Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Is this an “optional” part of your anatomy?

Up until recently, the appendix has been typically viewed as not really serving any purpose or even a nuisance (when appendicitis strikes). 

Well, nothing Nature gives us is by accident, and the appendix is no exception.

Here’s why you should have an appreciation for this mysterious, misunderstood part of you.

Your worm-like appendix

Your appendix is a little worm-like organ that's about 3 to 4 inches long and about a quarter inch wide. 

It's attached to the section of the colon where your small intestine empties into it (known as the cecum). 

This is also a place where lots of lymphatic tissue is located.  And considering what your appendix does for you, this location is no accident.

Here's what I mean--these are its four important jobs:

1- The early years

The first job of your appendix starts when you’re in the womb!

Hormones produced by your appendix beginning at about the 11th week of pregnancy help regulate your body’s metabolism in the womb. 

Plus during your first two decades of life, your appendix helps encourage B-lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) to mature, which supports strong immune system functioning.

2- Swish, swish
The "intersection" where your small intestine empties into the colon can get rather messy.

This is especially true if your digestion is poor.  Poor digestion creates wastes that are sticky and contain food molecules that are too large to be used for nourishment, and are likely loaded with harmful bacteria.

When your appendix senses this, it generates a powerful secretion to help neutralize and remove any residue from the colon wall that may become impacted.

3- A natural reservoir
Your appendix functions as a natural reservoir for friendly intestinal microbes, which help keep harmful bacteria and yeasts in check and support your immune system functioning.

4- I remember you!
Fragments of your bowel movements pass in and out of your appendix as they make their way down into the colon.

When this is happening, (harmless) bacteria in your stool communicate with the lining of your appendix.  Signals are then sent to the nearby lymphatic tissue, which creates a "memory bank" of information for your immune system. 

Then when that species of bacteria passes through again in the future, your immune system will more likely remember it as harmless, instead of mistakenly seeing it as an "invader" and launching an attack (such as those seen with food sensitivities).

When the worm blows up like a balloon

Your worm-like appendix sits quietly doing its job and you're probably not even aware of it.
That is, unless you get appendicitis.

Then your appendix swells and fills with dead white blood cells (pus), and the infection can spread to the rest of your body at the speed of light.

That's why it's such a medical emergency and requires either antibiotics or an appendectomy. 
Never fear--during this process you are VERY well aware that something is wrong because you're probably experiencing:
  • Extreme pain and tenderness in the right abdominal area
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Bloating and swelling
Although appendicitis can strike at any age, it's most commonly seen in pre-teens, teenagers and young adults. 

Wherefore art thou, appendicitis?

There are several causes for appendicitis, including parasite infection (especially pinworms) and swollen lymph nodes due to viral or bacterial infection.

But the most common causes are:

1- Dry stool getting lodged in the appendix
2- Harmful intestinal bacteria that trigger an infection

And those are frequently the result of diet and poor digestion!

This is also why appendicitis often strikes teens--their diets are heavy on fast food, soda, refined carbs and sweets which wreak havoc with their digestion and feed harmful bacteria in the gut.

Keep your entire system in tip-top shape

In order to help keep appendicitis out of your future, as well as enhance the health of your GI tract overall, here are two ways you can help:

Eat REAL foods and promote sound digestion
Concentrate on real foods (meats, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, eggs, butter and olive oil)—these are the foods that nourish you and support optimal health.  Processed foods, refined carbs and soda should be avoided completely or kept to a bare minimum. 

And to promote better digestion, it makes a difference what foods you pair together.  The Great Taste No Pain health system will show you what combinations are easier on your GI tract, as well as give you a collection of delicious recipes featuring healthy real foods that even a fussy, fast food-loving teenager will enjoy.

Support a healthy flora balance
The friendly bacteria in your intestines help break down starches and fibers and keep your digestion running smoothly. 

Plus they keep dangerous microbes in check, thereby lessening the chances of an infection festering.

But the key is having a strong of enough population of helpful bacteria…and that’s where probiotics like Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula can be a godsend.

Super Shield contains 13 well-studied strains of potent beneficial bacteria that work to repopulate your supply of helpful microbes so they can stay strong and effective and help keep YOU healthy! 
Congratulations!  You now know more than 99.9 percent of the population about your appendix and how to keep it and ALL your organs healthy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A sneaky cause of serious health problems

Although the cause and effect relationship behind many health issues is obvious, other times it’s not quite so clear. 

That means that many people continue to suffer and/or use medications for symptomatic relief, but the true underlying cause of their problem is never addressed.

And a sneaky, surprising, little-known cause of many serious health problems is…

Digestive enzyme deficiency!

That’s right—lacking in these little digestive dynamos can mean a whole lot more than just gas, bloating and heartburn.

Let’s take a look at your primary digestive enzymes and the surprising problems a deficiency can cause:

Proteases are the enzymes that digest proteins.
Most proteins are acidic, so when you have too few proteases in your system to break down proteins, this can actually lead to too much alkalinity in your blood.  And that can cause anxiety and insomnia.
Plus protein is needed to transport calcium in your blood.  So without the proteases to break the protein down, the calcium can't get where it needs to go.  That means you're encouraging calcium deficient diseases like osteoporosis as well as arthritis.
Protein is also changed into glucose (energy) as needed.  So poor protein digestion can lead to hypoglycemia, moodiness and irritability.

Amylases digest carbohydrates and dead white blood cells (aka pus).  So when you're low in amylases you are susceptible to abscesses (inflamed, swollen collections of pus). 
Amylases also help fight inflammation, especially where the hormone histamine is involved.  So being low in amylases can worsen skin problems like psoriasis, eczema, hives, reactions to bug bites and herpes.  
Asthma and emphysema can even be exacerbated by an amylase deficiency.

Since lipases digest fats, lipase-deficient people have a tendency toward high cholesterol, high triglycerides, difficulty losing weight and diabetes.
People low in lipases also have decreased cell permeability, so essential nutrients can't get in and wastes can't get out.  This causes toxin build-up and a variety of nutrient deficiencies.

Cellulases break down the fiber you eat. 
Of all the enzymes, cellulase deficiency causes the widest variety of health challenges and can especially affect your intestinal and cardiovascular health.
Lacking cellulase can also lead to problems with your pancreas as well as gas, cramps and bloating.
Your body doesn’t produce cellulase, so you must get it through fresh fruits and vegetables or supplemental sources.

But why would I be running low?

The most common cause of enzyme deficiency is your diet.  When you have a regular diet of highly processed, nutrient-poor foods, your body must expend tremendous amounts of enzymes to accomplish digestion…and eventually it may have trouble producing enough for your needs.  

Another possibility is a challenge with your pancreas.  The pancreas is your “Grand Central Station” of enzymes and if it’s not working right, you may not be producing the enzymes you need. 

Plus without proper action on the part of your gallbladder to concentrate bile from your liver, fat digestion may be a challenge for you.

Using antacids and acid reducers is another reason.  When you cripple your body’s ability to produce stomach acid, your pancreas has to “pick up the slack” and secrete even more enzymes to try to compensate for what the stomach didn’t accomplish.

Also, as we age we may run low in enzyme resources. 

So what do you do now?

The good news is that no matter how enzyme challenged you may be, you can help your body along with these three important measures:

1- Rule out any problems 
First and foremost, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any issues with your pancreas, gallbladder or any other part of your GI tract that might require medical attention.

2- Eat food sources of enzymes 
In order to help ensure your body has the levels of enzymes you need, you must eat foods that are sources of—not depleters of—precious enzymes.

I’m talking about fresh fruits and vegetables.  Fresh produce contains its own enzymes so it requires very little to none of yours in the digestive process. 

This is resource conservation at its best!

3- Supplement with a quality digestive enzyme formula
Digestizol Max digestive enzyme formula can be a huge help with enzyme challenges.

Its carefully designed blend of 15 plant-based enzymes targets all kinds of foods, including proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, fats and fibers in your diet. 

Digestizol Max works with your body’s own enzymes help break down all of your foods completely just as Nature intended.  This encourages more smooth digestion as well as helps your body counteract any enzyme-related health challenges.
See what a difference it can make in how you feel when you address any enzyme deficiencies that may be affecting you.

You can start 2016 with a whole new level of better health!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Recover from holiday food indulgences!

The holidays are a time for celebration and parties galore!

And this means that you might be indulging in some foods that you don’t ordinarily have…and although they probably taste amazingly good, many times they’re not so great for your body (or your waistline!).

Although there’s nothing wrong with celebrating, unfortunately many times our health pays the price.

But never fear! 

Because I am here to guide you in supporting your body’s recovery efforts and getting you back on the road to feeling good and reaching your health goals.

Here are two very important things you can do to help your body recover from “holiday indulgences”:

1- Nourish it back to health
There is nothing like a delicious bowl of hot soup to soothe you and make you feel good from head to toe.

Here is the recipe for my world-famous “Sherry’s Recovery Soup.”  Out of all of the dishes I have ever created, this one is far and away the most requested.

Sherry's Recovery Soup

Serves:  6-8
3 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
1 large white onion, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
3 cups broccoli florets
2 cups diced zucchini or yellow squash (or a mix of both)
2 large tomatoes, diced (or 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes)
1-14 oz. can Great Northern or cannellini beans, rinsed
3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
8 cups broth of your choice
3 tablespoons basil pesto (If you own Great Taste No Pain there's a great recipe for basil pesto in the recipe section)
Salt and pepper to taste
Granted Romano cheese and/or chopped fresh parsley, optional (for garnish)

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté 5 minutes.

Add carrots and celery; sauté 2-3 minutes.  Stir in potatoes and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.  (Be sure to stir frequently so the potatoes don't stick to the bottom of the pan.)

Add broth, tomatoes and fresh peas (if using), bring to a boil and simmer covered for 15 minutes. 

Stir in broccoli, squash, frozen peas (if using) and beans; simmer for another 8-10 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.

Remove from heat.  Stir in pesto; taste and add salt and pepper if needed (or more pesto if you'd like). 

Ladle into bowls and garnish with Romano cheese and/or fresh parsley if desired.  Serve with whole grain bread and a tossed salad.

2- Pamper your gut
All of the cookies, eggnog, soda, pumpkin pie and candy that you might have splurged on over these last few days are unfortunately more harmful than you think.

Because in addition to creating more of you to love, they also are nourishment for harmful bacteria and yeasts in your gut!

And having an over-populous supply of these dangerous microorganisms can lead to a variety of problems including skin breakouts, brain fog, anxiety, depression, weight gain and weakened immune functioning (making you susceptible to every bug and virus around!).

So it’s especially important during the holidays to make sure your population of friendly bacteria is healthy and strong so they can keep harmful bacteria and yeasts in check and in turn, help support a healthier YOU!

Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula is just what you need to accomplish this very important, health-saving goal!

Super Shield’s variety of 13 robust probiotic strains are ready and waiting to beef up your body’s army of “good troops,” keep the upper hand over harmful microbes, promote sound immune function, aid in digestion and support a strong, healthy gut wall.
The holidays are magical…and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy yourself!

Just do what you need to do to help your body recover and it will thank you many times over throughout the whole year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fats are NOT bad for you!

Fats are a vital part of your cell membranes and critical to your body for several reasons including:
  • Comprising the myelin sheath that surrounds your nerves and assisting with transmitting nerve impulses
  • Protecting the internal organs and regulating body temperature
  • Necessary for the production of steroid and sex hormones and prostaglandins (hormone-like substances)
  • Absorbing and transporting the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K
  • Adding flavor to foods and creating feelings of fullness after meals (thereby helping with weight loss)
  • Forming the basis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)—your basic molecule of energy
Clearly, fats are a necessary, life-enhancing nutrient.  The real issue with fats lies in the type, the source and your intake. 

Here is a series of DON’T’s and DO’s when it comes to fats that can help guide you in making wise choices:

# 1: Cook with the right fats
DON’T use margarine, spreads, or any type of polyunsaturated oil for cooking, as they are extremely sensitive to heat and form toxic lipid peroxides, carcinogens and mutagens when heated.  Also avoid using shortening since it is made with hydrogenated oils which are a source of trans-fats. 

DO use butter, lard, tallow, chicken fat, bacon fat, coconut oil, palm oil, peanut oil and olive oil in cooking.  

Polyunsaturated oils may be used in non-heated environments such as making a salad dressing, as a bread dip or drizzling over already-cooked vegetables or meats.  Use butter or lard in homemade baked goods instead of shortening.  (Lard makes the best pie crust in the world!)

# 2:  Read labels
DON’T buy products that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.  Also avoid ALL margarine (even those marketed as “trans-fat free”) since polyunsaturated oils are heated when margarine is produced, and this creates harmful compounds similar to trans-fats.  Also, avoid bakery products since shortening is commonly used in doughs and frostings. 

DO read food labels carefully.  Choose organic varieties of packaged foods to help minimize harmful ingredients. 

# 3:  Get healthy sources of saturated fats
DON’T swear off saturated fats like meat, eggs, cheese and butter, but don’t overdo it either. 

DO enjoy a variety of meats including beef, chicken, turkey, pork and bacon (look for organic, nitrate-free varieties), as well as eggs, cheese and butter.  A reasonable serving size of meat is four ounces, or a piece about the size of the palm of your hand.  Limit eggs to two per serving, and a sensible serving of cheese is one ounce.  One to two teaspoons of butter on toast or vegetables is also fine.

# 4:  Get the right sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids 
DON’T rely on fish like swordfish, shark, mackerel, tuna or farmed-raised salmon as sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids, as they have been shown to have high levels of contaminants including mercury and PCBs.

DO get sources of omega-3 EFAs including wild salmon, walnuts, flaxseed and flaxseed oil.  Supplement with a high quality fish oil formula to ensure your needs are met.

# 5:  Use caution when dining out
DON’T assume that restaurants make healthy fat choices.  Fast food restaurants are notorious for using polyunsaturated oils for frying their French fries, chicken strips, fish filets and other deep fried items, and even higher end restaurants commonly use polyunsaturated oils in cooking. 

DO ask questions of your server as to how the meals are prepared and request that your entrée be baked, broiled or sautéed in butter or olive oil.  Any restaurant worthy of your business will accommodate your request. 

# 6:  Be aware of rancid, oxidized oils
DON’T buy unsaturated oils that are packaged in clear glass or plastic containers, as they may be rancid.  Oxygen, heat and light can all cause unsaturated oils to become rancid.

DO buy unsaturated oils in dark (green or brown) containers.  Store them in a dark cabinet or in the refrigerator, and recap them quickly and tightly after using.

# 7:  Balance it out
DON’T concentrate on one type of fat to the exclusion of all others.  Your body needs saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

DO incorporate sources of all three healthy fats into your diet.  About 30 percent of your daily calories should come from fats, including saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  This is easier than it seems. 
For example, for dinner you can have broiled salmon (a source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fat), green beans with butter and garlic (a source of saturated fat) and a tossed salad with homemade olive oil-based Italian dressing (a source of monounsaturated fat).

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Yes, you can say goodbye to IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) currently affects up to 45 million people in the US, and two out of three of those are women.

People with IBS deal with regular bouts of abdominal pain, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea—sometimes to the point where it controls many aspects of their emotional, social and professional life.

Plus one of the worst characteristics of IBS is that it’s unpredictable. Symptoms can vary, come on suddenly without warning and can be contradictory--you can have diarrhea one day and constipation the next. 

Although there are medications aimed at symptomatic relief and people with IBS are told to keep a food diary to identify “trigger foods,” many people continue to suffer.

But there is hope for people with IBS.  You simply need to know what some of the common underlying causes are and do something about them!

Three common IBS triggers

Irritable bowel syndrome has 3 primary underlying factors or triggers:
  1. Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO)
  2. Poor digestion
  3. Undiagnosed food allergies
Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) 
The bacteria in your large intestine break down fiber in your foods and as they're doing that, some gas is naturally produced. The bacteria typically absorb the gas, and any excess is passed as normal flatulence.

However, with SIBO is some of the bacteria from your large intestine “swim upstream” into the small intestine. When this happens, fiber that you eat begins to be broken down too soon--in the small intestine instead of the large.

Since your small intestine isn't equipped to handle fiber digestion and it doesn't have the right bacteria to absorb the gas, this can cause bloating, excessive gas and pain (typical IBS symptoms).

Probiotics have been shown to be extremely helpful in counteracting SIBO, but it's important to use a formula which contains both bifidobacterium species (for the large intestine) and lactobacillus species (which reside in the small intestine)—like Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula!

Poor digestion 
If your digestive system cannot break down your foods like it's supposed to on a regular basis, it's just a matter of time before your body begins to give you signs that something isn't right.

And the most common signs of poor digestion are also the classic IBS symptoms—gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea.

If your digestion isn’t going along so well, you can help by making your meals easier to break down (the Great Taste No Pain health system will show you how) as well as supplementing with Digestizol Max digestive enzyme formula to give your body a supportive enzyme boost.

(PS: I was an IBS sufferer for many years, but I helped improved my digestion by changing my diet and making my meals less taxing on my system—like I describe in Great Taste No Pain.  I’m happy to report I have been completely symptom-free for 24 years.)

Food allergies and sensitivities 
Many people have food allergies or sensitivities and don’t even know it.  All they know is that they’re suffering with frequent pain, gas, bloating and diarrhea—all of which are IBS symptoms.

If you suspect food allergies or sensitivities could be an issue for you, it’s important to see a doctor and have testing done. 

A new emerging IBS cause—vitamin D deficiency!
A recent study has shown that 82 percent of people with IBS are vitamin D deficient!

In addition to its well-known role of strengthening your bones, vitamin D also helps calm inflammatory responses throughout your body—including your intestinal tract. 

So lacking vitamin D’s “calming” action can certainly encourage a volatile intestinal environment!  Note that vitamin D deficiency is also common with inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis).
If you suspect your vitamin D level is low, then Vitamin D-K Factor can help turn that around fast!

Vitamin D-K Factor contains a helpful therapeutic dose of vitamin D3, plus it’s complemented with vitamin K, which works with vitamin D to help support bone and cardiovascular health.

Keep stress under control too
Although stress doesn’t independently cause IBS, it can definitely compromise your digestion, which can certainly worsen IBS symptoms.  Your mind and GI tract are connected through a series of impulse pathways called the "brain-gut axis" and what affects one affects the other. 

Stress relievers include regular exercise, taking up a hobby, adopting a pet, counseling, prayer, meditation, aromatherapy, deep breathing, acupuncture, massage therapy and yoga.  There are a lot of options to help you.  
When you address all of the possible factors behind your IBS, you can start to feel a whole lot better and say, “Goodbye IBS!”

Friday, December 18, 2015

A leak you don’t want to have

When something is leaking it’s never a good thing—usually damage and destruction are the end result.

This is especially true of a leaky gut wall!

That’s because your gut is SO much more than just the path your food follows in digestion!

It houses about 70 percent of your immune system.

It has its own nervous system and innate intelligence.  If the nerves between your gut and brain were ever severed, your gut could continue to function on its own.

And your health from head to toe (as well as your life) depends on its ability to efficiently eliminate wastes, absorb nutrients and protect you from external dangers.

Cheesecloth or spaghetti strainer?

When it's healthy, your gut wall is like a piece of cheesecloth

It has tiny spaces between the cells in its lining that are just big enough to let properly digested food molecules through, so they can get into your bloodstream to nourish you.

But it's also woven tightly enough to securely contain foods that are NOT properly broken down, as well as toxins, dangerous bacteria and viruses. 

These "invaders" are "jailed" in your cheesecloth gut until they can be eliminated with your bowel movements. 
This is a perfect system designed by Nature to keep you nourished and at the same time protect you from sickness and danger.

Unless your gut wall starts to resemble a spaghetti strainer, that is.

The land of the leaky

When the spaces between your intestinal cells instead start to resemble a spaghetti strainer, toxins and bacteria have a green light to enter your bloodstream, as well as food particles that are too big to be used for nourishment.

When this happens, the immune cells in your bloodstream launch an attack and stir up inflammation because these too-large food particles are seen as a harmful invader.

At the same time your immune system produces antibodies against this new "enemy" so it can recognize it in the future.

So, for example, if some poorly broken down egg molecules get into your bloodstream, you may eventually find yourself getting sick from eggs—this is how a food sensitivity is created. 

This is also one way that autoimmune diseases can be triggered, because your immune system gets mixed up and becomes hypersensitive…and eventually begins attacking your healthy cells too! 

The many faces of a leaky gut

Here is complete listing of health issues that are commonly associated with leaky gut:
  • Acne
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Cirrhosis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Eczema
  • Graves’ disease (overactive thyroid)
  • Hashimoto’s disease (underactive thyroid)
  • Hives
  • Intestinal infections
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Malnutrition
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Ulcerative colitis

The master of disguise

Leaky gut is a master of disguise and causes a variety of symptoms—so it’s frequently missed by healthcare professionals and instead symptomatic treatment is given. 

Here are symptoms that are seen with leaky gut but are commonly blamed on something else:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety; nervousness
  • Asthma
  • Bloating; gas
  • Chronic joint or muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Low immune function
  • Mood swings
  • Recurrent infections
If you have any of the above symptoms and they can't otherwise be explained or you consistently need medication to alleviate them, you may be leaking.

How do I spring a leak?

Some of the common causes of a leaky gut wall include:
  • Chronic stress
  • Unfiltered tap water
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Harmful bacteria, parasites and yeast
  • Use of NSAIDs, steroids, birth control pills, acid reducers or antibiotics
But the biggest cause of leaky gut is DIET.

The role of diet in the development of leaky gut is threefold: 

#1- Destruction of protective gut flora
The refined carbs and soda that are so prevalent in our diets today cause an influx of sugar which nourishes the harmful bacteria in your gut, and eventually they "eat away" at your intestinal lining.

#2- Poor digestion
Inadequate digestion leads to poorly broken down food molecules that can bump up against the intestinal wall, eventually bullying their way through.

#3- Low fiber
The standard low-fiber American diet causes constipation and a lengthy bowel transit time.  With wastes remaining in your intestines longer that they should, harmful bacteria in your feces can irritate the gut wall. 

A leaky gut healing protocol

A smart healing protocol for leaky gut is to avoid refined carbs and concentrate on whole foods, promote better digestion, help curb inflammation and support the gut wall.

The Great Taste No Pain health system can show you how to create healthy, whole-foods meals that are less taxing on your system and easier to digest.  Plus you’ll get a collection of yummy recipes to boot!

Digestizol Max enzyme formula can also help promote better digestion by supporting your body’s own digestive enzymes and easing the burden on your GI tract.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids like VitalMega-3 fish oil formula can help curb inflammation throughout the body.
And Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula is a must!  The friendly bacteria in your system help to keep your gut wall non-porous, as well as assisting with digestion and keeping harmful bacteria under control…so it’s crucial to support your body’s army of friendly microbes with a quality probiotic.