Top six foods to cleanse the liver naturally

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Detoxes and cleanses have been touted by Hollywood actors and health and fitness professionals, often requiring expensive supplements that can be cost prohibitive and possibly questionable in effectiveness and safety.

One of the target organs of many of such cleanses is the liver, which is where toxins in the system can accumulate (1). The liver is a powerhouse filter in the body, and it is tasked with performing over 400 functions, helping to keep you healthy (1).

When your liver becomes overwhelmed with the tasks at hand, it can leave you feeling sluggish, inhibit proper digestion, and you may experience headaches (1). However, you don’t need to ascribe by the latest trend that is followed by starlets in order to gain the benefits. Effective and natural ways to cleanse your liver are as close as your pantry or refrigerator.

1) Garlic does more than just ward off vampires

garlicWhile garlic does a lot to spice up your food, it can also do a lot inside your body. Touted as a superfood, garlic’s sulfur-containing compounds work to wake up liver enzymes, helping to rid the body of toxins (2).

Garlic also contains selenium, which has been shown to be a beneficial and essential component in immune health and healthy thyroid hormone metabolism as well as liver health (3). Garlic can also help to reduce the amount of fat that builds up in the liver through reducing both the total serum cholesterol levels and the bad kind of cholesterol, LDL (4).

Just a few cloves of garlic incorporated into your meals each day can help to provide you with additional liver support.

2) Onions for a healthy and happy liver

onionsAlthough you may equate onions with bad breath, the nutrients packed in these pungent vegetables should outweigh the possible halitosis you may experience. Onions contain high levels of potassium, flavonoids, phytonutrients, and fiber, which can work as little scrubbers in your digestive tract as well as in your liver (5).

Onions also contain a specific flavonoid called quercetin, which has been shown to reduce both blood pressure and LDL cholesterol serum levels, as well as reduce the accumulation of fat around the abdominal region and the liver (6).

The disulfides in onions also help to aid in the protection of the liver from damage and help to support the process of detoxification of the body (6). The versatility of onions means that you can easily incorporate them into every meal, from breakfast to dinner.

3) Lemon meringue for a cleaner liver

lemonsOkay, maybe a meringue is not the healthiest of ways to incorporate lemons into your diet, but it sure is a tasty way! Many at home detox programs require the drinking of lemon water mixed with a variety of spices and sometimes even maple syrup (7).

However, you may not need to add the spices and other stuff to your water, as it appears that sipping on water with a few slices of lemon in it can help to detoxify your liver. It is thought that the antioxidant D-Limonene works to activate the enzymes in the liver that are in charge of detoxification (8).

When making lemon water, it is important to use warm water and the whole lemon, peel and all, as the peel contains high levels of D-Limonene and the warm water allows the lemon to soften and release the beneficial components (8).

4) You can’t beat a beet

beetsThe vibrant color of beets should serve as a beckoning agent, as these colorful vegetables are jam packed with nutrients. One of the unique nutrients that are plentiful in beets is betalains, which is a phytonutrient (9).

Betalin pigments are what provide beets with their distinct color and have been shown to be a key nutrient in lending support to the liver during the Phase 2 detoxification process within the body (9). It is during this stage of the detoxification process that toxins are neutralized and ready to be removed through urination (9).

Beets can easily be added to salads, baked and served with a meal, or consumed in the form of juice.

 

5) An apple a day keeps the hepatologist away

applesAlthough it may not be as catchy, Benjamin Franklin was onto something when he coined the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” (10). Apples contain high levels of fiber, as well as vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals, making them a good choice for aiding in the detoxification of the liver (10).

One of the flavonoids found in apples, phlorizin, has been identified in numerous studies as contributing to liver health, as well as inhibiting the growth of liver cancer cells (11). Whether you add them in your salads, choose to consume them in a sauce form, in a pie, or on their own, apples are an easy and delicious way to help your liver and support the detoxification process, leading to an improved overall health.

6) Little broccoli trees can help to clean your liver

broccoliThese little treelike vegetables offer protection for your health just like the trees in the forest provide shelter for wildlife during a storm. Broccoli spears and sprouts release their nutritive phytochemicals when they are digested (10).

One of the phytonutrients found in broccoli is sulforaphane, which, when compared to the amounts found in cauliflower and broccoli Raab, broccoli spears blow the others out of the water (12). However, the sulforaphane isn’t actually present in the broccoli as it sits on your cutting board, but rather the act of cutting or biting releases two different enzymes, that when they combine, turn into sulforaphane (12).

Studies have suggested that in order to reap the benefits of sulforaphane, broccoli sprouts and broccoli powder can be combined to enhance the absorption (13).

Sources for this article include:
(1) www.onegreenplanet.org
(2) naturalsociety.com
(3) bioinformatica.upf.edu
(4) www.liversupport.com
(5) www.onegreenplanet.org
(6) www.liversupport.com
(7) themastercleanse.org
(8) healthimpactnews.com
(9) www.whfoods.com
(10) www.liversupport.com
(11) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
(12) www.diabeticconnect.com
(13) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Image sources:

What is the Vortex – and how can it help you create your best life?

Do you notice that there are times in your life when everything seems to be going smoothly? In fact, it is like you are gliding, or in the flow – because things are going so well. You feel good, your thoughts are positive, you are eager and excited about life in general.

Do you also notice there are times when everything seems to be out of whack – you feel ornery, everyone around you seems ornery, your car breaks down, your refrigerator stops running, you are in a state of negativity and frustration, and it seems like life is just giving you a hard time?

Of course you do – we all are very familiar with these phases. It is part of the human experience.

What if you found out that there is a possibility that you can effectively steer or guide yourself into the positive flow much more often? Wouldn’t that be exciting? Well, it is more than just a possibility – it is absolutely doable.

If you follow the teachings of Abraham-Hicks, as translated through motivational speaker Esther Hicks, you will know exactly what this means. The dreamy, happy, eager and positive states where you feel that you are in the flow means you are in what they call the Vortex.

If you are not familiar with these teachings, consider this a primer about the Vortex and how you can access it.

For practical purposes, let’s go right to the very heart of their teachings, a large part of which focuses upon getting into the Vortex.

Accoring to the Reference.com Dictionary, you will discover that a vortex is “something regarded as drawing into its powerful current everything that surrounds it.”

When you take this scientific definition and use it to define a state of emotional well-being, you can sense immediately that getting drawn into it would be a very good thing indeed!

If you are familiar with the Law of Attraction (LOA), then the Vortex as Abraham describes it will be very familiar to you; according to Abraham, we all have a non-physical energy, otherwise known as our inner being, or source, or really whatever term you are comfortable using.

We can use this non-physical part of ourselves to connect with, or, as Abraham says, come into alignment with, the Vortex. In the Vortex, you will find your state of happiness, joy, and flow. It is essentially a vibrational state of being, in which you can access what is described as pure positive energy.

In the Vortex, you are in the ideal state in which to access your most cherished dreams. All of your goals, dreams and desires are in the Vortex, because that is where your most powerful self resides.

When you are out of the Vortex, you feel discombobulated, ornery, out-of-sync, perhaps even depressed.

Your emotions are your guidance system so to speak, that let you know which direction you are heading. If you break it down to its core – when you are in the Vortex you feel great, on top of the world. When you are out of it, you feel pretty awful.

It is normal and natural to move into and out of the Vortex, but you can certainly gain access into it far more often when you have the knowledge and the tools to do so. It is not a complicated or, forgive the term, “kooky,” or an esoteric, nebulous process. Some of the ways you can access the Vortex include:

  • Getting outside and enjoying a lovely day out in nature
  • Writing in a gratitude journal and letting your appreciation for things wash through you
  • Meditation
  • A nice, refreshing nap
  • Having a really good laugh
  • Reading inspirational material
  • Dancing to happy music that fills you with joy
  • Making love

Those are just a small handful of ways to access the Vortex.

There are dozens of Abraham-Hicks workshops you can access right from the comfort of your home through audio recordings as well, and these are an excellent tool not only for knowledge, but for getting into the Vortex far more often. You can also listen to audio books on the subject (see this post to discover how to get one for free right now).

There is also a terrific video on YouTube which is an excerpt from an Abraham-Hicks workshop that explains the Vortex on an introductory level. It’s another great place to start.

Getting into the Vortex is not something that is complicated or difficult, in fact, it’s far easier that you might imagine. If you’ve ever found yourself laughing with abandon (say, while watching a hilarious viral video), then you know exactly how to get into the Vortex.

When you can access that state more and more, you will find your life to be a great, fun adventure, and improving at every possible level.

Life Need a Boost? Tell a Better Story

Are you in a slump right now, in need of a boost? There are many ways to accomplish this, but one mindset in particular is extraordinarily helpful. In order to get there, some questions are in order:

If you were to sum up your life experience, explaining the who, why, where and so on of your life and yourself – past and present – how would you do so? If you were to describe the majority of your life, your patterns, your general challenges and victories, how would that sound?

There is probably a recurring pattern in your ‘life story’

There is no right or wrong answer here, but it is probable that if you take the time to self-reflect, you will come up with a recurring theme.

It could be that you’ve always struggled with your weight, financial woes, relationship turbulence, health problems, and so on. In describing your experience, do you see a theme or pattern emerging? Most of us do, it’s quite human!

In reflecting upon our life experiences, it is possible to become wrapped up in a particular theme, or story. It’s one you probably know by heart, if you think about it – and it is usually what is found at the very heart of any particular slump, so to speak.

People often talk poorly about themselves

“I’ve always had self-esteem issues,” says one person. Another person might say “I have always had a hot temper, and that’s just who I am.” Someone else might say that they have been struggling financially for their entire lives, starting with growing up in poverty. These are just a few examples.

The imaginary people in the examples above might – or probably – have some amazing traits and gifts. One could be an accomplished pianist, another could have a gift for entertaining, and someone else could be a great mom. Or all of the above. Yet, that is not the story they tell. It is not what they emphasize.

The story they tell – or even just feel – about themselves is something that does not serve them.

You can change your life, by telling a different story

Could that be the case for you as well? If so, there is fantastic news: you can change your story! One hundred percent, you can change it, and in the process, give your life an incredibly positive boost.

The teachings of Abraham Hicks, as translated through motivational speaker Esther Hicks, explains how this is possible.

In the following YouTube video, Hicks discusses the topic at length:

“You have to tell the story the way you want it to be, before the story of your life will actualize around what you want it to be,” says Hicks.

She goes on to say that every single part of your life that you are living is in response to the story you are telling. The way you think, the way you feel, and your attitude is your point of attraction – in other words, they determine what you attract and manifest into your life.

“If you want something to shift in your story and the way it manifests, you’ve got to start telling the story in a way that shifts your emotion as you tell it,” she adds. “The source within you tells the story that you are worthy beyond description, and when you say that things aren’t going well, there is a clash in the stories.”

No matter where you are emotionally right now, you can begin to tell your story in a brand new way – you can tell it in a way that reflects who and what you want to be, how you want your life to be, and how you want to feel.

Think of your story as your life script. You can edit and even rewrite your script, updating it with current information based on what you want. Imagine who you would be without the old story. Who would you like to be? Tell that story – rehearse it, in present tense. For example, “I’m excited about the person I’m becoming, I can feel that good things are happening.”

That is a very basic example – you can use your imagination and have fun playing with different scripts that resonate within you.

In the book Money, and the Law of Attraction, by Esther and Jerry Hicks, this topic is also addressed:

“You have to begin to tell the story of your life as you now want it to be and discontinue the tales of how it has been or of how it is.”

When you start to tell a new story, you are giving yourself a valuable gift. You can shed your old story and begin anew – this time, with the script that you have always dreamed of.

Image Source: The Story of My Life by AllyWanaBwite

Can eating crushed egg shells improve health?

egg shells

Plenty of foods exist that can boost overall health and even heal certain conditions. Cruciferous veggies are known to help fight cancers, spices like turmeric combat inflammation and some nuts play a role in improving memory. The list goes on.

Then there are eggshells, known for their calcium content (one 1/2 teaspoon of crushed, powdered eggshells contain about 400 mgs. of elemental, or absorbable, calcium), a mineral responsible mainly for bone health.(1)

Wait . . . eggshells?

Normally, they’re tossed in the trash or put in the compost pile, but ingesting them is considered by many a healthy way to get more calcium in their diet while also keeping inflammation at bay.

Here’s how to make powdered eggshell calcium:

Simply collect organic eggshells, then boil them in water for about five minutes to remove any bacteria. Make sure the shells are fully submerged.

In the meantime, heat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the shells are boiled, place them on a cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until very crispy. While baking them fully ensures that bacteria are eradicated as best as possible, many opt to skip this step, content with the boiling process, so it’s up to the individual.

Finally, remove them from the oven, then grind them in a coffee grinder or another preferred method until they are finely ground into a powder-like form.

Health benefits of eating crushed egg shells

Eggshell membranes contain substances like glucosamine and hyaluronic acid which improve joint elasticity and shock absorption.(2) This makes them ideal for fighting off conditions that affect the joints, ensuring they are kept as fully-functioning as possible.

Eating eggshells has also been linked to quickly decreasing pain in those afflicted with joint problems and keeping that pain away as time goes on.(2) Read this article to learn more.

Mikhail Tombak, Ph.D., says that osteoporosis can even be treated by eating eggshells, explaining that calcium is 90 percent absorbable by people’s bones, and that interestingly, the makeup of eggshells is incredibly similar to our teeth and bones. (3) In fact, they’re so similar to teeth that they’ve even been suggested as a way to regrow and remineralize teeth rather than face dental treatments that may be costly and involve use of harmful metals (or both).(4)

Calcium powder made from organic eggshells can be added to meals including drinks, smoothies, or blended in with oats.

How to balance the hormones that can help speed up weight loss

Eating healthy but not easily losing weight?

Marjorie Nolan Cohn, National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says balancing two key hormones, ghrelin and leptin, is key. (1)

In an interview with talk show host Katie Couric, Cohn explains that ” . . . hormones are the signalers in our body . . . they are the control center.” (1) They play a role in weight gain as well as the inability to lose weight once a person is at an obese or overweight stage.

In a nutshell, ghrelin is the hormone that makes a person feel hungry. It typically kicks in at 8:00 am, noon, 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, times which Cohn points out coincide with the usual times people tend to eat meals and snacks. Leptin is the hormone that signals when a person is full. It’s important that the two are balanced so that one does not become leptin-resistant.

How to balance the hormones that can help speed up weight loss

Cohn advises drinking plenty of water since ” . . . thirst and hunger are easily confused,” and eating diets rich in lentils and beans, rolled oats, sweet potatoes and plain Greek yogurt. (1) She explains that such foods have the ability to slow digestion down and keep people feeling full longer.

Sweet potatoes, for example, are high in both fiber and water content, making them an ideal food to stave off hunger (2). Furthermore, they help regulate blood sugar levels which keeps stomach fat at bay (2).

Rolled oats are also an ideal way to fight hunger pangs since they are a low-fat, low-calorie and high-fiber food. (3)

Brazil nuts, avocados, and olives are also foods that can help balance these hormones. (4)

Furthermore, it’s advised to eat as close to the above-mentioned times as possible so as to stay on ghrelin’s schedule and not confuse the body.

Sources for this article include:

(1) www.youtube.com
(2) blogs.naturalnews.com
(3) livewell.jillianmichaels.com
(4) www.livestrong.com

Image source: https://flic.kr/p/8U5y4J

Can animals detect cancer in humans?

Most pet owners and animal lovers feel a bond with their finned, feathered or four-legged friends. From celebrating their birthdays to buying them outfits, or just visiting zoos regularly and putting more suet in the bird feeder, people enjoy surrounding themselves with these wonderful creatures. However, having them in our lives may benefit us beyond the excitement of singing “happy birthday” to Fido.

In fact, it turns out that the animals in your life may feel just as much a bond with you as you do for them. Not only are many animals in tune to our changing moods and daily habits, but they can save our life by detecting cancers, well in advance of when our current technology can. If that doesn’t deserve a treat and a belly rub, I don’t know what does! Seriously, your pet may be sending you signals right now that your health is in jeopardy.

Studies show that animals can detect cancer in humans

So, can animals detect cancer in humans? It seems so.

Get this: In a 2011 study from Japan, a Labrador retriever was 98 percent correct in identifying colorectal cancer by sniffing stool samples and at least 95 percent as accurate as a colonoscopy when they smelled a person’s breath (1). That’s right, dogs could detect this cancer simply by smelling a person’s breath. As if this isn’t impressive enough, this particular dog was able to distinguish between polyps and malignancies, an early-stage detection that even a colonoscopy doesn’t pick up on.

In another study that same year, scientists trained dogs to sniff out lung cancer and interestingly, not only could they do it, but they could single out lung cancer when also sniffing breath samples of healthy patients and ones with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1).

Personal stories of pets and their ability to detect cancer in owners

Ricky Hatfield can testify to the healing power of dogs to detect serious conditions. He explains how his dog gave him a head-butt right in the groin (ouch!), which was very atypical behavior for the retriever. Hatfield went to the hospital from resulting swelling in his groin, which led to the discovery that he had Stage 2 testicular cancer.

Think it’s coincidence? Just a dog clowning around and a super duper lucky guy? Maybe. But Hatfield’s doctors say this early detection likely saved his life. And the kicker? The dog’s odd behavior, like head-butting, started taking place about a month prior to Hatfield’s hospital visit which, um, coincides perfectly with the time in which doctors say is when Hatfield likely started becoming ill (2).

“The specific cancer scent indeed exists, but the chemical compounds are not clear,” explains Dr. Hideto Sonoda from Kyushu University in Japan. “Only the dog knows the true answer.” (3)

Well . . . apparently cats do too. When Wendy Humphrey’s cat Fidge kept jumping on her breast repeatedly for several weeks, she took it as a sign and visited her doctor. The finding? A malignant, pea-sized tumor that had it gone undetected, could have metastasized (4).

So next time your Fido or Fluffy seems persistent about head-butting your body or acting way out of sorts, why not take it as a reminder to check in on your health? They may know something that you, or even state-of-the-art technology, doesn’t yet.

Sources for this article include:

(1) www.psychologytoday.com

(2) www.lifewithdogs.tv

(3) www.naturalnews.com

Beware of UV lights in nail salons

Manicure fanatics, take caution. A new study reinforces what’s frequently been mentioned in the past which is that there’s a link between getting manicures and developing skin cancer.

Specifically, the focus is on nail dryers used in beauty salons, which use ultraviolet light to hasten the process. Hands are put under the dryer once nails are coated with the polish or treatment of choice, and studies show the process can damage skin.

Seventeen UV lamps were assessed in a Georgia Regents University study to determine the dose of UV light emitted (1). While skin cancer occurs at approximately 60 joules per centimeter squared and the light emitted in this study’s findings ranged to up to only eight, researchers say it’s the frequency in which people are getting manicures that ups their chances of skin cancer.

Frequency of UV nail light exposure speeds up skin problems

Eight to 14 visits using the nail-drying UV light over the course of 2 to 3 years seems to be the magic number as to what will lead to skin damage. Considering that many people have weekly manicure habits, it’s easy to draw the conclusion that the onset of skin damage can occur much sooner than what the study suggests.

Indeed, previous research makes the case, including the finding of a 48 year-old woman who had repeated UV nail light exposure and ultimately developed squamous cell cancers on the backs of her hands (the portion facing the light, since the hands are faced palm side down under the lamps) (2).

Aside from potentially developing skin cancer, other changes to the body can also take place.

Chris Adigun of New York University’s Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology explains that frequent use of salon or at-home nail dryers, as well as tanning beds, can also create changes that include everything from developing dark skin spots and premature wrinkling to getting brittle nails. Ironically, these are the results of people attempting to improve their appearance. In the end, they are ruining their appearance and their overall health.

Tips to reduce UV light exposure at the beauty salon

For those who feel they can’t skip their manicure habit or let nails dry the old-fashioned way (naturally, with air), experts have suggestions to keep skin safe.

For example, one way to help keep harmful UV light at bay is to forgo moisturizing lotions used by the salon and instead, bring sunscreen. Apply to hands before nails are worked on so that they are better protected under the drying light.

Others suggest bringing UV-protective gloves and snipping off the fingertips in order to protect the hands while allowing the fingernails to be treated.

Finally, choose salons that have non UV-light nail drying methods in place such as small fans that are placed over hands.

Sources for this article include:

(1) well.blogs.nytimes.com

(2) www.naturalnews.com

The side effects of chia seeds may surprise you

Could there be some shocking side effects of chia seeds that many of us aren’t aware of?

We’re not saying that this superfood isn’t rich in omega-3 fatty acids and high in protein, because clearly, they are. But it just may be that there are some drawbacks to eating chia seeds, and since most of what we hear in the media is about the healthy punch they pack, we’re not as privy to the negative aspects of eating them.

Wow, who knew the cheery chia seed has a potential dark side?

Possible side effects of eating chia seeds

Here’s the scoop.

First off, chia seeds can make you a methane machine. In other words, you might end up passing more wind than a car on the autobahn. In all seriousness, studies have shown that eating a handful or so of the seeds brought on an increase in gas. Not the end of the world, since all this means is that their high fiber content is doing its thing (1). As the saying goes, it’s all good. Embarrassing, but good.

On a more serious note, consuming chia seeds may cause for concern among those taking blood thinners or people heading into surgery. Omega-3s, which chia seeds are rich in, can thin blood, so anyone with blood-related thinning issues should be aware about this possibility and speak with a medical professional to make the best decision (1).

Too much consumption may also lead to prostate cancer in men, although published findings and subsequent concerns regarding bias have raised doubts. It’s possible that the alpha-linolenic acid in chia seeds can up the risk for prostate cancer and if true, noted publications say that the risk is “likely to be small.” (2)

Likewise, pregnant women should heed the advice of their doctor if they want to eat chia seeds since any side effects as they pertain to expectant moms have not yet been studied.

Finally, chia seeds may be habit-forming (1). Really. Given all their benefits, you might think this is a good thing. However, they come from the “Salvia” family which is linked to recreational use typically involving rolling its dried leaves or ingesting its juices. But the National Institute on Drug Abuse says, “Although salvia is generally considered a hallucinogen, it does not act at serotonin receptors that are activated by other hallucinogens like LSD or psilocybin, and its effects are reported by experienced users to be different from those drugs.”(3)

To read more about the pros and cons of chia seeds, check out this story.

This is interesting to us, as it’s surprising in that “my oh my, the chia seed is a bit of a wild child” way. Chia seeds gone wild. Stuff like that. We consider ourselves warned, but still enjoy knowing that it’s a tremendous superfood, so we’re inclined to keep making our chia seed muesli recipe, even if we are passing more wind than normal while eating it.

Like any food choices you make, you have to do what’s right for you based on your dietary needs and preferences. It never hurts to pay close attention to labels, and always check in with your doctor no matter what you read in the media. As they saying goes, there’s no such thing as a dumb question.

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://chiaseedssideeffects.blogspot.ca/

(2) http://www.healwithfood.org/side-effects/chia-seed-allergies.php

(3) http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/salvia

The movie “Fed Up” will shed light on the food industry and health concerns

With images of cows lined up in stalls, close-ups of soda cans being popped open and experts like Katie Couric offering startling warnings like “By 2050, one out of every three Americans will have diabetes,” the trailer for the movie Fed Up promises to shed light on the ills of the food industry. It’s going to be an eye-opening look at how the foods being produced do more to harm our health than they do to heal it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNqymWYB-18

The movie, produced by Laurie David (who also produced the award-winning An Inconvenient Truth), comes out in U.S. theaters on Friday, May 9, 2014.

Why we should watch Fed Up

Since Raw and Natural Health readers are interested in making healthy food choices, we think this movie will be of great interest.

Surely, there are those among us who have had their share of Twizzlers and Twinkies, choosing cake over kale. Maybe you still do it on occasion, despite also chowing down on healthy foods like farro cucumber salads.

Then again, maybe you grew up in a healthy-eating environment and know nothing of the taste of a Big Mac or a deep fried Oreo. Either way, the trailer looks like it will reinforce our decision to choose health and not look back . . . and that’s a good thing.

USA Today raves that “This movie will change the way people think about eating.” Indeed it will make us look closer at the food industry and health concerns.

In the trailer, Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist who runs a weight management clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, says there are over “600,000 food items in America. Eighty percent of them have added sugar.”

It’s no secret that Lustig is an anti-sugar, anti-processed food person (go Dr. Lustig!) and that added sugar is cause for concern. In fact, one family decided to go without added sugars for an entire year, noticing improvements in energy levels and decreased sicknesses. For more about their incredible story, read here.

While the world knows about the harms of unhealthy foods, at the same time the food industry seems to intentionally come up with ideas to make the matter worse. For example, there’s Coca-Cola’s 146-flavor soda dispenser, of which the owner of Moe’s Southwest Grill says, “We’re converting water-only customers into beverage customers. I love this machine.”

There’s also things like pizza layer cakes and vegetable ice cream (you can’t fool us, Haagen-Dazs!).

We tend to agree with what renowned food, health and diet author Michael Pollan says in the Fed Up trailer. “The government is subsidizing the obesity epidemic,” he says.

After all, what are we to believe anymore? With so many mixed messages, skewed (yet approved) studies for medications, changing food regulations and “eat this . . . oops, wait, don’t eat this” moments in society, it’s hard to keep up. One thing’s for sure: this movie will address these things, and likely have us both applauding producer Laurie David while at the same time getting knots in our stomachs because of folks who enjoy seeing their wallets expand right along with our waistlines.

Sources for this article include:

Linger in bed: sex makes you look younger!

From television commercials to magazine articles, it seems that society is on a mission to look as young as possible no matter how old they really are. At Raw and Natural Health, we’re advocates of making smart food choices like sipping on banana mango smoothies, since the right foods not only help overall health, but play a role in slowing the aging process.

For example, olive oil, blueberries and carrots contain antioxidants that help rid the body of free radicals which can keep skin looking supple, hydrated and wrinkle-free. Read more about foods that can help slow the aging process here.

Then there’s sex. Yes, the act of making love.

Call it what you will, but being intimate between the sheets has been linked to looking up to seven years younger.

Researcher says frequent sex makes you look younger

The study that sheds light on this notion was conducted by clinical neuropsychologist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland, Dr. David Weeks. Over 3,000 men and women were interviewed (most were aged between 45 and 55) about their lifestyle over the course of 10 years. In addition to getting regular amounts non-sexual physical activity and socializing with a wide range of people, frequent sexual intercourse was a key factor in looking younger.

So, what’s the magic number?

After all, for some people, daily intercourse is not unheard of. Then again, many folks can count on one hand how many times they’ve been intimate during an entire year. Weeks’ research concludes that having sexual intercourse three times per week was what kept study participants looking most youthful.

One word of warning though: he makes it clear that casual sex does not count since the stress and worries of everything from cheating to getting sexually-transmitted diseases can hasten the aging process. “The sex doesn’t work without a good relationship,” Weeks says. “It works via a relationship that is very supportive and emphatic, in which both people are physically and emotionally compatible.”

Why regular sex makes you look younger

Dermatologist and mind-body connection advocate Dr. Amy Wechsler says that engaging in sexual activity two to three times weekly can help repair skin. “When you have sex, you’re bathing the skin in anti-inflammatory molecules such as oxytocin and beta endorphins. As we get older, we don’t heal as often as we repair. But having sex can turn the clock back on that.” Read this article to learn more about the study and why sex helps our skin.

So there you have it. Intimacy, making wise food choices . . . it’s all good, and all part of overall health, appearance and wellness.

Have a great morning (and night)! *Wink, wink*

Sources for this article include: