From the category archives:

allergies

Don’t peel away your health

by Ed

When you peel your fruits and vegetables you are removing some of the most nutritious part of your food. Many of the vitamins, minerals, and cancer fighting phytonutrients are most concentrated in the skins of fruits and vegetables. Skins and peels are also high in fiber. Eating your peels improves your immune system, helps control allergy symptoms, and helps protect your body against cancer and heart disease.

  • Apple peels are a good source of pectin, a fiber that helps control cholesterol and blood sugar. They are also much more concentrated in antioxidants than the rest of the apple, and research has found that they have anti-cancer effects.

  • Potato peels are richer in iron and B vitamins than the flesh of the potato. The peel is also rich in antioxidants, fiber, and potassium.

  • Citrus peels are high in several antioxidant chemicals. The white part of the peel is high in bioflavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine actions. They alsostrengthen the blood vessels and improve the effectiveness of vitamin C. According to Chinese medicine, citrus peels improve digestion.

  • Tomato peels enhance the ability of the body to use the lycopene in the rest of the tomatoes. Lycopene is a well known anti-oxidant that helps to prevent cancer and heart disease.

If you are eating the peels, it is even more important to buy only organic fruits and vegetables. The pesticide residues are not easily washed off.

For more on the benefits of organic produce, see this post.

Top Five Health Drinks

by Ed

We need to drink to stay alive. It’s even more important than eating, at least in terms of how often we need to drink to survive. What you drink really matters though, if you want to be healthy. North Americans are drinking more calories than ever before, which is adding to our weight problem. In general, drinking does not make us less hungry, so when we drink a sugary soft drink, we are just adding calories to our diet, not to mention the negative impact on our blood sugar.

What are the healthful fluids we can be drinking? Here are my top Five:

1. Water. By far the winner. Water is what our body needs, so why not drink it straight? Filtered tap water is the best. In Many communities, water coming out of the tap is not that good for you, but simple carbon filtration is usually good enough. Bottled water is a bad idea for two reasons. One is that you don’t really know where it came from, and the other is that toxic chemicals leach out of the plastic bottles water comes in. For more on plastic bottles, see this post. For most people, six to eight glasses of water a day is optimal.

2. Ginger tea. It is warming and it stimulates digestion. It can ease allergic reactions.

3. Chamomile tea. It is very soothing to the nervous system and stomach.

4. Green tea. In moderation, green tea is very beneficial for its antioxidants. People who are sensitive to caffeine, should avoid it. Be careful of its tendency dehydrate you.

5. Freshly made fruit and vegetable juices. These are a magnificent source of antioxidants and other health promoting phytochemicals. Drink them within a few minutes of juicing them, as they lose their goodness very quickly. These are rather high in calories, but most people don’t have time to overdue them. Besides, the health benefits far outweigh the problems, unless you have serious blood sugar issues.

Cleansing the Digestive tract

by Ed

Every Spring is a good time for internal cleansing. I suggest starting with the digestive tract, then doing a Gall Bladder flush. While these cleanses are safe for most people, it is always advisable to seek the advice of a qualified health professional, especially if you have any significant health concerns. After doing a cleanse many people find they have more energy, clearer skin, fewer allergy symptoms, and many other positive effects. It is certainly helpful for anyone with constipation.

One simple and safe way to cleanse the digestive tract is to do a short juice fast. Three days is safe and effective. Only drink juice of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Drink them immediately after juicing them, as they lose their goodness, and start to oxidize very quickly. Besides drinking fresh juice, you can drink herbal teas, ginger is particularly good. Also, first thing every morning, mix one teaspoon of psyllium husk in a glass of water or juice. It does not have a pleasant flavor, so you probably want juice. Psyllium husk is known as intestinal broom because is sweeps out the old debris that lines the intestinal walls. You may want to continue the psyllium for a few days after the fast is over.

While generally regarded as safe, a small minority of individuals do not tolerate psyllium well. Those experiencing discomfort should discontinue use, or start with a very small amount to allow the body to adjust. However a feeling of bloating, especially the first time you take it, is normal.

Use of psyllium can reduce the effectiveness of prescribed lithium.

Use of psyllium can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics.

Do not use psyllium within two hours of any medicinal substances. Use at least 30 minutes prior to eating.

Psyllium is generally safe and helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, and colitis.

Just Say No to GMO!

by Ed

Genetically modified foods have potentially very serious side effects, most of which have not been adequately studied, and studies that have been done have been suppressed by the corporations that are creating the GM foods.

Three ubiquitous foods in our diet, corn, soy, and potatoes, are all being genetically modified. In North America, almost all of the commercial farms growing those three crops are using GM seeds. Other continents are being more cautious about growing them.

There are a number of problems associated with genetic modification. One is that they simply don’t know all of the ramifications of their changes. Without long term studies we’ll never know what the dangers are. Another problem is that they are introducing DNA of viruses and other toxins into the plants, but they say that those DNA have no effect on us. Actually studies have shown this not to be true. Another problem is that they are introducing more allergens into our foods. In some cases they are using foods that are know to be common allergens to modify other foods, in other cases they are just creating new allergens, because the modifications they are making are creating chemicals that are strange to us.

These are some of the research findings:

Animals fed the genetically modified (GM) corn developed extensive health effects in the blood, kidneys and liver and that humans eating the corn might be at risk.

A serious accident associated with the use of genetically engineered bacteria for tryptophan manufacture. This product was placed on the market, and within a few months it caused
the deaths of 37 people and caused 1500 more to be permanently disabled.

Experiments have shown intestinal changes in rats caused by eating genetically engineered potatoes.

For more info check here and here.

Spring Allergy Preparation

by Ed

Just a quick tip, today. If you are expecting to start suffering from Spring allergies in a couple of months, this is the time to see your acupuncturist. Chinese Medicine can greatly reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies, and the success rate is much higher if you start working on it a couple of months before. In fact that is true for any seasonal health issues. If you get treatment before you are symptomatic, you may never get symptoms.

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