Thursday, November 16, 2017

Choose Less Sugar

I wrote a post about the harmful effects of sugar a few years ago. But with the holidays upon us, I think it's a good time to address this topic again.

Not only does sugar negatively affect the body in many different ways, but most people are seriously over-consuming sugar! 
Some form of added sugar is in almost every prepared or processed food these days. And most of these sugars are under various names you might not realize are actually sugar.

(See Dr. Mercola's article - for a long list of such names.)

Just how much sugar is too much?
"The American Heart Association and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend limiting your daily added sugar intake to nine teaspoons (38 grams) for men, and six teaspoons (25 grams) for women. The limits for children range from three to six teaspoons (12 - 25 grams) per day, depending on age...and I strongly recommend limiting your daily fructose intake to 25 grams or less from all sources, including natural sources such as fruit—regardless of whether you’re male or female."

The reason these numbers are so important is because of how our bodies work.
"The main problem with sugar, and processed fructose in particular, is the fact that your liver has a very limited capacity to metabolize can safely metabolize about six teaspoons of added sugar per day...the average American consumes 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day."

The human body is not made to handle the high amounts of sugar people eat today. That's why “sugar consumption in America is one of the 3 major causes of degenerative disease." 

Many people say, "Well, I don't eat much sugar." But when you ask a few more questions, you realize they are consuming a LOT more sugar than they realize. "Sugar" isn't just cookies or candy. It's in almost every processed food, like tomato sauce, salad dressing, crackers, etc. If you read every label and added up how many grams a day you're consuming, it would probably be well over the recommended amount.

The kind of sugar you consume is also important. High fructose corn syrup is probably the worst kind of sugar (see my previous post here). White table sugar runs a close second. However, things like fruit, honey, and even small amounts of real maple syrup have various health benefits - as long as they aren't over-consumed.

This time of year it seems like the sugar is flowing freely at every event and place you go. But I hope you'll consider what a gift you'll be giving your body, your health, and your loved ones if you watch out for sugar. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

What Are Tonsils There For?

Do you still have your tonsils? Many years ago doctors starting removing tonsils from children who had frequent infections. So a lot of adults today are missing their tonsils. Tonsils are treated similar to the appendix - they're not essential, you can live without them. So if we can live without them, what are they there for? Good question, glad you asked. =)

The tonsils are actually lymph nodes that contain immune cell-produced antibodies that help kill germs and prevent infections. They are a key part of our body's defense. Here's a quote from an article by Dr. Axe -

"The tonsils are considered “guardians” since they’re a part of the immune system, specifically the lymphatic system, and are made up of tissue that acts as a natural germ filter. The tonsils are one of our first lines of defense, since they normally trap germs (bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc.) that make their way into the mouth or nose and threaten the immune system.

They’re responsible for tackling threatening pathogens soon after they enter the body, stopping them from potentially traveling further into the body and causing infections. The production of germ-fighting antibodies is one of the most important roles for the tonsils, since these white blood cells attack bacteria that are deemed dangerous."
(from - )

As you can see your tonsils are actually quite important. Even though you can live without them, they serve a vital role in your overall health.

For those who have frequent throat infections, the answer may not be removing the tonsils, but focusing on improving the immune system. The tonsils can keep the infections from going to other parts of the body. Without your tonsils, you may still get infections, but they'll show up in other places in the body. 

When dealing with frequent infections, remember that many time when the tonsils are infected, it's actually from a virus, not a bacteria. So it's important to confirm the presence of a bacterial infection if antibiotics are prescribed as a treatment.

There are many natural remedies that can help fight throat infections. Various herbs, essential oils and supplements can help, for example: slippery elm and licorice root herbs, lemon and frankincense essential oils along with others, and vitamin C, garlic, and oregano. Of course what works best will depends on the person, what their body needs, and what the situation is. There are many good tools available. Find what seems to be helpful for you. You can read Dr. Axe's article (link above) for more information on fighting infections naturally.

If you've already had your tonsils removed, then you don't have that first line of defense in your throat. So it would be good to do things to boost your immune system and especially to keep good oral health, so that germs don't have a chance to get past the throat into some other area of the body.

Again, essential oils can be helpful for this. Rinsing your mouth and gargling with mild saltwater (using a good quality sea salt) can help, especially during times when germs are more prolific. Rinsing your mouth with coconut oil can also be good, although it can cause you to detox, so be cautious when starting that.

Obviously eating a healthy diet, getting adequate rest, staying hydrated, and taking care of yourself overall is important. And keeping your lymphatic system healthy is also key. You can do that through lymphatic massage, stretching, deep breathing, etc. Probiotics can also be helpful (when you find one that works well for you).

Your tonsils were designed by God for an important purpose. If you still have yours, I hope you'll appreciate them more after reading this. =) And if you don't have yours anymore, I hope you'll find some good ways to improve your immune and lymphatic systems.