Interesting Articles

Homemade Healing Herb Tea – (Huge Digestive Benefits)

Cumin, coriander and fennel tea has long been revered as an Ayurvedic method to improve digestion.

It calms and soothes inflammation, helps with protein digestion and assimilation, and it can also train your pancreas to produce more of its own enzymes!

This tea is GREAT not only for digestion but also for weight loss, mental clarity, and detoxification.

These 3 seeds are incredibly therapeutic for you!

Cumin Seeds
Cumin is well known for its positive effects on digestive health and its ability to cleanse and detoxify the body.

Benefits include:
• Supports the pancreas, helps digest protein
• Reduces gas, indigestion and cramps
• May help absorb minerals from the intestines to prevent deficiency
• Eliminates toxins and congestion from body (and mind)

Coriander Seeds

This is the seed of the cilantro leaf. It is small and round. This is a very balancing seed that cools and calms the GI tract.

Benefits include:
• Reduces heat or acid in the stomach
• Decreases congestion
• Calms the digestive system
• Helps alleviate joint pain
• Improves skin irritation or rashes

Fennel Seeds

This seed is a cousin to Anise and Dill and is cylindrical in shape. Fennel seed is often chewed at the end of an Indian meal to support digestion. Growing up in a 100% Italian family, we used to eat fresh fennel in between courses during big Sunday dinners to cleanse our palate and support the digestive process.

Benefits include:
• Relieves bloating, gas, and cramping
• Calms the mind and improves mental clarity
• Supports healthy menstrual flow

Make it fresh daily to support digestion and detoxification. Here’s the recipe!
1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 1/2 cups room temperature water

Raw honey to taste

1. Grind together coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder.

2. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil without covering the saucepan. Add the ground seed mixture. Reduce
heat to low and let it simmer uncovered for 3-4 minutes to infuse flavors and nutritive properties.

3. Strain and let it cool completely before adding raw honey.
Option to pour over ice and add the juice of half a lime.
Yields: 1 cup.

 

 

To be Happy avoid these foods

Research shows that the food you eat can have a profound effect on your mental health. So, regardless of your mental health problem, the importance of addressing your diet simply cannot be overstated.

In a very real sense, you have two brains — one in your head, and one in your gut. Both are created from the same tissue during fetal development, and they’re connected via your vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem to your abdomen.

It is now well established that the vagus nerve is the primary route your gut bacteria use to transmit information to your brain, which helps explain why mental health appears to so intricately connected to your gut microbiome— the bacteria and other microbes living in your gut.

For example, researchers recently found that fermented foods helped curb social anxiety disorder in young adults. Gut bacteria also produce mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin is found in your intestines, not your brain.

At the end of the day, if you’re trying to address your mental state, optimizing your gut health should be toward the very top of your list.

A number of food ingredients can cause or aggravate depression, but the number one culprit is refined sugar and processed fructose, which feed pathogens in your gut, allowing them to overtake more beneficial bacteria.

Other processed food ingredients that can contribute to depression and/or other mental health problems include:

  • Genetically engineered ingredients can significantly alter your gut flora, thereby promoting pathogens while decimating the beneficial microbes necessary for optimal mental and physical health.
  • Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide on food crops in the world with nearly 1 BILLION pounds applied every year — has been shown to cause nutritional deficiencies, especially minerals, which are critical for brain function and mood control.

It also causes systemic toxicity, and was recently declared a Class 2A probable human carcinogen. Roundup, in which glyphosate is the active ingredient, has also been shown to increase the antibiotic resistance of E. coli and Salmonella.

  • Artificial food additives, especially the artificial sweetener aspartame, can wreak havoc with your brain function. Both depression and panic attacks are known potential side effects of aspartame consumption. Other additives, such as artificial colourings, are also known to impact mood.
  • Gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley, may negatively impact mood and brain health.

In fact, a number of studies indicate that wheat can have a detrimental effect on mood, promoting depression and even more serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia.

Most non-organic wheat is also treated with glyphosate in a pre-harvest processed called desiccation, which adds to the problem.

If you are looking for ways to optimise your gut function through diet and good nutrition call 4725 3080 or email us to help you achieve those results info@optimalwellness.net.au

 

7 Risks of Low-Fat Diets
  1. Poor Brain Function
    The brain is largely made up of fat and requires a steady stream of fatty acids to perform optimally. There seems to especially be a special protective factor when it comes to cholesterol and the brain. Cholesterol has an important role as a critical brain nutrient, essential to the function of neurons and neurotransmitters, so despite what most people think, low cholesterol levels can be worse than high. The brain basically requires a high amount of cholesterol as a source of fuel or energy, but since brain neurons themselves cannot generate significant amounts of cholesterol on their own, we must get our required cholesterol from our diets to feel our best and remain “sharp.”

    Research shows that people who have the highest cholesterol level intakes usually perform better on cognitive tests than those with lower levels. A major low-fat diet risk includes poor job performance, low energy, changes in your mood, “brain fog” and so on. This is why some of the best brain foods to boost focus and memory actually have high levels of healthy fats.

  2. Compromised Heart Health
    While we’ve been led to believe the opposite for many years, research continues to confirm that heart disease (including coronary artery disease, the leading cause of heart attacks) likely has much more do with inflammation — which is at the root of most diseases — than from high fat or cholesterol intake. This means that an inflammatory diet including lots of sugar, refined carbs, low-quality proteins and processed vegetable oils is actually more threatening to your heart that a diet high in fat — even saturated fat. It’s much more beneficial for your heart to eat anti-inflammatory foods that contain healthy fats.

    Beneficial effects of monounsaturated fats on heart health are especially supported by clinical studies. Consumption of dietary monounsaturated fats promotes healthy blood lipid profiles, lowers cholesterol levels naturally, mediates blood pressure, improves insulin sensitivity and regulates glucose levels.

    The Mediterranean diet has been shown to significantly reduce cardiovascular disease, diabetes and long-term weight gain.

    If you’re worried about saturated fat causing heart attacks, strokes and heart disease, know that evidence that saturated fat leads to heart disease is weak at best.

    Some studies do show that increased saturated-fat intake can raise cholesterol levels, but there hasn’t been a strong relationship between cholesterol levels and heart disease proven. Some studies on low-carbohydrate diets, which usually have higher levels of saturated fats actually, suggest that they don’t raise blood cholesterol and can even be beneficial on cardiovascular disease risk markers like triglyceride levels.

  3. Hormone Imbalances (Including Sex Hormones Testosterone and Oestrogen) Eating enough fats is one of the most important things you can do to balance hormones naturally. Cholesterol and other fats play a fundamental part in building cellular membranes and hormones. Certain kinds of fats, including cholesterol, also act like antioxidants and precursors to some important brain-supporting molecules and neurotransmitters. These include vitamin D (which actually acts more like a hormone in the body more so than a vitamin) along with other hormones like testosterone and oestrogen.

    One scary low-fat diet risk is an increased risk for infertility and other hormonal issues in women. Some studies have found that low-fat diets raise the risk of menstrual problems and difficulty getting pregnant. For example, a 2007 study conducted by the Department of Nutrition and Harvard School of Public Health found that high intake of low-fat dairy foods may increase the risk of infertility whereas intake of high-fat dairy foods may decrease this risk.

  4. Weight Gain and Overeating
    Look at any of the recent research involving weight gain (or loss) and fat intake, and you’ll quickly realize the established relationship between fat intake, your hormones and weight fluctuations. We know that many people who go on “diets” tend to gain back all of the weight shortly after. Why does this happen?

    One explanation is that weight loss elicits biological adaptations that result in a decline in energy expenditure (adaptive thermogenesis) and an increase in hunger, both of which promote weight regain. But certain studies have found that a higher-fat diet with lower carbs can help prevent this from happening. On top on that, most people find that diets higher in fat are more satiating and turn off hunger signals and appetite much more so than lower-fat diets do. This is because fats turn on your fat-burning switch by impacting ghrelin hormone levels.

    One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012 examined the effects of three popular diets on a group of overweight or obese young adults. The study’s participants tried each of the different diets for a one-month period so researchers could compare the effects.

    The three diets provided the same number of calories but differed in proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrates. The “low-fat diet” had 60 percent of total calories coming from carbohydrates, 20 percent from fat and 20 percent from protein. The “low-glycaemic diet” had 40 percent of the calories coming from carbohydrates, 40 percent from fat and 20 percent from protein. Finally, the third “low-carb diet” had just 10 percent of the calories coming from carbohydrates, 60 percent from fat and 30 percent from protein.

    Make no mistake about it, the low-carb diet featured a lot more fat than a person eating the Standard American Diet is used to. In fact, the average American probably eats something similar to the “low-fat diet” ratio that is highest in carbs.
    What were the results after comparing the three diets? Those on the low-carb, high-fat diet burned the most calories and also improved their insulin sensitivity best during the four week period. Measures of resting energy expenditure and total energy expenditure, which really means the amount of calories someone burns each day, were the lowest in the low-fat diet group, intermediate with the low–glycaemic index group and the highest in the low carbohydrate group.

    According to the researchers, they believe that Diets that aim to attenuate (lower) the increase in blood glucose levels after eating— specifically low–glycaemic index (emphasizing carbohydrate source) and very low- carbohydrate (focusing on carbohydrate restriction) diets — have been hypothesized to have metabolic advantages. Reducing dietary glycaemic load may elicit hormonal changes that improve the availability of metabolic fuels and thereby decrease hunger and voluntary food intake.

     

  5. Higher Risk of Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
    Clinical studies have shown us that excess weight gain and insulin (or blood sugar control) are highly connected, but we know that eating plenty of healthy fats is one of the keys to controlling insulin. Insulin is sometimes called our “fat-storing hormone.” It helps usher glucose into our cells, which lowers our blood sugar levels after a carbohydrate or sugar containing meal.

    It appears that different types of fat have different effects on insulin action. Given the importance of insulin resistance in the development of diabetes and heart disease, establishing appropriate levels of fat in the diet is an important clinical goal for lowering the “diabetes” epidemic. Studies that have examined the effects of various diets with different levels of fat are revealing in telling us that lower-fat, higher-carb diets might pose a higher risk for insulin resistance (and weight gain), although there’s still some debate as to what types of fats should be most emphasized as natural diabetes cures.

    Epidemiological evidence and intervention studies clearly show that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids improve insulin sensitivity through modifications in the composition of cell membranes. Substituting saturated fat with unsaturated fat seems to have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity, although the clinical significance of fat quality alone is still unclear. Either way, we know that diets that are higher in fat tend to be lower in carbohydrates and sugar, which is beneficial for diabetes prevention.

    There’s also some evidence that suggests that insulin resistance status may affect adherence to weight loss diets. It’s possible that people with existing insulin resistance might be more likely to give up a healthy diet and therefore experience less weight loss success. This seems to be especially true for people following low-fat diets — research shows diminished weight loss success in insulin-resistant women assigned to low-fat diets compared to those assigned to a low-carbohydrate diets.

  6. Higher Risk for Depression and Anxiety
    Fatty acids play an important role in higher brain functions that control moods, so eating enough healthy fat sources is one key to following an anti-depression diet. Some neurotransmitters, such as endocannabinoids, are synthesized from fatty acids, suggesting that fatty acid metabolites derived from dietary fat can affect the central nervous system.

    While it appears that trans-fat intake can raise depression risk, studies have found an inverse association between consuming monounsaturated (MUFA), polyunsaturated (PUFA) and olive oil fats and depression risk. In other words, higher-fat diets might lower depression and other mental disorder risks.

    Research has shown, for example, that supplemental PUFAs and specifically omega-3 fatty acids in the diet cause significant improvement in depressive symptoms in humans. In fact, it’s now believed that use of omega-3 PUFA supplements is effective in treating patients with diagnosis of major depressive disorder.

    7. Gut-Related Problems
    Higher-fat, high-fiber diets are now correlated with a healthier gut environment, or microbiome. A diet with plenty of naturally occurring fatty acids and nutrients supplies the building blocks needed to nourish not only a healthy gut, but also a healthy brain, both of which are very connected — also known as the brain/body connection.

    A diet that keeps blood sugar balanced keeps gut bacteria balanced, too. So this means that eating plenty of high-fiber plant foods (especially all vegetables) along with healthy fats feeds the good gut bacteria in the gut and produces the right balance needed to lower inflammation. One of the benefits of coconut oil is it can be especially protective over gut health and very easy to digest even for those with chronic digestive issues.

 

Love Your Liver

Liver Overload

The liver is our main detoxification organ, but its job duties go far beyond internal cleansing. The liver is an impressive multi-tasker, with over 500 known functions. It is involved with digestion, the endocrine system, immunity, controlling blood sugar, and protein and fat metabolism. The liver is quite arguably the body’s most important organ. 

A toxin is any substance that irritates or creates harmful effects in the body. Some toxins, called endotoxins, are the natural by-products of body processes. For example, during protein metabolism, ammonia is formed, which the liver breaks down to urea to be excreted through the kidneys.

The majority of toxins come from our environment. They enter our bodies and are consumed through food and drink, such as alcohol, caffeine, hydrogenated oils, genetically modified foods, and chemical food additives. Some travel into our systems from over the counter or prescription drugs.

We are also exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals in our environment such as pesticides, car exhaust, second-hand smoke, mould, bacteria, viruses, and indoor pollutants from paint, carpets, and cleaners, just to name a few. Thank goodness that the body has systems designed to eliminate waste and to detoxify these poisons. The liver springs into action and chemically converts toxins to be easily eliminated by the kidneys.

Under ordinary circumstances, your body handles toxins by neutralizing, transforming, and eliminating them. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals then fatsoluble chemicals are transformed to water-soluble ones which can be eliminated through urine, faeces, sweat, mucus, and breath.

When the body is burdened with more chemicals than it can efficiently detoxify, chronic health problems can occur. Problems like allergies, skin problems, digestive problems, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, and a variety of ailments can be caused by chemical exposure.

Lighten Up on your Liver
As you can see, we need our liver to survive, so in order to help it stay healthy, we need to lighten the load. If your liver is clogged up or damaged due to the way we treat our body, everything suffers. We get sick, we get fat, we get hormonal, we can’t digest what nutrients we eat, and we can’t protect ourselves from our environment.

How do you know if your liver is in need of some TLC? Here are some common symptoms that appear as a result of an overloaded liver:

  • weight gain, especially around the belly 
  • cellulite
  • abdominal bloating
  • indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn
  • trouble digesting fatty foods
  • high blood pressure
  • elevated cholesterol
  • fatigue
  • mood swings
  • depression
  • skin rashes or dark spots on skin
  • hypoglycaemia

Other signs to watch for include pain around the rib cage; sleep apnoea or snoring, and fatty yellowish lumps around eyes. These are signs you need to take action, detox, and alter your diet and lifestyle to heal your liver.

How to Keep your Liver Clean

The best way to show your liver some love is by decreasing the amount of toxins you put into your body, while at the same time supporting your body’s detoxification and elimination systems.

Hydration – Think of it as a shower for your insides. We must keep properly hydrated to keep the body flushing appropriately, which consists of moving the bowels and urine regularly. Proper hydration keeps the blood fluid so that toxic material may be delivered to the lymph and liver. Water flushes toxins and removes wastes.

Lemon water is great to support liver detox. Those who can tolerate it can start each day with a mug of hot lemon water using half a lemon to assist your kidneys and liver. Everyone should drink plenty of clean filtered water throughout the day, at least half your bodyweight in ounces is a good place to start.

Diet – Processed, lifeless foods are seen by the body as a toxin. Removing all food sensitivities is essential. Avoiding sugar/caffeine/alcohol will take a burden off of your liver. Eat plenty of liver-loving foods in your diet, including LIVER itself. Liver-loving foods include beets (a healthy bile builder) and cruciferous vegetables (contain substances that improve the ability of the liver to detoxify harmful chemicals and pollutants). Inulin foods, like Jerusalem artichokes are also beneficial.

A cleansing diet is a great way to reduce inflammation and enhance metabolic cleansing – this helps to address toxic overload, harmful bacteria, heavy metal toxicity, and leaky gut.

Avoid all gluten grains (wheat, rye, oats – which can be contaminated with gluten, and barley), processed foods, alcohol, caffeine (coffee, black teas, sodas), soybased foods, sodas, fruit drinks, conventional pork or cold cuts, all meats that contain hormones/antibiotics (use only hormone/antibiotic free or pastured grassfed), canned tomato products (most contain common allergens, some even contain gluten), and avoid hydrogenated oils/fats, all refined sugar products, and any foods to which you are currently intolerant.

Fiber – removing grains/legumes from the diet removes a heck of a lot of fibre. It will be critical to consume plenty of vegetables at every meal along with supplementing with fibre. Psyllium husk is a great option. Seeds such as chia are also a good option. If you don’t tolerate these seeds, just be sure to include sources of fibre in your diet that you do tolerate. Low glycaemic veggies are great for this; eat as many as you want and with every meal, if possible. Some people with gut issues don’t tolerate raw veggies well, so cooked veggies are fine in that case, and consume plenty.

Essential fatty acids – This is why strict low-fat diets are not beneficial for general health, weight control, or liver function. Good sources include coconut oil and butter (if you tolerate dairy).

Testing – Get checked for hidden food intolerances and yeast overgrowth, and consider hair analysis to test for heavy metals.

Exercise – Get moving! Even if it’s only a brisk walk or something minimal, it works. Daily movement is very important. It keeps the lymph flowing and toxins moving out of the body.

Work up a Sweat –Perspiration is a great detoxification pathway. Be sure to break a sweat daily, which will probably happen if you are getting in your exercise; however, you can head to a sauna, as well.

Detox Baths – Detoxification doesn’t have to be difficult, sometimes it can be very relaxing. Treat yourself to a relaxing soak in the tub. Detox baths are an excellent way to promote cleansing and can be done regularly. You can assist elimination of toxins through the skin with detox baths in a gentle, non-invasive way. It’s a simple as adding 1 cup of Epsom salts to your bath.

Oil Pulling – Oil pulling is a great method for pulling toxins out of the blood as well. The swishing action done during oil pulling can trigger enzymes that draw toxins from the blood. It is important to note that the oil has become very toxic by doing this and by no means should you ever swallow it. Start with a small amount of coconut oil, swished around in your mouth for as little as three minutes. Work your way up to 7-10 minutes as you become more comfortable with the process.

Eliminate Environmental Stressors – Try eliminating as many toxins as possible from your home and personal hygiene products. Check the ingredients on your cosmetics and cleaning products, store your leftovers in glass instead of plastic, and consider installing a filter for your shower. The skin is the largest organ in your body….what is applied to your skin is absorbed right into your body. So, if you would not eat it, don’t use it on your skin.

Sleep – Fat production in the liver is known to be affected by circadian rhythms. Studies have shown that disrupting circadian rhythms in mice causes the animals to develop excess liver fat. It is believed that the same could be true in humans. Because sleep rejuvenates the body and immune system, insomnia affects energy level, mood, and overall health. Long-term sleep deprivation increases the severity of chronic disease, including all kinds of liver disease.

Unfortunately, insomnia is a common complaint among those with liver disease. Sleep apnoea, stress and anxiety, and medication-induced sleeplessness are often to blame. When trying to heal your liver, do everything you can to make sleep a priority.

Supplementation – Individual supplementation needs vary tremendously from person to person; however, at the very least, taking a good multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement is certainly advisable to support your body’s needs. During times of stress, you may want to increase your mineral intake, as stress causes you to burn through your minerals more quickly.

Consume Probiotics Daily – through fermented foods (if tolerated) or supplements. Probiotics help to neutralize toxins and break down and prevent synthesis of bacterial toxins.

There are many other vitamins, supplements and herbs that have been proven effective in cleansing and supporting the liver including vitamins like B-complex, C, E, and natural beta carotene, herbs like milk thistle, turmeric, dandelion, and globe artichoke, and a number of important specific amino acids.

It’s best to consult with a trained practitioner who understands your individual needs to determine which supplements and what doses will be most effective for you.

A "must" EFT procedure for children

The Basic Idea:
The basic idea is simple. Every night, while children are being tucked into bed, parents should ask...

"Can you tell me about your good and bad thoughts as well as the good and bad things that happened to you today?"

Then, as the events are being told (both good and bad), the parents should lightly and lovingly either tap or gently rub the EFT points.

Expected Results:
Experienced EFT'ers can readily see the benefit for tapping on the "bad" things (we'll talk about tapping on the "good" things later). As the child tells the story s/he is clearly "tuned into" the problem. Thus tapping on the EFT points is likely to resolve the issues or, at the very least, lighten their impacts on the child.

This is critical for children because they are constantly picking up "stuff" from parents, teachers, peers, television and so on. These inputs go on daily and accumulate over the years to fill what we adults often call our "emotional garbage bags." If these inputs go unresolved, of course, they form unnecessary "limits" and thwart the attainment of our true potentials. These unnecessary fears, guilts, griefs and traumas often have a thunderous effect on our "adult realities" and cost us dearly in both our personal peace and our pocketbooks.

Some examples of the "bad" things children might bring up would be....

"Daddy scared me when he yelled at me."

"I saw a monster eating people on television."

"My teacher doesn't think I'm very smart."

"I can't run as fast as Jimmy."

"Donna is prettier than me."

"The minister said I have to be perfect or God won't love me."

There are, of course, thousands of other examples that establish themselves as uninvited guests in children's psyches. Most of them are fictions and, arguably, have a far greater impact on how a child's life unfolds than does their education.

Alert parents have an obvious opportunity to ward off these "self confidence suckers" on a daily basis. Further, the process can be very nurturing for both parents and children because children love to be touched (tapped, rubbed) in loving ways. As you  are loving your (our) children in this way, you can ask them more questions about "what happened today" and get even deeper into the issues. Further, you can offer reframes (alternative thinking) while doing EFT which are much more likely to be effective than if you were just bringing them up in normal conversation.

This whole process is also useful for pre-verbal infants. Even though infants are not able to tell you what is bothering them, the mere fact that they are crying or exhibiting other signs of distress tells parents that something (e.g. a fear, trauma or physical discomfort) needs to be resolved. During these times of distress the infant is "tuned into" the problem and thus primed for EFT. The addition of EFT tapping to the usual "there-there's" and other soothing language is likely to pay major long term dividends.

You may have noticed that I didn't include the EFT Setup phrasing within this process. It would be useful to fit it in, of course, although children seem to be in less need of it than adults. When adding it in you might wish to use the language below (children light up when saying it)....

"Even though I have this ___________________, I'm still an awesome kid."

As mentioned earlier, I think it is useful to tap the EFT points even while the child is talking about their "good" thoughts and happenings for the day. Properly done, the parental EFT'ing can add a soothing element to the discussion. Further, even though the child is discussing something positive, there is often a "comparing negative" behind it. For example, if the child says...

"My teacher complimented me today in front of the whole class."

....the comparing negative behind it might be...

"But sometimes she scolds children or ignores them and I am afraid that will happen to me."

In this case, even though the tapping is done on the "good" statement by the teacher, it is also likely to reduce the fear involved in the comparing negative. Thus, applying EFT to both the "good" and the "bad" items is likely to provide substantial benefits across the board.

Of course, we are all children (even though some of us have developed a few wrinkles) and thus this article need not be limited to a specific age group. Wouldn't it be nice, whatever your age, for someone to ask you about your childhood "stuff"? And wouldn't it be even nicer to resolve those issues daily? Maybe you could trade this favor with someone or just simply go through the process solo.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

How to Improve Liver Function Naturally

After the festive season it is now time to get yourself back on track to enjoy good health and vitality.

Step 1. Eat an Anti-inflammatory Diet
A low-sugar, low-toxin diet that’s filled with high-fiber foods is crucial for supporting your liver. High amounts of antioxidants and fiber can even reverse liver damage and disease.

The liver is the main organ for detoxification, since it removes toxins created both inside and outside of your body. When the liver can’t remove harmful substances, the immune system can perceive the rising level of toxins as a threat, which causes inflammation and autoimmune reactions. Food allergies and sensitives or leaky gut syndrome can also become more likely.

An influx of sugar — from foods like refined grains, sugary snacks and sweetened drinks — puts a lot on pressure on your liver to convert and store glucose. When blood sugar levels rise, the hormone insulin causes your liver to store glycogen. At the same time, your liver tries to respond to not enough carbohydrates entering the body by releasing stored glycogen back into the blood when you
need it for energy.

Nitrates in processed meats, hydrogenated oils, refined vegetable oils and artificial sweeteners/ingredients are also taxing.

The solution? Keep things balanced by eating real, whole foods (preferably organic), including unrefined sources of carbohydrates, veggies, fruits and healthy fats. When it comes to fats and proteins in your diet, focus on quality sources (cage-free eggs, grass-fed meat or wild-caught seafood, for example) so the liver can properly break down fats and remove excess cholesterol and toxins.

While many mainstream “detox diets” sold commercially might not offer the benefits they promise, choosing organic foods is one of the few proven ways to lower pesticide levels in the body. Organic, high-antioxidant foods fight the negative effects of stress, pollution and a poor diet on the health of your liver, while increasing natural liver detoxification and the ability to flush toxins out
through urine.

Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods for liver function include:

  • Sour foods — Bitterness is usually a sign that beneficial enzymes are present, which nourish the liver and also other digestive organs like the spleen and gallbladder. Sour foods are high in essential minerals that balance fluids and reduce heavy metals within the blood. Probiotic Foods(like kombucha, kefir, cultured vegetables) plus bitter green vegetables (mustard greens, chicory, arugula, dandelion, etc.) are loaded with nutrients and probiotics. Bitter-tasting leafy greens, like collards or Swiss chard, raise levels of glutathione.
  • Leafy greens — Green vegetables of all kinds come loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which help nourish the liver, along with potassium, which is tied to liver health. Many also increase levels of glutathione, a vital component in the destruction of free radicals within the body. As people age or experience illnesses, this becomes even more important since antioxidant and glutathione levels in the blood naturally decrease with age.
  • Cruciferous veggies and grasses — Green grasses (like chlorella, barley or wheat grass) hold a form of chlorophyll, a structure that’s built into plant cells that helps escort damaging substances like dioxin out of the liver, while increasing antioxidants like superoxide dismutase. And cruciferous veggies (broccoli, kale, cage, etc.) improve low potassium levels and contain indole  compounds, a  byproduct that’s known to be a cancer killer and eliminate carcinogens from the body. Cruciferous vegetables can increase production of digestive enzymes called glucosinolates, protein that helps detoxify the liver and increase the liver’s ability to usher out carcinogens and heavy metals from the blood.
  • Fresh herbs — Herbs including turmeric, coriander, parsley, cilantro and oregano are great to boost glutathione production and also lower inflammation. Highly potent flavors and aromatic smells of herbs are a sign of beneficial essential oils in certain herbs. Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound helpful in restoring healthy blood pressure, improving circulation and fighting toxin buildup. Other herbs balance the body’s pH level and increases digestive enzymes. Raw garlic is another great option since allicin compounds found in garlic have long been regarded as powerful antimicrobial agents that lower inflammation (including in the liver) while increasing circulation and healthy blood flow.
  • High-antioxidant fruits — Fruits like berries and melons provide and balance electrolyte minerals needed by the liver, including magnesium, calcium and potassium. In addition, they’re beneficial for improving healthy circulation by acting similar to hemoglobin.
  • Local raw honey — Raw honey is the kind that’s not heated or refined. It’s a natural antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal product. It helps lower liver inflammation and eliminate bacteria, parasites and viral infections, especially when you source it locally. It also nourishes the digestive tract and improves liver and gut health.
  • Green tea — Green tea, especially concentrated, powdered green matcha tea, is known to contain powerful compounds known as catechins that act as antioxidants in the body, combatting free radicals within the blood, reducing liver inflammation and lowering the effects of oxidative stress on the digestive organs.
  • Coconut oil — Considered one of the best sources of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), coconut oil contains beneficial healthy fats, including lauric acid. Acids found in MCFA have antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral properties that help the liver detox, reduce cravings for unhealthy foods and support energy levels. Apple cider vinegar — A fermented product made by combining apple juice with live bacteria in the form of yeast, apple cider vinegar contains beneficial enzymes and antioxidants, such as acetic acid and malic acid. These balance the pH level within the body — establishing a healthy ratio of acid to alkalinity — which nourishes the liver and other organs within the digestive tract, helping cleanse the body.

The worst foods for your liver include:

  • too much alcohol or caffeine
  • packaged goods that contain refined vegetable oils, artificial ingredients, sweeteners and colors
  • fruits and vegetables heavily sprayed with chemical pesticides and herbicides (non-organic crops)
  • factory-farmed animal products, farm-raised fish or conventional dairy (that has been pasteurized and homogenized)
  • sugary drinks and snacks
  • refined grains
How to Improve Liver Function Naturally (Steps 2 - 6)

2. Properly Prepare Your Food
Also important is properly preparing the foods you eat in order to reduce the presence of toxins, anti-nutrients and carcinogens that damage the liver. Anti-nutrients are types of natural toxins found in foods like grains, beans, nuts and seeds.

While they help the actual plants protect themselves from rodents or bugs, the human body has a hard time digesting them so they can interfere with the liver’s ability to absorb nutrients and metabolize proteins.

The liver is under increased pressure when you consume a high amount of anti-nutrients from foods like unsoaked/unsprouted grains and refined carbohydrates. Soak and sprout your grains, nuts, beans/legumes and seeds before eating them to make their toxin levels lower and nutrient availability higher.

When it comes to storing foods and cooking animal products, be careful not to produce more toxins by overcooking them or keeping them in chemically laden containers. “Low and slow” is the recommended way to cook meat — for example, braising or pan-roasting meat. Charring, high-heat grilling and using chemically sprayed coated pans can all create toxic byproducts

Charring, high-heat grilling and using chemically sprayed coated pans can all create toxic byproducts that wind up in your food supply. Cans made with BPA or plastic and bottles might also potentially leach chemicals into food.

3. Choose Organic Crops and Grass-Fed, Cage-Free and Wild Animal Foods
The quality of your diet is very important, because crops sprayed with chemicals, farm-raised fish or factory-farm-produced meat/poultry are more likely to carry toxins, antibiotic residue and added synthetic hormones that the liver then needs to remove. In addition, the healthier the animal, or the fresher the produce, the more nutrients (like omega-3s or antioxidants) are available when you eat them.

4. Use Liver-Boosting Supplements
Natural herbs have been used for centuries to help the liver metabolize chemicals found in prescriptions, antibiotics, hormones, and nutrients like proteins and fats. For example, your liver cells need to change amino acids from protein foods so they can actually be used for energy. Unfortunately, in the process a type of toxic substance called ammonia is produced as a by-product.

Luckily, your liver is capable of eliminating or changing most ammonia and sending it to the kidneys to be urinated out — however, when the liver isn’t working up to speed, the conversion of ammonia is slowed down, which means it recirculates in the body.

Several powerful herbs known to give the liver a boost in converting nutrients and removing toxins are:
• Milk thistle
• Holy basil
• Dandelion root
• Bupleurum

These herbal supplements help the liver properly metabolize foods, eliminate waste and even balance hormones. Milk thistle is an excellent source of the antioxidant called silymarin, which prevents depletion of glutathione in the liver and also fights liver disease.

Holy basil contains essential oils that help combat bacteria, heavy metals and even strains of fungus. To date, at least six different beneficial essential oils have been identified in holy basil.

Dandelion root (yes the same kind found in your yard that you might consider a weed!) has a natural diuretic effect. This means it helps balance fluid levels and boosts the liver’s efforts to quickly eliminate toxins, strengthening the immune system, helping with blood sugar balance and relieving indigestion.

Bupleurum is a medicinal root used for fighting infections and improving digestion problems like acid reflux, diarrhoea and constipation. It helps improve adrenal gland function, reduce effects of stress and make the immune system work harder.

If you’re lucky enough to visit a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, you might also be prescribed various other herbs that are proven to help improve kidney, liver and spleen function when combined with other traditional treatment methods. 5. Reduce Stress and Practice Forgiveness

5. Reduce Stress and Practice Forgiveness
What does forgiveness have to do with your liver? Most of it comes down to your hormones. Historically, holistic practitioners tied emotional troubles to liver damage and therefore overall poor health. As you probably know, high amounts of chronic stress — which can be caused by emotional issues, relationship problems, and holding on to guilt, anger or shame — estive and immune systems.

Research shows that changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis caused by stress promotes inflammatory response and worsens liver damage, even contributing to liver diseases. It’s no longer speculation that stress on the liver impacts hormones — it’s now been proven that the HPA axis is affected and causes changes in neurotransmitters and catecholamines.

A damaged liver is said to block healthy emotional flow, produce frustration and cause anger — and believe it or not, these have physical implications. Poor liver function has been tied to physical and psychological symptoms, including: brain fog, rib pain or fullness, dizziness, headaches, cramping, joint or tendon problems, menstrual problems, blurry vision, and digestive disorders.

This can also create a vicious cycle because the more stress your under, the more dysfunction in the liver can result.

Since the liver is closely tied to the uterus, involved in regulating reproductive hormones, a woman’s menstrual cycle and libido, it’s important to let go of built-up anger and keep positive energy moving by avoiding conflict and stressing over the small things.

6. Move Your Body More
Because the liver stores and processes your blood, circulation is important for allowing its cleansing effects to unfold. The body can become stagnant and more susceptible to disease when blood isn’t flowing, but during physical activities, the heart pumps more blood.

The liver is then better able to release blood to your brain, organs, tendons, joints and muscles. Exercise helps blood and nutrients reach reproductive or digestive organs, helping bring on a healthy, more pain-free menstrual cycle and more regular bowel movements.

Tips to Banish Acid Reflux

The answer to gastric problems like ulcers and acid indigestion is to restore your natural gastric balance and function. Not only is it useful for optimal gut function but it is crucial for your long-term health, as your gut flora can increase your absorption of nutrients, and play a significant role in mental and physical health.

It is very clear from reviewing the literature that you can't be healthy until your gut flora is optimized. That is one of the ways eating sugars harm you—they push your gut flora balance in the wrong direction.

Switching from processed foods to whole foods is therefore step number one. To  furthr optimize your gut health, you'll want to make sure you're consuming enough good bacteria from traditionally fermented foods, such as fermented vegetables, or in a probiotic supplement.

This will help balance your bowel flora, which can help eliminate Helicobacter bacteria naturally. If you have heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, or any acid-related condition, the strategies listed below may also offer relief.

Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar 

Acid reflux typically results from having too little acid in your stomach.You can easily improve the acid content of your stomach by taking one tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water.

Betaine
Another option is to take a betaine 
hydrochloric supplement, which is available in health food stores without prescription. You'll want to take as many as you need to get the slightest burning sensation and then decrease by one capsule. This will help your body to better digest your food, and will also help kill the Helicobator
pylori bacteria.

Baking soda
One-half to one full teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in a glass of water may ease the burn of acid reflux as it helps neutralize stomach acid. I would not recommend this as a regular solution but it can sure help in an emergency when you are in excruciating pain.

Aloe juice
The juice of the aloe plant naturally helps reduce inflammation, which may ease symptoms of acid reflux. Please call to ensure you get the right type of aloe vera juice and dose to avoid its laxative effect. 

Ginger root or chamomile tea
Ginger has been found to have a gastroprotective effect by blocking acid and suppressing helicobacter pylori.
Ginger root has been traditionally used against gastric disturbances since ancient times.


Add two or three slices of fresh ginger root to two cups of hot water. Let steep for about half an hour. Drink about 20 minutes or so before your meal. I also have a recipe for Fermented Ginger to help with Reflux Symptoms, please email if you would like us to send this to you.


Before bed, try a cup of chamomile tea, which can help soothe stomach inflammation and help you sleep.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important for addressing any infectious component. Once your vitamin D levels are optimized, you're also going to optimize your production of about 200 antimicrobial peptides that will help your body eradicate any infection that shouldn't be there.

Astaxanthin
This exceptionally potent antioxidant was found to reduce symptoms of acid reflux in patients when compared to a placebo, particularly in those with pronounced helicobacter pylori infection. Best results were obtained at a daily dose of 40 mg.

Slippery elm
Slippery elm coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines, and contains antioxidants that can help address inflammatory bowel conditions. It also stimulates nerve endings in your gastrointestinal tract.

This helps increase mucus secretion, which protects your gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity.

  • Tea: Pour 2 cups boiling water over 2 tablespoons of powdered bark, then steep for 3 - 5 minutes. Drink 3 times per day.

Glutamine
As reported by clinical nutritionist Byron Richards, research suggests B vitamins can reduce your risk for acid reflux. Higher folic acid intake was found to reduce acid reflux by approximately 40 percent. Low vitamin B2 and B6 levels were also linked to an increased risk for acid reflux. The best way to raise your folate levels is by eating folate-rich whole foods, such as liver, asparagus, spinach, okra, and beans. 

Folate or folic acid (vitamin B9) and other B vitamins
As reported by clinical nutritionist Byron Richards, research suggests B vitamins can reduce your risk for acid reflux. Higher folic acid intake was found to reduce acid reflux by approximately 40 percent. Low vitamin B2 and B6 levels were also linked to an increased risk for acid reflux. The best way to raise your folate levels is by eating folate-rich whole foods, such as liver, asparagus, spinach, okra, and beans.

 

 

 

Contact us today on (07) 4725 3080 or email info@optimalwellness.net.au if you have any queries.