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The Best Natural Herbal Treatments for Chronic Heartburn and Stomach Acid Pain – Part 2

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Heart Burn Drugs can Increase the Risk of Pneumonia

A 2004 study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that those that used acid-suppressive drug users were four times more likely to have pneumonia than non-users. This underlines the importance of stomach acid as a systemic immune boosting substance. Suppressing stomach acid will have its infectious disease consequences, especially if this is done on a long-term basis.

Several drugs with complicated names such and descriptions have been taken off the market as well – for example – Propulsid was taken off the market due to associated cardiac deaths.  Although you should always follow the guidance from your doctor, it’s also important that you be your own health care advocate and take charge of your own health and feeling better – because if you wait for the doctors and medical system to do so without your own efforts, you’ll take a lot longer to get better.

NATURAL ALTERNATIVES TO HEARTBURN MEDICATION

Much like antibiotics, heartburn drugs of all kinds are grossly over-prescribed. According to most health care professionals, perhaps one in a hundred people actually need these drugs, while 99 out of 100 really need to change their diets and/or use harmless alternatives.

There are probably as many natural remedies for hyperacidity as there are prescription drugs, so one has many choices. If you are not sure what to do, a natural health care professional will be able to help.

Since stress, poor lifestyle choices such as cigarette smoking, and physical inactivity can cause hyperacidity as well as just abou

t any disorder, efforts should definitely be made to make major changes in these areas.

Helicobacter pylori bacterial inf

ections are usually thought to be the cause of peptic ulcer disease and the symptoms that usually trigger doctors to prescribe either proton pump inhibitors or other drugs. There are a variety of tests your doctor can order for you to make the diagnosis. These include blood tests, breath tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, scopes and even biopsies. Medical doctors treat the H. pylori infection with antibiotics and a variety of antacids and/or acid-suppressing drugs.  On the next page we will talk about home and natural remedies you can use to effectively treat heartburn.

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Diet Digestion Heart Burn Natural Treatments

Amazing Little Known Home Cures for Heart Burn

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” border_style=”solid”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”5″ padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_widget_area name=”avada-custom-sidebar-microsoftsidebar” title_size=”” title_color=”” background_color=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” /][fusion_imageframe image_id=”2180″ style_type=”dropshadow” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”none” lightbox=”no” gallery_id=”” lightbox_image=”” alt=”” link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]http://longlifeguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Chronic-Heart-Burn.png[/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”2_3″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” center_content=”no” last=”no” min_height=”” hover_type=”none” link=””][fusion_text]With thousands of drugs that are available to treat heartburn, one can’t help but be concerned about if the cure is worse than the condition.  Heartburn is the result of acid from the stomach percolating up past what is called the Esophageal Sphincter – which is the one-way valve at the top of your stomach.   This valve is meant to keep the acid in your stomach from climbing up your esophagus ( the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach ).  When acid does escape from your tummy – it can create a severe burning sensation called heart burn.

The reason this burning sensation is called heartburn is because of the location of the esophagus to the middle of your chest.  Most people wrongly assume that the stomachs are down around their navel/belly button area – whereas that is where your intestines are.

In the above diagram, you can see how close the heart actually is to the top of the stomach and diaphragm and why if stomach acid was to creep up the esophagus, it can make the heart feel like it is burning.

Heartburn can be the result of a variety of different medical conditions including ulcers, gastritis,  H.pylori infections, or the rarely seen Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome but in most cases is something called GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disorder).  In part two of this guide to natural heartburn treatments, we will discuss how heartburn can lead to serious health conditions such as pneumonia and cardiac problems.

Heartburn drugs are a $15 billion a year industry in North America, mainly because it’s far more profitable to steer people to drugs than to healthier diets, stress reduction or herbal remedies using all natural nutrients like slippery elm, ginger, digestive enzymes and deglycyrrhizinated licorice root lozenges (DGL). There’s more on the natural alternatives in the second half of this article.[/fusion_text][fusion_button link=”http://longlifeguide.com/the-best-natural-herbal-treatments-for-chronic-heartburn-and-stomach-acid-pain-2″ title=”” target=”_self” link_attributes=”” alignment=”” modal=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” color=”default” button_gradient_top_color=”” button_gradient_bottom_color=”” button_gradient_top_color_hover=”” button_gradient_bottom_color_hover=”” accent_color=”” accent_hover_color=”” type=”flat” bevel_color=”” border_width=”” size=”xlarge” stretch=”yes” shape=”” icon=”fa-arrow-right” icon_position=”right” icon_divider=”no” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1.0″ animation_offset=”bottom-in-view”]Next page…[/fusion_button][fusion_tagline_box backgroundcolor=”” shadow=”no” shadowopacity=”0.7″ border=”1″ bordercolor=”” highlightposition=”left” content_alignment=”left” link=”http://jump.gooffers.net/aff_c?offer_id=12779&aff_id=5828″ button=”Free Sample” linktarget=”_self” modal=”” button_size=”” button_type=”” button_shape=”” buttoncolor=”green” title=”Eliminate Crows Feet Around Your Eyes Fast” description=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]

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Arthritis Joint Pain

How to Reduce the Pain from Arthritis with Glucosamine

Glucosamine is the most popular supplement for joint support and it’s also well established to be an effective treatment for joint-related conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  There is an ongoing debate, however, about which form of glucosamine works better and is more efficient – sulphate or hydrochloride.

It should be stressed that the active ingredient in any glucosamine product is only the glucosamine element, and that the hydrochloride or sulphate acid salt is purely a delivery vehicle.  Therefore, the amount of glucosamine present in 1500 mg of glucosamine salt will depend on the amount of ‘vehicle’ present and whether additional salts are included in the supplement. In short, the benefits delivered by a product will depend on its purity and stability, and this is where the two salts differ.

The simple answer is that they both fare equally in their actions; the majority of early trials and studies have primarily used glucosamine in its sulphate form, rather than hydrochloride, purely because of availability at the time.  Not surprisingly, much of the data has rested on the actions of glucosamine sulphate.  Only more recently has glucosamine hydrochloride been able to stand its ground and the results from several well conducted trials demonstrate that hydrochloride is as efficient as the sulphate form (Houpt et al, 1999; Qiu et al, 2005; Zang et al, 2007)

The hydrochloride form of glucosamine is more concentrated than sulphate and contains substantially less sodium per effective dose. Glucosamine sulphate is stabilised with sodium chloride – more commonly known as table salt – and can contain as much as 30% sodium. Given that we are advised to reduce our salt intake, this is a consideration for individuals who want or need to reduce their dietary intake of sodium.

The content of other salts will also affect the dosage needed to achieve the relevant amount of glucosamine.  For example, given that the upper limit of glucosamine is set at 1.5 g per day, you would need to consume around 2g of glucosamine sulphate to equal the benefits of 1.5g of glucosamine hydrochloride.This is because glucosamine hydrochloride is naturally stable and requires no added salt or other preservatives.  Simply put, glucosamine hydrochloride provides the same benefits as that of glucosamine sulphate but because of stability and purity it is actually more efficient and better value in the sense that it delivers the actual amount of glucosamine as stated on the product label.

Additional nutrients that support joint health

Glucosamine has certainly been in the limelight when it comes to joint health, and we now know why glucosamine hydrochloride may be the preferred form; however, we must not forget the other ingredients for a beneficial joint supplement regime. For healthy sprung lubricated joints, there is much more than taking a glucosamine supplement alone, so read on to be aware of the most important vitamins and minerals which target joint integrity.

It may be inevitable that our joints are going to wear out to a certain extent as we age, leading to inflammation and pain in some individuals in the form of arthritis, but fortunately specific nutrition can provide joint relief by protecting cartilage (which covers the bone surfaces), reducing inflammation and replenishing surrounding joint tissues.

Whether you simply want to protect your joints against possible future damage due to high activity levels or a genetic risk, or if you already have arthritis or some form of joint damage, optimizing your nutritional status specific to joint health may be beneficial for you. The following nutritional advice is everything you need to regulate inflammation, and to ensure adequate nutrient supply to support healthy synovial fluid, cartilage, collagen, bone density and other joint tissues.

As arthritis is an inflammatory condition and as inflammation is also involved in joint damage, the key in reducing symptoms of joint discomfort is to first reduce this inflammatory response. Keeping inflammation under control will enable joint damage to be kept to a minimum, and will allow the body’s natural healing process to function properly.

Omega-3 EPA is the active ingredient found in fish oil which supports anti-inflammatory processes in the body. Eating oily fish is, therefore, one of the top nutritional tips for reducing inflammation in your joints. Not only is fish consumption much lower than the recommended levels, the dose of omega-3 EPA acquired from eating fish may not be optimal, as toxin levels in fish (e.g. methyl mercury, PCBs and dioxins) means we are unable to safely eat large enough quantities. To ramp up your anti-inflammatory EPA levels, high dose EPA can be taken from concentrated fatty acid supplements. Standard fish oil contains only 18% of the active ingredient EPA, whereas fish oil supplements can concentrate the EPA to up to 90%, allowing a high dose of EPA to have a powerful beneficial effect on pain and inflammation in joints.

EPA is able to reduce inflammation by converting into hormone-like substances called prostaglandins which hinder inflammatory effects. The opposite effect is produced when consuming omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) (mostly found in grain fed meats), therefore some omega-6 fats can actually increase inflammation in the body. EPA from fish displaces AA in the cell membranes, therefore supplementing with EPA can also help to reduce your inflammatory fatty acids, explaining why the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 EPA are so powerful. Interestingly, there is one type of omega-6 fatty acid called GLA (gamma linolenic acid) which, alongside EPA, actually enhances the anti-inflammatory effects. Omega-6 GLA is found in evening primrose oil, therefore a supplement combining concentrated omega-3 EPA from fish oil and omega-6 GLA from evening primrose oil is the most effective way of controlling the body’s inflammatory response.

Glucosamine – how it works

Back to the important topic of glucosamine: this should always be included in a joint supplement, especially for anyone doing regular impact training, or for anyone with arthritis.

Glucosamine is a natural substance made in the body and makes up compounds called proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans. Cartilage is made up of these compounds, therefore they are required to cover and protect bones in the joints, providing lubrication and shock absorption. Glucosamine also prevents deterioration of joints and supports other joint structures including tendons, ligaments, and discs.

Glucosamine intake, therefore, may offer protection as we age, as glucosamine production is reduced with age, and needs are also increased during high levels of activity. Supplementing with glucosamine has been shown in review studies to reduce pain, improve mobility and preserve joint integrity.

Combining glucosamine with omega-3 EPA allows the glucosamine to provide these beneficial results, whilst also offering an anti-inflammatory state in the joint to further speed up the positive effects of pain reduction and prevention of further damage.

If you want to take your joint health to the next level by optimizing vitamins and mineral levels required for bone health, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D are at the top of this health list.

Calcium is well known for its role in bone structure, and low levels of calcium can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Calcium does not, however, act on its own to support bone density; calcium works simultaneously with magnesium and vitamin D to achieve optimum bone health. Vitamin D supports the absorption of calcium, and magnesium works synergistically with calcium to provide the joint structure. With a deficiency of any of these vitamins or minerals, joint health may be compromised and arthritis may consequently progress faster.

Vitamin C and zinc

Powerful antioxidants, vitamin C and zinc help to protect joints from damage by ‘mopping up’ free radicals. Free radicals are produced in the body as a result of pollution and other stressors such as refined foods containing pesticides. Low levels of free radicals are fine for our health, although high levels, frequently a result of our modern lifestyles, can cause excessive damage to joint tissues over time. Vitamin C is also used in the production of collagen, which provides a structure of connective tissues to hold joints in position. Zinc is also required for growth and repair of tissues surrounding the joints and also supports the function of enzymes required to build bone matrix.

References

Houpt JB, McMillan R, Wein C, Paget-Dellio SD.  Effect of glucosamine hydrochloride in the treatment of pain of osteoarthritis of the knee. J Rheumatol. 1999 26:2423-30.

Qiu GX, Weng XS, Zhang K, Zhou YX, Lou SQ, Wang YP, Li W, Zhang H, Liu Y. A multi-central, randomized, controlled clinical trial of glucosamine hydrochloride/sulfate in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2005 85:3067-70. Chinese.

Zhang WB, Zhuang CY, Li JM, Yang ZP, Chen XL. Efficacy and safety evaluation of glucosamine hydrochloride in the treatment of osteoarthritis  Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi. 2007 45:998-1001.

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Joint Pain

What is Glucosamine & Chondroitin?

Glucosamine and chondroitin are popular natural treatments for joint pain. They are frequently sold together as a single joint health supplement; however, they are two different substances. Both have an effect on the cartilage in the body’s joints, but in different ways. While you can take the two supplements separately, there is a growing amount of research that suggests they may be best when used together.

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is found naturally in the body, particularly in the cartilage: it is one of the building blocks of cartilage and is also found in the fluid that lubricates the body’s joints. Glucosamine’s job in the body is to generate cartilage production and repair. It can also be manufactured and sold in supplement form — this type of glucosamine often comes from animal cartilage. There are several varieties of over the counter glucosamine, including glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride and n-acyl glucosamine. Many people take glucosamine for joint health, often in combination with the related supplement chondroitin.

Chondroitin

Chondroitin is a similar substance that is also found naturally in the body’s joints. Like glucosamine, it plays a role in maintaining joint health. Chondroitin is important for cartilage production, which keeps the surfaces of the joints moving smoothly as they rub together. It also helps the cartilage absorb fluid, which is vital for cartilage health and may prevent some destructive enzymes from breaking cartilage down. Chondroitin is generally available as chondroitin sulfate. Over-the-counter chondroitin also comes from animal sources. Chondroitin is often combined with glucosamine, though it can be purchased on its own in supplement form.

 

Uses for Each

Both glucosamine and chondroitin play important roles in joint health. Combined, they are some of the more common supplements taken by people with arthritis. However, separately they are also being researched for their roles in controlling the symptoms of other chronic diseases. For instance, chondroitin may help with the treatment of bladder infections. Glucosamine may also reduce some of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Research for these other uses of glucosamine and chondroitin are preliminary but do show potential.

Team Effort

Both glucosamine and chondroitin impact the body’s cartilage and joint fluids, though their effects vary slightly. This may explain why they are often marketed together as a single supplement. Research reviewed by the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that glucosamine and chondroitin work best for arthritis treatment when used as a team.

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Natural Treatments vision

Four Foods that May Hurt Your Vision

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In the alternative health world, we have a tendency to focus on superfoods — those products of nature that improve our health and nurture our bodies. Often, we skip over those foods
which have the opposite effect. These not-so-superfoods can harm not only your health in general but also the sensitive state of your eyes and vision.

That’s because certain foods can increase inflammation in the body, raise blood pressure, reduce nutrient absorption and harm your microbiome… all of which can negatively impact your eyes. Read on to learn about the worst foods for your eye health and vision and those foods that are actually good for your eyes.

1. Gluten

Gluten prevents absorption of vitamins and minerals, even for your eyes.

You must have known that this one was going to pop up somewhere on the list, right? Many of today’s most common health conditions and autoimmune disease can trace their origins back to glutenous foods, including wheat, barley, and rye.

Gluten causes
inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract by binding to the intestinal wall and contributing to leaky gut. This negatively impacts the good bacteria in your gut microbiome and prevents the absorption of many important vitamins and minerals. Cumulatively, this means that your eyes don’t function at their optimum level, receiving less than ideal levels of nutrients and a lower flow of oxygen-rich blood, due to your gluten-induced chronic stress state. This makes gluten one of the worst foods for your eye health and vision.

Other gluten-containing grains include spelt, durum, bulgar, triticale and oats. This means that the vast majority of baked goods contain gluten (unless otherwise stated), along with pasta, wraps and a wide range of processed goods. Read the package before buying to avoid damaging your eyes.

2. Soda and other sweetened beverages

Soda and most commercial beverages get their ultra-sweet taste due to high concentrations of high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup has been shown time and again to be amazingly detrimental to our health, significantly increasing our risk of cardiovascular disease by raising blood triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in the blood.

Increased blood pressure and elevated risk of cardiovascular disease make sweetened beverages one of the worst foods for eye health and vision. High blood pressure, in particular, can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina, which in turn contributes to eye disease and poor vision.

Check out this post for more foods that contain high fructose corn syrup.

3. Sugary foods

Eating too much sugar can contribute to macular degeneration in the eyes.

While we’re on the topic of sweet beverages, why not take a stab at sugary foods as well? Studies show that eating too many sugary or starchy foods can contribute to macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness in older people and the most common eye disorder in the country. A study of over 4,000 U.S. adults aged 55 to 80 demonstrated that consumption of sugary foods and refined grains, such as white flour and most mass-produced pasta, meant a person had a higher risk of the disease.

This goes hand in hand with gluten-avoidance and suggests that you’re better off cutting back on all kinds of carbs and sugars if you’re serious about supporting healthy eyes.

4. Vegetable oils

Turns out, vegetable oils are one of the worst foods you can put in your body, and the same is true for the health of your eyes. Vegetable oils are highly modified plant oils, heated and processed to the point that they no longer resemble their original form. Therefore, our bodies have a hard time digesting them, and they can contribute to widespread inflammation. They also contain a very high percentage of polyunsaturated oils, the “bad boys” of the fat family, which promote free radical oxidation within the body.

That free radical damage can negatively impact the health of your eyes, while inflammation correlates to high blood pressure, which as we saw earlier can damage the blood vessels in your eyes. Foods that contain vegetable oils include most mass-produced goods, including basically anything you’ll find in the snack food and candy aisles of your supermarket. Stick to friendlier oils, like coconut, olive and avocado, and your eyes will thank you for it.

Foods that are good for the eyes

Enough of the doom and gloom. You’ve learned about some of the worst foods for your eye health and vision, but what about those foods that actually support your eyes?

Fortunately, this list is longer than the previous. Essentially, those foods which are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory are generally good for you eyes. Here’s a quick rundown of the best foods for your eyes.

Black currants

The antioxidants in black currants are great for the eyes.

Black currants are absolutely loaded with antioxidants, so much so that they’re one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. They contain anthocyanins, a potent family of antioxidants that fight free radical damage and stimulate cell repair in the body…including the eyes! They’re also rich in essential fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory.

Bilberries

Not far behind black currants in the eye support department are bilberries, not to be confused with blueberries! They look pretty darn similar to blueberries, and like blueberries contain a high concentration of pro-vision anthocyanins. This means that they can provide an excellent natural treatment for macular degeneration and cataracts.

Kale

Kale and other dark leafy greens are high in lutein. This natural compound stimulates eye health and promotes good vision. Overcooking your leafy greens will denature some of the lutein contained within, so stick to a light sauté or gentle steaming.

Wild-caught salmon

Wild caught salmon contains antioxidants to protect the eyes.

Whether you’re eating sockeye salmon or pink salmon, wild-caught salmon is an amazingly good food for your eyes. Salmon contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These provide structural support for cell membranes and lower inflammation in the body. Wild-caught salmon also contains astaxanthin. This antioxidant protects against a wide range of eye diseases.

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Categories
Arthritis Diet Healthy Cooking Joint Pain

7 Natural Spices for Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Relief

For thousands of years, cultures from around the world have been successful in reducing joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis through the use of natural spices and herbs and although it is safe to say that no one spice is going to cure your arthritis or joint pain, part of a successful treatment plan is to focus on a full spectrum of treatments as each on their own may not lead to significantly measurable results – but together they combine to reduce the problem.

Ginger

Gingerol is the compound in ginger that gives it flavor and some of its anti-inflammatory properties. Elements in ginger were found to reduce the action of T cells, immune cells that can add to systemic inflammation, in an analysis published in the July 2015 issue of Phytotherapy Research.

Try stir-frying with ginger or eating fresh pickled ginger. Galina Roofener, a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist at the Cleveland Clinic, agrees that ginger can be a beneficial part of your plan to control arthritis symptoms and recommends working with a trained herbalist.

Turmeric

Animal studies have shown that essential oils of turmeric have anti-arthritis properties. In a review published in January 2013 in The AAPS Journal of curcumin, the active ingredient that gives turmeric its yellow color, researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that this natural remedy may have antibacterial and anti-cancer properties, as well as anti-inflammatory properties that could help with rheumatoid arthritis.

“Both turmeric and curcumin, two parts of the same plant, have very strong anti-inflammatory activity and can be used for the treatment of inflammation, especially joints,” Roofener says. But she cautions that turmeric is also a blood thinner and should be avoided in large doses if you take a blood-thinning medicine.

Green Tea

Green tea contains polyphenols, says Dr. Jonas, which could aid in reducing inflammation and protecting joints, according to research published in December 2014 in Arthritis Research & Therapy. Evidence from animal studies suggests that polyphenols, which are rich in antioxidants, may suppress the immune response. That could be important because rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the dysregulation of the immune system leads to inflammation in the joints, causing pain and swelling, Jonas says.

Cinnamon

In China and India, cinnamon bark is used to make natural remedies such as medicinal powders and teas. “Cinnamon may have some properties that fight inflammation,” Roofener says. “Cinnamon is a hot herb. It’s very useful for aches and pains, especially when they are worse with cold or cold weather.” Researchers who published an analysis of the phytochemicals in cinnamon that help reduce inflammation theorized that cinnamon could be used for inflammation if the right concentration is determined. The findings were published in Food & Function in March 2015.

“Although fine on your cinnamon bun, if it’s overdosed, it might not be safe for pregnant women,” Roofener warns. Larger doses of the spice could interfere with blood clotting and blood thinner medications. For RA inflammation, cinnamon may be a good option, but in moderation. Powdered cinnamon can be added to oatmeal or even oranges for a delicious and healthy dessert.

Garlic

Fresh garlic can liven up any dish and may help ease rheumatoid arthritis pain. A study published in August 2013 in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology noted that garlic has significant anti-inflammatory effects because it inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory substances known as cytokines. But the study found that heating garlic extract significantly reduced its anti-inflammatory properties.

Garlic can be added to many types of foods, including roasted vegetables, stir-fries, and sandwich spreads.

Black Pepper

Peppers are widely used to fight pain and swelling in traditional natural remedies. For instance, capsaicin, the substance that gives hot peppers their heat, is used in gels and creams as an arthritis treatment, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Research published in August 2010 in the journal Natural Product Communications found that many of the anti-inflammatory properties found in capsaicin are also found in black pepper.

Willow Bark

Willow bark has been shown to help reduce markers of inflammation, according to research published in April 2013 in Phytotherapy Research. When researchers gave a willow bark extract to 436 people with rheumatic pain or back pain for three weeks, they saw a significant reduction in pain, according to a report in the August 2013 issue of Phytomedicine.

One Last Word

Adding herbs and spices to your diet for their anti-inflammatory properties is typically very safe as long as you haven’t had any type of allergic reaction in the past.  It should be also pointed out that some spices should not be taken if you are pregnant.

If you are taking natural spices or herbs for treatment purposes, it’s always a good idea to put a space of at least two hours in between taking them and your Doctor prescribed medications.

Categories
Arthritis Joint Pain

The 10 Dietary Causes of Joint Inflammation

As we continue our battle against chronic joint pain, we’ve learned through our studies that ongoing pain is in many cases caused by inflammation in the body as a result of a complete imbalance in our bodies which is fundamentally caused by a poor diet. Everything from MSG to grains can be having a significant effect on your body.

When we isolate joint pain to a patient’s diet, we often see many common denominators in their diet. In this video, we discuss the top ten causes of joint inflammation.

Categories
Diet Healthy Living Natural Treatments Pain Management

10 Natural Foods that Help Fight Pain

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ border_style=”solid”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_widget_area name=”avada-custom-sidebar-microsoftsidebar” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” /][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”2_3″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” center_content=”no” last=”no” min_height=”” hover_type=”none” link=””][fusion_text]While many foods taste great, they are also powerful healers in a vibrant multicolor disguise. The best healing remedies also taste fabulous (I can’t say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods won’t cause the nasty common side effects that most drugs cause.

1. Cherries
Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart cherry extract is ten times more effective than aspirin at relieving inflammation. Only two tablespoons of the concentrated juice need to be taken daily for effective results. Sweet cherries have also been found to be effective.

2. Blackberries 3. Raspberries 4. Blueberries and 5. Strawberries
Dr. Nair later found the same anti-pain compound in berries like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.

6. Celery and Celery Seeds
James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and celery seeds, including a substance called apigenin, which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action. Add celery seeds to soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.

7. Ginger
Ginger reduces pain-causing prostaglandin levels in the body and has been widely used in India to treat pain and inflammation. A study by Indian researchers found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all experienced improvement. The recommended dosage of ginger is between 500 and 1,000 milligrams per day. If you’re taking medications, check with your health practitioner for possible herb-drug interactions.

8. Turmeric
Turmeric (curcuma longa) is the yellow spice commonly used in Indian curries. In research it has been shown to be a more effective anti-inflammatory than steroid medications when dealing with acute inflammation. Its main therapeutic ingredient is curcumin. Research shows that curcumin suppresses pain through a similar mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side effects). Choose a standardized extract with 1500 mg of curcumin content per day.

9. Salmon 10. Mackerel 11. Herring
Many fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and herring also contain these valuable oils. Omega-3s convert in the body into hormone-like substances that decrease inflammation and pain. According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil is an anti-inflammatory agent. Fish oil acts directly on the immune system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines, compounds known to destroy joints. Many other studies also demonstrate that eating moderate amounts of fish or taking fish oil reduces pain and inflammation, particularly for arthritis sufferers.

12. Flax Seeds and Flax Oil
Freshly-ground flax seeds and cold-pressed flax oil, contain plentiful amounts of fatty acids known as Omega-3s. Do not cook with flax oil otherwise it will have the opposite effect-irritating the body’s tissues and causing pain.

13. Raw Walnuts and Walnut Oil
Raw walnuts and walnut oil also contain the same powerful Omega-3 fatty acids that fight pain and inflammation in the body.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Categories
Cancer Natural Treatments

How to Treat Join Pain without Dangerous Prescription Drugs

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If you are like most Americans that are suffering from ongoing ( chronic ) joint pain, you’re likely concerned about the potentially harmful side effects of the prescription drugs that many doctors are using to treat the problem.   These include drugs like as Humira or Celebrex for the treatment of joint pain.

Drugs like Celebrex are part of the same drug family as Vioxx which was withdrawn from the market over 10 years ago after research showed these types of drugs significantly increased the chance of fatal heart attacks as well as major strokes.

For many suffering chronic joint pain, the fear of dying from the treatment of their condition due to a drug prescribed by their doctor is of a serious concern and with good reason.  More than a quarter of all adult Americans (1) report having experienced ongoing joint pain.     Chronic joint pain is typically described as joint pain lasting more than a day at least once per month in consecutive months each year.

Things, like walking, golfing, working in the garden or playing with your grandchildren, start to become difficult or impossible.

As mobility is reduced, the natural result is unhealthy weight gain which leads to stress on all of your body including your heart, blood pressure levels, increased risk of diabetes and a general reduction in overall energy.

It’s these reasons that people in all walks of life turn to potentially harmful solutions like Celebrex which has a side effect warning list a mile long ranging from rashes to massive internal bleeding leading to sudden death.

Drugs like Celebrex work by reducing the hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body but unfortunately does very little to cure or at least reduce the reason the joint pain is happening in the first place.

This is an excellent example of how Western Medicine focuses on treating the symptoms and not the causes of a health problem.  In the case of chronic joint pain, rebuilding the cartilage between bone joints is the real solution to long lasting relief.

From my perspective, chronic joint pain sufferers should focus on treating the cause of the pain and not simply try to mask the conditions that cause it. In the majority of joint pain cases, the issue is caused by the breaking down of the cartilage in the patient’s bone joints which results in painful, inflamed nerves, or in extreme cases –  the actual bones rubbing on each other and causing severe pain.

A Treatment Plan for Chronic Joint Pain that Doesn’t Rely on Drugs

I firmly believe that patients should focus on a long term joint pain reduction treatment plan based on common sense.

This of course includes things like keeping excess weight off and staying as active as possible – but once the human body begins to experience joint pain, these will only help keep the pain in check and do nothing to deal with what is causing the pain which as I mentioned is the breakdown of cartilage.

My focus of this article is to provide you with an effective game plan for treating your own joint pain that doesn’t have to involve potentially dangerous prescription drugs.  Like many medical conditions, the right form of treatment is not always the pharmaceutical based choice.

I would add though that I am not one of those people that are anti-pharmaceutical as many prescription drugs can be life savers.    In the same sense – neither am I someone who believes natural treatments are phony and don’t work as there is massive evidence to show otherwise. Balance is the key to any discussion regarding your health.

As a patient experiencing any medical or health problem – if your medical condition is not life-threatening and does not require the risk of a potentially dangerous prescription drug – then beginning your treatment plan using safe low-risk natural method makes the most logical sense and is far easier on your organs and body in general.

As a society, we have become addicted to quick fixes and miracle cures of which there is rarely any. In the case of natural treatment plans – the results are often slower to appear than with prescription drug based treatments and is why those looking for an immediate fix give up on the natural method before it really has a chance to take affect.

For example, we know that the use of glucosamine is an excellent way to provide assistance to your body to help treat conditions like arthritis and in particular joint pain – but takes long term use to see real results. We also know from several studies that when glucosamine is combined with something called Chondroitin Sulphate that is can be as effective as taking the potentially dangerous Celebrex – but has no measurable side effects or risks (2) ( unless you are allergic to shellfish)

The US Government on their website at https://medlineplus.gov lists Chondroitin as being a viable treatment for osteoarthritis as well as urinary infections and cataracts. (3)

The reason researchers believe this combination works because the glucosamine and the chondroitin help the body actually rebuild the cartilage instead of simply masking the pain as the majority of popular joint pain/arthritis drugs do.  We put together a more in-depth article on this dietary supplement here.

The Miracle of Water

Another very important aspect of joint pain treatment is water both consumed in what you drink – but also what through therapeutic soaking of your body on a daily basis.   A personal spa or hot tub will provide you with a significant amount of relief from aching joints and because the water is always ready and kept hot, it is far easier to enjoy than having to run yourself a bath each time you want to soak your sore body ( not to mention uses a lot less water ).   With the growing popularity of inflatable hot tubs, it is well within even the tightest budget to have a home hot tub for therapeutic use.   Amazon features inflatable units that plug into a standard outlet for under $400 ( Amazon Hot Tubs Page )

I also highly recommend on a regular basis soaking in a warm bath of Epson salts. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate which sounds kind of scary, but it’s really quite a wonderful substance. A naturally occurring mineral, magnesium sulfate has been used to get relief from pain for years, namely because of its high levels of magnesium.

Magnesium is something our bodies need, but we can’t produce ourselves. It is used in over 300 different biomechanical responses in our body. It relaxes all our muscles and nerve endings, relieving stiffness and pain. It is even part of what makes our heart beat. Not only does it relax muscles and ease the pain (this goes for arthritis pain too) it helps bones to mineralize. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted one of many studies on magnesium that showed people who had a diet high in magnesium/took supplements had higher bone density and overall stronger bones. There are several ways to get more magnesium and utilize it for arthritis in particular.

Reducing Internal Inflammation

Many people have a limited view of what body inflammation is and simply assume it’s the visible inflammation such as swollen ankles or when you’re cheek is swollen after a tooth extraction or infection.   In reducing your own pain from arthritis or joint inflammation, you can make significant inroads by taking steps to reduce your pain by reducing the amount of internal swelling that is taking place in your body ( without you likely even realizing it ).

Suggested Related Reading…

The 10 Causes of Joint Inflammation  – the 10 main causes of joint pain and internal inflammation and what do to about it [ video ]

Reducing your internal inflammation is critical to also reducing joint pain on a permanent basis and the good news is that can be achieved through healthy eating and working to keep your organs running efficiently through a smart management plan for their health.

Adding a Herb and Spice Element to Your Diet

Thanks to the many ancient cultures from around the world, we know that spices such as ginger, green tea, garlic, black pepper, and cinnamon can help reduce the symptoms associated with joint pain.   These are all common, readily available and should be added to your diet as they all have exceptional health benefits that reach far beyond just joint pain issues.

We put together an article on the Top 7 Spices and Herbs for Joint Pain Relief here.

7 Natural Spices for Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Relief

 

 

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Reference
(1)Bolen J, Helmick CG, et al. Prevalence of self-reported arthritis or chronic joint symptoms among adults – United States, 2001. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC) 2002:51(42), pp. 948-950.

(2) https://nccih.nih.gov/research/results/gait/qa.htm

(3) https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/744.html

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Categories
Healthy Living Meditation

14 Scientific Reasons Meditation is So Powerful

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In twenty seconds, I have to walk up to the microphone and give an introduction to the audience. A horrible feeling is rising in my chest.

Terror. I feel terror.

I am an introvert. “I don’t do crowded venues,” I told myself after I was asked to give this introduction. I would rather take a plunge into the Arctic Sea than speak to a room full of people. But I pushed my fear away. “Sure. I’ll do it.”

Now that fear is bubbling up again. I need an escape. A safe place.

I close my eyes for a brief few seconds and focus only on my breath.

Breathe in. Breath out. The air tickles my nostrils.

Immediately, calm overtakes me. My heart rate slows. My nervousness turns to excitement. I step up to the microphone and open my mouth, and my voice is calm and powerful. I can do this.

For the past three years, I have been meditating every day. In this short time, meditation has profoundly transformed my life in ways I never thought possible. Whenever I am scared or nervous or anxious, I simply close my eyes and breathe and within seconds I enter a state of calm. This ability alone is worth more than anything money could buy. And this is just one of the countless life-changing benefits of meditation.

Why Meditate?

If you’ve ever read the book Bridge to Terabithia (or seen the movie), then you are familiar with Terabithia – an imaginary world that the main characters, Jesse and Leslie, create as a safe haven. It is somewhere they can go to be free from the cares and worries of the world.
Meditation has given me a Terabithia. I have created a clearing of calm and tranquility that I can enter into within seconds whenever I feel the need. I have a refuge no matter where I am or what I am doing. The worries of the world no longer threaten me.

Except this mental place isn’t imaginary, and it isn’t populated with trolls and wild creatures – it is as real as the world we live in.

Since starting my meditation habit, my brain has literally been rewired for happiness, peace and success. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • I rarely become angry.
  • I find happiness in unexpected places.
  • I form deeper relationships and build friendships more easily.

By far the largest benefit, however, is that a deep, serene calm and peace is slowly permeating into every area of my life.

At first meditating felt unusual – like I was stepping out of normal life and doing something that most people find strange. I soon realized, however, that this wasn’t true – millions of people meditate and many successful people attribute part of their success to meditation.

The Science behind Meditation

At first, I couldn’t believe that a simple daily meditation practice affected my life so powerfully. So, I started doing research and devoured all of the scientific studies on meditation that I could find. I was amazed at what I found – it turns out meditation can transform nearly every area of your life.

Here are fourteen scientifically proven ways meditation rewires your brain for happiness, peace and success.

#1: Meditation reduces stress
Feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders? Meditation is incredibly effective at reducing stress and anxiety. One study found that mindfulness and zen type meditations significantly reduce stress when practiced over a period of three months. Another study revealed that meditation literally reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety and worrying. If you want your stress levels to plummet, meditation may be the answer.

#2: Meditation increases your sense of well-being
Want to fill your life with happiness and energy? Mindfulness meditation increases your psychological functioning and in the process improves your sense of well-being. Yoga and tai chi have been found to do this also – according to studies, they have significant therapeutic effects and increase quality of life when practiced regularly.

#3: Meditation increases your sense of connectedness and empathy
Feeling a little disconnected from those around you? Try compassion meditation. Lovingkindess meditation (sometimes called Metta) is a compassion-based meditation that enhances brain areas associated with mental processing and empathy. It also increases your sense of social connectedness. Not a hugging person? You just might become one after trying metta!

#4: Meditation improves focus
Would you love to add razor-edge focus to your life? Research shows that meditation improves cognition and increases your ability to perform tasks requiring focus. One study tested a variety of different meditation types, including Transcendental Meditation, Vipassana, Tibetan Buddhist Meditation, Sufi Meditation and Hindu Meditation, and found that they all improve focus by varying degrees. I used to think coffee was the best way to get focused – now I just meditate.
Sources: ResearchGate, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

#5: Meditation improves relationships
Want to strengthen your relationships? Meditation has been shown to better your ability to relate to others. How? It improves your ability to empathize, and it hones your ability to pick up on cues indicating how others are feeling. Meditation also increases your emotional stability, making you less likely to be influenced by any negative people in your life.

#6: Meditation makes you more creative
Ever feel like you could use some more inspiration? Meditation increases your creativity, according to various studies. It’s no wonder that famous creatives like Yoko Ono, David Lynch and Marina Abramović make meditation a major part of their life.

#7: Meditation improves memory
Whether you want to become a memory champion or you simply want to remember the name of that guy who works down the hall, meditation can help. Research has shown that it improves your ability to memorize things and to store and consolidate new information.

#8: Meditation improve your ability to make decisions
There’s a reason high powered executives turn to meditation to help them do their jobs better. Studies have found that both mindfulness meditation and Transcendental Meditation help you make better decisions by improving the functioning of your brain’s decision-making centers. If you want to start cultivating your inner executive, give meditation a try.

#9: Meditation helps people overcome addictions
Do you know someone who has struggled with addiction? One of the most beautiful effects of meditation is that it can help people overcome powerful addictions. One fascinating study found that Vipassana meditation can be incredibly effective at helping people overcoming alcohol and drug related addictions, and similar effects have been found for various types of meditation.

#10: Meditation improves cardiovascular health
Want to get some of the benefits of exercise by sitting in one place? Researchers have found that both mindfulness and Transcendental Meditation improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of heart disease.

#11: Meditation enhances your immune system
Do you get sick more often than you would like? Believe it or not, a variety of different types of meditation, from mindfulness to yoga, have been shown to strengthen the human immune system and make you more resistant to viruses and infections. Take that, cold season.

#12: Meditation helps you find “flow”
Have you ever felt totally, utterly absorbed in the moment? Maybe you were playing a sport or painting a picture, and the world around you just seemed to vanish. This is called “flow,” and is a rare state where the human mind is operating in complete harmony with itself, when you reach a challenge perfectly suited to your abilities. Meditation can help you reach this amazing state of mind, according to some fascinating research.

#13: Meditation reduces physical and emotional pain (better than morphine)
Perhaps the most amazing benefit of meditation is that it has the capability to reduce mental and physical pain better than morphine. Yep, you read that right. That’s a pretty incredibly scientific finding.

#14: Meditation takes you towards enlightenment?
Traditionally, the goal of meditation is to reach Enlightenment, or a state of perfect happiness and understanding. Can you reach enlightenment by meditating? Who’s to say? Many people say yes, although science still doesn’t have an answer. If you’re curious, there is a podcast dedicated to interviewing people who claim to have reached some stage of enlightenment called Buddha at the Gas Pump. Check it out here.

Want to read about even more benefits of meditation? Here is a fantastic article published on the site Live and Dare that recaps 76 benefits of meditation, and here is an amazing research summary put together by the app Headspace.

How Do I Start?
With so many different types of meditation, it can be hard to decide how to get started. To help, I’ve provided a short list of popular types of meditation, plus a method to help you find one that suits your personality.

Most of the studies summarized above reference mindfulness and transcendental meditation, however this is simply because they are the most widely researched types. Other types of meditation may be just as effective, maybe even more effective for your personally. In fact, simply picking the most popular type of meditation might not be a good idea. One study found that the type of meditation you practice makes a huge difference in whether you keep meditating. This means that it is important to find a type of meditation that you actually enjoy and can see yourself continuing to practice.

Different types of meditation have different effects, sometimes subtle, sometimes drastic. They all, however, can radically transform your life in positive ways if you make them a daily practice. Below is a list of nine of the major types of meditation, with a brief description of each so you can decide whether it could be right for you.

Scientific benefits of meditation

Nine Major Types of Meditation
1. Mindfulness/Vipassana
Mindfulness is the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment (Zon Zabat-Zinn) Mindfulness stems from Vipassana meditation, which in the Buddhist tradition means insight into the true nature of reality.

2. Zen/Zazen
Zen meditation or zazen meditation (which translated literally means “seated meditation”) involves focusing the mind on one thing. The aim of zazen is just sitting, that is, suspending all judgmental thinking and letting words, ideas, images and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them.

3. Metta/Lovingkindess
Metta is another Pali word that literally translated means “Lovingkindness.” Its goal is to cultivate a feeling of goodwill towards all living beings, starting with oneself and expanding the circle of compassion outwards.

4. Heartfulness
Heartfulness is based on ancient Yogic science of Raja Yoga – Yoga of the Mind. Science of People reader Amrutha reached out and provided a beautiful description of Heartfulness for this article:

“When we strengthen the connection between the Heart and the Mind with regular practice of Heartfulness, we learn to maximize the efficiency of the Mind and begin to feel the beauty, joy, and wonders of the Heart.”

5. Mantra Meditation
Mantra meditation originated in the Vedic tradition of India, and involves the repetition of a sound or phrase, called a mantra. Acem meditation is an example of a secularized type of mantra meditation that originated in Norway. Typically, in mantra meditation you allow your thoughts to drift freely rather than making any effort to suppress or control them.

6. Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental meditation is a highly popular form of mantra meditation practiced by Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Jerry Seinfeld and many other celebrities. The goal of Transcendental Meditation is to “transcend” thought and reach a state of deep brainwave coherence.

7. Christian Meditation
Christian meditation is a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and reflect upon the revelations of God. If you are a Christian looking to add some of the benefits of meditation into your life, this may be the ideal option for you.

8. Yoga
Didn’t know you could meditate while moving? Yoga is an ancient form of exercise and meditation that comes from India and has a whole slew of scientifically backed benefits. Recently secularized, yoga has made a surge in the West, but make no mistake: it’s been around for thousands of years, and it comes from a rich and diverse spiritual tradition.

9. Qigong/Tai Chi
Qigong is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing and meditation used for health, spirituality and martial arts training. Tai Chi is one type of qigong that is a Chinese martial art. It is practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits.

There are many more forms of meditation, and all can be tremendously beneficial. If you want to explore even more types, here is a longer list of 23 types of meditation.

How do I pick the best type of meditation for me?
So, how do you find a type of meditation that you enjoy and are likely to continue practicing? It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many different varieties.

The solution? Run a meditation experiment.

Pick two or three different types that you think might be suitable for you. Then practice each for a week, journal your progress and at the end of the three weeks pick one to go forward with.

This will ensure that you find a type of meditation that is suitable for your personality type and that you enjoy enough to continue.

Here are two great guides if you want more resources to help you get started meditating:

Buddhaimonia – Ultimate Guide to Meditation

High Existence – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

 

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