Consuming Essential Oils: The Secret Spring Ingredient for 2018 and One Immune Boosting Recipe

Not many people are aware that essential oils can be used medicinally both externally (via diffusers, massages, and baths) as well as internally (via food and drink). When we think of cooking with herbs and spices we usually reach for the fresh or dry versions of those ingredients to add flavor and depth to our culinary dishes. Now imagine enjoying those herbs and spices in a concentrated medicinal form that not only provides an intense spectrum of flavor but is packed with different compounds (some of which cross the blood-brain barrier because of their small molecular size) and medicinal properties in which their usage in your cooking will take your food to new healing heights.

A History of Medicinal Use

Ingesting essential oils is not something new and actually dates back to 3000-2500 B.C. and is believed to have been first used in food preparation and preservation by the ancient Egyptians, although there are references that it was used in China and India around the same time, if not earlier.

Related: Understanding Essential Oils: A Complete Guide For Beginners

In terms of healing properties, Dr. Eric Zielinski states that essential oils “combat pathogens (harmful microorganisms), are a source of antioxidants (needed to prevent and cure disease), and have been shown to contain advanced healing properties in addition to cancer cell cytotoxicity amongst other things.” Also, Dr. Jockers points out that, “since essential oils boost and uplift the mood, they can actively alleviate binge eating and unhealthy cravings.”

It is interesting to note, that currently doctors in Europe particularly England, France, and Germany offer their patients a choice between either pharmaceutical drugs or natural essential oils when prescribing remedies for a health condition. That is why essential oils are readily available throughout apothecaries across Europe.

Related: How I replaced Medications with Essential Oils

Already Edible

In the U.S. our food industry uses essential oils in many products ranging from sweets, drinks, and chocolate just to name a few, so as to add intense flavor and strong aroma into the ingredient mixes. Because of their internal usage the FDA has compiled a “GRAS List” for essential oils (generally recommended as safe), whereby the following oils are listed and are considered safe for ingestion: Lemon, Orange, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Peppermint, Ginger, Mandarin, Sage, Tangerine, Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Fennel, Spearmint, Cinnamon Bark, Oregano, Lime, Dill, Rosemary, Clove, Basil, Geranium, Rose, Rosewood, Cumin, Cardamom, Lemon Myrtle, Tarragon, and Mountain Savory.

Approach With Caution

However, please be mindful that not all essential oils are meant to be consumed internally and you must always double check the oil name, bottle description and label recommendation before using any. Also, not all oils are created equally. Many companies use fillers, pesticides, and methods that do not make the oils safe for consumption. Make sure any oils you intend on using internally are 100% pure, organic, and unadulterated. If you are uncertain about specific brands and oil recommendations, consult with a holistic health practitioner just to be safe.

Related: Fight Cavities and Gingivitis Naturally With Homemade DIY Oral Health

Around this time of year, many people wish to keep their immune systems high; their respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular systems optimally functioning; and germs, viruses, and bacteria at bay. Below is my favorite original recipe, immune boosting peppermint essential oil tea I like to drink once a week during this time of year. It is great both for your mind and body. It is relaxing, uplifting, immune boosting, weight losing, and stress relieving all in one.

Peppermint Lemon Tea from the Alma Holistic Health Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 cups of distilled water, boiled
  • 2-3 teaspoons of raw unfiltered wildflower honey
  • 2 drops of food grade, 100% pure Peppermint essential oil
  • ¼ frozen lemon grated
  • ½ fresh squeezed lemon juice

Bring distilled water to a boil. In a ceramic mug, place honey, essential oil, grated frozen lemon, and lemon juice. Add the hot water to the ingredients in mug and stir. Cover with a small plate for 3-5 minutes. Before sipping, inhale the aroma and reap its benefits first via your nose. Then slowly start to drink the tea and cover your body with a warm blanket and relax on a couch or bed. Feel the warmth and light tingle envelope your throat, sinuses, chest, lungs, and body. Take a nap after if you are able to.

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Constipation Remedies

Does the simple act of reading that word make you squirm? How often do you find yourself squatting on the porcelain throne, tears streaming down your face, as you strain and push, hoping you aren’t giving birth to hemorrhoids or anal fissures? Do you poop several times a day, or do you go days between the urge?

Are you’re looking for that one thing, that one trick, that one pill that’s going to have you defecating easily without having to change your diet? We highly recommend permanent, well-researched diet changes with lots of raw produce to permanently alleviate constipation, but for those who don’t feel like this is an option, or for those on medications that slow bowel movements, the one you’re looking for is Shillington’s Intestinal Cleanse Formula.

What is Constipation?

Constipation can be defined as having hard, dry, difficult-to-pass stools or by the frequency (or rather infrequency) of passing stools. It can also be indicated by the appearance of the stool and whether the stool is completely evacuated from the rectum after a bowel movement.

You may have heard that it’s within the “healthy range” to have three bowel movements a week or even one a week. We beg to differ. While there will naturally be some variation in frequency, a healthy gut processes food fairly quickly and consistently. A healthy body is efficient when it comes to ridding itself of waste.

Preferably, you want to have a minimum of 1-3 soft, but well-formed, easy to pass bowel movements a day. We contend that the ideal is one bowel movement for every meal. After one eats a meal, the urge for a bowel movement typically comes shortly after food begins to leave the stomach to enter the small intestine. If that sounds like too many, imagine having one bowel movement a week after eating 3 meals a day for 7 days. You’ve been packing that food into your intestines before eliminating any of it. How gross is that? What about 3 day’s worth? That’s still a lot of food waste packed and crammed into your body. Also, when defecation is easy it’s generally very fast. Frequent poopers probably spend less time on the toilet overall than those who need a book to do their business.

Healthy Poop

Healthy poop is well-formed but soft. The Bristol Scale offers a visual of normal stool, constipation, and diarrhea. It’s not always accurate; there are other variables thank can affect density and size, but it’s good to know:

Conventional Relief from Constipation

These methods are just a way to treat the symptoms, not the cause.

Glycerin Suppositories

Glycerin suppositories are tapered pieces of hardened glycerin that are inserted into the rectum. Once inside, body heat melts the glycerin, which provides lubricant to aid in passing the bowel movement.

This seemingly innocuous treatment, which has long been prescribed for babies, may not be as benign as once thought. There are drug interactions, allergic reactions, and other side effects with glycerin, and suppositories are known to weaken the bowel muscles if done repeatedly.

Mineral Oil Enemas

Like with suppositories, there are drug interactions, allergic reactions, and other potential side effects with glycerin.

Other Enemas

Enemas are also known to weaken the bowel muscles if done repeatedly. Body Ecology recommends a variety of enemas to cleanse the colon such as enemas with apple cider vinegar, burdock tea, lemon juice, etc, but we do not recommend regular enemas for health maintenance. Instead, we recommend enemas for acute care only, and we recommend cultivating a healthy ecosystem that does not need to be washed away for health reasons.

Herbal Teas Known to Help with Constipation

  • Spearmint Tea
  • Senna Tea
  • Dandelion Tea
  • Licorice Root
  • Black Tea
  • Peppermint
  • Burdock Root Tea
  • Green Tea
  • Clove Tea
  • Tulsi Tea

Exercise

Exercise is crucial to physical health, and it may also help alleviate your constipation. If you are a couch potato, get up and move. Walk, swim, rebound, squat, get moving. If you can squat, squats can help alleviate constipation and other issues as well. If you can’t squat try laying on the floor, getting up off the floor, lying back down, and repeating while alternating how the legs are used. And of course, there’s yoga! meet Adrian. Then follow her on YouTube and do her 30-day challenge. It’s life-changing. A few weeks later and you will love her and you’ll love yourself for doing it.

Eliminate Chronic Constipation For Good

The two most common causes of constipation are the two things most easily remedied – dehydration and a poor diet. If you want to rid yourself of constipation, you must drink enough water, and you must eat a diet filled with real food, optimally, a diet consisting of 80% fresh, raw, organic produce. Yes, real food, not processed garbage out of a box, a can, a jar, or a plastic tray you pop in the microwave. Ok, maybe it’s not an “easy remedy.”

The Constipation Elimination Diet

The recommended daily intake of water varies with gender, age, and other factors including how much raw produce a person eats. Check out this article at Healthline for more on water intake. An additional way to increase your fluid intake is drinking by cranberry lemonade throughout the day. Cranberry lemonade will also help you detox your liver and kidneys, boost your immune response, and improve all major bodily functions.

Raw produce provides the fiber and bulk to create healthy stools, and it provides the fiber needed for a healthy gut. Beneficial gut bacteria thrive when 80% of your diet is made up of raw, organic, produce. And a healthy gut is essential for overall health, proper digestion, and proper elimination.

If you think the 80% number sounds too difficult, eat one super salad each day filled with a variety of vegetables. Your body will thank you. Not only will you be filling your body with nutrient dense foods, you will be naturally detoxing on an ongoing basis through the food you eat. And in between meals, eat a piece of fresh, raw, organic fruit. For more on diet:

For extra help add several prunes and/or figs to your daily diet.

Posture on the Throne

We weren’t built to poop on a chair. We were built to poop from a squat. You can either squat in the woods or improvise. The knowledge that a squatting position is best for elimination is not news (I learned about it more than 40 years ago). But the idea is gaining in popularity to the point that posture aids, called squatting potties or toilet stools, are now readily available for purchase. Basically, these are footstools designed to raise your feet when you sit on the toilet and slide back out of the way when not in use.

For an immediate fix, try any low footstool you have on hand or make one with books or magazines. The point is to mimic the squatting position, which aligns the large intestine and rectum for ease of elimination.

Invest in a bathroom stool whether constipation is an issue or not. Correct posture will certainly help to avoid straining and aid in proper elimination.

Supplements That Eliminate Constipation

Dr. Shillington offers the Intestinal Detox and the Intestinal Cleanse formulas for detoxifying the bowels. If you need to move your poop, there’s nothing more effective than Shillington’s Intestinal Cleanse formula. It also kills parasites, heals the intestinal tract, and is a healthy means to promote bowel movements for those who have trouble defecating. Shillington’s Intestinal detox draws out old fecal matter from the walls of the intestine, while it removes poisons, toxins, heavy metals such as mercury and lead, and more (heavy metals are another common cause of constipation). Due to the charcoal and clays in the Intestinal Detox, it actually slows things down a bit, and the two also work very well together to heal the gut.

Abzorb is another big recommendation. It’s a systemic enzyme, so the capsule does not release until it is inside the gut. It’s also a probiotic, and an effective one at that. Taken with food Abzorb makes for a very effective digestive aid. Taken without food, Abzorb will begin to clear away old fecal matter, and it offers a host of other benefits (read more about enzymes here).

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Stop Eating Like That and Start Eating Like This – Your Guide to Homeostasis Through Diet

I have worked with many doctors, health coaches, nutrition consultants, and other various health professionals who are baffled with a client’s inability, or their own inability to get over certain health issues. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the problem is sugar. We eat so much sugar! But it’s not just sugar. If you’re struggling with your health, and you feel like you’ve learned so much about health but still are unable to reach homeostasis, take a look at these common mistakes people make with their diet.

Contents

Juice

The sugar within a whole apple will not feed pathogenic gut flora or spike most people’s blood sugar when eaten as an apple. Apple juice, on the other hand, is a refined sugar. Juicing removes fruit sugar from its natural state, which is inside the fruit, surrounded and bound with fiber. If the juice gets hot enough the enzymes are getting destroyed too.

How to Juice For Health

Use a slow juicer to preserve enzymes and other delicate nutrients. Drink immediately; don’t store it. Use vegetables and herbs. This will not be that refreshing burst of sweetness fruit juicers are accustomed to.  Spinach, lettuces and other lighter leafy greens make for a pretty easy transition. Kale, cabbage, and collards can be difficult to work with (or drink) depending on the juicer and their palate. Try adding them in slowly. Personally, I cannot make collard work to save my life, but I’ve grown accustomed to kale and spinach.

Related: How to Optimize Curcumin Absorption – With Golden Milk Tea Recipe

Cayenne, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon are a healthy juicer’s best friend. The herbal antimicrobial properties and some other factors help balance out the effects of the sugars from juicing.

Related: The Best Juicer

Wheat

The food pyramid is not our friend. Meat and grain industries have influenced dietary regulations for decades. How a food pyramid is done right depends on whether one is vegan, a raw foodist, or an omnivore, but the commonality is raw vegetables as the base for a balanced diet.

Related: How to Optimize Curcumin Absorption – With Golden Milk Tea Recipe

Grain has been consumed for thousands of years, but modern wheat is making people sick. There are a few likely reasons for this, including genetic engineering through hybridization (not to be confused with GMOs), glyphosates, unnatural harvesting practices, and the way we handle the modern processing that make the food products. Many who cannot consume wheat are able to eat spelt, Kamut, Einkorn, and some other ancient grains that contain gluten, but anyone with severe gluten issues would be wise to stay away from all wheat and gluten until the gut is balanced and healed.

A proper food pyramid would have raw herbs and vegetables as the most important items, with cooked vegetables and herbs being shown as the second most beneficial, with fruit following close behind. Meat and grains are not necessarily bad for you, but they don’t do nearly as much to heal the body (unless you’re severely deficient in nutrition). Cooked vegetables, meats, and grains have many benefits and can help sustain and build our body, but raw fresh produce and herbs produce the best ecosystem in our gut which equates to a healthy body.

Gluten-Free Grains and Grain Substitutions

  • Amaranth is an ancient grain that is very easy to absorb and assimilate and is rich in protein, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. It’s also the only grain that has been documented to contain vitamin C.
  • Buckwheat is technically not a grain; this fruit seed is related to rhubarb and sorrel. It’s a good source of antioxidants, fiber, manganese, magnesium, and tryptophan.
  • Corn can be problematic for those dealing with inflammation, but it’s a much better choice than wheat for anyone who’s not feeling their best. Corn is a good source of vitamins B1, B5 (pantothenic acid), and C; folate; and phosphorus.
  • Millet, “with its many nutrients, has been shown to support the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems. It has the potential to protect against diabetes and cancer.” – Click to read more about millet here
  • Montina is flour milled from Indian ricegrass (which is not to traditional rice). It’s rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fiber and is typically used as an additive to primary gluten-free flours.
  • Quinoa is an ancient grain that’s very popular right now. It’s often is used in place of traditional starches, such as pasta, rice, couscous, and cereals. Quinoa is rich in amino acids, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorous.
  • Rice. But not white rice. Brown rice contains the bran and germ portion of the kernel and is higher in fiber and other nutrients. Rice is rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc. Rice flour is commonly used for baking with gluten-free products.
  • Sorghum is an ancient millet like cereal grain that’s used in baking.
  • Teff is an ancient grain that is similar in size to poppy seeds. Teff has a nutty, molasses like flavor is somewhat mucilaginous. It’s can be eaten uncooked, as a cooked grain, or ground and added as part of the flour used in recipes. Teff is rich contains all eight indispensable amino acids, and it’s chock-full of thiamin and contains significant amounts of the minerals phosphorus, magnesium, aluminum, iron, copper, zinc, boron, and barium.
  • Wild rice is an aquatic cereal grain that grows wild in isolated lakes and riverbeds in the cold regions of North America. It contains protein, phosphorous, potassium, and magnesium and the B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid.

And of course, there are also beans and lentils for gluten free meals. Did I miss any? Comment!

Should I Be Soaking My Grains?

Phytic acid is an enzyme inhibitor of concern for many. Studies on phytic acid reveal that the phytic acid in whole grain can block calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper absorption. It doesn’t happen with everyone; some seem immune to these adverse consequences because of a favorable ecosystem of gut flora. In addition, when animal fats that provide vitamins A and D accompany whole grains the effects of phytic acid are lessened.

Despite its potential drawbacks, phytic acid is similar in some ways to a vitamin, and metabolites of phytic acid may have secondary messenger roles in cells.” – All About Phytates Phytic Acid

For those with healthy gut flora, it’s probably not necessary to soak grains before cooking. For anyone suffering health issues, soaking grains and grain flours in an acid medium at very warm temperatures reduces or even eliminates phytic acid. I don’t generally soak grains or grain like products. I also tend to eat grains with raw herbs and vegetables, and I eat more vegetables in a day than I do grains. If you consume lots of grains you may do better with soaking them first.

I do soak legumes and I typically soak most nuts and seeds. I sprout them if I can.

Nuts

Nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors, including but not limited to just phytic acid. That’s why they last so long. Nuts and seeds will not break down into their simplest forms during digestion when their enzyme inhibitors are present.

Our pancreas produces our enzymes. Enzymes cause chemical reactions in the body. Enzymes break things down. Enzymes break down food, clots in the blood, they remove waste, break down fibrin, break down proteins and other food components to allow assimilation of nutrients, destroy foreign proteins, destroy viruses, and they are necessary for all bodily functions. Without enzymes we’re dead. Not having enough enzymes will equate to a stroke, heart attack, or some other catastrophic failure very soon.

Our pancreas only produces a finite amount or enzymes. Enzyme inhibitors are hard on the pancreas. Our modern diets are as a whole are very unfriendly to our pancreas. Chemicals that don’t breakdown, food that can’t be properly, fully digested for any reason, and to a lesser but still significant extent, any food that is void of enzymes put a burden on the pancreas. Think of the pancreas as the clock that our life is counting down from. If everything else is as healthy as it can be, the pancreas will still, eventually, stop producing enzymes no matter what else we do. We know that the quality of food can impact our DNA degradation, and enzymes are the other big piece of the longevity puzzle.

Related: Enzyme Supplementation For Disease

The more enzymes we get from our food, the longer our body will be able to produce our own enzymes, the longer we live.

Heat destroys enzymes. Pasteurized nuts are unlikely to sprout. The few that do still have some enzymes, but most do not.

Nuts, seeds, and legumes have natural enzyme inhibitors. Some are worse for us to consume than others, but all enzyme inhibitors inhibit certain enzymes from working. This is great for nuts and seeds so that they can be stored for years without breaking down, but these enzyme inhibitors disrupt our body’s functions.

How To Do Seeds Right

Pumpkin seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, pecans, walnuts and a few of other nuts and seeds are chock full of enzymes while in their raw, natural forms. Provided they are raw, chewing them well enough can mix the enzymes with the inhibitors, effectively canceling each other out, but soaking and sprouting these nuts and seeds will remove the inhibitors, turning the nuts into enzyme rich, life-giving superfoods. Other nuts, and many legumes, really should be soaked and sprouted due to the nature of their enzyme inhibitors. There’s no need to sprout flax or chia seeds.

Enzyme supplements can also help to properly digest nuts and seeds, and eating them with raw vegetables can provide extra enzymes for digestion too.

Cooking can destroy many enzyme inhibitors but does not destroy all of them. Ideally, cooked nuts and seeds should be sprouted first.

Related: Homemade, Vegan Nut Milk Recipes and More

Soaking and Sprouting Nuts and Seeds

I use warm filtered water and a pinch of sea salt. The warm water will neutralize many of the enzyme inhibitors, but not all of them. I dump the water half way into it, refill, and then dump and rinse well before use. The salt also helps to activate some of the enzymes that deactivate the enzyme inhibitors.

I soak for 12-24 hours, depending on the nut or seed.

What You Need

  • 2-3 cups of raw, organic nuts or seeds (I don’t mix them, one kind per container)
  • 3-4 cups of warm water (cover nuts +15% for expansion)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Instructions

  1. Place the warm water in a medium bowl or jar that accommodates 2 liters or more
  2. Add salt
  3. Add the nuts or seeds
  4. Leave uncovered overnight.
  5. If you’re not sprouting, it’s time to dehydrate them. If I’m sprouting, at this point I soak them for one more round, another 8 hours or so, and then I lay them out on a towel and leave them overnight, damp. Wait until you see sprouting, and then you dehydrate the nuts or seeds.

Here is an article that goes into more depth on how to sprout using a mason jar.

There are preferred individual soaking times, but I just tend to go by size. Bigger nuts get a little more water time.

Sprouting goes a step further reducing the levels of enzyme inhibitors and unlocking other nutritional benefits, even more. But not all seeds sprout. Pine nuts, macadamias, pecans, and walnuts will not sprout, at least in my experience. Don’t even bother with soaking flax or sesame seeds. I like to sprout pumpkin, sunflower, almonds, broccoli, alfalfa, and clover. I can’t get brazil nuts to sprout, but I always treat them as if I could. Judging by the chia pet, it would seem you could soak and sprout chia seeds.

If you give a squirrel a raw nut, it will always bury it. The squirrel will only dig it up when the nut has sprouted. They have found sensors in squirrels’ noses that can identify a sprouted nut. Raw, unsprouted nuts have digestive enzyme inhibitors that prevent animals from digesting it easily. Only when it sprouts are these inhibitors deactivated. Smart squirrels!” – Diana Herrington

Beans, Legumes

Apparently, our ancestors understood this very well, because grains, beans, nuts, and seeds in their natural form were never consumed without being soaked or fermented first. It was a time-honored tradition of food preparation that kept agrarian cultures thriving. It wasn’t until food mechanization took the reigns and the processing of food became an industry, that soaking and fermenting became a dying tradition.” – Kim, Yogitrition

Do not buy canned beans. Do not trust companies to cook your legumes. Legumes can have intolerable quantities of enzyme inhibitors and dangerous types of lectins that need to be resolved with soaking (and cooking). Check out All About Lectins for more on lectins. Always soak your beans, legumes, and lentils before consuming.

Soak lentils and peas for about 5 hours, and I soak other legumes overnight.

Soy

Soy contains a few enzyme inhibitors including a trypsin inhibitor, that won’t allow nutrients to be properly digested. More than 90% of our soybean crop is genetically engineered. The GMO variety contains 27% more trypsin inhibitor. Soy should be consumed in a fermented form such as miso, tempeh, natto, and tamari sauce. Fermentation reduces soybean’s enzyme inhibitors. Sprouted soy and edamame (green soybeans) are easier to digest.

Asian women have very low rates of menopausal complaints, heart disease, breast cancer and osteoporosis. The soy industry, with sketchy evidence to support their claims, attributes this to soy being a regular part of the Asian diet. These claims, which have become widely accepted due to massive media campaigns, disregard extensive research that shows otherwise. They also disregard other dietary and lifestyle factors at play in Asian cultures. For example, there are many Asian populations that don’t eat soy as a regular part of their diet, yet still enjoy low rates of the chronic diseases mentioned. Among those who do eat soy regularly, fermented soy products are what is consumed the most. Asians aren’t downing quarts of overly-sweetened, highly-processed soy milk or popping supplements containing concentrated soy isoflavones, which has become popular in the U.S. Soy. In addition, the traditional Asian diet consists of primarily whole, fresh, natural foods including sea vegetables, which are packed with vital nutrients and one of the richest sources of absorbable calcium. They also eat a lot of fish, small amounts of meat, and little to no dairy products or processed foods—in stark contrast to the Standard American Diet, which consists of mostly processed foods high in sugar, fat, sodium, and excessive amounts of meat and zero sea vegetables.” – Family Wellness First: Nutrition

Related: Sprouting to Remove Enzyme Inhibitors

Agave Nectar

The Glycemic Index measures how quickly sugar from food enters the bloodstream. Fructose does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels in the short-term. This is why high fructose sweeteners are often labeled as “healthy.” Agave nectar’s low GI is because the sugar in it is fructose. The harmful effects of agave have little to do with the glycemic index. Glucose is an incredibly important molecule, found in many healthy foods and our bodies produce it. We need it. Every living cell does. The liver metabolizes fructose. When the liver cannot process all of the fructose it turns the fructose into fat, which gets shipped out of the liver as VLDL particles, fatty triglycerides, which raise our triglyceride levels.  Eventually, much of the fat lodges inside the liver, which can cause fatty liver disease.

Related: How To Reverse Fatty Liver Disease (Diet Plan Included)

The sugar in agave also feeds pathogens. It doesn’t take much agave to overwhelm the liver. Agave is probably no healthier than white table sugar and could be worse.

Honey

A little bit of raw honey is good for you. While there’s no scientific determination as to how much is too much, I reckon a tablespoon a day is just the right amount for those who are healthy, and far too much for those without a healthy gut.

Related: Candida, Gut Flora, Allergies, and Disease

The biggest two problems with consuming honey are:

  • It’s not always real honey, and it’s almost always pasteurized
  • People tend to cook it even when they buy raw (like when you put it in that coffee or tea)

Cooked honey loses too many of its beneficial properties to still be healthy. Honey should only be consumed raw with the natural enzymes intact.

Other Sugars

Coconut sugar, evaporated cane juice, apple juice, and brown rice syrup are all refined and processed foods. The sugar in fruit juice will have different results than the sugar in whole fruit. You can’t sweeten foods by adding sugar without the consequences of added sugar.

There are also sugar alcohols like maltitol, sorbitol, erythritol, and the most well known, xylitol. Manufacturers of xylitol market the sweetener as derived from xylan, which is found in the fibers of many plants including berries, oats, beets, sugar cane and birch. Sugar alcohols are naturally occurring substances but manufactured xylitol is another matter entirely. Xylitol can be derived from the xylan of birch trees, but xylan is also found in corn. Thanks to our tax dollar subsidies, corn is cheap. Xylitol typically comes from GMO corn to make matters worse.

Sugar alcohols do not break down like food does through digestion. The fermentation of undigested xylitol in the gut disrupts our flora. Studies have shown health issues with mice.

It appears that xylitola may be ok as a sweetener in small amounts, especially for those addicted to sugar. But it’s not healthy. It’s not at all beneficial to our bodies. And in large amounts, sugar alcohols are clearly toxic. For those sweet-tooth’ed ones looking to replace their sugar, there is not substitute without consequences. Sugar, in nature, is hard to come by. We just weren’t meant to eat foods that are so sweet.

But there is one. The holy grail for health nuts: Stevia. But even this sweetener is not without its problems. True health does not come with a sweet tooth.

Dried Fruit

Speaking of sugar, dried cranberries almost always have plenty of it. Lots of dried fruit has this problem. Why do dried bananas need sugar? Double check those ingredients. Ideally, there should only be one. We suggest making your own.

Yogurt

First of all, the whole probiotic craze negates the fact that our stomach acid is designed to kill bacteria. Most yogurt is made with weak bacteria that would be killed within the stomach before reaching the gut. “Would be…” Most conventional yogurt does not have enough of this beneficial bacteria and what little bit it did have was killed off in the processing.

Food Bars

Sugar, cooked, processed, soy and other sticky ingredients make bars a no-no for anyone trying to heal. I’ve found a few bars that I like, but they aren’t healthy. They are a treat. A much better choice than conventional food, but when you’re not well, you shouldn’t trust a company to make your food. Another common problem with healthy food bars, besides soy and sugar, is they tend to add healthy fats that are highly susceptible to degradation, like chia and flax seeds.

Smoothies

Smoothies are typically too sweet, thanks to fruit juice and lots of fruit. But smoothies can be done right if they are made at home. Check out How to Make the Healthiest Smoothies.

Packaged Health Food

The health food section of any grocery store is where the fresh produce is. That conventional, pesticide laden, perfect looking, 4 month-old apples is going to do most people a lot more good than a box of organic, all natural, free range, grass-fed, non-GMO, small farm, locally grown box of cereal. Healthy people eat lots of fresh, raw produce, and cook food from scratch. Pretenders buy their junk food in the organic section. It’s better than the conventional aisles, but it’s not healthy. Get to know your farmer’s markets and the farmers there. Grow your own. Take things one step at a time. And listen to your body. Forget the health food section, and stick to the produce and bulk sections.

Conclusion

When I do eat foods that aren’t the healthiest choices, I take Abzorb with it. It’s an enzyme and a probiotic. It works well. I use it to help digest the food and keep the gut eco system in check. It’s also useful for beans that maybe didn’t soak long enough. Also, it’s very important to get a wide variety of foods. Try a new food every day. Check out my salad recipe here. I’ll bet you’ll find a few new ones in there. Those salads are better than any supplement on the market. Good, large, diverse salads are the foundation of a healthy and powerful immune system.

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Amla is The Most Amazing Medicinal Plant You Haven’t Heard Of

Nature has given a wonderful gift to mankind in medicinal plants to promote healthy, happy and disease-free life. These plants play a vital role in natural healing. If I were allowed to choose the most amazing medicinal plant to treat medical conditions, it would be Indian gooseberry (amla). This plant has some exceptional benefits to health and our overall well-being.

Amla or Phyllanthus Emblica belongs to family Euphorbiaceae.  It is a small to medium sized deciduous tree found throughout India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, China, and Malaysia. According to the national institute of health, Phyllanthus Emblica is highly nutritious and could be an important source of vitamin c, amino acids, and minerals. It can be used as a medicine and as a tonic to improve vitality and resistance power.  Research shows that a unique complex within Indian gooseberry is super nutritious.  It has more antioxidant activity than blueberries; it has 20 times more vitamin c than lemon juice. It has 30 times more polyphenols than red wine and has more gallic acid (a potent antioxidant) than any other fruit.

What are the uses of amla in traditional Indian medicine? What are the benefits of this wonderful superfood? How can we use it easily at home with simple DIY recipes? Read on to know more.

Related: The Brain Boosting Benefits of Gingko Biloba

Use of Amla in Traditional Indian Medicine

Amla has been used in Ayurveda and Unani system of medicine for the therapeutic purpose for long years. The fruits, seed, leaves, root, bark, and flowers are parts of the plant that used in traditional Indian medicine. According to Ayurveda, amla balances all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). It contains 5 out of 6 tastes recognized by Ayurveda.

Amla is particularly helpful in reducing pitta because of its cooling energy. It also balances both pitta and vata by virtue of its sweet taste. The Kapha is balanced primarily due to its drying action. It may be used as a Rasayana (rejuvenative) to promote longevity. It also helps in:

  • Enhancing digestion (dipanapachana)
  • Treat constipation (Anuloma)
  • Reduce fever (jvaraghna)
  • Purify the blood (Raktaprasadana)
  • Reduce coughs (Kasahara)
  • Alleviate asthma (svasahara)
  • Enliven the body (jivaniya)
  • Enhance intellect (Medhya)
  • Strengthen the heart (hrdaya)
  • Benefit the eyes (chakshushya)
  • Stimulate the hair growth (romasanjana)

Nutritional Value of Amla

Amla is reputed for its high ascorbic acid content and antioxidant rich activity. In a 100 gram serving, gooseberries provide 44 calories. Gooseberries are 88% water, 10% carbohydrate and less than 1% each of protein and fat. It is abundant in vitamins and minerals. Apart from being the richest source of vitamin c (27.7%), it also contains other vitamins too, that includes Vitamin A (2%),  thiamine(b1) 3%, riboflavin (b2) 3%, Niacin (B3) 2%, Pantothenic acid (B5)6%, Vitamin B6 6%, Folate (Bg) 2% and vitamin E 2%.

Must Read: Make Chocolate Healthy Again: Fast and Easy DIY Homemade Chocolate

Minerals: it contain calcium 3%, copper 4%, iron 2%, Magnesium 7%, phosphorus 4%, potassium 4%, sodium 0%, zinc, copper 1%.

Scientific research on Amla (Indian gooseberry)

According to a study published in British journal of nutrition, Morden scientists have studied the amla fruit for more than 25 years and determined that amla’s unique blend may have a positive influence on everything from metabolic syndrome to anti-aging process. Japanese researcher put Sun Amla (a proprietary amla extract) to the test by evaluating its effect on human endothelial cells and in a rat model. In both cases, the amla fruit extract inhibited the biological responses that can lead to inflammation and blood clots. It also works to combat the free radicals and contribute to overall health.

According to center for pharmaceutical science institute of science and technology, a review report shows that several types of research confirmed that various extract and herbal preparation of amla showed potential therapeutic benefits against various diseases and result were similar to standard drugs. Though more scientific research will be needed to confirm this.

Benefits of Amla

Amla is a Great Antioxidant Food

Amla is one of the most antioxidant rich foods on earth. According to some scientific research, it has turned out to be the number one among the antioxidant rich food. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. This damage is an important factor in the development of different disease conditions such as blood vessels disease, cancer etc.

In a comparative study of Amalaki, the Sanskrit name of the Indian Gooseberry), with spirulina and wheat grass, the vitamin c content of crude amla powder was found to be 5.38 mg. It was also found to be the rich source of phenolic compounds. Because of these constitutes, amla works great as an antioxidant agent and helps in keeping our body disease free. Amla contains various antioxidants that include ellagic and gallic acid, emblicanin a and b, punigluconin, and much more. A detailed scientific analysis of amla shows that this antioxidant provides powerful protection against various diseases and slows down the aging process.

Suggested: How to Regrow Your Favorite Herbs and Save Lots of Money

Amla is a Potent Hypolipidemic Agent

Amla has a great hypolipidemic agent; in simple words, it can produce a significant reduction in total cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride, and VLDL.  To evaluate the efficacy of amla as a hypolipidemic agent, a clinical trial has been conducted on 600 patients. Out of total 600 patients, 40 were treated with the Amla Capsule (500 mg (daily for 42 days and 20 patients were given Simvastatin capsule (20mg) daily for 42 days. After analyzing various biochemical parameters, and the value of total cholesterol, LDL (Low-density lipoprotein), HDL (High-density lipoprotein), and VLDL (Very low-density lipoprotein), it has been observed that amla produces a significant reduction in total cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride, and VLDL and a significant increase in HDL level. It is concluded with this study that amla produces significant hypolipidemic effect along with a reduction in Blood pressure. With this effect, it can play a vital role in the prevention of development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.

Amla has Great Hepatoprotective Properties

Scientific studies have shown that amla is effective in preventing the toxic effects of hepatotoxic agents like paracetamol, heavy metals, antitubercular drugs, and ethanol. Amla is also reported to impart beneficial effects on liver function and to mitigate hyperlipidemia and metabolic syndrome.

Amla has a Good Anti-Diabetic Effect

Amla has anti-diabetic properties. Scientific studies have shown that amla or some of its important constituents (including Gallic acid, gallotannins, ellagic acid and corilagin) possess antidiabetic effect through their antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties. It also helps in preventing hyperglycemia and diabetic neuropathy. More scientific evidence is needed to confirm this study.

Related: Top 10 blood sugar lowering foods

Amla is Good for Hair

As it contains a lot of vitamin c, minerals, and antioxidants, amla helps in promoting hair growth and work as a tonic for hair health. It reduces hair loss, strengthens hair roots, and enhances the natural color of your hair. It also works as a natural conditioner for hair and helps in preventing premature graying of hair. This amazing health benefits for hair could be obtain

  • Either by eating gooseberry fruit
  • Applying amla paste on hair roots
  • Using amla hair oil for nourishing hair

According to a recent survey on the use of hair oils for hairdressing by the Indian population revealed that amla oil is extremely popular for hair and used equally by men and women. It is the most effective oil in controlling hair parasites. It has been proven to be the most toxic for hair parasites and most effective at keeping hair parasites free.

Related: Reverse gray hair naturally

Amla Helps in Treating Bone Disorders Including Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis

Osteoclasts are involved in rheumatoid arthritis and in several pathologies associated with bone loss. According to a scientific study, extracts of Emblica Officinalis were able to induce programmed cell death of mature osteoclasts, thus potentially limiting the damage they can do to our bones and joints. Accordingly, the study suggests Amla extracts could be an alternative tool for therapy applied to bone disease.

Amla Helps in Treatment and Prevention of Cancer

Amla is wonderful in the treatment and prevention of cancer. The fruit is used either alone or in combination with other plants to treat many elements. It has great anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, cardio protective, anti-anemic, antipyretic, and many more awesome healing properties. Experimental studies have shown that amla and some of its constituents (like pyrogallol, gallic acid, and ellagic acid) possess anti-neoplastic properties. Especially pyrogallol (an active component of Emblica Officinalis extracts) has an antiproliferative effect on some human cancer cell lines.

Apart from all these wonderful benefits, amla

  • Helps in slow down the aging process
  • It improves digestion and prevents constipation
  • Improve eye sights and helps in treating eye disorders
  • Boosts immunity and protects our body against infection through its antibacterial properties.
  • Increases diuretic activity and helps in elimination of toxic products from the body.
  • Great for skin, it gives you radiant skin and also keeps it hydrated.
  • It is also a good blood purifier. Regular consumption of amla powder helps in increasing hemoglobin naturally.
Related: How to use turmeric to kill cancer

Different Ways Amla Can Be Used as a Remedy

Of course, eating the fresh fruit is the best option to get the nutritional benefit of this super fruit, but it tastes quite sour and so many people might struggle to eat this as a fruit. Second, not all of us able to get the access to fresh fruit all the time. Here are some super easy ways to use amla at home easily.

Before making any recipe with Indian gooseberry it is very important to select a good quality of fruit. Here are few tips to select the good quality fruit.

It should be properly ripe, fresh, hard, well skinned, bright yellowish green in color and medium in size. Avoid buying bruised, raw, too green, wrinkled, spotted, infected, or bad smelling fruit.

Amla Juice

Amla juice is easiest option to add amla to your diet. The regular consumption of gooseberry juice prevents many diseases and empowers the strength.  And personally, I prefer to use it.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 amla
  • Grinder, juicer or mortar and pestle
  • Salt (optional and according to test)
  • Grated ginger, raw honey (1 teaspoon, optional)

Instruction:

  • First, select a good quality of amla
  • Soak amla in salted water for a while to remove any unwanted residue before using
  • Wash the amla
  • Dry them with a cloth
  • Grate or cut the amla in finer pieces
  • Now, you can use either grinder, juicer or a mortar and pestle. Grind the amla with the help of little water, strain the mixture through a strainer. Strain and squeeze the pulp to get the juice. For adding extra taste and flavor you add a pinch of salt. If you are hypertensive, it is best to avoid salt. If you are diabetic, avoid honey.
  • Otherwise, 1 Tsp ginger and raw honey can be added if you like.

Benefits:

  • Help in weight loss (especially when you drink it with honey)
  • Improve metabolism and digestion
  • I usually had better hair health after using it.
  • Skin texture will improve.
  • Increase immunity and reduction in routine infections

Amla Powder

The second way to use amla at home is also very easy; you just need to dry the amla in shade for few days and then grind it in a grinder. After grinding, you may use a sifter for getting a more powdered form.

Of course, amla powder is great for our health, but for getting better result you can take Triphala churna (powder). My grandma used to take this powder for long years as a routine for her digestion. It is easily available at the local store (in India) and you can order it online too. Triphala is a staple of Ayurveda medicine in India. It is considered one of the greatest herbal preparations that provide excellent results.

Triphala churna or powder is made from three fruits: amla, haritaki or Harda, and bibhitaki. Apart from getting some common benefits such as good digestion, weight loss, this churna helps in balancing the doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) of our body.

  • Amla helps in balancing the pitta dosha
  • Haritaki helps in calming the Vata dosha
  • Bibhataki benefits to the Kapha dosha

It is usually taken empty stomach with lukewarm water. You may also make a tea by adding the 1 teaspoon powder in boiling water. Capsules, tonic, and tablets are also available. As a general rule, when you start consuming a new product you should go slow and observe any changes if you had. But if you had any existing medical condition and if you are taking any medication it is always advisable to take medical advice.

Dried Amla

This is the third easiest way to include amla as a part of your regular diet. This easily prepared and crunchy amla tastes so good and provides excellent nutritional benefits to your body.

Ingredients:

  • 10-20 amla
  • Salt and turmeric (according to taste)
  • Lemon juice (2-3 Tsp)

Instruction:

  • Wash the amla properly and wipe them with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Cut them in thinner slices and discard the seeds (you may grate them if you like a finer texture)
  • Toss the sliced amla with salt, lemon juice, and turmeric
  • Spread them on a large plate and cover with a thin cloth.
  • Let them sun dry for few days (7-8 days are good enough) or until there is no moisture left in the amla. Once, they become crispy, store them in a clean and air tight container.
  • Eat after every meal.

Benefits:

  • It is great for digestion and tastes so good. Even kids would love it.
  • It could be used as a healthy snack especially during winter.
  • It is hassle free and could be prepared in large quantity.

Side Effects of Amla

Like any other herbal or Ayurveda preparation, amla may interfere with the action of the certain medication. It may cause some side effects. Such as:

  • It may cause hyperacidity in the sensitive individual.
  • It may increase the risk of bleeding if you are taking any blood thinning medication or suffering from any kind of blood disorders, you need to take extra precaution while consuming it.
  • If you are diabetic and taking anti-diabetic medication, it is best to consult your physician before consuming it. It may cause a sudden drop in blood sugar level.
  • There is not enough safety data available to use it during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is best to avoid its use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • As it may increase the risk of bleeding, it is advisable to discontinue its use 2 weeks prior to scheduled surgery.

Why It Matters

No doubt, amla is a super nutritious and had amazing healing properties, but at this time there is not enough scientific evidence to support the efficacy and safety of it, it is best to consult with your doctor before consuming it. Did you have observed any amazing healing property of this super fruit? What was your experience? Please share with us.

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Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $417 Million In Lawsuit Linking Baby Powder to Cancer

A jury in Los Angeles ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record breaking $417 million to Eva Echeverria, a hospitalized woman in California. Eva claimed in her lawsuit that the talc ingredient in the company’s well-known baby powder may cause ovarian cancer when applied regularly to the crotch.

The plaintiff alleged Johnson & Johnson does not adequately warn consumers about talcum powder’s potential cancer risks. She says she used the baby powder daily basis from around the 1950s until 2016. Court papers show she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007.

Related: Galactagogues Foods, Herbs, and other Ways to Increase Breast Milk Production

Mrs. Echeverria is dying from this ovarian cancer and she said to me all she wanted to do was to help the other women throughout the whole country who have ovarian cancer for using Johnson & Johnson for 20 and 30 years,” – Robinson said.

This is not the lawsuit of this kind, or Johnson & Johnson’s first loss, either. In St. Louis, $70 million was awarded to a woman with ovarian cancer due to baby powder usage,

We are pleased the jury did the right thing. They once again reaffirmed the need for Johnson & Johnson to warn the public of the ovarian cancer risk associated with its product,” Attorney Jim Onder

Apparently, Johnson & Johnson is still not adequately warning its customers.

On a side note, did you know Johnson and Johnson produce vaccines?

Related: Why Anti-Vaxxers Don’t Vaccinate

Can talcum powders cause cancer? Many believe so. According to Cancer.org,

It has been suggested that talcum powder might cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles (applied to the genital area or on sanitary napkins, diaphragms, or condoms) were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovary. Many studies in women have looked at the possible link between talcum powder and cancer of the ovary. Findings have been mixed, with some studies reporting a slightly increased risk and some reporting no increase.”

There’s a better option.

Homemade Baby Powder Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup arrowroot powder
  • ¼ cup bentonite clay powder or White Kaolin Clay
  • 1 tsp chamomile, lavender, or calendula flowers, in powdered form (use a blender)

Instructions

Mix it together, use as needed. If you want, you can add a couple of drops of an essential oil instead of the flower. Be careful with using essential oils and infants. It’s not something that should be taken lightly. Chamomile, lavender, and calendula in controlled amounts are of the few I that are generally considered safe for small children and infants.

If diaper rashes are a problem, the baby’s eco system is unbalanced, and which usually equates to less beneficial bacteria and more Candida in the gut.

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How to Make the Healthiest Smoothies – 4 Recipes

Everybody loves smoothies. I mean, who wants to eat just plain produce, right? Well, I do, but lots of people find nature’s packaging and processing of fruit and vegetables to be lacking. Or maybe vegetables aren’t sweet enough, and the fiber in fruit just ruins the customer experience of that sugar rush. Consequently, health nuts around the world have embraced smoothies as their protocol to consume all the good nutrition needed for the day in one fell swoop.

But there’s a problem.

Smoothies almost always have way too much sugar in them. We separate the fruit sugar from its fiber which decreases absorption time causing an insulin spike and a host of other issues that would not have been accompanied by eating the whole fruit. And we often use fruit juice in smoothies. Fruit juice is usually void of its enzymes too, but a slow juice press can solve this issue. Many of the healthier and nuttier health nuts throw in chia seeds, kale, spinach, and other great stuff, but the base is generally fruit juice which is, in fact, a refined sugar!

Let me repeat that statement for maximum effect.

Fruit juice is refined sugar.

This does not include cranberry, lemon, or lime juice, but most do not use these as a smoothie base.

In all my travels I’ve only come across a couple of restaurants that offer healthy smoothies, Cafe Gratitude in California and Loving it Live of Atlanta. They’re pretty good smoothies too, but they lack bite.

Bite? Yes, bite. A smoothie should fight back a little. The sweetness may feed some unsavory characters in your gut, but a good bite will correct that. Let’s get more into the bite and the sweetness issue.

It is better to sweeten a smoothie with whole fruit and use water, coconut water, or moisture-rich fruits like pineapple or watermelon. Produce should be blended on the lowest setting that can get the job done. A Vitamix will kill most of the enzymes when blending raw food at high speeds. Adding the bite is about finding the right antimicrobial herbs. We want to feed the good guys, the flora that flourishes in an ecosystem built on vegetables, herbs, and fruit. Feed your guys bad food and you get bad guys. Sugar is bad, herbs that kill pathogens are great. I like cayenne, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. Some have managed to work in garlic for a tasty treat though I am yet to be able to mimic such a feat. The only thing harder to make work in my smoothies is collard greens. For the life of me, I cannot make collards work!

Here are four smoothie recipes that don’t just nourish, but they also heal and help balance the gut. And these smoothies know how to wake up the senses, so they’re a great morning addition to your routine.

For a lot of the ingredients listed we have done an article on the benefits of them, so check out the links within the recipes if you’re curious. I make my smoothies to fill up a Vitamix, maybe 60 ounces or so. It makes about four glasses, or close to 8 cups.

Tart-C Blast

If my kidneys are feeling sluggish, or I think I’m fighting a virus, this is my go-to smoothie. I love tart; get ready to pucker.

Ingredients

Instructions

Peel and chop up a fresh pineapple, discard peels. Put in the pineapple with the core, blend it slowly until it’s liquid. The core of the pineapple is the healthiest part of the pineapple, but you need a powerful blender to make it work. Throw in equal parts frozen berries and cherries until the smoothie blends to the desired thickness. I do a small handful of each, and add more of whichever berry I’m feeling most, just enough to get the smoothie as thick as I want. You may need to turn up the speed, just try not to let the blades get too fast to where they can damage enzymes, which is to say blend as slow as you can to get the job done. I tend to blend it fast for a bit at the end just to get the cinnamon all the way. Now that I’m thinking about it, when it’s the bark, I need to put the cinnamon in with the ice and do a higher speed there.

The finishing touch is your turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. I add chunks of ginger and turmeric and I break off a piece of cinnamon stick, all about a half inch in size, and throw them in. This is up to you though because these spices are strong. That goes for all of the recipes here. Mix in just enough to stretch your taste buds and build up to more.

This is an excellent smoothie for helping the body detox and repair from damage, but pineapple has a lot of sugar. I recommend taking a probiotic or SF722 with this.

Phat Raspberry Zinger

This smoothie is all about the beneficial fats. And the zing of course.

I use the water from a whole, fresh young coconut, and I scoop out some meat. How much I scoop depends on the difficulty and my patience at the time. I’ve also used a can of coconut milk before, and that tastes good too, but I like fresh and unprocessed coconut whenever I have the patience. Use a ripe avocado and fresh berries/cherries with ice or frozen berries/cherries.

Instructions

I put in the liquid first, fresh fruit second, and frozen third, with the herbs last. As before, zing it to taste – I like a nice chunk of ginger and turmeric, lots of cinnamon, and I tend to do about 10 raspberries and 10 cherries or so.

Sweet, Sharp, & Spicy

This one is weird, but I love it.

  • Whole pineapple or 1 can coconut milk
  • Mango
  • Cayenne
  • Sweet potato
  • Cinnamon
  • Lime
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cinamon
  • Allspice? Clove? Curry?

Obviously, this is a very different smoothie depending on whether or not you go coconut or pineapple. As usual, add all spices to taste and kick up the spicy as high as you can to reap the most health benefits.

Enzymatic Tropical Heat

This smoothie is an excellent meal for detoxification and healing. You’ll likely get more enzymatic activity from this smoothie than a bottle of $50 enzyme pills.

  • Fresh pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Papaya seeds
  • Papaya leaves? (I have not tried this, but if anyone is able to, please let me know if it works!)
  • Coconut (use whole, canned, flakes, whatever you have to add coconut flavor)
  • Orange
  • Mango
  • Banana
  • Cayenne
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric

What you freeze can significantly alter the flavor of a smoothie. I will freeze banana, mango, and orange chunks for this one, or use all fresh and add a little ice to thicken it. Sometimes I just leave it un-iced; the fruit makes it pretty thick. The papaya seeds should be dried and crushed. Trying to blend them at a high enough speed when they are wet and pliable will kill the enzymes. Enzymes are why we want papaya seeds in here, and they add some spice too. It’s a little funky to me though; it takes some tweaking and getting used to for some.

Conclusion

All of these recipes are an attempt to get you to spice up your smoothies. More flavor with less sugar. More health benefit, less pretending. So mix it up. Experiment, and don’t be afraid to make something awful. Check out Detox Cheap and Easy Without Fasting – Recipes Included and implement the salad and cranberry lemonade, and you’ve basically got my diet. Also, check out this list of articles.

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Nut Butter – The Bad, The Good, and How to Make it Better

Nut butter is creamy, delicious, healthy, and versatile. Just one spoonful can fulfill your craving for a sweet and satiating treat that satisfies some of your body’s mineral, vitamin, fiber, and healthy fat needs as well. This makes nut butter a win-win dietary solution.

However, nut butter should only be an addition to your diet and not a staple. There are even some types of nut butter that are so unhealthy that eating them is never a good idea. So, which nut butter should you avoid? Let’s find out.

The Dirty Truth About Nut Butters

You probably know by now that many commercially produced nut butters (like Skippy peanut butter) contain added sugar and fully-hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils. This combination is lethal. The added sugars feed candida, while the hydrogenated oils dramatically increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Related: Candida, Gut Flora, Allergies, and Disease

However, going for the natural peanut butter or almond butter may also cause health issues as well. To figure out which nut butter is best for you, we must explore three of the main health concerns with nut butter.

Related: Natural Diabetes Cure

Three Health Concerns with Natural Nut Butter

Health Concern #1: They Contain Inflammatory Fats

All nuts (except for macadamia nuts) are high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. In small quantities, these fatty acids allow for a healthy inflammatory response, but in higher quantities, these fatty acids promote the pathogenesis of many diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. If you consume vegetable oils, canola oil, soybean oil, and/or heavily processed foods daily, then your body will be in a chronic state of inflammation. The same thing will happen if you consume nuts and nut butter as the majority of your daily calories.

Related: What Causes Chronic Inflammation, and How To Stop It For Good

Health Concern #2: Too Much Processing Oxidizes The Fats

Many nut butters (store-bought and homemade) take the inflammatory effects of omega 6 fatty acids one step further.

How?

During processing, the polyunsaturated fats in the nuts are exposed to heat, air, and light. The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the nuts will then begin to oxidize into compounds that are as toxic to the body as partially and fully hydrogenated oils.

Related: Healthy Fats the Healthy Way

However, this isn’t the case for every nut butter. Macadamia nut butter and coconut butter, for example, contain high amounts of healthy and stable fats that won’t oxidize during processing. (Side note: coconuts are technically not nuts, but coconut butter will still be included in the nut butter discussion during this article.)

Health Concern #3: Their Phytic Acid Steals Your Minerals

All nuts, beans, seeds, and beans contain phytic acid.

Phytic acid is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues. It contains the mineral phosphorus tightly bound in a snowflake-like molecule.

In humans and animals with one stomach, the phosphorus is not readily bioavailable. In addition to blocking phosphorus availability, the phytic acid molecule readily binds with other minerals (like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc), making them unavailable as well.

This means that consuming raw (or close to raw) nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes can cause tooth decay, nutrient deficiencies, lack of appetite, and digestive problems. On top of that, phytic acid also can inhibit some of the enzymes we use to digest protein and carbohydrates, leading to more digestive issues.

Does this mean that you should stop eating nuts and nut butter all together?

Related: Homemade Calcium and Magnesium

The Practical Truth About Nuts and Nut Butter

Having some omega-6’s and phytic acid in your diet will do you no harm as long as foods like nuts and nut butter are eaten in moderation. In fact, small amounts of phytates act as an antioxidant in your body and help detoxify toxic metals from the gut. However, if you love nuts like me, it is easy to consume too much phytic acid. A handful and a half of raw almonds or 3-4 tablespoons of raw almond butter, for example, has enough phytic acid to drain your energy and cause digestive issues.

The best way to minimize phytic acid consumption is by soaking and sprouting (when possible) your nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes. Soaking and sprouting raw almonds, for example, can vastly decrease their phytic acid content.

The phytic acid content of most phytic acid containing foods can also be reduced by roasting them. (It is best to roast most nuts at temperatures below 320 degrees Fahrenheit to keep their fatty acids from oxidizing.)

To sum it up in one sentence — the phytic acid and omega 6’s found in nuts and nut butter will not cause issues as long as they are prepared correctly and eaten in moderation.

The Good News About Nut Butter

Now that the unhealthy aspects of nut butter are out of the way, let’s explore what makes it healthy.

Each nut comes with a unique combination of protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, fats, and phytates that give them specific benefits. Walnuts, for example, prevent heart disease and atherosclerosis, while almonds help improve insulin sensitivity in people with prediabetes. All nuts, in general, help people lose weight and decrease cholesterol and inflammation levels.

This is why nuts and nut butter are a healthy part of almost everyone’s diet, especially if the negative effects of omega 6s, oxidized fats, and phytic acid are mitigated. However, this doesn’t mean that every mindfully made nut butter will be right for you.

Must Read: How to Kill Fungal Infections

What’s The Healthiest Nut Butter? It Depends.

Different nut butters will be healthy for different people at different times. If you have a selenium deficiency, for example, then having a nut butter that contains brazil nuts may be healthiest for you.

3-4 brazil nuts can cover your daily selenium requirements (depending on the soil they are grown in). If you have reproductive issues, autoimmune disease, or thyroid issues (common symptoms of selenium deficiency), then supplementing your diet with brazil nuts may help.

The tastiest way to supplement your diet with brazil nuts is to indulge in a nut butter called Nuttzo Organic Smooth Power Fuel Seven Nut and Seed Butter. This is my favorite nut butter because it is a delicious combination of organic cashews, organic almonds, organic Brazil nuts, organic chia seeds, organic flax seeds, organic hazelnuts, organic pumpkin seeds, and sea salt. in comparison to the other the store-bought nut butters, Nuttzo is one of the healthiest because it comes with the health benefits of multiple nuts and seeds in a delicious combination.

However, these seeds and nuts are not soaked or sprouted, so people who struggle to digest phytic acid or have other mineral deficiencies will need to find another option. Luckily, there are two healthy and delicious options that are low in phytic acid.

Related: Sprouting to Remove Enzyme Inhibitors

The first is sprouted almond butter. The sprouting process helps to reduce phytic acid of almonds, making them easier to digest. The only problem with almond butter is that it contains more omega-6 than many other types of nut butter. This means that it is not as healthy as my personal favorite — coconut butter.

The Nut Butter with the Healthiest Fats

You may not consider it as a nut butter, but coconut butter is one of the healthiest “nut” butters you can have. The phytic acid content of coconut is negligible, and it is one of the best sources of healthy saturated fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).

With coconut butter, you will also get all the minerals and some of the sweetness that is found in coconut water and the fiber from the coconut meat. This makes it the ideal way to consume coconut. If you define the term “nut” loosely, then this is — in my opinion — the healthiest nut butter.

What about the nut butters that are actually made from nuts?

Macadamia nut butter is arguably one of the healthiest nut butters. This is because it has the lowest omega 6 content and the most monounsaturated fats of any nut. Monounsaturated fats are another type healthy fat (different from MCTs) that enhance heart health and protect against chronic disease.

Macadamia nuts have a relatively low phytic acid content as well. If you are not a fan of coconut, then macadamia nut butter is the way to go. It’s irresistibly creamy and can be made into a sweet, savory, or salty nut butter.

Related: Everything You Should Know About Fat

The Takeaway

The “healthiness” of the nut butter depends on the needs of the person that’s eating it.

Don’t eat a lot of grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds, and you can digest nuts well? Have your favorite raw nut butter (just watch out for added sugars and trans fats).

Have a selenium deficiency? Have a tablespoon or two of nut butter with brazil nuts in it.

Struggle with phytic acid digestion or eat a lot of grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds every day? Eat nut butter that has lowest phytic acid content, such as macadamia nut butter and coconut butter.

Have chronic inflammation? Consume the nut butter with the lowest omega-6 content, such as macadamia nut butter and coconut butter.

Regardless of the nut butter you choose, eat it in moderation (a tablespoon or two a day), and you will get all the benefits with little to no side effects.

To get the benefits, however, you don’t have to search for an over-priced healthy nut butter at the store. You can save your money and your health by making it at home. All you need is a high-quality blender, your favorite organic nuts, and a healthy oil.

How To Make Nut Butter Better

Nut butter is one of the simplest and easiest foods to make. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Get raw organic nuts (or shredded coconut)
  2. Put them in a food processor or high-powered blender and turn it on
  3. Blend until it turns into a creamy butter, stopping frequently to scrape the sides down. (This may take 5 to 10 minutes depending on the power of your blender.)

In 10 minutes or less, you can have your own homemade nut butter. Feel free to add a small amount of raw honey or stevia and unrefined salt to improve the taste.

You can also experiment with different herbs and spices. For example, try adding lavender, honey, and cinnamon to your macadamia or cashew nut butter to make it into a deliciously satisfying dessert.

However, one problem arises when we expose the nuts to high-speed blenders — fat oxidation. Due to the friction of blending, heat builds up and oxidizes the polyunsaturated fats in the nuts.

Preventing Fat Oxidation

To ensure that most of the delicate fats aren’t oxidized, reduce the blending time. Once the nuts are blending into a grainy flour, add a couple tablespoons of tasteless coconut or avocado oil. This will make it into a nut butter much faster while adding some healthy and stable fats.

Reducing Phytic Acid

Don’t forget about the phytic acid! To decrease the phytic acid content of your nuts, soak your nuts (and sprout them if they can sprout).

To soak them properly, simply put them in filtered water for the suggested time. Rinse them and change the water at least once.

Here are the soaking and sprouting times for popular nuts (including peanuts and coconuts):

Almonds

  • Soaking Time: 8-12 hours
  • Sprouting Time: 3 days (only if they are truly raw and not pasteurized)
  • Rinse the almonds and change the water once every 12 hours

Peanuts

  • Soaking Time: 12 hours
  • Won’t Sprout
  • Roast the peanuts in the oven at 300°F for 20 minutes until they resemble a nut with more of a peanutty flavor. (This temperature will not oxidize the fats in the peanuts.)

Brazil Nuts

  • Soaking Time: 3 hours
  • Won’t Sprout

Cashews

  • Soaking Time: 2-4 hours
  • Won’t Sprout

Hazelnuts

  • Soaking Time: 8-12 hours
  • Won’t Sprout

Macadamias

  • Soaking Time: 2 hours
  • Won’t Sprout

Pecans

  • Soaking Time: 6 hours
  • Won’t Sprout

Walnuts

  • Soaking Time: 4 hours
  • Won’t Sprout

Coconut

  • Don’t Soak
  • Won’t Sprout
  • Blend coconut flakes or buy already made coconut butter from the store

After you soak your nuts, throw them in the dehydrator or the oven at a temperature below 200 degrees Fahrenheit until they are crisp. (For almonds, wait until they sprout before you dehydrate them.)

Throw your crisp and previously-soaked nuts in the blender with some healthy fats, and you’ll be able to make a healthier homemade nut butter.

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