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Super Healer: Garlic
by bethaldrich

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Recently, one of my family members was diagnosed with cancer. As devastating as it is for our family, we have taken this normally tragic situation and have come together to find ways to support his journey and learn some cancer-prevention tips along the way. In addition to his regular medical treatment, my family member is taking things into his own hands and is trying a few natural therapies. One suggestion another family member made was to try garlic. I've always known that garlic was a wonderful herb for building and maintaining optimum health, but I never really connected the dots when it came to cancer.

Garlic is known as one of nature’s most potent antibiotics; and studies suggest that it has the ability to stimulate cell growth and has a super rejuvenative effect on the entire body. Garlic has been know to help open up the blood vessels, stimulate circulation and helps reduce blood pressure - especially when Cayenne Pepper is added to the diet. Garlic can help dissolve cholesterol in the blood stream, and is effective against bacteria while protecting the body’s normal intestinal flora. Overall, this wonderful food contains many vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Garlic has been reported to have aided in some of the afflictions and condition of, asthma, bronchitis, cancer, candida, circulation, colds, digestion, fungus, heart conditions, high blood pressure, infections, intestinal issues, liver, lungs, prostte and yeast infections. Additionally, garlic has helped improve sinus problems, strep infections, respiratory ailments, immune function and disentery.

Cooking with Garlic also helps in the above mentioned conditions, however the active ingredient or parts can easily be destroyed by heat. There are 50 compounds in Garlic and some studies suggest that 10 of them are active in reducing cancer, so, it is best taken RAW, however this can lead to objectionable odor or bad breath.

Try taking Garlic with Aloe and/or Chlorophyll (naturally found in green plants); this will aid in its digestion and removes much of the Garlic breath, in turn it will contribute largely to the success of its use.

Whether any or all of the alternative therapies work or not, one thing is for sure, using garlic will surely improve our overall health and wellness.

Sources:
The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism, edited by Malcom Stuart
The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine by Daniel B. Mowrey, Ph.D.

September 20, 2008

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5 Must-Have Vitamins For Women
by ShaunaS

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We all know that we should eat a healthy and well-balanced diet each day filled with fruits and vegetables, and not too many calories or processed goods.

However, with our busy and stress-filled lives, our diets tend to be filled with grab-and-go items, and too many pre-packaged foods.

Fortunately, there are ways to supplement your diet to ensure that you are getting the optimal amount of nutrients important to staying healthy.

The 5 Must-Haves

1. Multivitamin
All women should take a multivitamin. Unless your diet is filled with at least 5 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, you are likely missing out on some nutrients. A multivitamin is an easy, simple and cheap health insurance. Aim to pick a multivitamin with minerals that has approximately 100% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for most nutrients.

2. Folic Acid
This vitamin is essential for women trying to get pregnant, or is pregnant since it has shown to prevent neural tube defects. However, folic acid is also less known, but well studied in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women who drink alcohol. 400 micrograms of folic acid is recommended and is generally what’s provided in a multivitamin.

3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D has been dubbed the “sunshine vitamin” because our body can make it from exposure to the sun. Vitamin D was originally thought to be primarily important for bone health. Now, more research is coming out that vitamin D is not only essential to reducing risk of fractures but may also be important in reducing risk for heart disease and certain cancers. In addition, this is one case where the current RDA requirements of 200 to 400 IU each day are much lower than what might be an optimal and healthy dose of 1,000 to 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 (the most potent form of vitamin D).

4. Omega-3 fatty acids
Our body is unable to make omega-3 fatty acids, so we MUST get these essential fats from diet or supplements. The two major types of omega 3 fatty acids, ALA and DHA, are important in heart health. In addition, DHA is critical for children’s brain development; it’s also important for pregnant women to take adequate amounts of DHA, and to provide it to infants and children. The recommended adult dosage is 500mg of omega 3 fatty acids each day. People eating large amounts of fatty fish, nuts and soybean or flaxseed oil may be able to get the recommended amount through diet. However, most of us will need a supplement, typically derived from fish oils. People concerned with possible toxins and heavy metals found in fish sources of omega 3 fatty acids, as well as vegetarians, can obtain all the health benefits from vegetarian supplements made from algae such as Neuromins DHA.

5. Vitamin K
This vitamin has known to be important in blood clotting. However, the latest research also found that vitamin K also plays a critical role in building bone. Women deficient in vitamin K have been linked with more fractures and lower bone density. Leafy green vegetables such as Swiss chard, kale, and spinach are good sources of vitamin K. A half-cup to 1 cup of cooked vegetables will give you all the vitamin K that you need (90 micrograms for women). However, if your daily diet doesn’t include these vegetables, you may benefit from a supplement. Most multivitamins do not include or provide adequate amounts of Vitamin K in their formulation, so make sure to check and switch to a different brand or supplement with additional vitamin K.

NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, it’s generally good to take your vitamins and other supplements with a meal. Your body is meant to recognize, digest and absorb foods and therefore by taking your supplements with meals will ensure optimal absorption of those nutrients.

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August 11, 2008

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Shining Light On ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’
by DrDiet

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Too much sun can be hazardous to your health, but did you know that too little sun can also be detrimental?

Vitamin D, nicknamed the sunshine vitamin because exposure to the sun is needed to boost its level in the body, is a hot new topic of conversation among physicians. Some doctors are surprised by new research that puts vitamin D in a different light.

The old belief that vitamin D is only needed for stronger bones just isn’t true anymore. Too little sun can cause a deficiency of vitamin D which can increase your risks of heart disease, diabetes and cancer!

According to the Chicago Tribune, “The new findings join a growing body of evidence indicating that an adequate level of the vitamin, which most people can get from 20 minutes in the sun, is crucial to maintaining good health.”

However, controversy exists because the studies thus far have not proven that taking vitamin D will prevent the development of heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

Still, this discovery is so intriguing that some physicians are urging their patients to take extra vitamin D… in addition to what’s in a multi-vitamin. Others are closely checking the vitamin D levels of their patients to see if they are in fact too low.

Although there’s not yet an official recommendation regarding taking extra vitamin D, I do think it’s prudent to discuss supplementation with your personal physician. And stay tuned for more research in this area.

Who knows, one day it may become common practice for doctors to write the prescription, “Walk briskly in the sun for 20 minutes daily.”

June 26, 2008

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