Showing posts from 2012

Overwhelmed? Consider Adrenal Fatigue

Fatigue is a typical plaint of a large portion of the population. It may not be the first complaint, but it is almost always on the list. Many individuals suspect thyroid issues, hormone imbalance, illness, or even just their stressful life. These assumptions may be correct but what many fail to consider is adrenal fatigue. You have two adrenal glands located just above each of your kidneys. Each is no bigger than a walnut and weighs less than a grape yet is responsible for one of the most important functions in your body: managing stress. Your resiliency, energy, endurance, and your very life all depend on their proper functioning. As part of your endocrine system, your adrenal glands secret more than 50 hormones, many of which are essential for life. It's estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience adrenal fatigue during their lifetimes, yet it remains one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses in the United States. Ironically, the adrenal glands are there to help y

Pumpkin Seeds: Part of a Healthy Diet

Pumpkin seeds are in season and once you hear about all their health benefits, you may consider eating them year round. Native to North America, pumpkin seeds, known as pepitas in Central America, belong to the gourd family. If allowed to mature completely, each pumpkin contains approximately 500 seeds. Inside this seed is a green edible kernel. Packed with beneficial fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, pumpkin seeds come highly recommended by most nutritional gurus, including myself. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, manganese, tryptophan, phosphorus, copper, protein (almost 10 grams per 1/4 cup), zinc and iron. Benefits include protection against heart disease by increasing HDL (good cholesterol) and lowering LDL (bad cholesterol). This is most likely due to the high concentration of phytosterols. Phytosterols are plant compounds that inhibit cholesterol absorption. For those suffering from an overactive bladder, pumpkin seeds have shown some impressive date in their a

Turmeric Has Many Benefits!

Just this week alone, I have recommended using turmeric capsules about four separate times. Because I do not carry this product at my office (this is about to change), I reluctantly had to recommend my patients find it at other local establishments or the internet. The medicinal use of turmeric dates back about 4,000 years for the treatment of infections, digestive problems and other ailments. It is a commonly used herb in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as it has impressive anti-inflammatory qualities. For those of you who are thinking that this sounds familiar but can't quite pinpoint what turmeric is - here is a refresher. You may be more familiar with how it is used in cooking. Turmeric is what gives Indian curry its flavor and brilliant yellow color. The active chemical in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent free radical damage in the body. Curcumin lowers the levels of inflammatory enzymes and may prevent platelets from clumping to

Reap the Benefits of Seasonal Foods

Do you ever crave certain foods seasonally?  If so, understand that this is a healthy signal from your body and if acted on will help to nourish and protect you. This excludes cravings for cookies at Christmas, pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and hot dogs on the Fourth of July.  I know some of you were thinking this.   For centuries, Ayurvedic practitioners as well as ancient Chinese herbal doctors have followed a diet of the seasons. Although logistical factors make this very dependent on where you live, your body does adjust to your climate and does tend to desire what it needs nutritionally based on the time of the year it is.  If you don't tend to crave fruits or vegetables in season- consider yourself broken.  This will catch up with you eventually in the form of digestive disorders and degenerative diseases. Eat what is harvested locally in the present season, align yourself with nature and keep your body healthy. In today's world, you can virtually have any food

Everyone Needs A Little R&R!

Rest and relaxation are probably at the top of the list when it comes to health and well-being. For those who know how to do it have found the antidote to stress in their lives. Rest is necessary to restore health in the body, as most disease states are made worse by stress or even caused by it. When we relax, our body has the ability to unwind and reap from the benefits listed below. Rest and relaxation restore and repair our bodies when we sleep. Rest gives us more energy, enhances our immune system and will even dramatically improve our concentration. As a result, we are much more efficient in less time. Those that don't rest or sleep well are less productive. Well-rested and relaxed individuals are much more in control of their emotions. They have fewer emotional outbursts such as anger, crying, anxiety and frustration. They are much more adept at putting life into proper perspective rather than carrying on like an overtired two year old. Physically, rest lowers the

Avoiding Food Illness This Summer

Each year 48 million people suffer illness from contaminated foods. Although food-borne illness are often associated with meat products, some of the largest outbreaks have actually been linked to contaminated produce. Romaine lettuce, spinach, and tomatoes have all had their share of contamination, causing millions to become ill and in very rare cases, to die. Contamination can occur at any phase of growth, production and packaging. Salmonella and E. Coli are the most dangerous offenders. Salmonella poisoning is typically linked to eating raw or  under cooked  meats, poultry or egg products. It may take up to two days to have symptoms which are most often diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, aches and pains which are all made worse by dehydration. Symptoms may last 4-7 days but most people will tell you they are “not quite right” for months after. Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most varieties of E. coli are harmle

This Sweet Aids Teeth!

In over 25 years of testing, xylitol use has been shown to reduce tooth decay in even high risk (malnourished) populations. Xylitol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate. It is found in fibrous vegetables and fruits and also occurs naturally in our bodies. Xylitol, when extracted, is very sweet and is commonly used as a sugar replacement. I am not in favor of any sugar substitute to pacify your sweet tooth, but the benefits to your dental health are quite impressive. Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consumes the sugar we eat. If you have a diet abundant in breads and sugars, the bacteria in your mouth multiply and produce acids that eat away at the enamel on your teeth. Xylitol does not break down like other sugar and can help provide the mouth with a neutral pH level. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. Most people are not aware of this benefit because such a claim makes xylitol into a drug, crossing a boundary not allowed by the

Cholesterol is Misunderstood

Many people misunderstand cholesterol. I'm going to try and clear up some of the confusion and share some advice on how to achieve healthy cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a natural by product of the liver and is actually produced as a protective mechanism against inflammation in the body. Normal cholesterol is essential for cellular repair and plays a very important role in memory and learning. Cholesterol helps convert fats in the liver and is a very potent antioxidant that protects us from free radical damage. Free radical damage accelerates the aging process. We would be better at keeping people healthy by focusing on the cause of inflammation (mostly diet) rather than sabotaging our bodies own defenses that try to protect us. Research suggests that HDL, the high-density "good" cholesterol, helps to protect the cardiovascular system. LDL or low-density "bad" cholesterol appears to be the bad guy that builds up on your arteries and other inflamed pa

Minimize Your BPA Exposure

Bisphenol-A is a toxic chemical that is contaminating our food supply and even though Canada banned this toxic substance in 2010, the FDA is allowing our exposure in the U.S. to continue. BPA is a hormone-disrupting chemical that has been linked to early puberty, disrupted reproductive cycles, decreased sperm count and quality, cancer, obesity and heart disease and more. The glands of your endocrine system and the hormones they release are directly related to mood, growth and development, as well as metabolism. Some studies suggest that infants and children may be the most vulnerable to the effects of BPA. BPA is one of the world’s highest production chemicals and is extremely common in many forms of packaging and other places you would not expect. BPA is found in canned foods and soda cans, all plastics not labeled “BPA-free”, certain tooth sealants, receipts and even currency.  Even though you are not likely to avoid handling currency, you can minimize your exposure by keeping money

Krill Oil Supplementation!

When it comes to krill oil, the Omega-3 supplementation is more important than any multivitamin. The anti-inflammatory effect alone would benefit millions who suffer from arthritis and generalized aches and pains. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and are essential for memory and behavior. There are many studies that show that the Omega-3 found in fish oils play an impressive role in those suffering from depression or bipolar disorder. If you have a tendency for Seasonal Affective Disorder, taking fish oils can help by increasing serotonin (happy hormone) levels. Pregnant moms should absolutely take fish oils to optimize brain growth in their unborn child and the supplementation should continue after birth. Omega-3's benefit cardiac function and have blood-thinning qualities that may help to prevent heart attack or stroke. I think most individuals would agree that taking fish oils daily would be more beneficial than blood thinners or aspirin, both of wh

Beware of Food Labels!

Most consumers fall for words like "all natural," or "heart healthy" and are drawn to labels with pretty pictures of fruits and vegetables when shopping for groceries. These very misleading marketing ploys are partially responsible for the rising numbers of those diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes, and people suffering from obesity, even though they are eating foods that claim to benefit health. Here are some examples of poor choices you could be making right now: -Nutri-grain and whole wheat waffles: These waffles actually contain more white flour than whole wheat (not that whole wheat is much better). -High fiber bars: These bars are marketed for a diet high in fiber to help you lose weight and feel full. check the oat and chocolate "naturally flavored" bars, which have more chocolate than oats and have at least six types of sugar in the ingredient list. If you'd like to experience abdominal bloating and gas from the sugar alcohols, and fast-

Think Twice About Calcium Supplements

I have never been a fan of taking calcium supplements in to reduce my risk of osteopenia or osteoporosis. It just doesn’t seem right to mega dose a mineral in the hopes of balancing the body. Most of us are not deficient in calcium and you are more likely to suffer from abundant calcium deposits or calcifications such as kidney stones and gall stones. When you look around the world you will see that cultures that don’t drink dairy or take calcium supplements have the lowest rates of osteoporosis. North America is where you will find the most concentrated population of people with osteoporosis and yet we take more calcium supplements than the rest of the planet combined. According to a recent study reported by Green Med Info: “Calcium supplements... increase the risk of cardiovascular events, especially myocardial infarction (heart attack)... A reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in osteoporosis management is warranted.” A recent analysis has found that th

Say NO to Dairy?

Of all the food allergies in the US, dairy affects the largest number of people with the most acute symptoms. From colicky babies (a breastfeeding mom passes on her sensitivities) to ear infections and tonsillitis, to bloating and chronic sinusitis, dairy allergies affect the lives of millions. Many people, especially children, are needlessly placed on many rounds of antibiotics for symptoms of dairy allergies. How many people do you know that are "lactose intolerant"? I bet you know more than a few. I also know that the majority of people who suspect they may have a red flag warning of a dairy allergy will continue to avoid their body's warning signals. Some will even take or drink lactaid in order to continue consuming something that their body does not want. Chronic sinus conditions along with bloating, gas, diarrhea, and even constipation become normal and frequent complaints that are tolerated by the individual with a dairy intolerance. Because we have been brain

Consider Non-Toxic Cleaning For Spring!

As spring approaches and we open our windows to let the fresh air in, many of us begin to think about spring-cleaning. Now, anyone who knows me is probably laughing, as I was not born with the gift of keeping a pristine house. Cleaning is not one of my favorite pastimes and never will be. I do however, love a clean, clutter-free space and try and do my best. With asthma and allergies becoming common and almost expected ailments within the household, one needs to not only look at the diet but the environment as well. Our lives are filled with toxic foods, chemicals, pesticides, cosmetics and more. Cleaning up some of these areas will go a long way in preserving your health as well as the health of your family. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the indoor pollution is 100 times greater than outdoor pollution. Many individuals are obsessed with cleaning and bleaching everything in order to make sure their home is safe for children. Your intentions are beautif

Eliminate Toxic Waste & Reap the Benefits!

The colonic, also known as "colon hydrotherapy" or "high colonic," is a safe, effective method for cleansing the colon of waste material by repeated, gentle flushing with filtered water that is a comfortable temperature. Through appropriate use of massage, pressure points, reflexology, breathing techniques, suggestion etc., the colon therapist is able to work loose and eliminate far more toxic waste than any other short term technique. I personally cannot imagine life without them. The use of colon hydrotherapy in the treatment of disease can be dated back as far as the mid-1800's. Despite considerable research in the early part of the century documenting its therapeutic effectiveness, it continues to be a highly controversial and often misunderstood form of therapy. In all my studies, interest, and experience in natural health - I have come to know the following; if the colon is not eliminating properly, all the supplements, medications, and therapies in the

Your Internal Environment: Acid or Alkaline?

pH is a scale or balance system. The term pH means "potential of hydrogen." In order to understand pH we have to know what it is measuring: alkalinity and acidity. pH numbers range from 1 to 14 with neutral being 7.0. What is the definition of alkalinity and acidity? Acidity is the concentration of the hydrogen ion. Alkalinity is the concentration of the hydroxyl ion or OH's. So the difference between acidity and alkalinity is oxygen. The body attempts to maintain a pH of 7.4. If the body is not mildly alkaline, it cannot use oxygen efficiently and if it is unable to use oxygen effectively, it produces free oxygen radicals. The pH of your blood varies very little and if it shifts more than a few points, death occurs. Even though your blood must remain at a constant pH to live, your breast or prostate, for example, is willing to sacrifice itself because it is not as critical. There is this elaborate backup defense system that steals buffers in order to keep the blood a

Food Combining Impacts Your Health

Nothing will empower you or make you feel better than eating healthy whole foods. Eating according to your blood type has always been a favorite of mine as so many individuals suffer from inflammation and eating for your blood type reduces it dramatically. But there are other eating styles that may be a better option for you. Dr. William Hay is the name most associated with food combining. Although he did not "invent" this way of eating, he is the man most responsible for bringing it to the attention of many when it reversed his own dismal diagnosis of kidney and heart disease back in the early 1900's. He went on to write books on the topic and although there have been a few revisions, many have reaped the benefits. In a nutshell, food combining is rather easy although it conflicts with many of our current eating habits. The two basic fundamentals of food combining are; 1) Eat fruit alone and on an empty stomach and 2) Don't combine proteins with starches at the s

Too Tired? It Could Be Your Adrenals

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints of the population that I see. It may not be the first complaint, but it is almost always on their list. Many individuals suspect thyroid issues, hormone imbalance, illness or even just their stressful life.  These assumptions may be correct but what many fail to consider is adrenal fatigue. You have two adrenal glands located just above each of your kidneys. Each is no bigger than a walnut and weighs less than a grape, yet is responsible for one of the most important functions in your body: Managing stress. Your resiliency, energy, endurance and your very life all depend on their proper functioning. As part of your endocrine system, your adrenal glands secrete more than 50 hormones, many of which are essential for life. It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience adrenal fatigue during their lifetimes, yet it remains one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses in the United States. Ironically, the adrenal glands

Good News For Meat Eaters

There is a lot of confusion and controversy when it comes to eating meat.  Is it good for you?  Is it increasing your risk for heart disease?  I don’t blame you for being confused.  I personally love an occasional steak and would hate to think that it is causing harm in my body. Many problems have come about since the American Heart Association stated that people needed to avoid saturated fats if they are to prevent heart disease.  For one, people started eating low fat and fat-free.  If you eat low-fat, most likely you started eating an enormous amount of refined carbohydrates which converts to sugar in the body.  In a nut shell, this low fat lifestyle lead to a tremendous increase in obesity, type II diabetes and even increased your risk for stroke and heat disease.  Fat does not make you fat, sugar makes you fat!  Our cholesterol levels and inflammation markers soared. Fans of the Atkins diet would brag about their weight loss and ability to eat all the meat they want