Uncategorized, Health and Disease, Foods

Brain Aging: The Brain-Food Connection

Brain Aging: The Brain-Food Connection

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For decades, the medical community has recommended dietary management as part of the therapeutic plan for many conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. To date, no such recommendations exist for brain aging and dementia. In fact, many scientists and nonscientists alike are still reluctant to believe that our food choices might have something to do with the way our brains age or our risk of developing a brain disease.

In part, this is due to the fact that historically nutrition has been glossed over in medical schools, as well as in most post-grad mental health programs. It is only in recent years that nutrition was granted scientific-field status, and diet has been acknowledged as a legitimate means of protecting ourselves against brain aging and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Little by little, scientists have come to appreciate the powerful connection between the foods we eat and our brain health. This very revelation has fostered a fast-growing body of evidence showing that we might very well be eating our way to dementia.

Brain Aging

What many of us have only begun to grasp is that the actual health and quality of the foods we eat has dramatically diminished. Animals are routinely fed growth hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified (GMO) feed, which we in turn ingest when we make a meal of them. Chicken and pigs are fed poisons like arsenic as a preservative. Conventionally raised produce is showered in pesticides and chemical fertilizers. In addition to being toxic and depleting our soil of nutrients, these treatments drive our produce to grow larger and plumper in appearance while disguising the fact that they possess an unprecedentedly diminished vitamin and mineral content. Additionally, chemically modified fats and refined sugar are routinely added to most foods. This is done not only to preserve the foods’ shelf life but to deliberately increase our cravings for them, which in turn drives sales and profits.

What has gone unnoticed until now is the discovery of how, of all the organs in our body, the brain is the one most easily damaged by a poor diet. From its very architecture to its ability to perform, everything in the brain calls out for the proper food. Many of us are unaware that the only way for the brain to receive nourishment is through our diet. Day after day, the foods we eat are broken down into nutrients, taken up into the bloodstream, and carried to the brain to replenish its depleted storage, to activate cellular reactions, and, most importantly, to be incorporated into brain tissue. Proteins from meat and fish are broken down into amino acids which, among other things, serve as the backbone of our brain cells. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains provide important carbohydrates such as glucose, as well as the vitamins and minerals that energize the brain. Healthy fats from fish and nuts are broken down into omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that make our neurons flexible and responsive, all the while supporting our immune system and shielding the brain from damage and brain aging. Our brains are literally what we eat.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Healthcare

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

Senator Dies From Sepsis After Flu Shot

Senator Dies From Sepsis, a Common Complication of Infection, Including Influenza

vaccine

There are big gaps in vaccine science research and a troubling lack of information about the overall benefit of annual influenza vaccinations. Mounting evidence suggests the administration of annual flu shots, especially to all infants and children starting in the first year of life, may be causing immune system dysfunction, which could become a significant problem for children as they grow up.

New York State Senator José Peralta — an outspoken proponent of annual flu vaccinations — died November 22, 2018, at the age of 47 from sudden septic shock.   Sepsis is a progressive disease process initiated by an aggressive, dysfunctional immune response to an infection in the bloodstream (which is why it’s sometimes referred to as blood poisoning).

Symptoms of sepsis are often overlooked, even by health professionals, and without prompt treatment, the condition can be deadly, as evidenced in Peralta’s case. He had reportedly complained of “pressure behind his ears and headaches for a week or more,” but had largely dismissed his condition thinking it was just side effects from a recent flu shot.

His condition took a sudden turn for the worse on November 20, when he developed a fever. The following day, he had trouble breathing and became disoriented, at which point he was admitted to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York.

Peralta died that evening, apparently from severe sepsis, a serious complication of infection for individuals whose immune systems are not functioning well, although the nature of Peralta’s infection and the precise cause of his death from sepsis apparently remains unclear.

While Peralta had recently received an influenza vaccination, research shows the flu vaccine often fails to work, and may actually weaken the immune system, making you more vulnerable to secondary infections and/or more severe disease. In one study, influenza vaccination more than quadrupled children’s risk of contracting an upper respiratory infection.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2017-2018 seasonal influenza vaccine’s effectiveness against “influenza A and influenza B virus infection associated with medically attended acute respiratory illness” was just 36 percent, meaning there was a 64 percent chance of contracting influenza even if you got the flu shot.

Sepsis is actually one of the leading causes of influenza-related deaths. When your immune system is weak, influenza can weaken it further, allowing a secondary infection to take hold. Sepsis is typically caused by this secondary infection, not the influenza infection itself.

According to researchers, “Severe sepsis is traditionally associated with bacterial diseases … However, viruses are becoming a growing cause of severe sepsis worldwide.” As noted in the video above, some sepsis symptoms also resemble influenza, which can lead to tragedy. The video offers guidelines on how to tell the difference between the two.

Sepsis, without doubt, requires immediate medical attention, whereas most people will successfully recover from influenza within a few days to a week with bedrest and fluids. Just how influenza can lead to sepsis is a somewhat complex affair, described as follows:

“Regardless of the etiologic agent, the inflammatory response is highly interconnected with infection. In the initial response to an infection, severe sepsis is characterized by a proinflammatory state, while a progression to an anti-inflammatory state develops and favors secondary infections …

In the predominant proinflammatory state, Th1 cells activated by microorganisms increase transcription of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), interferon-γ (INF-γ), and interleukin-2 (IL-2).

[C]ytokines … released from endothelial cells and subsequently from macrophages can induce lymphocyte activation and infiltration at the sites of infection and will exert direct antiviral effects. Subsequently, with the shift toward an anti-inflammatory state, activated Th2 cells secrete interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-10 (IL-10).

In certain situations, T cells can become anergic, failing to proliferate and produce cytokines. Type I IFN has a potent anti-influenza virus activity; it induces transcription of several interferon stimulated genes, which in turn restrict viral replication. However, influenza virus developed several mechanisms to evade IFN response …

Viral infections such as the influenza virus can also trigger deregulation of the innate immune system with excessive cytokines release and potential harmful consequences. An abnormal immune response to influenza can lead to endothelial damage … deregulation of coagulation, and the consequent alteration of microvascular permeability, tissue edema and shock.”

Unfortunately, even when properly diagnosed, conventional treatments for sepsis often fail, and most hospitals have yet to embrace the use of intravenous (IV) vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine, which have been shown to reduce sepsis mortality from 40 to a mere 8.5 percent.

Being aware of this treatment (see below), and insisting on it should you or someone you love be at risk, could be a real lifesaver. Knowing what sepsis looks like is also crucial, as early diagnosis and treatment is crucial.

Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis

Common signs and symptoms of sepsis after a flu shot to watch out for include:

  • A high fever
  • Inability to keep fluids down
  • Rapid heartbeat; rapid, shallow breathing and/or shortness of breath
  • Lethargy and/or confusion
  • Slurred speech, often resembling intoxication

Should a few or all of these be present, seek immediate medical attention to rule out sepsis. Also inform the medical staff that you suspect sepsis, as time is of the essence when it comes to treatment. As noted in the video above, hydration is of utmost importance, as damage caused by sepsis begins with fluid loss.

Familiarize Yourself With This Life-Saving Sepsis Protocol

If you or a loved one develops sepsis, whether caused by influenza or some other infection, please remember that a protocol of IV vitamin C with hydrocortisone and thiamine (vitamin B1) can be lifesaving.  Tell your doctor and suggest it be part of the treatment — chances are, he or she might not even be aware of it.

This lifesaving sepsis treatment protocol was developed Dr. Paul Marik, a critical care doctor at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in East Virginia, and clinical use has proven it to be remarkably effective for the treatment of sepsis, reducing mortality nearly fivefold.

Marik’s retrospective before-after clinical study showed that giving patients IV vitamin C with hydrocortisone and vitamin B1 for two days reduced mortality from 40 percent down to 8.5 percent.

Importantly, the treatment has no side effects and is inexpensive, readily available and simple to administer. There is nothing to lose by trying it unless the person with sepsis has a specific genetic disorder: Use of the sepsis treatment protocol is contraindicated if a person is glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient (a genetic disorder).  G6PD is an enzyme your red blood cells need to maintain membrane integrity.

High-dose IV vitamin C is a strong pro-oxidant, and giving a pro-oxidant to a G6PD-deficient individual can cause their red blood cells to rupture, which could have disastrous, even fatal, consequences.

Fortunately, G6PC deficiency is relatively uncommon, and can be tested for. People of Mediterranean and African decent are at greater risk of being G6PC deficient. Worldwide, G6PD deficiency is thought to affect 400 million individuals, and in the U.S., an estimated 1 in 10 African-American males have it.

How Does the Treatment Work?

Vitamin C is well-known for its ability to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Previous research has shown it effectively lowers proinflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein.  Influenza, encephalitis and measles have all been successfully treated with high-dose vitamin C.

To investigate the mechanism of action for sepsis, Marik reached out to John Catravas, Ph.D., a pharmacology researcher at Old Dominion University. At Marik’s request, Catravas performed an independent lab study, which confirmed the effectiveness of the treatment. Catravas cultured endothelial cells from lung tissue and then exposed them to endotoxins found in patients with sepsis.

Interestingly, vitamin C acts like the steroid hydrocortisone, yet when either vitamin C or the steroid were administered in isolation, nothing happened. When administered together, however, the infection was successfully eradicated and the cells were restored to normal.

The addition of thiamine is also important. Not only is thiamine required for metabolism of some of the metabolites of vitamin C, research has also shown many patients with sepsis are vitamin deficient, and when thiamine is given, it reduces the risk of renal failure and mortality.

Studies have also shown thiamine can be helpful for a long list of diseases and disorders, including mitochondrial disorders, heart failure, delirium, thyroid fatigue and Hashimoto’s (a thyroid autoimmune disorder). These and other health effects may help explain why thiamine works so well in conjunction with vitamin C and hydrocortisone for sepsis. In short, the key Marik intuitively stumbled upon was the right combination of ingredients.

Dr. Craig Coopersmith, a leading sepsis researcher at Emory University School of Medicine, is currently conducting a multicenter trial to put Marik’s vitamin C protocol to the test. The projected completion date for this study is May 30, 2019.

Strong Immune Function Minimizes Your Risk of All Sorts of Infections

It’s important to remember that your immune system is your first-line defense against all types of infections, be they bacterial or viral, so the most effective way to make it through flu season unscathed and avoid other infections that may turn deadly is to bolster your immune function.

While conventional health authorities claim getting an annual flu shot is the best way to ward off influenza, the medical literature suggests vitamin D optimization is a very effective strategy in helping to prevent respiratory infections of all kinds during the flu season. A number of studies have confirmed that people with higher vitamin D levels report fewer bouts of cold or flu.

A scientific review published 2017 concluded that people with significant vitamin D deficiency (blood levels below 10 ng/mL) can cut their risk of respiratory infection by 50 percent simply by taking a vitamin D supplement. People with higher vitamin D levels also benefited but to a lesser degree. Overall, they reduced their risk by about 10 percent, which the researchers stated was about equal to the effect of flu vaccines.

Aside from vitamin D, loading up on vitamins B1 and C may also go a long way toward keeping you healthy through the flu season and beyond. (Influenza has also been successfully treated with high-dose vitamin C.

Taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold or flu can also be helpful, as zinc boosts immune function and plays a vital role in activating your body’s T cells (white blood cells tasked with destroying infected cells).

 

** Dont get a flu shot if you have a youngster or infant in the house who has just received their vaccines.

**  Stock up on fresh oranges, not orange juice.

** Please do not start taking B1 or any D vitamin until you talk to a healthcare worker or one of our staff.  These can be very dangerous if taken alone, or incorrectly,

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Richard Jaranson

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

AHA: New Report Emphasizes Safety of Statins

AHA: New Report

Emphasizes Safety of Statins

(American Heart Association) — The benefits of the cholesterol-lowering medicines called statins far outweigh any risk of side effects, according to a new analysis of decades of scientific research.

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In fact, side effects of statins are rare, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement published Dec. 10 in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Lynne Braun, a heart disease and stroke prevention expert who co-authored the statement, said she hopes the results put to rest any misconceptions patients or health care providers have about what she calls a lifesaving medication.

“This is a category of medications where it is clear, very clear, what the benefits are,” said Braun, a nurse practitioner and a professor of nursing and medicine at Rush University in Chicago.

Statins are used primarily to reduce low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol, a waxy, fat-like substance that builds up in arteries. Research shows statins may lower heart attack risk by at least 25 percent and may also help patients with heart disease avoid cardiac procedures such as coronary stents.

The statement comes 16 years after a clinical advisory issued by the AHA, the American College of Cardiology and the U.S. National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute reported similar findings. The authors of the new report reviewed dozens of studies dating back at least 20 years. Most were clinical trials, which are considered the most scientifically sound type of study.

The scientific statement addresses muscle pain, muscle weakness and type 2 diabetes, the most commonly reported side effects of statins, among others.

Muscle pain and weakness were rare complaints in statin clinical trials. When muscle symptoms do occur, they often are linked to the drug’s dosage, the study authors said.

Statins may slightly increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, a condition that can lead to heart disease or stroke. But most people on the drugs already had a high risk for diabetes. Overall, people with diabetes who are on statins see an insignificant increase in blood sugar levels, the study authors said.

The authors suggested health care providers keep a close eye on certain patients who need or take statins, especially older adults who take multiple medications for chronic illnesses.

For example, some studies suggest that people who’ve had a brain hemorrhage and are on a statin are at risk of a second brain attack or hemorrhage. People living with HIV may suffer muscle weakness and muscle pain, in part because of statins’ chemical interplay with HIV drugs. Studies show people of East Asian heritage may be more susceptible to statin-related side effects, especially muscle pain and muscle weakness.

Dr. Roger S. Blumenthal, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Baltimore, said the AHA’s report is a comprehensive review of the pros and cons of taking statins.

“The main takeaway is that statin therapy is much safer — even more effective — than most of the general public has been led to believe,” said Blumenthal, who was not involved in writing the report.

Braun encourages patients who are concerned about taking statins to talk to their health care providers about finding the best medication for them. Patients shouldn’t stop taking statins without consulting their doctor because that could be dangerous, she said.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Healthcare

Dr P Carrothers

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

4 Beverages To Add To Your Healthy Drink List

4 Beverages To Add To Your Healthy Drink List

 

Today we cover four healthy beverages – experiment to find the best ways to incorporate them into your daily routine:

  1. 65432d60943de24ecb6b18739c550a23Green tea. Dr. Weil’s beverage of choice, green tea is a potent source of catechins – healthy antioxidants that can inhibit cancer cell activity and help boost immunity. Look for an organic and fair trade version. Replace your morning coffee with a cup of tea for a healthier wake-up, and drink unsweetened iced green tea throughout the day.

***  If you have are taking any medications for cardiac problems, high or low blood pressure, migraines, bladder control problems, thyroid or kidney problems, do not take green tea.

 

***  Never drink more than one cup of green tea per day, and preferably in the morning.

 

  1. f04874c897e0304ef26b676dcfa947b0.jpgCranberry juice. Cranberries are a rich source of vitamin C and contain a substance that hinders the attachment of bacteria to bladder walls, which can help prevent urinary tract infections. Instead of cranberry juice cocktail, opt for unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate and dilute with water or sparkling water. Diluted 100 percent blueberry juice is a healthy choice as well as long as you keep your total juice intake low.
  2. Red wine. The antioxidant activity of red wine has been linked to heart health benefits, reduced stress, and even preserving memory. If you enjoy an occasional drink, limit your intake to one to two glasses a day. If you don’t drink, don’t start – there are other

 

 

 

  1. 5026e06335766db4865064e4e3379cb5Red wine. The antioxidant activity of red wine has been linked to heart health
  2. benefits, reduced stress, and even preserving memory. If you enjoy an occasional drink, limit your intake to one to two glasses a day. If you don’t drink, don’t start – there are other ways to get antioxidants in your diet, including fresh whole fruits and vegetables.

 

 

 

 

  1. 0e71da83e429020698203f8bf7c250ecPure, filtered water. Staying well hydrated is essential to optimal health and overall functioning. Sip water throughout the day, and in the warmer months, be sure to drink water before and after exercising to avoid dehydration. If trying to kick a soda habit, try sparkling mineral water with a squeeze of citrus.

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Wild Blueberry Cranberry Sauce

Wild Blueberry Cranberry Sauce

 

Enhance the nutrient power and healing properties of regular cranberry sauce with the addition of the most healing food on the planet: wild blueberries. Not only does this spin on traditional cranberry sauce taste incredible; its vibrant, rich color will also uplift your spirit.

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Wild blueberries contain dozens of undiscovered antioxidants, including anthocyanin varieties. There’s not just one pigment inside a wild blueberry; there are dozens of pigments not yet researched or studied. The wild blueberry is to the liver as mother’s milk is to a baby. Not only do wild blueberries have the ability to grab on to plenty of troublemakers, they also hold on to them as they leave the liver, in a way that most other healing foods cannot. The pigments in wild blueberries have the ability to saturate deep into liver cells and cross cell walls and membranes inside the liver, spreading their blue everywhere. Wild blueberries enhance the intestinal tract, feeding good bacteria there,

The anthocyanin in cranberries is multifaceted, as it does more than one job for your liver. Not only does it prevent oxidation in cells; it helps prevent cells from dying in general of toxic overload. It also removes and breaks free a variety of troublemakers, including those inherited from long past in the family line. The harsh fruit acid in cranberries that causes the mouth to pucker strips the cell membranes off pathogens, most especially bacteria. The vitamin C in cranberries holds similarities to the rare vitamin C in tomatoes in that it increases the liver’s immune system strength.

Wild Blueberry Cranberry Sauce 

Ingredients:
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 red apple, diced
1 tsp orange zest
Juice from 1 orange
1/3 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks

Directions:
Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered. Stir every few minutes for 20-30 minutes until the mixture is thick and the berries are soft.

Remove half the mixture from the pot and blend until smooth using an immersion blender or a jug blender. Place it back in the pot. Alternatively, you can leave the sauce chunky or blend it completely. Remove the cinnamon sticks and let cool before serving. Best kept in the fridge.

Makes about 1 cup

Health and WEllness Associates

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Caramel Apple Rings: Liver Cleansing

Caramel Apple Rings

Coming up with fun, easy ideas for families can feel hard sometimes, and that’s when you can turn to these caramel apple rings. They’re a perfect breakfast idea for kids and adults alike. Try setting out all the different toppings “build your own” style and let everyone decorate the caramel apple rings with their own favorite choices!

 

Apples: Provide living water to support the liver’s hydration capabilities, so it can store the water and then release it back into the bloodstream when dehydration or dirty blood syndrome occurs. The fruit acids in apples help cleanse the liver by dispersing toxic films that build up inside its storage banks. Apples starve out bacteria, yeast, mold, other funguses, and viruses from the intestinal tract and liver. Great for dissolving gallstones.

Dates: The intestinal tract builds up mucus due to low hydrochloric acid and bile production, and that can slow down absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream. Dates expel and eliminate mucus, especially that produced by pathogens such as bacteria and fungus, from the colon. The sugars in dates feed the liver; they’re a great source of glucose for recovery and restoration that allows the liver to maximize its over 2,000 chemical functions.

applecaramelringsdThese are the ones we made and we used coconut in them.  Putting them on a stick is the best!

 

This recipe is a lot of fun with a lot of variations.

 

 

Caramel Apple Rings

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 lemon, juiced, divided
3 red apples
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 inch vanilla bean (optional)
½ cup water

Optional Toppings:
1 cup raspberries
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup dried mulberries
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons raw honey

Directions:
Fill a large bowl with cold water and pour half of the lemon juice into it. Turn each apple sideways and carefully cut it into slices about ¼ inch thick. Use a small cookie cutter or bottle cap to punch the core out of the center of each apple slice. Place the finished rings immediately into the bowl of lemon water to prevent browning.

Blend the dates, vanilla bean, ½ cup water, and remaining lemon juice together until a thick, smooth “caramel” forms.

Remove the apple rings from the water. Spread caramel along the top of each ring and add any desired toppings!

Tip:
If the dates you’re using are dry, try soaking them in warm water for a few minutes prior to blending.

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Gail Bohannan Gray

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Oat Bites : Flourless and No Bake

Peanut Butter Oat Bites

Flourless and No Bake

 

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Want a nutritious snack that can also pass as dessert? These gluten-free peanut butter oat bites contain the delicious combination of dark chocolate and peanut butter, making for a satisfying snack, and the rolled oats add a bit of soluble fiber. What I love most about these bites is the secret ingredient of matcha green tea powder, which packs in more antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut creamer (or coconut milk)

Preparation

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients: rolled oats, chia seeds, matcha powder, and cinnamon. Stir the mixture to combine well.
  2. Add in the peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir again until mixture is thoroughly combined. Place oat mixture into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  3. Take the oat mixture out of the refrigerator and roll them into balls, using a heaping tablespoon. This will make about 12 balls. Place back in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes to harden before dipping into chocolate.
  1. In a small sauce pot, add the chocolate chips, vanilla, and coconut creamer or milk. Turn heat to low and slowly melt the chocolate, stirring often. Cook on low until mixture is completely smooth. Be careful not to burn the mixture—keep an eye on it and don’t walk away!
  2. Take the oat bites out of the refrigerator and carefully dip each one into the melted chocolate on one side. Lie them flat on a baking sheet lined with foil after they have been dipped in chocolate. Place in the freezer to harden.
  3. Keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy when wanted. You can also keep them stored in the freezer if you want to enjoy them at a later time.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

These balls are scrumptious with peanut butter, but any nut butter would be equally as delicious. If you have a nut allergy, consider using sunflower seed butter instead. You can also feel free to use chunky instead of creamy peanut butter for an additional crunch.

Although dark chocolate slightly increases the nutritional value of these bites, you can melt your personal favorite chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate is a good choice since it is not too sweet, given you already have ample sweetness from the maple syrup in the mixture.

To make these naturally sweetened, swap out the maple syrup and use mashed up dates.

To sweeten with dates, pour hot water over the dates in a small bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes so they can soften. Drain excess water and mash up the dates with a fork until a smooth paste is formed. Add this paste into the oat mixture. You can also try using mashed ripe banana as an alternative natural sweetener. Alternatively, to cut down on sugar, use half the amount of maple syrup and add in unsweetened applesauce.

The matcha powder flavor is almost undetectable but if you would like a stronger presence, simply add in another half teaspoon or so. If you have trouble finding matcha powder, omit altogether.

Cooking and Serving Tips

This recipe is very simple and requires no baking. It is especially great in the summer time.

To minimize the number of dishes used, mix all the ingredients for the oat mixture in one bowl. You can also save time by using chocolate chips—they are convenient to melt instead of having to chop up chocolate.

The oat bites do not need to be refrigerated for any food safety reasons, but the chocolate will melt otherwise.

Plus, it keeps the balls intact. Store them in the freezer, as you may not always finish the whole batch within a few days. This way, you can take one or two out as needed and they are as delicious frozen as they are thawed out. Enjoy these as a snack mid-day or for a light dessert in the evening.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Vitamin D! Symptoms and more!

vitmaninDVitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that your body needs to regulate calcium absorption. Deficiency can result in weakened, brittle bones. Children who don’t get enough may end up with a disease called rickets, and adults with vitamin D deficiency are at a greater risk for osteoporosis.

The adequate daily intake of vitamin D is from 200 to 600 International Units (IU); however, some experts believe those numbers should be increased. Three ounces of salmon contains about 800 IU, a cup of milk has just over 100 IU, and one serving of fortified breakfast cereal usually has about 40 IU vitamin D.

Please know that milk also destroys some Vitamin D too,

Symptoms

People with vitamin D deficiency may experience bone pain and muscle weakness although the symptoms may be very mild at first.

Children who have rickets suffer from soft bones and skeletal deformities. Deficiency in adults will cause osteomalacia, which is a condition that makes your bones weak. Your health care provider can order tests that measure the levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D.

Insufficient levels of vitamin D in the blood have been associated with a variety of other health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and some forms of cancer. However, more research is needed to determine if vitamin D can prevent or treat any of these disorders.

Causes

Not eating foods that contain vitamin D and not getting enough sun exposure may lead to vitamin D deficiency. Breastfed infants, older adults, housebound individuals, and people with dark skin are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Individuals who have fat absorption problems due to conditions such as Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, gastric bypass surgery, or have liver or kidney conditions may not get enough vitamin D from their diets.

You need sun exposure to make vitamin D, but it only takes 5 to 30 minutes of sun exposure on your face, arms, legs or back twice each week without sunscreen to stimulate sufficient vitamin D production. Excessive sun exposure increases your risk of skin cancer, so it’s important to use sunscreen and limit your use of tanning beds.

Vitamin D is not naturally present in many foods; however, oily fish and especially cod liver oil are rich in vitamin D. Beef liver, eggs, and cheese also contain small amounts. Vitamin D is added to some foods like milk and fortified breakfast cereals.

Can You Get too Much Vitamin D?

Your body stores fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, but excessive sun exposure will not cause vitamin D toxicity. It would be tough to get too much vitamin D from foods—even fortified foods—unless you consume large amounts of cod liver oil.

Vitamin D is available as an over-the-counter supplement. But since your body stores fat-soluble vitamins for a long time, taking large amounts of vitamin D can lead to a toxicity that causes nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss.

High blood levels of vitamin D may also raise your blood levels of calcium, possibly resulting in mental confusion and abnormal heart rhythms. So, if you have any health conditions, it’s important to speak with your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements. And follow the label directions unless your healthcare provider tells you differently.

 

Make an appointment with us, to help you follow a regiment of Vitamin that is RIGHT for you.  One thing to ask….  which Vitamin D do I take, and what do I take with it?  If you get the answer of anything on the shelf, or just the standard vitamin D and they do not tell you what to take with it, then they are so wrong.  And now you know it!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Pumpkin and a Pumpkin Smoothie!

It’s PUMPKIN time again!!

 

shutterstock_pumpkin-smoothie.jpg

 

Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin potato chips and more!

While pumpkins are chock full of beta-carotene (the pre-cursor to vitamin A), and fiber, they are also low glycemic, meaning that pumpkin does not cause blood sugar levels to rise, helping you lose weight. Pumpkin is also great for your eyesight, beautiful smooth skin and has powerful disease-fighting capabilities.

However, keep in mind we are talking about pure pumpkin, not that pumpkin spice muffin you’re eating or your pumpkin spice mocha latte frappe! The sugar and refined flours cancel out the benefits of the pumpkin.

That beautiful bright orange color of pumpkins comes from the antioxidant, beta carotene, which not only turns to vitamin A in the body, but is a powerful antioxidant that protects against heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In fact, a recent study from Brazil showed that diabetic rats fed beta carotene reduced oxidation stress that helped prevent heart disease and disease processes caused by diabetes.

Beta-carotene is not the only diabetes-fighting nutrient in pumpkins. Two other compounds found in both pumpkins and fenugreek, trigonelline and nicotine acid, have been shown in studies to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels by improving insulin resistance, according to researchers in Japan.

Pumpkin’s high fiber helps you feel full longer, which is a great aid in weight loss. And it’s low glycemic properties also help to keep your body in fat-burning mode—not fat-storing mode. Pumpkin’s powerful antioxidants also help fight off cancer and boost the immune system. A pumpkin-protein smoothie can be the perfect post-workout recovery food—since pumpkin is also full of potassium, along with its vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Pumpkin can be eaten roasted, baked or steamed, similar to sweet potatoes or squash. It is a delicious addition to curries and soups as well. Don’t  forget to eat the pumpkin seeds, too, which are best lightly roasted. Pumpkin seeds are known to boost levels of serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ brain chemical.

Try this amazing pumpkin smoothie!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (approximate) organic pumpkin, canned or fresh baked
1 small or 1/2 regular/large tart apple
Protein powder of choice (vanilla works best with this recipe)
1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
Handful of greens if you wish—baby kale, spinach, chard, etc.
Your milk of choice: real raw milk, coconut milk, almond milk, etc.
1 Tbsp of coconut oil

Directions

Mix in blender until smooth, add milk until desired consistency. Add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

You should also know that this recipe is an almost perfect low-glycemic snack for Diabetics, due to it’s blend of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and a reasonably low amount of sugars and carbs that impact blood sugar.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Foods, Uncategorized

Pizza with a Sweet Potato Crust

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Pizza with a Sweet Potato Crust

 

sweetpotatocrust

 

Ingredients

Crust:

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium sweet potato (about 10 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 

1/2 cup almond flour 

1/4 cup grated Parmesan 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 large egg 

Toppings:

Kosher salt

1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped

4 ounces spicy Italian sausage

1/4 cup pizza sauce 

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled 

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

 
 

Directions

  1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil.
  2. Add the sweet potato cubes to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until coarsely ground, similar to the texture of coarse salt.
  3. Add the ground sweet potato, almond flour, Parmesan, salt, garlic powder and egg to a bowl and stir until combined. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to the prepared baking sheet and form into a 12-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Brush with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Bake until browned around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. For the toppings: Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath. Blanch the broccoli rabe in the boiling water, then transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
  5. Set a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into crumbles, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  6. Remove the crust from the oven and top with the pizza sauce, broccoli rabe, sausage, goat cheese and pepper flakes. Place back in the oven and cook until the toppings are warmed through and cheese is melted, another 8 to 10 minutes.

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com