It May Be Dangerous To Eat Grocery Store Mushrooms….Read This

6806266400_0016b46351_mSome experts suggest that even edible, everyday mushrooms should be cooked.   Here is some evidence:

  • Dr. Andrew Weil says that all mushrooms are essentially indigestible if eaten raw because of their tough cell walls, and that to release their nutrients, they must be cooked. More importantly, he says, certain mushrooms contain small amounts of toxins, including a compound considered carcinogenic, which is destroyed through cooking because these compounds are not heat stable.
  • The compound in question, agaratine, is most commonly found in the mushrooms belonging to the genus Agaricus. This includes the common white or button mushroom—your everyday supermarket variety that is commonly found raw at restaurant salad bars:
  • • A study in the 1990s found that agaratine has a carcinogenic effect in the bladder of rats, while another study found cell mutation effects in mice that could lead to cancer.
  • • The information taken from this study, found the risk  to be quite low—a lifetime cumulative cancer risk of about two cases per 100,000 lives.
  • • Other rodent studies have found that agaratine in mushrooms had no carcinogenic effects at all.

Since agaratine is destroyed through cooking, the cautious consumer may wish to sauté, bake, or broil their mushrooms—the common white ones, in particular—just to be safe.

  • Do not, however, forgo mushrooms altogether!  As Dr. Mercola points out, about 100 species of mushrooms are currently being studied for their health-promoting benefits, with a half dozen of them notable for their ability to boost the immune system.
  • While more exotic species are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a variety of important conditions, even white button mushrooms can help weight management, improve nutrition, and increase your vitamin D levels.

Cordyceps mushrooms (also called caterpillar fungus) increase ATP production, strength, and endurance, have anti-aging properties, protect liver and kidneys, and can even repair damage from stokes.  Shiitakes have anti-tumor properties, are both antiviral and antibacterial, stabilize blood sugar, and reduce atherosclerosis and cholesterol.  Reishi has similar properties but is also an anti-inflammatory, an antifungal, and reduces prostate-related urinary symptoms in men. So eat your mushrooms—but for maximum nutritional value (and to get rid of any toxicity), you might want to give them some light cooking first!  You don’t need to use too much heat.  Studies are showing that cooking at too high a temperature is causing health problems for us, in particular the creation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).   Cooking at under 300 degrees seems generally safe, and of course it depends on what you are cooking. Article information from Alliance For National Health’s Website

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12 Common Foods That Provide Unexpected Benefits

It shouldn’t surprise you that fruits and vegetables are good for you, but do you know exactly how they help your body? Fresh produce and other healthy foods that many people eat on a regular basis provide a number of benefits, some of which might surprise you.3512860257_c0041aab96_m

Apples
Eating just one apple per day gives you higher levels of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that reduce the amount of harmful low-density lipoprotein in your blood. This can help lower the risk of having hardened arteries.

Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds can help you sleep better, since they contain high amounts of tryptophan. Your body turns this amino acid into a hormone called melatonin that helps you feel sleepy.

Raisins
A few servings of raisins per day can reduce your blood pressure, thanks to the fiber, potassium and phytonutrients they contain. Keeping your blood pressure under control helps lower your risk of developing heart problems.

Blueberries
Blueberries contain high amounts of antioxidants, which can lower your risk of heart disease and other health issues. When you eat them as a pre-workout and post-workout snack, they help you burn fat and absorb an even higher number of antioxidants. Antioxidants also help keep your cells healthy, including skin cells, so you don’t have to worry as much about premature aging or stretch marks.

Tomatoes
Pick up some organic tomatoes to increase your levels of lycopene, a potent antioxidant that decreases your risk of having a stroke.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms provide you with a boost of vitamin D, but some types give you even more than others. Check package labels for the amount of vitamin D they have, and look for ones with a higher amount.

Celery
Munching on a stalk of celery or putting it in a salad can help ease indigestion. When you eat it regularly, it can help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

Almonds
A serving of 40 almonds a day can help lower your cholesterol levels and keep you feeling full, which helps control your weight. Since almonds do contain a high amount of fat, it’s important not to eat too many of them.

Popcorn
Having one ounce of popcorn gives you a higher number of antioxidants than an ounce of fruits or vegetables. This is mainly due to the hulls in popcorn. This tasty snack is also high in fiber, but limit how much salt and butter you add to it or you’ll turn it into an unhealthy treat and MAKE SURE ITS NOT GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN.  Look for organic.

Cheese
Cheese provides several important benefits for your teeth. It helps prevent mineral loss and tooth decay and also helps you rebuild protective tooth enamel.

Cocoa
Cocoa helps blood flow to your brain better, which leads to improved cognitive ability. Have a cup of hot cocoa when you’re feeling sluggish, and you’ll be able to think more clearly throughout the day.
If you already drink wine, aim to have between two and seven glasses a week. Wine helps ward off depression and boosts heart health.

The author Sandy Getzky is an associate editor at ProveMyMeds, a public health and education startup focused on producing helpful resources concerning the treatment of common ailments.

 

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Wondering If You Still Need Supplements While Juicing?

4264676537_4975bf525e_mJuicing provides so many nutritional benefits, so do you wonder if you still need your usual supplements anyway?  There are a few important things to consider regarding your juice making/drinking daily.  First of all:

  • Did you make your own juice or know exactly where the ingredients came from if you bought it already made?
  • Are your ingredients all from organic sources?
  • What else are you eating throughout your day?

While it is true that  the juice retains most of the vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients that the whole food  offers, you’re likely missing out one some key nutrients, especially because juicing removes the healthy fiber and nutrients found in the skins of some fruits and veggies.  Fiber is important for digestive function and has a lot  of health benefits which you generally lose during the juicing process.  So eating the whole vegetable or fruit is generally best in that regard.  Of course you do get a higher concentration of everything else that makes up that fruit or veggie in your drink, other than the fiber.

  • If you’re getting the flavonoids and anthocyanins from fruit and veggie juice,  which means you’re protecting yourself from oxidative damage of free radicals, then do you need to take a supplement too?

You can also look at the fruits and vegetables themselves.  Many are picked before they are fully ripe, so they are not as nutrient-dense or flavorful as they would be if they had grown on the vine and got from farm to table within a day or two.  Also, much of the world’s soil has been leached of nutrients, so it provides less nutrients to the growing plants it should have or like it had 100 years ago.

  • One of the biggest health benefits of juicing is associated with cellular cleansing, enhancing your body’s overall health and improving systemic function from the inside out.
  • Another beneficial role of raw, fresh vegetables is that they can help prevent your body from becoming overly acidic, making sure that an alkaline balance is maintained in the blood.  To maintain a proper balance, try to include as many of the following veggies in your juicing regimen as possible:

• Spinach
• Cucumbers
• Celery
• Kale
• Fresh herbs
• Swiss chard
• Wheatgrass
• Watercress
• Cabbage
• Bok choy
• Broccoli
• Endive
• Onions
• Garlic
• Radishes
• Tomatoes

  • There are so many other important supplements that your body may need depending on your overall health issues personally.  There are also supplements that I believe every person needs anyway that cannot be received from juicing.  Such as:

Vitamin D3, Fish or Krill Oil, Probiotics, Calcium, Multi-B Vitamins, Iron (for menstruating women),  or others depending on your  body’s needs.  A natural health professional can help you know which ones those would be.

So, bottom line, juicing is fantastic and greatly enhances your health, but its not the only way to health.  That’s why the word, “Holistic” – meaning the whole body and using whatever nutrients that whole body needs- can take many different things or ways to help you achieve your optimal health.

Make your appointment with me in person or by Skype to  know which type of support your body needs to help you to feeling GREAT.

 

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Adrenal Glands 101- Are your’s working correctly?

pesky allergiesAdrenal Fatigue, also known as adrenal stress or burnout, is said to affect millions of people and yet, it is still not considered a conventional medical illness among traditional medical doctors.  Symptoms of adrenal fatigue cannot exactly be explained by general practitioners, since there is no scientific evidence supporting the concept.

Most people will experience some level of adrenal fatigue at least once in their lifetime – mainly due to an illness, a personal crisis which causes a lot of stress, or even from a toxic liver which in turn affects the hormones and adrenal glands as well.

What are the adrenal glands?
On top of each kidney there is an adrenal gland, about the size of a large grape. They produce hormones that regulate blood pressure, how our body uses food, blood-levels of minerals, such as potassium and sodium, functions involved in stress reactions, and heart beat.  Adrenal glands are small, triangular-shaped endocrine glands located at the top of each kidney
Definition of adrenal fatigue
Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands become tired and do not function properly – inadequate quantities of hormones are produced.

According to AdrenalFatigue.org, adrenal fatigue is a syndrome – a collection of signs and symptoms – which occurs when the adrenal glands do not work properly, they function below the necessary level.  In most cases, they say, it is linked to intense or long-term stress.  It can also occur during or after long-term infections, such as a severe virus or flu bug. Many patients with some signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue may seem apparently healthy, and will cope with everyday activities like they are fine.  However, they experience a general sense of exhaustion; a feeling of being worn out during the day, waking in the middle of the night feeling tired but wired and getting very tired by 3:00 p.m.  Other forms of adrenal dysfunction, such as Addison’s Disease or adrenal insufficiency are recognized though in the traditional medicine community and is more difficult to treat.

There is a large industry of dietary supplements aimed at people with adrenal fatigue.  You can contact me or a naturopathic practitioner to advise on what to use.

What are the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

Below are some symptoms related to adrenal fatigue, they are documented in alternative medicine literature and health books:
• General overall tiredness.
• Salty and sweet cravings.
• Needing stimulants or high doses of caffeine in coffee or colas.
• Low blood pressure.
• Loss of body hair.
• Having difficulties in recuperating from illnesses.
• General body aches.
• Feeling with sever decreased energy late in the afternoons.
• Feeling like you did not sleep much when you wake up, even if you really did sleep through the night.
• Dizziness
• Dark skin (Addison’s disease only)
• Bluish-black discoloration around the nipples, mouth, rectum, scrotum, or vagina (Addison’s disease only)
• Weight loss
• Dehydration
• Lack of appetite
• Muscle aches
• Nausea
• Low blood pressure
• Low sugar levels (hypoglycemia)
• In women, irregular or absent menstrual periods
What are the treatment options?

  • • Alternative health practitioners say that in some cases the adrenal gland malfunction may become chronic, mainly because of prolonged stressful events, and poor health. They stress that with proper adrenal support and some lifestyle modifications, patients can be treated effectively.
  • • Lifestyle modifications include eating healthfully using no artificial sweeteners, colorings or preservatives; acquiring a regular sleep-wake cycle, getting at least 7 to 8 hours proper sleep each night, and avoiding stressful situations as much as possible.
  • • Using relaxing modalities to get your emotions under control is important too.  These would be things like deep relaxed breathing techniques and relaxing visualization techniques.
  • • There are also natural/herbal remedies to help put you in a deeper fuller sleep cycle which will help for that late afternoon fatigue feeling.
  • • Drinking alot of water is also helpful: l/2 of your body weight in water per day. So if you weigh 150 pounds-then that is 75 oz. divided by 8oz. glass=9 glasses minimum/daily.
  • • Taking supportive supplements which are found in the health food store listed as Adrenal Support.  I have some good adrenal support products that I recommend.
  • Changing the diet to include less carbs like bread, crackers, chips, potatoes and sugars.  Eating more vegetables, healthy fats like olive and coconut oil/avocados, low sugar fruits and lean protein will play less havoc on your hormones.  Also regulating the blood sugar levels by eating every 3-l/2- 4 hours will balance the insulin levels, which help give you a feeling of calmness to avoid the sugar highs and lows.  It will also prevent cravings of wanting more carbs and sugars.

In closing, you should get your hormones checked if you are a woman, once per year which would include: estrogen, progesterone, pregnolelone, testosterone and thyroid.  All these hormones if out of balance, can also upset the adrenals.

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Blood Sugar Balancing The Easy Way

4367564780_9b005dd845_mWhat Are the Best Ways to Balance Blood Sugar?  You probably hear a lot of conflicting advice, but now its more clear that highly refined and processed foods in the forms of carbs or sugars cause blood sugar fluctuations.

Everyone knows regulating your blood sugar is important for people with or who are at risk for diabetes, but it may also increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and cancer!  Of course its important to also regulate your blood sugar levels to support appetite control, mood swings and even weight loss practices.

To balance blood sugar naturally, make smart nutrition and lifestyle choices that support normal metabolism function.  So how do you do that?

  • Eat every 3-l/2-4 hours.  Also how you eat these foods actually matters.  Anything that slows the absorption of sugar from the digestive tract into the blood stream helps.  The slower your body absorbs sugar, the less likely you are to experience unhealthy blood sugar highs and lows.  So…by eating a combination of eating three things together at the same you can keep better blood sugar balance.  This is whether you are eating a snack or a meal.
  • Eat Protein – Add a handful of dried raw, unsalted nuts or seeds, or a hard boiled egg, or l/2 cup of Greek Non-Fat Plain Yogurt, or a couple of slices of low salt turkey breast, or a low-fat mozzarella cheese stick to your snack.   If eating a meal, you would use the same combinations of foods as listed in this article but you eat only 1/4 of the portions at snack time.  Meal time should be eat breakfast like a “prince”, lunch like a “king” and dinner like a “pauper”.  So lunch should be your biggest meal of the day with the most amount of protein at that time and dinner should be the smallest meal of the day.  You can also choose other healthy proteins such as beans combined with brown rice, organic Tofu, Fish or Seafood or Chicken.
  • Fat – Thats right, healthy fats such as those found in almond butter, coconut oil, fatty fish and olives, avocado or olive oil are the good  fats that don’t act to raise cholesterol levels, but yet help to balance blood sugar when combined with protein or unrefined carbs.  Unrefined carbs are whole grains, vegetables and quinoa/rice.   Portions for fat should be: a handful of nuts to fit in your cupped hand, 1 tablespoon of nut butter or coconut oil, l/4 avocado, l/4 cup of olives sliced or 6-7 whole olives.  Hummus is also a healthy fat with protein in it but 2-3 measured tablespoons is the portion!
  • Fiber –  Eat whole, unprocessed, fiber-rich foods as your first choice, such as an apple or berries of any variety, fresh vegetables and air popped popcorn, steel cut oatmeal instead of  “Quaker Oats”,  lentils and beans instead of crackers or chips, or nuts/seeds.  So if you choose the nuts/seeds option that takes care of the fat portion too since there is natural fat in those.
  • Willpower? –  Can’t forget good, old fashioned will power.  There is always going to be many times of weakness in that area, but I have some ideas to help your sweet tooth when you just feel “I have to have something sweet or I’m going to die” feeling:
  • Try some natural jelly beans like the kind you would find at  Trader Joe’s near the check-out counter, or at Whole Foods in the bulk bin.  They are free of chemicals and colorings.  Jelly Beans are only 3 calories for each bean and if you eat them slowly you can have 10 jelly beans for 30 calories – not bad…
  • Try making your own natural fruit juice popsicle.  They sell popsicle making kits at Whole Foods.  Just fill them with sugar free Organic Tart Cherry Juice or Pomegranate Juice and for 45 calories you get a healthy popsicle.
  • Have l/2 cup of organic granola or Whole Grain Cereal.  Add some cinnamon to add flavor, eat the cereal dry.
  • Have some air popped pop corn, which should be organic to avoid GMO corn.  2-l/2 cups popped is only 70 calories.
  • Suck on an organic lollipop which they sell at TJ Maxx near the checkout stand.  2 of them are only 50 calories.
  • Suck on a couple of peppermint drops.  Peppermint is a natural appetite suppressant.  You can get the ones they sell in the tin box at Trader Joe’s at the cash register too.  Plus you will get fresh breath!
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily.  This promotes appetite control and flushes the body of unwanted toxins through the day.

Using your muscles is one of the best ways to keep blood sugar in a good balance as well. The large muscle groups of the body – legs, back, and abdominals—use blood sugar for energy.  The more you work them, the more energy they use, which helps keep blood sugar levels stable.  Sitting at the computer for hours on end is the worse thing you can do for blood sugar, so even if you can’t fit in exercise that day, set a reminder to stand up, stretch, and move around every half-hour.

Cut off your eating at least 3 hours before bedtime as well as your water drinking.  You don’t need the calories when your body will be shutting down to promote sleep instead of digesting food.

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STOP THOSE CARB/SUGAR CRAVINGS!

4391885681_3658437dd5_mDid you know it can take up to 28 days for your body to “detox” from the addictive food substances that you always crave?  The refined carbohydrates, such as white flour and white rice/white potatoes/potato chips are the kinds I’m talking about .  If it seems like you can never get enough bread, pizza or pasta, this  little 28-day plan will help you knock out your bad carb addiction for good.  Don’t get discouraged…in actually one week you will notice the cravings just about gone!
Are you wondering why white carbs are so addictive? It has to do with chemicals that travel from the stomach to the part of the brain where you produce dopamine, a hormone and neurotransmitter that affects the brain’s pleasure and reward centers.  When these areas of the brain are stimulated, you’ll keep on wanting more of that addictive substance, whether it’s alcohol, drugs or carbs/sugar.

The no-good refined carbs  that don’t come from whole grains or natural fruit sugar, is like toxin to  your body.  They’re often responsible for the visceral or omentum fat, the dangerous fat you can carry around your middle.  This keeps  your body making too much insulin, which makes you more prone to diabetes.  White carbs like chips, white potatoes, white rice,   and breads that are not whole grain, can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and even cancer.  The insulin causes changes in the hormones and causes inflammation of your joints and cardiovascular system.  It sets you up for also having a lower immune system and arthritis as well as fatigue.

So, I challenge you to try this plan and you will be surprised to see how great you feel and how you look.  It will make you skin and eyes look clearer and brighter!  You will get more energy and be able to sleep better and lose that “achy joint” feeling.

  • Week 1:  Detox The Craving By Eating Healthy Fats

Start kicking the habit by going “cold turkey” on the carbs in your house.   The only ones to eat are fruits, vegetables and sweet potatoes.   To withstand the symptoms of withdrawal, fill up on healthy fats and don’t worry about your calorie intake. The point of this first week is to get off simple carbs.  Fats will keep you feeling satisfied, which will help diminish hunger pangs and keep you from overeating.

In addition, for this week, none of your food servings should have more than 4 grams of sugar.  Choose healthy fats like:
• Olive oil
• Nuts
• Avocado
• Fatty fish such as salmon
• Flax seeds

Week 2: No you can eat “the right” carbs!

  • Whole grains keep you full longer, stabilize blood sugar, and are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Also a diet rich in whole grains has been tied to lower rates of chronic disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.  Restock your pantry with fiber-rich brown carbs such as:
  • Quinoa  • Oatmeal   • Whole  grain bread or gluten free bread    • Brown rice  • Whole grain pasta or quinoa pasta, organic seeded corn chips.

Week 3: Now Its Time to Focus on Portions!

• At this point you’ve been filling up on healthy fats and whole grains. Now you need to focus on portion control.  Forget about scales and measuring cups.  You can actually  use your hands to measure the right portion size:
• Carbs = Fist   • A serving of carbs should be about the size of your fist.•
• Protein = Palm  • A serving of meat, poultry or fish should be about the size of your palm.
• Fats = Thumb    • A serving of fats should be about the size of your thumb.•
• Frutis and Veggies = Handfuls – No worries!  NO HIGH GLUCOSE FRUITS OR CORN!
• Low glycemic (sugar raising) fruits are: apples of all kinds, berries of all kinds and grapefruit.
• Always combine your carbs with fats (but no more than a thumb’s worth).  This will help you slow sugar absorption and control your weight.

Week 4.  You Can Cheat Now!

• Pick one day a week  and don’t go crazy, to enjoy your favorite food such as pizza or pasta or even some real ice cream. Eating your favorite carb with fiber (like bran/chia/flax seed, will also help you better metabolize sugar and keep your weight down.  For instance, top your pizza or pasta with a bunch of veggies that are high in fiber or the flax seed.  Putting one tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in 4 ounces of water and drinking after a high fat/carb meal will also help the digestion break down the carbs/sugars better.

I am certain that following these suggestions will help you to lose weight and get to stopping those carb cravings for good!

 

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Antioxidant Power – Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a unique super-carotenoid which is an antioxidant.  It hunts and helps fight off the dangers free-radicals which invade your cells to cause cancer or disease.  It compares well to other nutrients and antioxidants as far as free-radical hunting and neutralizing.

The studies show this substance as a free-radical fighter can be:

• 65 times more powerful than vitamin C
• 54 times stronger than beta-carotene
• 14 times more potent than vitamin E
Astaxanthin has been shown to be more effective than other carotenoids and other nutrients at ‘singlet oxygen quenching’ by being up to…
• 550 times more powerful than vitamin E
• 800 times stronger than CoQ10
• 6000 times greater than vitamin C
• 550 times more powerful than green tea catechins
• 11 times stronger than beta-carotene
Astaxanthin was even found to be as much as 2.75 stronger than lutein with regard to singlet oxygen quenching.

And here’s even more on how astaxanthin is potentially so effective because it:

  • It is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and the blood-retinal barrier (beta-carotene and some others don’t do this)
  • Protects your eyes, brain, and nervous system from oxidative stress
  • Potentially reduces DNA damage caused by free radicals

The good thing is, it is available in pill form from you local health food store.  Although as in other products, its good to know which brands are better than others.   There are warnings and issues you should be aware of, such as making sure you are actually getting the REAL thing.

  • If you believe you’re eating healthy by eating salmon, but the salmon is not ‘wild’ or ‘naturally colored,’ there’s a good chance you’re consuming synthetic astaxanthin without knowing.   Why is that a concern?  The majority of synthetic astaxanthin is produced from highly-processed petrochemicals.  That means you could be consuming some forms of synthetic chemicals if you eat farmed salmon!

Fish farmers need a way to color the salmon so they look fresh (attractive pinkish-orange-red color).  That’s where often times synthetic astaxanthin works for that issue.

  • When buying salmon, I recommend you make sure to find wild Pacific salmon or Norweigen Salmon because it contains astaxanthin that is:
  • 20 times stronger than synthetic astaxanthin;
  • 400% higher in quantity than farmed salmon.

Even if you can afford (very expensive) and find genuine wild Pacific salmon, there still is a risk of high levels of mercury and other unwanted toxins.  You would have to eat several ounces every single day to get the dose of astaxanthin that is present in the natural supplement.

So how should you get natural astaxanthin:

• Wild Pacific salmon is expensive for most people.

• You’d have to eat approximately 3-4 ounces per day, every day, to get the approximate equivalent of 4mg of a natural astaxanthin supplement.

Krill oil has one of the highest concentrations of astaxanthin on the market today and  new research shows you can benefit from even higher amounts.  It is recommended to use a good quality supplement.  To know that – look for:

•Astaxanthin which is created from natural marine microalgae and not some form of fungus, or some other less effective form.
•Because of the fact that astaxanthin is best absorbed when taken with a ‘fatty’ meal (lipid soluble), look for a formula that contains some sort of natural oil or fatty acid that will help maximize your absorption.  Without this additional ingredient, your absorption could be almost useless.
• In addition, make sure the manufacturer can provide solid evidence they don’t use chemical solvents or preservatives in their formulation processes.
• Due to new research, most recommendations for daily dosages of natural astaxanthin can now range from 4-8mg.
But due to recent research, it is recommended you consider a separate astaxanthin supplement to complement krill oil, so take them together.

Contact me for the best recommendations on companies that I trust.

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Can Your Mental/Emotional Issues Be Changed Naturally?

5059505888_1bafff46a9In today’s world, we’re used to getting what we need in a quick fix.  Many people realize it takes more than one visit to the doctor and a bottle of pills to fix mental health issues.  Sometimes pills cause more problems than they solve, or make matters worse.  So, isn’t it good to know that nutrition and supplements can greatly help in ways that many doctors never mention?

  • People are starting to turn to nature for remedies. This is where the concept of holistic health and alternative medicine fits in.
  • Holistic medicine is the art and science of healing that addresses care of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.”

For many of my clients  I recommend Vitamin D3, which can be great for stabilizing the mood.  I usually put my clients on 4,000 I.U. daily of Vitamin D3.  Its important to get a blood test though at your family doctor’s office to determine your level.  If your deficiency is very low, an actual doctor’s prescription for Vitamin D3 in a dose as high as 50,o00 i.u. is given for about a four week period before scaling back to the daily 4,000 i.u. dose.  Its amazing how just having a Vitamin D3 deficiency leads to depression and energy  loss.

  • An omega 3 supplement is integral in supporting mood disorders as well as many other issues in the body.  I suggest taking krill oil because of its ability to help improve mood, depression and ADHD,   A dose of 3,000 mg daily of Omega 3 is extremely useful.  If you don’t find Krill Oil in your local store, go with a formula of fish oil from Nordic waters where the mercury levels are so much lower.  Carlson Labs and Nordic Naturals make good formulas.
  • Other supplements that can improve mood are St. John’s Wort and vitamin B12. People with mild depression might find some relief with St. John’s Wort.
  • “L-Theanine, which isn’t commonly known, is found in green tea and can help with memory and mood  Also, medical grade peppermint oil can have the same mood stabilizing and concentration effects by rubbing a little bit in the hands and inhaling it.

If you have mental health issues, you should see a doctor or therapist first, and should find out how certain vitamins and herbs interact with any medication they might be on before trying additional supplements.  It’s also necessary to research brands and products, because many have low-grade ingredients that are ineffective.  That’s where enlisting the help of a holistic practitioner can really help, whether a holistic nutritionist or naturopathic  doctor.

I like to recommend 5HTP, a trigger for the production of serotonin, with the added bonus of improving sleep and B6 and L-Theanine can also have a positive impact on anxiety and calm the body.  There are even a few good over the counter health food store formula combinations that work extremely well to help you feel calm or for use at night to get a more restful sleep.   For people who suffer from insomnia, a supplement of magnesium asporotate at bedtime can help them fall asleep and relax muscles.

Vitamin B12 is important for people with energy loss/depression, although it is best taken in a shot or patch.  If you can’t get it from a natural health doctor, there are brands of capsules at the health food store which can be recommended

Although many benefit from holistic health supplements, there are others who haven’t reaped the benefits and who are skeptical of the whole movement.  Some suggest holistic health treatments haven’t been researched enough to prove any true benefits.

Whether you decide to seek the support of supplements or not is up to you.  I have never heard of anyone having an adverse reaction or side effects to the right kind of supplements.  Its really a chance worth taking if you are worried about pharmaceutical meds.  That being said, if you have a more serious problem such as bi-polar disorder, other serious psychological disturbances-  or severe depression that inhibits you from having a productive life, medicines are an absolute must! 

  • I also highly recommend you go off sugar completely unless it comes only from natural fruit.  In many people, sugar changes brain chemicals that aggravate depression.
  • Vigorous exercise daily has also shown to be highly effective in helping eliminate depression.  Studies have shown it to be as useful as anti-depressant meds if you exercise each day for 20-30 minutes to  work up a sweat.  It stimulates the brain to make serotonin (the happy brain chemical) to put you in a much better mood.

One thing that is for sure is that our environmental toxins from foods, water and air are causing a lot more mental disorders than have ever been seen before.  Do your best to take care of yourself, eating as healthfully as possible and reading labels.  You have to be your own health detective most of the time!

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Fluoride in Your Bottled Water? There Shouldn’t Be!

5813844358_e5e26b0651_mThe following companies add fluoride to their bottled drinking water in the U.S.:

Alhambra

Arrowhead

Belmont Springs

Crystal Rock

Crystal Springs

Deer Park

Diamond Springs

Hinkley Springs

Ice Mountain

Kandiyohi

Kentwood Springs

Mayer Bros.

Mount Olympus

Nursery Water

Ozarka

Poland Spring

Pure Flo

Puritan Springs

Shenandoah

Sierra Springs

Sparkletts

Zephyrhills

Why should you be concerned if your water has fluoride in it?  Is it a problem?

Well, actually  it is a problem. 

Water fluoridation is the use of adding  fluoride chemicals to water for preventing tooth decay.  One of the little known facts about this practice is that the United States, which fluoridates over 70% of its water supplies, has more people drinking fluoridated water than the rest of the world combined.  Most developing nations, including all of Japan and  just about all of Europe, do not fluoridate their water!

In the United States, the Oral Health Division of the Centers Disease Control (CDC) calls fluoridation as one of the “top ten public health achievements of the 20th century.” However, comprehensive data from the World Health Organization reveals that there is no discernable difference in tooth decay between the minority of western nations that put  fluoride in their water, and the majority that do not.  Actually, the tooth decay rates in many non-fluoridated countries are now lower than the tooth decay rates in fluoridated ones.

As is becoming increasingly clear, fluoridating water supplies is an outdated, unnecessary, and dangerous relic from a 1950s public health culture that viewed mass distribution of chemicals much differently than scientists do today. The  few nations that still fluoridate their water should end the practice.

THREE REASONS TO END WATER FLUORIDATION

Reason #1: Fluoridation Is an Outdated Form of Mass Medication

Unlike all other water treatment processes, fluoridation does not treat the water itself, but the person consuming it. The Food & Drug Administration accepts that fluoride is a drug, not a nutrient, when used to prevent disease. By definition, therefore, fluoridating water is a form of medication. This is why most western European nations have rejected the practice — because, in their view, the public water supply is not an appropriate place to be adding drugs, particularly when fluoride is readily available for individual use in the form of toothpaste.

Reason #2: Fluoridation Is Unnecessary and Ineffective

The most obvious reason to end fluoridation is that it is now known that fluoride’s main benefit comes from topical contact with the teeth, not from ingestion!  Even the CDC’s Oral Health Division now acknowledges this.  There is simply no need, therefore, to swallow fluoride, whether in the water, toothpaste, or any other form. Further, despite early claims that fluoridated water would reduce cavities by 65%, modern long term studies show no consistent or meaningful difference in the cavity rates of fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.

Reason #3: Fluoridation Is Not a Safe Practice

The most important reason to end fluoridation is that it is simply is not a safe practive, particularly for those who have health conditions that render them vulnerable to fluoride’s toxic effects.

First, there is no dispute that fluoridation is causing millions of children to develop dental fluorosis, a discoloration of the teeth that is caused by excessive fluoride intake. Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control have even acknowledged that fluoridation is causing “cosmetically objectionable” fluorosis on children’s front teeth–an effect that can cause children embarrassment and anxiety at an age when physical appearance is the single most important predictor of self-esteem.

Second, it is known that fluoridated water caused severe bone disease in dialysis patients up until the late 1970s (prior to dialysis units filtering fluoride). While dialysis units now filter out the fluoride, research shows that current fluoride exposures are still resulting in dangerously high bone fluoride levels in dialysis patients and patients with other advanced forms of kidney disease. It is unethical to compromise the health of some members in a population to obtain a purported benefit for another — particularly in the absence of these vulnerable members’ knowing consent.

And, finally, a growing body of evidence reasonably indicates that fluoridated water, in addition to other sources of daily fluoride exposure, can cause or contribute to a range of serious effects, including arthritis, damage to the developing  brain,  reduced thyroid function, and possibly osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in adolescent males.

Communities Are Starting to Get the Message

In recent years, communities throughout the United States and Canada have started to re-address the conventional wisdom of fluoridating their water.  Many of these communities, including over 50 since 2010, are reaching the obvious conclusion: when stripped of its endorsements, well-meaning intentions, and PR-praise, fluoridation simply makes no sense.

Europe reached this conclusion a long time ago. It is now time for the U.S. and other English-speaking nations to  follow suit.

 I personally make sure to buy non-fluoride toothpaste and avoid these bottled water brands all-together.  I recommend you go to the source of this article: fluoride action network/fluoridealert.org as well as Dr. Joseph Mercola to read the fascinating studies that have been conducted to substantiate the problems we can attribute to fluoride.

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Supplements – Natural or Synthetic?

Natural Whole Food Supplements

The definition of natural on a supplement label really only means that it exists somewhere in the world, whether ground or water, or in space.  When you read labels, look for the words “Whole Food”.  When you read on a label that something contains “Whole Food Vitamins”, it means that the vitamins are just as they are actually found in the whole food, un-tampered with in any way that would change their molecular structure, their biological or biochemical combinations, or their actions.  

 Vitamins_and_mineralsVitamins in their natural state always exist as living complexes with specific synergistic co-factors, enzymes, phytonutrients and organic mineral-activators; never as single isolated factors.  A vitamin needs all of its synergists to function, so anything that removes them, or isolates them, negates the vitamins ability to benefit you completely.  Also, there are literally hundreds of such synergists, most of which have not yet been studied, but are also very important.  This is why organic food sources are preferred, since they are more nutrient dense and don’t contain any pesticide residues.  

Crystalline

Crystalline means that a natural food has been treated with various chemicals, solvents, heat and distillations to reduce it down to one specific “pure” crystalline vitamin.  In this process, all of the synergists, which are termed “impurities,” are destroyed.  There is no longer anything natural in the action of crystalline “vitamins”:  They should more accurately be termed ‘drugs’.

“Synthetic” means that a chemist or other such qualified professional has tried to re-construct the exact structure of a crystalline molecule by chemically combining molecules from other sources.  The ‘other’ sources are not living foods, but actually made in a laboratory to copy a whole food. 

 Chemical colorings like Red #1, Blue #2, etc. as well as words that look like chemicals rather than food or vitamins, are the types of things to watch for on a label.

Synthetic

How to read a label

1. Look for the word “SYNTHETIC”

These terms also identify a “vitamin” –  acetate, bitarate, chloride, gluconate, hydrochloride, nifranate, succinate. 

If the label does not give you a source, presume that it is synthetic.  

2.  Check the dosage

Whole food supplements never come in high doses.  It is only possible to create high dose ‘vitamins’ by isolating one fraction of the vitamin complex (crystalline) or synthesis one fraction (synthetic).  

3. Check for fillers

Binders, fillers and agents are extra unnecessary ingredients that simply take up space and in some cases can induce allergic type reactions to the “vitamin”

High dosage doesn’t mean high potency

I recommend that you find a natural health professional who can help you to find the best supplements for your specific issues that will deliver the best health product for your budget and problem.  There are many good companies available at your local health food stores.  Your natural health professional can also get “pharmaceutical-grade” supplement products from manufacturers that uphold the best quality and ideals for professionals to purchase for their clients.

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