or water soluble, those which cannot be stored in the body and need to be replenished ever so often (B, C). The exception is B12, which can be stored in the body. Vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air and acid and become inactive as a result. They work in tandem with minerals but sometimes there can be an adverse interaction. For example, vitamin C helps your body absorb iron but can block its ability to absorb copper. You should get your daily requirement of vitamins from the foods you eat.

protein-diet-foodsMinerals mainly come into the body through food from all sources. They are categorized as major or minor (trace), depending on the amounts needed by the body for proper functioning. Major minerals like potassium, sodium and chloride help maintain the proper balance of water in the body. Trace minerals are needed by the body but only in small amounts. These are iron, zinc, manganese, copper, fluoride, chromium, selenium and molybdenum iodine. Of the trace minerals the most important are zinc, selenium, iron and copper all of which are found in a wide variety of foods. Minerals help our bodies to grow, develop and stay healthy. They are also used to build strong bones, convey nerve impulses, create hormones and keep our heartbeat normal. They work with vitamins to perform many functions in the body. Trace minerals carry out various tasks in the body. Iron, for example, carries oxygen throughout the body and zinc not only helps the blood to clot but bolsters the immune system as well and is essential for taste and smell.

free_8899134.jpg WaterWater is extremely vital and should be replenished daily. It is second only to air as an essential for life. Many processes in your body rely on it but you lose about two to three quarts of it daily through urination, sweating and breathing. You may only survive a week without water and if you were to lose 20% of your water you would die. It makes up about 60% of the male body and about 50% of the female body. Your blood is 83% water, your heart 79%, your muscle 75%, brain 75% and your skin 72%. Water helps to maintain body temperature, metabolize fat, cushions and lubricate organs, helps with digestion and flushes toxins from the body. Water, like carbohydrates, fats and protein is considered a macro-nutrient as it is vital for life.Fibre

Fibre is only derived from plant food and has many health benefits. It not only improves digestive health but helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and some cancers. There are two types, soluble and insoluble and a healthy diet should include both. Insoluble fibre passes through the gut undigested and helps to keep the bowels healthy, prevents digestive problems and as a result reduce the risk if colonic cancer. Good sources are coconut, nuts and bran. Soluble fibre can be digested and helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood. It bulks you up and helps with elimination. Water is essential here as it acts as a lubricant and prevents constipation.. Good sources of soluble fibre are sweet potato, bananas, apples barley and carrots. The flesh of the coconut is probably the best source of insoluble fibre although the woody parts of herbs are also good sources. There are some foods like sweet potato and green bananas that provide both soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre also provides food for the good bacteria in your gut.