Category Archives: Hormones

You’re not sick because you’re fat. You’re fat because you’re sick

Sarah Berry

Weight problems cannot be measured by numbers, according to David Ludwig.Weight problems cannot be measured by numbers, according to David Ludwig.

Overeating isn’t making you fat.

Rather, getting fat makes you overeat.

This is the word of Dr David Ludwig, an obesity expert and professor of nutrition at Harvard.

“It may sound radical, but there’s literally a century of science to support this point,” Ludwig tells The New York Times.

So what, if not overeating, is causing an obesity crisis of epidemic proportions?

There are two things to consider, says Ludwig, who examines the epidemic and foods that act as “fat fertilisers” in his new book, Always Hungry.

Firstly, what we are eating is a big problem.

“It’s the low-fat, very high carbohydrate diet that we’ve been eating for the last 40 years, which raises levels of the hormone insulin and programs fat cells to go into calorie storage overdrive,” he explains.

“I like to think of insulin as the ultimate fat cell fertiliser.”

The calories become so well stored in the fat cells that our bodies cannot access them to burn for energy. This means we always feel hungry, as our bodies cry out for fuel they can use and simply trying to eat less exacerbates the problem without addressing the real issue.

“When we cut back on calories, our body responds by increasing hunger and slowing metabolism,” Ludwig says.

“We think of obesity as a state of excess, but it’s really more akin to a state of starvation.”

He continues: “If the fat cells are storing too many calories, the brain doesn’t have access to enough to make sure that metabolism runs properly.

“So the brain makes us hungry in an attempt to solve that problem, and we overeat and feel better temporarily. But if the fat cells continue to take in too many calories, then we get stuck in this never-ending cycle of overeating and weight gain. The problem isn’t that there are too many calories in the fat cells, it’s that there’s too few in the bloodstream, and cutting back on calories can’t work.

“And that makes weight loss progressively more and more difficult on a standard low calorie diet.”

The second part of the problem is predetermined by genetics. 

In this sense, fat people and thin people aren’t all that different, but it explains why the same diet can have dramatically different outcomes.

We have a body weight ”set-point” Ludwig explains, which seems heavily based on the genes we were born with.

“We’ve been following the wrong advice for too long. Dieting doesn’t need to be this hard. The key to long-term weight loss isn’t counting calories; it’s eating in a way that lowers insulin levels, calms chronic inflammation and, by so doing, readjusts the body weight set-point to a lower level.”

This involves nourishing through nutrition instead of eating by numbers. And nutrition guidelines are finally starting to catch up with ever-evolving nutrition science.

This year, sugar took over from fat as public food enemy number one. In the States at least, where new dietary guidelines advise significantly cutting back on sugar – specifically limiting added sugars to 10 per cent of daily calories.

“The quickest way to lower insulin is to cut back on processed carbohydrates and to get the right balance of protein and fat in your diet,” he says. “A high fat diet is really the fastest way to shift metabolism. It lowers insulin, calms fat cells down and gets people out of the cycle of hunger, craving and overeating.”

It also gets them out of the cycle of calorie counting, reiterating that the battle of the bulge is much more than just a numbers game.

“Cutting back on calories won’t do it. That doesn’t change biology. To change biology, you have to change the kinds of foods you’re eating.”

Change the way we eat to Stay Healthy.

8 Steps to Reverse Memory Loss

Mark Hyman, M.D.

These 8 strategies help reverse or prevent memory loss or dementia.

Balance your blood sugar with a whole-foods, low-glycemic diet. You can achieve this by taking out the bad stuff (refined carbs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, dairy, and inflammatory, omega-6 rich oils such as vegetable and seed oils) and putting in the good stuff (healthy fats like avocados, walnuts, almonds and cashews, grass-fed meats, pastured chicken and eggs, olive and coconut oil).
Eat healthy fats that make your brain happy. These include omega 3 fats in wild fatty fish, as well as coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, whole eggs, nuts, and seeds.
Exercise daily. Even a 30-minute walk can help. More active readers might want to incorporate high-intensity interval training or weight lifting. Studies show physical activity can prevent and even slow down the progression of cognitive decline and brain diseases like dementia.
Supplement wisely. At the very least, take a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, an omega 3 fat supplement, extra B6, B12, and folate, as well as vitamin D3. And, a good probiotic will enhance the brain-gut relationship. You can find all of these and other supplements in my store.
Check your thyroid and sex hormone levels. If they are out of balance, you will want to treat them.
Detox from mercury or other heavy metals, if you have high levels, by doing a medically supervised detox program.
Control stress levels. Chronic stress takes a toll on your body and brain. Relaxation isn’t a luxury if you want to prevent or reverse dementia. Whether that involves deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, find something that helps you calm down.
Get 8 hours of sleep every night. Studies show poor sleep becomes a risk factor for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Aim for at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night.

This is just a start, but these eight strategies go a long way by giving your brain a chance to heal, recover, and experience fewer memory problems.

Even if you aren’t suffering from cognitive decline, you should take these steps because they can help you prevent the aging of your brain and help you achieve lifelong health.

 

Why This Common Cooking Oil is a Cancer Nightmare

Cancer-Nightmare-Oils

in Cancer 101, Cancer Causes, Foods, Nutrition

 

In 1956, a major cooking oil company published a series of magazine advertisements claiming that “fried foods become light foods” when vegetable oil is used in place of butter or lard. The clear message to health-savvy homemakers was that vegetable oil was a low-calorie solution to the more traditional fats they were cooking with. Millions of well-meaning cooks took the bait and made the switch, thinking their families would be better off as a result.

Fast-forward 60 years and this cooking oil marketing blitz was evidently an industry success. Vegetable oils continue to remain the go-to fat used in fried and processed foods. Marketers are still claiming that they’re better for human health than animal fats because they contain no cholesterol and aren’t saturated. But what does the latest science have to say about this vegetable oil madness?

French fries in a deep fryer closeupIn a nutshell: all that “golden goodness” being dumped into deep fryers, drizzled on salads, and poured into frying pans isn’t exactly the health boon that industrial processors have long claimed it is. So-called “heart healthy” cooking oils (i.e. soy, canola (rapeseed), cottonseed, sunflower, and corn) just so happen to be among the leading causes of heart disease and cancer in America today. Most consumers have no idea that they’re being duped.

History of this Cooking Oil Exposes it as Toxic Waste

The chemical industry and popular media have long hyped vegetable oil as the “healthy” choice for dietary fat. This is primarily because it’s cheap to produce and generates sizeable revenues for the corporations that make it. The alleged health benefits of vegetable oil as a cooking oil are minimal at best. And after more than 100 years of use in the food supply we are now seeing the dire consequences of this deception − rampant chronic disease.

The origins of vegetable oil and how it came to be the standard fat used in American food preparation are disturbing, to say the least. According to the critically acclaimed book The Happiness Diet, it all began with global consumer product giant Procter & Gamble (P&G). P&G convinced the American public to abandon the use of animal fats in favor of its own industrially-processed vegetable oil.

When William Procter and James Gamble teamed up and began manufacturing soap from cottonseeds during their company’s infancy, they realized that this process generated a lot of waste in the form of cottonseed oil. This oil would eventually be peddled off as a “nutritious food,” though it has virtually no nutritional value at all. In its raw form it’s actually a toxin that some countries use as a form of male birth control.

A crafty array of marketing tactics combined with aggressive sample distribution eventually landed this cooking oil into millions of homes and restaurants throughout America. Though this feat took considerable time and effort, the transformation of this industrial waste from filth to food was a success, and the rest is history.

A piece published in Science Monthly succinctly sums up how cottonseed oil, and vegetable oils

at large, went from noxious waste to common cooking oil:

What was garbage in 1860 was fertilizer in 1870, cattle feed in 1880, and table food and many things else in 1890.”

Vegetable Oil is Extremely Unhealthy, and Here’s Why

So what’s the big deal? If vegetable oil supposedly helps lower cholesterol and prevent artery hardening, does it really matter where it comes from or how it came to be standard fare in the American palate? Not so fast. Here are a few dirty facts about vegetable oil that you may not know:

You Should stop using vegetable oil.

1) Vegetable oils are often rancid due to heavy processing and oxidation
A combination of high heat, pressure, and chemical solvents is used to extract vegetable oils from plants, exposing them to an incredible amount of air and light. When this occurs, these oils oxidize and become rancid, as well as lose many or all of their healing antioxidants. This renders them toxic and inflammatory.

2) Many vegetable oils undergo hydrogenation, which turns them into trans fats
In order to create a desirable consistency and texture for use in baking and other forms of cooking, vegetable oils are often hydrogenated to make them “creamier” and solid at room temperature. Hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils are essentially trans fats that interfere with the body’s normal metabolism of nutrients, leading to health conditions such as:

  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Immune system damage
  • Liver disorders
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cancer

The hydrogenation process might make vegetable oils last longer on the shelf, but consuming them has repeatedly been shown in the scientific literature to induce many forms of cancer. One study out of Vanderbilt University found that trans fat consumption is associated with an increased risk of death. Not only from heart disease but from all causes, meaning these oils are generally toxic to human health.

3) Vegetable oils are associated with cancers of the colon, breast, and more
Researchers in Europe discovered several years back that trans fat intake can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly twofold. Similar case studies have demonstrated trans fat intake as a major risk factor for colon and other forms of cancer as well.

What Cooking Oils ARE Good for You?

So what’s the solution? Reverting back to the animal fats of old is a surefire way to avoid the pitfalls of vegetable oil consumption. If you don’t consume animal products, be sure to use healthy saturated fats such as palm and coconut oil. Contrary to popular belief, saturated fats aren’t responsible for clogging your arteries and promoting heart disease − vegetable oils are!

“Unsaturated fat makes up 74% of the fat that is found in clogged arteries, and more than half of that is polyunsaturated fat,” explains Dr. Josh Axe, a leading expert in progressive health and nutrition.

The best oils you can use for cooking, as extensively corroborated by the renowned Weston A. Price Foundation, include:

  • Butter (preferably grass-fed butter that is darker yellow in color)
  • Tallow and suet from both beef and lamb (pastured with no hormones or antibiotics)
  • Lard from pigs (pastured with no hormones or antibiotics)
  • Chicken, goose, and duck fat (pastured with no hormones or antibiotics)
  • Coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils

The important point is, the oil you use should be COLD PRESSED or filtered, NOT refined.

Stay Healthy Always!

Chemicals can interfere with thyroid function

Dr Westin Childs

Here are several tips you can start doing today to ACTIVELY avoid the chemicals that are likely interfering with your thyroid function:

1. Stop touching receipts! Receipts have bisphenol-A (a known thyroid blocker) that is absorbed through the skin whenever you touch one.

2. Drink out of Glass containers: Avoid plastic containers, water bottles, and canned foods. These have BPA and aluminum in them.

3. Drink filtered water only: Get a reverse osmosis filter for your home. Remember that ANY filter is better than no filter, so just get something :)

4. Avoid plastic whenever possible: This mean plastic toys, food stored in plastic, food wrapped in plastic, etc. And never reheat or microwave food stored in plastic (this causes more chemicals to leach out).

5. Say no to hand me down plastic toys: Soft rubber manufactured before 2009 is made with Phthalates (another known thyroid blocker). This would be things like rubber duckies, not hard legos made of plastic.

6. Eat organic food and grass fed meats, if you have dairy make sure it is organic: Or better yet just ditch the dairy because it’s probably causing inflammation in your body :) But at least make sure to buy organic whenever you can.

7. Avoid fragrance: If you see the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the label, run the other way! This is code word for Phthalates.

8. Check your cosmetics for chemicals: Use the resource “skin deep” by the environmental working group to grade your cosmetics based on how many hidden chemicals they have. The link is here: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Start implementing these tips RIGHT away to avoid these chemicals. Your thyroid will thank you.

Separating Fat from Fiction: 10 Fat Facts You Need to Know

 

“Everyone seems to be talking about fat these days. That fat somehow is good now and can help with weight loss and disease prevention.  How can that be true when for decades we all were told that fat was the bad guy?” asks this week’s house call. “What are its benefits? Are there any downsides to eating more fat?”

This question comes at the perfect time.  I have just finished writing my new book Eat Fat, Get Thin, hitting the bookstores on February 23, 2016. I wrote this book because almost everyone I know – doctors and patients and eaters alike are all confused about fat and still hold on to myths and misinformation that prevents them from taking advantage of the latest science to lose weight and get healthy. 

You’re likely familiar with many of them: Fat makes us fat, contributes to heart disease, leads to diabesity; saturated fat is bad; vegetable oils are good…I could go on, but I think you know what I’m talking about.

None of these beliefs about fat are true.  In my latest book, I combined the latest research with my several decades of empirical evidence working with patients to prove what I’ve long discovered: The right fats can help you become lean, healthy, and vibrant.

Fat is one of the body’s most basic building blocks. The average person is made up of between 15 and 30 percent fat! Yet for decades, we’ve unfairly demonized dietary fat, diligently followed a low-fat diet that almost always equates into a high-sugar and high-refined carb diet that contributes to insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and numerous other problems.

Simply put: Sugar, not fat, is the real villain that steals our health and sabotages our waistlines.

With Eat Fat, Get Thin, I’m determined to separate fat from fiction by giving you the skinny on fats – what to eat and how to use dietary fats to regain your health and ideal body weight. Eating lots of the right fat will make you thin. The right fats increase metabolism, stimulate fat burning, cut hunger, optimize your cholesterol profile, and can reverse type 2 diabetes and reduce your risk for heart disease.

For now, let’s look at 10 take-home fat facts.

  1. Sugar, not fat, makes you fat.  More sugar means your cells become numb to insulin’s “call.” Your body pumps out more and more insulin to pull your blood sugar levels back down. You can’t burn all the sugar you eat. Inevitably, your body stores it as fat, creating insulin resistance and overall metabolic havoc.
  2. Dietary fat is more complex than sugar. There are some 257 names for sugar, but despite very minor variations, they all create the same damage. In other words, sugar is sugar is sugar; it all wreaks havoc on your health. Fat is more complex. We have saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and even trans fats, not to mention subcategories within each group. Some fats are good; others neutral; and yes, a few are bad.
  3. Low-fat diets tend to be heart-unhealthy, high-sugar diets. When people eat less fat, they tend to eat more starch or sugar instead, and this actually increases their levels of the small, dense cholesterol that causes heart attacks. In fact, studies show 75 percent of people who end up in the emergency room with a heart attack have normal overall cholesterol levels. But what they do have is pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
  4. Saturated fat is not your enemy. A review of all the research on saturated fat published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no correlation between saturated fat and heart disease. As with all fats, quality becomes key here. The fats in a fast-food bacon feedlot cheeseburger will have an entirely different effect than saturated fat in coconut oil. Let’s stop classifying it all as the same.
  5. Some fats are unhealthy. They include trans fat and inflammatory vegetable oils. Unfortunately, these fats have increased in our diet as they make us fatter and contribute to inflammation, which plays a role in nearly every chronic disease on the planet.
  6. Everyone benefits from more omega 3s. About 99 percent of people are deficient in these critical fats. Ideal ways to get them include eating wild or sustainably raised cold-water fish (at least two servings weekly), buying omega-3 rich eggs, and taking an omega-3 supplement twice a day with breakfast and dinner that contains 500 – 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fats (a ratio of roughly 300 EPA to 200 DHA is ideal).
  7. Eating fat can make you lean. Healthy cell walls made from high-quality fats are better able to metabolize insulin, which keeps blood sugar better regulated. Without proper blood sugar control, the body socks away fat for a rainy day. The right fats also increase fat burning, cut your hunger, and reduce fat storage.  Eating the right fats makes you lose weight, while eating excess sugar and the WRONG types of fat make you fat.
  8. Good fats can heal. I have many diabetic patients whose health improves when I get them on diet that’s higher in fat. I had one patient with high cholesterol who could not lose weight, so I bumped up her healthy fat content to 70 percent. (I don’t recommend this for most patients; hers was an extreme case.) Her cholesterol plummeting from 300 to 190, her triglycerides dropped 200 points, and she lost 20 stubborn pounds that she couldn’t ever lose before!
  9. Your brain is about 60 percent fat. Of that percentage, the biggest portion comes from the omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Your brain needs DHA to spark communication between cells. Easy access to high-quality fat boosts cognition, happiness, learning, and memory. In contrast, studies link a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
  10. Your body gives you signs whether or not you are getting enough quality fat. The higher-quality the fat, the better your body will function. That’s because the body uses the fat you eat to build cell walls. You have more than 10 trillion cells in your body, and every single one of them needs high-quality fat. How do you know if your cells are getting the fats they need? Your body sends signals when it’s not getting enough good fats. Warning signs include:
  • Dry, itchy, scaling, or flaking skin
  • Soft, cracked, or brittle nails
  • Hard earwax
  • Tiny bumps on the backs of your arms or torso
  • Achy, stiff joints

I eat fat with every meal, and I’ve never felt better. The right fats can improve your mood, skin, hair, and nails, while protecting you against Type 2 diabetes, dementia, cancer, and much more.

Among my favorite sources of fat include:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts—walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, but not peanuts (one study showed a handful of nuts a day reduced death from all causes by 20 percent)
  • Seeds—pumpkin, sesame, chia, hemp
  • Fatty fish, including sardines, mackerel, herring, and wild salmon that are rich in omega-3 fats
  • Extra virgin olive oil (a large study showed that those who consumed 1 liter a week reduced heart attacks by 30 percent)
  • Grass-fed or sustainably raised animal products.
  • Extra virgin coconut butter, which is a great plant-based source of saturated fat that has many benefits.  It fuels your mitochondria, is anti-inflammatory, and  doesn’t cause problems with your cholesterol.  In fact, it may help resolve them.  

Be Informed, Be Healthy.

11 Science-Backed Tips For Your Best Sleep Ever

 

Here’s a look at some of the most fascinating sleep studies published this year. Use them to achieve more quality shut-eye in 2016 — and better health overall.

1. Mindfulness meditation promotes better sleep.

Compared to adults who underwent a standardized program designed to teach healthier sleep habits, participants who incorporated simple mindfulness techniques into their routine reported fewer symptoms of insomnia, depression, and fatigue.

2. Interrupted sleep is actually worse than short sleep.

Eight hours of shut-eye might not be all that restorative if you’re constantly being interrupted, suggests recent Johns Hopkins Medicine findings. After just two nights of poor sleep, subjects who were woken up several times throughout the night had worse moods compared to those who slept for less time overall but weren’t interrupted.

“When your sleep is disrupted throughout the night, you don’t have the opportunity to progress through the sleep stages to get the amount of slow-wave sleep that is key to the feeling of restoration,” explains lead study author Patrick Finan, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

3. Problems controlling your emotions could lead to insomnia.

Are certain personality types more prone to insomnia than others? Maybe, according to new Swedish findings. Researchers surveyed more than 2,000 adults about their emotional regulation (like impulse control or emotional awareness) and sleep habits at the start of the study and again 6 to 18 months later.

They found that survey-takers who had gotten worse at regulating their emotions over time were 11 percent more likely to develop insomnia compared to people whose emotion regulation had stayed the same.

The takeaway? “These findings … suggest that teaching people strategies for regulating their emotions might help prevent new cases of insomnia to occur and decrease the risk of persistent insomnia,” explains lead researcher Markus Jansson-Fröjmark.

4. Nature could be the key to better sleep.

Whether it’s a tree-lined park or a serene beach, the great outdoors can help some people avoid counting sheep. In a large-scale survey of more than 255,000 people, researchers found those who reported the most nights of poor sleep were less likely to have access to natural spaces. The link was particularly strong for men and adults over 65.

People who lived near green spaces tended to be more active, and it’s well-known that exercising regularly can help you sleep better. “If there is a way for persons over 65 to spend time in nature, it would improve the quality of their sleep — and their quality of life — if they did so,” says study author Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, a University of Illinois professor of kinesiology and community health, as well as a faculty member in the University of Illinois’s Division of Nutritional Sciences.

5. You probably need fewer sleep meds.

Sometimes, your doctor might decide that taking sleep meds is the right strategy for temporarily treating your insomnia.

But new research shows you might need less medication than you think. A sleep medicine study involving 74 participants found that taking half of the standard amount of Ambien (5 mg instead of 10 mg) is effective as a maintenance dose.

“The full dose may or may not be required to get the initial effect, but certainly maintaining the effect can be done with less medication,” said the study’s senior author Michael Perlis, Ph.D., an associate professor in Penn’s department of psychiatry and director of the Penn Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program. Still, always talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medication regimen.

6. Kids sleep better with a nighttime routine.

If bedtime has turned into a battle with your little one, you might want to think about instituting a nightly routine, according to recent research from the American Academy of Sleep medicine.

In a study of more than 10,000 children under age 6, experts found that having a regular bedtime helped kids fall asleep faster, wake up less throughout the night, and sleep longer. And those who also had a consistent bedtime routine — like a bath or a story before bed — slept an hour longer each night and had fewer behavior problems during the day.

7. Napping can help you think more clearly.

A full night’s sleep isn’t the only thing that can boost your brainpower. According to a recent University of Michigan study, taking a 60-minute nap can make it easier to solve difficult, frustrating problems and make you less impulsive.

The findings, researchers say, could be especially important for people who need to recharge while working long shifts, like health care workers. Fortunately, we know that shorter naps can help those with standard 9-to-5 jobs work smarter, too.

8. Eating less at night can help you deal with sleep deprivation.

Whether your obstacle to sleep is a new baby, a tight project deadline, or a pet that wants to play all night, there will be nights when eight hours of quality sleep just isn’t achievable. In those cases, limiting the nighttime snacks can help minimize the unpleasant consequences.

Recent University of Pennsylvania research found that eating lighter at night helps stave off the lack of alertness and difficulty concentrating that tends to accompany a night of fragmented sleep.

Researchers still aren’t sure how eating less minimizes the effects of fragmented sleep. But if you know you won’t be getting much sleep, consider eating lighter fare like soup or salad for dinner.

9. Experiencing insomnia? You should address it ASAP.

Taking steps to address insomnia as soon as it starts is more effective than waiting until it turns into a chronic problem, says a recent study published in the journal Sleep. The fix is actually easier than you would expect.

When adults who had been suffering from insomnia for less than three months underwent an hour of cognitive behavioral therapy, 60 percent reported improvements within one month, and 73 percent reported improvements within three months.

10. Sleeping too much is really unhealthy.

You know that logging eight hours of snooze time is essential for your health and well-being. But sleeping for longer than that appears to increase the risk for stroke by as much as 46 percent, found a University of Cambridge study of more than 10,000 people.

“We need to understand the reasons behind the link between sleep and stroke risk. What is happening in the body that causes this link? With further research, we may find that excessive sleep proves to be an early indicator of increased stroke risk, particularly among older people,” says lead study author Kay-Tee Shaw.

If you’re consistently sleeping for more than eight hours a night, it might be worth setting an alarm to prevent oversleeping.

11. Melatonin helps you sleep better in a noisy environment.

Whether you live in a bustling city or have roommates who love staying up late, taking melatonin can help.

When Chinese researchers studied the sleep quality of 40 healthy adults who were forced to snooze while listening to recordings of loud noises, those who took melatonin supplements slept better compared to those who used earplugs or eye masks. They felt less anxious in the morning, too.

Be Healthy.

4 Essential Supplements Everyone Should Take

4 Essential Supplements Everyone Should Take

One of the most common questions I’m asked is “should I be taking daily supplements and if so, which ones?” If you have heard me speak you know I always say, “ it’s not what you eat, it’s what you can digest and absorb.” In an ideal world, your diet would be pristine and your gut would be in perfect shape to digest and absorb all of the micro and macro nutrients you need to stay healthy. Unfortunately, the modern world looks very little like that anymore.

Our Western diet is filled with nutrient-poor and calorie-dense processed foods, GMOs, and pesticides. Even our soil has become devoid of nutrients, which means that the food that’s grown in it has declined in nutritional value. We are constantly exposed to toxins in our food, water, air, and even personal care and cleaning products. Our stress levels have skyrocketed and many people are dealing with gut issues, such as Candida and SIBO, which interfere with proper nutrient absorption.

This combination of a decrease in nutrients in our food and an increase in stress, toxins, and gut issues like leaky gut is why we can no longer get all of the vitamins and minerals we need from food alone, and I believe everyone should use a few key supplements to maintain optimal levels of nutrients.

Because we are all unique individuals and biochemically different, the answer to which supplements should you take is not so black and white. In today’s world, I do believe that everyone should be taking supplements of some sort, but the best supplement regimen for you may be different than what’s best for your mother or sister or brother. That being said, there are some essential supplements that I recommend for everyone to take.

 

1. High-Quality Multivitamin

Since there is no way to know exactly which nutrients you’re deficient in without proper testing, I recommend a high-quality multivitamin to all my patients and their families.

The multivitamin I recommend should be high-potency and designed for optimal absorption and bio-availability, because like I said before, it’s what you can digest and absorb that counts. It should provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals, as well HCL to help with digestion and powerful carotenoids.

 

2. Omega 3

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are widely publicized. They reduce inflammation and may help lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. And, because they are highly-concentrated in the brain, omega-3 fatty acids are also important for memory, cognition, and behavior.

In addition to maintaining sufficient levels of Omega 3, it’s also important to ensure you have a proper omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in your body. You need both of these fatty acids to stay healthy, but problems arise when your intake of omega-6 fatty acids (which are often inflammatory) outweighs your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (which are anti-inflammatory).

Research suggests that humans evolved on a diet consisting of an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1:1. The modern diet, which is full of processed foods, refined oils, and not enough fruits and vegetables, supplies an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 15:1 to 17:1. This ratio is highly inflammatory and a recipe for disease. This is where Omega 3 supplements come in.

You want to be particularly careful about the source of your omega 3 supplements because they are extracted from fish, so many of them contain mercury. The ones you use should be tested and certified mercury-free by a third-party. It should contain EPA and DHA – two omega-3 fatty acids that help balance your fatty acid ratio, reduce inflammation, and improve brain function. Those with rheumatoid arthritis or any other chronic pain condition can take up to 4 grams (8 softgels) a day to reduce inflammation and pain.

 

3. Probiotics

The future of medicine is turning toward your microbiome, the ecosystem of bacteria and other microbes that live in your gut, to prevent and reverse many diseases. We now know that nearly 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, and up to 95% of your serotonin (the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood) is produced in your gut.

This means that if the balance of bacteria in your gut is thrown off, it can lead to a whole host of problems, including autoimmunity, depression, anxiety, and leaky gut, to name a few. Taking a probiotic every day can help keep your microbiome in balance, which promotes a healthy GI tract, relieves digestive discomfort, promotes a normal bowel pattern, and supports overall wellness.

Not all probiotics are created equal, though. Many probiotics contain a mixed bag of bacteria strains, are often grown using dairy, soy, or yeast, and usually need to be refrigerated, making them difficult to travel with. It’s best to take a broad-spectrum probiotic that includes bacteria strains that are naturally found in your gut, and have been researched and proven to boost gut health and immune response.

I recommend 100 billion units daily for healing gut damage, infections, and imbalances, and 30-60 billion units daily for maintenance.

 

4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is unique in a couple of important ways. First, your body can make its own vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Second, vitamin D is converted into a hormone in your body. Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers, they travel through your blood to your tissues and organs activating chemical reactions that control everything from metabolism to growth and development to mood. Over 50,000 of the chemical reactions in your body require the presence of adequate amounts of vitamin D in your blood. The vitamin contributes to bone strength, heart health, and cancer prevention. Vitamin D also plays an important role in your immune system, and can be a determining factor in whether or not you develop an autoimmune disease.

Conventional medicine defines vitamin D3 levels of 30 to 100 ng/mL as normal, but I always recommend keeping your vitamin D3 levels around 60 to 90 ng/mL for optimal health. If your vitamin D3 levels are low, you can take 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day until you reach your ideal level.

Never take more than 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day without a physician’s supervision and regular blood testing.

It is wise to accept that supplementation, with the best quality ingredients, is essential to Stay Healthy.

 

The Million-Dollar Question: “How Much Sleep Do I Need?”

Based on the 2013 International Bedroom Poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 25 percent of Americans report having to cut down on sleep due to long workdays. On average, Americans get only 6.5 hours of sleep on weeknights, although 7.25 hours is needed in order to function optimally. Canadians fare slightly better in this regard. On average, Canadians get just over seven hours of sleep per night.

Sleep is imperative for physical and mental health. Remember, cutting back on even just a few hours of sleep every night can have serious, far-reaching effects on your health.

As a general rule, children, especially infants, need significantly more sleep than adults. Sleep experts recommend the following for different age groups:

How Much Do Newborns Sleep
    • Toddlers (1 to 3 years old ) – 12 to 14 hours a night
    • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years old) – 11 to 13 hours a night
    • School-aged children (up to 12 years old) – 10 to 11 hours a night
    • Teenagers – About 9 hours a night

Use your child’s mood as an indicator to determine if he or she is getting enough sleep. Excessive fussiness, irritability, crying, or tantrums are often linked to lack of sleep. Frequent yawning throughout the day is another dead giveaway that your child may need more snooze time.

How Much Do Newborns Sleep?

Babies do not have regular sleep cycles until they’re about 6 months old. While newborns sleep about 16 to 17 hours per day, they may only sleep for 1 or 2 hours at a time. As babies get older, they need less sleep. However, different babies have different sleep needs. It is normal for a 6-month-old to wake up during the night, and to go back to sleep after a few minutes.

To ensure your baby will always get a good night’s sleep, I advise you to follow these safe sleeping habits:

  • Let your baby sleep on his/her back at night or even during nap time to avoid chances of accidentally rolling onto his/her stomach.
  • Remove toys or pacifiers with strings or cords from your baby’s crib or sleeping area to prevent risks of choking or strangulation.
  • Make sure the room’s temperature is not too hot or too cold for your baby (preferably somewhere around 70 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Keep your baby’s sleeping area smoke-free at all times.
  • Shelter your baby from exposure to toxins by using only organic beddings and mattresses free from harmful chemicals and chemical flame retardants. These dangerous compounds can also be found in nursing pillows, car seats, changing table pads, high chairs, strollers, portable cribs, sleeping wedges, walkers, and other baby care products.

How Much Sleep Is Too Much?

Too much of something can be bad for you. While there are a lot of Americans who lack sleep, there are also some who may be sleeping more than they should – a habit that can also have negative effects on your health.

Sleep Deprivation

In one study, researchers revealed that people in their 60s and 70s who sleep nine hours or more each night have a more rapid decline in their cognitive function than those who sleep between six and eight hours. Surprisingly, the long sleepers (9 hours or more) comprised a large portion (40 percent) of the 2,700 study participants. Another 49 percent were considered normal sleepers (6 to 8 hours), while 11 percent slept just five hours or less.

To find out if you’re getting enough sleep, observe how long it takes you to fall asleep. If you fall asleep within a few minutes of your head hitting the pillow, chances are you’re most likely sleep deprived. A well-rested person, on the other hand, will take about 10-15 minutes to fall asleep at night.

5 Simple Secrets to a Sound and Restful Sleep

If you’ve been tossing and turning in bed and have been experiencing some difficulty sleeping at night, I recommend giving these simple lifestyle changes a try:

  • Stop watching television or using any of your electronic gadgets at least an hour before going to bed. The blue light from these devices tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime and messes up your circadian rhythm.
  • Do not eat a heavy meal or spicy foods close to bedtime.
  • Take note of key factors that disrupt your body’s healthy melatonin production. These include electromagnetic field (EMF) sources and too much light in your bedroom. Switch off Wi-Fi devices and remove all electronics from your room. You can also wear an eye mask or turn off all the lights so you can sleep in total darkness.
  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). According to studies, the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees F (15.5 to 20 degrees C). However, keeping your room cooler or hotter than that range can lead to restless sleep.
  • Make sure your pillows and mattresses are made from wholesome organic materials that do not contain harsh substances like chemical flame retardants. Studies have shown that flame retardants have numerous side effects, especially in children. In fact, approximately 90 percent of Americans have some level of flame retardant chemicals in their bodies.

Sleep well and Be Healthy.

Superfood: 8 Powerful Alfalfa Benefits

Alfalfa benefits our health in some amazing ways.

What is Alfalfa?

Alfalfa is an extraordinary superfood and has been prized for its healing properties for centuries.

The ancient literature on this incredible plant—the edible parts look like tufts of bean sprouts—dates back to 1300 B.C., and it was used in Iran as fodder for horses. It would find later use in traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurveda as a treatment for a plethora of ailments.

Alfalfa is a perennial plant that grows in a temperate climates and sends its roots up to 20-30 feet deep into the ground.

This allows it to extract essential minerals from the earth that make it such a wonderfully nutritious source of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

It belongs to the Fabaceae family, which also includes the humble pea. Although alfalfa is not always thought of as a green, the name itself derives from the arabic term for “green fodder”. That’s good enough for me!

Nutritional Benefits of Alfalfa

Alfalfa benefits milk-producing livestock because of its high protein content and digestible fiber, and is primarily used as both a fresh and dried fodder for horses and livestock.

Besides being a rich source of protein and fiber, alfalfa is also rich in most of the vitamins and some essential minerals like zinc, manganese, magnesium, iron and calcium.

Eventually, the health benefits of alfalfa came to made use of by humans as well.

In its grassy (cellulose) form, it’s problematic for our digestion, but used as seed sprouts, juice, or as dried leaves in powder, tablet or tea form, it’s a wonderful addition to our diet.

I personally love alfalfa sprouts in my salads and lettuce wraps.

How the Superfood Alfalfa Benefits Your Health 

With it being a virtual nutritional powerhouse, it is not surprising that alfalfa benefits us in so many varied ways. I’ve listed some of its most important benefits here:

1. Reduction of Serum Cholesterol

Alfalfa is rich in saponins, phytoestrogen, antioxidants and digestible fiber, all of which prevent fat from clogging up our arteries. Though the sprouts are not very rich in saponins, the dried leaf powder does manage to control serum cholesterol significantly.

2. Control of Diabetes and Obesity

Its high digestible fiber content ensures a feeling of satiety which can reduce our hunger and also our obesity. All of this indirectly benefits patients suffering from diabetes and obesity.

3. Relief from Constipation

The presence of digestive fiber and digestive enzymes in alfalfa is of humongous benefit to our digestion.

4. A Great Source of Protein

Alfalfa sprouts and dried leaf powder are rich sources of easily digestible protein and are therefore a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians.

5. A Source of Essential Vitamins

Alfalfa is perhaps one of the few foods that can take care of most of your body’s vitamin requirements.

The phytonutrients in the plant include phytoestrogens, saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, coumarins, phytosterols, amino acids, vitamins, terpenes and digestive enzymes.

That’s a mouthful, but that’s not all!

It’s also a rich source of Vitamins C and K and caters to the daily requirements of the B complex family of vitamins.

In addition to the vitamins, the daily requirements of some essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and calcium are adequately fulfilled by eating alfalfa.

Zinc and magnesium are essential ingredients required for the production of testosterone, which makes them an essential requirement for reproductive health, especially in the males.

Adequate testosterone levels are essential for physically active people—especially athletes.Considering this, it’s clear that consumption of alfalfa is a good way to build your body for high performance. I wish I ate more of it when I was a professional football player!

6. Cardiovascular Health

Alfalfa contains certain compounds that prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and clots.

Alfalfa also provides the body with flavonoids, which help in the relaxation of the vascular smooth muscles, thereby rendering them more pliant and thus less susceptible to clogging.

This directly decreases the chances of a cerebrovascular accident and myocardial infarction. In short, it does wonders for your cardiovascular health.

7. Alleviating Kidney Problems and Relieving Fluid Retention

Sluggish kidneys are known to improve with regular use of alfalfa. In fact, it has been traditionally used as a diuretic and many herbalists prescribe it in kidney and prostate ailments.

The thinking is that it reduces the blood urea levels and improves creatinine clearance. This has a cascading effect in relieving fluid retention in patients, which in turn improves overall health.

8. Hormonal Benefits for Women

Alfalfa benefits women deeply as it’s an extremely rich source of phytoestrogens.

Regular use of alfalfa provides for a hormonal balance in premenopausal and menopausal women.

These are just a few scientifically proven benefits of alfalfa. If you take a look at the history of its use in the realm of folk healing, there are so many more to consider.

Alfalfa tea has been traditionally prescribed to people suffering from various respiratory conditions, everything from bronchitis and whooping cough to allergies and hay fever.

It has also been known as a folk remedy for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Finally, alfalfa acts as an adaptogen, which helps your body restore itself to a general state of balance.

YURI ELKAIM

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat a McDonald’s Hamburger

 Dr. Mercola

When talking about fast food giants, nothing can be bigger – and more infamous – than McDonald’s. Those two “golden arches” sign are so abundant and so well-known all over the world, that some toddlers can even recognize it even before they are able to speak full sentences.

In 2014, over 36,258 McDonald’s restaurants operate worldwide,1 serving over 69 million people every day. From its humble beginnings in the 1940s, the brand has now grown to be a multi-billion dollar company with an estimated value of over $85 billion.

And the fast food’s most popular menu item? The burgers.

According to The Fiscal Times, McDonald’s sells 75 burgers every second.2That amounts to over 2.36 billion burgers per year – roughly the equivalent of eating a million cows.3

For many people, nothing seems wrong with eating a McDonald’s hamburger. After all, it looks and tastes the same as other burger patties, and the added convenience makes it a much sought-after meal for busy people, those who are on-the-go, or those who simply do not have time to cook food at home.

But considering just how much burger patties are sold per day, haven’t you ever wondered just how McDonald’s hamburgers are made and, more importantly, what they’re made of?

Even more disturbing are the reports of McDonald’s burgers that do not decompose or rot for weeks, months, or even years after they’ve been cooked.

McDonald’s Hamburger Shows No Signs of Decomposition – Even After a Decade

There have been multiple stories going viral about McDonald’s hamburgers that show no signs of rotting or molding. One example is that of David Whipple, a man from Utah, who came forward in 2013, claiming that he had a McDonald’s hamburger that dates back to 1999 – but is yet to show any sign of decomposition.4

Whipple initially bought the burger to keep for two weeks and show to his friends, but then forgot about it. Two years later, he found it in his coat pocket, with the original receipt, with no signs of rotting or mold. He decided to keep it to see how long it will disintegrate. According to ABC News website:5

“‘The patty feels like concrete,’ Whipple said of the burger he has held onto for 14 years, first on purpose, then by accident, and then for a good laugh. Whipple… was living in Logan, Utah, and trying to lose weight when he first purchased the hamburger to prove to his friends that fast food was not real food.

‘It was nothing real scientific,’ Whipple said. ‘We were talking about enzymes and we knew what a good food like a banana would do but weren’t sure what a hamburger would do.’

Two weeks later, Whipple got his answer. The burger’s pickles and onion toppings had begun to shrink but the bun and hamburger ‘looked exactly the same,’ he said.

Whipple was invited to guest on the TV show The Doctors to talk about his experience. He said he uses the burger to encourage his grandkids to eat healthy and avoid fast food.

I’ve featured stories about these “everlasting McDonald’s burgers” on my site many years ago, like that of Manhattan artist Sally Davies’ “The Happy Meal Project,” where she photographed a McDonald’s Happy Meal every day for six months. (You can view the full photostream6 on her website.)

Karen Hanrahan, a wellness educator and nutrition consultant, also claimed to have kept a McDonald’s hamburger since 1996. It still looks as fresh as a newly bought one.

A Closer Look at a McDonald’s Hamburger Ingredients

According to McDonald’s website,7 the only ingredient in its hamburger is 100 percent pure USDA-Inspected beef, prepared with grill seasoning (salt and black pepper) and without fillers and extenders.

The fast food chain also refutes speculations that an “unknown” preservative is among their McDonald’s hamburger ingredients, and says that their burgers and buns do not decompose simply because they “become very dry in the cooking and toasting process.” According to a Business Insider article:8

“…the patty loses water in the form of steam during the cooking process. The bun, of course, is made out of bread. Toasting it reduces the amount of moisture. This means that after preparation, the hamburger is fairly dry. When left out open in the room, there is further water loss as the humidity within most buildings is around 40%. So in the absence of moisture or high humidity, the hamburger simply dries out, rather than rot.”

Indeed, part of the embalmed-like feature of the meat patty can be because of its high-sodium content. Salt is a natural preservative that has been used throughout history.

But you have to admit that something that does not decompose, or even show signs of decomposing after days, months, or years seems very, very suspicious. After all, the hallmark of live food is that it wilts and decomposes – something that, apparently, does not occur in these burgers.

In 2014, McDonald’s attempted to clear its name by releasing a video,9 which starred former MythBusters co-host Grant Imahara and filmed in a Cargill facility in Fresno, California, that shows just how McDonald’s hamburger patties are made.10 It aims to debunk the myth that McDonald’s uses fillers, additives, and preservatives in their meat – showing instead large beef chunks on a conveyor belt going through a machine that forms them into patties.

They also asserted that they do not use pink slime in their meat. Pink slime is a sludge-like ingredient made of ground-up beef “trimmings” – various beef scraps and cow connective tissues – and ammonium hydroxide, which gives the mixture its pink hue. McDonald’s has admitted to using pink slime in their hamburgers before, but had discontinued it in 2011.

McDonald’s Plans to Make the ‘Big Switch’ to Antibiotic-Free Chicken

In March 2015, McDonald’s announced that they are going to be buying only chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine – a change that would take place in over the next two years. They also claimed that they would begin using milk from cows that have not been treated with the artificial growth hormone rBST.

While this is positive news, I believe that McDonald’s only made the decision to help improve their slumping US sales. Many restaurants like Panera Bread, Chipotle, and Shake Shack have already switched to antibiotic-free poultry and meat, causing their former customers to flock to these competitors.

This change means that not only will suppliers be scrambling to meet the demand, but other fastfood chains will also be considering a similar move.

But although going antibiotic-free on their poultry is a step in the right direction, I don’t think we should be celebrating any time soon, because McDonald’s is yet to make any changes to its meat – which is actually loaded with a whole different host of problems…

McDonald’s Beef Comes from Factory Farms

Even if it is true that McDonald’s burgers do not contain preservatives or additives (which I seriously doubt), this does not excuse the fact that McDonald’s meat actually comes from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Not only are cows and other livestock in these factory farms made to live in unsanitary and inhumane conditions, but they are also given antibiotics and growth hormones to make them grow faster and more resistant to disease. In fact, nearly 25 million pounds of antibiotics are administered to livestock in the US every year.

These antibiotics, along with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, are transferred to you every time you eat CAFO meat – and sometimes even through the animal manure used as crop fertilizer. Two million Americans become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year, causing at least 23,000 deaths.11

What’s worse, antibiotic-resistant disease is not the only danger brought on by CAFOs. Excessive exposure to antibiotics and regularly eating antibiotic-laced CAFO meats also harms your gastrointestinal health, predisposing you to virtually anydisease.

But it’s not just the hamburger meat that’s really problematic…

Here’s Why McDonald’s Bun Stays Mold-Free for Years

McDonald’s patty’s long life may be because of its sodium content, but what about the bun? Bread typically stays fresh for several days, but have you ever heard of one that stays mold-free for years? Yet that’s exactly what happened with the McDonald’s bun.

I believe that this is because McDonald’s bun is lightyears away from freshly baked bread you make at home – in fact, it is a “bread-like” concoction that bears no actual resemblance to natural bread (except for its appearance, obviously). Just take a look at the ingredients used in McDonald’s buns:

“Enriched Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Yeast, Soybean Oil, Contains 2% or Less: Salt, Wheat Gluten, Leavening (Calcium Sulfate, Ammonium Sulfate), May Contain One or More Dough Conditioners (Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, DATEM, Ascorbic Acid, Azodicarbonamide, Mono and Diglycerides, Monocalcium Phosphate, Enzymes, Calcium Peroxide), Calcium Propionate (Preservative).”

These ingredients should clearly offer clues as to why the burgers stay blemish-free and “fresh” for years. But what’s more alarming is that they can also open your eyes to the potential health ramifications you may experience if you eat a McDonald’s hamburger. For example, calcium sulfate, also known as plaster of Paris, can possibly cause digestive problems. Meanwhile, ammonium sulfate is known to cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea due to gastrointestinal irritation.

Watch Out for These McDonald’s Menu Items, Too

Just like its hamburgers, McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets also came under fire after it was found that only 50 percent of the nuggets is actually chicken. The other 50 percent is a mixture of corn derivatives, leavening agents, sugars, and completely synthetic ingredients that no sane person would ever think of cooking with.

Its seasonal offering, the McRib pork sandwich, was also closely scrutinized. Apparently, one of its ingredients is azodicarbonamide, a chemical used to bleach the flour bread… but is also used in making gym shoes and yoga mats. And underneath the “tasty, tangy barbecue sauce,” the researchers found that the pork was nothing more than restructured meat product – made from all the cheap innards and cast-offs of a pig. Not so appetizing anymore, is it?

Even their fries, particularly those sold in the US, was also found to contain toxic ingredients. While French fries in the UK only are simply potatoes fried in sunflower or rapeseed oil, the fries that Americans get contain TBHQ; antifoaming agents, color stabilizers, and preservatives. They also contain beef flavor that’s made with wheat and milk derivatives. This is why they carry an allergy warning for those with wheat and dairy sensitivities.

What Happens When You Eat an All-McDonald’s Diet?

You’ve probably heard of “SuperSize Me,” a documentary where filmmaker Morgan Spurlock documented the consequences of eating a strictly McDonald’s diet. After just four weeks of eating nothing but fast food, Spurlock’s health had badly deteriorated to the point that his physician warned him to stop the experiment or he’ll be putting his life in grave danger.

Just recently, Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College, London, wanted to learn what happens to your gut if you ate only McDonald’s for 10 straight days. His son, Tom, agreed to do the experiment and sent stool samples to different labs throughout the 10-day period.

The results were astounding. After just 10 days of eating fast food, his stool samples revealed that his gut microbes were “devastated” – about 40 percent of his bacteria species, amounting to over 1,400 different types, were lost. This severe loss of microbial diversity is a risk factor to obesity and diabetes.

Your gut is your second brain, and it is actually where 80 percent of your immune system lies. There are nearly 100 trillion bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms, good and bad, that compose your body’s microflora. These organisms play a crucial role in your mental and physical health, and if you upset this delicate balance, you become predisposed to a wide range of health problems.

Processed Foods Are a Bane to Your Health

As I’ve often stressed in my articles, processed foods and fast foods can absolutely wreak havoc on your health. Yes, they may be cheaper and more convenient, but they are excessively high in sugars, grains, and factory farmed meats – a recipe for chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

I advise you to stop glorifying processed foods and fast foods because of their taste and convenience. Instead, keep in mind ALL of the cons that they bring to your health, such as:

  • Loads your body with extra calories that do nothing for your body
  • Expose you to a toxic concoction of foreign chemicals and artificial flavors
  • Are a waste of money – in fact, they may even lead to increased healthcare bills for you and your loved ones
  • Can severely harm your children, whose bodies are still developing and are in greater need of nutrients

I also recommend your diet to be composed of at least 90 percent non-processed, organic whole foods. Not only will you enjoy the health benefits, but you’ll also be at peace as you know exactly what you’re putting in your body.

Eat Healthy, Homemade Foods and Watch Your Health Soar

I honestly believe that if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail. Indeed, the secret to following a wholesome diet is learning to prepare your grocery list so you can plan your meals. Make it an essential part of your lifestyle. This would ideally involve scouting local farmers markets or food co-ops to buy in-season produce. Find a trustworthy source of grass-fed meats, raw dairy, and free-range chicken and eggs.

Finally, appoint a person in your family to cook the meals. This should be someone who is willing to invest time in the kitchen.

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