Posts tagged ‘diabetes’

January 24, 2013

Are You Breathing Lake County Air Right Now?

Hold Your Breath While You Read This… (not really)

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage.

Free radicals are also introduced through external sources such as exposure to pollution. Other free radical producers that damage cells include things that people put into their bodies, such as- alcoholic beverages, unhealthy, processed, chemical-laden foods, cigarette smoke & stress. In much the same way as oxidation creates rust, causing a breakdown on the surface of metal objects, oxidation inside the body causes a breakdown of cells. Free radicals produced by this breakdown attack healthy cells, usually DNA as well as proteins and fats. This chain of events weakens immune system function as well as speeding up the aging process. It is also linked to several diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetes, various forms of cancer, and heart disease. Some studies indicate possible links to arthritis and several other chronic conditions.

Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” that prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals. The healthier your diet is, the more antioxidants you will consume however, nutrient-rich soil is uncommon these days unless you’re eating strictly organic. so…. If you are still breathing right now, you need some antioxidant support! Baums can help with that!

Most Commonly Known Antioxidants

  • Vitamin A and Carotenoids– bright-colored fruits & veggies
  • Vitamin C– Citrus fruits, green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, strawberries and tomatoes
  • Vitamin E– Nuts & seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables
  • Selenium– Fish & shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken, garlic

(ACES formula from Carlson Labs contains all four of the above nutrients)

Other less-common but very powerful antioxidants include-

  • Flavonoids / polyphenols– Darkly colored berries, grapes, tea, pomegranates, Noni, Gogi, and Acai.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)– produces energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance
  • Glutathione-the mother of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system
  • SOD (super-oxide dismutase)-promotes the rejuvenation and repair of cells
  • Lutein– protects the eyes from macular degeneration
  • Lycopene– protects the prostate
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid-antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

Give your cells a fighting chance!  Flood your body with great, fresh fruits and vegetables daily (or grab a fresh juice at our Munster or St. John stores!) .  Fill in any gaps in your diet  with potent antioxidant support from Baums.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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September 27, 2012

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Reblogged from organicfacts.net

The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc

How is Lauric Acid Used by our body?

The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. As a result of these various health benefits of coconut oil, though its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system. The Coconut Research Center has compiled various references on scientific research done on coconut oil.

Hair Care:

Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair providing them a shiny complexion. Regular massage of the head with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry. Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. Most of the people in these countries apply coconut oil on their hair daily after bath. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. It is therefore used as hair care oil and used in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Coconut oil is normally applied topically for hair care.

Skin Care:

Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Further, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin with the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Therefore coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin care. Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.

Heart Diseases:

There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for the heart. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetables oils. It does not lead to increase in LDL levels. It also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.

Weight Loss:

Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.

Digestion:

Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Immunity:

Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

Healing and Infections:

When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is most effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.

Infections:

Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.

Liver:

The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids helps in preventing liver diseases as they substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing work load on the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat.

Kidney:

Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.

Pancreatitis:

Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in treating pancreatitis.

Stress Relief:

Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue.

Diabetes:

Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.

Bones:

As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Thus coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.

Dental Care:

Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. Coconut oil also stops tooth decay.

HIV and Cancer:

It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Preliminary research has shown indications of the effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients (Reference).

Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.

Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease:

There are reports of  research conducted by Dr. Newport stating that coconut oil is useful for treating Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from this there is no scientific evidence or traditional knowledge or coconut oil being used for treating Alzheimer’s. It was also not known traditionally that coconut oil helps in the brain function.

Why is Coconut Oil Solid?

Unlike most other oils, coconut oil has a high melting point – about 24 to 25 degress Celcius or 76-78 Farenheit. Therefore it is solid at room temperature and melts only when the temperatures go high. Hence, if you buy a bottle of coconut oil and find it solid, don’t think that there is some problem with it. Coconut oil is like this only. And of course, don’t keep it in your refrigerator.

How to Use Coconut Oil?

If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially hair care, just melt the oil (if it is solid) by keeping the bottle in the sun or warm water. You can also take some coconut oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame (do not use microwave). Then take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair. If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. Remember, you need not switch to coconut oil completely, as you will miss the benefits of other oils and dairy products.

Can I Use Coconut Oil for Cooking?

Yes, in most of the tropical coastal regions, people use coconut oil for cooking.

I Don’t Like the Taste of Coconut Oil. What Should I do?

Try using coconut oil in some different recipe. That may help. If you get nauseated after eating coconut oil, don’t force yourself. As it happens with any other food item, your body may be allergic to coconut oil and it is best not to consume it.

For more information on coconut oil check out our other blog post here or stop in at any of our locations! Baums carries several high quality brands of coconut oil for every purpose!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

March 1, 2012

Could an Unattended Fire Be Spreading Throughout Your Body Causing Disease?

We’ve all heard of inflammation, but few of us really know what it is and what causes it. Inflammation is a natural process of the body, a protective mechanism the body uses against trauma. Think of when you take a bad fall, you get bruised and pain arises. The immune system sends out an army of chemical substances to go to the injured area. That is why that area gets red and inflamed for a few days. Inflammation becomes problematic when it starts becoming chronic.

  Just as the plants in your garden need a good mixture of sun and rain to thrive, we all need a measure of inflammation to survive. Acute inflammation is the short-term immune response our bodies mount in cases of trauma, infection, and allergy. Whether you have broken a bone, burned yourself on a hot stove, or been exposed to a foreign microorganism, the body is programmed to carry out a similar response. During this response, it will identify the infectious or dangerous substance, determine which cells are non-threatening and which ones are. Assess the level of the threat, mount a response, and repair any resulting damage. In a perfect world, this response occurs just as it should, releasing pro-inflammatory compounds when needed and then turning them off with anti-inflammatory compounds when the threat has been stamped out.

Chronic inflammation arises when this response is not completely turned off or extinguished. It acts like a slow-burning fire, continuing to stimulate pro-inflammatory immune cells when they may not be needed. What happens when these excess immune cells are circulating in our systems? Chronic inflammation can slowly spread and lead to serious metabolic breakdown, with vast implications for your long-term health. You may have heard that disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and eczema stem from inflammation. But chronic inflammation has now been connected to a host of modern diseases, from obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure, to Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, cancer, and a host of others; all being chronic and degenerative illnesses. Even biological aging, is rooted in chronic inflammation!

Are you inflamed?
Here is a list of symptoms commonly associated with low-grade chronic inflammation:

  • body aches and pains
  • congestion
  • frequent infections
  • diarrhea
  • dry eyes
  • Indigestion
  • shortness of breath
  • skin outbreaks
  • swelling
  • stiffness
  • weight gain/obesity

The good news is that there are so many things you can do to cool your inflammation — even if you’ve already been diagnosed with an inflammatory-related condition or have an elevated CRP.* Doing something about it now is one way to ensure aging with vitality and strength. Simple things like cutting back on dairy, red meat and soda, getting more sleep, regular exercise (without overdoing it), and supplementing with natural anti-inflammatories can  make a difference.

Natural anti-inflammatories:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids from fish or flax
  • Quercetin– great for allergies
  • Bromelain or other protein digesting enzymes
  • Resveratrol– anti-aging, protects against lung damage
  • Curcumin (Turmeric)- great for pain and swelling
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid– diabetic neuropathy, blood vessel protection.

Come in to Baum’s and check out our whole section of supplements that target inflammation of all kinds!  Why set yourself up for disease when you can get a handle on it now?!

*C-reactive protein: develops in a wide range of acute and chronic inflammatory conditions like bacterial, viral, or fungal infections; rheumatic and other inflammatory diseases; malignancy; and tissue injury or necrosis.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.