Tag >> health

Photo credit Derrick Brutel via Flickr Commons

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland, which is responsible for energy use in the body, becomes overactive. Since itís functioning at a higher than normal rate, metabolism speeds up. This can cause symptoms such as sudden weight loss, rapid heartbeat, increased appetite, nervousness, sweating, and fatigue, among others .

Common treatment for hyperthyroidism is through medication, but recent research shows changes in diet may also be an effective treatment plan. As hyperthyroidism is often caused by an auto-immune disorder, scientists looked to societies where auto-immune diseases are rare, such as rural populations. These people generally follow a plant-based diet.

A study published in Public Health Nutrition, as part of the Adventist Health Study, examined the diets and medical histories of 66,000 vegetarians.

Researchers found that those who were Lacto-ovo (including eggs and dairy) and pesco- vegetarian (including fish) diets showed only moderate protection, and semi-vegetarian diets showed no protection against hyperthyroidism. Vegetarians that excluded ALL animal foods had HALF the prevalence of hyperthyroidism when compared to those who did consume animal products.

There are other things that contribute to the development of hyperthyroidism such as BMI. Even after making statistical adjustments for these factors, a plant-based diet still showed a significant reduction in risk.

The study suggested that the benefits of a vegan diet may be due to the absence of animal products which tend to contain high amounts of estrogen, often linked to autoimmune disease.

The benefits could also result from increased intake of phytonutrients and antioxidants found in plant foods. These nutrients have a significant immune-boosting effect and could be contributing to protection from hyperthyroidism.

A great way to increase antioxidant intake is to follow a raw food diet, meaning processed foods are eliminated and one focuses on alive, vibrant and fresh natural produce.

Advocates of a raw food diet, such as myself, claim that eating foods in their most natural raw state ensures a multitude of vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, antioxidants and phytochemicals are available to the body for optimum functioning.

If you are interested in exploring a plant based diet check out my website where there are free raw food recipes and lots of tips. I also have a raw food diet plan to assist people in their transition into a raw food diet .


Changing your diet can have a huge impact on all areas of your life. Switching to a raw food diet is more than just a diet, it's more of a holistic transformation, one that incorporates your mind, body and soul.

In this article I am going to explain to you five of the most popular positive effects people experience when undertaking a raw food diet.

1. Increased Energy

One of the benefits you can notice almost instantly when transitioning to a raw food diet is an increase in your energy levels. You can learn what it feels like to live without mental fog and physical exhaustion.

One of the reasons behind this comes down to enzymes. Enzymes are what help you digest your food and they are abundant in raw foods. When food is cooked a lot of the foods natural enzymes are killed off by the heat. Your body can create its own enzymes but that process takes a lot of energy, plus we have a finite reserve of them. This excess need for energy to digest cooked foods is what may leave you feeling tired and heavy throughout the day.

In addition to this the enzymes your body produces are not as efficient and effective as the ones that were destroyed by cooking. This may mean your cooked food is not being broken down as well, and can eventually lead to undigested foods fermenting in your intestines, creating an ideal environment for parasitic, bad bacteria or fungal over-growth.

A raw seed will grow, a cooked seed will not. This should tell us something!

2. Easy Weight Loss

Despite being one of the main attractions of a raw food diet, weight loss is really just a side effect of adopting this way of life.

Oftentimes weight gain, or weight that is stubborn to shift, is a result of accumulated toxins in the body. Eating a raw food diet is comprised of highly alkalizing foods that will detoxify the body of these toxins while still keeping you hydrated due to their high water content.

Many people worry they will go hungry on a raw food diet, but that is far from the truth.

The only raw foods that should be enjoyed in moderation if weight is an issue are the more energy dense foods such as nuts and good fats. The remaining foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, are high in dietary fiber and water content (making you feel fuller), yet low in calories, so you can enjoy to your heart's content. On a raw food diet portion control and calorie counting becoming a thing of the past.

If anything, your servings sizes should be bigger on a raw food diet, as these foods, as mentioned, take less time to digest. The best part about weight loss on a raw food diet is that it is completely safe - no gimmicks, artificial meal replacements, supplements etc.

Just whole, live foods that are bursting with nutrition and that will not leave you feeling miserable and deficient in essential nutrients your body requires to function effectively.

You will find after a period of being on raw food that your body will naturally plateau at its most optimal weight.

A great way to help with this and assist in transitioning to a raw food diet is to have a raw food diet plan.

3. Healing

In addition to tasting fantastic, raw foods also have many medicinal properties. These properties are at their highest in raw, organic produce. Add in superfoods, sea vegetables and fermented foods and you have a powerhouse of nutrition going into you every day.

Raw herbs, for example, have been used both in traditional and western medicine to treat a range of ailments - everything from skin conditions, mental illness, auto-immune diseases, digestive issues ... the list goes on! Plant food is medicine.

Just imagine how your body is going to feel when every drop that passes your lips, whether it be a drink, snack or main meal is comprised of hundreds of nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, unique alkaloids and anti-oxidants that are working hard to heal you in every way every day.

4. No Deprivation

Its not all carrot sticks and celery! So if you love your pasta, pizza, cheesecake, milk, cookies, chocolates, guess what - you can still have them!

We have so many amazing techniques and recipes that allow you to create all your favorites but in a much healthier way - they are truly raw, have no gluten, wheat, dairy, or refined sugar, and best of all, no bloat, no weight gain!

So if you have a sweet craving after lunch (like me!) or a mid afternoon pick me up is required, you can simply reach for a delicious chocolaty treat or savory snack that you can enjoy completely guilt free. And yes, indulge in dessert too!

Eating this way means longevity in feeling good, achieving your goals and in being at your optimal weight and at your best.

There is nothing worse than being on a restricted diet and feeling deprived of your favorite foods, it's a short term solution that ends in disaster.

5. Develop a Whole New Relationship with Yourself

As your taste buds begin to change and you start to experience food in its unaltered form, you begin to develop an appreciation for mother nature and all the amazing gifts she provides us with.

Because you receive the full energy, vitality and nutrients from raw food, it starts to become a really positive and supporting part of your life. Your relationship with food becomes more uplifting and loving. And the more raw you go, the more these positive feelings and emotions start to spill over into your life.

As your body starts to push out the low vibrational foods or junk and your cells start to vibrate at a higher frequency from consuming live foods, you will find your thought processes begin to change also, you may become a glass half full kind of person instead of a glass half empty.

New friends or relationships may enter your life that you truly relish. Careers may take off. Goals become achievable. The possibilities are endless on raw!

So there you have it. It's no wonder we are so passionate about raw foods. It's not just another way of eating.

Written by Amanda Brocket of The Raw Food Kitchen


 

 Image credit: Magdus Hagdorn via Flickr Commons

Kiwi fruit is exotic in both taste and color. The flavor and fragrance of this fruit are both very inviting and refreshing. There are many reasons to get attracted to this wonderful creation of nature and those topping the chart are its health benefits. This sweet and sour fruit can work as the power house of vitamins and minerals with its rich properties. It is a wonder in itself and here are the reasons why you may include this fruit in your daily diet.

1. Say no to stress!

All fruits are good for health as they are protective foods. Kiwi is even better as it works for both, physical and mental health of the consumer. It keeps your mind and body fresh with high serotonin levels. Higher serotonin levels are known for uplifting mood and relieving stress. It will also positively affect the memory by making your brain alert and body active.

2. Super rich in Vitamin C


 

Spring is right around the corner, meaning it's warming up, the birds are chirping, and flowers are blooming; in other words, nature is beckoning us to shed some layers and head outdoors. As you ditch that winter coat, try ditching those shoes while you're at it (even if for just a few moments)! While not something most of us think about on a daily basis, taking your shoes off and grounding yourself is actually one of the most healing activities that you can do, and spring is the perfect time to start doing more of it.

Grounding can have a positive impact on many aspects of our health touching on the physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual levels. As a society we're dealing with a kind of "electrical toxicity" from constant exposure to power lines, WI-FI signals, microwave energy from cell phones and towers, and even normal electrical household appliances. These Electromagnetic Fields (or EMF's) can disturb the human body, contributing to common ailments such as headaches, brain fog, and chronic fatigue, or even more serious issues like chronic anxiety, depression, low immune function, and degenerative disease. This is why grounding becomes imperative to help combat the effects of EMF's and restore energetic harmony in the body; and it's actually easier to do than you might think! It's time to take off those shoes and wiggle your toes in some sand, grass, or dirt.

The Benefits of Grounding

 

1. Boosts Healing and Immunity

While we might not think about it on a regular basis, the earth is actually a massive electrical object, and your body is a conductor of electricity. When we are connected directly to the earth's electric field through direct contact with our skin, the earth's negatively-charged electrons flow through us, and our electric charge goes from positive to negative. Negative electrons (those flowing from the earth) are known as healing electrons, while positively-charged electrons are those that contribute to disharmony and disease. Negatively charged electrons, or "ions", boost the bodies resiliency and vitality, and help increase our bodies immunity and rate of cellular repair.

2. Is Anti-Aging and Fights Inflammation

What is one thing that literally all chronic diseases have in common? Inflammation. it's imperative that we know the causes of inflammation in order to properly treat these conditions. When you break things down to a scientific level, considering the fact that everything is vibrating with energy, one of the biggest contributors to chronic inflammation may actually be a lack of electrons - meaning too many positively charged ions and not enough negatively charged ions. Connecting directly to the earth is one of the best things that you can do to slow down the aging process by lessening inflammation and free radical damage.






 

Image: Rawmio Raw Chocolate Hearts - available HERE

Have you ever gifted someone you care about chocolate as an expression of your love? Most of us can affirm that we have - and while it might just seem like the classic, fool-proof thing to do (who doesn't love chocolate?!), there is actually science behind why chocolate has remained synonymous with love throughout time, and why eating a little chocolate each day might actually be doing your body and mind a world of good.


1. That Mind-Body Connection

While processed, sugar and dairy-laden chocolate is a common comfort food, research shows that going for dark (and preferably raw) chocolate does more than just feed your taste buds, it also feeds your brain. While cacao contains over 300 different chemical compounds, there are several that have an incredible effect on our neurology. Compound phenylethylamine (PEA), a chemical that our adrenal glads naturally create during times of excitement, is found also within cacao - the base ingredient of chocolate. This chemical reacts with our neurology and can quicken our heart rate, increase focus, and mimic that happy fluttery "on cloud 9" feeling we experience when we fall in love. Anandamide, known as "the bliss molecule" triggers the release of endorphins, elevates the mood, and can even bring on a sense of euphoria. Sounds like true love to us!

2. Antioxidant Love

Cacao is rich with flavonoid polyphenols - bioactive phytochemicals that possess serious antioxidant capabilities; in fact, cacao is one of the richest sources of antioxidants on the planet. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) of raw cacao nibs is 62,100 per 100g, while goji berries rate in at 25.300, acai at 18,500, and blueberries at 2,400 - all of which being incredible sources of antioxidants in their own right, but as you can see, they are overshadowed by the antioxidant master: raw cacao. Antioxidants are anti-inflammatory, help guard the body against degenerative disease, and help our skin maintain elasticity and youthfulness.


3. Mineral-Love

Cacao is one of the richest sources of magnesium, a critical mineral for bone mass and also muscle relaxation and overall function. Magnesium also helps prevent muscle cramps, and can lessen the pain associated with menstrual cramps for women during their cycles (you're craving chocolate for a reason, ladies!). Cacao is also naturally high in calcium, zinc, sulfur, iron, copper, potassium and manganese. Nourished blood means a nourished body!

4. Cardiovascular Love

We mentioned the antioxidant capabilities of flavonoids above, but these powerful phytochemicals also have a particularly positive impact on the health of our cardiovascular system , including our blood vessels and our heart. Flavonoids help increase blood flow and reduce high blood pressure. They also help strengthen the integrity and elasticity of bloods vessel and capillary walls, making them less likely to burst.

5. Eat Chocolate...Stress Less

It turns out emotional eating might not be all bad. A study published by the Journal of Proteome Research found that eating 40 grams (about 1.4 oz) of dark chocolate per day for a timeframe of two weeks actually reduced cortisol levels, the stress hormone that is most known for activating the fight-or-flight response.

Find Rawmio's artisan-crafted, stone ground  raw chocolate in our shop for up to 25% off now through Valentines Day 2/14. Order $100 dollars or more and get a FREE raw chocolate bark of choice. Keen on a specific flavor? Leave us a note in the customer notes section at checkout. 






















Chlorella has proven to be one of the most pertinent superfoods in modern times. It's exceptionally high nutrient content alone is enough for recognition, however it is also highly detoxifying with a unique ability to bind and pull out heavy metals within the body. 

This superfood algae is a form of single cell blue-green algae with a beautiful emerald hue. It has been touted as nature's multi-vitamin/mineral due to its well rounded and balanced array of food-based nutrients. While synthetic vitamins are often flushed out of the body due to their inorganic nature, the nutrients within chlorella are synergistically combined with all necessary co-factors and are thus easily utilized by the body.This is especially beneficial for those with compromised digestive systems or low vitality. 

Consume chlorella daily for a dose of plant based, organic Vitamin A (carotenoids), C, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, potassium, iron, calcium, as well as essential amino and fatty acids. Carotenoids in particular offer the body strong protection against cellular oxidation which can lead to things such as cancer or cardiovascular disease. It also helps protect our eyesight and can play a huge role in the treatment macular degeneration as well as vision loss due to diabetes.

Chlorella contains all essential amino acids in a form which the body can easily utilize to build protein. It's high levels of chlorophyll are 10 x that found in wheatgrass, barley grass and alfalfa! This green plant pigment helps to build healthy human blood cells, oxygenate the entire body, and detoxify the bloodstream and colon. Chlorella has also been shown to support healthy gut flora making it a great addition to your daily probiotic/prebiotic protocol for healthy digestion, elimination and immune support. With its high level of nutrition chlorella can help stabilize the blood sugar and increase energy levels by nourishing every aspect of your body!




 

You might have known bitter gourd for its bitterness till date but from now on you will know this humble vegetable because of its sweet health benefits. Don’t judge this humble vegetable from its taste as it is a power house of health when taken in the right form. The research carried out by Nutrition Journal has suggested many health benefits of bitter gourd, which is also known as Momordica Charantia .

Check out these key health benefits of bitter gourd to make it the sweet truth of your diet plan from now!

1. Effectively treats Type II Diabetes

People think that the bitterness of bitter gourd balances the blood sugar and this is the reason it is good for those suffering from diabetes. This is just half-truth! It is true that bitter gourd is good for diabetes patients but not because of its bitter taste. The protein called kinase is activated on consuming this bitter veggie and this increases the sugar absorption. The resistance to the insulin is also reduced  keeping blood sugar levels are kept in check.

2. Enhances Liver Health

Healthy liver keeps many other diseases at bay. This wonder vegetable works as tonic for both bladder and liver. The regular intake would help in relieving gout pain. You can also fight the problems like kidney stone by regular consumption of bitter melon juice.

3. Natural Weight Loss

Bitter melon, which is the unique vegetable-fruit would work as the perfect blend for losing the extra fat. The potassium and iron rich vegetable would support digestion by relieving constipation. The body fat would be flushed out to get you a slimmer look.

4. Detoxification

Your body comes in contact with various toxins from environment, food, and drinks. These toxins slowly enter your organ system and affect it negatively. Detoxification is the process where all the toxins from the body are flushed out through proper diet plan. Including bitter gourd juice in your detoxification plan would accelerate the process of detoxification.

5. Keeps you young

The free radicals are removed from your body with the help of antioxidants and vitamin C. The damage to the skin and hair due to UV rays of sun is also nullified with the help of powerful antioxidants present in bitter food.

6. Relieves Hypertension and cares for your heart

The antioxidant rich vegetable would fight against bad cholesterol and removes the fat that clogs your artery walls affecting effective blood circulation. The unclogged arteries would slim down the chances of heart attack and eventually give you happy heart. This will also be quite beneficial to those suffering from hypertension as the pressure of blood on the arteries would be eliminated.

7. Cuts infection and boosts immunity

The infection of any type is tackled by this vitamin powerhouse. It is loaded with flavonoids like Beta-Carotene and other phytonutrients that enhance your immunity levels to fight against all types of infections.

The above mentioned sweet health benefits of bitter gourd would surely make this bitter tasting vegetable top the list of your favorites.

About the Author

Carol is a freelance writer, she loves spending her time of the day with her family. She writes regularly for Nutra Pure HCG , an online shop for homeopathic HCG drops that aids in burning unnecessary fat from the human body and results in weight reduction.


Ahh, the holidays. That time of year when we all have too much to do and too little time to do it. In reality, this is a sacred and special time of year that we should be enjoying fully. If you find yourself feeling more stress than usual, however, you are not alone. Keep reading for 6 tips that will help keep that stress at bay so you can experience more love, more joy, and more magic this holiday season. 

1. Make a List (Check It Twice…)

If you're feeling overwhelmed by tasks, commitments, or just life in general, one of the best ways to organize your thoughts and create internal order out of external chaos is to write it all down. Make a list of all of the things that you need to get done, then put stars by the ones which are most important. When you accomplish something, make a check mark by it or cross it off -  you'll get the added benefit of a dopamine release, a hormone that plays a major role in reward motivated behavior.

2. Shake Your Groove Thang

In other words: MOVE! Movement is so critical at all times, but during busy times it is often something that we overlook, or feel too burnt out to do. Exercise has an ironic component: even though it can be hard to feel motivated to work out when you're tired, it actually ends up energizing the body and mind. Movement oxygenates the brain and muscles, increases circulation, and releases feel-good endorphins which help fight depression and improve cognitive function. If you don't have time for a full work out that's okay! A short power walk outside in the cool winter air can do a world of good, and turn you into a much happier person.

3. Practice Gratitude

An attitude of gratitude will instantly pull you into present moment awareness. When we get busy and overwhelmed, it's easy to feel this constant underlying anxiety. This can increase tension and inflammation in our bodies, wreck havoc on our digestion, throw our hormones out of whack, and make it impossible to focus on what we actually need to accomplish. Focusing on all that there is to be grateful for during this blessed season is a great way to remember what is actually important in our lives, even amidst the hustle, bustle, and fully loaded to-do lists.

4. Green Up

Don't let your healthy diet slip away into the land of Christmas cookies and egg nog. While enjoying your favorite holiday treats is just fine, make sure you are maintaining a solid base of plant based, whole food nutrition to fuel and nourish your body. Focus on green foods specifically, such as kale salads, lightly steamed greens, green juices, green smoothies, and green superfood powders such as Amazing Algae . Greens are rich with fiber, help our body's detoxify, and contain crucial trace minerals such as calcium and magnesium which have a calming effect on the body, help to prevent muscle tension, and also keep our digestion regular in times of stress.

5. Practice Self Care

Whether it's decompressing in a warm bath with hydrating oils and a few drops of lavender, a coffee or tea date with a friend to catch up, or a trip to your favorite spin or yoga class, make sure you are doing activities that are for your own highest good; things that restore your spirit and charge up your internal battery. Focusing on others is beautiful and necessary, but we can only be of service if we take care of ourselves first. Believe us, your friends and family would much rather be around a calm, centered, and happy you, as opposed to a frazzled and stressed you during the holidays. Make time for yourself.

6. Find Your Zen

You don't have to be a highly advanced yogi, or even feel like you know what you're doing, to benefit from a meditation practice. While there are many techniques out there for meditation, such as visualization or mantra, the goal is to quiet the mind and experience more inner peace and connectivity to your inner being. Take a few moments to sit comfortable with an elongated spine and relaxed body, and focus on your breath. If you notice tension, let it go with your exhalation. If thoughts come up (they likely will!) let them fall away. Even 5 minutes of meditation can drastically alter the way you feel on the inside and interpret what's going on in the world around you.

While we can't completely prevent stress in our lives (wouldn't that be nice!) we CAN set ourselves up for success by practicing active stress management techniques. We hope some of these tips help you have a more relaxed and joyful holiday season!

 Written by Anna Speaks - Social Media Manager for RawGuru.com and Windy City Organics 


As one of the busiest months of the year draws nearer (December), Thanksgiving marks an incredible opportunity for a valued shift in perspective. Irregardless of what type of diet you follow, the traditions you enjoy (or don't), or whether you spend the day with a large group of people or just a few close friends or loved ones, an attitude of gratitude can bring you into a state of more love, joy, connection and receptivity to the blessings in your life. 

 

1. Like Attracts Like/The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction states that the universe is in a constant state of receptivity and reflection, giving back to us that which is in a resonant vibration to our current thoughts, words, and actions. Negativity brings more negativity, and positivity brings more positivity. If you're sending the Universe messages that you are full of gratitude, you'll get back more to be grateful for.

 


Raw, stone ground nut butters make an excellent way to fuel and nourish your body, as they are rich with healthy fats and proteins for a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. They're also straight up delicious and satisfying in a way that is hard to trump, especially for something so simple, natural, and minimally processed.

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying nut butters in the time tested and ever-classic PB&J (or our personal favorite: the AB&J - A for Almond), if this has been the limits of your nut butter exploration, there is literally an entire world of deliciousness and versatility for you to explore!

Get your Dastony butters ready for dipping, dunking, mixing and drizzling.

(Pssst - there's a coupon code at the end...)

1. Instant Nut Milks with Zero Additives



As awareness rises on the often times detrimental health impacts that certain processed food additives like carrageenan can have on our bodies, more people are reading ingredient lists and are looking for alternatives to their favorite dairy less milk alternatives. Nut butter to the rescue! Simply blend 1-2 TBS of your favorite Dastony nut butter (think almond butter, coconut, cashew, or hazelnut) with 8oz of pure water or coconut water and you've just made instant nut milk in a flash with ZERO emulsifiers, sugars, salts, flavors, or processed funk of any kind.

2. Turn Breakfast Into Art 






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