Nature News

Difference Between Table Salt and Unbleached Sea Salt?

en it comes to sodium, there are a lot of choices out there, but salt is salt, right? What is the difference between bleached table salt and organic sea salt? While lower prices seem to be enough to convince consumers to choose bleached table salt, there are health reasons why you should buy unbleached sea salt, even if it's not organic. Let's discuss the difference between bleached table salt and sea salt.

Unbleached Sea Salt

If you're basing your decision on looks alone, it seems that bleached white table salt looks more "appealing" than organic sea salt, which is usually a duller, off-white color. Of course, there's also always the price to consider. Unlike your average bleached table salt, sea salt is naturally unbleached and usually forms as large crystals in seaside beds. Dried naturally by the sun and wind, sea salt contains trace minerals that naturally occur in nature, while table salt has a lot of chemicals added in afterward. When sea salt is bleached, pouring agents are added, which eliminate many of the essential nutrients and chemicals that remain in especially organic sea salt.

Since bleached salt is processed, it is usually combined with artificial iodine and a non-caking agent, containing three synthetic chemicals overall: sodium, iodine, and chloride. While the nutritional profiles appear to be similar, unbleached sea salt naturally contains iodine, so it doesn't have to be removed during processing and then re-added afterwards. (Seems like unnecessary work, right?) Unbleached sea salt also naturally contains calcium, magnesium, and trace elements of iodine, selenium, and chromium. Unbleached sea salt also usually contains less sodium, but yields a higher salt flavor.

Disadvantages of Bleached Table Salt

  • Bleached table salt doesn't dissolve into room-temperature water like sea salt and therefore is not absorbed correctly into the human body. Improper absorption of too much sodium can lead to potentially serious health problems, like high blood pressure and kidney stones.
  • Unlike sea salt, table salt is basically created in a factory setting and processed with chemicals and additives.

Benefits of Unbleached Sea Salt

Magnesium Here in the United States, people consume too many foods that lack essential nutrients and minerals, especially magnesium. Unbleached sea salt contains magnesium and many great minerals that supplement the diets of modern people. The magnesium found in unbleached sea salt supports many body functions and can even improve nervous system and bone health. Healthy amounts of magnesium also help your body fight disease and lower blood pressure.

Iodine Most importantly, unbleached sea salt provides a natural source of true iodine, a mineral needed for cell metabolism to convert food to energy. Did you know that iodine naturally occurs in the ocean because the salty seawater draws out the mineral from rocks and soil? Bleached sea salt typically contains artificial iodine, which is obviously better than no iodine but nowhere near as beneficial as the real thing.

Chromium Unbleached sea salt is also a good source of chromium, an element the human body needs in very small amounts. Chromium assists with the metabolism of fats, insulin, and carbohydrates, helping the body maintain a stable blood sugar level, lessening chances of developing diabetes. Bleached salt, on the other hand, rarely contains any amount of chromium. Unbleached sea salt can also prevent muscle cramps.

Why Use Unbleached Sea Salt: Bottom Line

  • Our bodies need salt, so doesn't it make sense to choose salt in its most natural form, the way it is found in the environment?
  • Unbleached sea salt includes a variety of important nutrients that we often neglect from our daily diets.
  • To keep minerals intact, sea salt is usually hand-harvested and does not contain any unnecessary chemicals or potentially harmful additives.
  • With a less abrasive taste than most bleached table salts, sea salt does not leave your body needing essential minerals
  • You can use more sea salt without worrying too much about over-flavoring or worrying about your health

Where to Find Unbleached Sea Salt

Now you know the difference between table salt and unbleached organic uniodized sea salt. If you wondering where you can find unbleached sea salt and how to know it when you find it, keep a few things in mind. First consider the color, as natural unbleached sea salt will not be stark white. Real sea salt can come in a range of colors, from gray to beige to even pink! Obviously, make sure to read the labels, and steer clear of any salt that lists chlorine as an ingredient... It might sound silly to say, but salt that contains chlorine is out there!

What Vitamins Should I Take? Why You Should Take a Multivitamin

Though you wouldn't know it from looking at many Americans' diets, vitamins and minerals are a key part of a healthy diet. While eating the right kind of food to provide your body with the recommended daily value of nutrients is ideal, it is not always easy. If you know you're not getting the right amounts of vitamins vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, highly consider adding a daily multivitamin to your diet. Here's why.

In today's society most people are busy and constantly on-the-go, and do not always have time to make sure they are getting enough nutrients from the foods they eat. Though you may be able to get by without a proper intake of vitamins and minerals in your youth, maintaining a balanced diet full of essential nutrients is necessary for long-term health. You may not realize it, but vitamins and minerals are needed for normal body functions, such as cell growth, energy metabolism, enzyme synthesis, and keeping body systems functioning properly. Doctor recommended, multivitamin supplements can help your body get the nutrients it needs and reduce dietary deficiencies because they usually contain 100 or more of the recommended daily allowance.

Benefits of Vitamins and Minerals

Boost White Blood Cell Count and Immunity

Many vitamins help build up the body's natural defenses and offer increased protection from germs, bad bacteria, and fungus. For example, vitamin C works as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage and also assisting in infection control. Vitamin A plays a major role in building up the immune system and promotes the production of white blood cells that fight off infection.

Boost Energy Levels

Along with raising your white blood cell count, getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals will also boost your energy levels. If you feel a little tired all of the time for really no reason, you might have a vitamin deficiency. One of the easiest ways to start combating vitamin deficiency is to take a multivitamin, which will start building you back up to where you need to be. B vitamins--including vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin--help your body absorb energy from the food you eat. Vitamin B deficiency can cause fatigue, anemia, and weakness.

Disease Prevention

Vitamin deficiency can increase your risk of illness, whether mild or serious. Keeping up with your daily values of vitamins will also help prevent you from contracting a variety of chronic diseases. For example, not getting enough vitamin D can increase your risk of osteoporosis, cancer, and heart disease. Take a multivitamin and also try to steal a few minutes outside in the sunlight whenever you can!

Make Your Bones Stronger

Calcium and vitamin D work together to maintain bone health and help prevent osteoporosis in adults. Vitamin K also helps build bone strength. Get the vitamins you need and keep a healthy, balanced diet and you're less likely to break your bones.

What Multivitamin is Best for Me?

Men How much of each vitamin you need is actually somewhat dependent on your gender. For example, men do not need as much iron as women, so multivitamins for men contain less iron. You probably already get all the iron you need if you eat meat, like beef, pork, turkey, and shrimp on a regular basis. Most multivitamins for men do not contain any added iron, but instead have an increased amount of selenium and vitamin E, elements men need to prevent prostate issues.

Women Women need extra iron because they lose iron during menstruation, so a good multivitamin for women will usually include increased iron. To get more iron, eat more potatoes (with the skin), beans, and lentils. If you're of childbearing age, folic acid is another very important vitamin. Women should also select a multivitamin with extra vitamins A and D.

Children Many people think that children need large amounts of vitamins and minerals, but in fact many popular kid foods are already fortified with vitamins and minerals. For kids with growing bones, vitamin D is essential. Most children's multivitamins contain large amounts of it.

Individuals over age 60 As people get older, they start losing the ability to absorb certain nutrients, especially vitamin B-12. For this reason, multivitamins for senior citizens and older adults commonly contain more vitamin B-12 and vitamin K. Multivitamins designed for senior citizens usually contain less iron as it can be harmful to elderly individuals.

Honestly, the best way for you to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need is by keeping a balanced, healthy diet, but that can be very hard to do. A multivitamin is not a magic pill that will make up for a unhealthy diet, but taking a daily multivitamin will help you make up for meals when you eat out, go on vacation, or just don't eat as well as you would have liked to. To keep your body as healthy as possible, make sure you are trying your best to eat right and exercise often.

What are Parabens? Why Are Parabens Bad for You?

Over the last decade, there has been a renewed interest in all-natural and organic products, with everyday people trying to get away from using products full of chemicals and artificial ingredients in their home and body. There has been a lot of talk recently about parabens and how especially skin care products containing these chemicals should be avoided. Here's why.

What is Paraben? What Are Parabens?

Before we talk about why you should definitely steer clear of paraben-based skin care products, it probably would be helpful if you knew what a paraben is. Parabens are a group of chemicals that are used as a preservative in a wide variety of products, mostly in skin care. Typically inexpensive to produce, these chemicals are usually used as a preservative, preventing the growth of bacteria and fungi. Parabens are all man-made and do not occur in nature. What are parabens used for? Well, because parabens are cheap and dissolve well into other substances and absorb easily into the skin, they work as a great additive in non organic skin care products. The problem is, parabens are petroleum-based. Does absorbing petroleum into your skin sound like a healthy or good idea to you? As more and more people are becoming aware of the potential health risks that parabens pose, they are switching over to using all natural or organic skin care products.

Why Are Parabens Bad for You? Reasons to Avoid Paraben

If the idea of absorbing petroleum into your skin isn't alarming enough, here are some more reasons to avoid paraben and use only all natural lotions, organic soaps, and chemical free body washes. One of the most harmful ingredients in makeup, paraben is hazardous or even toxic for many reasons and affect people in different ways.

If you have sensitive skin, parabens might cause skin irritation, especially in children and babies. More serious skin conditions that are associated with parabens include allergic reactions, rosacea, and dermatitis. In addition to skin conditions, parabens have also been associated with early onset puberty in girls, immunotoxicity, premature aging of the skin, and the development of breast cancer. While popular and widespread, there are many reasons why you should avoid paraben, as science is still unsure of all of its possible affects on your health.

What Products Contain Parabens?

Parabens are found in many different beauty products, including shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics, moisturizers, and lotions. Very similar to paraben, many chapsticks contain petrolatum, causing some to wonder if chapstick is bad for you. They are also used in personal hygiene products such as toothpaste, deodorant, and shaving cream. Parabens are hard to avoid, as they're listed as ingredients on thousands of personal care products.

What Does "Paraben Free" Mean?

If a product is labeled paraben free, it does not contain any chemicals referred to as paraben. Don't worry: though they're often a little harder to find, there are toiletries out there that don't contain parabens. Instead of relying on parabens, lots of natural skin care companies use vitamins, essential oils, and botanical extracts as natural preservatives. These elements not only have antibacterial and antifungal properties, but they also provide health benefits to your skin. These all-natural skin care products also have a great shelf life of over a year and don't contain any potentially harmful chemicals. Why don't big companies use these natural preservatives? Well, it probably all comes down to cost. The real thing usually costs more than an artificial substitute, and that's why you are usually going to pay more for all-natural goods.

Benefits of Using Paraben Free Skin Care Products

  • Paraben free skin care products are safer because they do not put you at risk of potentially harmful effects.
  • Paraben free sunscreen allows your body to function at a more optimal level, not disrupting the reproductive or endocrine system or irritating the skin like paraben additives can.
  • Since all natural skin care products contain no paraben, they actually have the potential to truly heal your damaged, dry, or irritated skin, leaving it feeling fresh and moisturized. Natural skin care products can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and protect the skin.
  • Paraben free skin care products are usually light and non-greasy with pleasant scents that are not too overpowering (or even nauseating).

Still Not Convinced? Do a Paraben Free Test

If you still aren't convinced that paraben free is the way to go, do a test. Try a paraben free, all natural product and then test it against a similar product that does contain parabens. Once you do this simple test, you'll see that paraben free personal products stay on your body longer, causing you to have to use less of the product. While you might have to pay more initially for paraben free, having to use the products less might save you money in the long run, and cause you to ingest less chemicals than you normally would.

Different Names for Parabens: How to Know if a Product Contains Paraben

When you are searching for safer, more natural skin care products to replace tones that contain paraben, be wary, as not all products that are labeled natural or organic are necessarily paraben free. Check the labels, but just so you know, parabens go by a lot of different names, and it will be difficult to find a product that lists just "paraben" by itself in the ingredients list. To put it simply, basically any ingredient that contains terms like "ethyl," "butyl," "methyl" and "propyl" is a paraben, like "methylparaben" or "cocamidopropyl." Obviously, also avoid products that contain methylisothiazolinone, methylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben in the ingredient list. If you have additional questions, you can always contact the company for more information, though don't be surprised if they don't give you a straight answer...

What Are Parabens?

Now you know what parabens are and why paraben is bad for you. While skin care products with paraben are cheap, is it really worth the health risk? OrganicParaben free skin care products might cost a little more, but the health benefits are truly unknown. Of course, many people use bad skin care products full of chemicals and still live long and healthy lives. How much is the chance of a few extra years added to your life or remaining cancer free worth to you? If you want healthy skin for less, try this healthy honey scrub you can make at home. It's a lot cheaper than a really sugar scrub facial.

Do I Need Iodine? Why Do We Need Iodine?

While not as popular as Vitamin C or D, iodine is an important nutrient that we should consume everyday. Iodine is necessary for proper thyroid hormone production and tissue development. Iodine deficiency can lead to a number of health issues, including weight gain, high cholesterol, fatigue, and even mental illnesses like depression.

In the early days of medicine, iodine was successfully used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is now known that iodine relaxes the blood vessel, which lowers the blood pressure.

Iodine deficiency can have serious effects on the body. The symptoms include: abnormal weight gain, mental retardation, poor levels of perception, depression, decreased fertility, coarse skin, fatigue, constipation, goiter, and chances of still birth in pregnant women.

Recent health studies are again showing how essential iodine really is. A recent study conducted at University of Washington connects higher intakes of iodine with good health. In the past, Americans consumed a lot more iodine than they do now. Years ago, iodine a regular ingredient in bread and dairy products, making it a lot easier to get your recommended intake. Today, iodine has unfortunately been replaced with bromide, a substance that actually competes with your body's iodine level. This makes the average American's iodine deficiency even worse.

Do You Need Iodine?

Benefits of Iodine
  • Iodine helps your thyroid gland function properly by assisting with hormone production, which directly influences basic metabolic rate. These hormones affect heart rate, body weight, blood pressure, and temperature.
  • Iodine helps you maintain healthy teeth, hair, and nails.
  • Iodine plays an essential role in helping you maintain optimal levels of energy by effectively using the calories you eat and reducing the amount converted to excess fat.
  • Iodine aids in the normal growth of reproductive organs and assists in regulating blood sugar and prevents and treats diabetes.
  • Iodine removes toxic substances that can be harmful to the body, such as lead and mercury. It also prevents the production of harmful bacteria in the stomach.
  • Iodine can reduce the effects of certain medical conditions, such as fibrocystic diseases, ovarian cysts, and cancers.
  • Iodine is essential for the health of the mammary glands and prevents the growth of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors in breast tissues.
  • Iodine has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties and promotes immune function.
  • Iodine is essential for the health of the mammary glands and prevents the growth of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors in breast tissues.

Proper iodine levels may also lower your chances of breast cancer. 30 years ago when iodine consumption was twice as high as now, breast cancer occurred in only one out of 20 women. Today, however, one in seven women will develop breast cancer. Since iodine is no longer included in our bread or dairy products, iodized salt is our major source of iodine. Research indicates that 45 percent of American households use iodine-free salt. In addition, because of the obsession with salt reduction in the diet, there has been a 65 percent reduction in salt consumption, especially among elderly people. As a result, the number of people with moderate to severe iodine deficiencies has more than quadrupled in the last 20 years.

Along with preventing breast cancer, there is also a growing amount of evidence suggesting that proper iodine consumption may play a major role in preventing atherosclerosis and thus heart attack and stroke risk. Health researchers first noticed this trend when studying the population of Finland in 1960. Before 1960, there was a considerable difference in cardiovascular disease rates between eastern and western Finland, with more heart issues occurring in eastern Finland. Why?

Of all the factors examined--including fat and cholesterol intake--the only considerable difference in the diets of the two regions was that western Finland consumed much more iodine. Death from a heart attack was 3.53 times more likely in people with goiter, a health issue symptomatic of iodine deficiency. The evidence linking iodine deficiency with heart problems doesn't stop there. In 1970, yet another study was conducted that found that those with the highest iodine intake had the lowest incidence of cardiovascular disease rates.

Iodine and Hyperthyroidism

But you don't have to look to just Finland to see that iodine plays a key role in good health. Developing nations with the greatest iodine deficiency also have the highest heart disease and stroke rates. High rates of heart disease and atherosclerosis are also connected with hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function. In one study, even women having hypothyroidism with no obvious symptoms had a 3.1-fold increase in heart attacks. Animal research has reinforced the findings of these suggestive clinical studies. Animals ingesting the "wrong kind of fat" routinely developed atherosclerosis. However, if iodine was supplemented, the occurrence of atherosclerosis dramatically reduced.

Those suffering from hypothyroidism usually have higher cholesterol levels, including LDL-cholesterol. One important study indicated that adolescents with high cholesterol levels and normal thyroid hormone levels saw a fall in their cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol back to normal when placed either on iodine alone or iodine plus thyroid hormone (T4).

While supplementing iodine is a beneficial to the body, too much iodine can be very harmful. Consuming more than 2,000 mg can lead to thyroid papillary cancer, and individuals suffering from kidney conditions or tuberculosis are at a high risk for other detrimental effects. Additionally, if you have any type of medical condition that causes swelling or water retention, be careful not to consume too much salt. It is recommended to speak to your doctor before starting on any type of supplement.

Foods that Naturally Contain Iodine

All of this scientific research really goes to show 2 things in particular: (1) iodine is an essential part of our daily diets, and (2) getting enough iodine can prevent a number of very significant health problems. If you want to naturally increase your daily amount of iodine, try eating more iodine-rich foods like seafood, especially seaweed, as it is a great natural source of iodine. If you can't see yourself eating seaweed wraps everyday, consider adding a simple iodine nutritional supplement to your diet. You never know, but you could see positive changes in your health and the way you feel immediately...

Shower Head Filters: Why You Should Use A Shower Water Filter

We take showers to get clean, but have you ever wondered how pure your shower water really is? Research shows that some chemicals commonly found in shower water can cause health problems when absorbed into the skin or inhaled into the lungs. Having clean shower water may have a larger effect on our health than we realize, and it's easy to get cleaner water with a shower water filter.

Chlorine Filter Shower Head

How clean is your shower water? As a society, we are getting better at ensuring the purity of the water we drink, but often mistakenly forget about the quality of our cleaning water, probably because we're not directly internalizing it. Some statistics indicate that we absorb 100 times more chlorine in a shower lasting ten minutes than we do from drinking a gallon of water containing the same amount of chlorine.

One simple way you can effectively reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in your shower water is by installing a shower water filter. Shower head chlorine filters help you conserve and save money on water, decrease the amount of harmful chemicals in your cleaning water, and also reduce the amount of air pollution in your home. Shower filters are designed to handle high temperatures and elevated water pressure while providing consumers with an enjoyable shower experience. Most shower water filters decrease the amount of free chlorine that directly hits your skin, and quality shower filters typically remove about 90 percent of free chlorine from your water.

Designed to cleanse your water of chlorine and other harmful chemicals, shower head filters come in a wide range of types, designs and price points. Many shower head filters use special filter technology like reverse osmosis to remove unwanted chemicals from the water source. Typically, people notice a major difference in the first few weeks of using a shower filter. One major benefit experienced by many with shower filters is the return or increase of elasticity of the skin and a softer, less "straw" like texture to the hair.

Benefits of Using A Shower Water Filter

  • Shower head filters are a simple and efficient way to decrease your exposure to dangerous chemicals like chlorine. A Chlorine Filter Shower Head is a good choice.
  • You hair and skin will become softer and healthier when not exposed to the drying effects of chlorine in particular. Your hair will become shinier and easy to manage.
  • Removing chemicals from your water decreases the incidence of skin rashes and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Your body will be more able to retain natural moisture, so you won't need to use expensive lotions and moisturizers as often. You skin will also look more supple.
  • Filtered water helps decrease the risk of asthma and the development of other respiratory problems that commonly occur from inhaling chlorine.
  • Since your water will be free of chemicals, you reduce your chances of falling victim to serious illnesses, including cancer.
  • Filtered water helps improve energy levels and overall well being, since overexposure to unnatural substances and chemicals are a common cause of fatigue.
  • Since water filters decrease the incidence of various health conditions, you save money on your water and healthcare bills.

Shower Head Filters

First off, get you tap water tested so you can get a better understanding of the types and amount of chemicals in your shower water. This will help you decide on what water filter you should choose. Make sure that the filter you choose meets specific standards and is certified to remove contaminants.

If you don't have the extra money to buy a shower water filter or don't think you really need one, try sticking with cold showers. You may not realize it, but hot showers pose a bigger health risks than cold ones. Heating up chlorine can spark the development of chloroform, a recognized carcinogen, that can then infiltrate your air supply, causing asthma and other respiratory problems. The heat from the hot shower also causes your pores to open and absorb more potentially harmful chemicals. Also, rethink the type of skin care products and cleaners you use to clean your bathroom as well as your body. Try to find all-natural skin care products and cleaning supplies made from plant-based ingredients and avoid products with artificial scents.

Will Beeswax Become Scarce if Natural Honey Bee Populations Are Diminished?

Honeybees play a critical role in the agricultural economy of the world. It has been estimated that of every three bites of food eaten anywhere in the world, one of those bites owes its existence to a pollinator. And the most prolific pollinators, of course, are the honeybees.

In addition to being essential pollinators, honeybees contribute many products directly to our lives. One of the primary honeybee products we use daily is beeswax. Many health care products, especially those for the skin, contain beeswax and make use of its emollient, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. Beeswax is also used to make dripless, smokeless candles. These candles are allergy-free and even purify the air with the honey-like aroma that they give off when burned. Many other around-the-home usages of beeswax are so common that we hardly think of them. For example, many furniture and shoe polishes or construction lubrications are beeswax-based. Rare uses of beeswax include surgical bone wax which prevents bone surfaces from bleeding during surgery.

Because beeswax has such a wide scope of uses, demand for it worldwide is more than we realize. For example the EU imports about six thousand tons of beeswax annually, most of it going to Germany, France, and the UK. In fact much of the world’s beeswax is produced in developing countries and imported into rich countries. The U.S. alone imports 2,195 tons of beeswax annually.

Despite the growing demand for honeybee products, the sad reality is that natural honeybee populations are on the rapid decline. Even managed honeybee colonies dropped in number from five million around 1940 to just two and a half million today. The decline of honeybee populations worsened around the 1980s with the coming of tracheal mites and varroa to the United States. Over the last ten years honeybee population declines have been exacerbated by increased mite and virus attacks in addition to the indiscriminate use of synthetic pesticides in agriculture. From 2006 to 2011 alone, bee populations decreased by thirty-three percent every year.

There is no question but that as the natural honeybee populations continue to plummet, the flood of natural beeswax available on the market will start to dry up. Bees store their honey in hexagon-shaped cells that are “capped” on the ends with white beeswax. The honey and wax are typically harvested at the same time. Thus the number of bees, the size of the colony, the number of cells built to store honey, and the amount of beeswax produced are all directly proportional. In other words, the more bees, the more beeswax they will produce.

As the number of honeybee colonies and the amount of beeswax produced continue to drop, prices of beeswax will likely rise. No doubt there will be some slackening of the market demand for beeswax as many industries scramble to find substitutes. However, many of the applications of beeswax will not allow for substitution. This non-negotiable need for natural beeswax is especially the case where beeswax is used for its medicinal and health-care properties.

Already enterprising companies are developing “synthetic beeswax.” Because the great appeal of beeswax-based products consists of the fact that beeswax is a natural ingredient, it remains to be seen if health and beauty products manufactured from synthetic beeswax will take off and really be accepted among America’s consumers. But even if the public does accept synthetic-beeswax-based products, the fact remains that many of the health benefits of beeswax are found only in the authentic, natural product.

Benefits of Sea Salt: Unbleached, Organic, and Non-Iodized

As Americans become more health-conscious, sea salt is becoming more and more popular. Many people choose sea salt as an alternative to regular table salt because of its many health benefits, especially when it's unbleached, organic, and non-iodized.

What is Unbleached Sea Salt?

Allowing seawater to naturally evaporate by the sun and wind creates unbleached sea salt. The water is typically collected in large ponds and when it evaporates, the salt remains. The salt is purified, but it does not undergo any processing and there are no added synthetic ingredients or harmful chemicals. Unbleached sea salt contains all the minerals you would see in seawater.

Natural Minerals Found in Sea Salt

Organic unbleached sea salt is mainly made up of sodium and chloride, but it also contains trace minerals that are needed for healthy functioning of the human body. The trace elements include magnesium, iron, potassium, iodine, calcium, sulfur, zinc, phosphorus, silicon, copper, fluoride, and carbon. In general, if the sea salt has a rich color, it is full of a variety of minerals. Some sea salts are gray and others look pink. The color mostly depends on where the salt came from. Unbleached sea salt does not contain any other ingredients that do not naturally occur in nature. So, there are no additives, synthetic ingredients, or anti-caking agents.

Health Benefits of Sea Salt

  • Unbleached, natural sea salt helps regulate the body's water content to keep you in optimal health.
  • Sea salt contains the trace elements for proper functioning and these minerals cannot be found in food or nutritional supplements in a form that can be used effectively by the body.
  • Sea salt naturally helps build a strong immune system so you have the ability to fight off common illnesses and allergens.
  • Sea salt helps decrease inflammation that occurs in the respiratory system, which helps you breathe easier and reduces the effects of asthma and other breathing conditions.
  • Sea salt can help you lose weight because it assists in creating digestive juices so food is digested at a faster rate and there is less buildup in your gut, which can in the end lead to weight gain.
  • Since unbleached sea salt has not been processed under high heat and still contains its essential minerals, it is alkalizing to the body. It can help prevent high acid levels, which decreased the risk for serious medical conditions.
  • Unbleached sea salt can help maintain heart health and decrease high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and regulate pulse. In turn, sea salt can prevent more serious conditions like heart attacks and strokes.
  • Sea salt can help improve the functioning of the brain by helping nerve cells process information and assisting with removal of toxins from brain cells.
  • Unbleached sea salt can decrease the need for insulin by assisting in the maintenance of ideal sugar levels. Salt is a key component of the diet for diabetics or those at risk for the condition.
  • Using sea salt in the bathtub can help ease dry and itchy skin and reduce the effects of more serious conditions like psoriasis or eczema. The salt helps open your pores and hydrates the skin.
  • Studies have shown that sea salt is helpful in treating many types of depression. It helps maintain two key hormones, melatonin and serotonin, that help individuals effectively handle stress and sleep better at night.

Putting all of the health benefits aside, the taste of unbleached sea salt is incomparable to any other type of salt, too. Do a taste test and you'll see that it tastes sweeter and "cleaner" than table salt without all of those bitter tasting chemical additives. Since the flavor is stronger, you won't use as much, meaning that the added cost of buying a higher quality product will even out over time. Now that you know all the health benefits of sea salt, what are you waiting for?

Iodine & Breast Cancer: Can Iodine Cure or Prevent Breast Cancer?

Most people may know that iodine is good for you, but they don't take the next step and make sure that they add it into their daily diets. Iodine is not only necessary for proper thyroid hormone production and tissue development, but getting the right amount of iodine may also lower your chances of breast cancer.

In the past, Americans consumed a lot more iodine than they do now. In fact, iodine was a staple ingredient in bread and also included in many popular dairy products, but that's all changed now. Today, the iodine has been replaced with bromide, which competes in the body for iodine, thereby making the deficiency even worse.

It looks like our decreased intake of iodine over the years has affected the general health of the American public. 30 years ago when iodine consumption was twice as high as now, breast cancer occurred in only 1 in 20 women. Now as many as one out of seven women will develop breast cancer.

Can Iodine Prevent Breast Cancer?

How does iodine prevent breast cancer? Most doctors believe that iodine is only used by the thyroid. The cells lining the milk ducts of the breast contain special iodine pumps that concentrate iodine in the breast, indicating that proper daily amounts of iodine are vital to breast health.

Dr. Miller is a professor of cardiovascular surgery at the University of Washington. His fascinating study makes a compelling case for higher intakes ofdaily iodine for good health. Dr. Miller points out that one hundred years ago only 3 percent of women had fibrocystic disease of the breast, a disorder in which the breast is filled with painful cysts. Incredibly, 90 percent of women today suffer from this disorder. It has been shown that putting female mice on an iodine-free diet quickly produces fibrocystic breast disease, and that adding iodine rapidly cures the condition.

Not convinced that low iodine levels may contribute to the development of breast cancer? Another study published in 1993 in the Canadian Journal of Surgery found that iodine relieved the signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease in 70 percent of women sufferers. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving over 600 women.

Studies done on animals have also shown that getting the right amount of iodine can prevent breast cancer. In one study, researchers exposed rats to a powerful carcinogen (cancer causing agent) that has been known to produce breast cancer in a high percentage of animals. Rats given iodine before being exposed to the cancer agent had a much higher resistance to breast cancer formation.

Cure for Breast Cancer?

We can even look at demographics to see the important role that iodine plays in our health. Why is it that Japanese women have the lowest incidence of breast cancer in the world and American women the highest? On average, Japanese women consume 50 times more iodine a day than American women, usually in the form of kelp, chlorella, and red algae. They also have the lowest fat intake and the highest intake of flavonoids (fruits and vegetables) and omega-3 oils. While we can't come right out and say matter of factly that high iodine intake will prevent breast cancer, present studies are showing that it will definitely improve your chances of staying cancer free.

Iodine and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one specific time that iodine supplementation in highly recommended due to developing child relying on the production of thyroid hormones for proper bran development and thyroid functioning. If a mother suffers from iodine deficiency, the developing fetus may suffer from brain damage, hearing problems, inadequate growth, and speech disabilities. Pregnant women should consume at least 150 micrograms of iodine a day. A few factors lower iodine levels including some types of food, like pastas and bread and chlorinated water, so pregnant women should not consume large amounts of these items.

How to Get More Iodine in Your Diet

If you are deficient in iodine, you should add foods that are full of iodine to your diet. Examples of iodine rich foods include milk, cranberries, seaweed, strawberries, shrimp, navy beans, yogurt, and potatoes. Iodized salt is also a main source of iodine. You can also get more iodine by taking a supplement that contains between 12.5 mg and 50 mg of iodine.

Iodine is important to the health of your whole body, not just your thyroid. Modern health studies have shown that a number of tissues in the body have a much greater requirement for iodine than the thyroid. Iodine is present in every cell of the body. It is imperative for optimal health.

Will Eating More Raw Honey Improve Your Health?

Raw honey is different from most honey as it does not undergo any processing, heating, or pasteurization. Raw honey is often used as a natural sweetener instead of sugar, but what you may not know is it also offers health benefits due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Eating more raw honey can improve your health, often used to sooth sore throats, allergies, and constipation while also increasing your energy levels.

How Raw Honey Can Help Against Sore Throats

Raw honey contains solid antibiotic properties, so it is effective at killing certain types of bacteria that cause common sore throats. It also coats the throat and decreases irritation and discomfort. To create a special tea to ease a sore throat, combine organic honey, slices of lemons, and slices of ginger in a jar, place the lid on the jar, and put it in the fridge. The ingredients will mix to form a jelly-like substance. Spoon the jelly into a heat-safe container and top it with boiling water. You can store the mixture in the fridge for two to three months.

How Raw Honey Can Help Against Allergies

If you are suffering from seasonal allergies, consuming raw honey can help reduce the effects. The way it works is similar to vaccines, as raw honey often contains spores from common allergens. Eating small amounts of the spores can help your body get used to the allergen and decrease the likelihood of a response by the immune system. Since the amount of the spores in raw honey is low, the generation of antibiotics by your body should not prompt symptoms related to an allergic reaction, like sneezing and watery eyes.

How Raw Honey Can Help with Constipation

Increasing the amount of water you drink often treats constipation, and raw honey is known to absorb and hold a great amount of water. In result, raw honey helps fecal matter remain soft and moist when traveling through the digestive system. It also serves as a lubricating substance to encourage the body to produce a bowel movement. Raw honey is also digested easily, and it promotes optimal performance of the kidneys and intestines to prevent constipation altogether. To relieve constipation, you can table one tablespoon of raw honey three times daily.

For faster relief, you can eat 10 grams of honey first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, while refraining from consuming anything else for a minimum of an hour afterward. For longer relief, you can make an herbal tea with raw honey and lemon juice and drink it every morning on an empty stomach for at least a week.

Use Raw Honey to Boost Your Energy

If you are in need of a pick-me-up, Florida organic raw honey is very effective in providing an energy boost. Raw honey is an excellent natural form of carbohydrates that provide energy to our bodies. The glucose contained in honey is quickly broken down by the body, which results in an instant increase in energy. On the other hand, the body takes longer to break down the fructose in raw honey, so you will have longer sustained energy.

Additionally, if you are experiencing fatigue during physical activity, the natural sugars in raw honey can help prevent you from wearing out too quickly. So, before beginning exercise, take a spoonful of raw honey energy to give yourself the ability to maximize your workout. Also, if you are feeling tired in the morning, try replacing caffeine with raw honey for an invigorating gush of energy. Honey is effective for both active individuals as well as people who seek higher energy levels throughout the day.

All Natural Sunscreen: Best Sunscreen for the Face

the United States, skin cancer is the most widespread kind of cancer, with over one million people diagnosed with the disease every year. When out in the sun or on the beach, you must use a good all natural sunscreen that works to protect your skin, especially on the sensitive and easily damaged skin of the face. What is the best sunscreen for the face?

Getting some sun has become an almost controversial pasttime in recent years. Should you stay inside or soak up as much sun as we can? No matter what some dermatologists want to tell you, the body needs the sun to survive. The importance of vitamin D, which actually is a hormone, cannot be ignored. Having the right amount of Vitamin D in our bodies protects us from something as serious as cancer to a common cold. Whether you like it or not, the best way to get your share of vitamin D is from the sun, but there are some things you can do to get the most out of your sunbathing experience.

When and How to Get the Best Sun

The best way to get some sun is by exposing as much skin as possible for 20 minutes every morning, preferably before 10AM. If you want to spend more time in the sun without damaging your skin, make sure you're maintaining the optimal levels of certain anti-oxidants, such as superoxidase dismutase, SOD for short, and astaxanthin.

If you are going to be in the sun for longer periods of time, it is always a good idea to protect the skin with chemical free sunscreen. Unfortunately, certain chemicals found in your average sunscreen have been proven to cause skin cancer, exactly what you're trying to avoid by wearing it! Sadly, the same goes for almost all popular personal products, including moisturizers, body wash, lotions, and shampoos.

Always check labels before buying sunscreen. If any of the following ingredients are listed, do yourself a favor and put the bottle back on the shelf: parabens, PABA (octyl-dimethyl padimate-O, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, sodium laurel sulfate, SLS, phenol carbolic acid, acrylamide, OMC (octylmethoxy cinnamate), toluene (benzoic or benzyl butylated hydroxtoluene), propylene glycol which is anti-freeze, PEG, polysorbates laureth, oxybenzone, or ethoxlated alcohol.'s Goddess Garden organic sunscreen has a very high EWG rating as the best all-natural sunscreen.

While you may think all sunblock is created equal, it is best to choose an all natural sunscreen or even organic instead of a cheap lotion made with bad chemicals that may actually contribute to long-term skin damage. Chemical sunscreen contains ingredients that are absorbed into the skin and linked to various health issues, such as the disruption of hormones and skin irritation. And, sunscreens that contain chemicals often take up to 30 minutes after application to start working. That means your skin is exposed to the sun without protection leading to burning and damage from UV rays. Additionally, over time the chemicals in these sunscreens can break down into free radicals, also known as carcinogens. Using natural sunscreen that provides protection from harmful UV rays, but does not contain dangerous chemicals is the best way to protect you and your family.

Why Use Natural Sunscreen for the Face?

Natural sunscreen is made with ingredients that occur naturally in the environment, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients create a physical barrier against UV rays and do not permeate into the skin or bodily tissues. Many products use shea butter, herbs, and other effective natural ingredients to provide the best possible, natural alternatives for your skin.

Benefits of Natural Sunscreen

Since natural sunscreens do not contain harmful chemicals, they do not absorb into the skin and cause health issues. The titanium dioxide is coated so it does not absorb into the skin, as it acts a shield instead. In addition to sunscreen benefits, zinc oxide contains healing, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial aspects. If you have allergies or sensitive skin, you are less likely to have a reaction to natural sunscreen that does not contain common allergens.

All natural sunscreens provide full-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, and the minerals start working immediately. Natural sunscreens are great products for decreasing sun damage to skin, fighting skin problems, like acne, and reducing the look of skin aging. They do not clog the pores and work to nourish and protect the skin. Also, natural sunscreen can be worn every day without the worry of chemical absorption. Another benefit of natural sunscreens is they do not release chemicals into the environment that can cause pollution to Earth's natural resources.

Bad Chemicals Used in Sunscreen Lotion and Sunblock

When choosing the best natural sunscreen products, it is essential to stay away from those that claim to be natural, but contain some harmful ingredients. Benzophenone-3, also known as oxybenzone, is a widely used chemical in sunscreen because of its effectiveness in absorbing UV rays. This chemical easily absorbs into the skin and collects in fatty tissues for long lengths of time. Health Research has shown that this chemical can disrupt hormone activity and cause other effects on the body. Other bad chemicals to avoid include: homosalate, octyl-methoxycinnamate, and 4-methyl-benzlidene camphor. Be sure to always look at the label before purchasing a "natural" sunscreen to make sure it does not contain any of these or other harmful elements and really is good for the face.

What is the Best Natural Sunscreen for the Face?

When looking for the best natural sunscreen for the face especially, make sure to consult the labels and only consider products with at least 70 percent of natural ingredients. Also, consider options that are organic and do not contain bad preservatives or fragrances. MoreNature's organic sunscreen for the face line is chemical-free and waterproof and will protect the delicate skin of the face. Our sunscreen lotion lasts a long time, is relatively cheap for top quality, and includes 92 percent organic ingredients, the highest level of organic sunscreen available. Our healthy sunblock contains no whitening elements and are gentle on the skin. The Organic Waterproof Sunscreen and Organic Waterproof Facial Sunscreen both provide SPF 30 protection.

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