Body pH – Why Care?

January 30, 2012


Hello, again, Enota Friends!

Lots of us remember taking chemistry in high school or college; and, most of us have had our physician check the pH of our blood or urine,  but do we really understand what it means?

Moms and scientists around the world tell us that we should eat at least five vegetables daily.  But, how many of us really do it?  And,  how many of us understand why it’s advised. How can we do this when our lives are lived on-the-run and on the road?   Increasing stress-related medical conditions in the world’s population points out that our overscheduled lives are unhealthy.

A typical breakfast for many people consists of  orange juice, toast, honey,  sweet rolls,  muffins,  waffles,  pancakes,  etc.,  all of which contain huge amounts of sugar and simple carbohydrates.  This promotes high levels of yeast to grow inside the body.  Traditional high protein breakfasts such as  eggs,  bacon,  sausage,  etc. also compromise the gastrointestinal system and lead to higher acid levels in our body.

As a result, many people nowadays suffer from  acidosis, which is the condition of having too much acid in the system .  Everything we eat  influences our body pH level.   By consuming acid-forming or acidic food,  as noted above,  our body is continuously fighting to neutralize the excessive acid and  retain pH balance.    Symptoms of a pH imbalance  include weight problems as well as other health conditions such as allergies,  arthritis,  acne,  even heart attacks!

Most American diets are  acid forming.  Our bodies are built to withstand some acidity,  but it’s a problem when our bodies can no longer process so much acidity from the foods we eat.  In addition to diet, other factors such as stress cause us to be even more acidic. Proper digestion is,  of course,   essential to the proper functioning of our bodies.    We tend to take our digestive tract for granted, thinking it’s a simple process… food in… nutrients to cells… wastes out…  However, when you take a closer look at digestion  you realize that the process is fairly complex.

One element of digestion that is seldom discussed is the importance of keeping the body’s cells alkaline.  The pH level of your body is very influential during  every step of the digestion process.  The stomach is designed to be acidic;  our stomachs require acidity for certain digestive actions including digesting proteins. The stomach’s acidity also protects the digestive tract from germs and pathogens.    When we eat alkaline foods, the stomach produces more hydrochloric acid which keeps the pH of the stomach acidic.

However, the rest of the gastrointestinal tract requires an alkaline environment.  When the food reaches the small intestines this is where most of the nutrient absorption occurs.  To neutralize the stomach acid, the liver secretes bile.  Meanwhile the food mixes with enzymes such as lactase, sucrase and maltase,  all of which are secreted from the alkaline mucosal membranes.

Our bodies are designed to know how to maintain  the proper acid and alkaline levels  for proper digestion. But when we take products such as antacids, this can mess up this balance,  resulting in poor nutrition.  The key is to maintain enough of an alkaline environment in the first place so that medications and antacids won’t be necessary!

While acidity is beneficial to your stomach,  if the rest of your body gets too acidic,  it can be harmful for the digestive tract.  With too much acidity a variety of issues can result,  including toxicity, weight gain and the creation and storage of fats.   (In fact,  fat is created to store acids and toxins) .  On the other hand, when an alkaline environment is maintained in the body,  diseases are less likely to form.

Fortunately there are alkaline foods that can keep your body’s  pH balance at an optimal level.    What you need to do is alkalize your body pH to restore good health and nutrition.  The over-acidification of your body can be reversed by creating a proper nutritional balance of alkaline-forming and acid-forming foods in your diet.

An alkaline way of life is the perfect start to restore your overall health. By eating an alkalizing pH diet,   your body’s pH level will gradually be balanced.  When the nutrients of alkaline foods get into your bloodstream,  every cell in your body will be regenerated. An alkaline  helps  boost your energy levels,  improve your skin,  reduce allergies and enhance mental clarity.

Also, when alkaline pH balance is achieved, your body  will instinctively drops to its ideal weight. As soon as the acidic environment is eliminated, there will be no need for new fat cells to form.   The remaining fat in your body is no longer needed to store acid wastes,  and it will melt away.  An alkaline way of life will restore good health.   You will  see and feel the difference!

We hope you have a better understanding of your body’s pH balance. Next time we’ll talk about specific alkaline foods to eat in order to restore the optimum pH balance in your body.   And, remember… for a healthy and relaxing experience, come visit us here at Enota.  Call and book your reservation for a beautiful vacation experience.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180, Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966 email: enota@enota.com

official web site: http://www.enota.com

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Palm Reading, Anybody?

January 27, 2012


Greetings, Enota Family!

No, we’re not suggesting that you go to a psychic reader or buy yourself a crystal ball…  Instead,  let’s look at the scientific reasons why you might want to take a good look at your hands.  A well-trained physician or  RN will tell you that your health can be read by taking a serious look at your hands.  Today’s blog post will highlight how your hands reflect your health, and will go into some specific conditions and how they are reflected  “in the palm of your hand”.  What if taking a look at your palms – and your fingers – could help you discover early signs of diseases you didn’t realize you had?   Your hands can tell you a lot about circulation, hormones, certain organs, thyroid function, and your nutrition.

Seven Hand Clues to Overall Health:

1.  Blue fingertips:

Blue-tinged fingertips can be a sign of Raynaud’s disease, which is a circulatory system disorder.  Fingertips might also feel numb, or could be grayish-white rather than blue, and the hands will be cold.   Raynaud’s syndrome  occurs when there are sudden temporary spasms of the blood vessels.  The narrowed arteries cause decreased blood circulation to the hands and fingers.  This condition is fairly common – about 10 % of the population has this condition.  It is more common in women than men, and is worsened with cold weather as well as with stress.

Sudden changes in temperature, such as taking an item out of the freezer, can bring on a Raynaud’s attack, so be aware of this effect.  Wear gloves for freezer duty as well as when you go outside in cold weather, since cold is one of the major triggers for Raynaud’s.

Raynaud’s syndrome can restrict circulation over time to the point of tissue damage,  so it’s important not to ignore symptoms.   The best way to prevent Raynaud’s is to make lifestyle changes to keep your circulation healthy.  Smoking and caffeine both constrict blood vessels, so quit smoking and cut down on caffeine intake.   Aerobic exercise also increases your circulation and will help prevent Raynaud’s attacks.

2. Blotchy red palms

Medically known as palmar erythema,   red palms over a long period of time may well be a sign of liver diseases, including cirrhosis of the liver and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.  Inflammation of the liver gradually impairs its function so it is no longer able to adequately flush waste products out of the body.  This results in increased hormones which, in turn, cause the blood vessels in the hands and feet to dilate, making the redness visible through the skin.Other signs of liver disease include  swollen legs and abdomen, prominent veins on the upper torso and abdomen, and fatigue.  If you have these symptoms, consult your physician for further evaluation.

 ***  An exception to the red palm rule is pregnancy;  about 50% of pregnant women will experience temporary red palms during the pregnancy due to increased blood flow.

3. Clubbed Fingers

Thickened fingertips that angle out above the last knuckle like miniature clubs can be a sign of heart or lung disease. You may also notice the nail rounding, with the   fingers curving downward.  When the circulatory system (heart and lungs) are impaired,  oxygen levels in the blood  drop.  Over time,  this causes the soft tissues of the fingertip pads to grow and the fingertips appear to bulge outward.

If your fingers and toes are clubbing, you’ve probably also been noticing other symptoms, such a shortness of breath or chronic cough.  Clubbing also occurs with aortic valve disease,  which can cause fatigue and chest pain.  See your doctor for a full heart and lung evaluation. Be sure to tell your doctor how long you’ve noticed the change in your fingers and/or toes, as well as how long you’ve been experiencing other symptoms.

4.  Finger length

You probably didn’t know this, but comparing finger length can tell you a lot about the  likelihood of you having certain conditions.   Men’s ring fingers are usually  longer than their index fingers, while in women it’s the opposite.  According to a study published in  “Arthritis and Rheumatism”  in 2008,  women who have ring fingers longer than their index fingers are twice as likely to suffer from osteoarthritis.  Longer index fingers, on the other hand, are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer in women and with a lower risk of prostate cancer in men. A 2010 study found that men whose index fingers were noticeably longer than their ring fingers were 33 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer.

Scientists  believe finger length is affected by exposure to varying amounts of  testosterone and estrogen in the womb.  Longer ring fingers indicate greater prenatal exposure to testosterone, while longer index fingers suggest higher estrogen exposure.  Since breast cancer is estrogen-fueled, longer index fingers correlate with higher breast cancer.  Likewise,  more testosterone is linked to a higher incidence of prostate cancer for men.   Scientists don’t know exactly what the connection is for finger length and osteoarthritis,  but they believe it has something to do with the way hormones affect  bone growth in the womb.

Women who have longer ring fingers may want to be on the alert for weak or sore joints,  especially the knees.  And,  men who may be at higher risk for prostate cancer should be proactive about PSA testing.   Of course,  all women should have regular mammograms for breast cancer screening; but, if you think you may be at higher risk, talk to your doctor about increasing the frequency of mammograms.

5. Pale nails

Ordinarily,  if you gently press on your fingernails they turn white:  and,  then when you release the pressure, they turn pink again.  If your nails stay white more than a minute after you press on them or look pale all the time,  this can be a sign of anemia.  Anemia,  or iron deficiency,  causes pale nails because there aren’t enough red blood cells circulating in the bloodstream.   Severe iron deficiency can also cause the nails to have a slightly concave shape if the anemia goes untreated for a long time.

Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue and heart problems.  Diet can help treat iron deficiency:  examples of iron-rich foods are red meat and spinach and other dark greens, and nuts.     Usually, however, anemia requires taking an iron supplement in addition to dietary changes.   Also, remember that Vitamin C increases iron absorption, so whether you are getting iron through diet or supplements or both, increase your Vitamin C as well. .

6.  Red stripes under the nails

Tiny red or brownish-red  “splinters”  under the fingernails (toenails, too!) are called splinter hemorrhages.   Splinter hemorrhages occur when tiny blood clots block blood flow to the capillaries beneath the nails.  Because they run in the direction of nail growth,  they resemble splinters that got stuck under the nail.  Splinter hemorrhages are tiny areas of bleeding and can signal infections of the blood and heart.

They most often occur with an infection of the heart valves called subacute bacterial endocarditis. This condition typically occurs in someone with a heart murmur or underlying infection.   If you see splinter hemorrhages under your nails,   take your temperature to see if you have a fever.  Bacterial endocarditis is usually accompanied by a low-grade fever.  If you’ve never had your heart checked and are concerned about these symptoms, call your doctor for a checkup.

7. Swollen fingers

One of the first places you see  excess water is in the fingers.   When your thyroid is underactive,  it produces less of the  hormones that regulate your metabolism and keep your body functioning properly.  And when metabolism slows,  the result is typically weight gain and water accumulation.  You can feel and see that your fingers are swollen, and they won’t bend as easily either.   . First try drinking plenty of water and cutting back on salt;  but then,  if your fingers feel thick and stiff,  or if your rings don’t fit,  you might want to talk to your doctor about  having your thyroid checked..

*** Short-term swollen fingers  can happen for various reasons… summer heat,  a high-salt meal, or PMS can result in short-term water retention.  Long-term retention is reflective of health problems.

Your life is truly in your hands!

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

Chocolate Evolution!

January 25, 2012


Greetings, Enota Family!

Today we’re going to talk about chocolate and how it has progressed from a sticky sugary treat to become a true health food. We hope you will enjoy this post and that you will either make or purchase some healthy chocolate!

Wow!  Remember the chocolate of  “the old days”?  Milk chocolate.  Chocolate kisses,  chocolate covered cherries,  peanut butter cups,or nut and caramel bars,  chocolate nonpareils… bought at the local grocers,  drugstore,  department store,  or dime store.  (Some of you will remember dime stores,  definitely a thing of the past.)

Next came the dark milk chocolate,  found primarily in chocolate samplers and boxed holiday candies.   And, even then, just a few of the candies were dark chocolate;  the rest being good quality milk chocolate.  These dark chocolates were still high in sugar and cocoa butter – not really much different than regular milk chocolates.

And then came true dark chocolates.  Chocolates made with 70% or more cocoa.    Now , these were some serious chocolates.  Almost bitter,  but still with that tantalizing chocolate taste.   Lovely to look at, wonderful yo the taste buds. Chocolatiers began making delicious candy bars such as 70% cocoa chocolate with hot peppers or mint or orange zest in the mix!   Fabulous! These were candies for the chocolate connoisseur…

As if that wasn’t enough, chocolate makers began selling organic chocolates.   Organic truffles,  dark chocolate bars,  and fine chocolate candies.   Made the same way as the original milk chocolate bars from the “dime store” days,  they are made with roasted chocolate, refined sugar, various fats, and a list of chemical-sounding ingredients.  Dark chocolates were touted as having antioxidants,  and many a person was glad to embrace the idea of chocolate being not only good but good for you.

Next some adventurous people  started getting really  serious about health issues.  They rediscovered the actual cacao bean!  The source of cocoa,  the source of chocolate.  Eaten alone,  the cacao is intense and quite bitter – the experience is similar to tasting a coffee bean – a seriously strong flavor!

Health-conscious people started buying cacao nibs or powder to mix with agave or honey to create a healthy homemade sweet treat.  This was a taste so intense that the chocolate lover didn’t require a lot to be satisfied.  Almost perfect…

Well,  it was only a matter of time until some of these healthy foodists  found a way to make chocolates with unroasted cacao beans.  And this was the birth of raw chocolates.  Raw chocolates are made with unroasted cacao beans, a bit of agave or honey,  some sea salt.  Compared to the now-popular dark chocolates,  raw chocolates win in both taste and health benefits.  Raw chocolates are really good for you!

 According to David Wolfe, author of “Naked Chocolate: The Astounding Truth About the World’s Greatest Food,” chocolate in its natural state (cacao beans, nibs, or powder) is the best form of chromium, iron, and magnesium,  which coincidentally are the top three mineral deficiencies in the  American diet!  Wolfe,  who is a raw chocolate advocate, also credits cacao with being extraordinarily high in vitamin C.  Cacao also contains omega-6 fatty acids and is a source of natural fiber as well . “Dime store” chocolate and dark chocolate don’t have these benefits. . When cacao is roasted it looses its vitamin C and its fiber is disturbed. Cooking cacao also destroys PEAs (phenylethylamines), the chemicals contained in chocolate that make us feel like we’re in love.  More about PEAs in a minute…

Raw chocolate also contains neurotransmitter modulating agents.  These  are natural chemicals in our bodies  that act as natural antidepressants.  “They allow our neurotransmitters like serotonin to remain in our bloodstream longer than usual,” explains Wolfe. “This makes us younger. The more chocolate you eat, the longer you live.”   According to Wolfe, raw cacao is the No. 1 antioxidant food in the world — 30 times higher than red wine and 20 times higher than green tea. (For more info on the health benefits of raw chocolate,  check out David Wolf’s book,  “Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future”.)

About those PEAs… PEAs are “love chemicals”.  Eating raw chocolate improves not only your health, but also increases your sensuality.  Good deal, huh?  Eat chocolates for better health and an improved love life!

A Basic Raw Chocolate Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 100g  Raw Cacao Butter

  • 6 Tablespoons  Raw Cacao Powder

  • 2-3 Tablespoons  Agave Syrup

  • 1 Small pinch of sea salt

*** Make sure that all bowls and utensils are completely dry before  mixing ingredients!!  Water will cause the mix to separate!

Directions:

Place the raw cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of water on a low heat and melt very slowly.  Once melted add the raw cacao powder and mix well using a metal ballon whisk.  Keeping the heat at very  low,    add the  Agave and mix well. Taste the mix after it’s melted;   slowly add more sweetener if you prefer a sweeter taste.

Remove from heat once it’s completely melted and blended.  The mixture should be runny and easily poured.   Pour or spoon into silicone molds or ice cube trays to create individual candies;    freezer for at least 20 minutes or refrigerate for 2 hours.

Once made keep your raw chocolates in the fridge or freezer. 

Nowadays there is at least one raw chocolatier (pictured to left) who has gone the extra mile and includes Ayurvedic herbs, superfoods, and 100% fair trade ingredients. Now, that’s some good chocolate!

We hope you have enjoyed our trip though

the evolution of chocolate!  Bon appetit!

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

Don’t Be S.A.D.

January 23, 2012


Hello, again, Enota Family!

Here in the North Georgia Mountains this winter has been warmer than usual, but also rainier and darker than  usual.  Wherever you live, if the dreary weather gets you down read on. Don’t brush off  a long period of feeling down as  “the winter blues” or blame a lasting sense of depression on post-holiday stress.   What you are feeling could  be SAD,  a real, treatable condition.

According to the Mayo Clinic,  Seasonal Affective Disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year.  If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder,  your symptoms start in the fall and  continue into the winter months,  sapping your energy and making you feel moody or irritable.

In most cases,  winter SAD symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer.   These  symptoms usually  start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.

Winter-onset SAD  symptoms include:

Feelings of Hopelessness
Anxiety and/or depression
Loss of energy
Heavy feeling of the arms or legs
Social withdrawal
Oversleeping
Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
Weight gain
Difficulty concentrating and processing information

Causes of winter SAD:

The specific cause of seasonal affective disorder remains unknown.  However, most researchers agree that it is likely that  your body’s natural chemical makeup plays a  major role in developing this condition.   A few specific factors that may come into play include:

Your circadian rhythm (your internal clock).   The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may disrupt your body’s internal clock, which lets you know when you should sleep or be awake.  This disruption of your circadian rhythm may lead to feelings of depression.

Serotonin levels.  A drop in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood, might play a role in seasonal affective disorder.  Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin that may trigger depression.

Melatonin levels.  The change in season can disrupt the balance of the natural hormone melatonin,  which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.  Melatonin is a hormone which is produced in our brains during the hours of darkness,  Melatonin helps regulate sleep as well as body temperature and the release of hormones.  People with SAD produce too much melatonin, disrupting their internal body clock  which leads to depression.

Other factors contributing to SAD may include genetics and age.

If you have had episodes of depression that  have an onset in fall or winter followed by remission of symptoms in the spring or summer,  you may have SAD.

Treatment of SAD:

Light therapy is often used to treat SAD.  The type of light used,  distance from the light,  and amount of time, are very specific.  The light should be of adequate intensity, 10,000 lux  (lux is a measurement of light intensity).  At 10,000 lux, the amount of time required in front of the light is 30 minutes.  If the light is 5,000 lux,  then the amount of time will be 60 minutes.  You need to keep your eyes open during light therapy.  You don’t have to look directly at the light, but you do need to have your eyes open so that the light reaches the retinas in the back of your eyes.   During light therapy you can read, watch TV, crochet, etc. … just keep your eyes open.  This type of light does not emit damaging UV rays.  The distance you sit from the light is about 12-18 inches.   Light therapy is usually done in the morning because  it can cause insomnia if done too late in the day.  If you struggle with bipolar, a manic episode can be triggered by light therapy,  so it should be used with extreme caution.  Phototherapy lights are easily purchased online.  Phototherapy is recognized as a medical treatment and some insurance companies will cover some of the cost.

Of course, if it is sunny, getting outside in the sun for half an hour a day works even better!

Other treatments include antidepressant medications and/or counseling.

It’s normal to occasionally have days when you feel down.  But if  you can’t seem to get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy,  see your doctor.  This is particularly important if you notice that your sleep patterns and appetite have changed or if you feel hopeless,  think about suicide,  or find yourself turning to alcohol for comfort or relaxation.  Don’t be SAD!

Remember,  for a nice getaway come visit us here at Enota.     Nestled in the North Georgia Mountains,  Enota is  located in a breathtakingly beautiful part of the USA.   Mountain trails,  waterfalls,  a lovely scene around every corner. Relax.  Rejuvenate.  Restore.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

Hello, Aloe

January 20, 2012


Greetings, Enota Family!

Today we’re going to talk about the popular plant, Aloe Vera.  Since it is often used for kitchen burns and for sunburns,  aloe vera is often the first encounter many people have with a medicinal herb.

 Seeing an aloe plant on a friend’s windowsill is a common sight, and it’s rare nowadays to meet someone who hasn’t used aloe gel to treat a burn.  But there’s even more good news about this wonderful folk remedy, and that’s what we’ll be talking about today.

Aloes are perennial succulents  native to Africa. Today there are more  than 360 Aloe species of aloe.   Although aloes look like they should be a member of the cactus family,  they are actually members of the lily family. Aloe vera is the most well-known species of aloes. Because of its common use in treating burns and wounds, it’s is also called burn plant, first-aid plant, and medicine plant.

Thick, fleshy aloe leaves grow in rosettes, either directly from the ground or climbing a stem. Most aloes  are very easy to grow in containers on the patio.  Move them  inside for the winter because they will not survive frost.

The  juice from an  aloe leaf has  medicinal uses, making aloe one of the most respected medicinal  herbal remedies.  Aloe vera is  found in many gels, creams and lotions.

If  buying commercial  buy only the 100% pure gel.   (Many  commercial products  have isopropol alcohol in them,  which is  completely counterproductive for treating burns, sunburns, etc.!)  Of course, the freshest aloe is from your own plant.   Leaves up to one foot long can be removed from an aloe without harming the plant.

A bit of trivia:

In African  Folklore, bitter aloes powder is used to stop gossip,  slander, and backbiting.

Medicinal Properties  of Aloe:

Not only does an aloe plant provide quick relief from a burn or scald, the potted plants have been shown to remove formaldehyde from tainted indoor air

Acemannan, a chemical compound found in Aloe Vera as a powerful immunostimulant in animals, particularly in cats.

Modern researchers have identified several reasons why aloe gel spurs wound healing:  It has antibacterial,  antifungal and antiviral compounds that help prevent wound infections.

Aloe gel contains vitamins C and E,  plus the mineral zinc.

Aloe vera gel is soothing, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial;  it  helps heal acne and many other skin disorders.

 It also  stimulates collagen synthesis and skin regeneration.

How to Use Aloe

Aloe is soothing, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial, so use it liberally on cuts, scrapes and wounds of all kinds.

Fresh aloe gel soothes pain, cools the skin, and stimulates blood flow to burned skin.  It is especially effective when applied from a fresh plant immediately after suffering a burn.

Aloe brings cooling relief to fleabites, and reduces itching and scratching associated with many rashes.

Aloe is soothing and healing for  dry, irritated skin; it hydrates skin.

Applying a thin layer of aloe vera gel will help ease discomfort caused by painful skin irritations and acne.

Aloe Side-Effects:

Aloe is a very strong laxative and its use in this matter  is controversial. The FDA banned Aloe from inclusion in over-the-counter laxatives because of the risk of harsh side effects.

Nevertheless, it is commonly used internally  in many other countries,  It should be used very cautiously, and not be taken internally at all during preganacy or while nursing.

Aloe veras are usually bright green, but sometimes come in lime green and occasionally have pink or red in the leaves.  There are several different leave variations;  some look almost like  the popular succulent known as “hen and chicks”, while most are taller and spikier.  Some are smooth and others are quite rough and irregular.  They provide a nice textural touch to an indoor or outdoor garden.

If you haven’t grown an aloe plant, give it a try; it’s  easy to grow.  If you’re  repotting an aloe,  don’t choose a pot much bigger than the previous one.  They prefer to be almost root bound.

Aloe veras also don’t like to be over-watered or over- fertilized; they are one of the hardiest houseplants ever, thriving on negligence!    Aloe plants will grow best in indirect light, so patios and covered decks are ideal.  And, of course, many Americans grow an aloe plant  in the kitchen because the leaves are then readily available for burns.

For a hands-on organic gardening experience, visit us here at Enota Mountain retreat.  We have organic vegetables, herbs, and animals.   So much to see.  So much to do.  So much to learn!  we look forward to seeing you.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

What’s an OPC???

January 18, 2012


Greetings, Enota Family!

Sometimes it seems as if there is a whole new language out there for consumers to learn.  Indeed, scientists are  constantly finding out more and more about how the human body works and what we can do to keep ourselves healthy.  We are hoping that with this post you will have a better understanding of  Such terms as “free radicals”, bioflavenoids,   antioxidants,   and OPC’s.

What are bioflavanoids?

The word,  bioflavenoid means “Ready to be absorbed in the body,” bioflavenoids are complex organic plant compounds.  They are found mostly in fruits, vegetables and certain tree barks.  They are powerful antioxidants,  “free-radical scavengers” and  help  influence the body’s immune response to inflammation, allergy and infection. There are more than 20,000 different types of bioflavanoids,  of which OPC’s are considered the most potent antioxidants.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds that protect our cells from damaging interactions with  free-radicals.   Examples of antioxidant nutrients include vitamins A, C, E, zinc, selenium and betacarotene. These nutrients bolster the action of our body’s natural defense, thus  protecting you against the harmful and destructive effects of free-radical damage.

What about  free radicals?

“Free radicals”  sounds like it should be some sort of escaped political prisoner;  but, in reality free radicals are substances in the body which do damage to the cells.   Environmental pollution, excessive alcohol consumption, food additives, a high fat diet, smoking (and passive smoking), stress,  infections, nutrient deficiencies and radiation all create free radicals.

Free radicals attack all body tissues.  They degrade collagen and reprogram DNA!  Researchers say that free radicals is the underlying cause in almost every disease.  Free radicals have been directly linked to heart disease, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, arthritis, cirrhosis of the liver, and premature aging.

What are OPC’s?

OPC’s  (Oligomeric proanthocyanidins) are substances  derived from   a combination of grape seed extract, red wine extract and/or pine bark extract.  OPC’s are very powerful bioflavanoids used as a natural food supplement.   OPC’s have powerful “free-radical” scavenging activity. They are non-toxic, bioavailable, and water -soluble bioflavanoids.

Why  take OPC’s?

OPC’s provide you with antioxidant protection.  This protection is fifty times stronger that Vitamin E and twenty times stronger than Vitamin C. OPC’s also help vitamins work better;  they protect your cells against free radical attack and they support the collagen structure of all the organs in your body.  OPC’s don’t cure anything; rather, they help the body to neutralize the invasion of free radicals.  When free-radicals are controlled, your body can function the way it was designed to function – and will heal itself!

OPC’s help  prevent the fixation of cholesterol to the elastin in the blood vessels, inhibiting   cholesterol deposits in the vascular walls.  OPC’s also have a vitamin C sparing effect.  Since Vitamin C helps the body to get rid of excess cholesterol,  OPC ‘s indirectly help the body to monitor cholesterol levels.

Because OPC’s can restore your skin’s elasticity and help joints become more flexible,  OPC’s are somewhat a fountain of youth!  Improvement of skin and joints is due to the OPC’s  ability to preserve and protect collagen and elastin.  Collagen and elastin are important structural constituents of the vascular wall, skin and connective tissues including ligaments, tendons and others. Collagen and elastin contribute to the elasticity of all these tissues.  With better elasticity and improved oxygen supply, all of your body is bound to benefit.  No need to get those collagen injections like the Hollywood ladies do… Get your collagen from the inside out instead!

OPC’s were first discovered by Dr Jacques Masquelier in the 1940’s, but have only recently come into the public spotlight.  In France, they are used in the treatment of and prevention of  ADD,  arthritis,  cancer,  chronic fatigue,  eye problems, heart disease, hemorrhoids,  high cholesterol, hyperactivity, liver disease, migraine headaches,  and many age-related diseases.

The most commonly-known OPC is “Resveratrol”, which is derived from grape seeds.  But, natural OPC’s are also found in the red skins of peanuts, red wine, coconuts, apples, cocoa, and certain barks.  Interestingly, OPC’s are found in the highest concentration in the parts of plants that we usually discard… peanuts skins, bark, stems, peels, and seeds. OPC’s are destroyed by cooking, so if you are trying to add them in your diet, don’t cook the food item!

If you  decide to add OCP’s to your health  supplements, be sure to look for products in isotonic form.  Isotonic supplements are absorbed quickly and delivered to the body in minutes, whereas many tablets, capsules, and pills do not dissolve properly.

We hope you have learned something new today and that we have adequately explained, “What’s an OPC?”

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

Eggs 101

January 16, 2012


Greetings, Enota Family!

Today we’re going to talk about the humble egg.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of having your own chickens (and, therefore,  your own eggs!),  you might want to consider the idea.   Eggs have gotten “a bum rap” from the media in the past couple decades,  but they are making a comeback.   Truly,  eggs are good for you,  versatile,   and keep a long time…  Let’s look at some of facts about eggs…

You can really taste the difference between store-bought and farm-fresh eggs.   If for whatever reason you are unable to have your own chickens,  seek out places to buy good, organic, free-range eggs.  You will be amazed at the difference in consistency,  yolk color,  and taste.  Free-range eggs are healthier because the chickens roam free and eat a variety of greens along with their regular feed.     Their diet will have a much higher vitamin and mineral content… and, so will their eggs!

Eggs are really versatile.   Scrambled ,  fried,   poached,  baked,   and boiled.   Omelets,  frittatas,  quiches  and  casseroles.  In baking,  eggs are used in cakes and cheesecakes,  cookies,  custards,  meringues,  pie fillings,   soufflés ,  cream puffs and eclairs.

Eggs and Your Health:

Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because they have a  high sulphur content and a wide array of vitamins and minerals.  Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet,  especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12!

New research shows that,  contrary to previous belief,  the consumption of two eggs per day  will not have a negative impact on cholesterol and does not affect a person’s lipid profile.  In fact,   research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol.

Eggs are an easy lean protein. One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids.

Eggs are one of the few foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.

Egg  yolks are the most nutrient dense,  antioxidant-rich,  vitamin and mineral loaded portion of the egg . The yolks contain many B-vitamins,  trace minerals,  vitamin A,  folate,  choline,  lutein, and other powerful nutrients.   Egg yolks contain more than 90% of the calcium,  iron,  phosphorus,  zinc,  thiamin,  B6,  folate,  and B12 of the egg.  In addition, the yolks contain all of the fat soluble vitamins A,  D,  E,  and K in the egg.  Yolk color depends on the plant pigments in the hens’ feed.  For example, if the chicken is free-range and munckes on marigold petals, her egg yolks will be darker.  In general, free-range egg yolks are orange in color as opposed to the yellow yolks of commercially-grown chickens.

Egg Trivia:

The  ancient Chinese stored eggs as long as  several years by immersing them in a variety substances such as salt and wet clay,   cooked rice,   salt and lime;  or salt and wood ashes mixed with a tea.   When broken,  the eggs looked nothing like fresh eggs;   often  exhibiting greenish-gray yolks and albumen resembling brown jelly.  Today,  eggs preserved in this manner are enjoyed in China as a delicacy.

Today,  we  can keep fresh,  uncooked eggs in the shell refrigerated in their cartons for at least three weeks after bringing them home from the store,  with insignificant quality loss.   Add another two weeks if you have your own chickens! Properly handled and stored ,  eggs rarely spoil.  If you keep them long enough,  eggs are more likely to simply dry up. But do keep them refrigerated;  eggs will age  more in one day at room temperature than they will in one week in the refrigerator.

As an egg ages,  the white becomes thinner,  the yolk becomes flatter,  and the yolk membrane becomes weaker,  making it more likely that the yolk will  break inadvertently when the egg is cracked. These changes don’t have any great effect on the nutritional quality of the egg or its functional cooking properties in recipes.  Older eggs are better for hard-boiling;  if eggs are at least a week old they will be much easier to peel after boiling.

Egg Trivia:

Egg whites are often used in facials, because as they dry they pull impurities out of the skin.   Egg yolks are used in shampoos and soaps because they are natural moisturizers.  soaps.   Cholesterol,  lecithin and some of the egg’s fatty acids are also used in various  skin care products,  such as revitalizers,  make-up foundations or lipstick.

The white of a large egg measures about 2 tablespoons’ worth of liquid,  the yolk is about 1 tablespoon and the whole egg is about 3 tablespoons.

To tell if an egg is raw or hard-boiled,  spin it.  Because the liquids have set into a solid,  a hard-boiled egg will easily spin. The moving liquids in a raw egg will cause it to wobble.

To tell whether or not an egg has gone bad, put it in a pan of water deep enough to cover the egg.  If it stands on end, throw it out.  Otherwise, it’s still good.

The eggshell accounts for about 10% of an egg’s total weight.   No matter how big the egg is,  the chicken uses  the same amount of calcium carbonate and other minerals to make a shell.   So the shells of smaller eggs are usually thicker and stronger than the shells of larger eggs.

There are 7 to 17 thousand tiny pores on the shell surface.   As the egg ages, these tiny holes permit moisture and carbon dioxide to move out and air to move in to form the air cell.  An  egg can  absorb refrigerator odors through the pores,  so always refrigerate eggs in their cartons.

We hope you have enjoyed this post and that you have learned at least one new egg fact!  If you are considering getting your own chickens,  you might want to visit us here at Enota.  Our hands-on organic farming  experience could just be the deciding factor!

Enota Mountain Retreat

 1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

 (706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

                                                     official web site:  www.enota.com

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