8.09.2017

Did you know…
The air we inhale is approximately 20% oxygen, and the air we exhale is approximately 15% oxygen.  Therefore, about 5% of the air consumed in each breath and converted to carbon dioxide. Therefore, a human being uses about 550 liters of pure oxygen per day.

Infertility and Natural Medicine

Both men and women describe infertility as heartbreaking, more stressful than losing a job or getting divorced. Across the United States, approximately 7.5 million women age 21 to 44 have an impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term; about 5 million men have a fertility problem.

Most male infertility is due to low sperm counts, poor sperm quality or sperm mobility. Other problems are similar to those women face, such as structural issues with the reproductive organs, anatomical conditions, hormone imbalances, genetic factors, and environmental toxins. "When it comes to uncovering the root cause of infertility," says women's health expert Dr. Judith Thompson, N.D. "a common misconception is that it is hormone levels and if we adjust the hormones enough, a couple can get pregnant." In reality, several interrelated factors influence fertility.

In assessing infertility, natural medicine physicians evaluate a patient's overall well-being: the effect of stress on hormone levels; diet and exercise habits; exposure to environmental toxins; the function of the endocrine, digestive, and immune systems; and the unique design of a person's reproductive anatomy and physiology. They evaluate the man's sperm and test for hormone imbalances in men and women, as well as thyroid function, vitamin levels, and metabolic function. They then work with patients to correct imbalances and create an optimal environment for conception and pregnancy.

Five Ways to Enhance Fertility:


Nourish your endocrine system. Support the ovaries or testes, thyroid, and adrenal glands by eating organic, whole foods including nuts, seeds, fish, and avocados, as well as foods high in vitamin C. Oysters, rich in zinc, enhance male fertility and bolster a woman's immune system.

Avoid GMO containing foods, as well as soy, which may have a negative effect on reproductive function in certain individuals. "It is important to avoid foods that are stressful to the body," says Dr. Thompson. "One of the biggest culprits is coffee. It dehydrates and depletes vital nutrients from the body. It puts the body into a higher alert mode, which decreases the body's ability to become pregnant."

Make wise lifestyle choices. Forego high intensity exercises like hot yoga, Cross fit, marathon running, and triathlons. "Intense exercise puts the body into high stress mode. It sends the body the message that there is a lot of demand for resources and it is not a desirable time for pregnancy," says Dr. Thompson. Opt for slow yoga, walking, swimming, and bicycling.

Don't smoke, as it decreases oxygen to tissues and affects the placenta. Avoid alcohol. Make time to meditate because it relaxes all nerve signals and allows the body to function better.

Use quality nutritional supplements. The herb Aletris farinosa (aka True Unicorn) supports a toned uterus and minimizes possibility of miscarriage. Calcium-d-glucarate helps maintain a healthy estrogen and progesterone balance, increasing chances of pregnancy. Other supplements, including pre-natal vitamins, may be recommended by your health practitioner.

Establish strong emotional supports. Stress, Anxiety, and Fluctuating emotions: they increase cortisol production, which can affect the ability to become pregnant and also interfere with a baby's development. Seek out a counselor who specializes in fertility issues, a fertility support group, or a faith-based group to help you manage difficult emotions.

Support your spirituality. Whatever form your spirituality takes - attending church, participating with a nondenominational group, exploring nature, meditating, or being artistic - do something that takes you away from the daily to-do list and allows you to be fully engaged in the experience. "When this kind of heart-centered energy and awareness is present," says Dr. Thompson, "it opens doors for new creative energies to come through, and creative energy is a big part of fertility.

"Working with fertility is about getting to know yourself and your needs - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, while healing the things that need healing and nurturing the parts that need nurturing."


Natural Supplementation

Caldium-D-Glucarate

You've likely never heard of Calcium-D-Glucarate (CDG), a salt-based substance produced naturally by humans and animals and found in many fruits and vegetables. It's most abundant in oranges, grapefruit, and cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts (Recipe coming in Part II), broccoli, kale and cabbage.

When treating infertility, natural medicine physicians will use CDG to facilitate liver detoxification, a process directly linked to estrogen metabolism. According to Judith Thompson, ND, this is especially relevant for women who have conditions such as PCOS or endometriosis in which metabolism may be impaired due to a buildup of estrogen levels. In response to this "excess estrogen" the body perceives progesterone levels to be low and may respond by "thinking" it doesn't have enough progesterone to maintain a pregnancy. Other medical conditions (e.g., damage to ovaries, ovulation problems) are associated with excess estrogen and thus can hinder pregnancy.

By supplementing with Calcium-D-Glucarate, the ratio of progesterone and estrogen can be brought into balance through optimal detoxification. CDG can affect how the liver metabolizes other medications. Therefore, it should be used under the careful supervision of a qualified health practitioner.


Women's Fertility Herb: True Unicorn (Aletris farinosa)

Stargrass, Blazing Star, True Unicorn… quite magical names for this wildflower with its tall, sturdy round stem from which a cluster of tiny, white urn-shaped flowers blossom. True Unicorn has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to support women's reproductive health, including menstrual disorders and infertility. In native cultures, the herb was given to women with a history of miscarriage.

True Unicorn is most commonly used with women who have a "weak uterus," meaning they have very light menstrual flows or have anemia. This herb helps to tone and strengthen the uterus before pregnancy and is good for balancing hormones. It has been used to help women get pregnant and to help maintain healthy pregnancy. However, it has estrogenic properties and is not used during the course of pregnancy.

When used by qualified practitioners, only very small doses are prescribed. Since there have not been any published human clinical trials on True Unicorn, clinicians base their recommendations on case studies and the long history of use in traditional medicine.


References
The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.




7.31.2017

Can Tunes Boost Your Immunity?


 You don't have to be a neuroscientist to recognize that music has an effect on your mood. Music evokes memory, inspires creativity, alleviates boredom, lifts spirits, and enhances motivation during a workout. But can listening to music boost your physical health and, in particular, your immune system?
The answer appears to be a resounding yes.

For decades, scientists have been exploring the power of music from various angles: How does music affect everyday tasks? Does music influence states of arousal? Can music alter the response to stressors? Does music improve depression and anxiety? Can music improve recovery from surgery? Does type of music make a difference?  

One of the largest studies determined that music has an impact on social bonding and management of mood; additionally there appears to be a unique relationship between stress, music, and immunity. It goes like this: frequent stress raises the level of the hormone cortisol in the bloodstream; too much cortisol deteriorates the immune response, making us more prone to illness and certain chronic diseases. Listening to our favorite "uplifting music" calms the mind and body enough to lower levels of cortisol and raise the levels of antibodies associated with fighting infection.
What Kind of Music is Best for Health Benefits?
Because musical preference is such a personal matter, it's difficult to study all the different styles and the impact on individuals. However, we can do our own research: experiment with the types of music you're listening to and record the results. Before and after listening, measure your heart rate or blood pressure and keep a journal of your mood.

Researchers are examining the healing effects of music composed specifically in tune with physiological measures and brain wave patterns. If you have specific health concerns, consider having a music therapist design a customized program for you. Ask your natural medicine practitioner for a referral.

Food For Thought...


Organic Wild Mushroom Risotto

Traditionally an Autumn favorite, wild mushroom risotto can be enjoyed year-round. It's an excellent meal on its own or can accompany a variety of entrees. Use organic mushrooms and brown rice for added health benefit. Be careful not to over season with butter or salt, as the white wine, stock, and garlic will draw out the rich flavor of the mushrooms.

Ingredients

1 tbsp Dried Porcini Mushrooms *(feel free to use a mix: Cremini, Portobello, Shiitake)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 Onion Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves Finely chopped
15 tbsp Chestnut Mushrooms Sliced
1.5 cups Organic Brown Rice
2/3 cup Dry white wine
4 cups Hot vegetable stock
2 tbsp Fresh Parsley Chopped
1.5 tbsp Butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh Parmesan Grated, to serve

Directions

1. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes.*
2. Once soaked, drain the mushrooms well.
3. Gently heat the oil in a large pan, and add the onion and garlic.
4. Fry for 3 minutes or until the onions are softened.
5. Add the chestnut mushrooms and fry for a further 3 minutes, until browned.
6. Once browned, stir in the rice.
7. Add the wine on a gentle heat, constantly stirring until the liquid has been absorbed.
8. Allow the mixture to simmer, and slowly ladle in some of the hot stock while stirring until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is plump.
9. Chop the porcini mushrooms.
10. Add the mushrooms along with the parsley, butter, salt and pepper to the risotto mixture. Shave some Parmesan over the top and serve.
* If using fresh mushrooms, in Step 1, chop and saute in olive oil until nicely browned, remove from heat and set aside. Add the mushrooms in Step 10, once the liquid has been absorbed from the risotto.



The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.



7.21.2017

Keep Your Immune System in Peak Condition

The Great Defender: that's our immune system, uniquely designed to keep us healthy and defend against illness and infection. Made up of organs, including the skin, lungs, and gut, as well as specialized cells, the immune system's job is to remain on alert for disease-causing invaders and to protect our body against them.

Our immune system's first responders are white blood cells (WBC) that are alerted to the presence of an invader. Some WBCs seek and destroy invaders while others have a cellular memory that enables the body to remember and recognize previous invaders and help destroy them. For example, if you get chickenpox, your body develops immunity to the bacteria; if you're exposed to chickenpox again, you won't contract it.

Sometimes the cellular communication goes haywire and the immune system starts attacking healthy cells in the body. This is called an autoimmune response; it can lead to autoimmune disease of which there are many types, such as Hashimoto's. There are also conditions, such as Selective IgA Deficiency, in which some part of the immune response is lacking or not functioning properly.

Each of our immune systems is as unique as our individual family health history, our lifestyles, and the environmental conditions with which we live. Some folks seem to never get sick, while others catch every bug going around. The strength of the immune system also changes as we age. Because the immune system is our greatest defender against disease, it's critical that we keep it strong, healthy and balanced.


Holistic Ways to Boost Immunity

Get Your Zz's. Sleep regenerates the entire body. Research shows that restful and regular sleep generates the hormones that help fight infection, whereas insufficient / poor quality sleep makes us prone to infection and prolongs recovery from illness.

De-stress. Persistent stress raises the level of a hormone called cortisol in the bloodstream. Over time, this creates a cascade of physiological events that result in weakened immunity. Take time out with meditation, yoga, exercise, or some good nature therapy-a walk in nature.

Say No to Sugar. A diet high in sugar interferes with optimal immune system function. Limit your intake of all sweets. Choose organic, dark chocolate if you need to satisfy the sweet tooth.

Crazy 'bout Shrooms. With 38,000 varieties, you're bound to find a mushroom you like! They're versatile in cooking, full of nutrients, and contain compounds that research shows are important to building a strong immune system. Make mushrooms a part of your whole foods diet


Astragalus


For centuries, Astragalus root has been used to strengthen the blood and spleen and - over time - help maintain the strength of the immune system, building resistance to illness and disease.

While clinical research on Astragalus is in the early stages, researchers are currently examining how it may help prevent the common cold and also be useful as a complementary treatment during chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immune deficiency syndromes. Meanwhile, laboratory studies and a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine and botanical medicine indicate how Astragalus may help fortify the immune system:
Astragalus contains polysaccharides, which enhance the ability of white blood cells (instrumental in immune function) to eliminate foreign substances from the body.
Saponins found in Astragalus are known to protect the liver and stimulate the release of cytokines, chemical messengers in the immune system.
With its antioxidant properties, Astragalus facilitates the breakdown of free radicals, thus reducing free radical damage in the blood system.
Astragalus supports the liver, which plays an important role in detoxification.

Astragalus is native to the temperate areas of the Northern hemisphere. It takes a full two years of growth before the plant develops roots sufficient for harvesting their medicinal properties. Supplements are available in capsule, liquid, tincture, injectable, and extract. This herb is commonly used in combination with other botanicals. It may also interact with other medicines, including herbal medicines. Your holistic health practitioner can determine the best way to take Astragalus to support your health and well being.


References



The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.

6.18.2017



The Connection of ADHD and Diet




Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsive behavior in otherwise high functioning children. 

Two generations ago that was the definition and the belief. Today, we know better. And we know more. A Lot more.

What ADHD is

Today, ADHD is viewed as a multifaceted condition triggered by varying behavioral, biological and environmental factors, including certain foods and food additives. The hallmarks of ADHD are an inability to focus and/or impulsivity that is not developmentally typical for a child's age. Symptoms fall on a spectrum from predominantly inattentive on one end to predominantly hyperactive at the other end. Certain criteria must be met for a doctor to diagnose a child as having ADHD.

The Role of Food in ADHD

While there are many ways to use "food as medicine," for some children, food and its additives can actually trigger ADHD. Because diet plays a crucial role in ADHD, it's important to examine issues such as food intolerance, food allergy, and the additives and chemicals associated with food production. There are various tests to determine both food allergy and intolerance. Your holistic practitioner can advise you about the most appropriate test and then help with interpretation and treatment.

Artificial food colors (AFCs) are widely used by manufacturers to create visually attractive food products. The FDA certifies, for purity and safety, the use of these dyes. However, the amount certified has risen from 12 mg/capita/d in 1950 to 62 mg/capita/d in 2010.

AFCs are not natural to our food system, and surely not to our bodies. These artificial molecules can bond to food or body proteins, which means they can "hide in the body," avoid detection, and disrupt the immune system. This can have significant immunological consequences that affect gastrointestinal function, auto-immunity and even brain and behavior. For some children, ADHD can be triggered and worsened by synthetic colors, flavors and preservatives.

The Feingold Diet for ADHD

In the 1970's, Benjamin Feingold, M.D. studied the effect of food chemicals and the role of nutrition in addressing learning disabilities and behavior disorders. He pioneered an elimination diet that removed food dyes from the diets of children. Over the years, Dr. Feingold extended the elimination diet to include petrochemical preservatives BHA and BHT. He has reported rates of 30-70% improvement in children with ADHD, depending on the diagnostic criteria used and adherence to the diet.

Over the decades, studies in Europe and the U.S. have tested the Feingold and similar diets. While research has not established a direct cause-and-effect, the evidence indicates restriction/elimination diets have value and can bring about a change in behavior if properly followed. In response to concerns that children will dislike the Feingold Diet, families can find a wide range of tips for adjusting recipes and food selection, making it easy to incorporate changes and still enjoy favorite foods

In addition to eliminating AFCs, BHA, BHT and food allergens/sensitivities, additional support may be needed for some children. This may include educational adjustments, behavior modification or counseling, nutrition supplements, and additional dietary changes. Like any medical or behavioral intervention, treatment benefits will vary based on many factors, such as when a child is diagnosed, the ADHD symptoms present, co-occurrence of other immune or medical conditions, and ability to adhere to dietary changes.

As research continues to explore the relationship between diet, food and behavior, we anticipate that many more children - and adults - with ADHD will be helped by the medicinal power of food.

If your family struggles with the consequences of ADHD, ask us for suggestions and guidance. You do not need to walk this path alone.

This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.

References:

Lyon, M. & Murray, T., "ADHD."as cited in Pizzorno, J. E. & Murray, M.T. Textbook of Natural Medicine: 4th Ed. (2013) Chapter 150, p. 1252-1259.
Verlaet AAJ, Noriega DB, et al., "Nutrition, immunological mechanisms and dietary immunomodulation in ADHD." European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (2014 Jul) 23:7, p. 519-29. doi: 10.1007/s00787-014-0522-2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24493267

Vojdani & Vojdani, "Immune reactivity to food coloring." Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine (2011) 21 Suppl, p. 1:52-62. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25599186#

Stevens, L.J. et al., "Amounts of artificial food dyes and added sugars in foods and sweets commonly consumed by children." Clinical Pediatrics (2014 Apr 24), p. 1-13. Accessed 9 April 2017: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0009922814530803?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&

Nigg, Joel T., & Holton, K. "Restriction and Elimination Diets in ADHD Treatment." Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America 23.4 (2014), p. 937–953. PMC. Accessed 9 April 2017: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4322780/

Feingold.org. Feingold Diet List of Research Studies. Accessed 9 April 2017: http://feingold.org/resources/studies/adhd/

Bell, C.C. A Comparison of Daily Consumption of Arti cial Dye-containing Foods by American Children and Adults. (2013, March) Master's Thesis Eastern Michigan University. Accessed 12 April 2017: http://www.feingold.org/Research/PDFstudies/Bell2013-open.pdf

10.22.2016

As you know...It is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer affects men as well as women, but at a much smaller rate. 1 in 1000 men will develop breast cancer during their lifetime and about 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop breast cancer during their lifetime.

Boost Breast Health with these Bust Musts

From the bare-breasted days of the cave woman, through the Renaissance and into the era of blonde bombshells, a woman's bosom has been an icon representing both sexual prowess and vitality. But the breasts are also vulnerable. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and, each year, about 40,000 women die from the disease. From puberty through the elder years, it's imperative for a woman to take care of her breasts, from the inside out, both physically and emotionally.

The "bust musts" for breast health go beyond screenings and routine self-exams. Until recently, the prevalent thinking was that screenings are the best way to detect and treat cancer before it metastasizes. However, increasing numbers of false-positive tests have led to unnecessary medical treatment. In some cases, screenings have failed to detect active tumors. It could be that timing for screenings should be personalized, based on health and family history, age, and lifestyle habits.

More important than early detection is the power of prevention in the hands of every woman. This includes properly performing breast self-exams (BSE), and taking care of body and mind in ways that boost health.

Six Ways to Boost Breast Health

~ Know Your Body. It's important for a woman to be familiar with the look and feel of her own breasts. Performing a monthly self exam is the best way to detect a lump or other abnormality.

~ Chill Out. In general, excessive stress has negative effects on health. Research indicates that stress can also increase your risk for breast cancer as well as its recurrence (Ohio State U). Because stress impairs immunity, there's evidence that it can alter how aggressively cancer develops. To manage stress, try yoga and meditation. I recommend getting out into nature as often as possible as well.

~ Go for Green. A component of green tea called ECGC. It is a powerful antioxidant that is believed to suppress the growth of new blood vessels in tumors. ECGC also seems to play a role in keeping cancer cells from destroying healthy tissue. Enjoy at least a cup or two of tea daily.

~ Get Crunchy. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables contain cancer-fighting compounds that convert excess estrogen into a form that is more "friendly" to a woman's body. Women who eat a high percentage of cruciferous veggies on a daily basis are less likely to develop breast cancer. Enjoy a "crunchy salad" or add steamed mixed veggies to your daily meal plan.

~ Get Spicy. The turmeric plant contains curcumin, which is known to support a strong immune system. Some research shows curcumin can reactivate genes that suppress tumor development and stave off cancer cells. Add a curry night to your weekly meal plan.

~ Fiber Up. Fiber from fruits and whole grains (Such as Barley and Quinoa) helps rid the body of toxins. In addition, flax contains cancer-fighting compounds, called lignans, which can block the negative effects of excess estrogen on cells. Sprinkle flaxseed on your salad or add to your smoothie.

Food for Thought. . .

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Broccoli: Superhero of Vegetables



Shaped like green mini-trees, broccoli is the superhero of vegetables, containing a powerhouse of nutrients beneficial for digestion, heart health, and the immune system. High in fiber and vitamin C, broccoli is a good source for potassium, vitamin A and B6. Research has established that these nutrients, along with other compounds in broccoli, have anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing properties.

Broccoli is packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants. These amazing substances influence cancer-fighting activity within our bodies, such as stimulating the immune system, stopping substances we breathe or eat from becoming carcinogens, reducing inflammation that makes cancer growth more likely, and even slowing the growth rate of cancer cells.

Broccoli's secret weapon is actually two chemicals: sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol (I3C). These chemicals boost the body's ability to detoxify, help moderate estrogen levels, and have been shown to slow the progression of tumors.

It's easy to add broccoli to your diet because you can enjoy it raw, steamed, in stir-fry, soups, slaws, and even in a green smoothie. A serving is one cup; aim for two to three servings per week.

Purchasing tips: Choose organic broccoli florets that are uniformly colored (dark green, sage or purple-green, depending upon variety) and with no yellowing. Store in a vegetable bag, in the fridge for up to a week.

Recipe of the month:


Quick Cruciferous Crunch
(Thank you Dr. V)

In a food processor, add the following:
2 celery stalks, chopped
¼ onion, chopped
2 cups broccoli chopped
2 cups cauliflower chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
Pulse the ingredients until finely chopped.
In a stir-fry pan, melt 1-2 Tbsp. coconut oil. Add the vegetables and continuously stir for about 2 minutes, just enough to slightly heat the vegetables.
Add a few teaspoons of organic, pasture-raised butter and salt to taste.  Enjoy!


More to Love about Green Tea

Next to water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. There are health benefits to drinking a variety of teas and the more pure the leaf in your brew, the better. Green Tea leaves, which don't go through an oxidation process, have the richest nutrient profile. Public health scientists report that people who drink at least four cups of green tea daily have a lower overall risk of cancer; additionally, pre and post-menopausal women have a lower overall risk (or "lower overall incidence") for breast cancer.

Green Tea contains powerful micro nutrients called polyphenols. One of these, known as ECGC (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), plays an important role in cancer prevention. Lab tests and animals studies show that ECGC inhibits an enzyme required for cancer cell growth. Purdue University researchers found “ECGC, in lab studies, was also able to kill active cancer cells with no ill effect on healthy cells." These chemicals are powerful antioxidants with "scavenging" activity that can protect cells from damage.

Green Tea for health enhancement and cancer prevention is well established. However, there hasn't been extensive research on the effect of tea and/or tea polyphenols in human cancer treatment. Scientists are pursuing clinical trials to determine the role of green tea consumption, as well as a dietary supplement of ECGC, in the treatment of different cancers.

To reap the health benefits of tea, drink pure, fresh hot or iced tea. The processing necessary to bottle tea for supermarket shelves actually degrades the quality and availability of nutrients.


Nutrient-Rich Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Red Clover has a history of medicinal use that crosses continental divides. It is a native plant of the Mediterranean region, central Europe, the Far East, Siberia, and the Himalayas. It was eventually brought to England and America where its use grew from folk remedy to herbal medicine. Red Clover has been used medicinally as a blood cleanser, for balancing estrogen levels, to treat whooping cough, and to soothe skin inflammation such as eczema. It's also used as part of anti-cancer herbal preparations.

The nutrients abundant in Red Clover include the minerals calcium, zinc, chromium, potassium and magnesium, as well as the vitamins A and C, and several B vitamins. It also contains isoflavones, a plant estrogen. Isoflavones may be helpful for menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats. However, some studies showed little or no beneficial effects so more thorough clinical trials are needed.

Researchers have begun studying the role of isoflavones from Red Clover in cancer prevention and treatment. Preliminary evidence suggests these isoflavones may stop cancer cells from growing or actually kill cancer cells in test tubes. Researchers theorize that Red Clover may help prevent some forms of cancer, such as prostate and endometrial cancer. If you have a family history or personal history of cancer, please consult your holistic doctor to determine if Red Clover is appropriate for you.


Thermography

One key to breast cancer survival is early detection. And breast screenings remain the gold standard for that early detection, typically in the form of routine mammograms. However, often painful, and sometimes inaccurate, mammography has generated false-positive test results, leading women to unnecessary medical treatments. To counter this, an imaging test known as breast thermography is becoming an important adjunctive procedure.

Breast thermography (also known as Digital Infrared Imaging-DII) is a pain-free, non-invasive test that shows the structure of your breast while measuring heat emanating from the surface of your body. Changes in skin temperature are the result of increased blood flow. This is important because even early-stage cancers need a blood supply to bring in nutrients to feed the cancer.

Because temperature change shows up as colors brighter than those of healthy cells, thermography can identify precancerous or cancerous cells earlier and with less ambiguous results. Studies indicate that an abnormal thermography test is 10 times more significant as a future risk indicator for breast cancer than having a family history of breast cancer.

Is it Right for You?

The FDA has authorized breast thermography as a risk assessment tool to be used in addition to - not in replace of - mammography. Women must be at least 20 years old. It's not suitable for women who have very large or fibrocystic breasts, are using hormone replacement treatment, have had cosmetic breast surgery, or are nursing or pregnant.

When to Test (may vary based on personal and family medical history)

Age 20 - Initial thermogram

Age 20 – 29 - Thermogram every 3 years

Age 30 and over - Thermogram annually

References

This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.



9.15.2016

Food & You: The Body-Mind Connection



There's no doubt about it: what we eat, and how much we eat, has a direct impact on our physical health. But did you know that those same choices also influence mood, mental alertness, memory, and emotional well-being? Food can act as medicine, have a neutral effect, or it can be a poison to our body and mind.

When food acts as poison, it creates inflammation, which alters the body's balance of nutrients, hormones, and neurotransmitters. This directly affects your body's ability to manage and heal from stress or illness.

While some body-mind effects are due to naturally occurring nutrient content in food, much is due to hidden additives. Below, are four common culprits. If you're experiencing symptoms that interfere with your quality of living, talk with your nutritionist or health care practitioner about the role these or other foods may play in your health.

Foods that Impact Body-Mind Well-being

Caffeine: The most socially accepted psychoactive substance in the world, caffeine is used to boost alertness, enhance performance, and even treat apnea in premature infants. Caffeine is frequently added to other foods, so be mindful of total consumption. Too much caffeine (500-600 mg daily) interferes with sleep quality, which affects energy, concentration, and memory. Caffeine can aggravate other health conditions, cause digestive disturbances, and worsen menstrual symptoms and anxiety.

Food Dye: Those brightly colored, processed and packaged foods come with a rainbow of health risks. Listed on ingredient labels as "Blue 2," or "Citrus Red," food dye has been documented to contain cancer-causing agents (e.g., benzidine). They're also associated with allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children. Dyes are sometimes used to enhance skin color of fruits and veggies. A number of dyes have been banned from use in foods and cosmetics around the world.

Sugars: Increased sugar consumption (as much as 30% over the last three decades for American adults), is linked to decreased intake of essential nutrients and associated with obesity, diabetes, inflammatory disease, joint pain and even schizophrenia. Too much dietary sugar can result in blood sugar fluctuations, causing mood swings, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and increased depression. Sugars that can act as poison include High Fructose Corn Syrup, table sugar, artificial and "natural" sweeteners.

MSG: Mono-sodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer common in packaged and prepared foods. Although the FDA considers MSG "generally safe," some individuals experience a complex of physical and mental symptoms after eating MSG-containing foods. I know I do!  Symptoms vary but can include headache, sweating, nausea, chest pain, heart palpitations, and over stimulation of the central nervous system which can lead to alterations in sleep, mood, and immunity.

Becoming aware of your food choices, why you make them, and how you feel mentally and physically is an important first step in understanding your personal body-mind food connection. Your practitioner may ask you to keep a mind-body food journal to provide a clear picture of how your food choices affect your health.


Food for Thought. . .
Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul." - Dorothy Day

Eggplant: Versatile and Good For You!
A favorite in vegan and omnivore cuisine, eggplant can be baked, roasted, grilled, and used as a pizza topping or in stir-fry recipes. It has a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture that may vary depending on the color/variety of eggplant selected. Dress your cooked eggplant with herbs, sauces, and condiments and you'll be sure to please even the pickiest guest at your dinner table.

Eggplant contains a phytonutrient (plant chemical with nutritional benefits) called nasunin. Nasunin acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage. In addition, eggplant contains a wealth of other antioxidants that support brain and heart health. In research studies, one variety of eggplant - called Black Magic - was found to have three times the antioxidant properties compared to several other types of eggplant. It's also a terrific source of dietary fiber, copper, potassium and B vitamins.

It's best to buy eggplant in-season during the months August through October. It comes in all sorts of shapes (baseball size to a thick crescent) and a cornucopia of colors such as lavender, jade green, and yellow-white. Choose eggplants that are firm, vivid in color, and heavy for their size. The skin should be smooth, shiny and without damage.

To test for ripeness, press your thumb into the eggplant. If the skin doesn't "spring back," it's not ripe. Eggplant is highly perishable so don't cut it before storing. Keep it stored in a food crisper or on the shelf in the fridge for a few days.


Recipe of the Month

Eggplant Caponata

Satisfying and versatile, eggplant can handle a variety of flavorful accompaniments, several of which give a kick to this Sicilian favorite. The tomato base is spiked with anchovies, garlic, and capers, creating a mouth-watering aroma and a burst of flavor in every bite. Serve as an appetizer, a main dish or as a side with your favorite fish.


Makes 4-6 Servings

Ingredients
2 large Italian eggplants, peeled and cut into medium dice
2 Tbs kosher salt
5 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced on an angle
2 anchovies, in oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup capers, in brine

Preparation:

1. Peel and dice the eggplants, peel and slice the onion, peel and slice the garlic, slice the celery.

2. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with the salt. Transfer the eggplant to a colander to drain for 2 hours. In order to facilitate the draining, top the eggplant with a heavy weight, such as a dinner plate topped with full cans.

3. Heat 3 Tbs of the olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and celery and sauté for 5 minutes more or until the garlic softens but does not brown. Add the anchovies and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add the tomato paste and stir to thoroughly combine. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the paste turns a deep red, almost brown, and starts to stick to the pan. Add the vinegar and sugar and stir until the mixture thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat.

5. In another large sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 Tbs olive oil over high heat until smoking. Add the eggplant and carefully toss it in the oil, letting it sear before stirring. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is translucent and soft.

6. Transfer the eggplant to the caponata mixture and cook over low heat for 3 minutes, until the flavors combine. Add the capers and their brine and stir to incorporate.

7. Serve warm or at room temperature accompanied by toast points or crostini.



Oat, My Goodness!

Avena sativa, also called the common oat, is a grain full of healthy goodness. Oats are often used for breakfast cereal, oatmeal, granola and as flour for baking. A dietary source to fuel the body, a 3.5 ounce serving of oats provides over 60 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of protein, and about 7 grams of fat.

Oats contain beta-glucans, which are known to decrease saturated fat in the blood and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Most people are familiar with oat as a medicinal food for its ability to regulate cholesterol.

Other important effects of having a serving of oats in your daily diet include: support for digestion, sexual health, and bone health, as well as enhancing energy and maintaining a positive mood. Oat is a fantastic source of dietary fiber, which helps maintain a healthy gut. Oat has been studied in the management of male sexual dysfunction as well as managing menstrual symptoms and regulating blood sugar levels. It's also an excellent source for B vitamins and the mineral manganese, which play important roles in physiological processes that support the health of mind and body.



Soothe Emotional Angst with Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)

A plant in the mint family, Motherwort gets its name from its ancient use: helping women who had a tendency to "over-mother" and thus experienced more stress, and less joy, in their maternal role. Today, throughout Europe and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it's used as a medicinal herb to treat emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression. It also helps ease symptoms of menstrual distress, as well as physical and emotional exhaustion.

Motherwort can be prepared as a tea, tincture, or in capsule form. Depending on the type of preparation, it can have a rather bitter taste and an odor some may find unpleasant. However, for many users, it becomes an "acquired taste" and the benefits outweigh any bitterness.

Motherwort has the ability to calm without causing drowsiness, and it has medicinal effects on circulation and heart rate. Because it can thin the blood, this herb should be used carefully and under the guidance of a qualified herbalist or natural health practitioner.



Keep a Mind-Body Food Journal for Health and Healing

How would you like to understand, once and for all, the relationship between what you're eating and how you feel? Keep a mind-body food journal. It's a powerful way to gain insight into eating habits and the impact of food choices on your mental and physical well-being. A mind-body food journal is different from a "diet diary" because the intention is different: it's not just about the fit of your jeans; it's about how food fits your life and your lifestyle.

Too often we eat mindlessly - on the run, watching television, behind the computer. A mind-body food journal helps create clarity between what we choose and how we feel. It leads the way to improved choices and - because food is medicine - supports total mind-body health and healing.

Start your journal today. Track your eating habits for a few weekdays and at least one weekend day. Do this for at least two weeks.

What to Track in a Mind-Body Food Journal:

Food Factors
When did you eat?
What did you eat?
How much did you eat?
Why did you eat?
How did you feel after eating?

Mind Factors
What was your overall mood before and after eating?
Did you have headaches, or mental/emotional fatigue?

Body Factors
What did you notice about your body before and after eating?

Social & Environmental Factors
Who were you with for the meal?
Did you eat hurriedly or calmly?
Were you doing another activity while eating?

Review your journal at the end of each day and summarize your habits. Note the key factors for why you chose to eat the way you did, what was going on, how you felt and if there were any physical symptoms. I, in my practice use this information to help clients make healthier food choices.

References


The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.

7.18.2016

July 2016 Edition

Food for Thought. . .


Did you know that only 36% of people are able to accurately identify their own emotions as they happen?

"Our emotions are often beautiful, but they can also be dangerous. They represent our spontaneity, and seem to speak to us of our freedom."
- Tariq Ramadan



Awesome Avocado



There are so many reasons - and so many ways - to love avocado. A culinary super-food, avocados provide up to 20 nutrients including vitamins K, C and E, as well as folate, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. In fact, they actually have more potassium than bananas.

Unlike most fruits, avocado is low in carbohydrates and high in a healthy fat called oleic acid. Like olive oil, oleic acid has been linked to health benefits such as reducing inflammation, protecting cells against cancer, and reducing cholesterol. This amazing fruit also improves digestive health and helps your body absorb other nutrients.

There are limitless ways to add avocado to snacks or meals: Use avocado as a healthy spread on toast; blend it into scrambled eggs; add it to dips, salsa, or soup; slice for a salad topping.

Avocado is optimally ripe when the fruit is mildly soft to touch. Its flesh should be creamy and green-gold in color. If you don't use the whole fruit at one time, keep leftover avocado fresh by leaving the pit in the unused portion and allow it to sit, uncovered, on a counter for a few hours before placing it in the fridge (still uncovered) for up to two days. When you want to use the other half, simply peel off the brown crust to reveal a soft and deliciously ripe avocado beneath.



Vegan Avocado Chocolate Mousse





Want to satisfy your sweet tooth without adding inches to your waistline? This rich, creamy avocado mousse is about as close as you'll get to a truly healthy chocolate treat. Serves 1.

Ingredients 
1 ripe avocado, skin and pit removed, mash slightly with a fork
3 1/2 Tbs unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
3 1/2 Tbs RAW honey
Unsweetened almond, coconut or hemp milk

1. Place avocado and cocoa powder in food processor. Add honey.

2. Process avocado, cocoa powder and honey for approximately 1 min, pausing to scrape the sides, or until a thick, smooth mousse forms.

3. Add milk as needed to bring to desired consistency.

4. Spoon mousse into a small bowl; top with almonds or fresh fruit.



Beta-Carotene



Beta-carotene has two important functions in the body: It functions as an antioxidant, protecting cells against damage, and it can be converted to Vitamin A (retinol), critical to maintaining skin and eye health.

Without beta-carotene, our bodies are unable to manufacture Vitamin A. And without sufficient Vitamin A, nearly all of our systems are at risk, including lungs, kidneys and immune function. Research shows that people who consume the necessary levels of beta-carotene are able to lower their risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, macular degeneration, and other age-related diseases.

You can get beta-carotene from a variety of foods:
Apricots
Asparagus
Broccoli
Carrots
Chinese cabbage
Yam/Sweet Potato
Spinach
Kale

The National Institutes of Health recommends a daily intake of 3,000 IU for adult men and 2,310 IU for adult women. For children, amounts vary according to age. While beta-carotene deficiency is rare in most industrialized countries, it can be difficult getting the recommended levels simply from food. That's where supplements come in. In consult with your healthcare practitioner, design a plan that meets your individual needs. You may want to consider a supplement with a mixture of carotenoids, including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, astaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin.

It's possible to take too much beta-carotene. This is usually indicated by a yellowing of the skin, palms or soles and is known as carotenemia. Once consumption of beta carotene is reduced, this yellowing fades over time. As always, your best outcomes are achieved when working closely with your healthcare practitioner.




Rose Hips for Wellness


There's nothing like a rose to stimulate feelings of well being and nothing quite like rose hip - the actual fruit of a rose - to enhance health and promote wellness.

Of all the roses, the beautiful Wild Dog Rose is the type most often cultivated for their hips. Once the flower has bloomed, and all the petals have fallen off, the hip is picked and used in a range of herbal preparations. Rose hips contain a variety of antioxidants (especially Vitamin C), Vitamin A, carotenoids, and other plant compounds that are recognized for their role in preventing degenerative disease, including heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Many natural health practitioners use rose hip to treat wounds and inflammation. Rose hip oil is commonly used in cosmetics as it has the ability to revitalize skin cells. It has been used to treat scars, acne and burns. In Germany, rose hip powder (capsule) has been used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Herbalists have long used rose hip tea to ease constipation and as a supplement to treat a cold.

Rose hip pulp can be incorporated into sauces or made into a jelly. Standardized extracts are also available in capsules. Always check with your wellness practitioner before using any herbal remedy.



Homeopathy: Finding the Cure in the Cause


Like cures like. That's the concept behind homeopathy, a centuries-old system that stimulates the body's innate healing ability. In 1796, Samuel Hahnemann, M.D. observed that Cinchona Bark, a medicinal plant used by native people in South America to treat malaria, could also caused the symptoms of malaria in healthy people. After testing the theory on himself, he continued his research, establishing the "dynamic" effect of a homeopathic substance: The less potent the disease-causing agent in the remedy, the better it stimulated the healing process and with fewer side effects.

Whether you have an acute illness, such as a cold or flu, or a chronic illness, such as thyroid disease, homeopathy can play an essential role in your wellness. Within the homeopathic model, as in most holistic approaches to health, illness is believed to be caused by imbalance within a person. Employing the system of "like cures like" -- often along with other therapies -- balance is restored; the body begins to function as it should and the symptoms of disease go away.

A homeopathic physician will conduct an extensive interview with a patient, identify potential remedies, and closely monitor a patient's progress until the person is well. During treatment, symptoms may come and go as the body heals. While it's a very safe therapy, it's important to work with a practitioner who has been fully trained in order to achieve the best results possible.

References



The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.