Healthy Living Tip #20: Fluoride

 

Fluoride is harmful to your health. Remove fluoride toothpaste and filter your drinking water because your health matters. Get more healthy living tip at AlexisMathews.com

Health Benefits of Avoiding Fluoride

Fluoride occurs naturally in many water sources across the country. Naturally occurring levels are very low and do not pose a threat to our health. According to the American Dental Association, flurried prevents tooth decay and helps build enamel.

However, when fluoride is added to water supplies and is not closely monitored or a break in the monitoring system occurs a toxic condition known as fluorosis can occur. This condition is characterized by brown spots on teeth. Thankfully fluorosis is largely cosmetic and does not pose a threat to heath.

Two health conditions that are serious and caused by fluoride however are skeletal issues and hyopthyroidism. High levels of fluoride can lead to skeletal fluorosis. In skeletal fluorosis fluoride builds up in and around bones which leads to pain, stiffness, and mobility issues. Water supplies must be closely monitored to prevent skeletal fluorosis in areas with naturally occurring high levels of fluroide.

The health of my thyroid and your thyroid for that matter are near and dear to my heart. My healthy living journey got a huge kick start when I was diagnosed with thyroid nodules. My endocrinologist nor my general physician ever told me why I had developed nodules. I was left fearing for my health and the fate of my tiny little gland that plays a huge role in regulating hormones in my body. In researching thyroid nodules I’ve come to learn that I likely developed the nodules in response to hypothyroidism. My thyroid was underperforming therefore my thyroid responded and developed nodules to counter the low thyroid hormones. Equipped with this knowledge I am now incredibly careful to eliminate compounds and chemicals in my life that affect my thyroid and I would encourage you to do the same. According to a 2006 National Research Council study¹ fluoride is “an endocrine disruptor in the broad sense of altering normal endocrine function.” It is well established that fluoride has the ability to alter endocrine function. This altered function can involve your thyroid, parathyroid, and pineal glands, as well as your adrenals, pancreas, and pituitary. According to this article fluoride was used as an anti-thyroid drug in the first half of the 20th century. Seriously? Why are we being forced to drink or pay to filter our water so that we can eliminate fluoride in our water supply?

After reading these health related side effects of fluoride, please do your research and seriously consider eliminating this toxic anti-thyroid drug from your body.

 

1. National Research Council. 2006. Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards. National Academies Press: Washington, DC. 507 pp.

Healthy Living Tip #17: Echinacea

Echinacea is an herb with numerous health benefits. Part of my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips series.

Health Benefits of Echinacea

Echinacea is an herb that is used to primarily fight colds and upper respiratory infections. The leaves, flowers, and root can be used in making medicinals from this herb.

Echinacea Uses

According to research, echinacea is most effective in treating the symptoms of a cold rather than preventing an infection of the cold virus.

This beautiful flowering herb can also be used to help with the flu, urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, genital herpes, bloodstream infections (septicemia), gum disease, tonsillitis, streptococcus infections, syphilis, typhoid, malaria, and diphtheria.

The chemicals in echinacea appear to have anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which explains why this herb is also used to help with skin issues including burns, bee stings, and psoriasis. Echinacea may also help with yeast infections.

Immunity Booster

Researchers at UM found that echinacea has compounds that boost the immune system. Which explains why it can be used to treat pain, hormonal, inflammation, viruses and fungi.  Echinacea also has anti-septic properties which is why some use it to treat sore throats.

Echinacea Sources

As with all other herbs, essential oils, and natural alternatives be sure and source your products from a reputable and organic distributor. I use Mountain Rose Herbs for all of my essential oils, herbs, tinctures, and teas.

Echinacea is available in powder, dried herb, tea, tincture, and capsules. The freshest source is always better when considering adding herbs to your diet so capsules are the lowest on the list of preferred delivery methods.

Mountain Rose Herbs
Medical Disclaimer

Healthy Living Tip #16: Avocado

Avocados are rich in oil and heart health benefits. Join me for 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips. AlexisMathews.com

Health Benefits of Avocado

Avocados are the unsung fruit in the alternative health arena. Most people do not realize the full potential of an avocado and the positive impact it can have on their health. Packed with healthy oil, fiber, and vitamins avocado should be a regular in your daily diet.

Good Fat

Just half of an avocado has 10g of healthy fats. Of these 10 grams the majority of them are monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated along with polyunsaturated fats are called healthy fats because diets high in these fats are linked to many health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease. The ratio of unsaturated to saturated fats in an avocado are similar to olive oil.

Superior Source of Fiber

Plant foods are typically high in fiber. An avocado however, is proportionally an excellent source of fiber. Containing 4.5 grams of fiber per half of an avocado, this accounts for 10-20% of the recommended adult daily fiber intake.

A Green Fruit

It is recommended for adults to consume four to six servings of fruit and vegetables every day. If you live a plant based lifestyle, of course these serving amounts will be much higher. Of these fruit servings, you can count an avocado toward your daily goal. As a nutrient dense fruit avocados are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate and potassium.

Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients, such as carotenoids, flavonoids and sterols found in plant foods, are being studied for their role in living a healthy life. The carotenoid lutein is found in avocados. Lutein is an antioxidant and may help prevent damage to the eyes as we age. Sterol compounds are also found naturally in avocados. Sterols can help maintain healthy blood lipid levels.

Healthy Uses

You can enjoy an avocado in more ways than just straight from the skin. The healthiest use for avocados is to use them in place of saturated fats in your diet. For example, smear avocado on your morning toast instead of margarine or butter. Also, use avocado on your sandwiches instead of cheese. Avocado is also amazing on salads instead of cheese or bacon bits.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil can be applied directly to the skin to soothe and heal skin and to treat thickening of the skin, gum infections, and arthritis. Avocado oil is used in combination with vitamin B12 for psoriasis. The fruit pulp is applied topically to promote growth and speed wound healing. 

Thank you for joining me for another healthy living tip in my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips series. For more healthy living tips, you are invited to check out my Healthy Living pinterest board.

Medical Disclaimer

Healthy Living Tip #15: Garlic

Health benefits of garlic include immune system boost, anti-fungal, and anti-baterial. Come discover other health living tips in my 31 Days of Healthy Living Series. AlexisMathews.com

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic has long been a popular herb to add to recipes for the flavor and smell that it adds to favorite dishes. Few people however realize the health benefits that fresh or supplemental garlic can provide. Over the years, garlic has long been used as an herbal medicine to treat a variety of conditions.

Heart and Blood System

Garlic is used to treat a wide variety of heart and blood system conditions including:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • heart attack
  • atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

Immune System Support

Taking garlic supplements or eat garlic can reduce your risk of catching a cold virus as well as help you feel better faster when you do get sick. Other immune system support conditions include:

  • fever
  • coughs
  • headaches
  • stomach ache
  • sinus congestion
  • asthma
  • stress
  • fatigue
  • diabetes
  • gout
  • health liver function

Anti-Fungal Properties

Garlic is a warm herb, meaning it warms the body so it also follows that garlic would be effective as an anti-fungal medicine. Some people use garlic oil on their skin to treat fungal infection, warts, corns, rung woe, athlete’s foot, and other skin irritation issues.

Other Health Benefits of Garlic

Other lesser known health benefits of garlic include preventing tick bites, snake bites, diarrhea, bacterial infections, and some types of cancer. Some also use garlic to treat an enlarged prostrate.

Garlic can be taken in a capsule form or fresh/raw in your favorite recipes.

My family and I enjoy the health benefits of garlic in a variety of forms including the following: 

Pharmax Garlic Freeze Dried – 90 Vegetarian Capsules

Organic Garlic Oil

GARLIC BULB (3 Pack), FRESH CALIFORNIA SOFTNECK GARLIC BULB FOR PLANTING AND GROWING YOUR OWN GARLIC

Medical Disclaimer

Healthy Living Tip #13: Arnica

Healthy Living Tip Arnica 

Arnica is a well known pain relieving homeopathic source in the alternative medicine community. Arnica is used for swelling, bruising, arthritis pain, sunburns, and skin irritations. 

In nature, arnica is a flower that appears similar to a daisy with bright yellow flowers and is found in wooded areas of North America as well as southern Russia, and Europe.

Health Benefits of Arnica

Arnica is used to increase circulation and treat bruising, pain and swelling caused by minor injuries. Arnica contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds and is available from most natural health stores. You can find arnica in gel, ointment, cream, or homeopathic tablet forms. The most common form of arnica application is externally using the cream, gel, or ointment. While arnica can be taken internally, be cautious in only taking homeopathic tablets as they are dosed correctly for internal use.

Boiron arnica is my favorite source for this natural pain reliever. They sell the gel, cream, ointment, and homeopathic tablets.

Typical uses for arnica include:

  • muscle sprain
  • arthritis
  • muscle soreness
  • muscle swelling
  • insect bites
  • circulatory issues
  • bruising
  • sunburn

In my family we use arnica so often that I have a bottle of the cream in every bathroom as well as the kitchen. The homeopathic tablets are in my purse, numerous vials in the kitchen, and at least a couple in my bathroom. With a large family there is always someone that has a muscle pain for one reason or another. I also know massage therapists who use arnica on their clients to reduce muscle pain after a deep tissue massage.

If you’ve never tried arnica, I highly recommend adding a bottle of the cream and a homeopathic vial to your arsenal of natural remedies.

 Medical Disclaimer

Healthy Living Tip #11: Oregano Oil

Healthy living tip, Oregano Oil is a potent anti bacterial agent. Join me for 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips. AlexisMathews.com

Health Benefits of Oregano Oil

  1. Parasite infections: Oregano oil has been shown to be more effective than prescribed medications at fighting parasitic infections.
  2. Helps prevent food borne illness as well as alleviate the symptoms if you have food poisoning. Not only may adding the oil to foods help to kill such bacteria, but using the oil if you have food poisoning may help to alleviate your symptoms.
  3. Inhibits the growth of e.coli and therefore prevents urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  4. Fights off yeast infections including those resistant to drugs.
  5. Treats nail fungus and athletes foot. Effective when applied topically to skin or nails as well as in a foot soaking bath.
  6. Inhale over a steam bath to treat sinus infections.
  7. Treats colds and infections when applied under the tongue. Dilute 1 drop of oregano oil in 1 drop of carrier oil such as EVOO. Place 1-2 drops under your tongue then rinse with warm water after a few minutes.
  8. In cleaning products. There are numerous natural cleaning recipes on Pinterest which use oregano oil.

Oregano oil is pricey but thankfully just a little bit goes a long way in treating a whole host of issues. I have applied this oil to my dog’s belly when a rash appeared and within a few hours there was a tremendous amount of improvement in her reaction. I have also used oregano oil to treat an infection on my daughter’s foot. Her toe was warm to the touch but an obvious source of the infection was not apparent. After 2-3 applications per day for 3 days the infection was completely clear without the need for medical intervention.

Oregano oil should definitely be one of the essential oils that is always in your first aid kit, whether at home or on the road.

Thank you for joining me for another healthy living tip as part of my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips series.

Healthy Living Tip #10: Peppermint

Discover the health benefits of peppermint. Mint in herb or essential oil form possess a wide variety of advantages in healthy living. AlexisMathews.com

The peppermint plant is derived from the cross between a water mint and spearmint plant. It grows abundantly in Europe and North America. If you’ve ever tried to grow peppermint, you know how easily it grows, and grows, and grows. Plant peppermint cautiously as it will invade the entire growing area very quickly and prove very difficult to irradiate should you want to remove the plant. In the past I’ve grown peppermint in a container to prevent its invasive nature.

Health Benefits of Peppermint

1. Peppermint oil has been shown to reduce the symptoms of IBS by as much as 50%.

2. Peppermint can also act as a muscle relaxant on both the intestines and body muscles such as the low back thereby relieving pain in those areas.

3. Helps with upset stomach and indigestion. If you have an upset stomach try adding a couple drops of peppermint oil to a glass of water and drink it, you should begin to feel relief soon there after.

4. Similarly, peppermint has been shown to help babies with colic as well as over the counter medications.

5. Peppermint water helps prevent nipple pain and cracks in breastfeeding mothers.

6. Peppermint oil applied topically helps shingles patients and prevents reoccurrences for up to 2 months.

7. Inhaling peppermint can improve memory and alertness. Pass the peppermint oil, I’m a tired mom of many.

8. Peppermint oil when added to toothpaste can help prevent cavities and freshen breath.

9. Relieves cough and congestion when applied on the chest or inhaled using a diffuser.

10. Relives headaches and stress when applied to the temples or in a bath.

11. Antibacterial and antiseptic properties when applied to the scalp with shampoo. Helps with dandruff and lice.

Peppermint Oil is an essential oil that I always have on hand, most often numerous bottles so that there is always one within reach. Make sure you are purchasing this and all of your essential oils from a reputable organic source. I love Mountain Rose Herbs for all of my essential oils.

Thank you for joining me in my 31 Days of Healthy Living Series.

Healthy Living Tip #8: Holy Basil

Healthy Living Tip Tulsi

Holy basil is a small shrub with sweet smelling leaves and is used throughout south Asia and India for its medicinal purposes. Holy basil, otherwise known as tulsi by Hindus is primarily consumed as an herbal tea.  The chemicals in holy basil pain, swelling, and inflammation. Other chemicals found in tulsi may lower blood sugar in diabetics.

When used as an herb in recipes, holy basil gives off a peppery taste. Thus, in many recipes it is referred to as hot basil.

Research is also being done to investigate holy basil oil on cancer patients. Preliminary tests show that the oil has positive effects in rats with some types of cancer.

Uses for Holy Basil 

  • common cold,
  • influenza (“the flu”) 
  • H1N1 (swine) flu
  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • bronchitis 
  • earache 
  • headache 
  • stomach upset
  • heart disease
  • fever
  • viral hepatitis
  • malaria
  • stress
  • tuberculosis

It is also used for mercury poisoning, to promote longevity, as a mosquito repellent, and to counteract snake and scorpion bites.

My favorite way to add tulsi to my daily diet is in my morning tea. You can find tulsi in a wide variety of flavors if you do not like the original taste.

For more health benefits and cited scientific research on the effects of holy basil please visit this article.

Healthy Living Tip #5: Sugar

Healthy living tip #5: Avoid Sugar. Diabetes, immune system suppression, depression, and weight gain are all linked to sugar consumption.

Sugar is everywhere in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Processed foods are packed with unnecessary sugars including high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Sugary treats and drinks are so prevalent in the SAD that most children are addicted to sugar before their second birthday.

You must stop and seriously consider the effects all of this sugar is having on your health.

Here are 3 serious health effects that sugar has on your health.

1. Diabetes

According to theAmerican Diabetes Association consumption of sugary drinks such a juices and soda are linked to developing type 2 diabetes. The ADA also recommends avoiding sugary drinks to prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes. Just one 12-ounce can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.  

Think diabetes can’t happen to you despite the soda you can’t seem to resist. No one is immune to the effects of a high sugar diet. Diabetes can be crippling and fatal when left uncontrolled. I think we can all agree that we would rather be walking around in our 50s and 60s rather than wheel chair bound due to the effects of diabetes simply because we couldn’t stop drinking juices and sodas.

2. Damages Your Immune System

Sugar suppresses your immune system, specifically the production of phagocytes within hours of consumption. Phagocytes are the cells in your immune system that surround and breakdown foreign material in your body. Suppressing these cells allows bacteria and pathogens to invade your body and cause you to fall ill.

There is no coincidence that cold and flu season occurs during the time of year when we consume the greatest amount of sugary treats and desserts.

Sugar also interferes with the transport of vitamin C through our bodies thus allowing our bodies to fall ill easier. Vitamin C is needed in the production of phagocytes as well as to neutralize cancer causing free radicals that float around in our bodies. Insulin transports vitamin C as well as sugar in our bodies. If insulin is too busy with the sugar molecules then the Vitamin C is left unable to do its very important job of keeping our bodies healthy.

3. Weight Gain

According to this WebMD article eating less sugar allows for weight loss and eating a high amount of sugar causes weight gain. Sugar is addicting plain and simple. When you have one piece or one bite of a sugary treat you want more. And more. And more. And the cycle continues until you are sick, walk away, or run out of treats.

Why are we doing this to our body for the quick “drug high” caused by sugar consumption? Break the addiction, detox your body of sugars, and start on your road to a healthier life. A sweet treat is not worth all of the negative effects it has on our bodies.

Please know that this is not exhaustive and I want to encourage you to do your own research into the additional negative health effects sugar has on your health.

You are invited to join me for the other healthy living tips in my 31 day series. 

 

Healthy Living Tip #4: Processed Foods

Healthy living tip #4, remove all processed foods from your diet.

Removing processed foods from our diet has earned its place in my top five healthy living tips for good reason. Nutritionally speaking there is nothing of redeeming value in processed foods. Aside from nutritional value, the benefit of removing processed food completely from your diet far outweigh the convenience aspect that this type of food provides.

I am at a healthy living conference this weekend and processed foods are being thrown under the bus left and right. Reason after reason is being given for eliminating processed foods to heal our bodies and our environment.

Here are 5 reasons why you need to eliminate processed foods from your diet immediately.

1. Food Allergies

Processed foods are packed full of chemicals, fillers, and genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). All of the unnatural ingredients that we are pouring into our bodies are seen as foreign objects by our digestive tract. The chemicals and fillers are causing immune responses which in turn cause allergic reactions. Your body is trying to evacuate the foreign food by causing the allergic reaction. Do your body a favor and don’t eat the processed food in the first place.

2. Asthma

If you or your children suffer from asthma you absolutely must go to your pantry and refrigerator and examine what you are eating. Asthma is another allergic reaction caused by the sulfites, fillers, and GMOs in the processed foods as described above. A whole food plant based diet will do wonders for healing asthmatic lungs.

3. Weight Loss

As I mentioned yesterday in the healthy living tip in which I discussed elimination soda consumption, cutting out processed foods will also help with weight loss. Processed foods are packed full of fake calories. unhealthy fats, and sugars. All of which lead directly to weight gain and ultimately obesity if left unchecked.

4. Heart Disease

The trans fats in processed foods lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and premature death. If you suffer from heart health issues you need to remove any and all processed foods from your daily diet.

5. Blood Pressure

If you are like most American adults you suffer from (or know someone who is suffering from) high blood pressure. Processed foods are packed, and I mean packed with sodium. In the world of food manufacturing, salt acts as a food preserver and extends the shelf life of foods in our grocery stores. However, sodium also increases your blood pressure and elevates your risk of stroke and heart disease. Cutting out processed foods will reduce all of these health risk factors.

Since learning about processed foods and the harmful effects that they have on our health I can not justify spending hard earned money on foods that do not promote health. Processed foods are tearing your health apart, one bite at a time.

Please join me for the rest of my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips