By Natural Advocate | February 29, 2008 - 9:12 am - Posted in Foods

Fiber has always been known to be an important factor in the human diet.  A diet that is not rich in dietary fiber, which unfortunately the American diet many times is not, open people up to a number of health problems, all originating in the colon. 

First of all, dietary fiber, which is found in abundance in leafy greens, certain types of beans, fruits like grapes, plums, bananas and apples, and also some handy “carry-with” veggies like baby carrots, one of my favorites to take with me as a snack during the week are rich in colon-healthy fiber.

Fiber is what keeps food moving on through the digestive system.  It protects the digestive system, including the colon, from certain types of cancer, since the digestive tract has less work to do getting all the food through the system.  Fiber has also been shown to play an important part in helping to control blood sugar levels, and diets rich in fiber have been shown to have blood sugar stabilizing qualities about them. 

Not surprisingly, people with fiber adequate diets also tend to be on the thinner side and enjoy greater health than those with fiber deprived diets that are full of “dead” foods like breads, pastas and cheese and fatty dairy foods.  Eating foods that are rich in fiber also help to keep us feeling fuller longer since they tend to swell up in the stomach and create feelings of satiety, making sure that we don’t over stuff ourselves and over burden our digestive systems.

 

By Natural Advocate | February 26, 2008 - 3:20 pm - Posted in Natural and Herbal Treatments

I bought a new herbal tea the other day at a specialty grocery store in the general area called Heinens, which is supposed to help the liver and bladder detoxify themselves.  It does however note on the package indications that the tea, although it can be consumed every day, should not be consumed for more than a month straight.  As to the reason why, I’m not sure since it is not supposed to provide any type of herbal colon cleansing, but rather may only provide a mild diuretic response without increased bowel movements.

The tea doesn’t really taste anything like peach, I must say.  However, it is excellent and although I normally put stevia as a sweetener in my herbal tea, I didn’t have to put any sweetener in this tea because it had such a strong flavor on it’s own, especially if it was allowed to steep for a while.  The flavors that can be detected in the tea are predominantly spice flavors such as cinnamon and something that tastes similar to cloves, although I don’t have the package nearby to support that is what I’m actually tasting. 

One of the ingredients I do recall seeing though, and which is a known bladder toner as well as a mild diuretic, is dandelion.  Dandelion has long been used as a mild diuretic to help rid the body of excess water, and even has been used as some who want to shed a little water weight but do not want to take one of those nasty OTC diuretics like Diurex, which tend to overdo it and give you a headache from dehydration.  At least that’s what it did to me. 

I like the Yogi Peach detox tea, for sure, and will buy it again sometime when we’re trying to detox and get back on track with our diets, and not eat anything processed, and also consume tons of fiber and pure, unadulterated foods.  As far as the detox part of it, I do notice that it has made me have to urinate a bit more, but cannot account for whether it has made me actually feel any better.  Love the taste though! 

By Natural Advocate | February 23, 2008 - 2:14 pm - Posted in Natural Anti Aging

When you spread out several different skin care products, and compare which ones have the most viable, effective ingredients in them, you will inevitably find that herbal skin care products, and those that contain ingredients of either an herbal or naturally-derived nature, are the superior performers.  They may just contain ingredients that are derived from a basic natural vitamin or mineral, and be in a super charged form, but nonetheless most of these ingredients are definitely found in nature to begin with.

Take the Revitol natural anti aging and anti wrinkle skin care line.  It has some of the most potent natural ingredients in their most powerful form, like DMAE, one of the most recommended, heavy duty anti aging and firming agents which is derived from the skin of fish, and vitamin C in it’s most concentrated form, which dramatically improves skin tone and brightness.  Or how about Vitamin E, or the all too popular now CoQ10 complex? 

These are ALL derived from nature, and extracted for maximum efficacy on the skin when used topically.  These ingredients have been written about numerous times by dermatologists and beauty and skin care specialists who tout them as the ultimate in age and wrinkle fighting ingredients. 

In addition, natural and herbal skin care products also tend to be more gentle to the skin, and to also be better able to penetrate the skin due to their natural abilities to be absorbed by living tissue (think about it, we absorb these when they are eaten and our body utilizes them internally as well, so our body knows how to use this stuff already.)

At any rate, I’m sure you can tell I’m pretty passionate about natural ingredients being utilized in skincare today.  And there is a reason natural and herbal skin care products are enjoying such a boom in popularity today – because they actually really work! 

By Natural Advocate | February 15, 2008 - 7:37 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

I’ve been pondering whether to get a sauna now for years.  Not really so much because when I started liking them I knew about that supposed
health benefits of a sauna, but more so because I found the dry heat incredibly relaxing and soothing after I would work out at the gym where I work.

Getting in the sauna for about ten minutes at a high temperature was a true treat for me, and I felt relaxed and rejuvenated when I emerged.  Not only that, I realized that after the sauna, the next day my skin would be pristine, and I’ve had intermittent problems with breakouts my whole life.  The sauna that I went in at the gym however, was a traditional sauna (or so I believe), which means that it heats the skin by surrounding the body with heat, and a higher heat than the newer infrared heat saunas do.

In the traditional sauna there was also a bucket of rocks you could pour water on that would provide a soothing steam.  Infrared saunas,
however, work differently, in that they emit an infrared, or penetrating heat, that supposedly penetrates the body tissue by about a little over an inch.  The makers and advocates of infrared saunas claim that this is therapeutic for the tissue, and helps with muscle soreness and rejuvenation.

Also, they claim that it helps detoxify by ridding the subcutaneous fat of toxins that build up in the fat layers, like heavy metals and other
environmental and food pollutants.  Although the medical community and alternative health community are at odds about whether our bodies can be detoxified, I still want an infrared sauna, simply for the benefits of sweating, raising the body temperature safely, and relaxation.

Oh, the skin benefit will be nice too.  More to come on this after we purchase one (it looks like we are going to).  I will provide an in depth
review of how it works, makes us feel and if I think we are truly getting any health benefits beyond enjoyment from using it.

By Natural Advocate | February 12, 2008 - 11:15 pm - Posted in Foods

In the latest news on people’s foods poisoning them, which seems to be a common theme these days, what with  the outbreaks of Ecoli, botulism and salmonella poisoning we hear about almost every day, several people have been sickened by eating fish loaded with toxins from smaller fish they ate that were contaminated with algae they consumed off the northern Gulf of Mexico. 

Supposedly the fish that have been identified as having significant levels of these toxins are grouper (one that I actually love, and I’m not even that big of a fish fan), barracuda, snapper and a fish I never heard of called amberjack.  Fish are usually one of the healthiest choices we can make in our diet, since they are a rich source of the best dietary omega 3 acids we can put in our body, you just gotta be careful here and there because fish are known to cause allergic reactions in many, and can sometims be easily contaminated.   

The type of poisoning even has a name.  It is called ciguatera.  Symptoms can range from nuisance to extremely serious and dangerous, depending on the severity of the poisoning.  The larger the fish consumed, the more likely the fish was contaminated heavily with the toxins in the marine algae consumed by smaller feeder fish. 

Symptoms range from joint pain and nausea to vomiting and vertigo.  Very serious cases documented include neurological problems lasting up to a few years, but also perhaps spanning only a few days to a few weeks.  I don’t know about you, but neurological problems of any type and at any length of time don’t sound good to me. 

Ciguatera is most common in the tropics, but not so common in the area where the contamination was found to be traced to this time, with 28 cases confirmed, but God only knows how many are out there who just think they have the flu.  This is why the FDA is encouraging people to go to their doctor who have eaten the mentioned fish, so they can be properly diagnosed and treated. 


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