INDIGESTION – From gas and bloating to acid reflux – if you have it, you want to get rid of it. But don’t fall for something that just gets rid of the symptoms, look to address the underlying cause.
Most indigestion is the result of INSUFFICIENT ENZYMES and/or INSUFFICIENT STOMACH ACID. The most common remedy is some sort of acid blocker that makes proper digestion impossible. Antacids and acid blockers perpetuate the problems of indigestion. They neutralize or block stomach acid, preventing the stomach from digesting food. A vicious cycle is then set up since more acid is needed to digest the food; so, more acid is then produced in the stomach, then more antacid is needed, then the stomach produces more acid, etc.
GOOD DIGESTION is important. If you are wanting to be healthier, commit to fixing your digestion so that you do not need acid blockers. Many of the symptoms of indigestion will disappear when digestive enzymes are supplemented – especially those with betaine HCL, a mild form of hydrochloric acid (similar to what your stomach naturally produces.)
If ENZYMES keep you from getting indigestion, then your indigestion was an enzyme deficiency. Levels of enzymes available to digest food decline with age. Supplementing with trace minerals can help increase enzyme levels, but supplementing with enzymes is necessary if you are eating cooked and processed food. Raw food contains lots of enzymes. Cooking and processing food destroys enzymes.
Most ACID INDIGESTION is actually caused by not enough stomach acid. Again, this can be a problem of age. Supplementing with enzymes containing betaine HCL will be helpful as will raw apple cider vinegar.
FOOD SENSITIVITIES will also bring on indigestion. The two big offenders are dairy and white flour. Blood types also influence this – types A and AB do not produce as much stomach acid as the other types and will need to supplement with betaine HCL when eating meat. Look at your blood type diet to see if you are eating foods you should avoid.
A DAMAGED STOMACH LINING can also cause indigestion. Inflammation of the stomach lining is generally caused and/or aggravated by poor eating habits such as eating the wrong types of food, eating too fast, drinking too much liquid with meals, eating when upset or anxious, and/or eating too much. Chronic inflammation of the stomach lining can lead to h. Pylori and even ulcers.
You can REPAIR STOMACH LINING by taking supplements like aloe vera, slippery elm, and deglycerrhized licorice. It may also be helpful to take something to eliminate bacteria or parasites that are compromising the stomach lining. There are many good supplements on the market. I recommend one called Gastro Health.
Remember that YOUR HEALTH is directly tied to what you eat and how you digest it. Don’t assume that whatever you put into your mouth is going to be digested and nourish you if your digestive system is not working well. You are what you eat, assimilate and do not eliminate.

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1. EAT BREAKFAST. How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? It is, especially if you have low energy, headaches, and are stressed. What you eat for breakfast is important. Skip products made with white flour and white sugar – they will make you tired and more stressed. Make sure that you eat some form of protein – eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, leftover supper, protein smoothie, etc.
2. STAY REGULAR. Many health problems begin in the colon. Constipation is epidemic in America due to the processed nature of the typical diet. There are many natural solutions for constipation. One of the least well known is magnesium, which helps hydrate the colon and encourage regularity.
3. TAKE IN AT LEAST 25 GRAMS OF FIBER per day (you really need 30-40 grams, but you’ve got to start somewhere). This relates to #2 – however, fiber isn’t just a factor in regularity. Fiber is important for overall health. It helps absorb and carry waste such as excess cholesterol out of the body. It helps keep the colon healthy and reduce the incidence of diverticulitis. Read labels and add up the amount of fiber in your typical diet. If you are not close to 25 grams daily, supplement and/or change your diet.
4. DRINK WATER – not coffee, tea, sodas, sports drinks, etc. Water is the only effective liquid for properly hydrating the body. When it is combined with coffee, tea, sugar, etc., it loses its ability to hydrate the body. The average adult body uses between 2 and 3 quarts daily. Most adults need to drink at least 2 quarts per day at a minimum. Note: Drink water without chlorine, a known carcinogen that disrupts the balance of beneficial flora in our intestines.
5. EAT A SALAD or other raw vegetables at least once per day. Our bodies need the alkaline forming minerals from raw veggies to help us metabolize protein from meat and dairy.
6. TAKE A DIGESTIVE ENZYME. Our bodies have a limited ability to make enzymes which are necessary for many metabolic functions, not just digestion. The amount of cooked and processed foods that we eat exhausts our limited enzyme supply and causes our metabolic processes to malfunction which, over time leads to health problems.
7. FAST AND/OR CLEANSE periodically. Your body will thank you. Cleansing and/or fasting helps our organs and glands function better by removing accumulated toxins. There are many conditions that can be alleviated by periodic cleaning. There are many kinds of fasts and cleanses. Some are for the whole body and some are for specific organs and glands such as liver, kidney, etc.
8. IDENTIFY FOOD SENSITIVITIES AND AVOID THOSE FOODS. This will solve many health problems over the long run. Food sensitivities contribute to digestive problems, arthritis, allergies, diabetes and many other conditions. Everyone has food sensitivities. The most common are white flour, white sugar, white potatoes, coffee, sodas and peanuts.
9. AVOID CHEMICALS AND PROCESSED FOODS. One of my favorite book titles is “If God Didn’t Make It, Don’t Eat It”. Although I’ve never read this book, it makes me think about all kinds of “foods” that just aren’t natural. Read labels. If there is a paragraph of ingredients with long chemical names that you can’t pronounce, don’t eat it. Opt for things that don’t require labeling – like an apple (organic if possible).

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Get A Good Night’s Sleep – Naturally!

INSOMNIA plagues many of us. With some, it is chronic, with others it is a short term. There are many causes. Among these are stress, indigestion, mineral deficiency, vitamin deficiency, hormone imbalance, too much caffeine, blood sugar issues, prescription drugs, etc.
RESTLESS LEG syndrome is a common form of insomnia. In many cases, it is caused by a pH imbalance in the body and can be helped by supplementing a balanced calcium/magnesium formula. Other cases may be deficiency related and usually respond well to potassium, magnesium, iron or folic acid.
BLOOD SUGAR imbalances will make you wake up in the night and not be able to get back to sleep. If you can’t quit eating high glycemic foods (that is those that make your blood sugar high) in the evening, then take something to help manage your blood sugar and you will sleep better.
HORMONE IMBALANCES make women prone to insomnia around mid-life. A common problem is too much estrogen in relation to progesterone. Natural progesterone is a very calming hormone and many women find that insomnia along with other hormonal related problems will disappear with the use of natural progesterone cream. There are other supplements that help balance hormones while also helping balance insomnia.
STRESS can cause sleep problems. If you can’t eliminate the stress, take supplements that will help balance your body for negative effects of stress. Since stress is so common, see different recommendations below.
Support for the ADRENAL GLANDS will help. The adrenal glands are responsible for part of out stress response – sometimes they get stuck “on” and we can’t relax – or worse, we wake up in the night wide awake and can’t go back to sleep. Taking a supplement to strengthen the adrenal glands can help with both stress and sleep.
Phosphorylated B VITAMINS taken during the day, help reduce stress while at the same time giving an energy boost during the day. A symptom of this B vitamin deficiency is waking in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep.
Natural MOOD ENHANCERS such as St. John’s Wort, 5-HTP and SAM-e also work for better sleep. They regulate serotonin levels and help you feel less stressed during the day and sleep more soundly at night. All of these can be used for both mild depression and insomnia.
And, when you just NEED TO SLEEP, there are many great products. I like something called Total Calm – it works as the label says in the day, and promotes more restful sleep at night. Another favorite for sleep is PheniTropic. This product is relatively new – it works like GABA, but crosses the blood brain barrier. It helps with relaxation and sleep. There are so many combinations of Gaba, 5-HTP, Theanine,Valerian, Hops, Passion Flower, etc. that will help you sleep – find one that works for you.
Aromatherapy using LAVENDER OIL is another good sleep remedy. The smell is very soothing. You can use a few drops of the oil in a warm bath before bedtime or use the drops in a diffuser or on a cotton cloth placed under your pillow.
HERBAL TEAS with chamomile and passion flower are nice; however, if you are allergic to ragweed, stay away from chamomile since it belongs to the same family. All of the herbs in the teas come in capsules too. Again – find what works for you.
Last, but not least, MELATONIN is the hormone that sets the body clock. As we age, we produce less of it – so, it can be a great supplement for some people.
Good health begins with a GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP, so take something natural and get to sleep.

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Magnesium – Are You Deficient?

MAGNESIUM – If you have fatigue, headaches, hypertension, irregular or rapid heartbeat, cramps, muscle tics or twitches, constipation, feelings of despair, irritability, constant worry, nervousness, a feeling of constant stress, bone weakness, PMS, chest pains or insomnia, you could be deficient in magnesium.
MAGNESIUM is a mineral that is often overlooked, particularly in terms of bone health. Conventional thought considers calcium the most important mineral for bone health. However, the United States has one of the highest intakes of dietary calcium and still suffers one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world.
Most people at risk for OSTEOPOROSIS tend to be deficient in magnesium and tend to have diets low in magnesium and/or high in factors that deplete bone mineral stores. Dietary changes that include magnesium rich foods such as dark greens, raw almonds and pinto beans while limiting bone depleting items such as sodas, caffeine and sugar help to restore balance to the body’s mineral stores. Magnesium supplementation that does not include calcium for a short time (30 to 60 days) is also helpful.
While CALCIUM is necessary, the amount included in the average diet is 500 mg per day. Supplementation of only 500 to 700 mg per day is generally necessary to reach the ideal intake of 1000 to 1200 mg per day. With calcium intake at this level, it is best to balance magnesium intake proportionately. A ratio that preserves bone health is between 3 parts calcium to 2 parts magnesium, or 3:2 and 2 parts calcium to 3 parts magnesium, or 2:3. Dietary intake of magnesium is approximately 200 mg. per day. Supplement level necessary to reach the minimum 3:2 ratio would be 500 to 600 mg. per day of magnesium.
While most people aim just to preserve their bones, studies show that BONE DENSITY actually increases with a balanced ratio of calcium to magnesium. One specific study compared 2 groups – one that received dietary advice and another that received both dietary advice plus a supplement containing 600 mg. magnesium and 500 mg. calcium. The group with the supplement increased bone mass 11%, while the other group showed no significant gains. Other significant studies supplementing only magnesium (no calcium) resulted in bone density increases of 7% and 8%.
MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY actually prevents calcium from being deposited in the bones. It also impairs function of the major organs and systems including the kidneys, the adrenal glands, the heart, the brain, the digestive system and the muscles. Magnesium deficiency results in impaired nerve transmissions, restricts carbohydrate metabolism, inhibits the function of B vitamins, retards cell growth and slows the production of DNA.
SUPPLEMENTING with magnesium will help you relax and be less stressed while helping your whole body. If you have signs of magnesium deficiency, consider supplementing.

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