How to Improve Your Sleep and Stress Levels with Prebiotics

31 Mar


Prebiotics are nutrients that the probiotics (good bacteria) in your gut microbiome require for best health.

The bacteria in the gut help the body to digest and metabolize the food we eat and numerous research studies demonstrate that these bacteria are vital to our overall health and well-being. These bacteria also activate hundreds of genes and the immune system.

Prebiotics are the nutrients that allow the friendly bacteria in the gut to multiply and these probiotics are most commonly found in fiber-rich foods.

The friendly bacteria thrive on the indigestible fiber and inulin is one of these types of water-soluble fiber that is most commonly found in foods such as asparagus, onions, leeks and garlic as they help to nourish the friendly bacteria in the gut.

How Prebiotics Can Support Sleep

Researchers have now found that taking a dietary probiotic can have a positive effect on rapid-eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep cycles, all of which can positively affect sleep quality.

The researchers studied the effects of gut health and prebiotics and how it benefits REM sleep of certain animal test subjects. They were given a diet rich in prebiotics, starting from the age of 3 weeks old.

Previous studies into this noticed that the results suggested daily stress can alter the gut microbiome in a manner that also affects the sleep-wake cycle. The goal of their research was to determine if taking a prebiotic may help to improve sleep quality when placed under stress.

For four weeks, the test subjects were fed a manufactured diet containing prebiotic fiber or a control diet. After this time, the researchers analysed excrement and found that eating prebiotics had an increase in beneficial gut bacteria, compared with the control group.

When the friendly bacteria metabolize the prebiotic fiber, they don’t just grow and multiply, they also excrete a metabolite that’s known to be beneficial for brain health. The test subjects eating a diet rich in prebiotics were also found to spend more time in restful and restorative NREM sleep than those on the control diet.

Scientists therefore concluded that with the right nutrition and sufficient NREM sleep, it’s possible to impact brain development and function, to improve sleep problems. Taking a prebiotic in early life could greatly improve your sleep quality, along with promoting optimal brain and psychological health.

Stress levels were also found to improve due to increased REM sleep. Prior research has also shown that people who have more REM sleep after a significant trauma are less likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Why Prebiotics Are Important

Fiber rich foods are important prebiotics for friendly bacteria but in many foods they are often accompanied by sugar and carbohydrates, causing the unfriendly bacteria to grow and multiply. Processed foods and refined carbohydrates can affect the gut microbiome, especially if you don’t have enough beneficial bacteria to stay healthy.

The test group involved in the study didn’t experience any stress disruption in their gut microbiome as the control group of test subjects did and they even returned to a normal sleep pattern more quickly than the control group too.

This study therefore highlights the importance of prebiotics on gut health and its role with inflammation, obesity, depression, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

All prebiotics are fiber but not all fiber has a prebiotic effect on the friendly bacteria. To be classed as a prebiotic, fiber must resist gastric acidity, resist any absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract, be fermented by intestinal flora and stimulate the activity or growth of beneficial bacteria.

Add More Healthy Prebiotics Into Your Life

Raw whole foods containing fiber are the most healthy and beneficial prebiotics to include in your diet. Some of these foods include:

  • Asparagus
  • Beetroot
  • Chickpeas
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Green peas
  • Leeks
  • Lentils
  • Onions
  • Pomegranate
  • Pistachio Nuts
  • Seaweed

However, it’s not always possible to get enough prebiotic fiber from foods alone, especially if you want them to nourish your good bacteria. For this reason it’s worth including a healthy prebiotic supplement into your daily routine to increase beneficial gut bacteria.

Robert Redfern


Do Eggs Cause Prostrate Cancer?

5 Mar

he studies follow on from other studies that linked an increase in prostate conditions to consumption of meats, milk and cheese.

Important Points From The Studies

Much has been studied on the impact of diet on prostate cancer, including whether certain foods increase or decrease the overall risk, rate of progression, level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and more. One food that has been highlighted in these analyses are eggs, so a question that has risen is, can eggs increase prostate cancer risk?

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In a Harvard study, investigators evaluated the diets of 1,294 men who had early stage prostate cancer. The two-year study included men who had participated in the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor. The authors discovered that while red meat, fish, total poultry, and skinless poultry were not associated with the recurrence or progression of prostate cancer, egg intake was. When compared with men who rarely ate eggs at all, those who consumed eggs daily had a twofold increase in the risk of prostate cancer progression.

Related: Do Eggs, Dairy, Red Meat, and Poultry Increase Prostate Cancer Risk?

The reason for this increased risk was postulated to be the choline in eggs, which is present in significant amounts (although cholesterol also has been suggested). In fact, eggs are the richest source of choline. Previous research has shown that this water-soluble, vitamin-like nutrient has been associated with a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Therefore, it could be extrapolated that the choline in eggs may increase the chances of both getting the disease and spreading it.

But the dangers of consuming eggs if you have prostate cancer doesn’t end there. Other research has shown that choline also significantly increases the risk of dying of prostate cancer; a “70% increased risk of lethal prostate cancer” to be exact. Another study quoted an even higher percentage: 81 percent higher risk of deadly prostate cancer among men who ate 2.5 or more eggs weekly.

Choline and Cancer

The association between choline and cancer exists on several levels. One is the research showing that eggs, milk, and meat—all of which contain choline–have been linked to advanced prostate cancer. Another factor is that dietary choline is transformed into trimethylamine (TMAO) in the gut. The Harvard investigators suggested that the trimethylamine produced from high levels of dietary choline intake “may increase inflammation, and this may promote progression of prostate cancer to lethal disease.”

Further evidence pointing to the role of choline in prostate cancer was seen in a Cleveland Clinic study in which participants were fed hard-boiled eggs. This resulted in a significant rise in TMAO, and the researchers also noted a link between TMAO levels and heart attack, stroke, and death, even in individuals with low-risk levels of cholesterol.

Therefore, it appears that consuming eggs may increase risk even if cholesterol is not an issue, and the reason seems to be the presence of choline.


  • Gregor M. Eggs, choline and cancer. 2013 October 14 Richman EL et al. Egg, red meat, and poultry intake and risk of lethal prostate cancer in the prostate-specific antigen-era: incidence and survival. Cancer Prevention Research (Phila) 2011; 4(12): 2110-21
  • Richman EL et al. Intakes of meat, fish, poultry and eggs and risk of prostate cancer progression. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010; 91(3): 712-21
  • Richman EL et al. Choline intake and risk of lethal prostate cancer: incidence and survival. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2012; 96(4): 855-63
  • Tang WHW et al. Intestinal microbial metabolism of phosphatidylcholine and cardiovascular risk. NEJM 2013 Apr 25; 368(17): 1575-84

Robert Redfern

Healthy Babies?

23 Feb


New information has come out over the past week on creating healthy babies. It is not easy finding out simple steps could have prevented birth problems. The study published recently showed that Cerebral Palsy can be prevented by the mother simply supplementing with Magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency is very common and the fact is, this mineral is critical for many things around the body and especially babies in the womb.



Magnesium is the fourth most critical mineral in your body and is involved with over 600 biochemical actions (if you have enough). As well as being essential for creating a healthy baby, it is also essential throughout all of your life and especially for seniors (like me) to support:

  • Healthy Brain
  • Healthy Heart
  • Healthy Cells (mitochondria)
  • Healthy Ageing
  • Healthy Sleep
  • Healthy Stress Levels
  • Healthy Muscles
  • Healthy Stroke Prevention
  • Healthy Anti-Fungal Properties

Even if you eat a fresh healthy organic food diet, it is likely you will be unable to get all of your magnesium requirements, whether you are planning a healthy baby or planning a healthy old age.

You have to supplement and there is no better way than to use Magnesium Oil around the body.

Healthy Babies

Unfortunately, you need high levels of certain minerals such as magnesium, iodine and selenium in the first few weeks as well as all the way through the pregnancy.

It is therefore important that all women of childbearing age supplement all of the critical minerals and eat a healthy diet in case they become pregnant by mistake.

By the time they realize they are pregnant, they will have missed critical development of the eyes, brain and organs. I believe that it is the cause of gene dysfunctions according to the many studies I have read over the years.

Healthy Mummies

It is well established that most problems in pregnancy are caused by a shortage of specific nutrients in the diet of the mother. This is further complicated by mothers eating processed (junk) foods. You will also see in the news this last week that for every 10% of processed food content in your diet, your risk of serious diseases such as cancer increases by 10%. If it is bad for mothers, what is it doing to babies in the womb?

Endometriosis and Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Also, in the news this week are articles about the epidemic of Endometriosis and Blocked Fallopian Tubes. Of course, the medical ‘experts’ said they have no idea what is causing these problems and the resulting infertility. It is typical of the medical system and the good news is that when the plan is followed in my fertility eBook Endometriosis and Blocked Fallopian Tubes clears up. (See 7 myths about Endometriosis)

What Can I Do To Achieve a Healthy Pregnancy and Baby?

It may seem obvious but both you and your partner need to get super healthy. The sperm count of men in western countries has dropped by over 30% in the past 25 years and this is an indication of a processed food diet and lack of nutrition. Additionally, the use of WI-FI and mobile phones has been shown in some studies to inhibit sperm strength and so a Quanto Gram device will provide protection for both you and your baby (I cringe when I see expectant mothers resting a mobile phone or laptop on their ‘bump’ or toddlers playing with unprotected mobile phones or tablets).

The Essential Steps:

Lifestyle changes

  1. Avoid processed foods, fast foods and sugar.
  2. Avoid starchy carbs such as pastry, rice, potatoes, pasta, cookies, breads, breakfast cereals, crackers and related products.
  3. Add sea salt or rock salt to your foods for additional minerals.
  4. Replace your starchy carbs with healthy alternatives such as quinoa and other options.
  5. Consume at least 5 portions of nuts, seeds or beans each day.
  6. Boost your consumption of vegetables to 5 to 10 servings per day.
  7. Consume 3 to 5 portions of dark-skinned, low-sugar fruits per day.
  8. ONLY eat wild caught, oily fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines or black cod/sable fish, which are all high in omega-3 fatty acids.
  9. Choose paleo grass-fed meat options.
  10. Drinking plenty of water is a must: drink 6 to 8 250ml/8fl oz glasses per day and add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
  11. Foods high in omega-3 are essential for health; include krill oil, olive oil and hemp oil in your diet.
  12. Walking every day is essential for both of you to improve circulation and cell health.


All human health problems are caused by incorrect foods, lack of nutrients and not walking enough. Start today to correct these and move towards Good Health and a Healthy Baby.

Robert Redfern

Seaweed: The Optimal Food

22 Feb

Nutrient-rich seaweed detoxifies the body as no other food can. Eating seaweed daily provides unique protection against the rising level of environmental pollution. The preparation of seaweed is easy, as it goes well added to stews, soups and cooked beans in daily meals. The cleansing effect from a daily portion of seaweed is ongoing and works better than just doing a detox program now and then.

All seaweed protects against environmental toxins, but most effective of all is brown seaweed such as kombu, wakame, arame and sea spaghetti. Brown seaweed contains sodium alginate, which binds heavy metals and even radioactive substances, and removes them from the body. A seaweed product called agar (agar agar) also contains indigestible sodium alginate, which binds the toxins in the digestive tract and takes them out through rectal elimination.

The liver detox mechanism must have minerals such as zinc and magnesium to form the enzymes needed to remove toxins. However, many people now have a mineral deficiency that limits the production of detox enzymes. In many farming areas, the soil has become so depleted of minerals that the food produced there has only a fraction of the full mineral content of earlier times. Seaweed is the ideal food to fill this mineral gap as it has a much higher concentration of minerals and trace elements than land vegetables.

Small amounts of seaweed are enough. It only takes a few cm (a couple of inches) of dried seaweed to meet the body’s daily needs, since the seaweed swells to a much greater size when soaked. Kombu and wakame go well with beans, lentils and chickpeas, which you can cook in a big pot to last several days with cold storage. Work out how much seaweed you want to eat over the days the pot of beans lasts and add that amount. A further benefit of cooking pulses with kombu is that it makes them more digestible and less gas forming.  Wakame helps too. The cooking time for wakame is short, which makes it just right for soups. A small portion of wakame is enough. Sea spaghetti is the easiest of all. It is tasty soaked and mixed raw in a salad.

Japan is the main seaweed exporter and many consumers are uneasy about a possible radioactive contamination from the meltdown at Fukushima. However, top-quality seaweed from the Atlantic is available in natural food stores in Europe and North America. Australians can buy seaweed from Tasmania. This gives the added benefit of shorter transport to consumers with less fuel burned and less pollution as a result.

Those dealing with a thyroid disorder such as an overly active function or Hashimoto should start slowly with seaweed, especially kombu. Because it is rich in iodine, kombu can trigger an unpleasant reaction when the thyroid is unstable. With such a medical condition, it is better to begin with small amounts of wakame, arame and sea spaghetti, which are brown seaweeds with a moderate amount of iodine. In any case, most people need the iodine in seaweed, because iodine deficiency is common. The thyroid is the body’s pacemaker and it takes iodine to keep it functioning properly to support health, including strong detox ability.

Steven Acuff


Why Magnesium Is Essential

20 Feb

Magnesium is an important mineral that plays an essential role in supporting hundreds of bodily processes including those that control how the muscles and nerves work.

From keeping your bones strong, to a healthy heart and regular blood sugar levels, this mineral is vital for your ultimate health and wellbeing. Here are just some of the main reasons why….


Fights Inflammation

The immune system’s reaction to potential harm is to create inflammation in a bid to fight off any viruses in the body and heal wounds. It’s when you have inflammation all of the time that this can create health problems leading to arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. Magnesium can play an essential role in preventing this from happening.


Strong Bones

The minerals plays an essential role when building new bone cells in the body. Research suggests it can also protect against broken bones, bone loss, bone disease and osteoporosis. Studies also show that women with osteoporosis usually have lower magnesium levels than those without the condition.


Protects The Heart

Magnesium can relax the blood vessel walls, keeping your blood pressure down. By helping your heart pump blood, right levels of this mineral can lower the chances of irregular heartbeat, heart attack and heart disease. It also boosts HDL or “good” cholesterol levels in the body.


Prevents Migraines

Many health experts believe that magnesium can block or lower pain chemicals from being released in the brain. This prevents blood vessels from tightening but it also means that you’re more likely to get migraines if you’re not getting enough. Ensuring you take a Magnesium supplement can help to keep headaches away.


Reduces Risk of Diabetes

Insulin keeps blood sugar levels steady. Magnesium can help to ensure this hormone is working right. In one study, people with the most magnesium in their diet were found to be less likely to get the diabetes, compared with those getting the least.


Reduces Risk of Cerebral Palsy in Pre-Term Babies

In one recent study published in the journal Implementation Science, it was shown that when Magnesium sulfate was given to pregnant mothers in pre-term labor, it can reduce the risk of cerebral palsy (CP) in the infant. [1] Researchers think the mineral has neuro-protective benefits.


Good Sources of This Mineral

There are many good food sources of Magnesium including dark leafy greens (around 150 milligrams), almonds or cashews (give about 80 milligrams of magnesium).

Pumpkin seeds, pecans peanuts, flax and sunflower seeds are all rich in magnesium and a good way to get heart-healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants into your diet. Avocado is a great source of magnesium, containing 44 milligrams.

Legumes are another good choice of magnesium; half a cup of black beans has 60 milligrams and kidney beans have 35 milligrams. Choose Chickpeas, lentils and white beans as they are high in fiber, protein, iron and zinc.


Are You Getting Enough?

Many people simply aren’t getting enough Magnesium from their diet alone. At low levels, a deficiency can contribute to a myriad of health issues including high blood pressure, migraines and Type 2 Diabetes.

One of the best ways to get Magnesium into your body is transdermally via the skin (see recommended examples below), where it can reach directly into the bloodstream for faster cellular absorption – getting this essential mineral to where it is needed most.

Older adults, alcoholics and people with Type 2 Diabetes or digestive problems are more likely to be lacking in magnesium, either because their bodies are getting too much or they simply aren’t getting enough.

On average, an adult woman needs around 310 milligrams a day, 320 milligrams after the age of 30. Pregnant women also need an extra 40 milligrams.

Adult men under 31 need 400 milligrams and if they’re older, 420 milligrams. Children are recommended to have between 30 to 410 milligrams, depending on their age and gender. It’s recommended to talk with your pediatrician to discuss your child’s needs.

Robert Redfern

Stay Healthy With These 7 Immunity Boosting Recipes

6 Feb

Are you completely determined not to catch another cold this season? Me too! Don’t worry, I won’t advise you to eat garlic by the fistful, nor to drink gross onion tea. (Although you can do that, too.)

The recipes below are actually tasty things you’d want to eat anyway, but with additional benefits that help boost your immunity. Who would have thought you could get away with eating popsicles in the middle of winter? And for health purposes nonetheless! Scroll down for seven immunity boosting recipes you’ll want to try right away:

The flavors of garlic and mushrooms pair perfectly, but it’s not just that. Along with bone broth, they support of the immune system during the cold winter months.

Cream of Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Soup (dairy-free)
Serves 6
  1. 2 heads garlic
  2. 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  3. 1 large leek, white and light green parts, finely chopped
  4. 2 1/2 pounds mushrooms (such as shiitake, maitake, chanterelles, etc.), roughly chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  6. 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, preferably homemade
  7. 1/3 cup raw cashews
  8. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  10. 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  11. black pepper
  12. coconut oil
  13. olive oil, for drizzling
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the tops off the garlic heads to expose the cloves. Drizzle on the melted coconut oil. Top the garlic with a small piece of unbleached parchment paper, then wrap the heads in aluminum foil. Add the garlic to a small baking dish and bake in the oven until soft and caramelized, about 45-55 minutes (exact time will depend on size).
  2. Remove the garlic from the oven, and allow to cool. Squeeze or scoop out the cloves into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Preheat a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Melt about 1 tablespoon coconut oil and add the leek, with a pinch of sea salt. Cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and thyme and sauté, stirring often, until soft and cooked, about 10-15 minutes, depending on size. Reserve about 1 cup of the mushrooms for garnish (chop them finely if coarse).
  5. Add the rest of the mushrooms, garlic, broth, cashews, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper, to taste, in 2 batches, in a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute.
  6. Transfer back to the pot and bring to a low boil. Turn off the heat and mix in parsley.
  7. Serve immediately topped with the reserved mushrooms and a drizzle of olive oil.
  1. I usually roast more than 2 heads of garlic, since roasted garlic makes a great appetizer – spread it on toast with a little olive oil, sea salt, and chopped parsley!
By Nathalie @ Vanille Verte
Start the day with this sparkling parfait and you’ll reap the benefits of its superfood ingredients! Dragonfruit is rich in vitamins and minerals, while lime and baobab boost the immune system (and the taste!).


serves two

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat groats (soaked and rinsed)
  • 1 small zucchini, peeled and frozen
  • 1 cup frozen nut milk cubes
  • 2 tbsp lime juice


Freeze plant milk in one ice cube tray, preferably a tray with smaller boxes so you don’t break your blender. I allow the cubes to melt a bit before putting them in the blender. Add in the pitaya and zucchini, both also a bit thawed, baobab, lime juice and only 1/4 cup of the buckwheat groats. Blend until smoothie, layer with plant yogurt and fruit and remaining buckwheat groats, and serve topped with granola and twists of lime!! Enjoy!
Green Smoothie Gourmet
Packed with citrus and pomegranate, this fruit salad is a healthy and tasty dose of vitamin C. Not to mentioned it’s drizzled with honey!

Pomegranate Citrus Winter Fruit Salad



Author Lindsey Rose Johnson

Yield 4 -6


  • 2 large ruby red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 2-3 navel oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 2-3 medium pears, any variety, cored and sliced
  • 2 ripe persimmons, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint, cut into thin ribbons, or torn into pieces


  1. Place the citrus fruit, pears, and persimmons into a serving bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and set aside.
  2. Cut the pomegranate in half horizontally. Working over a bowl set in the bottom of the kitchen sink, hold the pomegranate in your hand, cut-side down. Hit the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon. The seeds will fall from the membranes into the bowl. Fill the bowl with cool water. Any of the leftover membranes will rise to the top and can easily be separated from the seeds. Drain and sprinkle over the top of the other fruit.
  3. Sprinkle the fresh mint over the top and serve immediately.

If eating colorful popsicles to prevent a cold sounds like a dream come true, this is the recipe for you! Take all the ingredients you normally use for tea (ginger, turmeric, honey, lemon), pair with apple juice and freeze to perfection.

Apple-Ginger-Turmeric Immunity Boosting Popsicles

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Freeze Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 4 popsicles
Author: Brewing Happiness
These immunity boosting popsicles are packed with apples, lemon, ginger, turmeric, and honey, making a delicious and healing sweet treat!


  • 2 cups apple juice no sugar added
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger root, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric root, chopped


  1. Peel or cut off the skin of your ginger and turmeric, then chop into small pieces.
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until smooth and probably frothy.
  3. Pour the juice into popsicle molds.
  4. Freeze overnight.
  5. EAT (lick?) UP!

This  bowl of this noodle soup works miracles on your mood and health! Refuel with ginger, garlic, and vitamin-packed bok choy.

Serves 1

Garlic Ginger Zucchini Noodle Bowl with Salmon and Bok Choy

10 min Prep Time

20 min Cook Time

30 min Total Time


  • 1 medium zucchini, peeled, Blade C, noodles trimmed
  • 3-4 oz salmon, skinless
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 bunch baby bok choy, ends trimmed
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  1. Cook your salmon anyway you prefer – grill it, saute it, poach it, steam it, bake it. While cooking, follow the remaining steps.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and ginger, cooking for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the bok choy, season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until mostly wilted. Add in vegetable broth and soy sauce and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add in zucchini noodles, and let cook uncovered for about 3-5 minutes or until liquid boils for 1 minute and zucchini noodles soften and are cooked. Right before the noodles are done, mix in half of the scallions.
  4. Pour the noodle mixture into a large bowl. Top with the piece of salmon. Garnish with remaining scallions.


Per serving (1 out of 1) – Calories: 376, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Carbs: 25g, Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 12g, Protein: 46g, Sodium: 1969mg by Inspiralized

You’d expect a sugar and fat bomb from baked pears… but this recipe begs to differ! Topped with honey, lemon and ginger, it makes a great treat for when you feel you’re coming down with a cold.

Easy Baked Pear Recipe

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Author: Start Eating Organic


  • 2 pears firm, halved, peeled & cored
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp dried ginger
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 8 tbsp water


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit.

  2. Mix the lemon juice, ginger & honey in a small bowl.

  3. Place the pears in a small baking dish, cut side up. Put the water in the bottom of the dish.

  4. Spoon the mixture over the pears. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and pop it in the oven.

  5. Bake until soft & enjoy warm or cold.

    Baobab is an antioxidant that’s high in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and fiber. Mixed here with turmeric, ginger powder and mango, it makes for a great immune-boosting snack.

    These Mango Baobab Energy balls are made with two wonderfully healthy ingredients. The first is my favorite superfood, Baobab.  It is comes from the pulp of fruit, grown in Africa and is usually sold as a powder form in health food stores. Baobab is high in Vitamin C and is a great anti-oxidant. It has a high fiber content making a get prebiotic, helping in healthy gut bacteria growth promotion. I find this a great addition to my energy balls to not only provide a healthy addition of Vitamin C, but also good fiber content, source of calcium and magnesium.

    Mango Baobab Energy Balls {Raw, GF, Vegan}
     By Meghna
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    1. Soak the dates and dried mango in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain but reserve the water.
    2. In a food processor blitz the almonds, oats and chia seeds till it becomes a rough powder. Set aside.
    3. Blend the soaked dates and mango along with the coconut oil, till it forms a rough paste. Add the almond-oats powdered mixture along with the Baobab powder, turmeric, ginger, black pepper and Protein powder and process in the food processor till it is well combined.
    4. If it seems dry, then slowly add the reserved water from soaking the dates & mango. Add a tablespoon at a time as you do not want to make it too sticky. It is ready when the mix comes together, it has a shine and its sticks together when pinched. It should be neither too wet or too dry. If it has become too sticky then add more oats.
    5. Roll into small balls and dip in desiccated coconut till well coated. Store in the refrigerator or eat immediately.
      From Hello Glow

How Serrapeptase Can Help To Heal Your GallBladder Stones

5 Feb


Gallstones can be incredibly painful for sufferers. They often develop when there’s an imbalance in the substances that form bile within the gallbladder. The main function of the gallbladder organ is to store bile, which helps the body break down fat from the intestine.

As an example, cholesterol gallstones can develop if there’s too much cholesterol found in the bile. They can also form if the gallbladder doesn’t empty effectively.

There are various health problems associated with gallstones and some of them include inflammation, biliary colic and dysfunctional issues.

Gallstones are a problem that occurs mostly in women than men. Symptoms include pain in the right abdomen after a meal and pain beneath the shoulder blade that radiates up to the upper back.

In addition, one may also experience heartburn, indigestion, chest pain, excessive gas and bloating. Many of these symptoms are similar to those resembling a heart condition and therefore requires proper diagnosis by a doctor.

Find Relief From Gall Bladder Stones With Serrapeptase

Serrapeptase can help to relieve inflammation in the body which is associated with gallbladder stones. The inflammation that contributes to this health condition can be safely and effectively dissolved by using Serrapeptase on a consistent basis.

Serrapeptase naturally breaks down and then dissolves the inflammation that has built up to cause the gallstones to occur. Once the gallstones are removed, natural pain relief is achieved and the person can start to feel back to their normal self.

By taking Serrapeptase alongside a muscle relaxant, it’s possible to prevent muscle spasms and relax the smooth muscle within the urinary tract, making the gallstones easier to pass.

A good probiotic formula can support digestive health making it easier to receive the nutrients necessary for supporting the healing process. While taking a multivitamin formula can provide the nutrients needed to ensure the body is working to its optimum best.

Robert Redfern

Essential Oils for Pain Conditions

31 Jan


Painful conditions are not only rampant, but they can be difficult to treat with conventional medication. Chances are, you’re reading this because you are struggling with pain and tired of the bandage solutions that just treat it symptomatically and come with a myriad of side effects.

You want a real change instead of temporary relief.

Each kind of pain and each person is different, but taking a whole body approach and using natural solutions like essential oils can address many painful conditions in a much more direct way.

The Problem with Pain Relief

Pain can manifest due to a variety of causes such as illness, injury, and inflammation. It can be dull or sharp, acute or chronic, widespread or at a specific point. The unifying factor is that pain is incredibly difficult to live with and endure. No matter the cause or how it manifests, pain affects your quality of life.

The problem with pain relief lies is that there is no great solution. If pain is considered a symptom, are you more focused on managing symptoms or discovering what the symptoms point to? And no matter the goal, with painful conditions, it’s difficult to do more than damage control simply because you have to ease it in order to function.

Natural pain remedies are often less invasive than medications and usually include lifestyle changes that begin to address the underlying causes. With something like essential oils, you can easily incorporate them into your lifestyle while taking advantage of pain-relieving effects that – when used properly – carry few side effects. (1)

With that said, you should always work with your doctor to determine the best strategy for tackling pain and its causes. Use caution and learn of contraindications and interactions before introducing supplements and essential oils when you are already taking medications.

How To Use Essential Oils For Pain

As easy topical applications, essential oils complement a holistic, natural approach to pain relief. Oils and methods chosen might vary based on the kind of pain and the part of the painful condition you wish to address. Here are some of the more prominent painful illnesses and the essential oils that may help.

1. Fibromyalgia

As a relatively recent official diagnosis, fibromyalgia is increasing in prevalence simply because more and more people realize there is a name for the pain they have struggled with for years. At this point, about 5 million people are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, dealing with many concurrent symptoms: (2)

  • Morning stiffness.
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.
  • Headaches, including migraines.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Cognitive problems with thinking and memory (sometimes called “fibro fog”).
  • Painful menstrual periods and other pain syndromes.

Essential oils can address many of these symptoms, helping to alleviate the various forms of pain that fibromyalgia present as. Relieving these symptoms can help to slow the pain cycle, allowing more movement and rest that can limit further pain.

Application: Consider bolstering gut health with essential oils and probiotics. Alleviate sleep issues with lavender and bergamot. Improve focus with citrus and peppermint. And massage painful menstrual abdominals with clary sage and ylang ylang.

2. Headaches

Caused by sinuses, migraine disorders, diet and hydration, and even stress, headaches can range from mildly annoying to debilitating pain. The cause of the headaches need to be discovered to rule out anything serious and to help prevent recurrences, but acute pain relief is necessary when a headache strikes.

  • The cooling, pain relieving effects that peppermint oil has make it soothing for headache applications. Massaged with a carrier oil onto the site of pain, such as sinus pressure, peppermint can help to work the pain of a headache away. It may also help to counter headaches that are triggered by scent. (3)
  • In light of chamomile’s traditional use for migraine relief, researchers are looking into verifying its mechanisms of action. (4) Known for its relaxing abilities, chamomile as both an herb and an essential oil is good to have on hand for headache relief.
  • Calming in cases of anxiety and useful when sleep is hindered, lavender essential oil is effective simply via inhalation. In a placebo-controlled trial, lavender exhibited excellent pain relief in a simple inhalation application. (5)

Application: Headache relief with essential oils can be administered with inhalation or by adding the oil to a carrier and massaging the temples.

3. Arthritis

Arthritis comes in multiple forms, sometimes caused by age and others by genetics. The type of arthritis can affect both severity and location of pain, but the results are similar across the board. Secondary depression that comes with chronic pain is common and difficult to counteract.

A 2005 study used aromatherapy to help relieve the depressive symptoms associated with arthritic pain. The study used lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint in a blend of carrier oils on a total of 40 patients. After using the oils, both pain and depression were lessened. (6)

Application: Blend lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils into a carrier and massage into painful areas.

4. Inflammatory Illness

Inflammation is at the heart of most painful conditions, from injuries to chronic illness. Anti-inflammatory oils are important tools when fighting pain.

  • A good reason for lavender’s pain relieving abilities is that it’s an anti-inflammatory essential oil. (7)
  • Tested in the lab, Melissa (lemon balm) essential oil has shown some effectiveness against both inflammation and swelling. (8)
  • Monoterpenes. Really, any essential oils with monoterpenes – which, as one study notes, can comprise about 90% of essential oils – have some level of anti-inflammatory ability. (9) So feel free to play!

Application: For relief of inflammation, add a blend of anti-inflammatory essential oils like Melissa and lavender to to your carrier oil(s) of choice and massage onto areas that are painful.

Pain Relief as a Lifestyle

Approach pain relief as a holistic venture in order to carry your efforts further. Keeping your body loose with exercise, getting good sleep, and eating good foods are all important. It’s also helpful to minimize stress and keep the immune system functioning well.


Dr. Eric Z

What is Eczema?

30 Jan

Chances are, you’re here to look for answers about eczema (eg-zuh-MUH) and find support.

You might have first noticed an itchy, red patch on your baby’s cheeks, chin, or chest that she or he scratched until it became even more irritated. Sound familiar? Or maybe you experienced something similar on your own neck, inner elbows, or behind your knees.

Atopic dermatitis on the hands

Eczema can appear anywhere on the body

That’s probably when you made an appointment with your doctor, who looked at it, talked to you about your symptoms, asked you questions about your family history and the types of products you use on your skin and in your home. Then your doctor told you it was eczema.

So what exactly is eczema? Who can get it and why? And what should you do, now that you or your child has been diagnosed?

Learning more about what kind of eczema you have and what may have triggered it, is the best starting point to treating and managing it, so that your eczema doesn’t get in the way of your everyday life.

The good news is you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to help guide you — with all of the tools and support you’ll need — every step of the way.

Types of eczema

Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. There are several types of eczema: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis and stasis dermatitis.

Eczema is very common. And in many cases, it’s also manageable. In fact, over 30 million Americans have some form of eczema.

Picture of eczema on the backs of knees

Eczema flares often show up on the backs of the knees

Living with eczema can be an ongoing challenge. The word “eczema” is derived from a Greek word meaning “to boil over,” which is a good description for the red, inflamed, itchy patches that occur during flare-ups. Eczema can range from mild, moderate, to severe.

It’s most common for babies and children to develop eczema on their face (especially the cheeks and chin), but it can appear anywhere on the body and symptoms may be different from one child to the next. More often than not, eczema goes away as a child grows older, though some children will continue to experience eczema into adulthood.

Adults can develop eczema, too, even if they never had it as a child.

Is eczema contagious?

Atopic dermatitis and eczema often appears in infantsEczema is not contagious. You can’t “catch it” from someone else. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, researchers do know that people who develop eczema do so because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers. When an irritant or an allergen “switches on” the immune system, skin cells don’t behave as they should causing an eczema flare-up.

What are the treatments for eczema?

There is no cure for eczema but there are treatments. Depending on age and eczema severity, these treatments include over-the-counter (OTC) remedies, prescription topical medications, phototherapy, immunosuppressants, and biologic drugs. Many people with eczema also find success with specific natural and alternative treatments.

For most types of eczema, managing flares comes down to these basics:

  • Know your triggers so that you can avoid exposure
  • Implement a daily bathing and moisturizing routine
  • Use OTC and prescription medication consistently and as prescribed

What are the symptoms of eczema?

The most important thing to remember is that eczema and its symptoms are different for everyone. Your eczema may not look the same on you as it does on another adult, or on your child. It may even appear in different areas of the body at different times.

picture of eczema rash on the neck

Eczema is usually itchy

Eczema is usually itchy. For many people, the itch is usually only mild, or moderate. But in some cases it can become much worse and you might develop extremely inflamed skin. Sometimes the itch gets so bad that people scratch it until it bleeds, which can make your eczema worse. This is called the “itch-scratch cycle.”

What to look for:

  • Dry, sensitive skin
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Very bad itching
  • Dark colored patches of skin
  • Rough, leathery or scaly patches of skin
  • Oozing or crusting
  • Areas of swelling

You might have all of these symptoms of eczema or only just a few. You might have some flare ups or your symptoms could go away entirely. But the only way to know if you have eczema for sure, is to visit your doctor so he or she can look at your skin and ask you about your symptoms.

picture of atopic dermatitis on an adult's feet

Atopic dermatitis on the ankles and feet of an adult male

What is the difference between eczema and atopic dermatitis?

Eczema is a general term for dermatitis, which simply means inflammation of the skin. All types of eczema cause itching and redness and some will blister, weep or peel.

There are several types of eczema. Atopic dermatitis considered a severe and chronic (long-lasting) form.

The term “eczema” is often used interchangeably with “atopic dermatitis.” However, each type of eczema, including atopic dermatitis, has somewhat different triggers, symptoms and treatments. That’s why it’s important to know which type or types (since a person can have more than one type at the same time) you have, so that you are best able to manage it.


The Gray Hair Myth Busted: 4 Natural Ways to Turn Back Time

29 Jan

The top gray hair ‘fixes’: 3 natural remedies to try

The most effective anti-aging practices I live by can also help to prevent, manage, and reduce hair that’s gone prematurely gray:

1. Get more humic minerals.

Minerals are a catch-all solution for many, if not all, of the symptoms of aging in our bodies. A deficiency in minerals may be the reason we start to get tired all the time, mistakenly attributing this decline in function to age. Minerals nourish the adrenals, and the adrenals provide the body with energy to heal. Signs of so-called premature aging, like constipation, fatigue, dry skin, and gray hair, may actually be a depletion in our prenatal jing, the constitutional energy we are born with. It’s possible to replenish prenatal jing by nourishing the adrenals and thyroid with healing foods and with ample amounts of minerals. Taking high-quality humic minerals can nourish, detoxify, and reduce signs of aging in the body.

Humic mineral extract has a 92 percent success rate in treating a number of chronic diseases associated with age, including autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.3

2. Include catalyze enzymes.

Our bodies need more help from digestive enzymes with each passing year as our naturally-produced enzymes that help us break down and process food deplete with age. Taking the catalyze enzyme can help to bind to hydrogen peroxide in the body, turning it into CO2 and water. While some hydrogen peroxide in the body is necessary — required by the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormone — European researchers confirmed in 2013 that gray hair is caused by oxidative stress created when too much hydrogen peroxide accumulates at the root of the hair follicle.4 Flushing out this buildup of hydrogen peroxide with a catalyses enzyme can help to prevent hair from bleaching itself from the inside and prematurely turning gray. Catalyses-based enzyme creams are available to reduce peroxide levels in the epidermis, though these creams can be better used to address a condition like vitiligo. For gray hair reversal, peroxide-blocking catalyses enzymes are better taken internally. .

3. Try anti-aging herbs.

Fo-Ti root (He Shou Wu), a member of the buckwheat family, is an anti-aging herb renowned for its fertility-boosting and hair-color restoration potential. The herbal adaptogen has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, with sedative, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, cardiotonic, and antitumor applications confirmed in our modern research. For cases of gray hair and balding, taking Fo-Ti root can prove powerful. When researchers gave Fo-Ti root, administered as P. multiflorum extract, to mice in 2015, it was shown to completely reverse hair graying caused by high levels of hydrogen peroxide.5 Fo-Ti root can be taken orally to support gray hair renewal, while also reaping its liver tonic, cognitive, longevity, and energizing benefits.


The top gray hair causes: 4 habits to avoid

Gray hair can be naturally reversed, in some cases, while avoiding these common stressors can keep hair colorful for longer:

1. Eating too much meat.

High hydrogen peroxide levels, a.k.a. the internal hair-whitening agent, are common when eating excess meat. In 2017, gray hair was also linked to a higher heart disease risk in men.7 Though unrelated to the gray hair findings, we know that a diet rich in processed red meat can increase the risk of heart disease and death.8 Meat can still be a healthy part of The Body Ecology Diet, as long as it is unprocessed, properly combined, and makes up only 20 percent of a meal.

2. Eating too much sugar.

Many times, loss of hair volume, color, and quality can be caused by a systemic infection, like underlying candida overgrowth in the gut. Countless people in the Body Ecology community have found that by eliminating all sources of refined sugar to control candida, while nourishing the thyroid and balancing hormones.

3. Skipping the (fermented) vegetables.

Remember that prenatal jing spoken of, the finite amount of energy we’re all born with that is passed down to us from our parents and grandparents? Supporting the thyroid and the adrenals by eating daily fermented vegetables can help to offset some of the most damaging effects of our go-go-go culture. Reducing stress to reduce signs of aging in the body is paramount; good gut bacteria have an effect on our central nervous system and can lower stress levels and anxiety.9

4. Not getting enough sleep.

Stress, sleep, and signs of aging all go hand-in-hand.

Getting deep and restorative sleep may be enough to work as the “fountain of youth” as we grow older, University of California, Berkeley, researchers said in 2017. When examining restless sleep habits in the elderly, UC Berkeley scientists stated that almost every age-related disease has a causal link to our sleep.10 If sleeping for a full 7 to 9 hours proves difficult, napping during the day can fill the gap, protecting the brain and the body from the internal damage caused by lack of sleep.

Everybody ages, and eventually, we will all have our last day on this earth, but I am absolutely convinced that we can go right on living comfortably in these bodies if we take good care of them.

What’s on the horizon for new scientific breakthroughs that can change how we age? University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers just discovered, by happenstance when studying tumors, how deleting the SCF gene could cause hair to turn gray.11 Soon enough, scientists may be able to use this information to develop a topical product that supplies us with the gene needed to keep our hair colorful. Until then, we can continue to use all we have learned about our unique genetic blueprints and how they may affect our predisposition for aging and disease.

Donna Gates


  1. Gordon S. Elie Metchnikoff: father of natural immunity. Eur J Immunol. 2008
    Dec;38(12):3257-64. doi: 10.1002/eji.200838855. PubMed PMID: 19039772.
  2. Mackowiak PA. Recycling Metchnikoff: Probiotics, the Intestinal Microbiome and the Quest for Long Life. Frontiers in Public Health. 2013;1:52. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2013.00052.
  3. Yuan, Shenyuan; Fulvic Acid, 4 1988; in Application of Fulvic acid and its derivatives in the fields of agriculture and medicine; First Edition: June 1993.
  4. K. U. Schallreuter, M. A. E. L. Salem, S. Holtz, A. Panske. Basic evidence for epidermal H2O2/ONOO–mediated oxidation/nitration in segmental vitiligo is supported by repigmentation of skin and eyelashes after reduction of epidermal H2O2 with topical NB-UVB-activated pseudocatalase PC-KUS. The FASEB Journal, 2013; DOI: 10.1096/fj.12-226779.
  5. Han M-N, Lu J-M, Zhang G-Y, Yu J, Zhao R-H. Mechanistic Studies on the Use of Polygonum multiflorum for the Treatment of Hair Graying. BioMed Research International. 2015;2015:651048. doi:10.1155/2015/651048.
  6. Bing Han, Priya Sivaramakrishnan, Chih-Chun J. Lin, Isaiah A.A. Neve, Jingquan He, Li Wei Rachel Tay, Jessica N. Sowa, Antons Sizovs, Guangwei Du, Jin Wang, Christophe Herman, Meng C. Wang. Microbial Genetic Composition Tunes Host Longevity. Cell, 2017; 169 (7): 1249 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.05.036.
  7. “Grey hair linked with increased heart disease risk in men.” European Society of Cardiology.
  8. Joanna Kaluza, Agneta Åkesson, and Alicja Wolk. Processed and Unprocessed Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure: A Prospective Study of Men. Circ Heart Fail., June 12 2014 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.113.000921.
  9. Daniel J. Davis, Holly M. Doerr, Agata K. Grzelak, Susheel B. Busi, Eldin Jasarevic, Aaron C. Ericsson, Elizabeth C. Bryda. Lactobacillus plantarum attenuates anxiety-related behavior and protects against stress-induced dysbiosis in adult zebrafish. Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 33726 DOI: 10.1038/srep33726.
  10. Bryce A. Mander, Joseph R. Winer, Matthew P. Walker. 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.02.004. Neuron, April 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.02.004.
  11. Chung-Ping Liao, Reid C. Booker, Sean J. Morrison, Lu Q. Le. Identification of hair shaft progenitors that create a niche for hair pigmentation. Genes & Development, 2017; DOI: 10.1101/gad.298703.117.

10 Tips for Autoimmune Thyroid Disease and Anxiety

17 Jan


Not many people are aware, but anxiety is a very common thyroid symptom. A study in 2004 found that there is an association between the presence of a mood or anxiety disorder and the presence of anti-TPO antibodies.

It also noted that a slight reduction in thyroid hormone secretion (such as that found in subclinical hypothyroidism) may affect mood as well! This means the anxiety you are feeling could be related to your thyroid! Trudy Scott, a nutritionist who specializes in anxiety reports that up to 50% of her clients with anxiety have Hashimoto’s!

It’s not uncommon for patients to be dismissed as having stress or anxiety and to be given anti-anxiety medications without thyroid function ever being considered.

My Personal Anxiety Journey

Anxiety was one of the most challenging and disempowering symptoms Dr. Wentz experienced when she was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. It changed her life dramatically and made her a shell of my former self. She says:

She was always the outspoken, level-headed and calm person, but sometime in 2005, something called “new-onset anxiety” was a shock to my world.

she was scared.

She couldn’t deal with life. She was in a constant state of overwhelm. She doubted myself.

A lifelong social butterfly, She suddenly found herself feeling socially awkward and uncomfortable in groups of strangers (and even friends).

She resisted sharing her thoughts and opinions with colleagues and those in her personal life because she feared she would be judged and ridiculed.

She was always on edge, waiting for something bad to happen. She would almost jump out of her seat when people came into her office at work!

She was constantly worried about everything and was crippled by her anxiety almost daily.

She thought she might have had a new-onset anxiety disorder, so she saw a doctor who prescribed anxiety medications for her. At times, she felt like she couldn’t deal with anything without them.

Of course, these medications did not get to the root cause – they were just a band-aid – She found a way to address her anxiety through the many things that she did to address the health of my thyroid gland.

Do You Struggle With Anxiety?

Let me ask you…

  • On a regular or frequent basis, do you have anxiety or feel stressed and overwhelmed?
  • Do you get panic attacks? Or feel awkward or uncomfortable in social situations?
  • Do you have obsessive thoughts or behaviors?
  • Do you have a busy mind that won’t switch off, or negative self-talk and problems sleeping?
  • What about emotional or stress eating?

These anxiety symptoms are very common in people with thyroid disorders.

I know how awful anxiety and overwhelm can feel, so I’m excited to share that there IS a way out and you don’t have to feel this way forever.

The Conventional Approach to Anxiety

The conventional approach to anxiety focuses on using medications, including SSRIs (Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc.) and anxiolytic medications like the benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax, etc.)

There are many well-documented side effects of antidepressants and benzodiazepines, ranging from the rare but serious; suicidal ideation/action, homicidal ideation/action and even death to the very common; more brain fog, weight gain, sexual dysfunction and feeling disconnected from reality. And as you may have guessed, I don’t think that anxiety is a “Prozac-deficiency” or a “benzodiazepine deficiency.”

As a pharmacist Dr. Wentz once specialized in psychiatry, and believes that most medications have their time and place. If medications can help someone feel better and get through a difficult time in their lives while the benefits outweigh the risks, then fabulous! But after her own personal journey with taking back her health and training in functional medicine, she is really interested in helping people with anxiety by addressing root causes and looking for solutions that are based in lifestyle and are free of side effects!

Some, ahem, Unconventional Approaches to Anxiety

People do various things in an attempt to control their feelings of anxiety, fear, irritability, obsessive thoughts, frustration, or “impending doom,” as panic attacks have been described by some.

Some people turn to alcohol to self-medicate their anxiety. This is especially common in the situation of social anxiety. Alcohol can lower our natural levels of inhibition and make us less self-conscious and more bubbly. Unfortunately, this can lead to a dependence on alcohol, and doesn’t resolve the underlying root cause of why we are anxious in the first place.


The True Root Causes of Anxiety

On a grand scale, anxiety, just like most other symptoms we experience, is a sign that something is out of balance within our bodies or our lives.

Anxiety could result from blood sugar imbalance, thyroid hormone abnormalities, an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland, nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities and even other root causes, such as toxins and chronic infections.

Another common root cause of anxiety really goes into our stress response. If we’ve had traumatic experiences in our lives, this may predispose us to be more anxious and hyper-vigilant… If we have current situations that are outside of our coping strategies, we may also feel more anxious.

In people with anxiety, our chemical messengers-neurotransmitters and hormones are often going to be out of balance, specifically GABA, Cortisol and Serotonin are thought to play important roles.

Dr. Wentz’s approach to anxiety is to address the underlying root causes, as well as use targeted approaches to re-balance the brain and body patterns that are safe and effective.

The Root Cause Approach to Anxiety

While the root causes may vary from person to person, Dr. Wentz wants to share some strategies you can start right away. You don’t have to be anxious- there are some pretty simple hacks that can work wonders!

I love starting with things you can do on your own that don’t require fancy detective work. These things include using food and nutrients to balance your mood!

Addressing blood sugar imbalances, food reactions, deficiencies and the stress response are a part of fundamental strategies that will help 60-80% of people overcome anxiety!! In some cases, you just need to do one of the below. For best results, I recommend making all of them a part of your day to day life!

The Fundamental Anxiety Reduction Strategies.

1. Balance Your Blood Sugar

One of the most important things you can do to reduce your anxiety is to address your blood sugar. Blood sugar swings can put us on an emotional roller food reactioncoaster. After consuming carbohydrate-rich foods, some people find their blood sugar goes up too high, too quickly.

This leads to a rapid, sometimes excessive release of insulin. These insulin surges can cause low blood sugar, which can cause unpleasant symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness, lightheadedness, fatigue and irritability (or feeling “hangry” as I like to call it)- so a big recommendation I have is to balance your blood sugar.

You can do this by reducing your intake of carbohydrates, and increasing your protein and fat intake. A low-carb or ketogenic diet (a low-carb diet where the body breaks down fats for fuel instead of relying on carbohydrates) could be beneficial for some.

Often times, breakfast can make or break your whole day. I recommend starting the day off right by having a breakfast that is filled with good fats (for example, avocado or coconut milk), as well as a good source of protein, while limiting your intake of sugars, even from fruit.

Some breakfast options include eggs with avocados, burger patties and protein and fat-based smoothies. Dr. Wentz,s Root Cause Green Smoothie is created specifically with the intention of keeping blood sugar balanced. She has developed a specific protein powder that is also autoimmune Paleo friendly, her Al Paleo Protein.

Another important note- people often ask about intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast. While this can be a fantastic way for some people to feel better, lose weight and reset their bodies, it can be an absolute mood rollercoaster for people with imbalanced blood sugar and adrenal issues.

As most people with Hashimoto’s and anxiety, have blood sugar imbalances and adrenal issues, I recommend eating a good breakfast and abstaining from intermittent fasting. The only exception would be if you are already keto-adapted (i.e. you’ve been eating a ketogenic diet for a while and your body burns fat instead of sugar for fuel). If your body is burning ketones instead of sugar, you are less likely to experience the blood sugar swings.

Dr. Wentz also recommends eating frequent protein and fat containing meals and snacks to balance your blood sugar throughout the day. Adding fat containing substances like coconut oil into your beverages throughout the day can also make you feel more calm and collected. (Just make sure that the beverages are not too hot when you decided to sip on them, the hot coconut oil could burn your tongue and mouth.

Finally, amino acid supplements can help with stabilizing your blood sugar, and will thus lessen your anxiety. I recommend Amino NR to be taken three times per day. Others have also benefited from using L-Glutamine for low blood sugar (starting with 500mg per day).

Dr. Wentz says balancing her blood sugar made a big difference, helping with her anxiety levels and reducing her thyroid antibodies! Here is an article that goes into greater depth about balancing blood sugar, and she also developed blood sugar rules she personally follows to stay balanced.

blood sugar balancing rules


2. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

If you’re currently drinking coffee, soda, green tea or black tea, removing or reducing your intake of caffeine can be really helpful. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make us feel edgy and can lead to heart palpitations and increased feelings of anxiety.

For some people, who are slow metabolizers of caffeine and may not clear it effectively out of the body, they may not be able to have any- not in coffee, sodas, teas and even chocolate! (Carob is a tasty, caffeine-free, autoimmune Paleo friendly chocolate substitute, BTW).

Others, who are fast metabolizers (clear caffeine faster from their body) may be able to tolerate more daily caffeine without an impact on their anxiety levels.

Regardless of your genes and metabolism of caffeine, generally, the weaker your adrenals and more of-balance your blood sugar, the more likely you are to experience anxiety from caffeine. This is because caffeine forces more glucose to be produced by the liver, sending us on a blood sugar roller coaster…

Issues that can be resolved by removing caffeine are anxiety, headaches, palpitations, insomnia and frequent urination resolve with reduced caffeine.

If you’re thinking about reducing your caffeine intake, It is recommended that you do it gradually overtime, instead of just stopping it cold-turkey, as going cold turkey on caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and even vomiting. Reducing intake by about 50% every 1-3 days is a good pace for most people.

3. Food Reactions

The most common food reactions responsible for anxiety symptoms are due to gluten, dairy, soy, grains (especially corn), sugar, caffeine (as discussed above) and surprisingly to some- nuts.

Doing targeted food sensitivity testing, or simply a trial of eliminating the suspect foods for 3 weeks or so can help you uncover your food triggers.

Nuts have proven to cause problems. Dr. Wentz is not 100% sure what it is about the nuts that causes this reaction, but has seen this reaction in numerous clients, especially with almonds. For this reason, I do avoid nuts to this day.

You can read more about food sensitivities [HERE] and food myths [HERE], for more information about testing and doing the elimination diet.

4. Balance Your Thyroid with Selenium

Having an excess amount of thyroid hormone can make us extremely anxious, irritable and on edge. This is one symptom that is commonly attributed to Graves’ disease but can also happen in Hashimoto’s.

In the early stages of Hashimoto’s, the thyroid is under attack by the immune system. Thyroid antibodies are a marker that lets us know that the immune system is destroying thyroid tissue.

When thyroid cells are broken down, they release thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. This causes thyroid hormone surges or a transient hyperthyroidism known as thyrotoxicosis or Hashitoxicosis, as well as mood alterations, followed by an onset of hypothyroidism.

While many deficiencies have been implicated in both Hashimoto’s and anxiety, the most common ones seen in both conditions are deficiencies in selenium, magnesium, and probiotics. Addressing these deficiencies can help both the thyroid and anxiety symptoms!

One of the things that can be incredibly helpful with rapidly reducing the attack on the thyroid gland is selenium. One study found that over the course of 3 months, thyroid antibodies, which indicated the aggressiveness of the attack, can reduce by 50%!

Selenium, which has been shown to be helpful with reducing the autoimmune attack on the thyroid as well as reducing hair loss, can work wonders in reducing anxiety in people with thyroid antibodies. Many of my clients report feeling brand new with a small daily dose of Selenium. Dr. Wentz recommends Selenium Methionine at 200-400 mcg per day.

Additionally, if your TSH is elevated or suppressed, you may need to initiate or adjust thyroid hormones. The ideal TSH for most people is between 0.5-2 IU/L and levels too high and too low indicate an imbalance of thyroid hormone levels and have been associated with various symptoms, including anxiety. You may want to read my article on Understanding Your Thyroid Labs and Taking Thyroid Medications for more information.

5. Consider Beneficial Bacteria

Studies have found that the gut is in charge of producing neurotransmitters, including serotonin, one of the neurotransmitter that is thought to be lacking in anxiety and depression. Healthy gut bacteria assist with the production of serotonin, so taking probiotics or eating fermented foods may be helpful. You can read more about this in Dr. Wentz’s post about probiotics. One caveat: If you have obsessive thoughts, you will want to stay away from probiotics that contain Streptococcus probiotic strains, as they can theoretically increase obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

An overgrowth of Streptococcus (Strep) bacteria has been implicated in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Though I haven’t seen anyone worsening with Streptococcus containing probiotics yet, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. As a side note, if you have obsessive-compulsive symptoms, you may want to test your gut for an overgrowth of Streptococcus. The herb berberine can help with rebalancing this bacteria and once the bacteria is gone, often times, your obsessive symptoms leave with it!

6. Mind Your Magnesium

A magnesium supplement throughout the day or at bedtime can be beneficial as well for anxiety. Magnesium is especially helpful if you have insomnia or a racing mind when you’re trying to fall asleep. Some signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency include headaches, insomnia, constipation, anxiety and menstrual cramps.

Dr. Wentz recommends that you take the citrate version if you tend to be constipated (magnesium citrate has stool softening effects), and the glycinate version if they tend to have normal bowel movements or diarrhea. Keep in mind that for some people, magnesium glycinate can worsen anxiety symptoms. If you notice that your anxiety increases after taking magnesium glycinate, try switching to magnesium citrate. Side bonus: magnesium can also prevent headaches, body aches, and menstrual cramps!

7. Manage Your Stress Response

One of the ways to become less anxious is to increase our resilience to stress. We can increase your resilience by supporting the health of our adrenal glands, two tiny glands that produce our stress hormones including cortisol.

One sign that your adrenals need support is if you are easily overwhelmed, annoyed, anxious or irritated by others. The ultimate clue that your adrenals are over-stressed and need more support is if you find EVERYONE annoying and/or demanding… If there’s a day when your mom calls to say hello and you are annoyed and your sweet little dog even gets on my nerves for being a dog, you know that your adrenals need some TLC!

Your adrenals usually get stressed after a period of not getting enough sleep. The fastest way to crash adrenals is with sleep deprivation- the fastest way to recover them is to get extra rest! So… get some rest, take a nap, sleep in, or go to bed early!

If extra sleep doesn’t solve the problem, isn’t possible or you’ve had a long term case of anxiety, you may want to consider another way to support the adrenals… adaptogenic herbs!

An adaptogen, by definition, is a substance that can increase the body’s resilience to different types of stress, including physical and emotional stress. To be considered an adaptogen, an herb must:

  1. Be non toxic to the patient at normal doses.
  2. Help the entire body cope with stress.
  3. Help the body to return to normal regardless of how stress is currently affecting the person’s functioning.

Adaptogens both tone down overactive systems and boost underactive systems in the body, and are thought to help normalize the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Examples of adaptogenic herbs that may increase the body’s ability to resist stress include: ashwagandha, astragalus, reishi mushroom, dang shen, eleuthero, ginseng, jiaogulan, licorice, maca, schisandra, spikenard, and suma. These herbs have been helpful in relieving adrenal dysfunction when used in combination with vitamins and minerals.

Clients and readers who start taking adrenal adaptogens often report that the people in their lives all of a sudden become less annoying, demanding and more pleasant 🙂 It’s amazing what perception can do for our stress and anxiety.

Here are some additional strategies, Dr. Wentz recommends to reduce stress:

  1. Do your best to eliminate, simplify, delegate, automate.
  2. Be more resilient by being more flexible. Bruce Lee once said: “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
  3. Do the things that you like.
  4. Orderliness and predictability are your friends. Plan your life that way when you can. Catch up on bills, checkbooks, and your long to-do lists. Keep your space neat and clean. Schedule times to clean the house and catch up on life, not just big events. Make sure you schedule downtime as well.
  5. Avoid burning the candle at both ends.
  6. Massage, acupuncture, meditation or tai chi may help get you relaxed.
  7. Avoid multitasking. Do one thing at a time and keep your full attention on it before you move on to the next task. Take a small break in between tasks.
  8. Start a journal, make your own list, be mindful of what makes you feel better and what makes you feel worse.

8. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a term used to describe being conscious and aware of the present moment. This is probably the most important suggestion- mindfulness will allow you to take deliberate control of your thoughts and emotions and is a lifelong strategy that will help you in any challenging situation.

If you struggle with anxiety there are specific exercises and methods to help get you centered and in control when anxiety strikes. These strategies also work to prevent anxiety. For example, you can try yoga, deep breathing, adult coloring books, meditation or massage.

Whatever you can do to shut down your worried brain for even just a few minutes a day will help you in the long term.


If you have a resistant case of anxiety, or are going through a particularly anxious time, it may be time for you to consider some more advanced strategies!

9. Neurotransmitters

GABA is our naturally occurring neurotransmitter that is known to produce calmness, reduce tension and reduce anxiety.

Benzodiazepine and anti-anxiety drugs target this pathway and are very effective at reducing anxiety, but unfortunately, they are habit forming and produce side effects! This is because like many drugs, they have a high affinity for the receptors in our bodies. In very simple terms, they crank up the receptors to overdrive, instead of balancing them like naturally occurring GABA does.

Luckily, GABA is available as a supplement.

When Dr. Wentz first heard about using GABA orally as a supplement, she didn’t think it would be helpful because the molecule size is too large to cross the blood-brain barrier, but alas, neurotransmitters are also produced in our gut, and thanks to the intricate feedback system within our body, taking GABA orally still sends signals to our brain and body to relax.

According to Trudy Scott, chewable forms tend to work better, as they are more readily absorbed through our mucous membranes.

People who take GABA report more muscle relaxation, less anxiety, irritability, feeling lighter, and being able to laugh more, as opposed to “freaking out,” while remaining alert and without the drugged feeling you would get from benzos or alcohol.

Some GABA supplements:

Phenibut is a substance that impacts our GABA levels which have been associated with anxiety. While some biohackers have found this supplement effective for anxiety, unfortunately it is also habit forming, Dr. Wentz does not recommend it. 🙁 (Phenibut is available as a supplement in some countries, and regulated as a drug or controlled substance in others).

10. Reprocessing Past Traumas

If your anxiety results from events that occurred in your past, utilizing therapy may be the path to reducing or eliminating your anxiety. In many times, this will also help your thyroid.

Trauma and autoimmune disease go hand in hand as well. Traumatic events that aren’t properly processed and continue to haunt us are in Dr. Wentz’s opinion no different than walking around full of toxins in our bodies. They are bound to make us sick eventually! Extensive research she has cited in Hashimoto’s Protocol, has established a causal link between trauma, and autoimmune disease.

While there is certainly a physical side of Hashimoto’s, our whole body is a system with intricate feedback loops, and in that system we can’t ignore our mind and emotions.


Other Things to Consider

If your anxiety continues with all of the above interventions, you may also want to consider additional conditions such as pyroluria and copper toxicity, as both conditions can contribute to anxiety.

Book Recommendations

  1. Hashimoto’s Protocol
  2. Hashimoto’s the Root Cause
  3. The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings – Trudy Scott
  4. Ease Your Anxiety – Joan Rosenberg
  5. How To Stop Worrying and Start Living – Dale Carnegie
  6. Getting Past Your Past -Francine Shapiro

Here’s the takeaway: you are NOT going crazy! Anxiety, as well as other mood disorders such as depression, can be misdiagnosed and have thyroid imbalances as an underlying root cause. And of course, the root cause of your anxiety may be different from another person’s. (Please note: the suggestions in this article are not meant to replace your physician’s advice; please consult with your doctor before adjusting any medication prescriptions.) But with the right interventions, you can improve your anxiety and get back to living out your dreams and the life you imagined without fears and limitations.

I hope this helps and I wish you all the best on your health journey!

In the meantime, here’s an image you can print out to help you remember some of the best ways to help your anxiety:

Dr. Isabella Wentz