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7 Best Foods You Can Eat


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

By Dr. Mercola

If you want to increase your energy, boost your mood, lose weight, and lower your risk of chronic disease, there’s no doubt that tending to your diet should be a priority. But figuring out what to eat to be healthy may seem overwhelming.

There is no one-size-fits-all diet for everyone. Your age, health, gender, and lifestyle all play a role in determining how much protein, healthy fat, and carbs you need, for instance. In addition, it’s important that your diet is one you find satisfying and can stick with.

The best eating plan is one that encompasses a variety of foods. This keeps your meals interesting and also increases your ability to get the nutrients you need, at appropriate levels, from your food. My nutrition plan describes this type of “diet.” What you’ll notice is that it’s not a diet at all, but rather a way of life.

What you’ll also notice, if you browse through the plan, is that allows you the freedom to customize your meals to your individual likes and dislikes, while guiding you toward truly healthy food. The fact is, even though there’s no diet that’s right for everyone… there are certain foods that come close.

The 7 foods that follow are my top examples. These foods are universally healthy and, in the vast majority of cases, should be part of your meals on a frequent basis.

The 7 Best Foods

1. Grass-Fed Beef and Beef Liver

Factory farming both agriculturally and for animals has seriously perverted not only the health of the animals but secondarily the health of those that eat them.

Ditching your grain-fed CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) beef in favor of grass-fed beef will result in far better nutrition (and less exposure to antibiotics and pathogenic bacteria).

A joint effort between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Clemson University researchers determined a total of 10 key areas where grass-fed is better than grain-fed beef for human health.1 In a side-by-side comparison, they determined that grass-fed beef was:

Lower in total fat Higher in beta-carotene Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium Higher in total omega-3s
A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84) Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)

As for organ meat, it is a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other compounds vital to your health – and in which many Americans are deficient.

Liver in particular is packed with nutrients, which is why predatory animals eat it first and why it has been so highly prized throughout history. The most significant nutrients in liver are outlined in the following table:2

High-quality protein B complex, including B12 and folate (folic acid) Minerals, including a highly bioavailable form of iron
Fats (especially omega-3 fats) Choline (another B vitamin, important for cell membranes, brain and nerve function, heart health, and prevention of birth defects) Trace minerals such as copper, zinc, and chromium
Cholesterol CoQ10 (essential for energy production and cardiac function; potent antioxidant; animal hearts offer the highest levels of coQ10) Vitamin D
Vitamin E (circulation, tissue repair, healing, deactivation of free radicals, and slowing aging) Pre-formed vitamin A (retinol) An unidentified “anti-fatigue factor”
Purines (nitrogen-containing compounds serving as precursors to DNA and RNA) Vitamin K2 Amino acids

2. Dark Leafy Greens

Consuming a variety of fresh organic greens is one of the best things you can do for your body. Topping the list in terms of nutrient density are watercress, chard, beet greens, and spinach—but adding other gorgeous leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, collards, dandelion leaves, mustard greens, and escarole will just add to your overall nutrient infusion.

Greens like spinach and kale are loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants including beta-carotene, vitamin C, and sulforaphane. Spinach provides folate, which research shows can dramatically improve your short-term memory.

Eating folate-rich foods may also lower your risk for heart disease and cancer by slowing down wear and tear on your DNA. Some leafy greens, including collards and spinach, contain vitamin K1, which is good for your veins and arteries.

Beet greens are even higher in iron than spinach and strengthen your immune system by stimulating your body’s production of antibodies and white blood cells, while protecting your brain and bones.

When preparing your veggies, use quick, gentle cooking methods (only cooking to a tender-crisp, not mushy texture) to preserve the most nutrients. Also try to eat a good portion of them raw, which will allow you to receive beneficial biophotons. Two of the best ways to get more raw vegetables into your diet include:

  • Juicing: Juicing allows you to absorb all the nutrients from vegetables, allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner, and makes it easy to add a variety of vegetables to your diet.
  • Sprouts: The sprouting process increases nutrient content and bioavailability of nutrients. Sprouts also contain valuable enzymes that allow your body to absorb and use the nutrients of all other foods you eat. They’re very easy to grow at home and a powerful low-cost strategy to improve your health.

3. Pastured Eggs

True free-range eggs, now increasingly referred to as “pasture-raised,” are from hens that roam freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural diet, which includes seeds, green plants, insects, and worms. Testing3 has confirmed that true pastured eggs are far more nutritious than commercially raised eggs.

The dramatically superior nutrient levels are most likely the result of the differences in diet between free ranging, pastured hens and commercially farmed hens. In an egg-testing project, Mother Earth News compared the official US Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs with eggs from hens raised on pasture and found that the latter typically contains the following:4

2/3 more vitamin A 3 times more vitamin E
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids 7 times more beta-carotene

Eggs are also a valuable source of high-quality protein and fat—nutrients that many are deficient in. And I believe eggs are a nearly ideal fuel source for most of us. In addition to high-quality proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals, eggs contain two amino acids with potent antioxidant properties — tryptophan and tyrosine. Egg yolks are also a rich source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which belong to the class of carotenoids known as xanthophylls. These two are powerful prevention elements of age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness.

Ideally, you’ll want to eat your eggs as close to raw as possible. Keep in mind that the closer to raw you eat them, the more important it is to make sure the eggs are truly organic and pasture-raised, as CAFO-raised eggs are far more prone to be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella. As long as you’re getting fresh pastured eggs, your risk of getting ill from a raw egg is quite slim. If you choose not to eat your egg yolks raw, poached or soft-boiled would be the next best option. Scrambled or fried eggs are the worst, as this oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk.

4. Fermented Foods

Fermenting is one of the best ways to turn ordinary vegetables into superfoods. The fermenting process (also known as culturing) produces copious quantities of beneficial microbes that are extremely important for your health, as they help balance your intestinal flora and boost your immunity. When fermenting vegetables, you can either use a starter culture or simply allow the natural enzymes, and good bacteria in and on the vegetables, to do the work. This is called “wild fermentation.”

Personally, I prefer a starter culture, because you have more control over the microbial species and can optimize it to produce higher levels of vitamin K2 (certain probiotic strains can produce more K2 than others). For the last two years, we’ve been making two to three gallons of fermented vegetables every week or two in our Chicago office for our staff to enjoy.

Just one quarter to one half cup of fermented food, eaten with one to three meals per day, can have a dramatically beneficial impact on your health. The culturing process produces hundreds if not thousands of times more of the beneficial bacteria found in typical probiotics, which are extremely important for human health.

Yogurt and kefir made from grass-fed raw milk are two additional examples of fermented foods. Kefir is a traditionally fermented food that is chockfull of healthy bacteria (probiotics). Far from simply helping your body to better digest and assimilate your food (which they do very well), probiotics influence the activity of hundreds of your genes, helping them to express in a positive, disease-fighting manner.

Friendly bacteria also train your immune system to distinguish between pathogens and non-harmful antigens, and to respond appropriately. This important function prevents your immune system from overreacting to non-harmful antigens, which is the genesis of allergies. Probiotics can even help to normalize your weight, and lack of beneficial bacteria in your gut may play a significant role in the development of type 2 diabetes, depression, and other mood disorders, and may even contribute to autism and vaccine-induced damage. In addition to beneficial probiotics, traditionally fermented kefir also contains:

Beneficial yeast Minerals, such as magnesium Essential amino acids (such as tryptophan, which is well-known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system) Complete proteins
Calcium Vitamins B1, B2, and biotin (B7) Vitamin K Phosphorus

Please beware that pasteurized products will NOT provide you with these health benefits, as the pasteurization process destroys most of the precious enzymes, bacteria and other nutrients. This is why it’s important to make your own kefir or yogurt at home. As mentioned, you can get many of the same (and likely superior) benefits, by making fermented vegetables as well. For a very small investment (five or six medium-sized cabbages and other veggies to taste, celery juice for brine and, if you like, starter culture that produces high levels of vitamin K2), you can easily make up to 14 quart jars of fermented vegetables, which are an ultimate superfood. You can use these six steps to make fermented vegetables at home.

5. Grass-Fed or Pastured (Not Pasteurized) Raw Butter

Good old-fashioned butter, when made from grass-fed cows, is rich in a substance called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is not only known to help fight cancer and diabetes, it may even help you to lose weight, which cannot be said for its trans-fat substitutes (i.e. margarine). Butter is a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A (needed for a wide range of functions, from maintaining good vision to keeping the endocrine system in top shape) and all the other fat-soluble vitamins (D, E, and K2), which are often lacking in the modern industrial diet.

Butter is rich in important trace minerals, including manganese, chromium, zinc, copper, and selenium (a powerful antioxidant). One Swedish study also found that fat levels in your blood are lower after eating a meal rich in butter than after eating one rich in olive oil, canola oil, or flaxseed oil.5 The scientists’ main explanation is that about 20 percent of butterfat consists of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which are used right away for quick energy and therefore don’t contribute to fat levels in your blood. Therefore, a significant portion of the butter you consume is used immediately for energy.

The very best-quality butter is raw (unpasteurized) from grass-fed cows, preferably certified organic. (One option is to make your own butter from raw grass-fed milk.) The next best is pasteurized butter from grass-fed or pastured organic cows, followed by regular pasteurized butter common in supermarkets. Even the latter two are healthier choices by orders of magnitude than margarines or spreads. Beware of “Monsanto Butter,” meaning butter that comes from cows fed almost entirely genetically engineered grains.6 This includes Land O’Lakes and Alta Dena.

6. Wild Alaskan Salmon

Research suggests that eating oily fish like Alaskan salmon once or twice a week may increase your lifespan by more than two years, and reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 35 percent.7 This is because such fish is an excellent source of animal-based omega-3 fats. Compared to those in the lowest percentiles, those with omega-3 blood levels in the highest 20 percent were 27 percent less likely to die of any cause, 40 percent less likely to die of coronary heart disease, and 48 percent less likely to die of an arrhythmia.8 To maximize the health benefits from fish, steer clear of farmed fish, including farmed salmon.

Levels of omega-3 fats are reduced by about 50 percent in farmed salmon, compared to wild salmon, due to the use of grain and legume feed. High levels of contaminants are also common in farmed salmon, which is why I recommend wild Alaskan salmon. Seafood labeled “Alaskan” cannot be farmed. Alaska does an incredible job at protecting their brand integrity when it comes to seafood, in addition to ensuring quality and sustainability. If you don’t see the “Alaska” label or a logo from the Marine Stewardship Council, the seafood you are buying is likely farmed. If you’re not a fan of salmon, you can get many of the same health benefits by eating anchovies or sardines.

7. Mushrooms

About 100 species are being studied for their health-promoting benefits, and about a half dozen really stand out for their ability to deliver a tremendous boost to your immune system. In fact, some of the most potent immunosupportive agents come from mushrooms, and this is one reason why they’re so beneficial for both preventing and treating cancer. Long-chain polysaccharides, particularly alpha- and beta-glucan molecules, are primarily responsible for the mushrooms‘ beneficial effect on your immune system.

In one study, adding one or two servings of dried shiitake mushrooms was found to have a beneficial, modulating effect on immune system function.9 Mushrooms are not only capable of bolstering immune function and potentially fighting cancer. Aside from being rich in protein, fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, and minerals, mushrooms are excellent sources of antioxidants. They contain polyphenols and selenium, which are common in the plant world, as well as antioxidants that are unique to mushrooms. One such antioxidant is ergothioneine, which scientists are now beginning to recognize as a “master antioxidant.”

I highly recommend adding a variety of mushrooms to your diet, including shitake, maitake and reishi. As a caveat, do make sure they’re organically grown in order to avoid harmful contaminants that mushrooms may absorb and concentrate from soil, air and water. Also, avoid picking mushrooms in the wild unless you are absolutely sure you know what you’re picking. There are a number of toxic mushrooms (all mushrooms are edible, but some of them just once—a mushroom joke), and it’s easy to get them confused unless you have a lot of experience and know what to look for. Growing your own is an excellent option and a far safer alternative to picking wild mushrooms.

A Step-by-Step Plan for Dietary Success

A full 80 percent of the health benefits you reap from a healthy lifestyle can be attributed to your diet, with the remaining 20 percent coming from exercise. The challenge is that dietary advice can be a bit of a moving target. It needs to be regularly revised based on new research and wisdom from personal explorations of applying this research.

My free comprehensive nutrition plan, helps you benefit from the information that has taken me more than 30 years to compile The plan is updated with recommendations such as the addition of fermented vegetables as a source of healthy probiotics and using intermittent fasting and high-intensity exercise to really optimize your health. I encourage you to go through it from the beginning, as this plan is one of the most powerful tools to truly allow you and your family to not only optimize your diet but also to take control of your health.


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Popular Weight Loss App Ineffective In Achieving Weight Loss


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

A Cost Effective Fitness Band

In a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that overweight and obese patients who used a popular smart phone app (MyFitnessPal) did not lose significant weight after a 6 month trial period. The randomized controlled trial is the first of its kind to demonstrate that well-liked mobile apps may be ineffective for most users.

Two hundred and twelve racially diverse (73% female) patients treated at two UCLA primary care clinics were enrolled in the study. All indicated that they were interested in losing weight and 79% who completed the study indicated that they were “somewhat” or “completely” satisfied with the app, while 92% reported that they’d recommend it to a friend.

Unfortunately, as pleased as the subjects were with the app, there was no statistically significant difference in weight loss between the intervention and control groups. On average, the MyFitnessPal users lost 0.66 lbs  in 6 months.

The authors note:

“Most participants rarely used the app after the first month of the study… Given these results it may not be worth a clinician’s time to prescribe MyFitnessPal to every overweight patient with a smart phone… Our analysis did not show any demographic covariates to be important predictors of app use.”

This study serves as a reminder that “popular” and “effective” do not always go hand-in-hand when it comes to weight loss interventions. While mHealth apps are expected to earn $26 billion by 2017, one is left to wonder if this money will be well spent or if we’ll all be “somewhat to completely satisfied” with the apps without anything medically significant to show for it?

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The Dangers of Eating Late at Night


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

By Dr. Mercola

Do you eat dinner late at night and go to bed less than three hours later? Do you also suffer from unexplained post-nasal drip, cough, and difficulty swallowing? These could be signs of acid reflux, which, unbeknownst to many, can occur without the telltale signs of heartburn and indigestion.

Further, if you want to nip it in the bud, all you may have to do is change your lifestyle to eat dinner earlier. Eating late at night, especially if you overeat and/or eat heavy foods, and then lying down shortly after, is a recipe for acid reflux.

Increasingly Later Dinners May Be Driving Acid Reflux Cases

In the last 35 years, New York physician Jamie Koufman, who specializes in acid reflux, told the New York Times that long work hours necessitate a late dinner for many.1 Then, many people push it back further by trying to fit in shopping, exercise and other activities beforehand.

Adding to the problem, dinner tends to be the largest meal of the day for most Americans, and it’s often made up of heavy processed foods in overly large portions.

Under the best circumstances (in a young, healthy person), your stomach takes a few hours to empty after you eat a meal. As you get older or if you have acid reflux, the process takes longer.

Then, when you lay down to go to sleep, it’s much easier for acid to spill out of your full stomach, which is what leads to acid reflux. Even if you don’t have heartburn, you could still have acid reflux if you have symptoms like hoarseness, chronic throat clearing, and even asthma.

Plus, acid reflux can lead to esophageal cancer, which has risen five-fold since the 1970s. According to Dr. Koufman, “the single most important intervention is to eliminate late eating.” He continued:2

“Typical was the restaurateur who came to see me with symptoms of postnasal drip, sinus disease, hoarseness, heartburn and a chronic cough. He reported that he always left his restaurant at 11 p.m., and after arriving home would eat dinner and then go to bed. There was no medical treatment for this patient, no pills or even surgery to fix his condition.

The drugs we are using to treat reflux don’t always work, and even when they do, they can have dangerous side effects. My patient’s reflux was a lifestyle problem. I told him he had to eat dinner before 7 p.m., and not eat at all after work. Within six weeks, his reflux was gone.”

Why You Don’t Want to Treat Acid Reflux with Acid-Blocking Drugs

One of the most commonly prescribed drugs for acid reflux are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are very effective at blocking acid production in your stomach. While that may sound like an appropriate remedy, considering the fact that stomach acid is creeping up your esophagus, in most cases, it’s actually the worst approach possible.

There are over 16,000 articles in the medical literature showing that suppressing stomach acid does not address the problem. It only temporarily treats the symptoms. PPIs like Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid were originally designed to treat a very limited range of severe problems.

According to Mitchell Katz, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, who wrote an editorial on this topic four years ago, PPIs are only warranted for the treatment of:3

  • Bleeding ulcers
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a rare condition that causes your stomach to produce excess acid)
  • Severe acid reflux, where an endoscopy has confirmed that your esophagus is damaged

According to Katz, “about 60 to 70 percent of people taking these drugs have mild heartburn and shouldn’t be on them.” Part of the problem with PPIs is that when you suppress the amount of acid in your stomach, you decrease your body’s ability to kill the Helicobacter bacteria. So if your heartburn is caused by an H. pylori infection, it actually makes your condition worse and perpetuates the problem.

Besides that, reducing acid in your stomach diminishes your primary defense mechanism for food-borne infections, which will increase your risk of food poisoning. PPI drugs can also cause potentially serious side effects, including pneumonia, bone loss, hip fractures, and infection with Clostridium difficile (a harmful intestinal bacteria).

It’s also worth noting that you’ll also develop both tolerance and dependence on PPI drugs, so you should not stop taking proton pump inhibitors cold turkey. You need to wean yourself off them gradually or else you might experience a severe rebound of your symptoms. In some cases, the problem may end up being worse than before you started taking the medication.

Another Reason to Avoid Late-Night Eating: Intermittent Fasting

Our ancestors did not have access to grocery stores or food around the clock. They would cycle through periods of feast and famine, and modern research shows this cycling produces a number of biochemical benefits. Today, simply by altering what and when you eat, you can rather dramatically alter how your body operates for the better.

One of the simplest ways to do this is via intermittent fasting. There are many methods for doing this, but the one I recommend and personally use is to simply restrict your daily eating to a specific window of time, such as an eight-hour window from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This gives you a 16-hour fasting “window” without much sacrifice on your part. It also ties in nicely with eating dinner at a reasonable hour (any time prior to 7 p.m.), while giving you several hours for your food to digest before you lay down for the night.

What Are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

In this case, the earlier dinner will not only benefit any acid reflux that’s present, but, when combined with a delayed breakfast at 11 a.m., will give your body the benefits of remaining in a carefully timed “famine mode.” Benefits include the following:

  • Normalizing your insulin and leptin sensitivity, and boosting mitochondrial energy efficiency: One of the primary mechanisms that makes intermittent fasting so beneficial for health is related to its impact on your insulin sensitivity.
  • While sugar is a source of energy for your body, it also promotes insulin resistance when consumed in the amounts found in our modern processed junk food diets. Insulin resistance, in turn, is a primary driver of chronic disease—from heart disease to cancer.

    Intermittent fasting helps reset your body to use fat as its primary fuel, and mounting evidence confirms that when your body becomes adapted to burning FAT instead of sugar as its primary fuel, you dramatically reduce your risk of chronic disease.

  • Normalizing ghrelin levels, also known as “the hunger hormone.”
  • Promoting human growth hormone (HGH) production: Research has shown fasting can raise HGH by as much as 1,300 percent in women, and 2,000 percent in men,4 which plays an important part in health, fitness, and slowing the aging process. HGH is also a fat-burning hormone, which helps explain why fasting is so effective for weight loss.
  • Lowering triglyceride levels and improving other biomarkers of disease.
  • Reducing oxidative stress: Fasting decreases the accumulation of oxidative radicals in the cell, and thereby prevents oxidative damage to cellular proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids associated with aging and disease.

Intermittent fasting is the most powerful tool I know to address insulin resistance. However, once the resistance is resolved and you are no longer overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes, or are taking a statin drug you don’t need to do it and would only benefit from doing it occasionally.

Eating Too Late at Night Throws Your Internal Clock Off Kilter

If you’re in need of more motivation to move your dinnertime up a few hours, emerging research suggests that the timing of your meals, for instance eating very late at night when you’d normally be sleeping, may throw off your body’s internal clock and lead to weight gain. For instance, artificial light, such as a glow from your TV or computer, can serve as a stimulus for keeping you awake and, possibly, eating, when you should really be asleep.

In one study, mice that were exposed to dim light during the night gained 50 percent more weight over an eight-week period than mice kept in complete darkness at night.5 They also had increased levels of glucose intolerance, a marker for pre-diabetes. The weight gain occurred even though the mice were fed the same amount of food and had similar activity levels, and the researchers believe the findings may hold true for humans as well.

When mice were exposed to nighttime light, they ended up eating more of their food when they would normally be sleeping, and this led to significant weight gain. However, in a second experiment when researchers restricted meals to times of day when the mice would normally eat, they did not gain weight, even when exposed to light at night. So when your light and dark signals become disrupted it not only changes the times you may normally eat, it also throws your metabolism off kilter, likely leading to weight gain.

The Case for Making Dinner Your Biggest Meal of the Day

You’ve probably heard the advice to make your mid-day meal the biggest of the day and have a lighter meal at dinner, which takes some stress off your body and allows you time to wind down for bedtime (rather than digesting a heavy meal). But this is debatable… and possibly all wrong. Some experts believe that eating your main meal at night may actually be more in-tune with your innate biological clock. Routinely eating at the wrong time may not only disrupt your biological clock and interfere with your sleep, but it may also devastate vital body functions and contribute to disease. According to Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet:

“Your body is programmed for nocturnal feeding. All your activities, including your feeding, are controlled by your autonomic nervous system, which operates around the circadian clock. During the day, your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) puts your body in an energy spending active mode, whereas during the night your parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) puts your body in an energy replenishing relaxed and sleepy mode.

These two parts of your autonomic nervous system complement each other like yin and yang. Your SNS, which is stimulated by fasting and exercise, keeps you alert and active with an increased capacity to resist stress and hunger throughout the day. And your PSNS, which is stimulated by your nightly feeding, makes you relaxed and sleepy, with a better capacity to digest and replenish nutrients throughout the night. This is how your autonomic nervous system operates under normal conditions.

But that system is highly vulnerable to disruption. If you eat at the wrong time such as when having a large meal during the day, you will mess with your autonomic nervous system; you’ll inhibit your SNS and instead turn on the PSNS, which will make you sleepy and fatigued rather than alert and active during the working hours of the day. And instead of spending energy and burning fat, you’ll store energy and gain fat. This is indeed a lose-lose situation.”

That being said, even if you do eat your main meal at night, you’ll want to avoid eating it too close to bedtime as doing so may increase your risk of acid reflux symptoms. Ideally, try to give yourself a three- to four-hour window between your last meal of the day and bedtime. Personally, I eat my primary and really only major meal in the mid-afternoon. I snack a bit before and after but this seems to work for me as long as I get enough calories and protein.

If You Have Acid Reflux, It’s Time to Overhaul Your Diet

A key to healing acid reflux is to restore your natural gastric balance and function. Eating large amounts of processed foods and sugars is a surefire way to exacerbate acid reflux, as it will upset the bacterial balance in your stomach and intestine.

You simply must eliminate all refined sugars to improve your gut flora. Instead, you’ll want to eat a lot of vegetables and other high-quality, ideally organic, unprocessed foods. Also, eliminate food triggers from your diet. Common culprits here include caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine products.

Next, you need to make sure you’re getting enough beneficial bacteria from your diet. This will help balance your bowel flora, which can help eliminate H. pylori bacteria (a common cause of heartburn) naturally without resorting to antibiotics. It will also aid in proper digestion and assimilation of your food.

Ideally, you’ll want to get your probiotics from fermented foods. If you aren’t eating fermented foods, you most likely need to supplement with a probiotic on a regular basis. Try to include a variety of cultured foods and beverages in your diet, as each food will inoculate your gut with a variety of different microorganisms. Fermented foods you can easily make at home include:

In addition, acid reflux is typically a sign of having too little stomach acid. To encourage your body to make sufficient amounts of hydrochloric acid (stomach acid), you’ll also want to make sure you’re consuming enough of the raw material on a regular basis. High-quality sea salt (unprocessed salt), such as Himalayan salt, will not only provide you with the chloride your body needs to make hydrochloric acid, it also contains over 80 trace minerals your body needs to perform optimally, biochemically.

Sauerkraut or cabbage juice is also a strong—if not the strongest—stimulant for your body to produce stomach acid. Having a few teaspoons of cabbage juice before eating, or better yet, fermented cabbage juice from sauerkraut, will do wonders to improve your digestion.

15 More Natural Strategies for Overcoming Acid Reflux

In addition to those mentioned above, there are a number of other strategies that can also help you get your acid reflux under control, without resorting to medications.

Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar As mentioned earlier, acid reflux typically results from having too little acid in your stomach. You can easily improve the acid content of your stomach by taking one tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water.
Betaine Another option is to take a betaine hydrochloric supplement, which is available in health food stores without prescription. You’ll want to take as many as you need to get the slightest burning sensation and then decrease by one capsule. This will help your body to better digest your food, and will also help kill the H. pylori bacteria.
Baking soda One-half to one full teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in an eight-ounce glass of water may ease the burn of acid reflux as it helps neutralize stomach acid. I would not recommend this is a regular solution but it can sure help in an emergency when you are in excruciating pain.
Aloe juice The juice of the aloe plant naturally helps reduce inflammation, which may ease symptoms of acid reflux. Drink about 1/2 cup of aloe vera juice before meals. If you want to avoid its laxative effect, look for a brand that has removed the laxative component.
Ginger root or chamomile tea Ginger has been found to have a gastroprotective effect by blocking acid and suppressing Helicobacter pylori.6 According to a 2007 study, it’s also far superior to lansoprazole for preventing the formation of ulcers, exhibiting six- to eight-fold greater potency over the drug!7 This is perhaps not all that surprising, considering the fact that ginger root has been traditionally used against gastric disturbances since ancient times.

Add two or three slices of fresh ginger root to two cups of hot water. Let steep for about half an hour. Drink about 20 minutes or so before your meal. Before bed, try a cup of chamomile tea, which can help soothe stomach inflammation and help you sleep.

Vitamin D Vitamin D is important for addressing any infectious component. Once your vitamin D levels are optimized, you’re also going to optimize your production of about 200 antimicrobial peptides that will help your body eradicate any infection that shouldn’t be there.

As I’ve discussed in many previous articles, you can increase your vitamin D levels through appropriate amounts of sun exposure, or through the use of a high-quality tanning bed. If neither of those is available, you can take an oral vitamin D3 supplement; just remember to also increase your vitamin K2 and magnesium intake as well.

Astaxanthin This exceptionally potent antioxidant was found to reduce symptoms of acid reflux in patients when compared to a placebo, particularly in those with pronounced Helicobacter pylori infection.8 Best results were obtained at a daily dose of 40 mg.
Slippery elm Slippery elm coats and soothes your mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines, and contains antioxidants that can help address inflammatory bowel conditions. It also stimulates nerve endings in your gastrointestinal tract. This helps increase mucus secretion, which protects your gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity. The University of Maryland Medical Center makes the following adult dosing recommendations:9

  • Tea: Pour 2 cups boiling water over 4 g (roughly 2 tablespoons) of powdered bark, then steep for 3 – 5 minutes. Drink 3 times per day.
  • Tincture: 5 mL 3 times per day.
  • Capsules: 400 – 500 mg 3 – 4 times daily for 4 – 8 weeks. Take with a full glass of water.
  • Lozenges: follow dosing instructions on label.
Chinese herbs for the treatment of “Gu” symptoms caused by chronic inflammatory diseases So-called “Gu” symptoms include digestive issues associated with inflammation and pathogenic infestation. For more information about classical herbs used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of such symptoms, please see an alternative medicine professional.
Glutamine Gastrointestinal damage caused by H. pylori can be addressed with the amino acid glutamine,10 found in many foods, including grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, wild-caught fish, organic eggs, raw dairy products, and some fruits and vegetables. L-glutamine, the biologically active isomer of glutamine, is also widely available as a supplement.
Folate or folic acid (vitamin B9) and other B vitamins Research suggests B vitamins can reduce your risk for acid reflux.11 Higher folic acid intake was found to reduce acid reflux by approximately 40 percent. Low vitamin B2 and B6 levels were also linked to an increased risk for acid reflux. The best way to raise your folate levels is by eating folate-rich whole foods, such as organic liver, asparagus, spinach, okra, and beans.


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Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal
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