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Posted by on Jan 7, 2018 in Featured Posts, Health Awareness | 0 comments

Nutrients For Your Bones

Nutrients For Your Bones

Osteoporosis is a silent condition developing over many years. The bones in the body lose mass and density affecting millions of Americans. The name literally means “porous” bones.  The bones become brittle, and you are more prone to broken bones, fractures of the hips, spine, and wrist. The best defense against osteoporosis is building strong bones, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Bone is like having a bank account. If you want a healthy account keep making deposits consisting of valuable nutrients and a positive lifestyle.

Everyone is affected

This silent disease develops over a life time and culminates in the elderly, especially women. Once women reach their 30’s, their bone mass begins to deteriorate.  Genetics, lifestyle factors, and hormonal status are major factors that influence the balance between bone resorption and bone formation.  If you have a family member with osteoporosis this places you at high risk.

Osteoporosis prevention

Osteoporosis is a preventable if appropriate dietary and lifestyle measures are followed.  Women of all ages should make building bones a lifelong priority.  Bone is a living tissue that depends on a constant supply of nutrients, more than the typical recommendation of calcium. The primary goal is prevention.

Strong bone builders

  • Calcium builds bone and food is the best source of calcium. Calcium rich foods include dairy products but bok choy, broccoli, kale,almonds, and canned sardines are also calcium rich.
  • Calcium blockers. A standard rule is to limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine and salt.  These foods can interfere with calcium absorption.
  • Vitamin D helps stimulates the absorption of calcium. Daily, spend 20 minutes in the sunshine to get extra Vitamin D.  Foods rich in Vitamin D are herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, eggs, beef and pork.  A Vitamin D supplement of 400 -1000 IU may be helpful but get your levels tested first so you know your baseline for Vitamin D.
  • Minerals such as magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and selenium are important. Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds are great bone builders.
  • Vitamin K may reduce bone fractures and improve bone mineralization; it activates a protein necessary for bone strength.  Kale, cabbage, cauliflower, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, spinach and all leafy green vegetables are excellent sources of Vitamin K.
  • Boron is a trace mineral providing a protective effect.  It’s present in fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables.  Typically the diet is low in this nutrient, so you can supplement with up to 3 mg Boron daily.

Nutrition plays an important role slowing the loss of bone.  Calcium and Vitamin D were initially considered the most important nutrients. Scientists now have discovered many other key factors are necessary to prevent osteoporosis.  Copper, zinc, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, silica, boron, Vitamins K, C, and B6 are necessary for the bone matrix. Reducing intake of alcohol, sugar, tobacco, salt, highly processed foods, Trans fats, soda, and coffee will all help prevent and reverse bone loss.

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Posted by on Jan 5, 2018 in Featured Posts, Foodie Facts, Health Awareness, Nourishing Foods | 0 comments

Let’s Chew the Fat

Let’s Chew the Fat

Is fat a four letter word in your mind? American consumers have been convinced that any fat is bad for their health. It may surprise you to learn that certain fats, so-called “good” fats, those rich in the Omega 3 fatty acids– can be part of a healthful diet and that some fats are actually necessary for survival.  Let’s look at why good fat is so important to our bodies.

Your skin needs fat

Fats protect the skin.  Skin can be an indicator that your body needs essential fatty acids.  Dandruff, bumps on the back of your arms, dry skin on your hands or feet, shiny skin, flaky patches of dry skin on cheeks or calluses that sometimes bleed can be signs that you have a fatty acid deficiency.  The good fatty acids are derived from both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Add some flax seed or guacamole to your diet.

Fats protect your nerves and brain 

Fats and oils directly affect the nervous system and brain.  When the brain is low in essential fatty acids, learning problems, clumsiness, forgetfulness, tremors, mood disorders and depression may develop.  Supplementing your diet with fats and oils can minimize these symptoms. Some doctors believe that a lack of fat may contribute to the loss of the myelin sheath (fat insulation) around the nerves, which can later manifest as multiple sclerosis and peripheral arterial disease. Simply put:  Brain structure and other nervous system tissues may be compromised by a fat deficiency.

Fats are building blocks of cell membranes

Fats from a healthy diet provide fatty acids, cholesterol and phospholipids, all of which are components of all cell membranes in the body. In the blood, fat is necessary to deliver the fat soluble vitamins, vitamins A, D, E and K to the body’s cell membranes. Vitamin A supports your vision, growth and tissue development. Vitamin D is necessary for bone and joints, regulating calcium and phosphorous in the blood. Vitamin E protects the cells from oxidative stress found in cancers. Your blood would not clot without Vitamin K and it too, helps build bones.

Opt for the good fat…

Be careful about no-fat diets.  Just as carbohydrates and protein are essential for the body, so is good fat. But proceed with caution when adding fat to the diet:  Foods with fat – both the good fat and the bad fat – are denser, have more calories and should be enjoyed in moderation if weight loss is your goal.

  • Cold water fish are high in monounsaturated and Omega 3 fats including salmon, halibut, anchovies, mussels, oysters, cod, trout, herring, sardines, mackerel, and catfish.
  • Nuts and seeds including walnut, almond, pecan, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia, pistachio, flax, pumpkin, and sesame.
  • Avocados are an excellent source of fiber and vitamins with benefits of lowering cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of diabetes, promoting lower body weight and preventing cancer.
  • Good oils which are cold pressed and organic:  extra virgin olive oil, sesame, flax, avocado, macadamia, almond, coconut, pumpkin seed and walnut oils.
  • Enriched eggs that contain all three types of omega-3 fatty acids are readily available these days. These eggs are enriched by adding flaxseed or algae to the hens’ diets so that they produce eggs that are rich in healthy fats.

Old oils

Most oils have a limited shelf life, certainly no more than a year and are best stored in dark containers to prevent oxidation. Smell your oils. If they don’t smell fresh, out they go, rancid oils are hardly healthy.

Fat soluble vitamins

If following a low fat, no fat, or vegan diet you may be missing the soluble fat vitamins A, D, E, and K.  In order for fat soluble vitamins to be absorbed, they need fat. These vitamins are very important for wellness, reproduction, skin, eyes, and bones. If you eat a diet based in more traditional foods and avoid processed foods, many good fats are naturally provided in the diet.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on Jan 5, 2018 in Autoimmune Awareness, Dairy, Gluten, Health Awareness | 0 comments

What Triggers Autoimmune Disease?

What Triggers Autoimmune Disease?

 

Immune dysfunction is poorly understood because the immune system is complicated and our bodies are unique. Western medicine doesn’t understand the cause of autoimmune disease, and has resorted to treating the symptoms with drugs designed to activate anti-inflammatory genes in the body or conversely suppress inflammatory genes in immune cells to shut down the inflammatory response.

Doctors do this with immune suppressive drugs or sometimes steroids. This approach does not address the causes of autoimmune disease nor does it stop the underlying disease processes. It just treats the symptoms of the disease.  Removing the cause rather than treating the symptom is the only way to allow for damaged tissues to heal.

Causes of Autoimmune Disease 

There are multiple theories.  The two most commonly subscribed to are:

  1. Chronic inflammation
  2. Altered expression of a person’s genetic code.

Since we really don’t know how to alter the expression of the genetic code our focus needs to be on the triggers of chronic inflammation.

Autoimmune Triggers

  1. Chronic infections (bacterial, viral, fungal)
  2. Toxins such as herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, organic solvents, and petrochemicals
  3. Immune reactive foods contributing to food allergies and sensitivities such as grains, gluten, dairy, soy, or eggs.
  4. Chronic stress

Good Nutrition

A healthy immune system must incorporate nutrient-dense foods. The days of eating foods with barcodes and fast food is over.  It is impossible to get the quality nutrients you need from processed foods. Processed foods have herbicides, pesticides, and have been stripped of nutrients. We need to eat real food, not stuff in a package. Real food with minimal processing that is rich in phytochemicals, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, natural anti-inflammatories, healthy fat, and quality proteins.

Good Rest, Sleep and Exercise Reduces Stress

Adequate rest and sleep are critical. During restful sleep, the body repairs itself which is vital for a healthy immune system.  Regular exercise is important as well to help reduce the effects of stress.

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) Foods

Many plants have had their genetic codes altered through GMO procedures that industry has used to increase crop yield and protect the plant from herbicides and pesticides that are applied to the fields.  Despite claims of safety by the agri-businesses selling GMO seeds, adequate research to support these safety claims has not been done.  Many healthcare professionals have concerns that these GMO foods are actually challenging our immune system.

Food Additives

Food additives, including preservatives and other chemicals used to enhance taste and color along with large amounts of added sugars are causing significant chronic digestive inflammation. All contribute to immune system challenges that can lead to autoimmune disease.

Individualized Strategy

Each person is unique in their response to these immune challenges and therefore there is no single strategy that can work for everyone.  Read about the The Nourishing Place’s approach in helping identify an individualized program for each person. Join the Revolution…With an Individualized Solution.

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Posted by on Jan 1, 2018 in Autoimmune Awareness, Featured Posts, Health Awareness | 0 comments

What is Autoimmune Disease?

What is Autoimmune Disease?

Major Function Is To Protect You

Autoimmune disease is a dysfunction of the body’s immune system. The major function of the immune system is to protect you from environmental agents such as microbes or chemicals, thereby preserving the integrity of the body. The immune system protects you by attacking and destroying invading microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi) and identifying foreign objects such as toxins or immune reactive foods.  It then breaks down or pushes them out like a sliver under your skin. Basically, autoimmune conditions are caused by the immune system going haywire and attacking itself.

Two Methods Of Protection

 1. Cellular

First, the immune system identifies a foreign agent and destroys it with white blood cells and other specialized cells.  This can take a significant amount of time during which the invader can get established increasing the damage to the body like in an abscess.

 2. Antibody

Secondly, once an invader or chemical have been identified, the immune system then produces an antibody which will quickly identify that same foreign invader and very quickly activate the immune system if the foreign body is encountered again in the future.

 A Little History

Autoimmune disease seems to be a phenomena of modern life and is very complicated. It wasn’t even identified as a disease process until the late 1950’s.  That doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist before then, it just wasn’t recognized as immune system dysfunction.  It is affecting more people at younger ages which can be chronic, debilitating, and life-threatening. There are more than eighty illnesses caused by autoimmunity.

Common Autoimmune Diseases

The list includes: chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Sjogren’s, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, lupus, Graves disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, eczema, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and peripheral neuropathy.

Autoimmunity And Chronic Inflammation

In autoimmunity, the patient’s immune system is activated against the body’s own proteins. In chronic inflammatory diseases, neutrophils and other white blood cells are recruited by damaged cells that release cytokines, leading to more tissue damage. Cytokines are small protein molecules that act as messengers between cells and help alert the immune system to fight disease.

Why the immune system starts damaging the body’s own tissues is poorly understood. But, the fact that your immune system drives the inflammatory process in disease is well established. The inflammation process is actually necessary to heal damaged body tissues. For example, when you have a cut in your skin, it is the normal inflammation process directed by the immune system that heals the wound. This is called the acute inflammatory response.

Remove The Triggers

If the cause of the inflammation is not removed, inflammation continues. Chronic inflammation is well documented to be the cause of cardiovascular disease, cancer, strokes, autoimmune disease and plays a role in almost all chronic diseases. Factors which help trigger the autoimmune response will be discussed in the blog titled “What Triggers Autoimmune Disease”

 

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Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Autoimmune Awareness, Featured Posts, Nourishing Foods, Paleo, Sugar | 0 comments

Simple Steps For A Diabetic Diet

Simple Steps For A Diabetic Diet

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., and it currently has no cure. Lifestyle choices can help prevent diabetes. For those who already have this chronic disease, lifestyle and food choices play a huge role in managing and treating diabetes.

Diabetes is a major health concern at all age levels. The most powerful predictors of diabetes appear to be obesity and hyperinsulinemia, a condition in which the body cannot make enough insulin to balance blood sugar. Obesity develops from eating too many calories and a lack of exercise. Hyperinsulinemia results from eating too many carbohydrates.

Tips

While eating less sugar is helpful, managing diabetes involves changing lifestyle and eating habits and including some extra nutrients. There is no one diabetic diet although there are many helpful tools for developing a diet.

Diet

Proper nutrition supports a healthy metabolism and balances blood sugar. Try these suggestions.

  • Follow a low carbohydrate diet,  go “grain free”.
  • Eat paleo…meats, poultry, and fish, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits.
  • Eat six small meals instead of three large meals per day to regulate your blood sugar.
  • Eat less sugar: avoid simple sugars and refined carbohydrates to avoid spikes in blood sugar.
  • Eat more good fat.
  • Avoid alcohol which has no nutrients.
  • Monitor your portion sizes to avoid overeating.
  • Increase fiber in your diet.

Lifestyle

If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar several times throughout the day, and try these suggestions for improving your health.

  • Exercise 30-60 minutes daily
  • Decrease stress with yoga or meditation

Nutrients 

Like many conditions, diabetes creates an additional need for nutrients to help the body manage the disease.

  • Chromium is a trace mineral which supports weight loss, helps regulate insulin production and helps convert carbohydrates to glucose. Chromium is naturally found in Brewer’s yeast, lean meats, oysters, potatoes, seafood, chicken, nuts, green beans and asparagus.
  • Manganese helps maintain glucose levels.  Dietary sources include green leafy vegetables, and nuts.
  • Magnesium intake decreases the risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes developing as well as hyperlipidemia and hypertension. Magnesium is lost in food processing, so avoid processed foods.
  • Multi vitamins and enzymes are recommended to avoid deficiencies and will help with digestion, breakdown of fat, and blood sugar management.
  • Apple cider vinegar is showing promise as an agent in helping lower blood sugar; you could add 1-2 T. raw apple cider vinegar to water at mealtimes and bedtime.
  • Berberine has been shown in studies to be as effective at metformin in regulating glucose metabolism.

High blood sugar may cause many complications, including increased risk for heart disease, kidney and nerve damage, eye problems, and vascular problems. By following a healthy diet you can control your blood sugar and prevent diabetes.

 

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