Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Brain Fog!

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Brain Fog!

Brain fog is currently a mystery to medical science and research. Its true cause is not known and in many cases it is often misdiagnosed, leaving patients without the information they need to heal.

Even alternative health communities tend to blame brain fog on the wrong cause. They often believe it’s caused by yeast or fungus in the gut, but this isn’t true. A friend of mine told me about the electrician at his office who is suffering from terrible intestinal issues, but has no brain fog. On the other hand, there are people who eat incredibly clean diets and don’t have noticeable digestive issues, and yet they do suffer from terrible brain fog. I’ve known countless people and heard many stories of people who have experienced the very same thing over the years. The gut is not what causes brain fog. It’s also not caused by the thyroid, which is another common belief in medical communities. Nor is it a condition to be taken lightly.

Sadly, this condition can be so extreme that it causes people to lose their jobs, drop out of school, or spend days in bed when they need to be looking after their family or other responsibilities. Brain fog is not just the result of anxiety or a late night out. Fatigue, anxiety, and depression can accompany brain fog, but they are not the cause. It is so much more than that and it is time to uncover what is really going on.

Dirty Neurotransmitters

The root causes of brain fog can be traced to both the liver and the brain. There are many different “Liver Troublemakers” that sit in our livers. This is the name I have given to hundreds of toxins, chemicals, pollutants, pathogens, foods and more.  Some of these troublemakers include viruses like Epstein-Barr, excess adrenaline from being in the almost constant fight or flight mode most of us experience every day with our busy lifestyles, and toxic heavy metals such as copper, mercury, aluminum, and more.

When viruses like Epstein-Barr are present in the liver they need to sustain themselves to survive. They do this by eating substances that they like. Medical science and research have yet to discover this truth that all viruses feed. They cannot exist on their own, and what they enjoy most are certain foods we eat and toxins we often have inside us, such as toxic heavy metals, pesticides, petrochemicals, and fungicides, to name just a few. And, just like us, when a virus feeds, it also has to eliminate. When viruses eat toxins and problematic foods, they will then excrete even more toxins into your body. I call these toxins excreted by viruses dermatoxins and neurotoxins.Again, medical science and research also aren’t aware of either of these yet. If you’ve heard of the word dermatoxin before, the world understand it as an external chemical or irritant to the skin. But these dermatoxins that com from viruses are internal dermatoxins. The neurotoxins leave the liver after viruses excrete them and travel the hepatic portal vein to the heart and up to the brain. Their next stop is neurons in the brain, where they can cloud up, interfere with, and short-circuit neurotransmitters.

In order for our brain to function properly, and for thinking to happen naturally, we need clean neurotransmitter chemicals that can pick up neuroelectrical impulses sent out through the brain. But when the neurotoxins that came from viruses in the liver reach the brain, they can sit on neurons and burn out neurotransmitter chemicals, making the neurotransmitters dirty. And when an electrical impulse travels to a dirty neurotransmitter, it dampens it and shorts it out. Neurotransmitter chemicals dirtied by neurotoxins are a recipe for brain fog. This will take at least 50 years to uncover by medical science and research. These shorted-out neurotransmitter chemicals can also trigger anxiety, depression, and other symptoms and conditions. 

Additionally, there’s another cause of brain fog. When toxic heavy metals like mercury and aluminum are already present in the brain, which is the case for almost everyone to some degree, they can oxidize and create a metallic run-off that saturates your brain tissue. Again, your electrical impulses are short circuited by dirty neurotransmitters. The important thing, though, is not to worry about which type of brain fog you might be suffering from, because the truth is, most people are suffering from both types. The best thing you can do is focus on the healing foods and supplements for brain fog .

Detoxing Your Liver

Now that you have some of the answers for what’s really behind brain fog, you can move forward with healing. By eating a diet that consists of a abundance of fresh fruits, leafy greens and vegetables, along with eliminating the correct foods for you, as a good healthcare provider should be able to do.   Healthwellnessassociares@gmail.com

There are problematic foods—like eggs and dairy products—that feed viruses and other pathogens in the liver. That includes even grass-fed milk, cheese, and butter. Gluten is another offender. Gluten is a favored food of the Epstein-Barr virus and other viruses and bacteria. And remember that the more a virus eats, the more toxins it will eliminate, which will only worsen brain fog and other symptoms.

Leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables, on the other hand, will support the liver in ridding viruses and toxic heavy metals from the body.

It is incredibly effective at cleaning out heavy metals from the liver and brain and other toxins and chemicals too. Kale, red lettuce, butter lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, peaches, plums, melons, papaya, berries, mango, and a little avocado—these are some of the foods to incorporate into your diet if you suffer with brain fog or wish to help avoid it in the future. These food helps to kill off viruses like Epstein-Barr, remove toxins from the body, detoxify and support and liver and brain, and so much more.

Straight celery juice on an empty stomach every day not only repairs neurotransmitter chemicals with its mineral salts, but also helps build new neurotransmitters in the brain.

Next Steps

If you are one of the millions of people experiencing brain fog, you now have the answers you need in your hands so you can finally move forward with understanding and heal. People with brain fog often get called lazy or stupid or dispassionate—you are none of these things. Brain fog is a very real physical symptom that can be debilitating. 

Write to us for help putting together a plan for your healthcare.

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Health Wellness Associates

 

 

Advertisements
Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Brain Aging: The Brain-Food Connection

Brain Aging: The Brain-Food Connection

8e6f674bca42f9abdfaddaff231049d1

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

 

Foods, Uncategorized

Foods For Your Brain

brain

Top Six Foods for Your Brain

That said, let’s return to the topic at hand. These are my top picks when it comes to foods that nourish your brain, heart, gut, muscles, immune system and more. Can you boost your brainpower with the foods you eat? You bet. Topping the list of brain-boosting superfoods are foods high in healthy fats. This should come as no surprise considering your brain is mainly made up of fats.

 

  1. Avocados are a great source of healthy oleic acid (monounsaturated fat, which is also found in olive oil), which helps decrease inflammation.1 Avocados have also been shown to effectively combat nearly every aspect of metabolic syndrome, a risk factor of dementia and most other chronic disease. Aside from providing healthy fats, avocados also provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including potassium, which helps balance your vitally important potassium to sodium ratio.

 

  1. Organic coconut oil. Besides being excellent for your thyroid and your metabolism, its medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs) are a source of ketone bodies, which act as an alternate source of brain fuel that can help prevent the brain atrophy associated with dementia. MCTs also impart a number of health benefits, including raising your body’s metabolism and fighting off pathogens.

 

  1. Grass fed butter and ghee. About 20 percent of butterfat consists of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which are used right away for quick energy and therefore don’t contribute to fat levels in your blood. Therefore, a significant portion of the butter you consume is used immediately for energy, similar to a carbohydrate. Ghee, which has a higher smoke point than butter, is a healthy fat particularly well-suited for cooking. It also has a longer shelf life.

 

  1. Organic pastured eggs. Many of the healthiest foods are rich in cholesterol and saturated fats, and eggs are no exception. Cholesterol is needed for the regulation of protein pathways involved in cell signaling and other cellular processes. It’s particularly important for your brain, which contains about 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body.

 

It is vital for synapse formation, i.e., the connections between your neurons, which allow you to think, learn new things and form memories. For a simple snack, see this healthy deviled egg recipe.

 

  1. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon. While most fish suffer drawbacks related to contamination, wild-caught Alaskan salmon and other small, fatty fish, such as sardines and anchovies, are still noteworthy for their health benefits in light of their low risk of contamination.

 

Wild-caught Alaskan salmon and other oily fish are high in omega-3 fats necessary for optimal brain (and heart) health. Research2 also suggests eating oily fish once or twice a week may increase your life span. Avoid farmed salmon, however, as they’ve been identified as one of the most toxic foods in the world. For tips on how to cook salmon steaks, see this salmon cooking guide.

 

  1. Organic raw nuts such as macadamia and pecans. Macadamia nuts have the highest fat and lowest protein and carb content of any nut, and about 60 percent of the fat is the monounsaturated fat oleic acid. This is about the level found in olives, which are well-known for their health benefits.

 

A single serving of macadamia nuts also provides 58 percent of what you need in manganese and 23 percent of the recommended daily value of thiamin. Pecans are a close second to macadamia nuts on the fat and protein scale, and they also contain anti-inflammatory magnesium, heart healthy oleic acid, phenolic antioxidants and immune-boosting manganese.

If you need help with what foods to eat and not eat with other medications you are taking, please give us a call.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-9355

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

Health and Disease

Parkinson’s Disease

parkinsondisease

Parkinson’s Disease

 

Like other diseases this too may originate in the Gut

 

New research suggests additional evidence that Parkinson’s disease may originate in the gut.

 

Though experts called the findings preliminary, Swedish scientists found that patients whose main trunk of the vagus nerve — which extends from the brain stem to the abdomen — was removed were markedly less likely to develop the movement disorder than others who didn’t have the surgery. The patients were followed for at least five years.

 

The study authors said the findings suggest Parkinson’s may start in the gut and spread to the brain through the vagus nerve, which helps control unconscious body processes such as heart rate and digestion.

 

“We were not largely surprised, as other research has also shown evidence for a link between the gut and Parkinson’s disease,” said study author Dr. Karin Wirdefeldt. She’s an associate professor of medical epidemiology and biostatistics at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

 

“Our findings are in line with other research in the field, although evidence is scarce,” she added. “Further research is needed.”

 

A progressive, incurable disorder, Parkinson’s disease affects nearly 1 million Americans, according to the National Parkinson Foundation. Stemming from the brain’s lack of production of the chemical dopamine, its symptoms include trembling, stiffness, slow movement and poor balance.

 

Using data from national registers in Sweden, Wirdefeldt and her colleagues compared 9,430 people who underwent vagotomy surgery — which removes the main trunk or branches of the vagus nerve to treat ulcers — to more than 377,000 from the general population over a 40-year period.

 

In those with so-called “selective vagotomy,” in which only some branches of the vagus nerve were removed, the difference in Parkinson’s rates was not statistically significant. But that changed for those who underwent a “truncal vagotomy,” in which the main trunk of the vagus nerve was removed.

 

The 19 people who underwent truncal vagotomy at least five years prior were 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s than those who didn’t have the surgery and had been followed for five years.

 

The results were adjusted for other factors, such as diabetes, arthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the researchers said.

 

Only an association, rather than a cause-and-effect link, was found between vagus nerve surgery and Parkinson’s.

 

Parkinson’s experts who weren’t involved in the new research said much more evidence is needed to confirm the link, though they praised the study.

 

“The link is not strong,” said Dr. Olga Waln, a neurologist at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. “They did an outstanding job on the study and analyzed a large database, but… I don’t think the conclusions are very convincing.”

 

Waln acknowledged the difficulty of designing such a study, because few patients undergo surgery to remove portions of their vagus nerve.

 

“But what the authors found definitely requires attention from scientists, because if we can somehow confirm the disease starts in the intestines… it could give hope to patients,” she said.

 

James Beck, chief scientific officer of the National Parkinson Foundation, also classified the new findings as “not definitive.”

 

“But it’s interesting that this connection [between the gut and Parkinson’s] seems to be persisting,” Beck said. “It’s not causal, but it underscores something potentially going on in the gut and how that may influence Parkinson’s disease.”

 

The possibility of preventing Parkinson’s “is a long way off” and will require more firmly identifying factors that cause it, Beck noted.

 

“Research like this spur further thought as people try to crack this nut of what is the cause of Parkinson’s disease… or perhaps many causes,” he said.

 

The study was published online April 26 in the journal Neurology.

 

If you have anyone in your family who has Parkinson’s Disease, please contact us for help with turning this diseases around, or preventing you and your family from developing it.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Neurology 2017

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/?ref=settings

 

 

Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

B-12 and Brain Health

B12

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Endangers Brain Health:

 

B-12 brain deficiency is a silent epidemic with serious consequences to your health.

 

A chronic deficiency can lead to more serious health consequences than nearly any other vitamin deficiency.

 

While the range of deleterious effects that can result from B12 deficiency is wide and voluminous, one area where it hits hardest is neurological health.  This is because vitamin B12 is invaluable for the development and optimal function of brain and nerve cells.

 

Without it, a frightening set of symptoms and ailments can set in: what begins as fatigue, slight neuropathy (tingling in the extremities), and low-level mood imbalances could possibly escalate to dementia and other expressions of advanced neuro-degeneration and even degeneration of the spinal cord (which carries its own host of side effects, including problems with vision, bladder function, erectile function, cardiovascular health, and gastrointestinal function).

 

How B12 Protects Brain Health

 

Vitamin B12 is intimately linked with the health of myelin, the fatty sheath that protects brain and nerve cells against strokes, stress and damage, and also aids nerve-impulse communication between cells.

Vitamin B12 not only helps to protect the integrity of myelin, but also is central to its synthesis.

Without the ability to maintain myelin, the body can’t effectively protect brain and nerve cells against damage.

In short, many of the complex processes required for optimal brain health grind to a halt without proper levels of vitamin B12.

And because so many people are deficient in vitamin B12 (up to 40% of the American population, with another 39% hovering right above deficiency), it’s no surprise then that the incidence of neurological disease is skyrocketing.

To protect your brain, you may want to consider a high quality B12 supplement.

 

Unfortunately, those B12 supplements you find on the market suffer from one major flaw…

They’re unabsorbable.

When vitamins aren’t properly absorbed, your brain never gets the nutrients it desperately needs…so you still end up with the symptoms mentioned above.

Also, taking B12 alone, can literally deplete other vitamins in your body and leave you extremely sick.

This includes B-12 shots.  Yes, can you believe that there are some physicians who are still recommending B-12 shots.  The only reason would be money.  It costs them less than ten cents per shot to give it to you.,

Unknown to most consumers, cyanide is found in a wide range of vitamins and foods in a form known as cyanocobalamin.  Fortunately, the cyanide has a low potential to do harm because it is organically bound to cobalamin (vitamin b12) — that is, as long as everything is working correctly and that person hasn’t already been burdened with environmental chemical exposures from cyanide, and related xenobiotic compounds. Having more than 6 B-12 shots a year is considered excessive.

Cyanocobalamin is actually found in 99% of the vitamins on the market which contain B12, as it is relatively cheap (recovered from activated sewage sludge or produced through total chemical synthesis), and stable (non-perishable). Despite its wide usage, it is not an ideal form of vitamin b12, as the cyanide must be removed from the cobalamin before it can perform its biological indispensable roles within the body. While there is plenty of research on the potential value of cyanide-bound vitamin B12, it does have potential to do harm.

The older you are the more dangerous it is to take a B-12 shot.  Kidneys, eyes, bladder and Liver functions are the first to be affected.

So, what do you do instead?   B-12 patches and sublingual sprays have been found to me effective in raising your B-12 levels.

So please talk to a healthcare provider that is versed in this, and can help you get on the right regiment.

Call us if you need help with this and we can collectively determine what you need.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

 

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

One Way to Reduce Your Chance of Alzheimer’s Disease

alzheimers

One Way to Reduce Your Chance of Alzheimer’s Disease

 

New research suggests aluminum exposure contributes to dementia, but there is plenty you can do to lower your risk.

 

 

Aluminum is one of the most widely used metals in the world. Consider your morning commute: You hop into your car, where you’re protected from the elements by aluminum body panels. You sip your morning coffee from an aluminum travel mug. You arrive at your desk and pry open your laptop’s aluminum case to check your email.

 

All of this exposure to aluminum, however, may come at a cost. Research suggests that the metal — a known neurotoxin — builds up in the brain over time, contributing to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

 

This is only one thing you can do.  If you have any dementia diseases in your family, please contact us to help you prevent getting this condition also.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: 14

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

 

 

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

15 Best Foods For Your Brain

 

brainfood

15 Best Foods For The Brain

 

  1. Avocados

This fruit is one of the healthiest ones you can consume and one of my all-time favorites. While avocados often get a bad rep because of their high fat content, it’s important to note that these green powerhouses are packed with monosaturated fats or the “good” kind, keeping blood sugar levels steady and your skin glowing.

 

Containing both vitamin K and folate, avocados help prevent blood clots in the brain (protecting against stroke) as well as help improve cognitive function, especially both memory and concentration.

They’re also rich in vitamin B and vitamin C, which aren’t stored in your body and need to be replenished daily. Plus, they have the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit. Not too shabby! Avocados’ creamy texture makes them a smart addition to smoothies and a replacement for fats in baked goods,

 

  1. Beets

It might be their funny shape or memories of bad recipes eaten during childhood, but beets seem to be an intimidating food for many people, even vegetable lovers. That’s a shame, because these root vegetables are some of the most nutritious plants you can eat — they’ve even earned a spot on my healthy foods shopping list.

They reduce inflammation, are high in cancer-protecting antioxidants and help rid your blood of toxins. The natural nitrates in beets actually boost blood flow to the brain, helping with mental performance. Plus, during tough workouts, beets actually help boost energy and performance levels. I love them roasted or in salads

 

  1. Blueberries

Proving that great things do come in small packages,blueberries are a fruit I try to eat daily. That’s because they’ve got so many great health benefit ­while tasting like an all-natural candy!

For starters, it’s one of the highest antioxidant-rich foods known to man, including vitamin C and vitamin K and fiber. Because of their high levels of gallic acid, blueberries are especially good at protecting our brains from degeneration and stress

 

  1. Bone Broth

Bone broth is the ultimate food for healing your gut and, in turn, healing your brain. This ancient food is full of health benefits, ranging from boosting your immune system, overcoming leaky gut, improving joint health and overcoming food allergies.

Its high levels of collagen help reduce intestinal inflammation, and healing amino acids like proline and glycine keep your immune system functioning properly and help improve memory. Bone broth is what I prescribe most frequently to my patients because it truly helps heal your body from the inside out.

 

  1. Broccoli

Your mom got it right when she told you to eat your broccoli. It’s one of the best brain foods out there. Thanks to its high levels of vitamin K and choline, it will help keep your memory sharp. (4)

It’s also loaded with vitamin C — in fact, just one cup provides you with 150 percent of your recommended daily intake. Its high-fiber levels mean that you’ll feel full quickly, too

 

  1. Celery

For a vegetable with such few calories (just 16 per cup!),celery sure does offer a lot of benefits. Its high levels of antioxidants and polysaccharides act as natural anti-inflammatories and can help alleviate symptoms related to inflammation, like joint pain and irritable bowel syndrome.

Because it’s so nutrient-dense — packing loads of vitamins, minerals and nutrients with very little calories — it’s a great snack option if you’re looking to shed pounds. And while we often eat celery stalks, don’t skip the seeds and leaves; both provide extra health benefits and taste great in things like stir fries and soups.

 

  1. Coconut Oil

Ahh, coconut oil, one of the most versatile — and good for you — foods out there. With more than 77 coconut oil uses and cures, there’s almost nothing that coconut oil can’t help.

And when it comes to your brain, it’s full of benefits, too. Coconut oil works as a natural anti-inflammatory, suppressing cells responsible for inflammation. It can help with memory loss as you age and destroy bad bacteria that hangs out in your gut. (5)

 

  1. Dark Chocolate

Not all chocolate is created equal; in fact, dark chocolate can actually be good for you! Chocolate is chockfull of flavonols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the brain and heart.

But don’t go wild munching on Hershey’s Kisses just yet. Most of the chocolate you see on supermarket shelves is highly processed with few benefits. The rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate, the more health benefits.

Skip milk and white chocolates and opt for a minimally processed dark chocolate with at least 70 percent of cocoa..

 

  1. Egg Yolks

On the nutritional naughty list for years, egg yolks are finally experiencing their well-deserved day in the sun. If you’ve been eating only egg whites, the yolk’s on you. Yolks contain large amounts of choline, which helps in fetal brain development for pregnant women. It also breaks down bethane, a chemical that produces hormones related to happiness. That’s right, eggs can make you happy! (6)

If you’ve kept away from eating eggs whole because of cholesterol concerns, there’s good news. Studies show that eating eggs had no effect on the cholesterol levels of healthy adults and might, in fact, help raise good cholesterol levels.

It’s also one of the most inexpensive sources of protein out there; just be sure you’re buying organic, free-range eggs. Need some egg-spiration?

 

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Real extra virgin olive oil is truly a brain food. Thanks to the powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols that are found in the oil, including EVOO in your diet may not only improve learning and memory, but also reverse the age- and disease-related changes. (7) The oil also helps fight against ADDLs, proteins that are toxic to the brain and induce Alzheimer’s. (8)

As great as extra virgin olive oil is, remember that it’s not a good option for cooking, as it hydrogenizes and begins decomposing at high temperatures. The best way to get your fill is by eating it cold or at room temperature

 

  1. Green, Leafy Vegetables

It turns out that Popeye was onto something with his spinachobsession. Getting regular helpings of leafy green brain foods — like kale, Swiss chard and romaine lettuce — can help keep dementia at bay according to new research. (9)

In the study, which evaluated the eating habits and mental ability of more than 950 older adults for an average of five years, those adults who ate a serving of leafy green veggies once or twice a day experienced slower mental deterioration than those who ate no vegetables, even when factors like age, education and family history of dementia were factored in.

Green, leafy vegetables are also loaded with vitamins A and K (just one cup of kale has more than 684 percent of your recommended daily serving!), which help fight inflammation and keep bones strong.

 

  1. Rosemary

We already knew that rosemary oil has a variety of benefits, but did you know that the herb does, too? Carnosic acid, one of the main ingredients in rosemary, helps protect the brain from neurodegeneration. It does this by protecting the brain against chemical free radicals, which are linked to neurodegeneration, Alzheimer’s, strokes and normal aging in the brain. (10)

It also helps protect eyesight from deteriorating, thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. (11)

 

  1. Salmon

If you like seafood, get excited, because salmon is one of the most nutritious, brain food-friendly foods out there! It’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids to help keep your brain running smoothly ­— goodbye, brain fog — and improve memory.

If you have kids, feeding them salmon can help preventADHD by improving their focus. And these same fatty acids can also help prevent cancer and kill tumors — not bad for a four-ounce serving of fish!

Please note that these benefits are for Alaskan wild-caught salmon — farm-raised and regular wild-caught salmon can be filled with mercury and toxins.

 

  1. Turmeric

Isn’t it great when a simple spice has amazing health benefits? That’s the Turmeric also helps boost antioxidant levels and keep your immune system healthy, while also improving your brain’s oxygen intake, keeping you alert and able to process information. Talk about a super spice!

 

  1. Walnuts

It turns out that eating walnuts can keep you from going nuts. Just munching on a few walnuts a day can improve your cognitive health. (12) Their high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals also improve mental alertness. The vitamin E in the nuts can also help ward off Alzheimer’s.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  If you need help with your healthcare plan, or you wish to prevent any diseases that may be in your family, or you have symptoms and concerns and nothing is working for you, please call us.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains

hiking

Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains

If you’ve gone on a hike, the kind where you lace up your boots and are gone for the day, you know just how good and life giving that time outdoors can be; the fresh air, the peace of mind, how strenuous and strengthening it can be for the body. And finally it seems science is now also in agreement!

 

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that when we spend time in nature, we decrease obsessive, negative thoughts by a significant margin.

Researchers compared the reported obsessive, negative, and anxious thoughts of participants who hiked through either an urban or a natural environment; those who walked for 90 minutes in a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and also had reduced neural activity in their subgenual prefrontal cortex (an area of the brain that’s related to mental illness) but participants who walked through the urban environment did not report decreased rumination.

What the researchers noted was that increased urbanization seemed to increase instances of depression and other mental illness. But taking time out to escape from urban settings, and spend more time in nature, greatly benefited our physical and psychological well-being.

And this wasn’t the only studies like this. Numerous ones have been done and have found:

  1. Conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer- creative problem solving is drastically improved by both disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature. “Participants in this study went backpacking through nature for about 4 days, during which time they were not allowed to use any technology whatsoever. They were asked to perform tasks which required creative thinking and complex problem solving, and researchers found that performance on problem solving tasks improved by 50% for those who took part in this tech-free hiking excursion,” reports the Collective Evolution article.
  2. Frances E Kup, PhD, and Andrea Faber Taylor, PhD, found that when exposed to outdoor activities, children with ADHD found their symptoms reduced. It seems nature can benefit anyone who has a difficult time paying attention or has impulsive behavior.
  3. Researchers from the University of British Columbia did a study and found that aerobic exercise increased hippocampal volume  (the part of the brain associated with spatial and episodic memory) in women over the age of 70. More from the Collective Evolution article, “Such exercise not only improves memory loss, but helps prevent it as well. Researchers also found that it can also reduce stress and anxiety, boost self esteem, and release endorphins.”

It seems that technology and urban noise demand much from us and offer little in return in terms of stress management. The constant noise from technology and the urban world add to mental fatigue and make it difficult to pay attention. But, simply stepping into nature and going for a walk can reduce those negative effects, soothe our minds, and boost our creative juices- plus we are getting healthy in the process!

So, if you needed that extra push to get outdoors, you now know its good for your body, well being, AND brain. Grab a pair of sturdy hiking shoes and some water (don’t forget a hat if you burn easily) and go for a hike!

Please share with family and loved ones.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: EE

312-972-WELL

Health and Disease, Lifestyle

What Your Wrinkles Are Telling You

wrinkles

What Your Wrinkles Are Telling You We all get older and signs of aging start by appearing on our faces. Wrinkles are the most visible sign of aging and can be spotted easily. Most of us are bound to get them in the course of our lives.

Many people want to avoid wrinkles especially when they first show up. There are many things people do to avoid wrinkles. Studies show that when we hit our 30′s we avoid the sun, reduce smoking, and cut down alcohol use. While these things are helpful to avoid wrinkles, have you ever thought that the wrinkles and fine lines on your face might be saying something about your health?

Wrinkles and the Brain Experts have linked facial wrinkles with the effects of aging on our brain. Studies show that the more wrinkles we have the more our brain is impacted by aging. Dr. Douglas Fields research found that by looking at the state of our skin we can tell much about the health of our brain. Usually the rate our brains start to age depends on external factors and genetics. Hormones play an important role in keeping our brain and skin healthy, deficiency of certain hormones is linked to various forms of cognitive impairment and dementia. When we don’t use sunscreen it disturbs our immune system and triggers inflammation, this damages the skin and has an aging effect on our brain. Skin and brain cells develop from the same embryonic tissue which is why they age at the same rate. Another factor correlating brain and skin aging is Alzheimer’s disease. Physical and mental exercises can be used to keep our brains and skin healthy. Avoiding toxins, stress, alcoholism, and cardiovascular disease will slow the effect of aging on brains and skin which will also help you reduce wrinkles.

Wrinkles and the Heart The American Heart Association performed a study on 10,000 people over a period of 35 years that showed wrinkles and other signs of aging are related to heart attacks and heart disease. From the total analyzed approximately 50% had both wrinkles and skin disorders. If you are in your 40′s and have wrinkles it’s a good idea to book a doctor’s appointment for a heart check-up.

Wrinkles and Other Organs Wrinkles are linked with many health-related factors. Studies show facial wrinkles are linked to osteoporosis. New research has found a strange connection between wrinkles and bone health, the more wrinkles you have the more likely you are to have less bone density, this is more common in women with early menopause.

One primary cause of wrinkles is smoking tobacco and having longterm alcoholism, these habits are also linked with deterioration of bone health. While wrinkles are common signs of aging they may also be screaming about your overall health and should not be ignored.

If you need help reversing any of these conditions, or you want to prevent wrinkles that may be in your family line; give us a call,

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

Rx to Wellness

Risk of Depression increases with use of prescription pain killers.

rxpainkillers

If you take prescription narcotic painkillers known as opioids for 90 days or more, you may significantly raise your risk of developing major depression, according to new research that adds to growing concerns surrounding the use of these common medications.

While those who took the drugs for 90 to 180 days had a 25 percent increased risk of depression, those who took opioids for 180 days or longer were at a 53 percent increased risk of developing depression compared to those who did not.

In other words, the risk seemed to go up the longer the painkillers were used, and also went up as the dosage increased. The researchers concluded:

“…the risk of development of depression increased as the duration of opioid analgesic exposure increased.”

Why Might Prescription Painkillers Lead to Depression?

It’s not entirely clear how the drugs may be involved in depression, although it is widely known that they have a strong impact on your brain. The drugs work by binding to receptors in your brain to decrease the perception of pain.

But they also create a temporary feeling of euphoria followed by dysphoria that can easily lead to physical dependence and addiction. The researchers speculated that there could be numerous factors linking opioid painkillers with depression:

“Some of these include opioid-induced resetting of the brain’s ‘reward pathway’ to a higher level, which means the chronic use of narcotic pain killers can elevate the threshold for a person’s ability to experience pleasure from natural rewards such as a food or sexual activity.

Other factors may include body aches months and years after the use of opioids has stopped, side effects such as adrenal, testosterone and vitamin D deficiencies and glucose dysregulation.”

Use of Prescription Opioid Painkillers Has Quintupled

The study’s lead author shared the startling statistics that “the use of prescription opioid analgesics has quintupled recently and that more than 200 million prescriptions were issued to patients in 2009 in the US.”

Given the magnitude of their use, their link to depression could constitute a “public health problem,” he said.

It wouldn’t be the first time the drugs have been linked to health problems of epidemic proportions. Prescription drug abuse has been called the fastest-growing drug problem in the US by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as the number of deaths from opioid painkillers like hydrocodone and oxycodone rose nearly four-fold between 1999 and 2009.

Men are still more likely to die from prescription painkiller overdose, but women are quickly catching up. Nearly 50,000 such deaths occurred among women between 1999 and 2010, and the statistics revealed by the CDC give a somber view of this growing problem:

  • More than 6,600 women, or 18 women every day, died from a prescription painkiller overdose in 2010
  • There were four times more deaths among women from prescription painkiller overdose than for cocaine and heroin deaths combined in 2010.
  • In 2010, there were more than 200,000 emergency department visits for opioid misuse or abuse among women — about one every three minutes.

The problem, once primarily seen in inner cities, is now even spanning to rural areas, hitting people of all ethnic backgrounds and income levels.

Opioids Are Among the Most Commonly Abused Drugs

Opioids like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl are one of the most commonly abused drug classes. These drugs are not only addictive, they can lead to slowed breathing and death if too much is taken, and the risks are compounded if you add alcohol to the equation.

Hydrocodone, a prescription opiate, is synthetic heroin. It’s indistinguishable from any other heroin as far as your brain and body is concerned. So, if you’re hooked on hydrocodone, you are in fact a good-old-fashioned heroin addict.

Worse, pain-killing drugs like fentanyl are actually 100 times more potent than natural opioids like morphine, making the addictive potential and side effects associated with prescription drug use much higher. At the root of the problem, of course, is the fact that so many Americans are struggling with pain.

Chronic pain affects 100 million Americans – that’s more than the number impacted by diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Yet, many physicians simply do not know how to help their patients manage, or eliminate, chronic pain without the use of these risky drugs.

The ‘Pain Prescription’ That Won’t Increase Your Risk of Depression (or Any Other Chronic Disease!)

If you suffer from chronic pain, prescription medications should be your last resort. Rarely, if ever, should they be your go-to option. If your physician has not spoken with you about some of these natural methods to address pain at its most foundational level, it may be time to seek out one who will. The four steps I recommend doing first, include:

  • Start taking a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil. Omega-3 fats are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work, they positively influence prostaglandins.) The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA contained in krill oil have been found in many animal and clinical studies to have anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial for pain relief.
  • Reduce your intake of most processed foods as not only do they contain sugar and additives but most are loaded with omega-6 fats that upset your delicate omega-3:omega-6 ratio, which will contribute to inflammation, a key factor in most pain.
  • Eliminate or radically reduce most grains and sugars (especially fructose) from your diet. Avoiding grains and sugars will lower your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels are one of the most profound stimulators of inflammatory prostaglandin production. That is why eliminating sugar and grains is so important to controlling your pain.
  • Optimize your production of vitamin D by getting regular, appropriate sun exposure, which will work through a variety of different mechanisms to reduce your pain.

Try These 5 Natural Options Before Even Considering Painkillers for Chronic Pain

Once you’ve addressed the basics above, try these safe pain-relief techniques to help eliminate your pain without the need for prescription drugs:

  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Few people want to be told that their pain is psychological or emotional in origin, but there’s quite a bit of evidence that backs this up. Underlying emotional issues and unresolved trauma can have a massive influence on your health, particularly as it relates to physical pain. According to Dr. John Sarno, a psychiatrist who uses mind-body techniques to treat patients with severe low back pain, EFT has a greater than 80 percent success rate.
  • Chiropractic adjustments: According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine6 and funded by the National Institutes of Health, patients with neck pain who used a chiropractor and/or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain free in 12 weeks compared to those who took medication.
  • Massage: Massage releases endorphins, which help induce relaxation, relieve pain, and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline – reversing the damaging effects of stress by slowing heart rate, respiration and metabolism and lowering raised blood pressure. It is a particularly effective therapy for stress-related tension, which experts believe accounts for as much as 80 to 90 percent of disease.
  • Acupuncture: Researchers concluded that acupuncture has a definite effect in reducing chronic pain, such as back pain and headaches – more so than standard pain treatment.7
  • Relearn proper posture: The Gokhale Method addresses the root cause of physical pain, which is typically caused by improper posture. The method teaches you to reclaim your primal posture, which is the way your body was designed to stand, sit and move. You can also try Foundation Training—an innovative method developed by Dr. Eric Goodman to treat his own chronic low back pain. The exercises are designed to help you strengthen your entire core and move the way nature intended.
  • Infrared Lasers therapy like K Laser can be profoundly effective and should be considered as an alternative before any surgical procedure for pain relief.

There Are Alternatives to Prescription Painkillers

If you have chronic pain of any kind, you don’t have to make the hard choice to either suffer from your pain or suffer from the side effects of prescription painkilling drugs. Please understand that there are many safe and effective alternatives that provide excellent pain relief without increasing your risk of depression or any of the other health hazards that pain medications often cause.

  • Astaxanthin: One of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known. It has very potent anti-inflammatory properties and in many cases works far more effectively than prescription drugs like NSAIDs. Higher doses are typically required and one may need 8 mg or more per day to achieve this benefit.
  • Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.
  • Curcumin: Curcumin is the primary therapeutic compound identified in the spice turmeric. In a study of osteoarthritis patients, those who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility. In fact, curcumin has been shown in over 50 clinical studies to have potent anti-inflammatory activity, as well as demonstrating the ability in four studies to reduce Tylenol-associated adverse health effects.
  • Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this herb contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which have been prized for thousands of years. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many rheumatoid arthritis patients.
  • Bromelain: This protein-digesting enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful. Keep in mind that most of the bromelain is found within the core of the pineapple, so consider leaving a little of the pulpy core intact when you consume the fruit.
  • Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a “joint lubricant” and an anti-inflammatory. I have used a topical preparation for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards.
  • Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain.
  • Cayenne Cream: Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmit pain signals to your brain.

Archived Article

Health and Wellness Associates

We offer online help to prevent and reverse any health needs you have.