Do you Have a HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE

Do you Have a HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE

HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE

Do you suffer with allergies and regularly seek relief from anti-histamines?
Do you have irregular, painful periods?
Do you have a reaction to wine?

Do you suffer from anxiety?
Do experience dizziness or low blood pressure
Do you get hives or a red rash around your mouth?
Do certain foods give you an itchy tongue or runny nose?
Do you suffer from diarrhoea or bloating?

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You may have Histamine Intolerance if you answered yes to any of these!

What is histamine?

So much more than just an allergy response!

Histamine is a vital messaging molecule involved in regulating many functions in our body like digestion, sleep, mood, sexual function and our brain. Histamine is found in the mucous membranes in the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, uterus, lungs, skin, brain; produced by cells in our body; and present in certain foods. There are four different kinds of receptors in the body and each respond uniquely. 

Histamine and your Immune system

Histamine triggers an immune response which causes your blood vessels to dilate or swell so that your white blood cells can act quickly to an injury or infection. A histamine release can cause headaches and can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. While this is normal and part of the body’s natural immune response, if there’s a prolonged period where you don’t break down histamine properly, you could develop histamine intolerance (HIT).

What is Histamine intolerance?

Histamine intolerance (i.e. increased histamine in bloodstream) occurs when there is an imbalance between intake of histamine and the ability to eliminate it from the body. The condition is often misdiagnosed because it presents with many different kinds of symptoms, which are often misinterpreted.

How does it happen?

Under normal circumstances there is a barrier formed by enzymes DAO and HMNT that work to breakdown histamine in the GI Tract, preventing resorption of histamine from food into the bloodstream. Histamine intolerance can be caused when the amount of these protective enzymes is insufficient or these enzymes are inhibited. In this instance, even ingestion of a small amount of histamine in food (usually well tolerated in healthy individuals) can lead to symptoms of high histamine levels.

Possible causes of high levels of circulating histamine:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Environmental factors
  • Allergy response
  • Methylation issues
  • Psychological Stress
  • Dietary choices
  • Conditions of GI tract (SIBO, inflammatory bowel diseases, infections, parasitic infestations, dysbiosis, leaky gut)
  • Inhibition of DAO from alcohol or medications
  • Histamine-producing bacteria in the GI tract

Each individual’s tolerance to histamine is different and HIT is often caused by a ‘perfect storm’; accumulation of factors subsequently resulting in a symptom picture. Histamine can affect all of your bodily systems, including your gut, skin, brain, lungs and cardiovascular system. This explains why it may cause such a wide range of problems.

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For example:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Bowel irregularities
  • Depression
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Drop in blood pressure 
  • Flushing
  • Fatigue
  • Fluctuating body temp
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hives
  • Nasal congestion
  • Period cramping, heavy bleeding and pain – due to receptor sites in the uterus
  • Puffy eyes
  • Skin reactions
  • Vomiting 
  • how-to-manage-allergies-in-young-children

What can we do about it?

Diagnosis of HIT is usually made by a person trialling a low ­histamine diet (list found below) for a couple of weeks and seeing whether symptoms improve. To manage HIT, histamine will continue to be limited in an individual’s diet according to their threshold. Please always remember that there is no such thing as a “histamine-free diet”! It is also important to assess all possible contributing factors e.g. GI Tract conditions, stress, environment etc. with the help of a health care professional. HIT is often about management, for some it is life long and for others it is easily managed.

Diet

Some foods naturally contain high histamine, while others accumulate histamines as they age. Therefore, a low histamine diet will mainly focus on eating fresh foods. The lists below give indications of some of the foods that affect those with HIT (high in histamine, releasing histamine, DAO blocking foods, low histamine) and helps to devise a diet for sufferers.

Foods high in histamine:  

  • Aged cheese: Goats cheese, parmesan (the older, the higher is the histamine level)
  • Dried fruit: apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins
  • Fermented alcoholic drinks: especially champagne, wine, beer, cider
  • Fermented foods: Sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yoghurt, kombucha, etc
  • Fruit & Vegetables: Avocado, most citrus fruits, eggplant, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes
  • Nuts: especially walnuts and cashew nuts
  • Processed & smoked meat products: salami, ham, bacon, sausages etc
  • Soured foods: sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, soured bread, etc.
  • Tinned and smoked fish: tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines
  • Vinegar-containing foods: dressings, pickles, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, olives
  • Processed food of all types – preservatives are high in histamines
  • Mushrooms
  • Long cooked Bone broth
  • Pre-made salads
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Yeast, yeast extract

Histamine-releasing foods

Certain foods can stimulate the release of histamine from cells in your body, therefore important to avoid or limit in a low-histamine diet.

These foods include:  

  • Additives: benzoate, sulphites, nitrites, glutamate, dyes
  • Alcohol
  • Beans and legumes: chickpeas, soy beans
  • Chocolate and other cocoa based products
  • Cow’s milk
  • Egg white
  • Fruits & Vegetables: Avocado, banana, most citrus fruits, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, pumpkin, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes
  • Shellfish
  • Spices: cinnamon, cloves, cayenne, cloves, chili powder, curry powder & nutmeg
  • Tomatoes
  • Wheat germ

Diamine Oxidase (DAO) blockers (increase histamine levels):  

  • Alcohol
  • Black tea, Green tea, Mate tea  
  • Caeine, theobromine (chocolate)  
  • Energy drinks  
  • Wheat (some HIT suerers)  

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Low Histamine Foods

  • Coconut milk, Rice milk, Hemp milk
  • Coconut oil & Grass-fed Butter/Ghee
  • Fresh Fruits: Other than citrus, avocado, tomato, pineapple, bananas and strawberries
  • Fresh Vegetables (except eggplant, pumpkin and spinach)
  • Freshly Cooked Meat & Poultry (frozen or fresh)
  • Freshly Caught Fish
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Gluten-Free Grains: brown rice & quinoa
  • Herbal teas
  • Leafy herbs
  • Pasture-Raised Eggs

Please be aware, due to any other food intolerances or cross-allergies that may also be present the low-histamine level of a particular food alone says nothing definite about whether or not an individual can tolerate it and it is important to follow professional advice. 

Contact the clinic on 9723-9755 to book an appointment or make an inquiry.

Monica

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References:

26. Histamine Intolerance: The Food List

http://www.histamineintolerance.org.uk/about/the-food-diary/the-food-list/

27. Michigan Allergy: Foods and Histamine

http://www.michiganallergy.com/food_and_histamine.shtml

28. International Society Of DAO Deficiency: DAO blocking foods

http://www.deficitdao.org/en/dao-deficiency/histamine/food-which-interferes-in-histamine-metabolism/dao-blockingfoods/#.VRqzVY7F_uN

29. ICUS: Histamine-Restricted Diet

https://chronichives.com/useful-information/histamine-restricted-diet/

Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom Salt Baths written by Melissa Breyer

Written for Care 2.com

Most of us know about the importance of iron and calcium for our bodies, but what about magnesium? It is the second most abundant element in human cells and the fourth most important positively charged ion in the body. It helps the body regulate over 325 enzymes and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions, like muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins.

Most of us are deficient in magnesium, so I’m going to put on my wise-granny hat on here and tell you this: soaking in a bath with Epsom salt, which is high in magnesium, is one of the easiest ways to get a boost.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, American’s magnesium deficiency helps to account for high rates of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive maladies, stress-related illnesses, chronic fatigue and a number of other ailments. Who knew?!

Our magnesium levels have dropped by half in the last century due to changes in agriculture and diet. Industrial farming has depleted magnesium from soil and the typical American diet contains much less magnesium than that of our forefathers. And in fact, the modern American diet with its fat, sugar, salt and protein actually works to speed up the depletion of magnesium from our bodies.

Another factor in decreased magnesium levels has been our focus on getting enough calcium. It’s a delicate dance–calcium depletes magnesium yet calcium functions best when enough magnesium is present. Studies indicate that taking a calcium supplement without enough magnesium can increase the shortage of both nutrients. Researchers have found that many Americans have five times as much calcium as magnesium in their bodies, although the proper ratio for optimum absorption of both minerals is two to one.

With such widespread magnesium deficiency one might think that magnesium supplements would be called upon, but studies show that magnesium is not easily absorbed through the digestive tract. The presence of specific foods or drugs, certain medical conditions, and the chemistry of a person’s stomach acid can render magnesium supplements ineffective.

This brings us to Epsom salt. Known scientifically as hydrated magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is rich in both magnesium and sulfate. While both magnesium and sulfate can be poorly absorbed through the stomach, studies show increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt! Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. Sulfates play an important role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. They stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are thought to help detoxify the body of medicines and environmental contaminants.

Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths

Researchers and physicians suggest these health benefits from proper magnesium and sulfate levels, as listed on the web site of the Epsom Salt Industry Council:

  • Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
  • Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
  • Improved oxygen use.
  • Improved absorption of nutrients.
  • Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
  • Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.

All this from a bath? Hurray! While there are many different brands of Epsom salt, they are all the same product chemically, and can be found at most drug stores. Add two cups of Epsom salt and soak for at least 12 minutes. Do this three times weekly.

If you are pregnant or have any health concerns, please check with your doctor before using Epsom salts.

Raw Blueberry Fudge

Raw Blueberry Fudge

 

Delicious recipe from Elemental Health and Nutrition

RAW BLUEBERRY FUDGE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut (not the stuff with a heap of added sugar and preservatives)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup of blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 100g of cacao butter (melted)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Blend up the cashews and desiccated coconut on low/medium speed, until they become nice and smooooooooth.
  • Add the honey, blueberries, and vanilla extract.  Blend until there are no chunky bits of blueberries left.
  • Add the coconut oil, and blend briefly on low to mix it through evenly.
  • Add the melted cacao butter, and blend briefly on low to mix it through evenly.
  • Tip the mixture into a small square pan which has been lined with plastic wrap, and the put in the freezer for an hour to set.
  • Once set, turn upside down, peel off the plastic wrap, and slice.
  • The finished product should be kept in the freezer or fridge.

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OPTIONAL

  • To make a second “white chocolate” layer, do everything  above again, but without the berries.
  • Pour on top of the blueberry layer one it has set a bit
  • Freeze for an hour

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NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN

  • Carbohydrates – 17.3%
  • Fat – 77.6%
  • Protein – 4.7%
  • Calories per serve – 126  (based on 20 serves per recipe)

.Gluten Free and Grain Free

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Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths

Why You Need to Make Epsom Salt Baths Your Sunday Night Thing
Read more at  Pop Sugar.

Bath time (if you’re lucky enough to live in a place with a bath) is always a relaxing experience. But who ever really has time for it? If you like to go hard at the gym you probably should also lock in some time with your bath and a bunch of epsom salts.

Epsom salt baths are basically made for sore bods thanks to the main ingredient, magnesium sulfate-loaded epsom salt. Magnesium helps to reduce inflammation (hello to your inflamed, tired muscles), stimulates oxygen and blood flow through your body and helps to detoxify your body. But magnesium isn’t only helpful after a workout. A lack of magnesium can be associated with depression, anxiety and abnormal sleeping patterns and a bath before bed can really help. It’s also a godsend when that time of the month approaches. Cramping due to period pain can be relieved by upping your magnesium intake and — if you’re struggling to get magnesium into your diet each day — that’s where epsom salt can assist.

To enjoy the benefits of an epsom salt bath allow 40 minutes to soak and completely relax your body. There’s talk within holistic health circles that 20 minutes in an epsom salt bath pulls the toxins out of your body, which allows the absorption of the minerals to occur in the second half of your bath, and while there are limited studies to back up these claims 40 minutes is a nice amount of time to spend relaxing in the tub. Add one and a half to two cups of salts to pure warm water for best results. An epsom salt bath twice a week is a good start if you’re new to this relaxing way of life.

The bottom line: our bodies need magnesium to function and a smart way to get your body’s fill is through epsom salt baths.

George Calombaris’ Cypriot grain salad recipe

George Calombaris’ Cypriot grain salad recipe

Hellenic Republic bodyandsoul.com.au

You need to make this to-die-for Mediterranean salad, finished with fresh pomegranate. 

Photo: Hellenic Republic

There’s nothing better than a fresh salad, dressed to perfection, overflowing with flavour and texture. Crunchy pumpkin seeds mix with peppery coriander and toasty slivered almonds to make this salad next-level good. Enjoy…

Ingredients: (serves 8)

  • 1 bunch coriander, shredded
  • ½ bunch parsley, shredded
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup freekeh, (or cracked wheat)
  • ½ cup du puy lentils
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons baby capers
  • ½ cup currants
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 pomegranate

Method:

  1. Blanch freekeh and du puy lentils separately in boiling water until both just cooked.
  2. Drain well and allow to cool.
  3. Mix the yoghurt, cumin and honey until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl place the coriander, parsley, red onion, freekeh, du puy lentils, toasted nuts, capers, currants, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Mix well, season to taste.
  5. Place into serving dish and top with cumin yoghurt and pomegranate seeds.

You can now enjoy at-home dining experiences from George Calombaris restaurants; Jimmy Grants, Gazi and Hellenic Republic via. DeliverooAustralia.

Recipe from Body and Soul

10 Things Every Woman Should Do to Prevent Breast Cancer

10 Things Every Woman Should Do to Prevent Breast Cancer

10 Things Every Woman Should Do to Prevent Breast Cancer 

This was originally posted on PopSugar

There are several risk factors that can increase your chances of developing breast cancer. And while the risk increases as we age, there are certain preventative measures every women should do, whether she’s in her 20s or in her mammogram years, to help reduce her risk of getting the disease. Read on for 10 things every women should do to help prevent breast cancer.
Read more at

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing breast cancer because fat cells produce small amounts of estrogen, which can fuel some cancers.
  2. Check up on your family history. How many people in your family have had breast cancer? If you don’t know, now’s the time to check. Having close family members who developed breast cancer increases your risk as well since certain risk factors are genetic.
  3. Don’t be a stranger to your girls. Self breast exams may not have been given a ringing endorsement from the medical community, but you should still be familiar with how your breasts feel and look so you’ll notice any changes.
  4. Drink in moderation. While that glass of red is good for you, excessive alcohol drinking has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Stick to a one-a-day mantra if you want to reduce your risk.
  5. Keep exercising. Not only will working out help you maintain a healthy weight, exercising itself has been shown to reduce your risk of developing cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends 45 to 60 minutes of exercise, five times a week. And the Australian Cancer Council recommends people maintain a healthy body weight within a BMI range of 18.5 to 25.
  6. Support the cause. Everyone goes pink for the month of October, so pick a trustworthy organization and show your support. By donating time or money or dropping a few bucks on a cute product for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you’ll be supporting breast cancer research that will help millions.
  7. Know the facts about birth control. Taking oral contraceptives is one risk factor for developing breast cancer, but the risk decreases to normal levels the longer you are off them (women who took birth control pills more than 10 years ago, for example, have the same risks as women who never took the pill). Weigh the pros and cons of taking birth control and talk to your doctor if you want to know more.
  8. Assess your risk. It always helps to be informed. Know all the risks of breast cancer — even ones that can’t always be avoided, like starting your period at an early age, having a child after 35, or never breastfeeding — so you know what choices you have. Visit Breast Screen New South Wales and use the Cancer Australia Risk Calculator to understand the risk factors.
  9. Don’t be shy at the doctor’s. Your doctor isn’t just there to admonish you when you admit you have a sugar addiction, she’s also there to make sure you are knowledgeable about why and how lifestyle choices affect your health. Make sure you ask questions about anything that’s unclear to you.
  10. Relax. Just because you have certain risk factors for developing the disease doesn’t mean you’ll get breast cancer, or that you should spend your life worrying about getting it. After all, the biggest risk factors for getting breast cancer — being female and aging — aren’t exactly something you can change. Instead of worrying, just do what you can to live a healthy lifestyle — you’ll reduce your risk, but will also feel better overall.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Matthew Barnes


Read more at Popsugar

Questions for Monica

Questions for Monica

Hello there,  if you have a question for Monica.  Please let us know and Monica will try to answer your question the best that she can

Here are some question/incidents that we have received recently along with Monicas reply.  Your wellbeing matters.

1:  Incident:

A client has had a spontaneous reaction to allergies, he went away and was then bitten by a mosquito. After that he then suffered immune deficiency.  He asked why does this happen? I’m usually really well. No body else got the virus!
Monica: 
Well our health is like stacking the deck.. Or sometimes like falling domino’s.
We don’t just get sick, we don’t just suddenly have heart attack, or hormonal disruption, or diahorrea.   Usually there are many factors that slowly stack up: for example, say you get stressed, more than usual, then you have a few bad nights of not sleeping. On top of that your social commitments are high and you are not eating well.. Your bodies resistance starts to fall, inflammation starts to rise, hormones start to deplete and your body’s ability to repair becomes compromised. your ability to cope decreases, a passer bye walks past you with a cold, and before you know it… Your sick!
We can minimise our body’s responses by remembering to breath deeply right into the belly, eat well loads of greens, and get really good sleep.
See you in the clinic.
Your wellbeing matters.
Love Monica.
2:  “Not feeling like I’m in control of my health”.  
This was a comment that I received from one of my clients.  To regain control, just take one step each day that can have a positive impact on your health, it could be that you just stop and breathe for 5 mins, or choose a healthier option for just one meal.  Or decide that you can easily make the changes you need to make for a healthier you. Look forward to seeing you in the clinic, and we can do it together.
3:  “Not sleeping, in pain, over weight, brain fog, PMS,  sugar cravings.
Should I go on !!!! Oh and decreasing eyesight”. 
Monica:
 This is sounding a little hormonal, our diet and daily stressors have a huge impact on our hormones, toxicity, liver function, nutrient intake all effect how our body responds to hormonal balance. Eating a nutritious diet, reducing our toxic load, de-stressing our  lifestyle can help reduce the stress on the body and therefore assist in balancing our hormones.
See you soon.
Love Monica   #Croydonherbalhealth
Art-Packing-Mason-Jars

4 Weight-Loss Rules For Your Morning Meal

Hi all, here is a great post from PopSugar written  on how a good breakfast can help you if you are trying to lose weight.  You can find more great reads at Popsugar.

Skipping meals is never a good weight-loss strategy, especially when it come to breakfast. Eating in the morning wakes up your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout your day. A solid first meal of the day also helps keep you feeling satiated so you eat fewer calories later. If you’re working to drop a few kilos, keep in mind these four breakfast rules.

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The key to losing weight is to eat foods that make you feel full, so hunger pains don’t drive you to eat high-calorie foods. For the first meal of the day, go for lots of fibre— at least eight grams. If you’re in a rush, here’s a fruity smoothie you can whip up that contains 11.7 grams.
Depending on your weight, your weight-loss goals, and what you eat for the rest of the day, it’s important to keep your breakfast calorie count between 300 and 500. That means you probably don’t want to splurge on a a high calorie pastry. Choose low-calorie options like veggie omelets, Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit, and whole-wheat toast. A bowl of cereal is another great option; just don’t make these calorie-busting cereal mistakes. If you’re into smoothies, here are some ways to save calories before you sip.
smoothies

Mango-Kiwi Smoothie For Lovelier Locks

If your hair is dull, dry, and brittle, forget spending lots of money on shampoos and styling products that claim to offer shine and moisture. You need to replenish your hair from the inside out! Made from hair-healthy ingredients like Greek yoghurt, blueberries, and kidney beans, this smoothie will help moisturise the scalp and encourage growth. The beans also offer biotin, which is not only great for your hair, but for your skin as well.

This under 400-calorie smoothie contains almost 20 grams of protein. If you’re skeptical about the beans and spinach, the fruit overpowers their mild flavours so you hardly even notice they’re there.

Keep reading for the simple recipe and nutritional info.

Ingredients

  1. 3 ounces non-fat vanilla Greek yoghurt
  2. 1 cup baby spinach
  3. 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  4. 1/2 cup frozen mango
  5. 1 kiwi, peeled
  6. 1/4 cup kidney beans
  7. 1/8 cup walnuts
  8. 1 teaspoon flaxmeal
  9. 3/4 cup cold water

Directions

  1. Pour everything into a blender and mix well.
  2. Enjoy immediately.

Makes one serving.

 

Banana Overnight Oats

Banana Overnight Oats

The weather is getting cooler and we are getting a little hungrier.  Satisfy the early morning breakfast dilemma with this great recipe.

By Claire Wingrove (@healthylivingaus)

Overnight oats are such a simple and nourishing way to fuel your body for the day! This recipe is perfect for breaking your fast in the morning. Oats are such an amazing wonder food as well as providing the perfect slow-release of energy to keep you boosted for the day. They will keep you fuller for longer and are perfect to boost your brain power for the day!

Along with the benefits of chia seeds, flax and mesquite, you will get a nice dose of Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, vitamins and hormone-balancing goodness!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw/traditional organic oats
  • 1/2 cup homemade almond milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. flax meal (optional)
  • 1 tsp mesquite powder (optional, can replace with protein powder)
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsps coconut yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Method: 

1. Combine all ingredients in a sealed container and stir to combine
2. Store in fridge overnight, or minimum 3 hours
3. In the morning, add desired toppings, including other half of banana and whatever else you fancy.

Optional: 

Top with your favorite, nourishing ingredients as pictured. Some delicious suggestions: half of the banana (sliced), blueberries, strawberries, almonds and pepitas (Image 1). Another delicious combo: half of the banana, kiwi, dried fig, almonds and pepitas (Image 2).

Best enjoyed outdoors with a dash of sunlight & connecting to the Earth! 

Honey: A Powerful Anti-Cancer Agent

Honey: A Powerful Anti-Cancer Agent

Honey: A Powerful Anti-Cancer Agent

By Sayer Ji  Originally posted on Health Impact News

GreenMedInfo.com

Most of us know honey as a sweet treat, but few are aware of its powerful cancer killing properties.

Honey is a superlative healing food.  We know it has over 69 health benefits, as confirmed by the biomedical literature itself. But did you know it could be of profound benefit in diseases as life threatening and seemingly incurable as cancer?

Indeed, a recent study published the journal Molecules looked at the role of honey in positively impacting the development and progression of tumors or cancers. The review identified the presence of flavonoids and phenolic acids in honey as the primary anti-cancer compounds involved in its beneficial properties.

According to the study, flavonoids are biologically active natural compounds with a 15-carbon (C6-C3-C6) structure, comprising two benzene rings joined by a heterocyclic pyrane ring, with honey containing the following:

Interestingly, many of these flavonoids are classified as phytoestrogens, which are phytochemicals structurally similar to mammalian estrogens and therefore can bind to estrogen receptors.  While many of these honey-derived flavonoids have been demonstrated to have both inhibitory and stimulatory effects, the vast majority of the cell (in vitro) and animal (in vivo) studies have demonstrated the anti-breast and estrogen sensitive cancer properties of these compounds, indicating that flavonoid rich honeys are likely to positively influence estrogenic activity in estrogen-receptor positive cancers.

Furthermore, some honeys – such as Tualang honey – exhibit the property of selective cytotoxicity, meaning they target cancer cells by inducing programmed cell death while leaving non-cancerous cells unharmed. This is extremely different than the mechanism of action behind conventional chemotherapy agents and radiotherapy which indiscriminately target both healthy and cancerous tissue, often conferring increased survival advantage to the most tumorigenic cells themselves: cancer stem cells.

Unlike chemotherapy and radiotherapy, natural compounds commonly exhibit this ‘do no harm’ property when it comes to healthy tissue, while at the same time being exceptionally effective at targeting the harmful cells.

Honey Better than Chemotherapy?

Another recent study compared the effect of Tualang honey with that of the pharmaceutical tamoxifen (an estrogen receptor antagonist) in two breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231). The study found that the anti-cancer effect of tualang honey on breast cancer cells was comparable to that of tamoxifen, a multi-billion dollar blockbuster drug. This is all the more remarkable, considering that Tamoxifen is classified by the World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society to be a human carcinogen, and is technically a xenobiotic chemical – inherently toxic and biologically alien to human physiology.

Honey Kills Cancer in Animals

According to the study, animal research has established honey’s significant anti-cancer properties, specifically in regard to inhibiting metastasis (invasiveness):

“Several studies have also confirmed the antimetastic, antiproliferative and anticancer effects of honey on breast tumor or cancer in rodents. In a murine (mammary carcinoma) tumor model, the anti-metastatic effect of honey when applied before tumor-cell inoculation has been reported [40]. The antimetastatic effect of honey may be due to its flavonoids such chrysin which have been shown to inhibit the metastatic potential of human breast cancer cells [41]. Similarly, a study investigated the antitumor effect of two honey samples containing different phenolic contents against Ehrlich ascites and solid carcinoma. Both honeys were found to markedly inhibit the growth of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma, but the honey containing higher phenolic content exerted a greater antitumor effect [42]. Research carried out by Tomasin and Gomes-Marcondes investigated the effects of combined Aloe vera and honey on tumor growth and cell proliferation against Walker 256 carcinoma implant in Wistar rats. Both agents were found to suppress tumor growth and inhibit cell proliferation [43].”

Honey Kills A Wide Range of Cancers

The review focused on the potential of honey to affect a variety of cancers, including:

  • Liver Cancer: Gelam honey has been found to kill liver cancer cells, exhibiting selective cytotoxicity, anti-angiogenic, cytotoxic, and anti-proliferative properties, in both cell and animal research.
  • Colorectal Cancer: gelam and nenas monofloral honeys exhibit anti-cancer properites in colorectal cell lines.
  • Prostate Cancer: Greek honeys (thyme, pine and fir honey) have been found to exhibit anti-proliferative properties.
  • Other Forms of Cancer: There has been a battery of studies on the anti-cancer properties of honey, focusing on the following types: a) bladder b) endometrial c) renal cell carcinoma d) skin cancer cells e) cervical f) non-small cell lung cancer g) mouth cancer h) bone cancer (osteosarcoma).

What are the Mechanisms of Honey’s Anti-Cancer Properties?

There are a wide range of observed mechanisms of honey’s cancer-killing properties, which include:

  • Cell Cycle Arrest – The normal process of cancer cell replication is halted.
  • Activation of the Mitochondrial Pathway – compounds or agents such as honey rich in flavonoids that are capable of activating mitochondrial pathway and release of proteins such as cytochrome C are considered potential cytotoxic (cell killing) agents.
  • Induction of Mitochondrial Outer Membrane Permeabilization  – The induction of mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) leads to leakage of intermembrane space proteins into the cytosol and consequently causing cell death
  • Induction of Programmed Cell Death (Apoptosis): The activation of a “cell death” program designed to protect against cancer.
  • Modulation of Oxidative Stress: It is believed that honey’s antioxidant properties may nip one of the fundamental processes in cancer’s progression – oxidative stress – in the bud.
  • Amelioration of Inflammation: Inflammation is at the root of many cancers, and since honey is able to suppress it, it is can significant impact carcinogenesis.
  • Modulation of Insulin Signaling: Because cancer is associated with increased insulin resistance and honey is capable of reducing insulin resistance, it is believed to mitigate a major driving factor in carcinogenesis.
  • Inhibition of Angiogenesis: Honey has been found to inhibit the fundamental process of cancer expansion (the production of a new blood supply) by inhibiting angiogenesis.

The study reviewed all possible avenues through which honey suppressed cancer, with 20 depicted in the image below:

The study concluded with following summarization:

“Honey is a natural product that shows potential effects to inhibit or suppress the development and progression of tumor and cancer. Its antiproliferative, antitumor, antimetastic and anticancer effects are mediated via diverse mechanisms, including cell cycle arrest, activation of mitochondrial pathway, induction of mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization, induction of apoptosis, modulation of oxidative stress, amelioration of inflammation, modulation of insulin signaling, and inhibition of angiogenesis in cancer cells. Honey is highly and selectively cytotoxic against tumor or cancer cells while it is non-cytotoxic to normal cells. It can inhibit cancerogenesis by modulating or interfering with the molecular processes or events of initiation, promotion, and progression stages. It, therefore, can be considered a potential and promising anticancer agent which warrants further research—both in experimental and clinical studies.”

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