The 10 worst foods for fat loss

Adapted from 60 Seconds to Slim

Let’s face it: Grocery and convenience stores (not to mention school lunchrooms and vending machines) are full of chemical- and sugar-laced foods we should never eat but that make up a surprisingly large portion of most people’s regular diet. I’m frequently asked which foods are the worst and make us the fattest. Here are 10 of the worst foods you may be eating, ordered from terrible to tragic. You may be surprised to learn which “food” I consider to be the worst.

More: 50 Foods You Should Never Eat

All of these foods are highly acid forming and need to be eliminated as soon as possible. They create inflammation in the body, throw off hormonal balance, bog down the body’s lymphatic system (more on that later), and congest the liver, among other things that negate your efforts to restore a healthy weight.

10. Ice cream

I’m sure you’re not surprised to see ice cream on this list, but it may not be for the reasons you think. Today’s ice cream is full of sugar and harmful trans fats as well as artificial colors and flavors, many of which are proven neurotoxins that should never be allowed in food. Neurotoxins are brain- and nervous system-damaging chemicals. You may think that neurotoxins won’t have an effect on your weight, but they certainly do.

Our brains must maintain a delicate balance of chemicals that control all of our metabolic processes. If any substance interferes, the balance goes out of whack. Of course, there are healthier varieties of ice cream, but most ice cream is hazardous to your health and weight. The best way to indulge without exposing yourself to dangerous chemicals is to make your own ice cream from scratch.

Fix it: Make your own ice cream and you can choose the exact flavors you want without the added harsh chemicals. 

9. Corn and tortilla chips

Since the advent of genetically modified foods, most of the corn we eat is a health-damaging Frankenfood. That’s because corn is one of the most genetically modified foods grown. Because of its high sugar content, corn causes rapid blood sugar fluctuations, which translate into fat hoarding and weight gain, as well as mood swings, irritability, and many other symptoms. Most chips are fried in oils that have turned rancid and are linked to inflammation.

Fix it: Opt for homemade (and guilt-free) veggie chips that you can make from your favorite vegetables. 

8. Pizza

While not all pizza is bad, most of the commercially available and frozen pizza on the market is full of artificial dough conditioners and preservatives. It is made from white flour that has been bleached and reacts in your body just like sugar, causing weight gain and blood sugar imbalances. Contrary to what dairy marketing boards will tell you, cheese is not a health food. Most cheese is high in saturated fats and is heavily processed.

Fix it: Do pizza night at home, with a whole wheat crust, healthy sauce, superfoods, and the right cheeses. 

7. French fries

Not only do french fries typically contain trans fats that have been linked to a long list of diseases, but they also contain one of the most potent carcinogenic substances in food—acrylamide. Acrylamide is formed when white potatoes are heated at high temperatures, such as during frying (and other toxic cooking methods). Acrylamide can cause inflammation in your body and throw off its pH balance in favor of acidity.

Additionally, most of the oils used for frying turn rancid in the presence of oxygen or at high temperatures—yet another way these foods can cause inflammation in the body. And researchers are discovering that inflammation is a factor in many serious health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis, and, of course, weight gain.

Fix it: Find out how to cook the healthiest potatoes to maximize the phytonutrients and eliminate the acrylamide.

6. Potato chips

You may not be surprised to see potato chips on this list, but it may surprise you to learn that, according to Health Canada, potato chips typically contain the highest levels of toxic acrylamide of any food. If you, like many people, crave potato chips, don’t worry: I’ll teach you what your cravings mean on page 74 and give you delicious and satisfying alternatives to these harmful snacks.

Fix it: Reach for sweet potatoes instead! You can even turn them into crispy sweet potato chips and you won’t miss the original chips, guaranteed. 

5. Bacon

Yes, bacon! Sorry, bacon lovers. According to research in the journal Circulation, daily consumption of processed meats like bacon can increase the risk of heart disease by 42 percent and diabetes by 19 percent. Bacon is full of nitrites, is loaded with salt, and is seriously acid forming. Contrary to what some diet plans teach, bacon has no place in a weight-loss program, or any health program for that matter.

Not convinced? Before you say yes to bacon, consider the other health effects of eating it. A study at the University of Columbia found that eating bacon 14 times a month was linked to damaged lung function and a significantly increased risk of lung disease. Remember, no weight-loss program should cause weight loss at the cost of your overall health. Yet that is exactly what many high-protein diets do, particularly when they include regular bacon consumption as part of their meal plan.

Fix it: Follow these rules to buy better bacon and decrease your chances of cancer. 

4. Hot dogs

Questionable contents aside, even the 100 percent beef variety is bad for you. A study at the University of Hawaii found that consumption of hot dogs and other processed meats increased the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent. One of the ingredients found in both bacon and hot dogs is sodium nitrite. This carcinogen has been linked to leukemia in children and brain tumors in infants. Other studies show that sodium nitrate also promotes colorectal cancer.

Fix it: Don’t discount carrot dogs. The veggie favorite can easily replace the summer grilling staple. 

3. Doughnuts

Compared with prepackaged snack foods, a fresh doughnut may not seem bad, but most doughnuts are 35 to 40 percent trans fats—the worst kind of fat you can eat. Trans fats are linked to obesity and heart and brain diseases as well as cancer. And then there are the sugar and artificial dough conditioners and food additives many doughnuts contain. As if that weren’t bad enough, the average doughnut also contains about 300 calories.

Fix it: Make healthier dessert choices right at home, that way you control the sugar count. 

2. Soda

According to research reported by Dr. Joseph Mercola, “one can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 milligrams of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colors and sulphites.” That alone should make you rethink your soda habit.

But soda is also extremely acidic. It takes over 30 cups of pH-balanced water to neutralize the acidity of one cola. This acid residue can be extremely hard on the kidneys since they have to filter it. Additionally, the bones act as mineral reservoirs. Alkaline minerals, like calcium, are dumped into the blood to help neutralize acidity, which can weaken the bones over time. And, of course, the 10 teaspoons of sugar are a serious culprit in weight gain. In studies, soda is also linked to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay, and heart disease. If you’re thinking of switching to diet soda, keep reading.

Fix it: Go for naturally flavored water and you’ll get the flavorful drink you want without the calories, sugar, and tooth erosion. 

1. Diet soda

Diet soda is the winner of the Worst Food of All Time Award. Not only does diet soda have most of the problems of regular soda, but it also contains aspartame, now called AminoSweet. According to research by Lynne Melcombe, author of Health Hazards of White Sugar, aspartame is linked to the following health conditions: anxiety attacks, binge eating and sugar cravings, birth defects, blindness, brain tumors, chest pain, depression, dizziness, epilepsy, fatigue, headaches and migraines, hearing loss, heart palpitations, hyperactivity, insomnia, joint pain, learning disabilities, PMS, muscle cramps, reproductive problems, and even death.

Aspartame’s effects can be mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, epilepsy, Epstein-Barr virus, Huntington’s chorea, hypothyroidism, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Lyme disease, Ménière’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and post-polio syndrome. It still astounds me that some diet programs include this treacherous beverage as a means to lose weight. This is pure propaganda and lobbying on the part of the manufacturers and not based in fact.

I know many people whose abilities to lose weight improved only after they cut out the diet soda. I also know people whose migraines and heart palpitations—and even a brain tumor—disappeared after they cut out diet soda. This is not food, and it has no place in your diet.

6 Things that Trigger Thyroid Problems

Are you one of the 20 million Americans suffering from thyroid problems? Here are some things you need to know if you suffer with thyroid problems.

6 Things That Trigger Thyroid Problems

The thyroid plays a vital roll in regulating our hormones, metabolism and growth of the human body. It’s main function is to steadily release hormones into the bloodstream. When your thyroid doesn’t function properly, a host of health issues like weight gain, fatigue anxiety,dry skin, sensitivity to cold, depression and joint pain may occur.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to protect your thyroid from future damage. Start by removing foods from your diet that a harmful to your thyroid and make sure to consume foods and supplements that support your thyroid (like coconut oil).

6 Things that Trigger Thyroid Problems

1. Chlorine

Chlorine

Chlorine interfere with the absorption of iodine by the thyroid gland. Adequate iodine is vital for the proper function and health of your thyroid. If this absorption process is affected, insufficient iodine is retained in your thyroid and hypothyroidism is the result.

To reduce the amount of chlorine you’re exposed to, avoid swimming in heavily chlorinated water and use a chlorine shower and bath filter.

2. Fluoride

A turquoise glowing toothpaste on a toothbrush.

Similar to Chlorine, fluoride is another chemical that triggers thyroid problems because fluoride is more electronegative than iodine and it displaces iodine in the body, which then disturbs thyroid function.

To reduce fluoride ingestion, ditch the toothpaste for a natural fluoride free toothpaste and use a fluoride water filter.

3. Cruciferous Vegetables

Goitrogenic Foods contain substances which can prevent your thyroid from getting its necessary amount of iodine.  If eaten in excess, they interfere with the healthy function of your thyroid gland. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower are some cruciferous vegetables that you may want to avoid if you have thyroid problems.

4. Gluten

wheat

Gluten is a big no-no for many reasons, especially if you’re one of 18 million Americans that suffer from gluten sensitivity. According to Chris Kresser, studies show a strong link between AITD (both Hashimoto’s and Graves’) and gluten intolerance.

“The molecular structure of gliadin, the protein portion of gluten, closely resembles that of the thyroid gland. When gliadin breaches the protective barrier of the gut, and enters the bloodstream, the immune system tags it for destruction. These antibodies to gliadin also cause the body to attack thyroid tissue. This means if you have AITD and you eat foods containing gluten, your immune system will attack your thyroid.”

5. Soy

Glass with Soy Milk and Seeds on wooden background

Many say soy is a health food there’s a considerable amount of research that suggests otherwise. According to Dr. Mercola, soy and vegetable oils play a huge role in the growing number of Americans suffering from thyroid problems:

“There is a growing body of research concerning soy’s detrimental affect on the thyroid gland. Much of this research centers on the phytoestrogens (“phyto” means plant) that are found in soy. In the 1960s when soy was introduced into infant formulas, it was shown that soy was goitrogenic and caused goiters in babies. When iodine was supplemented, the incidence of goiter reduced dramatically.”

6. Polyunsaturated Fats

PUFA

Polyunsaturated fats and oils play a huge role on hormone secretion and have sever negative effects on our health. According to Ray Peat:

“There are many changes in hormones caused by unsaturated fats. Their best understood effect is their interference with the function of the thyroid gland. Unsaturated oils block thyroid hormone secretion, its movement in the circulatory system, and the response of tissues to the hormone. When the thyroid hormone is deficient, the body is generally exposed to increased levels of estrogen. The thyroid hormone is essential for making the “protective hormones” progesterone and pregnenolone, so these hormones are lowered when anything interferes with the function of the thyroid. The thyroid hormone is required for using and eliminating cholesterol, so cholesterol is likely to be raised by anything which blocks the thyroid function.” – Ray Peat

Ditch the polyunsaturated fats like canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil and opt for healthy fats like coconut oil, butter, olive oil, avocado oil and macadamia nut oil.

Are you Suffering With Thyroid Disease?

thyroid problemsHere’s a shocking statistic…

Did you know that approximately 20 million Americans are walking around with a serious thyroid condition… and almost 60% of them don’t even know it! And women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to get a thyroid condition.

Thyroid disease is often misdiagnosed as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, depression and infertility.

If you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms then there’s a strong chance that your thyroid is out of balance…

  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Pale, dry skin
  • Constipation/stomach problems
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Depression
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Hair falling out
  • Thinning of your eyebrows

What’s worse is that an untreated thyroid condition can lead to:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Depression and related mental health issues
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Goiter — which may inhibit your ability to swallow or breathe
  • Infertility and birth defects in offspring

But there’s good news! Once you know your risk and recognize the symptoms you can take the right steps to heal your body before it’s too late.

If you identified with one or more of the symptoms up above I urge you to take this 11-question quiz and find out your true risk.

The quiz was designed by my colleague Dr. Izabella Wentz, one of the foremost researchers in thyroid health today.

Not only that, Dr. Wentz is uniquely qualified because she had misdiagnosed thyroid disease for almost a decade until she finally got the answers she was looking for!

Take 30 seconds and discover your risk level for thyroid disease. It could save you years of struggle and uncertainty.

Spanking an infant changes behavior as a teen

Researchers found children who faced physical discipline in infancy could continue to see negative effects into their teen years.  (iStock)

“It is very important that parents refrain from physical punishment as it can have long-lasting impacts,” Gustavo Carlo says in a press release. The University of Missouri professor is behind a study recently published in Developmental Psychology that looked at the long-term ramifications of spanking and other forms of physical discipline.

While previous studies have shown spanking can have negative effects on child development in the short term, Carlo’s study found children who faced physical discipline in infancy could continue to see negative effects into their teen years.

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The study looked at data from 1,840 mothers and children. Information was collected on children at 15 months old, 25 months old, and in fifth grade.

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The study found that African-American children who were severely punished at 15 months were more likely to be delinquent and aggressive in fifth grade. They were also less likely to help others.

However, the study didn’t find the same link in European-American children. “Our findings show how parents treat their children at a young age, particularly African-American children, significantly impacts their behavior,” Carlo says.

(Alabama schools paddled 19,000 kids in a single school year.)

Dry Brushing: Improve Your Health In Just A Few Minutes A Day

I had the best night’s sleep the last couple of nights and I attribute that to starting a daily regimen of dry brushing!  I used to do dry brushing once a day, but stopped several months ago. At the time, I didn’t really like the brush I was using and it was awkward to hold.  But I ordered a new brush and after starting up again, the benefits are so evident!

Our skin is the body’s largest organ; it absorbs anything you put on and also plays a critical role in eliminating toxins.

It is estimated that the skin eliminates over a pound of waste every day!

Many people spend extra time exfoliating their face to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores; however, this should also be done for the rest of the body, as well. This can easily be done by dry brushing just a few minutes each day.

Dry brushing has many health benefits, from improving your immune system to reducing cellulite.

Not only are there great health benefits, but it is also very soothing. I love to do my dry brushing just before bed.  At night time, my house is always nice and quiet so it is an extra peaceful time. I do it right before bed with the lights out and it is very relaxing, it even seems to have helped me fall sleep easier these past few nights. I’m not sure if it is due to the soothing nature of dry brushing or the increased circulation, but my sleep has greatly improved. I was surprised when I couldn’t find too much information on the connection of dry brushing and improved sleep.

What Is Dry Brushing?

I could go on and on about how much I love dry brushing, but for those of you new to dry brushing:

Dry brushing involves using a brush to lightly brush your skin without any water; you don’t want your skin or brush to be wet.

It is very easy to do and only takes a few minutes!

Benefits Of Dry Brushing

Dry brushing provides numerous health benefits. Many say that after spending a few minutes dry brushing, they feel rejuvenated and energized.  It is a very soothing way to massage your skin.

1. Increased Circulation– Helps improve circulation throughout your body and blood flow.

2. Stimulates Your Lymphatic System – The process of dry brushing stimulates your lymphatic system which aids in the body’s ability to eliminate toxins.

3. Increases Your Immune System– The increase in circulation and elimination of toxins aids in boosting the body’s immune system.

4. Eliminates Toxins-Aids in detoxifying the body as circulation is increased and the lymphatic system is stimulated.

5. Removes Dead Skin & Improves Skin Appearance– Helps remove dead skin cells clogging pores and allows your skin to breathe and toxins to be expired.

6. Reduces Cellulite– It helps increase stimulation and circulation of your skin which helps minimize the appearance of cellulite.

7. Prevents Spider Veins and Varicose Veins– Targeting areas, such as your legs, helps increase circulation and blood flow, from moving the brush in a direction towards the heart.

Additional Benefits

In addition to the benefits of dry brushing listed above, I have noticed several other benefits from doing it myself, including:

  • Improved Sleep– Ever since I started doing my dry brushing right before bed, I have noticed that I’ve been able to get to sleep quicker and not have trouble waking up during the night. I have been getting the best sleep which I believe is due to the dry brushing! When I was doing the dry brushing only in the morning, I don’t believe it had the same effect. So now, I do my dry brushing in the morning and at night.
  • Decreased Cortisol– Dry brushing is very soothing and relaxing. The relaxing nature of dry brushing and the increase in circulation has helped me decrease my levels of stress.
  • Improved Acne– It has helped my acne immensely. I noticed a change in just a few days. I believe this is due to the increased circulation and my body’s ability to better eliminate toxins.

How To Do It:

1. Make sure your skin is dry and you don’t have any products or lotions on.
2. Take your dry brush and start gently brushing your skin making long sweeping motions starting at your feet, brushing in the direction towards your heart.  Some people prefer to do circular motions.
3. Start brushing from your feet, making your way up both legs.
4. Brush from your belly button down to your lower abdomen, then from your belly button up towards your heart.
5. Next, work from your hands to your chest, do one arm at a time.  Then brush downward form the bottom of your neck towards the collar bone. Also work from your lower back upwards.
You should dry brush your entire body. Some use a similar method and gently brush their face as well. However, I haven’t tried it on my face yet.

The main idea is that for dry brushing, it is important to start at your feet and make your way up the body, this allows the lymph in your body to drain optimally, such as near your collar bone.

Dry Brushing Tips:

-Do the dry brushing gently, especially your first time to avoid irritation or redness.

-Only use gentle pressure, your skin should not be red or irritated afterwards. When your skin gets used to dry brushing, you can add a little more pressure.

ALWAYS brush in the direction towards your heart, this promotes blood circulation.

What Kind Kind Of Brush Should You Use?

Make sure to use a brush that is specifically designed for dry brushing or body brushing. Select a brush that has natural bristles, not synthetic bristles. Synthetic bristles can be too harsh on skin. Some brushes have a long handle others have shorter handles, either works well, it just depends on your preference. I prefer dry brushing with a brush that has a longer handle this way it is easier to reach areas. This is the best dry brush I have found so far.

Getting the right kind can really make a difference!

Most dry brushes are only $8 to $12 dollars, they are very inexpensive!

How Often Should You Dry Brush?

Dry brushing should be done daily, preferably two times per day, but even just once will be very beneficial.

Many say to do it before you get in the shower and/or before you go to bed.  It is best to do it before your shower, this way your skin is dry and it’s before you apply any products or lotions to your skin.

How Long Should It Take?

Dry brushing should only take a few minutes. It is easy to add to your morning or night time routine because it only takes a very short time.

Note:
If you have any sensitive areas, bruises, rashes, wounds, cuts, or infections, avoid dry brushing near these areas.

Back to school: How to avoid scabies infection in children

Though you don’t always hear much about it, scabies can spread easily in children at school.  (iStock)

Right about now, you’re getting the kids ready for going back to school. You’re shopping for school supplies, meeting new teachers, and getting your kids updated on important shots.

While you may be already considering the flu and cold season by stocking up on the essentials, there is another health concern to watch out for in the crowded school hallways. Though you don’t always hear much about it, scabies can spread easily in children at school.

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In one recent case at Winchester Hospital, a patient was admitted for treatment without the staff realizing that he had an active infection. Once he was in the hospital, over 20 staff members began showing signs of scabies and required treatment right away to prevent it from spreading.

SHOULD TEENS CONSIDER GETTING NOSE JOBS?

According to Winchester Hospital’s statement in the Boston Globe, “Scabies is highly contagious, but also highly treatable.”

Contagious is an understatement when you’re looking at the numbers. The World Health Organization reveals that scabies affects over 100 million people worldwide. People from all races and social classes can get the infection, but it has a high prevalence in children and older adults living in crowded or poor conditions.

Because scabies does happen more often in crowded areas and transfers easily through skin contact, schools offer the perfect opportunity for this infection. Learn to recognize scabies and voice your concerns if you suspect that a child in school is infected.

What Is Scabies?

Scabies is an infection that occurs because of a human mite called the Sarcoptes scabiei. This tiny mite burrows into the skin, producing an intensely itchy rash. The mites then live in the skin and lay eggs, causing the infection to spread.

MICHIGAN BABY FACING LIFE-THREATENING DISEASE SIMILAR TO CHARLIE GARD’S DIAGNOSIS 

As people touch and interact with other humans, the person infected can easily spread it to the people surrounding him. In school, children often stand close together in hallways, and younger classes may even hold hands as they walk in line.

To deepen the problem, people with the infection may not know about a problem for up to 6 weeks since the body takes time to react to a new infestation. Once they do show symptoms, the person may then itch the area, allowing bacteria to settle in and potentially spreading the mites to other parts of the body.

Scabies often occurs around the wrist and forearm, in between the fingers, on the bottom of the feet, around the ankles, and sometimes on the scalp. The infection can also spread to the genitals in many cases.

In rare instances, a person may get crusted scabies, where the rash crusts over due to an over-abundance of the mites living in the skin. If this severe case is not treated immediately, it can lead to complications such as sepsis and kidney damage. Crusted scabies is also even more contagious than its common counterpart because the mites can live within the crust for several days without human contact.

Treating Scabies in Children

If your child’s school does have an outbreak, you should get professional treatment right away. You should not try to self-treat this condition.

Again, many people won’t notice any symptoms for several weeks. If your child has the infection unknowingly, he can cause further problems to family and friends during that time frame.

IS LIPOSUCTION SAFE IN PEOPLE WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES?

Once you seek medical treatment, a dermatologist will often prescribe a topical medicine with specific instructions. If a young child is infected, there are options for children as young as one-month old.

For a severe case of scabies, the doctor may prescribe a strong oral medicine. In either instance, he may also recommend taking an antibiotic for bacterial infection and an antihistamine or another medicine to control the itching.

How to Prevent

Since a scabies infection can occur in even neat, clean people, you likely won’t see the risk coming your way. However, if a friend or family member is getting treated for scabies, you should consider treatment as well. To prevent further spreading, you should wash and dry all linens, towels, clothes, and washcloths that you’ve had contact with recently.

If needed, dry clean items that cannot be washed or seal them in a plastic bag for 1 week. Vacuum the entire house and throw away the vacuum bag. You do not need to treat pets since scabies is a human mite.

Scabies is a common infection globally; so you should not feel discouraged if you’re dealing with this problem. However, to avoid them, watch for the common itchy rash in children at school. If you see something of concern, alert a school official and get proper treatment for your child if necessary.

This article first appeared on AskDrManny.com.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel’s senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny’s work, visit AskDrManny.com.

Uses For Coconut Oil – A Handy List

You probably know about the many (awesome) health benefits of coconut oil, but you may forget about all of the ways you can use it, because the list is practically endless!  This is why I have comprised a handy organized list of the uses for coconut oil that you can put up in your bathroom or on your refrigerator for a great quick reference.

Why The Uses For Coconut Oil Are So Versatile

I love coconut oil because it’s fantastic for your body inside and out! There are so many uses for coconut oil, I use it for just about everything! It is healthy to eat it, cook with it, brush your teeth with it, and put it on your skin.  It’s great because of its antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties as it contains 50%  lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid (MCT).  These MCTs  are more healthful than Long-Chain triglycerides (from vegetable or seed oils) because they are smaller, easily digested and quickly burned for energy. People that live in the tropics have benefited from the healthful properties of coconut oil for many years and studies have shown that these populations have had less heart disease, improved longevity and much better overall health.

What Kind Of Coconut Oil To Buy?

There are quite a few options for choosing coconut oil; however, it is best to get raw organic coconut oil as it is pure, not processed, and doesn’t contain harmful pesticides.  There is also the option of choosing refined or unrefined.  I prefer unrefined because it is unprocessed and more abundant in proteins, vitamins and antioxidants.  This is the coconut oil that I use.

Make sure you buy a large jar because there are so many uses for coconut oil! It can also help save money by buying in bulk.

               Uses For Coconut Oil List:

Beauty And Skin

Face

  • Eye-makeup remover
  • Eyes-Reduces puffiness, bags and wrinkles
  • Strengthens eyelashes
  • Daily moisturizer for face and body –This is one of my favorite uses for coconut oil, I apply it to my face every morning as a facial moisturizer.
  • Smooth wrinkles
  • Shrink pores
  • Reduces dry skin-add a few tablespoons to your bath
  • Makes a great massage oil
  • Dry Lips-dab on a few times a day
  • Moisturizes and soothes inside nostrils, beneficial especially if you have allergies, colds or are prone to bloody noses.

Skin

  • Fades age spots
  • Sunscreen –coconut oil has an SPF of about 8. Read more.
  • Relieves sunburn-soothes and moisturizes skin
  • Acne-apply to skin 1 to 2x a day, the antibacterial properties prevent and reduce breakouts. Read more.
  • Athletes foot, fungal infections– optional -mix with an essential oil
  • Cold sores – dab on at the first sign and put on 3x day.

Hair

  • Conditioner, helps with dry ends
  • Reduces static
  • Treat lice-cover hair and scalp with coconut oil, leave on several hours
  • Dandruff-Rub into scalp and leave on for at least 30 minutes then shampoo out.  I use this and it works great, but it has to be repeated at least once a week.

Mouth & Teeth

  • Toothpaste-cavity prevention, add baking soda. See it here.
  • Oil pulling-Daily swish in mouth 10 min, then spit out.  Bonus – helps with sore gums!

Other Body Parts

  • Dry feet and elbows
  • Massage Oil
  • Warts-Put on at least twice a day for six weeks
  • Deodorant-Apply to underarms ,optional-add an essential oil and baking soda. See it here.
  • Shaving-Use in place of shaving cream
  • Yeast infections, internal and external
  • Prevents ingrown nails-massage into skin and on nail daily
  • Strengthen nails
  • Lubricant
  • Stretch mark prevention

Cooking

  • Stir Fry-Perfect at medium heat
  • Use instead of vegetable oils in recipes such as; muffins, bread,etc.
  • Grease cooking sheets, baking pans

Overall Health

  • Energy booster-take a teaspoon daily
  • Metabolism booster-1-2 tablespoons a day
  • Improve immune system-1-2 tablespoons a day
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels, reduces cravings in diabetics.
  • Treat candida, yeast, fungus
  • Digestion-aids in digesting meals, improves irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Increases absorption of vitamins and nutrients-The fat helps in absorption.
  • Weight loss-Studies have shown it reduces abdominal fat.

Specific Conditions

  • Thyroid – Improves function of thyroid gland, especially beneficial for hypothyroidism. This is one of my mom’s favorite uses for coconut oil, she takes it daily for hypothyroidism.
  • Arthritis, internally and externally-aides in healing and reducing inflammation
  • Prevent and treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia (Recent research shows good results)
  • Eczema and Psoriasis, internally and externally
  • ADHD and Autism-some note improvements
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Some have noted reductions in seizures in epileptic children
  • Thrush
  • Bladder infections

Children And Babies

  • Cradle cap – Massage into scalp, leave on for a few minutes, wipe off with warm cloth
  • Diaper rash – apply to baby’s bottom
  • Nipple cream for nursing mothers

Dogs And Cats

  • Shiny coat/Hairballs – moisten cat’s paw
  • Dog breath-you can brush the dog’s teeth with it

Home

  • Wipe down shower with coconut oil on damp cloth, to finish spray with white vinegar.
  • Remove sticky labels, loosen chewing gum
  • Polish furniture
  • Cast iron pans-Great for seasoning

 What’s one of your favorite uses for coconut oil?

12 Signs Your Health Problems Are Actually Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

Could your health problems actually be magnesium deficiency symptoms? The symptoms can be anything from headaches to PMS.   Chances are you may deficient in this mineral as according to Natural News, more than 80% of the population is not getting enough magnesium.

Low magnesium is often over looked, especially by doctors who rarely consider the role of nutrition and vitamins. Yet, there are hundreds of magnesium deficiency symptoms that this can cause, in addition to many diseases that can be exacerbated.

Almost a year ago, I went to my family doctor because I was having painful menstrual cramps every month.  I asked him what could be causing this and what I should do about it. His response was that it was genetic; there’s nothing that can be done. His only suggestion was to take an over the counter medication to deal with the pain. But, after researching this online, I found that menstrual cramps are one of the common magnesium deficiency symptoms. Eager to try this, I corrected my ratio of calcium and magnesium and within a month voila! No more cramps!

Sadly, doctors today know little to none about the importance of magnesium in the body and the resulting magnesium deficiency symptoms. Your best hope is to be your own doctor and do research on  magnesium deficiency symptoms to find out if this could be the cause.

Why Are We Not Getting Enough Magnesium?

It is very hard to get enough magnesium through your diet, no matter how healthy you eat. This is because modern farming processes have depleted our soil of adequate natural magnesium. Also, there are many other factors that significantly decrease the amount of magnesium absorbed in our bodies. These include:

  • Stress – Many of us experience high levels of stress on a daily basis. When we experience stress or anxiety, this causes our bodies to deplete our magnesium.
  • Diet- Certain foods can also result in a decrease in magnesium such as caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. It has been estimated that it takes 287 molecules of magnesium to metabolize one glucose molecule.
  • Medications- There are many over the counter medicines and prescription medicine that deplete magnesium. These include: birth control pills, diuretics, insulin, and antibiotics.

Why You Need Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is responsible for numerous bodily processes. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in our bodies and is essential for carrying out over 300 reactions within the body.

Magnesium is commonly known for helping relieve constipation, but that is just one of it’s many crucial roles in the body. Magnesium is important for the functioning of your heart, muscles, kidneys, and balancing many other nutrients such as calcium and potassium. Having adequate magnesium levels has been found to ward off diabetes, prevent osteoporosis, and improve blood pressure.

12 Common Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms:

1. Anxiety
2. Weak Bones
3. Low Energy
4. Weakness
5. Inability to Sleep
6. PMS and Hormonal Imbalances
7. Irritability
8. Nervousness
9. Headaches
10. Abnormal Heart Rhythm
11. Muscle Tension, Spasms, Cramps
12. Fatigue

These are just a few of the most common magnesium deficiency symptoms. Additional  magnesium deficiency symptoms include: constipation, vertigo, stiff and achy muscles, insomnia, and muscle weakness. There are many more health problems that having low magnesium can cause. If you think you may be experiencing a magnesium deficiency symptom, but it’s not listed above, make sure to do a thorough search online.

Additional Conditions/Diseases Associated With Magnesium Deficiency:

Much research has found that individuals with magnesium deficiency are at an increased risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s, kidney stones, and restless legs syndrome, just to name a few.

How To Find Out If You’re Truly Deficient In Magnesium

When comes to determining if you have a magnesium deficiency, unfortunately, there is not a great way to find out, such as from a test. There are blood tests that can be used to check the level of magnesium in your body to evaluate if you have magnesium deficiency; however, they have been found to be inaccurate. This is because the blood serum tests only give a reading of the level of magnesium in your blood and only one percent of the magnesium in your body is distributed in your blood. Thus, you have to rely on making a diagnosis for magnesium deficiency based on magnesium deficiency symptoms, not a blood test.

It is best to look at the symptoms your experiencing and try supplementing with magnesium and evaluate whether it helped or not.

For me, after looking at the list of magnesium deficiency symptoms, I knew there were at least 3 that I had and it was likely that I had a magnesium deficiency. I also have some anxiety and I’m sure that was contributing to my decreased magnesium.

How To Increase Your Magnesium:

There are several ways you can increase your magnesium.

1. Use Epsom salts – Add Epsom salts to your bath or make a foot bath. Magnesium is highly absorbed through the skin (transdermally) .

2. Apply magnesium oil – Similar to Epsom salts, magnesium oil is made from adding the magnesium flakes (see them here) to water. You can add them to your bath, make a small mixture and spray it on your skin or rub it on with a washcloth. You can also, buy it pre-made.

3. Eat foods high in magnesium – such as leafy green vegetables and nuts. (however, with magnesium deficiency, it would be tough to raise your levels enough solely through diet) This is a helpful chart that lists foods high in magnesium.

4. Take a magnesium supplement.

My Experience With Treating Magnesium Deficiency:

After I started researching magnesium deficiency, the more I explored it, the more I thought I found the cause of my health issues. However, my doctor ignored me when I brought up the fact that magnesium deficiency may be behind my anxiety, menstrual cramps, or difficulty sleeping, so I had to find out for myself if my self-diagnosis was right. I started to increase my magnesium slowly, first by adding more green vegetables into my diet and taking baths with Epsom salts. This did make a great improvement and decreased the occurrence of my magnesium deficiency symptoms; however, I still felt that I wasn’t getting an adequate amount. So, I started making and applying magnesium oil, once every morning and this helped very much. After a full month, nearly all of my symptoms had been resolved.

When trying to increase your magnesium levels, you may need to use a combination of ways to ensure you’re getting enough. You can base this off your symptoms. Also, one sign to watch for, while you increase your magnesium, is diarrhea, if you’re getting too much this will occur.

Don’t Miss Out On Oil Pulling Benefits

If you are looking for one thing that you can do to improve your overall health enormously, you should add oil pulling to your daily regimen.  Many people say it helps them feel amazing! Oil pulling benefits have been reported, not only for oral health such as reducing tooth decay and cavities, but also for improvement in a wide range of diseases.   Since I tried oil pulling, I’m convinced that what everyone says about oil pulling is definitely true and it makes sense because the health of the oral cavity is connected to overall body health!  There are so many oil pulling benefits that I have to list them for you!

Oil pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic practice originating from the Common Era, involves swishing an oil such as sesame or coconut in your mouth and spitting it out.  It helps detoxify the body and improves systemic health.  The swishing helps pull out harmful bacteria. I try to do it twice a day, but if I can’t, I make sure I always do it before bed.  It makes my teeth so white in the morning and my breath super fresh!  Once you try it, you will never go a day without doing it!

Oil Pulling Benefits

Prevents cavities, reduces plaque, and cures gingivitis
Whitens teeth
Gets rid of bad breath
Detoxifies your body (eliminates harmful bacteria and organisms)
Helps balance your hormones
Improved energy
Relieves sinus congestion
Reduces inflammation in the body
Helps Acne
Reduces joint pain and arthritis
Helps skin conditions such as eczema and rashes
Improves digestion
Helps and reduces migraines
Improves sleep

The oil pulling benefits don’t stop there, you might discover a new one! People have reported it helping many more diseases and health conditions.

What Kind Of Oil To Use For Oil Pulling:

To get the oil pulling benefits it is recommended that you use sesame, sunflower or coconut oil.  I like to use coconut oil for oil pulling. I’ve found my health has improved using it. I haven’t tried using a different kind of oil yet.

When To Do Oil Pulling

It is recommended to do oil pulling first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. The reason they recommend an empty stomach is because some people have reported experiencing slight nausea occasionally if it is done after a large meal, but I have never experienced this and often do it after a light meal. I typically do oil pulling two times a day, once when I wake up (I swish as I make my breakfast) and one more time before I go to bed.

How To Do Oil Pulling

1. Put 1 or 2 teaspoons of oil (I use organic coconut oil) aside. Many people just put the oil in their mouth, wait till it melts and begin swishing.  I like to warm it up in a glass first, but either way works fine.
2. Swish the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes, if possible, or at least for 10 minutes. As you swish, the bacteria and toxins in your mouth get pulled out into the oil. You don’t have to do it vigorously, it is effective just doing it slowly, letting the liquid pass around your mouth and all around your teeth. If you can’t do it the full 20 minutes (which may be difficult at first), spit it out, rinse a few times with warm water and do it again.
3. Spit out the oil when you are done swishing. Make sure you don’t swallow the oil as it contains bacteria!  When you spit it out, it should look milky white, which means it worked.
4. Rinse your mouth with warm water, swishing several times.  It is suggested to rinse with salt water. You can use Celtic sea salt for the rinse.
5. Then brush your teeth. This helps get any remaining bacteria out.

How Oil Pulling Helps Me:

Since I started, I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my acne. This is amazing because I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to keep up with using any of my natural topical treatments. I also haven’t had much time to exercise, yet my skin looks much clearer! Just after a few days of oil pulling, I also noticed my teeth are much whiter, even whiter than after I brush with baking soda. These are just two of the oil pulling benefits I’ve noticed so far.

My mom, who has hypothyroidism (Hashimoto) started oil pulling about 3 weeks ago and she has also seen some great improvements in her health! Improvements in thyroid health aren’t listed in the oil pulling benefits, but she told me her thyroid symptoms are reduced and she has a lot more energy.

A To Z Uses For Essential Oils

I really like the essential oils I’ve tried so far, but I have to admit that there are so many I haven’t tried! I’m so stuck on certain ones I love, such as peppermint and lavender, that I haven’t got around to trying so many of them! Peppermint is one of my favorites because it relieves headaches, boosts energy and destroys bacteria (in my homemade toothpaste). Lavender is my other personal love because of its relaxing properties and ability to help with those sleepless nights. But there are so many others that I want to try!

It seems like there is one for any ailment or condition you might have. You can also use them for cleaning, there is one for practically everything!

So I thought I would organize a little ABC “go to” list for newbies, and people like me, who want a quick reference to grab when you want to find the right essential oil. I tried to include some of the most common conditions and some essential oil lingo that is a must have if you want to be able to talk essential oils!

Note: For the conditions listed only one or two oils are suggested; however, there are many oils or blends that will work great too!

Here’s My A To Z List Of The Many Uses For Essential Oils:

is for Anxiety –Apply Valor to bottom of feet or neck. Also use *breathe in method (see below).

B is for Brain – Use Peppermint to boost memory and concentration. *Breathe in (see below)

C is for Colds – Use Thieves oil. Apply 1-3 drops neat or diluted 50:50 on throat (upper), chest and /or back. Some people apply it to the bottom of their feet, massage a few drops (neat which means undiluted). Note: Be cautious using thieves oil on infants as it can be hot and/or irritate the baby’s skin.

D is for Diffuser – Diffusers help get the essential oil into the air in small particles (molecules) so you can inhale the essential oils effectively for the body to use. There are many types from attractive plug in ones that send a fine mist into the air or homemade reed diffusers.

E is for Ears – If you have tinnitus (ringing in the ears) try Helichrysumt oil and massage 1 drop diluted around the outside of the ear

F is for Fatigue – I tried this one and it helped! Put 2-4 drops, diluted 50:50, of Peppermint on the thyroid area of the neck or temples and behind ears 2 to 3 times daily.

G is for Gout – Use Juniper or Frankincense topically. Massage 1-3 drops (diluted) on joint.

H is for Headache – Put Peppermint oil (diluted with carrier oil) on temples. Read more in my post.

I is for Insect Bite – Use the oil blend Purification, Lavender or Peppermint. Apply oil (diluted) to bite as soon as bitten.

J is for Joint Pain – Apply Wintergreen or Peppermint 3-5 drops diluted 50:50.

K is for Kidneys – Use Lemon essential oil. *Use breathe in method below.

L is for Lymphatic system – To stimulate and detoxify use Lemongrass or Rosemary. Diffuse or use *breathe in method.

M is for Mosquito bites – Put 2 drops Tea tree oil or Lavender mixed with water or carrier oil on bite. Read more in my post.

N is for Neat – This means when applying topically , the oil is not diluted and used straight from the bottle. I prefer to dilute some of my oils as I have sensitive skin. However, when applying many essential oils to the bottom of feet it is usually fine to use neat.

O is for Oral Care – Peppermint and Spearmint, mix with water and use as mouthwash or brush teeth with, spit out. Helps bad breath and it is a great antiseptic.

P is for Pain – Use Peppermint for sore muscles. Take 4-6 drops and massage diluted 50:50 with water.

Q is for Quick – Essential oils work quickly. Studies have found that when essential oils are applied topically they were able to be used in the body by every cell in 20 minutes or less.

R is for Restless Legs – Use Chamomile or Lavender. Use *breathe in method (below), diffuse or apply topically 2-4 drops (I prefer diluted).

S is for Stretch Marks – Frankincense or Lavender 3 to 6 drops neat or diluted 50:50 2 x day

T is for Sore Throat – Eucalyptus oil, *breathe in method. Topical 50:50 to throat or steam in method: Add a few drops of oil to water, put towel over head and breathe in.

U is for Underarm – Mix approximately 10 drops Lavender oil with 1/4 cup baking soda for a natural deodorant.

V is for Varicose Veins – Use Lemon. Several drops mixed with carrier oil, rub on veins.

W is for Wrinkles – Use Lavender or Frankincense. Mix 3 to 4 drops 50:50 with carrier oil. Be careful not to get the oil in eyes.

X is for X-Ray – Melrose Essential oil blend for radiation therapy exposure (protection). Apply a few drops mixed with 50:50 with carrier oil.

Y is for Young – Look younger by applying Frankincense oil, which can help reduce and prevent wrinkles.

Z is for zzzzzz……Sleep – Put a few drops of Lavender on your pillow if you’re having trouble getting to sleep.

*Breathing In Essential Oils

Put 2 to 3 drops in your hand and after rubbing hands together, cup them around your nose and breathe in as the day goes on.

*Topical Applications

When applying topically you may want to dilute with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil or olive oil as some oils can be very strong if applied undiluted. It is recommended to do a skin patch test when using an essential oil for the first time.

Precautions:

For babies and small children use of essential oils should be done with caution in mind as they can be strong for them. For babies and children it is best to dilute them with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil.

Menthol containing oils, especially, should be used cautiously with children. These include oils such as; eucalyptus, camphor, and peppermint. They should not be used around the face and should be diluted for any small child.

How I Overdosed On A Vitamin And Got Vitamin A Toxicity

I am a big believer in doing everything natural and avoiding pharmaceutical medications whenever possible, but even though vitamins are viewed as healthy and a good natural option, this past week I realized how dangerous they can be. As you can tell by the title of my post, this week I have been trying to recover from vitamin A toxicity due to taking too much vitamin A.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that I mostly follow the paleo diet, I am a big fan of taking fermented cod liver (which is high in vitamin A) and probiotics. Over the past 3 years, I have been seeing a naturopathic doctor and go to get my blood checked by him regularly to see if I am low in any nutrients/vitamins.

At the beginning of last month, I got my blood checked for a variety of vitamins and a few other things, such as thyroid functioning.

The results of my blood test showed that I was very low in vitamin A, my level was only at 42mcg (picture of my blood test below).

I was surprised my vitamin A was so low because it has always been high on every previous blood test, as I take 2 teaspoons of fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) daily and also take grass-fed desiccated liver pills (because I’m not a fan of eating liver), which are both super high in vitamin A.

Why I Got Vitamin A Toxicity

Since my vitamin A was low, my naturopath gave me a 100,000IU vitamin A supplement to add into my regimen. I started taking it in addition to my FCLO (about 33,000IU vitamin A) and desiccated liver pills (about 5,000IU vitamin A). After a few days of taking the large dose, I started to feel odd but, I just brushed it off. It wasn’t until 6 days after taking it, I started to get horrible symptoms (see my symptoms below) and I stopped taking all vitamin A.

Why did this happen to me? I thought, maybe it’s because I’m sensitive to the vitamin A and that’s why the symptoms are so bad. I didn’t think that the dosage would be a problem because I read online that many people take 100,000IU with no ill effects.

But, when I thought back, none of this made sense to me and it was odd that my vitamin A came out so low because I was taking FCLO and liver pills. One thing that happened concerned me though, I remembered that previous times I had tested my vitamin A, the person drawing the blood immediately wrapped the vial in foil and told me that it shouldn’t be exposed to the light as it could cause the test to be inaccurate.

Well, this last time I went to the blood drawing at the hospital, the phlebotomist, did not cover the vial at all and left it exposed to the bright fluorescent lights in the room. That was it! It must have been the reason the test was inaccurate. Studies show that when the blood vial is exposed to light, it decreases the accuracy of the measurement.

So, that was my answer! I took a high dose of vitamin A on top of normal vitamin A levels, that is what I believe caused me to get vitamin A toxicity.

What Amount Causes Vitamin A Toxicity?

There’s a lot of contradictory information online about how much vitamin A is safe to take. Even though, 100,000IU is a very high dose, I have not found it listed as an amount that will cause vitamin A toxicity (at least in the short-term).

Toxicity Occurs With The Following Doses:

For adults– 25,000 IU per kg of body weight (acute-taken at one time)
-4,000 IU per kg of body weight (chronic-taken over several months)

For children– More than 300,000 IU (acute- taken at one time)
-More than 100,000 IU (chronic-taken over several months)

Even though these are the typical doses that can cause vitamin A toxicity that does not mean that lower doses cannot cause it or the symptoms. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that excess of it gets stored in your liver and fatty cells for long periods of time so it can build up in the body and it does not leave the body quickly.

My Symptoms- How I Found Out The Vitamin Was The Cause

During the first few days of taking the Vitamin A supplement, I felt nervous, like I had high anxiety, but for absolutely no reason. I brushed it off for a few days. I even looked up a connection between anxiety and vitamin A, but found no information so I thought it couldn’t be connected, but I was wrong.

Then, suddenly on the 6th day of taking the vitamin A, after dinner I started to feel really dizzy, I had difficulty breathing, felt pressure on my head, nervousness, confusion (couldn’t think straight), bright lights bothered me, and my vision seemed off. I immediately stopped taking all vitamin A.

What I Did To Treat It

I went to two doctors to see if there was anything I could do to get the vitamin A out of my system faster and feel better. Their response was to just wait it out because it is a fat soluble vitamin. They said there isn’t much you can do. This was frustrating, I felt so terrible and to hear that I have to suffer with these symptoms and there was nothing I can do to get better faster made it even worse.

I researched vitamin A toxicity online to see what I could do and the only studies I found were mostly related to vitamin A toxicity in animals, but I figured the information and treatments may be worth a try. So here they are, this is what I did/am doing:

  • Taking zinc (supposed to help counteract)
  • Taking vitamin C and eating a lot of foods high in vitamin C (also supposed to help counteract)
  • Taking Vitamin E -I just started this today, so I can’t say whether it’s helping or not yet but, this study found in rabbits that it counteracted the vitamin A toxicity effects.
  • Drinking a lot of water- Not sure how much this helps but, I do feel better staying hydrated and I figure it must help to just flush everything out of my system.
  • Eating good meals that have little to no vitamin A
  • Trying to exercise/move around to increase my metabolism as much as possible, despite feeling bad.
  • Doing a magnesium or Epsom salt foot bath 2 times a day
  • Drinking salt water sole 3 times a day

How I’m Doing Now:

Today is the 5th day since I stopped taking the vitamin A supplement. I am feeling better since the first (worst) night I realized I had vitamin A toxicity, but still not feeling back to normal. My vision is still off, I feel dizzy, and off balance. I’m hoping that with each day I will start gradually feeling back to normal as the vitamin A decreases.