Activated Charcoal – The Latest Health Breakthrough

Activated Charcoal – The Latest Health Breakthrough

If you’re shopping at your local health food store or pharmacy, you’ll definitely notice many new and unique products that contain activated charcoal. From lemonade and toothpaste to supplements, water filters, and face masks, this ingredient is the hot trend of the year.

Charcoal products used both externally for the skin and teeth or internally such as powders or capsules are usually made of activated carbon which is produced from carbonaceous source materials such as bamboo, coconut husk, willow, peat, and other wood.

When used to detox the body and skin, activated charcoal works by trapping toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores, gently removing them from our system. Charcoal is often used in hospitals and emergency rooms to thoroughly help detoxify and cleanse people who have overdosed on drugs or poison. In fact, it draws out up to 2000 times it’s weight in toxins.

Another cosmetic feature of charcoal is its ability to whiten the teeth when used during brushing. Although messy, this technique works wonderfully well to remove stains from coffee, tea, red wine, and more. Because charcoal is 100% alkaline, it may also help to offset some of the acidity that leads to cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.

Charcoal is known to help alleviate gas, bloating and digestive disorders, and may lower harmful cholesterol, increase the function of the liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands, and it could even prevent hangovers. Topical products assist with blackheads, clogged pores, acne, body odor, and other skin irritation and rashes.

Look for organic skincare and toothpaste containing charcoal along with supplements or powders that can be added to your daily smoothie or juice.

When taken internally, it’s best to start slowly and build up from there. Consume charcoal two hours before or after eating a meal or taking your supplements and medications as it may interfere with nutrient absorption.

Minor side effects may occur such as constipation or black stool but overall, it is well tolerated. Always, check with your doctor before starting a new supplement or health regimen.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness, and Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Breathe – Like Your Life Depends on it!

Breathe – Like Your Life Depends on it!

We all have one thing in common. We breathe an average of 23,400 times per day. But when was the last time you really paid attention to your breath? Most of us take breathing for granted and underestimate its ability to heal us on numerous levels.

I recently adopted a breathing practice called Pranayama. While I have certainly done various forms of breath work in the past, nothing has been as transformative as this! Thanks to a friend who dragged me along to a class, I was hooked immediately. From my very first session, I noticed an intense shift in my emotional and spiritual world. So much so that I have committed to doing it daily and am now sharing it with clients and friends.

Pranayama breath comes from the Yoga tradition and the version I enjoy is simply breathing in through the mouth, into the diaphragm and then the chest and out again through the mouth. It is done in a rhythmic motion of three breaths. Into the diaphragm, into the chest and out through the mouth.

At first, it feels like hard work. Often people feel lightheaded or tingly especially in the hands and arms along with experiencing restriction or mild pain in certain areas of their body. But after a while your breathing takes on a mind of its own. You begin to relax more deeply and many people disappear into a deep meditative state.

What I love about this breathing technique is that it combines both an active participation along with a surrendered relaxation which is great for those people who have a challenge sitting still in a regular meditation practice.

Lie down and get comfortable, light a candle, use essential oils and choose your favorite music. Begin with 5-10 minutes per day and work your way up to a 30 to 40-minute practice which combines 20-30 minutes of deep, powerful breathing followed by slower nostril breaths for approximately 10 minutes.

This practice will often bring up intense emotions. It will help rid your body of physical blocks along with emotional and spiritual ones too. It’s not uncommon to have bursts of crying, laughter, or anger during your sessions which are all signs of releasing toxic or stored up emotions that we hold onto without even realizing. I have also felt the energy points in my body known as chakras spinning, throbbing, and opening. I often find myself sweating, extremely hungry, and filled with an overwhelming joy and sense of gratitude afterwards. It is like nothing I’ve experienced before.

Breathing techniques like this have been used for people in recovery from alcohol and drugs as well as for those dealing with illness such as cancer.

Here are just a few of the numerous benefits of doing Pranayama breathing:

  • Oxygen – Feeding our cells oxygen is vital to creating a healthy body. Oxygen assists our system in detoxing and fighting off potential cancer cells. It also creates a more alkaline environment off-setting acidity which has been linked to numerous illnesses.
  • Reduced Stress, Anxiety and Depression – Studies have shown that those who participate in regular breathing sessions have a lower incidence of anxiety and depression along with experiencing less reaction to stressful situations.
  • Lower/Stabilized Blood Pressure – Increased oxygen lowers blood pressure and may even lower blood sugar levels as well.
  • Increased Energy Levels – Often people report an increase in overall physical stamina after participating in an extended breath session. Once again, oxygen feeds our cells and in turn, creates ATP which is essential for energy.
  • Muscle Relaxation – More oxygen means more blood flow to our muscles which assists in a quicker recovery and often a speedier healing time for those dealing with injury, post-surgery, or for athletes with lactic acid buildup.
  • Emotional Healing – A regular breath work practice can literally unblock stored up emotions, fears, and traumas from our body often leaving us feeling euphoric.
  • Spiritual Healing – Yogis have known for thousands of years that regular deep breathing can literally open up blocked chakras or energy points within our body helping us to live with more balance, joy, and freedom.

If you’ve been struggling to find a regular spiritual practice and you’ve tried numerous things that don’t resonate, I highly recommend that you explore Pranayama breathing.

To get started, research local breathing classes in your area. Sometimes joining a group can make it more enjoyable. Find a skilled teacher along with a powerful soundtrack, and you too can have a life-changing experience.

I can’t emphasize enough just how powerful this practice can be. Breathe like your life depends on it because in all honesty, it does!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

Secret Killer! Reduce Inflammation – Increase Life, Energy & Well-Being

Secret Killer! Reduce Inflammation – Increase Life, Energy & Well-Being

By now, most of us know that inflammation within the body is one of the leading factors to increased disease and illness. In fact, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and numerous others are linked to chronic inflammation.  These health challenges are affecting more and more Americans each year and a large percentage of these cases could have been prevented.

A diet high in trans and hydrogenated fats and sugar along with highly processed carbohydrates like chips, cakes, and fast-food are the leading culprits with a lack of exercise also playing a critical role in the development of these illnesses.

Health educators have been getting the word out for years about ways to decrease harmful factors while increasing healthy lifestyle habits and there is hope that eventually this dangerous trend will dissipate.

There are subtle signs of inflammation too including indigestion, sinusitis, aches and pains, hay fever, allergies, bleeding gums, asthma, stiff joints, puffy eyes, skin rash, and headaches. In a natural, healthy state, our body should feel good most of the time. Any of these symptoms may be a clue that something is causing inflammation within your body. Paying attention to the early signs may be the key in preventing a more serious long-term illness.

Sometimes these early symptoms may be caused by environmental irritants such as air fresheners, candles, personal care products, or pollen while at other times it may be something internal such as a reaction to medications, foods, or even supplements.

I suggest that people listen to their body and the messages it sends us. If you don’t feel well, something is going on. Our body speaks to us at all times, and sometimes we need to get quiet and pay very close attention to that intuitive voice. If you’re having chronic issues of any type, begin looking for the source and don’t stop until you find it.

Here are some important ways to begin reducing inflammation today so that you can improve your overall health:

  • Rid your Home of Toxins – Chemical cleaners, air fresheners, and personal care products are the main cause of breathing issues and long-term damage especially to our lungs. Do yourself and your family a favor and throw out all chemical cleaners and personal care products and replace them with organic, healthy alternatives. For a list of which chemicals are the most harmful, visit: ewg.org
  • Elimination Diet – One of the easiest ways to figure out which foods are triggering you is to do a short elimination diet. Eliminate the main culprits including dairy, wheat, sugar, gluten, eggs, corn, and soy for 7 days. Gradually begin re-introducing them one at a time. Keep track in a food journal how you feel before, during, and after you eat them. Look for signs of inflammation including mucus, fatigue, headache, indigestion, scratchy throat, and watery eyes or nose. Sometimes these can occur the next day so pay special attention and trust your intuition.
  • Eat Alkaline – Too much acidity in our body can cause inflammation. Acidic foods include animal proteins, dairy products, sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. Try offsetting your acidity by bringing in more alkaline foods and beverages. Dark leafy green vegetables, pink Himalayan sea salt, and fresh lemons and limes are especially alkaline for the body.
  • Superfoods – Some of the best ways to reduce inflammation are to consume concentrated forms of superfoods. Look for organic, raw, and non-GMO products such as: chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, sprouted kamut, turmeric, green tea, aloe vera, and tart cherry juice.
  • Gut Health – By building our healthy gut flora, we strengthen our overall system and help to reduce inflammation. Take a potent probiotic supplement daily, eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and kombucha tea. Bone broth has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the digestive track and colon. Focus on consuming more organic product to eliminate the consumption of Glyphosate which is a harmful chemical in herbicide sprays used on non-organic produce.
  • Omega 3 Oils – Adding more omega 3 rich foods to your diet in the form of hemp, flax and chia seeds, avocados, olives, salmon, sardines, and walnuts along with krill oil supplements, will help will help to off-set chronic inflammation and assist in creating healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Quality Sleep – Sleep is absolutely essential in reducing inflammation. Ensure that you get quality rest at night and consider taking a regular, short nap during the day when possible. Sleep is restorative and assists our immunity, hormones, and other bodily systems to work at their optimal. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night has been linked to increased inflammation.
  • Exercise – Doing some type of moderate exercise daily that keeps your heart rate at approximately 60-85% of its maximum (220-age x .85) helps to lower all inflammation markers within the body and assists in decreasing overall stress.
  • Chill – These days it is imperative to incorporate a de-stress practice. It will be different for each person but some of the proven methods of lowering C Reactive Protein which is one important inflammation marker in the body are deep breath work such as breath of fire, yoga, meditation, and chanting. The key is keeping it regular and making it a daily practice for best results.

While some inflammatory disease can be genetic, approximately 75% is related to our environment and our day to day lifestyle choices. Be wise, make good decisions and start today. Even the smallest of shifts can positively affect your life, energy, and well-being.

  • Always consult with your physician before making changes in your diet, exercise, or supplement regimen.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Listen Up! Your Liver Needs Your Attention!

Listen Up! Your Liver Needs Your Attention!

Our liver really takes a hit. It processes everything that goes into our body from food, medication, and alcohol, to portions of our personal care products. Our liver acts as a filter to remove toxins and chemicals while gently cleansing our blood.

Often many of us take for granted just how hard our liver works to keep us healthy. Especially in this day and age where we are being bombarded by harmful toxins from our environment, genetically modified and fast foods, hydrogenated oils, nitrates, trans fats, sugar, and so much more…it may just be time to consider giving our liver a helping hand.

Signs of liver toxicity can be numerous and may include skin rashes, fatigue, headache, poor digestion, dizziness, and even jaundice but often signs and symptoms go unnoticed.

A liver cleanse can be done seasonally or on a daily basis in a more gentle way. By using certain herbs, foods, vitamins, and lifestyle practices, we can ensure that our liver is operating at it’s optimal.

Here are some important things that you can incorporate today:

Milk Thistle – Possibly the most documented liver supportive herb is milk thistle. The active ingredient Sylmarin has been shown to offer extra help to the liver in the act of detoxifying heavy metals, alcohol, and other toxins and chemicals.

Dandelion – Once considered an annoying weed, Dandelion has potent liver cleansing qualities. This along with other bitter herbs such as arugula, radicchio, kale, mustard greens, and watercress promote enzyme production and bile flow.

Turmeric – One of my favorite herbs and spices is Turmeric because of it’s numerous healing properties. Turmeric with its active ingredient Curcumin, is a liver cleansing powerhouse. It’s packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory effects, which have a positive impact on your overall body and health.

Wheatgrass – 2 ounces of pure, organic wheatgrass offers as many vitamins and minerals as 4 pounds of green vegetables! This superfood brings oxygen to your blood while helping with the detox and cleansing process. A little goes a long way and regular consumption of wheatgrass offers long-term benefits to the liver.

Beets – Beets are known to have wonderful liver-supporting qualities. Beets improve liver function largely by thinning the bile, allowing it to flow more freely through the liver and into the small intestine.

Lemon – The most simple yet powerful liver tonic is room temperature filtered water with freshly squeezed lemon. The vitamins help to loosen toxins and the citric acid in lemons maximizes enzyme function, which stimulates and aids the liver in detoxification. Lemons although seemingly acidic to taste, tend to alkaline your body when ingested.

Coffee Enema – While the idea of doing regular enemas may not sound ideal, the detox that it offers will benefit you. Regular 15-minute organic coffee enemas will assist the release of buildup and help your liver and gallbladder to create more bile.

Dry Brushing – Dry brushing our skin helps to open up the pores and assists the liver and kidneys in detoxifying. First used by the Scandinavians and the Russians, brushing your skin with a soft-bristled brush with a long handle on dry skin for anywhere from 5-15 minutes regularly, is said to have dramatic detoxifying effects on the body.

Sauna – Once again, the Scandinavian people have it right! The regular use of a wood-burning or infrared sauna will assist the body in sweating out toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and other unwanted buildup, which in turn lightens the load on our liver.

There are a few intense detox programs such as the 10-Day Transformation that I run with my clients and there are also more gentle ones that you can step into gradually. Make sure to take additional fiber along with your liver cleansing products to remove any excess waste from your colon. Rice bran solubles, psyllium husk, and raw, fibrous vegetables work well.

Keep in mind that with any detox, you may experience some negative side effects such as gas, bloating, irregular bowel movements, fatigue, headaches, muscle cramping and more. This is normal depending upon the intensity of your detox program and the level of toxicity in your body but they should dissipate in time.

In today’s world, no matter which type you choose, it is a great idea to focus on this important organ and give it all the assistance it needs to continue working at it’s optimal.

*It is always best to consult with your doctor before beginning a vitamin or herb regimen especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or if you take medications.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Aloe Vera – Sunburns & Wounds are ONLY the Beginning!

Aloe Vera – Sunburns & Wounds are ONLY the Beginning!

When I was growing up in Canada my mom would snip our Aloe Vera plant and place the gel onto my cuts and burns. I felt an immediate cooling sensation and we had great results with a speedy wound recovery.

Since that time we now see Aloe everywhere. Supermarkets carry pure Aloe Vera juice and Aloe skin care is very popular too. The world is beginning to see it as the amazing healing plant that it is.

Aloe Vera In Latin means “the bitter truth.” Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, referred to Aloe as the “Potted Physician.” I’d say this was a very accurate description indeed because of its myriad of healing properties.

Here is a short list of the benefits of Aloe Vera. Consider buying a real Aloe plant or look for pure and concentrated Aloe gel or juice that hasn’t been heated, processed, or diluted with other ingredients.

  • Digestion – Aloe has shown amazing benefits to reduce acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. It gently detoxes the digestive track and colon while taking with it toxins, chemicals, and even parasites and worms. It also helps with diarrhea and constipation for those struggling with either. A study in the Journal of Alternative Medicine found that Aloe Vera juice could be effective for treating inflammatory bowel disease as well.
  • Alkalinity – The typical North American diet is highly acidic from overconsumption of alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, and sugar. Consuming aloe juice regularly helps to offset this acidity and provide a more alkaline environment. Too much acidity has been linked to cancer, inflammation, and other disease.
  • Oxygen – Aloe consumption provides oxygen to our blood and may help regulate cholesterol levels and blood pressure and possibly reduce the risk of heart disease. Aloe Vera can increase circulation by 700%.
  • Antibacterial – Aloe Vera has strong medicinal qualities and is shown to be anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-microbial and therefore may support the immune system and fight fungus and bacteria both in the body and on the skin when used topically.
  • Vitamins – Aloe is packed with vitamins and minerals making it a well rounded “multivitamin” from nature. A small amount goes a long way to support your immune system and correct deficiencies within the body.
  • Healing – As mentioned from my experience as a child and from a recent study in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, it has been discovered that Aloe preparations speed wound healing.
  • Energy – Most Aloe Vera users notice a surge in energy levels. This is mainly due to the increased oxygen and rich levels of vitamins and minerals.
  • Blood Sugar – Clinical studies show that oral supplements of Aloe improve blood glucose levels in Type II Diabetes patients.
  • Arthritis– According to the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, Aloe can help prevent Arthritis and reduce the inflammation in joints already affected by arthritis.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!