Ginger and Turmeric: The Dynamic Duo for Better Health

No two spices have been as extensively studied for their healing ability as turmeric and ginger. Both are staples in Ancient Chinese Medicine used to treat a variety of conditions from headaches to stomach upset. They’re also two spices ubiquitously used in Asain dishes for their aromatic flavor – and for the health boost, they bestow on those that consume them.

Ginger is the root of the ginger plant. It adds a zesty flavor to stir-fries and sauces and can be found year-round at your local organic produce store.

Turmeric, a staple of Indian cuisine, belongs in the same botanical family as ginger. Its deep yellow hue adds vibrant color to curries and other dishes.

 

The Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is best known for settling the stomach since it can eliminate intestinal gas and soothe the intestinal tract. Several studies show that ginger can help prevent motion sickness, including seasickness. Ginger is widely used as an antiemetic, meaning it can prevent vomiting, especially during pregnancy.

Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain, particularly from osteoarthritis and rheumatism. One study found that a powdered ginger supplement taken for three months reduced pain and swelling in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and general muscle pain. This same study also indicated that a 250-milligram capsule of ginger is as effective as ibuprofen and mefenamic acid for relieving menstrual cramps.

Several studies show that ginger may help inhibit oxidative stress. Some additional evidence supports ginger for better cardiovascular function. In several animal studies, ginger had not only anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, but also antiplatelet, hypotensive, and hypolipidemic effects.

 

The Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric, like ginger, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and reduces symptoms associated with inflammation. This makes it an effective way to help prevent a range of inflammatory diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome.

Curcumin is the active agent that gives turmeric its vibrant color and is also responsible for its healing ability. Consuming curcumin supplements can significantly improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, including less pain and better physical function. One study found that, like ginger, curcumin worked as well as ibuprofen for reducing discomfort, and with no side effects.

Metabolic syndrome is a health condition that occurs when several ailments are stacked together like heart disease with type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is often a consequence of metabolic syndrome, as are hyperglycemia, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Curcumin improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood pressure, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

Curcumin may improve kidney function by reducing bile duct blockage and delaying the damage that eventually causes cirrhosis — reducing beta-amyloid plaque, which is a marker of brain senescence. Curcumin also lowers plasma alanine aminotransferase and beta-amyloid plaque, both markers of liver damage.

Research shows that even low doses of curcumin can provide health benefits for healthy people, helping to prevent a range of diseases and conditions.

 

Curcumin and Ginger Supplements for Therapeutic Doses

A healthy diet that includes plenty of ginger and turmeric can help prevent or improve inflammatory conditions and other woes and enhances your overall health and wellbeing. Together, these two spices are a powerful one-two punch against inflammation and oxidative damage.

But here’s the truth. Unless you love the taste ginger and turmeric and prepare every daily dish with these spices, it’s unlikely you’ll get enough curcumin and ginger to experience the full benefit of their health-boosting ability.

Stonehenge Health’s Turmeric with Ginger is a powerful blend containing 1,600 milligrams of turmeric curcumin complex with 140 milligrams of ginger root extract. BioPerine has been added to improve bioavailability, ensuring your body gets the maximum daily benefit possible from these two amazing nutrients.

Now, add daily exercise and a positive attitude, and you’re well on your way to a happier, healthier life!

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/

5 Secret Ways to Improve Your Mood

Everyone will have days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. It’s normal to have a bad day occasionally, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to sit idly by as your lousy mood worsens or turns into full-on depression. It also doesn’t mean you can’t prevent many of these bad feelings from forming in the first place.

Daily exercise, eating right, and getting enough shut-eye are three distinct ways to boost your mood and improve your overall mental and physical health. There are however a couple less obvious ways to get your mind right and improve your mood.

Here are five secret mood-boosting recipes:

#1 Make Out More

Kissing, as it turns out, is not only good as foreplay, it is also beneficial in and of itself. Kissing, even a couple pecks, increases levels of dopamine in the bloodstream, the body’s natural reward system. Kissing also has been shown to lower cholesterol in both men and women alike.

#2 Sing in the Shower

Whether you’re crooning with Sinatra, bustin’ a rhyme, or pouring your guts out with Adele, singing in the shower is a great way to start your day. Corny as it sounds, belting lyrics to your favorite jam might help turn your morning frown right-side up. A recent German study even showed that singing helped create antibodies used to fight disease. Make sure to cite that research when the neighbors complain.

#3 Journal the Good Stuff

Tracking the positive things that happen in your life is an excellent way of reinforcing positivity. At the end of every day, take out a notebook and jot down three good things that happened to you that day. It could be as seemingly innocuous as a joke you heard that made you laugh, a video you saw that made you smile, or the way the sun shone through the trees outside your office.

Tracking positive things is a great way of filtering out the bad and focusing on the good. Being grateful for even the small things in life is an essential ingredient to being happy. Plus, once you’ve been writing for a while, it’s a joy to look back through all the happy moments of your life.

#4 Dust off the Old Photo Album

Not just good for laughs (OMG would you look at that haircut?), it turns out that flipping through old photographs is a proven way of lifting our spirits. A study at Open University in the United Kingdom showed that looking at old family photos was a more efficient mood booster than drinking alcohol, watching TV, listening to music, or even having a piece of chocolate! In fact, rediscovering that old photo album can make you feel 11% better (every little bit helps).

#5 Take Natural Mood-Boosting Supplements

Before you take anti-depressants, which can have a whole host of severe side effects, it’s important to exhaust all the natural ways of improving your mood. Two great natural supplements for mood improvement are probiotics and turmeric. Both are proven means of not only helping the body but helping the mind as well.

Turmeric has been used around the globe for thousands of years. It has been shown in multiple studies to help reduce pain and inflammation, fight off free radical damage, and improve overall mood.

Probiotics, the good bacteria in the belly that fight off disease, have been shown to be very useful in improving mental and physical health. Adding these beneficial bacteria to your gut or “Second Brain” as medical experts often call it, can be an incredibly effective mood booster. These single strains of “good” probiotic that can help the digestive system can be found in dark chocolate, kefir, sauerkraut, microalgae, miso soup, pickles, tempeh, and yogurt (especially handmade). However, taking a potent probiotic supplement is a faster and more efficient way to balance your GI tract and improve your overall mood and outlook. Getting your “Second Brain” feeling good with probiotics and the “first” brain will follow.


A Simple Way to Improve Your Immune System: The Science Behind Stonehenge Health

In the 19th Century, Louis Pasteur’s germ theory of disease made an audacious and unthinkable claim. He asserted that most diseases are caused by invading microscopic organisms—little bad bugs that make us sick. This theory revolutionized medicine and saved millions from plagues like smallpox which had devastated populations for centuries.

However, as the adverse effects of antibiotic overuse on the immune system become increasingly clear, there has been a return to the seemingly simple words of the Ancient Greek father of medicine Hippocrates, the who famously proclaimed: “All Disease Begins in the Gut.”

 

Your Immune System is Under Attack

The simplest and most effective way of improving your immune system is to maintain a healthy, balanced gut microflora. Today, this can be harder to do, than perhaps ever before.  Even if you think you maintain a healthy diet and you aren’t prone to intestinal discomfort, your gut is in worse shape than you may realize. And it’s not your fault.

The truth is that our modern industrialized food systems have created a monster in the form of processed foods. Mix that with chemical food additives, plus an overuse of antibiotics, and household chemical cleaners, and you can start to wreak havoc on your entire digestive tract. A perfect gut-wrenching storm is brewing in your belly, a storm that leaves behind a wake of carnage in the form of digestive and immune system disruption.

 

The Human Gut: Our “Second Brain”

Our digestive system is an incredibly complex piece of human machinery. From a macroscopic view, we know the gut breaks food and liquids down into their chemical components (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, etc.), which the body uses for energy and cellular regeneration. But the gut also plays a critical role in hormone and immune system regulation, and it houses the body’s largest concentration of mood-altering neurotransmitters, including serotonin. That’s why many scientists refer to the gut as the body’s “second brain.”

On the microscopic level, this second brain is home to “good” guys and “bad” guys — good bacteria who fight off disease, and bad pathogens who seek to do you harm. The more “good” bacteria you have fighting for you, the more balanced your gut microbiome will become, which will lead to you having a healthier and stronger immune system.

 

Probiotics: The Key to a Strong Immune System

Think about your gut as your body’s gas tank. Probiotics are the premium fuel that your body needs to thrive. Probiotics are those little aforementioned “good” guys, healthy bacteria that help fortify your gut from an onslaught of invading “bad” bacteria which can cause gas, bloating, discomfort, and disease. The gut microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that, when properly balanced, keep our bodies running like well-oiled machines, helping fight off disease.

 

Where to Get Probiotics?

There are several excellent sources of probiotics that you may be eating already. Yogurt, (especially homemade) is one of the best sources along with pickled foods, sauerkraut, kefir, dark chocolate, microalgae, miso soup, and tempeh. But just changing your diet isn’t enough. Often foods that contain probiotics only contain a small number, and the variety of probiotic strains can be insufficient.

To ensure a proactive stance against the barrage of digestive destroyers that seek to weaken your immune system, you should add a probiotic supplement to your system. Probiotics are the most natural and effective way to improve your immune system, this is why it is critical to take a daily probiotic supplement with high levels of CFUs and strain variety.


The Surprising Link Between Inflammation and Our Mood

I had butterflies in the stomach.” 

“She showed real Intestinal fortitude.”  

“He’s got guts.”

These are just a few common expressions that reflect our deep intuition about the connection between our bellies and our brains.

Ever get so nervous you vomited? Ever get queasy on a first date? A growing body of evidence is confirming what we always knew intuitively: There is an inextricable link between our minds and our bodies.  What’s more, the effect of inflammation in the digestive system on our mood is even stronger than we ever imagined.

 

The Mood-Changing Power of Inflammation

Your gut plays a critical role in your body’s hormone and immune system regulation. The digestive system houses the body’s largest concentration of mood-altering neurotransmitters, including serotonin and is the reason behind how the health of our gut can and does affect your mood. That’s why so many scientists now refer to the stomach as the body’s “Second Brain.”

A balanced gut microbiome or “Second Brain” is one that contains a ratio of about 85% “good” bacteria (probiotics), and about 15% “bad” bacteria (pathogens, that cause inflammation and disease). The more probiotics, the more balanced your gut will become. The more balanced your stomach is, the less swelling and the less inflammation you will experience, causing your body to be more stable and you to experience more positive moods.

One startling example of the link between belly and brain happened in 2015. Following a gastrectomy, a patient developed their first manic episode. Researchers hypothesized a connection between their bad gut bacteria buildup and their bad mental state—and they were right.  The patient was given activated charcoal, which absorbs inflammatory cytokines and acts by neutralizing the effect of inflammatory mediators in the stomach. After 15 days of treatment, the patient’s mania disappeared, and he remained manic-free for the subsequent eight months of the study.

Scientists have long known that depression is commonly found in sufferers of autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, type 2-diabetes, and cancer–diseases synonymous with chronic low-grade inflammation. In many cases, treating the inflammation has treated the mood disorder.

 

Get a Healthy Second Brain, and the Mind Will Follow

If you want to improve your mood, you must stop inflammation first. To prevent inflammation, some of the things you can do include: follow a healthy low sugar diet, get adequate exercise, meditate, and, perhaps most importantly, introduce a daily dose of natural supplements such as turmeric, krill oil, and probiotics. If you take good care of the “Second Brain”, the mind is sure to follow.

 

Top 3 Inflammation-Killing, Mood-Improving Supplements

Research of anti-inflammatory agents such as Omega-3 rich krill oil, probiotics, and turmeric supplements have shown to be helpful in treating a host of mood and mental maladies.

 

Probiotics

With the added help of probiotics, you can maintain optimal gut flora for optimal digestive health and inflammation reduction.

Shopping Tip: Look for probiotics with the highest number of CFUs, unique strains, and adequate packaging.

 

Turmeric

The natural spice turmeric has been used for millennia and has been clinically shown to be one of the most effective ways of fighting inflammation and improving overall mood.

Shopping Tip: Look for Turmeric Curcumin with 1000 mg as the daily dosage. Also, make sure it contains BioPerine to help absorption.

 

Krill Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids (best taken in the form of krill oil, a safer, more effective alternative to fish oil) have long been shown to reduce inflammation, decrease anxiety, and improve depression.

Shopping Tip: Look for a krill oil that is carefully tested and contains a daily dose of at least 1,500 mg of Pure Krill Oil with high levels of EPA, DHA, Phospholipids, and Astaxanthin.


 

Three Easy Ways to Improve Your Joints

Joint pain and weakness is a problem for millions of Americans. Not only does it cause significant discomfort, there is nothing more frustrating than having the desire to exercise but not being able to because your joints are either too weak or too inflamed.

Joints are the critical pieces of connective cartilage that hold your bones together, but the connections get weaker as you age. Even if you have good joints now, you should still take proactive measures to ensure your joint strength continues well into your later years.

Easy Option #1: How to Become Joint-Healthy

 

There are many ways to help improve joint health, including:

Choosing joint-friendly exercises like swimming over joint-destroyers like running

 

Beginning a workout with a mild aerobic workout before you stretch

 

Practice Yoga a few times per week

 

Ice problem areas to reduce swelling and pain

 

Improve core strength with exercise

 

Reduce your weight

 

Eat omega-3 rich fish to help reduce inflammation

 

But That Will Only Take You So Far …

Just like weak joints make it difficult to travel long distances, the above prescriptive measures will only take you so far on your path to healthy joints. After all, you would have to eat a whole lot of salmon to get perfect joints. Luckily, there are a couple of natural wonders Mother Nature has provided to help you strengthen your joints so you can enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.

 

Easy Option #2: The Joint Healing Power of Krill Oil

Krill Oil is becoming one of the most used and sworn by supplements on the market. Filled with Omega-3 essential fatty acids in the form of EPA and DHA, krill oil has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation. Studies indicate krill may help treat arthritic joint tissue by neutralizing pro-inflammatory activity.

A recent study showed that individuals inflicted with arthritic pain saw a 100% drop in C-reactive protein activity in just one month of taking 300mg of krill oil per day.

Krill oil is preferred over fish oil because, while they are both excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, krill oil is more bio-friendly and requires less processing for your body to absorb them. Derived naturally from krill shrimp deep in the pristine, unpolluted waters of the Antarctic Ocean, krill oil doesn’t come with the fear of mercury poisoning and other pollutants—a fear increasingly associated with fish oil and other fish products. Krill Oil also contains Astaxanthin, a super-antioxidant and potent anti-inflammatory which may further help promote joint health.

 

Easy Option #3: The Ancient Joint-Healing Properties of Turmeric

New studies are confirming what the ancient peoples of Asia have known for thousands of years. Namely, that there is a very special spice called Turmeric that can work absolute wonders on the human body.

Commonly found in Asian food, turmeric is the main spice in Indian curry. The yellowish color of this satiating spice is caused by the curcumin, the substance also responsible for Turmeric’s numerous health benefits.

Multiple studies have shown that Turmeric Curcumin can help reduce pain and inflammation, fight off free radical damage, and even improve overall mood. Recent studies at The University of Arizona showed that Turmeric decreased joint inflammation by blocking the production of the protein that turns on the gene responsible for the growth of tiny blood vessels. Subsequent studies have concluded similarly startling evidence of Turmeric’s inflammation-fighting effectiveness.

 

Give a Jolt to Your Joints

Why not try all 3 options? Your joints are critical to your ability to move comfortably through life and you need to treat them with care. While there is no magic elixir for perfect joints or perfect health, there are things we can do to dramatically improve our health and happiness that don’t require a major lifestyle adjustment.

Adding powerful anti-inflammatory supplements like krill oil and turmeric to your daily routine can help turn those inflamed, aching joints into the strong and elastic joints you so deserve.