Prioritise Your Health This Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Prioritise Your Health This Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is International Breast Cancer Month. Not only do we celebrate those who have survived the disease, and remember our loved ones who lost the fight, but we bring awareness to affliction in a way of educating people to be better prepared if, in the future, it affects themselves or someone they know.

So let’s chat a little bit about breast cancer, who might be at risk at contracting it, what treatments are available to them, and how we all might be able to take steps now to improve our breast health.

*DISCLAIMER: while I have consulted a number of medical professionals and included links to online sources of information, always consult a medical professional if you have any further questions*

BREAST CANCER EXPLAINED

When cells in any part of the body, in this case, one’s breasts, begin to grow out of control, it is a sign of cancer. This is why doctors suggest that if you feel a lump in your breast, you immediately go for a breast examination or book a mammogram (low energy X-ray to examine breast tissue).

While the dangerous misconception held by many used to be that only women got breast cancer, KISS drummer – Peter Criss, Richard Roundtree, and even Beyonce’s father Matthew Knowles – have been diagnosed. People have just assumed that because women have more breast tissue, they are more susceptible, but there is no scientific evidence to support that notion.

Breast cancer can begin in any one of the three parts of the breast (the lobules, ducts, and connective tissue) through most documented cases have proven that it grows more in the ducts or lobules. Breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body so it is crucial that it be caught early in order to be treated immediately and aggressively.

CONDUCT A SELF-EXAMINATION

Women are encouraged to conduct a   during, or 3 days leading up to their menstruation cycle, but men must also check their breasts at least once a month

Begin by lying down.

Place a pillow underneath your shoulder and bring your arm up behind your head.

Using your free hand, press down on your breast gently with the pads of your fingers. Work in circular motions and move around your entire breast and up into your armpit.

Then, very gently, squeeze your nipple to check for any unusual discharge.

Repeat on your other breast.

It is important to check your breasts regularly as it will be easier to notice a change or irregularity if you familiarise yourself with the ‘normal’ state of your breasts.

BREAST CANCER TREATMENT

Once your diagnosis has been confirmed you have a number of different options that your breast specialist (whether it be a GP, OB/GYN or Oncologist) will explain to you.

Depending on the size of your tumour, which is the growth of abnormal cells; how quickly the cancerous cells might grow; the likelihood of cancer returning after treatment etc, your medical practitioner will make a suggestion. 

Most people get an Operation to remove the tumour. It is the easiest way to get rid of as much of the cancer as possible. Following that, they receive a few sessions of radiation. Chemotherapy is another option doctors might prescribe depending on the nature of your cancer. This treatment is distributed through an IV drip that works to kill the cancer in your entire body. Hormone Therapy blocks both estrogen and progesterone from growing the cancer cells in your body, while Targeted Therapy adjusts the nature of your cells that might be at risk of becoming cancerous.

There are a few health fundis who swear by homoeopathic remedies for treating cancer. If you are interested in exploring these, I explore them below. Again, I implore you to seek professional advice before considering this option as there are conflicting arguments about how effective the many remedies are.

EAT RIGHT FOR YOUR BREASTS

While some insist apples, berries, cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, as well as carrots, fatty fish, walnuts, and legumes kill cancer, others swear by turmeric, cinnamon, flax seeds, garlic and olive oil.

One thing is clear from the many lists I’ve read through, processed foods are a big no-no if you want to maintain your breast health. Fast food is full of carcinogens, and other hormone agitating chemicals that have no business being in your body. If you eat clean, you’re in good standing of maintaining better health for yourself in general that might extend to your breast health.

There have been studies that argue that CBD products shrink, but this is only for melanoma. The jury is still out on breast cancer. Some patients have noticed an alleviation of cancer symptoms like pain and nausea from chemotherapy having used cannabinoids in one form or another. Before you use these products, you should talk to your doctor about it because there are different products on the market and you’ll want to find what’s best suited for you and your lifestyle.

Our Top 10 Favourite Foods to Fight Cancer

How Can Moringa Help Those Suffering With Cancer?

4 Ways to Activate Turmeric for Maximum Absorption

Sources/reading material:

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/what-is-breast-cancer.htm
https://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/breast-cancer-treatment-options#1

https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cancer-fighting-foods#section14
https://www.analyticalcannabis.com/articles/cannabinoids-shrink-tumors-in-new-study-311369 

 

The Hemp Report

On 18 September, 2018 the South African Constitutional Court ruled the private use of marijuana legal. This gave many Rastafarians and weed smokers a reason to rejoice, but it left a lot of citizens scratching their heads too.

For many, the ‘holy herb’ and hemp are one and the same – they have been for many years, so what will the new law change, really? I’m hoping to give you some clarity. We wouldn’t want consumers with discriminating tastes to accidentally buy a product they weren’t bargaining for.

What is Hemp?

Hemp is the non-hallucinogenic strain of the cannabis sativa plant. To the untrained eye, hemp bears a striking resemblance to its debaucherous cousin. But it is the lighter shade, the thinner leaves, and the taller height that sets it apart. Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, making it the perfect material to utilise on an industrial and commercial scale.

Can I get high from Hemp?

Absolutely not. While marijuana is made up of 15% – 40% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound with psychoactive properties, hemp contains less than one percent.

How can I use it?

While hemp has trace amounts of THC in it, it is rich in Cannabidol (CBD). We’ve seen the emergence of, and growing popularity in CBD products since the legalisation of marijuana. Hemp oil, or the more concentrated CBD oil have proven to offer effective pain relief, combat anxiety and depression, aid digestion, fight cancer-forming cells, reduce the risk of diabetes, treat sleep issues and has anti-seizure properties too.

But many people have been using hemp in many ways for many years:

Hempcreate or Hemplime is a non-toxic building material made up of hemp hurds, lime and sand. Its origin is up for debate as cannabis has been outlawed and decriminalised several times across the entire globe.

The sturdy substitute is easier to use than regular concrete, but don’t be fooled by the biodegradable materials used to produce hempcrete bricks. Any structure you build today will still be sitting pretty 100 years from now if you so wish. Knock it down and you won’t have to worry about the rubble loitering as nature’s elements will get to work breaking down the material.

Hemp has also been woven into wearable clothing and usable accessories. Hydrating moisturizers and face masks have been made hemp, as it contains high levels of essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) that get to work evening out your wrinkles.

The seeds from this versatile plant contain 31.6g protein per 100g. They are also a great source of vitamin E, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron and calcium. Eat them raw, cooked or roasted for a healthy dose of amino acid that will protect your heart. Women who suffer from menstrual cramps or symptoms of menopause can look forward to the Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in hemp seeds that alleviate your hormonal issues.

Hemp Trailblazers

Before the legalisation law was passed, there was a stigma associated with hemp products and anyone dealing with hemp. Thankfully the government has made an effort to chip away at those terrible misconceptions. The department of health and agriculture has issued permits for a group of farmers in Newcastle, KZN, to cultivate 1,000ha of hemp, making it the world’s largest licensed commercial cannabis sativa farm.

If you’re based in Cape Town, you may have heard of the coffee overs infusing their love of java with their desire to preserve their bodies. For R280 you can get 250g of CBD-infused ground coffee or roasted beans to enjoy at home. The Canna Coffee family produce an organic blend that makes you more energetic and focused, while reducing your stress levels. ‘No more coffee shakes’ they promise.

And while the felines enjoy catnip, your canine might bark a little more enthusiastically for hemp-infused dog biscuits developed by Noordhoek-based company From The Barkery. Each packet comes with 15 biscuits that contain 5mg of CBD, so you needn’t worry that you’re giving your furry friend anything he can’t handle. Even From The Barkery founder, Ceri Phillips, shares that she was inspired to make the treat when her own dig was diagnosed with a lung tumour.

The verdict

Though it seems like investing in a few hemp products is a no-brainer, I would always advise you do your research before purchasing and using a product for the first time.  If you can, consult a medical professional to ease your mind.

 

Q&A with Hemporium co-founder Tony Budden on the legalisation of personal marijuana use and the future of hemp in SA

Ultimate CBD ‘Pot’ Brownies

Incredible Health Benefits of Hemp Oil

Cannabidiol (CBD): A Pain Relief Alternative to Addictive Prescription Opioids

 

 

Cannabidiol (CBD): A Pain Relief Alternative to Addictive Prescription Opioids

Cannabidiol (CBD): A Pain Relief Alternative to Addictive Prescription Opioids

By David Haas

According to the World Health Organization, in 2016, nearly 27 million people worldwide suffered from Fentanyl Opioid addiction. With such a large portion of the population jeopardising their wellbeing, it is difficult to believe that prescription painkillers are still being prescribed in abundance. Unfortunately, this epidemic continues to grow across the globe, resulting in a widespread effort to combat the issue.

 

One of the largest barriers to resolution is determining when and why someone should be given a prescription for a high-strength painkiller. Whether it be surgery or a long-term treatment regimen, such as that of a cancer patient going through chemotherapy, there is a prescription for every type of ache and pain.

However, patients and people who wish to avoid prescription opioids for pain relief are starting to explore other options. Non-addictive alternatives such as cannabidiol (CBD) have sparked discussion about its effectiveness in treating pain organically, with many turning to it as a way to feel relief without the fear of becoming dependent. Researchers are taking note of this shift, and studies are now being conducted to determine if CBD is a viable way to rid the body of chronic pain.

WHAT IS CANNABIDIOL (CBD)?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the various extractable compounds found in the hemp plant. CBD is often associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), however, there is a difference between these two compounds. The main difference is that CBD is a non-psychoactive; essentially to ask oneself, “Will CBD make me high?” the answer is: No. CBD comes in many forms, though the most common are through ingestion or topical application to the skin. CBD can be ingested through oil, capsules, and powders, while topical CBD solutions are usually infused into salves and creams.

HOW DOES CBD INTERACT WITH THE BODY?

Human bodies contain an endocannabinoid system that helps regulate our bodily functions, such as sleep and pain. This system contains receptors known as CB1 and CB2, and CBD interacts with these receptors, reducing the absorption rate of naturally produced pain relievers such as anandamide within our bodies. This is important to note, because unlike opioids, CBD does not release dopamine, the neurotransmitter that causes our bodies to become dependent on the sensation that it provides, instead it prolongs the efficacy of our naturally produced pain relievers. Building a tolerance to CBD is rare, which means that a user will not have to increase the milligram dosage over time in order to maintain the pain relief qualities.

RESEARCH BEING CONDUCTED ON CBD

Perhaps one of the more promising research efforts that has been conducted on CBD is a study discussing the effects of CBD in managing pain for cancer patients who did not fully achieve relief from using opioids. This study, published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, found that a form of CBD known as Nabiximols was able to aid in relieving pain efficiently and safely for a portion of those who were involved in the study. While this is just one example of how CBD is being used to treat pain, we can only hope that more research will be conducted on this natural pain reliever as regulations begin to change.

This has become especially important to patients who suffer from rare cancers such as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that may leave the patient in serious pain. The last thing a patient with mesothelioma should have to worry about is fighting an addiction.

THE CURRENT STATUS OF CANNABIS IN SOUTH AFRICA

On September 18th, 2018, the highest court of South Africa legalised the use of cannabis by adults in private places. Not only was usage ruled legal, but a unanimous decision also allowed for private growth of the marijuana plant. This act of decriminalisation has brought a sense of relief to many South Africans who wish to use cannabis without facing charges if found in possession. The court has given parliament 24-months to change the ruling made by the high court, but for now, private usage and growth is legal.

The one restriction that is still being decided is the public distribution and ability to carry cannabis on your person in public. While this remains illegal, it is under review by the courts. CBD consumption should not be an issue with this ruling. Although CBD is an extract from the hemp plant, it does not contain a high THC content, the compound that many regulators are opposed to.

THE FUTURE OF PAIN MANAGEMENT  

As regulations begin to change around the globe pertaining to the use of CBD, it is hopeful that more research will be conducted on this natural healer. The potential benefits this plant can provide to the medical community are just beginning to be understood and these benefits will continue to strengthen as time progresses. For now, CBD is a viable form of pain relief for those who wish to use a natural alternative to opioids.

Top 5 Supplements You Should Be Taking

If you’re not buying locally-sourced organic food, or growing your own produce in healthy soil, there’s a chance you’re exposing yourself to GMO products that are extremely nutrient deficient. So although you might be consuming your fair share of fruits and vegetables, you might not be as healthy as you think. Taking supplements has become a popular way of giving your body the extra nutrients it might need to fight off colds, flu, ailments, and other illnesses that might plague you.

But in a market flooded with food fads and health myths, it is easy to become confused as to which supplements might actually heal the body instead of adding to the harming of it. Here is a list of the top five supplements for you to take on a daily basis. We do suggest that you consult a healthcare professional to ensure you take the right dosage for your lifestyle.

 

  1. MAGNESIUM

 

Did you know that 80% of adults suffer from a magnesium deficiency? Quite alarming when you consider that magnesium plays a vital role in bodily functions including nerve transmission, energy production, as well as bone and cell production.

A daily dose of magnesium can drastically improve your sleep, reduce your anxiety, and alleviate conditions like asthma, migraines, muscle cramping, osteoporosis and heart disease.

  1. OMEGA OILS

If you want to keep your heart healthy, taking your fatty acids is a step in the right direction. Eating salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna should help, but because we pollute our oceans – thus contaminating our fish supply – and farm salmon, we aren’t getting the dosage of healthy oils that we need.

Boost your immune system, fight depression and strengthen your brain power and memory too with this powerful supplement.

  1. VITAMIN D

A healthy lifestyle consists of a nutritious diet and regular exercise. Ensure your bones are strong enough to carry you through spinning class, and that your heart beats healthily until you reach the summit of your mountain hike, by taking your vitamin D.

Though your body naturally generates the vitamin when you’re exposed to sunlight, statistics have shown that one billion people worldwide suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. It plays an important role in your immune system and cancer prevention.

  1. KELP

People with an iodine deficiency will appreciate this supplement as kelp promotes proper thyroid function. Kelp can also improve your energy levels and contribute to a healthy metabolism.

But this is a controversial supplement to take. The large seaweed is safe to consume in its natural plant form, but some studies have argued that certain kelp supplements contain a toxic amount of heavy metals – not safe for humans to consume. This is why it is imperative that you see your health practitioner for the correct dosage.

  1. CURCUMIN

Turmeric lattes, juices and gummies are all the range now, and curcumin is the reason why. This inflammation-fighting supplement combats heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic fatigue, and is a powerful antioxidant. Curcumin has also proven to boost brain function and lower the risk of brain disease.

If you’re taking your portion of curcumin in the form of supplements, be sure that black pepper is in the capsules too, as it helps your body absorb curcumin.

BONUS – VITAMIN B12

Low levels of this DNA-making, red blood cell-healing vitamin can cause fatigue, memory loss, anemia and digestive problems. Vitamin B12 has been linked to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, breast cancer, high cholesterol and sickle cell disease.

People over the age of 50 tend to experience a drastic drop in this vitamin, so be sure to take it with Vitamin B6 to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration in women, and heart disease in men.

 

In pursuit of your health, you can never be too studious or conscientious. So although we’ve mentioned a handful of supplements that can contribute to your vitality, there are a few handful more that you might consider. Other than calcium, zinc, iron and vitamin B12, what supplements are you taking and how have they improved your life?

 

Check Your Breasts: How To Do a Self-Exam at Home

Breast exam_web

CHECK YOUR BREASTS! THE ONE SELF-EXAM EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW HOW TO DO

When it comes to health, we’re all well-versed in the mantra “prevention is better than cure.” Unfortunately though, cancer is a disease that has be linked to so many causes spanning both genetic and lifestyle factors that it’s almost impossible to completely eliminate your risk of its development. We believe every person should be actively working to diminish their risk of cancer development according to the constantly-evolving research available on this common disease.

, Early detection is the best line of defence. The earlier cancer cells are discovered, the more effectively the disease can be treated..

Two of the most important regular health checks women should be doing for cancer are monthly breast self-examinations and annual pap smears. These two vital checks can detect the disease while it’s still early enough to treat it & beat it, making them non-negotiable health practices in every female’s life.

HOW TO DO A BREAST EXAM AT HOME:

Make sure that you do this test every month, ideally three to five days after your period ends. If you no longer get your period, choose a set day every month and stick to it e.g. the first day of the month.

  1. Stand in front of the mirror and look at your breasts in their normal position. Lift your arms above your head as though trying to reach the ceiling and look at your breasts in a stretched position.
  2. Check to see that there are no obvious changes visible in both viewpoints, normal  and stretched: i.e. no nipple changes or noticeable lumps.
  3. Now feel your breasts. Use the flat surface of your fingers. Always keep your hand flat on your breast. A good idea is to apply cream, shower gel, soap or oil to your breasts before beginning. This will help your hand glide easily over your skin and make it easier to feel for lumps.
  4. Put one hand on your head and use the free hand to check the opposite breast.
  5. Start by feeling for lumps in the armpit.
  6. Now move in the figure of a six around the entire breast, until you reach the nipple.
  7. Now go back to the armpit, moving from the top to the bottom of the breast, covering the whole area once again.
  8. Finally, move from the armpit in a side-to-side direction, again covering the whole breast. Remember that the breast starts from the collarbone and continues down to your abdominal wall, and it runs from your breastbone to mid-way through your side.
  9. Also check for any discharge from the nipple. To do this, gently squeeze the nipple to see if any fluid comes out. The only time that fluid should come out is if you’re breastfeeding. If the fluid is yellow or green, it indicates infection. If it is clear, or if blood comes out, go to the doctor immediately for a check-up.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR:

  • A lump in the breast or armpit. These can range in size anywhere from that of a marble to a tennis ball.
  • Increase in the size of one breast.
  • Swelling in the glands of an armpit.
  • Enlargement of one arm.
  • Dimpling of the skin.
  • Dimpling of or changes to the nipple.
  • Discharge from the nipple.
  • Lowering of one breast or nipple.
  • ‘Orange peel’ appearance on the skin of the breast and/or nipple.
  • Retraction of one or both nipples.
  • Dry skin (eczema) of the nipple.

Sourced from Marie Stopes:  https://www.mariestopes.org.za/breast-self-examination-other-vital-health-checks-for-women/

Kale and Hemp Pesto Pasta

Kale and hemp pesto pasta

This Kale and Hemp Pesto Pasta was made by Amy van der Merwe of AnEarthenLife.com.

For this recipe I decided to use the Happy Earth People Chickpea Pasta, and Superfoods’ Hemp Oil and Hemp Seeds.

 

Serves 4 generous portions

INGREDIENTS

Cook in boiling water with some oil and salt until al dente.

PESTO:

Put all these ingredients into a blender – and blend until quite smooth but still has texture. You can add more oil or a little water if it struggles to blend.

TOMATOES:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoons crushed garlic – I pop a bulb in my Nutribullet and keep it in oil in the fridge
  • a pinch of salt

On an extremely low heat and let them slowly simmer away until they open and their sweet juice mixes with the olive oil. Keep this liquid to pour over the pasta.

MUSHROOMS:

 

METHOD:

  1. Fry the mushrooms along with all the ingredients in a pan until the mushrooms are soft. I like to keep mine quite hard to that the don’t get too watery and are substantial to bite into.
  2. Drain the pasta and add the pesto into the bowl and mix until the pesto covers all the pasta. Then add in half the mushrooms and stir them in. Dish onto plates and add the rest of the mushrooms and tomatoes on top. Drizzle with hemp oil and sprinkle hemp seeds on top and garnish with basil leaves.

Kale and help pesto pasta2_web

 

Kale and help pesto pasta6_web

Kale and help pesto pasta4_web

Our Top 10 Favourite Foods to Fight Cancer

The National Cancer Institute in the US estimates that roughly one-third of all cancer deaths may be diet related. But that probably won’t surprise you – as you know we are what we eat. Nature has provided all we need in abundance from the antioxidants that neutralize the damage caused by free radicals to the powerful phytochemicals that scientists are just beginning to explore. There isn’t a single element in a particular food that does all the work: The best thing to do is to eat a variety of good foods and to live your life in joyful balance.

 

Practices such as monthly detoxes; only drinking fresh filtered water; engaging in exercise that you enjoy and increasing your intake of fresh food will get you far in living a long and vital life. There are foods many, however, that we increase the strength of your body and it’s cells to fight abnormality and unwanted toxins and these are some of our favourites.

 

1. Chlorophyll Containing foods

Chlorophyll is a pigment found in dark green plants that is important for photosynthesis to take place; however, this pigment does more than just facilitate energy production in plants. According to Michael T. Simonich of the Linus Pauling Institute, chlorophyll actually helps fight cancer cell growth and acts as an antioxidant in the body.

Great sources of chlorophyll would be dark greens such as spinach, kale, green beans and seaweed. Furthermore, taking chlorophyll before or at meal-time greatly reduces the carcinogenic effects of food. Since it primarily acts as a blocking agent, chlorophyll is able to block the absorption of the carcinogen by forming a molecular complex too large to be assimilated in the small intestine. In other words, to get the full anti-cancer benefits, eating a salad comprised of spinach, kale, parsley (or a chlorella supplement) and other green-goodies before that well-done steak or processed pasta will help prevent the development of those cancer-causing compounds.

One of our favourite tricks to increase chlorophyll intake is through our tasty kale chips. Incidentally, kale has indoles, nitrogen compounds which may help stop the conversion of certain lesions to cancerous cells in estrogen-sensitive tissues. In addition, isothiocyanates, phytochemicals found in kale, are thought to suppress tumour growth and block cancer-causing substances from reaching their targets.

2. Nuts

Nuts contain the antioxidants quercetin and campferol that may suppress the growth of cancers. Plus many nuts contain rich levels of omega-3 fatty acids which by virtue of their anti-inflammatory ability can help reduce the risk of cancerous tumours.

In particular:

  • Brazil nuts contains 80 micrograms of selenium, which is important for those with prostate cancer.
  • Almonds are low in saturated fat and contain many other protective nutrients – calcium and magnesium – for strong bones, vitamin E and compounds called phytochemicals, which may help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer.
  • Cashew nuts are significant sources of iron (essential for red blood cell function and enzyme activity), magnesium (promotes energy release and bone growth), phosphorus (builds bones and teeth), zinc (essential to digestion and metabolism) and selenium (has important antioxidant properties, thus protecting the body from cancer).

3. Sea Vegetables

Seaweed and other sea vegetables contain beta-carotene, protein, vitamin B12, fibre, and chlorophyll, as well as chlorophylones – important fatty acids that may help in the fight against breast cancer. Many sea vegetables also have high concentrations of the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and iodine.

Try our delicious wakame  and kombu to enrich your diet with greens from the sea!

4. Turmeric

Tumeric  (curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, is believed to have medicinal properties because it inhibits production of the inflammation-related enzyme cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2), levels of which are abnormally high in certain inflammatory diseases and cancers, especially bowel and colon cancer.

5. Avocados

Avocados are rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in the body by blocking intestinal absorption of certain fats. They also supply even more potassium than bananas and are a strong source of beta-carotene. Scientists also believe that avocados may also be useful in treating viral hepatitis (a cause of liver cancer), as well as other sources of liver damage.

6. Garlic

Garlic has immune-enhancing allium compounds (dialyl sultides) that appear to increase the activity of immune cells that fight cancer and indirectly help break down cancer-causing substances. These substances also help block carcinogens from entering cells and slow tumour development.

Our Real Thing Alli-Biotic Vegecaps capture the magic in garlic to be consumed in a wholefood supplement form.

7. Flax

Flax contains lignans, which may have an antioxidant effect and block or suppress cancerous changes. Flax is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to protect against colon cancer and heart disease.

Our flaxseed oil capsules  are one of our most popular natural supplements but you can also bake or add our milled flax powder  to your favourite foods.

8. Grapes

Red grapes contain bioflavonoids, powerful antioxidants that work as cancer preventives. Grapes are also a rich source of resveratrol, which inhibits the enzymes that can stimulate cancer-cell growth and suppress immune response. They also contain ellagic acid, a compound that blocks enzymes that are necessary for cancer cells–this appears to help slow the growth of tumours.

Our grapeseed oil  can be drunk alone or is a smart choice for frying due to its high smoke point.

9. Fruit & Berries

 Of all the fruits and vegetables studied, berries rank among the most likely to reduce cancer risk. Raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries in particular have shown very promising potential to help prevent cancer. An antioxidant called pterostilbene, found in high quantities in blueberries has cancer-fighting properties and cranberries contain a whole drugstore’s worth of cancer-fighting natural chemicals. So the next time your sweet tooth comes calling,  skip the cookies and feast on juicy, delicious berries that can boost your health.

10. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are chock full of ellagic acid — the latest phytonutrient to enter the scene (although it’s been quietly hanging out in berries, nuts, and pomegranates for millennia). In laboratory and animal studies, ellagic acid has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and deactivate cancer-causing compounds. To take advantage of these health properties, incorporate pomegranate seeds into smoothies or use them to top off a bowl of yoghurt or cereal. Incidentally, other foods rich in ellagic acid include raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, walnuts, pecans, cranberries, and grapes (red, black, purple).

 

4 Ways to Activate Turmeric for Maximum Absorption

Turmeric

Chances are you’ve read about the turmeric craze and decided you best get on the bandwagon so you too can start increasing the growth of new neurons and neutralise some of those free radicals zooming about the place, not to mention the anti-Alzheimers and arthritis benefits of this potent anti-inflammatory. But sprinkling it into your tea, it turns out, is not enough. You need to activate your turmeric.

But, surely, you activate muscles, or Siri, on your iPhone, when in a bind. But spices? I didn’t really understand  – at what point had I ever deactivated my turmeric? All the other spices think it’s the favourite – I keep it in a pretty special, hexagonal, clip top jar right by the teas – not in the spice rack with all the others, so I would have thought, in the line of spice duty – my turmeric was as active as they come.

But of course, when we pay special attention to nature, the body and the way in which we re-integrate with all that potential – there are underlying processes that, once we know them, allow us to benefit from natures’ bounty far more than previously thought possible.

So, on to how to activate your turmeric. Let’s get those neurons growing, shall we?

Quick education on why activating turmeric is a must

Essentially it all comes down to absorption. The active good guy inside turmeric, is a substance called curcumin. So, the bio-curcumin supplements out there are offering you this key ingredient at a far higher dose.

But according to scientific studies, turmeric and its comprising curcumin have a low absorption rate and therefore a rather low bioavailability, meaning the good stuff is in there, but our bodies struggle to access it. Most of the curcumin is absorbed directly into the lining of the liver and stomach wall, as opposed to the bloodstream, where we want it in order to reap the health benefits.

How to increase absorption from turmeric or curcumin

1. Add pepper

The liver makes certain substances water soluble so they can more easily pass through our systems. But when we add pepper, high in a compound called piperine, the absorption of the curcumin is slowed down, thanks to the drug inhibiting components of piperine. So eating turmeric with pepper increases the absorption, I’ve read, up to 2000%.

2. Eat it with good fat

Turmeric is fat soluble – meaning it dissolves in fats. Without the fats binding it, the turmeric struggles to make it through the liver and stomach without being absorbed prematurely, and into the small intestines where it can be transferred through to the blood. So, by eating the turmeric with good fats, like avo or coconut oil (or in delicious curries), you’re more likely to absorb more of it into your bloodstream.

This is also why golden lattes are so popular. They all involve dissolving a turmeric paste with coconut milk (which is where the fats come in) and usually include the required pepper too.

3. Eat it with purple foods

These foods, like berries, red grapes (that includes a glass of red wine for dinner with your turmeric curry) and onions, and then also apples and green tea, all contain a plant pigment known as quercetin. This flavanoid is another enzyme inhibitor, of one in particular that deactivates curcumin. Your deeply coloured foods are richest in this flavanoid, so chuck some turmeric in a blueberry smoothie next time (as turmeric is also heat sensitive – which you’re avoiding in a smoothie completely).

4. Make a paste for golden lattes

You can pre-activate your turmeric for bed-time brews by mixing it with pepper and simmering on the stove for a while. The paste can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Here’s a recipe for the stovetop turmeric paste. Or you could enjoy the golden latte, piperine rich benefits of turmeric in the Taka Turmeric premixes for lattes and smoothies.

If you’re craving a more in-depth look at the science behind turmeric activation, check out this post on healthy-holistic living on boosting the power of turmeric.

And regardless of how you’re choosing to activate your turmeric, always make sure you get high-quality organic turmeric to begin with.

How to Support your Body During Chemotherapy

Treating cancer is a complex and much-debated issue and after weighing up the options there are those who chose chemo and radiation therapy as a way to deal with this life-threatening illness.

Chemotherapy targets cancer cells which divide at a rapid pace and have gotten out of control, but this results in other fast dividing cells in your body also getting the brunt of the chemotherapy chemicals too, causing problems with things like your digestion and causing hair loss.

Radiation therapy uses high energy waves to kill cancer cells and can also lead to side effects such as nausea, fatigue and skin issues, as well as possible longer-term effects such as lung or heart problems.

There are natural supports you can use to help your body sustain as little damage as possible while you receive treatment and Faithful to Nature has put together a pack of products to help those who would like some loving support from Mother Nature in their journey…

Prepare…

Good Life MSM Powder 180g, R95

This MSM supplement is ideal for easing pain and inflammation, improving your circulation and even reducing scar tissue. MSM targets cancer cells and opens their ports, allowing chemotherapy to target the cancer cells more efficiently. It also helps protects your body from the damage caused by Chemo and has also been found to decrease the viability of cancer cells.


Protect…

Flora Force Carcinoguard 90 vegecaps 350mg

Carcinoguard is based on the original ESSIAC formula, a potent anti-cancer herbal remedy. It’s a powerful support for treatment of tumours, and immunity disorders, protecting your body from radiation exposure and cell damage, cleansing the blood and boosting immunity. It also acts as a tonic for digestive issues. The full potency herbs in the Flora Force ESSIAC formula are anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and anti-microbial and will help your body detox and regenerate.


BioLife Vitamin C 1000mg

Vitamin C can fight off infection and keep your immune system strong, as your body is weakened and vulnerable when taking chemo, radiation therapy or surgery. You may suffer from mouth or skin sores too and vitamin C is the first line of defence for healthy skin and resisting infection.


 Replenish…

 Raw C Coconut Water 1L, R59,99

Coconut water from young Green coconuts is an excellent blood builder that will help you deal with symptoms and damage from Chemo. It replenishes electrolytes in your blood as well as oxygenating it, while restoring the ANC count, white blood count, haemoglobin and platelets. It’s antimicrobial properties also kill off opportunistic microbes in cancer cells, helping them to return to normal.


Recover…

Natraloe Regenerating Aloe Gel 200ml, R119

Aloe vera is an extremely healing and soothing gel that contains special sugars that encourage healthy new skin growth, and are anti-inflammatory. It has the unique ability to penetrate below the epidermis, carrying its naturally moisturising, soothing, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to dehydrated and damaged cells, and has proven to regenerate damaged cells 8 times faster than normal! Apply to areas where you may have radiation burns for soothing relief and regeneration.


 Detox…

 

Flora Force Dandelion 60 veggie caps 300mg, R97,90

Dandelion is a superb tonic for your liver, gallbladder kidneys, bladder, pancreas, spleen and stomach. It can help you nourish and detox these organs after your course of chemotherapy is over.


Support…

FloraForce Slippery Elm 90 tablets, R160

Slippery Elm is so soothing for an irritated gut and relieves the painful symptoms of indigestion, heartburn and ulcers. It has a mucous-like consistency that forms a protective coating along your stomach and gut that allows for healing. It contains flavonoids and sesquiterpenes that have an anti-inflammatory effect and tannins that tighten the bowls, helping to lessen diarrhoea which could lead to dehydration.


Health Connection Psyllium Husk 200 vegecaps 500mg, R152

Psyllium husk capsules contain fibre that can help relieve constipation and promote a regular, healthy colon, supporting you with intestinal disturbances caused by cancer therapies and illness. It can also help alleviate diarrhoea. It’s not absorbed into your bloodstream so should be not interfered with chemotherapy drugs.


De-stress…

Natura Rescue Tablets 150 tablets, R131

Rescue Remedy is a wonderful aid as it is such a gentle, subtle and safe way to calm anxiety before treatment. It treats fear, emotional shock, anxiety, grief, sleeplessness, and feelings of desperation (contains lactose).