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Stopping Sickness with Ayurveda

Posted by on 8:23 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Cold and flu season is in full swing. There are a lot of things we have all most likely resorted to doing in the fall and winter to prevent sickness like taking vitamins, getting enough sleep, and getting the flu shot. However, have you ever thought about how ayurveda, a practice we know and love, can help prevent getting a cold or the flu? Read up on the six tips in this article and try them yourself! The key to true mind-body balance? Understanding your body’s natural needs—how to eat, cook, cleanse, and heal—through each season. In our upcoming online course Ayurveda 101, Larissa Carlson, former dean of Kripalu’s School of Ayurveda, and John Douillard, founder of LifeSpa.com and best-selling author, demystify yoga’s elemental sister science. Sign up now—winter session begins Dec. 5th! Cold and flu season is here, but in addition to eating a balancing, seasonal diet, there are many Ayurvedic practices that can help you stay healthy throughout the winter months, says John Douillard, founder of LifeSpa.com and the co-leader of Yoga Journal’s upcoming online course, Ayurveda 101. The best part? Several of these quick and easy techniques can be done in the shower, so they don’t make a big mess. Here are his 6 best tips for avoiding bugs and feeling your best this winter. 1. Make a turmeric paste. Turmeric, which is harvested in the fall for the winter, is an immune-boosting spice. Just take equal parts organic turmeric powder and raw honey and mix it into a paste. At the first hint of a cold, take 1 tsp of the paste every two hours until you’re feeling better. To make the formula more potent, mix 16 parts turmeric to 1 part black pepper and make a paste with equal parts ghee and honey, and you’ve got a pretty amazing cold remedy. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has many studies showing its immune-boosting properties. Adaptogens help people cope with stress, and since holiday stress can be immune-compromising, [taking Ashwagandha] is a good strategy for staving off colds and flu. Take 500 mg of the whole organic root three times a day after meals when under stress or to prevent winter colds and flu, Douillard recommends. (Editor’s note: consult your doctor before taking any supplements.) 3. Give yourself an Ayurvedic self-massage every day. The skin has millions of sensory neurons on it, so the nervous system is exposed. You can calm and de-stress the nervous system by using your skin as therapeutic access to the nervous system. Self-massage with immunity-boosting oils like sesame oil dampens and calms the nervous system on your skin and allows you to handle stress better, which directly relates to immunity. Plus, the oil helps prevent eczema and rashes, and it’s great for skin health and radiance. Learn how to do abhyanga. 4. Start a neti + nasya routine. Using a neti pot with a saline or saltwater solution cleans out the sinuses, but the saltwater can leave the skin on the dry side. When the skin gets dry, it reacts by producing mucus, which is a breeding ground for bad bacteria. Doing nasya can help. Nasya is a nasal-lubricating technique that involves sniffing herbalized oils in the nose to moisturize the sinuses and thus prevent dryness and any reactive mucus production. Two to four drops sniffed into each nostril...

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A Possible Aid in Asthma Treatment

Posted by on 9:23 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It is likely that you know someone who suffers from asthma. If you personally do, you know how uncomfortable you can be during an attack. Besides inhalers, there are not many other options for treating asthma. This is where essential oils have stepped in. Essential oils bring many benefits for a wide variety of health-related problems. This article highlights how they might be the next best holistic method to help people breathe more clearly. Asthma is a long-term lung disease. The airways in the lungs become inflamed and swollen, causing the airways to tighten. This makes it difficult for air to pass through and for the person to breath. According to The American Lung Association, nearly 26 million Americans have asthma, including more than 7 million children. It is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children. There is no cure for asthma at present, but there are many treatment plans that can help people lead normal lives. Although there is a variety of asthma medicines on the market, some people prefer more natural treatment options. Many people looking for a natural and more cost-effective treatment option have turned to essential oils. This article will look at the use of essential oils to treat asthma, along with other treatments for the condition. What is asthma? Asthma makes breathing difficult, which can lead to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. This sequence of events is referred to as an asthma flare-up or an asthma attack. It is not known what causes asthma, but some people are more at risk of developing the disease than others. It is not uncommon for asthma to run in families and for environmental factors to play a role. Exposure to dust, chemicals, or irritants in the workplace can increase the risk for asthma. Damage from respiratory infections during infancy or early childhood as well as bad allergies can lead to asthma. An asthma attack can happen at any time and anywhere. There are certain situations where people are more likely to have an asthma attack, however. These cause the following types of asthma: Exposure to any type of irritant can cause allergies to flare up or simply irritate the respiratory system, triggering an asthma attack. Natural essential oils for asthma The therapeutic capabilities of essential oils are nothing new and may be helpful for some people with asthma. The following oils have some evidence to suggest a health benefit for people with asthma: Peppermint: One of the common causes of asthma attacks is exposure to allergens that trigger the release of a compound called histamine. Peppermint can help to stop the release of histamine in the body. A substance called methanol is present in peppermint and can relieve stuffy or blocked noses, which can help people with asthma to breathe better. Lavender: This essential oil is used for a variety of things. It has natural sedative and anti-inflammatory characteristics that may help people with asthma fight inflammation. Eucalyptus: Research suggests that eucalyptus oil may have anti-inflammatory properties. Tea tree oil: This essential oil helps by reducing inflammation. In doing so, tea tree oil can help reduce the body’s allergic response. Roman chamomile: Another essential oil with anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help part of the lungs called the bronchus to...

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Mindfulness Meditation Benefits

Posted by on 8:11 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

More research has been done on mindfulness meditation, further showing that there are positive health outcomes that can come about. This study from Michigan State University has found that negative feelings and emotions can be subsided through mindfulness meditation. Read the full article below to learn more about the study and its results. Anyone looking for a way to control their negative emotions might benefit from some mindfulness meditation, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The University of California-Berkeley define mindfulness as: “Maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.” A Harvard Help Guide tells us that: “Above all, mindfulness practice involves accepting whatever arising in your awareness at each moment.” Mindfulness has gained popularity in recent years. Rooted in religious practice and prayer, and especially in Buddhism, proponents claim that it can benefit the immune system, improve attention and memory, and increase the density of gray matter in the brain. It is said to enhance compassion, to ease relationship behaviors, to help people to overcome addiction, and to reduce stress. The search for neural associations that underlie mindfulness Now, researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) have found neural evidence that mindfulness helps to control negative feelings, not just in people who are naturally disposed to be mindful or well-practiced in meditation, but in anyone. On the basis that mindfulness can help to regulate the emotions, the team wanted to know whether someone who is not naturally mindful can enter a “mindfulness state of mind” through a decision to do so, or by undertaking a focused, deliberate effort. The team of psychology researchers, led by Yanli Lin, an MSU graduate student, invited a group of 68 native English-speaking females, who had not practiced mindfulness meditation before, to participate in the study. Analysis showed that participants came to the experiment with different levels of natural mindfulness. Each participant wore an electrode cap, to enable EEG recording. They then took part in one of two 18-minute activities. Some listened to a guided meditation, while others were exposed to a language-learning presentation. Immediately after the meditation, they were shown some disturbing pictures – for example, a blood corpse. The researchers used the EEG to record their brain activity while viewing the images. Meditation appears to help tame emotions The participants were instructed to view the pictures either “mindfully” or “naturally.” After this, they completed a questionnaire. Results indicate that, whether the participants had high or low levels of natural mindfulness, the brain was able to control negative emotions to the same extent. Exposure to the meditation session appeared to help the emotional brain to recover quickly after seeing the photos, suggesting that meditation enabled participants to tame their negative emotions. Some participants were also asked to view the images “mindfully,” while others were not, but this did not appear to affect their ability to control emotions. It would seem that meditation could be more helpful in achieving emotional control than just telling people to “be mindful,” says Jason Moser, MSU associate professor of clinical psychology and co-author of the study. “If you’re a naturally mindful person, and you’re walking around very aware of things, you’re good to go. You shed your emotions quickly. If you’re not naturally mindful, then meditating can...

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Finding Your Dharma from Within

Posted by on 8:02 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The word, inspiration, comes from the Latin root word “spire” meaning spirit and the prefix “in” which means “within”. Thus, inspiration is what happens when we get in touch with the spirit within us. To be inspired is our natural state of being. To feel inspired is to feel the joy, excitement and enthusiasm that come with feeling connected to a greater purpose.   What is a greater purpose? It is a purpose greater than one’s own selfish pursuits. It is a purpose for a higher motive, a greater cause or calling. It is what happens when the Divine speaks to you and prompts you to take action. This Divinely motivated action is sometimes called “dharma” in Hinduism.  What’s your dharma? What’s your higher purpose? Each person has a dharma.  Some learn it through a vision. Others hear a voice. It is a Divine experience to realize one’s dharma. The good news is that everyone can discover the dharma. To do so, there are only two things necessary. 1. Be still.  It is in the stillness that the Divine speaks to you. This occurs in meditation or a moment of Divine reflection. It can happen in your living room or on a mountain top. 2. Surrender: This is the hardest part. You have to be willing to surrender to your dharma to receive a clear vision of your dharma. The Divine speaks to those who are ready to listen, not just hear. What will you do if you don’t like your dharma? What if it’s hard work? What if it will be fraught with challenges? Will you still surrender and serve?  The only answer that will do is “YES!” Without a yes, you have not surrendered and your own ego will get in the way of listening to the Divine. I am reminded of my own vision when surrendered my life to a high power…..All I wanted was to serve. All I wanted  clear direction. When the vision came, it was big. It was large. And, it was scary. But it was also so incredibly exciting and the prana (energy) that surged through me was greater than anything I had previously experienced. I have tried my best to surrender and serve that vision ever since.  You be still and hear the universes-May you have the courage to surrender to what you...

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Chronic Pain No More

Posted by on 8:52 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As this article states, “In any given year, around 100 million adults in the United States experience chronic pain”. There is no need to explain what chronic pain is because there is a very good chance either you or someone you know has suffered from it. There is new research showing that yoga and acupuncture help to bring relief of pain, and we love hearing that! Yoga, tai chi, and other complementary health approaches are effective in helping to alleviate some chronic pain conditions, concludes a new study by researchers from the National Institutes of Health. Lead author Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and colleagues publish their findings in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. In any given year, around 100 million adults in the United States experience chronic pain – pain that persists for at least 12 weeks – of whom around 40 million have severe chronic pain. While there are medications available to help ease chronic pain – such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – they are not always effective. “For many Americans who suffer from chronic pain, medications may not completely relieve pain and can produce unwanted side effects,” notes Nahin. “As a result, many people may turn to nondrug approaches to help manage their pain.” The NCCIH note that American adults spend around $30 billion each year on complementary health approaches – such as yoga and acupuncture – and the most common reason is to help ease pain. However, the research team says that to date, there has been a lack of robust evidence to suggest such approaches are effective for pain management. “Our goal for this study was to provide relevant, high-quality information for primary care providers and for patients who suffer from chronic pain,” says Nahin. By analyzing the MEDLINE database, Nahin and team identified 150 randomized, controlled U.S. clinical trials conducted over the past 50 years that looked at the effects of nondrug approaches on chronic pain. Specifically, the researchers assessed the safety and efficacy of complementary health approaches for the treatment of five of the most common pain conditions: back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and severe headaches and migraine. Fast facts about yoga Around 21 million adults in the U.S. practice yoga Yoga is practiced by 1.7 million children in the U.S. Back pain is the main reason why people practice yoga Learn more about yoga A treatment was considered effective if it led to improvements in pain severity and pain-related disability and/or function that were statistically significant, when compared with a control group. The researchers found there was strong evidence to suggest that yoga and acupuncture are safe and effective for back pain, while acupuncture and tai chi might benefit people with pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee. Results also suggested that massage therapy is safe and effective – particularly if administered in 1-hour sessions two to three times weekly – for short-term alleviation of neck pain. Furthermore, there was evidence to suggest relaxation techniques – such as stress management and relaxation training – are safe and effective for the treatment of severe headaches and migraine. There was some evidence to suggest that people with back pain might benefit from spinal manipulation, massage...

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Say Goodbye to your Heartburn!

Posted by on 8:52 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

So many people experience heartburn on a regular basis. Besides medicine, there are other alternatives to alleviate symptoms like avoiding certain foods. This article also shows that holistic medicine can aid many conditions like heartburn. We offer many treatments at Optimal Wellness that can help with conditions such as heart burn or sinus pain, but if you are looking for quick relief from heart burn this article will help! Heartburn is a medical condition in which the contents of the stomach move backward and upward into the food pipe. Heartburn is also known as gastrointestinal reflux. The diaphragm and a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter usually prevent heartburn. However, this muscle can sometimes relax and leave the food pipe unprotected from stomach acid. Heartburn is experienced when stomach acid comes into contact with the lining of the food pipe. This can cause the following symptoms: A feeling of burning behind the breastbone, neck, and throat Taste changes Coughing Voice hoarseness that is made worse by eating, leaning forward, and lying down The discomforts of heartburn can last for several hours and may progress into a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. GERD can cause frequent heartburn, food sticking, damage to the food pipe, blood loss, and loss of weight. 10 simple remedies for heartburn relief There are some things that people can do to prevent and treat the symptoms of heartburn. Not all remedies work or are safe for everyone, however. It is important for people to speak with their doctor about the best remedy for them. Simple remedies for heartburn relief include: Quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke Wearing loose fitting clothing to avoid unnecessary pressure on the stomach Considering prescription medications: People with heartburn should also speak with their doctor to see if the use of prescription medications is right for them. Losing weight: People who are in need of losing weight or are obese may want to consider a diet and exercise weight loss program. Each person reacts to these changes differently, however. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider about losing weight. Raising the head of the bed: There are many ways to raise the head of the bed to allow gravity to reduce the symptoms of heartburn. Placing blocks under the top bedposts, raising the bed by around 6-8 inches may work. Foam wedges can also be placed between the mattress and box spring to raise the angle of the head of the bed. Pillows are not effective in reducing heartburn symptoms. Trying over-the-counter medications: People with heartburn should speak with their doctor about over-the-counter medications to relieve their symptoms. They may be recommended to try antacids, acid reducers like famotidine or ranitidine, or acid blockers such as lansoprazole and omeprazole. Using herbal preparations: The use of certain herbal preparations may also be useful. The Mayo Clinic report that licorice, slippery elm, chamomile, or marshmallow could help in treating the symptoms of GERD. It is important for people to speak with their doctor about potential side effects and drug interactions before starting any herbal supplements. Trying acupuncture: Although there is limited evidence to support its use, acupuncture may be beneficial in relieving the symptoms of heartburn in some people. Relaxing: Stress and tension can wreak havoc on the body. Relaxation...

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Insight on An Aspect of Ayurveda

Posted by on 9:06 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We practice Ayurveda techniques at Optimal Wellness, and there is a lot of history behind Ayurveda. Did you know the spice tumeric can be used in this system? This article points out that our skin can benefit from it in many ways. Along with being a great contributor to many entrees, you can now understand how it has medical powers too! You’ll find it in curries, you’ll find it in salad dressings-you’ll even find it in teas and lattes. Turmeric is right up there with kale as one of the trendiest foods around right now. Turmeric, though, is nothing new-especially not to the South Asian and Middle Eastern communities. As a spice, turmeric is a staple of Indian cuisine, and it’s used as a dye in both foods and fabrics. Ayurvedic healers have also been using turmeric as a medicinal plant for at least 2,500 years. [Read Related: “Haldi-Doodh Turns Into Hipster Trend with Turmeric Lattes“] But what is turmeric? Turmeric is a close relative of the ginger plant. Though native to southern Asia, the plant is now cultivated throughout the world in India, China, Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean. Turmeric has broad, dark green leaves and brilliant pink flowers, but the plant is chiefly prized for its root or rhizome. Initially, the rhizome was used to preserve food. Archaeologists have discovered traces of turmeric in pots that date back to 2500 BC. Turmeric began to emerge as an important medicine in Ayurvedic healing around 500 B.C. The spice was most commonly used to purify the blood and skin, but it was also used to treat conditions as diverse as epilepsy, diarrhea, and urinary infections. Ayurveda is a traditional healing system that’s still practiced widely throughout India today.  Its name is derived from the Sanskrit words for life (“ayur”) and knowledge (“veda”). According to Ayurveda, the system has three doshas, or energies, corresponding with human physiological systems. Vata is aligned with the nervous system, pitta with the digestive system, and kapha with the lymphatic system. Only when these three energies coexist harmoniously will a person enjoy good health. Turmeric plays a reoccurring role within this system. Powdered turmeric was frequently used as an insect repellant. Turmeric pastes were used to alleviate skin conditions like eczema, ringworm, and other parasitic skin conditions. Turmeric juice applied topically was believed to help heal wounds, and turmeric poultices were applied to help relieve the swelling and pain associated with ankle sprains. A popular cold remedy consisted of milk simmered with turmeric and sugar. Turmeric was also used in Ayurvedic beauty routines. For centuries, Indian brides owed their glowing complexions on their wedding days to the use of a traditional Ayurveda turmeric facial mask. Many of these routines-both medicinal and topical-are still practiced in India. In fact, the multi-faceted uses for turmeric are being acknowledged and applied the world over with so many modern day studies with scientific data supporting its power. Modern day scientists have identified a number of chemical compounds in the turmeric rhizome, many of which have powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. For example, curcumin is a chemical that blocks an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2, which appears to be implicated in the growth of many types of tumors. Animal studies have shown that curcumin may successfully block the development of skin...

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Take Time to Relax

Posted by on 9:06 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There are certain techniques that are excellent for relaxation. If you feel stressed or anxious you might need to take a step back from your everyday activities and truly relax the right way. This article points out how your body can benefit from relaxation too. Using these tips along with getting services done like massage will help you to feel more calm and centered! Everyone experiences stress in one form or another, but the way that it affects each person differs. Some people may need to reduce their stress, and relaxation techniques are one option for doing this. In stressful episodes, the nervous system is forced into a “fight or flight” response. This response triggers the release of certain chemicals within the body, including adrenaline, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine. During this release of chemicals, the body is immediately affected by many physical symptoms. These symptoms include an elevated heart rate, increased respiratory rate, blood vessel narrowing, and muscle tightening. The long-term presence of stress can weaken the body. Using relaxation techniques to reduce the physical response to stress may aid in producing the “relaxation response.” During this period of deep relaxation, the body can experience the following: A fall in heart and breathing rates Lowered blood pressure Muscle relaxation Improved energy and focus Pain relief and healing When are relaxation techniques used? As everyone experiences stress differently and with varied symptoms, finding the relaxation method that works for the individual is important. People should be sure to find what works for them so that they can stick to a relaxation program with ease. It is important to be able to add relaxation into a daily routine to keep stress levels under control. Relaxation techniques can be used in a variety of stressful conditions such as: There are certain conditions for which relaxation techniques may prove helpful. These conditions include: Childbirth: Guided imagery, self-hypnosis, progressive muscle relaxation, and breathing techniques may help with reducing the pain experienced during labor. Depression: Relaxation techniques have not been proven to be as helpful as cognitive behavioral therapy in treating depression. However, studies report that people with depression who use relaxation techniques experience more symptom relief compared with people receiving no treatment. Heart disease: The use of relaxation techniques has proven to have short-term benefits in people with high blood pressure. Insomnia: People with long-term insomnia may benefit from practicing relaxation techniques, coupled with proper sleep hygiene and other sleep-related strategies. Nausea: For those undergoing cancer chemotherapy and using antinausea medications, some relaxation techniques like guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation may offer symptom relief. Anxiety and relaxation techniques A reduction in anxiety related to health problems or medical procedures can be attributed to the use of relaxation techniques. However, researchers have yet to prove that people with generalized anxiety disorder benefit from the use of relaxation techniques. Older adults with anxiety do benefit from relaxation techniques. Again though, research shows that in this group, the long-term effects of anxiety reduction are best in those who receive cognitive behavioral therapy. Medical News Today spoke with Board Certified Art Therapist and Mental Health Counselor, Deb Smith, about the use of relaxation techniques in treating general anxiety disorder. “For those suffering with general anxiety disorder, the use of relaxation techniques coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy may prove...

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Life’s balancing act with Ayurveda

Posted by on 1:29 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In the three ring circus that each of us navigate and so lovingly call life, we each have to find a way to pull of a balancing act of career, family and our hobbies/passions that make life colorful. The best way to do that is to learn how to cope with stress and there are ancient methods such as ayurveda that can help. The term ayurveda has started to pop up more and more: diets, massages, skin care and retreats. It may be the new buzz word on the wellness scene but ayurveda has been around for thousands of years. But what is ayurveda?Often translated as the ‘science of life’ it is the traditional Indian health care system and a sister science to yoga. But it is so much more than herbal capsules, diet books and luxurious massages. Here is a little insight into how it is to live ayurvedically. Ayurveda is an integral part of life. It is about being in tune. Your inner cycles, landscape, rhythms and physiology being in tune with the outer cycles, rhythms, seasons… Living in balance you start to connect the inner and outer world. You start to listen to your own body and emotions and respond to create balance and wellbeing. You acknowledge your environment and how it affects you. Through this innate wisdom you take responsibility and action to create health and wellness. Therefore living ayurvedically involves: Diet – Eat seasonally and locally. Enjoy your meals according to the daily rhythm e.g. main meal at midday when the sun is strongest and therefore the inner digestive fire is most effective. Enjoy cooling foods and drinks to ease the heat on a hot summer’s day. Daily routine – When do you choose to get up in the morning, what is your routine according to the 24 hour clock? When do you meditate, exercise and work? Everything has its time and place. Get up early to meditate while it is quiet around you, then start to feel hunger before you enjoy your breakfast (consider the word: you are breaking your fast after sleep). Be inspired to begin projects, work and study in the afternoon when our brains is active and full of ideas. This is the same time asthe air and space (vata dosha) elements are dominate. The outer environment – Are you aware of the rhythms of the 24 hour clock? The environment you live in? How does it compare with how you live your life? If you live in a big busy city perhaps you need to focus on slowing down and spend more time in nature? Consider how you spend your time both indoors and outdoors, on transport, travelling. Whether you live a very cold and windy climate, or in hot humid sunshine – all these factors are considered in ayurveda. Your home and how it makes you feel is important. You may know of feng shui and the energetic flow in designing your home. In ayurveda we embrace a similar science called vastu which aims to create balance in architecture and design. Seasonal changes – In ayurveda you acknowledge the elemental changes during seasonal change. In summer you feel the heat and dryness of the sun. This will affect you not only at the time but potentially accumulate and...

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Acidic foods can be your worst nightmare

Posted by on 5:57 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the huge tenets of natural medicine is that we focus on nourishment of the body through proper nutrition as a way to not only make sure that you stay healthy but actually as a way to help deal with symptoms of disease and actual elimination of disease. Most of the issues with nutrition come from the fact that there is so much ignorance surrounding the subject. Here are some foods you should be sure to avoid. If you have any additional questions, call Optimal Wellness today. (NaturalNews) Many people have heard or read about how avoiding acidic foods and eating more alkaline ones can help reduce your risk of cancer , but often without understanding the definitions of “acidic” and “alkaline” being used. Acidic and alkaline substances are, in a sense, chemical opposites. When they react, they tend to produce “neutral” salts and water. Acidity is indicated by pH, with water being neutral at 7, numbers lower than 7 (down to zero) indicating acidity, and higher numbers (up to 14) indicating alkalinity. But a food that is chemically acidic, such as lemons, might actually have an alkaline effect in the body, by lowering the body’s internal pH. Thus, lemons are actually an “alkaline food” according to alkaline diet theory. Read on to learn how to recognize and avoid acidic foods, and which alkaline foods to eat more of. Eat like our ancestors did According to the alkaline diet model, an acidic environment within the body causes toxic waste products to build up, producing various health problems and disease, most infamously, cancer. “The focus for preventing and reversing cancer must be on maintaining the alkaline pH of the body fluids, and a recognition that cancer is a systemic acidic condition,” writes Robert O. Young, author of The pH Miracle. Acidic foods include meat, dairy, processed sugar, refined grains, junk food, caffeine and alcohol. These foods, formerly rare in our diets, have come to dominate the Western diet in recent decades (and are growing in popularity worldwide). Alkaline foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, along with most nuts and seeds. In this model, acidic foods are not “bad foods” – they’re just not foods that should form the core of the human diet. According to Young, the ideal diet consists of 80 percent alkaline foods and just 20 percent acidic foods. If you have been eating an acidic diet for some time, you might want to emphasize some of the more highly alkaline foods in order to help re-balance your body. Some of the most potent alkaline foods include buckwheat (a great wheat substitute), flax seeds and oil, olive oil, melons and cabbage. Other good alkaline foods include avocados, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, garlic, grapefruit, green beans and peas, lemons and limes, lettuce, millet, onions (including green onions), parsley, pears, pumpkin, radishes, sesame seeds and tahini, soy beans and products, spinach, sprouts, tomatoes, wild rice and zucchini. You can also drink a daily tonic of a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 7 ounces of lemon juice (a little less than a cup), in order to help flush acid wastes from the body and produce an alkaline pH. Feel the health benefits According to Young, moving your pH towards alkaline can provide immediate health benefits, even beyond...

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