himalayan salt
All posts, Natural Living

Pink Himalayan Salt: Is It Better Than Using Table Salt?

Fact checked by Aimee McNew for Accuracy

Pink Himalayan Salt Benefits

Himalayan sea salt is noted for its pink color, and is considered to have numerous health benefits that go well beyond seasoning food. But what are the health benefits, really, and how can you use it?

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What is Himalayan Sea Salt?

Himalayan sea salt is primarily sodium chloride like other forms of salt, but is different in other ways. Himalayan sea salt is unique in that it is naturally pink in color.

It is harvested from Pakistan, and is found in massive salt mines that are around 5,000 feet below the Himalayan mountains.

While it is mostly known to be pink, it has several variations on the color spectrum, ranging from almost red to almost orange, or much paler in color and even sometimes pure white.

The difference in specific mineral content is what causes the range in color, and it’s thought that the iron content causes the pink-to-reddish hue.

Himalayan salt is also known as pink salt, rock salt, or crystal salt, and comes in several different grinds.

What Are the Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt?

Himalayan salt is considered to be the purest form of salt and it also has several health benefits. It contains anywhere between 60 to 84 trace elements, minerals, and trace minerals.

Celtic salt is the only other salt that is comparable to Himalayan salt in mineral content, but Himalayan salt has the most. These include:

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Molybdenum
  • Iodine

While Himalayan salt still has sodium, like regular table salt, it is considered healthier because it has several nutrients and doesn’t affect blood pressure in the same way that iodized table salt does, although when eaten in excess it can still be problematic for some.

Salt is actually necessary for a healthy body, and too little salt can be far more serious than eating too much salt for most people.

Salt is required for ensuring that the cells function properly, that the nervous system is communicating, that digestion is effective, that nutrients from foods are absorbed, and that waste is eliminated from the body.

Himalayan salt can specifically benefit the following:

Respiratory problems

Himalayan salt is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and is used in a therapeutic healing process known as halotherapy.

Halotherapy is a natural means of improving lung function and helping address breathing or lung-related issues like pneumonia and bronchitis, and is conducted in rooms or caves that are entirely made of blocks of Himalayan salt, typically with a loose salt floor, much like walking on sand.

Sitting in a room like this can help to loosen mucus, open airways, and decrease immune system reactivity, as in autoimmune disorders. Some modern spas now include salt rooms so that members can breathe in the deeply purified air as part of a rejuvenating cleanse.

Digestion

If digestion is problematic, such as with low stomach acid, reflux, or indigestion, mixing Himalayan salt with warm purified water and drinking it first thing in the morning can help to improve digestion over time.

This mix can also help to improve the muscle movements of the digestive system, known as peristalsis, helping to improve elimination in people who struggle with constipation or irregularity.

It can also boost metabolism. This should not be done by people who have high blood pressure or otherwise need to be on a low sodium diet.

Sleep quality

People who eat an excessively low-sodium diet tend to have more trouble sleeping.

The nervous system needs adequate amounts of salt to go into a proper state of relaxation, and when it doesn’t have enough salt or minerals (which Himalayan salt also provides), it remains in more active state, leading to more frequent wake ups or difficult falling asleep.

While everyone differs in their sodium needs, people tend to be afraid of sodium and salt and many default to not having enough, especially if they eat a diet low in processed foods.

Hydration

Himalayan salt contains natural electrolytes and can help to provide a stable amount of fluids for cellular use. When we become low in fluids or electrolytes, our fluid balance within cells can become disrupted.

While there are many electrolyte drinks available to buy, most if not all contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other unhealthy ingredients.

Balancing electrolytes naturally with Himalayan salt provides more benefit with less side effects, and Himalayan salt actually contains all of the required electrolytes: chloride, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.

You can make your own electrolyte drink by pairing a pinch of Himalayan sea salt with 4 ounces of coconut water or purified water, a ½ teaspoon of raw honey, and a drop of liquid stevia.

Purify air

Himalayan salt lamps are popular and often seen in health food stores, but what do they do?

To a smaller degree than a salt room, Himalayan lamps can help to purify the air in individual rooms of a home or office.

As the lamp heats, it actually draws dust and other allergens and impurities into it, leaving cleaner air in the room, and reducing the amount of pollutants or irritants that you breathe in.

This only works as the salt warms from the heat source of the lamp.

Himalayan salt lamps never expire, since they are made of salt that is hundreds of thousands of years old, but some experts believe it’s best to replace them after a few years to ensure their purity.

Muscle cramps

Himalayan salt contains magnesium and potassium, which can both help to alleviate muscle cramps or Charley horses, especially when part of a regular diet.

Headaches

Many headaches are caused by a deficiency in magnesium, which is a mineral found in Himalayan salt. Magnesium and calcium in proper balance help to relax tight blood vessels, which can be a cause of recurring headaches.

pH Balance

When the body is too acidic, any number of health issues can creep up. Himalayan salt helps bring balance to the body’s pH levels, which is good for immunity and healthy digestion.

When digestion isn’t good, no matter how healthy we eat, we won’t be able to absorb the nutrients that our bodies desperately need.

Most people tend toward being overly acidic, which can cause any number of issues, ranging from digestive issues to vaginal infections to even cancer, as some health experts have suggested.

Thyroid health

Himalayan salt contains naturally occurring iodine which is essential for thyroid hormone production. Hypothyroidism can occur when the body lacks enough minerals or nutrients to make enough hormone or to convert it to the active, usable form.

Regular use of Himalayan salt instead of table salt may help to support the thyroid in normal, healthy function.

Adrenal health

The adrenal glands make hormones that help the body cope with stress, as well as reproductive hormones. They rely heavily on the right amount of nutrients to be able to make these hormones, but when the body is overly stressed or undernourished, adrenal hormones can be some of the first to get off balanced.

Sodium and potassium are especially critical to adrenal wellness, and they’re found in Himalayan salt. Maintaining adrenal health is essential for thyroid health, balanced sleep, and energy problems like chronic fatigue.

How Can You Use Himalayan Salt?

Himalayan salt has numerous uses, which is why it is available for purchase in varying levels of grinds. Ultra fine is perfect for seasoning food, whereas coarse rock salt is ideal for things like body scrub or bath soaks.

Seasoning food

Himalayan salt is not only healthy, but has a distinctly deeper flavor than basic table salt. Less salt can be used to achieve a deeper flavor profile. It can be used before, during, or after the cooking process depending on the type of dish.

In ancient times, Himalayan salt was often used to cure meat or fish. You can also use Himalayan salt when making fermented foods at home.

Using in drinks or with water

As mentioned above, Himalayan salt contains natural electrolytes and can be used to boost regular water, or can be combined with warm water as a digestive system support.

If you need extra electrolytes but don’t want to make an actual electrolyte beverage, you can just add a pinch of Himalayan salt to a glass of 12-16 ounces of water. Note: do not add salt or salt liquids to stainless steel or metal bottles.

Body scrub

Slough off dead or dry skin with a homemade body scrub recipe. While many use sugar, coarse Himalayan salt is magnesium-rich and can nourish the skin better than sugar.

Combine with coconut oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a luxurious smelling scrub that will nourish your skin from the top down.

Pro tip: make small batches of the body scrub so that the salt doesn’t break down over time.

Bath soak

To provide relief to sore muscles, add one half to 2 cups of Himalayan rock salt to a warm or hot bath. This can be especially useful for athletes or people with chronic joint or muscle pain.

Allow the salt to dissolve for a few minutes before stepping into the bath, and soak for at least 10-20 minutes to achieve optimal effects.

Nasal rinse

If you struggle with seasonal allergies or postnasal drip, then an occasional neti pot flush of the sinuses with lightly salted water can have a cleansing impact. This is especially true if Himalayan salt is used thanks to its pH balancing and anti-inflammatory properties.

This is also a great way to manage or recover from a sinus infection. If you’ve never done a nasal rinse with a neti pot, follow the neti pot’s instructions for mixing the liquid, but swap in Himalayan salt instead of pure sodium chloride.

Detox bath

Similar to a bath soak in method, a detox bath focuses more on soaking to draw toxins out of the skin. When Himalayan salt is mixed with water, it has an ionic balance that can help to pull toxins from adipose tissue, or body fat.

Since most toxins are lipophilic, meaning they are stored in fat, this can be an effective method of removing certain kinds of toxins. You can increase the benefits of a detox bath by dry brushing before.

Using a natural fiber brush, sweep the skin in the direction of the heart, starting with legs, then arms, and then trunk.

How to Buy Himalayan Salt

There are lots of pink salts on the market, but not all of them are pure Himalayan salt. When purchasing, ensure that the label says that it was harvested in Pakistan.

Additionally, salt needs to be kept in cool, dark places to maintain mineral content, so purchasing from discount stores often means that it wasn’t always stored in a temperature controlled environment, like a grocery store or health food store might offer.

While Himalayan salt is certainly more expensive than white table salt, its health benefits make it so much more than just basic salt. Investing in Himalayan salt, whether to season your food or to use for other purposes, will address more health issues and provide more positive effects for the body.

Himalayan salt will last indefinitely if stored properly. Always keep it in a sealed container, away from moisture, in a cool, dark area. Most pantries work well unless they’re close to the stove.

If salt does get exposed to steam, it will clump together and may not be as easily used for cooking, but could still work for scrubs or baths. So even though salts will have “best by” dates when purchased, if stored properly, salt can be used long after this date has passed.

Best by dates are not the same as sell by or expiration dates.

Bottom line

Himalayan salt is an ancient mineral-rich salt that is often pink, red, or orange. It contains magnesium, potassium, and other minerals, and can be beneficial for many health conditions.

It can also be used therapeutically for conditions like breathing problems, muscle aches, and headaches, and can be used to make DIY body scrubs, bath soaks, and more.

This article was fact checked for accuracy by Aimee McNew, MNT, a certified nutritionist. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

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Pink Himalayan Salt Benefits: Is It Better Than Table Salt? | HappyBodyFormula.com

References

  1. Yepsen, R.B., Jr. (1987) How to Boost Your Brain Power: Achieving Peak Intelligence, Memory and Creativity. Emmaus, Pa.
  2. Beamon S, Falkenbach A, Fainburg G, Linde K. Speleotherapy for asthma.
  3. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD001741. Review. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001;(2):CD001741.
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How to Remove Skin Tags Naturally
All posts, Health & Wellness

How to Remove Skin Tags Naturally & Safely

Fact checked by Aimee McNew for Accuracy

How to Remove Skin Tags Naturally
Skin tags are annoying but benign growths that occur on the surface of the skin, typically in middle age and older.

While they aren’t harmful, many people are self-conscious about their presence, and desire to have them removed.

So what causes them?

Can you reduce the occurrence of skin tags?

And can you remove them yourself?

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What Are Skin Tags?

Skin tags are benign growths on the skin that are similar to raised moles, but are in a category of their own. They are medically known as acrochordon or fibroepithelial polyps, and are are not cancerous because they are made of normal fat and skin tissue. They are often the same color of skin or a little darker.

Skin tags typically occur in areas that get rubbed a lot or have high amounts of friction. As a result, they can get irritated and become inflamed or bleed, making them a mildly painful irritation that most people want to be rid of.

They commonly appear in areas like the neck, under the arms, around the breasts, and on the thighs. More rarely, they can occur around the eyelids, on the torso, or in the groin.

If you’re uncertain as to whether something is a skin tag or not, it’s best to get it evaluated by a dermatologist, because while skin tags aren’t harmful, other skin conditions and changes can be indicative of more malignant growths.

What Causes Skin Tags?

Skin tags can happen to anyone, and while they may run in families, people can develop them without any family history of them. If someone’s parents has them, then they’re more likely to develop them, too.

Genetics aren’t the only factor that can cause them. Hormone changes during pregnancy can lead to their development, sometimes rapidly.

Additionally, the natural weight gain that occurs during pregnancy as well as the potential for gestational diabetes or blood glucose imbalances can increase the chances of development.

Obesity is another common factor that can lead to skin tag development, typically because of increased friction from skin to skin contact.

Diabetes is associated with skin tags, too, although the link isn’t completely understood. Doctors and research guess that insulin resistance and changes in how hormones function in diabetic people can have a hand in the development of skin tags and other skin changes, such as with pigmentation.

Can You Prevent Skin Tags?

While you can’t alter your genetics, you can control some of the other factors that can lead to skin tags. Reducing skin friction, like not wearing jewelry or clothing that leads to rubbing, can cut down on the likelihood.

Maintaining a healthy blood glucose level and properly managing diabetes can also reduce the chances of developing them, or developing more.

How Dermatologists Handle Skin Tags

Dermatologists remove skin tags frequently, and will typically freeze small ones with liquid nitrogen, which causes them to fall off on their own within a day or two. If the skin tags are larger, dermatologists will typically numb the area and remove them by snipping them with surgical scissors.

Both remedies can cause momentary pain and a scab or irritated area for a few days. In some clinics, laser treatments will be used to remove small to medium sized skin tags, often with a topical anesthesia.

While dermatologists can easily remedy skin tags, many insurance companies won’t pay for their removal because they are benign and are more of a cosmetic procedure.

If paying out of pocket, it can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 or more per tag removal, depending on the location and size.

Can Skin Tags Grow Back?

People often wonder if a removed skin tag can grow back, similar to warts. Once a tag has been removed, the same one won’t grow back, but more can grow in the same area if the factors for development are there, such as genetics, friction, diabetes, or pregnancy.

How to Remove Skin Tags Naturally

While there are safe ways to remove skin tags, be mindful that not everything on the internet is safe. Some sites will recommend tying the tag off with floss or cutting with scissors, using nail polish remover or duct tape.

These are unsafe ideas that should not be done because they can lead to infection. Additionally, it’s always best to remember that if a skin tag at any time looks inflamed or irritated, or becomes very painful, it’s time to get a dermatologist involved.

The location of the skin tag also determines if you should attempt home removal or not. Skin tags around the eyes, in the groin, or around the breasts should never be self-removed, and should always be addressed by a dermatologist.

Skin tags that are the best candidates for natural removal are the armpits, neck, and thighs.

Finally, before you attempt to remove a skin tag, be absolutely certain that’s what it is. Trying to remove a mole or other skin lesion can be dangerous and should not be done.

Natural methods for removing skin tags are not fast, and are not backed by solid research. It’s an experiment that doesn’t have guaranteed results, so you should be sure that you understand what you’re getting into.

If any methods cause irritation, pain, or redness, they should be discontinued immediately.

10 Ways to Naturally Remove Skin Tags

These at-home methods might work to remove skin tags when used consistently for days or weeks. For all of them, be sure to wash the affected area with basic soap and water before applying any natural treatments.

1. Tea Tree Oil

This common essential oil is safe for use on the skin, although direct contact without a carrier oil can cause skin irritation for some. If that’s the case, pair it with some coconut oil to dilute the strength of skin exposure.

Tea tree oil is considered effective for skin conditions like warts or skin tags because it dries out the skin underneath the tag and may encourage it to fall off naturally. Never pull at a skin tag for any reason.

To use tea tree oil, put 5-7 drops on an organic sterile cotton ball or q-tip and place on the skin for 15 minutes, three to four times per day.

2. Garlic

While most would consider garlic a tasty seasoning for food, it can actually be beneficial as a topical treatment for certain skin ailments thanks to its antiviral and antibacterial nature.

This remedy has been used for hundreds and even thousands of years. Crush a fresh garlic clove and apply a small amount to the skin, securing with a bandage. This must be repeated two to three times daily, or worn overnight, for several weeks.

3. Vitamin E Oil

A common skin treatment for eczema, vitamin E oil can also be used for skin tags, although this method might be one of the slowest. However, it’s possibly the best one for sensitive skin, as it is highly moisturizing.

To use it as a skin tag removal treatment, apply vitamin E oil to the skin tag and cover with a small square of plastic wrap, securing with a bandage. This remedy will typically take two or more months.

Be mindful to note how the skin is after using plastic, since cutting off the air supply can cause irritation. If the skin appears to be inflamed or red, discontinue use and see a dermatologist.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

The darling of the natural health world, ACV with “the mother” is used for numerous skin and body conditions because it can help create a balanced pH, kill bacteria, or reduce the presence of fungi.

It is often used for skin conditions like warts, acne, fungus, and even skin tags. To use this method, soak an organic cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply to the area for 20-3o minutes a few times a day.

If the skin gets irritated, discontinue. If no irritation is present, compresses may be worn overnight. This should be done for a few days to a few weeks, or until the skin tag falls off.

5. Dandelion Juice

Dandelions might be a pesky weed to some, but they’re actually a nutrient-dense food that can be added to salads. To use for topical skin care, pull the whole weed from the ground, and squeeze the stem to extract some of the milky white liquid.

Apply a few of these drops to the skin and allow to air dry. Do this three times per day for four to six weeks to achieve desired results. If allergic to pollen or other flowers, do not use this method.

6. Coconut Oil

This popular remedy for just about everything can also be used to deal with skin tags. The lauric acid in coconut oil is antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. Coconut oil can be used to remove warts, and works similarly on skin tags.

It should be applied three to four times daily and left uncovered. While it may not fully remove the skin tags, it might help to shrink them or make them less prone to irritation. Some notice results in as quickly as two weeks.

7. Banana Peel

Apply a banana peel to the skin tag area and secure with a bandage. Repeat nightly until the tag dries and falls off. Keep in mind, this remedy is not safe for anyone with a latex allergy or sensitivity, and if any irritation is noticed, it should not be used again.

8. Papaya Peel

Similar to banana peel, papaya peel can be used in the same way. Apply a small portion of peel to the tag, secure with a bandage, and wear for a few hours or overnight. Do not use if sensitive to latex.

This method can take several weeks or even months to work naturally.

9. Oil of Oregano

This potently antiviral and antibacterial oil is so strong that it must be mixed with a carrier oil before using. Coconut oil is an excellent option.

Put the mixture onto the affected area and allow to air dry, repeating two to three times a day. Be sure that skin is not broken or irritated before applying this remedy.

10. Castor Oil and Baking Soda

Don’t use this method if you have sensitive skin, since baking soda can cause redness or itching. Create a paste using two parts oil and one part soda, rubbing over the tag.

Cover with a cotton bandage and leave on overnight. Repeat until the skin tag falls off on its own. You can also pair this with the banana or papaya peel methods.

This article was fact checked for accuracy by Aimee McNew, MNT, a certified nutritionist. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

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How to Remove Skin Tags Naturally

References:
 
1. Rasi A, et al. (2007). Skin tag as a cutaneous marker for impaired carbohydrate metabolism: A case-control study. DOI
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Nightshade Vegetables
All posts, Nutrition

Health Benefits of Nightshade Vegetables (Plus 9 Reasons Why You Might Need to Avoid Them)

Nightshade Vegetables

Nightshades are a class of foods that have many health benefits, but for some, can also be problematic. These foods are found in many common recipes, so unless you’re strictly avoiding nightshades, chances are you’re eating them.

How do you know what nightshades are, or if you’re sensitive to them? We’ll cover the pros and cons, as well as symptoms of sensitivity and how to replace them in your diet if you need to eliminate one or more.

What are Nightshades?

Nightshades are a class of foods that include common vegetables like eggplant, white potatoes, bell peppers, okra, and tomatoes. It also includes certain herbs and spices, like ashwagandha, paprika, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes.

What do all of these foods and spices have in common? They are a member of the Solanaceae family, and for some, can have inflammatory properties. They have in common that they are the edible parts taken from flowering plants.

Not all nightshades are edible, and with more than 2,000 plants in the nightshade family, most of them are actually not used as food. In fact, some, like belladonna, are actually poisonous.

On their own, however, nightshades that are eaten as food have many health benefits in their own right. But much like no one diet can work for everyone, so certain foods which are healthful for some might cause unpleasant symptoms in others.

Complete List of Nightshade Foods

If you’re wondering whether something is a nightshade or not, consult this list of all the known edible nightshades:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Cape gooseberries
  • Capsicum
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chili pepper or powder
  • Eggplant
  • Garden huckleberries
  • Goji berries
  • Okra
  • Paprika
  • Pepinos
  • Peppers, bell
  • Peppers, chili
  • Peppers, jalapeno
  • Peppers, sweet
  • Pimentos
  • Potatoes, white
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Tamarillos
  • Tobacco
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes

Health Benefits of Nightshades

Nightshade foods are rich in nutrients like vitamin C, antioxidants, minerals, and B vitamins, among others.

The herb Ashwagandha is renowned for its stress-relieving benefits and for helping to support the adrenal glands and overall body in times of physical or mental stress.

Cayenne pepper has numerous anti-inflammatory health benefits, too, that range from addressing arthritis pain to reducing the risk of heart disease.

Tomatoes are a potent source of vitamins C and A, and are well-known for containing lycopene, an antioxidant that is associated with reduced chances of developing chronic health problems.

Bell peppers are also a rich source of vitamin C and are known to improve iron absorption from certain foods.

Eggplant is a high fiber food that also has a small amount of protein and is a staple in vegetarian diets.

White potatoes contain higher amounts of potassium and manganese and are a good source of starch.

So how can foods with such proven health benefits be bad for some people?

Problems with Nightshades

Even though nightshade foods have many proven health benefits and contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, they are still problems for some.

Specifically, nightshades contain certain components, known as alkaloids, which are rich in nitrogen and in some people, can break down and cause inflammatory symptoms, worsening conditions like arthritis, digestion, or intestinal disorders.

Thanks to the rising popularity of the AIP diet, which stands for autoimmune protocol, there is more awareness than ever about the potential for nightshades to be problem-causing.

One of the biggest issues associated with nightshade consumption is leaky gut, and condition where the small intestine’s barrier function is compromised and undigested food particles and other substances enter the bloodstream.

This is like giving a backstage pass to everyone, when in reality, it would be chaos if that happened. The barrier function works to ensure that the digestive system, bloodstream, and overall body are protected from invaders.

When it doesn’t work as it should, the body is at risk for inflammatory conditions and a rogue immune system which could lead to autoimmune disease and chronic disorders.

Nightshades can also be associated with allergies and can lead to reactions like itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, hives, and even anaphylaxis.

Tomatoes, in particular, seem to be responsible for these types of reactions. While rare in the general population, they’re quite serious for those who do have them.

9 Symptoms of Nightshade Sensitivity: Why You Might Need to Avoid Them

How do you know if you’re sensitive to nightshades? If you have one or more of the symptoms on this list, it might be worth eliminating nightshades from your diet for a time. Keep in mind that not everyone is sensitive to all nightshades.

For example, some may need to avoid tomatoes and peppers, but can eat potatoes. Others might not be able to handle potatoes, but are fine with all of the peppers and pepper spices.

The best way to determine your own level of sensitivity is to eliminate all of them and add one type back every three days, taking note of any symptoms that return or flare.

The top symptoms associated with nightshade sensitivity include:

  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Itching
  • Swelling in joints or pain in joints
  • Arthritis
  • Irritable bowels
  • Diarrhea
  • Nerve problems
  • Leaky gut
  • Any type of autoimmune or chronic disorder/disease

If you ever eat a nightshade and experience a rash, an itchy mouth, trouble breathing, or anything that seems out of the norm, it’s important to seek emergency medical care right away as this could the sign of a serious allergic reaction.

You can develop an allergy even if you’ve eaten a food for many years; it doesn’t only happen on the first or second encounter.

If you do discover a nightshade sensitivity, avoiding them for one to six months is usually the minimum amount of time needed. For some, you may not be able to add them back for months or years, depending on how your health is.

Others may be able to eat them in moderation after a month. At the same time, you might not be sensitive to them now, but could develop a sensitivity at some future time in your life.

Nightshades & Inflammatory Bowel Disease

While nightshade sensitivity can happen to anyone, there are certain categories of health issues that warrant stricter avoidance for a longer amount of time. Inflammatory bowel disease, also known as IBD, doesn’t pair well with nightshade vegetables.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC) are two types of IBD that tend to have strong and poor reactions to nightshade foods.

These conditions are associated with leaky gut and a weakened barrier function, as well as a weaker mucosal lining of the digestive tract.

Research indicates that the alkaloids in nightshade vegetables can worsen these barrier problems and lead to more symptoms and complications of irritable bowel disorders, especially those in white potatoes, tomatoes, and chili and cayenne peppers.

Nightshades & Autoimmunity

All forms of autoimmune disease are worsened by the presence of leaky gut. Even if the autoimmune disorder doesn’t involve the gut directly, as with IBD, the immune system is still regulated by the microbiome — the microbial balance in the small and large intestines.

If you have autoimmune disease or are at risk for it, limiting or eliminating nightshades for a time could help you reduce inflammation and restore a gut from barrier function problems.

Leaky gut and nightshades could be especially problematic in certain autoimmune diseases like Celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

Nightshades & Arthritis

While research is more limited, there is speculation that nightshades worsen autoimmune arthritis or other joint pain conditions because they lead to increases in calcium deposits that worsen joint flexibility and junctions, as well as calcium deposits in soft tissues.

If this theory holds true with further research, it would mean that nightshades in people who are sensitive could also worsen conditions like heart disease, or increase the risk of developing it, thanks to the calcium deposits and increased inflammation.

How to Replace Nightshades in Your Diet

If you want to remove nightshades from your diet, it can feel like a sudden loss of normal recipes. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to replace them in your diet without having to think too hard.

Use the following list of swaps for an easy nightshade-free experience.

  • Replace white potatoes with sweet potatoes, turnips, or parsnips.
  • Replace bell peppers with zucchini, carrots, or yellow squash.
  • Replace tomatoes with beets, pumpkin, or other foods from the squash family.
  • Replace eggplant with portobello mushroom caps or zucchini.
  • Replace chili pepper and cayenne pepper with black or white pepper (as confusing as it is, these two are not from the nightshade family).

Following an Elimination Diet: How To Steps

If you decide that you want to try an elimination diet with nightshades, just use the following steps to guide you.

  • Use a notebook or smartphone note-taking app. You’ll need to record the date you start, the foods you’re quitting, and a general daily record of what you are eating. This will allow you to keep tabs on other foods besides nightshades which might also be adding to your dietary symptoms.
  • Eliminate all nightshades for at least 30 days.
  • After 30 days, choose one nightshade to add back into your diet. Eat one small portion of it and be sure to record how much and when you ate it. For the next three days especially, pay close attention to your symptoms, including digestion, headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, bloating, gas, intestinal pain, diarrhea, etc.
  • Three days later, try eating the food again. Note reactions and symptoms again. If after eating the food twice you have experienced no unpleasant symptoms or signs of flares, then this food is probably not one you’re sensitive to.
  • Repeat the process of challenging nightshade foods back into your diet.
  • If you encounter one or more that lead to symptoms of sensitivity, digestive upset, or anything else that makes you feel unwell, continue to avoid this food for another three to six months before attempting to challenge it back in to your diet.
  • Once you have a list of the nightshade foods you’re sensitive to, continue avoiding these for at least three to six months, but know that if you challenge them a second time and still react, you may need to avoid this food long-term or forever.

Recipes That Are Nightshade Free

If you’re overwhelmed at how to eliminate nightshades from your diet but still have a clue how to cook or eat, the good news is that numerous websites and cookbooks now exist with complete eating plans for the AIP diet, which happens to be completely nightshade free.

The following are helpful resources for following a diet without nightshades:

Bottom Line

Nightshades are foods that contain many health benefits, but for some, produce more unpleasant and problematic symptoms than they do good. The main way to know if you’re sensitive to nightshades is to take stock of your current health conditions and whether or not you have any common symptoms.

If you do, try an elimination plan to assess your sensitivity and create a wellness plan that works for you.

If addressing food sensitivity on your own becomes too stressful, reach out to a nutritionist or health professional who is experienced with nightshades and food sensitivity and obtain guidance in crafting a dietary protocol that works for your health needs.

Health Benefits of Nightshade Vegetables | HappyBodyFormula.com

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Omega 3 Foods
All posts, Nutrition

12 Health Benefits of Omega 3 Foods (Plus the 11 Foods with the Highest Amounts)

Health Benefits of Omega 3 Foods

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory fats with impressive health benefits. But you don’t have to take fish oil supplements to get these — you can get all the omega-3s you need from food!

So what are the health benefits of omega-3 foods (and which foods have the highest amounts)? We’ll dive deep into how you can support health by eating these foods.

What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fats are essential fatty acids that perform vital roles in human bodies. They are also known as polyunsaturated fats, which refers to their chemical structure of multiple double bonds.

Omega-3 fats help the human body function as it should, from the nervous system to the immune system and virtually everything in between.

There are three types of omega-3 fats: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). While DHA and EPA are commonly found in animal foods and some types of algae, ALA is primarily found in plant-based food sources.

12 Health Benefits of Omega-3 Foods

Omega-3s have wide-ranging health benefits. They are considered to be essential fatty acids because our body cannot make them, therefore, we must get them from dietary sources.

Protect Heart Health & Reduce Stroke Risk

The top two causes of death worldwide are heart attacks and strokes. People who consume higher amounts of omega-3 fats reduce their risk of these because omega-3s are highly protective of heart health, reduce inflammation, lower triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, decrease blood clotting problems, and protect the arteries from accumulating plaque.

Support Mental Health, Fight Depression, & Reduce Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are common disorders of the brain that strongly affect quality of life, producing symptoms like sadness, loss of interest, lethargy, panic attacks, worry, and sleep problems.

Much research points to omega-3s as a critical nutrient for depression and anxiety prevention or improvement, as those who regularly consume adequate amounts are less likely to be depressed or anxious.

Out of the three types of omega-3s, EPA is the one most associated with a reduction in depression symptoms, and in some cases, is as effective against depression as certain antidepressant medications.

Reduce Symptoms & Development of Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune disease happens when cells in the immune system get a wrong message and start attacking its own body tissues, instead of foreign invaders like viruses or bacteria.

There are more than 100 autoimmune disorders, with several common types being rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and lupus.

Omega-3 fatty acids can help the body avoid developing autoimmunity, and even when you already have existing disease, it can help to treat it and reverse symptoms associated with inflammation, pain, and fatigue, among others.

Support Eye Health & Vision

The retina of the eye is composed partly of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. Without enough dietary DHA, eye and vision problems can develop.

Eating enough in the diet or taking omega-3 supplements can help to defend against macular degeneration, the top cause of blindness and eye damage.

Reverse Metabolic Syndrome & Type 2 Diabetes

Metabolic syndrome is a grouping of symptoms that collectively increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It includes factors like excess abdominal fat, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, excess glucose, and high triglycerides.

Omega-3 fats help to decrease inflammation, improve insulin resistance, and lower heart disease and stroke risk factors.

Decrease Inflammation Levels

Omega-3s are so health-protective because they lower inflammation throughout the body. This is how they decrease disease risks and how they also work to treat and reverse disease conditions.

Omega-3s specifically work to lower inflammation by reducing the number of inflammatory molecules in the body, like cytokines. The closer your omega-3 intake is to optimal, the lower your chances of having inflammatory or disease-associated problems.

Alzheimer’s Prevention & Protection for Cognitive Function

Omega-3 fats help to promote brain health and can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia. They do this by helping to protect the brain from inflammation and the influence of too much glucose, which can affect how brain cells work.

Omega-3 fatty acids have to be consumed regularly since we don’t make them in our bodies and we need them in regular doses for protective benefits.

Can Help to Reduce Risk of Certain Types of Cancer

Omega-3 fatty acids have such potent health benefits that they can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.

While more research is needed to explicitly understand protective effects, optimizing omega-3 intake levels is so widely protective that it should be considered a basic way to protect general health, including against potential for cancer.

It has not been used as a way to treat cancer, however, other than to help reduce inflammation from side effects of treatments.

Protects Liver from Damage

The liver isn’t just subject to damage from alcohol intake. In fact, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, is increasingly common thanks to the poor nutrition of modern, fast food diets.

It is associated with obesity, and when the liver becomes burdened with fat deposits, it is less efficient at detoxing the body and providing protective effects. Omega-3 fats can help to reduce inflammation, decrease fat in the liver, and protect against disease.

Joint & Bone Health

Joint pain is increasingly common and is associated with conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoporosis is also a common disorder that occurs when the bones become fragile due to a lack of protective minerals.

Omega-3 fatty acids can protect both joint and bone health by boosting calcium for the bones and by reducing the inflammation associated with arthritic pain.

Boost Sleep Quality

Without healthy sleep, overall wellness suffers. Omega-3 fats can help to improve sleep quality by boosting the natural hormones that create a healthy sleep cycle, like melatonin.

Low levels of protective omega-3 fats are also associated with sleep apnea and insomnia, so boosting dietary intake of omega-3s can have a dramatic impact on sleep problems and disorders.

Improve Skin Health

The skin is comprised of multiple layers of epidermis, and in order to have healthy skin, we need to have well-nourished and hydrated cell membranes.

EPA in particular promotes health, supple, moisturized skin because it helps to maintain a healthy oil balance, reduces risk of acne problems, and keeps early signs of aging at bay. It’s also helpful for protecting the skin from sun damage, since EPA prevents excessive loss of collagen from the skin.

11 Foods That Are Highest in Omega-3 Fats

In order to meet your daily requirements for omega-3 fats, you need to eat around 500 milligrams daily, though this number could be higher if you have chronic or inflammatory conditions already.

Here are the top 11 foods highest in omega-3 fatty acids.

Mackerel

Mackerel is a type of fatty fish that are typically smoked or eaten as fillets. A 100-gram (3.5 ounces) serving contains 5,134 milligrams of omega-3s, and also happen to be rich in vitamin B12 and selenium.

Mackerel pairs well with any vegetable, and is delicious when roasted and paired with lemon, herbs, and butter. Try cooking this Mediterranean version.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are nutrient dense that provide minerals and other nutrients, not the least of which is omega-3 fatty acids. They contain 4,915 milligrams of omega-3s per a one-ounce serving.

Chia seeds absorb a high amount of water and are also a great way to hydrate the body. You can use them to make a variety of foods, but chia pudding is a delicious and versatile option.

Cod Liver Oil

While cod liver oil is technically a supplement, since it comes in liquid form instead of capsule, it’s often viewed more as a food source.

It contains 2,664 milligrams of omega-3s in just a single tablespoon, and is also loaded with vitamin A and vitamin D (of which there are few food sources). Don’t excessively eat cod liver oil, however, as too much vitamin A can present its own set of problems.

When taking cod liver oil, be sure to choose a brand that is pure and has high manufacturing practices.

Walnuts

Walnuts are a rich source of fiber, copper, vitamin E, manganese, and more — but they’re also a loaded source of omega-3 fats. One serving of about 7 walnuts contains 2,542 milligrams of omega-3s.

You can eat walnuts plain or you can use them to make a huge variety of delicious recipes, ranging from things like walnut-crusted chicken to basil walnut pesto, with desserts, breakfasts, and just about everything else in between.

Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are tiny brownish seeds that are typically ground and used for things like smoothies and baking. They’re richest in ALA, a plant-based form of omega-3 fatty acids.

They are also loaded with fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, and are easy to work into a diet, especially for people who struggle to eat seafood.

A tablespoon of flaxseeds contain 2,338 milligrams of omega-3s. You can use flax to make cookies, bread, smoothies, and more. The next time you want to bump your omega-3 levels, try making zucchini fries or blueberry flax muffins.

Salmon

Salmon is probably the most popular source of omega-3s, and contains 2,260 milligrams in a 3.5 ounce serving. It’s also a great source for magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, and selenium.

Salmon can be prepared in numerous ways, from baking to grilling to eaten raw in sushi. However you choose to eat it, making it a regular part of your diet can help to boost your overall omega-3 levels and have a protective effect on your health. Try this garlic butter baked salmon the next time you prep it for dinner.

Anchovies

Anchovies, like sardines, are often found in cans, and are typically eaten in smaller portions as toppings for dishes like pizza, salads, or stuffed mushrooms. You can also use them to stuff olives or make dressings and marinades.

Anchovies are a rich source of selenium and calcium, along with niacin and selenium. A 3.5 ounce serving provides 2,113 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, too.

Try using anchovies to make side dishes like anchovies with zucchini, asparagus, and cauliflower.

Herring

Herring is an oily fish that is often smoked or canned, making it an easy to grab snack. A 3.5 ounce serving of herring contains 1,729 milligrams of omega-3 fats, as well as nearly 100 percent daily needs for vitamin D and selenium, as well as half the daily requirement for vitamin B12.

For a change of pace, try making fried herring fillets with a lime pepper crust. Even people who don’t like seafood will find this dish delightful.

Sardines

While sardines seem to elicit a less-than-enthusiastic response from most, they’re a surprisingly delicious fish that is jam-packed with nutrients.

A 3.5 ounce serving contains 1,480 milligrams of omega-3s, and plenty of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. Sardines, when eaten with the bone, are also a potent source of dairy-free calcium.

Prepare sardines in delicious ways, like by baking them or grilling them.

Caviar

While you’re probably not eating caviar every day, when you do, you can know that you’re boosting your omega-3 levels. A tablespoon-sized serving of caviar contains 1,086 milligrams of omega-3 fats, and is also a rich source of choline.

Oysters

Ever tried oysters? They’re a great source of omega-3s, zinc, vitamin B12, and copper. A single 3.5 ounce serving provides 672 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.

While that seems low compared to mackerel or salmon, remember that the recommended daily amount to meet basic needs is just 500 milligrams, so even oysters are a loaded source.

If you’ve never tried them before, start with a basic grilled oysters recipe.

12 Health Benefits of Omega 3 Foods | HappyBodyFormula.com

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Benefits of Goat Milk
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6 Health Benefits of Goat’s Milk

Benefits of Goat Milk

While cow’s milk is the most popular, goat’s milk is increasingly becoming a go-to option for a healthy dairy alternative. How do you know if goat’s milk is right for you?

Let’s explore the health benefits and nutritional profile of this nutrient-dense food.

What Is Goat’s Milk?

Goat’s milk is—as the name implies—milk that is retrieved from goats. It is rich in minerals and vitamins, protein, and more. It also contains healthy fatty acids that can protect the heart and balance cholesterol.

Goat’s milk is technically still a dairy product, just like milk from a cow, but it is used as an alternate option to cow’s milk because milk from goats is easier to digest and has a number of other health benefits.

In fact, many people who are allergic or intolerant of cow’s milk can easily digest goat milk.

Nutrition Facts for Goat’s Milk

Goat’s milk is widely consumed across the world. One cup contains roughly:

  • 168 calories
  • 10 grams of fat
  • 11 grams of carbohydrates
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 33 percent daily value of calcium
  • 27 percent daily value of phosphorous
  • 20 percent daily value of riboflavin
  • 14 percent daily value of potassium
  • 10 percent daily value of vitamin A
  • 9 percent daily value of magnesium
  • 8 percent daily value of pantothenic acid
  • 8 percent daily value of thiamine
  • 7 percent daily value of vitamin D
  • 6 percent daily value of copper
  • 6 percent daily value of vitamin B6
  • 5 percent daily value of vitamin C
  • 5 percent daily value of selenium
  • Smaller amounts of vitamin B12, niacin, manganese

6 Health Benefits of Goat’s Milk

Goat’s milk isn’t just something that you pour on your cereal or use for a smoothie. It’s a nutrient-rich food that offers many health benefits. These six are the top ways that you can increase your health by drinking goat’s milk.

Less Allergenic Than Cow’s Milk 

Cow’s milk is one of the top eight allergens in the world, with many unable to drink it because of serious reactions. Beyond that, it is also a food that many are sensitive to, and even if it doesn’t pose a health threat, it causes digestive disturbance or upset stomach.

Goat’s milk, however, is a food that is tolerated more easily by many people and is a great alternative to people who struggle to digest cow’s milk. While goat’s milk and cow’s milk are similar in some ways, goat’s milk does not contain the protein that cow’s milk does, which is responsible for most allergic reactions.

Additionally, goat’s milk is the most similar to human breast milk in protein and nutrient composition, making it an excellent alternative for young children who are ready to be weaned from breastfeeding or transitioning from formula.

Supports Healthy Skin 

Skin health can be a complicated issue, balancing internal nutrition with topical care, but goat’s milk is actually a food that supports skin health inside and out. It is chockfull of vitamin A, which helps to keep skin soft and supple.

Using goat’s milk soap or lotion can help to improve skin appearance and complexion, can reduce acne breakouts and blemishes, and can even improve overall skin health and vibrance.

Additionally, the lactic acid in goat’s milk helps to slough off dead skin and brighten the skin’s appearance, smoothness, and healthy thickness.

Increases Good Cholesterol

While cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, when LDL levels are elevated, there’s a chance that they could be oxidizing, which is what leads to plaque in the arteries.

By increasing our HDL cholesterol, we support our overall heart health. Goat’s milk is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which are a type of healthy fat that bump healthy cholesterol levels up by fueling the body with a special kind of energy. 

Promotes Strong Teeth & Bones

Almost everyone knows that calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth, but most people also think the best way to get that is to drink cow’s milk.

The good news is that goat’s milk is also a rich source of calcium that is easily digested and absorbed. Getting adequate calcium in the diet can help to prevent fractures and the development of osteoporosis.

Goat’s milk actually has more calcium than cow’s milk, at 33 percent daily value in one eight-ounce cup. Cow’s milk only has 28 percent daily value.

Improves Blood Health & Reduces Anemia

Iron is a mineral that is vital for many things, but primarily to ensure that the blood has enough oxygen to transport nutrients throughout the body. Goat’s milk helps the body to absorb dietary iron so that it can be used, which can help to correct anemia and low iron levels.

Some foods can make it hard for the body to absorb iron—even iron supplements. Goat’s milk can actually improve this type of absorption.

Fights Inflammation

Cow’s milk can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms in people, not the least of which is bloating and inflammation that can result in symptoms like skin breakouts and joint pain.

Goat’s milk is far less inflammatory and most people who can’t tolerate cow’s milk can enjoy goat’s milk while also gaining some health benefits—like enzymes in goat’s milk actually works to soothe the digestive tract.

Why Choose Goat’s Milk Over Other Milk?

There are two main reasons to choose goat’s milk over other types of milk—cow or plant-based.

The first is that goat’s milk is easier to digest and the second is that goat’s milk actually boosts your body’s ability to absorb nutrients—which isn’t true for any other type of milk or milk alternative.

Goat’s milk and cow’s milk contain similar amounts of fat, but goat’s milk contains a type that is easier to digest and break down, which means you get more benefits from it with less uncomfortable symptoms.

While cow’s milk has lactose, which is a problematic sugar for many, goat’s milk is much lower. People who have lactose intolerance are usually able to drink goat’s milk without any problems.

Consider this: goat’s milk actually increases absorption of many crucial nutrients in the body, and not just iron, as we discussed earlier.

It also helps improve uptake of calcium for bone and teeth health, magnesium for muscular health and relaxation, and phosphorous for helping the kidneys detox the body and boosting DNA health.

Goat’s milk is even being considered for treatment for things like anemia and low-density bones, as well as conditions like those with malabsorption in the intestines, restless legs, osteoporosis, and more. Goat’s milk can also boost hemoglobin levels, which is another way to address anemia beyond simply boosting iron levels.

How to Buy and Use Goat’s Milk

If you want to try goat’s milk, there are several ways to start incorporating it into your family’s diet. Goat milk can be purchased pasteurized, as most cow’s milk products are, or raw. Raw goat’s milk can have additional enzyme health benefits, but can be much harder to find.

Additionally, raw milk might not be the best option for small children, who could be more sensitive to bacteria that could be present in a raw milk product.

If you do want to try raw goat’s milk, buying directly from a farmer, at a farmer’s market, or as part of a co-op might be the only ways to get it. You can also get goat’s milk yogurt, cheese, and kefir—all of which can be delicious ways to add the health benefits of goat’s milk to your diet.

As a bonus, goat’s milk yogurt and kefir also contain probiotics from the natural fermentation, meaning they can help to correct bacterial imbalances in the gut.

The only downside to goat’s milk is that it is not as easily available as cow’s milk, which is found in every grocery store and gas station across the country.

Goat’s milk is typically more expensive because it is a more rare product, but many grocery stores are starting to carry it and if yours doesn’t, you can usually ask them to order it.

You can also purchase it from farmer’s markets or health food stores that might have connections to local farmers.

If you’ve never tried goat’s milk before, you might find it to be a lot stronger in taste and smell than cow’s milk, and that might initially be off-putting. But the benefits of goat’s milk outweigh initial discomfort at trying it.

When you’re first starting to use goat’s milk, it’s important to know that it can be replaced one-for-one in any recipe that calls for cow’s milk.

When goat’s milk is consumed cold, it doesn’t taste much different from cow’s milk, but when it is heated or cooked, it develops a more earthy taste than cow’s milk has, making it more distinctive in certain recipes.

The upsides to cooking with goat’s milk is that it is creamier than cow’s milk and when used in recipes, can provide a creamier and more satisfying texture.

Who Shouldn’t Drink Goat’s Milk?

Goat’s milk contains many nutrients that are beneficial for health, but that still doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

Even though it’s good for most people who can’t digest cow’s milk, some people might still be sensitive to the proteins in goat’s milk and may have similar reactions—bloating, stomach upset, constipation, and skin breakouts. If you demonstrate signs of sensitivity to goat’s milk, you shouldn’t drink it.

If you have never tried goat’s milk before, always start by tasting a small amount—maybe a few tablespoons or one-fourth of a cup. Then, try the same amount again a few days later, or increase it slightly.

If you don’t develop any signs of sensitivity, you’re probably able to consume goat’s milk.

Bottom Line

Goat’s milk is a nutrient-rich food that offers many vitamin and mineral benefits, as well as protein and healthy fats. It can be easier to digest than cow’s milk and can be a great dairy alternative.

While it might be harder to find in stores, it’s becoming more common as people catch on to its great health benefits.

6 Health Benefits of Drinking Goat’s Milk | HappyBodyFormula.com

References:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128097625000358
https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/01106?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=Milk%2C+goat%2C+fluid%2C+with+added+vitamin+D&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17515510
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7 Amazing Health Benefits of Fermented Foods (Plus How to Make Your Own)

Benefits of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are popular for their gut-healing benefits for good reason. Research proves that they can introduce good bacteria to the gut, which helps the immune system function better, keeps digestive health in good shape, and provides other nutrients.

Let’s dig into the healthy benefits that fermented foods have to offer, plus a how-to guide to ferment your own.

What Are Fermented Foods?

Fermentation is an age-old process that was used to preserve food in the days before refrigerators and freezers existed.

It is also used to make foods and drinks like beer, cheese, sourdough bread, chocolate, yogurt, wine, and even coffee. It’s also required to make staple foods like sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage.

These days we don’t need to ferment foods to preserve them, but they offer a myriad of health benefits which we know more about now because of modern research.

Fermented foods are also referred to as being “cultured” because of the way that they break down as beneficial bacteria are formed.

7 Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

Lactic acid bacteria are active in the fermentation process and are responsible for vitamins, minerals, and enzymes being synthesized during fermentation.

These lactic acid components also offer health benefits themselves. Fermented foods are antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and also support healthy body systems such as the heart and digestive tract.

The health benefits of eating fermented foods are broken down as follows.

Boosting Friendly Bacteria in the Microbiome

The microbiome or the “gut” as it’s commonly referred to hosts an entire world of bacteria. In it, good and bad types reside, and in order to maintain balance and keep our health, we need to regularly replenish the good type.

A healthy microbiome supports digestion, immunity, elimination, and can help to address chronic health issues like thyroid disease, Crohn’s disease, and more.

Detoxing the Body 

Our body is always eliminating toxins via the liver and kidneys, but certain foods can help the body optimize the process and make sure that the toxins are actually being removed.

Fermented foods help to bind with heavy metals and other toxins and help the body eliminate them.

Immune System Balancing

The immune system helps us to fight off illness, but it also regulates lots of other health aspects, too. When the immune system is not balanced, it can be too weak to defend us from viral invaders or it can be in overdrive where it attacks its own body tissues and organs.

Fermented foods help to provide balance for the immune system, which relies heavily on having a microbiome that is stocked with good bacteria. An immune system in overdrive can result in rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and so much more.

Even if you already have one or more of these conditions, you can help to address your condition by working to get your immune system back into focusing on what it should be doing: destroying outside invaders and not your own tissues.

Improved Cognitive Function

The gut and the brain are so closely connected that disturbances in gut health can lead to brain fog and other mental issues. Boosting gut function can lead to a clearer head, better thinking ability, and even improved mood and mental health.

Nutritionally Rich

While there are many ways to boost nutrition intake, fermented foods are a dense source of many nutrients and are considered a superfood. This means you get more bang for your buck, or rather, bite.

Not only are fermented foods rich in the natural probiotics that our guts need, but the nutrients in them help the gut to make its own vitamins: specifically, B12, B6, biotin, and even vitamin K, which is essential for healthy blood.

Therapeutic for Skin Health

The skin isn’t just something that responds to topical treatments or the outside environment. It is also a reflection of what’s going on inside of the body, specifically, the gut.

Eating fermented foods can help to improve skin health and address skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, and even dandruff.

Boosts Body’s Ability to Lose Weight

Fermented foods can also naturally aid in weight loss because they provide a balancing effect on blood glucose, which can lead to a natural reduction in appetite and food intake.

Additionally, having a healthy gut that is stocked with the right kinds of bacteria can optimize elimination and can help to naturally shed some weight that way, too.

7 Different Kinds of Fermented Foods

If you’re new to the world of fermented foods, you might be confused as to what types of foods contain these natural probiotics. Here’s a breakdown of the different kinds and what’s in them.

Sauerkraut 

Sauerkraut is a traditional German dish that is made by fermenting cabbage. The cabbage ferments when it is compressed in a jar and sealed from air.

Bacteria ferment the natural sugars found in the cabbage and the result is a sour-tasting dish, usually of shredded cabbage, but many different vegetables can be fermented this way, including carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, and more.

Yogurt

Perhaps the most well-known fermented food, yogurt contains beneficial bacteria from a fermentation process. However, it also contains dairy and lactose, both of which can make it hard on a person’s gut if they’re sensitive.

Kefir

Popular among people who can’t tolerate all the dairy found in yogurt, kefir is a more soured version of milk that is rich in natural probiotics.

It can be made from milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, or even coconut water.

Kimchi

A dish that originates from Korea, kimchi is a spicier version of sauerkraut, with typical vegetables included being cabbage, kale, radish, beets, cucumber, pineapple, and more.

Soy Sauce 

True soy sauce is a fermented product that contains beneficial bacteria. However, most modern soy sauces aren’t fermented, which can make soy a hard-to-digest ingredient.

Natto 

Natto is another fermented dish made from soy beans that not only has probiotic benefits, but can also help to reduce inflammation and support cardiovascular health.

Kombucha

While this isn’t a food, kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that contains beneficial bacteria much like the foods do.

However, there are a lot of kombucha beverages on the market today, and not all of them contain significant amounts of good bacteria and are loaded with sugar, flavorings, and other ingredients.

Make sure you read your labels before purchasing kombucha.

A Note About Fermented Products

While many of these products can be found on store shelves, many commercial varieties don’t actually contain live bacteria because the manufacturing process is done too quickly to allow for natural fermentation.

Even if they do contain some, they are typically loaded with sugar to offset the naturally occurring sour taste of fermented products. This excess sugar can cancel out the beneficial effects of fermented foods.

If purchasing fermented foods, make sure you check the label to find a statement that it contains live and active bacteria.

Also, read the label to see what other ingredients are included. It’s also important to note that all pickles, for example, aren’t fermented, as many are pickled with vinegar instead of natural bacterial fermentation.

How to Get Started Fermenting Your Own Foods

While it might seem easy to buy something off a store shelf that is ready to go, actual fermented products are expensive since they are time consuming for food companies to produce and package.

The good news is that you can ferment your own foods at home for little cost and without any special knowledge or training.

When fermenting your own foods, you will always want to start with organic produce that has been thoroughly washed and cleaned. This will give the cleanest product for the good bacteria to feed on to provide the gut-boosting benefits.

While fermentation kits are sold, with special jars and lids, you don’t have to get that fancy if you don’t want. You can use a simple glass jar of any size, although a medium sized one is good for your first fermentation project.

Before you begin, you’ll also want to make sure your jar is completely cleaned and rinsed, free from all soap residue. Again, you want a clean surface for the bacteria to be feeding in.

After that, your next need for home fermentation is a bacterial starter. That’s right, you need something that essentially sets the stage for the good bacteria that are going to be in your fermented foods.

You can get these from farmers markets, from fermentation workshops, or you can order them online or buy them at health food stores, typically in the form of a powder.

After you have those three essential items gathered: your cleaned veggies, your cleaned jar, and your bacterial starter, you are ready to ferment.

Once your veggies have been cleaned, you’ll want to shred or finely chop them.  Then you’re going to toss them with whatever seasonings you want and sea salt.

Now it’s time to stuff them as tightly as possible into your jar, and then pour filtered water in until it reaches the top and covers the surface of the veggies. Cover the jar with a cheesecloth or something similar and set it in a cool, dark place for one or two weeks.

After your veggies have fermented to the desired level of sourness, you should store them covered in the fridge for up to six months.

A Note About Eating Fermented Foods

If you’re completely new to eating fermented foods, you’re going to want to start small. The gut can become sensitive to all of this bacteria and you can have symptoms of discomfort, bloating, gas, and other issues if you suddenly eat a large portion of fermented foods.

To introduce this good bacteria to your system, eat one tablespoon daily for a week or two, and then work up to two tablespoons. After a month or so of doing this, if you haven’t noticed unpleasant symptoms, you’re probably ready for a ¼ to ½ cup of fermented foods daily.

7 Amazing Health Benefits of Fermented Foods | HappyBodyFormula.com

References:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/fermented-foods-for-better-gut-health-2018051613841
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28945458
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S095816691630266X
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5216880/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3904694/
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black seed
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Black Seed Oil: What Is It? (Plus 12 Health Benefits)

black seed

Black seeds have been around for thousands of years but have recently resurfaced as a health superfood. The oil from these black seeds has numerous health-promoting properties.

While the seeds themselves can be eaten whole, the oil is a more popular remedy.

What Is Black Seed Oil?

Black seed oil comes from nigella sativa, a small shrub with flowers that is native to parts of Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. The flowers produce the tiny black seeds that are harvested and used for medicinal properties. Black seed is also referred to as black cumin, black caraway, or kalonji.

Black seeds can be eaten whole and have an earthy flavor that is reminiscent of cumin or turmeric. When oil is extracted from black seeds, it is referred to as black seed oil, and it has notable antioxidant levels that can fight inflammation internally and topically.

12 Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil

Black seed oil is an age-old remedy that has been used for numerous conditions that are rooted in inflammation. It still has healing and medicinal properties today.

The main mechanism of health benefits come from the presence of thymoquinone, a potent form of antioxidant.

1. Asthma

Asthma is a complex condition, but one component involves inflammation that narrows air pathways. When black seed oil is regularly consumed, it may help to decrease inflammation in the lungs and airways and could lead to decreased symptoms of asthma.

Black seed oil does not by any means replace the need for an inhaler or prompt medical care if an attack is imminent. Black seed oil can also improve other lung-related conditions, like bronchitis and allergic rhinitis.

After two weeks of daily use, research showed that it was able to lower sinus inflammation, irritation, itching, and sneezing.

2. Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Black seed oil can help to lower blood pressure levels when it is consistently mildly elevated. In order to produce blood pressure lowering results, it needs to be consumed daily for two to three months.

Black seed oil can also balance cholesterol levels by promoting an increase in HDL levels and lowering LDL thanks to the presence of linoleic acid and oleic acid.

It can also help to promote weight loss and balanced triglyceride levels, which are often tied to obesity and other weight-related problems, like diabetes. Specifically, black seed oil has been shown to lower BMI and waist circumference, which is the most dangerous area to carry extra weight.

3. Healthy Skin and Hair

Black seed oil can reduce site irritation on the skin from minor wounds and can also decrease the presence of bacteria, which can speed healing time. It can also encourage the growth of new, healthy skin.

If eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions are present, the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil can help decrease symptoms and volume of skin irritation.

Black seed oil can also promote healthy, shiny hair and can be used as a treatment or hair mask. It can soothe coarse, dry, and damaged hair as well as serve as a protector for already healthy hair.

4.Arthritis and Chronic Pain

Rheumatoid arthritis and other pain conditions are often rooted in inflammation. Black seed oil is rich in antioxidants that can lower systemic inflammation levels and can alleviate widespread pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other pain conditions like myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Research has shown that it can lower inflammatory lab markers and noticeably relieve swelling in joints. It can also reduce oxidative damage to tissues.

Black seed oil can be paired with a carrier oil and used for topical massage, especially when chronic pain is present. It has some analgesic properties which, when used regularly, can be a successful therapeutic tool in managing pain without prescription medication.

5. Digestive Pain

Black seed oil can effectively reduce unpleasant digestive symptoms like stomach upset, nausea, cramping, gas, belching, bloating, and even the development and presence of ulcers.

This is because the antioxidants help to cut inflammation and the bitter components of black seeds actually serve as a digestive aid.

6. Acne and Psoriasis

Black seed oil’s benefits extend well beyond internal use. Black seed oil is a common component of natural lotion aimed at addressing acne, blemishes, and other skin conditions like psoriasis and even eczema.

With regular use over the course of a few months, acne appearance can be diminished, and the overall vibrant appearance of skin can be enhanced and naturally supported. Plaque psoriasis responds to consistent use, too.

Even if you have no skin conditions, black seed oil is a common component of deep moisturizing lotions and products because of its ability to penetrate deep into the skin, relieving dry skin and other inflammatory symptoms from the root cause.

Have a scar? Black seed oil can be applied with a carrier oil to your already-healed scar to help diminish the appearance and reduce sensitivity around the area.

7. Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms that are associated with conditions like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Obesity, high blood pressure, and high glucose levels are typically components of metabolic disorders.

Black seed oil can be a therapeutic tool in the fight to restore normalcy in metabolic syndrome, backed by solid research in the Journal of Endocrinology and Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology.

Black seed oil can improve glucose tolerance and insulin resistance as effectively or more so than metformin, which is typically used with type 2 diabetes. And it can do this without the dozen uncomfortable side effects that the pharmaceutical options cause.

Black seed oil can also help to restore lipid balance and decrease the risk of heart disease.

8. Cancer

Significantly more research is needed, but initial studies show that black seed oil can naturally destroy cancer cells thanks to the antioxidant properties it contains.

The active ingredient in black seed oil—thymoquinone—was shown by one study to reduce tumor cells by more than 50 percent. (source) It has also been shown to cause cell death in cancer specifically related to leukemia, brain tumors, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer.

9. Microbes

Black seed oil is antibacterial and can fight serious strains of dangerous bacteria, including MRSA and staph infections.

Research has shown that all strains of these deadly bacteria responded to the presence of black seed oil and couldn’t develop a resistance to it. Topically or internally, black seed oil is one of nature’s antibiotics.

10. Mental Health

Black seed oil, when taken internally, can help to protect brain health, including working to defend against Alzheimer’s and boosting cognitive function. The thymoquinone antioxidant in black seed oil can fend off cognitive decline and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease when taken regularly.

It has even been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, provide a level mood, and increase brain energy to fight mental fatigue.

11. Fertility

Black seed oil can naturally boost fertility in both men and women. In men, it can increase sperm count, motility, and semen volume and can improve general reproductive function.

In women, it impacts fertility by supporting a healthy menstrual cycle, including helping to regulate abnormal ones and decreasing associated pain like cramps and backaches.

When paired with a carrier oil, it can also relieve painful breasts that are sometimes associated with hormonal imbalances.

To use black seed oil to boost fertility, men should take 2.5 mL daily for three months. Women can take 1.5 to 2 mL daily for two to three months to notice improvements in their menstrual cycle.

Women who are pregnant or could be pregnant, as well as breastfeeding women, should never use black seed oil either topically or internally.

12. Dental Health

Bacteria in the mouth can wreak havoc, leading to gum disease, cavities, and even—if left unchecked for years—heart problems. Getting control of mouth bacteria goes well beyond brushing and flossing, too.

Black seed oil can be paired with coconut oil to create an antibacterial oil pulling base. By adding black seed oil to the mix, not only are toxins being drawn out of the tissues in the mouth, but the black seed oil will help to kill germs and reduce inflammation. It can be especially helpful for sore and bleeding gums.

To use for oil pulling, pair a few drops of black seed oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Swish and swirl in the mouth for at least 15 to 20 minutes and then spit into a trash can.

Do not swallow the oil mixture, and do not spit down the drain as coconut oil can solidify and clog the pipes.

How to Use Black Seed Oil

Black seed oil does warrant some caution because it can increase certain effects from medications in the body, such as those in the cytochrome P450 pathway—which is the pathway utilized for most common, daily-use medications.

If you take any prescription medication, it’s essential to ensure that your practitioner clears black seed oil for your use and that it won’t interfere with your current regimen. Examples of medications that black seed oil can interact with include:

  • Beta blockers
  • Blood thinners
  • NSAIDs
  • Liver or kidney medication

Black seed oil is generally considered safe, although if it interacts with your medication it can cause serious issues. It can also be damaging to the kidneys and liver if used in excessive doses. It should not be used in anyone who has an existing disease or issues with the liver or kidneys.

Black seed oil can rarely cause topical allergic reactions, like a worsened rash or itching, so if you’ve never used it before, test it before broadly applying.

Black seed oil has an almost peppery or cumin scent, but it can pair well with almost any other essential oil thanks to its somewhat neutral smell. 

How to Purchase Black Seed Oil

Black seed oil is available at most health food stores and online. Some pharmacies may carry it, too. It should always be 100 percent pure black seed oil, with no added fillers or extra ingredients. Choose organic when possible.

Black seed oil can be found in capsule form but also in liquid, which can be taken internally or used topically. Ensure that the product you purchase is listed as safe for your intended use.

Always follow the recommended dosages on products, but also consider that not enough research exists to show that it’s safe for daily, long-term consumption.

It is most broadly considered to be safe for topical use and when the seeds are eaten whole. Caution should be used with internal ingestion of the oil.

It is possible, however, to have an allergic reaction to topical use, so before widely applying, use a small area and wait 48 hours before applying it again.

Pregnant women, women who desire to become pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, and children should not use black seed oil for any reason, internally or topically.

What is Black Seed Oil & How Can It Help You | HappyBodyFormula.com

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clay
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9 Reasons to Use Bentonite Clay to Boost Your Health

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay has been used to improve health for thousands of years, but modern trends are just starting to catch on. Made of weathered, volcanic ash, bentonite clay is a natural product from the earth that has unlimited potential for wellness.

Named for Fort Benton, Montana, bentonite clay is used to refer to clay harvested there and other locations. It has become the ubiquitous term when it comes to weathered, volcanic ash clays.

Bentonite clay has many health benefits largely due to the fact that when clay is used topically or internally it initiates chemical processes that attract positive ions to its negative electrical charge.

This means that it can help to rid the body of toxins, but also boost digestion and lead to reduced inflammation.

9 Health Benefits of Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay has numerous health benefits, both internal and topically. These are the most popular ways to use this natural, earthy supplement.

1. Rich in Nutrients

Bentonite clay is chock full of nutrients. Because clay is a natural product from the earth, it is safe for ingestion and in fact offers a hefty nutritional boost.

While there are no known side effects, children and pregnant women should not take it, and anyone who takes prescription medications should be sure to check with their doctor to make sure there are no overlapping concerns.

Clay is rich in minerals which are commonly low in many people’s diets. It includes:

  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Silica
  • Manganese

While these nutrients can be received from other supplements, taking them in via a natural substance like bentonite clay can help to ensure that they absorb better in the digestive tract.

2. Boosts Digestion

Bentonite clay is safe to take internally and when used, can help to boost digestion. This works in several ways.

First, clay can neutralize bacteria in the body which is harmful and can lead to digestive and gut problems. Secondly, not only can clay absorb viruses and other invaders in the body, but it can also address digestive upset symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and intestinal pain.

It can even address more chronic conditions like IBS and certain forms of irritable bowel disease, although it always needs to be run by your doctor if you’re facing chronic disease.

Bentonite clay has a protective effect on the gut lining, which means it can naturally help to defend against the development of leaky gut and can prevent it from worsening if it is already present.

Clay is best used for digestive benefits when taken regularly.

3. Increases Natural Immunity

In the same way that clay can remove viruses or bacteria from the digestive system, so it protects overall immunity. It can absorb and prevent growth of common bacteria but it can also treat more dangerous infections like salmonella, staph, MRSA, and E. coli. (source)

It can even work in situations where the bacteria have become antibiotic resistant.

While clay has proven benefits, it’s always important to keep your doctor in the loop, especially when it comes to dangerous bacteria.

Don’t self-medicate with clay if antibiotics have been recommended and don’t take with antibiotics as the clay can reduce the efficiency of them.

4. Detoxes the Body

In a similar way that it can remove bacteria and viruses from the body, clay can also promote natural detox. Because clay has negative ions, it can attract positively charged ions in the body and bind with them.

Items with positive charges in the body can include toxins and chemicals from the environment that make their way into the body, such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), heavy metals, and other harmful substances.

You can take advantage of bentonite clay’s detox benefits by ingesting clay daily. Add a half-teaspoon to a full glass of water and drink it. While you might notice a slight earthy taste, it doesn’t have a strong flavor or scent, making it easy to consume.

When you’re just starting a bentonite clay detox, start very small—perhaps even just one-eighth of a teaspoon, and gradually increase over several days to a few weeks. Pay attention to how you feel. Don’t exceed more than one full teaspoon daily.

You can drink bentonite clay daily, or you can do it a few times per week, or you can do it sporadically (drink it daily for a week or two, and then take a few weeks or months off).

When you’re first getting started with a clay detox, you may notice detox symptoms like headaches, body aches, or fatigue as the clay rids the body of toxins. Hydrate more as needed to help address this discomfort.

Before ingesting clay, ensure that the type you’ve purchased is for internal use as some products are exclusively for topical purposes.

5. Supports Healthy Skin

Clay can help to promote healthy, supple, and vibrant skin by adhering to bacteria and other toxins on the surface and removing them.

Clay masks are a popular spa therapy that can also help to promote skin firmness and elasticity and can help to keep pores free and clear, leading to reduced blemishes and acne occurrence.

Clay is so nourishing and supportive of healthy skin that it’s also an effective topical therapy for cuts, burns, stings, and rashes—even poison ivy.

Bentonite clay can be used regularly without harsh side effects. It’s also beneficial for addressing eczema and psoriasis without further aggravating the conditions.

6. Builds Respiratory Health

Respiratory infections can range from mildly irritating to dangerous, especially in those with compromised immune systems or existing chronic conditions. Clay can help to combat adenovirus and similar infections that cause respiratory issues like difficulty breathing.

It can be taken internally with water, one-quarter to one-half teaspoon daily. It’s important to understand that clay can’t replace medical treatment of infections, but is a natural therapy that may improve health and help other treatments to be more effective.

7. Encourages Natural Weight Loss

Fat in the body stores toxins, so in much the same way that clay can bind to toxins and remove them from the body, it can help to encourage the shedding of excess body fat.

Consuming clay internally can work well in conjunction with eating antioxidant rich and alkalizing foods and gut-boosting nutrients.

While research on the effects of clay on weight loss is limited, it has shown that regular intake of bentonite clay can lower cholesterol levels and result in lowered inflammation, both of which are associated with healthier body weights.

8. Purifies Drinking Water

Fluoride is added to drinking water and dental products because it’s thought to prevent cavities, but the problem is that fluoride stays in the body and has been linked to chronic conditions like thyroid disease, diabetes, hormone disruption, brain damage, inflammation, and toxicity.

When clay is added to basic tap water along with magnesium or pH balanced drops, it can help to increase the purity of the water. It’s far simpler and less expensive than most in-home filtration or purification systems and is perfect for drinking water on the go.

9. Improves Dental Health

The mouth has the potential to be a breeding ground for bacteria, toxins, and chemicals. Even with proper dental healthcare methods, the gums can still be susceptible to inflammation and disease, many times in response to hormone changes, diet, lifestyle, and side effects from medications.

Clay can bind to the toxins in the mouth, including around the teeth and gums, and remove them. This can both be preventive for gum disease or inflammation and can also help to naturally address it.

Bentonite clay is naturally antibacterial which is why it’s commonly seen in natural toothpaste and mouthwash. You don’t have to buy existing products though—you can easily make your own.

Even brushing your teeth with pure clay powder is an effective way of cleansing the mouth.

Swishing with clay in water once or twice daily can help to address gum inflammation and can even work to balance mouth irritations like canker sores, cuts, or burns.

Bottom line: Bentonite clay has numerous health benefits that stem from its ability to bind with toxins, chemicals, and bacteria and remove them from the body. It can be used internally or topically, and is safe for regular use.

 14 Ways to Use Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay is a completely natural product with few known side effects or complications. Use it in the following ways to boost your health and level up your wellness routine.

Whether it’s for your skin, your mouth, or your digestion, or anything in between, bentonite clay is the kind of staple you’ll always want to have in your medicine cabinet.

  1. Apply clay directly to skin to address conditions like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and rashes. Mix clay and water in a one-to-one ratio to form a paste. Apply to affected areas a few times a day for as long as needed.
  2. Use clay for acne, pimples, or skin blemishes. Apply to the affected area after mixing with water and allow to dry. Gently cleanse with warm water. Use once or twice daily as needed.
  3. Exfoliate the skin by making a facial mask with clay.
  4. Fight wrinkles and saggy skin by using clay masks, which help to boost collagen and increase natural firmness.
  5. Take the sting out of bug bites and stings by applying the area as a poultice.
  6. Address minor burns by applying a clay paste.
  7. Add one-third of a cup of bentonite clay to your bath for a whole-body skin-soothing and nourishing experience. Soak for 30 minutes and moisturize with coconut oil or a similar body oil afterward.
  8. Spread clay paste on your armpits daily for a few weeks to a month to ease the transition from conventional, toxic antiperspirants to natural deodorants, or even to eliminate the need for deodorant altogether. Alternatively, you can use it to make your own deodorant by pairing it with some coconut oil and applying as a deodorant paste. You can even add your preferred essential oils for a scented version.
  9. Gargle clay in your mouth for 30-60 seconds as a detoxifying mouth wash. Spit and rinse afterward. Do not swallow, as the clay will collect toxins from the mouth that you don’t want to ingest. This is especially beneficial for gum disease or gingivitis.
  10. Dip your tooth brush in bentonite clay and use as a natural tooth powder. It is basically tasteless and can help to clean the teeth without harmful ingredients and does not bother sensitive teeth.
  11. Swish daily with bentonite clay in water to help add necessary minerals to the mouth but also to strengthen tooth enamel and boost natural whiteness.
  12. Bentonite clay can be used as a baby powder to cut down on redness, irritation, or infection in the diaper area. Apply the plain powder in the same way that other baby powder works.
  13. Use clay as a natural way to help pets recover from illness, too. It’s safe and can reduce vomiting or diarrhea.
  14. Clay can bind to parasites within the body and help to remove them, although if you have a true parasite its essential to consult a qualified medical practitioner for a proper line of treatment.

How and Where to Purchase Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay is available for purchase in most health food stores and online. When choosing a product, make sure that it suits your purposes.

While all clay can be used topically, some of it will be marked that it’s not to be used internally. To ingest clay, make sure to choose a supplemental form of clay that is safe for internal use.

Clay is a grayish or cream color that can sometimes have a greenish hue. If clay appears to be bright white it can be a sign that the product has gone bad and should not be used. Most clay will appear brown, tan, or a medium gray color.

Clay doesn’t have a strong odor and only has a mildly earthy taste.

To determine the dose, follow the instructions on your product, but always start smaller than recommended and work your way up to avoid any unpleasant detox symptoms, which can be more common when first starting to use clay.

9 Reasons to Use Bentonite Clay to Boost Your Health | HappyBodyFormula.com

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