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Reishi Mushrooms: Traditional Medicine for Cancer, Diabetes and More -

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Reishi mushrooms, also called lingzhi mushrooms, are a species of medicinal mushroom characterized by their kidney-shaped cap and tough texture. Though widely appreciated throughout the countries of their native Asia, reishi are especially venerated in China. In fact, practitioners of ancient Chinese medicine have been prescribing reishi for a host of medical conditions such as high blood pressure and fatigue for at least 2,000 years. Even today, reishi are held in high regard by the Chinese, and have retained their traditional nickname, the “Mushrooms of Immortality.” Below are some of the health benefits attributed to reishi.

Boost immunity and prevent cancer

Reishi muhsrooms are rich in beta-glucans and hetero-beta-glucans, which are biologically-active polysaccharides found in the cell walls of certain plants and fungi. Many studies, such as the Lithuanian study published in the Medicina journal in 2007, have proven that these substances increase our immunity by enhancing macrophages and activating natural killer cell function (“killer cells” being the white blood cells that destroy infected or cancerous cells). This led the researchers to conclude that reishi could inhibit tumor growth.

Reishi mushrooms’ anti-cancer abilities were confirmed by a later study conducted by two scientists at Bellarmine University in Kentucky, who found that the polysaccharides and saponins present in the fungi could decrease cell proliferation in cancerous lungs by instigating apoptosis (cell death). The scientists claimed that “detailed biochemical characterization of this ancient herbal remedy could hold tremendous promise for the treatment of lung cancer.”

Slow the aging process

Reishi mushrooms contain an important antioxidant, ganoderic acid, which can inhibit oxidation by neutralizing free radicals. Though unchecked free radical activity is usually associated with degenerative diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, it also accelerates the aging process. In fact, this phenomenon has its own term: the free radical theory of aging (FRTA). Therefore, eating more antioxidant-rich foods like reishi can contribute towards healthier hair, clearer skin, brighter eyes and fewer wrinkles.

Treat cardiovascular conditions

According to Phyllis Bach, author of the book, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, reishi mushrooms have been used to treat numerous cardiovascular conditions (including serious conditions like heart disease) for centuries in their native China. One condition that reishi particularly excels at treating, however, is diabetes.

A Chinese study published in the December 2006 issue of the Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, for example, found that diabetic subjects who were fed reishi extracts over an eight-week period exhibited lowered triglyceride and blood sugar levels, as well as reduced markers of kidney stress, compared to the control group. This research was reinforced by another Chinese study published in 2009 for the journal Phytomedicine, which found that reishi extracts lowered the blood glucose levels of mice within a single week, leading the researchers to believe that the mushrooms inhibit an enzyme used by the liver to manufacture glucose.

Rich in nutrients

Reishi mushrooms have become so well-known for their disease-preventing abilities that people often forget that they make good nutrient supplements in their own right. One grounded reishi mushroom, for instance, supplies our bodies with a large number of important nutrients including fiber, amino acids, protein, steroids, triterpenes, lipids, alkaloids, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and ascorbic acid. Like their fellow medicinal mushrooms, shiitake and maitake, reishi are also a good source of copper, a trace mineral with antioxidant and enzyme-supporting properties.

Note: Unlike other medicinal mushrooms, reishi are difficult for our stomachs to digest even after they’ve been cooked, and are best consumed in extract form. Reishi powders and tinctures are a good choice, though a lot of people also swear by reishi tea. Additionally, stick to organic reishi products cultivated in the United States and Europe, since Chinese reishi are likely to be polluted.

 

6 Things That Can Hurt Your Willpower When Dieting -

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It’s a place we’ve all been. You are working hard to lose weight and you feel like you have been doing pretty well, but sooner or later your will power fades and you start to plateau or even gain weight. This is pretty common and the truth is that living a healthy, lean life is tough.

But as luck would have it, there are a few particular things that most people do which can make life unnecessarily hard.

See if you’re doing any of these things, and if you are, try to stop:

Habitual Snacking Times

You probably have some times of day or routines which inevitably lead to eating bad foods in spite of your will power not to. These little eating patterns can be tough to break because they can be almost subconscious. I’m talking about things like:

Eating a biscuit or two in the break room
Stealing some of the kids potato chips
Having a chocolate bar after a workout
Whatever your routine you need to spot these vices and either break them or break the routine. For example, don’t take any more cash to the gym than you need. Don’t go in the break room when you’re hungry or feeling weak willed. Those little calories add up, but they’re easy to forget about.

A False Sense of Calories

If you exercise regularly (and you should) then it is all too easy to trick yourself into overeating. The truth is that although exercise does burn calories, it is very easy to over compensate by eating too much.

This is why many people who start going to the gym actually gain weight. The effect is still positive of course, because some of that weight is muscle – but even so, you need to be realistic about how many calories you are burning.

Boredom Eating

There are certain times of day when naughty foods seem to become more tempting and any occasion when you are bored or not doing very much is likely to be such a time.

This is why many people find that they eat more during the evenings when they are not busy at work…

If this seems like you then you need to break the cycle:

  • Go out in the evenings
  • Get into the habit of being more active
  • Do something that engages your brain so that you don’t think about food
  • You don’t have to do exercise every evening, just avoid too much time watching the TV or otherwise being mentally inactive

Thinking That You Have To Eat

The myth that you have to eat regularly in order to keep your metabolism going is a big one and a damaging one. The truth is that you would have to stop eating for many days before your metabolism actually slowed down.

So from now on, realize that you don’t HAVE TO eat as soon as you feel hungry…

Hunger is mostly habitual anyway

If there is no healthy food available, don’t eat. Skip a meal if you need to and wait until it is practical to eat something more suitable.

Focusing On The Scales

Weight loss is a long term game and it is entirely normal to occasionally plateau. In fact, you may lose no weight for 2 weeks and then lose several pounds in a few days.

For this reason, focusing on the scales can be dangerous for your motivation

Instead, try to focus on the things which happen sooner:

  • You will feel healthier
  • You will have more energy
  • Your clothes will start to look better
  • You will look better in the mirror
  • If you measure your progress by these criteria instead of the amount of force that you exert on the ground you will find that you stay motivated more easily

Dehydration

Don’t get dehydrated – it’s that easy. Being dehydrated can make you feel hungry, which is obviously not going to be good for your will power or your judgement.

But aside from that, when you are hungry, a big drink of water (or cordial) will make you feel less hungry, which can either help you to abstain a little longer – particularly helpful when there is no healthy food available.

Top Ways to Keep Stress at Bay -

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A high level of stress is not good for anyone. When a person is constantly exposed to stress, the individual can develop anxiety disorders. People suffering from high levels of stress can exhibit uncontrollable behaviors related to acute stress such as anger and frustration. This should be avoided as much as possible. Fortunately, coping with stress is not that difficult anymore. There are foolproof ideas to keeping high levels of stress at bay.

Relax

The main combatant against stress is relaxation. While stressful events will guarantee that you cannot be relaxed voluntarily, there are several ways to make sure you get the relaxation you need. Stress-reduction techniques and an exercise regimen such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi are all great methods to introduce some relaxation that your body craves for. These activities can literally take your mind and body away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life without you physically traveling somewhere far away.

These activities are said to have the capacity to lower stress hormones and improve one’s immunity. A study has shown that people who do yoga constantly can enjoy a significant decrease of their body’s inflammatory responses. Therefore, not only will you decrease your stress level, you can also stay away from chronic diseases such as heart diseases caused by inflammation. No matter how draining your day is, dedicating a certain amount of time a day to focus on relaxation and not caring about what is happening around us is very beneficial.

Surround yourself with friends

A top stress buster is laughter. No sane person can genuinely laugh by themselves for any apparent reason. Therefore, if you want your stress levels to go down, go out and laugh with friends. Surrounding yourself with your friends who care about you is one great way to keep stress away.

Spending time alone may at times be good, but being cooped up on your own most of the time can be detrimental to your mental and heart health. At the very least, being alone all the time will make it harder for your to keep negative thoughts at bay and stress will drown you. Women are more particularly prone to this.

Stop striving for perfection

Striving for something that cannot happen immediately can be stressful. One thing that no one can be is perfect, no matter how hard you try. The more you strive to be perfect, the more you will become hostile and isolated against others. After all, it is quite difficult to strive to be the best and at the same time think nicely of everyone.

This behavior not only makes you feel sad, but it is also unhealthy for your heart. If you want to keep stress at bay, be nice to people and be optimistic. Forget being perfect, focus on being at peace.

Let go and lighten up

Nothing is more stressful than holding a grudge. Letting your anger stew for such a long time can eat you up. In fact, this can lead to a high level of psychological stress. Forgiveness is the best way to go. In relation to this, lighten up.

Stress might be a constant in your life, but you should not let this drown you. Fight back by relaxing more and worrying less. Let go of negative vibes and surround yourself with good friends. Learn to forgive and forget, and just laugh and live more.

Got funky Breath? Here are Some Causes – and Fixes -

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Got chronic halitosis? If you do, chances are that your friends haven’t told you, because, well, they’re your friends and they don’t want to hurt your feelings. But halitosis — bad breath, as it is more commonly known — is a common problem, so you might have a problem and just not know it.

How common is halitosis? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, about 80 million people suffer from chronic bad breath. But there is good news: Finding a cure for this embarrassing condition is very much possible, if you first know what causes it.

For many people, the solution lies in what they eat; that’s because certain foods, like garlic and onions, are huge contributors to bad breath. What’s more, after they have been digested, odor-causing agents then travel through the bloodstream and are emitted through the lungs. Avoiding these foods — or, at least, cutting back on them — reduces halitosis.

Also, as reported by Guardian Liberty Voice:

Yet other cases of bad breath are due to poor oral hygiene. When food particles are trapped between the teeth, bacteria start to break them down releasing noxious odors. While regular brushing is a good start on preventing this type of bad breath, it is also important to floss, use mouthwash (those containing chlorine dioxide are a good choice) and even brush the tongue. The tongue is often a surprising source of bacteria-induced odor and regular usage of a tongue scraper can make a big difference in how fresh a person’s breath is. Regular visits to the dentist to detect and prevent gum disease are also important.

Some causes have nothing to do with the mouth

If a person has had poor dental hygiene for a long period of time, seeing a dentist is the first step in reversing a history of halitosis. Dentists can spot whether bad breath is being caused by gum disease — a condition that can develop due to poor hygiene. When a person neglects to see his or her dentist for years at a time, coupled with poor brushing/cleaning habits, plaque can build up on teeth, which can then cause a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Toxins from the bacteria then irritate gums, and the entire process leads to funky breath.

Tobacco use can also cause bad breath, especially chewing tobacco, and the only way to fix this cause is to not chew or smoke tobacco. Besides causing a number of other physical health problems, tobacco use can also cause stained teeth, gum irritation and inability to taste foods.

Certain medicines and medical conditions can also cause halitosis. For instance, medications that cause dry mouth can leave a person with unpleasant breath.

Bad breath can also be caused by conditions that have nothing to do with the mouth or teeth. For instance, chronic lung, sinus and throat infections can certainly cause sufferers to have chronically bad breath. In addition, stomach ulcers, acid reflux and hiatal hernia, the latter of which causes regurgitation of food, can also cause bad odors.

So, what to do about the problem? Here are some possible fixes:

–Always practice good dental hygiene. Spend time every morning and evening, before you go to bed, brushing your teeth and flossing with a good floss. The time you put into this will pay off in terms of fresher breath.

–Invest in a good mouthwash. [Editor’s note: This item has been removed by me because the writer’s suggestion was not accurate. Antibacterial mouthwash is useless and full of toxic chemicals.]

–Reconsider your diet. You like spicy foods — got it. But maybe cutting down on them or giving up certain foods altogether is something that you should think about.

–Don’t be afraid to bring it up with your doctor. He or she may be able to help you pinpoint the problem and direct you to a cure.

For his part, our editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, recommends chlorophyll. It’s Mother Nature’s amazing green cleaning machine, and the more you take, the cleaner you get, he says.

 

Top 4 Reasons Your Health is Deteriorating -

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It seems we have many things to blame for our deteriorating health. We have our less than stellar genetics, our chronological age, and other “unknown factors”. However, these are not the main reasons our health is going downhill, and it’s time to reveal the main culprits.

Lack of enzymes

Enzymes are one of the most essential elements in the body. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to breathe, swallow, drink, eat, or digest your food. Enzymes are required to help perform these tasks, and therefore, are a necessity to live.

Eighty percent of our energy is expended through the digestive process. If you are run down, stressed, living in a very hot or cold climate, pregnant, or a frequent air traveler, then enormous amounts of extra enzymes are required by the body.

Unfortunately, as we age our organs responsible for producing our digestive enzymes become less efficient. Combine this with our obsession with “dead” and genetically altered food that causes free radical damage, and you quickly deplete your body’s ability to produce enzymes.

Many researchers now view the aging process and death as nothing more than depleted enzyme levels, which have reached the point where the body can no longer be repaired and maintained in its current environment.

Not enough probiotics

Our bodies contain ten times more bacteria than cells. This discovery neatly revealed the emphasis we need to put behind beneficial probiotics in order to maintain a healthy body.

Probiotics literally mean “for life”, and help immune cells fight disease, assist digestion, and provide nutrients for building blood. They also help clean your liver, which is your primary mechanism to remove toxins.

Our diets have become seriously deficient in probiotics due to agricultural practices (chemicals, zero tilling), processed foods, and a general lack of quality produce in our diet. As a result, we suffer from bad bacterial overgrowth, which severely compromises the immune system and your ability to fight off any foreign invaders or infections.

Deficient in vitamins and minerals

In a study from the University of Texas that was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, nutritional data was studied from the USDA from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, and it was found that “reliable declines” were present in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorous, iron, riboflavin and vitamin C.

The Organic Consumers Association also cites data that analyzed nutrients from 1975 to 1997 and found that calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent, iron levels 37 percent, vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent.

A lack of vitamins and minerals will cause all kinds of disease processes, because without them our body lacks the nutrients required to build and repair blood, tissues, muscles, and bones.

Burdened liver from toxic overload

Our food, water, and air have been assaulted through various chemicals and processes, and as a result, we have been inundated at every level with a toxic burden to bear. Not only that, but personal care products and medical procedures and products (x-rays, dental amalgams, prescriptions) have also added to this burden.

In a perfect world, our liver would be able to handle the toxins we take in and properly dispatch them so they do not bio-accumulate in the body. However, our liver has been inundated and rendered inefficient, and as a result it can’t execute that task with any efficiency.

As a result, our toxic burden in not alleviated properly, or worse, it continues unabated if we choose to not eat and drink clean, and in a way that naturally detoxifies us on a daily basis.

There is no shortage of reasons your health is deteriorating, but if you focus on improving these areas, your health will improve.