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Turmeric (curcumin) is an herb for inflammation and pain that is gaining a lot of attention among natural health practitioners. Turmeric belongs to the ginger family, and is traditionally being used to flavour dishes like curry. Like ginger, turmeric is used to calm inflammation and pain.

In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric has been studied and used as a medicinal agent for thousands of years. A teaspoon of turmeric powder in a cup of warm milk, used three times daily, is thought to be an effective Ayurvedic treatment for colds and flu.

Recent studies have shown that turmeric decreases the production of substances that cause inflammation, pain and joint damage in arthritis.  It also aids the digestive process.

Turmeric absorption greatly increases if it is consumed together with pepper. That’s why this turmeric recipe for inflammation and pain contains both cayenne and black pepper.

This bright orange spread can be consumed straight from the jar (for a total of 1 tablespoon daily) for maximum effects. We love spreading it on toast, at the first sign of a cold, and having it with a cup of hot tea!

Note: Since turmeric has been shown to increase production and flow of bile, those with common bile duct blockage or gallstones should avoid this herb

Anti-inflammatory Turmeric-Honey Spread

9 teaspoons turmeric
1.5 teaspoons ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
About ¼ cup of coconut oil (or it can be ghee, or both)
About ¼ cup of honey

Put all the spices in a small glass jar.
Melt coconut oil (for easy mixing) and add to the jar to mix.
Add honey and mix.
Store this natural remedy on the counter, for easy spreading and away from heat.

Take one tablespoon per day.

If you like this turmeric recipe for inflammation and pain, please share with your friends!

How to get the most out of turmeric

By all accounts, turmeric really is a miraculous healing tool (the benefits described above don’t even scratch the surface of its full potential). There’s just one problem: curcumin isn’t very readily absorbed by the body, so it’s difficult to get its truly therapeutic benefits.

Simply using turmeric as a cooking spice won’t give you nearly the amount that you need, and even most powdered turmeric supplements are fairly useless—because they’re low-quality and still not very bioavailable.

But this product is different: a turmeric extract made with organic turmeric, and without any nasty solvents. Through a proprietary, state-of-the-art process, the extract is “liposomalized,” meaning that each molecule is protected by a fatty bubble, which allows all the plant’s goodies to be readily absorbed by your cells.

This formulation takes all that raw turmeric has to offer and presents it in a format that your body LOVES to consume.

This extraordinary extract is even enriched with fulvic acid, which increases the bioavailability of all the nutrients you consume, detoxes the body, balances hydration and mineral levels, and optimizes brain health and cellular functioning. It’s a match made in heaven that will leave you feeling radiant and energized.

So whether you’re searching for the most powerful way to use turmeric as an anti-cancer agent, or trying to optimize your health and prevent cancer in the first place… Give this truly revolutionary product a try.

You won’t believe how quickly you feel its effects. Once you do, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make turmeric a part of your daily life a long time ago.

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Alzheimer’s research is one of the hottest topics in medical science. As well it should be—after all, the disease affects approximately 5.3 million Americans alone, and kills a half million Americans every year. This makes it the third leading cause of death in our country, closely trailing behind heart disease and cancer.[1]

Not so long ago, it was the sixth leading cause of death…and the disease is becoming more and more prevalent with each passing year.

Yet despite all the research focus on this neurological epidemic, relatively little progress has been made. Mainstream medical science still maintains that there is no cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Their hopeless-sounding proclamation is based on the simple fact that Alzheimer’s drugs and other pharmaceutically mediated treatment strategies usually offer little to no benefit to patients.

The results from lifestyle-based treatment strategies have been far more hopeful, however. One doctor at a mainstream aging research institution even admitted that lifestyle changes “look more promising than the drug studies so far.”[2]

Unsurprisingly, these Alzheimer’s-fighting lifestyle changes include regular exercise, regular socialization, healthy diet, and avoidance of environmental toxins. Extra protection comes from the inclusion of certain brain-boosting foods and supplements in your diet, such as beneficial fats like medium chain triglycerides (of which coconut oil is one of the prime sources), turmeric, beet juice, vitamin D, vitamin C, adaptogenic herbs, and other detoxifying foods.

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So if these superfoods and lifestyle practices work so well, why does mainstream medicine maintain that there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s?

The simple answer is that it’s incredibly difficult to prove the efficacy with which a complex set of behaviors can be used to “treat” or “cure” a disease. If they managed to create a pill that allowed Alzheimer’s patients to improve their condition without changing any other factors in their lives, this would “prove” that a treatment for Alzheimer’s does exist.

But for better or worse, the human body (and disease, for that matter) is much more complicated than that. Very seldom does targeting a single factor (and ignoring the rest) yield positive results—especially in case of a condition as astoundingly complex as neurological degeneration.

So what can Alzheimer’s research teach us?

Even though researchers haven’t been able to find a silver bullet for cognitive decline (and even though they’re as yet unwilling to fully endorse lifestyle modification as a “cure”), they’re very good at identifying the risk factors that lead to Alzheimer’s in the first place.

We’ve already mentioned some of these risk factors: environmental toxins like aluminum-containing products and vaccines, mercury (avoid dental amalgams, contaminated seafood, and vaccines), glyphosate and other pesticide components, and a whole host of endocrine disruptors.

But there’s another hugely common substance that plays an even more central role in the development of Alzheimer’s: sugar.

Some health experts have even gone so far as to call Alzheimer’s “a disease fueled by sugar” and “type 3 diabates.”[3] It’s now accepted that our processed, sugary American diet is at the heart of the problem.   

Here’s why: as we’ve discussed before, sugar is a massively destructive substance. It suppresses immune function, causes depression and other mood disorders, leads to weight gain and insulin resistance, and riddles the body with inflammation.

This inflammation extends to the brain, which accelerates the degeneration of cerebral tissues, arteries, and vessels. And the inevitable insulin resistance caused by sugar overconsumption makes matters even worse, because it cuts off the brain from the blood sugar it needs to continue functioning properly.

According to brain scans taken during one study—which examined individuals with insulin resistance who had not yet been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s—the greater the insulin resistance, the less available sugar in key parts of the brain (including the memory centers that ravaged by Alzheimer’s).[4]  

Brain diabetes

Sugar also precipitates Alzheimer’s disease in a much more direct way.

In 2005, it was discovered that your brain produces its own insulin in order to maintain the integrity of its cells. And in the same way that sugar leads to insulin resistance in the pancreas (and thus to type 2 diabetes), a sugary and inflammatory diet is a leading risk factor in the development of cerebral insulin resistance.

While the associations between all of these bodily mechanisms are incredibly intricate, what researchers do know is this: Alzheimer’s patients display a plaque-like buildup of ADDL’s (amyloid b-derived diffusible ligands), and this condition is shared by those with heart disease and diabetes (diabetics are 100% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease).[5]

And what do all of these conditions have in common? They’re strongly linked with sugar consumption.

The way forward

While “lifestyle medicine” can certainly be a lot of work, an increasing number of health professionals are realizing that it’s absolutely essential for properly combating Alzheimer’s and other prevalent conditions of our time.

The bottom line is that there’s little hope of receiving benefit from conventional Alzheimer’s drugs and treatments if you continue to consume sugar. Conversely, adopting a low-sugar, high-fat diet while you’re still healthy is one of the best ways in which you can prevent Alzheimer’s later in life.

Replace empty carbs and sugars in your diet with organic vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and lots of healthy fats. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Integrate detoxification practices into your ongoing routines, and consider trying some of the brain supplements mentioned above.

Alzheimer’s disease is not an inevitable result of old age. By avoiding sugar at all costs and getting serious about these lifestyle changes, it can be prevented and overcome.

Special Report: Stop Your Brain from Shrinking by Up to 90%!


 

References

[1] http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2014/03/05/WNL.0000000000000240.abstract

[2] http://www.journalgazette.net/features/Change-lifestyle-to-protect-brain-7896371

[3] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/13/sugar-alzheimers-disease-link.aspx?e_cid=20150813Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_
campaign=20150813Z1&et_cid=DM84740&et_rid=1074099119#_edn6

[4] http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2398420

[5] http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=177631

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bpa-dangers - 18282321923_6fe75d16e9

Living—let alone thriving—in our toxic world can be awfully tricky.

As we’ve discussed in other articles, modern society is a veritable obstacle course of sneaky toxin sources. Nowadays, even the air we breathe and the water we drink is suspect.

While there are all sorts of nasty pollutants worthy of our concern, one class of chemicals is particularly worrisome: endocrine disruptors.

These noxious chemicals adversely affect the functioning of your hormones, the “messenger molecules” that coordinate nearly every complex process in your body. The importance of the endocrine system (and the hormones it produces) simply cannot be overstated—it regulates growth, metabolism (including nutrient absorption), fertility and reproduction, immune function, sleep and other circadian rhythms, mood, behavior, and the coherent functioning of nearly every tissue in the body. For this reason, health experts have warned that endocrine disruptors can be linked to almost every major health issue that we face.

Unfortunately, there’s a vast array of endocrine-disrupting substances that have planted themselves firmly in our industry-laden culture. They show up in cleaning products, industrial agriculture applications, cosmetics, and even food.

But the most widespread endocrine disruptor of all is bisphenol-A (BPA), a form of “fake estrogen” that hijacks the endocrine system and causes massive long-term health problems. The acute toxicity of this terrible substance is now openly acknowledged—but very little is being done to prevent it from saturating our environment.

Too little too late?

As evidence began to mount against BPA, it quickly became common knowledge that BPA-free plastic is the way to go. These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a water bottle without a “BPA-Free” sticker slapped on it.

While this kind of initiative is a step in the right direction, it’s far from being a comprehensive solution. For starters, accumulating evidence suggests that the BPA alternatives used in many water bottles may be just as toxic and endocrine-disrupting as BPA itself.[1]

This allegation points to a frightening truth: that all plastics may be inherently problematic (not just types that contain BPA). And even if we assume for a moment that someone manages to produce a truly non-toxic water bottle—what about all the other ways in which plastic is used?

This thought is frightening precisely because plastic is an enormously important pillar of industrial society; it’s used for just about everything. This means that even if you swear off your personal use of plastic (especially BPA-containing plastic, and receptacles used for eating and drinking), you’ll still be affected by the massive amounts of BPA that industry inevitably pumps into the environment.

Researchers from the University of Missouri found that industrial sites all over the country release worrying quantities of BPA directly into our air and water.[2] It’s able to bind to dust and other particulates, and thus can disperse itself across vast distances. It’s also been discovered in tap water (so much for trustworthy public water treatment). Researchers have even shown that handling cash register receipts—which are saturated with BPA—can lead to elevated BPA levels in your bloodstream.[3]

And these steadily rising BPA levels have been strongly correlated with a whole host of degenerative conditions, including systemic inflammation, obesity, infertility, diabetes, asthma, compromised lung function, lung cancer, breast cancer, reproductive cancers, birth defects, calcification of the pineal gland, compromised gut flora, immune suppression, and more.

What you can do to fight back

While it’s nearly impossible to avoid BPA and other endocrine disruptors altogether, there’s still plenty you can do to protect yourself.

Eat and drink wisely. Avoid all conventional and GMO foods, which are often treated with endocrine-disrupting pesticides. Don’t buy fruits and vegetables that are wrapped in plastic (even if they’re organic), and avoid plastic food containers and cooking implements whenever possible. In fact, just avoid plastic altogether whenever possible; at the very least, avoid plastic items with a No. 3 or No. 7 recycling label. Drink purified water (even bottled water isn’t always safe).

Use hormone-balancing foods and supplements. BPA causes a build-up in excess estrogen within the body, which thus disorients the entire endocrine system. By incorporating naturally hormone-balancing foods into your diet, you can help restore your endocrine system to order. Try maca root (if you choose just one food, make it this one), turmeric, burdock, rhodiola, tulsi, beet root, cordyceps mushroom, reishi mushroom, and lion’s mane mushroom. For extra, more acute estrogen-balancing support, try these supplements: SAM-e, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), DIM, and quercetin.

Use detoxification practices. All of the foods and supplements listed above are already wonderfully detoxifying, but incorporating even more cleansing practices into your life will help ensure that you’re protected. Practice semi-regular fasting, use healing clays, eat an all-around detoxifying diet, exercise regularly, take cold showers, and spend more time in saunas.  

Support your pineal gland. The pineal gland is the center of a master detoxification system in the body, so it’s in your best interest to help it help you. Detoxification practices, avoidance of fluoridated water and toothpaste, avoidance of mercury-contaminated food and dental fillings, and forms of meditation that develop the awareness of the “third eye” are all incredibly helpful.

It could be some time before our society mends its toxic ways. In the meantime, following the advice above will help you stay protected from the unavoidable onslaught of BPA and its endocrine-disrupting cousins.

 


References

[1] http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/06/bpa-free-plastics-tritan-nalgene-dangerous

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jul/21/bpa-exposure-hormone-disrupting-fda-missouri-study-bisphenol-endocrine

[3] http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2014/1022-thermal-paper-cash-register-receipts-account-for-high-bisphenol-a-bpa-levels-in-humans-mu-study-finds/

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5-anti-inflammatory-superfoods

Inflammation is a colossal health problem in our society.

While it tends to be associated only with aches, pains, and stiffness, its deleterious effects on the body reach far deeper. Most health experts now agree that inflammation is the root of the vast majority of diseases.

Here’s why: inflammation is a defense mechanism that focuses your immune system’s attention toward fighting a perceived threat. This means that the immune system’s ability to fight off other bugs and pathogens is compromised.

Furthermore, inflammation itself is incredibly destructive to the body. It impairs cognition, saps the blood of nutrients, slows down metabolism, and contributes to emotional imbalance.

These “side effects” of inflammation are considered to be necessary evils by the body, which evolved its inflammatory immune response as a way to respond quickly and drastically to emergency threats. Effectively healing a wound or protecting a pulled muscle from permanent damage, for example, is worth a bit of inflammation-induced stress on the body.

The problem is that these days, our bodies are kept in a near-constant state of inflammation.

Why are we so inflamed?

It may seem strange (if not poetic) that the root of all our diseases is the overreaching of our own bodies’ defense mechanism. The story is a bit more complicated, though.

Our modern lives are inundated with immune system triggers—stimuli that, for better or worse, our immune systems perceive as threats. Food allergies, toxins, and stress are the biggest culprits.

Chronic inflammation is usually considered to be the effect of an “overactive” immune system—as though your immune function is confused or malfunctioning. Is this really what’s happening, though, or do we just live in an insanely toxic and stressful world?

After all, both stress and environmental toxins are clearly real threats, to which the body has every right to react defensively. Even the most common food allergies are simply your body alerting you to clear and present danger (most people assume that there’s something wrong with their body if they can’t process gluten, dairy, or peanuts, but the truth is that all of these foods contain substances that are objectively difficult for the human body to process).

Therefore, in order to combat inflammation, we need to help our bodies cope with this continuous onslaught of immune triggers. One of the best ways to do so is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet.

The perfect anti-inflammatory diet

Designing an anti-inflammatory diet starts with common sense. First and foremost, get rid of everything that’s obviously detrimental to your health, like processed foods, sugars, and GMO’s.

Keeping your consumption of red meat and omega-6 fatty acids to an absolute minimum is helpful too, as both are directly linked to higher levels of inflammation.[1]

Once you’ve removed some of these stressors from your regular diet, you can add in more of the good stuff. As a general rule, a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables (especially leafy greens, low-sugar fruits, and other veggies) and healthy fats is an anti-inflammatory one.

But let’s dive a little deeper.

To achieve the perfect anti-inflammatory diet, you’ll want to consume foods that have the following four properties: antioxidant activity, chelating (detoxifying) activity, nutrient density, and hormone-regulating activity.

While there’s an abundance of foods that meet these criteria, I’ll focus on a few that are especially powerful.

Raw cacao was called “the food of the gods” by the ancient Aztecs, and for good reason. It contains over 300 enlivening compounds (many of which are strongly anti-inflammatory), has 20 times the antioxidant power of blueberries, and is packed with vitamins and minerals.[2]

Acai berry is a low-sugar fruit that outshines the antioxidant potential of nearly every other food (with the exception of raw cacao). It also directly decreases inflammation and speeds up the body’s metabolism.[3]

Detoxifying supergreens. You can’t really go wrong with greens; they’re an invaluable part of any healthy diet. Some greens are particularly special, though. Alfalfa, dandelion, dulse, and kelp pack the most powerful nutrient punch per serving, and they’re also potent antioxidants. Spirulina and chlorella are chelators, which means they supercharge the body’s detoxification processes and accelerate the removal of heavy metals and other toxins.

Maca is a South American root that’s been used for thousands of years as a vitality elixir. It’s one of the most potent and intelligent hormone regulators around, and it’s also been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.[4]

Turmeric is a true health superstar, as evidenced by thousands of studies. There seems to be no ailment that turmeric can’t tackle, and it’s one of the only foods in the world that has all four of the anti-inflammatory properties discussed above.  

 


References

[1] http://www.pnas.org/content/112/2/542.abstract

[2] http://foodfacts.mercola.com/cacao.html

[3] http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Acai-compound-shows-potent-anti-inflammatory-activity-Study

[4] http://www.naturodoc.com/library/nutrition/maca.htm

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brain_fog

Despite a mountain of evidence demonstrating the negative health effects of gluten, the debate continues.

For some time, “pro-gluten” health researchers would only concede that gluten impairs gut functioning in a small percentage of people.

But a proliferation of recent studies shows an undeniable connection between gut health and brain health.[1]

Given this “gut-brain connection,” even the most reticent researchers are singing a different tune: gluten impairs cognitive functioning.

Connections are even being drawn between the consumption of gluten and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. At the very least, it’s clear that minimizing or eliminating your intake of gluten reduces the risk of cognitive decline.

But how and why is gluten so destructive to the brain?

Gluten inhibits immune functioning, accelerates the propagation of diseases, interrupts metabolism, and hijacks your bio-chemical relationship with food—all of which leads to major brain strain.

Let’s trace the process by which gluten wreaks all this havoc.

It all starts in the gut…

New research demonstrates that the consumption of gluten can cause an immune response in anyone—not just in those with Celiac’s disease and gluten intolerance.[2]

Here’s how it works: your intestinal tract has a thin lining called the epithelium, which prevents undigested material from slipping into the bloodstream. Frequent consumption of gluten triggers a process known as zonulin signaling, which causes the cells in the epithemlium to separate.

When this separation occurs, bacteria and toxins end up in the bloodstream, and thus triggers an immune response.

An immune response is essentially inflammation—a natural, healthy bodily function when triggered infrequently. When the immune system is constantly on alert, though, its ability to protect the body is suppressed, and a state of systemic inflammation sets in.

For this reason, inflammation has been called the root of all degenerative disease (wherein the body gradually loses its ability to ward off increasingly adverse dysfunction).

Special Report: Dangers of “Gluten-Free” Breads (and what to eat instead)

…and the brain suffers too

When this “leaky gut” condition begins to cause escalating inflammation throughout the body, the brain is affected too.

Systemic inflammation leads to decreased bloodflow in the brain, which leads to the “brain fog” and diminished cognitive performance that’s often associated with gluten.

You could say that, in this way, gluten indirectly affects the brain’s health. Unfortunately, though, gluten also directly affects the brain in pretty scary ways.

A recent study showed that a constituent of gluten—called wheat germ agglutinin—is actually an acute neurotoxin.[3] This toxin is able to cross the blood-brain barrier completely intact and bind to neurons for extended periods of time.

Wheat germ agglutinin is also pro-inflammatory, and thus contributes even further to the systemic inflammation that we discussed above.

What’s worse, gluten also weakens the blood-brain barrier’s ability to keep out other toxins, thus causing a downward spiral of cognitive impairment.

Lastly, the vast majority of commercially produced wheat is overrun with mycotoxins, which place huge amounts of stress on the brain (they also ravage the immune system, cause cancer, and disrupt hormone function). You can read more about wheat mycotoxins here.

How gluten is like heroin

To top things off, another study demonstrates that gluten breakdown products work on opioid receptors in the brain.[4]

This explains why gluten consumption is such a hard habit to kick—it affects the brain in a way that is similar to some of the world’s most addictive substances!

Perhaps the most alarming implication of this finding is that the damaging effects of gluten can be perpetuated by psychological and physiological dependence.

It’s generally a good idea to avoid anything that hijacks our body’s ability to reject it as unhealthful. You’d probably agree that other harmful, addictive substances should be banished from the body. It’s about time we started including gluten in that category.

So are you ready to go gluten-free?

If you need some more convincing, there’s a wealth of information available to you, including Dr. David Perlmutter’s bestseller, Grain Brain.

Hopefully, the information presented has at least led to some eyebrow-raising. Remember, though: there’s no substitute for personal experience.

Try cutting gluten out of your diet, and see how you feel. Experts say that doing so for at least six weeks will yield the most dramatic results, but you’ll feel the difference even by trying a shorter gluten fast.

Studies and statistics can only point us in the right direction. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to apply these principles, in order to determine which of them work best for you.

Special Report: Dangers of “Gluten-Free” Breads (and what to eat instead)

 


References

[1] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/20/gut-brain-connection.aspx

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16635908

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19332085

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6099562

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