Top 4 Hidden Health Hazards Lurking in Your Kitchen

Nutrient labels can be deceptive, making it hard for you to choose foods that will truly support your health. Even if…

Nutrient labels can be deceptive, making it hard for you to choose foods that will truly support your health. Even if you are shopping in a “health food” store, there are offenders on the shelves that could have a negative impact on your body. Keep in mind that food labels are meant to be misleading. Marketing is the purpose of these designs, and sometimes they are worded in a way that confuses consumers.

The best way to avoid these products is by learning about the common health hazards so that you can read the labels and avoid these ingredients:

Health Hazard #1: Soy

For many years, soy was considered a “sacred grain” that was unfit to consume in Asia and around the world. Then, the discovery of fermentation brought soy products into Asian diets, including soy sauce, miso, and tempeh. But, there are many compounds in soy that can be potentially harmful to health. For example, It may come as a surprise to many that soy contains antinutrient inhibitors that block digestive functions.

To make matters worse, 99% of the soy in the industry comes from genetically modified seeds. Not only do these plants contain high levels of pesticide contamination, but researchers have suggested that serious genetic problems could result from the consumption of GMOs.

Health Hazard #2: Lectins

There is an argument that lectins might have the most dangerous impact on your body. Lectins are the proteins found in grains that keep the sugars and carbs together. So, some people refer to lectins as “sticky proteins.”

When lectins are eaten, they find sugars in the body to latch onto. Usually, lectins seek out sialic acid, commonly found in the gut, brain, and nervous tissue. This latching phenomenon interferes with cell communication, which leads to an inflammatory response in the body. The consumption of lectins can cause many health issues, including diarrhea, gas, nausea, bloating, leaky gut, and other digestive issues.

If you want to avoid lectins, minimize the consumption of these foods:

  • Beans: Kidney, navy, peas, pinto, lentils, mung beans
  • Grains: Wheat, rice, corn, barley
  • Vegetables and Fruit: Potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, citrus fruits
  • Other: Most nuts and seeds have lectin, as well as some spices, coffee, and chocolate

Health Hazard #3: Gluten

Gluten is a type of lectin, but it deserves a category of its own since it is a popular topic. Some people suffer from severe allergies or Celiac disease, while others might be suffering from a combination of food sensitivities. Gluten interferes with digestion which causes problems with nutrient breakdown and absorption.

Consuming gluten can lead to damage in the small intestine. The undigested foods cause the immune system to attack the villi in the small intestine. Inflammation and damage occurs, leading to numerous health problems that could have been avoided. Not only does gluten cause digestive problems, but it is also connected with other diseases such as problems with the nervous system, joints, liver, skin and neurological systems.

Health Hazard #4: Sugar

Even though sugar is an acceptable form of indulgence in our society, these sweet treats are the foundation of many health problems. Too much sugar consumption spikes blood sugar levels and causes a domino effect in the body:

  • Liver Damage: The liver is overloaded and taxed trying to keep up with the management of sugar.
    Eventually, too much sugar can lead to liver damage.
  • Weight Gain: Insulin levels are affected by sugar consumption, which results in weight gain. Ongoing
    consumption of sugar causes a person to develop insulin resistance.
  • Uric Acid: Too much sugar contributes to high uric acid levels and can cause gout, kidney, and heart disease.
  • Metabolic Syndrome: This dysfunction affects cholesterol levels, obesity, blood pressure, blood sugar
    and more.

The problem is that sugar is hidden in most processed foods. Even if you don’t see “sugar” on the ingredient label, there are many other names for processed sweeteners: high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), fructose, honey, lactose, syrup, dextrin, dextrose, sorbitol, and more. The best thing that you can do is stick with naturally-sweetened whole foods, such as fruit.

Transform Your Pantry

It might seem overwhelming to make these changes to your diet, but a few small habits go a long way to protect your health. Start by increasing your awareness of the ingredients that are included in common foods. Read the ingredient labels, and try to decrease your consumption of processed foods that contain these four health hazards.

Prebiotics and Probiotics: The Best Combo for a Healthy Gut

It is common knowledge that probiotics are the “good” bacteria that support digestive function. But, there is…

It is common knowledge that probiotics are the “good” bacteria that support digestive function. But, there is another important factor that many people are missing: prebiotics. If you want to optimize your health, then you need to look for ways to incorporate both probiotics and prebiotics into your diet.

The Difference Between Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that flourish in the gut. They help to fight the “bad” bacteria and are beneficial for managing common digestive concerns, such as gas, indigestion, and bloating. A stop at the health food market will uncover a variety of probiotic products. It might be easy to pop a probiotic pill in the morning, but it won’t do you much good without another important element: prebiotics.

Prebiotics are a certain type of fiber that provides the food source for the probiotics. When prebiotics are present, probiotics can create the environment that is needed to thrive and survive. Your digestive system can’t process this indigestible probiotic fiber. But, the good bacteria ferments the prebiotics, which then feeds the colonies in the digestive tract.

Why Should I Take Probiotics and Prebiotics?

Without thriving gut flora, the body has a hard time digesting foods and extracting the nutrients that are needed for optimal health. Consuming probiotics helps to crowd out the bad bugs that lead to health problems, such as yeast, bacteria, and fungi. Additionally, enzymes are created which help with the management of many functions in the body.

Also, many people need probiotics due to the gut flora damage that was done by antibiotics. It is best to avoid antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary. Antibiotic usage destroys all bacteria in the gut, so the good bacteria is wiped out along with the bad bacteria. If antibiotics are unavoidable, then it is important to be aggressive with a quality probiotic supplement and a healthy diet to reseed the gut after taking the medication.

Consuming probiotics supports immune function by stimulating the secretion of regulatory T cells. As immune function improves, so does overall health and wellness. Natural health practitioners often make the argument that improving your microbiome is the most important strategy that can be implemented to prevent disease.

Health Benefits of Probiotics Include:

  • Improved Digestion
  • Stronger Supports Immune Function
  • Healthier Skin
  • Promotes Weight Loss
  • Helps Reduced Risk of Illness and Disease
  • Increased Energy

Sources of Probiotics

Do you prefer to take a probiotic supplement? Choose a trusted brand with quality probiotic strains and sources. Another option is to include fermented foods in your diet. These foods include unpasteurized yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso soup, kefir, kombucha, raw apple cider vinegar, and more. Whenever possible, it is best to choose organic sources to avoid the contamination of pesticides.

At the same time, it is also a good idea to avoid foods that destroy gut flora. For example, sStay away from sugars and processed foods because they feed the “bad” bacteria and make it harder for the “good” bacteria to thrive.

Sources of Prebiotics

If you are taking a basic probiotic supplement, then make sure to find natural sources of prebiotics, such as:

  • Beans
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Bananas
  • Tomatoes
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Radishes

Or, an easier solution is to find a probiotic supplement that includes prebiotic fiber as well. Many people love the simplicity of using a supplement that incorporates both elements to support digestive health.

Polyphenols: 4 Benefits to Transform Your Health and Vitality

Polyphenols is a buzzword in the natural healthcare industry right now, and you might be wondering why so many…

Polyphenols is a buzzword in the natural healthcare industry right now, and you might be wondering why so many people are talking about these nutrients. These phytochemical compounds are found in plants, and it is estimated that there are over 8,000 identified polyphenols that come from plant-based ingredients.

Antioxidants Impact the Aging Process

Why are polyphenols so important to your health? They are a type of antioxidant, providing the protection that your body needs. Incorporating polyphenols into your diet could be the best thing that you can do to support your overall health.

Many people don’t realize the important role that antioxidants play in health and wellness. Free radicals are present in your body, and antioxidants work to combat the damage of those free radicals. If the free radical activity is left unchecked, then it causes tissue damage and degradation, eventually leading to serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart disease, and more.

Not only do polyphenols help to prevent against life-threatening health conditions, but they also impact the aging process. Do you want to maintain youthful vitality? Then you need to consume polyphenols daily.

Benefits of Polyphenols

What benefits can you expect when you increase your consumption of polyphenols? These are some of the common benefits you will enjoy:

  • 1. Reduce Inflammation: Chronic inflammation is the foundation of many health concerns. Unfortunately, many people are exposed to food and environmental factors that increase internal inflammation. Protect your body by increasing polyphenol consumption, because the antioxidants will counteract the inflammatory response from free radicals.
  • 2. Slow Down the Appearance of Aging: Boosting your consumption of antioxidants is one of the best ways that you can slow the aging process. Instead of applying lotions and creams to your skin, look for ways to increase antioxidant consumption and maintain your youth from the inside out.
  • 3. Balance Blood Sugar Levels: It has been found that polyphenols help to inhibit the absorption of glucose, which balances blood sugar levels. Avoiding high blood sugar decreases the risk of related health concerns, such as diabetes and metabolic symptoms. As the blood sugar is balanced, natural weight management and fat-burning functions improve.
  • 4. Prevent Cancer Growth: Not only do antioxidants fight cancer cells, but these compounds are helpful to inhibit angiogenesis. When a cancerous tumor is growing, new blood vessels will be formed to feed that tumor, and this process is called angiogenesis. Polyphenols help to prevent angiogenesis, which limits the supply of blood to the cancerous cells.

When your body has a steady source of polyphenols, the immune system can work on a cellular level to promote growth, healing, and repair.

Boosting Polyphenols in Your Diet

Now that you can see the many health benefits of polyphenols, you might be wondering how you can incorporate these powerful compounds into your diet. These are some of the foods that are rich sources of polyphenols:

  • Herbs and Spices: Basil, sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme, marjoram, parsley, peppermint, clove, anise, capers,
    cinnamon, cumin, ginger, curry powder
  • Fruit and Berries: pomegranates, cranberries, black elderberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, plums,
    blueberries, raspberries, black chokeberries, black currants, avocado
  • Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, endive, red onions, green and red chicory, Jerusalem artichokes
  • Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, chestnuts, ground flaxseed, celery seed
  • Cold Pressed Oils: Coconut oil, sesame oil, olive oil
  • Other: Dark chocolate, cacao, red wine, black tea, green tea

For optimal results, look for ways to incorporate these ingredients into your diet and add a polyphenol supplement as well. Daily use of a proprietary, antioxidant-rich polyphenol supplement can make it easy to support your health and boost your energy.

5 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Energy

Do you feel like you always need a cup of coffee in hand just to get through the day? Many people agree that

Do you feel like you always have need a cup of coffee in hand just to get through the day? Many people agree that the morning must start with coffee, and it is hard to get through the afternoon without more caffeine. If you lack in energy, then it might be tempting to turn to sugary, caffeinated drinks to get you through the day. But, these habits can quickly turn into a vicious cycle of poor sleep that leads to the need for more caffeine.

A better solution is to use natural energy-boosting methods that will support your body. These methods are focused on the foundation of health so that your energy increases naturally. Here are a few options to consider:

1. Fresh Vegetable Juice

Many people are tired because they are unknowingly suffering from nutrient depletion. Even if you are eating healthy foods, your body might not be able to reap the full benefits because the digestive system must extract the nutrients from the foods. Drinking fresh vegetable juice is a great way to infuse your body with high-quality nutrients, which in turn creates a natural increase in energy.

Not only will fresh vegetable juice boost your energy levels, but the improved nutrition improves immune function. As a result, many people find that their risk for illness and disease drops when they are drinking vegetable juice.

2. Green Tea

Green tea is another drink that will support your energy levels and overall health. This plant ingredient is loaded with polyphenols which are naturally-occurring antioxidants that support health on a cellular level.

The caffeine in green tea is a clean source of energy, and many health practitioners will agree that it is better than sugary alternatives. Green tea caffeine is beneficial to mobilize fatty acids, giving you a boost of energy without the sugar crash.

3. Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs

Sugar, white flour, and other types of refined carbs cause a rollercoaster effect on your blood sugar levels. Simple carbs are burned quickly in the body, leading to a spike in blood sugar and temporary energy. Then, you will experience a “crash” after the blood sugar drops again. This phenomenon is often the cause of the afternoon lull that people experience an hour or two after lunch.

The solution is to choose low glycemic foods that support good blood sugar maintenance. Vegetables and fruits offer fiber, nutrition, and important health-promoting compounds that boost your energy while balancing your blood sugar.

4. Drink More Water

Many people don’t know that one of the first signs of dehydration is exhaustion. If you are feeling tired, then the solution might be as simple as drinking more water. Remember that your body is made up of mostly water. Dehydration takes a toll on the major organs and has a negative impact on overall health.

Drink a glass of water after waking up in the morning. Keep a bottle of water nearby throughout the day to sip on. Make sure to increase your water consumption if you are sick, pregnant, nursing, or after an intense workout.

5. Supplement Your Diet

If you want high energy levels, then you need to make sure that you are getting plenty of vitamins and minerals to support the natural functions in your body. But, it can be a challenge to plan balanced meals so that you can optimize nutrient consumption. Instead of worrying about macro- and micro-nutrients, you might consider the benefits of adding an all-natural supplement to boost your nutrition.

A supplement can maximize your nutrition, which in turn will increase energy. Choose a source of antioxidants and plant-based ingredients to improve your health without unnatural, stimulant ingredients.

8 Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet

When the topic of a “plant-based diet” is discussed, most people have a stereotypical assumption about

When the topic of a “plant-based diet” is discussed, most people have a stereotypical assumption about the lifestyle. Instead of drawing strict rules about foods that shouldn’t be eaten on a plant-based diet, we suggest that it is better to focus on the things that should be eaten to support health and vitality. Whether you choose a strict plant-based diet or you choose to incorporate small amounts of organic meat and eggs, it is important to learn about the health benefits that are available from plant food.

The most simple, effective choice that you can make to support your health is to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Shift in Modern Diet is Leading to Poor Health

There has been a major shift in modern eating habits, creating a situation where many people are facing health challenges such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more. The disruptions to our food system are starting a domino effect that can’t be reversed without lifestyle changes.

People often turn to highly processed foods when planning meals for their family. The Standard American Diet is focused around meat, fries, soda, and a milkshake for dessert. Even though these foods are providing calories, they are resulting in nutrient deficiencies because our bodies are lacking in the important vitamins and minerals that are necessary for optimal health.

Why a Plant-Based Diet?

Learn more about nutrition, and it is easy to see why a plant-based diet offers the optimal solution to support your health. These are some of the benefits that are often experienced from a plant-based diet:

  1. Helps to Prevent Diabetes
  2. Aids in Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease and Hypertension
  3. Helps to Prevent Cancer Growth
  4. Promotes Weight Lose
  5. Supports Healthy Skin and Complexion
  6. Improves Digestion
  7. Slows Down the Signs of Aging
  8. Boosts Vision and Reduces Eye Diseases

Foundation of a Healthy Diet

Just because you are avoiding animal products, doesn’t mean that you have a healthy diet. It is important to focus eating on nutrient-rich foods while staying away from plant foods that contain antinutrients.

Here is an overview of some of the best plant foods that you can add to your diet:

Avocado: A great source of healthy fats and soluble fiber. Plus, one avocado provides almost as much protein as an egg.

Leafy Greens: Load up on salad and steamed greens, especially bitter greens. These ingredients provide important antioxidants and vital nutrients.

Turmeric: This superfood spice offers an effective way to reduce inflammation and chronic health problems. It is also beneficial to balance blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes.

Mushrooms: Not only are mushrooms a good source of plant protein, but they also offer prebiotic benefits. Plus, certain types of mushrooms can help to strengthen immune function and support overall wellness.

Maca Root: Hormones are a foundation to good health, and maca is a great solution to balance hormones. This root comes from Peru originally, and it is now widely known as an important superfood.

Berries: Brightly-colored berries are loaded with antioxidants that reduce free radical activity and protect your health. Instead of reaching for dessert after dinner, consider the benefits of a bowl of berries as an alternative.

Do you have a hard time incorporating these healthy foods into your meals? It can be a challenge to keep up with the recommendations and stay ahead of meal preparation. One solution to improve your consumption of these healthy plant-based ingredients is to use a natural supplement. Adding this simple habit to your daily lifestyle is a great way to optimize your health and reduce the risk of disease.