Prescribing Nature? Why Some Experts Say That Nature Is the Key to Staying Healthy

Everyone loves vacation. Some families prefer tropical getaways and others adore the Rocky Mountains. My favorite memory is a time our family visited the Amazon rainforest, swimming in a cove with lush plants and waterfalls. These trips all have something in common: beautiful nature.

What Are the Health Benefits of Nature?

The effects of nature are so positive that doctors are starting to write prescriptions for ecotherapy, or nature trips:

  • Fighting stress and depression: One of the biggest benefits of being in nature is that it improves your mood. Stress, anxiety and depression practically disappear. You feel relaxed, positive and energized.
  • Increasing your sense of wellbeing: Studies show that people who spend time in nature are more likely to feel deep satisfaction, meaning and joy in life.
  • Protecting your body: People who spend time outdoors every week have a lower risk of heart disease, respiratory problems, diabetes and overweight.
  • Strengthening your immune system: An excursion into the woods or a weekend at a national park can boost the effectiveness of your immune system, helping you stay healthier.
  • Relieving pain: When you get plenty of sunlight, it can trigger pain relief for your entire body. In fact, these rays may even increase healing, curing cuts and some injuries more quickly.

You don’t need to go it alone to improve your health. An enjoyable outing with friends or family members can actually increase the mental, physical and emotional benefits you receive.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Why Is Nature So Good for You?

Think back to the last time you visited a park, beach or forest. First, imagine the sights. Do you see gorgeous fields of wildflowers, colorful hummingbirds or majestic mountains?

The reason beautiful vistas are calming is because they interrupt the negative thoughts that stress makes you replay over and over in your mind. Nature captures your attention and gets you to focus on something positive, interesting and wonderful instead.

Now, remember the scents. Do you smell a salty ocean breeze, fresh green plants, delightful roses or irresistible cedar?

These aromas do more than tempt your nose. They contain natural aerosols, tiny bits of essential plant oils, that can trigger certain hormones in your body. That’s one reason why pine forests are so calming.

What about the sounds? Can you remember the chirping of birds, the gentle rustling of leaves or the smooth crashing of waves at the ocean?

Nature sounds are proven to have a soothing effect on your brain, making you feel relaxed and helping you sleep better at night. Even the absence of sound is enjoyable, that total peace and quiet you only find in nature. 


Where Can You Go?

Going outdoors doesn’t have to be complicated. The important thing, according to studies, is to get at least two hours of ecotherapy every week. The two hours can be split into 20 minutes every day or a full morning on the weekend.

Go for a walk in the park or plan a bonfire with friends in the country. National parks are the purest form of nature, but not everyone lives close enough to go regularly. If you have woods near your house, enjoy a hike through nature trails. Take a trip to the beach or the lake.

Get as far away from the noise pollution and air pollution of the big city as possible. You can even get benefits by working in your garden or watching hummingbirds on your patio. Don’t plan too much — just do it!

Do you have a favorite nature getaway you want to share? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Cold or Allergies: Learning How To Tell the Difference

The spring is just around the corner, and with the flowers and trees in bloom, it is prime allergy season. Unfortunately, people often catch colds this time of year too. With both problems resulting in similar side effects, it is challenging to determine whether you have an allergic reaction to your environment or caught a virus. Thankfully, allergists and physicians make things a little easier for people by providing symptom comparison lists and explain the difference between allergies and colds.

Defining Each Issue

The definition of an allergy is a chronic condition resulting in an abnormal response to ordinary and typically harmless stimuli. Common allergens include pollen, pet dander, bee venom, etc. While some allergic reactions are minimal, others require immediate medical intervention, needing an injection of epinephrine, stimulating the heart and lungs, and simultaneously improving blood pressure and swelling.

A cold is a viral infection. Often affecting your upper respiratory tract, the illness is typically harmless, resolving itself in seven to 10 days. However, while the virus is potentially harmless, patients must stay hydrated, sticking primarily with water. Dehydration can lead to more problems.

Allergy Symptoms

While allergies and colds do share some symptoms, there are several differences. One definitive way to determine allergies over a cold or something else is that symptoms only appear at specific times or during particular situations. For example, if you are sneezing every year in early fall or late spring, you are most likely dealing with allergies.

Additionally, if you are sniffing or sneezing for over a week, you are most likely dealing with allergies. Another telltale sign you are coping with allergies and not a cold is the color of your mucus; clear and watery mucus indicates allergies and not an infection.

Finally, itchy and watery eyes are a sign of allergies. When staving off a viral infection, your body will not produce itchy or watery eyes.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Cold Symptoms

There is a common misperception that colds only occur when it is coldest. While it is true that colds are most prominent in late fall and through winter, adults and children can get them throughout the year, with most people experiencing multiple colds per year.

When you have a cold, your mucus tends to change color from clear to yellow or green. The texture will also change, becoming thicker. The color change is a reaction to your immune cells fighting back against the virus.

If you notice that your symptoms change throughout the week — every few days or so — you likely have a cold. Like any virus, a cold has a progression of symptoms, starting with a low-grade fever.

Finally, if you are experiencing a cough, body aches, headaches, or a fever, you most likely have a cold. Allergies do not typically cause any of these symptoms, so diagnosis is unlikely.

Seeing a Doctor

For allergies and colds, treatment options vary. In most cases, the symptoms eventually go away on their own. However, if you experience trouble breathing, skin rashes, swelling, or symptoms that go beyond 10 days, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the best treatment plan.

Have you ever confused allergies for a cold or vice versa? Leave a comment below to start a conversation and participate in the Smarter Science of Slim community.

These Are the Colors You Should Be Eating

Did you know that natural foods get their colors from vitamins? These healthy nutrients that come from plants are called phytochemicals. “Phyto” means “plant.” Phytochemicals protect your thyroid, heart, liver, joints, eyes, and other organs. Just by taking a quick glance at the color of a fruit or vegetable, you can tell exactly what type of antioxidants you’re getting!

The Best Colors for Your Body

1. Red

This is one of the best colors for your health. Intense red fruits and veggies get their color from lycopene and other antioxidants. These superstars help increase your defenses against heart disease, prostate cancer, color cancer and other cancers. If you want to have a strong, energized heart for your entire life, definitely eat more red fruit and veggies.

2. Purple and Blue

These gorgeous colors are a sign that you’re getting lots of cancer-preventing, disease-fighting anthocyanins. People who tend to get urinary tract infections can benefit a lot from eating more blues. These colors also take great care of your brain, increasing memory and concentration while helping prevent strokes.

3. Green

If there’s one color people think of for healthy eating, it’s green. And with good reason — leafy green veggies are packed with vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, folate and fiber. They can prevent osteoporosis, reduce joint inflammation, take care of your gut and help you lose weight! An antioxidant called lutein is so powerful it can prevent age-related eye problems and keep your mind sharp.

4. Yellow and Orange

Do you remember your mother telling you to eat more carrots for your eyesight? She was right. Yellow/orange fruits and veggies contain antioxidants called carotenoids. They rejuvenate eye tissue, keep your vision healthy and improve your immune system. Any time you need vitamin A or vitamin C, turn to yellows and oranges — they’re the best sources.

5. White

In the plant world, white is a color, too. White fruits and vegetables get their color from anthocyanins. These antioxidants are the reason garlic is so good for you. They don’t take the place of antibiotics, but they do help your body fight diseases more effectively, protecting against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. They also lower your cholesterol levels.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Eating Your Way Across the Rainbow

Including more colors in your diet gives you lots of vitamins. It also makes your meals look more exciting and appealing:

  • Green: kiwi, lime, cabbage, spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, celery, asparagus, green peppers, peas, green beans, avocados

  • Blue/purple: Blueberries, blackberries, grapes, figs, plums, dates and prunes

  • Yellow: Sweet corn, grapefruit, yellow peppers, yellow tomatoes, pineapples and apricots

  • Red: Rhubarb, pink grapefruit, red peppers, beets, radishes, tomatoes, apples, cranberries, strawberries, cherries and watermelons

  • Orange: Carrots, papayas, oranges, peaches, mangoes, pumpkins and sweet potatoes

  • White: Cauliflower, garlic, onions, potatoes, bananas and pears

Trust me, adding more colors to your diet is a smart investment. You can feel the difference right away, from your energy levels in the morning to the quality of your sleep at night.

Tips for Getting More Color

Having trouble getting fresh fruit? Too busy to prepare fresh veggies with every meal? A good compromise is to choose frozen fruit and vegetables. They contain many of the same nutrients as fresh.

Another of my favorite tips is to follow the seasons. This guarantees you the freshest fruits and veggies, and it also gives you more variety of nutrients. Feast on tangy strawberries in summer, juicy oranges in winter, tasty sweet potatoes in fall, and crunchy asparagus in spring!

Colonics: Does This Odd Practice Really Work?

Let’s talk about a subject that might make a few of us a little squirmy. Colonics (also known as colonic irrigation) is a procedure that involves irrigating the colon using water or a combination of water and other safe liquids. This practice is typically done by a hydrotherapist or colon therapist. Though it may seem strange to allow someone to clean out your digestive system through your rear-end, it’s a fairly common practice that may offer some impressive benefits.

Many people confuse colonics with enemas. These are two very different things. An enema is just a one-time infusion that can be done at home. Colonics involve more than one infusion done in different sessions. Each session typically takes anywhere between 45 minutes and one hour. During the procedure, up to 16 gallons of water and other fluids are pumped into the body through the rectum. I know, it sounds extremely unpleasant, but here’s why I am thinking about giving it a try.

Benefits of Colonics

There are a variety of reasons people choose to do colonics. Here are a few of the health advantages this procedure may offer.

  • Improved digestion. When you remove toxins that can get caught in your digestive system like sludge, you can improve your digestion. One study shows that gastrointestinal symptoms can, indeed, be improved after colonic irrigation. This is specifically in patients who have irritable bowel syndrome. Since IBS can be very challenging to treat effectively, some patients may choose to try alternative treatment methods such as colonics.
  • Weight loss. If you feel like you’re stuck and can’t seem to lose weight no matter what you do, colonics may be able to help. It does this in a couple of ways. It removes weight immediately by getting rid of toxic sludge (i.e. excess waste) caught in your body. It also helps with weight management by improving digestion s your body runs more efficiently and processes food more effectively.
  • Increased energy. Though it seems strange that washing out your colon could lead to increased energy, that’s exactly what some people report after receiving a colonic treatment. This benefit may be due to the release of pent-up toxins inside the body. Once these toxins are physically removed, your body doesn’t have to put so much effort toward trying to push the waste out when it’s sticking to your intestinal walls. Some people who receive colonic treatments claim that they experience improved energy, more restful sleep and better blood circulation.
  • Supports regularity. If you’re like me and struggle sometimes with constipation, you may find that colonics helps. This is one reason why I am considering trying this practice myself. Some people report that cleaning their colons out leads to improved regularity and fewer side effects of constipation (which include fun things like varicose veins and hemorrhoids).

These are just a few of the top benefits people report after receiving colonics treatments. Other touted benefits include improved concentration, better absorption of nutrients, and improved whole-body wellbeing.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


How the Procedure Feels

Colonic irrigation may seem like a highly unpleasant procedure. However, those who do it regularly explain that it really doesn’t hurt. Instead, it causes mild side effects such as minor cramping and a feeling of fulness in the lower abdomen. These feelings typically subscribe as soon as the treatment is complete. The tube is small enough that it only causes minor discomfort when it’s inserted and removed.

Given the fact that the procedure isn’t painful as I first supposed and that it can offer a variety of health benefits, I’m seriously considering adding it to my list of things to do this month. At the very least, I’m interested in learning more about this ancient procedure and its potential effects on the human body.

Unique Ingredients That Are Good for Your Health

Are you trying to eat healthier but running out of creative ideas for nutritious meals that actually taste good? You’re not alone. It seems like I make a resolution every year to eat healthily, but I get bored of my options about a month in and give up. This year, however, I’ve decided to make sure I don’t fall for this same mistake. Since I know that eating healthy is so important if I want to maintain a good weight, avoid illnesses and just feel better about myself, I figured out a way to stick with my resolution this year.

To help me keep my meals exciting and interesting, I decided to make a game of healthy eating. Instead of eating broccoli and chicken every night, I am challenging myself to use a variety of ingredients in my meals each week. Here are some unique ingredients I decided to try. They’re very healthy, and they might just make things interesting enough that I’ll meet my goal of eating healthy all year. You should try it with me!  At the very least, it will be an educational adventure, right?

Spirulina

OK, I have to be honest here. I’ve heard about the incredible benefits of spirulina for a while, but I tasted a tiny bit of it plain once and I never wanted to eat the stuff again. But then I found out that it’s best to mask the flavor of spirulina (which is slightly fishy because it’s a seaweed) with other ingredients. It’s especially helpful to throw a teaspoon of spirulina into fruit smoothies. You won’t even taste it, but you’ll benefit from it.

Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods in existence. It’s full of things like protein, vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, copper and iron. It’s also quite an energy booster (as I can attest to!)

Kudzu

No, I didn’t just sneeze. Kudzu is a root that’s native to Japan and is also commonly called kuzu. It has a thick consistency, which makes it a great thickener for sauces or soups. Kudzu tastes a little bit like spinach, but it’s easy to mask the flavor with other ingredients.

Kudzu is thought to strengthen the circulatory and digestive systems. It may also help relieve hangovers and minimize headaches while having a general calming effect on the mind and body. Kudzu has long been used in Chinese medicine for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. I’m planning to make a Kudzu pudding this week and experience the benefits for myself.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Maca

Maca is a well-known superfood from Peru. It’s a cruciferous root vegetable that’s often made into a powder that can be sprinkled in oatmeal, smoothies or lattes. It has an earthy taste that lends itself well to many different dishes.

Maca provides caffeine-free energy that can help you get through your day without the typical afternoon energy crash. It may also balance hormones and enhance fertility (which is not something I need, but may be great for you younger ladies!)

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a type of nutritional mushroom that has a wide variety of health benefits. It’s easy to add it to stir-fries, stews and salads. It also comes in powder form that makes it easier to add to smoothies and lattes.

Some studies show that cordyceps can lower inflammation and support heart health. There is even research that suggests it can help slow down cancer growth! It’s also thought to reduce fatigue and help improve sex drive. Heaven knows I could use that last benefit!

Get Healthy With Me!

These are just a few of the unusual but incredibly healthy ingredients I plan to rotate into my regular meals this year. Why not join me? Let’s experience firsthand how fun and energizing healthy eating can really be.

What Everyone Gets Wrong About Turmeric

I’m a big believer in the healing power of turmeric, mainly because I’ve experienced its effects for myself. Turmeric delivers natural pain relief that’s just as powerful as extra-strength Tylenol or Advil, but without any dangerous side effects. So, what’s the problem?

Well, with all the hype going around, most people don’t actually understand how turmeric works, so they end up using it wrong. This cancels out pretty much all of the benefits you should be getting, so it ends up being a complete waste. If you follow the instructions I’m going to tell you, I promise you will see a night and day difference.

The Real Power Behind Turmeric

When you see fantastic news articles and TV shows raving about the power of turmeric, they’re not wrong. What they don’t often explain, however, it that it’s not the yellow powder on its own that has such a huge effect. The real secret is actually a tiny antioxidant in turmeric called curcumin. This medicinal compound only makes up about 3% of turmeric.

Curcumin is the real powerhouse that shines when it comes to relieving pain. This tiny antioxidant packs a huge punch, fighting inflammation in every part of your body, from joints and muscles to veins and nerves. There are a lot of scientific studies that back up the great effects of turmeric, but most of them focus specifically on curcumin.

The Idea Most People Have

Most people think that it’s enough to add a little turmeric to meals and they’re going to magically get all of the benefits that curcumin offers. They may find a spicy banana smoothie recipe that calls for sprinkling some turmeric on top and think they’re good for the day. Unfortunately, that’s not even close to true.

To enjoy the phenomenal anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric, you need around 500–1,000 mg of curcumin a day. So, how much curcumin is in 1/2 teaspoon (1,000 mg) of turmeric? Just 50–100 mg. That banana smoothie suddenly needs a LOT more turmeric to give you any anti-inflammatory benefits.

Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


The Right Way To Take Turmeric

Don’t get me wrong, if you want to add turmeric to curry, or drink golden tea, or stir some turmeric into a smoothie, there’s nothing bad about it. Your food will have some extra flavor and you’ll get a small amount of antioxidants, which is better than nothing.

To really experience the benefits of this amazing Indian spice, however, you need to take a supplement. Before you buy, look at the amount of curcumin on the supplement’s label. It should have concentrated turmeric with at least 95% curcuminoids added.


One More Thing

The final thing that most people don’t know is that the body isn’t very good at absorbing turmeric on its own. Most of its antioxidants and vitamins get lost. Adios curcumin and pain relief.

I told you I was going to share all of my secrets, though, so here’s a great one that makes a huge difference: use black pepper extract, or piperine. When you pair turmeric with piperine, suddenly your body can absorb 2,000% times more nutrients! High-quality turmeric supplements should have piperine or BioPerine.

Trust me, just take a supplement. It’s so much easier than trying to think up ways to add a teaspoon of turmeric to everything. And it works!

Stomach Upset? 5 Soothing Teas To Sip That Will Ease Nausea Discomfort

Sipping a cup of soothing tea is one of the best ways to calm an upset stomach. There are a lot of teas that work, but I want to share five that you may not have tried before:

1. Ginger Tea

Ginger is one of the best teas for getting rid of nausea and stomach aches quickly. Many moms-to-be drink ginger tea as a remedy for morning sickness. My daughter did that when she was pregnant with her baby girl and it helped her a lot.

Another reason I recommend ginger tea is that it has lots of flavor. If you normally dislike herbal teas because they’re too “light,” ginger has a tangy pop of flavor you’ll love.

How to make ginger tea: Cut a piece of ginger a few inches long and peel it. Add this whole piece to boiling water and let it simmer for 3–5 minutes. If you want, add some honey for sweetness.


2. Peppermint Tea

The menthol in peppermint has a relaxing effect on intestinal muscles. This makes peppermint tea an excellent choice for cramps and stomach pain. Personally, I find that even just smelling the aroma of peppermint tea helps me get rid of nausea. Each time I take a sip, I breathe in the calming steam that rises from my cup.

How to make real peppermint tea: I love fresh peppermint. To make tea with fresh leaves, crush a handful of peppermint with the back of a spoon. Let it steep for around 7 minutes. You can either filter the leaves afterward or savor them.

Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


3. Fennel Tea

Fennel looks like a strange type of celery and it tastes similar to licorice or anise. When it comes to alleviating the different symptoms of upset stomach, fennel does it all. It can help with gas, bloating, heartburn, nausea, stomach pain, menstrual cramps and other digestive troubles. It even has antibacterial effects for the times when indigestion is because of a mild stomach infection.

How to make fennel tea: The easiest, and cheapest, way to make fennel tea is with 1–2 teaspoons of whole fennel seeds. First, crush them gently with the back of a spoon. Add them to 2 cups of water and let them boil for 2–3 minutes.


4. Lemon and Honey Tea

Citrus fruit has refreshing oils that calm nausea and vomiting. If fact, smelling a cut lemon may give you all the relief you need. I like the double combination of lemon scent and warm tea. Honey gives your digestive system some antibacterial help at the same time.

How to make fresh lemon and honey tea: Squeeze the juice from one medium or large lemon into a cup (about 2 teaspoons of lemon juice). Add 2 teaspoons of honey. Pour boiling water into this glass and stir the mixture until the honey dissolves.


5. Holy Basil (Tulsi) Tea

A newcomer in the U.S., holy basil is a sacred herb in India (called tulsi) that’s been used for thousands of years. This exotic relative of common basil helps to decrease stomach acid, protect the lining of your stomach, soothe nausea and even calm anxiety, all of which can help your tummy feel more comfortable.

How to make tulsi tea: Add 2–3 teaspoons of holy basil leaves or dried leaf powder to a cup of boiling water and let everything simmer for about 5 minutes.

Trust me, these 5 teas work wonders for an upset tummy. They’re pretty tasty and relaxing, too.

Staying Hydrated: Why It Matters and How It Prevents Pain

Did you know that one of the best secrets to preventing pain is completely free? It’s something that all of us have right at home: good old H2O!

The Connection Between Staying Hydrated and Alleviating Pain

Your body already has a lot of built-in pain relievers working for you. Some of these systems are designed to get rid of harmful substances, and others contribute to healthy joints by building cartilage. Special brain chemicals called endorphins calm pain naturally and make you feel happier. Water plays a big role in all of these systems.

H2O helps with pain relief in five main ways:

  • Lubricating the right tissues

  • Getting rid of toxins and pain-causing substances

  • Delivering nutrients throughout the body

  • Stimulating the production of pain-calming endorphins

  • Keeping joints healthy

Staying hydrated can help to reduce inflammation in your knees, ankles, toes, shoulders, neck, elbows and wrists. Water lubricates and cushions all of your joints, keeping them as comfortable as possible. Drinking plenty of water also protects your nerves and spinal cord.

Painful Conditions That Benefit When You Drink More Water

Everyone needs water to stay happy and healthy, but this miracle liquid is especially important if you have chronic pain conditions:

  • Gout: Getting plenty of water can help prevent gout attacks. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why this is helpful, but it can make a big difference. Water appears to help your body clear out excess uric acid.

  • Migraines: Dehydration is a common trigger of migraine headaches.

  • Other headaches: When you’re running low on water, it can cause a dehydration headache, a pulsating or throbbing aching on both sides of the head.

  • Kidney stones: Not getting enough water can lead to the formation of these painful stones in some people. Staying hydrated reduces your risk significantly.

  • Arthritis: Did you know that about 60% of cartilage is made of water? Staying hydrated is essential for slowing down cartilage damage and preventing friction pain.

Water isn’t a magic painkiller, but staying hydrated is an essential part of pain relief. Make sure to get your 8 glasses a day if you experience any of these conditions frequently.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Other Benefits of Drinking Enough Water

Getting plenty of water is actually one of the most important things you can do for your health. The benefits of H2O go way beyond pain relief. It supports natural weight loss, good digestive health and healthy blood sugar control. It keeps your skin looking radiant and nourished. Water is even related to higher energy levels and a positive mood!

How does this wonderful liquid help you slim your tummy? For one thing, it can calm sugar cravings. Drinking water with meals helps you avoid overeating. You feel satisfied with smaller portions.

Water also benefits your digestive system. Eating lots of fiber is important for all of us, but it doesn’t do much unless you also stay hydrated. Plus, water helps you eliminate toxins from your body without any extreme cleanses.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

I know that it’s not always easy to stay hydrated. During the winter, you’re probably not always inclined to reach for a glass of cold water. Other times, you may simply forget to drink enough.

One thing that helps me to look forward to drinking water is adding fresh fruit: lemon, orange, strawberries, cranberries or blueberries. To avoid forgetting, I follow the habit of drinking one glass of water each time I eat a meal or grab a snack. Tea counts too, so a cup at night helps!

Is Black Seed Oil the Key to Weight Loss?

There are a lot of claims that black seed oil is the next weight-loss “miracle” you need if you want to stay slim. Believers will tell you that it “melts” fat and “instantly” gives you a perfect waistline. How much of the hype is true?

What Is Black Seed Oil?

Black seed oil comes from a flowering plant called Nigella sativa. Some natural health stores refer to this plant as black caraway, black cumin or Roman coriander, but it’s not related to traditional cumin or caraway at all. When pressed, these tiny black seeds release an aromatic, peppery oil.

How Effective Is Black Seed Oil for Weight Loss?

It’s time for the million-dollar question: Does black seed oil really work for losing weight? The answer is yes, but there’s a catch.

According to a few studies, black seed oil can significantly reduce the body-mass index and waist size of people who are overweight. So far, so good. It helps you drop those extra pounds and slims your belly.

However, this research measured weight loss in groups who were also eating a low-calorie diet. The people taking black seed oil burned more fat compared to the other group, but everyone in the study was eating healthy food. This means that black seed oil can enhance your weight loss efforts, but you also need to follow a smart diet.

Why Is Black Seed Oil Good for Weight Loss?

Scientists still aren’t sure how black seed oil helps with weight loss. One possibility is that its natural compounds give your metabolism a boost for faster fat burning. It’s also possible that black seed oil reduces cravings for junk food, making it easier to eat less and choose healthy foods.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


What Other Health Benefits Does Black Seed Oil Have?

Black seeds have been used for their medicinal properties for a long time. So, if you want to try this oil for slimming your waistline, you may get other benefits, too. Black seed oil is rich in antioxidants, making it good for overall health:

  • Reduces blood pressure

  • Lowers cholesterol

  • Improves blood sugar levels

  • Prevents bloating

  • Helps digestive function

Important studies have shown that black seed oil can help people who type 2 diabetes to balance their blood sugar levels. By lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, the antioxidants in black seed oil can help protect your heart.


How Safe Is Black Seed Oil?

More research is needed, but taking the equivalent of 1 teaspoon a day for several months doesn’t appear to have harmful side effects. However, black seed oil may interfere with medications such as beta blockers. If you take prescription medicine, always check with your doctor before taking supplements.

How Do You Use Black Seed Oil?

If you’re excited about trying black seed oil, getting started is pretty easy. You can either take it as a supplement or use it with meals.

Soft gel supplements provide about 2–3 grams of oil per day. Some people take 1 teaspoon of oil directly. When used in meals, you can add 2–4 tablespoons without problems.

Personally, I like to use black seed oil in salad dressing. It has a spicy, strong flavor similar to fennel. I mix it with lemon juice or Dijon mustard for a healthy vinaigrette. You can toss this tasty dressing with spinach, romaine, arugula, radishes, carrots and other fresh veggies.

Are You Eating the 4 Best Foods for a Healthy Immune System?

One of the most import factors in a healthy immune system is your diet. Eating plenty of vitamin-rich foods can strengthen your defenses against germs. Try these four natural-health superstars:

1. Citrus Fruits

Tangy oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons and limes are a delicious way to make meals more exciting. They also give your immune system a lot of vitamin C, one of the most important vitamins for staying healthy. Vitamin C increases production of white blood cells, giving you a tiny army that searches for and destroys viruses.

Easy Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette Recipe

The next time you make a salad, instead of pouring ranch dressing on it, make your own refreshing citrus vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (lemon juice works also)

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

All you have to do is stir these ingredients together and pour them on your favorite salad.

2. Oysters

Low on zinc? Oysters and other shellfish are a great source of this immune-boosting mineral. Zinc helps the immune system function correctly.

3. Red and Green Bell Peppers

Did you know that bell peppers have even more vitamin C than oranges? They also give your immune system extra vitamin A, an antioxidant. Vitamin A helps build your immune system and makes it react more quickly to infections.

Tip: To get the most nutrients possible, keep these colorful veggies tender and crisp. Enjoy them fresh in salads, sauté them in stir fries or char them lightly on the grill.

Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


4. Ginger and Garlic

Garlic and ginger are a dynamic duo for enhancing your immune response. Garlic has powerful medicinal properties. Adding fresh garlic to your meals won’t prevent you from getting sick, but it may speed up your recovery.

Ginger is an herb that can neutralize microbes. It increases some of the main lines of defense your body has against infections. This spicy root is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, so it’s not surprising that ginger is so good for you.

Zesty Garlic-Ginger Chicken Soup Recipe

Remember the chicken soup your mother used to make when you were sick with a cold? This is the same thing only even better for your immune system:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic

  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger

  • 1 large red onion, chopped

  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts (or thighs), cut into pieces

  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots

  • 1 cup mushrooms

  • 4 cups organic chicken broth

  • 6 cups water

Sauté fresh garlic, ginger and onion in a large pan with olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add the chicken, water, chicken broth, mushrooms and carrots. After bringing the liquid to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 30–60 minutes. Add salt to taste, along with extra garlic and ginger if you want additional zing.

Enjoy a bowl of soup while it’s pleasantly warm.

The Importance of Good Nutrition for a Healthy Immune System

According to Harvard Medical School, senior adults have a higher chance of getting sick than younger people. This may be because the body produces fewer immune cells. It may also be from vitamin deficiencies. Whatever the cause, as you age, you need to stay focused on eating nutritious superfoods. Healthy foods enhance your immune system and take care of the rest of your body, too.