Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Good Sleep is the Door to Good Health!

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Good Sleep is the Door to Good Health!

sleepmercola

Sleep is one of the great mysteries of life. Like gravity or the quantum field, we still don’t understand exactly why we sleep—although we are learning more about it every day.

 

We do know, however, that good sleep is one of the cornerstones of health.

 

Six to eight hours per night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for most adults, and too much or too little can have adverse effects on your health.

 

Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far reaching effects on your health.

 

For example, interrupted or impaired sleep can:

 

Dramatically weaken your immune system

Accelerate tumor growth—tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions

Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your weight

Seriously impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep—meaning sleeping only 4 to 6 hours—can impact your ability to think clearly the next day

Impair your performance on physical or mental tasks, and decrease your problem solving ability

When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, your body produces less melatonin (a hormone AND an antioxidant) and has less ability to fight cancer, since melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. This is why tumors grow faster when you sleep poorly.

 

Impaired sleep can also increase stress-related disorders, including:

 

Heart disease

Stomach ulcers

Constipation

Mood disorders like depression

Diabetes

Auto-immune disorders

 

Sleep deprivation prematurely ages you by interfering with your growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep (and during certain types of exercise, such as Peak Fitness Technique). Growth hormone helps you look and feel younger.

 

One study has even shown that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater risk of dying from any cause. Lost sleep is lost forever, and persistent lack of sleep has a cumulative effect when it comes to disrupting your health. Poor sleep can make your life miserable, as most of you probably know.

 

The good news is, there are many natural techniques you can learn to restore your “sleep health.”

 

Whether you have difficulty falling asleep, waking up too often, or feeling inadequately rested when you wake up in the morning—or maybe you simply want to improve the quality of your sleep—you are bound to find some relief from my tips and tricks below.

 

Optimizing Your Sleep Sanctuary

  1. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep. This will help decrease your risk of cancer.

 

Close your bedroom door and get rid of night-lights. Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. Cover up your clock radio. Cover your windows—I recommend using blackout shades or drapes.

 

All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness, called circadian rhythms. Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your natural rhythms. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus, which controls your biological clock. Light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and starts preparing your body for ACTION.

 

  1. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes and particularly their upstairs bedrooms too warm. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep.

 

When you sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep. Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.

 

  1. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). These can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin and may have other negative effects as well. To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, starting around $50 to $200. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house.

 

  1. Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed. If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least 3 feet. Remove the clock from view. It will only add to your worry when you stare at it all night… 2 a.m. …3 a.m. … 4:30 a.m.

 

  1. Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary. I gave up my alarm clock years ago and now use a sun alarm clock, an alarm that combines the features of a traditional alarm clock (digital display, AM/FM radio, beeper, snooze button, etc.) with a special built-in light that gradually increases in intensity, simulating sunrise.

 

  1. Reserve your bed for sleeping. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.

 

  1. Consider separate bedrooms. Recent studies suggest, for many people, sharing a bed with a partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep, especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or snores. If bedfellows are consistently interfering with your sleep, you may want to consider a separate bedroom.

 

Preparing for Bed

  1. Get to bed as early as possible. Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period. If you are awake, the toxins back up into your liver, which can further disrupt your health. Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well.

 

  1. Don’t change your bedtime. You should go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.

 

  1. Establish a bedtime routine. This could include meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy or essential oils or indulging in a massage from your partner. The key is to find something that makes you feel relaxed, then repeat it each night to help you release the tensions of the day.

 

  1. Don’t drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom, or at least minimize the frequency.

 

  1. Go to the bathroom right before bed. This will reduce the chances that you’ll wake up to go in the middle of the night.

 

  1. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.

 

  1. Also eat a small piece of fruit. This can help the tryptophan cross your blood-brain barrier.

 

  1. Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. These will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.

 

  1. Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When your body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating slumber. The temperature drops from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed.

 

  1. Wear socks to bed. Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. A study has shown that wearing socks to bed reduces night waking. As an alternative, you could place a hot water bottle near your feet at night.

 

  1. Wear an eye mask to block out light. As discussed earlier, it is very important to sleep in as close to complete darkness as possible. That said, it’s not always easy to block out every stream of light using curtains, blinds or drapes, particularly if you live in an urban area (or if your spouse has a different schedule than you do). In these cases, an eye mask can be helpful.

 

  1. Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more). This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm, not hyped up or anxious about tomorrow’s deadlines.

 

  1. No TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even completely out of the house. It’s too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly. TV disrupts your pineal gland function.

 

  1. Listen to relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD.

 

Another favorite is the Sleep Harmony CD, which uses a combination of advanced vibrational technology and guided meditation to help you effortlessly fall into deep delta sleep within minutes. The CD works on the principle of “sleep wave entrainment” to assist your brain in gearing down for sleep.

 

  1. Read something spiritual or uplifting. This may help you relax. Don’t read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novel, which has the opposite effect. In addition, if you are really enjoying a suspenseful book, you might be tempted to go on reading for hours, instead of going to sleep!

 

  1. Journaling. If you often lay in bed with your mind racing, it might be helpful to keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed. Personally, I have been doing this for 15 years, but prefer to do it in the morning when my brain is functioning at its peak and my cortisol levels are high.

 

Lifestyle Suggestions That Enhance Sleep

  1. Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely affect sleep. In most cases, the condition causing the drugs to be taken in the first place can be addressed by following guidelines elsewhere on my web site.

 

  1. Avoid caffeine. At least one study has shown that, in some people, caffeine is not metabolized efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night. Be aware that some medications contain caffeine (for example, diet pills).

 

  1. Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short lived and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing.

 

  1. Make certain you are exercising regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.

 

  1. Lose excess weight. Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea, which can seriously impair your sleep. Please refer to my nutrition plan for recommendations.

 

  1. Avoid foods you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and pasteurized dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas, and other problems.

 

  1. Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician. Scientists have found that insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress.

 

  1. If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, get checked out by a good natural medicine physician. The hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if not properly addressed.

 

If All Else Fails

  1. My current favorite fix for insomnia is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Most people can learn the basics of this gentle tapping technique in a few minutes. EFT can help balance your body’s bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are contributing to your insomnia at a very deep level. The results are typically long lasting and improvement is remarkably rapid.

 

  1. Increase your melatonin. Ideally it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night. If that isn’t possible, you may want to consider a melatonin supplement.

 

In scientific studies, melatonin has been shown to increase sleepiness, help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep, decrease restlessness, and reverse daytime fatigue. Melatonin is a completely natural substance, made by your body, and has many health benefits in addition to sleep.

 

As always Melatonin should not be used if you have a heart condition, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, any gastrointestinal inflammatory problems or pregnant.

 

Call your healthcare provider or give us a call for your personal healthcare needs.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr Gemma Carney

312-972-9355 (WELL)

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

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

 

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Elderberry Popsicles

elderberry-pops

Throat Soothing & Immune Boosting Elderberry Popsicles – Recipe

 

Elderberries are healthy, delicious way to keep your family healthy during the cold winter days. Your kids might love elderberry syrup and elderberry gummies, but there’s another thing you can give them to boost their immune system and provide extra soothing effects for their sore throat.

 

We talk about tasty, immune-boosting elderberry popsicles which will become one of their favorite treats.

 

One study conducted on flu patients proved that elderberries provide strong antiviral effects which protect from flu better than a flu shot. This popular flu remedy recovered the participants twice as faster as those from the placebo group.

 

In just 2 to 3 days, almost 90 percent of the group treated with elderberry have recovered completely, as oppose to the placebo group which took a minimum of 6 days for a complete recovery. It has been shown that a dose of Tamiflu can only alleviate your symptoms by one day. But, what’s worse is that children are more prone to its side effects than adults.

 

Some Tamiflu users have reported side effects like delirium, sudden confusion, unusual behavior, hallucinations, or self-injury, most of which have occurred in children. On the other hand, elderberries are natural remedy with no side effects and a sweet taste. You can see why they are the clear winner here.

 

Other Soothing Ingredients

Besides elderberries, these throat soothing popsicles contain blueberries. These antioxidant rich berries are rich in vitamin C which helps fight cold and flu symptoms, and protects the lungs during the flu. Besides vitamin C, blueberries also contain vitamin K and manganese, all of which provide antioxidant properties which improve the cough symptoms and prevent advancing into pneumonia.

 

You can add natural sweetener such as raw honey as it provides antibacterial effects and many other benefits. That’s why it’s often used as a sore throat remedy. But, if your kids are younger than 1, substitute the honey with maple syrup, or avoid it completely. It’s also recommended to supervise them while eating the popsicles.

 

As these popsicles don’t contain much fat and sugar, another ingredient you can use is grass-fed gelatin to prevent them becoming rock hard ice bricks. What’s more, gelatin is excellent for your joints, skin, hair, and nails.

 

Electrolytes + Vitamin C

You can also include coconut water instead of just using elderberry infused water. Your kids will love the sweet taste it gives, while getting enough electrolytes at the same time. Getting electrolytes is especially important during sickness and vomiting, as your body loses great amount of electrolytes in these conditions. Choose brand that doesn’t contain added sugar and is minimally processed.

 

Last but not least, use some lemon juice whose acidity will balance out the sweet flavor from the other ingredients. What’s more, it’s a great source of vitamin C – a vitamin that isn’t produced naturally in our body, which is especially important during illness.

 

Throat Soothing & Immune Boosting Elderberry Popsicles Recipe

Here’s how to prepare this healthy treat, or cold and flu remedy.

 

Ingredients

3 tbsp. elderberries

Half a cup of fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup of coconut water or coconut juice

¾ cup of filtered water

1 tbsp. grass-fed gelatin

2 tbsp. raw honey

Lemon juice to taste (or the juice of one lemon)

Preparation

Prep. Time: 10 minutes

 

Mix the water and elderberries in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat. Strain well using a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to get all the juice out. Pour the strained juice in a clean saucepan. Add the grass-fed gelatin and leave it for several minutes to absorb. If you plan to use a thick honey, add it right after the gelatin gets gelled a bit.

 

Then, bring the saucepan with this mixture over a low heat, and stir slowly until it’s melty and well-combined. Be careful not to overheat, as the honey will no longer be raw. Blend the blueberries and the coconut water in a blender until smooth. If you don’t have coconut water or coconut juice, you can substitute with any herbal tea, juice, or even plain water. Add the blended mixture and the rest of the ingredients to the mixture with elderberries, and stir well.

 

Once it’s well combined, pour the mixture into some popsicle molds, and put them in the refrigerator. Let them firm up, and then enjoy! You can always double the ingredients to get more popsicles.

 

Note: If you blend all ingredients together, you’ll get a foam which doesn’t freeze into popsicles well.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived:  2013

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

Foods

Bell Peppers

bell peppers

Bell peppers contain an impressive amount of vitamin C with up to as much as six times as oranges. Bell peppers are also packed with vitamin A and beta carotene which can help boost the immune system, improve vision, and help protect the eyes against cataracts. Bell peppers are also an excellent source of potassium, fiber, thiamine, beta carotene, folic acid, zeaxanthin, and lycopene and have been shown to help prevent blood clot formation and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. They are excellent for helping to lower cholesterol levels and they contain anti-cancer compounds that can help lower the risk of prostate, breast, lung, and colon cancer. Bell peppers are highly beneficial for the brain and can help to strengthen memory and concentration skills as well as reduce brain fog and confusion. Bell peppers are an ideal weight loss food as their fiber helps to curb the appetite while helping to keep you energized throughout the day. Green bell peppers are technically an “unripe” pepper. Even though green peppers are edible, the red, orange, and yellow bell peppers contain significantly higher levels of vitamins, mineral, and antioxidants. Bell peppers are so sweet, crunchy, and juicy that they are a perfect snack to munch on and are a fantastic addition to salads, wraps, nori rolls, hummus, and dips. They are also great juiced, steamed, sauteed, and stuffed. Try making a raw soup by blending red bell peppers and tomatoes together with a clove of garlic, a few leaves of fresh basil, and chopped scallions and avocado on top. It is a refreshing, light, nutrient packed meal that can nourish your body and keep your immune system functioning strong. Also experiment with the deliciously sweet orange bell pepper which is a favorite among kids and adults alike. Bell peppers can be found at your local grocery and health food store. Choose organic for its health promoting properties whenever possible.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

312-972 WELL ( 9355)

Foods, Health and Disease

Mushrooms prevent breast cancer

ediblemushrooms

Mushrooms prevent Breast Cancer

Mushrooms Enhance Immune Function and Protect Against Cancer

Mushrooms support the immune system
Mushrooms contain specialized lectins (ABL) that recognize cancer cells, and prevent the cells from growing and dividing.1,2 Mushroom phytochemicals enhance the activity of natural killer cells, which are specialized immune cells that attack and destroy virus-infected and cancerous cells.3

Mushrooms are unique in their breast cancer preventing (anti-aromatase) effects
Frequent consumption of mushrooms (approximately 1 button mushroom per day) has been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer by 64%.4 Mushrooms are thought to protect against breast cancer particularly because they inhibit an enzyme called aromatase, which produces estrogen. Mushrooms are one of the very few foods that inhibit aromatase (pomegranate is another), and several varieties of mushrooms, especially the commonly eaten white button and portobello mushrooms, have strong anti-aromatase activity.5

Mushrooms protect against all cancers
Consumption of mushrooms does not only protect against breast cancer. In addition to anti-aromatase activity, white, cremini, portobello, oyster, maitake, and reishi mushrooms have all been shown to have a wide variety of anti-cancer properties. These effects have been studied in relation to stomach, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers.6-14

Mushrooms add unique flavors and textures to vegetable dishes, and are delicious paired with fresh herbs. Combining mushrooms with the onion family, green and cruciferous vegetables, and beans, creates delicious, healthful, and powerfully protective meals. Remember that mushrooms should only be eaten cooked: several raw culinary mushrooms contain a potentially carcinogenic substance called agaritine, and cooking mushrooms significantly reduces their agaritine content.15,16

 

References
1. Yu L, Fernig DG, Smith JA, et al. Reversible inhibition of proliferation of epithelial cell lines by Agaricus bisporus (edible mushroom) lectin. Cancer Res 1993;53:4627-4632.
2. Carrizo ME, Capaldi S, Perduca M, et al. The antineoplastic lectin of the common edible mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) has two binding sites, each specific for a different configuration at a single epimeric hydroxyl. The Journal of biological chemistry 2005;280:10614-10623.
3. Borchers AT, Krishnamurthy A, Keen CL, et al. The Immunobiology of Mushrooms. Exp Biol Med 2008;233:259-276.
4. Zhang M, Huang J, Xie X, et al. Dietary intakes of mushrooms and green tea combine to reduce the risk of breast cancer in Chinese women. Int J Cancer 2009;124:1404-1408.
5. Grube BJ, Eng ET, Kao YC, et al. White button mushroom phytochemicals inhibit aromatase activity and breast cancer cell proliferation. The Journal of nutrition 2001;131:3288-3293.
6. Hara M, Hanaoka T, Kobayashi M, et al. Cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, and gastrointestinal cancer risks in a multicenter, hospital-based case-control study in Japan. Nutr Cancer 2003;46:138-147.
7. Zhang CX, Ho SC, Chen YM, et al. Greater vegetable and fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. Int J Cancer 2009;125:181-188.
8. Martin KR, Brophy SK. Commonly consumed and specialty dietary mushrooms reduce cellular proliferation in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Exp Biol Med 2010;235:1306-1314.
9. Fang N, Li Q, Yu S, et al. Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by an ethyl acetate fraction from shiitake mushrooms. J Altern Complement Med 2006;12:125-132.
10. Ng ML, Yap AT. Inhibition of human colon carcinoma development by lentinan from shiitake mushrooms (Lentinus edodes). J Altern Complement Med 2002;8:581-589.
11. Adams LS, Phung S, Wu X, et al. White button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) exhibits antiproliferative and proapoptotic properties and inhibits prostate tumor growth in athymic mice. Nutr Cancer 2008;60:744-756.
12. Lakshmi B, Ajith TA, Sheena N, et al. Antiperoxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antimutagenic activities of ethanol extract of the mycelium of Ganoderma lucidum occurring in South India. Teratog Carcinog Mutagen 2003;Suppl 1:85-97.
13. Cao QZ, Lin ZB. Antitumor and anti-angiogenic activity of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides peptide. Acta pharmacologica Sinica 2004;25:833-838.
14. Lin ZB, Zhang HN. Anti-tumor and immunoregulatory activities of Ganoderma lucidum and its possible mechanisms. Acta pharmacologica Sinica 2004;25:1387-1395.
15. Toth B, Erickson J: Cancer induction in mice by feeding of the uncooked cultivated mushroom of commerce Agaricus bisporus. Cancer Res 1986;46:4007-4011.
16. Schulzova V, Hajslova J, Peroutka R, et al: Influence of storage and household processing on the agaritine content of the cultivated Agaricus mushroom. Food Addit Contam 2002;19:853-862..

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article : Dr Furhman

If you need help in learning how to prevent breast cancer, or you have had breast cancer and you need to enrich your immune system, please call us at 312-972-9355

Foods

Lemon Balm

lemonbalm

Lemons are a powerful healing fruit that contain phenomenal antibiotic, antiseptic, and anti-cancer properties. Lemons are rich in vitamins C and B-complex and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, silicon, copper, and potassium. They are considered to be a wonderful tonic and can help to cleanse and detoxify the entire body. Although lemons have an acidic taste they actually have a very strong alkaline reaction on the body and can help to alkalize blood, cells, lymph, organs, and tissues. Lemons are known to help destroy putrefactive bacteria in the mouth and intestines which can help alleviate flatulence, indigestion, and constipation. Lemons contain a compound called limonene which is used to dissolve gallstones and kidney stones and can help to fight oral, lung, skin, breast, stomach, and colon cancer. Lemons are also rich in bioflavonoids which can significantly boost the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body. Lemon juice is known to be particularly beneficial for colds, coughs, sore throats, hiccups, ear infections, fevers, arthritis, heart disease, COPD, atherosclerosis, diabetes, high cholesterol, autoimmune disorders, stroke, and cancer. Topically, lemon juice is a great remedy for wrinkles, warts, toothaches, corns, sunburns, poison ivy, acne, psoriasis, and as a hair rinse and facial astringent. A tall glass of lemon water upon waking is an excellent way to hydrate and cleanse the body first thing in the morning. Fresh lemon in tea and green juice and added to salads, wraps, hummus, guacamole, and nori rolls is another great way to add this healing and nutritious fruit into your diet. Fresh lemons can be found at your local grocery and health food store.