The Top 6 Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements on a wooden spoon.

For thousands of years, herbal medicine was the predominant form of health care on the planet. For many people, it still is. In our switch to modern medicine, much of that ancient wisdom was sadly lost, rejected as the superstition of primitive people.

Recent research is proving, however, that our ancestors were smarter than they’ve been credited. It turns out that many of the benefits of traditional herbal remedies are being confirmed by modern science. With these new breakthroughs, people today are more open to alternative and complementary therapies. Natural supplements are making a comeback.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA), a dietary supplement is defined as any product that is meant to supplement the diet. Dietary supplements are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as foods, not as drugs. What this means is that, unlike pharmaceutical drugs, supplements can’t claim to cure, treat, or prevent disease.

Common supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanical formulas, amino acids, and other nutrients.[1] Supplements are available without a prescription and come in a variety of forms such as tablets, capsules, liquids, and powders.

Who Can Benefit From Taking Supplements?

More than half of all Americans use dietary supplements.[2] So who can benefit most from taking supplements? The short answer is that, at some point, just about everyone. However, there are certain groups of people who may find supplements to be of more critical importance.

Vegans & Vegetarians

Despite what meat lovers might tell you, you can easily meet all your daily nutritional requirements on an organic, plant-based diet. The one possible exception is vitamin B-12, as the most available sources of this vitamin are found in animal-based foods. There are plenty of plant-based foods fortified with B-12, but I advise caution, as these foods tend to be heavily processed. A vegan B-12 supplement like VeganSafe B-12™ can help fill this gap.[3]

Pregnant Women & Nursing Mothers

It’s no surprise that growing a human being inside your body places large demands on your nutrient stores. There’s a number of pregnancy-specific supplement blends on the market today, but a few of the main nutrients you should pay special attention to are folic acid, vitamin D, and iron.[2]

Older Adults

As we age, hormonal changes make getting the right vitamins and minerals increasingly difficult. If you’re over 50, consider taking supplements to help make your nutritional quotas. Bone loss becomes an issue, especially for women. Supplementing with vitamin D and calcium can help reduce the effects.

A little further down the road of life, vitamin B-12 deficiency leaves seniors at risk for dementia. I recommend a quality B-12 supplement. Other good supplements for elders include omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and probiotics.[4]

Those With Absorption Issues

Malabsorption is when your body can’t absorb nutrients properly. Certain medical conditions can cause or worsen malabsorption. If you live with digestive disorders, serious illness, harmful organisms, or the effects of aggressive medical therapies, adding extra vitamins and minerals with supplements may help you reach your daily recommended allowance.[5]

Likewise, certain medications, including tetracycline, antacids, and obesity medications, can cause malabsorption. If you can’t switch to a different medicine, supplement your diet to meet nutritional requirements.

The Top 6 Dietary Supplements

So what are the best dietary supplements? That depends. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of dietary supplements, and each one has its uses. The best supplements for you depends on your own unique needs, lifestyle, and physiology. This is a very general list of the supplements most people could benefit from based on my own observations over a 20 plus year career.

1. Calcium

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, making up nearly 2% of total body weight. The vast majority of the calcium in your body is used to make and maintain your bones, but trace amounts are also crucial to the proper functioning of your enzymes, nerves, heart, and blood.[6]

Globally, a staggering 3.5 billion people are at risk for calcium deficiency.[7] Many of these are among the elderly. As we age, we tend to lose bone mass. A calcium supplement may help make up the difference. I recommend IntraCal™, a supplement that combines calcium orotate and magnesium orotate to increase absorption. [8]

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is involved in numerous physiological processes and is particularly important to your skeletal, immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems. Your body can produce its own supply of this nutrient when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, our society now spends more time indoors than at any point in history. Complicating this is our over reliance on sunscreen when we are outdoors.[9]

We’re so worried about skin cancer that we’ve become overly vigilant against the sun, blocking out all exposure to the sun and depleting our vitamin D levels. Some studies estimate that as many as 77% of Americans live with some form of vitamin D deficiency, most without even realizing it.[10] According to the Harvard School of Health, one billion people worldwide have low levels of this nutrient.[11] The best way to solve this is to spend more time outside in the sun, but failing that, a vitamin D supplement like Suntrex D3™ can help ease the burden.

3. Iodine

Iodine deficiency is one of the most common health issues on the planet. According to the WHO, over two billion people worldwide are iodine deficient. Of these, as many as 50 million live with severe repercussions of iodine deficiency, such as brain damage. Iodine is crucial to the proper functioning of the thyroid and hormonal health. Overall, a quality iodine supplement can be a very good idea.[12]

4. Vitamin B-12

Do you feel sluggish and sleepy during the day? You may be one of the estimated two-fifths of Americans who live with a vitamin B-12 deficiency.[13] Vitamin B-12 is required for healthy red blood cells, brain function, and DNA synthesis. A deficiency can cause anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, and loss of appetite.[8] Left unchecked it can lead to difficulty walking, poor balance, confusion, and, in extreme cases, dementia.[13]

5. Probiotics

Your body, especially your gut, is home to trillions of beneficial bacteria. We call this your microbiota, and it can influence your health in significant ways. It helps support digestion and your immune system. A healthy microbiota can even affect mental health.[14, 15] It’s important to keep your good bacteria healthy, or the bad ones might take over. A good probiotic supplement can help keep your microbiota strong, and your body in balance.

6. Weight Loss Supplements

More than any other supplement on this list, be cautious with weight loss supplements. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Weight loss doesn’t come from pills; it comes from hard work, willpower, and long-term lifestyle changes.

That said, there are some botanicals that, when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, can help a sluggish metabolism. These metabolism-boosting supplements can help give you an extra edge as part of an overall healthy lifestyle but will do absolutely nothing if you maintain bad eating habits and poor lifestyle choices.

How Safe Are Dietary Supplements?

In most cases, dietary supplements are relatively harmless when used as directed. However, it’s important to consult a trusted health care provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Possible Side Effects

Some supplements can have strong effects on the body. While normally beneficial, these effects may interact with medicines in unexpected ways.

For example, vitamin K helps blood clot. As a direct result of this action, it will reduce the efficacy of blood thinners. That’s not to say vitamin K is dangerous, it just fills a specific purpose. If you’re prone to excessive bleeding, vitamin K can be very useful, but it’s much less so if you’re trying to thin your blood.

Vitamin K is just one example. Every supplement has potential side effects depending on serving size, your physiology, and interactions with any other herbs and medicines in your system. Be extra cautious about taking supplements if you are pregnant or nursing, and never start a child on supplements without professional approval.[16]


In the vast majority of cases, toxicity only occurs when supplements are used recklessly.[1] Never exceed the recommended serving size. While some supplements, like vitamin C, will simply flush any excess out of your system, others can build up to hazardous levels. For example, your body has no means of ridding itself of excess iron, and an overdose can lead to potentially fatal iron toxicity.

Natural vs. Synthetic

Be aware of the difference between synthetic and natural supplements. Each are exactly what they sound like. Natural supplements are made using ingredients drawn straight from their natural and plant-based sources. If you consume natural vitamin C, then the supplement you put in your body was once part of an actual plant that grew in the actual earth.

Synthetic supplements are manufactured with lab-made ingredients and chemicals. They are made to mimic the effect of natural vitamins but generally don’t perform as well in the human body.

How to Ensure Quality

When buying a supplement, safety and quality should be high on your list of criteria. So how can you make sure that the supplement you buy will deliver on their promises? There are a couple of ways to check quality before you buy.


Only buy supplements from a respected company. Look for a company that has been around at least a few years. Does the company offer a money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied? An organization that has confidence in its products won’t hesitate to stand behind them.


Online reviews have taken a lot of the trial and error out of shopping for supplements. Chances are, someone, or sometimes hundreds of someones, used that supplement and wrote about their experience. Customers aren’t shy about voicing their displeasure with any substandard product. If the company doesn’t provide reviews, that should be a big red flag in and of itself.

Read the reviews on the supplement company’s own site, as well as on third-party sites like natural health blogs. Once you’ve used a product, pay it forward and leave a review of your own to help others.

Transparency in Sourcing

Where do the ingredients in your supplements come from? How are they processed? Supplements from shady companies tend to be bulk-harvested and processed with very little quality control. This can lead to poor quality supplements. In worst case scenarios, bad manufacturing practices can turn supplements into poison. The FDA routinely investigates supplement producers for selling contaminated products.[17]

Read the supplement company’s website. Are they clear about sourcing and manufacturing? If not, call their customer service and ask. If they don’t have a website or customer service, that’s another big red flag.

Look for responsibly-sourced, GMO-free ingredients. Do they test all ingredients to verify purity and screen for things like mold or other toxins? Are the products made in America? Make sure the manufacturing facility is FDA registered and follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Read the Label

The nutritional information on a supplement label is typically divided into two sections—active ingredients and “other ingredients.” Active ingredients are what supports your health. Other ingredients are the inactive parts of a supplement. This often includes dyes, fillers, flavors, additives, and anti-caking agents. Not all other ingredients are bad, but a good rule of thumb is the fewer, the better.

Supplements are the Spackle in the House of Good Health

No supplement is a substitute for a healthy diet. A well designed meal plan with a balance of essential nutrients will do more good than all the pills, powders, tablets, and capsules in the world. What supplements can do is fill the gaps in that plan. Think of a balanced diet as the foundation of the house of good health. Supplements are the spackle that fills any gaps, cracks, and holes. Just remember that you can’t build a house out of spackle.

Along with a healthy diet, you need regular exercise, effective stress management, plenty of rest, and a positive mental outlook. Supplements won’t work miracles, but they are one tool you can use to achieve a happy, healthy life.

What supplements are most important to you? Leave a comment below and share your experience with us.

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What Is Citric Acid?

Citric acid can be found in lemons.

Have you ever read a food or supplement label, saw that it contained citric acid, and wondered what the heck citric acid is? Though the name sounds half-natural half-synthetic, citric acid is a wonderful natural ingredient that can boost detoxification and support healthy digestion, energy levels, and kidney function. Here, we’ll take a look at this intriguing ingredient and explain how the right type of citric acid can benefit your health.

What Is Citric Acid?

Citric acid is an organic acid found most abundantly in fruits (especially citrus fruits) like lemons, limes, grapefruit, pineapples, and oranges. Its chemical formula is C6H8O7. This organic acid was first isolated from a lemon using Aspergillus niger (a fungus) in 1784 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele. Since then, it has been considered safe for consumption and has GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status from the FDA.

However, just because citric acid was originally isolated from a lemon doesn’t mean it comes from lemons anymore. In fact, most of the citric acid that’s commercially used by the food processing industry as a preservative is isolated from GMO-corn and cultivated on mold.

How Citric Acid Affects Your Body and Why You Need It

Citric acid also offers certain benefits when it’s taken as a supplement. Citric acid encourages normal cellular respiration in human metabolism, which means that it plays a key role in igniting the metabolic process to create energy. Without it, the entire energy-producing mechanism in the body is inefficient, and the body is no longer vital enough to heal and detoxify.

In addition to its internal benefits, citric acid is also good for your skin. Citric acid is highly astringent; when it’s applied topically, it can temporarily shrink your pores, reduce oiliness and breakouts, regenerate skin cells, lighten and brighten skin, and even out skin tone. For these reasons, it’s commonly found in facial packs and masks.

Is Citric Acid Safe for Everyone?

Though it has coveted GRAS status from the FDA, and is safe in small amounts, too much citric acid can cause gastrointestinal distress, skin burning, tooth decay, and other ailments. To avoid these issues, do not consume pure citric acid. Additionally, avoid applying pure citric acid to your face and be careful when adding it to your DIY products as too much can burn and damage the skin.

Since much of the commercially used citric acid is sourced from GMO corn, I also recommend exercising caution if you see it listed as an ingredient in a food or supplement. Reputable companies will only use natural citric acid but it’s hard to tell the difference unless you check their website or pick up the phone and ask. If they hedge, get defensive, or have no idea, chances are they’re using the cheap stuff.

Why Is Citric Acid Used in Supplements Like Oxy-Powder®?

At Global Healing Center, we go to great lengths to ensure that we give you the best quality supplements. While most citric acid is made from GMO corn, the citric acid we use in Oxy-Powder is produced in Austria from 100% non-GMO sources. It’s third-party tested for toxic contaminants like molds, toxic metals, and harmful pathogens, and it offers three distinct benefits.

1. Assists Cellular Energy Production

Citric acid assists the body in making energy so that it can cleanse and detoxify itself with strength and vigor.

2. Enhances the Utilization of Magnesium

Many minerals, including calcium and magnesium, require that the stomach has an acidic pH for effective absorption and assimilation.[1, 2] The addition of citric acid in Oxy-Powder helps you get everything out of the ozonated magnesium oxides. Think of it as an efficiency booster that helps Oxy-Powder work better.

3. Supports Overall Detoxification

Evidence shows that the use of citric acid may have a beneficial effect on protecting the liver and brain, as well as kidney deposits.[3]

Citric Acid: The Recap

Let’s recap the main points you need to know about citric acid.

  • Citric acid is an organic acid found naturally in fruit like lemons, limes, grapefruit, pineapples, and oranges.
  • These days, most of the citric acid found in mainstream processed foods and supplements is sourced from GMO corn.
  • It plays a key role in energy metabolism.
  • Citric acid is useful for boosting detoxification, enhancing magnesium absorption, protecting the liver and brain, and addressing kidney stones.
  • It’s also good for your skin.

Do you have experience with citric acid? Is it a part of any supplements that you take? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

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Saccharomyces boulardii: a Healthy Probiotic

A bowl of Kimchi. Saccharomyces boulardii is a living yeast that supports the gut microflora.

When it comes to cultivating a healthy, balanced gut, Saccharomyces boulardii (sometimes referred to as Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is one of the best probiotics available. Although many probiotics are bacteria, Saccharomyces boulardii is different in that it’s actually a strain of baker’s yeast. Like other probiotics, however, Saccharomyces boulardii is a multitasker that helps maintain gut health, supports overall well-being, and even discourages gastric distress.[1] Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of Saccharomyces boulardii, how it strengthens the gut, and where you can find it.

The Health Benefits of Saccharomyces boulardii

Although probiotics reside throughout the body, the majority reside in the gut. There, probiotics support digestion, boost the immune system, and defend against harmful organisms—just to list a few of their contributions. The specific benefits of probiotics depend on the species or strain, which is why a gut environment that includes a robust, diverse mix of probiotics is one of the best strategies for encouraging good health.

Saccharomyces boulardii contributes to the biodiversity of the microbiota and protects the gut from organisms that provoke the immune system. It commandeers the resources that harmful microbes would otherwise use to establish themselves in your body. Well-established colonies of Saccharomyces boulardii can shield your body from the actions of harmful organisms. This yeast secretes compounds that specifically suppress Candida colonization by inhibiting its plaque-like buildup, especially on the surfaces of medical implants like dentures and catheters.[2, 3] Some research has shown that, even when confronted with especially aggressive organisms that target the gut and colon, Saccharomyces boulardii helps maintain intestinal health.[4]

The Best Sources of Saccharomyces boulardii

To reap the benefits of Saccharomyces boulardii, it needs to be in your gut and integrated into your microbiota. You can accomplish this by consuming food that contains the probiotic. It’s found in ripe fruits like lychee and grapes and traditional African fermented foods such as kenkey, ogi, and amasi.[5] Taking a comprehensive probiotic supplement is another solution.

Have you added a probiotic to your supplement routine? Does it contain Saccharomyces boulardii? What benefits have you noticed? Leave a comment below and share your story with us.

The post Saccharomyces boulardii: a Healthy Probiotic appeared first on Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles.


The Ultimate Candida Diet Program

Fermented foods are part of the candida diet.

Ten years ago, few people knew about the significance of candida overgrowth, let alone the health benefits of embarking on a candida diet program. But today, thanks to new attitudes on the detriments of excess sugar consumption, and a growing interest in natural health and nutrition, more and more people are asking about diet as a way to cleanse candida. Here we’ll explain everything you need to know about candida and candida diets, so you can determine if a candida diet is right for you.

What Is Candida?

Candida is a type of fungus (a yeast to be exact) that resides in your body’s microbiome—which includes the intestinal tract, skin, mucosa, and genitals.[1There are many strains of candida, but the most common is candida albicans.[2]

Candida is nothing new—nor is it necessarily something to be feared. Candida is not a “bad” thing in and of itself. In fact, every living person is harboring multiple strains of candida at all times. Candida becomes an issue when it overgrows and crowds out other beneficial microbes. When this happens, it disrupts the balance of beneficial bacteria, fungus, and yeasts in your gut microbiota, resulting in a slew of symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

What Causes Candida Overgrowth?

The main factors that lead to candida yeast overgrowth include:

  • A weak immune system—impairs your body’s ability to keep candida levels in check.[1, 3]
  • Antibiotic use—since antibiotics work by killing ALL bacteria in your body, including beneficial bacteria which play a crucial role in the immune system.[3, 4]
  • Steroid use—associated as a risk factor for candida of the esophagus.[3, 4]
  • Chronic stress—proven to lower your immunity, resulting in a myriad of health issues, including candida and leaky gut syndrome.[5]
  • Overconsumption of sugar and starches—upsets gut bacterial balance and feeds candida.[6]
  • Overconsumption of alcohol—allows candida to proliferate and cause infection.[2]
  • Diabetes—because high blood sugar levels affect the immune system, diabetes patients have a higher risk of candida overgrowth.[7]
  • Surgery and time spent in an intensive care unit.[8]
  • Use of the birth control pill—because birth control pills which raise estrogen levels have been shown to increase the incidence of vaginal yeast infections, which are caused by candida yeast overgrowth.[9]

Common Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth in Men and Women

Sugar cravings are the most common symptom of candida overgrowth and the reason is that sugars and refined starches (AKA carbohydrates) are candida’s preferred source of fuel.[10]

  • Fungal infections of the skin, throat, esophagus, and blood[11]
  • Leaky gut syndrome[12]
  • Chronic yeast infections[9]
  • Mood swings and mental health issues (due to the disturbance of the gut bacteria)[13]
  • Weakened immune system[3]
  • Psoriasis and eczema[14]

The Candida Diet Plan: Your Best Defense Against Candida Overgrowth

The best natural way to overcome candida overgrowth and restore balance is to abide by a candida diet plan coupled with specific natural remedies. The candida diet is a simple, sugar elimination diet that restricts sugars, starches, and a few other foods, while still offering a great variety to choose from.

The candida diet works by “starving” the excess candida and taking away their primary food sources (namely sugars), while simultaneously rebuilding your gut microbiota with nourishing, probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods. Although you won’t go hungry on this diet, there are some foods that you’ll need to avoid. Let’s take a look at some of those foods.

The Candida Diet Plan Part 1: Foods to Avoid

Though there is much to be said about bending the rules when it comes to traditional “dieting” (a practice I don’t recommend), in a candida diet these rules must be followed to achieve results. When you’re done with the diet and your candida is in check, you can go back enjoying a more flexible eating routine.

1. All Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Since sugar is candida’s preferred food source, removing sugar is the most vital key to your success. The same goes for artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are not allowed as they often contain harmful chemicals or allergens. They have been linked to a slew of health issues including weight-gain, diabetes, and heart disease.[15] The list of sugars and artificial sweeteners to avoid includes:

  • ALL artificial sweeteners, including sugar alcohols
  • Barley malt
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Date sugar
  • Honey (raw or otherwise, which I normally recommend, but not when it comes to candida)
  • Maple sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Palm syrup
  • Panela sugar
  • Rapadura sugar
  • Sucanat
  • Sugar-containing foods including sauces, beverages, etc.
  • Tapioca syrup
  • Turbinado sugar
  • White sugar

2. Gluten and Gluten-Containing Grains

Though some experts recommend removing all grains while on a candida cleanse, I allow gluten-free grains because of their nutritional value. The gluten-containing grains to avoid, however, include:

  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Kamut
  • Oats (unless they’re gluten-free)
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Teff
  • Triticale
  • White and whole wheat

Some grains are approved for the candida diet and we’ll cover those later on. Additionally, watch out for products that contain gluten, such as soy sauce, cereals, prepared and packaged sauces, and other packaged goods. Look for labels that indicate the product is gluten-free.

3. Refined Vegetable Oils

Though fats do not feed candida, the following types of fat are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids, when consumed in excess, can cause inflammation which has been shown to irritate the digestive tract and delay healing, leading to more candida overgrowth.[16, 17] The following processed, highly refined oils should be avoided while on the candida diet (if not all the time):

  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Hydrogenated fats or partially hydrogenated fats
  • Margarine or fake butter spreads
  • Peanut oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Walnut oil

4. Non-Cultured Dairy Products

Dairy products, including milk, cream, and cheese, contain the milk sugar known as lactose, another food source for candida. Though I recommend staying away from most dairy during this cleanse, and in general, there are some allowable dairy products on the diet for those without dairy sensitivities, which I’ll cover in the next section.

5. Alcohol

As mentioned above, alcohol contributes to candida overgrowth and is therefore not allowed on the candida diet.[4]

6. Peanuts, Cashews, Pecans, Walnuts, or Pistachios

Though other nuts are allowed on the program, these five are known to contain molds and fungus which can exacerbate candida.

7. Coffee

Since coffee can irritate the gut lining it is best to eliminate it from your diet. However, if one cup of coffee a day (without sugar or cream) is enough to keep you going on this diet, go ahead and have it with the goal of phasing it out week-by-week. Keep in mind that once you get through that first week or two, you will have gained back so much energy you likely won’t miss the coffee. Or if you’re ready to go cold-turkey, we’ll cover some alternatives in the next section.

The Candida Diet Plan Part 2: Allowed Food

Now that the “can’t” foods are out of the way, let’s get to the good news: what you can eat on the candida diet.

1. Gut-Supporting Superfoods

Success in your candida diet is as much about what you take out of your diet as what you put back in your body. The following fermented foods will help replenish your microbiome with good bacteria in the form of probiotics and prebiotics:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Cultured vegetables
  • Kim chi
  • Kombucha (low-sugar varieties please)
  • Naturally fermented, non-alcoholic beverages
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Miso
  • Beet kvass

2. Gluten-Free Grains

As mentioned above, certain gluten-free grains are allowed because they contain nutrients, protein, and fiber, which will keep your colon moving.

Look for these gluten-free grains flours in the gluten-free aisle of the grocery store:

  • Quinoa (whole grain and flour)
  • Millet (whole grain and flour)
  • Buckwheat (whole grain and flour)
  • Tapioca flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Almond meal (though not a grain, I am listing it here as it is a great grain alternative for breading, baking, etc.)
  • Amaranth (whole grain and flour)

3. Healthy Fats and Oils

Despite their controversial reputation, new research has confirmed healthy fats are not the enemy and play an essential role in keeping us full, synthesizing key vitamins, and keeping our hormones in balance.

Thus, you may enjoy the following healthy fats on the candida diet:

  • Avocado oil
  • Avocados
  • Butter (preferably organic, pasture-raised butter)
  • Coconut oil (which contains anti-fungal properties and has been shown effective against Candida)[18]
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Ghee
  • Omega-3 rich oils like fish oil, krill oil, and evening primrose oil

4. Vegetables

You can enjoy unlimited amounts of fresh vegetables while on the program. While some programs recommend staying away from starchy vegetables, I allow them as they contain a wealth of nutrients and fiber and are alkalizing to your system. Don’t forget about sea vegetables, which are rich in minerals and iodine.

5. Fruit

Though there is some debate over whether fruit should be included on the candida diet, I wholeheartedly recommend consuming fruit while on the candida diet, provided you eat it in conjunction with your body’s biological rhythms.

By that I mean that fruit should be eaten by itself in its whole, fresh state (do not combine it with other non-fruit foods), and wait thirty minutes to one hour before eating anything else.

This is important because consuming fruit sugar alone causes it to alkalize your bodily fluids while providing essential nutrients, which helps kill candida overgrowth. Conversely, if fruit is consumed with other foods, such as starches or proteins, it turns to glucose which feeds candida.

In a nutshell: fresh, whole fruit eaten by itself in the morning is anti-candida; fruit eaten with other foods feeds candida. Be sure to avoid fruit juice, canned fruit (which typically has added sugar), and dried fruit (which have a concentrated sugar content).

6. Healthy Proteins

Protein provides the building blocks for growth and repair and is therefore important while on the candida diet. The key with protein is choosing quality over quantity. I prefer vegan sources of protein. Beans and legumes are allowed (except for peanuts, which are a legume). However, pay attention to how your body feels as the sugars found in beans can feed in some cases candida, especially in the early stages.

If this is an issue, substitute other high-protein foods like quinoa, millet, hemp protein powder, nuts and seeds, and cultured soy products like tempeh (since the culturing breaks down sugars).

If you choose to eat meat, consume only non-processed, organic, grass-fed sources, such as grass-fed red meats (beef, bison, etc.), chicken, turkey, organic eggs, and wild-caught, low-mercury fish like wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, and herring.

7. Dairy and Milk Products

Though I recommend avoiding most dairy products while on the candida diet, cultured organic dairy products (ideally from pasture-raised cows, goats, or sheep) are allowed, as the culturing process naturally reduces the milk sugar, lactase, while adding probiotic value.

Non-dairy milk products are also allowed (except cashew milk and soy milk), provided they are unsweetened:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Cultured butter
  • Cultured cheeses
  • Unsweetened coconut milk
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Unsweetened hemp milk

8. Nuts and Seeds

Enjoy all nuts and seeds, preferably raw, soaked, or sprouted, except for peanuts, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios which commonly contain mold and fungus. Nut butters are fine, provided they do not contain any added sugars. Remember that chia and hemp seeds are a great source of healthy fats and protein.

9. Beverages and Coffee Substitutes

Staying hydrated is one of the key components for success when you’re following the candida diet. Aim for half your weight in ounces per day to speed elimination and promote efficient cleansing. You can also add a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar to the water to help alkalize the body and promote healthy detox.

Replace alcoholic beverages with probiotic-rich beverages like kombucha, Kevita, or kefir water. Again, water should be the main thing you consume but for a little variety, try unsweetened cranberry juice mixed with water and a bit of stevia or homemade stevia lemonade (mix the juice of 1 lemon or lime with 8 ounces of water and stevia to taste).

In place of coffee, try green tea or yerba mate, which contains a little caffeine and loads of antioxidants. Chicory coffee is another popular coffee substitute. A lot of people also enjoy herbal teas. Peppermint and nettle provide a natural, refreshing boost, while Pau d’arco, cinnamon, and turmeric teas will help support normal candida balance).

Supplements to Support Your Candida Diet Cleanse

Although a healthy eating plan is the best strategy for achieving candida balance and general good health, there are a few supplements I recommend to help support your candida detox:

  • Mycozil™—a blend of herbs like Wildcrafted Jatoba bark and Pau d’arco bark, and enzymes formulated to support normal candida balance and cleansing.
  • A probiotic/prebiotic supplement, like Floratrex™, which contains a blend of strains.
  • An oxygen-based intestinal cleanser, like Oxy Powder®, to facilitate cleansing and detoxification.

How Long Should You Follow the Candida Diet?

How long you should follow the candida diet depends on your symptoms, health history, the severity of the candida overgrowth and how faithfully you follow the diet and supplement recommendations.

The general recommendation is one-month minimum, then slowly reintroduce foods and see how your body reacts. If your issues flare up again, go back on the diet for another 2-4 weeks or consult your healthcare practitioner.

How to Maintain Candida Balance for Life

Since it exists naturally in our bodies, candida is always going to be part of our lives. The key to living with it healthfully is to prevent overgrowth from happening in the first place.

  • Avoid antibiotics as much as possible, and if you must take them go on the candida diet afterward and take plenty of probiotics/prebiotics
  • Eat a sensible diet that’s low in sugar, refined grains, and processed foods
  • Nurture your gut’s bacterial balance by eating probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods regularly
  • Enjoy alcohol in moderation, or, better yet, avoid it entirely
  • Keep your stress levels in check
  • Get enough sleep
  • Nurture your immune system

Have you used diet to remedy a candida balance? What tips and insight can you provide? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

The post The Ultimate Candida Diet Program appeared first on Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles.


Turmeric and Black Pepper: A Winning Combination

A container with turmeric and black pepper.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a spice held in high regard for its bountiful health properties and its culinary uses. It’s a favorite herb of Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine, and its therapeutic uses date back thousands of years. Numerous studies have found that turmeric root can have a significant positive effect on neurological, cardiovascular, metabolic, immune system, and cellular health. It may even help support your thyroid and promote longevity. Turmeric owes its many health-promoting qualities to curcumin, the natural compound that gives turmeric its rich golden color.[1, 2]

The Trouble With Turmeric

For all its miraculous health benefits, turmeric does have one weakness. The golden spice has very low bioavailability. This means that your body can only use a very small portion of the turmeric you consume. As the absorption levels of curcumin are very low, your body cannot harness the full healing properties of the spice. Fortunately, there is a simple way to enhance bioavailability. Just add black pepper to unlock the full potential of turmeric.

Black Pepper Can Boost Bioavailability by 2000%

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is one of the most commonly consumed spices on the planet. In many parts of the world, you can find it on nearly every dinner table, right next to the salt. It’s usually just called “pepper,” but it also bears the nicknames “black gold” and “the king of spices.” It has a phenomenally long shelf life. Properly stored, black pepper can maintain its taste and aroma for many years.

Black pepper also has many health benefits of its own. It’s been used to relieve nausea, headaches, poor digestion, and sore throats.[3] Much like how turmeric owes its healthy properties to curcumin, black pepper gets both its health benefits and its pungent flavor from a natural alkaloid compound called piperine.

Taking turmeric with black pepper may boost its bioavailability up to an astonishing 2000%. This is because piperine acts as an excellent bio-enhancer. Put simply, it can improve the bioavailability of other substances in the body.[1] The serving needed is quite small. You only need a pinch of pepper to enhance the absorption of turmeric.

The Powerful Potential of Piperine

When you consume a nutrient, your digestive system can only absorb a certain portion of it. The proportion of a nutrient that your body can digest, absorb, and utilize is its bioavailability. For example, the bioavailability of protein is very high. Most people use over 90% of the protein they consume. After it moves through your digestive system, your body eliminates the rest as waste.

For a nutrient to be absorbed into your body, it must pass through a membrane in your gut into your bloodstream. Large molecules have a more difficult time getting through this barrier. Piperine may help relax your intestinal membrane, allowing larger particles, like turmeric, to pass through.[4]

The effect of piperine on the liver may play another factor. As part of your normal metabolism, your liver releases a substance called UDP-glucuronic acid. In a process called glucuronidation, this acid bonds with other substances to make them more water-soluble, and thus more easily excreted.

With turmeric, this glucuronidation may operate too quickly, eliminating the herb from your system before your body can make full use of it. Studies have found that piperine lowers the blood levels of UDP-glucuronic acid, inhibiting glucuronidation. In other words, it slows your liver metabolism of curcumin enough that your body can absorb the nutrient more effectively.[5, 6]

The Perks of Turmeric Plus Pepper

While turmeric and black pepper each have their own unique health properties, many of the properties are enhanced when you combine the two.

Possesses Antioxidant Properties

Turmeric contains many compounds with antioxidant properties. Curcumin, in particular, is a potent antioxidant. In fact, it’s ten times more powerful than resveratrol, the much-hyped antioxidant in red wine.[7]

Piperine possesses its own antioxidant properties. Animal studies have found that piperine can reduce the oxidative stress brought on by a high-fat diet.[3] By consuming pepper with turmeric regularly, you get double the antioxidant protection, helping you stay healthier, longer.

Resists Harmful Organisms

In vitro studies have found that turmeric resists harmful organisms, though more research is required to determine if this effect can be replicated in the human body. As a bioenhancer, black pepper not only boosts these abilities, it resists harmful organisms as well.[3, 8]

Protects Liver Health

In the liver, turmeric helps increase cholesterol elimination by boosting bile production. Curcumin also protects liver cells from damage caused by toxins such as peroxide, galactosamine, tobacco smoke, and household chemicals. Black pepper helps by boosting the bioavailability of glutathione, an important compound that protects the liver on a cellular level.[3, 9]

Eases Discomfort

Both turmeric and black pepper work to relieve temporary discomfort. Piperine desensitizes a pain receptor called TRPV1.[10] Turmeric helps ease occasional joint discomfort. Put them together and you have surefire relief for stiffness and soreness. This is one of the reasons turmeric is so popular among athletes.

Aids Digestion

Ayurvedic medicine has relied on turmeric to support digestive health for thousands of years. Modern studies have found that it reduces spasms and flatulence. Both turmeric and black pepper have been found to enhance the activity of digestive enzymes in the gut, helping your system process food more quickly and easily.[9, 11]

The Best Ways to Get Black Pepper With Turmeric

Whole foods are always the best way to consume nutrients. When combining turmeric and black pepper, look to food sources such as curry. It may be a happy accident, or maybe the ancient peoples of India knew something we didn’t, but many recipes for curry happen to include turmeric and black pepper. You can also make a tasty tea from turmeric, black pepper, and other healing herbs like capsaicin. Simply mix these herbs into a high-fat liquid like almond milk and enjoy.

While undoubtedly delicious, making curry every day could prove inconvenient. In these cases, you should consider a turmeric and black pepper supplement. Read the label carefully as many turmeric extracts neglect to include black pepper. You could add your own, but top quality blends will already include both. Global Healing Center’s Turmeric extract combines these wonderful spices into one convenient, potent, and highly bioavailable blend.

Do you take turmeric with black pepper? How has it affected your life? Leave a comment below and share your insight with us.

The post Turmeric and Black Pepper: A Winning Combination appeared first on Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles.


My Best Brows Done Naturally – Plume’s Define & Nourish Eyebrow Pomade

For as long as I can remember I have been pining after thick, delevingne-esque brows. But genetics would have it that I have thin (while nicely shaped) blonde eyebrows. I’ve been penciling over the natural hair line for eons, until I tried out this natural brow pomade that changed the game. Here’s to the best natural eyebrow shading and shaping product.

Plume Science Nourish & Define Brow Pomade

With a very natural ingredient’s profile, the Nourish & Define Brow Pomade was a hit. It’s 100% natural, vegan and smudge proof (aka effective). It’s ingredients include: castor oil, shea butter, coltsfoot, Indian Gooseberry and rice bran wax and silica, plus other waxes and colour enhancing ingredients.

I absolutely loved the product and won’t be going back to another brow product (unless for testing purposes) for some time. I’ll keep my pencil for emergency situations, but other than that, I’m converted.

How to Use the Best Natural Eyebrow Shading Pomade

Plume Nourish & Define Brow Pomade is best applied with an angled brow brush (which comes in the package).

Dip: To ensure even application, dip brush into the pot and swipe against skin or inside of cap to remove excess.

Apply: Apply to brows with the angled brow brush – a little goes a long way.

Blend: After applying colour, use the spooley end to blend the colour into brows.

Extra Tips:

  1. Before starting, make sure you’re working with your best shape – find the ideal start of your brows by placing a brush along the side of your nose.
  2. Then, angle the brush from the outside of your nose to the outer corner of your eye to find where your brows should naturally end.
  3. The highest point of the arch should line up with the outside edge of the iris

Your results will vary, but here was mine!

Shop online at Plume Science for $38 USD.

Lots of bushy love,


The post My Best Brows Done Naturally – Plume’s Define & Nourish Eyebrow Pomade appeared first on Living Pretty, Naturally.


Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Through Fasting

Fasting may help reverse type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, sometimes referred to as adult onset diabetes, doesn’t have to be permanent. You can turn your health around. Fasting and calorie restriction can help you get control of your blood sugar, lower your blood pressure, and evidence even shows that fasting can help reverse type 2 diabetes. But, before we get into how fasting can undo the damage of type 2 diabetes, we first need to understand how type 2 diabetes affects the body.

How Does Type 2 Diabetes Develop?

Diabetes develops when fat accumulates in areas of the body that shouldn’t accumulate fat. It all starts with an abundance of fat in your muscle tissue. Typically this is caused by a family history, poor diet, or sedentary lifestyle. This fat is called intramuscular fat. It’s like the marbling on a steak, only it’s inside your muscles, and it causes insulin resistance.[1, 2] To make matters worse, intramuscular fat causes muscles to produce toxic fat metabolites like ceramide and diacylglycerol (DAG). These toxins also cause insulin resistance. This is the characteristic that distinguishes type 1 diabetes from type 2.[3]

High Insulin Levels Lead to a Fatty Liver

When blood sugar is high, the body tells the pancreas to produce insulin to lower blood sugar. However, insulin resistance causes the liver to stop responding to insulin.[4, 5] Gluconeogenesis, a process where insulin tells the liver to stop producing sugar from non-carbohydrate sources, occurs while you’re sleeping, fasting, and when you run out of blood sugar and glycogen. But when you become insulin resistant, your liver keeps producing sugar despite a high level of sugar in the blood. Consuming food that’s high in sugar is like throwing gas on the fire and the abundance of sugar is converted to fat and stored in the liver.[4]

When the liver accumulates fat, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can develop. When non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is present, the liver releases fat into the bloodstream where it’s distributed to other organs and they, just like the liver, stop responding to insulin. Especially affected is the pancreas.[5]

Fat Cripples Pancreatic Function

As fat builds up in the pancreas, its function is compromised. Since the pancreas is responsible for producing insulin, this is a major issue. Predictably, insulin production drops. Reducing body fat can help normalize blood sugar, but a lot of people begin insulin injections instead. Insulin injections help in the short-term, but also increase fat formation throughout the body, including the liver and pancreas. All the while, type 2 diabetics develop other health issues.[6] Fortunately, there is a better way.

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Through Fasting

For almost 150 years, we’ve known that fasting has serious benefits for those with diabetes. In the 1870’s, Dr. Appollinaire Bouchardet, an expert on diabetes during his time, noticed that fasting produced positive results for his diabetic patients.[7] Over 100 years ago, Dr. Elliott Joslin published research suggesting that fasting could reverse diabetes.[8] They were among the first to realize that fasting detoxes your tissues and organs of fatty deposits.

Even if someone has had type 2 diabetes for a long time, the results begin almost immediately. If you can start metabolizing the fat in your organs, you can begin to restore insulin sensitivity. And once you restore insulin sensitivity, you can get your blood sugar back on track.[7, 9]

Are There Possible Complications?

Fasting with type 2 diabetes comes with a few potential health consequences, which is why you should only begin a fasting regimen under the watchful eye of a certified health professional who has experience and expertise with helping diabetics through this process. Ideally, have your blood tested throughout the day to monitor your blood composition and overall health. Again, if you have diabetes, do not fast without careful, attentive supervision from qualified and experienced health care professionals.

Fasting vs. Bariatric Surgery

Fasting works similar to bariatric surgery, a gastric surgery that effectively reduces the size of your stomach. One study found that bariatric surgery helped 73% of participants go into diabetic remission.[10] These kind of surgeries, however, are dangerous—both the surgery itself and managing nutrition afterward. There’s the additional consequence of forever having a stomach that’s the size of a shot glass and the difficulties that come with it.[11]

Instead of going the extreme route with invasive surgery, simply adopt the post-bariatric surgery eating philosophy. After seven days of reduced calorie intake (about 500-600 calories a day), fasting glucose normalizes. After two months on this diet, your pancreas can start producing a normal level of insulin to control blood sugar.[12, 13]

Reversing Pancreatic Damage

In the last few years, researchers have found that reversing pancreatic damage is possible. Once you clean out the fat, the insulin-producing cells start pumping out insulin again.[6] Fasting can undo the damage to your liver and pancreas to the point that they begin to function normally again.[14]

Because it takes a few months to detox your organs of accumulated fat, intermittent fasting is the way to go. With a fasting diet, you can sustain the fast long enough to get rid of the excess fat deposits that lead to type 2 diabetes.

Monitor your blood sugar and blood pressure. Break your fast if your blood sugar exceeds 300 mg/dl or drops below 70 mg/dl.

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Through Diet

A reduced-calorie plant-based diet may help repair the damage diabetes has wrought on your body. Remarkably, one study found that a well-planned vegan diet can lower insulin dependence by over 60% in just over two weeks—without losing any weight.[15]

Overcoming Diabetes

Small changes lead to small improvements, moderate changes yield moderate improvements, but significant changes lead to extraordinary results. Do what’s right for your body. Follow a healthy diet to lead a healthy life. Cut out refined sugar, starches, and meat and cheese, all of which are consistently shown to promote diabetes.[16, 17, 18]

You can restore your health if you have the courage to try and the willpower to stick with it—and I am confident that you do.

Have you tried fasting to reverse your diabetes? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

The post Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Through Fasting appeared first on Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles.