This issue of Making a Difference! is brought to you by…
Jo & Al Hawck
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In this issue…
♦ A deep dive into… your digestion! ♦ What causes digestive problems?
♦ Want great health? Focus on your digestion first!
♦ Chronic conditions of the digestive tract ♦ Supplements for gut health…
♦ Your gut… a powerful disease-fighting system
♦ How to keep your gut happy and healthy…
♦ A multi-masking primer… ♦ Is your skin just dry or… dehydrated?
Your body is constructed of natural nutritional elements. All inorganic, unnatural substances are just so much excess baggage [that] may become the breeding ground of disease. Are you willing to risk such a calamitous adversity?
~ Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee, Sr.
In today’s fast-paced world, more than half of Americans eat “ultra-processed” and/or fast foods on a daily basis. It’s called the Western diet, and it consists largely of processed foods, lots of fat, red meat, white flour products, added sugar and refined grains. So it stands to reason that these same Americans suffer from Western diseases… Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Unfortunately, the Western diet has very little nutritional value… just empty calories. As a result, obesity is soaring, with more than 2 billion overweight and 600 million obese adults inhabiting our planet as of 2014.
While the Western diet is loved by many, it’s disliked by the body because it throws the whole immune system out of sync. The main culprits are foods that contain things like palmitic acid and fructose… ingredients found in sweets which cause an immune reaction in your body. Only a change in the diet to remove these ingredients will restore the immune system. And… it all starts with your digestion.
What causes digestive problems?
- too few vegetables and fruit
- foods lacking in enzymes
- beverages high in sugar
- processed and fast foods
- industrialized animal products like cheese, meat, and milk
- refined wheat products
- genetically modified foods
Want great health? Focus on your digestion first!
When you understand the whole digestive process and learn helpful tips to keep it healthy, you will be able to diagnose as well as treat many of your own digestive issues. A strong digestive system is an absolute imperative for good health; in fact, it’s the very foundation upon which good health is built!
♦♦ Your digestive system is a complex combination of hormones, nerves, blood and bacteria. They all work together to do the intricate job of digesting the liquids and foods you consume every day. Your digestive system also interacts with all the other systems of your body.
♦♦ Cells are found both in the lining of your stomach and the small intestine which release and produce hormones. These hormones stimulate your digestive juices and regulate the appetite.
♦♦ Your digestive system is largely controlled by nerves that connect your digestive organs to the spinal cord and the brain, which release chemicals that contract and relax your muscles. There are also nerves in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract that are automatically triggered when food is present, enabling the digestive system to function properly.
Chronic conditions of the digestive tract
How is your digestive health? That’s a question not always easy to answer. While digestive health includes how well you digest food and absorb nutrients, that complex process plays a massive role in your overall health. When the system breaks down, it means big trouble such as:
There are few experiences that are as immensely upsetting and frightening as rectal bleeding, often the first sign of hemorrhoids… extremely inflamed veins in the rectum and around the anus. This painful condition can result from poor hydration, constipation, autoimmune disease, and a host of other illnesses.
Celiac disease is a serious condition that is characterized by an intense sensitivity to gluten that causes the body to destroy villi in your intestines, responsible for extracting nutrients from food. Symptoms range from diarrhea to scarier things like seizures. All are serious, life-threatening illnesses.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD is the persistent action of stomach acids travelling up the esophagus. This condition, often linked to obesity, can be caused by a wide range of health conditions from emotional issues to physical impairments.
Supplements for gut health…
Digestion is such an essential part of health that it affects your skin, immunity, energy level and much, much more. Here are a few supplements to help keep your gut strong and healthy:
Fiber. Found in most natural foods, processing removes the majority of fiber from the American diet. Fiber keeps the large intestine free of waste particles that can cause pockets to form in the lining of the intestines. Fiber also has soluble components that help lower cholesterol by attracting free floating fat particles in the blood stream. In all cases, fiber is essential for keeping things clean, so taking fiber supplements such as Fiber Plan, Fiber Plan Tablets and Fiber Advantage Bars, can help to reduce ill effects, as well as sweep away food remnants that rot and produce gas.
Enzymes. These little chemistry enabling components of the body are one of biology’s most amazing achievements. When you ingest food, it has to be broken down into its most basic parts in order for your body to be able to convert it into fuel and raw material to build new cells. Enzymes play a vital role in this process. Illness, prescription drugs, and just normal aging can kill these essential enzymes, so taking EZ-Gest can get you back to normal and help repair any gut damage.
Antifungals. Prevent the buildup of dangerous fungi like candida, which can disrupt digestion, cause severe illness, and lead to even more serious diseases. Taking Garlic Complex, Stomach Soothing Complex, Zinc Complex, CarotoMax, Vita-C, and of course, new Optiflora DI, is a wise move to make.
Your gut… a powerful disease-fighting system
Did you know that enzymes and digestive acids not only break down food and extract nutrients, but also work to sterilize your food. By doing this, your body is protected from infection and food poisoning. Your digestive system also aids in the function of the immune system through a cluster of lymphoid tissue that is found in the walls of your small intestine. Since your gastrointestinal lining is actually exposed to the external environment of your system as you ingest food, bad bacteria can sometimes gain access to your gut. The lymphoid tissue aids in monitoring the lining of your digestive system and when necessary, produces antibodies to fight off any ‘enemies’ that get through.
Your digestive system is home to different types of bacteria which play a critical role in fighting off disease and keeping you healthy. Most people don’t realize that when an infection invades your body, the risk of cancer is increased. While friendly bacteria will fight off the infection, it’s your responsibility to nurture and protect your digestive system in order for it to do its job and stay healthy.
How probiotics help keep you healthy
In recent years, new information has been released proving the benefits of taking supplemental probiotics. Doctors have recently started using these “good” bacteria to treat those who develop life-threatening conditions like Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection, characterized by diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis, C. diff is known as a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) which can be caused by the long-term use of antibiotics and hospitalization, especially among the elderly. In 2011, the germ C. difficile caused almost half a million infections in the United States. 29,000 of those infected died within 30 days of the initial diagnosis. Regular ingestion of probiotic foods and supplements can help lower the risk that you’ll ever develop such an infection, let alone succumb to it.
But probiotics do much more than just bolster your immunity. They,,,
> Keep skin healthy and youthful. You might not know this, but digestive health plays a massive role in skin health. When “bad” bacteria build to high levels, the health effect often manifests in the form of acne.
> Combat bacterial inflammation. In many chronic illnesses like Crohn’s disease and IBS, the inflammation of the bowel is caused by an abundance of harmful bacteria that are continuously multiplying and attacking the tissues of your intestines. Many of these negative effects can be neutralized by ingesting high amounts of probiotics, which break down the cellular walls of harmful bacteria and kill them.
Think of your digestion system like you would a bank account… you need to invest in it in order to reap the rewards.
How to keep your gut happy and healthy…
You simply cannot afford to let your digestive system become ill. Here are some important steps to help it to function efficiently:
⇒⇒ Chew your food well before swallowing. The more food is broken down in your mouth, the easier it is on your digestion system.
⇒⇒ Fiber, fiber, and more fiber keeps food moving easily through your intestines and breaks down fatty foods.
⇒⇒ Exercise to move food quickly through the digestive system and increases the flow of blood to your organs. Exercise also tones the wall of the colon, reducing the risk of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcers.
⇒⇒ Eat warm foods… they’re friendly to your spleen.
⇒⇒ Cut down on your alcohol consumption. Heartburn, diarrhea, and liver problems can occur when you drink too much alcohol.
⇒⇒ Lose weight. Even a few pounds over your ideal weight can affect your digestion.
⇒⇒ Take probiotics and fiber to maintain the right microflora balance.
⇒⇒ Get screened regularly for colorectal cancer.
⇒⇒ Eat mindfully and slowly to prevent gas, bloating, indigestion and more serious digestive problems.
A multi-masking primer…
Today there are so many new face mask formulas that it can be difficult to find the right one for you.
Here’s a little secret… one mask doesn’t have to do it all! In order to get the best results you sometimes have to use different products to address different skin issues. Here are three of our favorite mask combinations:
The T-zone… your forehead, nose, and chin… tends to be the oiliest part of your face. YOUTH Purifying Clay Mask has a triple blend of mineral-rich clays, superfine charcoal powder, and volcanic ash that absorbs toxins and excess oil in the skin. At the same time, use YOUTH Hydrating Gel Mask with hyaluronic acid to hydrate even the driest of cheeks.
Women between the ages of 20 and 40 who experience pimple eruptions are likely suffering from hormonal fluctuations, Use Purifying Clay Mask the week before your menstrual cycle so that it can absorb the oil before breakouts can happen, and then Hydrating Gel Mask so that your skin doesn’t over-produce oil.
It’s possible to treat both occasional breakouts, wrinkles, and other aging signs all at the same time with multi-masking. After using a gentle cleanser, apply Hydrating Gel Mask, treating any problem spots with Purifying Clay Mask.
Is your skin just dry or… dehydrated?
Dry skin is either genetic or develops later in life, especially post-menopause. Dry skin can look rough, flaky and sometimes feel itchy.
Dehydrated skin is caused by hormonal imbalances, diet, environmental factors, aging, or changes in the weather. Dehydrated skin looks dull and feels tight.
Both result in skin cells that lack sufficient levels of water, a condition you can address with the YOUTH Hydration regimen.