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May 4, 2019

NUTRITION TO HELP BOOST MOOD

 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the Unites States (46.6 million) experiences mental illness in a given year. Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the US (11.2 million) experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. More facts: 20% of youth ages 13 – 18 live with a mental health condition. 11% of youth have a mood disorder. 10% of youth have a behavior or conduct disorder. 8% of youth have an anxiety disorder. The most disturbing fact is that the 3rd leading cause of death in youth ages 10 – 24 is suicide and 90% of those who die by suicide had an underlying mental illness. (Ref: NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness; nami.org)

 

 

The Key Nutrients Are:

 

Selenium

 

Thiamine (vitamin B1)

 

Vitamin A

 

Vitamin B6

 

Vitamin B12

 

Vitamin C

 

Zinc

 

 

Best Sources of The Key Nutrients:

 

Uma Naidoo recommends the following foods:

 

Beans - small Red Beans - these contain B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and thiamine (B1).

 

Fermented Foods - Kimchi & sauerkraut (not the canned kind) - these foods help build up the healthy or "good bacteria" in your gut.

 

Fruits - Avocados and berries - contains B vitamins, magnesium. potassium, vitamin C, and many beneficial antioxidants.

 

Leafy Greens - spinach, collards and kale - contain B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, and E.

 

Legumes - including lentils - contain B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

 

Meats - grass fed beef - contains B vitamins, iron, vitamin A, and zinc.

 

Nuts - including almonds. cashews, and walnuts - contain magnesium, B vitamins, Omega 3 fatty acids, selenium, and vitamin E.

 

Oils - including olive and fish oil - contain Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E.

 

Krill and Algae oils contain high amounts of the Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.

 

Seafood - Wild-caught salmon, herring, tuna, and anchovies - contain Omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc.

 

Seeds - chia, flax, and sunflower seeds - contain Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamins B1 and E, and zinc.

 

Spices - ginger and turmeric - contain magnesium, and vitamins B1, B6, C, and E.

 

Whole Grains - farro, quinoa, buckwheat, and wild rice - contain protein, iron, magnesium, selenium, and vitamin B1, and zinc.

 

 

 

Important Information on Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

 

A study published in the World Journal of Psychiatry found the following:

 

The Omega 3 fatty acid EPA supplementation in Bipolar Disorder has been observed to increase brain N-acetyl-aspartate, a marker for neuronal health. EPA supplementation for 9 months also increased the ratio of cerebral phosphomonesters to phosphodiesters, an indicator of phospholipid turnover, and reversed brain atrophy in subjects with Major Depressive Disorder. And, EPA amounts greater than 60% of DHA positively affected depression outcome.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any illness. Always discuss any dietary changes with your physician first.

 

April 30, 2019

SUPER NUTRIENT

 TOCOTRIENOL (toe-co-try-en-awl)

This nutrient is the 'cousin' to vitamin E. The nucleus of vitamin E and tocotrienol are the same, but the difference is the side chain or “tail” of the molecule. The side chain of tocotrienols are shorter making them more mobile. As a result, they move more easily from cell to cell.

 

BENEFITS OF TOCOTRIENOLS:

  1. Helps Boost Your Own Levels of CoQ10

First, a quick lesson on cholesterol. Only 20% of cholesterol comes from your diet. Your liver produces 80% of your body's cholesterol – about 1,000 mg per day. The liver uses an enzyme called HMG co-reductase to manufacture cholesterol in your body. Tocotrienols inhibit the HMG enzyme differently than conventional therapies (statins, for example), so CoQ10 production is NOT compromised. As far as scientists know, tocotrienols are the only nutrients that can boost CoQ10 levels within the body. Pretty amazing, right? But, the benefits don't stop here.

  1. Helps Lower LDL aka “BAD” Cholesterol Levels

If you have too much LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream, it can stick to the walls of your arteries and form plaque. This build-up of plaque causes hardening of the arteries, where the walls become narrow, making it harder for blood to circulate. In a recent study, 30 participants taking a tocotrienol supplement saw a 15-20% reduction in their LDL levels in only 30 days. It works by blocking the enzyme (HMG) described above.

  1. Reduces Triglycerides

Triglycerides are another type of blood fat. High amounts of triglycerides make the blood more “sluggish” and less capable of transporting oxygen, particularly through the smallest blood vessels. Triglycerides over 150 could also mean you are at a serious risk for insulin resistance.

Participants in several studies were able to reduce triglycerides by an amazing 20-25% using tocotrienols. These studies strongly suggest that tocotrienols can improve insulin resistance.

  1. Lowers C-Reactive Protein: An Important Inflammation Marker

C-Reactive Protein is an inflammation marker that possibly contributes to inflammation in the blood vessel walls when it's increased. Tocotrienols have the ability to reduce CRPs by 20-50%. You would need between 800 and 1,200 IU of vitamin E per day to do the same thing.

  1. Reduces Inflammation In the Body

Not only do tocotrienols reduce CRP levels, they have been shown to block the activation of NF-kB, a master regulator of the inflammatory response.

  1. Possess Neuroprotective Properties

Glutamate is the main excitatory amino acid in the central nervous system of mammals. Studies have shown that tocotrienols have the ability to protect against glutamate-induced neuronal death by suppressing inducible pp60 c-Src kinase activation. Tocotrienols also have been shown to promote Nrf2 mediated cytoprotective activity.

  1. Powerful Antioxidant

Of the antioxidants in its class, tocotrienols appear superior due to their better distribution in the lipid layers of the cell membrane, Orally taken tocotrienol supplements are less bioavailable than getting them from food sources, according to studies in humans, but the supplements used in the studies were effective.

  1. Possess Anti-cancer Properties

Tocotrienols contain natural compounds that were reported to specifically target multiple cell signaling pathways. They also inhibit other targets including transcription factors, enzymes, growth factors and its receptors, kinases, and anti-apoptotic proteins. Recent studies pointed out that tocotrienols exert a synergistic anti-tumor effect on cancer cells when given in a combination with either standard anti-tumor agents (chemo, radiation, etc.) or natural compounds with anti-cancer activity (sesamin, resveratrol, EGCG, ferulic acid). Based on these observations, different formulations were recently developed to improve tocotrienol water solubility and to reduce tocotrienol metabolism in cancer cells, thus increasing their biological activity.

 

 

SOURCES OF TOCOTRIENOLS

 Best Sources:

Palm Fruits

Rice Bran (465 mg/kg)

Annatto Fruit and Seed

Rice Bran Oil

Wheat Germ

Barley Germ

 

Other sources:

Grapefruit Seed Oil

Hazelnuts

Maize

Coconut Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, cold-pressed

Buckthorn Berry

Rye

Flax Seed Oil

Poppy Seed Oil

Sunflower Seed Oil

 

 

References:

-ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4333972/.

-ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392014/

-ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392014/#!po=0.409836/

-Malavolta M., et al, Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Tocotrienols in Age-Related Pathologies: A SASPected Involvement of Cellular Senescence; Biological Procedures Online; November 2018; 20:22. https://doi.org/10.1186/s1257-018-0087-4

 

 

*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes ONLY. It is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any illness. Always consult your physician before making dietary changes or taking supplements.

April 17, 2019

GLUTEN-FREE: NOT A FAD DIET

Gluten has been found to negatively impact the lining of the gut, creating intestinal permeability or otherwise known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. The lining of the gut is supposed to remain intact to keep food waste and microbes inside the digestive tract.

Gluten can cause the release of an inflammatory protein called zonulin, which opens up the junctions in the linings of the gut and causes gaps, allowing toxins to leak into the bloodstream creating an immune response. This sets the stage for systemic inflammation affecting energy levels, mood, skin, and many other aspects of your health.

Gluten can be found in wheat, rye, and barley products. In salad dressings that contain flour, in some canned soups, and in bottled sauces as a thickener.

The studies that have shown gluten to be inflammatory were on both Celiac Disease patients and non-Celiac Disease patients. This is the scientific evidence that gluten can cause systemic inflammation in any one of us. If you're wanting to reduce inflammation, avoiding gluten is a good idea, not a fad diet. There are many gluten-free products available to purchase from the grocery store. Some are better than others. It might be a good idea to ask a dietitian, nutritionist, or holistic nutrition practitioner.

Here is a list of alternative grains (and seeds):

-Amaranth – A great source of protein, calcium, fiber, iron, manganese, B vitamins, Vitamin C, and more. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. The most common way to use amaranth is in porridge, but you can grind it into flour. Use the flour to make grits, thicken soups or sauces, or make crackers.

-Brown Rice – Great source of fiber, manganese and other nutrients. When combined with beans or other legumes, it creates a complete protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids). Most commonly eaten as a side dish with vegetables or added to soups.

-Buckwheat – This is classified as a “pseudograin”, but it is actually a seed high in manganese, copper, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, zinc, and more. It has the rare distinction of being a complete protein; containing all 9 essential amino acids. They are essential because our bodies do not make them and we need to consume them. Buckwheat has a mild flavor, but if you roast it, it has a nutty, earthy taste. It can be used as a substitute for rice in dishes or in porridge. It can also be ground into flour to make crepes, pancakes, cookies, and breads.

-Millet – Another “pseudograin” that is actually a seed high in B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, protein, fiber, iron, and more. It can help regulate blood sugar levels. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. Millet is most commonly eaten as porridge or hot breakfast cereal, but it makes a great substitute for rice.

-Oats – These are high in fiber, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, protein, and some B vitamins. The most common way these are eaten is oatmeal. They are easily ground into flour for baking.

-Quinoa – The last “pseudograin” on our list that is a seed related to the spinach family. It is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids. Quinoa is high in protein, fiber, Vitamin E, magnesium, iron, antioxidants, and more. It can be used as a substitute for rice, added to soups and stews, or a side dish.

-Sorghum – A cereal grain originally from Africa, sorghum is rich in protein, fiber, iron, B vitamins, potassium, and other nutrients. It is also high in anthocyanins, the same antioxidants found in blueberries. It has a nutty flavor and is used as a sweetener or ground into flour. Try popping sorghum whole grains the way you pop popcorn. It can also be used to make porridge and pilaf.

-Teff – This grain has high levels of protein, fiber, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, Vitamin C, and more. Has the highest amount of calcium than any other grain. Teff can be used for hot breakfast cereal or porridge, substitute for rice, or ground into flour.

References:

Hollon, J.; Puppa, E.; et al, Effects of Gliaden on Permeability on Intestinal Biopsy Explants from Celiac Disease Patients and Non-Celiac Disease Disease Gluten Sensitivity, Nutrients. February 2015

Carroccio, A.; Mansueto, P.; et al, Non-celiac wheat sensitivity diagnosed by a double-blind placebo-controlled challenge: Exploring a new clinical entity. Am. J. Gastroenterol. 2012, 107, 1898-1906.

nutritiondata.self.com

**Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes ONLY. It is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any illness. Always consult your physician before making any dietary changes.

April 7, 2019

 

HERBS AND SPICES TO HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS

Many of the people I speak with ask me, “how can I lose a few pounds?”. Without completely revising their current meal plan, they usually want tips or tricks. Well, there are no tricks or ‘magic pills’ when it comes to weight loss. There are dietary changes you can implement and lifestyle changes that will work, but you must be ready to make that change.

This is a list of herbs and spices you can add to your current meal plan to help with weight loss. To speed up your efforts, you should avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates as well.

  1. Fenugreek – This spice/herb is widely used in Indian cuisine as well as North African and Middle Eastern dishes. Curry contains fenugreek, a seed that helps suppress fat cravings. If you crave fatty foods, curry powder may help quash your craving, . It may stimulate insulin and slow the absorption of sugars in the stomach, which can lower blood sugar. As a supplement, fenugreek seeds are used as a treatment for high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes,
  2. Cumin – Recent research reveals that cumin may be a natural weight loss aid, helping to decrease body fat. It has also been shown to help lower cholesterol and triglycerides. In one study, overweight and obese women who consumed about 1 teaspoon of cumin powder per day decreased their body fat by approximately 14.6% in a 3-month period – almost 3X that of the non-cumin group. Here’s an idea: Stir a teaspoon into your hummus. Its extra kick could keep you feeling full longer.
  3. Rosemary – Approved in Germany for digestive ailments, rosemary has been used for many years as an herb for its medicinal benefits. Rosemary is naturally rich in carnosic acid, a substance that inhibits the formation of fat cells. It also helps muscles soak up glucose, helping to lower blood sugar levels and potentially moderating hunger.
  4. Ginger – Used for decades to treat nausea and other digestive problems, ginger has recently gained attention as a weight loss aid. Ginger is a natural appetite suppressant, helping you feel full, so you eat less overall. It creates thermogenesis, an action that Ahelps you burn more calories. How to use it? Use a pinch of freshly ground ginger to sweeten your oatmeal instead of sugar or honey.
  5. Cayenne Pepper – A great source of the phytochemical, capsaicin, which has anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and cancer-protective properties. It is also thought to increase satiety (the sense of fullness). This may help to reduce overall food intake. A study at Purdue found that approx. a ½ tsp of cayenne pepper helped normal-weight adults burn more calories over a 4-hour period compared to those eating the same meal without it. Appetite also decreased the most in the people who said they did not already eat spicy foods. To spice up your weight loss efforts: Add cayenne pepper to your favorite stir fries, stews, and ethnic-inspired dishes.

 

 

References:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5630574/

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2014 Nov; 20(4):297-301.

Phytother Res. 2018 Apr; 32(4):577-585.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3408800/

Pharmacogn Rev. 2017 Jan-Jun; 11(21): 23-26.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5414451/#__ffn_sectitle

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only. It is NOT intended to replace medical advice, diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any illness. Always consult your physician before making any dietary changes.

 

 

 

April 1, 2019

 PAIN AND MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

 

One issue many people with MS experience is PAIN. What is the root cause of pain?

INFLAMMATION!!!

Inflammation is linked to other illnesses including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and many more.

To help reduce the amount of inflammation in your body, there are foods you can add and there are foods to avoid.

FOODS TO ADD:

1. Tomatoes - The lycopene in tomatoes has been shown to be a strong anti-inflammatory. To maximize the amount of lycopene, cook in extra virgin olive oil. Because lycopene is fat-soluble, the EVOO helps its absorption into the cells.

2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) - The antioxidant, oleocanthal, in EVOO has been compared to the OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ibuprofen. Benefits are greater in extra virgin olive oil than more refined olive oils.

3. Berries - Blueberries have more anthocyanins than any other berry. These compounds have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Tart Cherries - Tart cherries contain anthocyanins and catechins. Both of these compounds reduce inflammation.

5. Fatty fish - Wild-caught salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies -
These fish are high in the Omega 3s EPA and DHA which help reduce inflammation, especially in the brain.

6. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables - Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale - Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that fights inflammation by reducing the levels of cytokines and NF-kB which drive inflammation.

7. Green Tea - Green Tea contains EGCG, a substance that inhibits inflammation by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production and damage to the fatty acids in
the cells.

FOODS TO AVOID:

1. Refined Carbs - white bread, white rice, pastries, pasta, etc.

2. Fried foods and trans fats

3. Vegetable and seed oils

4. Soda and sugary beverages

5. Processed meats

For a much more detailed list, subscribe to our website. You will receive The Ultimate Guide to Reduce Inflammation Naturally. It includes a detailed list of foods, herbs, and spices that reduce inflammation and a longer list of foods the cause inflammation. There is also a section that helps you balance your Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. Scroll down to the bottom of any page and sign up for our monthly newsletter. You will receive an email with a link to download the PDF.

 

 

Disclaimer:
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any illness. Always consult your physician before making any dietary changes.

References:
health.harvard.edu
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20491642
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24512603
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21129940
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17584048
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21443487

 

 

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin B12?

Signs you may be deficient in B12:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Weakness
  3. “Senior” moments
  4. Sleepless nights
  5. Mood swings
  6. Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  7. Constipation
  8. Loss of appetite/Weight loss
  9. Difficulty maintaining balance
  10. Soreness of the mouth or tongue

In a recent study at Tuft’s University, researchers found that nearly 1 in 4 people over the age of 26 (in the United States) are borderline deficient in vitamin B12, some of whom may already be experiencing symptoms.

 

Why is B12 so important?

  1. B12 is one of the building blocks your body uses to produce DNA.
  2. It is vital for red blood cell formation, growth, and repair.
  3. Proper levels of B12 keep your immune system functioning normally.
  4. B12 is necessary to regulate mood.
  5. It helps regulate sleep cycles.
  6. B12 helps lessen the harmful effects of the “stress hormone”, homocysteine.
  7. New research has shown B12’s role in protecting your brain and entire nervous system by keeping the nerves communicating optimally.

Scientists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found those who had markers linked to a vitamin B12 deficiency were more likely to have the smallest brains. They scored the lowest on tests measuring short-term memory, concentration, and other thinking processes.

Another study published in the journal Neurology in 2011, showed that older people with high levels of B12 in their blood have bigger, healthier brains and score higher on cognitive tests than those with lower levels.

 

How much B12 do I need and where do I get it?

The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamin B12 for adults over the age 14 in men and women is 2.4 mcg daily. In supplements, methylcobalamin is the form that researchers have found to be the safest and most effective to use daily.

 

Best Sources of Vitamin B12:

Clams, 3      oz. cooked                                                 84.1 mcg

Nutritional Yeast (fortified w/100% of B12)   6.0 mcg

Rainbow Trout, 3 oz. cooked                                    5.4 mcg

Sockeye Salmon, 3 oz. cooked                                4.8 mcg

Tuna, light (canned in water) 3 oz.                       2.5 mcg

Swiss Cheese, 1 oz.                                                         .9 mcg

 

**This informational is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace medical advice, diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure and illnesses. Always consult your physician before making any dietary changes.

 

References:

ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/

JAMA. 2002; 288(16): 2015-2022.

Am J Clin Nutr. 1999; 69(3): 564-571.

 

 

 

January 30, 2019

Are You Tired of Wearing Glasses? 

Learn How To Improve Your Vision NATURALLY

 

The following information is taken from actual scientific studies. Not only can you reverse vision loss, you can prevent age-related diseases of the eyes. Sounds impossible? Well, it’s not! With some simple nutritional changes, you can notice improvements in your vision within ONE month.

The Main Reasons for Vision Loss

Environmental Toxins – These are found closer than you think. Toxins are in shampoos, conditioners, hair styling products, household cleaners, etc.

Eye Malnourishment – To find the foods that support eye health, read this article in its entirety.

Ocular Atrophy – Eyes are not being used as they were intended, looking near and far. We spend far too much time looking at our smartphones, computer, and TV screens.

 

First, the studies:

  • A study published in The Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology identified the nutrients necessary to prevent aging eye concerns and help the muscles that control eye movement. (Published 2012)
  • Several studies conducted by Professor Hugh Taylor from the University of Melbourne’s Indigenous Health Unit confirmed that the Aboriginal people of Australia have the best vision in the world. (2008-2018)
  • A study conducted by Scott W. Tunis, MD, FACS in Wilmington, NC identified 11 antioxidants that inhibit cataract formation and progression by up to 15%. (06/2015 - 12/2015)
  • A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition identified two (2) nutrients responsible for reducing the risk of developing cataracts by 40% in elderly Finnish people.
  • AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study, 10/2001) study found two (2) nutrients that reduce the risk of vision loss by 18% and the risk of developing Advanced AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) by 25%. (Ref: nei.nih.gov/amd)
  • AREDS2 (2006 – 2013) This follow-up study of AREDS identified two (2) nutrients that reduced the risk of developing AMD by 18%. (Ref: nei.nih.gov/areds2)

 

What are these nutrients?

Lutein and Zeaxanthin – These two (2) nutrients were identified in Studies 4 – 6 (above) to have the biggest benefits for eye health.

  • Both are found in eggs, kiwi, red seedless grapes, orange bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and green beans. If you choose to add eggs daily, do not mix the white and yolk when cooking. Best eaten soft boiled, over-easy, sunny side up, or poached.

Omega-3 fatty acids – These are the essential fatty acids that have preventive effects of aging eye concerns. They also help the nerves and muscles that control eye movement. The DHA in Omega-3s have the most beneficial properties.

  • The best sources of DHA are wild-caught salmon, cod, sardines, and anchovies. Krill Oil and Algae Oil have the highest amount of DHA.

Alpha Lipoic Acid – This antioxidant has been used successfully to help control symptoms of eye-related disorders including vision loss, Macular Degeneration, retina damage, cataracts, glaucoma, and Wilson’s Disease.

  • Best sources of Alpha Lipoic Acid: broccoli, spinach, grass-fed beef, organ meat, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, peas, Brewer’s Yeast, beets, and carrots.

Vitamin B12 – B12 is responsible for nerve health in the eye.

  • Best sources of vitamin B12: grass-fed beef, animal liver and kidneys, clams, sardines, fortified whole grain cereals, tuna, fortified Nutritional Yeast, trout, wild-caught salmon, fortified non-dairy milk, egg yolks, mackerel, and crab. For vegans and vegetarians, ask your physician about the methylated form of a B12 supplement, methylcobalamin.

Vitamin C – The American Optometric Association suggests that Vitamin C can improve visual activity.

  • Best sources of Vitamin C: Kiwi, mango, oranges, watermelon, and red bell peppers.

Astaxanthin – This powerful carotenoid has been shown to neutralize free radicals to protect cells, reduce DNA damage, and fight aging. It is found predominately in marine life. This microalgae, H. pluvialis, is consumed by many different types of aquatic life, has an intense red color and gives these animals red or pink flesh.

  • Best sources of astaxanthin: Wild-caught sockeye salmon, lobster, crab, crawfish, red trout, krill, algae oil, and a species of yeast called Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous.

Anthocyanin – Another powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Best sources of Anthocyanin: Blueberries and grapes. Other sources: pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, and yellow bell peppers.

Lecithin, Sulfur, and Cysteine – Best sources are onions, capers, and garlic.

Vitamins A – Best sources are sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots, cantaloupe, and dark leafy greens (spinach, broccoli, kale, and collards).

Vitamin E – Best sources are sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, dark leafy greens.

Zinc – Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American Diet. Other good sources include beans (legumes), nuts, seafood such as crab or lobster, and whole grains. However, phytates present in whole grain bread, cereals, and legumes bind zinc and inhibit its absorption. Thus, the bioavailability of zinc from grains and plant sources is lower than that from animal sources. (Oysters have 74 mg per serving, 3 ounces of braised beef chuck has 7 mg per serving, and one-half cup of baked beans, plain or vegetarian, has 2.9 mg per serving.) (Ref: ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/)

 

For Ocular Atrophy:

  • Don’t rub your eyes. Instead, close eyes tightly and squeeze several times.
  • Avoid lying down while watching TV.
  • Do eye rotations daily. Basically, roll your eyes one way a few times, then the other way. Repeat this a few times a day to strengthen eye muscles.
  • If you spend hours in front of a computer/tablet/smartphone/TV screen, do the 20-20-20 exercise. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Don’t forget to blink!

 

How I went from strong glasses to near perfect vision

For 90 days, I made sure to eat the following foods: One serving of each; blueberries, dark leafy greens, sunflower seeds, onion, and fresh garlic. I also ate one or two soft boiled eggs, a sweet potato, and an orange. I added three supplements; Algae Oil, natural astaxanthin 10 mg, and a natural B complex (under my physician’s supervision).

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any illness. It is also not intended to take the place of medical advice. Before making dietary changes or taking supplements, consult your physician.

 

Other References:

Zorge I, McDonald G, Dagnelle G. Lutein improves visual function in some patients with congenital retinal degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 1999; 40: 5679.

Burke JD, Curran-Celentana J, Wenzel AJ. Diet and serum carotenoid concentrations affect macular pigment optical density in adults 45 years and older. Journal of Nutrition, 2005; 135: 1208-14.

Seddon JM, et al. Dietary carotenoids, vitamins A, C, and E and advanced age-related macular degeneration. Eye disease case-control study group. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), 1994; 272: 1413-20.

 

December 31, 2018

Nutrition For the Mind - MOOD FOODS

 

Nutrition not only affects our bodies, it affects our minds as well.

From the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Laura LaChance and Drew Ramsey, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, identified 12 key nutrients that benefit and help manage anxiety and depression:

12 Key Nutrients

Folate (vitamin B9)

Iron

Omega 3 fatty acids

Magnesium

Potassium

Selenium

Thiamine (vitamin B1)

Vitamin A

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B12

Vitamin C

Zinc

According to Uma Naidoo, psychiatry instructor at Harvard Medical School, culinary instructor at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and the director of Nutrition and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut "causes inflammation and an imbalance of the important hormones and neurotransmitters - melatonin and serotonin - in the brain. She recommends eating fermented foods as they bring "good bacteria" to the digestive system. Naidoo also emphasized the food is not a complete solution to mental health conditions. Rather than only asking patients what they are eating, Naidoo asks, "how they are sleeping, what they do for exercise, what they are doing to be mindful along with traditional forms of therapy". She added, "the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is essential for managing mental health."

 

Best Sources of The Key Nutrients

Both Uma Naidoo and Drew Ramsey recommend the following foods:

Beans - small Red Beans - these contain B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and thiamine (B1).

Fermented Foods - Kimchi & sauerkraut (not the canned kind) - these foods help build up the healthy or "good bacteria" in your gut.

Fruits - Avocados and berries - contains B vitamins, magnesium. potassium, vitamin C, and many beneficial antioxidants.

Leafy Greens - spinach, collards and kale - contain B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, and E.

Legumes - including lentils - contain B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Meats - grass fed beef - contains B vitamins, iron, vitamin A, and zinc.

Nuts - including almonds. cashews, and walnuts - contain magnesium, B vitamins, Omega 3 fatty acids, selenium, and vitamin E.

Oils - including olive and fish oil - contain Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E.

Krill and Algae oils contain high amounts of the Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.

Seafood - Wild-caught salmon, herring, tuna, and anchovies - contain Omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc.

Seeds - chia, flax, and sunflower seeds - contain Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamins B1 and E, and zinc.

Spices - ginger and turmeric -  contain magnesium, and vitamins B1, B6, C, and E.

Whole Grains - farro, quinoa, buckwheat, and wild rice - contain iron, magnesium, selenium, and vitamin B1, and zinc.

 

Spotlight on Omega 3 Fatty Acids

A study published in the World Journal of Psychiatry found the following:

The Omega 3 fatty acid EPA supplementation in Bipolar Disorder has been observed to increase brain N-acetyl-aspartate, a marker for neuronal health. EPA supplementation for 9 months also increased the ratio of cerebral phosphomonesters to phosphodiesters, an indicator of phospholipid turnover, and reversed brain atrophy in subjects with Major Depressive Disorder. And, EPA amounts greater than 60% of DHA positively affected depression outcome.

 

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any illness. Always discuss any dietary changes with your physician first.

 

 

 

November 10, 20 18

Leaky Gut Syndrome 

A Real Condition, Not a Concept

I'm sure by now you've heard of "Leaky Gut Syndrome". Medically speaking, it is called increased intestinal permeability.

So, what IS Leaky Gut?

We have 400 m² surface area of intestinal surface area, though only a layer of cells, the intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) are the mainstay of the intestinal barrier and serve as a physical barrier. When working properly, it forms a tight barrier that controls what gets into the bloodstream. In an unhealthy gut lining, this barrier, may have cracks or holes that allow partially digested food, toxins, and bacteria to penetrate the tissues beneath it (or leak through it). Current research has shown that this may trigger inflammation and changes to the gut flora (the balance of bacteria in the intestines).

What causes Leaky Gut?

Some people have a genetic predisposition and may be more sensitive to changes in the digestive system. The Standard American Diet, which is low in fiber and high in sugar and saturated & trans fats seems to initiate the process. Heavy alcohol use and stress also seem to disrupt this balance.

Illnesses linked to Leaky Gut...

It is already known that increased intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut Syndrome) plays a role in the gastrointestinal conditions celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. Some studies have shown that leaky gut may be associated with autoimmune diseases (type 1 diabetes, Lupus, multiple sclerosis), chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, allergies, asthma, acne, obesity, and even mental illness. Studies in humans have yet to be done to prove such a cause and effect.

What helps?

Although it is unusual to hear the term "increased intestinal permeability" in most physician's offices, integrative and alternative medicine practitioners have worked on gut healing as an initial step to treat chronic illnesses for decades. They advise to remove foods that cause inflammation (alcohol, processed foods, foods that cause sensitivities or allergies, and ask your doctor if any of your meds could be to blame) and eat foods that quell inflammation and bring more balance to the gut flora.

 

 

**This information is for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any illness. Before making any changes to your normal routine, always consult with your physician.

 

Resources:

Leaky Gut As a Danger Signal for Autoimmune Diseases. Frontiers in Immunology, May 2017.

The intestinal epithelial barrier: a therapeutic target? Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology, November 2016.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25855934/?i=2&from=/26760399/related

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440529/

 

October 31, 2018

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH POTASSIUM IN YOUR DIET?

According to the study "What We Eat in America" that was done in 2009 - 2010 (NHANES; Food Surveys Research), the average dietary potassium intake of the US population aged two years and older was 2,640 mg per day. Less than 25% of males on a given day and less than 1% of females were consuming the recommended 4,700 mg of dietary potassium per day.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends the Adequate Intake of potassium for adults aged 20 and over is 4,700 mg per day. Current evidence suggests that an increased intake of potassium lowers blood pressure. In addition to its effects on blood pressure, a higher intake of potassium may reduce the risk of kidney stones and might decrease bone loss. Potassium helps carry electrical signals to the cells in your body. It is critical to the functioning of nerve and muscle cells, particularly heart muscle cells.

WHICH FOODS CONTAIN POTASSIUM?

Best Sources of Potassium:

1 cup   Beet Greens      1,300 mg

1 cup   Swiss Chard        960 mg

1 cup   Lima Beans         955 mg

1 med Sweet Potato      950 mg

1 med Potato                   925 mg

1 cup Spinach                 800 mg

1 cup Black Beans        650 mg

1 cup Broccoli                540 mg

1/2 cup Raisins              540 mg

1 cup Beets                     520 mg

1 medium Banana       425 mg

1 cup Cantaloupe        400 mg

 

Cooking vegetables does lead to loss of mineral content. (The amount of potassium listed for black beans is cooked) Eating vegetables raw is obviously the best option. If you minimize the duration of contact of the food with the cooking water, you can preserve the content of minerals. Lightly steaming veggies is the best option, if you prefer to eat them cooked. Roasting them is another good option.

Because of the potential danger, the FDA limits the over-the-counter potassium supplements to less than 100 mg. That is only 2% of the recommended 4,700 mg, which is why you should get potassium from your diet.

One healthy addition is a salt substitute that contains potassium chloride. Some salts are labeled "lite" or "low sodium". They contain a mix of sodium chloride and potassium chloride. (These are NOT recommended for people with kidney problems or those who take medications for heart, kidney, or liver issues. ALWAYS ask your doctor before making a dietary change!)

 

 

References:

US Department of Agriculture: ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/fsrg

Harvard Health Publishing/Harvard Medical School: health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-i-take-a-potassium-supplement

mayoclinic.org/symptoms/low-potassium/basics/definition/sym-20050632

my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/17452-salt-substitutes

 

**This information is for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any illness. Before making any changes to your diet, always consult your physician.

 

 

 

 

October 20, 2018

FIBROMYALGIA NEWS

Fibromyalgia is a very real and difficult illness to diagnose. Originally, the condition was thought to be a peripheral musculoskeletal disease. Today, fibromyalgia has become increasingly recognized as a neuro-biological problem causing central pain sensitization. As many as 10 million Americans have fibromyalgia and its cause remains a mystery. There are no laboratory tests available to diagnose the illness, so physicians rely on patient histories, reported symptoms, and physical examination findings.

SYMPTOMS:
1. Pain and stiffness - Pain is the #1 complaint of fibromyalgia patients, and is usually described as moderate to severe. Stiffness is often worse in the morning.
2. Fatigue
3. "Foggy-headedness" or Cognitive Impairment
4. Sleep disturbances
5. Headaches
6. Anxiety/Stress or Depression
7. Numbness and/or tingling in the extremities
8. Tinnitus

NEW RESEARCH ON FIBROMYALGIA

A study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity on September 14, 2018 revealed using PET scan imaging, the presence of widespread brain inflammation in the patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This study was conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

HERE'S THE GOOD NEWS!!!

There are ways that YOU can improve fibromyalgia. The key is to reduce the inflammation in the brain.

1. Dietary changes - There are foods that cause inflammation and foods that reduce inflammation.
For example:
Foods that cause inflammation: sugar, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates
Foods that reduce inflammation: certain antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, Omega 3-rich foods, and foods that optimize your vitamin D levels

2. Lifestyle changes - There are ways to reduce stress and help improve the quality of sleep.
For example:
- Meditation - You only need 15 minutes to get started with meditation. For beginners, I'd suggest guided meditations. There are many sites on the internet that have guided meditations you can listen to and several smartphone apps such as Headspace and Calm.
- Yoga - The practice of yoga involves a joining of the body, mind, and spirit. Through breathwork, meditation, movements, and relaxation, yoga can help restore a sense of personal balance.
- Breathwork - Some of these techniques are taken from Pranayama Yoga. They can be very effective for lowering cortisol levels and blood pressure.
For example: A Pranayama technique called Nadi Shodhana, also known as alternate nostril breathing, is commonly used to improve sleep. Dr. Andrew Weil has several videos on YouTube demonstrating this and the 4-7-8 breathing techniques, if you'd like to see how they are preformed correctly. (*Before adding breathwork to your routine, talk to your physician, especially if you heart or lung issues such as asthma or COPD.)
- EFT or TFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or Thought Field Therapy) - Both techniques involve (amongst some other things) tapping on specific acupressure or meridian points while focusing attention on a particular emotional problem. The aim is to remove the disruptions in the energy system that are causing particular negative emotions or emotional problems.

I created a detailed guide listing foods, herbs, and spices that cause and reduce inflammation that is given to new subscribers to our website called "The Ultimate Guide to Reduce Inflammation Naturally". It took 6 months of research to find the information and studies to back it all up, and it's FREE when you subscribe to our website. We send ONE newsletter per month and won't clog your inbox with promotions or unnecessary emails. You can unsubscribe at any time and keep the PDF as our gift for taking the time to check out our website. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe and receive the FREE PDF, if interested.

 

(**This information is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any illness. Discuss any changes to your dietary or physical routine with your physician first.)

 

 

September 30, 2018

WHAT'S THIS WHOLE "LECTIN-FREE DIET" CRAZE?
Lectins are a type of protein found in plants. Some scientists believe that lectins provide a form of defense in plants to keep insects away. However, these proteins also contain nitrogen, which is needed for plants to grow.
It is true that lectins are considered to be antinutrients that may block the absorption of nutrients. Lectins can also cause adverse health reactions such as nausea, diarrhea, and bloating, BUT ONLY IF EATEN RAW!!! Lectin-rich foods include legumes (beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts) and whole grains (whole wheat, whole oats, brown rice, whole grain barley, millet, corn, and pseudograins quinoa and buckwheat). Who eats this stuff raw? Even peanuts are roasted or boiled before you eat them.
According to Jacalyn See, clinical dietitian at The Mayo Clinic, "Cooking completely denatures lectins, in fact, boiling legumes in water eliminates almost all lectin activity and canning beans is just as effective. Moreover, whole grains and legumes are a powerhouse of nutrients, rich in B vitamins, iron, protein, and fiber which are difficult to get in restrictive diets such as a gluten-free diet."  [mayo clinic site](https://celiacblog.mayoclinic.org/2016/03/01/know-your-lectins
Just like people can be allergic or sensitive to foods containing gluten, people can be allergic or sensitive to foods containing lectins. I would discuss this issue with a physician qualified to diagnose issues with the digestive tract such as a gastroenterologist.
I hope you understand my confusion about this diet craze. It seems as though if you Google the word "lectin", you get a dozen or two websites telling you how to go on a "Lectin-free Diet". Some of these sites are from MDs and naturopathic doctors who many people go to for nutritional advice. I decided to do some digging and look to organizations who do research and have no advertisers on their websites, like The Mayo Clinic.
(Other Reference: Dr. David Katz, Yale University Prevention Research Center and founder of the True Health Initiative)

 

August 30, 2018

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH MAGNESIUM?

Did you know that magnesium is present in every cell in our bodies? It also plays a role is more than 300 biological functions in our bodies. It is now estimated that 8 out of 10 people in the United States do not get enough magnesium from their diet. That’s a whopping 80% of us. So, why is this happening??

REASONS FOR MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY

  1. Prescription Medications – The FDA released a safety announcement on 03/02/2011 informing the public that prescription proton pump inhibitor drugs may cause low serum magnesium levels if taken for prolonged periods of time (more than one year). In approximately one quarter of the cases reviewed by the FDA, supplementation alone did not improve low serum magnesium levels and the PPI had to be discontinued (PPIs work by reducing the amount of stomach acid and treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux or GERD). In 2009, approximately 21 million patients filled PPI prescriptions at pharmacies in the US (not including the over-the-counter purchases) and the numbers have been climbing ever since.

(Ref: fda.gov/drugsafety/UCM245011.htm)

Other Prescription Drugs That Can Cause Magnesium Deficiency – The following drugs cause the body to lose magnesium via the urine: diuretics for hypertension, birth control pills, insulin, digitalis, tetracycline and other antibiotics, corticosteroids, and bronchodilators for asthma.

 

  1. Soil Depletion – Modern agriculture methods favor the use of NPK fertilizers (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). Both phosphorus and potassium create a relative magnesium deficiency in the soil. The new hybrid plants that are continually added to the crop have been bred to survive on these mineral-depleted soils. When the soil has been depleted of magnesium, it is unavailable for the crops, therefore the produce will be depleted of magnesium as well.

Post-Harvest: Magnesium and other nutrients are diminished or lost in produce after harvest, due to handling refrigeration, transport, and storage. If those steps are done “correctly”, then storing in your refrigerator adds to nutrient loss, whether you purchased it from the grocery store or your local farmer’s market.

 

  1. Food Processing – When nuts and seeds are roasted, or their oils are extracted, magnesium is lost. Cooking greens causes whatever magnesium they might contain to leach into the cooking water. Food processing adds to an enormous loss of magnesium.

 

  1. Other Nutrients – Magnesium absorption is impeded with the use of supplemental iron. If you take calcium supplements, your need for magnesium increases as calcium will not be properly absorbed if adequate magnesium is missing and will end up dangerously deposited in soft tissues. Lactose is another inhibitor if magnesium absorption (another reason to stop drinking dairy milk). Other inhibitors include excess potassium, phosphorus, and sodium.

 

  1. STRESS!! – Magnesium is needed for its calming effects, including sleep. Mental and physical stress cause a continuous flow of adrenaline, which uses up magnesium rapidly. Adrenaline affects heart rate, blood pressure, vascular constriction, and muscular contraction --- ALL actions that rely on steady supplies of magnesium for smooth function.

 

(Ref: westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/magnificent-magnesium/)

 

SO, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE A MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY??

 

The first signs:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness

More severe deficiency signs:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle cramps
  • Seizures
  • Personality changes
  • Abnormal heart rhythm

 

WHO IS MOST AT RISK TO HAVE A MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY?

  • People with Celiac disease
  • People with Crohn’s disease
  • People with Type-2 diabetes
  • People with long-term alcoholism
  • Elderly people

WHAT EFFECTS ON YOUR HEALTH CAN A MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY CAUSE?

  • High Blood Pressure – This is a major risk for heart disease and stroke. Some studies have shown that people who have higher amounts of magnesium in their diets have a lower risk of some types of heart disease and stroke.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – People with higher levels of magnesium in their diets tend to have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Magnesium helps the body break down sugar and
  • may help reduce the risk of insulin resistance.
  • Osteoporosis – People with higher levels of magnesium have a higher bone mineral density, which is important in reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • Migraine Headaches

(Ref: ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/)

 

WHICH FOODS CONTAIN MAGNESIUM?

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts (almonds and cashews) and seeds (flax, chia, and pumpkin)
  • Fruits and vegetables such as bananas, dried apricots, and avocados
  • Legumes (peas, beans, and peanuts)
  • Whole grains (brown rice and millet)

(Ref: medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002423.htm)

 

 

 

PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE PURCHASING SUPPLEMENTS. YOUR DOCTOR NEEDS TO DETERMINE HOW MUCH AND WHICH TYPE OF MAGNESIUM YOU SHOULD TAKE, IF ANY AT ALL!! THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, PREVENT, TREAT, OR CURE ANY ILLNESS.

 

July 11, 2018

Food Combinations - Bad and Good 

Bad Combinations

1. Beans and Red Wine - Vegetarian sources of iron such as beans, dark leafy greens, and whole grains should not be consumed with red wine. The tannins in red wine prevent the iron from being absorbed into the body.

2. Spinach and Dairy Products - When the oxalates in spinach combine with calcium, neither get absorbed.

If you're mixing dairy with oxalate-dense foods such as spinach. beets, collards, leeks, and parsley, you won't absorb the calcium well. Instead, use coconut milk to make a creamed spinach, which is also a great ingredient for creamy soups filled with root veggies and leafy greens.

3. Nuts and Tofu - Don't add cashews or sesame seeds to your next tofu stir-fry. The phytates found in nuts, seeds, and whole grains can block the absorption of iron. Tofu and other soy products are protein packed and a way for Vegans and Vegetarians to get their iron.

Good Combinations

1. Nuts and Oatmeal - Oatmeal is a carb; combining it with fat and protein slows how quickly the carbs affect your blood sugar. It also keeps you satiated longer.

2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Tomatoes - Because lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) is fat soluble, the EVOO helps its absorption.

3. Avocado and Green Salad - The leafy greens are high in vitamin K, a fat soluble vitamin. The avocado is a healthy fat that helps you absorb the vitamin K.

4. Kombu and Beans - Kombu, an edible kelp consumed widely in East Asia, has enzymes that break down the raffinose sugar in beans. Since our bodies can't digest raffinose sugar, it leads to intestinal gas.

  • When you're cooking beans from dry beans, you can throw in some kombu with the dry beans, which lowers cooking time and helps de-gas the beans.

5. Salmon and Broccoli - The vitamin D from the salmon helps with calcium absorption from the broccoli. You should always pair a vitamin D food with a calcium food!

 

June 12, 2018

Food Cravings and What They REALLY  Mean!

I chose the Top 5 cravings I hear about the most.

1) Chocolate - According to Sally Warren, PhD, a traditional naturopath based in New York, "When you crave chocolate, your body does not really need chocolate. It's more likely you're deficient in magnesium, chromium and B vitamins."

A healthier substitute that is a natural source of magnesium is a handful of almonds. This, according to Dr. Warren, can relieve the chocolate craving.

2) Sugary Foods - Cravings for sugary foods or snacks can actually indicate dehydration or low blood sugar, according to Dr. Warren. Consuming sugary foods can "wreak havoc on your hormones and metabolism."

Drink a tall glass of filtered water instead of reaching for a sugary snack. If the craving persists, eat an orange, apple, or  some berries.

3) Fatty/Fried Foods - When you crave fried foods or fatty foods, your body needs essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 fatty acids.

For a quick fix, eat an avocado, a spoonful of flax seed or coconut oil, or a handful of nuts such as walnuts or almonds. Instead of fried chicken, eat salmon or make a salad with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (don't forget the fresh garlic).

Further Info: According to a post in Harvard Mental Health Letter at health.harvard.edu/newsletter/article numerous studies have shown that emotional distress increases the intake of foods high in fat, sugar, or both. High levels of cortisol, in combination with high insulin levels, may be responsible. Other research suggests that grehlin. a "hunger hormone" may have a role.

As soon as sugary or fatty foods are ingested, they seem to send feedback to the brain that inhibits activity in the parts of the brain that produce stress and related emotions. A Finnish study of over 5,000 men and women showed that obesity was associated with stress-related eating in women, but not in men.

*If stress is the cause of your cravings for sugary or fatty/fried foods, ridding your home of these foods is the first step to helping you get past this problem.

Here are a few suggestions for lowering levels of cortisol and stress:

  • Meditation: Countless studies show that meditation reduces stress, although the focus was on high blood pressure and heart disease. However, meditation can also help you become more mindful of food choices. With practice, you may be able to pay attention to the impulse to grab sugary or fatty "comfort" foods and inhibit the impulse.
  • Exercise: University of California researchers reported that exercise - this was vigorous exercise - may blunt some of the negative effects of stress. However, activities such as yoga and tai chi have elements of exercise and meditation (both of which are stress-reducing).
  • Social Support: Research suggests that people working in stressful situations, have better mental health if they have adequate social support. Friends, family, and other sources of social support seem to have a buffering effect on the stress that people experience.(Ref: "Can Relaxation Training Reduce Emotional Eating in Women With Obesity" Journal of the American Dietetic Association (Aug 2009); Vol. 109; No. 8; pp. 1427-32. "Lifestyle Factors and Grehlin: Critical Review and Implications for Weight Loss Maintenance" Obesity Review (May 2011): Vol. 12; No. 5; ePublication.)

4) Salty Foods - When you crave salty foods, there are a few things going on, according to naturopath Megan Humer. She states, a salt craving can be caused by excessive sugar in the diet, too much potassium, or a deficiency in sodium. She recommends reducing the consumption of sugar and table salt. Opt for Pink Himalayan Salt instead, drink "celery juice to remineralize the body".

*However, if your salt craving is happening during a stressful period of your life, you may be deficient in B vitamins.

"If you crave salt after a sweaty workout, illness, or upset stomach", says Dr. Sally Warren, "Pedialyte or a similar electrolyte powder is better than plain water to replace the missing minerals."

My recipe for to replace missing electrolytes and minerals:

3 cups Coconut water

1 cup filtered water

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice (or a combo)

2 TBS Raw Honey

1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt

Add ingredients to a glass bottle and shake it up. Enjoy!

5) Refined Carbs (i.e. pasta, white bread, crackers) - When you crave refined carbs, your body needs more nitrogen.

Chicken and fish are good sources. You can also snack on a handful of nuts or a helping of hummus to extinguish your craving.

*Sometimes it is more of an emotional attachment. (comfort food) meaning some people reach for carbs to feel better. When these foods are consumed, the neurotransmitter "dopamine" (aka the "pleasure chemical") is released. This is why many people have a hard time stopping the consumption of refined carbs. If this is the case, Dr. Warren says what really is needed here is an emotional commitment (journaling, talking with a friend, etc.) and positive self-talk that just might be the answer.

Essential Oils may also help when inhaled to curb appetite and alleviate stress. Best Essential Oils for this include Grapefruit, Bergamot, Peppermint, Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, and Patchouli Oils. You may want to work with an Aromatherapist to find the right oil for you.

(This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness. Always discuss any changes in your diet or physical routine with your doctor first.)

May 31, 2018

Today is the launch of my website. Check back to this page weekly. I will be blogging about how Holistic Nutrition and Holistic Wellness can help improve your health. I will also be posting some healthy, easy recipes I have created with whole foods that are packed with nutrients. Thank you for checking out my site. If you subscribed to my newsletter, thank you!!! You will receive my Ultimate Guide to Reduce Inflammation Naturally shortly.

Peace and Love,

Carol G.