Genetically Modified Foods: What You Need to Know

What are Genetically Modified Foods?

Genetically Modified (GM) foods are the result of gene technology collaborating with modern agriculture to produce what is perceived as hardier plants. These plants typically have altered DNA that is combined with DNA from viruses, bacteria and other organisms in order to make the plant more disease, drought, and pest resistant. Many producers will argue that gene modification improves food crops. However, several animal studies have linked GM foods to disruption in the immune system, increase in allergies, damage to internal organs, changes in metabolism, and increase in oxidative stress. This type of damage is especially dangerous because it affects so many systems in the body.

Tips to avoid Genetically Modified Foods for better health!

Long-term studies on the safety of human consumption of GM foods have not been conducted. We have been eating GM foods for only about 20 years, and it has only been in the last 10 years that the rate of consumption has increased due to advances in gene technology. There is no way to determine the long-term effect of eating these kinds of foods until it is studied in more depth.

I personally choose to avoid these foods as my gut feeling is nothing good can come of messing with mother nature in this way and I don’t believe our bodies are equipped to process these altered organisms. I’ve come up with these tips to help you if you feel the same way.

To keep your family safe from GM foods, here are some tips:

1. Buy Organic. Any food labels that say organic on them cannot by virtue of being organic contain any GM foods. This is will be true for produce, as well as meats and dairy. Considering that soy is often a GM food crop, make sure to buy organic for tofu, non-dairy alternatives, and other soy-based products.

 

non genetically modified foods label

2. Look for GMO-Free Labels. Look on the food label to see if it says whether its GMO free or not. One organization helping with food labeling is the Non GMO Project (http://nongmoproject.org). They verify individual products from food to health and beauty so that you know it is GMO free. Look for their label.

3. Avoid Common GM Foods. Some common GM food crops are corn, soybean, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, papaya, zucchini, and yellow squash. These foods need to be purchased organically. One problem, is that many of these are used as ingredients in other foods, such as the oil used in a bag of pita chips, or the sugar to flavor a chocolate bar. It’s important to read labels and look for both organic and GMO-free labeling.

4. Use a Shoppers Guide. One great shopping guide is the Non GMO Shopping Guide (www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/Non-GMO-Shopping-Guide.pdf). This will give you a list of verified products from condiments and other food items to health, beauty, and hygiene products.

References

20 Questions on Genetically Modified Foods. n.d.World Health Organization Website. http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/

Genetically Modified Foods. n.d. American Academy of Environmental Medicine. http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

Non-GMO Shoppers Guide. n.d. NonGMOProject.org www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/Non-GMO-Shopping-Guide.pdf

5 Tips To Support Your Lymphatic System and Ease Your Candida Cleanse

 

5 Tips To Support Your Lymphatic System | Candida Programs | Natural Health Answers

The key to improving your body’s immune function is to nourish your lymphatic system.

 

Sometimes referred to as the body’s secondary circulatory system, the lymphatic system carries away toxins and metabolic waste from the body’s tissues. The lymphatic system is made up of lymph vessels, lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen and the thymus gland, and it helps regulate tissue pressure, immune functions and fat absorption in the intestine. If your lymphatic system is not healthy, toxins can build up and result in lower immune function.

It’s important to understand that the lymphatic system is not like the heart muscle where it pumps automatically.  We have to move, breath and use massage to help improve our lymphatic drainage.

When doing a Candida Cleanse it can be overwhelming for the body to excrete all of the toxins that are stirred up and can cause a Herx reaction where you feel nausea, fatigued, have headaches and experience rashes.  Incorporating these 5 tips into your program along with supporting your liver and kidneys can make a world of difference in how you feel and the speed of recovery.

 

Lymphatic System | Candida | Natural Health Answers

TheEmirr/Wikipedia

 

 

Here are 5 tips to help you care for your lymphatic system.

1. Eat potassium-rich foods. Your lymphatic system thrives on potassium-rich foods. Dark leafy greens, broccoli, yams and sweet potatoes (phase 3)  and seafood, like wild salmon, are some excellent choices to consider.

2. Reduce toxins. Additives and preservatives cause swelling and fluid retention. One such additive, monosodium glutamate, better known as MSG, is often disguised among other ingredients and can have degenerative and deadly effects on the brain and nervous system. Watch out for hydrolyzed anything, autolyzed anything, natural flavor, seasonings and spices, commercial soup or sauce bases, bouillon, broth and stock, gelatin and even aluminum cookware. All these can introduce toxins to your body that cause your lymphatic system to work overtime.The best way to avoid these is to simply get back to the basics and use all natural, unprocessed ingredients in your cooking.

3. Exercise…breathe. It is no secret that exercise is good for you, but did you know that even light exercise can benefit circulation of both your blood and lymph? Your lymphatic system relies on muscle movements to keep lymph moving through its vessels. Even light exercise such as standing calf raises or a walk around the neighborhood will stretch and contract your muscles, triggering the circulatory function within your lymphatic system. Exercising on a Rebounder or mini trampoline for 3-6 minutes with only your heels moving is also a good choice for getting the lymph moving. Moreover, deep breathing, which is often recommended as a technique for stress relief and boosting blood circulation, will also help release toxins and increase lymphatic circulation.

4. Skin brushing. Dry skin brushing increases blood and lymph circulation and boosts organ function by stimulating sweat glands and opening pores. It also softens skin and improves the complexion. On dry skin, before bathing, brush with a natural bristle brush gently over the skin. Start with your extremities and work your way to the center of your body, avoiding your face, always moving in the direction of the heart.  Wikihow has detailed instructions on how to dry skin brush.

5. Lymphatic massage. This therapeutic massage technique, also known as lymphatic drainage, uses gentle kneading motions to stimulate muscles and in effect, lymphatic vessels and flow. Just as with skin brushing, the motion should always be towards the heart (lymph openings). You can do this yourself or  find a massage therapist skilled in this type of  therapy.

Reader Feedback: Were you aware of how important your lymphatic system was to the health of your body?  The ability to help you move through a candida cleanse?  What is your favorite tip that you’re willing to incorporate ASAP?

 

Resources

Support the Lymphatic System – Your Secondary Circulatory System, Gloria Gilbère, N.D.,D.A.Hom., Ph.D. American Holistic Health Association.
http://ahha.org/articles.asp?Id=113.

Lymph flow dynamics in exercising human skeletal muscle as detected by scintography. Journal of Physiology (1997), 504.1, pp.233-239.
http://jp.physoc.org/content/504/Pt_1/233.full.pdf.

Pizzorno, J. E., & Murray, M. T. (1999). Textbook of natural medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

Hudson, A. (2001). Lymphatic drainage: Therapy I. Castlecrag, N.S.W: Triam Press.

Understanding Healing Crisis

 

 What is a healing crisis?

 

 

When Changing Your Diet or Doing A Cleanse You May Have What’s Called A Healing Crisis or Herx Reaction

When a person begins using herbs and begins to make healthier food choices they may have a healing crisis indicating they are starting the detoxification process. Most people stop using the herbs as they think the herbs were making things worse. It’s really the exact opposite and they would be wise to return to those herbs, usually starting at a lower dosage and then increasing back to the suggested amount, to ride out the cleansing and healing process.

Many people are caught off guard and fail to understand and interpret the symptoms and changes which follow a change to a healthier lifestyle. Many of these symptoms and changes are unpleasant but they are short in duration and are sporadic and are a necessary part of the healing process.

Here are 8 reasons why this may happen:

  1. The body and mind begin to show changes because the quality of nutrients coming into the body is of higher, quality than the tissue of which the body is made. The body begins to discard the lower grade materials to make room for the superior materials. The discarding of the material can come through the bowel causing diarrhea, through the kidney causing back ache, through the respiratory system causing a cold or through the skin causing boils, acne, rashes, psoriasis, etc.
  2. Indigestion, heartburn, flatulence, bloating and burping usually starts soon after you start herbs. This happens because your body is not used to digesting these nutrients which often indicates that you have been deficient of these nutrients for a long time. The body’s digestion usually improves in a week or two. Taking the herbs with meals or with papaya mints will often help.
  3. Suppressed body functions will be stimulated to detoxify the body, sometimes inducing colds, diarrhea, fevers, swelling, acne, boils and vomiting. This is temporary and is part of the healing process. The body will return to at least the same level of health as before if not superior health UNLESS you do something to suppress this progress.
  4. Nervousness, headaches, fatigue, irritability and depression often happen when you cut out any artificial stimulants such as sugar, chocolate, coffee, tea, soda, tobacco, caffeine or recreational drugs. You will not get the desired result if you substitute one artificial stimulant for another. It is important at this time to rest and sleep more. Once the artificial stimulants are eliminated the body is ready for the building process. The energy of a healthy, well-nourished body is superior to any artificial stimulant.
  5. Moderate weight fluctuations often occurs (either weight loss or weight gain). If you continue the healthier lifestyle the weight will stabilize.
  6. Skin eruptions, warts, boils or acne. The skin is the largest eliminating organ, so the concept of toxins coming out through the skin is easily understood, even if it is hard to face.
  7. Aches, pains and arthritis will often get stirred up, even if you haven’t been suffering with it for years. This happens because uric acid and toxins aggravate these conditions as they are cleansed from the body.
  8. Fevers are not uncommon when dormant bacteria and virus are being cleaned out.

This sounds discouraging, but the healing crisis doesn’t last very long and the benefits of cleaning the body of these toxins and disease elements are vitally important. These bacteria, virus or toxins are going to show up sooner or later. You can either have a healthy body handle them on your terms or it will come out when it overpowers your weakened body. It is better to go through small healing crises than a full blown health crisis.

Be sure and read my post,5 Tips To Support Your Lymphatic System & Ease Your Candida Cleanse for things you can do to improve the detoxification process.

If you are in doubt about whether what you are experiencing is a normal part of healing seek professional guidance.

 

What Causes Candida Overgrowth?

What causes Candida overgrowth? Fill out this Candida questionnaire to find out of Candida may be an issue in your health challenges.

 

Many things can cause Candida overgrowth leading to an imbalance.

Some of them include:

  •  Over use of antibiotics without replacing the lost beneficial bacteria (probiotics)
  •   Nutrient Poor Diet:  that is rich in refined sugars and refined carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, rice pasta, ice cream, sodas, processed foods, etc.)
  •   Constipation: this common problem can be caused by Candida. However constipation can also lead to Candida. A digestive tract which is constipated is slow moving and becomes very alkaline. The more alkaline the digestive tract the more Candida growth.
  •   Parasites and Intestinal Worms: Some researches have estimated that over 85% of all people living in North America and Canada have parasites. These unwelcome guests destroy friendly bacteria in the intestines making yeast overgrowth possible.
  •  Excessive Stress: Stress can cause yeast growth for several reasons. It raises cortisol, a stress hormone, which depresses the immune system, raises blood sugar which feeds yeast cells allowing them to grow quickly. Another thing to be aware of is that cortisol can be addicting to the body. It raises sugar and relieves inflammation. There are several simple nutrients that help lower cortisol levels back to normal by telling the nervous system to relax.
  • Hormonal Imbalance: It has long been recognized that an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone can be a cause in yeast overgrowth.
  •  Birth Control Pills or Device: Oral birth control pills are mostly the hormone estrogen. Supplemental estrogen in the synthetic form has been found to promote the growth of yeast. A common complaint of women on birth control pills is yeast infection. The copper IUD is another possible promoter of yeast.
  •  Hypothyroid: The thyroid gland has an important effect on the immune system and digestive system.
  • Heavy Metals: Toxic metals show up consistently in people experiencing Candida. They are Mercury, Copper and Arsenic. These metals disable the exact part of the immune system that seeks to control Candida! They are often found in dental fillings and in tap water. As they pass through the intestinal tract they can stimulate the growth of more Candida. It’s important to get rid of the yeast before removing heavy metals since clearing them first will spread the yeast!
  • Other things that may contribute to Candida overgrowth include drugs and alcohol, antacid use, diabetes, hypothyroidism, excessive bowel cleansing, an imbalance of minerals such as copper dysregulation.

Wondering if your health could be affected by Candida overgrowth?

Here are some questions that can help determine if you may have Candida overgrowth:

1. Do you have skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes?
2. Do you have mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression?
3. Are you typically bloated, especially after meals?
4. Do you have trouble losing weight?
5. Do you have constant cravings?
6. Do you have thrush (a white coating of the tongue)?
7. Do you suffer from frequent colds or flu?
8. Do you have night sweats?
9. Have you used antibiotics or birth control pill in the last 2 years?
10. Do you have gas or bloating?
11. Do you have sugar cravings?
12. Do you have low blood sugar?
13. Do you have history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral, athlete’s foot, or
jock itch?
14. Does your partner have a history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral,
athlete’s foot, or jock itch?
15. Are you sensitive to smells?
16. Are you sensitive to alcohol?
17. Do you suffer from symptoms that your doctor cannot explain like;
headaches, migraines, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, IBS (Irritable Bowel
syndrome), itching, menstrual or sinus problems?
18. Do you feel fatigued all the time?
19. Do you have a hard time concentrating?
20. Do you just not feel right?

If you said “yes” to any of these questions it would be in your best interest to make sure Candida isn’t part of the problem.

Fill out the full Candida Questionnaire.

If you scored high on the questionnaire and need help with getting it under control you are welcome to schedule a free 30-minute Health Discovery phone session with me to see how I can help you get things balanced with a program designed just for you.

Read the first part of this post “Is Candida Sabotaging Your Health?” to learn more about Candida and it’s symptoms.

 

My Favorite Immune Boosting Foods

 

Salmon, herbs, olive oil - Immunity boosting foods.
Salmon, herbs, olive oil – immunity boosting foods.

Eating Well for Super Immunity

 A healthy immune system is vital for helping your body deal with infections caused by viruses, bacteria, candida, and environmental toxins. As the winter months approach, it becomes even more important to support your immune system by consistently eating a balanced diet, exercising, and making healthy lifestyle choices. But the real fuel for a strong immune system is using food as medicine.

Super Soup

An immunity-boosting diet includes light, easily digestible meals throughout the day, especially soup. A myriad of health benefits and flavors are derived from the herbs, vegetables, and broth. Soups also can help curtail the onset or ease the symptoms of colds and flu. Look for soups that include immunity-enhancing ingredients such as ginger, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and a variety of veggies and herbs in a broth-base. As always, food made from scratch is best!

Super-Immunity Diet Guidelines

  • Include healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil.
  • When it comes to seasoning your foods, incorporate a variety of herbs and spices for flavor.
  • For veggies, choose steamed broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes.
  • Fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, kim chi (click for recipe) and yogurt help promote healthy intestinal flora and combat harmful bacteria in the GI tract.
  • Limit red meat; instead, eat moderate amounts of fish and poultry.
  • It’s also smart to limit sugar in your diet. Studies have shown excessive sugar intake can interfere with optimal immune system function.
  • As far as beverages, the constituents in green tea have been shown to be both anti-inflammatory and immune enhancing.

More Immune Boosting Foods

  • Cabbage (Vitamin U), cooked or raw. (Use cooked if you have hypo-thyroid issues).
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), especially as found in cold water, deep ocean fish such as herring, salmon, mackerel, sardines. Other sources of EFAs include fish oils; organic, clarified butter (Ghee), extra-virgin olive oil and organic virgin coconut oil.
  • Garlic, raw or in supplement form.
  • Fiber from fresh, organically grown vegetables and fruits. As you increase fiber in your diet, you need to increase your daily intake of pure water.
  • Seaweeds such as kelp, Nori, Dulse, Kombu, Hijiki, etc.
  • Sprouts from seeds, beans, peas, and grasses
  • Freshly made Juices from organically grown vegetables, fruits, and grasses
  • Mushrooms (Shiitake, Maitake, Rei-Shi, Ling-Zhi, etc.

Be sure and check out my “Better than Chicken Soup” immunity boosting soup recipe.

 

Cheers to your good health this winter!

 

What’s your favorite immunity-boosting food or soup? Share in the comments below!

 

References

  • Eating Well. “Healthy Immunity Diet Guidelines.” Accessed July 2015. http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/immunity/healthy_immunity_diet_guidelines 
  • Harvard Health Publications. “How to Boost Your Immune System.” Accessed July 2015. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system
  • Mars, B., and C. Fiedler. The Home Reference to Holistic Health & Healing. MA: Fair Winds Press, 2014. 129-144.
  • Meydani, S.N., and K.L. Erickson. “Nutrients as Regulators of Immune Function: Introduction.” The FASEB Journal 15, no. 14 (December 2001): 2555. http://www.fasebj.org/content/15/14/2555.full
  • Myles, I. A. “Fast Food Fever: Reviewing the Impacts of the Western Diet on Immunity.” Nutrition Journal 13 (2014): 61. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074336/

Image: klenova/bigstockphoto.com

 

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