October 29, 2011

How, Why, and When to Introduce Babies to Probiotics

It's okay if your baby gives you a funny look the first time you give her fermented vegetable juice! Find out why it's crucial to get her used to the somewhat sour taste of probiotic-rich foods.

When your baby is born, you pay attention to the most obvious visible signs of his or her health, like whether or not she has all her toes and fingers.
In the first critical days after birth, however, one of the most important steps you can take that will determine the health and long-term wellness of your baby will be to ensure the proper development and maintenance of her inner ecosystem.
A healthy inner ecosystem is when your baby's intestines have the proper balance of beneficial microflora (good bacteria and beneficial yeast). Microflora play an important role in conquering pathogenic viruses, bacteria and yeast. This is Mother Nature's way of really "vaccinating" your child and building her immunity so she can live safely in this world.
But there's more!
Besides keeping pathogens under control, microflora also play a vital role in ensuring that your baby digests your milk. This way she will start to thrive on her new food and begin to gain weight quickly now that she is out of your womb.
Because her brain is still very much under development your nutrient-rich milk will help nourish her brain and influence her level of intelligence for the rest of her life. And very importantly the calcium and phosphorus in your milk will help build strong healthy bones and teeth.
The missing link in the health of many babies being born today is establishing the presence of a healthy inner ecosystem where good microflora outnumber the bad.
In order to have a healthy inner ecosystem, a baby depends on his mother to inoculate him with healthy microflora at birth. While this seems easy enough, poor diet and lifestyle habits have robbed today's women of the healthy microflora so critical for baby's inner ecosystem.
The good news is, YOU are in charge of your health and you can prepare your baby, naturally, for lifelong health!
It's okay if your baby gives you a funny look the first time you give her fermented vegetable juice! Find out why it's crucial to get her used to the somewhat sour taste of probiotic-rich foods.
Baby's First Exposure to Bacteria
Until Body Ecology began to uncover important research showing differently it was commonly believed that the amniotic fluid in the womb is sterile and germ-free. However, we now know that the amniotic fluid can be infected. Also as the time of birth approaches and as the cervix begins to dilate in preparation for the birth of your baby bacteria from the birth canal begin to enter into the amniotic fluid. Once labor begins these bacteria also cover the body of your baby.
These bacteria also enter your baby's digestive tract.
One would hope that there would only be friendly bacteria in the birth canal but if a baby's mother doesn't have plenty of good microflora in her own digestive system and vagina, she won't be able to pass on healthy bacteria to her baby.
Unfortunately, studies show that as many as 85% of women have a vaginal infection when they give birth1 and pass on dangerous pathogens to their newborn babies instead of the beneficial bacteria that create a foundation for wellness.
Babies who lack an abundance of beneficial bacteria at the beginning of their lives start life with painful gastrointestinal pain like gas, colic and reflux. They can also have infant constipation. They do not develop the necessary immunity and do not have the ability to cleanse out inherited toxins from their parents and grandparents.
Because 80% of the immune system is located in the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), babies who do not quickly develop a healthy inner ecosystem in their gut have weakened immunity. They are also more vulnerable to allergies and other more serious problems, including autism
For more information on why your inner ecosystem's health is so important in preventing childhood diseases, and what you can do, read: What Every Girl and Woman Needs to Know NOW if They Ever Want to Have a Baby

Probiotics in the Prevention of Allergies

More than half of developing countries have children with allergy related problems , and eliminating this problem requires intervention in infancy. It doesn't surprise me that the increase in allergic diseases is being linked to the lack of an optimal inner ecosystem observable in infants within the first week of their lives.3
During the first few hours after birth babies have a permeable gut lining so that they can fully benefit from the nourishment of mother's first milk, called "colostrum".
After these first few hours, a protective barrier begins to form on a baby's mucosal lining. Beneficial bacteria and good yeast colonize in this mucosal layer and play an essential role in reinforcing this protective barrier.
This period of colonization is extremely important, and highly dependent on your baby's nutrition during the first few months of life because the earliest bacteria to arrive into their intestines have a distinct advantage in colonizing their inner ecosystem, and in building their immunity4.
If the barrier formed on your baby's gut lining is not effective enough, or lacking in good microflora, food and toxins leak into the blood.
In this case, a baby's little body reacts as if the food is a "foreign invader", and creates antibodies against the food, which leads to "food allergies".
Giving your baby beneficial bacteria soon after birth can ensure proper colonization of healthy microflora in their intestines, and prevent food allergies that are so common today.

Other benefits of giving your baby probiotics include:

  • Prevention of necrotising enterocolitis (death of intestinal tissue), which is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders in premature babies4.
  • Prevention of fevers and diarrhea - According to an Israeli study, infants given formula containing probiotics had half as many bouts of fever and diarrhea than those given regular formula5
  • Increased immune response in infants infected with the rotavirus, and decrease in the duration of rotavirus associated diarrhea6
  • Reduced likelihood that your baby will develop atopic eczema, an allergic skin condition which is more common in infancy and linked to other allergic disorders including asthma7

Is Breast Milk Best?

As long as a mother is supplying her own body with excellent nutrients, her milk is the gold standard for her baby's nutrition.
Yet some mother's I have spoken to have been told when their baby is colicky he is allergic to her breast milk!
Mother Nature couldn't possibly make this kind of mistake. This is simply a clue that your baby's inner ecosystem is lacking the healthy microflora needed to digest breast milk.
Giving your baby probiotics is especially important if you are unable to breastfeed your baby due to your own compromised health, or if you have decided that breastfeeding is just not right for you.
If you are not breastfeeding, please, make sure you are aware of the serious disadvantages of baby formulas by reading: Baby Formula: The Key Health Risks to Baby that Every Mother and Someday Mother to Be Needs to Know.

How and When to Give Your Baby Probiotics

With Body Ecology Culture Starter you can easily prepare your own delicious cultured vegetables at home, and give your baby the juice while you eat the vegetables!
My recommendation to all mothers is to introduce your baby to fermented foods and drinks by gradually feeding them small amounts.
Many less modernized cultures around the world have long known about the benefits of fermented foods and drinks in baby nutrition. Russians give their babies milk kefir diluted with water when they're as young as 4 months old.
You can start introducing your baby to the sour taste of fermented foods right away by putting a little cultured vegetable juice on your finger and letting them suck on it.
Cultured vegetables contain Lactobacillus plantarum, a strain of friendly bacteria that is very effective in the treatment of colic, and crucial to the development of a healthy inner ecosystem.
Gradually, as soon as your baby is a few days old, start giving him a tiny baby spoonful of juice from the cultured vegetables, 3 times a day.
Don't forget to eat cultured vegetables yourself for the health of your immune system too!
If you give the cultured vegetable juice to your baby about 10 to 20 minutes before their feeding, you can help them digest mother's milk.
Fermented drinks like Young Coconut Kefir diluted with filtered water, are also great to give to your baby in tiny teaspoon amounts.
Once your baby is old enough for a little more variety in their diet, you can prepare them pureed fermented vegetables by using our Body Ecology Culture Starter. Just puree organic vegetables first, and then ferment them.
As you can see, The Body Ecology system of health and healing is not just for adults!
Just ask Deborah Wieder, who at 41 was the first time mother of a vibrant, happy baby last year. She attributes her easy pregnancy to the Body Ecology consultations she had with me early in her pregnancy, and continues to give CocoBiotic to her beautiful daughter, Maayan, every day!
Every child needs to have a strong inner ecosystem to help them become a healthier, more vibrant human being, with strong immunity. Giving them probiotics is the best way to give them the advantage that so many children today are sadly lacking.
If you know someone else who has a baby, or is hoping to have one, please pass along this important information.
Healthier parents create healthier, happier babies and a brighter future for all of us.


  1. The most common vaginal infections are: candidiasis (75%), bacterial vaginosis (16%) and trichomoniasis. Hamilton, Carey. Bacterial vaginosis often goes untreated. The Salt Lake Tribune. December 2006. http://www.sltrib.com/healthscience/ci_4820799 and Vaginitis Due to Vaginal Infections. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. October 2004. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/vaginitis.htm
  2. Probiotics in Primary Prevention of Atopic Disease.
  3. Effects of Intestinal Microflora and the Environment in the Development of Asthma and Allergy.
  4. Toll of Allergy Reduced by Probiotics.
  5. Probiotics Could Improve Premature Babies' Gut Health.
  6. Probiotic formula may bolster infant immune system.
  7. Probiotics.
  8. Probiotics in the primary prevention of atopic disease: a randomised placebo controlled trial.

7 Health Benefits of Vitamin A!!

Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that occurs only in animal foods. Carotenoids, however, serve as a great source of alpha-, beta-, and gamma-carotene that our bodies convert into vitamin A and can be found in many vegetables and fruits.
It is indispensable for our health and is especially abundant in foods such as apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, kale, liver, mangos, red peppers, spinach and sweet potatoes. Here are seven reasons why you should make sure that your diet includes vitamin A.

Not only does Vitamin A strengthen "entry points" into the human body, such as mucous membranes, the lining of the eyes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts, it is also essential for the lymphocytes, or white blood cells, that fight infection once in the body.

Vitamin A, when converted into the retinal (retinaldehyde) form, is vital for healthy eyes. It allows the eye to effectively distinguish between light and dark, thus improving night vision. Furthermore, vitamin A is believed to fight against cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and other age-related ocular diseases.
Bones and Teeth When converted into retinoic acid, vitamin A effectively maintains healthy bones and teeth. Dentin, which also requires vitamin A, forms the hard layer of material within our teeth, thereby ensuring their strength. Vitamin A also plays an important role in replacing worn out or old tissue with newer tissue to ensure healthy bones and teeth.

Urinary Stones
Urinary calculi, or solid particles in the urinary system, may cause pain, nausea and vomiting when stones are formed. Vitamin A produces a mineral compound within the body called calcium phosphate that prevents the formation of these solid particles.

As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin A fights against oxidative stress, or "cellular rust," within our bodies, thus protecting us from health problems such as cataracts, atherosclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer.

The antioxidant properties of vitamin A combat free radicals that can damage the skin through oxidative stress. By maintaining proper moisture retention, the skin is not only protected from common dryness, but also keratinization (the process in which the epidermis hardens into a heavy material that makes up hair and nails), psoriasis (a skin disease marked by red, itchy or scaly patches), acne, and even wrinkling.

Reproductive System
Vitamin A is known to be essential for the reproductive process for both males and females.

October 27, 2011

5 Top Reasons You Need Vitamin B Complex

The Vitamin B Complex comprises of the essential B Vitamins - Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9, Vitamin B12 plus the vitamins Biotin, Choline and Inositol. Vitamin B Complex is needed for the proper functioning of almost every process in the body. Here are my 5 top reasons you need to get plenty of B Complex vitamins in your diet.

1. Energy Production

Vitamin B1 is needed to help convert the carbohydrates we eat into glucose. The following B Vitamins are needed at a cellular level to convert glucose into energy - Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6 and Biotin. A Vitamin B deficiency in any of these vitamins can lead to decreased energy production, lethargy and fatigue.

2. Healthy Nervous system

The Vitamin B Complex is essential for the healthy functioning of the nervous system. Vitamin B5 is needed for the correct functioning of the adrenal glands and the production of some hormones and nerve regulating substances. Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 are essential for the regulation and correct functioning of the entire nervous
system including brain function. Vitamin B9 is essential to prevent neural tube defects to the foetus during pregnancy. A deficiency in any of the Vitamin B Complex vitamins can lead to feeling stressed, anxious and depressed.

3. Good Digestion

buy b complex vitaminsThe Vitamin B Complex is essential for correct digestion, production of HCl (Hydrochloric acid) and to assist in the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Especially vital for good digestion are Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6. A deficiency in any of these B Vitamins can lead to impaired digestion and deficiency of essential nutrients.

4.Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails

The Vitamin B Complex is essential for correct RNA and DNA synthesis and cell reproduction. As our Skin, Hair and Nails are constantly growing and renewing themselves we need the following B vitamins to ensure the good health of these structures - Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B9, Vitamin B12, Biotin and Choline. Deficiencies of any of these B Vitamins can lead to dry, grey skin, dermatitis, wrinkles, acne, rashes, falling hair and weak, splitting nails.

5. Synergy

The B Vitamins work so closely with one other that a deficiency in any one B Vitamin can lead to poor functioning of any or all of the others even if they are in good supply. Always take the B Vitamins in a Complex and then top up with any individual Vitamin B, if needed.

Extra Tip

B Vitamins are water-soluble which means any excess will be excreted through the urine. This also means that B Vitamins need to be taken on a daily basis, as the only one we can store is Vitamin B12. Taking a high dose Vitamin B Complex (50mg - 100mg) daily can turn urine a bright fluorescent, this is perfectly safe and normal so don't be alarmed!

Thank you for taking your time to read this article on the benefits of the Vitamin B Complex to your health. Here's to your good health.........naturally!

Good deeds in the ten days of Dul Hajj

According to Abu Abbas that the Prophet (PBUH) said:  No deeds during the year days are better than the deeds in the ten days of Dul Hajj.  They said:  Even Jihad in the way of Allah?  The Prophet (PBUH) said:  Even Jihad except a man goes for Jihad with his wealth and does not return back with any things.  Narrated by Bukhary.
These are the days in which the fifth pillar of Islam, Hajj, falls and where delegates of Hajj come from different places to meet.  Allah Almighty says in Sura Al Baqarah V:198:  Then when you leave, Arafat, member Allah at the mash ar-il-Haram.  And remember Him as He has guided you and verily, you were, before, of those who were astray.
And the best day among the 10 days of Dul Hajj is the day of Arafat.  That is why the Prophet (PBUH) advises those who are not going for Hajj, to fast this day.  According to Abu quatada that when the Prophet (PBUH) was asked about fasting the day of Arafat He said:  It clears the sins of current and previous years.  Narrated by Muslim.  The Prophet (PBUH) also said:  Verily, there is no day where the number of people whom Allah will be free from Hell fire, is higher than the day of Arafat.  Narrated by Muslim.
According to Abu Abbas that the Prophet (PBUH) said:  That Allah Almighty took the pledge from the children of Adam on the day of Arafat and said to them:  Am I not your Lord?  They said yes we testify, lest you should say on the Day of Judgment. “Verily we have been unaware of this” narrated by Ahmed. This indicates as if all people recognize their lord on this day and such recognition remains with them unless it is damaged by bad environment.
These days are seasons for purifying our selves and rectifying our conditions therefore, Muslims should not miss such opportunities.
Question :
Are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah more special than other days? What are the righteous deeds that it is recommended to do a lot of during these ten days?.
Answer :
Praise be to Allaah.  
Among the great seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, which Allaah has favoured over other days. It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” They said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah?” He said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2/457 
It was also narrated from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no deed that is better before Allaah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) ten days of al-Adha.” It was said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah?” He said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” Narrated by al-Daarimi, 1/357; its isnaad is hasan as stated in al-Irwa’, 3/398. 
These texts and others indicate that these ten days are better than all other days of the year, with no exception, even the last ten days of Ramadaan. But the last ten nights of Ramadaan are better than the first ten nights of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because they include Laylat al-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months. See Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/412. 
So the Muslim should start these days with sincere repentance to Allaah, then he should do a lot of righteous deeds in general, then he should pay attention to doing the following deeds: 
1 – Fasting 
It is Sunnah for the Muslim to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged us to do righteous deeds in the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and fasting is one of the best of deeds, which Allaah has chosen for Himself as it says in the hadeeth qudsi: “Allaah says: ‘All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, which is for Me and I shall reward for it.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1805. 
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. It was narrated from Hunaydah ibn Khaalid from his wife, that one of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah and the day of ‘Ashoora’, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays. Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 4/205 and by Abu Dawood; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2/462. 
2 – Reciting tahmeed, tahleel and takbeer a great deal 
It is Sunnah to recite takbeer (saying Allaahu akbar (Allaah is most great)), tahmeed (saying al-hamdu Lillah (praise be to Allaah)), tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (There is no god but Allaah)) and tasbeeh (saying Subhaan-Allaah (Glory be to Allaah)), during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, saying these words out loud in the mosques, homes, streets and every place in which it is permissible to remember Allaah, to perform this act of worship openly and proclaim the greatness of Allaah. 
Men should recite out loud and women should recite quietly. 
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 
“That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e. reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade), and mention the Name of Allaah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice)”
[al-Hajj 22:28] 
The majority are of the view that the “appointed days” are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because it was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the appointed days are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah.
 It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are no days that are greater before Allaah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed during them.” Narrated by Ahmad, 7/224; its isnaad was classed as saheeh by Ahmad Shaakir. 
The takbeer is as follows:
 Allaah akbar, Allaahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, Allaahu akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd (Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, there is no god but Allaah; Allaah is Most Great and to Allaah be praise).  
And there are other versions. 
This takbeer has become a forsaken Sunnah nowadays, especially at the beginning of these ten days. You can hardly hear it except from a few. It should be recited out loud, so as to revive the Sunnah and remind the heedless. It was proven that Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with them both) used to go out to the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, reciting the takbeer our loud, and the people would recite takbeer when they heard them, i.e., the people would remember the talkbeer and each one would recite it by himself; it does not mean that they recited in unison – that is not prescribed in sharee’ah. 
Reviving Sunnahs that have been forgotten brings a great deal of reward, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever revives one of my Sunnahs that has died out after I am gone, will have a reward like that of everyone who does it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 7/443; this hadeeth is hasan because of corroborating reports. 
3 – Doing Hajj and ‘Umrah 
One of the greatest deeds that can be done during these ten days is Hajj to the sacred House of Allaah. Whoever Allaah helps to go on Hajj to His House and do the rituals in the required manner will – in sha Allaah – be included in the words of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “An accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise.” 
4 – Udhiyah (sacrifice) 
One of the righteous deeds that bring a person closer to Allaah in these ten days is to slaughter the sacrifice and to look for a good, fat animal and to spend money on it for the sake of Allaah. 
Let us hasten to make the most of these great days, before the negligent regrets what he did, and before he asks to go back and receives no response.