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10 Causes Of Fibromyalgia Your Doctor May Not Know About

Author Dr. Amy Myers

It’s estimated that fibromyalgia affects approximately 10 million people in the United States. Fibromyalgia is classically characterized by chronic pain, particularly muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, brain fog or cognitive impairment, depression and painful tender points throughout the body. 

Conventional medicine has yet to uncover the cause of fibromyalgia and only offers management of symptoms through pain medications and antidepressants.

Functional medicine, on the other hand, looks to find the root cause of fibromyalgia and other chronic diseases, treating the problem at the root level to restore the patient to health. As a functional medicine physician, I’ve helped many patients recover from fibromyalgia.  Below are the top ten root causes of fibromyalgia I see in my clinic.

1. Gluten intolerance  

Gluten has been liked to more than 55 diseases and is often called the “big masquerader.” The reason for this is that the majority of gluten intolerance symptoms are not digestive in nature, but are instead neurological, such as pain, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, behavioral issues, fatigue and depression.

2. Candida overgrowth

Candida is a fungus, or yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your intestines. When overproduced, Candida breaks down the wall of the intestines and penetrates the bloodstream, releasing toxic byproducts into your body and causing a host of unpleasant symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, digestive issues and pain. Virtually every one of my patients with fibromyalgia has had Candida overgrowth.

3. Thyroid

It’s vital that your doctor check all six blood markers to accurately measure your thyroid gland’s function. It’s also imperative that your doctor use the optimal levels rather than the standard reference range when assessing and diagnosing thyroid disorders. Getting my patient’s thyroid levels into an optimal range typically alleviates their fatigue, brain fog, sleep disturbances and depression. 


4. Vitamin deficiencies

Magnesium, vitamin D and B12 deficiency are the most common vitamin deficiencies I see in those who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I’ve had several patients completely reverse their fibromyalgia symptoms with magnesium alone. The best way to measure magnesium is a red blood cell (RBC) magnesium level, which can be tested through any conventional lab.

5. Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and Leaky gut

There are more bacteria in us and on us then there are of our own cells. When these bacteria get out of balance through use of antibiotics or a sugar-rich diet, we can lose our ability to digest and absorb nutrients, particularly B12. Gluten can cause SIBO and leaky gut and SIBO and leaky gut can lead gluten and other food intolerances. It’s a catch-22 and a vicious cycle. You must “fix the gut” first in anyone with fibromyalgia.

6. Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are very toxic substances produced by molds. Conventional environmental mold testing only tests for levels of mold spores and does not test for mycotoxins. I use a urine mycotoxin test in my clinic to determine if someone has been exposed to toxic molds.

7. Mercury toxicity

I recommend that all my patients find a biological dentist and have their mercury amalgam fillings removed. Mercury is toxic to our bodies and can be one piece of the puzzle for those with fibromyalgia. I then recommend heavy metal testing using a pre- and post-DMPS urine challenge test.

8. Adrenal fatigue 

Adrenal fatigue is a result of the chronic stress. Chronic pain is a stress to the adrenal glands, though it’s typically not the initial adrenal stressor. The initial stressor is usually something such as food intolerances, Candida, mercury toxicity, vitamin deficiencies or mycotoxins. My goal is to support the adrenals with adaptogenic herbs while we search for the root cause of the stress and correct it.

9. MTHFR mutations

This is a genetic test you can get though any conventional lab. The more mutations you have to the MTHFR gene the less able you are to methylate and detoxify toxins, such as mercury and lead. The more mutations you have at this gene the higher your requirements for methyl-B6, methyl-B12 and folinic acid in order to keep your detoxification pathways working properly.

10. Glutathione deficiency

Glutathione is the most critical part of our body’s detoxification system. Glutathione gets recycled in our body — unless our toxic burden gets too high, or we lack GSTM1 and GSTP1, the enzymes needed to recycle and produce glutathione. Taking glutathione or the precursors (NAC, alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle) often help dramatically with fatigue.

As you can see from the above list, many of these causes are interrelated, and often there’s no single root cause of fibromyalgia. Because getting to the root can be complex, I recommend that you find a functional medicine physician in your area to help uncover the root cause for you. You don’t need to suffer needlessly or mask your symptoms with pain medications and antidepressants. 


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How to Store Vegetables & Fruit Without Plastic

So you’ve got all these great fruits and vegetables and now we’re going to help you keep them at their freshest with these tips. These tips are from the Berkley Farmer’s Market which is a Zero Waste market! Here is a printable PDF of their original tip sheet. In the works here at Washington’s Green Grocer is a switch from plastic bags (although we use as few as we can get away with, while still keeping your produce from getting battered on it’s way to you) to only recyclable paper and reuseable cloth bags! 

How to Store Vegetables without Plastic

Artichokes‐ place in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.

Asparagus‐ place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge)

Avocados‐ place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening‐ place an apple in the bag with them.

Arugula‐ arugula, like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.

Basil‐ is difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for that matter. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside‐left out on a cool counter.

Beans, shelling‐ open container in the fridge, eat ASAP. Some recommend freezing them if not going to eat right away

Beets‐ cut the tops off to keep beets firm, (be sure to keep the greens!)by leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in and open container with a wet towel on top.

Beet greens‐ place in an airtight container with a little moisture.

Broccoli‐ place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.

Broccoli Rabe‐ left in an open container in the crisper, but best used as soon as possible.

Brussels Sprouts‐ If bought on the stalk leave them on that stalk. Put the stalk in the fridge or leave it on a cold place. If they’re bought loose store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.

Cabbage‐ left out on a cool counter is fine up to a week, in the crisper otherwise. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to loose its moisture after a week , so, best used as soon as possible.

Carrots‐ cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.

Cauliflower‐ will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it’s bought.

Celery‐ does best when simply places in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter.

Celery root/Celeriac‐ wrap the root in a damp towel and place in the crisper.

Corn‐ leave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best eaten sooner then later for maximum flavor.

Cucumber‐ wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.

Eggplant‐ does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash it, eggplant doesn’t like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage‐ place loose, in the crisper.

Fava beans‐ place in an air tight container.

Fennel‐ if used within a couple days after it’s bought fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few days place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.

Garlic‐ store in a cool, dark, place.

Green garlic‐an airtight container in the fridge or left out for a day or two is fine, best before dried out.

Greens‐ remove any bands, twist ties, etc. most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth‐ to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard even do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.

Green beans‐ they like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container.

Green Tomatoes‐ store in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to color.

Herbs- a closed container in the fridge to kept up to a week. Any longer might encourage mold.

Lettuce‐ keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.

Leeks‐leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).

Okra‐ doesn’t like humidity. So a dry towel in an airtight container. Doesn’t store that well, best eaten quickly after purchase

Onion‐ store in a cool, dark and dry, place‐ good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.

Parsnips‐an open container in the crisper, or, like a carrot, wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge.

Potatoes‐ (like garlic and onions) store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.

Radicchio‐ place in the fridge in an open container with a damp cloth on top.

Radishes‐ remove the greens (store separately) so they don’t draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in a open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.

Rhubarb‐wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator.

Rutabagas‐ in an ideal situation a cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the crisper to keep their moisture in.

Snap peas‐ refrigerate in an open container

Spinach‐ store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.

Spring onions‐ Remove any band or tie and place in the crisper.

Summer Squash‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut.

Sweet peppers‐ Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple a days, place in the crisper if longer storage needed.

Sweet Potatoes‐ Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate‐‐sweet potatoes don’t like the cold.

Tomatoes‐ Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.

Turnips‐ remove the greens (store separately) same as radishes and beets, store them in an open container with a moist cloth.

Winter squash‐store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Many growers say winter squashes get sweeter if they’re stored for a week or so before eaten.

Zucchini‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

Apples‐ store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage in a cardboard box in the fridge.

Citrus‐ store in a cool place, with good airflow, never in an air‐tight container.

Apricots‐ on a cool counter to room temperature or fridge if fully ripe

Cherries‐store in an airtight container. Don’t wash cherries until ready to eat, any added moisture encourages mold.

Berries-Don’t forget, they’re fragile. When storing be careful not to stack too many high, a single layer if possible. A paper bag works well, only wash before you plan on eating them.

Dates‐dryer dates (like Deglet Noor) are fine stored out on the counter in a bowl or the paper bag they were bought in. Moist dates (like Medjool) need a bit of refrigeration if they’re going to be stored over a week, either in cloth or a paper bag‐ as long as it’s porous to keeping the moisture away from the skin of the dates.

Figs‐ Don’t like humidity, so, no closed containers. A paper bag works to absorb excess moisture, but a plate works best in the fridge up to a week un‐stacked.

Melons‐ uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be in the fridge, an open container is fine.

Nectarines‐ (similar to apricots) store in the fridge is okay if ripe, but best taken out a day or two before you plan on eating them so they soften to room temperature.

Peaches (and most stone fruit)‐ refrigerate only when fully ripe. More firm fruit will ripen on the counter.

Pears‐ will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter, but fine in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.

Persimmon –Fuyu‐(shorter/pumpkin shaped): store at room temperature.–Hachiya‐ (longer/pointed end): room temperature until completely mushy. The astringentness of them only subsides when they are completely ripe. To hasten the ripening process place in a paper bag with a few apples for a week, check now and then, but don’t stack‐they get very fragile when really ripe.

Pomegranates‐ keep up to a month stored on a cool counter.

Strawberries‐ Don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day.


13 Superfoods for a Long and Happy Life

23rd April 2013   By Iryna Ostapets   Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Healthy eating is a good path to longevity. Many of us take supplements to add phytonutrients and minerals into the body. But the more nutritional needs you meet with your food consumption, the better the effects for your body. Consuming a variety of super-foods can provide the body with all the elements and nutrients that may be missing in your diet.
It was known from an ancient times that the best path to longevity is to comprise a good variety of foods crammed with vitamins and minerals. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have showed that healthy eating can decrease the risk of health diseases, cancer, diabetes and other infirmity. The Professor of Geriatrics at the University of Hawaii, Bradley Willcox also noted that the most beneficial diets rely heavily on fresh vegetables, fruits, and legumes — foods that are naturally lower in calories and packed with nutrients.
The below super-foods have the potential to hamper the aging process, reinforce the immune system and maintain blood glucose levels. They prevent the build up of free radicals that are responsible for the development of age-related diseases.


They are packed with antioxidants and natural compounds that assist to boost immunity. They contain anthocyanins which were confirmed by University of Georgia study to decrease the risk of colon cancer. Eating one or two servings of berries such blueberries, strawberries, cranberries or blackberries daily you can detain cognitive decline for older people.



These superfoods are versatile and a great source of healthy fats, protein vitamins and minerals. They can reduce the risk of cardiovascular and chronic diseases. Cashews, walnuts, almonds, peanuts and Brazil nuts are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids. CBS news informs that a handful of any nuts can benefit your health, enlarge brain power, manage stress, hamper inflammation and keep fit for a long time.



It has the highest level of Omega-3 fats that protect against heart diseases and strokes. Omega-3 combat inflammatory conditions, aging in cells and assist pull down blood pressure. Consuming two serving of fish can provide you with enough of Omega-3 fats. Tuna, salmon and other oily fish are in the list of the fish packed with abundant amount of these fatty acids.



Researches have pointed out these veggies have extra life-extending benefits such as sulphoraphane, indole and phytochemicals. These health-protecting compounds can fight free radicals and keep its anti-cancer features. Broccoli is low in calories and a good alternative for healthy salads and sandwiches.



They contain generous content of lycopene that is associated with a proven cancer fighter. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and A, fiber, potassium and folate. The National Institutes of Health reports tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants that can decrease the risk of cancers.

Olive Oil:

Great source of monounsaturated “good fat” and vitamin E. It has excellent anti-inflammatory features and is clearly associated with cancer prevention and brain power. Two tablespoons of olive oil per day can benefit your health. It is better not to consume it a lot as it is darn caloric.



They have the highest level of carbohydrates, resistant starch and fiber. Beans are excellent tool for cancer prevention, anti-diabetes and weight loss. They regulate blood sugar level, fight food cravings and decrease cholesterol level. Researchers found that the more fiber intake in your foods the less you are subject to breast cancer.



They are true fat sources that include a good variety of minerals, antioxidants, lignans, phytochemicals. Some seeds (flaxseed and sesame) have anti-cancer properties and versatile for health and brain health. Daily consumption of flaxseed can reduce the risk of breast cancer and the growth of their tumor cells.



The consumption of fermented organic soy can promote weight loss and relieve menopausal symptoms. They are rich in isoflavone that lowers the risk of prostate and breast cancer. Moderate soy intake can have a good impact on bones and heart.



A well-balanced diet rich in fruits promotes longevity. Most of fruits have a plenty of healing properties and benefits, but we should place a much emphasis on bananas. They are important sources of potassium, vitamin C and B6, magnesium, fiber and other nutrients. They are naturally free from cholesterol and fat and balance your digestive processes.



They are full of vitamin E, fiber and monounsaturated fat. Eating avocados assists pump enough magnesium and bolster your immune system. It lowers the level of “bad” cholesterol and increases your “good” cholesterol level. New York University Langone Medical Center reports avocados contain 13 mg of calcium that can help you make bones strong.


Dark Chocolate:

It has the antioxidant, flavonol, found in cocoa beans that can reduce the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Notice chocolate overeating can help you get extra calories. Dark chocolate ameliorates brain function as learning and memory ability.



It can be beneficial in boosting the immune system and includes a good amount of sulfur compounds that benefit heart health and lose weight. Garlic is crammed with antioxidants (vitamin C and selenium) that push out free radical from the body.
About the Author:
Iryna Ostapets is a health writer, blogger and health advocate who aims to help people achieve and maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. Passionate about healthy living and sport, she writes about natural health, nutrition, fitness, health tips and beauty at http://www.raipharmacies.com. An experienced Medical Writer, she has a Master’s Degree in English and advanced training in the medical field. Iryna continues to earn education certificates from the Australasian Medical Writers Association (AMWA).

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8 Ways To Eat Mindfully

By Chyna Smith   March 23, 2013

A journey to health should be gradual and fun. If you don’t believe that getting healthy can be exciting, wait until your body thanks you with more energy than usual and great skin. There’s no need to stress about trying to be healthy, because that’s counterproductive to your goal.

All you need to do is listen to your body after you’ve eaten and heed its advice. An instant headache, or the need to take a nap, for example, are all signals that something isn’t right.

Here are a few things to remember when looking for healthy meals or snacks that your body will love.

1. The more recognizable the ingredients, the better. You know when you read a label and there’s an ingredient that goes by “socio-chlor-phosphate,” and you wonder what on earth that could be? Me too. That’s definitely something our body will not thank us for.

2. Leave the fried stuff alone. Most of us have an abundance of omega-6 fatty acids in our diets, found in vegetable oils like canola, soy, and cottonseed, but not nearly enough omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like fish, walnuts, flax and chia seeds. Overconsumption of omega-6 fatty acids can lead to inflammation, which is associated with numerous health issues.

3. Spice up that steamed broccoli with freshly squeezed lemon, salt, pepper and garlic.

4. Dip everything! White bean dip and hummus complement almost any raw veggie.

5. You can still have French fries. Buy the potatoes (or even better… sweet potatoes), slice them like fries, add a little olive oil and your favorite seasoning, and throw them in the oven. Magic!

6. Your taste buds may being saying “yes” to that sweet black tea during lunch, but your body probably disagrees. Try herbal tea sweetened with honey instead.

7. When in doubt, always go for the brown stuff over the white. For example, if you’re thinking pasta, bread or rice, try sprouted wheat bread or pasta and brown rice. You’ll eat a lot less of it.

8. Season, season, season! Many people complain that eating healthy is boring. Well, I say spice it up! Stock your spice rack with basil, chipotle seasoning, chili powder, curry, cumin and red pepper flakes. This will give you so many possibilities.

The most important tip is to be committed to loving and caring for yourself at all cost. We all have those days when we desire food that’s less than ideal for our health. Make that conscious decision and vow to have a better day tomorrow. You deserve to be in a state of health where motivation, alertness, and clarity are all the norm. Think about it, then eat it.

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Work Stress: 5 Tension-Busting Tricks From Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Huffington Post     By Carolyn Gregoire     06/18/2013

If you’re stressed at work on a daily basis, you’re not alone: job-related stress in America is on the rise, with more than eight in 10 US workers saying that their jobs are stressing them out. Our unsustainable definition of success has created a culture of burnout, and it’s taking a toll on our well-being, creativity, productivity and corporate bottom lines.

And when it comes to getting through each workday with less stress, changing the way we work may begin with changing the way we think about work. Reframing our perspective can play a significant roll in reducing tension and anxiety, according to Dr. Frank Ghinassi, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.

“Our emotions start with our interpretation of events,” Ghinassi told the Huffington Post. “It’s not so much the facts that drive what we feel, it’s what we think about. It’s the cognitive interpretations we make about the events of our lives that ends up driving how we feel.”

Simple practices derived from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help. Unlike some other forms of therapy, CBT – an effective type of treatment for depression and anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health – focuses on a patient’s thoughts and beliefs, rather than her actions.

If you’re experiencing stress at work, try these five CBT-inspired strategies to bring new perspective to your day and reduce the tension, negativity, self-criticism that can keep you from doing your best and most fulfilling work.

1. Prioritizing & Letting Go

When daily tasks begin to pile up, our stress levels rise to meet the increasing demands. Pausing to prioritize these tasks and let go of those that are less important can be a powerful way of reducing stress, says Ghinassi.

“For many of us at work, we buy into the illusion that we are capable of doing all of the things that are asked of us in exactly the time frame we’re being asked,” says Ghinassi. “The first step is to reassess, cognitively, what our capacity is.”

To start, create a list of the 10-15 things that you need to accomplish that day, and rate how critical each task is. Three or four of the tasks will probably be absolutely crucial, and at least four or five will be comparatively unimportant. Then comes the letting go part: Accept that those few items at the bottom of the list are not only unlikely to ever be completed in the course of the day, but the truth of the matter is, they may not need to be done at all. Cross those items off the list and focus your attention on the most important matters.

2. Building An Oasis

When you feel your attention wandering and your mind getting caught up in loops of worries and stressful thoughts,
stepping away from your desk can help you center yourself and regain your focus.

Ghinassi advises taking a quick break to “reset” yourself whenever you start feeling stressed, whether twice a day or as often as every 45 minutes. Try finding a quiet conference room, outdoor space, break room or stairwell where you can be alone and engage in one to four minutes of a calming exercise — deep breathing, visualizing positive imagery, or listening to soothing music. (If you’re not sure where to start, try choosing from one of these breathing exercises.)

3. Using Probability

The project is going to flop. My boss is going to kill me. I’m going to get fired. I won’t be able to support my family.

Nearly all of us have been guilty, one time or another, of “catastrophizing” — a type of thinking in which every perceived slip-up or failure leads to our downfall. In addition to stressing us out, this type of black-and-white thinking (either things will work out as we want them to, or everything will go horribly wrong) can lead to a sense of impending doom that probably isn’t justified by the actual situation.

To keep these destructive thoughts at bay, Ghinassi suggests introducing probability into your thinking. When your mind starts spinning apocalyptic outcomes, ask yourself, “What’s the probability of something truly bad happening here?” In most cases, the probability will be very low. Then, once you’ve assessed the actual likelihood of a terrible outcome, ask yourself, “If there’s a one in 10 chance of the worst-case scenario happening, am I going to waste 30 minutes worrying about it? What do I feel that low-probability event deserves?”

When you frame it this way, Ghinassi explains, catastrophic thinking turns from a compulsion into a conscious choice. You have every right to worry about the situation for as long as you want, but the question becomes, is this the way you want to spend your time?

4. Mood Monitoring

This simple CBT exercise is an effective way to recognize and challenge negative thought patterns.

Gather a pen and piece of paper, and allot yourself exactly two minutes. During that time, make three columns on the paper. In the first, write down the stressful or upsetting event (“Monday at 2 pm: presentation to board members”). In the second, write down the feelings you’re experiencing in single words (unprepared, anxious) and rate them between 1 and 100, with 100 being completely overwhelming. In the third column, spend the rest of the two minutes writing every thought that’s going through your head.

Then fold the paper in half, and don’t look at it again until 24 hours have passed. Once you’ve gotten out of that emotional headspace and have some distance from the situation, look back at what you wrote.

“I guarantee you that what you’re going to see are a lot of distorted, inaccurate, black-and-white, catastrophic thoughts,” says Ghinassi. “We ask you to underline those and challenge them.”

The idea here is to recognize themes that come up again and again, to challenge the thoughts and words you use to describe stress-inducing situations, and to calibrate your emotional reactions to them.

5. Cognitive Flip

When you feel out of control in a situation, curb your stress levels by reminding yourself of what you can control. Ask yourself what concrete actions, small or large, you can take to improve a particular situation — even if you feel powerless, you can always control at least your own reactions. Focusing on what’s within your power will remind you that you do have the ability to shape your own outcomes.

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10 Health Benefits of Buckwheat

Diana Herrington   January 23, 2013

Contrary to its name, this fruit seed is not in any way related to wheat.
Buckwheat is a gluten free power food!
It is becoming very popular for many good reasons.
It is a highly nourishing, energizing and tasty food that can be eaten instead of rice or the usual porridge.

10 Health Benefits:

1. Best source of high-quality, easily digestible proteins.
This makes it an excellent meat substitute.
High protein buckwheat flour is being studied for possible use in foods to reduce plasma cholesterol, body fat, and cholesterol gallstones.

2.  Fat alternative. 
Buckwheat starch can also act as a fat alternative in processed foods.

3.  The high level of rutin is extracted from the leaves for medicine to treat high blood pressure.

4.  Non allergenic. 
Buckwheat hulls are used as pillow stuffing for those allergic to feathers, dust, and pollen.

5. May help diabetes.
New evidence has found that buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes according to Canadian researchers in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
With a glycemic index of 54, it lowers blood sugars more slowly than rice or wheat products.

6. Great for the digestion.
“The properties of buckwheat are: Neutral thermal nature; sweet flavor; cleans and strengthens the intestines and improves appetite. Is effective for treating dysentery and chronic diarrhea.”  According to Paul Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods (1993)

7. Chemical free.
Buckwheat grows so quickly that it does not usually require a lot of pesticides or other chemicals to grow well.

8.  Buckwheat is good at drawing out retained water and excess fluid from swollen areas of the body.
Read how to make a Buckwheat Plaster.

9.  Buckwheat is a warming food.
It is classified by macrobiotics as a yang food. It is great for eating in the cold winter months.

10.  Buckwheat contains no gluten and is not a grain.
It is therefore great for celiacs and those on grain free and gluten sensitive diets.


Singing, Dancing and Drumming Really Do Get You High

By Juliette Siegfried

Have you ever seen people singing, dancing, and drumming at a rock concert or a rave or techno party and thought, “These people must be high on drugs?” Well, as it turns out, they may just be high on singing, dancing, and drumming.

Those are the findings of a study conducted by University of Oxford psychologist Robin Dunbar, and published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology. Dunbar and his associates were performing experiments on pain thresholds and what affects them, and involved musicians in their research. They found that people who had been playing music together developed a much higher tolerance to pain, which indicates that they were producing more endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Interestingly enough, merely listening to music didn’t produce this effect. As Dunbar says, “We conclude that it is the active performance of music that generates the endorphin high, not the music itself.”

Group-participation music isn’t just a form of social bonding, it releases endorphins

In the first of their four experiments, Dunbar and his colleagues tested the pain thresholds of two groups of musicians – 12 drummers who play together on a regular basis, and 9 employees of a music store. The researchers had the drummers play together for 30 minutes and the store employees work while listening to “continuous, lively background music” for the same length of time, and then tested the members of each group, putting pressure on their non-dominant arms until they reported feeling pain. The drummers had a significantly higher pain threshold than the store employees. The most logical reason for this that the researchers could think of is that participating in the group drumming had triggered the production of endorphins, which act as a not only a natural opiate or painkiller, but also foster feelings of happiness and contentment.

The researchers then attempted to confirm their findings in other experiments. In one, they performed similar pain threshold tests on members of a church group that practiced “communal singing, accompanied by clapping and a great deal of upper body movement,” and compared them to a group of people participating in a prayer meeting that did not involve music. The charismatic church singers again had significantly higher pain thresholds than the possibly more pious but less musical Anglicans.

In a third test, they compared the pain thresholds of dancers with a group of musicians rehearsing. The dancers in this case had much higher pain thresholds than the musicians, which the researchers attribute to the start-and-stop nature of rehearsing. The musicians were not able to play long enough to create the “flow state” that seems to produce more endorphins. A final test compared people merely listening to either fast or slow classical music on headphones (but not participating in creating the music); they found no increase in pain threshold for either group.

So what is it about participatory music or dance that produces endorphins?

The researchers point out that in most cultures, rituals involving group singing, dancing, and drumming are important because they help to create and strengthen the bonds of society. Cooperating on the music or the dance helps to make people cooperate in other ways as well. This phenomenon is well-known, and may account for the presence of music and drumming in church or religious services, and in military settings. But no one has known before what the cause of this bonding is, so the finding that it may be related to the production of endorphins is new and potentially valuable.

Dunbar argues that the study’s findings provide some evidence that music generates the kind of endorphin “highs” that facilitate cooperation, and that make it possible for cultures to work together peaceably and survive. Practical medical applications of this obviously preliminary research are still a long way off, but don’t be surprised if someday you complain to a doctor about a pain in your back and instead of saying, “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning,” he says, “Take a break with my other patients playing music and dancing in the other room, and then we’ll check to see how severe your pain is afterwards.”