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Friday, April 4, 2014


What We Eat That Contributes to Aging

5 Things That Make You Age Faster

concept of aging and skin careIn the modern world that we live in today, most of us have learned to become health conscious and aware of the needs of our body. We no longer settle for “quick fix” solutions such as plastic surgery or barely-thought out “fad” diets. We now look to more natural, holistic ways to keep ourselves healthy and to keep our youth in check.
As such, we are bombarded with products, programs, diets, and supplements that claim to be able to turn back the tides of time and help stall, if not almost cease, aging. However, people are still often unaware that many of the ingredients, foods, and dietary staples in their everyday lives actually contain elements that speed up the aging process.

#1 Sweet Temptation

Do you ever stop and wonder how much sugar is actually present in your daily food intake? How many teaspoons of sugar do you put into your usual morning cup of coffee? How much sugar do you think is used in the processing and making of your favorite dessert, be it a cupcake, or a candy bar? Though the dangers of sugar have long been known, especially in the area of diabetes or heart disease, it is important to keep a vigilant look-out for how much sugar we actually consume.
A study recently conducted in the UK has shown that high blood sugar levels are also contributing factors to accelerated aging. Simply stated, the results of the study showed that the higher your blood sugar/ glucose level is, the more likely you are to look more aged compared to other people who are as old as you are but have lower levels of sugar in their blood.
This is believed to be caused by the fact that high blood sugar levels translate to more sugar in your system that will bind itself to collagen, thereby causing the collagen to lose its flexibility and to constrict. This is important because collagen is a very beneficial protein that naturally aids in keeping your skin looking and feeling young. High blood sugar levels will also cause a reduction in insulin production which, in turn, hastens advanced aging as well.

#2 The Unhealthy Vegetable (Oil)

Most of the time, people are quick to assume that “vegetable oil” is the healthiest possible cooking oil that they can use. The truth is, however, that even vegetable oil is subject to a lot of dangers to your health and can undoubtedly increase the rate at which you age.
Due to the highly perishable nature of vegetable oils, they are prone to undergo “oxidation,” a chemical reaction that, when consumed and introduced to your body, can cause up to 60 different illnesses or conditions that accelerate aging. This is because “free radicals,” which are the wild, uncontrolled molecules in your body, in a sense, attack and age healthy cells in your body, resulting in the release of oxygen.
This reaction ultimately greatly speeds up aging by causing skin wrinkles and discoloration, impairment of eyesight, growth of white hairs and the like. Vegetable oils also usually contain too much omega-6 fats, which, in moderation, are usually a good thing for your body and your health, but when taken in excess results in the increased risk of acquiring dreaded diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, cardiovascular illnesses and even cancer.
What then can you use for cooking? Well, simply using vegetable oil in sparing amounts can already be a great help, but other oils such as olive oil and coconut fat can also do the trick.

#3 Junking Junk Food

Junk Food : Stock PhotoThe fact that junk food and sodas are bad for your health is no news. These have been identified as causes for numerous sicknesses, conditions, and are general sources of unhealthy living. Recent studies, however, may have uncovered yet another reason to drop the bad snack habit.
It was found that high amounts of phosphate, which can be easily found in sodas, junk food, and other processed food, increase the process in which we age. This aging manifests itself not only in wrinkles and spots on your skin, but with real, dangerous complications that come with an aged body. Tested on groups of mice, it was found that those who had an imbalance of phosphate in their system lived up to only half as long (8-15 weeks) as those who did not have a heavy presence of phosphate in their diet (20 weeks). So at the risk of your health, throwing away junk food becomes much easier.

#4 Cooking Up Trouble

Though it is very good to know which foods are beneficial to your health and which foods are detrimental to it, sometimes this simply isn’t enough. It is also very important to know not only what you cook, but also how you cook it. Any health buff or diet-conscious cook out there should know that cooking food at a higher temperature, no matter how healthy, organic, or natural your meat is, can actually make your food unhealthy and greatly increase the speed of your aging.
This is because of Advanced Glycation Endproducts (also known as A.G.E.s) which are substances and compounds that are dangerous to your health and which accelerate the aging process. A.G.E.s are already commonly present in sugary, processed, or browned foods, and have the particular reaction of forming at a greater rate in the food that you eat when you cook food at higher temperatures.
However, the unnecessary build up of A.G.E.s can be easily negated by simply cooking your food at a lower temperature over an extended period of time. Preparing your meats and foods with an acidic aspect (in your marinade, for example) will also reduce the appearance of A.G.E.s, as well as using more water-based methods of cooking such as boiling, poaching, or steaming.

#5 Lacking Telomeres?

Telomeres may not be a familiar term to majority of people, but every person should know how important it is, not only to our health, but our entire lives, as well. Telomeres act as a sort of “cap” at the ends of our DNA strands which prevent the strands from unraveling and dying. As we age, our telomeres slowly and gradually decrease and decrease, acting as indicators of our age and well-being.
When these telomeres are completely gone, the cells and DNA unravel and our body grows older and unhealthier. In many ways, telomeres can be seen as a fuse which begins shortening from the beginning of our lives all the way up until the end.
By now we can see how important telomeres are in keeping a healthy and sound body.  Making sure that our telomeres are not unnecessarily wasted is simply exercising good judgment. Scientific discoveries have shown that eating processed meats and foods can actually decrease the lifespan of our telomeres by up to 14 years. Thus, we can see how important it is to avoid having processed foods in our diets.
Curiously, there is also a way in which we can expand the longevity of our telomeres and this is by actually eating organically vegan. This is because telomerase, enzymes which help repair our telomeres, and telomerase activity are significantly encouraged and boosted by partaking in a whole-foods plant-based diet. Doing so not only helps deter the aging process, but impedes the occurrence of debilitating conditions and diseases associated with age.
Graceful Aging
Aging is a process that we cannot stop or halt. However, we can arm ourselves with accurate knowledge and take proper steps in order to make sure that we do not age too quickly nor too prematurely. With the appropriate knowledge and corresponding positive actions, we can gracefully age in a manner that is healthy, optimal and filled with the promise of sustained longevity.
Go to the next page to see powerful natural remedies for:
  • Lowering high blood pressure
  • Controlling or reversing Type 2 Diabetes
  • Boosting your sluggish metabolism
  • Cutting off excess body fat
  • Improving your brain health and memory
  • Slowing down the aging of your skin, joints, and organs
  • Healing your digestion problems
About the Author:
Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice.
Which wonderful friends in your life would appreciate the things that can cause premature aging?
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Featured Gemstone/Crystal 1 of 2 for APRIL: SELENITE

Selenite crystals work to help you to bring light down from the higher realms into the physical body, to create personal transformation.

Golden Selenite Cluster
A Golden Selenite Cluster is a powerful
crystal to aid your spiritual growth
The white or transparent crystals have a strong vibration that may open the crown chakra and the soul star chakra.

This will assist you to contact the Divine Mind and to access the Angelic realm. These are high vibration crystals, that also deliver clarity of mind, by cleansing the aura of negative energy build-up, both within the physical and the etheric body.

Known as the "Stone of Mental Clarity", Selenite is a very calming and soothing energy that enhances mental flexibility and strengthens the ability to make good decisions. It has been found that Selenite has the power to stabilize the four body systems (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) using light force thus reaching a  complete spiritual state of calm and joy.

Selenite is an excellent crystal to work with while meditating. Place one nearby to help keep your mind clear, lucid and calm. Because of its ability to calm and clear the mind, it can be good to keep with you during times of emotional stress.

Selenite is the only crystal that is able to clear and recharge other crystals. If a piece of Selenite is placed in contact with another crystal, such as quartz, it will cleanse away any negative energies within that crystal. Another unique quality of Selenite is its ability to constantly cleanse and recharge itself.  I personally use Selenite 'towers' such as the one to the right, in the center of my altar(s) to cleanse and 'keep clear' all my stones.  Also, when I had a store, I kept a Selenite 'block' like the one pictured above, in the showcase to recharge all the stones.

Other spiritual and metaphysical properties associated with Selenite include: psychic awareness and development, channeling, awareness of past lives, improved concentration, aid for hypnosis, aura cleansing and access to one's personal power.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

GLAUCOMA: Natural Treatment and Prevention

6 Sure-Fire Tips to Prevent Glaucoma Naturally

March 31, 2009 | 261,467 views

glaucoma, eye, vision, vision problems, blindness, blindby Dr. Mercola
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, and belongs to a group of eye diseases that damage your optic nerve, leading to vision loss. In its early stages, glaucoma may produce no symptoms at all, and it’s estimated that half of the more than 4 million Americans with glaucoma do not even realize they have it.[1]
Because the vision loss caused by glaucoma comes on so gradually, it is sometimes called the “silent thief of sight.” Often, it’s not until the disease is at an advanced stage that the related vision loss becomes apparent, and by then your sight may suffer permanent damage.
This is why it’s so important to take steps now to help protect your vision, even if your eyesight is normal. I’ll be discussing exactly what you can do to help prevent and treat glaucoma later in the article, but first here’s a bit of background on this common eye problem.
The underlying causes of glaucoma are not completely understood, but typically the damage it does to your optic nerve is related to increased pressure in your eye. The pressure typically comes from a buildup of pressure from the aqueous humor, the watery fluid that is naturally present in your eyeball.
In a healthy eye, the fluid is regularly drained, however in those with glaucoma the drainage system doesn’t work properly, so the fluid gradually builds up in your eye, causing increased pressure. Over time, the increased pressure causes nerve fibers that are essential to vision to die.
Though less common, glaucoma can also occur when eye pressure is normal. It appears some people’s optic nerves may be sensitive to normal levels of eye pressure, or the glaucoma may be related to problems with blood flow to your eye, which may be caused by atherosclerosis -- the accumulation of plaques in your arteries -- or another circulation problem.
In the most common type of glaucoma, open-angle (chronic) glaucoma, side (peripheral) vision is usually affected first. In the later stages, glaucoma can lead to “tunnel vision,” where you can only see straight ahead, and can eventually lead to blindness. The symptoms are gradual and come on very slowly, so you may not realize your vision is being impacted until much later stages.
About 10 percent of those with glaucoma have what’s called angle-closure (acute) glaucoma, and in these cases a sudden rise in eye pressure can cause:
  • Severe eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden visual disturbances
  • Halos around lights
  • Reddening of the eye
  • Nausea and vomiting
This latter form usually requires immediate treatment.
Who is at Risk?
Anyone can get glaucoma, but there are factors that increase your risk:
  • Certain ethnicities: Glaucoma is six to eight times more common in African-Americans than in Caucasians.[2] Mexican-Americans, Asian-Americans and Japanese-Americans are also at an increased risk.
  • Over 60 years old: The risk of glaucoma increases once you are over 60.
  • Chronic diseases: Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and hypothyroidism all increase your risk.
  • Family history: If someone in your family has glaucoma, it may increase your risk.
  • Eye injury and nearsightedness: Eye injuries such as retinal detachment, eye tumors, eye inflammations and eye surgery, as well as nearsightedness, increase your risk.
  • Use of corticosteroids: A prolonged use of these drugs appears to increase your risk, especially corticosteroid eye drops.
Making Sure Glaucoma is Diagnosed Correctly
Ophthalmologists typically rely on a simple "air puff" test to check for high pressure inside your eye. However, if you are getting screened for this disease, please make sure you also have your corneal thickness measured using a relatively newer test called pachmyetry. 
Pachymetry, which measures corneal thickness, may be a more reliable indicator of the pressure inside your eye because the thickness of your cornea can significantly influence the readings on the air puff test.
If you have thin corneas, the instrument may give falsely low readings and may miss the diagnosis of glaucoma. If you have thick corneas the air puff test can actually misdiagnosis you as having glaucoma despite the fact that you have normal eye pressures.
Conventional Ways Lower Your Eye Pressure
Conventional medicine’s solution to glaucoma is typically drugs or surgery, or a combination of them. Often eye drops are given to glaucoma patients to use for life in an attempt to lower pressure inside of their eyes, but they come with a laundry list of side effects including:
  • Blurred vision
  • Respiratory problems
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Burning or stinging in the eyes
Surgery also carries with it serious risks, among them an increased risk of cataracts.
Natural Ways to Lower Your Eye Pressure
You do have another option, though, as surprising as it may sound the same lifestyle changes that lower blood pressure typically also work to lower your eye pressure, thereby helping to prevent and even treat glaucoma without a risk of side effects.
The top two steps are:
  1. Lower your insulin levels: As your insulin levels rise, it causes your blood pressure, and possibly also your eye pressure, to increase. In time this can cause your body to become insulin resistant, and studies show insulin resistance -- which is common in people with diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure -- is linked to elevated eye pressure.[3]
The solution is to avoid sugar and grains, the two “food groups” that will inevitably cause surges in your insulin levels. Even whole, organic grains will rapidly break down to sugars, so they too should be avoided. So in addition to avoiding sugar, if you have glaucoma or are concerned about it, you’ll want to avoid foods like:
    • Breads
    • Pasta
    • Rice
    • Cereal
    • Potatoes 
  1. Exercise regularly: One of the most effective ways to lower your insulin levels is through exercise. A regular, effective exercise program consisting of aerobics, sprint-burst type exercises, and strength training can go a long way toward reducing your insulin levels and protecting your vision.
Other Tips to Keep Your Vision Healthy
As part of your overall program to keep your eyesight clear and problem-free, even as you age, make sure you are doing the following:
  • Taking an animal-based omega-3 fat supplement. A type of omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may help protect and promote healthy retinal function. DHA is concentrated in your eye's retina and has been found to be particularly useful in preventing macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness.
Omega-3 fat, including DHA, is found in fish, but I don't recommend eating fish due to the concerns of mercury and other toxins that have been found in fish from oceans, lakes and streams and farm-raised fish. Instead, my most highly recommended source for omega-3 fat is krill oil.
  • Getting loads of lutein and zeaxanthin. Many have never heard of these two vision powerhouses, but they are incredibly important for your eyesight. Lutein, which is a carotenoid found in particularly large quantities in green, leafy vegetables, acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from free radical damage.
Some excellent sources include kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts and egg yolks, particularly raw egg yolks. Egg yolks also have zeaxanthin, another carotenoid, in an equal amount to lutein. Zeaxanthin is likely to be equally as effective as lutein in protecting eyesight.
It is important to note that lutein is an oil-soluble nutrient, and if you merely consume the above vegetables without some oil or butter you can't absorb the lutein. So make sure you’re eating some healthy fat along with your veggies,
Eggs yolks are also loaded with these nutrients but once the egg is cooked they tend to be damaged and non useful. So you can consume them raw by whipping them up in a shake or cooking them minimally as in sunny side or poach them with runny yolks.

  • Avoiding trans fats:  Trans fat may interfere with omega-3 fats in your body, which are extremely important for your eye health. A diet high in trans fat also appears to contribute to macular degeneration. Trans fat is found in many processed foods and baked goods, including margarine, shortening, fried foods like French fries, fried chicken and doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers.

  • Eating dark-colored berries. The European blueberry, bilberry, is known to prevent and even reverse macular degeneration, and bioflavonoids from other dark-colored berries including blueberries, cranberries and others will also be beneficial. They work by strengthening the capillaries that carry nutrients to eye muscles and nerves.
However, because berries contain natural sugar they should be eaten in moderation to avoid upsetting your insulin levels.
Following the healthy lifestyle tips I’ve described above will go a long way toward protecting your vision, whether you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma or simply want to keep your eyesight in top condition. If you have glaucoma, however, it’s especially important to eliminate those grains and sugars, get exercising, and consume animal-based omega-3 fat regularly in order to keep the disease from progressing.