Protect your body from the inside by eating healthy.
The good news is you don’t have to search far and wide or spend hundreds of dollars to acquire foods that curb illness;
just look around your kitchen.
Below are seven disease-fighting foods you can find at home.
Garlic and onions – Forget the not-so-pleasant smell and pay attention to the immense benefits of onions and garlic. Both contain bioflavonoids and allyl sulfides that may minimize the risks for cancer and heart diseases. Various studies have proven that these may have significant impact on lowering the risk of prostate cancer, minimizing the development rate of pre-cancerous tumors in the large intestines, detoxifying blood cells, fortifying blood cells’ ability to resist DNA damage, reducing calcium deposits and arterial plaque in coronary arteries, and preventing unhealthy blood clotting.
Ginger – Ginger is one of the simplest, most effective antidotes you can use. Its healing properties are hard to dispute; it’s been providing relief to people since the ancient times. As a matter of fact, ginger has been used as a cure for diarrhea and inflammation in China for more than 2,000 years. This flexible rhizome is packed with protein, carbs, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, and does more than curing morning sickness. It aids in strengthening the immune system, improving bone health, aiding digestion, treating nausea, alleviating pain, increasing appetite, reducing excess gas, and preventing several types of cancers.
Mint – More than a breath freshener, mint can also provide relief from asthma, headaches, fatigue, and nausea. It’s also effective in soothing discomfort caused by indigestion and inflammation as well as maintaining clear, pimple-free skin. Mint can also help improve mental alertness and cognitive function.
Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits do more than boost the immune system. A good source of fiber, they help regulate glucose levels and lower cholesterol. One study showed that bypass surgery patients were able to lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels by consuming red grapefruit. Citrus fruits are rich in potassium, which aid in fluid regulation, muscle contraction, and mineral balance. Adding these delicious superfoods to your diet will help your body absorb nutrients better, maintain clear, supple skin, and regulate weight.
Turmeric – The curcumin found in turmeric may have a significant effect in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and soothing pain caused by arthritis. Its anti-inflammatory properties are also linked to cancer prevention and treating uveitis (inflammation of the iris). Other health benefits include lower cholesterol levels, better immune system, and improved cognitive function.
Beans – Beans are a nutrition powerhouse. These legumes are rich in antioxidants, protein, fiber, complex carbs, copper, folate, manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, potassium and other beneficial nutrients. They can assist in reducing and/or maintaining weight, keeping the heart healthy, aiding digestion, and balancing blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon contain antioxidants that remove free radicals from the body, which means you’re less likely to develop chronic diseases as well as suffer from premature aging. Its anti-inflammatory properties can ward off autoimmune diseases and regulate blood sugar levels, which reduces the risk of diabetes. Remember, however, to take only small amounts of the usual cinnamon (cassia) you have in your house. Adding too much may have a negative effect on your health, unless you’re ingesting ceylon cinnamon, or what they consider the “true cinnamon”.
Some of the most important health benefits of reishi mushrooms include their ability to slow the aging process, detoxify the body, reduce blood pressure, eliminate inflammation, prevent cancer, improve cognitive ability, and boost energy.
Although some people don’t like the idea of eating fungi, mushrooms are one of the most popular and beneficial types of food on the planet. Reishi mushrooms, in particular, have been relied on for thousands of years in the Asian region, but has recently come to the attention of the wider world. Scientifically know as Ganoderma lucidum, “reishi” is the name by which these beneficial mushrooms are known in Japan, while in China, they are called lingzhi mushrooms. Lingzhi mushrooms as a group actually represent a species complex of fungal entities, many of which are in use throughout the world.These fascinating fungi are so potent because of their unique collection of organic compounds and components, which include triterpenes, alkaloids, sterols, and various essential polysaccharides. lingzhi mushroom
Although most mushrooms are eaten in order to enjoy the health benefits and nutrients, the most popular means of using reishi mushrooms includes crushing dried mushrooms and steeping them in water. The mushrooms are extremely bitter in taste, which makes them somewhat unpleasant to consume directly or in a highly concentrated liquid form. For this reason, and because traditional herbal remedies in most western nations have been replaced by more efficient herbal supplements, you can mainly find reishi mushroom supplements in pill or capsule form, but there are plenty of places in the world where reishi mushrooms are still processed and administered directly. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the fascinating health benefits of reishi mushrooms.
Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms
Anti-Aging: With popular names such as “king of herbs” and the “10,000-year mushroom”, reishi mushrooms have been highly praised in herbal medicine for thousands of years for its effects on longevity. In ancient times, those seeking immortality often used reishi mushrooms because of this belief. However, modern studies have positively linked reishi mushrooms to certain life-span expansion, namely due to the impressive polysaccharide content of these fungi. This is accomplished by boosting the health of the immune system and preventing certain abnormal blood vessel formations. Furthermore, certain antioxidant properties of other organic compounds in reishi mushrooms neutralize free radicals, which can cause chronic diseases and premature aging.
Cancer Prevention and Treatment: There are thousands of active studies on cancer, as it is one of the most widespread and fatal diseases faced by our society. A handful of those studies have also focused on reishi mushrooms and it has ben determined that the triterpenoids found in reishi mushrooms have the ability to reduce the metastasis of cancerous cells and prevent tumor growth. Furthermore, a second study found that the active ingredients of reishi mushroom extract can seek out and neutralize cancerous cells within the body.
Detoxify the Body: Our livers are delicate and essential organs, so decreasing the level of toxins in our body and liver is a huge goal for human health. Studies have linked reishi mushroom extracts to faster regeneration of healthy liver cells and a release of free radicals that have built up in that organ, thereby promoting overall health and wellness in our system.
Cognitive Disorders: Neurological diseases can be some of the most painful and unsolvable mysteries in human health, and for cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s disease, there is no proven cure. However, research has shown that the extracts in reishi mushrooms can stimulate cognitive activity and display certain neuroprotective effects, particularly in the stimulation of nerve growth factor, which is a key part of health cognitive function.
Anti-Inflammatory Qualities: One of the most important side effects of reishi mushroom extracts is its anti-inflammatory capacity. This is partially why it can help with cognitive disorders, by increasing the amount of blood flow to the brain, but for people suffering from arthritis or gout, reishi extracts can also be helpful. By reducing inflammation, reishi mushrooms have also been relied on for headaches and injury healing.
Respiratory Conditions: For those suffering from asthma, bronchitis, or other chronic respiratory conditions, reishi mushroom extract can have a strong effect on reducing irritation and eliminating the allergic reactions from this part of the body. By preventing the release of histamine from mast cells in the body, reishi mushrooms prevent allergic reactions, from mild skin irritation to potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis.
High Blood Pressure: Hypertension is one of the most common and pervasive problems in the world today, and cardiovascular disease and complications remains the major killer in our global society. Reishi mushrooms have been proven to improve the efficiency of blood flow to the heart and lower blood pressure; it also reduces the amount of oxygen consumed in the heart, meaning that there is more oxygenation for the rest of the body and organ systems. Furthermore, certain elements of reishi mushroom extract can reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol in your system, further protecting you from strokes and heart attacks.
Immune System Aid: Although we’ve already mentioned antioxidants, which are a key component of the immune system, reishi mushrooms also contain beta-glucans, one of the most effective and powerful immune system boosters that we know of. By increasing the amount of beta-glucans in your body, you can protect against a vast range of potential diseases and reduce the signs of aging. Some experts believe that it is this high glucan content that linked it historically with immortality and vitality.
Energy Booster: In addition to lengthening life, traditional medicine also suggested reishi for energy-boosting. As we age, our energy levels do tend to drop, but adding a boost of life and spirit in our golden years would be wonderful. Try reishi mushroom extract and see for yourself!
A Final Word of Warning: As with anything with so many good qualities, there is almost inevitably a flip side. As it happens, extended use of reishi mushrooms (1-2 months) has been connected with some side effects throughout history, including headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds, and dry mouth. Although those side effects seem mild, it is still a good decision to speak with a medical professional or trained herbalist before adding reishi mushrooms to your health plan.
Diseases characterized by a gradual worsening of a condition, including increased tissue damage, organ malfunction, and general poor health.
This can be caused by normal wear and tear on the body, lifestyle habits, exercise, or eating problems that exacerbate an underlying condition. These degenerative diseases can be cured through traditional medicines, but many of the diseases also have no established cure, so home remedies are often the best option for taking care of these conditions.
Some of the most common degenerative diseases are cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease,multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, atherosclerosis,diabetes, Osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Many of these are terrible afflictions that affect millions of people around the world. Without proper medical care or coverage, they can severely impact the quality of life of those affected, and many of these diseases are inevitably fatal. The best way to reduce the associated symptoms and even keep the degeneration at bay is to use home remedies. Some of the most popular and successful home remedies for the conditions listed above are explained below.
Muscular Dystrophy: It is a group of 30 inherited diseases which affects the muscle leading to muscle weakness and muscle loss. It is another terribly degenerative disease that many people suffer from; some of the home remedies include staying away from coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and carbonated soda.
Proper nutrition is very important and one’s diet should include foods that are high on fiber, high on protein and low on carbs. You should consume reishi mushrooms, rhodiola, cramp bark, causticum, Lathyrus, and Plumbum Met. Also, one needs to be physically active to be able to maintain good muscle health.
Alzheimer’s Disease: Some of the most common solutions for Alzheimer’s disease are ginkgo biloba extract, valerian root, a well-balance diet, folate, vitamin B12, balm, sage, vitamin E, and garlic extract are all known to decrease the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia. Furthermore, avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, processed foods, and metal pollutants like mercury can also slow down cognitive decline.
Stimulating the brain with things like crossword puzzles, memory games, and learning new subjects can also build new neural pathways and delay the forgetfulness associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Also, recent research suggests that activities such as climbing a tree and balancing on a beam may help to improve cognitive skills.
Parkinson’s Disease: Parkinson’s disease can keep a person from living a normal life due to the general inability to control muscular activity, so it is often classified as a movement disorder. Some home remedies to slow down the degenerative effects of Parkinson’s disease are eating a healthy diet including fruits,vegetables, cereals, legumes, non-dairy products and fish and poultry. Other remedies include exercising and physical therapy, working with a speech pathologist, handling depression in constructive ways, visualization processes to continue walking normally, reducing hand tremors by strengthening the muscles in your hands and forearms.
Cancer: The home remedies for cancer include consumption of broccoli, grapes, ginseng, myrrh, green tea,aloe vera, lycopene, maitake mushroom, soybeans, and wheat grass in ether direct or indirect forms. Any foods that are rich in antioxidants are also very important for treating cancer from home, because they are rich in antioxidants, which can neutralize free radicals.
Free radicals can cause cancer by causing normal cellular DNA to mutate, resulting in cancerous cells. Research suggests that exercising an hour daily reduces the risk of contracting breast cancer in women of any age and any weight. Research also suggests that physical activity and healthy diet may help to reducerisk of cancer.
Multiple Sclerosis: Some of the home remedies for multiple sclerosis include reducing animal protein intake, eliminate dairy products, eat organic foods, ginger, turmeric, soy, extra-virgin olive oil, fish, walnuts, flax, hempseed, and wheat products. In terms of behavior, light to moderate exercise is a good idea, as well as visualization and meditation.
Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is a condition where cholesterol and plaque builds up on the inside of your blood vessels and arteries, and it can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Besides reducing your overall omega-6 fatty acid intake (LDL cholesterol), you should eat more fruits and vegetables, use warm water enemas, and eat seeds, nuts, grains, and sprouts. Use olive oil and flax seed oil, while avoiding saturated fats, white flour, sugar, tobacco, coffee, salt, processed foods, sauces, and pickles. Consume garlic and onions, lemon peels,parsley, and beet juice, as well as anything that has a high vitamin C content.
Diabetes: Diabetes is the body’s inability to manage its insulin and glucose levels within the body, which can be very dangerous. Some home remedies for diabetes include consuming a diet rich in fiber, as well asbilberry, apples, apricots, beets, berries, carrots, citrus fruits, parsnips, cactus juice, basil leaves, and wintersquash.
Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is the degenerative disease that gradually erodes bone mineral density, leaving people weak and unable to function properly in their normal activities. The home remedies for this disease includes increasing your intake of minerals in your diet, like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium, copper, and manganese. Foods include black cohosh, red clover,spinach, collard greens, milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream,salmon, and sardines. Also, quit smoking, exercise regularly, and try to reduce intense physical activity that causes repetitive impacts on your joints and bones.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease which is mainly an inflammation of joints, bones, and other connecting points in the body. They can have associated pain as well, so any anti-inflammatory nutritional elements are ideal. Some of these home remedies include silicon, leafy vegetables, vitamin C-laden foods, and regular exercise to get blood flowing to the affected areas. Avoid things like eggs, pepper, and tomatoes, which have been known to make the condition worse.
Some of the most interesting health benefits of cordyceps includes its ability to improve respiratory health, increase oxygen uptake, boost heart health, detoxify the body, prevent certain types of cancer, slow the aging process, increases energy, and improves the immune system.
The name cordyceps actually describes a genus of fungi that includes more than 400 unique species of parasitic types. Fungi are essential parts of many ecosystems, but this particular genus also has a great deal of importance for people, as it has been traditionally used in herbal medicine for centuries. These “club head”mushrooms have a wide range of chemical components and compounds that make them particularly valuable in traditional medicine, as they are globally available and relatively inexpensive. The wide spread of the Cordyceps genus make it particularly desirable. Cordyceps fungi varieties contain certain biochemicals that mimic current pharmacological substances in a natural way.
As the popularity of Cordyceps increases, so too did access and variety of the herbal supplements. Around the world, you can utilize Cordyceps in liquid extracts, tinctures, powders, and capsules, but the mushroomsthemselves, when dried, look like long thing, brown/orange fingers. You can also buy whole cordyceps in certain stores and add them directly to soups for flavor, or brew teafrom the dried and powdered fungi. The origin of most Cordyceps species seems to be Asia, prior to its global spread, which is why it is so frequently found in the traditional medicines of that region. Now, let’s take a closer look at the many health benefits of cordyceps.
Health Benefits of Cordyceps
Energy Booster: One of the most undeniable health benefits of cordyceps is its ability to significantly boost energy levels and has long been known to athletes for the bursts of energy it can provide. Cordyceps increases the amount of oxygen uptake in the body and enhances cellular energy production, thereby providing that extra push for people who need a shot of energy!
Heart Health: Research studies on the effects of cordyceps have come up with many exciting results, especially in relation to cardiovascular health. One study showed that patients given a powdered supplement of cordyceps were significantly less likely to suffer heart failure. This is mainly due to the anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties of the herb, which can prevent heart arrhythmias and other complications.
Cholesterol Levels: On a similar note, one of the chemical pathways affected by cordyceps is closely related to cholesterol levels. “Bad” cholesterol levels go up, and “good” cholesterol levels can go up, effectively protecting the heart, as well as numerous other organ systems that are affected by cholesterol, such as our metabolism and endocrine system. You can help prevent atherosclerosis and subsequent heart attacks and strokes by making cordyceps a part of your weekly herbal treatments.
Respiratory Function: As mentioned above, cordyceps is able to increase the amount of oxygen taken in by the lungs, and while this is helpful for athletes, it is also beneficial for those suffering from respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic bronchitis. By increasing your oxygen intake, you help prevent respiratory distress and weakness. Also, increasing oxygen levels helps to oxygenate the body’s extremities better, so organ systems as a whole run more efficiently.
Cancer Prevention: People are always looking for the next big solution in the battle against cancer, and some of the unique biochemical compounds found in cordyceps certainly fit the bill in that respect. There has been direct correlations between the consumption of Cordyceps sinensis and tumor size reduction. By shrinking tumors, cordyceps can help slow the spread of cancer, and even make it easier to eliminate or put into remission. This is combined by the antioxidant activities of cordyceps, which helps to eliminate free radicals throughout the body.
Immune System Booster: Cordyceps directly stimulates the production of NK cells (Natural Killer cells), which are one of the body’s first lines of defense against infection and illness. These immunoprotective effects help with a wide range of ailments, from cancer to the common cold and everything in between.
Anti-Aging Properties: Although many people claim to know the secret to anti-aging, some of the most reliable research stands behind using cordyceps, which has powerful concentrations of anti-aging compounds that can help to rejuvenate the skin, eliminate dead or dying cells, and improve the appearance of blemishes, wrinkles, and age spots, effectively shaving years off your life!
Sexual Dysfunction: One of the most interesting effects of cordyceps is its apparent impact on sexual dysfunction in men. Numerous research studies have shown that men suffering from low levels of sexual energy or poor libido saw clear improvement after adding cordyceps herbal supplements to their diet.
Detoxify the Body: Although the exact chemical pathway of this is unclear, studies have shown that kidney health improves notably after only one month of regular cordyceps herbal usage.
A Final Word of Warning: Cordyceps does have a small effect on lowering blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous for diabetics, so they should be aware of the risks before adding that herbal element to their regimen. Also, as a blood-thinner, it shouldn’t be taken before or after surgery, by those already taking blood-thinners, or people suffering from bleeding disorders.
Its time for everyone to know what is in our everyday diet. The food that we and our children consume regularly may be causing cancer. With astonishing numbers of diagnoses on the rise, it is up to us to educate ourselves and take action. Minor and major adjustments might help your life. Carcinogens are our worst enemy in our diet. Here is a list of the most common foods that we eat that may contain the most carcinogens.
The typical American diet is a deadly one, consisting primarily of toxic and acid-forming foods like processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, refined grains, conventionally produced meats and dairy, and hidden genetically modified organisms. All this, combined with a plethora of other challenging environmental factors (such as lack of rest, psychological stress, and pharmaceutical drugs), mean it’s no wonder that more and more people are being diagnosed with chronic, degenerative illnesses or otherwise deadly conditions for which modern conventional medicine claims to have no known cure.
One of the basic underlying problems with this unsustainable lifestyle – and there are many – is the average consumer’s lack of understanding that the body must balance the blood’s pH levels at a slightly alkaline level of 7.365 in order to survive. When a person ingests food to “burn” for fuel, the digestive and metabolic process transforms it into a kind of ash which is either acidic or alkaline. The laws of modern biochemistry further explain that it is not the organic matter of foods (whether the food itself is acidic or alkaline), but their inorganic matter (such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, phosphorous; that is, how they break down in our bodies), that determines either the acidity or alkalinity of this ashy residue.
Of course, the ultimate goal is balance. Eating too many alkalizing foods can lead to its own fair share of complications over time, but the risk of this is seemingly less likely, given the current sorry state of today’s highly addictive consumerist diet. To combat the effects of such a diet, here are six of the most alkaline-forming foods to work into your everyday meals:
1. Root vegetables
This vegetables have their tendency to be more rich in minerals than many other vegetables, it may be safe to say that you can’t get enough of them. Look for radishes especially (black, red or white), as well as beets, carrots, turnips, horseradish and rutabaga. Ready to eat after steaming for just 15-20 minutes, root vegetables will help you feel both satisfied and better grounded.
2. Cruciferous vegetables
These are the veggies we all know and love, made even more delicious with just a small amount of healthy, homemade sauce like pesto. Choose from broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the like.
3. Leafy greens
Kale is one of the leafy green beauty that is widely known for its cancer-fighting, cholesterol-lowering, antioxidant-rich,detoxifying goodness. If you eat kale 2-3 times per week you’ll know it. Like spinach it is massively high in vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C and being leafy green it also has a huge chlorophill content. Also, Swiss chard, turnip greens and spinach – of which spinach may in fact be the best pick. Known especially for its rich vitamin K and folate content, spinach is also packed with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber, helping to improve digestion and even vision.
The beauty of cucumber is it’s water content-95%. Tha is phenomenal and you won’t find that anywhere else. It’s the daddy of water content. This of course makes it an incredibly hydrating food to consume. It also contains superb amount of minerals,antioxidants including the super important lignans.
A true miracle food, garlic appears at the top of innumerable lists of foods that encourage overall health, and alkaline-forming food is no exception. Among its other benefits are its ability to promote cardiovascular and immune health by lowering blood pressure, cleansing the liver and fighting off disease.
Broccoli is just a must, If you re serious about living with health, energy and vitality you simply have to eat broccoli, if not on a daily basis, then at least 3-4 times a week. Broccoli has been proven many many times to be incredibly powerful in inhibiting cancers, supporting the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, the detoxification process in the body and also supporting the skin,metabolism, immune system, being an anti-inflammatory and providing ample antioxidants.Eaten steamed or raw its a huge alkaline food, hugely nutritious food.
7. Cayenne peppers (capsicum)
The antioxidant superpower, bell pepper is all time favorite to many of us because it’s sweet crunchy and refreshingly delicious. You can use it in almost any meal raw, grilled, fried, roasted and it is always a winner. As part of a family of potent, tropical peppers which contain enzymes essential to endocrine function, cayenne is among the most alkalizing foods. It is known for its antibacterial properties and is a rich supply of vitamin A, making it a helpful agent in fighting off the harmful free radicals that lead to stress and illness.
Lemons may be the most alkalizing food of all. As a natural disinfectant, it can heal wounds while also providing potent and immediate relief for hyperacidity and virus-related conditions, as well as coughs, colds, flu and heartburn. Lemon also works to energize the liver and promote detoxification.
As the saying goes, ‘You are what you eat’. What happens if you are reacting to what you are eating? Most people don’t think twice about eating a breakfast of eggs and toast and a glass of milk or orange juice, but if there is food sensitivity, this could result in many unpleasant symptoms that could even be life threatening.
Food sensitivities are due to a toxic reaction to food and include food allergies and food intolerance. Let’s discuss food allergies first.
Your digestive system is a barrier between the outside world and the inside world of your body. It is constantly being bombarded with new molecules from the food that we eat. When you have a food allergy, the surveillance part of your immune system is sensing the food, or a substance in the food, as problematic. In order to defend itself, it mounts a response (secretes immunoglobulins such as IgE) against that foreign substance to deactivate or neutralize it. Through this process, chemical mediators (histamines) are released and you can experience symptoms such as hives, an itchy throat, watering eyes, nausea, diarrhea and even anaphylaxis with a severe allergy. Sometimes the food reaction isn’t immediate; there can be a delay up to 48 hours. So, you could eat a tofu dog today and then two days from now have diarrhea. This makes it confusing and difficult to determine the source of the reaction.
Common food allergens:
Symptoms of food allergy and food intolerance can be very similar and therefore confusing! Gastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating are common. It isn’t so intuitive to consider symptoms beyond the digestive tract to be related to foods that you are eating, but more systemic symptoms are also common: eczema, psoriasis, headaches, migraines, joint pain, fatigue, hives, mood swings, asthma, recurrent bladder infections, and recurrent upper respiratory infections to name a few.
More and more people are reacting to foods- be it an allergy or an intolerance. The reasons are complicated and varied. If you have an intolerance due to lacking an enzyme, this is genetically determined (you can thank your parents). If isn’t due to lacking an enzyme, then one must look at the situation more holistically. Why is the immune system seeing a particular food as a threatening invader? Is it the actual food that is the problem or an immune system imbalance? Is there too much inflammation from eating processed foods, air pollutant exposure, consuming Genetically Engineered foods, recurrent anti-biotic exposure, imbalances in healthy gut flora, or an overall higher level stress, challenging our digestive and immune system translating into food reactions? The bottom line is, chronic inflammation produced from recurrent food reactions has been linked to chronic diseases. Regardless if it is food allergy or intolerance, avoiding the trigger is a big part of breaking this cycle.
There are few ways to determine if you are reacting to foods. Remember, there is a difference between an allergy and intolerance to food. In order to determine if you have a food allergy or intolerance, the gold standard is an ‘elimination/challenge diet’. This is where you would be on a restrictive diet for a period of time (3-4 weeks) and remove foods that are shown to be common culprits. Then in a systematic way, there is a food challenge, and subsequent observation of symptoms. Due to the fact that the potential offending agent has been removed, it is more obvious when it is added back in if it is problem.
If you want to see the ‘hard data’ and don’t want to go through the process of removal and re-introduction of food, you could get a food allergy test. This a blood test specifically testing a surveillance part of your immune system (IgE and IgG4), and determining if the proteins in food are causing a problematic immune system response. If a food is not causing an immune response it isn’t going to show up as a problem on this test, so, if there is a food intolerance, this specific test isn’t going to shed light on this. There are other tests that can check for specific intolerance to foods (ex lactose or gluten). If you suspect that foods you are eating are affecting you, talk to your Naturopathic doctor about how to determine the best course of action.
Most of you are familiar with the term genetically modified organism (GMO). Touted by some to be cutting edge technology and the answer to how we are going to feed our ever expanding population, several experts have serious concerns about the long term effects of these manipulated foods on our health.
In a genetically modified (GM) food, scientists take one or more genes from the DNA of one organism, such as a bacteria, virus, or animal, and “recombine” them into the DNA of the plant they want to alter. This new bio-engineered plant will, in turn, express the trait of interest. For example, the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is transferred into the DNA of corn. This bacterium produces crystal proteins that are lethal to insect larvae. Combining the Bt genes into the DNA of corn allows the corn to produce its own pesticide. This sounds reasonable, actually elegant and even highly beneficial. Depending on the objective of the engineering, it could:
Let’s go back to the Bt bacterium. The effect of this bacterium on insects is that it paralyzes their digestive system, punches holes in their gut lining eventually killing the insect. Until recently it was thought that if humans ingested the Bt bacterium, or the GM corn or soy that contains their DNA, it does not have a toxic effect. But more recent research shows that the effect of Bt corn or soy on humans does have damaging effects. It may increase the permeability of our digestive lining, otherwise known as ‘leaky gut’, setting the stage for a variety of chronic health conditions.
Manipulated crops in combination with more chemicals (specifically the pesticide Roundup) have been linked to malformations (birth defects), reproductive problems, DNA damage, and cancer in test animals. Human epidemiological studies have found an association between Roundup exposure and miscarriage, birth defects, neurological development problems, DNA damage, and certain types of cancer.
Chronic inflammation is a widely accepted an igniter of chronic disease. With the introduction of GM food, there has been a drastic increase of inflammatory conditions. This suggests that the irritation and toxicity caused by GM foods and related chemicals are increasing people’s susceptibility to chronic health imbalances.
So what can we do?
Avoid eating GM food.
At this point, unless it is labeled non-GMO, or is labeled organic, there is a high probability that these specific foods are genetically modified.
Many countries have banned GMOs and others have enforced labeling of GM Food. In the US, there is a push to require the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to label GM Food. The only way to make a decision about whether you want to consume GMO’s or not, is to first know if you are eating them. If this sounds like an important cause, go to Label it WA
If you are interested in keeping up on what is in our food the Non GMO Project is a helpful website that has up to date information. There is also the non-GMO shopping guide on this website which is a helpful mobile tool
I highly recommend everyone to watch this movie. It is extremely relevant and a wake up call to pay attention to what you are putting in your body and how it affects your health, as well as the health of generations to come.