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The 12 Best Foods To Eat When You Are On Your Period (Reduce Pain)

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Aside from child bearing, the biggest thing that separates men from women is, of course, menstruation.

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And if you’re a woman, well… it really sucks. There’s no other way to put it. Between the cramping, the mood swings, and the bloating (not to mention the mess), women are forced to endure discomforts that would probably make most grown men cry — Every. Single. Month.

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Of course, no one woman is the same.

Some can start menstruating as early as 11 years old and some might hit menopause as late as 60 years old. Some have longer cycles than the 28-day average, while others have much shorter. Despite these differences, we all share in the misery of our monthly companion to some degree or another. Certainly, most women can relate to the horrific emotional roller coaster that comes before, during, or after our periods. And an estimated 85 percent of women experience at least one symptom of PMS per month, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Bloating
  • Breast Tenderness
  • Weight Gain
  • Swelling in face, ankles, feet, and hands
  • Aching in the back
  • Cold sores (sometimes recurring)
  • Heaviness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Gaseousness
  • Light and noise sensitivity
  • Food cravings
  • Acne
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle spasms

What most woman don’t know is that experiencing terrible PMS doesn’t just signal that your hormones are temporarily out of whack; it can also reveal energy stagnation (or Qi stagnation) in the body.

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I know what you’re thinking: “I’m a woman! Duh! It’s supposed to hurt.” Well actually, no, it’s not. If you are fighting bad cramps every month, your body is telling you that something is going on that NEEDS your attention.

(Check out this awesome article by Organic Olivia that explains Qi stagnation in depth and how it is related to your liver.)

So aside from addressing the emotional component of terrible cramps, there are also physical ways we can ease the pain when PMS does strike.

I put together a list of food below with examples of how to help alleviate the stress your body experiences during this time. Not everything on this list will work for you, but a process of trial and error with each can certainly help you to be more self aware of what you consume and how your body reacts to it.

Water

Nature’s gift to wo(man)! It comes as no surprise that water is essential to easing us through the most natural time in our life. It may sound counterintuitive, but drinking more water will actually help to release water retention and alleviate bloating. As health and fitness consultant Tari Rose explains, “Your body is retaining water because it’s afraid of not getting enough. So, if you give it what it needs (more water) it will release the water it’s holding onto.” Also, our bodies are losing copious amounts of liquids (or so it feels), so replenishing ourselves with pure water is our best bet; not to mention, water promotes regular and smooth bowel movements, which helps reduce stagnation in the abdominal area – a common concern before and during menstruation.

Vegetables

Women lose about 30-80ml of blood and 15-25ml of iron during each menstruation, so it’s important we replenish the iron we are losing with iron rich foods. But as with most things in life, it’s important not to overdo it, because too much of these foods can cause bloating.

Parsley contains apiol, a compound that has been shown to be highly effective at stimulating the menstrual process and relieving menstrual cramps.

Spinach contains an ample amount of nutrients like Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium, which have been shown to fight menstrual cramps.

An iron supplement could also help here, but you may have to try a few before finding one that doesn’t cause constipation.

Foods: parsley, spinach, kale, celery, collards, dried prunes, dried peaches, pumpkin seeds, raisins, brussels sprouts, beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, artichokes, legumes, and more.

Calcium

Women need at least 1,200 mg of calcium every day, according to certified holistic health counselor and nutritionist Latham Thomas. In one study, women who took 1,200 mg per day for 3 months experienced a 48% reduction in their PMS symptoms. Compare that to a 30% reduction for those taking a placebo (hello, power of consciousness!), and increasing your calcium intake starts to seem like a worthwhile endeavour. Further studies were conducted to prove the benefits of calcium in combatting PMS, especially during the luteal phase of your cycle. 

Kale is one of the best plant-based sources of calcium and has the highest ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) rating, which measures a food’s ability to scavenge free radicals — unstable molecules that can damage your body at the cellular level.

Broccoli is 91 percent water by weight, this helps eliminate bloating (fibre helps with this too) while getting rid of puffiness, gas, and fatigue. Broccoli has calcium, vitamins A, C, B6, and E, potassium, and magnesium — nutrients that help alleviate PMS symptoms.

Foods: kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, edamame, bok choy, figs, almonds, and more.

Fruit

Sugar cravings are especially common during this time so it’s important we go for the right kinds of sugar and avoid the overly-processed sweets we often turn to. “Fruits, vegetables and whole foods are your friends always, but especially during menstruation. The fruit from sugar may help alleviate sugar cravings,” explains health and fitness consultant Tari Rose. The great thing about fruit, particularly at this time, is its high fibre content, which can help improve regularity.

Bananas can also help regulate your bowels, which is important for women who experience diarrhea during their period. Bananas are also known to help with cramps, thanks to nutrients like vitamin B6, but potassium is the real star here, as it reduces water retention and thus bloating as well.

Pineapple also helps to combat cramping because it contains bromelain, an enzyme that is thought to help relax muscles. However, most of the bromelain in pineapple is located in the stem, which is not as tasty as the flesh (but edible nevertheless).

Foodscherries, blueberries, rasberries, apricots, oranges, plums, pears, cucumbers, and more.

Nuts & Seeds

The little guys are energy-dense little fuel sources, packed with concentrated protein, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients unique to the specific varieties.

Walnuts are rich in the healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are known to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Additionally, walnuts are loaded with magnesium and with vitamin B6 — one cup of chopped walnuts provides 31% of the recommended daily intake of B6.

Sesame seeds are full of nutrients that have been shown to reduce cramps affiliated with menstruation. They are a great source of vitamin B6, zinc, calcium, and magnesium, and contain certain healthful fatty acids that may help relax muscles.

Sunflower seeds are loaded with vitamin E, as well as the key anti-cramping minerals zinc and magnesium. These seeds also contain pyridoxine (vitamin B6), which helps relieve pain through its role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter dopamine. In addition, pyridoxine has been shown to promote the absorption of zinc and magnesium.

Fenugreek seeds are little seeds with a pungent-sweet flavour that are also a popular remedy for menstrual pain.

Foods: almonds, brazil nuts, pecans, cashews, flaxseeds (ground), peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and more.

Tea

Cold and raw foods can be difficult for our bodies to digest, and warmth at this time serves our bodies tremendously. Herbal teas are the best to go for because caffeine can worsen cramps and PMS significantly.

Chamomile tea contains properties that relieve muscle spasms, and it helps reduce the tension that leads to anxiety and irritability. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory, reducing prostaglandin production and relieving menstrual cramps.

Peppermint is a natural muscle relaxer and appetite suppressant.

Cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that ease menstrual cramp symptoms.

Basil contains caffeic acid which has an analgesic or pain-killing effect.

Thyme also contains high caffeic acid properties which prevent menstrual cramps.

Ginger can help with nausea and bloating, and is an age-old remedy for menstrual cramps in China.

Green tea promotes lowers estrogen levels and this can help the endocrine system to function more efficiently. 

Sage has active properties that regulate sweating and blood clotting. It’s great in baths, too, and rubbing sage oil on your abdomen can help with cramps as well.

Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is a nutrient rich powerhouse which contains a concentrated source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), with a mere cup of crude wheat germ providing a whopping 75% of the recommended daily intake for this important vitamin! Wheat germ is also an excellent source of other B vitamins, as well as zinc, and contains high amounts of vitamin E and magnesium.

Oats

Oats contain magnesium, which improves nervous system functioning, and this is particularly important during times of mental or physical stress. Magnesium can also help you sleep, can increase your energy, lower anxiety, assist in regularity, and prevent aches and moodiness. Oats are also one of the best sources of dietary zinc, fantastic for women who suffer from painful periods, and they provide adequate carbs to replenish lost glycogen in the body. This promotes energy and prevents moodiness. Oats are also full of easily digestible fiber, which will assist in eliminating excess estrogen in the body to help even out your mood even further.

Dark Chocolate

It’s important that you consume either raw organic cacao powder or organic plain cocoa so your body can readily digest the proper nutrients — nutrients which milk chocolate cannot provide. Dairy is highly inflammatory and promotes unhealthy hormone levels, and chocolates with dairy often contain excess sugar as well. The processing this kind of chocolate goes through also kills most, if not all, of the beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Raw organic cacao powder is lower in fat, higher in antioxidants and fibre, an excellent source of iron, and combats cravings. Having a small piece of dark chocolate with 60 percent or higher cacao bean content every day on your period can help manage sugar cravings.

Cacao is a natural mood elevator because it boosts serotonin in the brain and contains magnesium, a mineral which helps regulate mood (see below). It’s important to choose organic, non-GMO, and raw varieties to avoid contaminants that can develop during cacao’s fermentation process. Cacao powder is an affordable superfood and a terrific source of beauty-promoting and mood-lifting nutrients including magnesium, sulfur, potassium, iron, Vitamin C, zinc, copper, and even some B vitamins.

Magnesium

As mentioned with oats, magnesium is a vital mineral to add to our daily diet to help with a variety of normal health functions. Magnesium deficiency can lead to headaches, insomnia, irregularity, moodiness, fatigue, general sadness or a lack of motivation, and even cramps or joint pain. Consuming magnesium rich foods or supplements can help lower anxiety, promote regularity, prevent aches and moodiness, and increase energy levels.

Foods: beans, tofu, leafy greens, bananas, nuts and seeds, whole grains, cacao.

Blood Nourishing Food

It’s important that women replenish their blood and iron during menstruation.  Normally women lose about 30-80ml of blood and 15-25ml of iron each cycle. When the blood is strong, it can promote radiant skin, normal menstruation, and vital energy. And when blood is deficient, women may experience dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, scanty or delayed periods, anemia, or even premature aging.

Foods: organic red meat, liver, egg yolks, spinach, collards, dried prunes, raisins, oysters, clams, scallops, turkey, chicken giblets, beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, artichokes, carrots, peanuts, dates.

Vitamins + Supplements

Vitamin E can help eliminate some PMS symptoms; you’ll find it in avocado, hemp seeds, and egg yolk.

Vitamin B6 can help relieve bloating and boost your mood; find it in potatoes, bananas, and oatmeal.

Vitamin C and zinc support the health of a woman’s eggs and reproductive system. Find vitamin C in grapefruits and lemons and zinc in pumpkin seeds and squashes.

Bioflavonoids are vitamins which help regulate hormone levels, leading to a more regular period. Ever notice the color of the membrane between slices of an orange or the stem of bell peppers? These are made up of bioflavonoids. Basically, they show up in foods that contain vitamin C, and they can decrease the amount of blood lost during your period as well as protect your capillaries.

Sabina can be referred to as a miracle cure, as it alleviates some of the toughest menstrual symptoms you can face, even for people with endometriosis, who are no stranger to the dark blood clots which seem to increase cramping and leave you feeling debilitated. This homeopathic remedy can even help with the most severe pain that spreads to the thighs.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help significantly with menstrual pain which was shown in a 1996 study published in Obstetricians and Gynecology. Women who received a daily dose of 6 grams of fish oil, providing 1,080 milligrams (mg) of EPA, and 720 mg of DHA, had experienced significantly less menstrual pain while taking the fish oil supplements.

These aren’t magical cures and it’s unlikely your body will respond immediately, but if you maintain this daily intake before and during your period, you have a good chance of lessening both pain and discomfort. Natural remedies take time, but they are worth the investment. In 2000, a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found a low-fat, vegetarian diet that emphasized the consumption of plant-based foods, significantly reduced pain and PMS for many women. The symptom effects could be due to the dietary influences on estrogen activity.

As mentioned earlier, a painful period can be caused by a number of emotional issues or physical distresses (liver) in the body, so it’s important to be proactive with your research, digging deep to look at your body as a whole. Our bodies have a unique intelligence and its various signs and responses are its way of telling us when something requires our attention. It’s quite fascinating!

If you have any yummy recipes that incorporate some of these foods, please share them below!

Sources

http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/816186/best-foods-to-eat-while-on-your-period-1

http://www.cycleharmony.com/healthy-living/nutrition-and-recipes/what-to-eat-before-during-and-after-your-period

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/foods-that-make-pms-more-bearable/

http://www.lovelivehealth.com/the-8-best-vitamins-to-take-during-your-period/

http://www.naturalremedies.org/pms/

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3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Awareness

Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)

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CE Staff Writer 10 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.

  • Reflect On:

    How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

 Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.

What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,

It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.

Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.

This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.

According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.

These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.

When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.

Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.

That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.

Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:

Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”

This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:

As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.

In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:

“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.

For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.

As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.

There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.

That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.

The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –  Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)

This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.

Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.

The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.

Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.

In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.

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