Monday, December 20, 2010

Do we Need Salt in Our Diet, the Benefits and Risks of Consuming Salt

Salt is a mineral that naturally occurs in virtually all plant-based foods, as well as in the ocean and underground salt mines. Salt in moderation is essential for health, but when it is consumed in excess amounts, it can lead to serious health problems.

The following articles go into more detail as to how much salt we need in our diet, the health benefits associated with consuming salt in moderation, as well as the health risks of consuming salt in excess amounts.

Do We Need Salt in Our Diet

It seems as though everywhere we turn, we hear about reducing our salt intake. We hear about all the negative side effects that an excess amount of salt can bring upon us, and it almost makes you we even need salt in our diet? Read more...

How Much Salt Do You Need

Salt is an essential part of a healthy diet, as it helps to fight depression, anxiety, cancer, osteoporosis, muscle spasms and many other health problems. It can be obtained from table salt, sea salt, or naturally by eating plant-based foods. Read more...

Side Effects of Excess Salt

Salt in moderation is good for your health. In fact, without salt in the body, it would not be able to function both physically or mentally. Salt helps with muscle contractions, balances fluids, increases energy and helps the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. However, negative side effects can occur when excess salt is consumed. Read more...

How to Lower Your Intake of Salt

Salt is a mineral, that is crucial to the overall health of the body. However, as with any food it should be taken in moderation, as excess amounts can have negative side effects. Therefore you should take the initiative to monitor, and find ways to lower your intake of salt if it is too high. Read more...

How to Obtain Salt Naturally

Salt is an essential mineral that the body needs in order to remain healthy. It is essential for helping the body to digest food, retain a healthy fluid level, and prevent many diseases and common ailments. Read more...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Does Sea Salt Have Any Health Benefits

Sea salt is usually only found in health food stores, and it is more expensive than regular table salt. But does it have any health benefits that make it worth the extra price that you pay? The answer is a resounding yes! Unrefined sea salt is all natural, and does not have any harmful ingredients added to it that can harm the body. So if you are going to use salt, use unrefined sea salt, as your body will thank you for it.

Neutralizes Acids

Sea salt has an alkalizing effect on the body, which means that it helps to neutralize acids so that you can achieve a healthy pH balance again. A healthy pH balance is essential in order for your body to heal itself from any disease. But an acidic body is prone to many diseases and common ailments such as cancer, depression, the common cold and fibromyalgia.

Helps to Sleep Better

Drink about 1 or 2 glasses of water, and then sprinkle some sea salt on your tongue. Do this before you go to bed, and you will fall into a deep sleep, as the salt acts as a natural sedative.

Fights Depression

Sea salt is a natural substitute for lithium, and is said to be able to treat the symptoms of depression just as effectively as the drug. But the great thing is that sea salt in moderation does not have any negative side effects. Click here fore more info on how it helps depression.

In addition, sea salt is able to maintain levels of serotonin and melatonin in the body. Serotonin is a feel good hormone that the body produces in the morning to help you to wake up and deal with stress throughout the day. Then at night the serotonin is converted into melatonin, which helps you to sleep better, thus enabling you to wake up fully rested.

Helps with Digestion

Sea salt naturally helps to create more digestive juices so that the foods you eat can be digested and turned into energy faster. In addition it helps to prevent saturated fats and excess proteins from building up along your intestinal walls. As a result it helps to maintain regular bowel movements to prevent digestive problems.

Prevents Muscle Spasms

Sea salt is essential for helping muscles to open and contract. It contains a small amount of potassium, plus, it also helps to absorb more potassium from other foods. Thus it can help to prevent muscle pains, spasms and cramping.

Prevents a Double Chin

A double chin may occur when the salivary glands are overworked and forced to produce more saliva than what they can handle. This can happen when the body is deficient in salt and water, and is forced to create its own fluids to help lubricate the mouth during chewing, swallowing and the digestion of foods. Thus salt along with the proper amount of water can help to prevent a double chin.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Easy Ways to Reduce Unhealthy Salt Intake

Most people on the Standard American Diet take in too much salt on a daily basis. This eventually leads to health problems such as high blood pressure, weight gain, arthritis, fluid retention and kidney and bladder problems.

Therefore it is important that you reduce your salt intake. But in order to do so you need to know where your salt is coming from. It not only comes from your salt shaker, but most foods that you can buy at your grocery store contain at least some amount of salt as well.

Fast and Processed Foods

A lot of the excess salt that you consume comes from fast and processed foods, and thus they should be avoided if you are trying to reduce your intake. It is used in those foods for flavoring as well as to help preserve the foods, and thus they are often loaded with extremely high amounts of salt.

Fast foods, cold cut meats, dry soups and soup packets, canned foods, sauces and salad dressings are some of the worst foods for salt. And even foods that are promoted as being healthy often contain high amounts of salt as well. These foods include breads and cereals, canned fruits and vegetables and dried fruits, as well as many fruit and vegetable juices.

Read Labels

When buying anything processed, make sure to read the labels so that you can avoid at least the worst offenders for salt. Look for low or reduced sodium, or sodium free labels and compare brands if more than one brand is available, so that you can choose the one lowest in salt.

Use Sea Salt

Instead of using regular old table salt, switch to sea salt, which has lower amounts of sodium. The taste however, may not be as salty, but when you add it consciously it will help you to lower your intake.

Remove the Shaker From the Table

If you are used to having a salt shaker at the table, then you should remove it, as you are less likely to make a trip to the cupboards to get the shaker, than you are to reach over.

Avoid Salted Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are very good for you, especially sunflower seeds. But because they are so good with salt, they often come coated with it. Avoid those whenever possible or at least wipe some of the salt off of them with a paper towel, and mix them in with other raw nuts and seeds.

Never eliminate all salt from your diet, as salt is an essential mineral for good health.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Helpful Tips for Eating on the Raw Food Diet

The raw food diet is one of the healthiest diets, as it can help you to avoid common illnesses and serious life-threatening diseases. The diet requires that you consume most of your foods in their raw state, and that you avoid processed and fast foods.

It is a difficult diet to stay on, as society does not support the raw food diet. As a result, when hunger strikes there usually are no healthy snacks available at the vending machine, nor are there any raw food places that you can go to and eat. And so you often end up settling for fast foods or other junk foods.

But despite of that, there are many things that you can do to help you to avoid junk foods.

Never Allow Hunger

The best thing that you can do for yourself, especially when you first start on the diet, is to never allow hunger. Once you are used to the diet, then you will be able to handle hunger better as your food withdrawal symptoms will not be as severe. But when you first start you should avoid hunger whenever possible.

The best way that you can avoid hunger is to eat lots of healthy high calorie foods such as nuts and seeds, avocados and coconuts. These healthy calories will not only fill you up, but they will satisfy your cravings so that you can avoid other high calorie junk foods.

A good practice is to make yourself a trail mix of your favorite nuts and seeds, as well as dried fruits and take them along with you where ever you go. Then when hunger strikes you are prepared, and thus you will be able to avoid the vending machine.

Eat a Variety of Foods

High calorie foods are essential in helping to satisfy food cravings, but you also need a variety of other foods such as leaf vegetables, root vegetables, sprouts, fresh fruits and berries, as well as many superfoods that you can only obtain at the health food store such as raw cacao, maca powder, goji berries, spirulina and many others.

Buy New Appliances

Just because you are on a raw food diet does not mean that you cannot enjoy a variety of foods. All the tastes and textures that you are used to on the conventional diet, can be mimicked with raw recipes, but you will have to get some new appliances.

The new appliances will allow you to make your own juices, milks, flours, and breads and cookies. Yes you can still have cookies and other delicious deserts.

Some of the most popular appliances include a juicer, blender, magic bullet, sprouter, grain mill, dehydrator, nut milk bags, spiral veggie cutter, and others.
L'Equip 306200 550-Watt 6-Tray Food Dehydrator, GrayMary Bell's Complete Dehydrator CookbookKTEC Kitchen Mill - Grain and Flour Mill (K-Tec)Tribest Soyabella Soymilk Maker

Friday, November 19, 2010

5 Easy Ways To Prevent Obesity

More and more people are affected by obesity everyday. This is mainly due to all the unhealthy foods that are available on the market. Vending machines will do you no favor, and driving down a busy city street is also of no help, especially around mealtimes. However, despite of all that, there are many things that you can do to prevent obesity and even reverse it. Here are 5 sure ways to get you started.

Avoid Temptations

The best thing that you can do for yourself is to avoid food temptations whenever possible. That means if you have to drive on the outskirts of town to get to the other side to avoid all the fast food places, then do so.

To avoid vending machines, bring your own snacks such as nuts and seeds. And when filling up at the gas station, pay at the pump, as this will keep you away from the rows and rows of chips and candy bars inside.

Eat Healthy Foods

Eating healthy is also extremely important as that will not only provide you with the proper nutrients, but it will also help you to avoid fast foods and other junk foods.

Some of the best foods to add into your diet are nuts and seeds, avocados, leaf vegetables, sprouts, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. You may also add in plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables juices, or even go on a juice fast.

Avoid Animal Products

Animal products such as milk and milk products, meat, especially red meat, as well as eggs are high in saturated fats that will cause you to gain weight. Thus if you eliminate them, or at least reduce them, then you will be able to better manage your weight.

Plenty of Fluids

Once you start adding in more fruits and vegetables into your diet, then you will also need to drink more fluids. This is due to the high amount of fiber that is contained in fruits and vegetables. The fiber absorbs the water in the digestive tract, and thus the more water is absorbed, the more you need to drink.

Some of the best fluids to add into your diet are water, fresh juices and herbal tea such as ginger tea, and a combination of other herbs and spices including cilantro, parsley, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, cinnamon and nutmeg.


Last but not least, exercise can help you to stay in shape and retain your muscle mass. Muscle mass weighs more, but it also helps you to burn more fat cells. Several 30 minute sessions of cardio and strength training per week is really all you need to maintain your muscle mass.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Is There a Difference Between Table Salt and Unrefined Sea Salt

There is not much of a difference between table salt and unrefined sea salt. However, the small difference that is found between the two is enough to make people switch to sea salt. The main reason why people make the switch is for health reasons, as sea salt is healthier for you. Not only is it healthier because it contains more minerals, but it also does not contain any unnatural ingredients.

Here are some of the main differences:

More Minerals

Sea salt is obtained naturally from sea water by allowing it to evaporate naturally from the sun and wind. As the water evaporates the salt crystals are left behind and then are raked into piles of sand. The salt is purified, but all the minerals are left within the salt.

But table salt on the other is stripped of all the essential minerals during the processing. Then iodine is added back into the salt. But it is added in such large quantities, that you will overdose on the iodine if you want to obtain the recommended daily dosage of sodium from your salt. Thus you are better off to obtain your iodine from the sea salt in small quantities. Click here for more information on the recommended daily dosages of sodium and iodine.

Unnatural Ingredients

Table salt contains several unnatural ingredients that are harmful to the body. These are anti-clumping agents such as alumino-silicate or alumino-calcium silicate which help to keep the salt dry in the shaker so that it does not clump up. However, these anti-clumping agents contain aluminum, which not only is bad for your health, but it adds a bitter taste to the salt. Thus a form of sugar (which is also bad for your health), is added to the salt to help eliminate the bitterness of it.

Unrefined sea salt does not contain any of those harmful ingredients, which is why it will clump in your salt shaker. However, there are brands of unrefined sea salt that are fairly dry and will not clump up much. The salt may stick from time to time, but a light tap on the shaker will break it loose.

My personal favorite salt to use in a salt shaker is Redmond RealSalt. It is a gourmet, all natural sea salt with a sweet taste. And once you try it, you will never want to go back to regular table salt again.

The Color

Another major difference between sea salt and table salt is the color of it. Table salt is white, but unrefined sea salt comes in different colors. At first you may be turned off by the gray or pinkish colors of the sea salt, but after a while you will appreciate the rich colors. Because the richer the color of the salt, the more minerals it contains.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Three Variations of the Raw Food Diet

Raw Foodists do not believe in heating their foods above 115 degrees Fahrenheit because that destroys the enzymes as well as many of the vitamins and minerals. Hence the main source of their food is plant-based.

However, there are several different variations of the raw food diet, which do allow you to incorporate raw animal proteins as well. These include raw meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as dairy and dairy products such as raw cheese, butter or yogurt.

To avoid harmful bacteria, the raw foodists choose their animal products from grass-fed animals whenever possible. Studies do reveal that those animals which are grass-fed have far less harmful bacteria, and contain more nutrients than those that are raised on conventional methods. Hence the risks of getting sick from grass-fed animal proteins are greatly reduced.

Here are the Three Main Variations of the Raw Food Diet:

Raw Vegan Diet. The raw vegan diet is the strictest and most popular diet when it comes to raw foodism. It does not allow you to eat any meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy and dairy products, or any other animal substance.

You can have any food that is plant-based and not poisonous to your body such as lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds as well as sea vegetables and protein powders. These foods provide you with all the nutrients that your body needs, thus they eliminate the need to consume any animal products such as meats, dairy and eggs.

Within the raw vegan diet are three other groups of dieters, which include fruitarians, juicearians and sproutarians. And you can probably guess what the main type of food is for each group just by looking at the name.

Raw Vegetarian Diet. The raw vegetarian diet also promotes a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, and other plant-based foods, but it also allows you to consume eggs, dairy and dairy products.

Within this group there are also several different groups: Some enjoy both eggs and dairy; while some do not consume eggs, but will consume dairy and dairy products; and others refuse dairy and dairy products, but will eat eggs.

Raw Omnivorous Diet. The raw omnivorous diet is fairly relaxed and laid back, as you are allowed to eat just about anything on the plate including all types of raw meats, eggs, and dairy and dairy products. However, you should still aim to eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables as they are by far the healthiest choice.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tips for Exercising When Suffering From Fibromyalgia

Most people who suffer from fibromyalgia suffer from a lot of muscle pain and chronic fatigue. Hence the thought of engaging in regular exercise may seem daunting. However, doing so can put you on a faster road to recovery, as it helps to strengthen muscles, increase energy levels, and decrease pain.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

Talk To a Physio Therapist

Fibromyalgia is a muscle disorder, and the last thing you want to do is further aggravate those muscles. Therefore a physio therapist can help you figure out what you are capable of and which exercises to start with. They are trained professionals and will be able to guide you in the right direction so that you can avoid further injury.

Always Listen to Your Body

Always, always listen to your body and stop any exercise session when you become tired or when you begin to feel pain. Just because you were able to handle 10 minutes on the treadmill yesterday, does not mean that you have to endure that long today. Some days are better than others, and you should always exercise according to how you feel.

A small amount of pain after the session is okay, but if the pain persists or gets worse, then you need to reduce your exercises and/or talk to a medical professional.

Learn to Breathe Correctly

Breathing correctly during exercising can help to increase energy as well as reduce the pain.

You may be surprised to discover that you most likely are not breathing correctly. Most people breathe into their chests rather than using their diaphragm. When breathing into the chest you are only using the top portion of your lungs, and your goal is to use the bottom portion as well.

To find out whether you are breathing correct or not, pay attention as to whether or not your stomach expands when you inhale. If it expands, then you are breathing correct. However, if it does the opposite then you need to do some practising.

The best way to practise is by lying on your back, either on the floor, your bed or even in a bath tub. Then with your hands on your stomach, consciously practise breathing deep into your stomach so that it expands when you inhale. It may take some practise, but you can do it.

Join a Group

There is nothing like joining a group that has the same agenda as you. This allows you to motivate others when they are feeling down, and most importantly, others will be there to support and motivate you on your not-so-great days.

Click Here for some easy exercises for fibromyalgia

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Simple Fibromyalgia Exercises

Fibromyalgia is a chronic muscle disorder that can affect a number of muscles in the body particularly in the neck, shoulders, back, elbows, wrists, hips and ankles. On top of the pain, those who suffer from fibromyalgia, also suffer from chronic fatigue. As a result the thought of exercising may not seem reasonable to those who suffer from the disease.

However, exercising can help to relieve both the physical as well as the mental pain that is associated with fibromyalgia. In addition it can also help to increase energy levels, so that you can begin to make a recovery.

The key is to start off with simple exercises, and short exercise sessions to prevent further injury. Over time you will be able to move on to more challenging exercises and endure for longer as well. Here are some simple exercises to get the ball going.


When you are first starting out, you may not be able to do much more than simple stretches, and that is fine. You can do whole body stretches or just certain parts of your body such as the neck, arms or legs. Your goal is to stretch just enough so that your muscles can open enough in order to improve the blood flow. Never stretch until you feel pain, as that may worsen the condition.

If your muscles are very tight and they do not want to stretch without pain, then you may want to try warming them up in warm water first. You can add sea salt, Epsom salt, grated ginger or relaxing bath oils to your water to help with the process. Once you feel that your muscles are more relaxed, then you can begin your stretches.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is perfect for beginners and those who suffer from fibromyalgia. The techniques used in hatha yoga are proper breathing techniques, meditational poses and simple stretches. These work together to strengthen the muscles, and help the body and mind to relax as they become one.

Walking and Biking

Walking and biking are also very simple exercises to engage in. Just remember that you will have to walk or bike back, so make sure not to travel too far on your first few journeys. The key is to find out what you are capable of doing, and then build upon that. Thus everyday you may be able to travel slightly farther than the previous day.

Water Exercises

Water Exercises such as swimming, marching, stretching or floating can also be very beneficial in helping the muscles to strengthen and relax. Water exercises also make it easier on the body because the water naturally reduces the weight of the body.

Click Here for some Exercise Tips for Fibromyalgia

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Bittersweet Day

I could not sleep any more; I would toss and turn for several hours every night before I would finally fall asleep. And to make matters worse, I would wake up crazy early and could not go back to sleep. My overall sleeping time was maybe 5 to 6 hours per night.

And that is how I went to work every day for about 10 months. Well not everyday, because there were days when I just could not get myself out of bed. Even though I could not sleep, just laying there seemed to help me feel better.

I had a lot of issues, but the worst one was the pain in my neck and shoulders, and because of it, I could not do my job duties anymore. I did not believe in conventional medicine, but I finally went to see a doctor just so I could get a note stating that I could not do the heavy lifting anymore.

Well my doctor told me that I had muscle spasms and thus he prescribed pain killers and muscle relaxers. Right away my instinct told me that it was a bad combination and thus I never even went to pick up the meds. However, a month later, my condition got so bad that my doctor told me to just quit my job, and look for something else.

And so I did. July 4, 2008 I signed my release papers, and on July 11, 2008 it was official that I was no longer employed. It was a bittersweet day. Sweet because I was able to take a break from work and recuperate, but bitter because I did not know what kind of job I would find, or how I would end up paying my bills.

My doctor had given me anti-depressants, and this time I actually went and picked them up, because I had hit rock bottom and I needed something to pick me up. However, when I got home I read the warning label, and flushed them down the toilet. Why did I do that? Because the label said that they would cause thoughts of suicide. I have never been suicidal and even in my worse situation, I knew that it was not the end even though it seemed like it. I knew that things would get better, and I had no intention of ruining that.

Since I had quit my job, I decided that I no longer needed the doctors and that I would find my own way to heal myself. I figured within a few months I would be good as new. But a few months went by and I still had all the pain, not as severe, but it was still there. I spent a lot of time in front of the computer and there were many days when I could not hold my head up. I mean literally.

I did all my exercises that I had been given, but I was not getting better. I kept searching for answers online on how to cure muscle spasms, and in almost every forum that I went to there was talk of fibromyalgia, and how it resulted from prolonged muscle spasms. I had never heard of it before, and had no idea what it was, but from what I read I discovered that it was incurable.

I knew that I did not have anything that was not curable, and thus I did not look into what fibromyalgia was. But one day, as I in desperation searched for answers again, I decided to look into what fibromyalgia really was. I cried when I saw the list of symptoms that are associated with the disease...because I had just about all of them.

I knew that I could not go back to the doctors, and so I continued to search online on ways that I could help myself naturally and heal myself. It is now just over 2 years and I have come a long way! Most of my symptoms are gone, I still get cold easy, but I don’t crank my furnace to 28 degrees F anymore. And I still battle with depression from time to time when the pain returns. But for the most part I feel good, and am ready to take on the world.

I have found so many good people here online who have helped me, and there is no way that I can ever thank them enough. But I figure the least that I can do is pay it forward, and that is my reason for starting this blog and my website LivingFood101; to share my story and help spread the news about natural health.

Thanks for reading...