Sunday, 8 December 2013

Health Benefits Of Local Raw Honey


(naturalnews) When we look at the word "raw", we associated it with the preservation of important vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Just as raw vegetables are preferable because of their nutritional content, the same is true of honey. Raw honey is honey that has not been heated, pasteurized or processed in any way. The differences between raw and pasteurized honey are substantial. Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. These are the very nutrients that are destroyed during the heating and pasteurization process. In fact, pasteurized honey is equivalent to and just as unhealthy as eating refined sugar.
Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections. Raw honey's benefits don't stop there. Raw honey can also stabilize blood pressure, balance sugar levels, relieve pain, calm nerves, and it has been used to treat ulcers. Raw honey is also an expectorant and anti-inflammatory and has been known to effectively treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.

Raw honey purchased from a local source is an excellent way of treating seasonal allergies. Local honey is preferred for treating allergies because the likelihood is great that it will contain small amounts of the specific pollens an individual may be allergic to.

Raw Honey is an effective natural remedy for a variety of conditions:

For centuries, honey has been used to treat all sorts of ailments. It can be applied topically to heal wounds and rashes, or it can be taken internally to treat infections and address other health concerns. Although there are numerous remedies, the following are popular remedies for common everyday conditions.

For skin burns, rashes, and abrasions, place a honey poultice over the affected area.

Raw honey is also an effective treatment for acne. A small amount placed on blemishes and acne nightly will often clear the skin in a short period of time. Washing your face with honey will also leave you with sparkling, clean, soft skin.

Raw honey's antibiotic properties are effective in treating colds and sore throats. Raw honey coats the throat and reduces irritation. For blocked sinuses, mix a teaspoon of honey in a pot of hot water, put a towel over your head, and just inhale the steam.

To treat allergies, take a teaspoon of raw honey a couple of times a day starting a few months prior to allergy season.

The many varieties of honey:
There are many varieties of honey, some of which are used to treat specific health conditions. Manuka honey has strong anti-bacterial properties and is used to treat a variety of conditions which include colds, sore throats, indigestion, stomach ulcers, and acne.

Acacia honey cleanses the liver, promotes intestinal health, and reduces inflammation in the respiratory tract.

Buckwheat honey, a strong tasting and dark honey, has strong antioxidant properties. Unfortunately, Buckwheat Honey is very scarce, especially in the United States. An alternative would be Red Gum Honey that also has strong antioxidant properties.

Eucalyptus honey can be used to prevent colds and headaches.

Heather honey has been used since ancient times for its medicinal properties. This honey contains a high level of protein.

Linden honey is known for its sedative and antiseptic properties. It is used to treat anxiety, insomnia, colds, coughs, and bronchitis.

Neem honey is highly esteemed in Ayurveda for its medicinal properties. Neem Honey is used to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, skin conditions, periodontal infections, throat infections and allergies.

When looking to buy raw honey, look for a product from a local producer, preferably one you know or know of. Local honey offers particularly great protection from seasonal allergies.

Please note that pediatricians caution against feeding honey to children under one year old.

It is important to note that not all honey sold is real honey. 

Read the following, "Honey warning''

The mystery product sold as “honey” BUT ISN'T! Not all honey is created equal. In fact, not all “honey” is real honey. Honey is one of the most commonly mis-labeled foods. Last year, Food Safety News found that 75% of store-bought honey was ultra-filtered and did not contain pollen. Without pollen, it is impossible to identify the honey’s source. The US FDA states that any “honey” that no longer contains pollen cannot technically be considered honey.

Even more concerning, a third or more of all “honey” in the US was found to have been smuggled in from China or India, and tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals. According to Food Safety News, millions of pounds of honey deemed unsafe and banned from dozens of foreign countries is being imported and sold in the US.

Additionally, a number of ingredients are added to “honey”, and even sometimes constitute the main ingredient. These include sucrose syrup, sugar syrup, partial invert cane syrup, corn syrup, glucose syrup, beet sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, as well as artificial sweeteners. Any “honey” that contains these ingredients is therefore not real honey, but a blend. Furthermore, some of these ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, pose a particular threat to the health of consumers. On my trip to the grocery store, I picked up this little honey bear whose main ingredient was high fructose corn syrup. It was the cheapest honey available, and though I hate to waste, I threw this little guy in the trash after photographing him (I see right past that cute little face of yours, honey bear…).


About the author:
Luella May is a natural health advocate helping people to heal naturally.
Article Source:
Dave Sommers
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16 Great Reasons To Have Daily Sex

Stressed, burdened with life's difficult problems and fear that your health is declining? Then sex is the answer to happiness, longevity and a healthy body. You don't agree? 

Well, here is a list of the health benefits of sex, so do it daily to experience complete pleasure. These are 16 reasons to have sex today!

1. De-stress Sex helps you reduce stress. When deep breathing exercises fail to de-stress you, sex will do the needful. During sex your body produces dopamine, a substance that fights stress hormones, endorphins, aka "happiness hormones" and oxytocin, a desire-enhancing hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. In a study, published in the Public Library of Science journal, three neuroscience researchers conducted a test on male rats and found that the sexually active rats were less anxious than rats with no sexual activity.

2. Great Form of Exercise Making love is a form of physical activity. During intercourse, the physiological changes in your body are consistent with a workout. You must have noticed that the respiratory rate rises, which means you get tired. Hence, you burn calories. If you have sex three times a week for 15 minutes (but we know you can do better than that) you'll burn about 7.500 calories in a year. That's the equivalent of jogging 75 miles! Heavy breathing raises the amount of oxygen in your cells, and the testosterone produced during sex keeps your bones and muscles strong.

 3. Lowers high blood pressure Hugs and sex can improve your blood pressure. Sex reduces diastolic blood pressure, that is, the bottom number while reading blood pressure. Researchers with the University of Paisley conducted an experiment on the same. They concluded that sex improves blood pressure.

 4. Builds your immunity Trying to fight the sniffles? Sex is the answer to fight cold and other health problems; sex can boost your immunity. Immunoglobulin A, an antigen that fights the flu increases when the frequency of sex increases.

5. Makes You Look Younger Making love three times a week can make you look 10 years younger, claims a Scottish researcher. "It's good for you to have good sex," says David Weeks, a clinical neuropsychologist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, whose study on the effects of sex on aging appears in his book, Secrets of the Superyoung.

6. Healthy heart Sex helps you burn calories but it can also improve your heart. Sex will take care of stroke and heart attacks, you just have to enjoy the moment. Scientists with New England Research Institute examined the effect of sex on the heart. The study concluded that men are 45 percent less likely to experience cardiovascular diseases. But the study fails to study the effect of sex on a woman's heart. 

7. Pain relief Pleasure is the measure to beat out the pain. Do you experience migraines and body pain? Well sex is the answer. But if you experience back pain, it is best to consult a doctor. Dr. George E. Erlich, an arthritis specialist from Philadelphia conducted a study on the link between arthritis and sex. He narrows down that patients who engaged in sex experienced less pain. 

8. Builds trust and intimacy The act of sex spikes the hormone oxytocin; this hormone is responsible for your happiness and love. If your feel your relationship is falling out, there is trust or you're worried that your partner will stray away, then sex will dispel these doubts. The hormone oxytocin builds trust and brings couples closer, and cupid too

9. Less chances of cancer Regular ejaculation reduces your chances of developing prostate cancer. In an Australian study men who ejaculated 21 times a month were least likely to develop cancer. It is further supported by other researches that sexual intercourse reduces the risk of prostrate cancer.

10. Stronger pelvic muscles Sex involves the use of several muscles; hence regular sexual intercourse can help you develop stronger pelvic muscles. Further, since the act of sex involves a range of muscles, it also helps strengthen these muscles - for ex: quads, your core, and the upper back. Through regular sex, you can also maintain a strong bladder and bowel function. Strong muscles, calorie burner, improves heart health - sex seems to take care of you.

11. Prostate Protection Most of the fluid you ejaculate is secreted by the prostate gland. If you stop ejaculating, the fluid stays in the gland, which tends to swell, causing lots of problems. Regular ejaculation will wash those fluids out and ensure the well being of your prostate until old age. Problems may also occur when you suddenly change the frequency of ejaculations. 

12. Induces sleep After that great, lovely workout you are bound to get good sleep. But guess what? Sex works the same way as exercise. The increased heart rate leads to increased post-coital relaxation. Sex could be the next thing for insomniacs! So what really happens: - Sex can relax you, hence if you are already tired, the act of sex will induce sleep. - When men ejaculate they become lethargic, this can make them sleepy. 

13. Regular periods Apparently sex can improve your menstrual cycle. Sex regulates hormones, which in turn regulate the menstrual cycle. Sex reduces stress, which is one of the reasons women miss their periods. Sex seems like a better option than pills.

14. Prevents Erectile Dysfunctions Fifty per cent of men older than 40 suffer from erectile dysfunctions and all young men fear the moment when they won't be able to get it up any more. The best medicine against impotence An erection keeps the blood flowing through your penile arteries, so the tissue stays healthy. Plus, doctors compare an erection to an athletic reflex: the more you train the more capable you are to perform. 

15. Live longer A healthy heart, stronger muscles, increased circulation of oxygen and happiness are some of the factors that add life to the years and as a result - years to your life. A study published in the British Medical Journal reveals that men who engaged in sex often live twice as those who rarely had any action. 

16. Healthier semen If you're trying to conceive, you increase the volume of semen if you have sex regularly. Regular sex replaces old sperms from the testicles. If there is a natural build of sperms it can lead to DNA damage. 

Source: Prevent Disease 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Top 10 Edible Plants to Grow Indoors

Laura Newcomer |

From farmers’ markets and Community Supported Agriculture, to urban farms and rooftop gardens, to produce delivery services, more and more people across the U.S. are embracing farm-fresh food.

And for good reason: Locally grown produce tends to be better for the environment and for local communities than its store-bought counterparts. Growing food at home also ensures that growers know exactly where their food comes from and how it was grown (no need to worry about deceptive food labeling). If you’re not whipping out the pruning shears yet, consider this: Learning new skills is good for our brains.

Luckily, you don’t need to be a farmer (or even live near a farm) in order to reap the benefits of home-grown produce. If you have a sunny window (or two, or five) and a bit of extra time on your hands, then you’re capable of growing your own food right at home. Read on for our roundup of 16 easy, healthy plants to cultivate indoors — and how to get them growing! 


Before you get started, here are a few tips that will be handy to keep in mind no matter which of the plants from this list you choose to grow.

All of these plants require well-draining soil, which means you will either need to use a pot with holes in the bottom or pile up some stones in the bottom of your pot before adding soil (so that the water can drain through the stones). If you choose to use a pot with holes in the bottom, be sure to put a shallow drainage container under the pot so the water doesn’t drain onto your floor, shelf, or windowsill.

For each of these plants, feel free to purchase potting mix at a garden center or make your own (You can also choose whether or not you want to stick with organic soils). Each plant grows best in a slightly different soil environment, but this general potting mix recipe will help get you started. 

Many of these plants grow best in areas that receive lots of sunlight and remain fairly warm throughout the day. Sunny windows are extremely helpful for growing plants indoors. However, if you don’t have sunny windows (or if the area is a low temperature), grow lights will be your new best friend — they help maintain optimal light and temperature conditions for plants regardless of outside weather or indoor conditions.

1. Avocados

Why They’re Healthy: Avocados are chock full of healthy fats in addition to vitamins E and B6 and carotenoids, which are high in vitamin A and have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and eye degeneration. No wonder these fruits are one of our favorite superfoods!

How to Grow: It’s possible to grow an avocado tree from an avocado pit, but doing so may not yield edible fruit. If you want to eat what you sow, it’s best to purchase a dwarf avocado plant (varieties that yield the larger green-skinned fruit or the more common black-skinned fruits are equally good) . To tend for your tree, add some sand to the bottom of a large, well-draining pot before filling it with regular potting mix and planting your tree. Water the tree regularly but make sure the soil is never soggy — avocado roots don’t take well to being waterlogged. Prune the shoots regularly, and be sure to place the tree in an area with high ceilings — even dwarf trees can grow higher than 10 feet!

How to Harvest: Green varieties are ready to harvest when the fruits’ skin turns slightly yellow, while darker varieties are ready when their skins have turned almost black. Ripe fruits can be left hanging on the tree for a few weeks, but any longer than that and they’ll start to lose their flavor and texture.

2. Carrots

Why They’re Healthy: Carrots are a good source of a variety of vitamins and minerals, including thiamin, niacin, folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K. They also supply carotenoids, which are a big boon for eye health [1].

How to Grow: Purchase carrot seeds and a pot or window box that’s at least a foot and a half deep and wide, with drainage holes at the bottom. Fill the container to within an inch of the top with a humus-rich potting mix. Water the soil before planting the seeds. Plant the seeds one inch apart in rows that are six inches apart from each other, pressing the seeds gently into the soil and covering them with a thin layer of soil. Water. Place the container in an area that receives tons of light. Keep the soil moist, but not soaked. To help preserve moisture, soak some peat moss in water overnight and then spread it on top of the seeds. Expect the seeds to germinate (i.e., start sprouting) in about two weeks.

How to Harvest: Carrots are ready for harvest when they’ve grown to about ¾ of an inch across the top (just below the green stem). If you can’t see the carrot itself, gently brush aside some soil around the stem so you can size it up (Note: Though it may be tempting to see how big carrots can get, they’ll start to lose their sweetness and flavor once they surpass their peak size.). To pick the carrots, grab them firmly at the root and wiggle them around a bit, then pull straight up. If you find that the soil is quite hard, water it and then wait an hour or so before retrying the harvest. Once the carrots have been pulled from the soil, remove the greens immediately, wipe off any excess dirt, and let them dry before storing them in the fridge.

3. Garlic Greens

Why They’re Healthy: Pungent garlic is a member of the cancer-fighting allium family [2]. It’s also a Greatist-approved superfood that’s been linked to improvements in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

How to Grow: Note: Growing actual garlic bulbs indoors is a bit tricky, but you can easily grow garlic greens, which can be used just like scallions. Start by purchasing a few garlic bulbs with small cloves, and don’t be afraid to buy a shattered bulb (i.e., one that’s started to burst or is fully pulled apart). Select a four-inch pot with drainage holes at the bottom (a quart-size yogurt container with holes poked through the bottom will also work) and a small bag of potting soil. Fill the pot with soil to about half an inch below the top of the container. Break the bulbs into individual cloves (leave the peel on), and push each individual clove about an inch into the soil, pointy end up. Plant about 12 cloves close together. Water well and place the container in a sunny spot. Water regularly, making sure that the soil remains moist but not soggy. Green shoots should appear in about a week.

How to Harvest: Once the shoots are 8-10 inches tall (this will take a few weeks), clip off whatever you need with scissors. When the cloves start putting up more sprouts, compost the contents of the pot, fill it back up with fresh potting soil, and plant new cloves (Each clove only sprouts good greens once; to have a constant supply, you need to keep re-planting).

4. Lemons

Why They’re Healthy: A Greatist superfood, lemons are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, which could help decrease heart disease risk, reduce inflammation, and fight some cancers [3] [4] [5].

How to Grow: If you want the option of harvesting fruits right away, purchase a two-to-three-year-old dwarf tree at a nursery. Choose a clay, ceramic, or plastic pot slightly larger than the root ball of your tree, and make sure it has several holes in the bottom. Fill the drainage dish with stones to allow air to circulate. Use a potting soil specifically formulated for citrus trees, or choose a slightly acidic, loam-based potting mix. Place the plant in an area that will receive eight to 12 hours of sunlight each day and will ideally maintain a temperature between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Water regularly, but be sure not to over-saturate the soil (it should be moist, not sopping wet). Citrus trees like moist air, so regularly misting the leaves with a spray bottle will help keep the leaves perky.

How to Harvest: Most lemons will ripen in six to nine months. Test for ripeness by looking for full color and gently squeezing the rind — a slight “give” indicates that the lemons are ready for eating.

5. Mandarin Oranges

Why They’re Healthy: These sweet little fruits are a decent source of antioxidants, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and fiber.

How to Grow: Purchase dwarf mandarin orange trees for the best chance of growing fruits successfully indoors. The trees will grow best in spacious pots with drainage at the bottom, and in rich soil. They also require a sunny location (rotate the plant regularly to ensure that it receives light evenly on all sides). Water regularly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. The trees can grow up to six feet tall, and their root system grows along with them — when the roots begin to grow back on themselves or out of the drainage holes, it’s time to re-pot in a container that’s at least 2 inches larger in diameter.

How to Harvest: Mandarins need to be harvested as soon as they turn orange in order to preserve their flavor. When the fruits turn orange, clip or carefully twist and pull the fruit from the tree, making sure that the “button” at the top of the fruit remains intact.

6. Microgreens

Why They’re Healthy: A big bowl of leaves can be a stellar source of vitamins A, C, K, and folate. And microgreens (a.k.a. seedlings of herbs and vegetables) might have even more nutrients than their full-grown counterparts [6].

How to Grow: Start by purchasing a variety of seeds, such as radishes, kale, Swiss chard, beets, basil, and dill. Fill a shallow tray (no more than 2 inches deep, often called “seedling trays”) or a shallow pot with a drainage hole and fill the tray to the top with potting mix. Moisten the soil with water, making sure that it’s damp but not wet. Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the soil (they should be close to each other but not touching). Sift a thin layer of soil over the top to cover the seeds. Using a spray bottle, lightly mist the soil. Place the tray on a sunny windowsill in a room that’s between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Mist or lightly water the soil daily so it remains moist; don’t let the soil dry out, but also make sure that it isn’t waterlogged. In about three to five days, the seeds will likely germinate — once they do, make sure they get 12-14 hours of light every day. Keep the soil moist at the roots, but avoid soaking the leaves.

How to Harvest: Once the seedlings have grown to one or two inches in height (expect this to take three weeks or more) and have about two sets of leaves, they’re ready to eat! To harvest the greens, hold them at the stem and use a pair of scissors to cut off the leaves, making sure not to cut into the root (by leaving the roots intact, you ensure that your greens will yield multiple harvests). Eat the microgreens right away or store them in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to five days.

7. Mushrooms

Why They’re Healthy: Mushrooms aren’t just flavorful; they’re also a good source of fiber and vitamin C as well as antioxidants and cancer-fighting compounds [7].

How to Grow: The easiest way to grow mushrooms indoors is to purchase a kit or grow them in a laundry basket. If you’re looking for a more labor-intensive option, follow these instructions.

8. Salad Greens

Why They’re Healthy: Just like microgreens, salad greens (which include iceberg, spinach, romaine, red leaf, and arugula) are chock full of vitamins A, C, and K, and also contain folate and iron.

How to Grow: Begin by purchasing starter plants or seeds from a local nursery (You can also order seeds online). Choose a planter box that has drainage holes in the bottom and fill it with potting soil. Use your finger to poke holes into the soil about four inches apart.

If using seeds: Sprinkle a few of them into each hole, then pat the soil back over the hole to cover them up.

If using starts: Massage the roots before placing each start in a hole, filling in around them with soil.

After planting seeds or starts: Water the soil. When plants start to appear (if growing from seed), pull out all but the largest, healthiest shoots. Water the soil regularly, making sure that it always remains moist to the touch.

How to Harvest: To harvest mixed greens, pull off only the outer leaves to allow the plants to keep growing, and be sure not to disturb the roots.

9. Scallions

Why They’re Healthy: Like garlic, scallions are part of the allium family of vegetables, which has been associated with cancer prevention and may help protect the body from free radicals (by-products of cellular processes that can cause cellular damage) [2].

How to Grow: No seeds required! To cultivate your own scallion crop, simply buy a bunch of scallions, wrap the bulbs together with a rubber band, and place the whole shabang (greens, bulbs, and all) in a glass with an inch of water. Change the water daily. When new green shoots appear and the roots have doubled in length (in about seven to 10 days), plant the scallions in a shallow pot or other container (not too big). Keep the plants evenly watered (i.e., don’t let the soil get too dry before watering) and in full sun.

How to Harvest: Snip the green tops (leaving at least an inch or two of the plant in the dirt) as needed. To use the white part of the scallion, harvest the plants when they’re six inches tall. Gently pull the white clump from the soil. Washed and trimmed scallions should keep for a week in the refrigerator (To maximize freshness, wrap them in a moist paper towel and store them in a plastic bag.).

10. Tomatoes

Why They’re Healthy: Tomatoes contain lycopene, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help prevent coronary heart disease [9] [10].

How to Grow: Start by selecting one six-inch pot (for one plant) or a larger pot (approximately 12 inches) if you’d like to grow two plants. For a continuous supply of tomatoes, start one or two new plants from seed every two weeks. Fill the container(s) with starter potting mix and plant seeds about ¼ inch deep. Water, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Place the container in an area that receives substantial sunlight, turning the pot(s) occasionally so all sides have even access to the sun. Expect the seeds to germinate in five to 10 days. When the seedlings are about three inches tall, transplant them from the starter mix to potting soil. About two weeks after transplanting, add an organic fertilizer to the mix. Water the plants thoroughly; again, keep the soil moist but not soggy. As the plants grow larger, they may need to be staked to avoid broken stems. When plants bloom, tap the main stem and larger side branches with your finger — this will help to encourage pollination.

How to Harvest: Tomatoes grown indoors will not grow to be as large as outdoor tomatoes, but they’ll still be full of tomatoey taste. When the fruits are red and firm, but with a slight “give” to the touch, they’re ready to eat. Either clip or gently twist and pull the fruits from their stems.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

This Simple Test Could Predict How Long You Will Live

It’s a question we often ponder, especially as we age: How many years do I have left?

Well, thanks to Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo, there’s now a simple test you can perform right at home, in just a few seconds, that could predict how many years you have left to live, according to Discover.

Araujo came up with the test after noticing that many of his patients,
especially older ones, often have difficulty with simple feats of balance and strength, such as picking up something off the floor or getting up out of a chair. Since balance and conditioning problems are known to increase the risk of dangerous falls and accidents (and can also harm cardiovascular health), he wondered if a patient’s flexibility, balance and strength could be used as a measure of life expectancy.

His idea was that patients might be more motivated to get in better shape if they had a more tangible way of conceptualizing how their overall health was being affected by their conditioning. If a patient is simply told to get in shape, they’re not likely to change their behavior. But if they’re told “if you don’t get into better shape, you could be dead in five years,” they’re apt to take notice.

Of course, the test also needed to be simple. If it required expensive equipment or measuring devices, the test probably wouldn’t be accessible to many people. So Araujo and colleagues developed the sitting-rise test, or SRT. It requires no equipment whatsoever and can be performed in seconds.

In fact, you can grab a friend try the test out yourself right now. It’s recommended that you wear loose or comfortable clothing. Begin by standing upright in the middle of a room. Without using your arms or hands for leverage, carefully squat into a cross-legged sitting position. Once you’re comfortable, attempt to stand back up from the sitting position — again, without using your arms for help. A simple illustration (above), provided by Discover, can help you to visualize the steps.

The test is scored on a point scale between 1 and 10 (5 points for sitting, 5 more points for standing back up). Each time you use an arm or knee to help in balancing during the test, you subtract one point from 10 possible points. Half a point is subtracted each time you lose balance, or when the fluidity of the feat becomes clumsy.

It seems like a pretty rudimentary test of conditioning, but Araujo found that it could predict life expectancy with alarming accuracy. He tested it on more than 2,000 of his patients aged 51 to 80, and found that people who scored less than 8 points on the test were twice as likely to die within the next six years. Those who scored three points or less were five times more likely to die within that same time period. Overall, each point achieved in the test accounted for a 21-percent decrease in mortality.

Araujo’s study was only performed on patients older than 50, so the results won’t mean the same thing for younger individuals taking the test. But regardless of your age, the test should provide a useful benchmark for your overall health. If you’re younger than 50 and have trouble with the test, it ought to be a wake-up call. The good news is that the younger you are, the more time you have to get into better shape.

Source :

What To Eat When You're Broke

The lower your income is, the more difficult it is to be particular about what you feed your family.
This probably isn’t an earth-shattering revelation to anyone, but if you feel like experimenting, try to buy a week’s worth of healthy food for a family on a budget of, say, $50-75.  Food manufacturers that target lower income shoppers with more affordable products tend to include more GMOs and toxic ingredients in their offerings.
It just isn’t possible to stick to  my usual food restrictions.  Generally speaking I avoid:
  • Non-organic dairy because of the hormones and antibiotics as well as the GMO feed given to the animals
  • Non-organic meat because of the hormones and antibiotics as well as the GMO feed given to the animals
  • Anything containing corn, soy, or canola in any form because it is almost certain to be GMO
  • Anything with chemical additives like artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Anything that is likely to have been doused in pesticides
  • Anything containing neurotoxins like MSG, fluoride, or aspartame (along with other artificial sweeteners)
It is a matter, then, of weighing the pros and cons, and figuring out what things, for you, are the most important, while also deciding which standards can be sacrificed.  These decisions will be different for everyone, based on their personal health concerns, their genetic propensity for certain diseases, and the members of the family for whom they are buying the food.
Sometimes, when you’re looking at someone else’s situation while you are comfortably backed by a loaded pantry, it’s easy to be judgemental and tell them what they “should” do. The thing that we  must all remember is that when times are tough, a person may be down to these two options with a two week grocery budget:
1.) Buy strictly healthy organic foods and feed your family for perhaps 8 out of the 14 days.
2.) Carefully select which standards you will relax to keep the tummies of your family full throughout the wait for the next paycheck.
Very few people are going to choose option one.
Usually, I have an enormous stockpile of non-GMO dried foods and a flourishing garden to serve as a back-up for whatever non-toxic items are being offered at a reasonable price that week.  Because I’ve recently moved and am rebuilding my pantry from the ground up, I have no such stockpile right now. I am at the mercy of the food manufacturers.
When your budget is extremely limited, the normal healthy eating suggestions of shopping only the perimeter of the store or visiting the farmer’s market will not suffice to feed a family.  As much as you may want to dine only on locally grown, fresh organic produce, a $50 farmer’s market spree will only get you through a few days if you are totally reliant on only this food.

The Lesser of the Nutritional Evils

So what is a broke, but health-conscious, shopper to eat?
After strongly considering the list above, I decided not to cut corners on the organic dairy, neurotoxins, or the GMOs.  I have a growing child and these things are at the top of the toxic pyramid for her development.  This isn’t to say that the pesticides aren’t harmful, or the preservatives are not a  chemical minefield.  In a perfect world, I’d avoid all of it, and you should too.
If you are in a situation where you have to feed your family and don’t have a lot of money to do it, you need to do your research well before looking at those brightly colored packages with the false promises of nutrition within.  While this list isn’t comprehensive, here are some things to consider about conventional grocery store offerings.
GMOs: Genetically modified foods have not been tested for long-term effects on humans.  There is a great deal of evidence to indicate the GMOs can cause a host of illness.  Peer reviewed studies implicate GMOs in the development of grotesque tumors, premature death, organ failure, gastric lesions, liver damage, kidney damage, severe allergic reactions, a viral gene that disrupts human functions…you can read more HERE.
Hormones and antibiotics: Livestock animals that provide meat or dairy products are tainted with growth hormones, antibiotics, and GMO feed.  These items pass through the food chain to the consumer. Growth hormones can cause opposite sex characteristics in developing children, early puberty, the development of cancer, and infertility. Furthermore, the world is quickly becoming immune to the effects of antibiotics because of constant exposure through the food supply, which means that there is the potential for things that should be easily treated to become deadly due to antibiotic resistance.
Pesticides: The use of pesticides in conventional farming is rampant.  Even the hijacked the Environmental Protection Agency has to admit that the ingestion of pesticides can cause health problems.  They warn of the risk of “birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time.”  (Keep in mind, however, that despite this warning, the EPA just RAISED the acceptable limit of glyphosate at the behest of Monsanto.) Especially at risk of harm from pesticides are prepubescent children and fetuses.
Neurotoxins: Our water supply is spiked with fluoride, a neurotoxin that  lowers IQs, causes infertility, has been linked to cancer and causes hardening of the arteries. Nearly every packaged food on the shelf is seasoned with MSG in one of its many names, and many lower calorie foods and diet drinks are sweetened with aspartame.  Both of these are excitotoxins that cause brain cell death instantly, causing decreased IQs, headaches, depression, and seizures.
Assorted chemical cocktails:  The length of the ingredients list in your food is often a direct indicator of the unhealthiness of the item. When an item contains a host of additives, colors, flavors, and preservatives, you can safely bet that most of the nutrients are gone.  These highly processed foodlike substances are very difficult for the body to break down so that the few remaining nutrients can be used. If you can’t picture what an ingredient looked like in it’s natural state, it probably isn’t something you really want to eat.  When is the last time you saw a tertiary butyl hydroquinone grazing in a field, or a calcium propionate growing in the garden?

What should you eat when you’re broke?

Grains: If you can’t swing organic grains, look for whole grains with few or no additives.
  • Wheat flour
  • Brown rice
  • Pasta (with recognizable ingredients)
  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
Meats:  If you can’t afford grass-fed organic meat, at the very least look for options that are guaranteed to be hormone and antibiotic free.  The USDA does not allow the use of growth hormones in pork, which makes it a slightly better option.
Here’s a little primer on those confusing meat labels:
  • Hormone-free: This means something with beef, but is nothing but a marketing ploy when you see it on poultry or pork, as the USDA does not allow the use of hormones with those animals.  Hormone-free does not mean antibiotic-free
  • Antibiotic-free: Because of poor and stressful living conditions, factory-farmed animals are very susceptible to illness.  Antibiotic-free means they were not prophylactically treated with antibiotics. This does not, however, mean that the animal is hormone-free.
  • Grass-fed: Grass-fed cows are allowed some access to the outdoors and are not fed grains or corn.  This does NOT mean they are organic, because the grass they are grazing on may have been chemically fertilized and sprayed.  Unless you have actually seen them roaming around the farm, keep in mind their access to the outdoors may not be the lovely rolling pastures that you have in your mind, but a crowded corral with hundreds of other cows.
  • Free-range: This label doesn’t mean diddly squat.  It means that the animal is allowed a minimum of an hour a day outside.  This could mean that they are crammed into an open area with a billion other chickens, still, without room to move, or that their cage is put outside, leaving them still tightly confined. Like the grass-fed cows above, unless you actually see the farm with the gallivanting chickens or pigs, take the label “free-range” with a grain of salt.
Your best options, if you can’t afford organic meats, are to go for the hormone and antibiotic free options as a supplement to vegetarian protein sources like local eggs, beans, and organic dairy products.
Fruits and vegetables: If organic produce is not an option, look for the items with the lowest pesticide loads.  (This list by the Environmental Working Group is based ONLY on pesticide loads – some of the items they recommend could be GMOs).  Fruits and vegetables that can be peeled often subject you to less pesticides than thin-skinned items. If you must buy conventional, wash the produce carefully and peel it if possible.  Look to these stand-bys:
  • Apples (peeled)
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Pineapples
  • Rutabagas
  • Sweet Peas
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Turnips
 Dairy products: Conventional dairy products are absolutely loaded with hormones.  Dairy cattle are given high levels of female hormones to make them produce a greater quantity of milk. This makes little boys develop female characteristics and makes little girls hit puberty at a far younger age than normal, which is the reason you see 4th graders with large breasts and hips.  These hormones can also trigger obesity in both genders.  Because of the public outcry, some dairies have pledged not to use rBST, the most commonly used of the growth hormones.  Do your research to discover if there are any such brands available to you.  The Lucerne brand from Safeway is guaranteed to be hormone free. (It’s interesting to note that Monsanto, the company that pushes rBST, wants the FDA to disallow dairies to put this on their labels, and that the FDA forces those who label their products rBST-free to also put the following disclaimer on the containers: “No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST treated cows.” (source) )
Organic dairy is still better, because the cattle are fed a healthier diet and are free from antibiotics.  If you can’t swing it, at the very least, search for rBST-free dairy products. For products, you can save loads of money by making your own from untainted milk.  Learn how to make yogurthow to make yogurt cheese, and how to make cottage cheese.  Plain yogurt can also be used as a healthy substitute for sour cream.
Water:  If you are on city water, chances are, your water is loaded with chemicals, from fluoride to ammonia to chlorine.  I won’t drink this water, and I won’t let my children drink it either.  The large 5 gallon jugs provide the least expensive way to buy water.  Also look for sources of spring water to fill your own containers. (This interactive map can help.)

Other Tight Budget Tips

Build your pantry. It’s hard to think about building a pantry when you have barely enough food in the cupboard to make it between paychecks.  But if you can purchase one bulk item per shopping trip, in a few months you will have a pantry that will allow you to make higher quality grocery purchases on your weekly trips. At that point, you can start going to the farmer’s market, which in many locations is very reasonably priced, buying in enough bulk to preserve your foods, and have the occasional splurge.  Go HERE to learn more about building a whole foods kitchen on a half price budget.
Be scrupulous about food hygiene.  Wash your produce very thoroughly and soak it in a baking soda bath.  Also remember to careful wash your beans and rice. (Click HERE to see some photos of the dirt that comes off of a cup of rice!)
Get growing.  Even if it is the off season, you can sprout some seeds on your counter to add fresh nutrients. You can grow some salad greens and herbs in a sunny windowsill.  Invest a few dollars each week in some seeds and you will soon be able to supplement your diet with nutritious, organic, home-grown veggies.  Go HERE to get more ideas for growing your own food on any budget, in any location.
Visit outlet stores.  Sometimes places like Big Lots or grocery clearance centers have organic options at good prices. You might be able to pick up canned goods, cereals, and crackers at a fraction of the normal grocery store price.
Forage for freebies.  In many locations, even the city,  there are free delicious foods just waiting for you to pick them.  Dandelions, wild berries, nuts, and nutritious leaves abound. Just be very sure you know what you’re picking and then enjoy your wild foods.  Check out this excellent guide to the nutritious goodies that may be in your backyard masquerading as lowly weeds.
Plan on at least one extra frugal meal per day.  Have peanut butter and crackers, a bowl of oatmeal, or soup for one meal per day – not every meal has to be made up of protein, veggies, and grains.
 Don’t give up.  If you are feeling financially defeated, it is sometimes easy to say, “*bleep* it!!!” and just get some Ramen noodles or macaroni and cheese and call it a meal.  Don’t do it!  Do the very best you can with the resources you have available. Remember, if you can’t afford good food, you definitely can’t afford bad health – it’s even more expensive.

 The Simple Truth

There are a lot of things that readers may find to pick apart in this article – and that’s good!  By thinking critically and discussing these things, sometimes we can come up with solutions that may not have occurred to us previous to the conversation. I’m not some expert that shouldn’t be questioned – I am just a mom on a budget.  Some of the suggestions here were gleaned from the comments sections of previous articles.
Do your research and do the best that you can with what’s available given your resources.  Create a plan to provide better options in the future. Don’t go down that toxic trail laid out by Big Food without fighting, kicking, and screaming.

About The Author:
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at

Monday, 2 December 2013

Pet owners increasingly using medical marijuana to help their pets beat pain.

(NaturalNews) As the social stigmas and taboos about marijuana that largely emerged during the "Reefer Madness" generation continue to be stripped away from the public consciousness, an increasing number of people are beginning to look at this all natural herb with fresh eyes, recognizing its incredible potential for healing. This includes a growing number of pet owners who are now using the plant and its essential oils to safely and effectively treat their ailing pets.

CBS New York reports that veterinary cannabis use is on the rise across all segments of society, and particularly among pet owners whose pets have severe or even terminal illnesses that do not respond to conventional treatment. Major conditions like cancer, many pet owners are finding, respond quite well to cannabis use when nothing else does. And unlike conventional treatments, cannabis treatment does not cause any harmful side effects.

One such success story is "Luna" Capers, the beloved dog of Rowyn Capers who reportedly gained her quality of life back after being given a non-psychoactive cannabis oil extract for late-stage lymphoma. When chemotherapy left the dog gravely ill and on the verge of death, Rowyn began to administer the natural therapy instead, which produced incredible results.

"Her lymph nodes were like golf balls and she was coughing constantly and she couldn't breathe, and I just thought it's time to say goodbye," said Rowyn to CBS News about Luna's condition before the cannabis. "The first time I dosed her [with cannabis] I was so scared. We were looking at her all night. [But the] more I increased her cannabis dose the less side effects that she had. The vomiting stopped, the diarrhea stopped."

Similar success was achieved by Mary Lynn Mathre, the owner of a 13-year-old golden retriever who was also diagnosed with cancer. After learning about cannabis, Mary Lynn began to give all of her dogs a daily cracker topped with cannabis-infused butter, which not only helped the sick one but also helped improve the health of all her dogs, including one with a strange bald spot on its leg.

"There was no hair on a circle that it would lick and lick," stated Mary Lynn to CBS New York, noting that both dogs experienced dramatic improvements as a result of the cannabis.

Cannabis helps pets with low energy, cancer, and epilepsy

Al Byrne's three dogs, who range in age from three to 13, have also responded positively to marijuana. Besides noticeable increases in energy among all the dogs, Al says each of his furry family members now has a shinier coat and a "shine in their eyes" that was not there before.

"When you see them enjoying life and feeling better and not being sick, you know you've hit something," says Darlene Arden, a certified animal behaviorist who is a strong advocate for veterinary cannabis use. "I think we can now see marijuana for exactly what it is and what it can do. [It's not] a street drug but a legitimate medication to be used under proper supervision."

Many CBS New York commenters with pets seem to agree with these sentiments, as some of them posted their own stories about how medical cannabis helped their pets. One woman recounts how her three-year-old dog almost died from epilepsy but experienced a dramatic and immediate recovery after being placed on a regimen of medical cannabis.

"As a last ditch effort after her last bout of seizures and being unable to come out of her postictal state, despite being administered a heavy sedative by our vet, we tried marijuana we had received from a friend of ours (it's legal in our state)," writes the commenter. "Within less than 15 minutes, our dog came fully out of its postictal state, laid down, and napped for (about) 2 hours before waking up and wanting to play tennis ball and tug. It was beyond anything I had seen before with this dog."


Friday, 29 November 2013

Bees Have Been Trained To Sniff Out Cancer in Humans

Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees. The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer.

Scientists have found that honey bees - Apis mellifera - have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range.

Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.

The system is definitely not foolproof, but could be used as a low-cost alternative to current early detection methods that require expensive medical machinery. Find out more on Soares’s website