What We Should All Know about Homocysteine

Homocysteine is a protein that occurs naturally in our blood. Sometimes when it’s conversion is impaired due to nutritional deficiencies, homocysteine levels rise and this is dangerous to our health. These high levels have been linked with cardiovascular disease, migraine, cognitive decline, diabetes, osteoporosis and macular degeneration.

You can regulate your homocysteine levels by:

  1. reducing coffee intake to 1-2 cups per day.
  2. eating more fruit and vegetables to increase folate. Good sources of folate include green leafy vegetables like spinach, asparagus and broccoli, and fruits such as strawberries and blackberries.
  3. increasing vitamins B6 and B12.  Chickpeas, salmon, chicken, bananas, sweet potatoes, lentils and sunflower seeds are all good sources of these B vitamins.
  4. losing weight, if you are overweight.

Have your homocysteine levels checked the next time your doctor recommends a routine blood test. It should be 6 or lower for optimal health!

Boost Your Health with Apple Cider Vinegar!

Apple Cider Vinegar has been used in the kitchen and medicinally for a very long time. 

Here are 3 healthful reasons to keep a bottle on hand:

  1. Sore throat – gargle with a mix of apple cider vinegar and warm water, 1 Tbsp vinegar and 1/2 cup of water, to relieve a sore throat. Gargle and swallow. Can repeat this 2-3 times daily.
  2. Sinus congestion – gargling with apple cider vinegar also helps to break up and reduce mucous in the throat and sinuses, helping to curtail an infection.
  3. Acid reflux and heartburn – acid reflux results from having too little acid in your stomach. Improve your stomach acidity by taking 1 Tbsp of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water daily. This can also help to improve intestinal spasms.

Other well documented uses include for weight loss, reducing blood sugar levels, skin irritations and even boosting energy. An excellent first aid product for everyone’s pantry!

Cholesterol-Lowering Foods

Cholesterol is a white, insoluble, waxy substance that is manufactured in your liver. 

Your body needs cholesterol for many vital metabolic processes, such as making hormones, producing vitamin D, producing bile acids to help digest fat, etc. When people regularly consume foods high in saturated fats (Salami, sausages, processed meats, deep-fried foods, etc), their livers manufacture more cholesterol. This impacts upon their total blood cholesterol levels and throws out their ratio of good to bad cholesterol. LDL’s (low density lipoproteins) represents bad cholesterol, which can result in hardening of the arteries. HDL’s (high density lipoproteins) is good cholesterol which helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells and arteries.

Many foods can help to lower cholesterol:

  1. Fresh fruit & vegetables – provide soluble fibre that blocks the absorption of dietary cholesterol from the intestine. Good choices are bananas, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, artichokes, carrots, apples, alfalfa sprouts.
  2. Fish & fish oil – contain dietary fats that lower triglycerides in the blood and reduce blood pressure, while boosting the levels of HDL’s.
  3. Beans & legumes  – contain a water-soluble fibre (pectin) that binds cholesterol and shifts it out of the body. Good choices are kidney, lima, & soybeans, peas, chickpeas & lentils.
  4. Oats – provide soluble fibre that reduces the absorption of cholesterol. Brown rice, quinoa & barley have a similar effect, to a lesser extent.
  5. Soy products – contain isoflavones, and fibre that lower total cholesterol. Good choices are soymilk, tofu, edamame.
  6. Tannins in tea and compounds in green tea (catechins) lower LDL’s and stop the build up of cholesterol on artery walls.