How to Control Uric Acid Levels

Hyperuricemia or the elevated levels of uric acid in the blood are caused by either increased production of uric acid in the body or reduced excretion of it through the kidneys.

This leads to numerous other health issues, like the formation of kidney stones, renal failure, or gouty arthritis (the accumulation of uric acid in joints in the form of crystals.

Recent studies have also found that high blood uric acid levels might also cause hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The normal uric acid levels in men are in the range 3.4–7.0mg/dL, and 2.4–6.0 mg/dL in women.

High uric acid levels in the blood might also be a result of alcohol abuse, genetics, a diet high in purines, renal insufficiency, underactive thyroid, endocrine or metabolic conditions like diabetes or acidosis, obesity, and certain other diseases.

Also, certain cancers, chemotherapy, and medications like diuretics might elevate these levels. Crash dieting, fasting, and exercise might temporarily increase uric acid in the blood.

Yet, there are also some natural remedies can help you control and decrease uric acid levels, and these are the 10 most successful:

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  1. Water

The consumption of lots of water optimize the uric acid levels, as it dilutes the uric acid and supports the function of the kidneys to remove excess amounts from the body through urine.

The consumption of enough water also lowers the risk of recurrent gout attacks.

The findings of an internet-based study presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology indicate that participants who drank five to eight glasses of water in the 24-hour period before a possible gout attack had a 40 percent lower risk of an attack in comparison to those who drank only one glass of water.

Therefore, make sure you drink 8 glasses of water every day and consume water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables.

  1. Baking Soda

Baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda, effectively lowers uric acid levels and soothe gout pain. It optimizes the pH levels in the body and makes the uric acid soluble so it can be easily eliminated from the body.

Add half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it. Repeat 4 times daily, and if you suffer from high blood pressure, you should drink up to 3 glasses daily.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural detoxifier of the body and removes the excess uric acid from the body. The malic acid breaks down and removes uric acid, restores the alkaline state of the body and offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In a glass of water, add a teaspoon of raw, organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, and drink this 2-3 times daily. After some time, you can gradually increase the dose up to 2 tablespoons per glass.

Yet, note that ACV might reduce the potassium levels in the body, so do not consume it in excess and do not combine it with diuretics.

  1. Dairy Products

Low-fat milk and dairy products reduce plasma urate concentrations and lower the risk of gout. For instance, skim milk is high in orotic acid which reduces the reabsorption of uric acid and helps its removal through the kidneys.

You should drink 1-5 glasses of it a day, or you can choose some other dairy product, such as low-fat yogurt.

Tofu is also highly beneficial, as it changes the plasma protein concentration and eliminates uric acid. Note that you should avoid soy milk, as it increases uric acid levels.

  1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice alkalizes the body and neutralizes uric acid. Also, it is rich in vitamin C which decreases uric acid levels. In a glass of warm water, add the juice of one lemon and drink it on an empty stomach for two weeks.

  1. Wheatgrass Juice

Wheatgrass is another way to alkalize the body. It is high in vitamin C, chlorophyll and phytochemicals which detoxify the body, and the protein and amino acids can replace animal protein.

Mix 2 tablespoons of wheatgrass juice mixed with some lemon juice and drink this daily to lower uric acid levels in the body.

  1. Cherries

Cherries and dark berries are rich in chemicals which lower uric acid levels. Moreover, purple and blue-colored berries are high in flavonoids known as anthocyanins which reduce lower uric acid and alleviate inflammation and stiffness.

You should consume half a cup of cherries daily for 14 days or drink 1-2 glasses of tart cherry juice for a month. You should increase the intake of foods rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, such as tomatoes, strawberries, bell peppers, and blueberries.

  1. Olive Oil

When heated or processed, most vegetable oils turn into rancid fats, which lower the levels of vitamin E in the body, which controls uric acid levels.

Therefore, you should consume cold-pressed olive oil in cooking, as it is high in monounsaturated fats which remain stable when heated, and it is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E.

  1. High-Fiber Foods and Starchy Carbohydrates

Dietary fiber reduces uric acid levels by absorbing them and removing them from the body. Therefore, consume foods with starchy carbohydrates and are low in purine.

Consume more pears, oranges, strawberries, apples, and whole grains, and starchy foods such as quinoa, bananas, oats, potatoes, rice, whole grain pasta, and tapioca.

Moreover, drink green papaya tea, as this fruit is rich in papain, which alkalizes the body and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. This will help you prevent the accumulation of uric acid and soothe uric acid and gout related issues.

  1. A Low-Purine Diet

Purines are nitrogen-containing compounds, most commonly found in animal proteins, which break down into uric acid and thus raise the uric acid levels in the body. Avoid animal proteins like poultry, fish, organ meats, and meats, as well as purine-rich foods like yeast, beans, legumes, mushrooms, beer, and asparagus.

Furthermore, make sure you also follow the additional tips:

  • Consume a balanced diet, rich in complex carbohydrates and low in protein, and avoid refined carbohydrates like candies, cakes, and bread
  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly, as fatty tissues raise the production of uric acid
  • Limit the intake of foods high in fat, as it impedes the ability of the body to lower the uric acid levels
  • Avoid alcohol as it interferes with the removal of uric acid from the body
  • Stay away from high-fructose corn syrup or glucose-fructose syrup since they raise uric acid levels.

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Source: http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com

6 Types Of Body Fat & How To Get Rid Of It!

Obesity is one of the most common modern health problems, and it can be a result of various factors, therefore, its treatments can be different.

Yet, various methods often fail to provide results, so researchers have finally found the reason for it.

A recent Yorkshire Health study involved 4,000 obese adults, who were divided into 6 categories:

  • Young healthy females – obese women who generally had fewer obesity-related issues, like type 2 diabetes
  • Heavy-drinking males — obese men with fewer problems due to obesity, but with higher alcohol intake
  • Unhappy and anxious middle-aged – predominantly women with damaged mental health and wellbeing
  • Affluent and healthy elderly – people with generally optimal health, but defining features of higher alcohol intake and high blood pressure
  • Physically sick but happy elderly – older people with good mental health, who suffer from chronic diseases, like osteoarthritis
  • Poorest health – people who suffer from the greatest number of chronic diseases and who were the most economically deprived

The importance of this study is that researchers took various factors into consideration, which is a great step in the treatment of obesity.

Body fat distribution can be of two types- android and gynoid.

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“An ‘android’ fat distribution pattern is so called because more men than women exhibit it. You may have heard it described as an ‘apple’ body type when the waist circumference is greater than that of the hips.”

On the other hand,

“A ‘gynoid’ distribution is most commonly seen in women. This is what many call the ‘pear’ body shape. In this pattern, hip circumference is greater than waist circumference.”

To burn the fat accumulated in the certain body area, you need to know the cause of its development.

We will explain this in more details to help you get rid of the accumulated fat:

  1. Upper Body Obesity (Android)

In this group, we classify people who eat a lot and are physically inactive. You should limit the intake of sweets, and exercise at least half an hour daily.

  1. Stomach-Centered Obesity (Android)

Extra weight in the abdominal area is due to depression, stress, and anxiety. Therefore, you should try some relaxation techniques and exercise.

  1. Lower Body Obesity (Gynoid)

The members of this group are mostly women. You should try lower-body resistance training, combined with cardio exercises.

  1. Swollen Stomach Obesity (Android)

The fat deposits in the stomach area are due to excessive alcohol consumption and/or breathing difficulties. You should limit the alcohol intake and try some breathing exercises, as they are a full-body workout.

  1. Lower Body Obesity that Includes Lower Legs (Gynoid)

This is most often issue in pregnant women, as the legs are swollen. You should try water aerobics to reduce the pressure on the leg and feet joints, and also spend some time sitting with the feet raised during the day.

  1. Large, Protruding Stomach with Upper Back Fat (Android)

Physical inactivity is the main cause for this. You must exercise and regulate your blood sugar levels. Moreover, make sure you reduce your meal size.

Sometimes, if your workout and diet plan does not give any effects, you need to check if the excess body weight is due to genetics or hormonal imbalances. Yet, in these cases, you should consult a health care professional to solve the issue.

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Source: http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com

Peanuts: One Of The Healthiest Foods In The World! Here Are All The Diseases They Can Prevent!

You will not believe it when you read just how much benefits are in only 50 grams of peanuts a day. Peanuts are native to South America and belong to the family of vegetables, such as beans, peas or soybeans. They don’t just taste great, they are rich in fat, protein and other healthy nutrients.

Peanuts are an excellent source of protein and they also have a high material of essential vitamins, minerals and organic compounds. The benefits of peanuts are different, so they should be added to the list of daily nutrition. Nevertheless, due to the high content of fat and calories that the peanuts have, you must not be exaggerating.

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12 Benefits Of Peanuts, From Health To Beauty!

1. It is good for heart health
Among the benefits for human health, it seems to be the most popular. Thanks to the high level of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, peanuts can keep your heart healthy.
Particularly, oleic acid in peanuts can reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). Therefore, the peanuts are in a position to prevent stroke and coronary heart disease by increasing healthy blood lipid.

2. Boosts energy
One of the most recognizable benefits of peanuts is to boost energy. This is quite understandable, due to the fact that peanuts contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, anti-oxidants and nutrients, which are a significant source of energy.

3. It helps with weight loss
Peanuts have been studied in regards to weight maintenance. Due to the fact that there are a lot of calories and fat, peanuts do not affect the growth of pounds, so therefore intake of legumes will help keep the vitality and prevent obesity.

4. Fight against cancer
Polyphenolic anti-oxidants which are present in peanuts work for the prevention of gastric cancer, and they help in lowering the production of carcinogenic nitrosamines.
On the other hand, vegetables such as peanut have a high material of betasitosterola, which can be a protection against cancer by natural inhibitor of tumor growth. So, all those who eat peanuts at least two times a week can reduce the threat of colon cancer by 2.758 percent.

5. Prevents gallstones
It is estimated that gallstones impact between 10 and 25 percent of adults worldwide. Regular consumption of peanuts can significantly reduce the risk of gallstones. According to studies, just 30 grams of peanuts a day can help to reduce the risk of this phenomenon by 25 percent.

6. Improves memory
Peanuts are often called “brain food” since they contain the vitamin B3, which is exceptional for brain function, and to improve memory. They also contain a flavonoid called resveratrol, which can improve the blood flow to the brain by about 30 percent.

7. Fight against depression
Serotonin is a chemical that is necessary for brain and that helps regulate the mood. Insufficient secretion of these chemicals results in depression. Luckily, the amino acid tryptophan in peanuts may help release serotonin, which is why peanuts are able to beat depression.

8. Supports pregnancy and protects the baby
Peanuts are considered as a great source of folic acid, which is essential for ladies during pregnancy. According to research, ladies who consume 400 grams of this acid before and in the early stages of their pregnancy, were not under the risk that their baby could have certain neurological issues.
Consuming peanuts during pregnancy also lowers the risk of some common allergic diseases such as asthma in children.

9. Prevents Alzheimer
Numerous studies have actually revealed that consuming foods that are rich in niacin such as peanuts, can reduce the risk of Alzheimer by about 70 percent. Just a quarter cup of peanuts represents a quarter of the everyday intake of niacin.

10. Makes the skin radiant and toned
The ingredients in peanuts keep skin glossy and bright. Also, dietary fiber in this plant helps the body to get rid of excess contaminants, making the skin becoming perfectly soft and glossy. On the other hand, peanuts with their content of magnesium can help to soothe the nerves, blood vessels and muscles in order to accelerate the circulation of blood to the skin.

11. Prevents hair loss
Among the benefits that peanuts have for our beauty, they also can prevent hair loss. Thanks to vitamin C which is helpful for increasing the production of collagen, peanuts can prevent hair loss. Also, larginin in peanuts is an ingredient used in many baldness treatments, while the omega 3 fatty acid can strengthen the overall hair follicles and help hair growth.

12. It prevents wrinkles and aging
Early signs of aging, such as discoloration, wrinkles and reduced elasticity of the skin, fall into one of the biggest cosmetic issues. Fortunately, peanuts have a considerable amount of vitamin C which is important for the production of collagen. In fact, collagen is necessary to maintain healthy tendons, cartilage and skin. So, intake of peanuts improves the skins firmness, flexibility and freshness.

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Source: http://infantway.com

How Do GMOs Impact People and the Environment – and Do They Produce More Food?

You might be wondering, what on earth is a GMO? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Although conversations abound GMOs have increased significantly in the media, in the news and even the world of cinema through documentaries within the past decade, many people are still uncertain about what a GMO is and the ubiquitous role GMOs play in our world. And unless you live in one of the 60-plus countries around the world, (such as Japan, Australia, and all countries in the European Union) which have restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs, you’ve probably eaten them.

What is a GMO?

GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organism,” and the phrase refers to plants or animals that have been genetically engineered to produce a specific set of characteristics. This is not to be confused with traditional breeding practices, where different breeds of the same species are combined to produce favorable traits. With GMOs, DNA is taken from a completely different species (like a virus or fish) and inserted into a crop (like a carrot) to transfer genetic traits. These experimental combinations of genes do not occur in nature.

The majority of GMOs are engineered in a way that makes them tolerant to large applications of pesticides and herbicides, like Roundup, a chemical fertilizer created by the corporation Monsanto. Monsanto controls 80 percent of the genetically modified corn market and 93 percent of the genetically modified soy market. Roundup’s main ingredient is glyphosate, which was found by the World Health Organization to be a “probable human carcinogen” in May 2015. Where normal weeds would die when exposed to these harsh chemicals, GM corn is designed to survive when sprayed. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs” which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons like 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange). The farmers affected by resistant pests who must revert to older and more toxic chemicals must also garner more labor or more intensive tillage, which overshadow the promised benefits of GMO technology.

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The Impact of GMOs on People and the Environment 

In contrast to how the majority of people think, GMOs have actually caused the use of herbicides and pesticides to increase significantly, leaving more chemical residue on crops for consumers to ingest. The research around GMOs is conflicting; however, there is a growing body of evidence connecting GMOs with environmental damage,  health issues, and even violations of consumers’ and farmers’ rights. Autism, gluten intolerance, birth defects, and many more startling health issues are all linked back to Monsanto’s Round Up. To view a comprehensive list of health issues related to glyphosate (Round Up) explained, follow this link.

While many farmers say they are pleased with GMO varieties, many others are disappointed, finding mixed results or facing new problems in the extremely concentrated and corporate-dominated seed sector.

These problematic trends affect all farmers, whether they plant GMO seeds or not.

Even if a farmer does not use GMO crops, the risk of cross-contamination with GMO seeds is common. According to the International Journal of Food Contamination, almost 400 cases of GMO contamination occurred between 1997 and 2013 in 63 countries.  For farmers, the consequences have been severe. Contamination can be a catalyst for dramatic economic losses for farmers who face rejection from export markets that ban GMOs. Organic farmers suffering contamination can lose their organic certification and the premium they earn for their organic crop. As consumer demand for non-GMO products expands, farmers are looking for opportunities to diversify into non-GMO markets that pay higher prices. However, the inability of companies to properly separate GMOs from conventional varieties continues to threaten these options for farmers.

The long-term health effects of GMOs on both the planet and people are unknown. In addition, nearly all studies that claim to be safe are funded by the very biotechnology corporations that profit from GMO sales.

The biotech industry views GM crops as a benefit to our world because they allow farmers to generate higher crop yields with fewer inputs. Monsanto and its peers have thereby flooded the seed markets with genetically modified soybean, corn, and cotton seeds with two major traits: pesticide expression and herbicide resistance. So what does this mean? Basically, plants now have the ability to survive with harmful bug killers and herbicides with the toxic trait of Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Bt is related to a species of bacteria that causes food poisoning and also the bacterium that causes anthrax. Bt kills only very specific species of insects. Many organic farmers have used Bt for over 50 years as a pesticide to control insects. Now, genes from Bt are used to modify plants so that the plants produce the Bt toxins and kill insects that try to eat them without the use of external spraying.

Researcher Charles Benbrook at Washington State University demonstrated that the increase of GMOs in the United States has led to an increase in the use of toxic chemical inputs. Benbrook discovered that while the Bt trait has allowed farmers to spray dramatically lower levels of insecticides, that effect has been more than outweighed by the influx of herbicides released by Monsanto’s Roundup Ready technology, as weeds have quickly adapted resistance to frequent doses of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.

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Do They Yield More Food?

So now the big question, do GMOs yield more food? A recently released paper by University of Wisconsin researchers and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has negated the argument that GMO farming yields more food. The researchers looked at data from the University of Wisconsin’s test plots that compared crop yields from various varieties of hybrid corn, some genetically modified and some not, between 1990 and 2010. Even though some genetically modified varieties yielded small gains, others did not. Many even showed lower yields than non-genetically modified counterparts. The report concluded that it was surprising not to find strongly positive transgenic yield effects. Both the Bt trait for corn rootworm and glyphosate-tolerant (also known as Roundup Ready) caused yields to drop.

In addition, the report uncovers evidence of what is known as “yield drag” — the idea that manipulating the genome of a plant variety causes unintended changes in the way it grows, causing it to be less productive.

More encouragingly, the authors found that crop yields for GMO varieties are more stable year-to-year, and the yield fluctuation rate is less than those of conventional varieties. As a result of this stabilizing effect, the authors conclude that transgenic technology can improve farmers’ ability to deal with a risky environment, especially considering current concerns about the effects of climate change on production uncertainty in agriculture. They claim that by simply planting Bt or Roundup Ready crops, farmers face less risk from yield fluctuations.

However true this may be, it is far from generating higher crop yields with fewer inputs. It is also not clear if GMO seeds have advantages over conventional seeds when it comes to risk mitigation surpass the benefits offered by organic agriculture in this area. Therefore, deep research is needed to explore the new ingredients of organic manure for increasing the yield and other nutritional requirements of the food grains. In recent years there is a lot of debate on whether to go for organic farming or conventional farming or adopt genetically modified crops for higher yield. Human health and environmental safety are the major concerns of the GM technology, and in the absence of assurance by the proponents, many have deemed organic farming superior for its higher yields as compared to conventional farming.

There is another issue with consistent crop yields — monocultures. Monocultures ultimately deplete the soil and create the need for more fertilizers and chemicals to stabilize crops. If farmers used old farming methods – like crop rotation and permaculture that fostered a more healthy and sustainable environment for crops, there would be less need for all these chemicals.

Tips on a GMO-Free Diet

Despite the ever-presence of GMOs in our food system, there are steps you can take to transform your world into a GMO-free one.

  1. Seek out organic veggies and fruit
  2. Remember the 2 Ss (sugar from sugar beets and soy) and 3 Cs (canola, cottonseed, and corn). These crops are the most common genetically modified crops.

To learn more tips on how to avoid GMOs, click here. Keep in mind that you deserve the right to know what is in your food. Until we live in a world where all countries – not just 60-plus countries – have restrictions or bans on the production and sale of GMOs, you can vote with your dollar by simply not supporting the industry.

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Source: http://www.onegreenplanet.org

Perform A Blood Cleanse If You Are Feeling Tired Chronically

If you feel tired constantly, you may need to consider detoxifying or cleansing your blood regularly. The toxins accumulated in the blood affect us in such a way that we feel tired and without energy to perform our daily routines.

With beverages prepared at home, you can perform an effective blood cleaning, to release toxins, excess fat or salts and accelerate the digestive system.

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DRINK TO CLEANSE OUR BLOOD

Ingredients:

-12 cloves garlic
-½ liter red wine (17 oz)
-1 jar

Preparation:

Wash the garlic very well and chop them into small pieces, place in the jar and add the wine. Close the jar very well. This preparation should be kept for two weeks in a warm environment, stirring daily to mix well. At the end of two weeks, it will be ready.

Use:

Take one tablespoon 3 times a day for a month. Being a strong treatment it is not necessary to repeat it but every 6 months and will be enough to keep the arteries clean.

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Source: http://curesforhealthylife.com

Why You Should ‘Activate’ Your Nuts & Seeds – And How To Do It

Seeds and nuts are delicious and easy snacks, and they provide numerous essential nutrients, fibre, and healthy fats.

Yet, if you are a fan of roasted nuts, we suggest replacing them with raw, dried nuts, as roasting might cause some side-effects and make the nuts go rancid. Also, companies often use cheap oils.

Therefore, simply buy raw ones and roast them on your own, at home.

However, you probably weren’t aware of the fact that you should activate seeds and nuts in order to enjoy all their benefits. The activation process involves soaking them for several hours or overnight.

Nuts and seeds are high in phytic Acid, which is the storage form of phosphorus in plants, and it binds with minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese in the digestive tract, and makes them unavailable.

The regular consumption of foods high in phytic acid raises the risk of developing mineral deficiencies and osteoporosis.

Hence, if you are a fan of nuts and eat handfuls daily, you should definitely learn how to activate your nuts.

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The bodies of some animals have phytase, which is an enzyme that breaks up phytic acid. Even though we do not have it, there are certain ways to neutralize the phytic acid and use all the nutrients and minerals from nuts and seeds, by soaking, sprouting, and/or fermenting.

Nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors which prevent them from sprouting prematurely. In the wild, seeds and nuts can wait for the needed moisture and warmth long before they germinate.

The inhibitors clog up and deactivate the enzyme’s active site, making unsprouted nuts hard to digest.

The process of activation of nuts reduces the levels of phytic acid and makes the enzymes available by switching off their enzyme inhibitors. In this way, by soaking, we send a signal to the dried nuts that it is germination time, and it can switch off these elements and start sprouting.

If you consume lots of nuts, you can activate them on a daily basis or in big batches to save time.

This is how to activate them:

In a large bowl, add two cups of the seeds and nuts you plan to activate. Note that chia and hemp seeds do not need to be activated.

Then, pour filtrated water to cover them until they are fully submerged, with 2 inches of water on the top. Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt, and leave them thus for 7-12 hours.

Almonds need to soak for 12-14 hours, and cashews only 3-5.

Afterward, just strain off the water and wash them. Next, put them on dehydration racks or on cookie sheets in the oven to dry them at 150 degrees F or 65 degrees C.

They need to be completely dry as otherwise, they can easily spoil. When they are dry, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge. Now you can reap all the benefits of your favorite seeds and nuts!

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Source: http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com

Lead & Cadmium Found in Chocolate – Is it in Your Favorite Brand?

According to the findings by the consumer health watchdog As You Sow, which tested 50 chocolate products, including chocolate eggs and bunnies, 35 of them contain lead and cadmium above levels set by California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.

The tests were done at independent laboratories, and researchers found that the products which contained lead and cadmium did not even provide the legally required warning to consumers.

Therefore, due to the failure to warn about this, As You Sow filed legal notices against the manufacturers of the chocolates, including Mars, Lindt, Trader Joe’s, Theo Chocolate, Hershey’s, Whole Foods, Green and Black’s, Ghirardelli, Kroger, Godiva, Equal Exchange, Earth Circle Organics, See’s Candies, and many more.

According to Eleanne van Vliet, MPH, As You Sow’s Environmental Health Consultant:

“Lead exposure is associated with neurological impairment, such as learning disabilities and decreased IQ, even at very low levels. In fact, there is no safe level of lead for children. “

Sean Palfrey, MD, a pediatrician and Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at Boston University School of Medicine added:

“As underscored by the Flint disaster, humans have contaminated our environment with lead, and now we must do everything in our power to protect ourselves and children, who are the most vulnerable of us, from every possible exposure. Young children and pregnant women especially should avoid exposure to lead.”

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Danielle Fugere, As You Sow President maintains that:

“Lead and cadmium accumulate in the body, so avoiding exposure is important, especially for children. Our goal is to work with chocolate manufacturers to find ways to avoid these metals in their products.”

Experts relate chronic exposure to cadmium to liver, bone, and kidney damage. Moreover, children are more prone to these negative effects even from low doses over time.

Animal studies have found a link between cadmium exposure and male reproductive system damage, decreased birth weight, and neurobehavioral problems.

Furthermore, the revelations of lead contamination in water in Flint, Michigan, emphasized the negative influence of lead and its relation to neurological problems in children.

For over 25 years, As You Sow has led enforcement actions which aim at the removal of lead from children’s jewelry and formaldehyde from portable classrooms.

These are some of the most popular brands involved in the research:

Bissinger’s

  • Bissinger’s All Natural 60% Dark Chocolate Whole Almonds Lead

Earth Circle Foods dba River Canyon Retreat Inc.

  • Earth Circle Organics Organic Balinese Cacao Nibs Cold Pressed Cadmium

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

  • Ghiradelli Chocolate Premium Baking Bar 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Lead & Cadmium
  • Ghiradelli Intense Dark 72% Cacao Twilight Delight Chocolate Bar Cadmium

Godiva

  • Godiva Chocolatier 85% Cacao Extra Dark Chocolate Lead & Cadmium
  • Godiva Chocolatier 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Lead & Cadmium
  • Godiva Chocolatier 50% Cacao Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Lead

The Hershey Company

  • Scharffen Berger Extra Dark Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate (82% cacao) Cadmium
  • Scharffen Berger Semisweet Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate (62% cacao) Cadmium

Dagoba 

  • Organic New Moon Rich Dark Chocolate (74% cacao) Lead & Cadmium

Lake Champlain Chocolates

  • Lake Champlain Chocolates Dark Chocolate (57% cocoa) Lead & Cadmium

Lindt & Sprüngli (USA) Inc.

  • Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa Excellence Extra Dark Lead & Cadmium

Mars, Incorporated

  • Dove Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar Cadmium

Mondelez International, Inc.

  • Green & Black’s Organic 85% Cacao Bar Lead & Cadmium

Moonstruck Chocolate Co. 

  • Moonstruck Dark Chocolate Chile Variado (68% cacao) Lead

See’s Candies, Inc. 

  • See’s Candies Premium Extra Dark Chocolate (62% cacao) Cadmium

The Kroger Co. 

  • Private Selection 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Swiss BarLead & Cadmium

Theo Chocolate Theo 

  • Organic Fair Trade Pure 85% Dark Chocolate Cadmium

Trader Joe’s Company

  • Trader Joe’s Swiss 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Lead
  • Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate Lead
  • Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate 73% Cacao Super Dark Lead & Cadmium
  • Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar – Toffee With Walnuts and Pecans 70% cacao Lead
  • Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar (85% cacao) Lead & Cadmium
  • Trader Joe’s Pound Plus, 72% Cacao Dark ChocolateLead

Vosges, Ltd. Wild 

  • Ophelia All Natural New Orleans Chili – Dark Chocolate Bar (70% cacao) Lead

Whole Foods Market, Inc. 

  • 365 Everyday Value Organic Dark Chocolate (56% Cacao) Lead & Cadmium

Here You Can See the Full List, including the brands that passed

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Source: http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com

Don’t Ignore These 6 Signs of a Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalances often lead to anger, frustrations, and strange emotions with no evident reason, as hormones play a crucial role in health, affecting fertility, mood, and ovulation.

Yet, their balance can be disrupted, often in perimenopause, puberty, and menopause, as well as due to improper lifestyle habits, pregnancy, contraceptive pills, menstrual cycle, and stress.

Hormonal imbalance and the mood swings it causes negatively affect the people around the person as well, so you should learn its early symptoms and thus diagnose it on time.

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These are the six most common signs:

  1. Constant Hunger

Hormonal imbalances often lead to weight gain and food cravings, especially for sugar, which is a result of the high levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite.

  1. Mood Swings

Hormonal imbalances often lead to regular mood swings and feelings of anger, sadness, happiness, and madness for trivial reasons. Mood swings can also appear during the menstrual cycle and the menopause, but they are not so intense.

Progesterone is the happy hormone which gets reduced quicker, and estrogen leads to menopause.

  1. Fatigue

Constant fatigue often leads to feelings of tiredness, as a result of the higher cortisol levels. This hormone is responsible for stress.

  1. Constant Weight Gain

If you are exercising regularly and still gain weight, you might suffer from hormonal imbalance. When the hormones are normal, the metabolism dictates the weight loss.

Yet, in case the hormones are not regulated, the body cannot burn calories properly, and it becomes resistant to weight loss. In this case, you gain most fat in the abdominal area, since the body retains cortisol and estrogen.

  1. Libido loss

Hormonal imbalance reduces the sex drive, as the crucial hormones for the feminine libido, estrogen, testosterone, and the thyroid, are imbalanced. Despite the reduced sexual drive, your vagina might become dry, making the sexual intercourse uncomfortable and painful.

  1. Insomnia

Sleeping difficulties are common in the case of hormonal imbalances, especially during and after menopause, between 2-4 a.m.

The hormonal levels also cause night sweats, and the increased cortisol levels, and the reduced estrogen and progesterone levels influence the quality of the sleep.

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Source: http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com

5 surprising causes of anxiety that nobody ever talks about

Anxiety is definitely one of the most prevalent mental conditions in North America, judging by the 12 percent of Canadians suffering from it each year.  It turns out that anxiety is sort of an umbrella term for mental conditions with pretty much the same symptoms, although it applies differently to different people. The symptoms are similar, but they can range from mild to quite severe panic attacks.

According to the DSM-IV, anxiety disorders are diverse, including -traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), specific phobias, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and mixed anxiety and depression.

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Symptoms

The symptoms of anxiety range from mental symptoms like nervousness, excessive worry, and insomnia to genitourinary symptoms like gastrointestinal symptoms and frequent urination.

Other symptoms of anxiety include rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, muscle tension, hot and cold flashes, and even suicidal thoughts.

Conventional Treatment

The first line treatment involves mediations like citalopram, a serotonin inhibitor which is also used to treat depression.

Another line of drugs which are used to treat anxiety include benzodiazepines, but they are typically used in the short term to manage quite serious symptoms.

Naturopathic Approach

No two cases should be approached the same, so it is important to get a complete history of the case. Past medical history and details about hormonal symptoms, sleep, diet, and digestive symptoms are a must.

Identifying the root cause of anxiety is the key when to naturopathic diagnostic process. Naturopathic medicine addresses anxiety holistically, unlike conventional medicine that focuses on dysfunctions in the brain.

The 5 Root Causes of Anxiety

1. Stress

Chronic stress is affected by the production of the hormone cortisol, and it affects more than half of North American adults these days.

Chronic stress is associated with adrenal fatigue, which leads to an inability of the body to deal with stress properly. Instead of producing cortisol, the adrenal glands rely on adrenaline and noradrenaline to deal with stressful events.

These hormones stuck the person in the fight or flight state, resulting in symptoms like muscle tension, mental worry, dry mouth, sweating, rapid respiration, and rapid heart rate.

2. Malnutrition and Hypoglycaemia

Vitamins, minerals, and protein are building blocks needed by the body to perform its chemical reactions. So, lack of any nutrient when healing anxiety is like trying to build a house without bricks.

Serotonin and dopamine, as well as hormones like cortisol, need tryptophan and tyrosine for their synthesis. They also need builders to make neurotransmitters, such as magnesium, iron, zinc, and B-vitamins.

Stress interferes with cortisol production and may deplete the body of these nutrients, which increases dairy requirements.  Failing to get enough of these nutrients from food means that supplementation is more than necessary to ensure the body is functioning optimally.

Rising and falling blood glucose levels due to a high-carb diet can lead to hypoglycemia, a condition that mimics the symptoms of anxiety, including fatigue, sweating, irritability, rapid heartbeat, and dizziness.

3. Digestive Issues

While serotonin is mostly active in the brain, many studies suggest that up to 90 percent of it is created in the intestinal tract.  This means that any disruption in the health of the digestive cells may lead to digestive symptoms like IBS as well as mood swings.

Foods sensitivities and intestinal issues can cause inflammation in the body, impacting the nervous system. It has been scientifically shown that low levels of inflammation in the brain and overactive immune system may lead to mental conditions like depression and symptoms like headaches, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.

4. Hormonal Imbalance

Due to the high exposure to toxic estrogen, many North American women suffer from estrogen dominance, a condition manifested by too much estrogen in the body or lack of progesterone.  Symptoms of this condition include acne, fibroids, irregular periods, painful and heavy periods, weight gain, PMS, and even an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer.

Progesterone and estrogen not only control secondary sex characteristics but also affect the brain. Hormonal imbalance may lead to anxiety and irritability symptoms and may even aggravate existing anxiety.

5. Core Beliefs and Mental Schemas

Anxiety and other mental conditions may often be symptoms of emotional memories (mental schemes) which are experienced alongside strong emotions.  If left untreated, they can seriously affect our daily lives.

When triggered, they lead to anxiety symptoms, which means that getting to the core of the symptoms and addressing these memories is the key to treating any mood disorder, including anxiety.

Holistic Solutions for Anxiety

Judging by the causes outlined above, it is evident that the holistic solutions rely on their diagnosis.

  • Getting a thorough history, doing blood work, and checking the iron and B12 status of the patient
  • Checking for food sensitivity and hormone levels like cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone
  • Developing a strategy for dealing with stress, such as setting healthy boundaries and reducing work hours
  • Looking for activities that lower stress, such as going for long walks, engaging in yoga or meditation, or engaging in nature exposure
  • Adding more protein in their diet and reducing carb and sugar intake as well as alcohol and caffeine
  • Supplementing with probiotic, removing food sensitivities, and eating a diet low in pro-inflammatory foods
  • Balancing hormones by adjusting birth control dosage, limiting exposure to toxins, and treating estrogen dominance
  • Identifying core beliefs and addressing them with the help of Coherence therapy, Narrative therapy, mindfulness training, and CBT

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Sources: http://besthealthyguide.com

Soak your feet in this powerful baking soda mixture 2x each week to heal dry and cracked feet

Not only do cracked feet look highly unattractive, but they may lead to pain and infection in some cases.  There are many factors working against us having the beautiful feet we have always dreamed of, including dry air, lack of moisture, shoes, workout routines,  improper foot care, prolonged standing on hard floors, unhealthy diet, aging, and more.

Most people turn to spas and nail salons to prepare the feet for the next beach season, but doing this regularly is quite time-consuming and it may cost a little fortune. In addition, it is hard to know that the creams and scrubs really contain, as many of the products labeled as all-natural and organic are loaded with questionable ingredients.

The good news is that the problem can be taken care with the use of some home remedies.  There are many products and at-home feet tips on how to prevent and heal cracked heels.

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The healing essential foot balm is highly recommended to for this purpose! The combination of tea tree oil and peppermint oil rejuvenates the skin, revives the worn-out feet, moisturizes the skin, and protects against fungi and bacteria that impact the feet.

Thos who are fans of DIY beauty care and all-natural, home remedies, will love this baking soda mixture foot soak routine that works wonders for cleaning up cracked feet and eliminates the calluses for good! The best thing is that it is simple, all-natural, and doesn’t cost a thing!

DIY Baking Soda Foot Soak to Cure Dry Cracked Feet

Ingredients:
  • 4-5 liters of water in a bucket ( make sure your feet fit in)
  • 3 tbsp of baking soda
  • Epsom salts ( optional)
  • Lavender oil
  • Soft scrub sponge/ pumice stone/ brush
  • Moisturizer
Instructions:
  • First, pour the baking soda in the bucket of water
  • Mix well so that the baking soda is fully dissolved
  • Add a few drops of lavender oil, if you want to mimic a home spa. The relaxing aroma of lavender oil will calm you down after a tough day at work
  • Soak the feet in this solution for 15-20 minutes
  • When done soaking the feet, run the underside using a soft scrub sponge, a pumice stone, or a scrub brush
  • When done, coat the feet in a moisturizer high in glycerin, Vaseline, or coconut oil
  • Put socks on to seal the moisture. It is recommended to sleep with the socks on all night
  • Repeat this process a few times a week and one or two times a month during the winter season
  • If you are interested in making this routine even more intense and effective, mix baking soda with water to create a paste to scrub the feet prior scrubbing them with a brush or pumice stone

Homemade spa treatments are very inexpensive and fun! Practicing this routine regularly ensures having pretty feet regardless of the season, so you can stay out with confidence.

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Sources: http://besthealthyguide.com

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