Archive for May, 2013

May 9, 2013

I can’t live without….

by lrmetcalfe

I can’t live without….

OK, I’m going to back a pretty big claim now; this article details the six health products that I cannot live without.  This is my ‘desert island discs’ of health products!

These are the products I always use and recommend more than any others.  Obviously more specific conditions will require a more specific remedy; but if you keep these items in your cupboard, you will have a remedy on hand for the everyday health problems that we can all expect to encounter a some point in our lives.

They are also some of the most underrated products available. Many people get quite addicted to the latest craze in the alternative health world, but the oldest most boring products are usually the most reliable!

Kyolic Garlic

Kyolic Garlic is a very special Garlic supplement. The organic garlic bulb is aged and cold pressed before it is used in the supplement. The aging process eliminates garlic odour and harsh side effects, it also increases its antioxidant properties.

Allicin has been deemed as the compound responsible for the benefits of garlic. It has shown an ability to kill bacteria and fungus in test tubes and topically crushed raw garlic has been used to fight infections. However, allicin is an unstable compound, thus cooking, crushing and processing garlic causes the allicin to be decomposed into other compounds, killing its health benefits. Therefore garlic supplements which focus on their allicin content will have very few if any health benefits.

Kyolic Garlic is a very flexible supplement and can be used:

  • To enhance the immune system- great for colds and flu
  • As a prebiotic to encourage healthy digestion
  • To encourage healthy circulation
  • For fungal conditions and thrush
  • For general health
  • The liquid form can also be used topically for fungal conditions 

Manuka Honey

This special honey is becoming more popular and is starting to be recognised by the medical community. It has anti-bacterial properties, and is now being used in specialised bandages to fight MRSA.

Manuka Honey is more expensive than regular honey, but it needs to be thought of as more of a medicine than something you smother on your toast.

Sourced from New Zealand’s forests, the bees feed off the Manuka plant, laboratory studies have shown that Manuka Honey has an especially remarkable anti-bacterial property, found only in the Leptospermum species. This has been called the Unique Manuka Factor or UMF®. Always look for Manuka Honey which states it’s UMF factor, this is a measure of it’s anti-bacterial strength. The honey is available in various strengths starting from 5+.

The various strengths can be used for different applications,

  • UMF 5+ Manuka Honey- Perfect as a special treat, to encourage health.
  • UMF 10+ Manuka Honey- Provides therapeutic benefits, can be used as a daily supplement, good for sore throats, mouth ulcers, colds and flu.
  • UMF15+ and above- contain the highest levels of anti-bacterial activity and can be used for more specific conditions and symptoms.

Manuka honey can also be used topically and skin products have been developed which contain the honey.

High Strength Multivitamin and Mineral

Never underestimate the importance of a good multivitamin and mineral supplement. Most everyday health conditions can be improved by increasing the levels of vitamins and minerals we are receiving.

Look for a more expensive product, the less appetising the better. Unfortunately most people gravitate to vitamin and mineral supplements which are in the form of a chewable orange flavoured sweet or a drink- remember if it tastes nice it probably has additives and flavours mixed in, leaving less room in your tablet for nutrients, resulting in you receiving a lower potency. As my grandma used to say- the worse the medicine tastes, the better it is for you. This is the same for small tablets and cheap products, they will contain less nutrients- remember you get what you pay for.

A good potency multivitamin and mineral will ensure your body has all the nutrients it needs to function correctly, it will increase your energy levels and support your immune system. This supplement should be taken every day. Also remember to look for a product which is ‘timed release’, this ensures less wastage of the water soluble nutrients, vitamin C and B vitamins.

Fish Oil Supplements

Omega 3, probably one of the most publicized supplements of recent years, but still one of the most underestimated. Fish oils contain Omega 3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that us Britons do not receive enough of in our diets. Omega 3 is important for heart health, brain health, circulatory health, skin health and a healthy cholesterol level. They have an anti-inflammatory effect, so can be used in arthritis and eczema. Omega 3 is especially important for childhood development, so may be taken during pregnancy and by children to support growth and brain development.

If you do not like taking supplements, try and incorporate more Omega 3 into your diet by eating 3 portions of oily fish a week. Oily fish includes: salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, sardines, herring, anchovies. Flaxseed/ linseed also contain omega 3, sprinkle a spoon of seeds onto porridge or yogurt or add to your breakfast cereal. Flaxseed oil, is also a great salad dressing when mixed with lemon juice.

Acidophilus

Acidophilus or lactobacillus acidophilus, is a ‘friendly bacteria’, you may have heard this phrase as it is used in marketing campaigns for yoghurts and yoghurt drinks. Basically what it means, is that there are various types of bacteria that our bodies contain and can encounter.

Pathogenic bacteria, or ‘bad bacteria’ cause disease, or in high amounts can cause an unhealthy state in the digestive system. ‘Good’, ‘friendly’ or probiotic bacteria have the opposite effect, they create a healthy state in the digestive system.

Obviously we cannot stop ourselves from being exposed to disease causing pathogenic bacteria, however if our digestive system contains high levels of ‘friendly’ bacteria then the ‘bad’ bacteria have less chance of surviving. Acidophilus is one of the many strains of friendly or probiotic bacteria, and is good to take if:

  • you have poor digestive function
  • you suffer from a digestive condition- eg. IBS
  • you suffer from urinary tract infections or thrush
  • you are going on holiday (as you will be encountering bacteria your body is not used to, often the cause of ‘travellers tummy’)
  • you have recently taken antibiotics (antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria in the body)

A good analogy of probiotic supplements, is to think of them like grass seed. If you have a patch of soil in which you want to grow a lawn, you need to add grass seed (probiotic bacteria), however once the seed has grown, throwing on more grass seed will not help the lawn to grow. This is when you need to add plant food (fruit and vegetables- or prebiotics). Fruit and vegetables have a prebiotic effect, meaning they feed and encourage the growth of probiotics.

Acidophilus does not, therefore need to be taken continually, once you have increased your levels of friendly bacteria, keep them topped up by eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Aloe Vera Gel

A great topical all-rounder, it soothes, moisturises and has an anti-bacterial effect.

Put it on:

  • Dry skin
  • Eczema
  • Spots
  • Heat rash
  • Bites
  • Stings
  • Burns
  • Wounds
  • Boils
  • Fungal infections- athletes foot, ringworm
  • Mix with tea tree oil to make your own anti-bacterial hand gel

 

So put these 6 products in your cupboard, and they will not let you down!

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