20 Ideas to Fight or Prevent Autoimmunity

fight autoimmune diseaseThe overload of toxins in our air, water, food and environment is wreaking havoc on human immune systems, as well as damaging the plants and animals we share the planet with. After learning even a little about the devastating amounts of chemicals all around us on a daily basis, and their severe toxic effects, it’s easy to become depressed, or feel utterly hopeless in being able to do anything about it. Further below, you will find 20 small steps you can begin to take to protect, and even heal, your immune system.

Everything from the formaldehyde in our carpet, fluoride in our water, glyphosate in our food, and Sodium Laurel Sulfate in our body care products can have our immune systems working overtime every minute of the day. As toxins attach to the proteins of our cells, our immune systems can begin to see our own cells as “invaders” and vigorously attack them. Essentially, this means a body begins fighting it’s “self”, and this, in layman’s terms, is the definition of “Autoimmune Disease”.

From the very beginning of mankind, human immune systems only needed to fight off five kinds of invaders: Molds, Bacteria, Virus, Fungus and Parasites. The immune system can, and has, adapted to be able to fight off newly-mutated viruses, for example, but most toxic substances are another story. Many of the toxins in the products we use (even this computer I’m typing on that is made of oil and plastic) are engineered in such a way that they quickly infiltrate and disrupt the ability of our immune systems to combat them.

If you’ve noticed the sharp “rise” in autoimmunity and new disease over the past two or three decades, think about what has changed in our environment and way of life during that time frame. Typically, you can quickly see how the rise in immune dysfunction correlates with the sharp rise in toxin levels, the move away from normal foods to processed foods, the levels of pollution, the immune disrupting chemical “advancements” in pesticides, the lack of time spent outdoors to help build immunity, increases in electronic pollution, and on and on.

In my own lifetime, I recall when microwaves became popular, literally everything was starting to be made from plastic, and soy was the big (not so smart) “health fad” that ended up a permanent ingredient (or cheap filler replacement) in numerous foods we still buy today. Today, ground beef, vegetables, and milk products, for example, don’t even “taste” like I recall from my childhood. For timeline correlation between the introduction of toxins and deteriorating human health, you might like to reference 11 Graphs that Show Everything that is Wrong with the Modern Diet.

Not all newly introduced toxins or lifestyle changes will have an instant effect on the population, so we need to take serious responsibility for controlling our own, individual and family situations immediately! By the time the scientific community “catches up”, or fully understands the repercussions of these toxins and practices, it could be too late to reverse the damage done upon all living things on Earth.

The good news is that our bodies are continually regenerating, adapting and fighting for us all the time. Even in the case of autoimmunity, it is slightly reassuring to know our systems are still firing off attacks against perceived invaders, even though the immune system is randomly and inaccurately targeting everything, and promoting dis-ease. We can also continue learning, and urging regulatory agencies to get up to speed, forcing them to clamp down on corporations like Monsanto that promotes things like glyphosate and uncertain bio-engineering practices. We can, and should, educate our children and grandchildren to give them the tools and habits that will help shape their lifelong habits, resistance to toxins, and autoimmunity.

In order to help protect our bodies and allow them to come back into balance, there are many things we can do right now: Read more

Uses and Benefits of Grapeseed Oil

watkins grapeseed oil health benefits and other usesYou may have already heard that among cooking oils, Grapeseed Oil is a healthy favorite. Unlike Olive oil, the flavor is so light and neutral that it won’t alter the taste of your foods. It is great for sauteing, grilling, using in vinegar dressings, and even deep frying due to the stability, and high-temperature smoke point.

JR Watkins Grapeseed Oil is a superb choice. It is versatile, light, and practically odorless and tasteless. Excellent as a dipping oil or for use on pasta, it contains zero Trans fats, and no gluten or distilled white vinegar. A serving size of 1 Tablespoon contains 120 calories.

Health Benefits of Grapeseed Oil

Because Grape seeds are full of potent antioxidants known as Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin Complexes (OPCs) they help fight free radicals which can contribute to premature aging and numerous chronic diseases. OPC compounds have been show to benefit the body in many other ways. They are antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, and more.

At only 8%, Grapeseed oil is very low in saturated fat. By contrast, olive oil contains double that amount. Grapeseed oil is high in polyunsaturated fat which helps raise good cholesterol (HDL), and lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. The percentage of linoleic acid is high (between 65 and 72 percent) in Grapeseed oil. Linoleic acid converts to conjugated-linoleic acid (CLA) which reduces cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and improves weight loss. (PubMed Reference).

Grapeseed Oil also contains about twice the amount of Vitamin E (an antioxidant) as Olive oil, along with other powerful antioxidants!

Grapeseed Oil Additional Uses

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Wearing O’ Green Cake

Moist, colorful cake and you’ll think you’ve found the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s the perfect dessert to round out your St. Patrick’s Day feast. by Marge Nicol, Illinois

This recipe and photo are by Marge Nicol of Illinois, as featured on Taste of Home

Wearing O' Green Cake

Moist, colorful cake and you'll think you've found the pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow. It's the perfect dessert to round out your St. Patrick's Day feast. by Marge Nicol, Illinois

Course Dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Marge Nicol, shown on Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg white cake mix
  • 2 pkgs lime gelatin 3 oz each
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Topping

  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix 3-4 oz
  • 1 carton frozen whipped topping, thawed 8 oz
  • green sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour.

  2. In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in cold water and set aside.
  3. With a meat fork or wooden skewer, poke holes about 2 in. apart into cooled cake. Slowly pour gelatin over cake. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. With a meat fork or wooden skewer, poke holes about 2 in. apart into cooled cake. Slowly pour gelatin over cake. Cover and refrigerate.

Toxin-Free Cleaning with Castile Soap

Castile soap originated in Spain centuries ago. “Castile” simply means the soap is formulated from only natural, plant-based, oils rather than animal fat (tallow). Castile contains no chemical detergents, is biodegradable, Earth-friendly and versatile as a natural cleaner.

Many people who are learning about the toxins in our household cleaners, hand soaps and body care products are choosing natural solutions instead. There are nearly 13,000 chemicals used in formulating cosmetic products alone, with FDA restrictions on only 11 of them! Just in body care products like shampoo, we find numerous endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are those chemicals which may cause severe neurological and immune system defects, and are shown to interfere with reproduction and development. Here is a small sampling of the harmful ingredients in most of our every day products:

Sodium Laurel Sulfate: Used in engine degreaser, industrial cleaning products, and 90% of personal care products, SLS (or SLES) can cause breathing problems, eye damage, and death. It is found in body washes, hair coloring kits, shampoo, laundry detergents, liquid hand soap, make-up products, toothpaste, and bath oils.

Phthalates: Used in shampoo and numerous other products even though it is rarely listed on the label, or is simply called “fragrance”, Phthalates interfere with the reproductive system, cause early breast development in young boys and girls, birth defects, and damage to liver and kidneys.

Parabens: Parabens are chemicals found in cosmetics, deodorant, shampoo and other products but are not often labeled. Parabens can mimic the female hormone of estrogen, and have been linked to breast tumors and cancer, hormone imbalance, and early puberty.

Benzoyl Peroxide: Often found in facial cleansers for treating acne, this chemical may act as a mutagen. It could produce DNA cell damage in humans and other mammals, is toxic upon inhalation, and irritates the eyes, skin and respiratory system. These are the statements appearing on the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for Benzoyl Peroxide.

It’s a simple process to begin eliminating these, and other dangerous toxins, from our homes. Many people make their own natural and effective Cleaning Products, Soaps, Laundry Detergents, Carpet Freshening Powder, Deodorant, and even Homemade Hair Color!

watkins safe natural castile soap for body and home careWatkins makes it simple to transition to natural home and personal care. The J.R. Watkins Castile Liquid and Bar Soaps are made with nourishing coconut and olive oils, and are free from dyes and harsh chemicals. To create the liquid soaps, they simply use basic salts and heat them with the natural oils to create a fluid, liquid soap. Castile Soap can be safely used as body wash, shampoo, dish soap, hand soap, laundry soap, mopping solution, carpet cleaner, as a vegetable wash, toothpaste, and pet shampoo. Note: As a shampoo, Castile soap may not the best choice for chemically treated hair that has either been  colored, permed, highlighted, bleached, or straightened.

10 Ways to use Castile soaps, with DIY recipes: Read more