More Good News About Red Wine

If you enjoy a nice glass of wine, it gets more exciting every time a new study comes out touting its benefits. Get ready to cheer once again. This time red wine may prove to correct hormonal imbalances.

Red Wine, No Sour Grapes

Besides its deliciousness to so many of our senses, red wine has shown to deliver several positive health benefits. It’s actually the compound found in the grape skins, which is naturally beneficial. It’s called resveratrol.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant. It helps cells in plants, insects, animals, and humans defend against disease.

Women and Wine

In a study just published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the authors wrote that resveratrol intake can help restore estrogen levels.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a significant condition from which many women suffer. In fact, there are currently five to six million women in the US who’ve been stricken with this disease. Too much testosterone is produced, causing a hormonal imbalance, leading to PCOS.

PCOS is a leading cause of infertility in women.

In This Study…

Researchers conducted a double-blind test having some of the female participants take resveratrol, while the others were given a placebo. At the end of the experiment, those in the supplement-taking taking group showed to have a 23% percent drop in testosterone levels. (The placebo gals had less than a 3% decrease in testosterone levels.)

What This Means…

As further studies are conducted, it may prove that resveratrol can help moderate estrogen levels and hormone balancing. Hence, it can be used as a treatment for PCOS—and infertility caused by PCOS.

I’ll Drink to That!

Consuming extra red wine won’t necessarily provide you the amount of resveratrol with which researchers are experimenting. (In fact, overconsumption of alcohol can be dangerous or deadly.) However, one glass of red wine per day, can offer benefits far and wide throughout your body.

Many Resveratrol Benefits

Another astounding discovery about resveratrol is that it may help treat diabetes.

Resveratrol:

  • prevents insulin resistance
  • reduces oxidative stress in cells, which prevents premature aging and promotes longevity
  • protects the lining of arteries, improving blood flow
  • supports brain cells, improving mental function
  • prevents cancer cell replication, which can suppress the spread of cancer

Before taking supplements, always read up on them and discuss with your medical advisor. Cheers to the benefits of the adult red juice!

Organic Ashwagandha Root Powder
Organic Ashwagandha Root Powder

Pregnancy Nausea Good for Mom and Baby

Morning sickness can be physically undesirable; however, new research points to less incidence of miscarriage in women who experience nausea during pregnancy.

The Mother of All Early Pregnancy Studies

Research in the past has been limited linking morning sickness with reduced risk of miscarriage. Early pregnancy, nausea, and vomiting often go hand-in-hand. Approximately eight out of ten women experience the queasy symptoms during the first trimester. That’s when the hormonal surge is most significant.

The newest study is showing that women who suffered morning sickness had up-to-a -75 percent decreased risk of miscarrying. That’s not to say, however, that women who don’t experience nausea are at greater risk of losing the pregnancy.

Pregnancy Test

The study was conducted by the National Institutes of Health in Maryland and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Over 750 expectant moms, averaging 29 years old, were asked to write details in journals. (The other existing participant-criteria was that they each had previously suffered one or two miscarriages.) During the study and their recent pregnancy, they recorded their symptoms and completed questionnaires.

The researchers analyzed the cumulative data. Interestingly enough, one out of five women reported feeling nauseous even before taking a pregnancy test. By week two of gestation, almost 20% complained of nausea; by the eighth week, almost 60% reported morning sickness. Part of the conclusion is that the sickness confirmed continuing pregnancy. Another is that it represented a lower risk of miscarriage.

Other Theories

Aside from this study, some medical experts have speculated alternate reasons for the existence of nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy. One reason is that aversion to certain foods (from the nausea) protects the fetus from potential toxicity. Another is that less food equals lower levels of insulin, in turn, encouraging placenta growth.

Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby

On average, according to UK’s National Health Service, one in six pregnancies end in miscarriage. So, this study may offer some solace to pregnant women with morning sickness. But keep in mind, vomiting can cause dehydration and malnourishment. Mamas-to-be need to stay hydrated and try to keep down nutritious foods, even if it’s in small portions.

Prenatal vitamins are an important supplement to a pregnant mom’s diet. Foods high in iron are suggested, complimented by fresh fruits, which will help keep digestion smoothly. Bananas are great because they’re potassium-rich, help fight-off nausea, and offer some energy to combat natural fatigue. Dairy is important for calcium intake.

Pregnant or not, try to reduce or avoid processed or undercooked meats, fish, and eggs. Keep caffeine intake to a minimal. If you already engage in healthy eating practices and daily exercise, then you are off to a great, healthy pregnancy. If there’s room for improvement, becoming pregnant is a formidable way to change your lifestyle for the best!

Check out www.GetThrive.com for more news on women’s health!

CanaGel Melts

 

Estrogen, your female hormones and how is it effecting your weight?

Can there be anything more frustrating than exercising, eating properly, and STILL not losing a pound? Many of us have been there (or are here) and want to know, “What’s going on? What am I doing wrong?”

You’re not doing anything wrong—consciously. What you may not know is that due to an imbalance of hormones, your body is resisting weight loss. We’re not just talking about estrogen; there are many hormones that work together, all supplying assistance to different parts of your body.

Let’s first discuss the estrogen issue. It’s impossible to state that too little or too much estrogen conclusively acts a certain way for each woman, across the board. One woman, for example, may be sensitive to soy (including soy milk), which may increase estrogen levels.

Too much estrogen puts a strain on cells that produce insulin. If less glucose is traveling to your liver, then more winds up in your bloodstream. The excess glucose in your bloodstream is then stored as fat.

Too little estrogen may also cause the body to use starches and blood sugar less effectively. This too may increase fat storage. So, now we’re back to scratching our heads. Before committing to hormone replacement therapy, you may want to examine the possibility of other hormones being out of whack, which may contribute to an estrogen imbalance.

We know stress is a killer. Finding successful ways to combat stress is a constant exploration and practice. When we get stressed out, our cortisol levels increase. Cortisol is the “protect yourself from threat” hormone. When it’s released, your body automatically goes into “survival” mode, and it starts storing fat cells.

Meditation, exercise, vacation—they’re all great for stress reduction, but if you’re drinking eight cups of coffee a day, you’re undoing your healthy efforts. Moderating or greatly limiting caffeine intake can help keep cortisol levels in check.

Other hormone levels worth checking, (which greatly affect weight gain or the ability to maintain a desired weight) are insulin and TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.) Blood tests can reveal the levels, which will inform you if there’s an imbalance. Diet and exercise play a tremendous part in their functionality.

Another lesser-familiar hormone, Leptin, lets your brain know when you’re full. When there’s too much leptin, your brain cannot receive its important message to stop eating. Fat produces leptin. Excessive sugar and processed foods contain an abundance of fructose.

Too much fructose and your liver can’t filter through it fast enough to create it into fuel for energy. The overload is converted into fats. More fructose, more fat, too much leptin, hence, more overeating.

As with the overabundance of any hormone, our brains become less impervious to the messages being sent. So, if we want estrogen to do its job, we don’t want high levels of it. One reason for increased estrogen levels is not ingesting enough fiber.

Vegetables and other fiber-rich foods keep bowel movements regular, which allows for any excess estrogen to be discarded. Eating a diet high in animal-based foods subjects your body to all the antibiotics, steroids, and other chemicals that were fed to the animals. Also beware pesticides used on fruits and vegetables.

All of those chemicals (including others used in skin care products, shampoo, cosmetics, plastics, and the list goes on…), they act like estrogen when they’re absorbed into the body either by eating, drinking, through our skin, and even through the air we breathe. These chemicals are considered endocrine disruptors and affect our balance of estrogen as well as most of our hormones.

This may all sounds so scary, but there is a light somewhere in this hormonal tunnel. Mindful eating can certainly help. Mindful product shopping can also be added to your list. Continue to get daily exercise and keep stress levels at a minimum.

Stick with your program and it may be possible to rebalance your hormonal system. Before too long, you should notice the shedding of unwanted pounds—and then be able to keep them off.

 

Does Sugar Cause An Abnormal Metabolic Change?

Chemical abnormalities can create a drastic change in your health, especially when a few different groups of abnormalities accumulate. Some experts call this biological condition “metabolic syndrome.” It now appears that sugar may play a large part in producing this abnormal state.

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

A syndrome is generally characterized by a cluster of symptoms. A syndrome is not a disease, but it could be part of a disease, and in some cases, could lead to disease. A syndrome can also be described as an accumulation of several risk factors that are interrelated.

When referring to “metabolic” syndrome, the five risk factors are: high triglycerides, low good cholesterol (HDL), high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and abdominal fat. These factors significantly increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

When one of the above factors is combined with another—or two others, or three or more others—your risk of “disease”, for example, Coronary Heart Disease (CDH) increases exponentially.

You have to have at least three of the five risk factors to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

Does Metabolic Syndrome Really Exist?

Many regard metabolic syndrome as a valid condition. Some others, however, are wary of committing to the term “syndrome” even though each of the high-risk areas is interrelated.

The bottom line: According to the American Heart Association, 47 million Americans currently have metabolic syndrome, and the CDC estimates that approximately 75 million Americans suffer from it.

Regardless of the legitimacy of its “name”, the truth is that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and large waists (over 35 inches for women and over 40 for men) contribute to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Those are facts.

Statistics also show that when any of those factors are combined, your risk of diabetes is increased by five times.

A dire chemical abnormality is irregular blood sugar levels. Resistance to insulin can cause fluctuation of blood sugar. This is usually when a diagnosis of diabetes is presented.

So Where Does Sugar Fit In?

Until the 1850s, there were few-to-no medically recorded cases of diabetes in the U.S. Coincidentally, there was a surge of sugar-filled products during that era. Soda, candy, and ice cream began becoming commonplace. Due to mechanical advancements, treats could be made by machine (instead of by hand), and were exceedingly more available to the public. In 1885, there was the introduction of Dr. Pepper, followed by Coca-Cola the following year.

In the 1970s, we witnessed the birth of high-fructose corn syrup. Over the ensuing 20 years, there was a 1000% increase in American’s consumption of this variation on sugar. By 2012, Americans were consuming, on average, over 25 pounds of HFCS a year, per person.

Today, the extreme prevalence of sugar and high fructose corn syrup added into the American diet can be directly linked to obesity and the increase of cases of diabetes.

Is Insulin Resistance Caused by From Sugar Overconsumption?

Insulin is a hormone. It guides the body on how and where to use fuel (from sugar). If we ingest too much sugar, our cells resist insulin. So what happens to all that sugar? It goes to fat stores and, then, basically, poisons the rest of our body.

Sugar is stored as glycogen in the liver, to be used as energy, for short term. When the liver decides it’s had enough, the leftover sugar goes to fat cells. That’s stored for the long haul. But what happens when your storage is full?

The sugar spills into your bloodstream.

Normally, you eat, your blood sugar rises and the hormone insulin is released. The insulin takes the sugar out of the blood and sends it to your tissues. In effect, the insulin eventually lowers your blood sugar (by dispersing it properly).

So then imagine, the more sugar you ingest, the more insulin your body releases. As your level of insulin increases, so does its resistance to insulin. As your resistance to insulin increases, so does your inability to naturally and healthily handle your food intake. This would be called the onset or progression of diabetes.

Sugar, Sugar

Nutritionists, doctors, naturopaths, and a deluge of other health experts can offer 100 reasons why adding sugar to any food (whole or processed) is not a beneficial option. In fact, it may turn out to be a dangerous one. Without getting too radical, simply consider the idea of decreasing your sugar and high fructose corn syrup consumption.

Check out food labels. Substitute applesauce and stevia as natural sweeteners when baking. Do not substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar as they are known to contribute to other health risks. Educate yourself and then choose your personal best practice. For more information on healthy choices for you and your family, see www.GetThrive.com

 

 

Sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAwgdX5VxGc

http://www.candyhistory.net/candy-origin/history-of-candy/

http://www.wsj.com/articles/is-sugar-killing-us-1481303447

http://www.webmd.com/heart/picture-of-the-heart#1

http://www.webmd.com/heart/metabolic-syndrome/metabolic-syndrome-what-is-it#1

Why You Should Avoid Toxic Diet Soda

You think, I’m avoiding sugar, so a diet drink must be OK. Think again. Not only do diet sodas and other non-carbonated diet drinks and foods increase your risk for weight gain, they are toxic to your entire body.

They’re called “Artificial” Sweeteners for a Reason

Sugar is not a healthy part of our diet. The main reason being that it is not natural. Sugar is a refined and processed substance, which leads to the “bad” fat. So why would an artificial sweetener be any better for our body? It’s not. In fact, it’s worse.

Aspartame (Nutrasweet) and sucralose (Splenda) are the two main chemical sweeteners used in “diet” foods and drinks. Many people suffer from side effects from ingesting these products, but aren’t aware that they are the cause. Even back in 1995, there was a list of over 90 different health side effects attributed to aspartame. The complaints were submitted to the FDA by the Department of Health and Human Services, that long ago.

What’s it Hurting?

Aspartame side effects can be both physical and/or psychological. Ear ringing, blurred vision, forgetfulness, muscle weakness, and fatigue are just a few of the 92 listed effects. Where a real frightening dilemma lies is when an illness is misdiagnosed, but it’s actually aspartame poisoning.

One source claims that the compound may mimic or even trigger such diseases as: Lyme, Epstein-Barr, Grave’s, Alzheimer’s, Fibromyalgia, and a host of others.

As for Splenda, its use has been linked to leukemia. This year a study was published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. Its findings prompted The Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to downgrade Splenda’s use from “caution” to “avoid.”

Messing with Your Metabolism and Your Mind

Artificial sweeteners are linked with creating several metabolic disorders. Insulin resistance, high blood pressure, elevated fats in the bloodstream, and abdominal obesity are results of messing with your body by using diet products.

Both sucralose and aspartame derange your gut microbiome. The microbiota in your gut become altered, creating an imbalance. This imbalance impairs proper digestion as well as serotonin levels.

The disruption of healthy digestion and impairment of glucose intolerance actually makes the body crave sugar. The body’s ability to count calories is disturbed, allowing weight gain. One study pointed out that those who drank aspartame-sweetened beverages had a 67% increased risk for developing type-2 diabetes.

As we know, 80-90% of our serotonin (the “feel-good” hormone) lives in our gut. Mess with the gut, and you mess with the mind. A 2014 study noted that depression increased in those who consumed artificially sweetened drinks. Over 250,000 participants were surveyed for 10 years. Four cans of diet soda per day created a 30% higher risk of depression.

And if this doesn’t scare you enough, there’s more…

Don’t leave your diet soda, diet iced tea, or zero-calorie sweet water in your car or in the sun—anywhere it can heat up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The breakdown of the compound creates free methanol. Once in your body, methanol converts into formic acid and formaldehyde. These are toxins that destroy your brain cells and create other neurological disorders. (And even if you don’t heat up your drink, how do you know where that case of diet cola was stored before you bought it?)

Making Yourself Better

By drinking and eating products with sucralose and aspartame, you are making yourself sick. The best way to make yourself better is to stop using them. That’s a terrific start.

You may have sugar cravings. Try not to feed them because once you do, they demand more and more. Some suggest eating a piece of fruit as a form of natural sugar. Others claim eating something sour can reduce the craving.

In time, you may want to try a healthy, slow detoxification—perhaps one that focuses on mostly vegetables, legumes, nuts, good fats, and lean proteins. Once you rebalance your digestive system, your cravings should disappear, and you will no longer be poisoning your body from foods if you stick to a healthy regimen. For helpful tips on proper nutrition and health care for you and your family, check out www.GetThrive.com

 

Surprising Treatment for Diabetes May Be “The Cure”

There are medical treatments available for Type-2 Diabetes that moderate blood sugar and help provide a “normal” lifestyle. What most of us don’t know is that there is a natural way to treat it—and may also finally cure it!

Understanding Type-2 Diabetes

Type-2 diabetes is something your body develops over time. It used to be called “late-onset diabetes.” That would be a misnomer nowadays because even adolescents are acquiring the disease.

Common, available medical information explains that those who develop type-2 diabetes either cannot use insulin adequately or simply don’t produce enough insulin. But there may be more to the diabetes-2 story.

What’s With Insulin?

Cells in the pancreas create insulin, which is a hormone.

Insulin converts the sugar we ingest into (glucose) fuel and directs it where to go. If functioning properly, it sends it first to your muscle cells and your brain. If there’s too much sugar in the blood, it sends the extra elsewhere—to cells waiting to accepting the overload. They are fat cells.

It’s a good thing sugar (glucose) overload is redirected away from vital organs.

The more sugar you hoard, the more fat cells have to reproduce in order to handle the overload. Those cells also expand. So, if your body didn’t protect you from the high sugar levels (and place it into fat cells), hyperglycemia would prevail, and eventually, you’d go into a coma. And then, die.

You can thank your brain for saving your life and instead giving you that tire around your belly.

Insulin Has Had Enough!

As Type-2 diabetes develops, your body becomes less resistant to insulin. So now what’s going to happen? Insulin was on your side, diverting all the sugar from your organs. Resistance ensues. This leads to inflammation.

Inflammation is the Ultimate Destroyer of Good Health

Inflammation in our systems can occur from too much stress, toxins in our systems, and an overload of sugar in our bloodstream, (among other causes).

Inflammation is not a direct cause of diabetes, but it has been proven to participate in its development.

Inflammation, externally and internally, causes our good-fight cells to work overtime. When they work too hard and too long, they give out. Eventually, this is one of the reasons why we wind up with an autoimmune disorder.

Our body’s fighting-cells start fighting against healthy cells—they’re tired and confused. Type-2 diabetes is being redefined as an autoimmune disorder, just like Colitis, Celiac, and Lupus, to name a few.

Here’s The Secret…

Approach treatment and the eventual cure of type-2 diabetes by decreasing inflammation.

How to Decrease Inflammation

Basically, you want to decrease the influx of anti-inflammatory chemicals into your body. That would include foods you ingest, but also the other toxins in your environment. With a healthy diet and exercise, you can definitely accomplish this!

EXERCISE increases cellular sensitivity to insulin. Exercise also releases a ton of natural hormones into the bloodstream. This includes serotonin, which perks up your mood (but basically because it cleans up your gut.)

FOODS that are whole, organic, and don’t create an allergic reaction in your body, will help decrease inflammation as well.

The BOTTOM LINE is eating well and exercising. Do your best in both, and you can prevent type-2 diabetes.

Getting to the Cure

Continuing on a path of low-inflammatory foods and some type of daily exercise can pretty much assure you of preventing type-2 diabetes. In order to “cure” your prognosis, you’ll need to be consistent in your commitment to good health.

That would entail eating meals rich in: avocados, nuts, leafy greens, seeds, lean proteins (fish and poultry) and avoiding: processed foods, red meats, white foods like bread, rice, and potatoes.

You can eat: sweet potatoes, brown rice, grain-fed beef, peanut butter, spinach, berries, and a ton of other foods you’ll love. Don’t think of it at losing things you love, but rather adding new foods you’ll love even more!

Of course, if you have type-2 diabetes, always notify your physician first of any dietary changes you plan on making.

Thrive will be adding more articles on inflammation reducing foods soon, so check us out often. In the meanwhile, if you want to read other informative tidbits about health and everyday living, click here.