How to Support Respiratory Health with Smoky Air

We’re living in a tough time, especially here in California where we are dealing with horrendous wildfires.
 
But although the wildfires originated in California, the smoke has reached far and wide in the United States and the Pacific Ocean, so everyone must take precautions to protect our respiratory health.

Why is wildfire smoke dangerous?

Well, wildfire smoke contains very tiny liquid and solid particles known as aerosols that can degrade the quality of air that we breathe. And because they are microscopic in size, they can penetrate deep into the lungs. This causes trouble and can even create breathing problems for anyone, particularly people who have asthma. Everyone is at risk for heart disease and cancer if exposed to this kind of air pollution continuously.
 
If you are up-to-date about the wildfire, you can see that unhealthy levels of air pollution have affected Northern California and some parts of Southern California. Black carbon, or soot, not only is a factor for global warming but also is a direct harm to humans and animals when they enter the lungs and bloodstream.

So how do we support respiratory health during this time?

First things first: Whenever possible, avoid breathing smoke. If not, limit your exposure by following the guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Pay attention to public health messages. Always be updated with the news about the wildfire status and public health warnings. If you are instructed to evacuate your area, do so speedily.
  • Stay indoors and keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep your doors and windows closed to prevent outdoor smoke from entering and keep your air filter clean. Once the outdoor air quality improves, open the windows to air out the house. In case you don’t have an air conditioner and the temperature goes up, consider going someplace temporarily that has cleaner air. 
  • Also, don’t add more pollution in your home. Avoid burning candles, incense, air fresheners, and smoking. It’s also good if you have some indoor plants that could filter air pollution and give off oxygen into your home.
  • Avoid vacuuming during this time (unless you have a built in vac) because it stirs up the air pollutants already in your home.
  • Properly wear an N95 mask or P-100 mask. Dust masks or cloth masks can only filter large particles so they can’t protect you from the aerosols in wildfire smoke. However, you should make sure that you wear the N95 or P-100 respirators correctly to be properly protected.
  • If you have asthma, lung disease, or cardiovascular disease, make sure to follow your healthcare provider’s advice and continue taking your medicines as directed. If your symptoms worsen or if you think you are going to have a heart attack, dial 9-1-1.

Sending safe and healthy wishes to you during this vulnerable time!  
 
~Rebecca

Calendula: The Herb For Digestion, Immunity & More!

Hi there!

Today I’d like to share with you how calendula is an all-around health-boosting herb.
 
Well, calendula officinalis or the common pot marigold is appreciated not only for its bright beautiful addition to the garden but also because of its culinary and medicinal benefits.
 
Calendula is native to the Mediterranean but is now found almost everywhere. Composed of bright petals in orange or yellow, calendula grows up to 1-2 feet tall.


 
But this flower isn’t just pretty–it has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.  No wonder it has long been made into oils, creams, and ointment to be used to heal wounds and skin problems.
 
The FDA has actually approved the use of calendula both as a spice and as an ingredient for cosmetics, body creams, soaps, and shampoos as well as wound treatment.
 
Let’s look more closely at some of its benefits!
 

Calendula is good for your skin

  1. Calendula hydrates dry skin. If you are suffering from dry, itchy, or irritated skin, relieve it by applying cream or ointment with calendula as an ingredient. It promotes the production of collagen, which is an essential protein that keeps the skin tissues strong and elastic. If you have eczema, dermatitis, or dandruff, calendula will soothe your skin and keep it hydrated. For babies, who have the most sensitive and delicate skin, calendula prevents and heals diaper rash and other skin irritations.
  2. Calendula heals wounds. This is why calendula or a cream or ointment made from it is a must in the medicine cabinet. Otherwise known as a healing plant, calendula promotes wound healing when applied topically to the affected area. This really comes in handy for insect bites, bruises, blisters, cuts, sunburns, burns, and so on. Its anti-inflammatory properties, antimicrobial components, and collagen formation ability really work wonders.
  3. Calendula reduces scarring. When you use calendula to treat your wound, it reduces scar tissue formation. By speeding up wound healing and encouraging a healthy healing process, calendula allows the growth of healthy new tissue (so your wound heals cleanly).
  4. Calendula prolongs onset of wrinkles. Protect your cells from oxidative stress with the aid of calendula. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds help with this. Oxidative stress plays a big role in the aging process and disease development. So, by protecting your cells from this kind of damage, calendula helps your skin stay healthier.

Calendula assists with digestion

Calendula’s healing powers not only apply to external wounds, but also internal ones. People with ulcers, heartburn or even irritable bowel syndrome can benefit from calendula because it protects the stomach lining and repairs the gut wall. This results in improved digestion and temporary relief of discomfort.

 
Calendula boosts the immune system

Calendula has the ability to fight infection because of its antimicrobial properties. This is why it is attributed to strengthening the immune system.
 
Calendula tea can be used for relief from coughs or nasal congestion.
 
Next week, I’ll discuss further how calendula is used so stay tuned!
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

Phytate–Friend or Anti-Nutrient?

Hi there!
This week, we’re going to talk about phytate or phytic acid and whether it’s healthful or harmful.
 
Phytate is a unique natural compound found in seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes. This compound stores phosphorus.  Once the seed sprouts, that phosphorus is released and used by the young plant for survival.


 
Phytic acid has been labeled as an anti-nutrient because it hinders the absorption of some minerals such iron, zinc, and calcium. It’s possible that this can cause mineral deficiencies among people who don’t eat a balanced diet.
 
So is it really an anti-nutrient?
 
Yes.
 
Is it totally bad for your health?
 
No, it’s not. In fact, it has a number of benefits!

Phytate Benefits

Phytate only blocks the absorption of the aforementioned minerals at the time it is ingested and doesn’t affect the absorption of minerals in subsequent meals.
 
And besides, the benefits of high-phytate foods far outweigh its anti-nutrient ability. The following are some of the health benefits of phytate:

  1. Phytate is anti-cancer. Not only does phytic acid stop the growth of cancer cells, but it also boosts the immune system so that the natural killer cells are able to get rid of cancer cells without hurting the normal cells. They cut down blood supply to tumors so that the tumor is starved and not able to thrive. What’s better news is that phytate allows cancer cells to go back into normal cells. It’s that fascinating?!
  2. Phytate protects from osteoporosis. In a study, women who had high phytate levels had the lowest levels of bone loss in the hips and spine.
  3. Phytate prevents kidney stones. The presence of phytate inhibits or stops the crystallization of calcium salts and thus prevents the formation of renal or kidney stones.

So generally, phytic acid isn’t bad for your health just because it is an anti-nutrient. Unless, of course, you don’t eat a balanced diet.

For example, meat is a heme source of iron and is more efficiently absorbed by the body in contrast to non-heme iron which is derived from plants. It’s the same with zinc.

So it’s ideal if your diet consists of both plant and meat sources of these minerals to avoid having problems with mineral deficiencies. Plus, you can try these 3 strategies to lessen or degrade phytate in your plant sources:

  1. Soaking. Legumes and cereals can be soaked in water overnight so that their phytate content can be reduced. 
  2. Sprouting. Also known as germination, sprouting degrades the phytic acid in seeds, nuts, and legumes.
  3. Fermentation. This process allows the formation of organic acids that break down phytate.

 Overall, your body receives more benefits than harm from phytate. It only becomes significantly a problem if your mineral sources are not varied. However, there are techniques that can reduce the phytate content of your food, such as soaking, sprouting, and fermentation.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!


~Rebecca