Holiday parties, celebrations, family gatherings, sporting events, you name it, we're always finding a reason to come together, make a toast and chow down on some delicious foods. Unfortunately, with all the togetherness and revelry, we often sacrifice our health.
Carbs, sugar, alcohol and other less-than-healthy options abound.
Fortunately, there is a secret nutritional weapon, a simple solution used for thousands of years to protect the body from the damaging effects of toxins.
And now YOU can use it to eat, drink, and be merry… maybe even overindulge just a bit, without the damaging after-effects of weekend libations and low-quality food.
Before we get to the solution, let’s get clear about toxins: what they are and what they do to you. “Toxin” can mean a lot of things, but here it refers to compounds with a damaging effect on your health.
There is no “safe” level of toxic exposure. They all negatively impact your health, whether you notice it or not. Toxins can impair your mitochondria, the energy factories of your cells. They cause cellular damage, leading to systemic inflammation and aggravate injuries or underlying chronic conditions.
They can even compromise your immune system and cause allergies or make you susceptible to cold and flu viruses.
Toxins sap your energy and create a drag on your health. And worse, they accumulate, so every subsequent exposure brings down your energy, your mood, your mental clarity, and overall health even more.
Protecting yourself from the effects of toxic exposure is just as important as exercise or eating a healthy diet.
So now that we know why we want to protect ourselves, let’s look at nature’s greatest detox secret: Activated Charcoal
Charcoal has been a part of every major medical tradition around the world for thousands of years. Typically, it is used as a detox remedy. It’s even used today in modern Western medicine to counteract the effects of acute toxic exposure.
Regular charcoal is a product of burning a carbon source like wood, the same kind you would use for a barbecue. Activated charcoal today, however, mostly comes from coconut shells.
The “activated” part comes from exposing the charcoal to extremely high temperatures. This changes the chemical structure, removing any remaining oxygen to create an even smaller structure with millions of tiny pores and a slight negative charge. 
The pores created in activated charcoal exponentially increase the surface area of the charcoal.
"Just two grams of activated charcoal powder has roughly the same surface area as an entire football field."
Most toxins have a positive charge, which is bound by the negative charge of the charcoal.
Activated charcoals unique combination of massive surface area with a negative charge creates a giant toxin-binding trap, neutralizing them to be safely eliminated through the bowels. 
The benefits of activated charcoal go well beyond the detox benefits of increased energy, enhanced immunity, and improved mental clarity.
Because it neutralizes the common toxins found throughout our environment and food supply , it actually contributes to longevity. It prevents many of the damaging effects of oxidation we find in aging. One study even found that it increased the lifespan of test animals by 34%! 
In addition, since activated charcoal binds toxins primarily in the gut, it even relieves digestive issues like gas and bloating, which are caused by difficult-to-digest molecules in foods like beans .
The best way to use activated charcoal is as a preventative medicine.
Take activated charcoal before you enter into any situation that will expose you to toxins. For example:
It’s best to take 1000mg between meals or 2-3 hours after any medications or supplements. Because activated charcoal is so absorptive, it can interfere with proper absorption of the medication.
Also, remember to drink plenty of water when you use activated charcoal. If you are not properly hydrated activated charcoal can cause minor constipation.
Take activated charcoal powder or capsules when you eat out at restaurants, drink bad quality coffee, when you travel, when you feel moody or tired, and when you drink alcohol.
And finally, If you are already on a detox protocol or struggling with toxicity issues, consult your health professional before adding activated charcoal
Raise your glass: A toast to your optimal health!
With activated charcoal as your secret weapon, now you can party on free of the typical fuzzy brain, slow-motion beginning.
Instead, you can protect your health with just a couple of pills, still party like it’s 1999, and move forward into Monday with high energy and good spirits.
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The following is adapted from The Search for the Perfect Protein.
Today, many people suffer from a condition they may not even know exists: “leaky gut.”
You see, the gut requires adequate amounts of essential amino acids to regenerate itself every few days. If they are lacking in the body, then the gut membrane can become more permeable, creating an increased susceptibility to “leak” fragments from proteins and microorganisms into the bloodstream from the intestines.
As you can imagine, this is very bad. Some people contract infections from their own intestines, which can lead to a blood infection, resulting in sepsis or meningitis.
The word “micronutrients” sure sounds nice.
Health marketers use it as a generic catch-all term, but usually without any specific meaning.
It’s easy to have an idea about what it probably is –– small nutrients, right? –– and it’s easy to understand that they are probably important.
But what are they really? And what do they do? Are there different kinds?
This article will help you clear up the confusion so you can make an informed choice about your health and nutrition and what is or is not a worthwhile purchase.