Author Archives: Allison Daughtery

Latest Studies Show that Glyphosate Causes Gluten Intolerance

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The incidence of gluten intolerance, celiac disease and other health problems linked to the consumption of wheat and gluten are on the rise world wide and seem to be reaching epidemic proportions. But while wheat, and more specifically gluten, have traditionally been blamed for this modern epidemic, new evidence points to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, as being a probable cause or contributor to this rapidly increasing health crisis.

It would seem that in recent times gluten has been blamed for more and more chronic health problems. In fact it’s got to the point where gluten has commonly become the first suspect when trying to resolve many health issues and removing it from the diet often helps.

But the question is why? Why after thousands of years of eating wheat, are humans suddenly becoming intolerant to it? Why is it causing all these diseases and health problems that used to be rare or non-existent?

It is because of the breeding? Has wheat been changed from what it used to be? Maybe. Or maybe it’s the glyphosate.

What is glyphosate and how does it affect my health?

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s number one selling herbicide Roundup. Roundup is used worldwide on many crops for both weed control and harvesting. Billions of liters of Glyphosate are used on crops around the world every year and use of the herbicide is increasing dramatically with the largest amounts by far being used on Roundup resistant GM crops.

Since its inception, the effects on human health of glyphosate have been studied with many such studies pointing to severe consequences to human health resulting from exposure or ingestion. Consequences such as cancer and endocrine disruption have been shown to be common.

However more recent studies show that as glyphosate use has risen, so has gluten intolerance and researchers have discovered that glyphosate disrupts and damages the digestive system causing Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and IBS. Some of these studies have found that not only is our food supply commonly contaminated with glyphosate, but water supplies are also being contaminated.

Glyphosate has been shown to damage liver cells, break down junctions in the gut wall leading to leaky gut syndrome, kill enzymes and disrupt gut flora leading to diseases of the digestive system and thereby impacting the rest of the body.

For those affected by gluten intolerance, removing gluten from the diet is often the obvious answer to distressing symptoms. However in light of the recent studies it may be likened to shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. With prevention in mind, these studies provide a good case for eating organic food, avoiding GM foods and removing foods that are likely to have been sprayed with glyphosate from our diet.

 

10 Health Benefits of Cucumbers

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Cucumbers are the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world and known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health, often referred to as a superfood. Cucumbers are often sprayed with pesticides so it is important to buy organic or even better, grow them yourself.

Here are 10 Benefits of cucumbers:

1.Quick pick me-up – Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins. Put down your sodas and coffee and eat a cucumber slice.

2. Rehydrates body and replenishes daily vitamins – Cucumbers are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance.

3. Skin and hair care – If you don’t like to eat the skin, it can be used for skin irritations and sunburns as aloe would be used. Place a slice over puffy eyes and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. The silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth.

4. Fight cancers – Cucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.

5. Home care – Eliminates a foggy mirror. Before taking a shower, rub a cucumber slice along a mirror and it will eliminate the mirror fogging up. Instead of WD40, take a cucumber slice and rub it along a squeaky hinge and your door will stop squeaking.

6. Relieves bad breath – Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

7. Hangover cure – To avoid a morning hangover or headache; eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish many essential nutrients, reducing the intensity of both hangover and headache.

8. Aids in weight loss and digestion – Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.

9. Cures diabetes, reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure – Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.

10. Promotes joint health, relieves gout and arthritis pain -Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels

Sources:

  • http://www.gardeningchannel.com/the-health-benefits-of-cucumbers/
  • http://www.healthonlinezine.info/15-health-benefits-of-cucumber.html
  • http://www.eatingwell.com

Twelve Months of Weight Loss Tips

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Get Healthy and Stay Healthy – All Year!

Since the weather has turned colder, we are forced to spend more time indoors. For people who enjoy exercising outside, this can be a challenging time of the year. If you are worried about maintaining your weight loss efforts during the winter months and beyond, here are enough tips to get you through the next twelve months.

February

Studies show that having a small bowl of soup before your meal makes you less likely to chow-down when the main course arrives. The cooler temperatures in February are a great excuse to try some new soups. Whip up a batch of split pea soup or vegetable stew.

March

March can be a very dreary month. You’re ready for winter to be over, but spring is still being illusive. Add a bit of excitement to your life by trying a green smoothie. It may sound like a frightening idea, but these drinks are a great source of nutrients. Toss a bit of spinach or kale in the food processor (don’t worry…you won’t even taste it) and then add some of your favorite fruits.

April

With spring on the horizon, grocery stores are finally starting to stock fresh fruits and vegetables again. Pick up some avocados next time you’re out. This delicious fruit is high in “good” fats and can help you get rid of belly fat. While you’re in the produce section, toss a watermelon in the cart too. This is a great low-cal, sweet treat.

May

Everyone is excited to start spending more time outside. This should include you! If you live close enough to work (or school), consider walking or riding your bike. If you are a stay-at-home parent, take the kids for a walk around the block.

June

Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Studies show that less sleep leads to more fat. Once you are nice and rested, go spend some time in the garden. Plant some fruits and vegetables that will keep you healthy all year long. Plus, all the weeding will burn some extra calories!

July

Plan a healthy menu for your backyard BBQs. Leave the butter and salt off your sweet corn. Grill up some extra lean meats like chicken or turkey breast. And pass by the soda, beer, and wine – water is a much healthier option.

August

Tweak your personal eating habits. Are you sitting down to dinner at 9pm every night? Do you grab a donut and coffee each morning on your way out the door? These bad habits need to come to a screeching halt. Take time to plan (and eat!) low-calorie, nutrient-rich meals. Maybe try some vitamin injections (this company has some) if you think you’re missing out on the essentials. Or maybe vitamin injections aren’t necessary; you just need some help with menu planning. Why not try one of those programs that offer pre-packaged meals?

September

Take full advantage of the last remaining days of nice weather. Invite some friends to join you in a doubles tennis match. Go on a family bike ride. Play a game of catch with your son. Jump rope with your daughter. If you are searching for ways to burn calories, the sky’s the limit!

October

For junk food junkies, Halloween is a nightmare – in more ways than one! Completely denying yourself of the sweets you love will ultimately backfire. Your self-control will only last so long; eventually you will succumb to your sweet tooth and totally overindulge. Instead, allow yourself a few treats every once in a while. But don’t just randomly grab something out of your child’s Halloween bucket. Plan ahead and put a few light, heart-healthy dark chocolate pieces in the cupboard.

November

Even if you manage to survive Thanksgiving without totally ruining your diet, the trouble is just beginning. Once you put the turkeys away and get out the winter-wonderland decorations, everyone is in full party mode. When you go to a party, make sure you don’t drink too much alcohol. Alcohol is packed full of useless calories. If you do choose to drink, alternate each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water or diet soda.

December

By now, holiday festivities are in full swing. Want a simple way to avoid totally pigging out at every function you attend? This sounds crazy but eat before you go. Fill up on healthy snacks at home. That way, when you are looking at a buffet table of all your favorite goodies, you won’t go overboard.

January

Back to reality. By January, the party season is over and you are back to the daily grind. If you are struggling to get motivated about exercising, try a new workout. Sign up for a Zumba class or try yoga.

Now, your twelve months have come and gone. It is time to reevaluate your weight loss plan. Have you made significant stride towards your weight loss goal? Do you need to go back and revisit some of the previous months’ tips?

Do Refined Carbs Pack on the Pounds and Create Addiction? Brain Imaging Study Says Yes

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Eating highly processed carbohydrates can have a similar effect on brain chemistry as addictive substances according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Stimulating regions of the brain involved with reward and craving, refined carbohydrates were found to cause excess hunger and overeating, leading the researchers to suspect limiting high-glycemic foods could be an effective method for discouraging obesity.

A public health crisis

Astoundingly, the rate of obesity in the U.S. has more than doubled since the 1970s. Food and Research Action Center states:

“Two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese (Flegal et al., 2012). In general, rates of overweight and obesity are higher for African-American and Hispanic women than Caucasian women, higher for Hispanic men than Caucasian and African-American men, higher in the South and Midwest, and tend to increase with age (Flegal et al., 2012; Gregg et al., 2009; Sherry et al., 2010). Research also shows that the heaviest Americans have become even heavier the past decade (Beydoun & Wang, 2009).”

If these figures are not alarming enough, 31.8 percent of children and adolescents are considered overweight or obese. Likewise, 30.4 percent of low-income preschoolers are overweight or obese. Since obesity is linked with diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and a variety of other degenerative diseases, many experts are convinced this is the single most pressing public health crisis today. Fortunately, a research team at Boston Children’s Hospital may have discovered part of the solution: restricting processed carbs.

Curbing the trend

The team, lead by David Ludwig, MD, Phd, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center, investigated how food consumption is regulated by the pleasure centers in the brain. “Beyond reward and craving, this part of the brain is also linked to substance abuse and dependence, which raises the question as to whether certain foods might be addictive,” said Ludwig in Science Daily.

To explore the connection, researchers documented hunger and blood glucose as well as information from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to determine brain activity during the four hour time frame following a meal – an important period as it influences eating behavior for subsequent meals.

Twelve overweight or obese men were given test meals in the form of milkshakes, each with the same calories, taste and sweetness. The only variance was that one contained carbohydrates that digested rapidly (high-glycemic) and the other slow digesting carbohydrates (low-glycemic). Participants who consumed the high-glycemic milkshake experienced a spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a severe drop within four hours. This crash in blood glucose triggered excessive hunger and activated the nucleus accumbens region of the brain – which is associated with addictive behaviors.

According to Science Daily, Ludwig believes “these findings suggest that limiting high-glycemic index carbohydrates like white bread and potatoes could help obese individuals reduce cravings and control the urge to overeat.”

Sources for this article include:

  • http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/obesity-in-the-us/
  • http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130626153922.htm
  • http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/06/26/ajcn.113.064113
  • http://science.naturalnews.com/pubmed/15692080.html

6 Things That Can Hurt Your Willpower When Dieting

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It’s a place we’ve all been. You are working hard to lose weight and you feel like you have been doing pretty well, but sooner or later your will power fades and you start to plateau or even gain weight. This is pretty common and the truth is that living a healthy, lean life is tough.

But as luck would have it, there are a few particular things that most people do which can make life unnecessarily hard.

See if you’re doing any of these things, and if you are, try to stop:

Habitual Snacking Times

You probably have some times of day or routines which inevitably lead to eating bad foods in spite of your will power not to. These little eating patterns can be tough to break because they can be almost subconscious. I’m talking about things like:

Eating a biscuit or two in the break room
Stealing some of the kids potato chips
Having a chocolate bar after a workout
Whatever your routine you need to spot these vices and either break them or break the routine. For example, don’t take any more cash to the gym than you need. Don’t go in the break room when you’re hungry or feeling weak willed. Those little calories add up, but they’re easy to forget about.

A False Sense of Calories

If you exercise regularly (and you should) then it is all too easy to trick yourself into overeating. The truth is that although exercise does burn calories, it is very easy to over compensate by eating too much.

This is why many people who start going to the gym actually gain weight. The effect is still positive of course, because some of that weight is muscle – but even so, you need to be realistic about how many calories you are burning.

Boredom Eating

There are certain times of day when naughty foods seem to become more tempting and any occasion when you are bored or not doing very much is likely to be such a time.

This is why many people find that they eat more during the evenings when they are not busy at work…

If this seems like you then you need to break the cycle:

  • Go out in the evenings
  • Get into the habit of being more active
  • Do something that engages your brain so that you don’t think about food
  • You don’t have to do exercise every evening, just avoid too much time watching the TV or otherwise being mentally inactive

Thinking That You Have To Eat

The myth that you have to eat regularly in order to keep your metabolism going is a big one and a damaging one. The truth is that you would have to stop eating for many days before your metabolism actually slowed down.

So from now on, realize that you don’t HAVE TO eat as soon as you feel hungry…

Hunger is mostly habitual anyway

If there is no healthy food available, don’t eat. Skip a meal if you need to and wait until it is practical to eat something more suitable.

Focusing On The Scales

Weight loss is a long term game and it is entirely normal to occasionally plateau. In fact, you may lose no weight for 2 weeks and then lose several pounds in a few days.

For this reason, focusing on the scales can be dangerous for your motivation

Instead, try to focus on the things which happen sooner:

  • You will feel healthier
  • You will have more energy
  • Your clothes will start to look better
  • You will look better in the mirror
  • If you measure your progress by these criteria instead of the amount of force that you exert on the ground you will find that you stay motivated more easily

Dehydration

Don’t get dehydrated – it’s that easy. Being dehydrated can make you feel hungry, which is obviously not going to be good for your will power or your judgement.

But aside from that, when you are hungry, a big drink of water (or cordial) will make you feel less hungry, which can either help you to abstain a little longer – particularly helpful when there is no healthy food available.