DATE PASTE: THE ULTIMATE ALL NATURAL SWEETENER
Date paste can be used in baking, as a spread on your favorite cracker, and in chutneys and other recipes. Put your own spin on this recipe: while processing, add in apricots, raisins, dried mango or other fruit. You can also mix raisins or cranberries into the paste after it’s processed. Experiment and see what sweet bliss you can create!
Because cinnamon reduces the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream, it can help prevent blood sugar spikes. This is hopeful news for some people with Type 2 diabetes. But more studies need to be done around this issue. It appears that cinnamon may work better in people whose diabetes is poorly managed as compared to those who have good management of their condition. As a medicinal supplement, different people respond to different amounts — it’s not just a matter of sprinkling a teaspoon on your oatmeal. Cinnamon may also change the way some medications work, so it’s important to speak with your physician before adding cinnamon to your supplement regimen.
Cinnamon is available ground, in capsule form, and as a tea. There are many species of cinnamon. Be aware that typical grocery store cinnamon (‘the cassia cinnamons’) contains coumarin, which, in high amounts, can be harmful to the liver. Ceylon Cinnamon has lower levels of coumarin, which makes it a better choice for most people.
SELENIUM: A CRITICAL MINERAL
We don’t hear much about selenium, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to our health. In fact, while it’s a trace mineral — meaning we only need small amounts of it on a daily basis — it’s critical to our well-being. Not only does selenium protect our cells from free-radical damage, it supports heart health, and is essential for the production of thyroid hormone, blood sugar regulation and joint health.
While selenium occurs naturally in most foods, because of our modern agricultural practices, many of our foods are not as mineral rich as they used to be. For some of us that could mean selenium deficiency; look for these signs: weakness and pain in the muscles, discoloration of hair and skin, and whitening of the fingernail beds.
To increase your selenium levels naturally, try eating more button mushrooms, Brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds. Consuming too much selenium through food is not likely, with the exception of large consumption of Brazil nuts.
If you have signs of selenium deficiency, and before increasing your intake through a supplement, be sure to consult your holistic healthcare practitioner to ensure proper levels. Selenium toxicity can cause nausea, vomiting, hair loss, skin lesions, abnormalities in the beds of the fingernails, and fingernail loss.
- WHFoods.com. ‘Selenium’. (accessed Dec 18, 2016).
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- Diplock AT. Selenium, Antioxidant Nutritions, and Human Diseases. Biol Trac Elem Res. 1992;33:155-156. 1992.
- National Research Council. Selenium in Nutrition. Revised edition. Board on Agriculture, Committee on Animal Nutrition, National Academy of Sciences Press, Washington, DC, 1983. 1983.
- Vogt, T. M. Ziegler, R. G. Graubard, B. I et al. Serum Selenium and Risk of Prostate Cancer in U.S. Blacks and Whites. Int J Cancer. 2003 Feb 20; 103(5):664-70. 2003.
NATURE’S SWEET HERB: CINNAMON (Cinnamomum verum)
Naturally sweet cinnamon revives our senses with its wonderful aroma and can enhance health with its medicinal properties. Cinnamon was first used in China (2700 B.C.) to treat fever, digestive, and menstrual problems. Indian healers used cinnamon to treat gastrointestinal complaints, as well as sore throat and cough. Today, modern herbalists continue to use the herb for digestive issues, chest congestion and colds/flu, but they’ve also discovered it helps ease arthritis pain, as well as manage blood sugar levels.
Osha contains antiviral and antibacterial compounds that can relieve inflammation in the bronchial tubes. It helps alleviate symptoms such as sore throat, sinus congestion, and cough, and has been used to treat bronchitis, flu, and pneumonia. Take it as soon as your symptoms appear and when you are coughing and sneezing the most. That’s when it seems to be the most effective. Prepare a tea from crushed and dried Osha Root or mix root extract with honey to make a cough syrup.
Osha grows in a limited region in the U.S. so it can be hard to find in typical grocery stores. Ask for it in specialty or natural foods grocers or look for it online from a source that specializes in the herb. If you’re unsure about the source, don’t buy it (or pick it in the wild), as Osha leaves resemble Hemlock, a poisonous plant.
Many factors determine the appropriate amount of Osha to take, including a person’s age, weight, and symptoms. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Osha root. Talk with your holistic healthcare professional before taking Osha Root.
- Cleveland Clinic: Cinnamon. Accessed 2 Dec 2016.
- Examine.com: Cinnamon Essential Benefits, Effects & Information. Accessed 2 Dec 2016.
- World’s Healthiest Foods: Cinnamon (ground)
- Johannes, L. Little bit of Spice for Health, but Which One? The Wall Street Journal (online, 2014, Oct.) Accessed 4 Dec 2016.
- Hlebowicz, J. et al., ‘Effect of Cinnamon on Postprandial Blood Glucose, Gastric Emptying, and Satiety in Healthy Subjects.’ Am J Clin Nutr. (2007 Jun) 85:6,1552-6. Accessed 4 Dec 2016.
HEALTHY EATING THROUGH COGNITIVE- BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
It can hit anyone at any age – children and adults alike – and result in anything from mild discomfort to severe pain. We’re talking about congestion, that miserable clogged headachy feeling due to upper respiratory illness, ear infection, or allergies. It’s often due to inflammation and fluid in the Eustachian tube, a canal that connects the middle ear to the upper throat and the back of the nasal cavity.
THE EUSTACHIAN TUBE’S JOB IS TO:
WHY WE CRAVE
Food craving, particularly for sweets, is more involved than not being able to resist a second slice of chocolate cake. Researchers have discovered that ‘intense sweetness’ (from sugar or artificial sweetener) creates a biochemical change in the brain that is a lot like the response to addictive substances. Sugar actually alters the dopamine network – part of the brain’s ‘pleasure response.’ Other factors that play a role in the food we crave include stress, family habits, where we eat and whom we eat with, and time of day.
CURING THE CRAVINGS
Our thoughts affect how we feel, and how we feel affects our actions and the choices we make. If you’re struggling with food choices and having a hard time managing sugar intake, consider cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Working with a psychotherapist trained in CBT, you’ll learn to identify and change thoughts that influence emotions. You’ll develop insight into how even the smallest choices allow a behavior to persist and what is getting in the way of changing your patterns.
In a CBT session, clients use educational exercises, talk therapy, and simulations to change behavior. Sessions usually involve intense work over several weeks to arrive at effective solutions. If you’re struggling with cravings, depression, anxiety or addiction, give CBT a chance. It could make all the difference in your way of life.
- National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. ‘What is CBT?’ Accessed 5 Dec 2016.
- Ahmed, S.H., Guillem, K., Vandaele, Y., ‘Sugar Addiction: Pushing the Drug-Sugar Analogy to the Limit.’ (2013, July) 16:4, 434-9. Accessed 5 Dec 2016.
- Dmitrijevic, L. Popovic, N. et al., ‘Food Addiction Diagnosis and Treatment.’ Psyiatry Danub. (2015) 27:1, 101-6. Accessed 5 Dec 2016.
- DiabetesSelfManagement.com ‘CBT’ Accessed 5 Dec 2016.
- MacGregor, G. & Pombo, S., ‘The Amount of Hidden Sugar In Your Diet Might Shock You.’ (posted at TheConversation.com, January 2014). Accessed 5 Dec 2016.
First Do not Harm
Identify and Treat the cause
Healing Power of Nature
Doctor as Teachers
Treat the Whole
Prevention is best Medicine
The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.