By Natural Advocate | August 30, 2011 - 9:41 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

Have you seen the new pictures that tobacco companies are being forced to put on their labels in a prominent position, even larger than their own brand name by the Federal Government?  Well, if you have, trust me, some of them are graphic images, or very emotionally tugging images that will stick with you long after you’ve seen them.

Some are graphic pictures of cancer patients, while yet another tugs on the heart strings by showing a young child.  Either way, the emotions are definitely played on, and that’s what they are going for – to get people who are buying cigarettes to reconsider their purchase – and their smoking habit.

But has the Federal government gone too far in censoring (essentially) a product that everyone knows is bad for them (like alcohol) and still choosing, of their own free will, to keep on smoking cigarettes?

Well, that may be more of a case for Legal experts to answer, but it is also an increasing concern among others in a lot of other industries. Don’t get me wrong, smoking is bad, and I think everyone who does it should seriously try to quit smoking.

However, I think there is more an issue of big brother trying to force the issue a bit, and forcing companies to even compromise their business by forcing certain labeling. We all know that cigarettes are bad for us. It is pretty much common knowledge these days.

But it didn’t always used to be. Cigarettes were a HUGE industry back in the fifties and even sixties. People sort of knew they weren’t healthy, but the true long term effects and multitude of health issues they contribute to were not fully known yet back then.

Now that we’ve had decades to study their ill effects on human health, it is much easier to say that they are, hands down, just something that has no saving graces as a vice.

However, smoking is still a legal thing that can be engaged in, and they are going almost as far as to ban it in some cases. Second hand smoke has become a huge issue that is often talked about, and the rights of the people standing around smokers.

I myself hate to inhale second hand smoke. However, I do question us completely outlawing it for people who are hooked on the habit. Isn’t that a little bit too “socialist”?

By Natural Advocate | August 28, 2011 - 10:54 pm - Posted in Natural Anti Aging

My husband and I were sitting in our living room one night watching a show (a very popular cable show), where they like to show a few of the male stars shirtless (and then some) at times. No doubt to appeal to us ladies – which I must admit, it does accomplish, as shameless as it is.

But back to my point. My husband always says that he thinks these guys are on HGH (Human Growth Hormone), which is available in hormone form in injections that are given directly to the body.

The long term dangers and side effects are not known yet, but still people who are in a high paying position or athletic profession often opt for them because they enhance the appearance of the body, and can also greatly enhance athletic ability.

Hence, HGH is illegal in the professional sports arena. It gives athletes and unfair advantage and is considered doping.  However, it’s not illegal to someone who is not in a professional sports career, so are these Hollywood chiseled stars taking HGH – or maybe they are taking some form of natural HGH and just having really great results?

At any rate, when you see a forty year old that is ridiculously cut and ripped, you have to let your mind wander into that curiosity whether they are taking something to achieve that fantastically impossible look?

It’s all up for debate (and I suspect my hubby may have a bit of the green jealousy monster), but I’m sure that many in Hollywood are taking the easier way out to their cut look – what do you think?

By Natural Advocate | August 26, 2011 - 4:15 pm - Posted in Vitamins & Minerals

As a woman, I know what it means to be iron deficient, especially at that time of the month when you lose some of the iron in your body due to the monthly womanly cycle that we all love (yes I’m being facetious).

During this time, and many other times for a lot of women who are chronically short on this important mineral, you can feel really tired, like you’re barely getting through your days and can’t wait for bed every night.

It’s important that you get enough of this vital mineral, and unfortunately many women (and men too), don’t get nearly enough of it.  It is one of the primary minerals in prenatal vitamins for this reason – most of us don’t get enough of it in our daily diet.

One of the best ways to get iron in your diet, and one of the foods I love most and could probably eat every single day – is broccoli. It probably doesn’t really matte rif you buy fresh or frozen, since frozen broccoli often maintains a lot of the original vitamins and minerals.

In fact, it may even maintain more in the frozen form than in fresh because it is often flash frozen as soon as it is harvested.  I personally like to pair my fresh broccoli with some steamed chopped summer squash. This way, I also get vitamin C in there, which helps my body to absorb the iron.

Pairing your iron sources with any food that contains vitamin C will help your body to absorb it more efficiently, so take note of that when pairing your foods.  Liver, which is a food I personally don’t care for, actually contains high amounts of iron as well.  In fact, it is the highest iron content found in a meat source – if you can stomach it.

Beef contains iron as well.  So do some types of fish and poultry if you happen to be a carnivore like myself. If you are an herbivore (vegetarian), then you can try  things like lentils, soybeans, spinach, and of course, my favorite – broccoli.

Anything that is a deep green color will have great iron content. Kale, swiss chard and other leafy greens are excellent for their iron content – kale is probably the best since it is packed with iron and a ton of other high quality vitamins.

Lightly steaming them helps them to keep their iron and vitamin content while over cooking can take a lot of it away, so be mindful not to overcook. of course raw is the best way!

 

By Natural Advocate | August 24, 2011 - 9:15 am - Posted in Alternative Therapies

If modern science is right, then your furry little (or big) companions may have just also become his lifesaver and medical device as well.  There is more and more evidence that those of the canine world can actually “smell” and detect cancer in people.

It’s no secret that dogs have a highly evolved sense of smell. After all, who doesn’t see a dog sniffing when even the slightest odor presents itself, or seems to be sniffing something that none of us mere humans can even detect a hint of?  They have a very keen and developed sense of smell, partly from breeding and partly from natural selection and years of intensifying this important sense.

The dogs in the most recent round of studies were exposed to the scent of compounds that occur in the body when cancer is present. They were able to detect that smell and show that they could single it out. This is good news, because dogs may be a cheap and effective way to screen one for cancer in the future.

Could we begin to see dogs in the doctor’s office now?  Maybe they will be an oncologist’s assistant. I sure wouldn’t mind seeing a fuzzball that likes to greet people and lick and get petter than a cold hard face of a person!

The dogs in this study were actually trained to touch the vials that contained the compounds that were created from lung cancer (hmm, that just sounds wrong). They were able to detect it with a high amount of accuracy, which shows that they can actually single out the compounds that could kill you.

Of course, the dogs do have to be trained to do this, they don’t just automatically know how to do it for these specific compounds that are linked to cancer. However, this is really promising research that shows maybe you don’t need a dangerous CAT scan to detect cancer.

By Natural Advocate | August 22, 2011 - 5:06 am - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

Omega 3 fatty acids, the family of fatty acids that have come under the microscope and been studied for their multiple benefits to the human body, are essential to a variety of our bodily functions. In order for us to function at our overall best, a diet that includes these precious fatty acids is essential.

It has been found that getting a daily dose of omega 3’s really can enhance your brain function.  People find that they can think more clearly when they have a steady source of omega 3’s in their body.  It has a great effect on stabilizing the blood sugar, which can also lend itself to brain activity.

Have you ever tried to concentrate or focus on something when your blood sugar is awry? Well it’s not easy – in fact it’s darn near impossible, because your blood sugar levels have a lot to do with brain function.

Omega 3’s have protective capabilities over the cells that are relied on for proper brain function, along with vitamin B12, so these are a great combo for high impact brain support.

A high quality omega 3 dietary supplement is a good start, but we should also try to get some of them in our diet as well. This means if you are a vegetarian, you will need to get a lot of flax seed and flax oil based products in your diet.

Another good vegetarian source of omega 3 fatty acids is nuts.  The best source, in my opinion, are walnuts in the nut world. Almonds are another source. Walnuts are sometimes criticized for their high fat content, but I feel that their multitude of health benefits far outweighs the effect they may have on weight maintenance.

Raw nuts are the best. Stay away from processed, roasted, overly salted or fried nuts. Raw are the best as they keep all their nutrients in tact.

Canola oil and olive oil are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids for vegetarians as well.  Virgin coconut oil has a great taste and distinct flavor, and also offers not only omega 3 fats, but also offers them in a way that is even healthier since they are less likely to cause weight gain and any types of blockage.

 


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