STOP THE SUPPLEMENT MADNESS!

2015-02-13-Supplements

If this much is good, more must be better.

This is the thinking of most of us. “If I take 350 mg of magnesium and feel pretty good then 700 will make me feel great!” No, it will likely become your next remedy for constipation.

Or “I took 3000 mg of vitamin c and didn’t feel any different. I’ll try 6000 mg.” You may end up calling off work that day and get someone to drive yourself to the hospital because the cramping will make you feel like you’re dying.

More is not necessarily better.

But sometimes more IS better. 400 IUs of VItamin D used to be the required daily allowance and then they raised it to 600 when they learned it was too low and most of the population was deficient. Still deficient, it was raised to 800.

But we are STILL deficient.

I recently was speaking to a women in the health food store who was very depressed and wanted something to help her out of depression. I’m not a doctor so I could not suggest anything for depression; I’m a wellness consultant who thinks in terms of nutrition. I asked her “Are you on a good multi-vitamin?” She said she was not. I led her over to our multi-vitamin section where I showed her the balance of nutrients in one brand that also included a botanical blend of herbs noted for bringing emotional balance. “Look at all those goodies in there!” I said to her and suggested she start there.

Another woman (whom I know), was standing nearby and heard me. This particular woman had her gallbladder removed and had a weaker constitution than the customer I was talking with. Upon hearing me proclaim “Look at all those goodies” she turned to me with a look of horror. That is because SHE cannot have a lot of “goodies” in her supplements. It throws her off balance, affects her adversely, and so for HER, LESS IS MORE.

The man I used to work for is a nutritional braniac and I am thankful for learning so much from him – his philosophy was “if you have a particular issue, take it all in high doses for a short while. Tell your body who is boss.” And there are many practitioners who think like that. Then there are Western herbalists who believe that you train your body by not forcing it into submission – small amounts and fewer herbs at a time. (Chinese herbalists like a lot of various combinations of herbs, however).

But then, there is homeopathy – the philosophy behind that is the more diluted a substance, the stronger it is. So, Arnica Montana diluted 6x is weaker than Arnica Montana diluted 30x.

At one point, I wanted to just scream “STOP THE SUPPLEMENT MADNESS!” and sometimes I still get there, but it’s not as hard to navigate having been through this maze.

There are different philosophies because there are different goals, different issues, different values and perspectives. What you believe has much to do with what you choose, because your belief about something has a say in what you decide upon. If you have a personality that dives into everything and cleans the mess up later, you may not have a problem trying new things, and stronger medicine. If you approach life cautiously, it may take you a long time to decide on just the right multi-vitamin, and you may end up just opting out.

Is one more right than the other?

Back in the 90s, I tried a protein powder for the first time in my drink. I felt as if my body was saying “THANK YOU! I HAVE NEEDED THAT!” It took me awhile to realize it wasn’t the actual BRAND of protein powder I needed, but that my body was not breaking down protein so protein powder in general was actually being absorbed. I have learned to “hear what my body is telling me I need.”

The other day, a representative of a medicinal mushroom company was holding a sampling of products. He was explaining that the Reishi mushroom is the top sought after mushroom for a wide variety of complaints. In this particular brand, the mushrooms were formulated into a tincture. He gave me a few drops in water. I wasn’t feeling it. I told him I wanted to try some of the others. He then gave me Chaga. I immediately felt it resonate in my body. There was that “Thank you” again. It had nothing to do with the taste of either mushroom. It was what my body needed. I learned AFTERWARD that Chaga was helpful for the immune system support, what I needed.

Another thing I hear a lot is “I used that and it worked great but after 2 months it stopped working.” THat is because your body no longer needs it. The body is fearfully and wonderfully made. If you need something today, you may not need it in 3 months from now. Your body knows it no longer has need for it. In fact if you try to force your body to take it when it no longer has need, you my be overwhelming your system.

I don’t advocate this way for beginner’s. It’s a place to arrive at, but definitely needs to be kept in mind as you start out learning what your body needs. In fact, if your only desire is to get yourself out of crisis, you may be constantly craving what ISN’T good for you, thinking your body needs that.

If you are a Christian, you understand that repentance must be a part of your life so that you are able to discern the Holy Spirit speaking to you; leading you, guiding you. That path may lead you all of a sudden out in front, as the leading expert in a certain field. That path may lead you behind the scenes not being seen at all. But you will know because you have learned to listen, and put down the things that are not good for you, and put away things you no longer need (“childish things”).

In navigating your way through all the information and confusion surrounding what your body needs, it is uniquely your own journey, but you have people you trust along the way. Stick with this people, let the ones who have gone before you help you along. Gather information but don’t adopt it as being right for you until you have that peace in your heart that it’s time, but every day, start removing what you know to be hindering your health. From processed foods, to refined sugars, or maybe its grains. Or maybe its chemicals in your cupboard. Whatever you need to remove, remove one thing daily. Then, you will hear clearly what your body is telling you it needs.

Fish Oil and Blood Thinners?

A question was asked yesterday by a man with atrial fibrillation, if he could take fish oil while he is on blood thinners.  My response was “yes” but with caution.

From Livestrong:  Fish oil does thin the blood in similar ways to blood thinners, notes leading health and medical writer Jack Challem in his book, “The Inflammation Syndrome.” This effect happens through the prevention of the platelets found in blood from sticking together and forming clots. Challem adds that the blood-thinning effects may be magnified if you are taking natural blood-thinners, such as vitamin E or gingko. Therefore, it’s important to tell your doctor if you are taking fish oil.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/467353-can-you-take-fish-oil-with-blood-thinners/

From Heart MD:  Modest amounts of fish oil, say 1–2 grams daily, generally can be tolerated even if you are taking prescription blood thinners. However, doing this is not without some risk—so it’s absolutely essential that you be up front with your doctor about the fish oil products you’re taking and how much, to avoid unsafe drug interactions. I cannot emphasize this enough. You must work collaboratively with your physician and regularly monitor the clotting agents in your blood.

Is It Safe to Mix Fish Oil and Blood Thinners?

Can You Take Fish Oil With Blood Thinners?

What You Probably Didn’t Know About Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)

Image result for black pepperblack pepper nutrition facts

Black pepper.  Have you wondered much about what it is, where it comes from, what nutritional value it has?  Most of us think of black pepper in the shaker or grinder and not much beyond that.
McCormick Pure Ground Black Pepper, 6 oz

In fact, I remember the day I found out that ground black pepper actually came from peppercorns and I could crack them in the grinder.  (It was a long time ago lol).  I was in a restaurant and the waitress came to the table and asked if I wanted freshly cracked pepper.  I looked at her with a blank stare as if to ask “what do you mean?”  As she cracked the pepper over my salad, I could really taste and smell the freshness and was ruined for anything else.

Black pepper always seemed like salt’s tag-along buddy; salt being the more boisterous friend.  But black pepper has some wonderful magic all its own.

The What and Where of Black Pepper

Black pepper comes from the Piperacae family (sounds like papparazzi – sorta), and is not at all like bell pepper, or sweet pepper, chili or jalapeno. In fact they aren’t even in the same botanical family.  Black pepper comes from peppercorns;  berries from the blossoms of a trailing, woody vine grown in tropical climates.  Many years ago, black pepper was a sign of a man’s wealth.

Nutritional Facts

An ounce of black pepper provides 79% of manganese, 57% of Vitamin K, 45% of iron, 30% fiber.  Although an ounce is way more than we would have at one time, it provides perspective; a teaspoon of black pepper provides 6% of the total manganese we would need in a day.

But here is another fabulous black pepper fact – it has potassium – and I’ve been writing about potassium a lot lately because it is THAT important to our health.  Potassium is responsible for improving our stomach’s ability to digest food.   If you were to look at many supplements on the market, turmeric, for example, you would see that Piper nigrum or Piperine is added.  That is black pepper.  In fact, turmeric which has been touted as a giant superfood, may not be useful at all unless paired with black pepper, because it is not bioavailable, or absorbable.  Black pepper or piperine, increases its absorption. The use of piperine can boost blood levels of curcumin from the spice turmeric by up to 2,000%.  Source

Piperine also increases the body’s ability to absorb betacarotenes, selenium and B-vitamins (which, in black pepper means pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin and niacin), as well as other nutrients from food.

Black pepper is also a carminative; that is, it keeps the intestines from forming gas.   And when black pepper is freshly cracked from the peppercorn, the outer layer of that pepper corn helps to break down fat stored in the body.   Source

Studies

One study showed that black pepper inhibited the growth of various types of bacteria in the gut, and the report concluded its findings with a statement that black pepper is not only anti-inflammatory, but antioxidant, fever reducing, and immune enhancing.

The free-radical scavenging activity of black pepper and its active ingredients might be helpful in chemoprevention and controlling progression of tumor growth. Additionally, the key alkaloid components of Piper Nigrum, that is, piperine assist in cognitive brain functioning, boost nutrient’s absorption and improve gastrointestinal functionality. Source

Black pepper or piperine treatment has also been evidenced to lower lipid peroxidation in vivo and beneficially influence cellular thiol status, antioxidant molecules and antioxidant enzymes in a number of experimental situations of oxidative stress. The most far-reaching attribute of piperine has been its inhibitory influence on enzymatic drug biotransforming reactions in the liver. Source

Piperine had been reported to inhibit tumors formation in different experimental models. Many studies revealed the antitumor activity of piperine by the oral administration. The alcoholic extract of peppercorn and piperine exhibited effective immunomodulatory and antitumor activities. Piperine is also reported to reduce lung cancer by altering lipid peroxidation and by antioxidative protection enzymes activation  Piperine has distinct pharmacological activities along with Anti-cancer activity.  Source

How-To-Use-Black-Pepper-For-Weight-Loss

Using Black Pepper for Weight Loss

Because black pepper has the ability to reduce fat in the body, and boost metabolism, you can add this to your healthy diet as you lose weight.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper to boiling water, along with a little ginger, lemon and honey or stevia, and sip as a tea before breakfast.

To low sodium V8, add black pepper to enhance the absorption of all that good potassium.

Add to all your foods, including steak and eggs.

And now, for my favorite way to have black pepper:

Black Pepper Healthy Recipes

2 tablespoons salt 1 pound grass-fed beef or buffalo/bison strip loin ¼ cup peppercorns, crushed roughly ¼ cup butter
1 teaspoon tamari sauce (wheat-free) 2 tablespoons beef stock 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Procedures:

  1. Place peppercorns on a plate and press steak into peppercorns to cover both sides thickly. Work peppercorns into the meat using your hands.
  2. Sprinkle a skillet with the salt and over medium heat, cook until salt begins to brown. Add steak to the pan and brown over high heat. Reduce to medium heat and cook until it reaches the desired degree of doneness, approximately three to four minutes per side for medium-rare. Discard drippings. Note: as much as possible, avoid charring the meat to prevent the formation of carcinogenic chemicals.
  3. In a separate saucepan, combine butter, tamari, beef stock, and lemon juice.
  4. Serve the steak with the sauce on the side.

This recipe makes 3 to 4 servings.
(From Dr. Mercola’s No-Grain Diet)

Enjoy black pepper in a whole new way!

Potassium-rich Foods and Herbs (And Myrrh-C Tea)

Potassium doesn’t get the attention it needs, IMHO, and yet it is (also IMHO) one of the most important minerals our bodies need.  Here is the reason:  The human body needs 4700 mg per day in order to function in optimal health.  We need potassium for heart health, kidney health, blood pressure support, weight maintenance, and more.  Too low of potassium can cause fatigue and slow heart beat, muscle spasms and malfunction, kidney malfunction, severe dehydration, migraines, edema, and death.  Too high potassium can cause rapid and irregular heart beat, high blood pressure, kidney malfunction and death.

Necessary for Brain Health and Reduction of Stroke Risk
Your nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. When you are low in potassium, your blood pressure rises and fluids don’t move “fluidly” around your cells, which, in the brain, means higher probability of severe headaches.  Because it also protects your nervous system, water balance and heart function, potassium reduces your risk of stroke.

Necessary for Heart Health
Low potassium can cause muscle spasms and cramping.  Because your heart is also a muscle, low potassium is responsible for many heart attacks.  A diet rich in potassium will keep your muscles functioning properly and your heart beating regularly.

Necessary for Blood Pressure Maintenance                                                                            You need 4700 mg but only 1500-1800 mg of sodium per day.  High blood pressure often occurs because of the imbalance of the ratio between sodium and potassium; we get too little potassium and too much sodium.  The average daily intake of sodium is just over 3000 mg per day.  The average intake of potassium is 2,640 mg per day.  Source

A single teaspoon of table salt has 2300 mg of salt.  Combine that with any processed foods you eat, and sodium that is naturally occurring in fruit and vegetables, there is an upset in the average daily diet, ripe for high blood pressure.  Source

Bone Health                                                                                                                              Potassium reduces bone absorption and is responsible for increasing bone strength.

Decreases Cellulite and Helps Maintain Desired Weight by keeping the fluids moving in the body. 

So you see, it is extremely important to be monitoring how much potassium we take in daily.  I know, it sounds like it’s just another thing to monitor but I have good news.  Most of your other minerals are found in potassium rich foods so if you only watch your potassium levels daily, you will be getting most, if not all, of the other minerals your body needs, such as the all-important magnesium and calcium, boron, phosphorous and others.

Here is a list of the 25 Top Potassium-Rich Foods Source

#1 Potatoes, with Skin (1 potato = 1,081 mg, 23% DV or Daily Value)

#2 Avocados (1 avocado = 975 mg, 21% DV)

 

potassium rich food - avocados

#3 Lima Beans (1 cup = 955 mg, 20% DV)

#4 Winter Squash (1 cup = 896 mg, 19% DV)

#5 Sweet Potato, Cooked with Skin (5” sweet potato = 855 mg, 18% DV)

#6 Prunes, AKA Dried Plums (1/2 cup = 637 mg, 14% DV).

Potassium Rich Foods - prunes

#7 Coconut Water (1 cup = 600 mg, 13% DV)

#8 Brussels Sprouts, Cooked (1 cup = 504 mg, 11% DV)

brussels sprouts - potassium

#9 Milk (1 cup = 496 mg, 11% DV)

#10 Cantaloupe (1 cup = 494 mg, 11% DV)

#11 Beets (1 cup = 442 mg, 9% DV)

Potassium Foods List - Beets

#12 Fresh Tomatoes (1 cup = 427 mg, 9%) and Tomato Products such as Canned Sauce (1 cup = 909 mg, 19% DV)

#13 Bananas (1 medium banana = 422 mg, 9% DV)

#14 Apricots, Dried (10 halves = 407 mg, 9% DV)

#15 Honeydew Melons (1 cup = 388 mg, 8% DV)

#16 Raisins (1.5 ounce box of raisins = 322 mg, 7% DV)

#17 Yogurt, Plain (½ cup = 290 mg, 6% DV)

#18 Nectarines (1 nectarine = 287 mg, 6% DV)

#19 Dates, Dried (5 dates = 271 mg, 6% DV)

#20 Figs, Dried (2 figs = 271 mg, 6% DV)

Potassium Rich Foods - figs

#21 Peanuts, Dry Roasted & Unsalted (¼ cup = 257 mg, 5% DV)

#22 Oranges (1 orange = 237 mg, 5% DV; 1 cup orange juice = 496 mg, 11% DV)

#23 Kiwifruit (1 medium kiwi = 215 mg, 5% DV)

#24 Pears (1 pear = 206 mg, 4% DV)

#25 Spinach (1 cup raw = 167 mg, 3% DV, 1 cup cooked =  840 mg, 18% DV)

For those of you on a Low-Carb Diet, or Sugar-Restricted diet, getting potassium from foods will be challenging, especially if you also are on a Paleo Diet, which restricts legumes and peanuts.   Fear not!  That’s why there are potassium-rich herbs.

Hibiscus – The American Heart Association reported that the blood pressure is lowered by the consumption of hibiscus tea. The study made by Odigie IP addresses that those people having the chances of cardiovascular disease and hypertension may be benefited by the hibiscus tea due to the presence of cardio-protective and anti-hypertensive properties. The research made at Tufts University in Boston summarizes that the anti-inflammatory properties in hibiscus tea helps to lower the blood pressure. Three cups of hibiscus tea should be consumed daily for few weeks to achieve the improvement. Due to the diuretic properties, the blood pressure is lowered by increasing urination. Those who drank 3 cups of hibiscus tea for 6 weeks found that the arterial blood pressure was decreased. The blood pressure would be effectively controlled if 8 ounces is drink 3 times per day regularly.  Source

Hibiscus Tea also has 21 mg of potassium per tablespoon.
Anise Seed – 97 mg per tablespoon
Citrus Peel – 293 mg per tablespoon

Myrrh-C Tea has hibiscus, red rooibos, passionflower, anise seed, citrus peel, oatstraw, oats, cinnamon, and myrrh gum – formulated for my husband after he had a mild stroke and was put on Warfarin and could not take herbs due to contraindication.  Myrrh-C tea is not contraindicated and is useful for blood pressure support.

Try including myrrh-c tea in your daily strategy of increasing potassium in your diet, while helping to maintain normal blood pressure.   It sells for $10 per ounce plus S & H.  Payable via paypal at darlene.rose50@yahoo.com.
Be sure to specify Myrrh-C tea.
ke myrrhctea

 

 

 

Potassium – The Most Important Electrolyte

potassiumDid you know you need 4700 mg (up to 6000 mg) per day of potassium in your diet? To put that in perspective, a banana has 422 mg, a potato has 897 mg potassium, salmon has 300 and 1/2 cup of broccoli has 250 mg of potassium. The average person is not getting enough potassium in their diets. Potassium deficiency symptoms include fatigue, edema, heart arrythmias and cramping of the muscles. Heart patients are told to restrict sodium but are given a potassium pill, usually about 47 mg. What is that going to do? Increasing your potassium intake in food will give you the right balance of minerals you need to reduce symptoms and eventual illness which affects heart, metabolism, and nerves.