The National Confectioners Association (NCA) reports chocolate is America’s favorite candy for Halloween this year. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates $2.08 billion will be spent on Halloween candy this year; as per NCA, 72 percent of this will be some type of chocolate. Fortunately for Americans, chocolate has some properties that are actually beneficial for the teeth, gums, and cardiovascular health.
There are three killer insults on the body: oxidation, autoimmunity and inflammation. We need some level of inflammation to stay healthy so tissue and wounds heal from infections and injuries, however, when the inflammatory response becomes chronic problems occur. Chronic inflammation is unseen by the eye and a silent killer that accelerates aging, prevents fat loss and increases risk of disease.
Believe me, I’m psyched that you have picked up running in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and even 60s because I think it’s an awesome sport with so many social, physical and emotional benefits. But I have to tell you people, there’s a segment of you out there who need to be more pragmatic in your approach to running.
Every cell in the body continually carries out millions of biochemical processes requiring oxygen. By-products of this cellular metabolic process are unstable electrons called oxidants or “free radicals.” Unfortunately, these free radicals are not harmless. Their chief danger comes from the damage they incur upon cellular structures or DNA. ANTI-oxidants reduce the effects of dangerous oxidants by binding with them, thereby, decreasing their destructive power. Food sources of antioxidants include those with high levels of vitamin A, C, E, and beta-carotene, such as spinach and liver. Anti-oxidants are thought to have a role in slowing the aging process, preventing heart disease, and protecting against the development of cancers.
Many health complaints, inability to lose weight, and underlying causes of disease can be attributed to gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction and poor digestive health. As quoted from Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut.” GI dysfunction is the most overlooked and mismanaged disorder in health care today.
I’ve been very active my entire life and believe that keeping active into your 40s, 50s and beyond is critically important to ensure a happy and healthy life. As a working mom on the move, in addition to eating right, I go to the gym several times a week for strength-training and cardio workouts. I’m never far from a tennis court. Golf has also become a passion.”
Consider the following very typical scenario: You are one of the growing numbers of individuals who takes an aspirin every day because of its cardio protective properties on the advice of a health care provider. Then, one day you sprain your ankle and you consider taking a couple of over-the-counter ibuprofen two or three times a day for a few days for its anti-inflammatory effects. Seems harmless enough, but is it? Is it advisable to be taking aspirin and ibuprofen simultaneously?
The most important component to prevent and reverse disease, experience lasting fat loss and your highest level of health begins by being mindful and conscious of what you choose to eat. Good nutrition and healthy eating is a journey that begins with making smarter choices when shopping for food.
Everyone experiences pain at some point in their lifetime — it is inevitable. In fact, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. The American Academy of Pain Medicine estimates that 1.5 billion people are affected by pain worldwide and pain is cited as one of the leading causes of disability and contributor to health care costs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 26 percent of Americans eat vegetables three or more times a day. One of my favorite morning rituals is blending a mixture of leafy greens and vegetables for an incredibly delicious, nutrient-rich and energizing smoothie.
What is hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)? Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells and is commonly known as the element that carries oxygen. But it does something else: it combines with some of the sugar (glucose) circulating in the blood stream to become glycohemoglobin. The amount of glucose that combines with the hemoglobin is directly proportional to the total amount of glucose circulating. Since the average life span of a single red blood cell is three months, it stands to reason that measuring the amount of glycohemoglobin would give a good approximation of the average blood sugar level of the previous three months.
Why is it that from 2004 to 2010, the gluten-free food industry has grown at a compounded annual rate of almost 30 percent? Probably because 1 in 133 persons is now being diagnosed with a condition known as celiac disease. Patients with celiac disease are unable to tolerate a protein called gluten, which is found in the grains wheat, barley and rye. The inability to digest these grains when eaten leads to inflammation of the small intestines manifested by destruction of microscopic hairs, called “villi,” lining the small intestines. Without these villi, the patient is unable to absorb vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients, and malnutrition and anemia ensue. Young children who develop celiac disease are particularly vulnerable as their growth and normal development can be stunted.
With temperatures on the rise, it’s important to stay hydrated and replenish your electrolytes. Whether you exercise intensely or your child participates in an outdoor sport or you’re a construction worker with a physically demanding job, you’re at risk of dehydration and loss of electrolytes.
Many health complaints, inability to lose weight and underlying causes of disease, can be attributed to poor digestive health. The digestive system is responsible for breaking down the food we eat into tiny particles that can be used for energy, maintenance and repair. The digestive process also involves creating waste to be eliminated.
The ever increasing list of fad diets welcomes our newest member: Raspberry ketones. HCG, you are barely hanging on by a thread. Raspberry ketones are a natural phenolic compound that are responsible for the heavenly aroma of red raspberries. They (allegedly) increased both the expression and secretion of adiponectin. Higher adiponectin equals lower levels of body fat. What has brought them out into the public conscience recently is the recent endorsement of them by the one and only Dr. Oz. These are usually taken in pill form, twice per day at a cost of roughly $50-70 per month. A website that sells this product quotes Wikipedia: (according to Wikipedia, “prevent high-fat-diet-induced elevations in body weight.”) What it leaves out is the following statement: However, no effects on body weight were observed with doses up to 200 times greater than the estimated intake in humans. Although products containing this compound are marketed for weight loss, there is no clinical evidence for this effect in humans. This is an unbelievably hard to resist product. First, although these ketones have been known for more than 40 years, they are exciting and new in the world of weight loss. Not only that, but most products that sell them put delicious looking raspberries on their packaging, making it look enticing. Combine that with Dr. Oz’s blessing and you may have trouble even finding this product on the shelves. The website also has this required statement: “Caution: Do not exceed the recommended dose. Pregnant or nursing mothers, children under 18 and individuals with a known medical condition should consult a physician before using this or any dietary supplement. Keep out of reach of children. Do not use if the inner seal is damaged or broken. Store in a cool, dry place. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.” What about eating actual raspberries? Or better yet, eat all different kinds of berries everyday. Are they expensive? Maybe a little pricey, especially when out of season, but they can be purchased frozen all year. Raspberries are high in fiber and the whole raspberries are an antioxidant powerhouse and worth much more per ounce than a pill could ever be worth and without the “warnings” on the label.
Over two-thirds of neurotransmitters are made in the gut. The gut is considered the second brain since the majority of serotonin, 90-95 percent, is made in the gut, not the brain. In addition to neurotransmitters, 80 percent of the immune system cells line the gastrointestinal tract, creating a protective, impermeable barrier.
When most men hit their 30’s, something changes (besides a receding hairline). It is almost as if men are destined to finally obtain that gut that they were meant to have. A gut signifying a real man. One who is now married with kids, works hard, and doesn’t have time to exercise anymore like he did when he was younger. And a healthy diet? A man is hungry and stressed and a salad just isn’t going to cut it. You don’t have to be that guy. Because that guy won’t be very happy when he gets into his 50’s and 60’s, if he makes it there at all. If you are over 30, think about your male friends and family members who are your age. How many of them are in reasonably good shape? How many do you observe following a healthy diet and who are very active? It would be surprising if the answer was over 25 percent. Look at yourself. Have you fallen into this trap and become complacent with it?