Tag Archives: nutrition

Determine How Healthy You Are

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Things  to consider when determining how healthy you are.

  • How often do you get sick?  More than 2 times a year?
  • Is your sleep deep and refreshing?
  • Do you have chronic pain anywhere in the body?
  • How active are you?  Are you exercising at least 3 times a week ?
  • How often do you eat fried foods, sugar, packaged foods?
  • Do you eat vegetables, fish, organic foods?
  • Are you over or underweight?
  • How is your energy throughout the day?
  • Do you get headaches and how often?
  • Do you have any allergies to pollens, foods or other chemicals?
  • How is your appetite?  Do you get heartburn, constipation, bloating?
  • How is your mood?  Are you generally relaxed and content or do you spend much of your time angry, depressed or anxious
  • Is your libido good or decreased?
  • Do you have skin problems of eczema, acne, psoriasis?
  • Have you had any issues with infections of any kind?
  • How often do you meditate?

Women only

Is your menstrual cycle 28 days?  Do you have any hormonal or PMS symptoms of mood changes, cramping, digestive changes, hair loss?Have you had any breast cysts or lumps in the past?

Many symptoms people seek help for are really signs of imbalance in physiology.  Working to improve overall balance often leads to improvement of things people weren’t actively treating.

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Why is my Energy Low?

Low energy is probably the most common complaint heard in a doctor’s office today.   There are many potential causes though some are much more common than others.Diet plays a role here with regard to nutrient deficiencies, food allergies and blood sugar imbalances.  When your diet is inadequate to provide your body what it needs it’s easy to see how your energy won’t be at its best.  Food allergies/sensitivities are another hidden culprit.  When you eat foods that you have reactions to you can manifest a variety of symptoms, low energy being one of them.  If you notice you have consistent low energy after lunchtime it is likely you have a food sensitivity contributing to your fatigue.   Not only is it important for you to eat healthy foods but also the combination of foods also matters.  Diets rich in simple carbohydrates and low in protein and good fats tend to encourage unstable blood sugar.  Whenever there is a blood sugar high (after a starchy/sugary meal) there also tends to be a low (hypoglycemia) leaving one with cravings for stimulants and sugar.

Adrenal fatigue is another common cause of fatigue.  The adrenal gland helps the body deal with stress by making adrenalin, cortisol and a variety of other hormones.  When a person is stressed regularly the adrenals can become “fatigued” compromising their ability to produce appropriate hormones to allow you to react to stress appropriately.  Why is your body stressed?  There are several ways you can manifest chronic stress responses including but not limited to emotional upsets, structural misalignment, chronic pain, constant overexposure to food allergies or toxins and poor sleep quality.

Toxic overload is almost never talked about with regard to fatigue.  It generally occurs because the average person is routinely exposed to over a 100,000 toxic agents from the environment each day!  Poor food choices, genetically modified food (GMO), cosmetics, artificial additives, pesticides all contribute to our daily burden of toxicity.  Energetic testing often can reveal ways to use drainage remedies to help reduce the toxic burden while changing lifestyle to limit exposure to common toxins can improve energy and health dramatically.

Once overall diet is improved the next step is to work on decreasing underlying causes of stress while also using various treatments to rebuild your energy reserves.  Treatment of injured areas (prolo/neural therapy), rebuilding tired adrenals (homeopathy, botanicals, nutrition), and improved detoxification (drainage, nutrition, botanicals) serve to restore energy and wellness.

Fatigue is often a symptom of a suboptimal lifestyle and an underlying imbalance.  Testing often helps to get a better idea of fundamental causes leading to better, healthier choices.  Treatment should be viewed as a lifetime process of healthy choices and treatments to improve balance and quality of life.

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Good fat…bad fat

A common misconception today is that fat is bad for you. Fats, like any other nutrient, are essential to life and optimal health. People do not generally associate fish oil with reduced arthritis pain, better concentration, decreased heart attack risk or better yet weight loss. Did you know that consumption of coconut oil has been found to improve thyroid function? Did you know that menstrual cramps can often be alleviated by a few months of primrose oil supplementation?

If fat has so many benefits why does fat get such a bad wrap? The reason is that we have been getting our fats mixed up. There are “good fats” which is helpful in treatment and prevention of almost every disease known to man and there are “bad fats” which can cause, or contribute to, almost any disease process. The good fats are generally found in fish, nuts, and seeds and are typically not processed in any way. Bad fats come in most fried foods, margarines, meats and cheeses. Although some bad fat is okay, problems generally start when quantities get out of hand. Consuming too many bad fats leads to increased inflammation which contributes to joint pain (arthritis), heart disease, cancer and possibly hormonal imbalances (pms comes to mind here).

A good recommendation for most people is to eat more fish, flax oil and olive oil in the daily diet while decreasing fried foods, fatty meats and cheeses. Essential fatty acids are essential to the daily diet of anyone who wishes to improve health, sports performance, reduce cholesterol and lose weight.

 

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Should I take Multivitamins?

The media today has been instrumental to providing awareness about some of the more common nutritional supplements. Often we hear about the latest “danger” of taking natural supplements or that they provide nothing more than “expensive urine”. Well the truth is that most people don’t get enough vitamins and minerals in their daily diet even if they eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. The other reality is that an absence of deficiency doesn’t equate to optimal health.

There have been numerous studies supporting the use of vitamins and minerals to support basic health, unfortunately these aren’t the ones we hear about in the media. Recent studies have supported the use of a multivitamin for all pregnant women for prevention of many birth defects. Women who took a prenatal vitamin throughout pregnancy had a reduced incidence of all birth defects. This only further supports the fact that people do not generally achieve optimal nutritional status through diet alone.

What kind of multivitamin should you consume?

My current top recommendation for a vitamin & mineral formulation is Life Extension Mix Tabs, 100 tablets .

With all the brands on the market it is quite difficult to decide which multivitamin is best for you. Remember, you get what you pay for no matter what product you purchase today so if you find a supplement for 10 or 20 dollars you are probably not getting the best.

Cheap supplement suppliers often have to cut corners by using cheaper materials allowing them to cheaply manufacture products. They also tend to use inferior grade materials leading to reduced nutrient absorption and utilization. Another common misunderstanding is regarding the different forms of each vitamin and mineral, each differs in effectiveness and ability to confer health benefits due to different chemical properties.

Vitamin E is such an example, high quality brands tend to use natural source vitamin E where low quality companies use synthetic vitamin E.  Natural vitamin E is absorbed, utilized and excreted much differently than synthetic vitamin E ; therefore accounting for double the efficacy as compared to synthetic vitamin E for anti-oxidant protection.

Forms of minerals can also influence efficacy of your multivitamin. Minerals that are found in “Citrate or Chelate” form tend to be better absorbed as opposed to “Carbonate or Oxide” form. Once again, cheaper multivitamins tend to supply the inferior form leading to reduced health benefits for your body.

Dosing is also an issue. Cheap multi’s tend to contain “token” doses of everything but not much of anything.  It is important that your multi contain dosing that reflects optimal intakes for overall health as opposed to barely meeting minimum requirements to prevent overt deficiency. For those of you that are interested in figuring out optimal dosing of vitamins and minerals I recommend books by Dr Michael Murray ND (Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements), Dr Michael Colgan PhD and Phyllis Balch (Guide to Nutritional Healing).

What brands tend to be of better quality?

Some of the professional line multivitamins (sold by Dr’s) tend to be the best (Metagenics, Douglas Laboratories, Advanced Orthomolecular Research and Thorne Research) but they are also quite expensive.

There are some that rank a close second. One example is the product line from Life Extension.  They are continuously researching and developing formulas, using the latest proven discoveries to deal with modern health concerns.  Use this link to see what they are currently working on (Life Extension Health Concerns ) The Life Extension supplements can be ordered online, so you save money, since they don’t have to retail store overhead or the professional stocking fees.

Some common brands at your health food store that are not bad but somewhat suboptimal in the dosing range are Natural Factors, Quest, Sisu, Swiss and Regime. These multi’s contain decent forms of vitamins but they definitely are wimpy when it comes to optimal dosing of many key nutrients. The lowest quality multis tend to be the “drug store” variety such as Jamieson and Centrum. They may be inexpensive but they aren’t up to par with regards to quality.

While not the only useful supplements for good health or a replacement for a healthy diet and lifestyle, multivitamins are a critical part of health maintenance. Remember, it is far easier to prevent disease than to treat it!

 

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