Uncategorized, Foods

Healthy 3 Ingredient Paleo Dairy Free Fudge for Fathers Day!

Health and Wellness Assocites

EHS – Telehealth

 

Healthy 3 Ingredient Paleo Dairy Free Fudge

Healthy 3 ingredient  fudge. Perfect for Fathers Day or evening snacking occasions.

Made without dairy, these easy to make fudge bites are rich, creamy, and a healthier version of the holiday favorite!

healthyfudge

Ingredients

Vegan, Gluten free

∙ Makes 12

6 tbsp Coconut milk, full fat

1 cup Chocolate chips

1 tbsp Coconut oil

 

 

Instructions

Melt all the ingredients together in a double boiler for about 8 minutes until the chocolate is completely melted.

Line a 12 mini muffin pan with mini paper muffin liners.

Once the mixture has melted together, pour about 1 tablespoon of fudge into the mini muffin liners.

Freeze for 1/2 hour. Then top with preferred toppings… or eat.

 

You may want to top with:  nuts, sea salt or even caramel

 

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Uncategorized, Health and Disease, Foods, Lifestyle

Healthy Eating Makes Children Happy

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Healthy Eating Makes Children Happy

healthykids.jpg

The healthier kids’ diets, the less likely they are to have emotional problems and the better their self-esteem is likely to be. These findings come from a Swedish study that looked at 7,675 children ages 2 to 9 living in eight European countries. Adhering to a healthy diet that contains fruits and vegetables and limits intake of refined sugars and fat was associated with fewer emotional problems, better relationships with other children and higher self-esteem, the researchers reported. Study leader Louise Arvidsson of Sweden’s University of Gothenburg noted that the findings suggest that adopting a healthy diet can improve wellbeing in children independent of the childrens’ socioeconomic status or body weight. When the study began, the researchers asked parents to report on how often each week their children consumed foods from a list of 43 items. The children’s wellbeing was assessed on the basis of parents’ reports on validated questionnaires regarding the youngsters’ self esteem, relationship with their parents, and emotional and peer problems. However, because the study was an observational one, it isn’t possible to conclude that the kids’ diet is what made them happy.

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Deli Meats Cause Cancer!

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FDA has known processed meat causes cancer since the 1970s, but continues to cover up truth to protect meat industry

Delimeats

They’re added to nearly every processed meat product sold in the U.S. today – nitrites and other synthetic curing chemicals that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says are safe to use for keeping meat products from spoiling too quickly. But an investigation by researchers from the University of Wisconsin has uncovered that, despite years of denial, the FDA has known since at least the 1970s that nitrites cause cancer, and yet continues to pander to the meat industry in allowing their use.

 

Meat curing has been around forever, with the historical record showing that this process allowed ancient cultures to preserve meats for extended periods of time, especially during periods of food scarcity. People didn’t have refrigerators back then, remember, so they had to come up with novel ways of food preservation that would get them through harsh weather conditions and other volatile environmental factors.

 

The fact that people have been curing meats since time immemorial isn’t necessarily a problem. Salt, after all, is a natural curing agent that, in and of itself, isn’t harmful. It’s when salt is transformed through synthetic chemical alterations – in this case, as nitrites – that it becomes harmful. And these same nitrites, according to independent scientists, have been the subject of intense debate over the years concerning their safety.

 

Sodium nitrite linked to leukemia, cancer

Sodium nitrite, one of the most popular curing chemicals found in processed meat products today, contains certain nitroso compounds that, under the right conditions, can transform into cancer-causing nitrosamines. Even at the time when sodium nitrite was first offered up for commercial approval in the 1970s, it was recognized that nitrosamines come with serious health risks, including the threat of leukemia and other forms of cancer.

 

The debate over whether or not to approve sodium nitrite in the 1970s was centered around the chemical’s known carcinogenicity, and the fact that other, safer curing compounds were already readily available. Nitrite opponents did what they could to present sound science that highlighted all this, which they believed would win the FDA over in rejecting sodium nitrite in favor of safer alternatives.

 

But the FDA ultimately capitulated to the meat lobby, which saw dollar signs rather than people’s health as being the priority. Synthetic nitrites, after all, are cheap to produce, they preserve the inherent color and flavor of meats, and most people don’t even know they’re there – unless, of course, they develop a serious health condition as a result of consuming them.

 

Naturally-occurring nitrites aren’t harmful

Not to be confused with naturally-occurring nitrites, which aid in the body’s normal regulation of blood pressure, immune response and more, synthetic nitrites have an almost opposite effect on the body, damaging the normal function of hemoglobin and possibly even causing brain damage, particularly in young people.

 

“Nitrite changes the normal function of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body, into a form called methemoglobin that cannot carry oxygen,” explains the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Sciences.

 

“In severe, untreated cases, brain damage and eventually death can result from suffocation due to lack of oxygen.”

 

Dietary nitrites, on the other hand, offer many protective benefits, including their ability to spur production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps regulate blood pressure, boost immunity, aid in wound repair, and improve neurological function, among other benefits.

 

“The normal production of nitric oxide and nitrite may prevent various types of cardiovascular disease including hypertension, atherosclerosis, and stroke,” explains the University of Wisconsin report.

 

This is why purchasing only nitrite-free meats, or meats that contain only naturally-occurring nitrites from vegetables like celery, is critical for your long-term health. Reading food labels and making smart purchasing decisions will go a long way in protecting you and your family against cancer and other forms of chronic illness.

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain? (It’s Not Pretty)

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EHS Telehealth

 

How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain? (It’s Not Pretty)

alcoholnotpretty

Ever wonder, “What does alcohol do to your body?” Particularly, how does alcohol affect the brain? The truth is the damage goes far beyond a headache and brain fog you experience the morning after drinking too much. The effects of alcohol on the brain are profound, and heavy drinking can set you up for some of the most dreaded brain diseases. The long-term effects of alcohol can completely rewire your brain, too, increasing the risk of depression and other conditions.

 

The Link Between Alcohol & Dementia

How alcohol affects the brain is likely more complex than most people think. True, it’s well known that the chronic use of excessive alcohol can have detrimental effects on the body. Still, a surprising 2018 French study from shows a strong link between early onset dementia, in which an individual begins shows symptoms of dementia before the age of 65, and alcohol addiction.

 

The study states that heavy alcohol use, as well as other alcohol use disorders, are important risk factors for dementia which can shorten lives by up to 20 years, with dementia as the leading cause of death.

 

So how exactly are dementia, which up until now was mainly synonymous with Alzheimer’s disease, and alcohol-related?  To understand the link between the two, it is first helpful to understand the effects that alcohol has on the brain as a whole. (1, 2)

 

Alcoholism

 

Heavy drinking is considered three drinks a day for women and four to five drinks per day for men. (3) There are several factors that determine how alcohol affects the brain: (4)

 

How much and how often drinking occurs

Age when drinking first began

Prenatal alcohol exposure

Age, gender, genetic background/family history

Level of education

General health status

Symptoms of alcoholism are:

 

Physical

 

Poor coordination

Slurred speech

Slowed reaction times

Psychological

 

Impaired thinking

Memory loss

Behavioral

 

Engaging in risky behaviors

Addictive behavior

Depression

Withdrawal or abstinence of drinking results in sweating, nausea, shakiness, anxiety, and delirium tremens; which may include visual or auditory hallucinations. Immediate effects of alcohol are similar following a few drinks.

 

When you consume alcohol your liver breaks it down into nontoxic byproducts but with excessive consumption, your liver is unable to keep up with the demands required and the alcohol remains in the bloodstream. The effects of alcohol on the brain depends upon an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). (5)

 

How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain?

An increase in BAC interacts with the brain through the blood-brain barrier.  Once in the central nervous system, alcohol causes alterations in behavior by acting upon specific regions in the brain susceptible to chemical modifications.

 

Regions of the Brain Affected by Alcohol

Mesolimbic pathway

 

Alcohol stimulates the mesolimbic pathway, or the reward pathway, within the brain and releases dopamine causing a feeling of pleasure.

 

This pathway is the major pathway involved with addiction in which constant stimulation of the pathway requires more of a substance to create the same level of pleasure. Studies have shown that a pathway that is repeatedly activated, in this case by drinking, becomes covered by a mesh-like glue that makes it difficult to form new synapses or break old ones. This explains why addiction is so tough to overcome, the pattern is ingrained and held together that way in the brain. (6, 7)

Frontal Lobe & Prefrontal Cortex

 

This region is involved in decision making, motivation, planning, goal setting, judgment problem solving, social conduct and impulse inhibition.  Neuropathological studies have shown a large reduction in the number of neurons in the prefrontal cortex of alcoholics and overall reduced brain mass relative to controls (non-alcohol drinkers). (8, 9) Damage to the frontal lobe/prefrontal cortex results in emotional and personality changes.

 

Hippocampus

 

The hippocampus lies within the mesolimbic system and is involved in motivation, spatial navigation, emotion and crucial for the formation of memories. (10) There is evidence that the hippocampus may also play a role with fear and anxiety. (11) The hippocampus is also one of the few sites for neurogenesis in the adult brain.

 

Neurogenesis is the process of new brain cells being formed from stem cells (undifferentiated cells that can give rise to all different types of cells). Studies suggest that increasing doses of alcohol create a disruption in the growth of new cells, which leads to a deficit in specific areas such as the hippocampus which will lead to decreased learning and memory. (12) Hippocampal neurogenesis is resilient and has been shown to recover following 30 days of abstinence.  Though there appears to be increased vulnerability to relapse. (13)

 

Hypothalamus

 

Also a part of the limbic system, the hypothalamus has connections to many systems and is involved in learning and memory, regulatory functions, eating/drinking, temperature control, hormone regulation and emotion.  Long-term damage to the hypothalamus due to alcohol leads to memory deficits and amnesia can follow. (14)

 

Cerebellum

 

The cerebellum accounts for approximately 10 percent of the total weight of the brain but contains about half of the neurons. (15)  Small but mighty, the cerebellum coordinates voluntary movement, balance, eye movement and integrated into the circuitry for cognition and emotion.  Alcohol abuse leads to atrophy within the white matter of the cerebellum. (16)

 

Amygdala

 

Within the temporal lobe, the amygdala has connections to the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus and the thalamus and mediates emotions (love, fear, rage, anxiety) and helps identify danger.

 

How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain: Alcohol & Neurotransmitters

Alcohol affects the brain chemistry by altering the levels of neurotransmitters within the above-mentioned regions.

 

Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers within the brain that transmit signals within the central nervous system and extend out throughout the body.  The alterations of neurotransmitters within the specific regions cause changes in an individual’s behavior and motor functions.

 

Neurotransmitters are either excitatory and increase electrical activity in the brain or they are inhibitory or decrease electrical activity in the brain.

 

GABA and NMDA Receptors

 

Alcohol slows the brain down by binding to the inhibitory GABA  and NMDA receptors.  This slow down results in slurring of words, decreased memory and tiredness.  (17)

 

Dopamine

 

An excitatory neurotransmitter that is increased within the mesolimbic pathway, mediating the reward circuitry.

 

Norepinephrine

 

The release of norepinephrine in conjunction with the temporary increases adrenaline, cortisol and dopamine creates a stress-free, party feeling. (18)  Chronic alcohol abuse results in a decrease in these neurons that release norepinephrine, which leads to impaired attention, information processing and a negative effect on learning and memory. (19)

 

Glutamate

 

Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter but is blocked from binding to its NMDA receptor by alcohol.  The inability to bind to its receptor leads to overall depressant effects throughout the brain. (20)

 

Serotonin

 

Another excitatory neurotransmitter involved in the pleasure/reward effects of the mesolimbic pathway. Studies have shown a 50 percent reduction in serotonergic cells with chronic alcohol abuse, leading to alterations in mood, thinking, appetite, and sleep. (21)

 

Following the initial increase of the excitatory neurotransmitters, the stimulation wears off and there is a build-up of the inhibitory neurotransmitters; GABA and NMDA. This results in the depressed, subdued and tired “afterglow” of a night of binge drinking.

 

Alcohol-Related Syndromes

 

Following chronic excessive alcohol consumption studies have shown an overall decrease in neuronal density, regional blood flow volumes and glucose metabolism.  (22, 23, 24)

 

The decrease in glucose metabolism as a result of alcohol consumption is due to a decrease in thiamine.  Thiamine (also known as vitamin B1) is critical for all tissues in the body, especially the brain.  The brain needs thiamine because of its critical role in glucose metabolism and neurotransmitters synthesis. (25)

 

A decrease in thiamine can occur in two ways due to alcohol consumption.  One is a poor diet and the other is due to a decrease in thiamine absorption and activation. The body does have reserves of thiamine, but they become depleted during heavy drinking. If heavy drinking becomes chronic those reserves don’t have to ability to recoup and an individual starts to have a thiamine deficiency. Of the people with a thiamine deficiency due to alcohol consumption, 80 percent will go on to develop:

 

Wernicke Encephalopathy

 

A person with Wernicke Encephalopathy will suffer from mental confusion, oculomotor disturbances (disturbances with muscles that move the eyes), and difficulty with muscle coordination. (26)

 

Korsakoffs Psychosis

 

Effects 80 to 90 percent of individuals with Wernicke encephalopathy.  Individuals showing symptoms of Korsakoffs Psychosis have difficulty walking and severe problems with amnesia, particularly anterograde amnesia or forming new memories. (27)

 

Alcohol-Related Dementia

 

Research shows the risk of developing dementia is three times greater in heavy drinkers than other people.  Dementia due to alcohol encompasses both Wernicke encephalopathy and Korsakoffs psychosis. (28)

 

Other syndromes due to alcohol consumption are:

 

Hepatic Encephalopathy: Liver dysfunction occurs following chronic excessive alcohol abuse leading to changes in sleep patterns and mood, in addition to shaking hands and shortened attention span. (29)  The liver damage caused by alcohol results in an increase of ammonia in the blood which has a neurotoxic effect on the brain. (30)

Cerebellar Syndrome with Anterior Superior Vermal Atrophy: Patient presents symptoms of a broad-based gait, difficulty with eye movements and dysarthria (slowed or slurred speech). (31)

Final Thoughts on How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain

Excessive use of alcohol causes a variety of chemical and molecular alterations within the brain that forms the basis of several behavioral and physical manifestations.

The neurotoxic effects of alcohol lead to thiamine deficiency and global cell death within, particularly vulnerable areas within the brain.

This cell death results in a decrease in overall brain volume, specifically within the frontal lobe/prefrontal cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus.

Due to neurogenesis, abstinence of alcohol over an extended period of time may see a restoration of cells within these areas.

Lastly, although the research illustrating a link between early onset dementia and alcohol is in its early stages, it is a strong warning of the ever-growing list of detrimental effects of excessive alcohol consumption.

If you need help with any of your personal healthcare needs, or you are suffering with a medical condition that you do not think is reversable, please give us a call.

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Type 3 Diabetes Explained

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Type 3 Diabetes Explained

type-3-diabetes

In the news these days you might hear the term “Type 3 Diabetes.” You probably know that Type 1 Diabetes, abbreviated t1d, is a congenital condition whereby the body can’t produce enough insulin. Type 2 Diabetes (t2d) occurs when the body loses its ability, over time, to produce enough insulin. Both require lifestyle adjustments and shorten life expectancy, if not well managed.

 

So what is this third type? Don’t worry, a new, more virulent form of diabetes hasn’t emerged. The term represents a new understanding of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

 

What Insulin Resistance Has to do with Alzheimer’s Disease

It seems that, just as the lack of ability to process glucose in the bloodstream damages various body tissues in diabetes, it damages brain tissue specifically in “Type 3 Diabetes.”

 

Back in 2008, research published in the Journal of Diabetes Research and Technology said, “Currently, there is a rapid growth in the literature pointing toward insulin deficiency and insulin resistance as mediators of AD-type neurodegeneration…” AD is a complex condition, however. The researchers went on to write, “…but this surge of new information is riddled with conflicting and unresolved concepts…”

 

Since then, more and more studies link the two diseases. People with t2d, in particular, face an increased risk of getting AD. Researchers also noticed that people who died from AD, who did not suffer from diabetes at all, showed similar brain abnormalities as someone with diabetes. An article in Very Well Health states, “a common finding in Alzheimer’s disease was the deterioration of the brain’s ability to use and metabolize glucose.”

 

Recently, the concept has gained media attention as an aging population seeks to ward off this frightening form of dementia.

 

 

 

What This Means for AD Treatment

Research continues to emerge on the link between insulin depletion and the brain. Some believe that diabetes medications might actually work on AD, too. It’s thought that medications such as pioglitazone could protect the brain of AD patients against the typical structural abnormalities.

 

A 2015 study published in Annals of Neurology collected six years of observational data from patients taking piogliazone and the results looked promising. Clinical trials are underway to test it.

 

 

 

Eating to Prevent Type 3 Diabetes

I have written before about how a healthy diet helps prevent AD. The MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), has been shown to reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53%, according to Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the Journal of the American Alzheimer’s Association.

 

The Washington Post predicted, in late 2017, increased focus on eating to prevent AD. They note that a study currently underway is further exploring the MIND diet link.

 

So why not embrace the trend? Opt for the MIND diet’s recommended foods: Vegetables, including green leafy ones, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry and olive oil. Meanwhile, avoid red meats, margarine, cheese, sweets, and fried or fast food. Eating this way confers a host of other benefits, including decreased risk of heart disease, obesity, and certain cancers.

 

Like diabetes, AD emerges from a range of risk factors and variables. So address not only your diet, but your exercise and lifestyle factors, too.

 

As we learn to understand diseases better, we can more effectively prevent and treat them. The use of the term Type 3 Diabetes reflects that ongoing increase in scientific knowledge.

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

3 Ways Collagen Supplements Can Change Your Life

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

3 Ways Collagen Supplements Can Change Your Life

collagenfoods

If you’ve heard about celebrities touting the benefits of taking collagen supplements, then you’ve probably heard of some of the many boosts to wellness and beauty collagen is said to offer: more youthful, elastic skin; less joint pain; healthier hair and nails: stronger bones; and even better gastrointestinal health. This raft of benefits might sound too good to be true. But it turns out there’s solid scientific research to back up some of these claims. There really are three ways collagen supplements can change your life.

 

 

 

What is Collagen?

Before taking a look at the research, let’s start with what exactly collagen is, and how your body uses it. Collagen is a collection of amino acids that form the most abundant protein in your body. In fact, collagen represents 30% of the body’s protein. It’s the one needed for all your connective tissues and is in your bones, muscles, skin, blood vessels, tendons and digestive system.

 

The body produces less and less collagen over time, which is why we develop joint pain and wrinkles later in life. There are other factors, in addition to aging, that can decrease your collagen levels, like getting too much sun, eating too much sugar, and smoking.

 

 

 

Collagen Supplements Can Change Your Life

A recent double-blind, placebo controlled trial, published on the National Institute of Health’s website, resulted in higher skin elasticity and measurably smaller facial wrinkles in the women who took daily collagen supplements.  Furthermore, there are several studies that indicate taking collagen supplements daily will result in reduced pain in your joints. In this one, cited by Prevention magazine, people who took collagen supplements experienced a reduction in osteoarthritis related knee pain.

 

Collagen supplements might also aid your digestive system. The research studies on this are fewer, but there is a tremendous amount of anecdotal evidence. Individuals state that after they started taking collagen they experienced healing properties on their gut. This reporter for Prevention had a first-hand experience with collagen supplements helping boost her gut health. The Healthy Gut Institute calls collagen The Powerful Supplement You Need to Heal a Leaky Gut.

 

 

 

Ways to Take Collagen

There are three main ways people try to boost their body’s collagen:

 

Injections

Creams

Dietary Supplements

Collagen injections serve two purposes. Sometimes doctors will prescribe them for joint injuries and sometimes people receive them as less invasive alternatives to plastic surgery. In both cases the injection affords only temporary relief. The collagen eventually breaks down and leaves the body.

 

Collagen creams are used for cosmetic purposes. Since there’s evidence that increasing the body’s collagen can result in more elastic, youthful looking skin, some think that applying collagen directly to the skin can bring about those benefits. However, most dermatologists think the creams do not penetrate the dermis, the thick layer on the bottom of the skin, rendering any potential benefits nil.

 

Collagen supplements added to food in powdered form are the most promising form of additional collagen. The study cited above, on the NIH’s website, where the participants experienced a reduction in wrinkles and greater skin elasticity, used a powdered form of collagen that is added to food or drinks. This powder is tasteless and can be mixed with hot or cold foods.

 

If you decide to give collagen supplements a try, do a little research first before choosing which one. Since nutritional supplements are not regulated by the FDA, you want to try to find one that’s as safe as possible. A good place to start is by checking for contaminants at the NSF, The Public Health and Safety Organization.

 

Another way to get more collagen is to make lifestyle changes that help your body produce its own supply. Use sunscreen and avoid sunbathing, stop smoking, and increase the pro-collagen foods in your diet.

 

According to Livestrong.com foods you can eat that will boost your body’s production of collagen include:

 

Lean meats

Egg whites

Wheat germ

Cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries

Foods rich in Vitamin C

 

 

Whether you choose to make lifestyle changes to boost your body’s production of collagen or give dietary collagen supplements a try, there’s a good chance adding this protein will have a beneficial effect on your health.

As with any supplement, please talk to a healthcare provider who can advise you correctly.  If they say “oh, anyone will work”  RUN! Out of there!

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Can Kale Kill You? YES!

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Can Kale Kill You?

kale

You’d never eat rat poison — you’re a health nut!

But that’s exactly what the residents of California’s wealthiest county were doing, without their knowledge.

Sounds crazy. But Dr. Ernie Hubbard saw it day after day in his office.

Patients coming in with fatigue, digestive troubles, brain fog, and nausea.

(One poor woman had her blonde hair falling out in clumps!)

The culprit was a shocking neurotoxin — too much kale!

You see, thick leaf-vegetables like kale can actually absorb too much of a heavy metal toxin called thallium out of the ground.

But thallium was originally a rat poison.

So once Dr. Hubbard’s patient stopped eating so much of it, her hair grew right back. And her other symptoms went away too.

You should be okay if you just have a kale salad every once in awhile…

But be careful not to overload on it!    Dont eat too much rat poison!

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Sweet Potato Chips

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth 

  Sweet Potato Chips

 

sweetpotatochips

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250°F. Using a mandoline or knife, slice the sweet potatoes into very thin rounds, approximately 1/16-inch thick if possible and no thicker than 1/8 inch. Make sure they are even and thin though not transparent. Bring a pot of water to boil. Place the sweet potato slices into the boiling water and return to a simmer over medium heat. After 5 minutes, remove the sweet potatoes and drain the water.

Combine the sea salt, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder, poultry seasoning, and cayenne in a small bowl. Lightly grease two baking trays with coconut oil. Arrange the sweet potato slices on the trays so that they are not overlapping. Brush the tops of the sweet potatoes lightly with more coconut oil. Sprinkle the spice mix generously over the top of the slices.

Bake the sweet potatoes for 25 minutes. Remove the trays from the oven and set the slices that are already crispy to one side. Return the trays back to the oven for 5 more minutes and then check to remove the crispy chips again. If needed, bake remaining slices 3 to 5 minutes more. Note that the chips might not appear crispy when first removed from the oven, though should crisp up as they cool.

Serve sweet potato chips alongside guacamole, or enjoy them plain! Their crunchiness is at its peak within a few hours of making.

Makes 1 to 2 servings

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Study Shows Link Between Strong Muscles and a Strong Brain

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Study Shows Link Between Strong Muscles and a Strong Brain

musclebrain

Science has linked the benefit of physical exercise to brain health for many years. In fact, compelling evidence suggests physical exercise not only helps build cognitive power1 but also helps the brain resist shrinkage by promoting neurogenesis,2 i.e., the ability to adapt and grow new brain cells. Unfortunately, forgetfulness and “senior moments” are considered by many medical professionals to be a normal and anticipated part of aging.

 

I disagree. In fact, I believe if you’ve noticed memory lapses you may want to seriously consider making immediate lifestyle changes to help reverse or at least minimize further deterioration. Your brain is actually quite adaptable and has the capacity to repair and regenerate, the medical term for which is neuroplasticity. A recent study has found a strong correlation between grip strength and brain health.3

 

Your Muscle and Cognitive Power Are Connected

Researchers from Western Sydney University have found muscle strength, which they measured using hand grip strength, may be a strong indicator of the health of your brain.4 An analysis of data collected from over 475,000 British participants revealed the stronger an individual’s hand grip, the better they performed across every brain function test the researchers used, supporting previous research from the same university.5

 

During the study, the researchers evaluated reaction speed, logical problem-solving and multiple tests analyzing memory. Interestingly, they also determined the data was consistently strong both in individuals younger than 55 and those over 55. The analysis accounted for age, gender, body weight and education prior to confirming those who were stronger indeed had better functioning brains.6

 

A comparison of the results between the general population and individuals who suffered from schizophrenia found strong similarities. Grip strength was strongly correlated to brain health, particularly in working memory and processing speed.7 The researchers theorize if grip strength could predict functional and physical health outcomes in individuals who suffered from schizophrenia, further interventions to improve muscle strength could impact cognitive and real-world functioning.8

 

Although the correlation between muscle strength and physical activity to better brain health and cognitive function in seniors has been demonstrated in previous studies, the results from this study also revealed a strong connection in those younger than 55. Joseph Firth, Ph.D., from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University, commented on the results:9

 

“These sorts of novel interventions, such as weight training, could be particularly beneficial for people with mental health conditions. Our research has shown that the connections between muscular strength and brain functioning also exist in people experiencing schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder — all of which can interfere with regular brain functioning.

 

This raises the strong possibility that weight training exercises could actually improve both the physical and mental functioning of people with these conditions.”

 

Aerobic Exercise and Strength Training Affect Cognitive Ability

Previous studies have also linked physical activity with an improvement in cognitive functioning, even for a short time. While studies have found exercising for at least 20 minutes has a measurable effect on cognitive functioning, one study demonstrated exercising for just 10 minutes could have a limited effect on cognitive performance following the exercise,10 suggesting even short bouts of exercise at work may improve productivity.

 

Although the researchers cannot explain the immediate cause of the benefits, theories include an increase in blood flow to the brain or a release of specific proteins, which have demonstrated neuroprotective benefits and the stimulation of new neurons.11 Regular aerobic exercise also appears to increase the size of your hippocampus, the area of your brain involved in verbal memory and learning.

 

Research from the University of British Columbia found resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results on the hippocampus as aerobic exercise.12 Aerobic exercise, which has the benefit of simultaneously building large muscle strength and engaging your cardiovascular system, was found to improve vocabulary learning in one study.13 Participants who exercised during their workday also increased their productivity by 23 percent.14

 

In one test, participants pedaled on a stationary bike for 30 minutes and were able to improve scores on memory, reasoning and planning.15 In another, after running on a treadmill, subjects improved their performance by 20 percent on memory tests and demonstrated a 20 percent improvement on problem-solving abilities.16 Compiled death statistics find the top three killers are heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases.17

 

It is not a secret that regular exercise and good nutrition will dramatically reduce your potential risk for these conditions, yet nearly 80 percent of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise each week.18 While exercise is critical, the nutritional choices you make each day also contribute greatly to building strong muscles and a strong cardiovascular system.

 

Make Smart Meat Choices

Cracking the code to build stronger muscles means addressing your body’s dietary needs and not just your perceived need for protein. While protein does help develop strong muscles, cell growth requires more than just one primary nutrient. In fact, there are several reasons why you do not want to eat more protein than your body can immediately use, which I will discuss below.

 

When choosing protein, it is important to choose wisely. Most meat at the grocery store today, unless otherwise labeled, is raised on a processed diet in confined quarters and injected with antibiotics — and producing low quality nutrition. Instead, you want to seek out grass fed organically-raised beef and organic free-range dark meat chicken.

 

Choosing meat raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may expose your gut microbiome to low-dose antibiotics, disturbing your gut flora, immune system and emotional health.19

 

Animals raised in CAFO systems also consume genetically engineered (GE) feed, like corn and soy, which are heavily contaminated with glyphosate, also patented as a very effective antibiotic against a large number of beneficial organisms. How your meat is labeled may help you find high quality meat. For instance, “Antibiotic-free,” “No antibiotic residues,” and “No antibiotic growth promotants,” have not been approved by the USDA and may be misleading, if not outright fraudulent.20

 

“Natural” or “All-Natural” is completely meaningless and has no bearing on whether or not the animal was raised according to organic principles. “Natural” meat and poultry products can by law receive antibiotics, hormones and GE grains, and can be raised in CAFOs. For the highest quality beef, seek out products certified by the American Grassfed Association (AGA).

Your second-best choice is meat labeled, “100% USDA Organic,” “No antibiotics administered” and “Grass-fed” coupled with the USDA Organic label.21 When it comes to salmon, I strongly recommend eating only wild-caught Alaskan salmon or sockeye salmon, which are not allowed to be farmed. While farm-raised salmon may be less expensive in the store, they often carry a high health risk as testing revealed no less than 13 persistent organic pollutants, including carcinogenic PCBs and dioxins in farm-raised salmon.22

 

PCB concentrations are so high in farmed salmon researchers say:23 “Risk analysis indicates that consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon may pose health risks that detract from the beneficial effects of fish consumption.” Many farmed fish are also genetically modified to grow faster and larger than wild-caught species.

 

Although larger, you trade high grade nutritionally packed omega-3 fats in wild-caught Alaskan salmon for high levels of inflammatory omega-6 fats in farmed salmon. You can tell if your salmon is wild-caught or farm raised by the color and fat content. The flesh of wild sockeye salmon is bright red, courtesy of natural astaxanthin content. The flesh is also lean, with thin white stripes. If the flesh is pale pink with wide fat marks, the salmon is farmed.

 

Nutritional Choices Help Build Strong Muscles

Your nutritional choices to grow strong muscles don’t end with your choice of meat. Here are four more foods you’ll want to include:

 

  • Macadamia nuts and pecans Macadamia nuts have the highest fat, and lowest carb and protein content of any nuts. Pecans are also high in fat and low in protein and carbs, with abundant antioxidants and minerals. Most Americans get more than enough protein each day and instead need a higher amount of fat for fuel with low carbohydrates. Macadamia nuts and pecans are the perfect snack choice or addition to your chicken or salad.

 

  • Organic broccoli and cauliflower These two vegetables contain essential nutrients to promote fat loss, muscle recovery and muscle growth. Broccoli and cauliflower contain the chemical I3C, aiding in DNA repair.24 Both are good sources of folate,25 necessary for the production of new cell growth.26

 

  • Organic blueberries Blueberries may speed muscle recovery when they are eaten before and after exercise.27 Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, they can be grown in your garden so you can enjoy fresh blueberries throughout the growing season, and frozen to enjoy all year-round.

 

  • Organic celery Celery is a delicious, satisfying and crunchy snack, delivering high amounts of fiber and vitamins A, C, K, folate, potassium and manganese. Vitamin K supports the Gas6 protein, a cellular growth regulation factor necessary for the support of your heart, lungs, kidneys and cartilage.28 Vitamin K also regulates matrix γ-carboxylated glutamate (Gla) protein (MGP), found in cartilage and smooth muscle cells.29

 

Don’t Eat More Protein Than You Need

While protein is necessary to build strong muscles, too much can do more harm than good. There are adverse consequences to eating excessive protein, including the buildup of excess nitrogen waste products in your body, having a stimulating effect on the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, and adversely impacting the GCN2 pathway involved in the aging process.

 

The recommended dietary reference intake30 for protein is 0.8 grams per kilo per day of body weight or about 46 grams of protein per day for the average sedentary woman and 56 grams for the average sedentary man. However, the average American eats nearly double or more.31

 

For optimal health I believe most adults need 1 gram of protein per kilo of lean body mass, not total body weight; approximately 0.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. You’ll find a simple method of calculating your current protein requirements in my previous article, “Are You Sabotaging Your Health and Longevity by Eating Too Much Protein?”

 

Foods and Other Lifestyle Choices Improve Brain Function

While there is a strong correlation between exercise and cognitive performance, as with other organs in your body, your brain requires fuel. Your brain can metabolize either carbohydrates or fats for energy, but there is significant evidence the metabolic product of fats — ketones — may help restore and renew neurons even after damage has begun.

 

Ketones are not the only nutrients with a neuroprotective effect reducing reactive oxygen species in your brain. While blueberries have anti-inflammatory effects on your muscles, they also may help prevent, and are potential treatment of, cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease.32 The combination of a ketogenic diet and the addition of blueberries may help improve memory.

 

In studies of participants who had mild cognitive impairment,33 both ketosis and blueberries helped improve memory in older adults.34 High levels of antioxidants in blueberries may also help reduce free radical damage, important for the prevention of DNA damage and diseases such as cancer.

 

Broccoli, cauliflower and celery have positive effects on muscle growth and recovery and are also associated with brain health. Celery is a rich source of luteolin, a plant compound with a calming influence on inflammation in your brain, which is a primary cause of neurodegeneration. Luteolin has also been linked with lower rates of age-related memory loss in mice.35

 

Older mice fed a luteolin-supplemented diet scored better on learning and memory tasks. In addition to celery, peppers and carrots are also good sources of luteolin.

 

Broccoli and cauliflower are also good sources of choline, one of the B vitamins known for a role in brain development. Choline intake during pregnancy “super-charged” the brain activity of animals in utero, indicating it may boost cognitive function, improve learning and memory, and may diminish age-related memory decline.36 Broccoli offers additional benefits as well, including the anti-inflammatory flavonoid kaempferol and three glucosinolate phytonutrients working together to support your body’s detoxification processes.37

 

Call for an appointment for your personalized healthcare plan.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr P Carrothers

Restorative and Preventative Medicine

312-972-9355

Healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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

 

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Chicken Kebobs : On the Grill or in the Oven

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Chicken Kebobs : On the Grill or in the Oven

chickencabobs

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 large chicken breasts (12 oz each)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, or fire up the grill.   Line a baking sheet with foil
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and thyme.
  3. Cut the chicken breasts into cubes . Add to the bowl and toss with the seasoned olive oil.
  4. Thread the coated chicken cubes on skewers. I use metal skewers that I bought on Amazon. If you use wooden skewers, place thin foil strip on their exposed edges to prevent burning.
  5. Bake the chicken kabobs for 15 minutes. Switch the oven to broil, place the baking sheet under the broiler, and broil just until browned, about 2 minutes, on the grill just turn as needed.   You can add more marinate to them as you grill.

Health and Wellness Associates

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312-972-9355 (WELL)

Healthaellnessassociates@gmail.com

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