Quote of the Day

Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Franklin, seizing the day.

Franklin, seizing the day.

7 Foods That Will Naturally Cleanse Your Liver

(I found this article at www.foodmatters.tv)

 

Our livers work extremely hard every day to protect us from adverse affects from toxins, and often it is easy for our livers to become overworked, compromising our health significantly. 


Here are 7 common foods you can include daily to help cleanse your liver naturally. 
By: Jonathan Benson, NaturalNews.com

The primary way in which your body expels toxins is via the liver, which detoxifies and cleanses your body by continuously filtering the blood of poisons that enter it through the digestive tract, the skin, and the respiratory system. But when your liver becomes overworked as a result of stress or excessive exposure to toxins, your entire system can be thrown off balance, and your health severely compromised.

Since the liver is also responsible for producing bile, another form of detoxification that is metabolically necessary for the breakdown and assimilation of fats and proteins from your food, it is exceedingly important that your liver be properly maintained. Without a well-functioning liver, your body will be unable to cleanse itself and absorb nutrients, which is a recipe for a health disaster.

“The thousands of enzyme systems that are responsible for virtually every body activity are constructed in the liver,” writes Dr. Karl Maret, M.D., about the importance of vibrant liver function. “The proper functioning of the eyes, the heart, the brain, the gonads, the joints, and the kidneys, are all dependent on good liver activity.”

“If the liver is impaired from constructing even one of the thousands of enzyme systems the body requires, there is an impairment in overall body function and a resultant greater metabolic stress on the individual.”

So here are seven important foods you may want to begin incorporating into your diet in order to maintain a healthy liver.

1. Garlic

Garlic contains numerous sulfur-containing compounds that activate the liver enzymes responsible for flushing out toxins from the body. This bulbous relative of the onion also contains allicin and selenium, two powerful nutrients proven to help protect the liver from toxic damage, and aid it in the detoxification process.

2. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is rich in natural vitamin C and antioxidants, two powerful liver cleansers. Like garlic, grapefruit contains compounds that boost the production of liver detoxification enzymes. It also contains a flavonoid compound known as naringenin that causes the liver to burn fat rather than store it.

3. Green Tea

Green tea is loaded with catechins, a type of plant antioxidant that has been shown in studies to eliminate liver fat accumulation and promote proper liver function. This powerful herbal beverage also protects the liver against toxins that would otherwise accumulate and cause serious damage.

4. Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables such as bitter gourd, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens, and chicory also contain numerous cleansing compounds that neutralize heavy metals, which can bear heavily on the liver. Leafy greens also eliminate pesticides and herbicides from the body, and spur the creation and flow of cleansing bile.

5. Avocado

Rich in glutathione-producing compounds, avocados actively promote liver health by protecting it against toxic overload, and boosting its cleansing power. Some research has shown that eating one or two avocados a week for as little as 30 days can repair a damaged liver.

6. Walnuts

Walnuts, which contain high levels of l-arginine, an amino acid, glutathione, and omega-3 fatty acids, also help detoxify the liver of disease-causing ammonia. Walnuts also help oxygenate the blood, and extracts from their hulls are often used in liver-cleansing formulas.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric, one of the most powerful foods for maintaining a healthy liver, has been shown to actively protect the liver against toxic damage, and even regenerate damaged liver cells. Turmeric also boosts the natural production of bile, shrinks engorged hepatic ducts, and improves overall function of the gallbladder, another body-purifying organ.

Source: http://www.naturalnews.com/035946_liver_cleanse_foods.html#ixzz1vhXqL1DZ

Olive Leaf Extract: Nature’s Antibiotic

Olea europaea

Fighting that cold that’s going around? Try olive leaf extract, a natural supplement that has been shown to posess powerful antibacterial, antibiotic properties. Studies have shown that it can even help to lower blood pressure:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_leaf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12489249

olive leaf

Quote(s) of the Day:

“Nature is a language. Can’t you read?”

-Morrissey

“I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”

-Henry David Thoreau

Good vs. Bad Fats: Great Article from Bastyr University

Get the Skinny on Fats With These Healthy Eating Tips

oilUnsaturated fats such as safflower, sunflower, olive, flax, canola, walnut and fish oils are the healthiest options.

Fats are essential to our diets (so you can’t cut them out entirely). But you can make sure you’re putting the right kind into your body.

Not all fats are created equal. New science provides a variety of recommendations about which fats are good for you and which are the most harmful to your health. To cut through the confusion, here is the latest:

Avoid All Trans Fats

This fat is derived from oil that has been mechanically altered or hydrogenated so that it is solid at room temperature. Trans fats are found in many margarines, shortenings and processed foods such as pastries, chips, crackers and cookies.

Claims of “zero trans fats” can be misleading. Look for “hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable or soy oil” in the ingredients list as a clear indicator that the food product does contain trans fats.

Trans fats increase total cholesterol level and LDL (“bad cholesterol”) while lowering HDL (“good cholesterol”). And maybe even more important, trans fats contribute to a state of inflammation in the body that can negatively impact heart health and increase risk of chronic disease.

Keep Saturated Fats at a Minimum

Consumption of saturated fats (including trans fats) is recommended at levels that contribute no more than 10 percent of total daily fat intake (which itself should be no more than 30 percent of daily calories). Predominantly found in meat and dairy products, saturated fat is associated with increased LDL levels, so managing portion size is important with these foods.

When cooking with butter or ghee (clarified butter), use in small amounts. Coconut oil provides another option, as it remains stable at high temperatures and is less detrimental to LDL levels.

The Healthier Option: Unsaturated Fats

Choose sources of unsaturated fats most often (whether polyunsaturated or monounsaturated) such as safflower, sunflower, olive, flax, canola, walnut and fish oils. These healthier fats help lower LDL and increase HDL.

Olive oil is best for low- to medium-heat cooking and ideal for salad dressing. Canola, grapeseed and sesame are the best unsaturated oils for high-heat cooking. Fish oils found in salmon and cod liver oil are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and also have been found to reduce both LDL and inflammation.

Despite the hazards of overconsumption or overcooking, fats are not all bad for us. They are essential to our diet and required for the body to absorb vital nutrients. Choose wisely for a balanced approach.

— Lisa Westphal, dietetic intern, and Debra A. Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director,Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

Article source: http://www.bastyr.edu/

Quote(s) of the Day

087587af-8829-431b-b490-25a8c3ce0084In relationships, the mind becomes purified by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, goodwill towards those who are virtuous, and indifference or neutrality towards those we perceive as wicked or evil.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, I.33

Patanjali here makes it very clear how we are to set our minds vis-à-vis our relationships that we may find the highest outcome for ourselves and our feelings in the world. When we find a happy situation, we are to cultivate feelings of friendliness. When we find someone who is unhappy, we are to meet them with karuna, compassion. When we come upon a virtuous person, we are to bring to that interaction a sense of delight, of supreme goodwill. And when we encounter the vicious or wicked–apunya, literally ‘without virtue or merit–we are to practice indifference or neutrality.

In this way we learn to have a peaceful mind. We learn where our point of control is. We learn that the mind will go where we ask it to go, if we have a better option than the one that habitually we maybe have taken.

When someone offends, we find the one thing about him or her that is not offensive. In my letter to the man who wanted a punch, I praised his commitment to his children and the way in which I have seen him show up for them. I did not make this up. It is true. And by shining a light on that truth, I am able to be indifferent toward the other truths that would have him be my enemy.

Today I will find one good thing about someone who seems to want to make my life miserable, who seems to want to make me unhappy, or who seems not to care one way or the other about my well-being, even though they should. I will find that one thing, and when my mind tells me how ‘bad’ they are being toward me, I will remind myself of that one good thing and I will seek a sense of neutrality toward them.

-Jeff Kober

How do we help?

Pema
by Pema Chodron on Monday, January 30, 2012 at 8:12am ·

How do we create a saner world or a saner domestic situation or job situation, wherever we may be? How do we work with our actions and our speech and our minds in a way that opens up the space rather than closes it down? In other words, how do we create space for other people and ourselves to connect with our own wisdom?…

It all starts with loving-kindness toward oneself, which in turn becomes loving-kindness for others. As the barriers come down around our own hearts, we are less afraid of other people. We are more able to hear what is being said, see what is in front of our eyes, and work in accord with what happens rather than struggle against it. The lojong teachings say that the way to help, the way to act compassionatley, is to exchange oneself for other. When you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, then you know what is needed, and what would speak to the heart.

(From Start Where You Are, chapter 17- Compassionate Action)