This Mysterious Mushroom Can Kill Cancer Cells

lion's mane mushroom

Lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is a type of mushroom that is known for its wide range of impressive health benefits.  As its name suggests, this mushroom physically looks like the mane of a lion.  This long, shaggy and white mushroom has been used medicinally for thousands of years, all over the world.  Numerous studies have shown it’s a powerful natural remedy for so many health concerns.  Here are some of the amazing health benefits of lion’s mane.

Regenerates & Improves Brain Function

Researchers have found that people who had mild and chronic cognitive dysfunction found relief after taking lion’s mane mushroom extract for several weeks.  Also, it is suggested that older people who have cognitive impairment can use lion’s mane mushroom to improve on their brain function. (1)

Additional research has shown this particular mushroom to improve brain function in children, adults and the elderly.  Similarly, people who have experienced brain damage due to trauma or accidents can use lion’s mane mushroom to regenerate their brain function. (2)

Click here to read, “5 Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy”.

Improves Memory & Focus

If you are looking for a natural way of improving your memory, look no further!  You’ll find the results quick and incredible.  Within days to a few weeks of taking this extract, within, you will begin experiencing improved memory. (3)

Also, lion’s mane mushroom can improve focus in individuals who have difficulty concentrating.  With age, the brain’s ability to develop is reduced.  Mental functioning for older adults typically worsens.  However, this problem can largely be avoided by taking lion’s mane mushroom regularly, to improve focus and memory.

Click here to read, “Diabetes – The Hidden Cause Of Alzheimer’s?”

Relieves Depression & Anxiety

Depression and anxiety affects millions of people worldwide affecting an individual’s quality of life as well as their daily productivity.  Those who use lion’s mane mushroom have been shown to experience relief of these symptoms. (4)(5)

It helps regenerate brain cells that are responsible for emotional responses.  The mushroom can be taken in the form of an edible such as healthy homemade cookies.

Improves Heart Health

Studies have revealed a strong connection between this mushroom with improved heart health.  It is estimated that a third of the world’s population have heart issues.  Since Lion’s mane mushroom extract can lower cholesterol levels, it can also help with heart problems that are linked to cholesterol. (6)  Thus, taking this mushroom extract daily can help reduce the chances of getting heart-related problems.

Click here to read, “Calcium without Vitamin K2 is a Heart Breaker”.

Promotes Digestive Health

Lion’s mane is known to aid in digestive system functioning.  It enables the stomach and the liver to do their job in the digestion of food.  People who have gastric inflammation, ulcers, and stomach pains have found relief with using this mushroom. (7)(8)(9)

Click here to read,”What’s The Big Deal About Probiotics?”

Prevention & Treatment Of Cancer

Lion’s Mane mushroom has antioxidant properties which play a huge role in the prevention and treatment of cancer.  For example, studies demonstrate that this particular mushroom can help kill leukemia cancer cells.

Similar studies have shown that the mushroom can help in fighting colon cancer, liver cancer, and gastric cancer cells.  It works by stimulating NK cells and macrophage activity. It inhibits angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels) involved in fighting cancer cells.  Thus, reducing tumor size.  It has also been found that when this mushroom was combined with doxorubicin (a chemotherapy drug), a known drug resistant human liver cancer became treatable.  To prevent and treat the cancer cells, one should take lion’s mane mushroom extracts daily for maximum results. (10)(11)(12)(13)

Click here to read, “Don’t Pull Out That Weed! All About The Cancer Fighting Medicine That’s Growing in Your Yard”.

Enhances The Immune System

Since it contains both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties (which enhance immune system function) taking lion’s mane mushroom extracts regularly will reduce your risk of bacterial infections and inflammation. (14)  It can also provide healing for wounds when applied to the skin.

Also, this mushroom helps in nervous system recovery by encouraging the growth of new nerve cells.  Thus, in turn will assist your immune system. (15)

Click here to read, “This Secret Extract Gives A Massive Boost To Your Immune System”.

Anti-aging

A lot of the popularity surrounding lion’s mane Lion’s Mane mushroom has to do with its anti-aging properties and its ability to improving your well-being.  This extract is great for repairing damaged skin cells giving you that healthy glow!

Click here to read, “Scientific Key To Anti-Aging”.

Lion’s mane mushroom is available in different forms, which include capsules, liquid, teas, tablets, and powder form.  The dosages vary from one form to another.  It is essential to take the correct dosage to avoid over consumption.  This mushroom is generally safe with no serious side effects reported.  However, if you do experience any side effects, you should consult your healthcare practitioner immediately.

You’re one step closer!

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18844328
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4200813/
https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/4/715
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20834180/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855563/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12843656
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070597
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26853960
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26933886
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4707368/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874114001809
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3339609/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684115/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7950232
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24266378

CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms & Natural Solutions

CFS

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex chronic disorder characterized by extreme fatigue and isn’t typically relieved by rest.  The cause is not explained by any underlying medical condition.  People with CFS are frequently unable to perform their daily activities.  In some of the worst cases, some are confined to their beds.  The condition affects millions of people all over the world.  Although it affects both children and adults, women appear to be affected the most (1).

There is no known “cure” for CFS.  Primarily because the underlying cause can be different from person to person. However, many people have resolved their condition or significantly reduced their symptoms by employing several natural solutions.  CFS can last anywhere from months to years.  Especially true when no action has been taken.  There are a number of factors that are associated with this condition.

Causes Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The exact cause of CFS is unknown to each individual person.  However, research has shown many contributing factors to this condition which includes;

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

The symptoms of CFS will vary from one individual to the next.  The symptoms will also range in severity.  The most prominent symptom will be fatigue.  A frustrating factor for many is that the fatigue doesn’t get relieved by rest.  This results in a noticeable decrease in one’s activity level.  Episodes of fatigue can last for months or years.  Other CFS symptoms my include;

  1. Sleep Disorders (5)

People with CFS may experience sleep disorders such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia
  • Restless legs
  • Night sweats
  • Light sleep
  • Fragmented sleep
  • Lack of refreshing sleep

Sound like you?  Click here for Ten Tricks To Get The Best Sleep EVER!

2. Pain (6)

People with CFS may experience different types of pain such as:

  • Muscle pains
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen and painful lymph nodes on the neck and armpits.

Click here for a Natural Relief For Muscle Pain.

3. Cognitive Impairment (7)

This can range from:

  • Memory loss
  • Reduced concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Panic attacks

Click here to read about Natural Solutions For Brain Fog.

4. Additional Symptoms

Other symptoms that some people may experience include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Body temperature changes
  • Stress

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosis

Diagnosing CFS can take time.  The symptoms can mimic other medical conditions.  Doctors must rule out all other illnesses in order to diagnose you with CFS.  Be sure that you see your healthcare practitioner if you have experienced chronic fatigue or any of the above symptoms for more than six months, and you do not feel refreshed after sleeping.

CFS affects many people.  Most of which are unaware they have the condition.  It is important that you understand all the symptoms.  Inform your healthcare practitioner of them.  A review of your full health history including any medications you may be taking should also be discussed.  It’s important to be through as any missing information may hinder your ability to uncover the underlying cause of your condition.  This can lead to depression and a restriction of physical activities.

Natural Solutions For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There is no specific cure for CFS.  However, there are various natural solutions that patients use to eliminate the symptoms.  In some cases, even resolve their condition.  It is always a good idea to discuss your natural approach with your healthcare provider.

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The treatment involves helping patients manage CFS.  The therapy focuses on helping one accept the condition, be able to manage the symptoms and change their attitude towards the condition.  This will allow the you to gain a better understanding of how to overcome the symptoms.  The treatment is offered on a one to one basis; hence you need to have an experienced practitioner (8).

2. Physical Activities

The best natural remedy for chronic fatigue syndrome is physical exercise.  It’s especially important to engage in exercises that raise your heart rate.  Exercises such as swimming, walking, and climbing stairs should not add to the fatigue you already have.  Always start with just a few minutes of exercise and gradually increase.  If you lack confidence or are unsure where to start, consider consulting your healthcare practitioner or personal trainer (9).

3. Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes involve resting and relaxing more.  If you are facing difficulties with sleep, stress and pain, you should rest and relax during the day.  Make sure that you do not sleep too much during the day.

4. Decrease The Consumption Of Caffeine & Alcohol

If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you should eliminate caffeine and alcohol.  The remedy is for those people who have difficulties sleeping at night (10).  For more information click here to read, “Are you Addicted to Caffeine? How to Detox without Withdrawals”.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition that affects many people.  It is important to understand the causes, symptoms and how to treat it naturally.  Working with a health care provider will help you recover faster.

You’re one step closer!

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26190206
https://www.bmj.com/content/333/7568/575.short
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0140673691914406
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0447.1998.tb10030.x
https://www.bmj.com/content/306/6886/1161.short
https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/97332
https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/62/2/151.short
https://www.bmj.com/content/312/7022/22.full.pdf+html
https://www.bmj.com/content/314/7095/1647.full
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022399903000771

Natural Solutions For Brain Fog

brain fog

Brain fog is a major complaint among countless people.  It traditionally occurred mostly in older people, but now is increasingly more common among people that are under 40.  Brain fog affects your memory.  One becomes forgetful, unable to focus and learn as well as other cognitive dysfunctions and is not something you can medically test for.  

Brain Fog Symptoms Include:
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Low energy
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Low motivation

Causes Of Brain Fog Include;

  • Stress
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Inflammation
  • Menopause
  • Allergies
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor diet and nutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Gluten sensitivity

Natural Solutions For Brain Fog

If you are experiencing brain fog, remain optimistic!  Many people have resolved their issue by applying these natural solutions.  The following can improve your memory, focus, and concentration.   All three of which are major symptoms of brain fog.

sleep
  1. Get Enough Sleep

Simply getting enough sleep is a major solution to a number of health problems, including brain fog.  If you are not getting enough sleep, you should make sure that you sleep for a minimum of 6 hours a

night.  If you are having difficulties getting proper sleep, start by avoiding caffeinated drinks and alcohol before bedtime.

Developing a proper sleep routine can improve the quality of your sleep.  This means going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at a certain time every day.  After a long day at work, make sure that you do not strain your body but take a rest by sleeping.  For further information, click here to read,”Bedtime Woe’s? – 5 Simple Tips For Blissful Zzzz’s”.

stress management
2. Manage Stress

Stress is the main cause of brain fog, so it’s worthwhile to eliminate stress or at the very least minimize it.  It’s much easier to take time to manage your stress is easy than it is trying to manage your brain fog.

Firstly, identify the things that are causing your stress and start working on them.  Excess stress can cause you to feel sluggish, foggy, and get depressed.

Secondly, to manage stress, you need to take care of your mind.  Make sure that you avoid the negative environment and talk to a stress therapist to help you out.  If you are stressed, make sure that you spend time with family and friends or those that can offer you support and help you.  Start writing in a gratitude journal.  Each day write down three things you are grateful for.  This is a known stress reducer!  For further information, click here to read, “Gratitude – An Attitude For Success”.

sugar
3. Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Eating a lot of processed foods can lead to increased sugar intake in the body.  Your food should only include healthy and natural sources of sugar.  High intake of sugar, can provide you with a boost of energy feel…for a while, but will only lead

to a “crash” as your energy becomes depleted.  High sugar intake is a major contributor to inflammation and is commonly associated with the symptom of brain fog.  Consume natural sugars and healthy carbohydrates.  Healthy carbs are known to improve focus and memory and will give your body consistent energy throughout the day.  For further information, click here to read, “This One Thing Has Been Linked To Almost All Diseases”and click here to read, “Sugar – Are you singing the sugar blues?

healthy fats
4. Eat More Healthy Fats & Proteins

Protein deficiency can cause brain fog.  Fats and proteins are responsible for the production of certain hormones which improve brain function.  Make sure that you take proteins rich in amino acids such as eggs and fish, among others.  Healthy

fats include nuts and seeds, avocados, coconut, and olive oil.  Healthy fats improve cognitive functions and fight inflammation.  Click here for 20 simple healthy fish & seafood recipes!

exercise
5. Indulge In Exercises

Exercise will help keep your body active and your mind fresh.  Exercise also helps improve sleep, boosts your energy levels, and balance hormones.  When exercising, start simple and basic with frequent breaks, gradually increasing the duration

and intensity over time.  It is ideal to exercise 30-45 minutes a day to help eliminate brain fog.  If you are not sure of where to start or what exercises to do, seek advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner or personal trainer.  You can also engage in exercises around your home, such as climbing the stairs, swimming, and gardening.
glass
Three Drops of Life Glass Water Bottle
6. Consume More Water!
Water is excellent for brain fog.  Dehydration can affect your brain functioning and cause brain fog.  It is important to keep your body hydrated throughout the day.  It is recommended that you take over two liters of water daily.

In order to keep your water intake on track, consider getting a glass water bottle that has the time markings on it.  It will help

motivate you to be consistent and act like it’s a daily challenge.  Also consider getting a glass bottle that has an infuser to add natural flavours to your water for an extra boost.

The bottle featured in the picture is only intended as an example however you can click here for more information or to purchase the bottle featured.

brain
7. Make Your Brain Active

When your brain is not active, it will slow down its functions so it’s important to let your brain stay active.  There are a number of ways to stimulate your brain.  They include reading books, learning new activities, and solving puzzles.  If you find

that you are becoming forgetful, this is a sign that it’s time to exercise your brain muscle!

Click here for 9 free brain-training apps to make you smarter by improving your memory, attention, problem-solving, mental agility, language, processing speed, and visual skills — all while having fun.

flax
Flax Seeds
8. Take Natural Supplements

There are various natural supplements that you can take to improve your brain function.  And what’s great is that they are easy to find!

These supplements will boost your 

required nutrient intake and support your immune system.  Flax seeds, chia seeds, basil, and fatty acids are all healthy and safe.  No prescription needed!

Boost Health And Drop Weight With Chia

Lastly, Brain fog affects people differently.  If you find yourself suffering with brain fog, make sure that you find the solution that works for you!  The above solutions for brain fog are all natural, effective, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money!

You’re one step closer!

Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms & Natural Solutions

restless leg syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a condition that affects as much as 10% of adults (1).  In fact,  most are unaware that they even have the condition.  RLS is also referred to as Willis-Ekbom disease.  A nervous system condition that causes an irresistible urge to move your legs.  Typically, RLS symptoms are characterized as an unpleasant feeling inside the legs.  Some even described it as a crawling and creeping sensation on the feet and thighs.

While Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms can be felt throughout the day, most people commonly suffer these symptoms at night.  Especially after going to bed.  Because of this, it can cause difficulty sleeping at night and is now being considered as a sleep disorder.  The condition affects 2% of children (2).  However, research shows that the majority of those with RLS are adults.

Restless Leg Syndrome can have various causes.  For example, underlying medical conditions, iron deficiency, excessive smoking and alcohol.  Also, stress and lack of exercise are among the many factors linked to RLS.

Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms

Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms can vary from one person to the next depending on the severity of the condition.  As a result, symptoms may include:

An Overwhelming Urge To Move The Legs:   A major symptom of Restless Leg Syndrome is an overwhelming feeling to move your legs.  This commonly occurs when resting or in a sleeping position.  The urge to move your legs is so strong that it causes you to move your legs uncontrollably.  As such, your legs will continue to move until the urge is gone which can last for many minutes.

Sensations After Rest:  These sensations tend to happen when you have been resting for some time.  In most cases after lying down to sleep.  Patients who suffer from RLS describe the sensations as creeping, crawling, aching, itching and tingling.  However there are some who describe sensations like an “electric shock”.

Leg Twitching At Night:  RLS is also associated with leg twitching at night.  However, this is not something that is due to a sudden urge or a conscious decision and can occur several times a night.

Insomnia:  People with RLS can suffer from sleep disturbances and therefore may get hardly any sleep at all.  This is primarily due to the urge to move your legs while sleeping.  Not to mention the accompanying sensations and twitching.  Depression and anxiety are also common side effects of lack of sleep and can lead to other serious medical conditions.

Painful Leg Cramps:  Painful leg cramps that are usually experienced on the calf muscles.  Similarly with the majority of RLS symptoms, muscle cramps mostly happen at night or when in a resting position for long periods of time.

RLS Treatment

In short, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should visit your healthcare practitioner.  Tests and a through medical history can help uncover the underlying problem.  Various treatment methods are available and vary according to the cause and extent of the condition.  Natural remedies that may help relieve symptoms of RLS include:

1. Adopt Healthy Habits

Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol can trigger any symptoms of RLS.  Thus, avoiding them can provide relief.  Additionally, fatigue is also known to aggravate RLS.  Therefore, you need to keep a healthy regimen.  You can achieve this by maintaining a regular bedtime and wake up time.  Also, regular exercise can help provide relief for RLS patients.  However, it is worth noting that working out within a few hours of going to bed may get in your way of a good night sleep!  Overall, lifestyle changes can have a profound positive affect on your health.  Thus,  alleviating your RLS symptoms and improving your quality of life!

2. Cold And Hot Therapy

Applying a cold or warm compress to the affected area may soothe your nerves.  Also, gently massaging your muscles while taking a warm bath can achieve this effect.

3. Relaxation Methods

Managing your stress levels can ward off the symptoms of RLS.  Therefore including practices like meditation and deep breathing in your everyday routine will help you turn that negative stress into positive energy!  For more information on this, click here to read the Benefits Of Meditation – Does It Really Improve Your Health?

4. Vitamins

Maintaining sufficient levels of magnesium and calcium in your body can improve both muscle and nerve function.  Click here to watch “This One Test Could Save Your Life!” Proper nutrition and taking daily multivitamins can achieve this and help alleviate RLS symptoms.  Low iron levels can also result in RLS.  Therefore it is important to get supplements rich in iron to relieve the symptoms.  Iron is needed by your body’s organs to function properly.  Therefore, get proper testing by your healthcare practitioner to determine your iron levels.  For further reading click here for “Calcium without Vitamin K2 is a Heart Breaker” and click here to view “Sleeping problems? This one mineral could be the answer.”

5. Quit Smoking

Smoking is associated with Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment.  So, for extra support , click here for The 23 Best Ways to Quit Smoking.

6. Exercise

This doesn’t have to be complicated!  Simple exercises such as walking, climbing the stairs, swimming and gentle lifting can all help combat the condition of RLS.  Also, you can even find ways to exercise while at work. Click here to expose 10 Desk Exercises You Should Be Doing Every Day.

7. Avoid Taking Medications For Prolonged Periods Of Time

Medications are chemicals and can increase inflammation in your body.  Exacerbating your symptoms.  Potential side effects of certain medications include symptoms of RLS.  Therefore, discuss with your physician to see if this relates to you.  Also, click here to read The Great Drug Hoax: How Taking Pills May Actually Be Making You Worse.

Conventional Medicine Approach may include:

  • Opioids
  • Dopamine agonists
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Dopaminergic agents
  • Painkillers

While these forms of treatment may improve symptoms and sleep, many are not without their serious potential side effects.  Therefore it’s important to take that into consideration when discussing a solution with your physician.  Click here to reveal information on the Nervous System – What Conventional Medicine Doesn’t Want You To Know!

Today, there are various holistic healthcare providers that may help resolve your RLS including:

Also, there are other natural remedies (including relaxation techniques) such as;

• Yoga (5)
• Deep breathing
• Stretching (6)
• Meditation

You can find a practitioner near you by searching our online directory.

References

1. Montplasir J, Allen RP, Walters A, Ferini-Strambi L, “Restless Legs Syndrome and Period Limb Movements During Sleep,” in Kryger M, Roth T, Dement W (ed.), Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (5th Edition), St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2011, pages 1026 – 1037.

2. Daniel Picchietti, Richard P. Allen, Arthur S. Walters, Julie E. Davidson, Andrew Myers, Luigi Ferini-Strambi, Pediatrics August 2007, VOLUME 120 / ISSUE 2 Article
Restless Legs Syndrome: Prevalence and Impact in Children and Adolescents—The Peds REST Study

3. Stupar M. Restless legs syndrome in a primary contact setting: A case report. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2008;52(2):81-87.

4. Meg Russell Corrigendum to “Massage therapy and restless legs syndrome” [J Bodywork Movement Ther 11 (2007) 146–150]
Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Volume 15, Issue 2, April 2011, Pages 253

5. Kim E. Innes, MSPH, PhD, 1,2 Terry Kit Selfe, DC, PhD,1,2 Parul Agarwal, MPH,3 Kimberly Williams, PhD,1 and Kathryn L. Flack, MPH1, J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Jun; 19(6): 527–535.
doi: 10.1089/acm.2012.0330Efficacy of an Eight-Week Yoga Intervention on Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): A Pilot Study

6. Mansooreh Aliasgharpour,1 Zahra Abbasi,2,* Shadan Pedram Razi,1 and Anoshiravan Kazemnezhad3 Asian J Sports Med. 2016 Jun; 7(2): e31001.
Published online 2016 Jun 11. doi: 10.5812/asjsm.31001
The Effect of Stretching Exercises on Severity of Restless Legs Syndrome in Patients on Hemodialysis

The Important Role Fruit Stickers Play On Our Health!

plu codes

Have you ever noticed those little stickers on fruit and vegetables you’ve purchased from the grocery store?  Maybe you did, but didn’t realize what purpose they served.  Chances are you were more preoccupied with the shape, colour and price of the produce, so you may not have given those tiny numbered stickers (PLU codes) a 2nd thought.  Further more, you may not have understood what the miniature numbers printed on them signified.  However, knowing what they mean could have a big impact on your overall health and that of your family!

PLU Codes – How To Decode Your Produce

I always found those stickers to be an annoying thing I would struggle to peel off my apple before I could sink my teeth into it!  However, these stickers and numbers known as “price look-up or PLU codes” contain a ton of information.

For almost 20 years, grocery stores and supermarkets have used PLU code stickers on their produce.  They tell YOU, the consumer, how the produce has been grown and treated before even arriving at the supermarket.  Cashiers use them to properly ‘ring you up’ at the checkout more quickly and efficiently.  This prevents them from mistaking your rare Black Oxford apple with a regular McIntosh.  They also tell the cashier what to charge you because they identify the fruit or vegetable as being either organically or conventionally grown (organic produce costing more).

The International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS) is composed of national produce associations from around the globe.  This organization is responsible for labeling produce and assigning PLU codes.  Their codes consist of 4- or 5-digit numbers found on stickers attached to your fresh produce.

As a health conscious shopper, these codes are your way of making sure you are getting what you paid for!  Here’s what to look for while shopping:

Five-Digit Number Starting With A “9”

If your health is a priority, this is what you are looking for!  Five-digit PLU codes starting with a 9.  This indicates that the produce was grown organically or is a product of biodynamic agriculture.  It’s satisfying to know that the fruits and vegetables you’re going to consume meet a detailed set of principles, guidelines, and permitted substances that are used in the organic certification process!

Four-Digit Code Starting With A “3” or a “4”

Four-digit PLU codes beginning with a 3 or a 4 means the produce was likely grown conventionally.  Conventionally grown produce really is the complete opposite to organic growing methods.  It uses synthetic chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones) or genetically modified organisms.

The quality of our food has a profound impact on the quality of our health and prevention of disease.  Sure, conventionally grown fruits and vegetables will contain vitamins and minerals but they will also contain varying amounts of pesticide loads and chemical residues.  These are all known to be cancer causing agents.  In a nutshell, something that should be improving our health can now be harming it!

Five-Digit Code Starting With An “8”

Five-digit PLU codes that starts with an 8 indicates the item is genetically modified.  This means it has genes from other organisms.  GMOs (genetically modified organisms), are formed in the laboratories of big corporations using genetic modification/engineering techniques.  Many Scientists as well as consumer and environmental groups have referenced the numerous and significant health and environmental risks associated with foods containing GMOs.  Remember those vitamins and minerals that I mentioned were contained in fruits and vegetables?  Well they get stripped from these foods in exchange for foreign DNA!

The journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition has outlined some of these health risks to GMO foods.  GMO’s are believed to have toxic effects on the liver, pancreas and kidneys.  In addition to the reproductive and immune systems.  Unfortunately, stickers to indicate GMO foods such as corn, cotton, soybeans, papaya and squash aren’t used because they aren’t mandatory and are often labelled as conventional.  That’s scary when estimates suggest 90% of corn, cotton, and soy in the United States has been genetically modified!

The greatest thing we can do as consumers is make the decision to invest in our health.  Paying a little more for the organic produce rather than the conventional or GMO is NOT a COST, but an INVESTMENT!  For further proof, click here to read Do I Always Have to Buy Organic? Here’s What You NEED to Know. It’s time people really take their health into their own hands.  Research their healthcare choices.  Use PLU codes to their advantage.  And make the best decision for themselves and their families!  For further help on how to keep your family healthy, click here to read How To Read Labels Like a Pro and Cut Grocery Shopping Time In Half.

You’re one step closer!

How Our Perceptions Affect Our Pain

mindset

YOU must address all areas of your health for your body to heal.  This includes your mindset, nutrition, exercise, environment, and nervous system.  Many people make it all about one thing (i.e., Nutrition or exercise) and neglect the rest.  This alone will not give your body the opportunity it needs to heal.  Most conditions are due to a deficiency in any or all aspects of your health, so it’s important to address all of them.  This article will highlight how a problem in any one of the areas of health can be causing your symptoms.  Future articles will also teach you how to remove the underlying problem in any of these areas of health.  But by far, the most important component of your health begins with your mindset!  Let’s discuss pain and the brain.

It’s NOT All In Your Head

Some patients who repeatedly see doctors in search of an answer to their chronic pain with no clearly identified cause, have been told: “it’s all in your head.”  I disagree.  The pain is very real.  Pain is something you are feeling and experiencing.  However, what is in your head is the ability to re-wire how your brain perceives the world and your body, including pain.  This is an output from the brain, not an input from the body.  When you have chronic pain, the brain frequently perceives things like light touch as being painful.  But remember, you CAN control your brain’s perception.

Understanding Chronic Pain

When dealing with chronic pain, the key to removing one of the major and most common forms of interference is this.  Understanding and accepting that there is so much more involved than just the physical aspect that feels painful.  It’s easy to understand how things like massage therapy, eating better, taking supplements, and exercising are going to help you on this HEALing journey.  It’s not as easy to understand how our thought processes and experiences in the past and present have an impact on our physical being.  There are widespread neurological implications of emotions.  Examples such as anger, anxiety, fear, self-doubt, sense of failure and more.   Click here for further reading on A scientific validation of your emotions.

Outside therapies alone, although helpful, are limiting.  We all have subconscious and conscious negative thought patterns that were learned at a young age either from past mental or physical traumas that you have attached to an emotion.  If you avoid working on removing those thought patterns, you won’t reap the benefits of the unlimited potential for healing that is within you.

Pain And The Brain

Pain is an experience. Physical pain from an external stimulus will initiate a message to be sent from tissues, through neurons called nociceptors.  It alerts the brain of a potentially dangerous situation.  This message arrives at the brain, and its level of “danger” is determined by a response based on information your brain has gathered throughout your life.  Your brain and nervous system form memories of pain when we experience pain.  This helps us avoid perceived dangerous behavior that once resulted in pain such as touching a hot stove.  We also create pain memories from hearing or seeing someone else experience pain as a result of a behavior.

If you have ever been diagnosed or heard of someone being diagnosed with a “pinched nerve” you have already created a “pinched nerve” memory in your brain.  Your brain has a cognition or context of what a “pinched nerve” means.  This is based on any experience related to the diagnosis.  Brain cells in the “pinched nerve” memory bank will also belong to anything else you associated the pinched nerve diagnosis.  Neck pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and sciatica are just a few of the examples.  This means IF you are told you have a “pinched nerve,” you activate the brain cells associated with a pinched nerve and experience its symptoms.  This occurs even if you don’t really have a pinched nerve.  This is one of the dangers of a misdiagnosis!

This inaccurate information we have gathered about how we imagine our body to work has contributed to our brain’s evaluation of how much danger we are in and your perception and experience of the external pain stimulus.

Mindset Exercises

Our positive and negative emotions associated with a diagnosis can have an impact on our degree of pain.  Now that you understand the connection between your beliefs and the pain you experience, we can dive into some relevant and applicable mindset concepts that you can start to apply right away.  I will provide you with paradigm-shifting exercises that accompany each concept.  I encourage you to dive in deep.  We are going to cover some of the time-tested, relevant concepts of emotional healing – gratitude, affirmations, and acknowledgment of your achievements.  The more energy and time you put into these mindset exercises, the more you will get out of them.  Your mind can’t tell the difference between reality and what you tell it!

I find that some patients are more prepared than others to tackle their state of mind during the healing process.  I provide guidance in the form of literature, counseling, and advanced workshops on developing a healthy mindset.  It’s not uncommon to see patients with very similar symptoms in our practice.  However, the patients who dedicate the time and energy to their mental health and creating a positive mindset tend to get better results with their care.  The positive mindset they create drastically decreases their healing time and ability to return to normal activities of daily living, pain-free!  To read more on How our perceptions affect our health, click here.

You’re one step closer!

Online Fibromyalgia Test

fibromyalgia diagnosis

LIVING WITH FIBROMYALGIA? The following Fibromyalgia test will help you determine if you have the metabolic fingerprints of Fibromyalgia. Diagnosing Fibromyalgia is a challenge. There are many illnesses with similar symptoms that can be misdiagnosed as this condition that should be ruled out, and although there isn’t a specific blood test, there are markers that suspected patients with fibromyalgia will have that point in the direction of a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia . This questionnaire we have prepared is a simplified version of the diagnostic criteria provided by the American College of Rheumatology. Please note that there is not definitive diagnostic questionnaire available and you should always consult your doctor for medical advice any health concerns, however this tool can be used to provide some guidance. Fill in the form below and click the big button at the bottom to analyze your results.  Also, click here to learn about foods to avoid with fibromyalgia.

A. Widespread Pain Index

This is the first part of the fibromyalgia test. Where do you feel your pain? Using the diagram above indicate each of the 18 tender points on your body you have experienced pain over the past 7 days and count 1 for each point.

Total number of pain points: /18 Points

B. Symptom Severity Scale

Using a scale of 0 (No problem) to 3 (Severe and Ongoing), rate your symptom severity over the past week in each of the 3 categories.

Fatigue Waking Unrefreshed Brain Fog
/3 /3 /3

C.  Somatic Symptoms List

People with Check any symptoms you have experienced over the past week. Symptoms include:

Muscle Pain
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Fatigue/Tiredness
Thinking / Memory problems
Muscle Weakness
Headache
Pain/Cramps in Abdomen
Numbness / Tingling
Dizziness
Insomnia
Depression
Constipation
Pain in Upper Abdomen
Nausea
Nervousness
Chest Pain
Blurred Vision
Fever
Diarrhea
Dry Mouth
Itching
Wheezing
Hives / Welts
Ringing In the Ears
Vomiting
Heartburn
Oral ulcers
Loss/ Change in Taste
Seizures
Dry Eyes
Shortness of Breath
Loss of Appetite
Rash
Sun Sensitivity
Hearing Difficulty
Easy Bruising - Hair Loss
Frequent Urination
Bladder Spasms

Is It Time To Stop Eating Fruit?

fruit

I was asked an excellent question by a member of a private facebook community I started for people dealing with chronic pain and fibromyalgia.   She was working through an online course that I put together for our members so that they could take the proper action steps and move towards better health.  She had completed the unit on sugar which raised the following question; could she consume ANY sugar at all, which included fruit!

This was important for her to know as she has been dealing with chronic pain for years and was now in the midst of a major flare up of symptoms.  She starts her day each morning with a smoothie containing lots of fruit.  As many others in our facebook community are experiencing similar symptoms, this was important to address with our followers.

Important Points About Sugar

Firstly, we aren’t just talking about white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  There are many additional hidden sources of sugar (breads, crackers, pasta, rice and other grains that are all converted to sugar) contributing to this over-consumption problem.  It’s just plain bad for our bodies and creates an even bigger problem for those suffering in chronic pain or have conditions like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.  For this reason, it would be wise to eliminate sugar as much as possible from her daily diet or cut it out altogether!

How Sugar Impacts Our Health

Thankfully the sugar industry has finally started to come under fire.  The research demonstrating the numerous negative impacts sugar has on overall health is mounting.  It’s not just diabetes.  It’s a major factor in developing conditions like chronic fatigue, obesity, cancer, heart disease, alzheimer’s disease, immune system deficiency, metabolic syndrome, and all sorts of inflammatory conditions.

Sugar’s direct relationship to inflammation is of huge significance.  Inflammation is the underlying process of most diseases in North America.

The Hidden Truth

Some of you reading this may be thinking “well I can eat sugar because I’m not dealing with a disease process”.  But these disease processes sit quietly beneath the surface without you knowing.  This process can go on for many months or even years.

That is until your body can’t take it anymore and starts to manifest symptoms.  Don’t wait for this to happen.  Make changes now!

If you find yourself in a disease state, make the decision to heal your body!  When going through the healing process, the first thing to go away will be the symptoms.  But the underlying problem is still there.  So, if you are reducing or eliminating sugar from your life, and you’re feeling better and experiencing more energy, you may think it’s ok to slide back to your old food habits.  Don’t! The underlying disease process is likely still there. Keep pushing your health needle in the right direction!

Sugar Crisis

The reality is that the average North American is consuming the equivalent of 22 teaspoons of sugar every single day.  This is astounding!  It’s no wonder we are amidst a healthcare crisis!  The American Heart Association  suggests restricting your sugar consumption to 6-9 teaspoons per day.  Family Health Advocacy suggests eliminating it altogether.

Start by getting rid your table sugar.  Avoid high fructose corn syrup like the plague!  Read the ingredients list on products while in the grocery store before even bringing them into your home.  This way these products won’t even be an option for you should you get cravings.  Continuing to consume sugar in excess through its various forms leads to insulin resistance.  The cells in your body actually start to ignore your body’s insulin!  Like that annoying neighbor that keeps coming over to your house, insulin keeps knocking at the doors (receptors) of your cells but the cells won’t answer.  This creates inflammation and oxidative stress in your body.  Two processes that are big contributors to the development of disease, not to mention worsens the symptoms of chronic pain and fibromyalgia.

Sugar can also sabotage your healthy nutritional decisions as well.  Sugar affects the absorption of the nutrients of other foods.  It can also have a damaging effect on your liver, not allowing your body to properly break down and process fat.  This creates the inability to lose weight.  Hello obesity epidemic!

So What About Fruit?

So, back to the original question.  What about fruit?  Well in this particular case, where a person is dealing with a condition like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or chronic pain, and you’re having a really bad flare up, it may be time to even cut out fruit.

It’s time to consider a sugar fast.  And not just the table sugar or high fructose corn syrup, but all grains and yes fruit.  Fruit is great for all of its nutrients and vitamins and should be a portion of everyone’s healthy diet.

But when eating that typical North American diet with all those grains and sugars it all adds up and it’s time to allow your body to heal. Can you really keep sugar cravings at bay? Click here to find out!

And when your body does heal, you can start to slowly re-introduce fruit.  Start with organic blueberries, strawberries, rasberries, and blackberries.  These berries are high in anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-aging phytonutrients.  They are low in sugar content, best to be taken in the morning and taste great in a smoothie.  Click here for a great smoothie recipe.  The best part is that the sugar is in its natural form.  This means there is a higher fiber content and lower glycemic index.  This allows your body the opportunity to better process the natural sugars.

If you are someone who is dealing with chronic pain issues or fibromyalgia, I encourage you to  join my private facebook community by clicking here.  Once in the group, complete the course unit on sugar to learn more about how it can affect your chronic condition and overall health.

You’re one step closer!

This Common Ingredient Has Been Linked To Cancer

triclosan

Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent.  Many commercial products like plastic kitchen tools, cutting boards, and high chairs contain this chemical.  Toys, pencils and cosmetics also can have it.  Not to mention, hand soap, toothpaste and deodorant.  Even, clothing, bedding and other fabrics have been reported.

Also, it can pass through the skin.  As a result, it has been linked to a number of health concerns.  Most noteworthy, abnormal endocrine system (hormones) and a weakened immune system.  Poor muscle function, allergies and asthma.  Also, eczema and even cancer have been listed as conditions.

Triclosan Connected To Cancer

There was a study published in 2014 in The American Chemical Society’s journal.  Researched found that triclosan, as well another substance called octylphenol, promoted the growth of human breast cancer cells.

Also, triclosan has major effects on our environment.  The European Union and Environment Canada have both classified it as toxic.  As a result affecting both the aquatic environment and its organisms.  Sadly, remnants containing this chemical are being poured down our drains.  Hence the everyday use of them has led to pollution in our water.  What’s worse?  Triclosan does not degrade easily and can buildup overtime.  As a result, it is still detectable even after the water has been treated!

Now that this chemical is in the environment, it can gain exposure to sunlight.  As a result, it can then convert to Dioxins.  Toxic compounds that are environmental pollutants (POPs).  These have been linked to endocrine and immune system disruption.  Also, infertility and cancer.

How Does This Effect Me?

Consequently, it can combine with chlorine found in tap water.  As a result, the two agents form chloroform which is linked to cancer.  For more information about the danger of this chemical click here to read ‘Triclosan: Not Safe, Not Effective’.

Just how bad is this problem?  Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a test.  Triclosan was found in the urine of 75% of the people tested!   Furthermore, there appears to be a link between that and the cause of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

More than 200 scientists and medical professionals concluded this chemical to be hazardous.  The lack of benefit from common uses of triclosan can be found in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

What Can We Do To Protect Ourselves?

The effects of this on our health and environment are alarming.  However, there are steps you can take to minimize it.

First of all, check the ingredients list of your products.  This includes personal care products especially if they are labelled as antibacterial, antimicrobial or antifungal.

When reading labels, watch out for aliases!  Triclosan may also be labelled as Microban or Biofresh.

The American Medical Association says to avoid using these products in your home.  And the Canadian Medical Association has called for a ban!

Also, if you use hand sanitizers, go for the alcohol based products.  They are less likely to contain Triclosan.

Even more, keep in mind there is no evidence that products with triclosan are anymore effective!  Click here To learn more about the effects of chemicals we put on our skin.

References

Calafat, A. “Urinary Concentrations of Triclosan in the U.S. Population: 2003-2004.” _Environ Health Perspect _116, 3(Mar 2008):303-307.

Hye-Rim Lee, “Progression of Breast Cancer Cells Was Enhanced by Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, Triclosan and Octylphenol, via an Estrogen Receptor-Dependent Signaling Pathway in Cellular and Mouse Xenograft Models” Chem. Res. Toxicol., (2014), 27 (5):834–842.

European Commission. Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 , Annex VI, Table 3.2. Sep 2009.

Canosa, P. et al. “Aquatic degradation of triclosan and formation of toxic chlorophenols in presence of low concentrations of free chlorine.” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 383, 7-8 (Dec 2005): 119-1126

“Environmental News.” _Environmental Science & Technology _36, 13 (June 1, 2002): 230A.

Canosa, P. et al. “Aquatic degradation of triclosan and formation of toxic chlorophenols in presence of low concentrations of free chlorine.” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 383, 7-8 (Dec 2005): 119-1126

Calafat, A. “Urinary Concentrations of Triclosan in the U.S. Population: 2003-2004.” Environ Health Perspect 116, 3(Mar 2008):303-307

Halden, R.U. et al. “The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban.” Environmental Health Perspectives (June 2017)

Antioxidants – Can They Be Boosted With Chiropractic Care ?

antioxidants

One of the biggest misconceptions about chiropractic is that it’s ALL about the neck and low back pain.  While their care IS beneficial and chiropractors do help a lot of people suffering in pain, the true benefit of chiropractic care is that it helps your body function better and optimally.  By caring for the spine and nervous system, I have had the privilege of helping so many people achieve better health and a better quality of life so they can continue to do the things they love!  I spend countless hours reading research to better understand how the chiropractic adjustment and how removing nervous system interference can accomplishes JUST THAT!  In doing so, I read a very interesting study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics which demonstrated that chiropractic adjustments can BOOST antioxidants!  Now, if you are someone who has yet to see a chiropractor, not knowing if it’s for you or what to expect, take a look at this link If I go to the Chiropractor, do I have to go forever? and explore how chiropractic can help you!

Why The Fuss About Antioxidants?

Most people nowadays are familiar with antioxidants and know enough to know that they are GOOD and that they are important to your health.  However, here’s WHY antioxidants are so important.  Most people are blasted with different types of stress every single day from poor nutrition to exposure to toxins.  Most people are overworked and over-stressed working sedentary jobs, working 40-60 hours a week, trying to meet the next deadline and getting very little exercise.  All of these stressors lead to the buildup of oxygen-containing toxic waste in your body.  These are known as free radicals.  Free radicals lead to the breakdown of cells.  The more free radicals, the more cellular breakdown.  This process is called “oxidative stress”.  Click here For more information on the importance of antioxidants and get a list of the top 10 antioxidant rich fruits.

What Is Oxidative Stress?

Oxidative stress leads to conditions like cardiovascular disease and cancer and causes accelerated aging, a lowered immune system, and harms the nervous system.  We cannot completely avoid free radicals and oxidative stress but we can offset their impact on our health by ensuring a healthy daily consumption of antioxidants through proper nutrition.  But get this, the study I am referring to looked at 23 patients that were in pain and received chiropractic adjustments over the span of 5 weeks.  Blood samples were taken from each patient before and after receiving their adjustments and researchers found a significant increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase anti-oxidant levels!  Now obviously this is a preliminary study that warrants further research but the results are exciting nonetheless.  It illustrates that taking care of your spine and nervous system with chiropractic care enhances your body’s ability to heal and function properly.

I hope that any of my readers that are under chiropractic care find this potential benefit as interesting as I do!

You’re one step closer!,

Research Reference:
Kolberg C, Horst A, Moraes MS, et al. Peripheral oxidative stress blood markers in patients with chronic back or neck pain treated with high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2014 Original source