Got GERD? Learn to Balance Body Acid Naturally

By Elizabeth Kahn, Dietitian

The foods we eat contribute directly to the pH balance in our bodies. If the acid levels in our diet are out of balance, health problems will often occur. Problems associated with high acidity include acid reflux, GERD and indigestion. Acidic environments are also linked to cancer and other diseases.

Acidic foods are highly prevalent in the average American diet. These foods need to be consumed in balance with more basic (alkaline) foods to keep the body chemistry in line. Use the following list to help balance your body chemistry naturally.

Highly Acidic Foods (avoid):

Alcohol, asparagus, beans, Brussels sprouts, buckwheat, catsup, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), cocoa, coffee, cornstarch, cranberries, eggs, fish, flour based products, legumes, lentils, meat, milk, mustard, noodles, oatmeal, olives, organ meats, pasta, pepper, plums, poultry, prunes, sauerkraut, shellfish, soft drinks, sugar, all foods with added sugar, tea and vinegar. Also aspirin, tobacco and most drugs.

Moderately Acidic Foods (limit):

Butter, canned or glazed fruit, cheeses, dried coconut, dried or sulfured fruit (most), grains (most), ice cream, ice milk, lamb’s quarters, nuts and seeds (most).

Highly Basic Foods (consume liberally):

Avocados, corn, dates, fresh coconut, fresh fruits (most- even citrus), fresh vegetables (most- especially kudzu, onions, potatoes, rutabagas), honey, horseradish, maple syrup, molasses, mushrooms, onions, raisins, soy products, sprouts, Umeboshi plums and watercress.

Moderately Basic Foods (consume liberally):

Almonds, blackstrap molasses, brazil nuts, chestnuts, lima beans, millet and soured dairy products.

Resources:

Balch, P. A. (2006). Prescription for nutritional healing. Avery Publishing: New York.

Holistic Nutrition

By Elizabeth Kahn, Dietitian
A healthy offering
Credit: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt

Holistic nutritionists treat the whole individual with natural remedies. These practitioners can alleviate symptoms of and prevent disease by using natural remedies such as diet and exercise. Modern medicine sets out to treat symptoms of disease as doctors often do not understand a cause. Many disorders and diseases such as ADD and diabetes are caused by poor diet. Many holistic nutritionists believe that many of today’s diseases are being caused by undiagnosed nutritional imbalances. Holistic practitioners attempt to heal people by giving the body what it needs to heal itself and by correcting any nutrient deficiencies. Holistic nutrition is often used in conjunction with modern medicine. This multifaceted approach to health care that incorporates mainstream medicine with natural treatments is called integrative medicine. Many practitioners of all walks, believe that integrative medicine is the future of health care.

How Nutrition Works

Healthy food
Credit: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Rene Ehrhardt

Natural treatments like holistic nutrition attempt to stimulate the body’s natural defenses and immune system in order for the body to heal itself. Many people in our society now have a poor diet due to the consumption of highly processed, refined foods. Nutritional imbalances can often be at the root of many of today’s diseases as a result. Holistic nutrition therapy can often cure many of today’s health problems by evaluating the diet and nutrient balance in the body. Holistic nutritionists work with the client to alter their food and drink intake and exercise to adjust nutrient balance and put the body into a more balanced, nourished and whole state.

Types of Holistic Practitioners

Integrated medicine: A team approach to health
Credit: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Pop!Tech

There are many natural practitioners in addition to holistic nutritionists that can often benefit health by using a holistic, or whole approach. Examples of holistic practitioners include acupuncturists, general holistic medical, chiropractors and herbalists. In integrated medicine, all of these practitioners work together in a team approach to treat the patient by using all available therapies. As in mainstream Western medicine, in integrated medicine a primary-care physician would recommend the treatment and could include many of these complementary therapies. Holistic nutrition and other natural practitioners along with Western medicine can be a powerful team approach to healing.

Health Literacy

Many people do not have a basic knowledge about health, and this includes nutrition. According to the 2003 study, the National Assessment of Adult Literacy found that millions of people in the United States lack basic health literacy. Health literacy is defined as the degree to which individuals can obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.

Lack of Information Leads to the Need for More Natural Healing

Empty chair and desk
Credit: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Alex

The people who lack basic health knowledge have misinformation about the body and disease and then often don’t make the connection between lifestyle choices like diet and disease. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy study, only 11 percent of those studied had a proficient health literacy. Proficient in health literacy includes skills like calculating cholesterol and blood-sugar levels and understanding nutrition labels. With so many people lacking in nutrition knowledge, there is an even greater need for holistic nutritionists that can teach them about proper nutrition and their health.

Better than Drugs or Surgery

No more pills!
Credit: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Shutr

Natural remedies like holistic nutrition do not cause dramatic side effects like pharmaceutical solutions do. Surgery removes body parts after they have broken down. Since natural solutions can prevent disease and alleviate symptoms without side effects, they are therefore preferable to drugs or surgery. Nutrition has a regenerative and healing effect on the body and its organs and can often make drugs and surgery unnecessary.

Finding a Good Provider

There are many credential programs that certify these alternative practitioners. When seeking the advice of a holistic nutritionist or other alternative practitioner you should ask for their credentials and verify them and that the institution that gave them to them is a credible one. Many nutritionists are registered dietitians. This means that they completed a four-year bachelor’s degree program, completed an internship, passed the exam and have been registered with the American Dietetic Association. You can also call them for a referral.

Keyword
  • holistic nutrition
  • integrated medicine
  • healing
Reference
Resources

Alternative Medicine Treatment for Granuloma Annulare | From eHow.com

By Elizabeth Kahn, Dietitian

Granuloma annulare is a chronic skin condition consisting of raised, reddish or skin-colored bumps that form ring patterns and usually appear on hands and feet. According to the Mayo Clinic, most lesions disappear on their own within a few months to two years. The primary concerns with this skin condition are cosmetic and there are many natural treatments that can speed the disappearance of these lesions.

Diet

You can treat granuloma annulare by trying to build up your immune system and having your body heal itself by getting plenty of sleep, exercise and by eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lea protein, fresh juices and taking a multi-vitamin supplement. Many nutrient deficiencies can lead to a lowered immunity and skin problems including granuloma annulare.

Remedies

The regular treatment for granuloma annulare includes freezing or cryotherapy, hydrocortisone and light therapy. If you prefer to look further, there are several alternative medicine formulations available on the market for the treatment of this skin disorder including Annurax, Granutab (herbal) and Garnilin (homeopathic). Of all of these treatments, Granutab is the only one that has been proven effective in a clinical trial.

There are many herbs that can treat skin problems such as oak leaf extract which has healing properties for skin, aloe vera and green tea extract have antioxidant and healing properties, a warm washcloth soaked in malva tea can help inflammation and a poultice made up of chaparral, dandelion and yellow dock root can also benefit a rash.

References

The Mayo Clinic: Granuloma Annulare Definition

Granulomaannulare-options.com: Alternative Medicine Treatment
Options for Granuloma Annulare

Prescription
for Nutritional Healing; Phyllis Balch, James Balch; 2000

What Are the Benefits of Marine Collagen? | Elizabeth Kahn | eHow.com

Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the connective tissue in the body. Like many other components in skin, collagen is constantly being broken down, produced and recycled. Marine collagen is becoming increasingly popular for skin treatment and many people believe that it is better than land-based sources of collagen.

Better Source

Marine collagen is taken from fish and is thought to have less environmental contaminants than the collagen taken from cattle or pigs.

Better Absorption

Marine collagen is smaller in molecular weight and thus is believed to have increased absorption into the skin.

Source

Marine collagen is derived from cod, a deep sea fish. The collagen is taken from the scales and fins.

We Need More Collagen as We Age

The use of collagen increases as we age and picks up speed after 40. As we age, it can benefit the skin to help boost collagen presence.

Easy on the Environment

Marine collagen is extracted from fish that are being processed for other purposes, so the collagen derived from these sources is said to be environmentally friendly.

References

Webraydian Article Director

Asia Pacific Food Technology

“Prescription for Nutritional Healing;” Balch; 2006

 

How to Fast to Heal Psoriasis | eHow.com

How to Fast to Heal Psoriasis

By Elizabeth Kahn, eHow Contributor

Psoriasis is a skin disease characterized by red or brown, scaly patches on the skin. This condition can be recurrent and can be brought on by stress and other factors, including illness, injury, excessive alcohol use or certain medications such as those used for high blood pressure or heart disease. There are some studies that point to fat intake and toxin buildup in the colon as a cause of this skin disorder. Fasting is a good way to rid the body of excess toxins and to boost the immune system to help the body fight disease.

Difficulty: Easy

Instructions

Things You’ll Need

Raw fruits and vegetables

Fresh pure fruit juices

Green drinks (carrot juice, beet juice)

Steam distilled water

10 Lemons

Recommended: Powdered fiber (psyllium, bran or flax seed)
supplement

Optional:

Herbal tea

Watermelon

Applesauce

Spirulina

Fish oil or flaxseed oil supplement

Fasting for Psoriasis

1. To prepare your body for fasting, eat only raw fruits and vegetables for two days prior to the fast. Take a fiber supplement every day before the fast.

2. Fast for five days.

3. Squeeze one fresh lemon into a cup of warm water and drink upon waking and going to sleep.

4. Drink 10 8-ounce glasses of steam distilled water per day.

5. Consume pure juices. Dilute all juices with water, mixing three parts water to one part juice. Green drinks made from green leafy vegetables and fresh juices such as apple, beet, cabbage, carrot, celery and grape are also recommended. Avoid citrus juices and tomato juice.

6. Drink up to 2 cups of herbal tea per day if desired.

7. Try a spirulina supplement, a piece of watermelon or applesauce to help with hunger.

8. After the fast, eat only raw foods for a minimum of two days and up to two weeks. Then maintain a diet of 50 percent raw foods, including plenty of vegetables and non-citrus fruits such as bananas apples, pears, grapes and berries. Take a powdered fiber supplement such as bran, psyllium or flax seed every day. Try taking a supplement with fish or flaxseed oil daily.

Tips & Warnings

Avoid red meat, fried foods, all other sources of saturated fat, citrus fruits, sugar, and processed foods including white flour. Try stress management techniques such as meditation. Stress can cause psoriasis, and it also lowers immunity. If this fast does not help heal the psoriasis wait at least 30 days, then try a 10 day fast, which will go deeper and repair more of the body’s systems, according to “Prescription for Nutritional
Healing.”

Consult your doctor before performing this or any fast.

Resources

“Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” Phyllis A. Balch: 2006

 

How to Control MRSA With Diet | eHow.com

How to Control MRSA
With Diet

By Elizabeth Kahn,
eHow Contributor

An MRSA or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
infection is caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and is often called a
“staph” infection. MRSA is a strain of staph that’s resistant to many
antibiotics. Most MRSA infections occur in health care facilities like
hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis centers. People with weak or compromised
immune systems are at most risk for this infection. The best way to fight any
infection is to strengthen the body so that it can heal itself. One of the best
ways to strengthen the body’s own defense system is through diet.

Difficulty: Moderate

Instructions

 

  1. Consume one smoothie every day. To make a
    smoothie, include a combination of the following: Fruits, vegetables, fruit or
    vegetable juice, soy milk, yogurt, honey to sweeten if necessary, and ice.
    Include the directed amount of amino acid, vitamin and mineral powder. Blend
    all ingredients in a blender or juicer. Only apples or apple juice should be
    added to a vegetable juice or smoothie. Smoothies can be pre-made and frozen
    for easy access and busy schedules.
  2. Eat organic food that contains no pesticides or
    chemical additives.
  3. Eat plenty of a variety of fresh whole fruits
    and vegetables and fruit and vegetable juices daily.
  4. Eat only whole-grain breads and other whole
    foods.
  5. Eat only lean sources of protein such as
    chicken, lamb, tofu, yogurt and cottage cheese.
  6. Use only canola, olive, flaxseed or soybean oils
    and spreads.
  7. Avoid saturated and trans fats. Most saturated
    fats and trans fats are found in animal products and foods fried in unhealthy
    oils. Avoid toxic substances like alcohol, processed and refined foods,
    chemical additives and pesticides.

Tips & Warnings

Relax. Try taking a relaxing and detoxifying bath every day.
Many products are on the market for this and you can try 1 cup Epsom salt, 2
cups baking soda and 10 drops lavender oil.

Get plenty of fresh air, sunshine and exercise as these all
reduce stress and build immunity. Studies have shown that people with high
levels of stress have lower levels of antibodies that help fight off infection
(see Reference 3).

Believe you can get better and you will. Science has shown
that positive thinking can help fight disease.

If you are under the care of a doctor, check with your
doctor before performing this diet.

Resources

World’s
Healthiest Foods