What Role Does Mucus Play in Digestion?

Woman holding model of human intestines in front of body on white background

For those that suffer from allergies or sinus infections, you may get the impression that mucus is a bad thing. There is even OTC medicines to help remove the excess of mucus. However, what if I told you that mucus is very important and vital to our body and health?

Mucus plays a hugely important role in digestion, in addition to helping establish the overall health of other areas of your body.

In this article we’ll focus just on how mucus helps in mechanical digestion, and why you need to make sure that your body has a suitable amount.

Why does it help?

The first question to answer regarding mucus and its role in digestion is why mucus is a helpful substance. Mucus, though it doesn’t look like it, helps destroy bacteria and viruses, in addition to trapping particles, preventing water loss, lubricating the movement of materials through your body, and protects all the surfaces it touches from damage.

You have mucus in your mouth, in the form of saliva, and even in your eyes. The viscosity of the mucus depends on where it’s located in your body. In your nose, for examples, it’s thicker in order to fight against the potential viruses, dirt, and other irritants which can easily enter the nose. With your digestive tract, however, mucus is a bit different.

How does mucus help digestion?

Your stomach is lined by a protective layer of mucus, which is responsible for creating the enzymes that help your body digest proteins. Additionally, the mucus lining your stomach helps prevent your stomach lining from the negative effects of excessive exposure to acid or pepsin.

Now, as for your digestive tract specifically – mucus helps there as well. Since mucus works to lubricate items in your body for easy movement from one area of the body to another, it’s important to have enough in your intestinal tract.

The intestines can easily be perforated or otherwise harmed by sharp objects you’ve eaten that haven’t been completely ground down yet (potato chips, crackers, etc.). Mucus coats these objects so they flow through your intestines at a much more productive rate, ensuring that your body is able to process the food you eat as efficiently as possible.

Mucus from beginning to end:

Now that you can see how mucus is important in many different aspects of your health, let’s look at the process it plays from beginning to end in your digestive system.

First, the saliva in your mouth (a form of mucus) breaks down your food, fights bacteria in your mouth, and removes plaque from your teeth. Then the mucus lining your throat lubricates the food as it enters your stomach.

There, the protective mucus membrane on the lining of your stomach protects it from acid exposure. Once it’s done in your stomach, the food moves to your intestines where it’s once again coated in mucus to move freely through your entire digestive tract.

It may not be outwardly apparent, but without mucus it’s easy to see that our bodies wouldn’t function as well as they could.

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman

http://goldylocks.mynsp.com

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7 Common Signs of Nutrient Deficiency

Food alone may not provide sufficient micronutrients for preventing deficiency.

This study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition analyzed 70 athlete’s diets. Every single diet was deficient in at least three nutrients. Some diets were missing up to fifteen nutrients! Another study they performed showed that people following one of four popular diet plans (including Atkins, South Beach, and the DASH diet) were also very likely to be micronutrient deficient, particularly in six key micronutrients:

  • Vitamin B7
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Chromium
  • Iodine
  • Molybdenum

Similarly, the United States Department of Agriculture says the majority of Americans are deficient in many of the same nutrients and are not meeting the required daily amount of things like vitamin E, folate, calcium and magnesium.

rda

So how do you know if you’re deficient? First of all, if you’re not eating A LOT of fruits and vegetables, especially greens, then you are probably deficient in a lot of these areas. There are also many different symptoms that could tell you you are deficient in some critical nutrient. Here are 7 of them:

1. Poor Night Vision

Vitamin A, known as retinol, is essential for promoting good vision and overall eye health. It also helps to maintain healthy skin and soft tissues throughout the body.

2. Cracks at the Corners of the Mouth

This is more likely to occur for those following vegan and vegetarian diets because it’s harder to get sufficient zinc, iron and B12.

3. Sores or Discoloration of the Mouth and Tongue

Water-soluble B-vitamins are essential for the health of the mouth and tongue. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t store them, so we have to constantly replenish them.

4. Weak, Spotted or Ridged Nails

These are common signs of a deficiency in zinc, an important trace mineral needed for the proper function of the immune system. Zinc also serves an important role in cell division and growth.

5. Poor Blood Clotting

Essential for normal blood clotting, vitamin K also plays a vital role in bone mineralization and cell growth. Lack of vitamin K can result in bruising, frequent nosebleeds and brittle bones.

6. Weak Muscles and Bones

In advanced cases it’s called rickets (for children) or osteomalacia (for adults), but it boils down to a deficiency in vitamin D, an essential nutrient for growth, health and maintenance of the structural system.

7. Frequent Cramps in the lower legs or ‘Restless Leg’

Magnesium, calcium and potassium support proper muscle development and growth. Lack of these important nutrients can cause persistent discomfort in the feet, calves and back of the leg.

nutrition-deficiency

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman

http://goldylocks.mynsp.com

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25 Ways to Increase Fiber Daily

Fiber is one of those often-overlooked necessities.

You know you need it, and you like it when you have it, but it doesn’t top the list the way Protein or Omega-3 does.

Fiber is pretty important to supporting cardiovascular and digestive health, so why the fiber hate? Because when most of us think fiber, we think fibrous, and cardboard-esque. Not very appetizing. Luckily there are a lot of ways to add fiber to your diet without compromising on taste, texture, or appeal. Here are 25 ways you can increase your daily fiber intake.

  1. Use whole fruit: It is tempting to use fruit juice in your morning smoothie or protein drink, but if you drop a whole apple or orange in your high powered blender, rather than the juice, you are going to get as much as 3 grams more fiber.
  2. Sprinkle on the flax seed or chia: You can stir a few spoonfuls into cereal, granola, yogurt, etc, to add extra fiber to what you are already eating.
  3. Sub nectar for juice: It has more pulp and more fiber, giving you a fiber boost with each glass.
  4. Eat nut butters: Almond butter, cashew butter, and other nut butters can be spread on toast, pancakes, and more for an additional few grams of fiber, a tasty treat, and a great dose of healthy fats. Just look for the lower sugar options to keep it healthy.
  5. Drink cocoa instead of coffee. While the caffeine boost of coffee is great, cocoa has a lot more fiber, as much as 3 g per cup!

 

Need more fiber? Try Nature’s Sunshine: Everybody’s Fiber or Psyllium Hulls Combination

 

Also:

  1. Eat more beans. Throw a few spoonfuls into your favorite soup, lentils and beans have a good amount of fiber.
  2. Add spice to your dish. A teaspoon of oregano or basil can add a gram of fiber.
  3. Use sesame seed buns instead of plain.
  4. Choose whole wheat over white flour. This can add more fiber per serving for whatever you are eating.
  5. Add the greens. Cabbage, kale, spinach, etc. all have fiber, so stack your sandwich high, put some on your burger or dog, and eat it on the side.
  6. Snack on popcorn. Popcorn has a lot more fiber than a bag of potato chips, so next time you need a salty snack, choose popcorn!
  7. Eat nuts and dried fruits. When you have the choice, pick up a handful of trail mix for a snack rather than a bar or square, the mix will have about twice as much fiber!
  8. Choose sweet potato instead of white. They have 2 grams more fiber.
  9. Add a side of cooked veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are all great for adding fiber, and cooking them makes the fiber more readily available to your body!
  10. Choose berries. Add fresh sliced berries instead of syrups, and when you have the option pick raspberries over strawberries or blueberries as they boast nearly twice the amount of fiber.
  11. Eat pears. If looking for a quick snack, try a pear, preferably an Asian pear, as they have as much as 5 grams of fiber, and can be eaten raw, with a nut butter, or prepared a number of ways. Just be sure to eat the skin.
  12. Try oatmeal and oat bran. Swap out your regular breakfast for a steamy cup of oatmeal for a great fiber increase. Top with berries or bananas for even more fiber.
  13. Artichokes are low calorie and have a ton of fiber. Make a soup, dip in a low calorie dip, or make into a dip, and enjoy!
  14. Add green peas. Keeping a bag of frozen green peas on hand is a great way to add fiber to your diet without fuss. Stir them into macaroni and cheese, throw some atop a salad, or add them as a side dish to any meal for about 9 grams of fiber per cup.
  15. Lentils and Bulgar: Experiment with lentils and whole grains you may not be familiar with. Try them in your regular recipes for added fiber and flavor.
  16. Squash. There are so many varieties of squash, from spaghetti, which makes a great substitute for grain noodles, to butternut, which makes excellent soup. Squash is packed with fiber, so add more squash to your diet.
  17. Vegetables: Add vegetables to everything you can, from an extra helping in your morning omelets, to veggies in your spaghetti sauce. They are a great source of insoluble fiber.
  18. Go ethnic: American foods often have lower fiber than ethnic cuisines, so try something from Mexico, the Middle East, or the Mediterranean, which usually have beans, lentils, and other good sources of fiber.
  19. Up your dips: Dipping is fun, but try hummus, bean dips, and artichoke dips which are both full of fiber as opposed to a dressing.
  20. Add a little when baking. Give your cookies, cakes, breads, and muffins more fiber by subbing in some whole-wheat flour and oats.

 

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman, Nature’s Sunshine Independent Distributor and Holistic Health Practitioner

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Sale on Nature’s Sunshine HistaBlock® (90 caps) $2 off. 3/1 – 3/31

HistaBlock
NSP HistaBlock

Benefits:

  • Supports the body in times of respiratory stress.
  • Supports the body’s efforts to maintain a healthy mucous membrane.
  • Supports free breathing and may help reduce unpleasant symptoms associated with irritants.

How It Works:

HistaBlock provides nutrients that support healthy respiratory function as the body battles irritants, pollutants and toxins. Stinging nettle provides well-known support against seasonal airborne substances. This formula provides antioxidant strength to help stabilize mast cells.

The antioxidant quercetin has been used for its reputed effects in supporting the respiratory system. Quercetin may help stabilize cells that release compounds when exposed to irritants. Bromelain is an enzyme that works to help reduce the swelling of mucous membranes during times of respiratory stress. Bitter orange contains synephrine, which helps the body support open airways.

Ingredients:

Nettle leaves, quercetin, Bitter orange fruit and bromelain.

Recommended Use:

Take 2 capsules with a meal twice daily.

 

To take advantage of this Sale, click here: HistaBlock Sale

 

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman

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Does Baking Soda contain Aluminum?

Yesterday, I watched a video on Facebook on how a woman suggested adding a pinch of baking soda into your coffee to reduce the acidic level of your coffee. She says that she uses a brand of baking soda that does not contain aluminum.

This got me thinking….does the baking soda we have contain aluminum? I looked at the ingredients on the label…and no, it does not. We use good ole Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.

I decided to research this online and found the article below. By the way, I am going to try the pinch of baking soda in my coffee to reduce the acidic level.I will comment below on the results.

Enjoy!

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman

Baking soda

I think we can all agree…

… that baking soda is pretty magical stuff. Of course it’s what makes our baked goods rise and get all fluffy, but it’s also good for deodorizing stinky stuff, cleaning carpet spots, making DIY cleaning pastes, and scrubbing messy ovens too.

When I hear the word ‘aluminum’ in regards to my food or personal care products, I definitely start paying attention, because aluminum is not something I want to be using or consuming on a regular basis.

What’s the Big Deal with Aluminum?

Aluminum is a common addition to some processed foods (especially certain baking mixes) and hygiene products (such as anti-perspirent deodorant).

The problem?

Aluminum is a neurotoxin that may lead to neurological disorders (1), and certain studies have even linked it to Alzheimer’s disease (2).

There’s still some controversy in the scientific community over the exact health dangers of aluminum, but the available evidence is enough to make me say ‘No thanks.’ Therefore, I make a point of avoiding aluminum cookware and any food or personal care products that contain the metal.

Since I don’t cook with processed food items, avoiding aluminum in that space is pretty easy. BUT, there is an ingredient that I frequently use in my kitchen that can be a big offender when it comes to aluminum—>

Good ol’ baking powder.

The Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder

This is where it can get a little confusing–since baking soda and baking powder are both white, powdery substances that we use in baking. But there IS a difference:

Baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate. It comes from soda ash, which can be produced synthetically or harvested from natural sources.  Generally, recipes that call for baking soda also call for some sort of acid, which helps to boost the leavening process and remove the slightly bitter taste that baking soda sometimes lends to recipes.

On the other hand, Baking powder contains some sodium bicarbonate, but also has other ingredients that act as acidifying agents. This means that you don’t have to add extra acid to your recipes to get the leavening action. The acidifying agents can come in the form of cream of tartar or an aluminum-based acid (3).

**Ding Ding Ding**

And that’s where aluminum makes its entrance.

Thankfully, not all baking powders contain aluminum-based acids–it just depends on the manufacturer. It’s easy to avoid the aluminum varieties– simply look for the “aluminum-free” designation on the label.

But what about baking soda?

Baking Soda was Framed

The concern over baking soda is actually a case of mistaken identity.

Baking soda, by definition, is sodium bicarbonate, and there is no reason for it to contain an acidifying agent–aluminum-based or otherwise.

Lemme say that one more time–

Baking soda does not contain aluminum.

I even called the Arm and Hammer (the “famous” baking soda company) to double check, and they stated very definitively that their baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate and contains zero aluminum.

Whew. It’s kinda nice to have one less thing to worry about, huh?

It seems that this whole confusion started because certain manufacturers have labeled their product as “aluminum-free baking soda.”

That would lead one to believe that there IS indeed varieties of baking soda that do contain aluminum, however, that is not the case. I believe the reasoning behind this labeling was because they were probably getting a bazillion calls each day from people who were confused by the difference between baking soda and baking powder–so they stuck the label on there to put everyone’s mind at ease.

However, all baking soda is aluminum-free, even if it is not labeled as such.

So to Answer the Question…

No, baking soda does not contain aluminum, but some varieties of baking powder can.

So look for aluminum-free baking powder the next time you are at the store, but don’t worry about the baking soda. You can buy the big bags of the cheap stuff–no problem.

~ Original article: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2014/01/baking-soda-aluminum.html

12 Ways Aloe Vera Juice Might Make You a Healthier Person

I personally enjoy 2 oz. of Aloe Vera Juice in my morning glass of unsweetened cranberry juice. I also have an additional 1 to 2 oz. later on during the day as well, added in my water. It does have a taste, but I have gotten use to it. After you start to feel how much the Aloe Vera Juice helps you, the taste will totally be worth it!

Directions: Add 2 to 6 oz of Aloe Vera Juice daily to water, juice or even the into protein shakes.

https://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/aloe-vera-juice-32-fl-oz/1680/?actid=3044357

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman

 

Aloe Vera Juice

 

But, how does it taste?!

That’s often the first question people ask when considering whether to add aloe vera juice to their diet.

Maybe you’ve heard stories about mothers who use the juice to get babies to stop sucking their pacifiers.

All I can say is that tolerating the unusual taste of aloe vera juice is definitely worth it!

And it’s probably even a good thing. Beware of companies that claim their juice doesn’t have an unpleasant taste. The process for removing the taste can leave the juice with only 10 to 15 percent aloe vera.

And sky’s the limit when it comes to the benefits of drinking aloe vera juice on a regular basis:

  • Regulates Digestion
  • Get Lots of Vitamins and Minerals
  • Maintain Dental Health
  • Supports Cholesterol Levels Already in the Normal Range
  • Promote Hair Growth

That’s just the beginning!

The benefits are practically endless, and impossible to summarize in an article like this.

1. Stay Regular

Along with cleansing the body, drinking aloe vera can also improve digestion and colon health, which for many people can make many health problems better. As they say, “the road to health is paved with good intestines.”

2. Consume Lots of Vitamins

vitaminsAloe vera juice is a vitamin storehouse.

Vitamin A.

Vitamin C.

Vitamin E.

Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12… aloe vera juice has them all!

3. Hydrate

Drinking aloe vera juice can keep you well-hydrated and feeling great. And staying hydrated can ward of thirst that leads to hunger and fatigue.

4. Absorb Minerals

Aloe vera juice contains lots of minerals that your body needs every single day. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron… these are just a few human staples aloe vera juice can provide in spades.

5. Support Blood Sugar Levels Already in the Normal Range

Since aloe vera juice can support blood sugar, drinking it regularly can be good for many.

 

longhair6. Stimulate Hair Growth

Want longer hair?

Try drinking some aloe vera juice! The juice can help moisturize and maintain the right PH balance.

 

7. Protect Those Pearly Whites

Aloe vera juice is rich in the vitamins and minerals that promote dental health by protecting your mouth and gums. You’ve probably even seen toothpaste that contains aloe vera.

8. Supports the Immune System

Rich in vitamin c, a few shots of aloe vera juice can help support the respiratory system.

9. Cleanse the System

Stress and the crappy food we eat can leave our bodies full of harmful toxins that every once in a while should be removed.

fortressIt’s vitamins, minerals and other trace elements that help keep the body clean.

10. Fights Free Radicals

We’ve hardly talked at all about antioxidants.

But aloe vera juice has those too… the antioxidants that can fight off harmful free radicals.

Drinking aloe vera juice regularly will give you a good chance of boosting your immunity to sickness.

11.Supports Healthy Skin

Some experts say drinking aloe vera juice is a great way to control skin issues.

Along with hydrating the body (which is key), the nutrients in aloe vera juice may support healthy inflammation.

12. Support cholesterol levels already in the normal range

By reducing triglycerides, aloe vera juice can be great for supporting healthy cholesterol levels.

 

Conclusion

There was a time when people had to make their own aloe vera juice to enjoy the many health benefits of this amazing concoction. Today, aloe vera juice is much easier to find.

Just in case you still think the juice isn’t right for you, let’s review the list of benefits one last time:

  1. Stay Regular
  2. Consume Lots of Vitamins
  3. Hydrate
  4. Absorb Minerals
  5. Support Blood Sugar Levels Already in the Normal Range
  6. Stimulate Hair Growth
  7. Protect Those Pearly Whites
  8. Supports Immune System
  9. Cleanse the System
  10. Fights Free Radicals
  11. Supports Healthy Skin
  12. Supports Cholesterol Levels Already in the Normal Range

 

~Dan Bischoff

Dan is a fanatical health nut who religiously takes supplements every day. And when he’s not taking supplements, he’s reading just about every health article he can find. He’s addicted to NSP’s Nature’s Harvest, Ionic Minerals, Relief Formula and Chlorophyll ES.

Original post: http://blog.naturessunshine.com/en/12-ways-aloe-vera-juice-might-make-you-a-healthier-person/

 

Sugary Secret of Pet Treats

Sugary Secret of Pet Treats

 

Today’s pet treats aren’t the dog bones of your childhood. Over the past decade, a surprising ingredient has begun to appear on pet treat ingredient lists: sugar.Following the trend of sugar-laden children’s snacks, pet treat manufacturers are tapping into a dog’s sweet tooth to boost sales.

 “One of the key reasons I became involved with fighting pet obesity was when I began seeing sugar added to pet treats. I think if more pet owners were aware of this, they may choose their treats more carefully.” says veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) and author of “Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter – A Vet’s Plan to Save Their Lives” (2010 HCI). “When you have popular treats such as Snausages SnawSomes that list sugars as three of the first four ingredients, you know there’s a problem.”

And the problem is huge. APOP estimates that 45% of US dogs and 58% of cats are too heavy. That equals an estimated 89 million pets that are at high risk for developing conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.

Ward says the problem is linked to money – lots of it. With US pet treat sales estimated to be nearly $2 billion in 2010, the treat bowl has turned golden. “Sugar is incredibly attractive to dogs. If a dog gobbles a treat quickly, an owner is more likely to give another – and another. This adds up to more sales – and profits. In the race for pet treat profits, our pets’ health is being bankrupted.”

Ward also contends that added sugar has behavioral consequences. “Numerous studies in rats demonstrate that overfeeding sugar can create symptoms similar to drug addiction. A dog’s daily sweet treat may be contributing to overeating and other undesirable behaviors. This is why I call today’s high-sugar treats ‘kibble crack.’”

Of course, pet treat manufacturers are quick to blame pet owners for the problem. After all, dogs and cats don’t buy or give these products themselves. Ward agrees – to a point. “Pet owners definitely have a feeding disorder when it comes to their pets. Ultimately it’s up to each owner to control how much they feed their pets. What I want to bring attention to is what ingredients are in pet treats – and why. Pet owners must begin to question why there is sugar in a treat that claims to help teeth.”

Ultimately both the pet food industry and Ward have pet’s best interest at heart. “Today we have some of the best pet foods and treats we’ve ever had. For that, I am grateful. At the same time, we’re seeing some of the unhealthiest products masquerading as wholesome and nutritious. It’s time we reveal the sugary secret that is contributing to obesity in pets.”

Dr. Ward’s Dirty Dozen – Popular Sugary Pet Treats:

  • Canine CarryOuts Chewotta  -Dextrose first ingredient
  • Snausages SnawSomes! Beef and Chicken Flavor -Sugars 3 of first 4 ingredients
  • Pedigree Jumbone Mini Snack Food for Small Dogs-Sugars 2 of 3 first ingredient
  • Petrodex Dental Treats for Cats- Dextrose second ingredient
  • Pedigree Jumbone- Sugar third ingredient
  • Milk Bone Essentials Plus Oral Care- Sugar third ingredient
  • Pup-Peroni Lean Beef Recipe- Sugar third ingredient
  • Science Diet Simple Essentials Treats Training Adult Treats with Real Beef- Sugar third ingredient
  • Cesar Softies Dog Treats- Sugar third ingredient
  • Milk-Bone Chewy Chicken Drumsticks- Sugar third ingredient
  • Meow Mix Moist Cat Treats- Corn syrup fourth ingredient
  • Pedigree Marrobone- Sugar third ingredient

Other common sugar-containing treats according to Dr. Ernie Ward:

  • Pedigree Jumbone – Sugar third ingredient
  • Beneful Snackin’ Slices – Sugar fourth ingredient
  • Pit’r Pat Fresh Breath Mint Flavored Cat Treats – Maltodextrin first ingredient
  • Three Dog Bakery Lick ‘n Crunch – Dextrose third ingredient
  • Beneful Snackin Slices – Sugar fourth ingredient
  • Busy Chewnola – Maltodextrin second ingredient
  • Exclusively Dog Vanilla Flavor Sandwich Creme Dog Cookies – Sugars first two ingredients
  • Canine Carryouts Dog Treats – Corn syrup second ingredient

For more information, visit www.PetObesityPrevention.com or www.DrErnieWard.com