So let's get real y'all. Looking back about 8 or 9 years ago, my medicine cabinet was filled with Tylenol, ibuprofen, allergy pills,Read More
Americans are consuming insane amounts of fake-natural sweeteners. In fact, Americans eat close to 130 pounds of the stuff per person per year (4 times more than the recommended daily allowance), likely because it is so addictive. Studies show that aspartame, the most widely used artificial sweetener of all-time, often contributes to weight gain and has been conclusively linked to many very seriousRead More
There are many questionable ingredients in chewing gums (including the organic ones you find in health food stores!). Here are a few common ones:
Gum base, a proprietary mix of 46 different chemicals that the FDA allows under the name “gum base.” These substances could be natural plant resins, beeswax, or petroleum-based chemicals.
Artificial antioxidants such as butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). BHT is linked to cancer risks, asthma, and behavioral issues in children.
Fillers such as talc and cornstarch (which could be genetically modified)
Titanium dioxide to maintain the vibrant white color
Artificial food colors including FD&C color and caramel color
And of course, artificial sweeteners like aspartame.Read More
Have you started adding mushrooms, as a supplement, in your daily routine? So many people are starting to do this! I first heard about all the interesting types of mushrooms, and their benefits, from Paul Stamets. If you are a fan of Joe Rogan, check Paul out here. He talks about the benefits and uses for mushrooms and also matcha! I love trying new supplements, and the Chaga was next on my list.
What Is a Chaga Mushroom?
The chaga mushroom has a beautiful rusty color on the inside, and on the outside, it resembles a piece of coal.
Chaga mushrooms have a few nick-names, such as “king of medicinal mushrooms”, “gift from God,” and “king of herbs.” They typically grow in cooler climates, and can be found growing in Northern US, Canada, Russia, Northern Europe, Siberia, and parts of Asia. Medicinal mushrooms have been growing in these areas for centuries!
The cool thing about the growing movement for medicinal mushrooms, is the boost in amazing products we are seeing on the market! Mushroom supplements can be found in powder form, elixir style, and even in coffee! Studies are backing these claims, and people are loving the benefits from these mushrooms.
Many ancient cultures used chaga mushrooms to:
calm upset stomach and ulcers
detox the body
promote clarity of thinking
boost the immune system
Chaga also supports the immune system. But how does it work?
Chaga mushrooms contain polysaccharides, which are “biological response modulators.” This is so cool… it means that they have the ability to boost or suppress the immune system, based on what the organism needs! Research published in Mycobiology also found that consuming chaga increases production of immune cells such as T-cells in animal studies.
A 2005 review (including human studies) found that chaga mushrooms are a potent immune booster without negative side effects. It also confirmed chaga can reduce inflammation, improve immune cell production, and enhance overall immune function.
The effect that chaga has on tumors is profound. One 2016 study found that tumors shrank by 60 percent when using chaga extract on mice. In metastatic mice (mice with tumors that moved from their original location to other locations in the body), tumors shrank by 25 percent!
Phytosterols and the polysaccharide beta-glucan, found in chaga mushrooms, affect cancer cells in the following ways:
may stop tumors from forming blood cells
stop formation of tumors by protecting against potent genotoxic carcinogens
stimulate the immune system to fight cancer naturally
improve macrophages (a form of white blood cell) and natural killer cell function
Chaga is a powerhouse of important nutrients. Look at this impressive list:
Our immune system is built to fight viruses. Improving the system can improve the body’s ability to fight these viruses.
There have been studies related to herpes and HIV, and the positive effects look promising!
Another study concluded it was able to reduce infection of the hepatitis C virus by 100 times (in only 10 minutes!)
As chaga mushrooms grow, they absorb a compound called betulin from the birch tree. Betulin is not digestible straight from the birch tree, so the mushroom converts it to a digestible form!
Research shows that betulin lowers cholesterol, helps prevent obesity, and improves insulin sensitivity in mice. In fact, researchers discovered that betulin was as effective or more effective than cholesterol-lowering drugs.
HOW TO USE CHAGA MUSHROOMS?
Obviously, these sound like a powerful superfood! How do you add them to your diet?
The most common way to take chaga is in a tea or tincture. You can use whole chaga, and even make your own powder, but I recommend finding a cool supplement or drink!
Check out these awesome chaga mushroom products.
(P.S. If you’re afraid of a mushroom-y taste, don’t be… I promise you won’t even know it’s there!)
Chaga Precautions & Potential Side Effects
While it’s been used for centuries safely and effectively, there are some side effects and precautions to consider:
It may interact with medications and may reduce blood clotting (not good for surgery!)
It may lower blood sugar (good for some, not good for others)
Chaga may not be great for those with autoimmune disease because it boosts the immune system. However, as noted earlier, it is an immune modulator so would lower an immune response in this case.
As always, discuss with your doctor whether taking chaga mushrooms is right for you (especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any underlying health issues).
Have you tried any medicinal mushrooms? What has been your experience, I would love to hear from you!
Living the crunchy life is good for your health, mother nature and future generations. This lifestyle is catching on, and more and more subscription box companies are offering "natural" products for their crunchy customers. But which ones are worth the $Read More
Things are warming up around here, and it's time to start thinking about sun exposure! I learned years ago about the dangers of conventional sunscreen and its link to skin cancer. Our family only uses sunscreen for sports, basically. In most cases, ifRead More
It’s mid baseball season Y'all, and I just can’t! Seeing these kids drink Gatorade and Powerade during every game- is driving me crazy! Like f’real. It’s hard being “that mom” all the time, but these drinks don’t belong in our bodies. TheseRead More
Let's talk about one of the most underrated organs- the liver. This incredible organ manages over 500 tasks, including metabolism upkeep, nutrient storage, immunity, and digestion. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liverRead More
Yo, yo! Let's talk natural flavors y'all! I started thinking about this topic lately, because I keep seeing people questioning it in all my crunchy Facebook groups. The term "natural flavors" can be deceiving, and it's up to us as consumers to learn exactly what that pertains to. Let me just say this- natural flavors could beRead More
Unless you're completely out of the loop, (which I know you're not, because us crunchy moms are totally woke!) you have probably heard about CBD in one way or another. But do you have the facts? Let's talk about CBD!Read More
When it comes to alcohol, beer is not my favorite. Nope, not much of a beer drinker here. I prefer a Moscow Mule or a yummy mimosa- but occasionally I will go for a good IPA. One of the reasons I avoid alcohol isRead More
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Who is responsible for taking healthy items and turning them into processed junk food? You guessed it, the food industry. The Cornucopia Institute came out with a revealing report (an investigation that took 2 years!) showing what is found in yogurt, and exposing the companies that are supplying this crap. When you think of yogurt, you think- healthy, delicious, fruity- but, conventional yogurt usually comes from milk produced by cows that have been fed GMO grains, and whom are unable to graze in open pasture. On top of that, chemical de-foamers, artificial sweteners, HFCS and sugar are added in. Don't forget about carragenan, the gut-harmful ingredient, linked to cancer.
Not only are there terrible ingredients lurking in this "health" food, but companies like General Mills (Yoplait), Groupe Danone (Dannon), Walmart, and PepsiCo market this towards children. Kids are automatically drawn to the colors, flavors and packaging. Cornucopia was shocked by their findings and filed a formal complaint with the FDA, asking them to investigate some yogurts on the market because they don’t appear to even meet the legal definition of yogurt!
Here is the link to their official score card. Check it out, and see how your favorite yogurt measures up.
Let's take a closer look at some of the top yogurt on the market.
Good news though! There are healthy yogurt choices, you just need to know what to choose. In my home, the only dairy we eat is the occasional sour cream, butter and a few cheeses. I can't live without cheeese!! No matter what, we always use organic dairy products. Check out how your dairy products measure up here. My family wasn't too hyped about trying almond milk yogurt, but they were surprised to see how great it tastes! J loves his with granola and blueberries :)
Here are some top picks, that are easily found online or in your local grocery store. Whole Foods also carries Traderspoint Creamery, and I hear that one is delish!
Wanna make your own yogurt? Check out this starter pack on Amazon.
Know a parent still dishing out Go-gurt and Danimals? Is your "healthy" yogurt misleading? Please share this information with your friends and family!
Okay, so who doesn't love the smell of pumpkin? There's something about Fall, warm sweaters, boots, and a hot latte, that I just can't get enough of. But, when it comes to Pumpkin Spice Lattes, IRead More
I just wanted to drop in and share my daily routine, for strong immunity. All I know is that I am so proud to say that I have healthy kids! In fact, my entire family has gone years without getting sick. At my last job, sickness was on rotation, andRead More
Frankincense (Boswellia frereana, Boswellia carterii, Boswellia sacra) is known as the "king of essential oils." It is one of the most precious essential oils because of its unbelievable list of health benefits. For over 5,000 years, frankincense has had many vital uses that goRead More
Here in the Pacific North West, where I live, it get's pretty gloomy. Long days filled with rain and grey skies can make anyone a little sleepy. It's not my favorite weather, I have to admit. But today I am sharing a list of my favorite oils I use for a quick pick me up.Read More