Manuka Honey and Cider Vinegar – a winning combination

manuka honey and cider vinegar
Healing combination

Some people would swear by cider vinegar for treating weight loss, rheumatism, blood pressure and more.

Others will tell you that manuka honey is the elixir of life, its antibacterial and antioxidant properties can be used to treat complaints internally and externally.

So, why not combine them together?

The wonderfully named Picklecoombe House are doing just that with an active 5+ Manuka Honey & Cider Vinegar.

I’m looking forward to hearing what folk are going to say about this!

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Have you heard about green coffee and weight loss?

If, like me, you’ve been trying to lose weight for ages you probably know all the tips and secrets.

You’ll also be frustrated that it isn’t going as well as you like!

One of the key pieces of advice is to get your metabolism working better. But how?

Exercise, sleep, curious foods, even drinking milk, all these things help mobilise your metabolism, but here’s something which has been making shockwaves with its effectiveness…

Green Coffee bean extract has been shown to boost metabolism so that tests foundpeople would lose 18 pounds over 6 weeks. Not only that, taking green coffee pills kept the weight off too.

Green coffee extract elps with weight loss
Green coffee extract elps with weight loss

Green coffee (or raw coffee) contains chlorogenic acid which works by inhibiting the release of glucose and increasing your body’s metabolic process at the same time. Neither does it leave you with the jitters like coffee might.

It’s not something I’ve tried yet, but I’m hoping to get my hands on some as soon as I can.

The best crispbread you’ve ever tasted, and it’s gluten free

The best tasting crispbread ever (in my opinion)

Many people have been asking for a particular crispbread called Pain des Fleurs translated ‘bread of flowers’.

It’s not surprising as it’s the most delicious crispbread I’ve ever tasted, with a sweet and lightly crispy texture.

And it’s also gluten free.

The reason why it’s both delicious and gluten free is that it is a crispbread made from chestnuts (and it’s also organic…) I was writing recently about the versatility of chestnuts and this is just such an example.

However, Pain des Fleurs also make crispbreads using buckwheat and also quinoa. I can’t tell you how these taste but if the quality is anything like the chestnut crispbread it has got to be pretty good.

Health Researchers Gather to Talk about Tea

There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting a role for tea in preventing and treating many chronic diseases, writes Maureen Williams ND.

Researchers recently gathered in Washington, DC, for the Fifth Annual Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health, an event that showcased results from the most recent and not-yet-published studies on the health benefits of tea.

A range of reported benefits

Here are some highlights from the new research presented at the symposium:

  • Tea may lower risk of stroke. A meta-analysis of studies looking at tea consumption and cardiovascular disease conducted by a pair of researchers from UCLA determined that drinking tea was associated with stroke prevention.
  • Tea may improve alertness and focus. A researcher from the Netherlands presented a review of studies looking at the effect of tea on mood and mental functioning. In total, she reported, the evidence suggests that taking tea can improve alertness, attention, and mood.
  • Tea extract may keep blood vessels healthy. This preliminary trial demonstrated that taking tea flavonols (antioxidant compounds) could reduce blood pressure and improve results on tests of blood vessel function in people with mild high blood pressure. It also found that people who had taken the tea flavonols for one week were protected against the deterioration in blood vessel function and blood flow that occurs after eating a very high-fat meal.
  • Tea may assist weight loss. A presentation reviewing the research on tea and weight loss included data showing that tea increases metabolic rate, fat breakdown, and weight loss and may help prevent rebound weight gain.
  • Green tea may prevent some cancers. Two papers reviewing the effects of tea on cancer risk were presented. They suggested that green tea and its antioxidants may have general anticancer effects and reviewed the findings from trials looking at green tea and specific types of cancer. One of the papers noted in particular the promising results from studies looking at green tea and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract: mouth, oesophagus, stomach, liver, and colon.
  • Tea may prevent bone loss. A researcher from Texas reviewed the data on tea’s impact on bone turnover, suggesting that tea, and especially green tea, may improve bone health and prevent fractures.

Specific tea antioxidants—how they work and what they might do for health—were the subject of other studies and reports.

Putting it in perspective

At conferences, researchers always want to present their most exciting new findings, but it is important to keep in mind that none of the papers presented at the symposium have yet been reviewed by third-party experts or published in credible journals. Still, they do show an impressive and growing body of evidence suggesting a role for tea in preventing and treating many chronic diseases.

“As the second most consumed drink in the world next to water, tea accounts for a significant amount of the flavanol intake worldwide,” states Joe Simrany, President of the Tea Council of the USA, which has been a leading force behind the International Tea and Human Health Symposium since 1991. “This gathering of renowned global nutrition scientists is the world’s leading platform to release new research on tea, and acts as a catalyst for continuing research on tea in areas as diverse and novel as cognitive function, bone growth, weight management, cancer, and vascular function.”

Abstracts from the symposium are posted at the Tea Association of the USA’s website, http://www.teausa.org.

(Fifth Intl Scientific Symposium Health Abstracts 2012, The Tea Association of the USA, accessed September 27, 2012; http://www.teausa.org/index.cfm/14748/fifth-intl-scientific-symposium-health-abstracts)

Maureen Williams, ND, completed her doctorate in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle and has been in private practice since 1995. With an abiding commitment to access to care, she has worked in free clinics in the US and Canada, and in rural clinics in Guatemala and Honduras where she has studied traditional herbal medicine. She currently lives and practices in Victoria, BC, and lectures and writes extensively for both professional and community audiences on topics including family nutrition, menopause, anxiety and depression, heart disease, cancer, and easing stress. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

Green Coffee Extract Found to Help with Weight Loss

Tests with green coffee saw people lose an average of almost 18 pounds and 4.4% of their body fat. Kimberly Beauchamp ND, comments on the  new findings.

With obesity on the rise, it’s no surprise that people turn to fad diets, meal replacements, supplements, drugs, and even surgery in an effort to lose weight. Most of these solutions are riddled with problems, though, and weight lost is often easily gained back. So weight-loss strategies that are safe and long-lasting always make welcome news. Enter the green coffee bean, which a study in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity claims will help overweight people safely shed some extra pounds.

What’s in the bean?

Recent studies suggest that drinking coffee could protect against type 2 diabetes and obesity, which led researchers to look for the constituents in coffee that might be responsible for these effects. They discovered that coffee contains something called chlorogenic acid, a substance that seems to influence glucose and fat metabolism. Unroasted—or green—coffee beans contain substantially more chlorogenic acid than roasted beans do.

To test the effects of a standardised green coffee extract on weight loss, 16 overweight people (average age 33 years) took high dose (1,050 mg per day) green coffee extract, low dose (700 mg per day) green coffee extract, and placebo, each separately for six weeks, with a two-week break between phases. The participants didn’t change their diets during the trial. Body weight, BMI (body mass index), and percent body fat were measured before, during, and after each period of the study.

Both dosages of green coffee extract led to significant reductions in percent body fat, body weight, and BMI. Percent body fat also decreased significantly with placebo, but body weight and BMI remained unchanged. While taking green coffee bean extract, the people lost an average of almost 18 pounds and 4.4% of their body fat. What’s more, 88% of the people maintained their weight loss four months later. No side effects related to the treatment were reported.

“The results suggest that green coffee extract may be an effective nutraceutical in reducing weight in preobese adults, and may be an inexpensive means of preventing obesity in overweight adults,” concluded the researchers.

Weight loss 101

The results of this small study were impressive but need to be reproduced in larger trials before solid recommendations can be made about taking green coffee bean extract for weight loss. Doctors who specialise in weight loss agree that lasting results can only be achieved when you make permanent lifestyle changes that include eating less and moving more. Each positive step that you take adds up to help you meet and maintain your weight loss goals.

  • Be active. Exercise does double duty for weight loss—by burning calories while you’re working out and by increasing your resting metabolic rate.
  • Make your calories count. “Empty” calories from processed foods (like chips, pastries, and white bread and pasta) add inches to your waistline. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, fish, and low-fat dairy and lean meats help fill you up without filling you out.

(Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 2012;5:21–7)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation’s premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

How to get rid of that slugish feeling

How to overcome constipation, a toxic colon and diarrhoea once and for all.My husband has a stressful job.  He’s the sales manager of an ever growing company.  The expectation to exceed the target (let alone meet it) for that month is always there. Now don’t get me wrong, he enjoys it immensely. He works with a fantastic bunch of people who all pull their weight. No one slacks.  But the pressure and therefore the stress is still there.Why do I tell you this? Well let’s just say stress affects your body in many different ways. For my Husband, Ben, it affects his stomach and digestive system. Which leads me onto my point.

Book Cover
I’ve been reading this book – How to overcome constipation, a toxic colon and diarrhoea once and for all, written by Peter Jackson and I’ve got 10 copies to give away to those that need a little extra help.   Now by the title you would think it was all about, well, poo. But it’s not. Well it is, but its not.

Read on and see how this book has changed my husbands life.

Right from the very moment you put something in your mouth it will affect your bowls in many different ways depending on a very small yet extremely important fact.

How long do you chew your food?

In this day and age we are very busy.  Much of the food we eat is ‘on the go’ so that’s bad for us… and even if it is home made, if we don’t chew enough then its still causing our body stress.

The point of chewing our food is not only to break it down so we can swallow it comfortably, but to get our saliva into the food.  Our saliva is packed with enzymes that help break down the carbohydrates for absorption. It is actually recommended that you chew your food until it has turned to liquid! (meal times have just got longer!)

Next, it travels down to the stomach where the breaking down really begins.  Now if you haven’t chewed your food until it is liquid then your stomach is going to have to break down the lumps. If the food is the ‘Wrong type of food’ (I will get on to that later) then your stomach acids (gastric acid) will find it impossible to dissolve the bonds between the food molecules properly causing your body more stress. Obviously some things take a lot longer to break down and therefore sit in your stomach for several hours before being moved on to the small intestines.

After the stomach comes the small intestine and it is said that 80% of the nutrient absorption takes place in the small intestine. So this is an important place.

If the food you have eaten is either the wrong type of food or hasn’t been broken down enough whilst chewing or by your stomach acids then this can be where the trouble really begins.  Your intestines produce a mucus to help lubricate the digestive tract making it easier for the unwanted food to slip through the colon. HOWEVER if the walls of your colon are coated with unwanted waste from previous attempts of digestion then your gonna get into some trouble!

One of the main points of your colon is to absorb water from the waste on its way through. However if it cant come in contact with it as the walls of your colon are coated then you will end up with what is known as diarrhoea. And this will continue until you start to look after your inners a little more and think about what you are eating.

What should I eat? Wrong foods, right foods.

Well we all know that plenty of fibre is good for us. (especially those that are having a little trouble in the ‘passing’ area) but did you all know there are 2 different types of fibre?  I certainly didn’t until I read this book.

  • Insoluble Fibre
  • Soluble Fibre

Bran FlakesWhat’s  the difference?

>Well, in a nut shell, insoluble fibre will push things through your system but in a fairly rough manor.  For example, you may eat, say bran flakes (made from wheat bran) and they will go through you fairly quickly but in fact they are what’s known as roughage. As they travel through they will have a scratching affect which could make any sensitive situation worse.

Muesli

Soluble fibre… now that’s a different story.  Found in many fresh vegetables, beans, pulses, whole grains and fruit.  A great source of soluble fibre is oats.  When oats travel through your system, instead of having a scratching affect, they have a cleansing affect.  This means that they clean your colon on the way through, keeping the walls free from anything that is clinging where it shouldn’t be, making the process a lot more comfortable

‘Bad Foods’

Things containing wheat, gluten, dairy, or red meat and sweet things.

What can I eat???

The point isn’t that you need to get rid of all these things completely, but that you need to know just how much of something you are having.  Wheat for example manages to sneak into so many things nower days it’s almost unbelievable! and dairy is not far off either. Our bodies aren’t made to handle the amount of wheat and dairy that many of us consume.

Dairy- People believe that you need to have dairy to make sure you get enough calcium, but actually calcium and magnesium are a double act, so without one the other wont work.  you can get a lot of what you need for calcium and other minerals from the following

  • Sardines
  • Almonds
  • Watercress
  • Parsley
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Brown Rice
  • Chicken
  • Kelp
  • Molasses

And if your still in doubt then you can always take a calcium & magnesium supplement.

Meat –  Now if you are a meat eater then this bit is going to be a little hard for you to swallow.  It is recommended that you do not have red meat and pork more than once a month!  Both meats are linked to higher risks of colon cancer so from this point alone you should really consider how much you have.  It is actually recommended to have at least 2 days that are completely meat and fish free to give your body time to fully cleanse itself.

Back to my husband.  I have made a few subtle changes to his diet over the past few months.  First I started with his breakfast.  He was eating bran flakes.  Now he eats oat based muesli. This is obvious.  I have swapped the insoluble fibre with a soluble one.  Not only that, but it also has nuts and dried fruit in it.  This is definitely a much better start to the day.

Once he had got used to that I changed his lunch.  He was having a standard white bread sandwich every day, with some fruit and sometimes a piece of cake! Now he has a wheat free pasta dish with vegetables followed by fruit… (and I get the feeling he manages to sneak the odd cake now and again) but the main thing is that the wheat from the bread has gone, and so has the cheese.

Tea times… now this is a slightly harder one to tackle.  He is a meat lover. However if you fill the plate with veg and keep reminding them to chew until its liquid then by the time it gets to seconds (in other words getting more meat) they are actually feeling full from dinner and having learnt a little self control he no longer gets more meat.  Its a step in the right direction.

We are not perfect, but we certainly have learnt a lot form this book and there are still more areas we can tackle.  One thing Peter Jackson’s book does remind us of is that you change one thing at a time… that way its not so overwhelming.  As a testimony to the small changes, Ben would say he’s felling a lot better on the inside already 😉

If you live in the UK and would like to be entered in to the hat to have one of the 10 copies I’m giving away then simply send us an email with the subject A toxic Colon plus your name and you will be put in the hat!

All the best

Laura

Why I can’t diet without a good night’s sleep

If you’re planning to lose weight in the new year but you haven’t got your sleep sorted you’re starting with a serious disadvantage.

At least that’s my experience. If I don’t sleep my self control when it comes to food is wrecked. I just can’t stop feeling hungry.

We need to be getting 7.5 hours of good sleep. If it’s not restful or it’s a shorter night, then the metabolism is slower and, chemically, you’ll feel hungrier – two great ingredients for a failed diet. And, when you think about it, the fact that you’re tired is also less likely to motivate you to get any exercise done.

So, sort your sleep out first.

Sleep helps dieting
Sleep helps dieting

A good night’s sleep increases the amount of leptin hormone in your body – which tells you when to stop eating. Less sleep means more of the ghrelin hormone which tells you to eat more! It’s a vicious circle, bad sleep = lack of energy = eating more carbs = lethargy = no exercise = restless sleep.

It’s a good idea to learn some good sleeping habits.

To help regulate your sleep (especially of you know you’re about to have a bad night) you may want to try a herbal sleeping aid.

These come in two strengths:
a lighter version such as Kalms Sleep which will help you get a good rest during sleep (1 tablet =  45mg of valerian)
a stronger variety like Kalms Night for the occasional night when you can’t sleep (1 tablet = 500mg of valerian)

(Kalms do also make a new formula Day version for the relief of stress and anxiety for you herbal fans out there.)

The use of natural ingredients such as hops, passion flower, valerian and lettuce makes a lot of sense to me – these are traditional ingredients well known for their ability to induce sleep and are used by a lot of other herbal companies. If by helping me sleep better it means they also help contribute to weight loss in the long run then that’s no bad thing.