An Apple A Day…

April 22, 2017

Did you know that apple cider vinegar can help promote health?? Check out 18 of the best health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

1. Calm an upset stomach
When we eat (or drink) something that does not agree with us, a stomach ache ensues and can cause pain and gas. This is usually from bacteria build up. If you are experiencing acute stomach pain and feel it is not severe enough to visit a healthcare provider, consider having apple cider vinegar to ease the pain. The pectin in apple cider vinegar is known to soothe intestinal aches, spasms and pain. The best mixture should include two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with some water, juice or apple juice.

2. Eliminate annoying hiccups
Hiccups are usually caused by excess air in the digestive system, which your body is attempting to eliminate through muscular spasms. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar is great for alleviating this problem. It is possible that the strong acidic nature of apple cider vinegar helps to prevent the spasms that cause hiccups, which will help reduce the risk of getting these unwanted spasms.

3. Sore throat cure
There are many reasons a sore throat occurs. An effective way to help eliminate a sore throat is to gargle with apple cider vinegar. The bacteria in the throat causing pain do not like the strong acid content of apple cider vinegar, which means they will die off when you gargle. Gargle with a combination of two ounces of apple cider vinegar and two ounces of warm water once per hour for throat pain relief.

4. Reduce your cholesterol
There has been quite a bit of research and studies on how to reduce cholesterol. There have been a few studies that have shown apple cider vinegar to be beneficial for lowering cholesterol. As little as one tablespoon a day can lower cholesterol. The acetic acid contained in the vinegar is what is believed to help fight off cholesterol in the body.

5. Stop indigestion
If you are a victim of frequent indigestion after meals, and your doctor or healthcare provider is aware of your condition, then consider using apple cider vinegar prior to meals to help prevent indigestion. Take one teaspoon each of honey and apple cider vinegar and a tall glass of warm water prior to eating.

6. Clear nasal congestion and stuffiness
Cold medicine is a costly purchase year after year and tends to have many side effects. Rather than using cold medication to help relieve a stuffy nose, consider having some apple cider vinegar. The potassium in apple cider vinegar thins mucus, and the acid in the vinegar helps reduce the total amount of bacteria in your nasal cavity. Only one teaspoon is needed and you can mix it with a glass of water to gain these benefits.

7. Lose weight
The acid content in apple cider vinegar is known to suppress appetite, which means that you are not as likely to overeat. In addition, apple cider vinegar can increase your metabolism, which will cause you to burn more calories throughout the day. Lastly, consuming apple cider vinegar can help your body eliminate harmful water retention, which actually has heart health benefits as well.

8. Dry scalp
Dry scalp is prevalent in the colder months of the year. Using apple cider vinegar as an addition to your shampoo can help eliminate dandruff and leave it healthy. Mix a batch with two ounces of water and two ounces of apple cider vinegar and apply to your scalp when you shampoo. The acidity of the vinegar prevents harmful germs from growing on your scalp and it will help to eliminate dry scalp.

9. Avoid blemishes on your face
Acne can affect anyone at any time. There are a handful of products that are great for zapping acne off your face, but the most effective way to eliminate acne is to kill the bacteria on your skin and prevent it from growing. Using a little apple cider vinegar on your face can be a great way to kill the bacteria on your face to help prevent acne from growing. Dab it on a cotton ball and use it like you would any toner.

10. Skip your midday coffee and look for apple cider vinegar instead
Midday lulls are common for a number of reasons, but when it happens, many simply go to the nearest coffee store to load up on more caffeine. Instead of another cup of coffee, consider having one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with some water or juice to increase your energy levels for the day.

11. Prevent harsh leg cramps at night
If you wake up in the middle of the night with achy legs due to cramping, consider having some apple cider vinegar. It contains potassium, which is good for cramping symptoms. Blend one ounce of apple cider vinegar with a little honey and some warm water to cut those cramps out of your night.

12. Eliminate chronic bad breath
If your bad breath persists and your dentist or doctor does not indicate a tooth problem, then try some apple cider vinegar. Gargle with apple cider vinegar to help eliminate bacteria in your mouth (dilute the vinegar if you desire). The high acid content of apple cider vinegar kills germs in your mouth if your usual mouthwash is not getting the job done.

13. A natural teeth whitener
Using apple cider vinegar is a safe and natural way to reduce or eliminate staining on teeth. Swishing or gargling every day with apple cider vinegar can to help reduce staining of teeth. In addition, it can help whiten your teeth and stop any bacteria from growing in your mouth. This is a win-win combination for the health of your mouth.

14. Stop bruising on your skin
Bruises are caused from broken or inflamed arteries and veins in the vasculature. The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar can prevent bruising. The best way to diminish bruises is to apply apple cider directly to the bruise. It will initially cause the bruise to change its color, but over time it will help eliminate it and heal the area.

15. Improve blood sugar
Apple cider vinegar can help control blood sugar in a way similar to various prescription medications. Researchers have followed the effects of apple cider vinegar and have found that it prevents and slows the breakdown of starches during digestion. When this happens, blood sugar benefits and is not elevated as high as it normally would.

16. Protect you heart
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of adults. One way to reduce heart disease risk among adults is to consume apple cider vinegar. The regular consumption of apple cider vinegar can help to reduce blood pressure, which is a major marker of those with heart disease.

17. Prevent cancer
Cancer is the number one killer worldwide and is caused from many factors that are still unknown. Foods that contain high amounts of natural antioxidants are known to help prevent the risk of cancer. This is why apple cider vinegar is beneficial. Apple cider vinegar contains high amounts of polyphenols, which are also found in wine, and can help to reduce your risk and fight free-radicals in your body.

18. Alleviate sunburn pain
Skin pain due to sunburn can be reduced by soaking the area in some apple cider vinegar. In as little as 10 minutes, your pain from sunburn can be reduced dramatically.

Omega-3

April 12, 2017

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are common nutritional supplements often taken in the form of fish oil or flaxseed oil. They’re classified as a polyunsaturated fat, one of the “good” fats (as opposed to “bad” fat, which is saturated.)

Omega-3s are believed to play many important roles, including:

  • Aiding brain development and function
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Reducing back and neuropathic pain
  • Preventing heart disease
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Lowering risk of cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • They may also help alleviate depression, asthma, painful periods and rheumatoid arthritis. However, evidence is less compelling in these areas.

Omega-3s for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Some studies show that omega-3s may improve symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. One survey showed that omega-3 fatty acids are among the most common supplements taken by people with fibromyalgia.

Some researchers hypothesize that omega-3 fatty acids may help alleviate oxidative stress, which studies suggest may play a role in these conditions.

Many people take omega-3 supplements, or eat a diet rich in omega-3s, in order to combat inflammation. Chronic fatigue syndrome is believed to be associated with pro-inflammatory cytokines. Some research suggests that fibromyalgia may involve inflammation of the fascia.

We don’t know yet whether they help counter the cognitive dysfunction or unique pain types of these conditions or the cardiovascular irregularities that are common in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Omega-3 Dosage

Some health professionals recommend that people who don’t eat a diet rich in omega-3s take 500-1000 milligrams a day in supplements.

Doctors may recommend that people with certain conditions, such as heart disease, take more. It’s important for you to discuss your supplement needs with your doctor.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet

You can get dietary omega-3 fatty acids in several foods, including:

  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, anchovies)
  • Seaweed
  • Algae
  • Walnuts
  • Canola and hemp seed oils
  • Flaxseeds and flax seed oil
  • Soybeans

Side Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Just because omega-3s are natural doesn’t mean they’re safe for everyone or in any amount. It’s important for you to be aware of possible side effects.

Common side effects include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased burping
  • Heartburn/acid reflux
  • Abdominal pain and bloating

Some people don’t like the “fishy” taste these supplements can leave behind. Taking them with meals can help alleviate this problem as well as other side effects. It may also help to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it.

While rare at lower dosages, omega-3s may increase your risk of bleeding problems, including a type of stroke.

Higher doses may also be linked to nosebleeds and blood in the urine. A blood sugar increase in diabetics is possible, but unlikely.

Those with major depression or bipolar disorder may experience mania, restlessness, or a crawling sensation on the skin.

Some fish may contain contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and methylmercury. These substances are believed to build up in the meat, not the oil, so supplements are considered safe.

Long-term supplementation may cause vitamin E deficiency. Your doctor can test you for this problem.

Is Omega-3 Right for You?

It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor about supplements you’d like to try so you can make sure it won’t be a problem with any of your other medications or conditions.

However, omega-3 is generally considered safe and is readily available anywhere that sells supplements, so it’s an easy one to add to your treatment regimen.