Overweight AND Malnourished?

by IVL

One of the ironies of the American diet is that people can be overfed yet undernourished. Learning how diet contributes to obesity is just one part of understanding the link between diet and health. Even if you eat plenty of food, you can still display malnutrition symptoms if you are filling up on unhealthy foods.

Malnutrition symptoms may occur even if you are overweight

Studies show that despite the abundance of food, a huge proportion of Americans are suffering from basic nutritional deficiencies. Over 30% of people are short of magnesium and essential vitamins A, C and E. More than 80% of diets lack vitamin D, and 90% of adults do not eat enough omega-3 fats. These are essential for controlling inflammation and blood sugar levels in the body.  So what’s going wrong?

Processed Foods Provide “Empty Calories”

Eating processed foods such as burgers, canned food, sausages, bacon, French fries, snacks, convenience foods and soda means a diet high in calories but low in vitamins and nutrients. Laden with high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and preservatives, these foods are far from the meat, fruit and vegetables that our bodies are designed to consume, and they can quickly lead to malnutrition symptoms.

We need vitamins and minerals from fruit, vegetables and whole foods to maintain a healthy metabolism which helps burn fat and regulate sugar levels. Without them, the metabolism becomes sluggish. Instead of burning those excess calories it turns them into stored fat, making the problem even worse. It’s easy to understand how the diet contributes to obesity when it lacks the core elements.

Intensive farming can also lead to malnutrition symptoms. Intensive farming has depleted the soil. A study of the food we eat today shows it has far fewer vitamins, calcium and iron than it had in the 1950s.

Related:  Eight Tips:  A Healthy Foundation for the Food You Eat

Symptoms of Modern Malnutrition

While scurvy and rickets are thankfully a thing of the past, malnutrition symptoms from a lack of vitamins and minerals in a modern diet can include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Depression
  • Poor recovery after illness or surgery
  • Low white blood cells and weakened immune system
  • Fertility problems and poor libido
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Dry hair and hair loss
  • Pale dry skin and wrinkles
  • Constipation
  • Decreased mobility due to muscle wasting

Malnutrition symptoms may be due to digestive disorders, stomach conditions, alcoholism, or most likely an imbalanced diet. If you have any of the above symptoms, it’s worth analyzing what you are eating and how much you are eating. Understanding how diet contributes to obesity, and how at the same time it can cause malnutrition, is the first step to changing your life.

By adopting a more natural, healthy diet you can improve your health and increase your longevity.  Start by avoiding processed foods such as foods that come in boxes and cans; avoid excessive meat consumption, particularly sausage, bacon and deli meats; avoid fried foods such as French fries; reduce or eliminate snack  and convenience foods.  Commit to eliminating high fructose corn syrup and trans fats from your diet; instead include healthy oils such as olive and coconut oils.  Stop drinking soda pop, and avoid sugar consumption.  Never consume artificial sweeteners; they are dangerous to say the least.  Make sure to consume at least five servings of fresh vegetables and fruit a day to help lower your weight while boosting nutritional value. It’s a great recipe for better health!


How Your Liver Health Affects Your Skin | Aging Gracefully

by IVL

There is a huge emphasis on the importance of a healthy heart, but having a healthy liver can be equally important. Symptoms of poor liver health can lead to a variety of aging skin problems. If aging gracefully is important to you, then you need to learn how to look after your liver.

Learn how your liver health can cause aging skin problems

The Importance of a Healthy Liver

The liver is the largest and most complex organ in the body. It is responsible for cleansing the body of toxins, metabolizing estrogen, regulating fat, breaking down red blood cells, controlling digestion and many more tasks. The main function of the liver is to eliminate toxins and metals in the body.

Related:  Liver Health: 10 Tips for Optimum Liver Health

A liver that is under stress or not functioning at its best means toxins can build up in the body. Liver disease such as jaundice causes the skin and whites of the eyes to turn yellow due to high levels of bilirubin in the blood. Other symptoms of poor liver health include:

  • Sallow skin color
  • Acne rosacea or bumpy skin
  • Eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis
  • Wrinkles and loose skin
  • Itchy rashes and ulcers
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Brown age spots and skin blemishes
  • Spider veins beneath the surface of the skin

Notice that these are all visible symptoms which suggest that to have healthy skin and avoid aging skin problems you must take care of your liver.  While serious skin problems may need a medical specialist, there are some initial steps you can take to boost liver health.

  1. Detoxify

Treat yourself to a detox diet for 3-7 days. Avoid processed food, sugar, dairy, wheat, alcohol and coffee and focus on a diet of vegetables, fruit, plant-based protein, fermented probiotic-rich food and cleansing drinks including plenty of water. An initial day of fasting will also give your digestive tract a break as your body and liver detoxify. Milk thistle and dandelion root will also help the detox process.

  1. Drink Raw Juices

Use a juicer to create healthy drinks from a mixture of healthy foods such as carrot, kale, mint, pear, citrus, apple, cabbage, and mint leaves. Make a bulk quantity, allowing one cup per day, and freeze the rest.

  1. Limit Alcohol

Exceeding the recommended limit of alcohol will have a negative impact on your liver. According to CDC guidelines this means on average one drink per day for women and two drinks for men.

Looking after your liver will reduce the risk of aging skin problems listed earlier. In addition, reduce stress in your life wherever possible and try to get more sleep. Anything that upsets your nervous or digestive system will negatively affect your skin’s ability for aging gracefully. 


Why Aloe is So Amazing for the Reflux Diet

by IVL

Aloe vera has been one of nature’s medicinal remedies for centuries. As well as being effective in healing wounds, calming nerves, purifying the blood, reducing inflammation and promoting a healthy complexion, aloe vera now appears to be a key component in a reflux diet.

What is Aloe Vera?

The healing properties of aloe vera make it an important aid in any acid reflux dietAloes are spiky succulent plants with fleshy grey-green leaves. They grow wild in the Caribbean, southern USA and North Africa. The gelatinous extracts and juice from aloe vera have been used in herbal medicine for over 2,000 years.

Rich in vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids such as collagen and elastin, aloe vera is commonly used in beauty treatments to promote a youthful, healthy skin. Aloe vera also has natural antibiotic and anti-viral properties and boosts the immune system.

Related A Humble Houseplant Works Wonders with Skin Issues

Healing Properties of Aloe Vera

The excellent healing properties of aloe vera are well known. It effectively soothes burned skin, heals stomach ulcers, regulates the balance of intestinal flora and eases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

The alkaline juice from aloe vera can also aid digestion, making it an excellent component for those looking to counter troublesome stomach acid by adopting the Reflux Diet. Aloe vera contains beta-sitosterol to reduce bad cholesterol, campesterol to reduce the cholesterol absorption in the intestines, and lupeol which is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

What is the Reflux Diet?

The Reflux Diet is made up of foods and substances that naturally control heartburn and the unpleasant symptoms of acid reflux. Diets that are high in protein and low in fat are known to help reduce acid reflux. Taking aloe vera as a supplement is an important part of any Reflux Diet. Eating smaller portions and avoiding citrus or spicy foods can also help to naturally control the problem without having to resort to medication.

By taking aloe vera in supplement form, you can support a controlled Reflux Diet to improve your digestive health.

Here are 12 More Reflux Diet Foods that fight acid reflux safely and naturally.




Indigestion and Mood: The Gut-Brain Connection

by IVL

Bacteria, fungi, and other microbiota that populate the human gut number in the trillions, and scientific research is proving that these miniscule organisms make a big difference when it comes to physical and mental health.  A number of studies have shown a direct connection between the health of the human gut, and what is happening in the brain.  While many people with anxiety or depression have assumed that indigestion was a nasty side effect, it's possible that it is the other way around.  

Fermented and cultured foods like Kimchi and yogurt help curb indigestion symptoms.

The Other Nervous System

The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord, but the human body houses another – the enteric nervous system – which regulates the function of the gastrointestinal tract.  Connecting the two nervous systems, the vagus nerve runs from the brain stem down the abdomen.  Although scientists originally thought the brain sent messages to the digestive system through the vagus nerve, studies show communication between the central and enteric nervous systems is a two-way street.

Serotonin is the feel-good neurotransmitter responsible for high spirits and a steady mood. While most people associate serotonin with the brain, 80 percent of the body's stores are actually manufactured in the intestines.  Not surprisingly, a serotonin imbalance can lead to occasional indigestion with symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and constipation.

Related: Five Uncommon Causes of Constipation


A study conducted by a research team from UCLA found a connection between beneficial bacteria (or probiotics) ingested through food and brain function.  Eating yogurt containing probiotics induced effects in areas of the brain involved in emotion and sensory processing that did not occur in the brains of women who did not consume the yogurt.

"The knowledge that signals are sent from the intestine to the brain and that they can be modulated by a dietary change is likely to lead to an expansion of research aimed at finding new strategies to prevent or treat digestive, mental, and neurological disorders,” said Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine, physiology, and psychiatry at UCLA's medical school and the study's lead author.

In future research, the UCLA team hopes to identify specific chemicals manufactured in the gut that activate the communication process from the enteric to the central nervous system.  They also plan to study whether improvement of indigestion symptoms like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain relate to changes in the brain.

In addition to taking a high-dose daily probiotic and eating plain yogurt, people can boost the levels of beneficial bacteria in their guts by limiting sugar and processed foods and eating fermented foods like sauerkraut, tempeh, Kimchi, and miso.



How Probiotics Can Regulate Your Digestive System

by Health News

A healthy regulated digestive system is the key to our bodies receiving all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed to provide energy and overall good immune system health.

The bacteria in our intestine need to be perfectly balanced to efficiently digest our food. Any imbalance can lead to an irregular digestive system, which can cause physical discomfort and possible harm to our overall health.

Age, stress, illness, medications such as antibiotics, dehydration, lack of sleep and a harmful environment can all affect our microbial equilibrium which can cause gas, constipation, bloating, bad skin, fatigue and, in more severe cases, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.

It all goes back to having a healthy regulated digestive system with a correct balance of microfloras to maximize the benefits of healthy eating.

Taking a natural probiotic dietary supplement can ensure that beneficial microflora are naturally maintained in proper balance.

Probiotics also play an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system, helping to fight off bacteria, bugs and viruses. Good bacteria are vital to keep our immune system health in good working order.

Digestion Problemsn Free Ebook Download


Supercharge Your Immune System Before You Travel

by Health News

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, travel requires careful planning. That’s why we develop extensive to-do lists that include filling up the gas tank, making airline reservations, obtaining maps and packing suitcases. Unfortunately most of us make travel plans that provide little or no focus on the most important thing of all - our health. 

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

While maintaining a strong immune system is critical for vibrant health every day of our lives, it becomes increasingly important when we are on the move. Travel can compromise the immune system because it upsets the internal body clock that regulates sleep, hunger and digestion. (This can be particularly troubling when you cross time zones.) Many travelers fall into poor eating habits and consume more caffeine and alcohol than their bodies can tolerate. 

To further complicate matters, travel also means increased exposure to germs and viruses that thrive when people are hoarded together in cars, airplanes, buses or trains. Poor air circulation contributes to the spread of illnesses and doorknobs, counters, banisters and other surfaces are likely to be contaminated by germs.   

With a little planning you can supercharge your immune system so that you can enjoy your travels and protect your health. One of the best ways to prepare your immune system for travel is to take nutritional supplements before and during your trip. Supplements containing green tea and resveratrol are particularly important. Green tea contains an agent called catechin polyphenol that is considered “jet fuel” for the immune system.

Resveratrol is another potent immune system booster that can help keep you healthy before and during your travels. This powerful antioxidant, which is present in red wine, fruit and the skin of grapes, is associated with a lower risk of developing cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Because it would be difficult to obtain optimal amounts of resveratrol from food and wine, many people use resveratrol supplements. 

Many people also add probiotics to their daily regime before and during travel to prevent gastric distress. Probiotics, which are available from natural health stores, populate the intestinal tract with “friendly” bacteria that limits the growth of “bad” bacteria such as salmonella, clostridia and E coli. 

The next time you make travel plans, make sure you take your healthy habits with you. Supercharge your immune system so that you can enjoy every second of your trip.  

What do you do to stay healthy while traveling?


What Everybody Ought to Know About Liquid Chlorophyll

by Health News

Liquid ChlorophyllChlorophyll is a green pigment found in some bacteria, algae and plants. It’s an extremely important biomolecule that is critically necessary for plants to absorb energy from sunlight.

Consumption of liquid chlorophyll has many health benefits, mainly because its molecular structure is absolutely identical to hemoglobin except for the center atom. In hemoglobin this is iron, whereas in chlorophyll it is magnesium.

Liquid chlorophyll helps to do the job of hemoglobin by replenishing red blood cells, boosting energy and improving wellbeing. It also cleanses the body, fighting infection, healing wounds and promoting the health of the circulatory, digestive, immune and detoxification systems.

Five health benefits of liquid chlorophyll consumption include:

  1. CANCER PROTECTION - Chlorophyll protects against carcinogens by blocking the metabolism of harmful chemicals known as pro-carcinogens that damage DNA in the liver and other organs.
  2. ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY - Liquid chlorophyll is packed with antioxidants, which are absorbed better since it’s in a liquid state. Antioxidants are important in neutralizing free radicals that damage cells. Liquid chlorophyll also contains high levels of vitamins A, C and E, and has been shown to reduce inflammation.
  3. RED BLOOD CELL FORMATION- Liquid chlorophyll increases red blood cell formation, improving circulation and utilization of oxygen in the body. It also helps to purify blood and regulates blood pressure.
  4. IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOSTER - Chlorophyll is a great immune boosting phytonutrient that fights against infection by killing germs.
  5. BYE-BYE BAD BREATH- Liquid chlorophyll is a deodorizer that eliminates odors in the mouth and throat. Regular consumption helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract, removing the underlying reason for bad breath.

Green drinks are an excellent, dense source of alkalizing, chlorophyll rich greens that are easily assimilated by the body. Also, green food in general, such as salads, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, Asian greens, green capsicum, asparagus, peas, beans, kale etc. contain chlorophyll - so eat up and empower your health today.

Sources: Health Benefits of Liquid Chlorophyll.

Superfood Recipe Smoothie Recipes


Regulate Digestive System: How Common Medications May Cause Digestive Problems

by Nancy Maneely

Regulate Digestive SystemIf you suffer from occasional digestive upsets – and who doesn’t? – do you reach for the contents of your medicine cabinet? If so, you may be doing more harm than good.

The best way to eliminate digestive problems like constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, excessive gas, or bloating, is to prevent them from happening in the first place. This we can do by drinking lots of water; eating smaller, more frequent meals; avoiding sugary sweets and drinks (the body has trouble processing sugar overloads); and making sure to replenish the “good” bacteria of the gut with probiotics (either in foods or a daily supplement).

In fact, many medications – both over-the-counter and prescription – can ramp up digestive problems. And ironically, some of the drugs we look to for digestive relief can be the worst offenders. Here are some medications to avoid when you are experiencing digestive upset:

  1. Antacids – The powerful acid blockers on the market today are effective at reducing stomach acid. The problem is, you need that acid to help digest and absorb the nutrients in food. And you also need it to destroy bad bacteria that invade your system. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, Oct. 4, 2007) found that people who took antacids had four times more pneumonia, because they didn’t have enough stomach acid to protect them against bacteria and viruses.
  2. Laxatives – These may seem to work at first, but there are two downsides: Many people experience irritation of the bowel as a result of the harsh ingredients in most products, and the relief is temporary which can lead to dependence.
  3. NSAIDS and aspirin – These can upset and even damage your intestinal lining.
  4. Antibiotics – There’s no question that antibiotics can be necessary and effective at destroying harmful bacteria, but they also kill off the friendly flora that live in your digestive tract. Antibiotics encourage the overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans, which can damage the lining of the small intestine and lead to digestive problems.
  5. Other drugs – Some medications tend to relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing acid to back up into the esophagus. These include antihistamines, beta-2 agonists for asthma, calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure, nitrates for angina, and tricyclic antidepressants.

Most of us know our bodies well enough to predict which foods cause the most trouble internally. In general, it is best to avoid the worst offenders like trans fats, processed meats, sodas, and low-fiber foods such as white bread and pasta). Many people are lactose intolerant and need to avoid dairy products, which can bring on painful bloating and gas. Other common food allergies include soy, peanuts, eggs and wheat. The best way to test for food sensitivities is to eliminate the suspected foods completely from your diet for several weeks and then add them back in. Keep a daily food journal while you are doing this.

Try incorporating foods that are good for digestion into your daily diet. These include: yogurt or kefir, sweet potato, winter squash, banana, apples, berries, whole grains, sauerkraut, peas, beets, and celery.

What’s your favorite natural remedy for problems related to digestive upset?

Read More:
EverydayHealth.com: Digestive Health


3 Surprising Foods Good For Digestion

by Health News

Are you looking to find ways to naturally regulate your digestion system?

Has this ever happened to you? You take the time to actually sit down and eat what you think is a healthy meal. You chew your food well, savor every morsel and stop when you’re satisfied but not completely stuffed. You’ve done everything right. But an hour or so later, your start experiencing digestive problems.

Regulated Your Digestion System

You feel like you just ate a sack of rocks instead of lentil soup or whole grain toast. You’re bloated and uncomfortable. Been there? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, millions of Americans experience digestion problems. It’s frustrating, uncomfortable and often seems totally random.

If you’ve spoken to your doctor and she can’t find anything wrong with you, you’re probably relieved, but frustrated that you’re still experiencing problems with your digestive system. Without any explanation and no treatment plan.

Digestion Health Resource Center

There are many reasons people experience problems with their digestive system for seemingly no reason, from food sensitivities to enzyme deficiencies. While there is no single panacea, here are some types foods good for digestion that you can incorporate into your diet:

  1. Fermented foods. Fermented foods like pickles, yogurt, aged cheese and miso are easy on your gut because they’re already digested to some extent. The healthy bacteria in these foods have already done a lot of the work of breaking down the sugars and proteins they contain, so they’re not left to ferment in your gut (which can cause uncomfortable gas and bloating).
  2. High-fiber foods. Foods like vegetables and legumes (lentils, kidney beans) and nuts help flush waste from your body. It is important to note, however, that if you don’t already eat a lot of these foods that you introduce them gradually and drink plenty of water with them.
  3. Spices. Spices not only add a kick to otherwise bland vegetable dishes, but they also help your body get a jump on digestions as soon as you taste them. Spices like cumin, garlic, cinnamon, coriander and cayenne and black pepper help digestion by increasing saliva and bile production.

What foods have you found are good for your digestion?

Digestion Problems


Natural Weight Loss Supplements

by Health News

Many of us struggle to maintain a healthy body weight, and for some, limiting calories and increasing exercise makes dieting a very long and slow process. Any help to speed up weight loss is gratefully received and, knowing this, the market is swamped with diet pills and "magic" weight loss aids offering unbelievable overnight success.

The hard truth is that most of these products are expensive and work on amphetamines, diuretics or laxatives. At worst they are dangerous or illegal and at best the weight loss is temporary as it is simply water, not fat, that is shed.

If you are looking for a safe all-natural supplement to accompany a sensible low fat diet, then there are some excellent herbs from Mother Nature herself to aid your efforts to lose weight.


Guggul is made from a resin sourced from a thorny Indian plant. It promotes a healthy thyroid, which in turn controls the body's metabolism. A sluggish thyroid can be a big hindrance for those on a diet so taking guggul makes sure the food you eat is turned into energy, not stored up as fat. Guggul also lowers cholesterol and triglycerides as well as lowering your weight!

Psyllium Husks

Diets can cause constipation so taking psyllium husks which are dense in natural fiber makes good sense. Psyllium not only cleanses the colon and removes toxins, it also keeps food moving and ensures regularity. Add whole psyllium husks to at least 8 fluid ounces water, sugar-free juice, fat-free milk or soy drink. If taken before meals it swells in the stomach to make you feel full so you can choose smaller portions. You can also add it to soup for a satisfying low-calorie snack when you crave food.

Green Tea

Green tea is a great drink for dieters. Sip up throughout the day for a calorie-free intake of antioxidants and nutrients. Green tea is great for regulating the metabolism, like guggul, and it stimulates fat-burning. It is a great de-toxifier for your digestive system and the polyphenols induce weight loss and promote health. A great way to take it is by adding droplets of Green Tea Elixir, a concentrated source of green tea extract, to your favourite soda or hot drink to get all the benefits of green tea.

Garcinia Camboja

You may never have heard of garcinia camboja but it is an ingredient used in many slimming supplements. It is better known as HCA which stands for hydroxycitric acid garcinia cambogia, an ingredient which is derived from this Asian fruit. It is said to help suppress the appetite and enhance serotonin levels boosting feelings of happiness and well-being.

If you can't diet alone, get these four "friends" to help and support you. With daily exercise and a sensible healthy diet you will soon be well on your way to diet success!


The Benefits of Bee Pollen

by Health News

Millions of Americans suffer from allergies and we spend billions of dollars each year trying to find relief. Every time we turn on the television or pick up a magazine we are bombarded with advertisements for over-the-counter and prescription medications that promise to alleviate the sneezing, wheezing, coughing, congestion and watery eyes associated with allergies. 

Unfortunately many of the pharmaceutical  “solutions” contain chemicals that produce unpleasant (and sometimes dangerous) side effects which can be more detrimental than the allergy symptoms themselves.  As is often the case, the safest and most reliable cure lies with Mother Nature. Holistic practitioners advocate natural remedies, such as bee pollen, to treat allergies.     
Many of the allergens which affect our bodies come from pollens, which are tiny powdery grains that are released from flowering plants and are carried by the wind or insects.  Pollen can land in a person’s eyes, nose, lungs and skin. Because your body senses that allergens are invaders, it will do everything it can to flush them from your system.  Sneezing and watery discharges from the nose and eyes reflect the body’s efforts to flush away allergen particles.

Holistic researchers believe that bee pollen helps allergies by desensitizing the body to the pollen that travels through the air. Daily doses of bee pollen can help your body build up its defenses so that it becomes resistant to allergens.  In fact, many researchers refer to bee pollen as a “natural vaccine” against allergies. 

In addition to allergy relief, bee pollen also boasts a host of other benefits. It has been used as both food and medicine since biblical times and is considered a staple in traditional Chinese medicine.  Hippocrates often prescribed it for his patients and the Greeks and Romans referred to bee pollen as “life-giving dust.”  Today’s holistic practitioners recommend daily doses of bee pollen to  aid digestion, regulate metabolism, boost stamina, restore sexual desire, expedite weight loss, fight depression, enhance memory and slow down the aging process. 

Since most people aren’t beekeepers and don’t have hives in their backyards, you may be wondering where you can obtain this natural superstar.  Fortunately bee pollen is available in a convenient supplement form in natural health stores.  The Institute for Vibrant living offers a bee pollen supplement that contains a unique blend of nutrients to support allergy relief and overall health.  

The bottom line is that bee pollen’s benefits are “nothing to sneeze at” whether it’s used specifically for treating allergies or for overall health and vitality.  It is not surprising that millions of Americans are taking advantage of bee pollen supplements.  Talk to your holistic practitioner about incorporating bee pollen into your daily wellness plan and feel the difference it makes in your life.

What natural solutions do you use to fight your allergies?



Regulate Digestive System: A Plant-Based Diet May Help

by Health News

Some health experts suggest that a diet high in saturated fats and processed foods can raise the risk for developing chronic health disorders.  A plant-based diet is lower in saturated fats and cholesterol and high in dietary fiber which can promote weight loss and overall good health.  A high-fiber, plant-based diet might also be a solution to digestive problems.
Up to 70 million Americans experience problems with digestion according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.  Dietary fiber is not found in animal-based foods.  It can only be obtained from those that are plant-based.  As dietary fiber is a carbohydrate that cannot be fully processed, it travels through the digestive tract, pushing waste products along with it to be eliminated from the body.  This prevents a build-up of toxins and promotes a healthier digestive system.

Regulate Digestive System

A 2009 Russian paper published in the Georgian Medical News espouses the importance of fiber in the diet in that it “keeps food moving through the intestine.”  The authors explain that high-fiber foods expand the inner walls of the colon, easing the passage of waste within the digestive tract, and ultimately they recommend a diet high in fiber throughout life for prevention and treatment of digestive problems.

Many experts are jumping on the plant-based bandwagon for good digestive health through diet.  Registered dietician, Jo Ann Hattner of gutinsight.com, advises eating regularly throughout the day and suggests three meals and two snacks.  She warns of eating directly before bedtime as laying flat hampers the digestive process, sometimes causing acid reflux.  Not surprisingly, she also recommends a plant-based diet, made up of a majority of fruits, vegetables and whole grains with smaller portions of animal foods.

Pamela Popper, PhD, ND is a nutritionist, a naturopath and serves as the Executive Director for the Wellness Forum.   She believes that U. S. Government dietary guidelines should stress the health benefits of a plant-based diet for weight loss and for prevention of or reversal of degenerative disease.   

Dr. Seth Rosen from gastrohealth.com also espouses that a healthy diet, which includes low-fat, high-fiber foods, is good for the digestive tract.  He advocates a good amount of greens and other vegetables and plenty of fruits to promote regularity and cautions against processed and fried foods. 

The majority of key health organizations in the Western world currently promote a plant-based diet for optimal health.  Cohesive, dietary guidelines have been released by the American Cancer Society, the American Dietetic Association, the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. Consumption of a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and a reduction in the consumption of animal products is recommended

.Free Ebook Download - Digestion Health Resource



Using Enzymes to Regulate Your Digestive System

by Health News

Did you know that digestive enzymes are important part of regulating your digestive system?

In addition to proteins, carbohydrates, fats and water, there are 20 types of minerals and thirteen types of vitamins required for healthy metabolism in the body.  When food is eaten, digestive enzymes break down the nutrients in the food for absorption and transportation through the blood stream.  In other words, these enzymes help to “jump-start” the digestive process.  While a nutritious diet is important for good health, it does little good if foods are not properly digested.

 Regulate Your Digestive System with Enzymes

With aging comes a slow-down in digestion which inhibits the body’s ability to make use of nutrients.  This can cause gas, bloating, nutritional deficiency and occasionally, inflammatory conditions.   Supplementation with manufactured digestive enzymes can help enhance digestion, prevent malnutrition and guard against inflammation.  Supplemental digestive enzymes are also prescribed to patients with health conditions that affect absorption of nutrients, like pancreatic insufficiency and cystic fibrosis. 

There are three groups of digestive enzymes:  proteolytic enzymes are needed to digest protein, lipases are necessary for the digestion of fats, and amylases are needed for the digestion of carbohydrates.  Digestive enzymes include those that are found in fungus, plant-derived enzymes and pancreatic enzymes.  These enzymes treat more than just the digestion however.

Pancreatic enzymes work to eradicate organisms that infect the body like viruses and scar tissue.  They are often used by naturopaths to treat many types of infection, bone fractures and to strengthen the body before surgery.  Digestive enzymes are said to aid a variety of diseases including multiple sclerosis and cancer.

A review article from the U. S. National Library of Medicine entitled, Therapy with Proteolytic Enzymes in Rheumatic Disorders, examined a body of research with enzyme therapy.  It was concluded that oral therapy with proteolytic enzymes can have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects on patients with rheumatic conditions, but the results are sometimes inconsistent.  Due to positive effects however, more research is encouraged by the author.

In another review article entitled Systemic Enzyme Therapy in Diseases of the Vascular System, the author examines research of enzyme therapy for patients with vascular disease over last 40 years, involving  150 clinical trials.  It was concluded that enzyme therapy has proven to be surprisingly high in effectiveness with absolutely no side effects.  Treatment of vascular conditions with high-dosed combinations of several animal and plant proteolytic enzymes has helped patients with vascular disease in many ways including prevention of blood vessel decomposition and repair of vessel walls, normalization of T cells, and reduction in inflammation.
To boost your digestive system and possibly enhance overall health, give digestive enzymes a try.  Look for one that contains:

  • Proteases like papain (which comes from papayas) and bromelain (which comes from pineapple) to help with the digestion of proteins  
  • Lipase for digestion of fats
  • Amylase to help process carbohydrates
  • Lactase for the digestion of dairy products
  • Cellulase to assist in the breakdown of fiber cellulose

In addition to a daily multivitamin supplement, digestive enzymes appear to be invaluable for the maintenance of good health.  They can be found in most grocery stores, in your local whole foods store or through natural supplement websites.

Free Ebook Download - Digestive Health



9 Benefits of Bee Pollen

by Health News

The natural health solution bee pollen has been touted for its health benefits. Ancient Greeks and Romans called it “ambrosia” and “life-giving dust,” and there are some today who believe that humans could live on bee pollen alone.

Pollen is the seed or grain of a flower blossom. There are two kinds of pollen grains - anemophile and entomophile grains. Anemophile grains are those that cause allergies in people, and these are not collected by bees. Bees do collect the heavier and stickier entomophile grains which are chock full of nutrients. When combined with special digestive enzymes and nectar, bee pollen is formed. 

Bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and it is a complete protein - packed with all 22 amino acids. It contains more protein per gram than fish or meat, which makes it a great choice for vegetarians looking for an all-natural supplement to boost protein consumption.

In addition to its “super food” status in terms of nutrition, bee pollen is said to be a natural solution for many health problems.

  1. It helps regulate the digestive process, and it contains a natural antibiotic that destroys harmful bacteria in the intestines.
  2. Bee pollen helps to flush poisons and toxins from the body.
  3. Important phytochemicals like lycopene and beta-sitosterol, as well as many flavonoids found in bee pollen have proven to slow growth of prostate tissue and reduce inflammation and pain.
  4. It is said that bee pollen helps reduce cravings for alcohol and other drugs.
  5. Bee pollen has been espoused to boost fertility in women and sexual potency in men.
  6. As an immune system booster, bee pollen helps prevent communicable diseases, such as the flu and the common cold. It is even believed to slow the aging process.
  7. Bee pollen is said to help reduce symptoms of depression.
  8. Because of its detoxifying properties, bee pollen helps to lower blood pressure. It flushes impurities from the blood, allowing oxygen to reach body cells, including those in the brain. 
  9. Lastly, many people swear by bee pollen’s ability to help relieve seasonal-allergy symptoms. Allergies cause the body to release antibodies or histamines. Bee pollen contains quercetin, which is known for its power to neutralize histamine response, providing relief from inflammation caused by hay fever and other allergies.

The Journal of Allergy reports:
74% of hay fever patients experienced an average 75% improvement in symptoms when supplemented orally with bee pollen.

17.8% of those with hay fever and 33.3% of asthma patients experienced marked improvement with oral bee pollen supplements.

A study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research in April 2009 studied mice that were fed bee pollen. The researchers from the Juntendo University School of Medicine in Japan found that active mast cells were reduced depending on amounts of bee pollen in the diet – the more bee pollen, the better the result.  Mast cells cause the production and release of histamines with exposure to allergens.  Histamines trigger inflammatory responses such as itching, runny nose, sneezing and coughing.

With so many potential health benefits, it might be wise to investigate bee pollen supplements, but always check with a health care professional in advance.


Regulate Digestive System with FOS

by Health News

There are many ways to maintain healthy bacteria in your intestinal tract: Drinking acidophilus milk, eating yogurt with live bacterial cultures or taking a nutritional supplement containing friendly bacteria. However, there is a lesser-known way that you can regulate digestive system and maintain healthy bacteria in your intestines: by helping the bacteria sustain itself.


Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) refer to a class of non-digestible carbohydrates that occur naturally in many foods throughout the plant kingdom. Because they are non-digestible, they pass through the intestines virtually unchanged. When FOS reach the colon, the friendly bacteria living there use them to grow and multiply, creating an optimal environment that encourages maximum absorption of nutrients in the body, along with healthy elimination of toxins.


Maintaining healthy levels of “good” bacteria in the colon is essential for optimum health. When you don’t have enough of the good bacteria, the “bad” bacteria can dominate, creating a condition called dysbiosis. Dysbiosis can lead to fatigue, headaches, poor concentration, irritable bowel syndrome and many other problems. FOS give good bacteria the upper hand against these problems and help you feel your best.


FOS are included in many pro-biotic nutritional supplements found in health food stores. They are also available as stand-alone nutritional supplements, often in the form of inulin (FOS are formed by inulin degradation). Inulin-rich plants such as chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, onion, jicama, leeks and asparagus are also good sources of FOS.


Top 7 Superfood Supplements

by Health News

Health solutions like superfoods provide multiple disease-fighting nutrients.  These foods or health food supplements are calorie sparse and nutrient dense meaning they pack a lot of punch. They are a superior source of antioxidants and essential nutrients. Meaning that they are nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves. Providing the nutritional support to increase energy naturally, regulate your digestive system, lower high blood pressure, strengthen your immune system and provide joint pain relief.


Take a closer look at the handful of foods that have super properties and can contribute greatly to your overall health:

  1. Green Superfoods - Often when you hear or read the term “green superfood” what is being referenced are foods such as wheat grass.  However, there are other foods that often fall into this category as well.  Some of the other green superfoods are kale and spinach.  One of the key attributes that the green superfoods have in common is that they are all rich in vitamins and minerals and may even aid with detoxification.
  2. Probiotics - Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be consumed to improve overall intestinal tract health.  Some studies indicate that they may be very beneficial to overall health as they boost the immune system.
  3. Spirulina - Spirulina is a form of healthy blue-green algae that is used as a dietary supplement.  It is very high in nutrition, protein, vitamins and minerals as well as essential fatty acids.  When combined with the fact that spirulina is low in calories, it is easy to see why this supplement makes the superfoods list.
  4. Chlorophyll- Chlorophyll is another superfood that can be both high in nutrition and play a role in detoxification. Chlorophyll is a deep, rich pigment found in plants and algae.  It is necessary for photosynthesis.  Some studies claim that chlorophyll may even help with removing toxic compounds from the body.
  5. Enzymes - There is no doubt that enzymes are important.  For example, they are critical in the process of breaking down the food we eat so that our bodies can absorb it.  The amount of science surrounding enzymes and their importance is simply staggering.  One of the key reasons that raw vegans are so enthusiastic about their diet is that in a raw diet all the enzymes are preserved.  Enzymes are generally lost when food is cooked.  However, it is possible to obtain enzymes in a pill form.  There are dozens of widely used enzymes including bromelain, which is derived from pineapple and is believed to help fight inflammation.  In general, enzymes can help with everything from inflammation to the digestion of food.
  6. Antioxidants - The odds are you have heard at least a little about the importance of antioxidants.  Antioxidants, as the name indicates, helps repair the damage that occurs to the body as a result of oxidative damage.  This damage can be thought of as a sort of rust in the body as it occurs from simply being alive, eating and breathing.  However, the damage of oxidation can be combated via antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, for example.  Virtually all fruits and vegetables have antioxidants and some have a higher level of than others.
  7. Garlic- Garlic is seen by many as being nothing short of amazing and with good reason.  Garlic functions as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and even as an antioxidant.  If you are feeling under the weather, this is a great food to reach for!

Superfood Supplements