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The HC Wellness Center offers both traditional and alternative therapies to assist clients in achieving optimal health, wellness and balance. Featuring as its principle service Colon Hydrotherapy, formerly seen only at fine spas and destination resorts, HC Wellness Center & Spa is one of the first to offer this valuable wellness service to the Charlotte Metropolitan and surrounding areas. HC Wellness Center & Spa is a premier North Carolina spa providing the most luxurious, and beneficial wellness and beauty services available to the Charlotte Metropolitan and surrounding areas. Established in 2004 with the vision of combining traditional spa treatments, that promote relaxation and well being, with the most advanced skin, body and wellness services. The HC Spa supplies a moment of luxury for your body, mind and spirit. Here nature and science meet harmoniously as the finest massage, skin care and spa treatments await you.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Let Your Food Be Your Medicine

Super Foods Nutritional Superstars That Prove Food Is Your Best Medicine!

Talk about superfoods seems to be increasingly popular, but this trend isn't a fad, it's age old wisdom. Whole, natural foods contain thousands of beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals needed to stay healthy.

Learn how superfoods can help you stay healthy and feel great.

When most people are chronically ill, the first thing they look for is the magic bullet that will make them well. This bullet often takes the shape of a drug that promises to fix the problem, but even people who are involved in natural health can end up searching for a magic herb or supplement. However, when anyone suffers from chronic health problems, the wisest place to start their healing process is with food.

The body largely heals itself when it has what it needs to do the job. In modern Western culture, however, much of the available food is processed and devoid of essential nutrients. It may also be loaded with preservatives and other non-nutritive chemicals. The next time you're at the grocery store, take a look around the ratio of refined, processed foods to whole, natural foods is about five to one.

The advice of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, to let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food, is still sound. If we follow this advice, given more than 2,000 years ago, it doesn't take long to realize that food truly is the best medicine.

Nutritional supplements only contain the nutrients we currently recognize. In contrast, the simplest of natural foods contain thousands of compounds, including many compounds with medicinal benefits. Supplements cannot provide all the substances found in whole foods, and drugs don't provide any. That's why whole foods are vital for both maintaining and improving your health.

Superfoods to the Rescue

Giving up refined and processed foods can be difficult, because it may feel like you're being deprived. So, instead of thinking about what you need to give up, the best way to improve your diet is to focus on what you should add to your diet, not what you should eliminate. All you need to do is make sure you include more nutritionally dense natural foods in your diet.

Many TV shows, internet sites and magazines are praising these various nutritionally dense superfoods. The term isn't just hype. It's based on the fact that these foods contain nutrients that tend to be lacking in modern diets. Superfoods contain large quantities of natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and other compounds that can give us more energy, promote healing and fend off disease.

Imagine delicious foods powerful enough to boost your immune system, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and even put you in a better mood without side effects. That's what adding more superfoods to your diet can do. Furthermore, as your body starts getting what it really needs, you start naturally losing the cravings for those refined and processed foods, which means you are able to give them up without struggle.

In this issue, we'll present 12 categories of superfoods. We'll teach you about some of the disease fighting, stress relieving and energy boosting properties these foods possess. In addition to going over these categories of foods we'll also look at some powerful superfood supplements you can utilize to gain the benefits of these  powerhouses on a daily basis, even with a busy schedule.

Twelve Amazing Superfoods

Superfoods are nutritionally dense foods, which simply means that they contain a high percentage of beneficial nutrients for the calories they provide. This is in contrast to refined and processed foods, which are often referred to as empty calories because they have low percentages of vital nutrients. Shopping for these superfoods allows you to make your grocery store the first place you go when you want to maintain or improve your health.

Superfood 1 Antioxidant Fruits

Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are now believed to be the underlying causes of heart disease, dementia, cancer, premature aging and many other chronic diseases. Antioxidants are nutrients that reduce the tissue damage caused by oxidation, cool the inflammation and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases. One of the best natural sources of antioxidants is fresh or frozen berries such as: blueberries, acai berries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries and goji berries. These berries are known to help the liver detoxify, protect eyesight and reduce the risk of heart disease.

For instance, blueberries and bilberries are known to reduce inflammation linked to diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer's and to protect the eyes from macular degeneration and other degenerative eye diseases. Cranberries are known for reducing the risk of urinary tract infections. Gogi berries, also known as Iycium or wolfberries, help protect the liver from chemicals.

There are other antioxidant rich fruits with similar benefits, such as mangosteen and pomegranates. A quick way to supplement your intake of these superfood antioxidant berries and fruits is to take the superfood supplement Thai Go.

Superfood 2 Dark, Leafy Greens

One of the most beneficial categories of superfoods is dark green, leafy vegetables like kale, mustard greens, spinach and Swiss chard. The green color of these foods are indications of their abundance of magnesium -bearing chlorophyll. As high as 70% of the population doesn't get enough magnesium, which helps maintain healthy nerves, heart function and blood pressure. Chlorophyll helps build healthy blood, improve oxygenation of tissues and reduce the risk of cancer. Other great greens include barley grass, wheat grass and algae like spirulina, chlorella and blue-green algae. Super Algae is a supplement that contains these beneficial algae. It helps to balance blood sugar and aids brain and nervous system function. Many of these green foods can also be found in the superfood supplements Nature's Harvest and Ultimate GreenZone.

Superfood 3 Sulfur Rich Alliums

Garlic, onion, leek, chive, scallions and shallots all contain sulfur compounds that have numerous health benefits. For starters, they enhance glutathione an intracellular antioxidant that helps the body eliminate heavy metals, carcinogens and other toxic chemicals from cells. They also enhance liver detoxification, improve circulation and help fight infection. Eating these vegetables regularly can lower LDL cholesterol while increasing your HDL cholesterol. They can even reduce high blood pressure and reduce (or possibly reverse) plaque formation in the arteries. High Potency Garlic is a great way to get the benefit of garlic without the strong odor.

Superfood 4 Cruciferous Vegetables

Vegetables from the mustard family, including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and brussel sprouts are also loaded with sulfur compounds that enhance immunity and liver detoxification. These foods help your body break down xenoestrogens, environmental toxins that mimic estrogen and contribute to breast and prostate cancer. Nature's Harvest and Ultimate GreenZone contain kale.

Superfood 5 Nutrient Packed Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are loaded with nutrition because they have to support a growing plant when they sprout. The problem is that the nutrients are locked in a dormant state. Soaking or fermenting nuts and seeds before eating them releases these bound nutrients. After soaking, the nuts can be dried out in a dehydrator or an oven set on low to preserve them until we're ready to eat them.

Nuts, particularly walnuts, are high in fats, but these are good fats, meaning they contain essential fatty acids necessary for the immune system, the brain and nerves and the health of cell membranes. These good fats control inflammation, regulate cholesterol and keep the heart healthy. Other seeds like chia, quinoa, hemp, flax, sunflower and sesame are also loaded with nutrients that benefit cardiovascular health and ·immunity. Many of these seeds are found in the superfood supplements Ultimate GreenZone and Nature's Harvest.

Superfood 6 Protein Rich legumes

Legumes, such as beans, soybeans, split peas and lentils, are seeds from plants in the pea family. Legumes are one of the few plant foods that are high in protein. They are also great sources of fiber. Many beans contain phytoestrogens, which help protect the body from harmful xenoestrogens. University studies have documented that eating beans on a regular basis reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity. Because they are seeds, you'll get more beneficial nutrients from beans if you soak them before cooking them. The vegetable protein in Nature's Harvest and Love and Peas are derived from these nutritious legumes.

Superfood 7 Wild Caught Fish

Fish are famous as sources of omega-3 fatty acids and are a high quality protein. Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely important for the brain and nervous system. Eating two servings of wild-caught fish each week helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and arthritis. Choose mercury-free varieties such as barrarnundi, wild caught salmon, herring, sardines, freshwater trout and catfish. Also, farm-raised fish don't have the same nutritional value as wild-caught fish. If you don't like fish, try taking Super Omega 3 EPA to get more omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.

Superfood 8 Fermented Dairy Foods

Dairy gets an extremely bad rap by many people in the natural health field. While it is true that some people have allergies to dairy products, many of the problems with dairy come from the way modern dairy foods are produced. The milk from cows raised on artificial feed, antibiotics and/or hormones isn't as healthy as milk from cows raised on pasture grass without chemicals. While pasteurization destroys many nutrients, ultrapasteurization does even more damage to the nutritional value of milk. So it is unfortunate that most brands of organic milk are ultrapasteurized.

If you're not allergic to dairy, the best way to maximize the nutritional benefits of dairy foods is to eat them in a cultured form, such as yogurt and kefir, Culturing dairy makes nutrients more bioavailable and reduces allergic reactions. Cultured dairy foods are also a natural source of friendly bacteria or probiotics, which are necessary for the health of the intestinal tract and the immune system. If you can't tolerate dairy, you can get your probiotics from naturally fermented vegetables or from a probiotic supplement like Probiotic Eleven.

Superfood 9 Medicinal Mushrooms

Many species of mushrooms and fungus have wonderful health building properties. They can promote intestinal health and modulate the immune system to help the body fight infections while reducing allergic responses and autoimmune reactions. Some species contain powerful antioxidants and nutrients that reduce stress, balance blood pressure and promote heart health. Beneficial varieties include reishi, shiitake, miatake and cordyceps. Immune Stimulator and cordyceps are supplements you can take to get the benefits of these fungi superfoods.

Superfood 10 Sweet Potatoes, Yams and Winter Squash

One of the most over consumed vegetables in the American diet is the potato. It's not that potatoes aren't a natural food, it's just that they have a very high glycemic index, which means they contribute to weight gain and diabetes when over-consumed. Try alternating potatoes with other starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, yams and winter squashes. These vegetables tend to have a higher content of antioxidant nutrients like carotenoids and B-vitamins and a lower glycemic index. This means they can help you manage your weight and blood sugar better.

Superfood 11 Nutritious Nightshades

Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, hot peppers and eggplants. Like dairy, some people have sensitivities to nightshades and need to eliminate them from their diet. However, for those who don't have nightshade sensitivities, nightshades like tomatoes and hot peppers have great nutritional value. Tomatoes (especially vine ripened ones) are great sources of vitamins A and C. Tomatoes also contain a carotenoid called lycopene (which gives them their bright red color). Lycopene has been found to help prevent prostate problems in men, which is why it is an ingredient in Men's Formula.

Hot peppers, like capsicum and jalapeno, are also high in vitamin C and other antioxidants. They also contain capsaicinoids, which stimulate circulation and have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Like the sulfur rich allums, they can help to maintain healthy blood pressure and prevent arterial plaque. If you can't stand the spicy taste of hot peppers, you can always take capsicum in capsules.

Superfood 12 Healthy Pick Me Ups

Millions of Americans have to get their FIX of caffeine every day to keep them going. Well, research is showing that not all stimulants are bad. For starters, green tea is being found to have many health benefits. It contains an amino acid called l threonine, which has a calming effect on the nervous system. It also contains catechins polyphenols with powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. Green tea also helps fight tooth decay and gum disease, helps maintain cholesterol and has a mild diuretic effect. Researchers in Spain and the United Kingdom found that catechins can also inhibit the growth of cancer cells. If you don't want to drink green tea or want to avoid the caffeine it contains you can also take Green Tea Extract in capsule form.

Then, there is chocolate. Who would have thought this guilty pleasure would be considered a superfood!

 As it turns out, the cocoa in chocolate contains many potent antioxidants, including Havonols, epicatechins and procyanidins. These compounds reduce the cell damage implicated in heart disease, help to lower blood pressure and improve vascular function. In addition, some research has linked chocolate consumption to reduced risk of diabetes, stroke and heart attack. The important thing is to eat dark chocolate (the darker the better), that's free of refined sugars and-to eat-in moderation. Try some of the Nature's Sweet Life Dark Chocolate bars.

Four Great Superfood Supplements

In a hurry! Need some superfoods nutrition that's quick and easy. Here are four great superfood supplements you can use to get this whole food nutrition for your body on a daily basis. Nature's Harvest is a superfood supplement that contains 13 grams of vegetable protein from legumes (peas, adzuki, black and garbanzo beans) in each serving. It's also loaded with nutritious seeds (amaranth, quinoa, flax, chia), dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, parsley, kale) and antioxidant fruits (mangos teen, goji, blueberry, cranberry). It provides essential fatty acids, fiber and 18 essential vitamins and minerals. Nature's Harvest is vegan, dairy free and lactose free.

1. Nature's Harvest tastes great just mixed with water, but you can also use it to make superfood smoothies containing antioxidant fruits and berries, yogurt, nut butters and other whole foods. Smoothies are a great way to make a quick and nutritious meal.

2. Another superfood protein powder you can use in your smoothies is Love and Peas. This blend contains 20 grams of protein derived from split peas and includes a whole food complex that contains blueberries, cranberries, pomegranate and broccoli. Flax seed and borage oil provide essential fatty acids. Love and Peas also supplies 18 vitamins and minerals and is free from common allergens, including dairy, lactose and gluten. It is also certified vegan.

3. Ultimate GreenZone is a superfood supplement that is not a protein powder. It contains nutritious seeds (amaranth, flax, chia), green foods (spirulina, chlorella, spinach, kale, asparagus) and herbs that aid the immune and eliminative functions. GreenZone also contains prebiotics to feed friendly intestinal bacteria and enzymes to aid digestion. It tastes great mixed with pineapple juice or other natural fruit juices.

4. Our final superfood supplement is Thai Go, a potent mix of berries and other superfood ingredients that are rich iribioflavonoids and antioxidants. These include mangosteen, grape, blueberry, raspberry, goji, acai, pomegranates and green tea extract. This delicious tasting juice can be consumed straight, mixed with water or added to other beverages. It has a certified antioxidant value, the highest of any antioxidant beverage on the marketplace. It is also rich in beneficial xanthones.

If you are interested in any of these products please check out my web site at www.HCWellnessCenterAndSpa.com under products or call 704.823.1577 and I would be glad to help you pick the best product for you.

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