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5 Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil


5 Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil


Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil

By Dr. Edward F. Group

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Hemp seed oil is a great source of high-quality nutrients and has a long history of use in Eastern culture as a multi-purpose natural remedy.

Despite its widespread popularity, prejudice related to its association with cannabis has kept it from common use in the West. While the oil contains virtually no THC, the psychoactive element in cannabis, hemp oil is still considered sketchy to some.

Thankfully, education is prevailing and the market for hemp seed oil is growing in the United States, with an increasing number of people seeking it out for its reported health benefits.

* * * * *

In South Africa, we have this lovely product available here :

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1. Good for Heart Health

Hemp seed oil has a 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids, a balance that has been shown to support heart health and promote proper cardiovascular function. [1] These nutrients play a role in many biological processes and may help prevent a number of degenerative diseases. [2]

2. Supports Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails

Hemp seed oil is often used as a moisturizer for the skin, and for good reason. Studies have indicated that hemp seed oil can dramatically decrease skin dryness to alleviate itching and irritation. [3] Moreover, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may protect against the aging process while soothing the skin. [4]

3. Excellent Nutrition for Your Brain

Hemp seed oil contains essential fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), that are required for brain development. DHA is crucial to the health of the brain as well as the retina of the eye, particularly in the first year of life. [5] Mothers who supplement with hempseed oil during pregnancy may provide brain- and eye-protective benefits for the developing baby.

4. It’s a Mercury-Free Fatty Acid Supplement

Taking a fish oil supplement can be a helpful way to increase omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, a nutrient that is essential for brain development, immune system health, and mood regulation. [6] [7] [8] Expectant mothers certainly want to include these nutrients in their diet; however, fish contains a great deal of mercury which can hinder neurological and developmental mechanisms in the unborn baby. Fortunately, hemp seed oil works as a terrific alternative to traditional omega-3 fatty acid supplements and doesn’t carry the same risk of mercury ingestion. [9]

5. Supports the Immune System

The essential fatty acids in hemp seed oil have been shown to promote healthy flora in the intestines and support immune system response and function.[10] This can be very helpful during the cold and flu season when viruses are running rampant at school, work, and in everyday social interactions.

Is hemp seed oil part of your life? If so, what do you use it for? We’d love for you to leave a comment and share your experience!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Gavel NT, Edel AL, Bassett CM, Weber AM, Merchant M, Rodriguez-Leyva D, Pierce GN. The effect of dietary hempseed on atherogenesis and contractile function in aortae from hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Acta Physiologica Hungarica. 2011 September;98(3):273-83. doi: 10.1556/APhysiol.98.2011.3.4.
  2. A. P. Simopoulos. Evoluntionary aspects of diet, the omega-6/omega-3 ratio and genetic variation: nutritional implications for chronic diseases. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 28 July 2006. 60 (2006) 502-507.
  3. Callaway J, Schwab U, Harvima I, Halonen P, Mykkänen O, Hyvonen P, Jarvinen T.Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis. The Journal of Dermatological Treatment. 2005 April;16(2):87-94.
  4. Sapino S, Carlotti Me, Peira E, Gallarate M. Hemp-seed and olive oils: their stability against oxidation and use in O/W emulsions. Journal of Cosmetic Science. 2005 July-August;56(4):227-51.
  5. Connor WE, Neuringer M. The effects of n-3 fatty acid deficiency and repletion upon the fatty acid composition and function of the brain and retina. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research. 1988, 282:275-294.
  6. Bourre JM. Roles of unsaturated fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids) in the brain at various ages and during ageing. The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging. 2004;8(3):163-74.
  7. Ergas D, Eilat E, Mendlovic S, Sthoeger ZM. n-3 fatty acids and the immune system in autoimmunity. The Israel Medical Association Journal. 2002 January;4(1):34-8.
  8. Peet M, Stokes C. Omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Drugs. 2005;65(8):1051-9.
  9. Emily Oken, Robert O. Wright, […], and Matthew W. Gillman. Maternal Fish Consumption, Hair Mercury, and Infant Cognition in a U.S. Cohort. Environmental Health Perspectives. October 2005; 113(10): 1376-1380.
  10. Fritsche K. Fatty acids as modulators of the immune response. Annual Review of Nutrition. 2006;26:45-73.

Previous articles by Dr. Group:

About the author:

dr-edward-group-iiiDr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.

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Kombucha – DIY to great health

Here’s a great link for answers on how to brew your own kombucha:

What is Kombucha but fermented tea! A Large Jalisco of Kombucha brewed by Hannah Crum of Kombucha Kamp

Kombucha Tea Recipe – 1-Gallon

Scale up or down depending on the size of your vessel


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4-6 bags tea –  for loose leaf, 1 bag of tea = 1 tsp
  • Kombucha Starter Culture – SCOBY
  • 1 cup starter liquid
  • purified/bottled water
  • tea kettle
  • brewing vessel
  • cloth cover
  • rubber band



  1. Boil 4 cups of water.
  2. Add hot water & tea bags to pot or brewing vessel.
  3. Steep 5-7 minutes, then remove tea bags.
  4. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
  5. Fill vessel most of the way with purified water, leaving just 1-2 inches from the top for breathing room with purified cold water.
  6. Add SCOBY and starter liquid.
  7. Cover with cloth cover and secure with the rubber band.
  8. Say a prayer, send good vibes, commune with your culture (optional but recommended).
  9. Set in a warm location out of direct sunlight (unless vessel is opaque).
  10. Do not disturb for 7 days.
  • After 7 days, or when you are ready to taste your KT, gently insert a straw beneath the SCOBY and take a sip. If too tart, then reduce your brewing cycle next time.  If too sweet, allow to brew for a few more days.  Continue to taste every day or so until you reach your optimum flavor preference. Your own Kombucha Tea Recipe may vary.
  • Decant & flavor (optional).
  • Drink as desired! Start off with 4-8oz on an empty stomach in the morning, then with meals to help with digestion or as your body tells you it would like some more! Drink plenty of water as it is a natural detoxifyer and you want to flush the newly released toxins out.

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Kombucha SCOBYs:
The Golden Rules


  1. …use a refrigerator stored SCOBY to make Kombucha.
  2. …use a dehydrated SCOBY to make Kombucha.
  3. …attempt to grow a SCOBY from a commercial bottle of Kombucha that:
    • has been pasteurized
    • has been flavored
    • has been filtered or reformulated
    • says anything less than “100% Kombucha” on the label


  1. …use a fresh, full-size Kombucha SCOBY to begin brewing.
  2. …store your SCOBYs in a SCOBY Hotel in a dry and dark place.
  3. …pass along healthy, fresh SCOBYs with at least 1-2 cups of mature Kombucha Tea and complete, clear instructions to ensure success. If you cannot, recommend a reputable source instead.

Never store Kombucha SCOBY cultures in the refrigerator

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Kombucha Brewing Tips

  • Never store Kombucha SCOBYs in the Refrigerator!
  • Sanitize with hot water or vinegar – NO SOAP. It kills the kombucha culture.
  • Airflow is key – find an open area for your Kombucha Tea.
  • If you see mold, throw everything away. Kombucha Mushrooms are not salvagable when mold strikes.
  • Keep a SCOBY Hotel for backups and extras.
  • Kombucha is a LIVING organism. Many believe the energy in the room will directly influence your culture.

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Ginger Lime Kombucha Tea Recipe

Ginger is perhaps Kombucha’s best friend, producing delicious fizz and flavor. Citrus pairs well with Kombucha, though in small amounts. These instructions call for flavoring after the brew.

  • 5-6 teaspoons green tea/reusable tea bag
  • 1.25 cups evaporated cane juice

for later:

  • fresh squeezed lime juice
  • fresh ginger slices

Do a shorter steep with these green tea bags, 3-5 minutes. Brew only 6-7 days, decant into bottles already flavored with ginger (to taste) and lime juice (no more than 1/2 ounce per 16 ounce bottle) and allow to second ferment for 3-5 days, burping each day to prevent explosions. Once desired fizz is achieved, move to fridge.

My other secret tip? Once you’ve tried secondary flavoring, try boiling the whole ginger root right in the water you will brew with to infuse the flavor in a totally different way.


* * * * * 

 Get A Kombucha Culture Today & Start Brewing


Don't miss out on this Kombucha Recipe and DIY Guide which includes an easy to follow Kombucha Tea Recipe explaining how to make kombucha tea and kombucha brewing tricks. If you want to know how to brew kombucha, these kombucha recipes will have you making kombucha tea (homemade kombucha tastes best) in no time.

Step by Step Instructions w/ Pics
Secrets of Kombucha Tea – my e-book. Enjoy! :)

First Name
Hannah Crum is The Kombucha Mamma, founder of Kombucha Kamp, Industry Journalist & Master Brewer, educating others about Kombucha since 2004. Connect with her on Google +

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Top ten probiotic foods



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85 Ways to Eat More Fermented Foods

85 Ways to Eat More Fermented Foods 

The original link for this terrific and comprehensive article is here : 
OK, so we all know by now that taking care of the gut is important.  And fermented foods are an easy way to do that.  Need some inspiration?  Here’s 85 easy ways to eat more fermented foods.Did you know that almost 80% of your immune system stems form the gut?  Yeah, that’s a lot.  So what kind of shape do you think your immune system is in if your gut health is in the toilet? I’ve said it many times, and I will say it many times again: Good health starts in the gut.

Keeping your internal ecosystem healthy and balanced is essential for a strong immune system and vital living.  Eating fermented foods is one of the easiest and most economical ways to improve your gut flora. Humans have been fermenting foods for ages.  And you may be surprised how easy it is to do at home.

I get a lot of messages from readers telling me that fermenting foods is intimidating.  And I get it.  If you have never done it before, it can be a bit daunting.  All I can say is that once you get started, you will see that it’s a lot easier than it seems and the possibilities are endless.  You just have to jump in.


What we are talking about here are REAL fermented foods that are lacto-fermented, meaning that the starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid by the many species of lactic-acid-producing bacteria present on the surface of all living things.  Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits putrefying bacteria.   All you do is add SALT.  Bacteria that could be harmful to us can’t tolerate much salt, but there are healthy bacteria that can.  Lacto-fermentation wipes out the bad guys , then lets the good guys get to work . The product is a living food, full of enzymes and probiotics.


You don’t need any fancy equipment to start fermenting foods.  When I first started out, I used  wide mouth canning jars (1/2 gallon) with plastic lids.  I would stay away from plastic fermentation containers  as the chemicals can leach into your food as it ferments.

I eventually moved up to using fermentation lids with airlocks.  They work beautifully.  What I love about these is that I don’t have to “burp” my ferments. And the airtight lids and airlocks create a perfect anaerobic environment (which is what you want for fermentation.)

Last year, I splurged and bought myself a fermentation crock to make large batches of sauerkraut.  It’s amazing.  It has a water channel that create s an airtight seal. It also comes with a stone weight to keep all of the vegetables completely submerged (which is important to inhibit the growth of funky stuff on your ferments.)  I love my crock.

OK, what are you waiting for?  Time to get fermenting.  Here’s 85 easy and delicious fermented foods to get you started:


1. How to Make Water Kefir from Delicious Obsessions

2. Lacto-Fermented Blueberry Soda from Fearless Eating

3. Cultured Strawberry Soda from Holistic Squid

4. Fermented Lemonade from Mind Body Oasis

5. How to Make a Ginger Bug from Nourished Kitchen

6. Fermented Orange Juice from Oh Lardy

7. Lacto-Fermented Fruit Kvass from The Elliot Homestead

8. Fermented Tea from Mind Body Oasis

9. How to Make Kombucha from Phoenix Helix

10. Peach Kombucha from Hollywood Homestead

11. Strawberry Kombucha from Hollywood Homestead

12. Apricot Kombucha from Hollywood Homestead

13. How to Ferment Your Nettle Harvest from Delicious Obsessions


14. Fermented Asparagus from Mind Body Oasis

15. Fermented Pickles from Mind Body Oasis

16. Fermented Carrots from It’s a Love/Love Thing

17. Lacto-Fermented Red Onions from Delicious Obsessions

18. Fermented Garlic from The Sprouting Seed

19. Pickled Peppers from Mommypotamus

20. Lacto-Fermented Citrus Ginger Carrots from Delicious Obsessions

21. Easy Homemade Dill Pickles from Primally Inspired

22. Lacto-Fermented Garlic Pickles from Real Food Outlaws

23. Lacto-Fermented Curried Squash and Zucchini from Delicious Obsessions

24. Lacto-Fermented Summer Squash and Zucchini Pickles from Fearless Eating

25. Raw Brussels Sprout Kimchi from Jar of Honey

26. Dilly Carrots from Oh Lardy

27. Fermented Carrot Sticks from Real Food RN

28. Fermented Ginger Carrots from Stupid Easy Paleo

29. Indian-Spiced Lacto-Fermented Cauliflower from Delicious Obsessions

30. Fermented Carolina Coleslaw from Oh Lardy

31. Fermented Radishes from Mommypotamus

32. Fermented Mushrooms from Oh Lardy

33. Pickled Brussels Sprouts from Delicious Obsessions

34. Sweet and Sour Fermented Coleslaw from Homemade Mommy

35. Raw Kimchi Green Beans from Jar of Honey


36. Homemade Ginger Carrot Sauerkraut from Savory Lotus

37. Fido Fermented Sauerkraut from South Beach Primal

38. Fermented Curtido Sauerkraut from South Beach Primal

39. Lact0-Fermented Beet Ginger Sauerkraut from Delicious Obsessions

40. Homemade Sauerkraut from Hollywood Homestead

41. Simple Purple Sauerkraut from Homemade Mommy

42. How to Make Kimchi from Real Food Outlaws

43. Kimchi Recipe from Delicious Obsessions


44. How to Make Milk Kefir from Nourished Kitchen

45. How to Make Kefir from The Urban Ecolife

46. Homemade Creme Fraiche from Delicious Obsessions

47. Real Ranch Dressing from Homemade Mommy

48. European-Styled Cultured Butter from Delicious Obsessions

49. Homemade Cream Cheese from Delicious Obsessions

50. Raw Pumpkin Kefir Cheesecake from Homemade Mommy

51. Homemade Cottage Cheese from Homemade Mommy


52. Herbed Cashew Cheese from Savory Lotus

53. Coconut Milk Yogurt from Gutsy By Nature

54. How to Make Coconut Milk Yogurt from Tasty Yummies

55. Cashew Nut Yogurt from Delicious Obsessions

56. Coconut Milk Kefir from Homemade Mommy


57. Fermented Ketchup from Homemade Mommy

58. Easy Lacto-Fermented Ketchup from Girl Meets Nourishment

59. Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise from GNOWFGLINS

60. Whey Mayonnaise from Healthy Living How To

61. Homemade Garlic Chilli Mayonnaise from Economies of Kale

62. Fermented Mustard from Punk Domestics

63. Lacto-Fermented BBQ Sauce from An Organic Wife

64. Lacto-Fermented Cucumber Relish from Paleo Leap

65. Fermented Salsa from Tasty Yummies

66. Lacto-Fermented Green Tomato Salsa from Thank Your Body

67. Traditionally Fermented Horseradish from Paleo Leap

68. Homemade Pickled Ginger from The Nourishing Cook

69. Fermented Mango Salsa from Fearless Eating

70. Fermented Peach Chutney from Fearless Eating

71. Fermented Cranberry Sauce from Oh Lardy

72. Lacto-Fermented Pear Butter from Little Owl Crunchy Momma

73. Fermented Mixed-Berry Maple Syrup from Whole Lifestyle Nutrition

74. Lacto-Fermented Blood Orange Marmalade from Delicious Obsessions


75. Kombucha Popsicles from Hollywood Homestead

76. Lact0-Fermented Berries from Oh Lardy

77. Lacto-Fermented Apple Sauce from The Coconut Mama

78. Fermented Fruit Leathers from The Coconut Mama

79. Homemade Healthy Kombucha Fruit Snacks from Homemade Mommy

80. Paleo Fruity Kombucha Jello Bites from The Paleo Mama

81. Homemade Jello Fruit Cups from Homemade Mommy

82. Happy Belly Cheesecake from Savory Lotus

83. Fermented Eggs from Oh Lardy

84. Preserved Lemons from The Elliot Homestead

85. Fermented Fruits from Pickle Me Too




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The magic of kefir

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Miracle HOT or COLD box – an all round saving on energy

Miracle Hot Box



The Miracle Hot Box – A powerless slow cooker that pays for itself. Does it really work?

The short answer is YES. And fantastically well at that.

Ok, I know what you are thinking. This is a fabric box, how can it possibly cook food? That’s what I thought the first time I used mine. I was dubious but decided to give it a whirl anyway. I made chicken soup by throwing everything into the pot like I normally do – a whole chicken, vegetables and enough water to cover, heated it up well, stirred hopefully and stuck it in the box. I nearly burnt my hand when I tried to grab the pot handle some 8 hours later! Everything was hot, cooked and delicious. My, oh my, I was gobsmacked.


The Secret

The Miracle Hot Box is a new twist on a very old idea – powerless cooking through heat retention. Once you have brought food to a rolling boil (15 minutes or less) you quickly put the lid on, tuck the pot into the Miracle Hot Box and go on about your business. Food continues to cook, gently but thoroughly without further intervention – from you in the way of stirring or checking and from a power source of any kind. The Hot Box is so well insulated that the temperature drops very slowly and the food cooks evenly – preserving taste, texture and vitamins. To get the most out of your Miracle Hot Box, use these simple tips and tricks.


Save Time, Money and More

This kind of cooking means that not only do you save money, but you save time, stress and nutrients to boot. You can’t burn, dry out or overdo anything and you won’t end up burning the house down either! You can safely leave food to cook away all night while you sleep or at home when you are at work and even in the car while you drive to that picnic. Imagine setting off on a camping holiday with your dinner cooking in the Miracle Hot Box on the way there. All you have to do is set up camp and dish up.

The best thing about the Miracle Hot Box is that the food is ready to eat when you are. Even if it’s done to perfection after 2 or 3 hours, it stays hot for ages without spoiling, dehydrating or overcooking. How’s that for fuss-free cooking?

Good for soups, stews, porridge, mealy meal, casseroles, rice, pot roasts and bread, the Miracle Hot Box is also perfect for cheaper but tasty cuts of meat like brisket that require longer, slower cooking. Did I hear you say “savings”?

A Miracle Cooler as well

The Miracle Hot Box even doubles up as a cooler to keep frozen goods frozen. It is as light as a feather so you can take it in the car when you go shopping. It’s also useful as a pillow.

So if you are time deprived, too busy to fret over a hot stove, interested in healthy cooking, a lazy or a reluctant cook, wanting to save money, care about your carbon foot print, need a back-up plan for emergencies like power outages or all of the above – the Miracle Hot Box is for you. It will revolutionise your life.



This fabulous product is available in South Africa via these links at a very reasonable price :

 If you want to find out more about this amazing energy saving cooker, give us a call on 072 419 2340 or e mail

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Know your yoghurt

The ultimate solution is to make your own – look into other cultured foods that are easy to cultivate in your own kitchen, such as cultured veggies;  milk and water kefir and kombucha.  There is much information available now and there are also instructional videos.  :)   BIO-SIL


Conventional ‘yogurt’ is junk food disguised as health food

by Julie Wilson 

(NaturalNews) Thanks to greater awareness surrounding the dangers of food that’s processed and doused with pesticides, consumer attitudes have blossomed from an interest to a demand when it comes to knowing what’s in our food and understanding what’s healthy.

However, consumers aren’t the only ones who’ve changed their attitude toward “conventional” food. Large food manufacturers have also transformed their tactics in regard to producing and labeling food products (mostly labeling), but instead theirs is driven by money rather than concern for consumer health.

While many have become diligent at reading labels and checking ingredients, there are some foods out there that are cleverly marketed as “healthy” but are anything but. Sometimes these products need to be examined more closely for harmful ingredients.

One product to watch out for is yogurt.

When it comes to being portrayed as healthy, yogurt is kind of like beef jerky. Many think beef jerky is super-low in calories, and a great source of protein; however, in reality it’s filled with massive amounts of sodium and MSG, making it very unhealthy.

Advertisers market yogurt as a quick, low-calorie, healthy snack, even labeling it with a seal that reads “Live and Active Cultures.” This is meant to fool customers into believing that it provides a high level of healthy microorganisms, or probiotics.

The “Live and Active Cultures” seal is used only on products made by popular brands like General Mills or Groupe Danone. Interestingly, organic companies don’t use this seal at all.

Tests done by the Cornucopia Institute, an organic watchdog group that promotes family-scale farming, showed that many farmstead organic yogurt products without the “Live and Active Culture” seal actually contain higher amounts of probiotics than conventional yogurt.

When you study the ingredients in “conventional” yogurt, you’ll find that it’s made from milk produced by a cow that’s been confined to one space its whole life, pumped with antibiotics and hormones, and fed GMO grain. Ingredients can also include artificial sweeteners, chemical defoamers, processed sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, synthetic preservatives and the controversial thickener carrageenan.

Numerous health problems have been associated with aspartame, including migraines, blurred vision, depression, gastrointestinal complications and many others. Carrageenan, or seaweed extract, is a preservative used to maintain the thick, milky texture of yogurt and to keep contents from separating. It’s been linked to inflammation, ulcerations and even bleeding. It’s also received FDA approval to be used in USDA Certified Organic food.

These ingredients make for anything but a “healthy” product. In fact, if you eat them regularly, you could be doing more harm than good.

When you’re buying yogurt, look for products that have the USDA Certified Organic label. This is regulated by the USDA’s National Organic Program and must meet strict requirements.

Try to avoid buying products just because they say “all-natural.” This sounds really good but doesn’t mean anything because it’s completely unregulated.

Any business can use this label for advertising without changing any of their ingredients. It’s basically a loophole for companies trying to be part of the healthy, non-GMO food revolution without actually being healthy or non-GMO.

Look for yogurt brands that say “grass-fed, no added hormones” or, even better, “gluten-free.” Stonyfield Organic Greek yogurt uses NO toxic pesticides, artificial hormones or antibiotics. It’s also non-GMO and USDA Organic.

Popularity surrounding organic, non-GMO food has reached an all-time high but has also sparked the attention of food manufactures, and not always in a good way. Be skeptical when you see companies labeling their products as “all-natural,” especially major name brands like General Mills, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo. If possible, try to stick to items made by smaller companies interested in providing a healthy product through practices that often give back to the environment, rather than buying food filled with chemicals and packaged with lies.

Additional sources:


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The psychiatrist in your gut


Psychobiotics: Bacteria For Your Brain?


Every functional medicine psychiatrist has case stories of the ‘probiotic cure’ – of a patient with debilitating symptoms, often obsessive compulsive range, whose symptoms remitted completely with dietary change and probiotic supplementation. Is this voodoo or is it based on a growing understanding of the role of the microbiome in mental health and behavior? For two decades now, pioneering researchers have been substantiating inflammatory models of mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.  Research has focused on markers that indicate immune distress in an important subset of patients, many of whom are labeled “treatment resistant.” Through this body of literature, we have identified that depression can be induced, in animals and in humans through inflammatory agents, that it is correlated with blood levels of inflammatory markers, in a linear way (more markers = worse depression), and that symptoms can be reversed through pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories.

Inflammatory Models of Mental Illness:

The Role for the Gut

Working with this premise, where is the best place to begin when we consider how to modify inflammatory states in the body, naturally? You guessed it, it’s the gut. Housing >70% of our immune system, the gut is our interface between the outside and inside world, separated by one-cell-thickness. The resident microorganisms, outnumbering by 10:1 by our human body cells, develop an ecosystem through postnatal exposures, in the vaginal canal, through breastfeeding, and the immediate environment.  Disruption to the balance of bacteria through medication exposures, gluten, herbicides, stress, and infection can set the stage for the innate immune system to prepare for attack. Depression, associated with compromised integrity of this intestinal barrier, becomes the swirling storm of inflammation, impairment of cellular machinery (i.e. mitochondria), oxidative stress, and inflammation in a carousel-like forward rotation. Specifically, depression is associated with elevated levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a nutrient-binding, inflammatory toxin produced by bacteria that are intended to remain in the gut.

If depression is a downstream collection of symptoms, and inflammation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction are driving these symptoms, what is at the source? It appears, from data in animals and humans, that disruption to our gut ecology may be a major player, and the microbiome has stepped to the forefront of cutting-edge psychiatric research.

Enter psychobiotics: “a live organism that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produces a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness.”

A review by Dinan et al. encompasses the clinical basis for the use of probiotics in mental health with reference to animal studies in which behavioral changes resulted from exposure to bacterial strains such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus. In placebo-controlled trials in humans, measures of anxiety, chronic fatigue, and depression and anxiety associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

The therapeutic clinical applications of probiotics have been limited to a handful of strains out of the more than 7000 at last count. It appears that colonization is not an expected outcome of probiotic supplementation, and that genomic communication between bacteria and immune receptors may account for anti-inflammatory effects.

Ancient Wisdom

Given how little is known about therapeutic applications of different strains, it may make sense to defer to ancestral practices that confirm the importance of probiotic exposures. In these foods such as lactofermented kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, and other traditional vegetables, microbes are acting on the food, and the food is then acting on our microbes.

What do bacteria accomplish in the gut? Do they just help with digestion? According to Selhub et al., they:

• Direct protection of the intestinal barrier;

• Influence on local and systemic antioxidant status, reduction in lipid peroxidation;

• Direct, microbial-produced neurochemical production, for example, gammaaminobutyric

acid (GABA);

• Indirect influence on neurotransmitter or neuropeptide production;

• Prevention of stress-induced alterations to overall intestinal microbiota;

• Direct activation of neural pathways between gut and brain;

• Limitation of inflammatory cytokine production;

• Modulation of neurotrophic chemicals, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor;

• Limitation of carbohydrate malabsorption;

• Improvement of nutritional status, for example, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, dietary


• Limitation of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth;

• Reduction of amine or uremic toxin burden;

• Limitation of gastric or intestinal pathogens (for example, Helicobacter pylori);

• Analgesic properties.

Given widespread fermentation practices in traditional cultures, it appears that this dietary wisdom may serve to ameliorate gut-based inflammation and promote optimal nutrient assimilation as described in this review:

Traditional dietary practices have completely divergent effects of blood LPS levels; significant reductions (38%) have been noted after a one-month adherence to a prudent (traditional) diet, while the Western diet provokes LPS elevations .”

In addition to increasing bioavailability and production of minerals, neurochemicals, and fatty acids, fermented foods actually produce methylfolate, an activated form of folate required for methylation: brain chemical synthesis, detox, and gene expression.

Because of the complex coevolution of bacterial strains, cultivated through our food supply, and complementary to our inner microbiomes, we have an opportunity to use therapeutic foods to reeducate an immune system that has been drawn off course. Psychobiotics have the potential to modulate multiple different relevant factors at once:

“This could manifest, behaviorally, via magnified antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, reduction of intestinal permeability and the detrimental effects of LPS, improved glycemic control, positive influence on nutritional status (and therefore neurotransmission and neuropeptide production), direct production of GABA, and other bioactive chemicals, as well as a direct role in gut-to-brain communication via a beneficial shift in the intestinal microbiota itself.”

It is therefore compelling to consider the power of reconnecting to the natural world through our food; communicating through our guts to our brains, that nutrients are plentiful, our bodies are safe, and that our inflammatory systems can be put at ease. It is under these circumstances that the infinite complexity of the endocrine, immune, and gastrointestinal systems can play out, unhindered in support of mental health and wellness.



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Sugar and cancer


Sugar and Cancer

Sugar and Cancer

If you have cancer or know and care about someone that is suffering from cancer, please read and share this article.

In most cases, the consumption of sugar WILL increase the pace that cancerous tumours will grow.  Here is why:

1. Tumours actually have their own insulin receptors and when we consume any form of sugar (including fructose), it gets shuttled into the tumour.
2. Glucose is energy and can fuel the tumour to grow.
3. Excessive sugar/glycogen in your blood will make your body acidic, a perfect growing condition for cancer cells to thrive.
4. When we break down sugars in the body, lactic acid is created as a bi-product. This makes your body even more acidic.
5. Cancerous tumours themselves, create more acid by the way of lactic acid.

However, cancer cells struggle to grow in an alkaline environment and even can decline.
So what can you do?

1. Avoid adding any form of sugar to your diet. This includes fruit juices, brown or raw sugar, high fructose corn syrup and of course sucrose from white table sugar.

2. Limit products that get broken down into blood sugar very quickly. Eg. Pasta made from processed white flour gets broken down almost immediately and although it doesn’t contain sugar, it converts to glycogen in the body and can fuel cancer cells.

3. Never consume fruit juices. Yes they have antioxidants, but they are also full of easy to absorb sugar. Eat a piece of fruit instead that still has its fibre intact. Supplement vitamins and minerals.

4. Avoid any foods with a label or more than one ingredient. If you do choose to eat processed foods, PLEASE look at the label and see how much sugar has been added. This might be represented as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, glucose or alcohol sugars. In a lot of cases, “sugar” will be listed, sneakily followed by two or three other ingredients which are also forms of sugar. 95% of processed foods will have sugar added to make it taste better and tempt you consume more. Increasing food manufacturer’s profits… at the cost of your health. Even products like tomato soup that you certainly wouldn’t expect to contain sugar, often contains over 5 teaspoons per can. Proceed with caution. All the little bits adds up. Breakfast cereals tend to be the worst false representation of a healthy food.

5. Eat lots of leafy green vegetables that are high in chlorophyll and will reduce your body’s PH balance. Wheat grass powder is also a great way of getting your greens and reducing your body’s PH.

6. Limit your consumption of beef, pork and lamb to once or twice a week. Try to eat mainly fish and free range chicken/eggs as other sources of protein. When our stomach breaks down meats, it creates more acid.

7. Limit coffee to one to two cups a day. Coffee increases acidity.

8. Exercise regularly, but not to excess. Excessive exercise increases lactic acid production.

9. Make sure you get ample rest and recovery. When we are stressed or tired, our body’s adrenal
cortex secretes higher levels of cortisol. This will make us more stressed, mess with our other hormones and contribute to immunity dysfunctions.
Sugar really is one of the largest factors contributing to our worlds rapidly increasing cases of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Avoid it and reduce your chances of getting one of these diseases. If you are unfortunate enough to already have one, remove sugar from your diet and I assure you that you will not only feel better, but you will also have a much better quality of life.

It is no coincidence that as our sugar consumption has increased over the past 20 years, the cases of degenerative disease have risen at a comparative level. We now consume 35% less fat than we did 20 years ago, but our average sugar consumption has risen from 26lbs to 135lbs per year!

We need to open our eyes and demand that food manufactures stop sneaking sugar into everything we eat. It’s making us sicker but unfortunately no one is standing up for our rights to have more transparency and education about what is really in our food.

You can make a stand by no longer supporting the big food manufacturers and stop buying their sugary processed foods. Support your local farmers, eat real food and learn how to fall in love with FOOD again!

If you have or know and love someone with cancer, please help them share this article. You won’t see this info being shared by a food manufacturer. This information needs to get out to help the people that need it.

Over the past 14 years, Matt has been a personal trainer, nutritionist and international health club manager in four countries and has helped over 1000 people get into the best shape of their lives.

His methods are tried and true and most importantly, make sense. Over the years, he has gained a wealth of knowledge from trying different methods on himself, as well as his clients and has always been fortunate enough to get results. He has perfected his skills over the years to be able to not only prescribe the right meal plans to achieve his clients goals, but also help educate them to understand how to manage the emotional side of eating and unlearn bad habits.

Matt believes that you must first focus on being healthy and then the body will take care of the weight. Matt teaches his clients the reasons why their body’s do the things they do so that they can be empowered to make educated decisions for themselves on a daily basis. You can find Matt’s nutrition program in our shopFacebook or his website

Matt Straight

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