Looking for an alternative to soda? Are you learning about its negative health benefits ? Here is a healthy alternative and is becoming a new health craze. Kombucha. It is a fermented tea drink that has been around for centuries and is gaining traction because of the health benefits that it has to offer. Kombucha is an “ancient fermented tea beverage” also called the “Immortal Health Elixir" by the ancient Chinese that has a natural effervescence (carbonation-like) and loaded with probiotics, antioxidants, B vitamins. I have to say that I'm hooked on it. After drinking water for most of the day, it's nice to switch over to something with a little flavor! My favorite is the Synergy Organic & Raw Raspberry Chia. It contains 150 calories per 16 fl. oz and 8g of fiber! The back of the label claims that it is "Often called 'runner's food', chia is a nutrient-rich superfood that provides sustained energy for your body. Packed with more than 8 times the omega-3s found in salmon, this small seed has big nutritional value. With more antioxidants than blueberries and more fiber than oatmeal, see for yourself how chia brings new life to our GT's Kombucha." This flavor offers the chia seeds floating in the Kombucha and gives it an interesting texture, but claims to have very high nutritional value.
According to www.foodrenegade.com, "In the first half of the 20th century, extensive scientific research was done on Kombucha’s health benefits in Russia and Germany, mostly because of a push to find a cure for rising cancer rates. Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the kombucha, called “tea kvass” there, was the cause. So, they began a series of experiments which not only verified the hypothesis, but began to pinpoint exactly what it is within kombucha which was so beneficial."
There is limited research on Kombucha, but you can't argue with foodrenegade.com's statement that "Regardless of the “lack” of scientific evidence, the fact remains that this beverage has 2,000 plus years of tradition behind it and an ardent and addicted following." Also, "As is typically the case in the U.S., no major medical studies are being done on Kombucha because no one in the drug industry stands to profit from researching a beverage that the average consumer can make for as little as 50 cents a gallon."
So, there ya go! It's popping up on shelves in most grocery stores. It's a little pricey at $3.69/bottle.
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This plant has received a lot of attention lately after the CDC recently announced that it is the most nutrient dense food on the planet.
"Researchers at William Paterson University in New Jersey have done all of us a big favor by producing a list of 41 “powerhouse fruits and vegetables” ranked by the amounts of 17 critical nutrients they contain. In a study published Thursday in the CDC journal “Preventing Chronic Disease,” the foods are scored by their content of fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D and other nutrients, all considered important to public health." (Washington Post) Guess what topped the list? Watercress! Have you ever heard of it? I'm on a green smoothie kick now and have been experimenting with different recipes and vegetables. If you know of any good ones, please share! Anyways, watercress is sold at Publix for $2.99/bag. If you would like to find out how different vegetables and fruits ranked click here.
The benefits of watercress are pretty remarkable. For instance, watercress is strong at cancer prevention and may counteract certain processes by which cancers proliferate and spread. It may help regulate thyroid hormones, regulate the gallbladder, help with hair and skin health among many other benefits. Give it a Google and you will find a plethora of other benefits!
Check this article out:
Eat your way to a facelift: Watercress is the latest wonder food in battle against ageing
"Given this wealth of health benefits, it is not surprising that Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, built his first hospital in close proximity to a stream where watercress grew so that his patients would have ready access to this life-sustaining green." (www.lef.org)
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What if I told you there was a plant that you could add to your diet that turns grey hair to its natural color, reduces inflammation, stimulates the thyroid gland, assists in correcting obesity, reduces indigestion, relieves many internal pains, and has been used successfully to treat peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, constipation, diarrhea, and other complaints of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a powerful detoxifier, a liver and blood protector, can protect us from carcinogens like no other food or medicine. It strengthens our cells, detoxifies the liver and bloodstream, chemically neutralizes environmental pollutants, has a powerful ability to fight tumors without the usual toxicity of drugs that also inhibit cell-destroying agents. It soothes sunburned skin and acts as a disinfectant. Rubbed into the scalp before a shampoo, it will help mend damaged hair and alleviate itchy, scaly, scalp conditions. It slows down the aging process, tightens loose skin and acts as a sleeping aide!!! Are you excited yet?! This plant really exists!! The answer is wheatgrass!! The Hippocrates Health Institute has been studying its benefits and is located in West Palm Beach, FL! Hippocrates once said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” If you believe this (or don't believe this!), you need to check it out here.
For a full list of the benefits of wheatgrass click here.
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Your back hurts, so you log onto your computer and Google back pain. Next thing you know you have cancer, right?Researchers found errors and inaccurate assertions in 9 out of 10 Wikipedia entries on the costliest medical conditions which was recently published by the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
A team of U.S. scientists said they found “many errors” in Wikipedia articles concerning the 10 costliest medical conditions. The researchers cross-checked Wikipedia entries on coronary disease, lung cancer, hypertension and back pain, among other ailments, against the latest research from peer-reviewed journals.
So, please be careful when doing your own research. I encourage you to be your biggest advocate when it comes to your health, but be careful of the garbage on the internet!
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E-Cigarettes seem to be the new thing. Nobody seems to know the long term effects, they continue to grow in popularity and stores are popping up everywhere. Research is also starting to emerge. According to a recent study, e-cigarettes may expose users to increased levels of toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, the same types of toxins found in traditional cigarettes. The study was published online Friday by Nicotine and Tobacco Research, a peer-reviewed journal. The battery-operated e-cigarette devices use heat to create vapor from liquid solutions made with nicotine, flavors and other chemicals. Though vapors from e-cigarettes operated at lower voltage generated trace amount of such toxic chemicals as formaldehyde, a known carcinogen; acetaldehyde, considered a possible carcinogen to humans; and two chemicals known to irritate nasal, lung and/or mucous tissues, acrolein and acetone. Thought it was too good to be true? Well, it appears that way!
Something so simple, yet so effective! The foam roller is a great tool in physical therapy and general fitness. It is personally one of my favorite pieces of equipment to improve posture and alleviating neck, shoulder and upper back pain. The number of exercises that can be performed on these rollers are endless. They vary in length, diameter, material, color and firmness. Using a roller breaks up fibrous tissue and boosts circulation so you're less sore making it a cheap alternative to other forms of therapy while assisting in recovery from intense workouts. I've posted an article in the past about shoulder pain resulting from muscular imbalance which you can read here. If you feel that you fit into this category or if you find yourself sitting at your desk job all day this exercise is for you!
This is the "anti" rounded posture exercise and takes the strain off of the neck and shoulders that you feel all day. Do not push into pain when bringing your arms upward and try to keep the backs of your hands on the floor. You will need a roller that is long enough to perform this exercise, 6x36" seems to be the standard. You can find one in the 850HealthStore for around $15. The problem with the cheaper version is that they will start to flatten out from use. If you plan on using it frequently, you may look into spending a little extra and purchase one with plastic reinforcement. There are so many variations now that you can Google "foam roller" and find hundreds of choices. I have the Grid as part of my living room decor and use it frequently to loosen my thoracic spine and free up tight musculature. One of the exercises that I perform at home include the one shown below. You can roll up and down and massage your thoracic spine and shoulders. The Grid works great because of its firmness and ridges that act to massage the musculature while mobilizing a tight thoracic spine.
Find the Grid here...
There are hundreds of exercises that you can perform to better yourself. You can search the internet for exercises that are more specific to your needs and even YouTube them for demonstration! I hope this helps!
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New research was presented yesterday about the role of phosphates and how they contribute to heart disease and hypertension. News Medical states "Over 500 million people around the world suffer from chronic kidney disease. Clinical studies have shown that these patients often develop cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and vascular calcification. Until now, the connection between renal disease, the accumulation of the hormone FGF23 which is produced in the bones, and cardiovascular disease was unclear." We now know that high consumption of phosphates in your diet contribute to increased production of FGF23 which controls the reabsorption of filtered sodium in the kidneys, so too much equals increased blood pressure. "FGF23 also controls calcium levels. As with sodium, the calcium is filtered in the kidneys and reabsorbed back into the body. If this reabsorption does not take place, the body loses calcium. Too much FGF23 leads to increased take up of calcium by the kidneys, and results in vascular calcification." (News Medical)
This is big news. So you ask, what do we eat that contains high phosphate levels?
Processed cheese, Parmesan, cola, baking powder and most processed foods. For a list, click here.
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Dr. Mark Giovanini
Scott Rusin is the Director of Physical Therapy at the Sandestin Executive Health & Wellness Center in Sandestin Resort, Miramar Beach, FL. He has a degree in Physical Therapy, is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Nike Golf NG360 Performance Specialist Powered by the Gray Institute.