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

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Melanoma Found to Be Easily Prevented

womanface.jpg

Melanoma (skin cancer) found to be easily prevented with low-cost Vitamin B-3

 

Researchers from the University of Sydney, Australia believe that nicotinamide (vitamin B3) can be used to prevent the incidence of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. The study, published in Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, demonstrates the efficacy of vitamin B3 in reducing or even reversing DNA damage and inflammation caused by ultraviolet radiation. Authors of the review say that more research into the topic is necessary but conclude that should their data be further verified, it could lead to a cheap and potent solution to skin cancer.

 

The team noted that nicotinamide costs around $10 per month if taken at the recommended dosage of one gram a day. This is significantly less expensive than conventional cancer therapies, which usually include chemotherapy sessions and various forms of medications.

 

The vitamin therapy was observed to be effective in decreasing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer among high-risk individuals. Dr. Gary Halliday, senior author of the study said that randomized placebo controlled trials are now needed to confirm a similar effect among high-risk melanoma patients. (Related: Fight skin cancer through nutrition not sunscreen.)

 

A primer on vitamin B3 and melanoma

 

Vitamin B3 is known by many names including niacin, niacinamide, nicotinic acid, and nicotinamide. It can be sourced through the consumption of lean meats, brewer’s yeast, whole grains, and nuts. Most people, however, tend to get their vitamin B3 through supplements.

 

Vitamin B3 is essential for healthy nervous and digestive function and promotes skin health. Those with cholesterol problems can also take the vitamin to balance their triglyceride levels. There is some evidence that also points to the vitamin’s use in the production of bile salts and the synthesis of sex hormones.

 

The vitamin is mostly recommended however for improving brain health. Certain psychiatric symptoms are claimed to be alleviated with an ample dose of vitamin B3. Preliminary studies also suggest that vitamin B3 can prevent dementia.

 

While no side-effects have been seen in taking niacin through food, sourcing the vitamin through supplements can lead to various adverse conditions. An overdose of niacin can lead to stomach irritation, nausea, liver damage, gout, and blurred vision.

 

Vitamin B3’s exact uses and functions are still being determined by medical science. One of the areas that scientists are looking into is the vitamin’s capacity to prevent cancer.

 

YOU CAN NOT TAKE A VITAMIN B3 SUPPLEMENT.  You need to talk to a healthcare advisor on how to take Vitamin B3correctly and what else you MUST take with it.  If you healthcare advisor does not tell you, or comes up with something else, run, do not walk to someone that does know.   Call us!

 

Melanoma is a type of cancer that usually forms on the skin. It begins when the pigment-producing cell, melanin, begins to mutate and multiply rapidly. Because melanoma forms on the skin, it is relatively easy to detect and treat early. Doctors say that 90 percent of all melanoma cases are caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays from natural and artificial sources, including indoor tanning beds. The remaining ten percent takes into account family history, genetics, and other environmental factors.

 

The prognosis for melanoma is normally good, although this depends on how early the cancer is detected.

 

It is important that you are aware of the warning signs of melanoma. This means consistently checking for abnormal moles, brown spots, or growths on the skin. Take note of these red flags:

 

Asymmetry – Draw a line in the middle of a mole and see if both halves match. Moles that are asymmetrical are more likely to be cancerous.

Border – Benign moles have smooth, even borders. Watch out for moles that have scalloped or notches borders.

Color – Noncancerous moles are usually one color. Having a mole that has a variety of colors is a warning sign that something is wrong.

Diameter – Malignant moles are normally larger than benign ones.

Evolving – Moles that seem to change over time can be cancerous.

 

Please call with all your healthcare concerns and questions.  We can help!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr J J

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Link Between Sugar and Depression

staring

The Link Between Sugar and Depression

 

Men consuming more than 67 grams of sugar per day were 23 percent more likely to develop anxiety or depression over the course of five years than those whose sugar consumption was less than 40 grams per day

Other studies have also linked high-sugar diets to a higher risk of depression and anxiety, showing a low-sugar diet is an important part of the prevention and treatment of common mental health problems

Sugar increases your risk of depression by contributing to insulin and leptin resistance, suppressing BDNF, affecting dopamine, damaging your mitochondria and promoting chronic inflammation

 

How Sugar Raises Your Depression Risk

A number of other studies have also identified mechanisms by which excessive sugar consumption can wreak havoc with your mental health. For example, eating excessive amounts of sugar:

 

  • Contributes to insulin and leptin resistance and impaired signaling, which play a significant role in mental health.

 

  • Suppresses activity of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key growth hormone that promotes healthy brain neurons. BDNF levels tend to be critically low in both depression and schizophrenia, and animal models suggest this may actually be a causative factor.

 

  • Affects dopamine, a neurotransmitter that fuels your brain’s reward system9 (hence sugar’s addictive potential10,11,12) and is known to play a role in mood disorders.13

 

  • Damages your mitochondria, which can have body-wide effects. Your mitochondria generate the vast majority of the energy (adenosine triphosphate or ATP) in your body. When sugar is your primary fuel, excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secondary free radicals are created, which damage cellular mitochondrial membranes and DNA.

 

Needless to say, as your mitochondria are damaged, the energy currency in your body declines and your brain will struggle to work properly. Healthy dietary fats, on the other hand, create far fewer ROS and free radicals. Fats are also critical for the health of cellular membranes and many other biological functions, including and especially the functioning of your brain.

 

Among the most important fats for brain function and mental health are the long-chained animal-based omega-3 fats DHA and EPA. Not only are they anti-inflammatory, but DHA is actually a component in every cell of your body, and 90 percent of the omega-3 fat found in brain tissue is DHA.

 

  • Promotes chronic inflammation which, in the long term, disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system, thereby raising your risk of depression. A 2004 cross-cultural analysis14 of the relationship between diet and mental illness found a strong link between high sugar consumption and the risk for depression and schizophrenia.

 

It also concluded that dietary predictors of depression are similar to those for diabetes and heart disease. One of the hallmarks of these diseases is chronic inflammation, which sugar is a primary driver of. So, excessive amounts of sugar can truly set off an avalanche of negative health events — both physical and mental.

 

Inflammation May Be the No. 1 Risk Factor for Depression

Another previous study published in the International Breastfeeding Journal15 found inflammation may be more than just another risk factor. It may actually be the primary risk factor that underlies all others. According to the researchers:

 

“The old paradigm described inflammation as simply one of many risk factors for depression. The new paradigm is based on more recent research that has indicated that physical and psychological stressors increase inflammation. These recent studies constitute an important shift in the depression paradigm: inflammation is not simply a risk factor; it is the risk factor that underlies all the others.

 

Moreover, inflammation explains why psychosocial, behavioral and physical risk factors increase the risk of depression. This is true for depression in general and for postpartum depression in particular.”

 

In another study,16 the researchers suggested “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome.” Here, they refer specifically to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have also found depression is closely linked to dysfunction in the gut-brain axis, in which gut inflammation plays an important role.

 

Artificial Sweeteners Are Also Strongly Associated With Depression

Unfortunately, many are under the mistaken belief they can protect their health by swapping refined sugar for artificial sweeteners. Nothing could be further from the truth, as research suggests artificial sweeteners may actually be more detrimental to your health than regular sugar. For example:

 

  • In a 1986 evaluation of reactions to food additives,17 aspartame (in commonly consumed amounts) was linked to mood alterations such as anxiety, agitation, irritability and depression.

 

  • A 1993 study18 found that individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to aspartame, suggesting its use in this population should be discouraged. In the clinical study, the project was halted by the Institutional Review Board after a total of 13 individuals had completed the study because of the severity of reactions within the group of patients with a history of depression.

 

  • In 2008, researchers asserted that excessive aspartame ingestion might be involved in the pathogenesis of certain mental disorders and may compromise emotional functioning.19

 

  • Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in 2013 found that consumption of sweetened beverages — whether they’re sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners — was associated with an increased risk of depression.20,21 The study included nearly 264,000 American adults over the age of 50 who were enrolled in an AARP diet and health study.

 

At the outset, participants filled out a detailed dietary survey. At a 10-year follow-up, they were asked whether they’d been diagnosed with depression at any point during the past decade.

 

Those who drank more than four cans or glasses of diet soda or other artificially sweetened beverages had a nearly 30 percent higher risk of depression compared to those who did not consume diet drinks. Regular soda drinkers had a 22 percent increased risk.

 

To Cure Depression, Be Sure to Address Root Causes

According to the World Health Organization, depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide,22,23 affecting an estimated 322 million people, including more than 16 million Americans. Globally, rates of depression increased by 18 percent between 2005 and 2015.24 According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 are on antidepressant drugs. Among women in their 40 and 50s, 1 in 4 is on antidepressants.25

 

While a number of different factors can contribute to depression, I’m convinced diet plays an enormous role. There’s no doubt in my mind that radically reducing or eliminating sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet is a crucial step to prevent and/or address depression.

 

One simple way to dramatically reduce your sugar intake is to replace processed foods with real whole foods. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is associated with lower odds of depression and anxiety,26,27 an effect ascribed to antioxidants that help combat inflammation in your body. Certain nutrients are also known to cause symptoms of depression when lacking, so it’s important to eat a varied whole food diet.

 

Another major contributor to depression and anxiety is microwave exposure from wireless technologies, which I address below. To suggest that depression is rooted in poor diet and other lifestyle factors does not detract from the fact that it’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed with compassion and non-judgment. It simply shifts the conversation about what the most appropriate answers and remedies are.

 

Considering the many hazards associated with antidepressants (the efficacy of which have been repeatedly found to be right on par with placebo), it would be wise to address the known root causes of depression, which are primarily lifestyle-based. Drugs, even when they do work, do not actually fix the problem. They only mask it.

 

Antidepressants may also worsen the situation, as many are associated with an increased risk of suicide, violence and worsened mental health in the long term. So, before you resort to medication, please consider addressing the lifestyle strategies listed below.

Nondrug Solutions for Depression

Limit microwave exposure from wireless technologies

 

Studies have linked excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields to an increased risk of both depression and suicide.28 Power lines and high-voltage cables appear to be particularly troublesome. Addiction to or “high engagement” with mobile devices can also trigger depression and anxiety, according to recent research from the University of Illinois.29

 

Research30 by Dr. Martin Pall reveals a previously unknown mechanism of biological harm from microwaves emitted by cellphones and other wireless technologies, which helps explain why these technologies can have such a potent impact on your mental health.

 

Embedded in your cell membranes are voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), which are activated by microwaves. When that happens, about 1 million calcium ions per second are released, which stimulates the release of nitric oxide (NO) inside your cell and mitochondria. The NO then combines with superoxide to form peroxynitrite, which in turn creates hydroxyl free radicals, which are the most destructive free radicals known to man.

 

Hydroxyl free radicals decimate mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, their membranes and proteins. The end result is mitochondrial dysfunction, which we now know is at the heart of most chronic disease. The tissues with the highest density of VGCCs are your brain, the pacemaker in your heart and male testes.

 

Hence, health problems such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, autism, cardiac arrhythmias and infertility can be directly linked to excessive microwave exposure.

 

If you struggle with anxiety or depression, be sure to limit your exposure to wireless technology. Simple measures include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, not carrying your cellphone on your body and not keeping portable phones, cellphones and other electric devices in your bedroom.

 

Call us for information and help with preventative medicine.  If you are not comfortable with that, make sure your physician is certified or had done a specialty in preventative medicine. The trick question to ask is, where did you go to school for that.   Easy to look up, not many schools offer it.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr Anna Sullivan

312-972-WELL

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Uncategorized

Forget the Diet! Eat your Way Fit!

nutrienddensefoods

 

Eat Your Way Fit With Nutrient-Dense Foods

The Benefits of Nutrient Density Instead of Diet for Weight Management

 

Going on a diet can feel overwhelming and the results typically unsatisfying. Diets and diet trends are a billion-dollar market targeting consumers who want to lose fat and gain muscle. Many diets also lack nutrients, according to research.

 

Have you considered not dieting? Instead of continued caloric restriction leaving you hungry, tired, and frustrated, maybe a different approach would be better.

 

 

How about trying nutrient-dense foods as an alternative to reduce body fat? This is not a diet but simply a change in the kind of food you eat to achieve a healthy body. The idea is to eat cleaner, not less, as a lifestyle.

 

Eating nutrient-dense foods even allows you to eat more and still lose fat. This is often hard to grasp for long-term dieters used to severe calorie restriction for reducing fat. The difference is the quality of nutrient-dense foods vs the calories and how they function in our body.

 

What Are Nutrient Dense Foods?

Nutrient-dense foods contain macro and micronutrients important for our health. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats providing calories (energy) to our body. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals also coming from nutrient-rich foods. We require all nutrients in varying quantities for optimal fitness. Research indicates nutrient-rich foods help boost our metabolism and enable us to efficiently lose body fat.

 

Protein is the powerhouse macronutrient for muscle recovery. Select healthier options like chicken breast, turkey, fish, or albacore tuna over processed cold cuts or ham. Eating nutrient-dense protein means keeping it cleaner and leaner.

Carbohydrates are the primary energy source macronutrient for optimal health and fitness. Nutrient-dense carbs include a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid eating processed foods, white products and pastries if you want to lose fat and gain muscle.

 

Fats are the secondary energy source macronutrient for optimal body functioning. Keep your fats nutrient-rich by avoiding saturated fast foods, creamy salad dressings, and cheesy casseroles. Opt for extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, and natural peanut butter to boost your metabolism and lose body fat.

How Do They Reduce Body Fat?

Nutrient-dense foods are high in nutrients and low in calories allowing us to eat cleaner not less to reduce body fat. Superfoods or real foods are also common names for nutrient-dense foods. They’re easily digested and nutrients utilized for proper body functioning. Chronic studies indicate eating nutrient-dense foods as an effective and healthy way to lose weight.

 

Research shows optimal body fat levels are better achieved when we focus on food quality rather than calorie counting. This is more of a statement of how nutrient-dense foods are full of essential nutrients but lower in calorie. We can eat more for lesser calories and feel satisfied throughout the day.

 

In order to lose body fat, our body requires adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Eating nutrient-dense foods stimulates our metabolism and creates a fat-burning machine. Our body functions better supplied with the energy required to burn fat and gain muscle.

 

 

 

 

Nutrient-dense foods help reduce body fat through several functions:

 

Provides the necessary antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other essential nutrients for optimal body functioning.

Increases our metabolism and stimulates the body to effectively burn body fat.

Balanced nutrients maintain our energy level for improved workouts.

Proper nutrient amounts help regulate blood sugar favoring normal values instead of spiked glucose (sugar). Controlling our blood sugar is essential to reducing body fat.

Promotes satiety and curbs cravings.

Improves leptin hormone function in the body and better regulates fat stores.

The Research

Research is an important step to obtain evidence that supports or opposes scientific claims. Many diets are flooding the market with grandiose promises but without positive clinical findings to back it up. Unfortunately, many of us fail to take the time to research the facts before trying the next diet trend.

 

Chronic studies on nutrient-dense foods show positive feedback for fat loss. They’re high antioxidant values are indicated to reduce the risk of disease and hypertension. Research shows nutrient rich foods as an effective way to reduce body fat and improve overall health.

 

An article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compares nutrient intake and links to obesity. A large study group was divided by body mass index (BMI) levels ranging from normal weight, overweight and obese. The research indicated those participants who were overweight or obese had low intakes of micronutrients and high nutrient deficiencies. The normal weight group consumed a regular menu of nutrient-dense foods.

 

Other research on using nutrient-dense foods to break the cycle of obesity appears in the National Institutes of Health. A workshop was conducted examining improved quality of life and health at every age eating nutrient-dense foods as preventative medicine. It was indicated using the nutrient density approach as a valuable nutritional education tool. It was explained eating nutrient dense foods could help resolve nutrient deficiencies and decrease the risk of being overfat or obese.

 

Another study published in the Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine examined the effects of nutrient-dense foods on long-term weight loss. Research participants were seeking dietary counseling to lose weight. The trial included a high nutrient density meal plan with recipes for each volunteer. The patients were followed for a two-year period recording total weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Some participants dropped out but those 33 continuing after one year lost an average of 31 pounds. Nineteen patients returned for the two-year follow-up and each lost an average of 53 pounds. Significant decreases in cholesterol and improved blood pressure were also recorded.

 

The common thread with all research feedback is nutrient-dense foods have the “potential to provide sustainable, significant, long-term weight loss.” Additionally, nutrient rich foods are shown to improve cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating nutrient-dense foods as a lifestyle appears to greatly reduce body fat and improve our health in general.

 

Are Some Nutrient Dense Foods Better Than Others?

National nutrition guidelines recommend eating nutrient-dense foods to help reduce chronic disease and obesity. An article published in the Journal of Nutrition recommends a science-based nutrition profiling system assigning a nutrient value per food.

 

A study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a classification scheme for powerhouse fruits and vegetables. Powerhouse foods are described as those helping reduce the risk of chronic disease. So, yes there will be foods higher in nutrient value than others.

 

Nutrient-dense foods with a value greater than 10 are considered powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV) according to the study. The following PFV value system is provided to improve our understanding and health benefits of nutrient-dense foods:

 

Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables Value System

Food

Nutrient Density Score

 

Food      Nutrient Density Score

Watercress         100        Scallion 27.35

Chinese cabbage              91.99     Kohlrabi               25.92

Chard    89.27     Cauliflower         25.13

Beet green          87.08     Cabbage              24.51

Spinach 86.43     Carrot   22.60

Chicory 73.36     Tomato 20.37

Leaf lettuce         70.73     Lemon   18.72

Parsley  65.59     Iceberg lettuce  18.28

Romaine lettuce               63.48     Strawberry          17.59

Collard green     62.49     Radish   16.91

Turnip green      62.12     Winter squash    13.89

Mustard green   61.39     Orange  12.91

Endive   60.44     Lime      12.23

Chive     54.80     Grapefruit (pink/red)       11.64

Kale       49.07     Rutabaga             11.58

Dandelion green              46.34     Turnip    11.43

Red pepper         41.26     Blackberry           11.39

Arugula 37.65     Leek       10.69

Broccoli 34.89     Sweet potato     10.51

Pumpkin               33.82     Grapefruit (white)            10.47

Brussels sprout  32.23

nutrient density calculated as average percent daily value based on a 2,000 kcal/d diet, meeting criteria for 17 nutrients as provided by 100 kcal of food. Scores above 100 were capped at 100 meaning the food provides on average 100% DV of the qualifying nutrients per 100 kcal.

 

Another highly referenced nutrient density chart was developed by nutrition expert and board-certified physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He believes your health is directly related to the nutrient density of your diet. Fuhrman created the aggregate nutrient density index (ANDI). The ANDI ranks common foods “on the basis of how many nutrients they deliver to your body for each calorie consumed.”

 

Dr. Fuhrman’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI)

Sample Nutrient               Calorie Density Score      Sample Nutrient               Calorie Density Score

Kale                                 1000                                       Sunflower                                   64

Collard Greens                 1000                                      Kidney Beans                      64

Mustard Greens               1000                                     Green Peas                                                        63

Watercress                       1000                                           Cherries                                   55

Swiss Chard                      895                                         Pineapple                                     54

Bok Choy                           865                                          Apple                                                         53

Spinach                              707                                     Mango                                               53

Arugula                              604                                      Peanut Butter                                  51

Romaine                             510                                      Corn                                                   45

Brussels Sprouts               490                                      Pistachio Nuts                                  37

Carrots                              458                                       Oatmeal                                            36

Cabbage                          434                                         Shrimp                                                36

Broccoli                              340                                      Salmon                                               34

Cauliflower                        315                                      Eggs                                                    31

Bell Peppers        265        Milk, 1%              31

Asparagus           245        Walnuts               30

Mushrooms        238        Bananas               30

Tomato 186        Whole Wheat Bread       30

Strawberries       182        Almonds              28

Sweet Potato     181        Avocado              28

Zucchini               164        Brown Rice         28

Artichoke             145        White Potato     28

Blueberries          132        Plain Yogurt, Low Fat      28

Iceberg Lettuce 127        Cashews              27

Grapes  119        Chicken Breast   24

Pomegranates    119        Ground Beef, 85% lean   21

Cantaloupe         118        Feta Cheese        20

Onions  109        French Fries        12

Flax Seeds           103        White Pasta        11

Orange  98           Cheddar Cheese               11

Edamame            98           Apple Juice         11

Cucumber            87           Olive Oil               10

Tofu       82           White Bread       9

Sesame Seeds    74           Vanilla Ice Cream             9

Lentils   72           Corn Chips          7

Peaches               65           Cola       1

Bottom Line

Many diets lack nutrients only certain foods can provide. Eating nutrient-dense foods will allow you to skip the diet, eat more, and still lose fat.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

  1. Carrothers

Dir. Of Personalize Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

https://www.facebook.com/angelique.rose.50

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Benefits of Asparagus with Recipe

Asparagus-Side-Dish

 

Asparagus is a fantastic healing vegetable that is high in essential minerals such as selenium, zinc, and manganese which are vital for a strong and healthy immune system. This is especially important if you have a family line of breast cancer or cardiac problems.  It is also high in vitamins A, K, and B-complex including folate which is a building block for a healthy cardiovascular system and for woman who are trying to conceive.

 

Asparagus contains aspartic acid which is an amino acid that neutralizes excess amounts of ammonia in the body that is often the cause of exhaustion, headaches, and poor digestion. Perfect of people with gout. Asparagus contains significant amounts of healthy fiber and protein which helps to maintain blood sugar levels, prevent constipation, stabilize digestion, and stop the urge to overeat.

 

It also contains a compound called asparagine which is a natural diuretic that breaks up oxalic and uric acid crystals stored in muscles and in the kidneys and eliminates them through the urine. This natural diuretic is helpful in reducing water retention, bloating, and swelling in the body.

 

Asparagus is also high in glutathione which is an antioxidant powerhouse and particularly beneficial for those suffering with autoimmune conditions, liver disease, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Asparagus is known to help strengthen the liver, kidneys, skin, ligaments, and bones and it’s chlorophyll content makes it a great blood builder. Asparagus also contains inulin which encourages good bacteria in the gut that boosts nutrient absorption and helps to keep the immune system functioning properly. Asparagus is a nutrient-packed, delicious vegetable that can be eaten raw or steamed and added to soup, salads, stews, rice, and/or veggie dishes.

 

 

 

ASPARAGUS WITH LEMON BUTTER SAUCE RECIPE

 

FOR THE ASPARAGUS

water

salt

2 pound asparagus, trimmed

 

FOR THE LEMON BUTTER SAUCE

3 tablespoons fresh meyer lemon juice

3 tablespoons organic , low-sodium vegetable broth

1 teaspoon white vinegar

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into pats*

salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste

OPTIONAL

Garnish with parmesan cheese , fresh chopped parsley and lemon zest

 

Instructions

FOR THE ASPARAGUS

Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of salted water and bring to a boil.

Add asparagus to the boiling water; cover with a lid and let it steam until it’s cooked to your liking, about 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.

Drain. Transfer asparagus to a large bowl of ice water to cool, and drain again.

In the meantime, prepare the LEMON BUTTER SAUCE

In a saucepan combine lemon juice, vegetable broth, and white vinegar. Cooking over medium heat, reduce the sauce by half.

Turn heat down to a simmer and whisk in the cream; keep whisking to break up the curds.

Add sugar and continue to whisk while adding the pats of butter, letting each pat melt into the sauce before you add the next.

Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer until sauce begins to thicken.

Remove from heat and let stand couple of minutes. Sauce will thicken as it stands.

Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.

Transfer cooked asparagus to a serving plate.

Serve the lemon butter sauce by drizzling over the asparagus or on the side.

Recipe Notes

*IF you prefer a creamier sauce, add more butter, about a tablespoon at a time.

 

Please share with family and friends, thank you.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

Dr P Carrothers

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Foods, Uncategorized

Bacon Jam

baconjam

Bacon Jam

 

“Bacon Jam will win you legions of fans. Use the power wisely. I know of one marriage proposal after this jam was served with breakfast.” Don’t limit this jam to breakfast, try it as a sandwich spread or mixed with cream cheese as a party dip. Get creative.

 

Ingredients

 

3 lbs. bacon (use a mixture of maple, thick-cut, regular and smoked lean bacon)

4 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced

2-4 cloves garlic

1 Cup apple cider vinegar

1 Cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 Cups very strong brewed black coffee (try using espresso)

1/2 Cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp. pepper

 

 

 

Directions

 

Cut the bacon slices into 1-inch pieces. Place the bacon in a Dutch oven/heavy large pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon is browned. It is important none of the bacon or bits on the bottom of the pan burn during the entire cooking process, so ease back a bit on the heat and let it cook longer if you are unsure. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain all but 2 TB. of the drippings from the pan, (Connie stores them in the fridge for other recipes—we did end up with 1.5 cups extra drippings!). Place the Dutch oven back over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Stir well and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking for about 8 minutes, or until the onions are mostly translucent. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the bacon) and stir well. Reduce the heat to low. Stir well, then raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil hard for 2 minutes. Add the bacon, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally to make sure things aren’t sticking. Add 1/4 Cup of water if the mixture seems to be drying out. When the onions are meltingly soft and the liquid is thick and syrupy (our batch took about 1 1/2 hours at low heat and we did not need any extra water) remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse several times or until the jam is almost the consistency of chunky peanut butter. Scrape into a jar or a container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. This can be served cold, room temperature or warmed.

 

Prep. time:15 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours

Serves: 24

 

 

Nutritional Information

 

Servings 32-34; Serving Size 2 TB. (92g); Calories 240; Calories from fat 170; Total fat 19g; Cholesterol 30mg; Sodium 360mg; Carbohydrate 12g; Dietary Fiber 0g; Sugars 10g; Protein 5g.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce

buffalocauliflower

Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce

 

Ingredients

Cheese Sauce:

1/3 cup nonfat sour cream

2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

1 tablespoon skim milk

2 teaspoons mayonnaise

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Buffalo Cauliflower:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

8 cups cauliflower florets (from about 1 medium head)

 

Directions

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

 

For the cheese sauce: Whisk together the sour cream, blue cheese, milk, mayonnaise, 1/8 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes

 

For the Buffalo cauliflower: Meanwhile, microwave the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl on high until melted. Whisk in the hot sauce and lemon juice and set aside.

 

Mix olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup water in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower and toss until well coated. Spread the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until beginning to brown and just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Whisk the hot sauce mixture again, drizzle over the cauliflower and toss with tongs to coat. Roast the cauliflower until the sauce is bubbling and browned around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes more. Serve hot with the cheese sauce.

 

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Uncategorized

Do You Have a Magnesium Deficiency?

magnesiumflower

Magnesium is arguably the most important mineral in the body. According to a pioneering American neurosurgeon, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency and it’s the missing cure to many diseases.”

 

Magnesium is critical for cellular health and for more than 300 biochemical functions in the body. But get this: A common blood test often misses low levels. Here we discuss the main signs that you’re magnesium deficient — and how to reverse it.

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Once thought to be relatively rare, magnesium deficiency is more common than most physicians believe. Here’s why:

 

Soil depletion, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the chemicals in our food have created a recipe for disaster. As minerals are removed, stripped away, or no longer available in the soil, the percentage of magnesium present in food has decreased.

Digestive diseases, like leaky gut, can cause malabsorption of minerals, including magnesium. Today, there are hundreds of millions of people who aren’t absorbing their nutrients. Also, as we age, our mineral absorption tends to decrease, so the probability of having a deficiency increases across the board.

Chronic disease and medication use is at an all-time high. Most chronic illness is associated with magnesium deficiency and lack of mineral absorption. Medications damage the gut which is responsible for absorbing magnesium from our food.

Should you worry about magnesium deficiency?

Should you worry about magnesium deficiency?

It all depends on your risk factors and presenting symptoms.  Also, approximately 80 percent of people have low levels of magnesium, so the chances are that you are probably deficient.

Magnesium is arguably the most important mineral in the body.

According to Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, an American neurosurgeon and a pioneer in pain medicine, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency and it’s the missing cure to many diseases.” Not only does Magnesium help regulate calcium, potassium and sodium, but magnesium is essential for cellular health and is a critical component of over 300 biochemical functions in the body.

Even glutathione, your body’s most powerful antioxidant that has even been called “the master antioxidant,” requires magnesium for its synthesis. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of this, and millions suffer daily from magnesium deficiency without even knowing it.

 

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Once thought to be relatively rare, magnesium deficiency is more common than most physicians believe. Here’s why:

 

Soil depletion, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the chemicals in our food have created a recipe for disaster. As minerals are removed, stripped away, or no longer available in the soil, the percentage of magnesium present in food has decreased.

Digestive diseases, like leaky gut, can cause malabsorption of minerals, including magnesium. Today, there are hundreds of millions of people who aren’t absorbing their nutrients. Also, as we age, our mineral absorption tends to decrease, so the probability of having a deficiency increases across the board.

Chronic disease and medication use is at an all-time high. Most chronic illness is associated with magnesium deficiency and lack of mineral absorption. Medications damage the gut which is responsible for absorbing magnesium from our food.

Should you worry about magnesium deficiency?

 

It all depends on your risk factors and presenting symptoms (see below). Also, approximately 80 percent of people have low levels of magnesium, so the chances are that you are probably deficient.

 

Take note: Only 1 percent of magnesium in your body is in your bloodstream, so often you can have a deficiency, and it would not even be discovered by a common blood test.

 

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

 

Many people may be magnesium deficient and not even know it. But here are some key symptoms to look out for that could indicate if you are deficient:

  1. Leg Cramps

Seventy percent of adults and 7 percent of children experience leg cramps on a regular basis. But leg cramps can more than a nuisance — they can also be downright excruciating! Because of magnesium’s role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contraction, researchers have observed that magnesium deficiency is often to blame. (1, 2)

More and more health care professionals are prescribing magnesium supplements to help their patients. Restless leg syndrome is another warning sign of a magnesium deficiency. To overcome both leg cramps and restless leg syndrome, you will want to increase your intake of both magnesium and potassium.

 

  1. Insomnia

Magnesium deficiency is often a precursor to sleep disorders such as anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness. It’s been suggested that this is because magnesium is vital for GABA function, an inhibitory neurotransmitter known to “calm” the brain and promote relaxation.

Taking magnesium before bed or with dinner is the best time of day to take the supplement. Also, adding in magnesium-rich foods during dinner — like nutrition-packed spinach — may help.

 

  1. Muscle Pain / Fibromyalgia

A study published in Magnesium Research examined the role magnesium plays in fibromyalgia symptoms, and it uncovered that increasing magnesium consumption reduced pain and tenderness and also improved immune blood markers. (3)

Oftentimes linked to autoimmune disorders, this research should encourage fibromyalgia patients because it highlights the systemic effects that magnesium supplements have on the body.

  1. Anxiety

As magnesium deficiency can affect the central nervous system, more specifically the GABA cycle in the body, its side effects can include irritability and nervousness. As the deficiency worsens, it causes high levels of anxiety and, in severe cases, depression and hallucinations.

Magnesium is needed for every cell function from the gut to the brain, so it’s no wonder that it affects so many systems.

  1. High Blood Pressure

Magnesium works partnered with calcium to support proper blood pressure and protect the heart.  So when you are magnesium deficient, often you are also low in calcium and tend towards hypertension or high blood pressure.

A study with 241,378 participants published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition uncovered that a diet high in magnesium foods could reduce the risk of a stroke by 8 percent. (4) This is profound considering that hypertension causes 50 percent of ischemic strokes in the world.

  1. Type II Diabetes

One of the four main causes of magnesium deficiency is type II diabetes, but it’s also a common symptom. U.K. researchers, for example, uncovered that of the 1,452 adults they examined low, magnesium levels were 10 times more common with new diabetics and 8.6 times more common with known diabetics. (5)

 

As expected from this data, diets rich in magnesium has been shown to significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes because of magnesium’s role in sugar metabolism. Another study discovered that the simple addition of magnesium supplementation lowered the risk of diabetes by 15 percent! (6)

  1. Fatigue

Low energy, weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Most chronic fatigue syndrome patients are also magnesium deficient. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that magnesium every day can help, but you do also want to be careful, as too much magnesium can also cause diarrhea. (7)

  1. Migraine Headaches

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraine headaches due to its importance in balancing neurotransmitters in the body. Double-blind placebo-controlled studies have proven that magnesium daily reduced the frequency of migraine headaches by up to 42 percent. (8)

  1. Osteoporosis

The National Institute of Health reports that, “The average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, and about half of that is in the bones.” (9) This is important to realize, especially for the elderly, who are at risk of bone weakening.

Thankfully, there’s hope! A study published in Biology Trace Element Research uncovered that supplementing with magnesium slowed the development of osteoporosis “significantly” after just 30 days. (10)

 

Are You at Risk? 

 

So, who is most susceptible to a magnesium deficiency? According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), not every one is created equal in regards to metabolizing and assimilating magnesium. In fact, certain people are inherently at a greater risk of developing a magnesium deficiency.

 

Magnesium deficiency can be inherited genetically as an inability to absorb this important mineral. Also, a diet low in high magnesium foods, or even emotional or work stress can drain magnesium from the body. Whether inherited, through a deficient diet, or even stress, a magnesium deficiency can lead to side effects of migraines, diabetes, fatigue and more.

 

Which one, How much, And what do I take with it?

 

These are all questions we will be happy to help you with.  We are not all wired the same way, and the same dose not work the same on everyone.  You need personalized healthcare plan just for you.  Call us for help in this matter, and we will work with you to get this right.

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Benefits of Stretching

stretching

Benefits of Stretching Exercises

Do you do flexibility training as part of your daily workout? Do you do any stretching exercises on a regular basis?  If you are trying to lose weight, you should.  Flexibility exercises are not big calorie burners, but they play an important role in a weight loss program.

Benefits of Stretching

The best thing about flexibility training is that you don’t have to do it very often to enjoy the benefits.

Just a few minutes of stretching each day will help to improve the range of motion in your joints, help to decrease the risk of injury during exercise and reduce stress.

So what flexibility exercises should you do?  You can do simple stretches when you get out of bed each morning.  This will help to loosen up your joints and start your day with healthy movement.  There are also some great stretches that you can do at your desk while you are at work.  You can also take a yoga class to lose weight or a learn the practice of tai chi to improve your health.

3 Ways Flexibility Improves Weight Loss

Even though you won’t burn mega calories during a short stretching session, your body functions better when your joints move more comfortably.  This can boost your weight loss program in several different ways.

Decreased stress.  Flexibility exercises help to get your blood pumping, but not in a way that increases your adrenaline.  Stretching and breathing exercises help to improve your mood and lower your stress level. This may be especially helpful for dieters who are trying to curb emotional eating. If you can replace the trip to the refrigerator with 5 minutes of healthy stretching, you’re likely to eat less and slim down faster.

Organized workouts are important, but the calories you burn from stretching play a big role in the total number of calories you burn each day. You’re more likely to move more throughout the day if your joints and limbs feel good.  Stretching helps to keep you active.

More effective workouts.  Aerobic activity and strength training for weight loss is more effective when you perform each exercise fully.  Stretching helps keep your body in top shape so that you burn more calories during your workouts and you spend less time recovering from injuries or soreness.

Flexibility training alone won’t burn enough calories to make a big difference in your daily energy balance.  But when you pair stretching exercises with a complete workout program, you’ll benefit from a healthier body and improve your chances of weight loss.

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Healthy and Quick Green Smoothie

healthyandquicksmoothie

Make a Healthy Green Smoothie

 

For a quick and healthy breakfast try a healthy green smoothie. This recipe is fresh and sweet but isn’t so heavy that it will weigh you down.  To prepare the smoothie, combine these ingredients in a blender:

 

1/2 apple (chopped)

1/2 banana,

1 cup spinach leaves

1/2 cup of water

*On days when I need an extra protein boost, I add one tablespoon of vanilla protein powder.

 

Time-saving preparation tip: I freeze bananas in advance so they are easy to grab and always available.  Just take 6-8 ripe bananas, peel them and cut them in half.  Lay them on a cookie tray and stick them in the freezer for about an hour.  When they are frozen throw them together in a baggie and put them back in the freezer.  They won’t stick together, and since they are already frozen they help keep your smoothies cold when you prepare them.

 

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