96
A Congested Liver: The Root Cause of Many Symptoms & Disease

More and more people suffer from fatigue, vascular disease, allergies, chronic indigestion, neck and back tension, menstrual problems, muscular pain, spasms, cramps, dizziness, pulsating headaches, nervous system disorders, insomnia and emotional problems such as anger, frustration, depression, moodiness, to mention a few. A stagnant liver is a major contributing factor to those symptoms and disease. Additionally, a weak liver may weaken the kidneys and contribute to digestive problems (spleen/pancreas and stomach). It also influences iron and vitamin B12 absorption adversely. The liver is perhaps the most congested organ in the modern person. Too much stress, rich and greasy foods, late heavy heals, alcohol, fat, oils, meat, dairy, eggs, chemicals, intoxicants, and denatured food all interfere with the numerous biomedical processes of the liver. They lead to the liver becoming stagnant and overheated which effects the energy flow, leading to a myriad of physical and emotional problems.

The liver also purifies the blood. If the liver is stagnant the blood purification may be inadequate, leading to the release of toxins through the skin. Impure blood is a cause of acne, eczema, acidosis and allergies. In addition, toxic blood feeds all degenerative conditions such as cancer and arthritis. Also, the menstruation of the women is affected if the storage of blood malfunctions which can lead to an overabundant, irregular, scat or lacking menses. Another sign of such a liver blood deficiency can be anemia, general bodily dryness.

When the liver is consistently stagnant, sediment often settles out of the bile and forms accumulations that resemble stones or sand in the gallbladder. The gallbladder, a reservoir of bile, becomes less efficient when clogged with sediment and acute problems results when stones become lodges in the bile duct leading from the gallbladder to the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine).

Reference:

Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and modern nutrition (3rd ed). Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Continue Reading

4
Dietary Principles to Heal the Gallbladder
Gradual Gallbladder Cleanse:
  1. Avoid alcohol and foods richest in saturated fats and cholesterol such as heavy meat, dairy and eggs.
  2. Also, avoid peanuts and eat other nuts sparingly, if at all
  3. Eat primarily a myriad of fresh vegetables, sprouts, unrefined grains, legumes and fruits
  4. Pear, radish, parsnip, seaweeds, lemons, limes and turmeric assist the gallstone removal. These foods can be emphasized during the cleanse. Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder to every meal or use the fresh turmeric root.
  5. Cleaver or chamomile tea (3-5 cups a day)
  6. Fresh, cold-pressed flax oil

Your physician can confirm the presence of gallstones for you. The gradual cleansing method described above may assist in the gradual removal of small and large gallstones.

When smaller stones are present the gallbladder can also be purged by a ‘one day’ ritual called the ‘Gallbladder Flush’ or ‘Liver Cleanse Program’. There are many variations of this cleanse but I recommend the one by Hulda Regehr Clark as I conduct this myself with great success. I love it when I use this method to cleanse my liver bile duct. It improves digestion, which is the basis of your whole health.

ATTENTION: I highly recommend that you do not perform this ‘Gallbladder Flush before a parasite cleanse and any dental work you may need. There are various products that assist with cleansing parasites. A very good one is the PAREX from Metagenics. Please contact me if you need more information on the parasite cleanse or this product.

Reference:

Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and modern nutrition (3rd ed). Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Continue Reading

4
Obtain a Healthy Bone Mass: The Magnesium Connection

Calcitonin is a hormone which increases calcium in the bones and keeps it from being absorbed into the soft tissues. Magnesium increases calcitonin production and therefore increases calcium in the bones while drawing it out from the soft tissues. A magnesium-rich diet of whole foods is generally the cure for most forms of calcium deficiencies.

The food groups in order of their magnesium content are:

  1. Dried seaweed (dulse, arame, wakame, kombu, kelp, hijiki and most others)
  2. Beans including mung, aduki, black and lima beans and lentils
  3. Whole grains, particularly buckwheat, millet, wheat berries, barley, rye and rice (brown and wild)*
  4. Nuts and seeds, especially almonds, cashews, filberts and sesame seeds
  5. High chlorophyll foods such as wheat and barley grass products
  6. Micro-algae including spirulina and chlorella (beneficial for calcium utilization)

Note: Beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds should be soaked overnight to eliminate phytates and increase magnesium and calcium absorption.

References

Regtop, H. Is magnesium the grossly neglected mineral? International Nutrition Review? International Clinical Nutrition Review 3: pp 18-19, July 1983

Levine, B. and Coburn, J. Magnesium: the mimic/antagonist of calcium. New England Journal of Medicine 310: pp 1253-1255, May 10, 1984

Pitchford, P. Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and modern nutrition (ed 3). Berkley: North Atlantic Books, 2002

Continue Reading

7 Tips to Increase Calcium Absorption

Published on 18 March 2012 by Verena in Blog

109
7 Tips to Increase Calcium Absorption

Seven tips to increase your calcium absorption:

  1. Get sufficient vitamin D from sun light
  2. Eat calcium-, magnesium-, chlorophyll-, and mineral-rich foods, especially grains, legumes, leafy greens (including cereal grasses and micro-algae), and seaweeds.
  3. Avoid calcium inhibitors (chocolate, coffee, alcohol, sugar and excess consumption of any sweetener (e.g. honey, rice syrup, etc.), excess meat consumption)
  4. Exercise regularly and moderately to halt calcium loss and increase bone mass.
  5. Presoak grains, legumes, nuts and seeds before cooking/consumption to neutralize their phytic acid content, which otherwise binds the calcium, zinc, iron and other minerals in these foods.
  6. Use oxalic acid foods sparingly – rhubarb, cranberries, plums, spinach, chard and beet greens
  7. If dairy is used, they fermented forms are easier to digest – kefir, etc.

Calcium is not only an important mineral that is essential to strengthen and build our bones.

Calcium also

  • calms the nerves
  • relaxes the liver and
  • benefits the heart.

Absorption and Utilization of Calcium

When we want to improve our calcium status to maintain a healthy bone mass it is not only crucial to eat calcium rich foods. We need to make sure that we absorb and utilize the calcium from foods effectively. As all the minerals in the body are in a delicate and dynamic balance, an improvement in calcium absorption will also improve the effective use of other minerals in the body. Calcium absorption requires adequate dietary magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A, C and D. Without certain of those nutrients, it appears that calcium can not be absorbed at all.

Dairy Foods as the Synonymous for Calcium

Calcium in our diet is perceived as almost synonymous to the use of dairy products. However, dairy foods are generally not of good quality and this is perhaps one of the main reasons that so many people in the Western World, who consume large amounts of dairy (25% of the average diet), still have widespread calcium deficiency problems such as osteoporosis and arthritis. In China and areas of Southeast Asia where diary consumption is minimal, arthritis and bone deteriorations are not the major health problems as they are in the wealthier countries.

References

Regtop, H. Is magnesium the grossly neglected mineral? International Nutrition Review? International Clinical Nutrition Review 3: pp 18-19, July 1983

Levine, B. and Coburn, J. Magnesium: the mimic/antagonist of calcium. New England Journal of Medicine 310: pp 1253-1255, May 10, 1984

Pitchford, P. Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and modern nutrition (ed 3). Berkley: North Atlantic Books, 2002

Continue Reading

1
Tomatoes: Our Friends & Enemies

Tomatoes are one of the most consumed fruits. Tomatoes have a sweet and sour flavor, are cooling and act on the stomach and liver. They clear heat in the body and detoxify the blood. Even though tomatoes are acidic, after digestion they alkalize the blood. However, because they can upset the calcium balance due to their solanine content, they are best avoided by people with osteoporosis and arthritis and children.

According to ‘macrobiotics’ tomatoes should never be used as they are acidic and with long term use are weakening to the gastrointestinal tract. According to Dr. Bernard Jensen, author of the ‘Foods That Heal’ book, the acids of green tomatoes are especially detrimental to the kidneys. Therefore, it is recommended to cut and discard the green parts of tomatoes before their consumption.

In Ayurvedic tradition, are problematic because they have a postdigestive effect, meaning that they stay sour after being metabolized. This means that the extended or excessive use of tomatoes irritates the gut, to which any person with an ulcer or an already sensitive stomach will attest. The peel and seeds are also aggravating for the nervous-system. Tomatoes can also acerbate skin conditions and allergies. Tomatoes are a more balanced food when cooked with warming spices such as cumin and turmeric (see the recipe ‘ Dr Verena’s Home Made Tomato Sauce” below).

When eaten in moderation and in season, vine-ripe tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A and B complex, as well as potassium and phosphorus. Tomatoes are rich in sugar (fructose, glucose and sucrose) and contain lycopene, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals with anticancer properties.

Reference:

Wood, R. (1999). The new whole food encyclopedia. United States: Penguin Group

Dr Verena’s Home Made Tomato Sauce

(serves 2 people)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) of salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 6 chopped tomatoes (green parts removed)
  • 1/4 tsp of cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
  • Celtic sea salt, pepper to taste

Method:

  • Heat olive oil or butter on low/medium heat
  • Add chopped onions, roast for 2 minutes, add salt and bay leave and roast until translucent (approx. 5 minutes)
  • Add chili flakes, stir and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes, stir and put lid on pot
  • Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat
  • Add 1 cup of water and continue to cook for 20 minutes
  • Add cumin and turmeric powder, stir and cook for another 10 minutes
  • Add salt and pepper, stir, switch of heat and let it stand for 10 more minutes.
  • Note: You can add more water of necessary


Continue Reading

2
Ten Essentials about Nuts & Seeds
  1. When purchasing nuts make sure they do not taste bitter which indicates that they are old and rancid
  2. The best way to eat seeds and nuts is to soak or dry roast them in a pan
  3. Soaking them overnight (e.g. almonds) to initiate the sprouting process, which makes fats and proteins more digestible
  4. Roasting reduces the effect of rancidity and cuts down the oiliness, making nuts and seeds easier to digest
  5. Lightly dry roast the nuts and seeds, as overheating makes the oils harmful
  6. Store them in a sealed container in the fridge
  7. Roasting increases their warming qualities for the fall and winter, sprouting improves their cooling and fresh qualities for the spring and summer
  8. People with sensitive digestion should follow simple food-combining principles (i.e. eat nuts and seeds alone or with or green and non-starchy vegetable)
  9. The medicinal value is greatly increased when chewed well
  10. Eaten in large amounts they can cause problems in digestion, with blemishes and pimples, and are notorious for producing foul-smelling flatulence

Continue Reading

1
What You Ought to Know About Lowering Cholesterol

by Guest Author Deborah H.

a. The Myth of Good and Bad Cholesterol

Most people view cholesterol as a bad thing, but the truth is there are actually two types of it. There is good cholesterol (HDL) and there is bad cholesterol (LDL). You’ll know you have too much LDL if you end up with plaques in your arteries. This results in a blood flow block in your arteries as the opening gets smaller. Your high blood cholesterol is not the result of taking in dietary cholesterol. The presence of saturated fat and Tran’s fat is the reason for the high cholesterol. Exercising often and taking in fibrous and unsaturated foods will keep your cholesterol down.

b. What do the Cholesterol Numbers mean?

On an average, adults will usually need to have cholesterol checks every five years. Each time you get a cholesterol check it will yield four results –  total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and Triglycerides. You will probably need more exercise and dietary change if you go above or below the healthy levels.

Total Cholesterol – less than 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L)

LDL Cholesterol – less than 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L)

HDL Cholesterol – greater than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L)

Triglycerides – less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)

c. Heart Protection and Vitamin E

Getting your Vitamin E is best done through eating roasted nuts and seeds, organic green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, mustard greens, chard and cold pressed vegetable oils. This helps reduce your risk of getting a heart disease but does not prevent attacks.

d. Five Great Foods to Lower Your Cholesterol

1. Whole grains: These contain a high amount of soluble fiber which can lower LDL.

2. Fish: Fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which lowers LDL and raises HDL.

3. Nuts: Not only are nuts high in fiber, but they contain the healthy fats you need to keep LDL in check.

4. Plant Sterols: This is found in foods like cold pressed oils (e.g. avocado, flax seed and olive oil), nuts, organic vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. 2 grams per day will lower your LDL by 10-15%.

5. Fermented Soy (e.g. raw, organic miso, tamari and tempeh): When consumed in moderation those foods can lower LDL by up to 3%.

About the Author – Deborah H. Land writes for the cholesterolloweringdiets blog, her personal hobby website she uses to help people eat healthy to lower bad cholesterol levels.

Continue Reading

3
3 Reasons for using Coconut oil

Organic extra-virgin, unrefined Coconut Oil is the superior oil for high heat cooking. It is available with and without coconut flavor.

It is lower in calories than most fats and oils.

Here are three reasons why you should incorporate coconut oil into your cooking:

  1. It is 50% medium-chain fatty acids, the kind that are not stored as fat in the body. Rather, they are metabolized into energy. This makes coconut oil a favorite food for athletes and people who want to manage their weight.
  2. The most remarkable property is that coconut oil contains lauric acid. This medium-chain fatty acid is only found in human milk and enhances the brain function and the immune system.
  3. In addition, it does not clog arteries or causes heart disease compared to hydrogenated and refined supermarket oils that contain toxic trans-fatty acids.

However, coconut oil should not be the primary fat source for nursing mothers and toddlers. They need to consume a variety of fats, including olive oil, cold-pressed flax seeds oil, avocado and unsalted organic butter, if tolerated.

For further details on coconut oil, click here to read the article ‘A new look at coconut oil’ by Mary J. Enig, PhD.

Continue Reading

4
Healthy Cooking Oils & Fats

Fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source of energy, serve as building blocks for cell membranes, hormones and hormone like substances, and slow down nutrient absorption so that we can go longer without feeling hungry.  Dietary fats also act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins (i.e. A, D, E and K) and are needed for the conversion of carotene in yellow and orange vegetable and fruits to vitamin A, which is important for mineral absorption and for a host of other metabolic processes.

At the turn of the century, most of the fatty acids in the diet were either saturated or monounsaturated, primarily ingested from butter, lard, tallow, coconut oil, and small amounts of olive oil.  Today most of the fats in our diet are polyunsaturated vegetable oils derived from soy, corn, grape, safflower and canola.

Modern diets contain as much as 30% of calories from polyunsaturated oils, but scientific research indicates that this amount is far too high.  The best evidence indicates that our intake of polyunsaturated fat should not be greater than 4% of the caloric total (1.5% omega-3 and 2.5% omega-6 fatty acids).  The rest of our dietary fat should be derived from monounsaturated and saturated fats (<10%). Consumption in this range is found in native populations in temperate and tropical climates.

Excess consumption of polyunsaturated oils has been shown to contribute to a large number of diseases including cancer, heart disease, immune system dysfunction, liver damage, digestive disorders, depressed learning ability, impaired growth and weight gain and diseases of the reproductive organs and lungs.

One reason polyunsaturated oils cause so many health problems is that they tend to become oxidized or rancid when subjected to heat, oxygen and moisture in cooking and processing.  Rancid oils contain free radicals which are extremely reactive chemical compounds.  Free radicals have been characterized as ‘marauders’ in the body because they attack cell membranes, red blood cells, protein, lipids and the DNA.  The damage caused by free radicals accelerates aging and the development of chronic illnesses, including cancer.

Olive oil is perhaps the most trusted vegetable oil that has been consumed for thousand of years with largely beneficial effect.  However, the quality of olive oil varies widely and the oil of choice should be an unrefined, extra-virgin, and cloudy and yellow gold in color.  The high percentage of oleic acid makes olive oil ideal for salads and for cooking at low heat.

Cold pressed sesame oil can occasionally be used for frying because it contains unique antioxidants that are not destroyed by heat.  When high temperatures are involved (above 320F) coconut oil are the most stable fats.

Organic extra-virgin, unrefined Coconut Oil is the superior oil for high heat cooking. It is available with and without coconut flavor. It is lower in calories than most fats and oils.  It is 50% medium-chain fatty acids, the kind that are not stored as fat in the body. Rather, they are metabolized into energy. This makes coconut oil a favorite food for athletes and people who want to manage their weight. The most remarkable property is that coconut oil contains lauric acid. This medium-chain fatty acid is only found in human milk and enhances the brain function and the immune system.  In addition, it does not clog arteries or causes heart disease compared to hydrogenated and refined supermarket oils that contain toxic trans-fatty acids. However, coconut oil should not be the primary fat source for nursing mothers and toddlers. They need to consume a variety of fats, including olive oil, cold-pressed flax seeds oil, avocado and unsalted organic butter, if tolerated.

Ghee (clarified butter) can be safely used in small amounts by individuals with normal and low cholesterol levels. It is particularly a good cooking fat for vegetarians and vegans whose overall fat intake is low.  It is a digestive and helps to improve absorption and assimilation.  It nourishes the body, particularly the kidneys.  It is good for improving the memory and lubricates the connective tissues.  Ghee makes the body flexible.  Ghee is a catalytic agent that carries the medicinal properties of herbs / spices into the seven tissues of the body. Persons who already have high cholesterol or suffer from obesity should avoid using ghee.  Ghee is also not used when toxic conditions of the body are prevalent.

If you are interested in further information on fats and oil, please click here to access the articles by Mary J. Enigs (PhD), provided by the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Continue Reading

6
Foods that Promote Lactation

My friend Jennifer asked me about foods that promote lactation.  She absolutely loves breast-feeding and when I read her feedback on it I thought that I need to share her experiences with you. Thank you Jen!

“I absolutely love breastfeeding. It’s the most beautifully bonding thing a woman can experience with her baby. Plus it’s absolutely amazing how I’ve gotten my figure back with not much exercise in the past six months. It burns 500calories a day! My husband is blown away at how amazing nature has a way of such things! It has helped me fall asleep quickly when doing late feedings and has promoted so many happy feel good hormones. No post partum depression that’s for sure!” (Jen T.)

Jennifer and James April 2010

Breast-feeding has tremendous nutritional, immunological, emotional and psychological benefits for the new born and I can just encourage all new mothers to breastfeed as long as possible. You lay the foundation for your child and provide him/her with the most amazing gift.

There are certain foods that promote lactation which include:

  • Asparagus
  • Borage (European herb)
  • Dill (use fresh to garnish foods)
  • Fennel (enjoy a cup of fennel tea in between meals)
  • Nigella (Indian spice)
  • Black sesame seeds (dry roasted),
  • Juice from cooked aduki beans
  • Carrot
  • Sweet potato
  • Fermented soy beans in miso, tempeh and tamari (consumed in moderation)

To promote lactation it is also essential to nourish and strengthen the kidney through adequate rest and relaxation after the delivery (6 weeks minimum) and via the intake of the following foods:

  • Mussels
  • Fish (particularly broths)
  • Millet
  • Legumes (e.g. Aduki beans, mung beans, black beans)
  • Kelp (garnish your foods with it)
  • Kombu (add when cooking soups or stews)
  • Parsley
  • Spirulina
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Almonds (soaked and peeled)
  • Bee pollen (1/4 tsp in your breakfast every 2-3 days)

Continue Reading