Posts Tagged ‘cholesterol’

Fiber for Life

 

 

 

Did you know that we’re supposed to get at least 30 grams of fiber a day? The average American eats only 15 grams per day. No wonder everyone is bloated, irregular, and at high risk for heart disease. Also, if you don’t poop, your body reabsorbs toxins it’s trying to flush out. One of the results- Colon cancer is now the third leading type of cancer related deaths in the US.

 

Keep in mind that that fiber is found only in plant foods and never in animal products. No wonder those who consume the Standard American Diet (SAD) are clogged up. We’re supposed to go three times a day. I can tell you most of my patients are lucky, if they go #2 once a day. I’ve seen some cases of once every ten days!

 

Health Benefits of Fiber

• Prevents colon cancer, constipation, colitis, hemorrhoids, gallstones, and varicose veins.

• Lowers cholesterol and helps prevent and manage diabetes.

• Slows the absorption of food. Thus, reducing blood glucose levels and increasing weight loss.

• Removes heavy metals and toxins and reduces the side effects of radiation.

 

Sources of Fiber


Fruits and vegetables- 1 medium size, unless otherwise noted.

 

Apple with skin                           3.0 g

Banana                                         2.0 g

Pear with skin                              4.5 g

Orange                                          2.0 g

Prunes                                           3.0 g

½ cup Brussels sprouts              4.5 g

1 large Carrot                                2.9 g

½ cup Broccoli                            1.5 g

Potato with skin                           4.0 g

1/ 2 cup Corn                               1.5 g

Beets                                             1.85 g

 

All half cup for legumes, grains, nuts and seeds

 

Barley                                   4.0 g

Black beans                        5.5 g

Brown rice                           1.5 g

Garbanzo beans                6.0 g

Green peas                         6.9 g

Hemp seeds                    16.8 g per serving

Kidney beans                     6.5 g

Lentils                                4.5 g

Lima beans                       6.5 g

Oats                                     3.0 g

Pinto beans                       5.9 g

 

Tips

 

As you increase your fiber intake, pay attention to your use of medications and certain minerals- calcium, iron, and zinc. You may need to adjust your medications, especially insulin. If you take a fiber supplement, never take your medications or supplements at the same time.

 

Your body could take a little while to adjust to getting the fiber it needs. So you might be a bit gassy at first. This will pass. Drinking plenty of water and chewing on fennel seed will reduce the toots.

 

See how important it is to get enough fiber? And how easy it is? Stock up on hummus, carrot sticks, and split pea soup, and you’ll be good to go. No pun intended.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

To Carb or Not to Carb

 

Thank you, Dr. Atkins. You made carbohydrates a dirty word. Somehow you made it ok to eat pork rinds and drink diet Coke, but taboo to eat brown rice and black beans. And broccoli. Don’t forget broccoli has way too many carbs. Huh?

 

Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy. We should minimize or completely avoid simple carbs and enjoy complex carbohydrates in moderation. If you exercise on a regular basis, you can eat more. What a motivator for hitting the gym, right?

 

Complex Carbohydrates
Many are known for their lowering cholesterol abilities and high fiber content . Fruit contains complex and simple carbohydrates.

Sources
* Millet, oats, barley, whole wheat
* Brown, red, & wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat
*Split peas, lentils, chickpeas, black beans
* Sunflower, flax, pumpkin, chia seeds
* Broccoli and Brussels sprouts
* Whole grain breads, crackers, cereals, pasta

 

Simple Carbohydrates
Simple carbs can cause a sugar imbalance. Considered empty calories (no nutritional value), eating too much sugar is stored as fat. When eating out or buying pre-made food, be careful. Sugar is a commonly added to sauces, bread, salad dressings, ketchup, and soups. I call it the lazy cook’s spice.

Sources
* Honey
* White or brown sugar
* Corn syrup
* Lactose (in dairy)
* Dextrose, sucrose, and fructose

So, don’t be afraid of carbohydrates. Have 5 servings of organic fresh fruit daily. And please eat your broccoli. Having the occasional sweet treat is fine. But if you’re diabetic, have cancer, or know that the occasional cookie will turn into a dozen a day, definitely stay away. Bon appetit!

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Sexual Healing- Nature’s Cures for a Great Sex Life

I don’t have to convince you that a healthy sex drive is a good thing. More and more studies are proving what the ancients have known for thousands of years: sex is good for your health. But in today’s hectic world, being “in the mood,” doesn’t always make the top of your to-do list. The result? A low libido.

Ancient Chinese medical texts describe in detail how important a healthy sex life is for general health and well-being. There are even descriptions of how often is healthy according to your age. There are many ways to improve sex drive and function, but the safest and most effective way is do it naturally through Traditional Chinese Medicine and Nutrition, along with essential oils.

You might be asking, “Why choose Chinese medicine over Western medicine?” For starters, acupuncture, herbs, proper nutrition, and essential oils have no side effects when used properly. Another added bonus is that certain herbs increase fertility and help with other health concerns while giving you that extra oomph.

Along with stress, poor lifestyle habits, and physical conditions (arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, prostatitis, obesity, smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol), a history of sexual trauma can lower your libido. Even seemingly mild occurrences can have an effect on your sex drive. Healing any issues around this type of trauma is key to sexual health. Chinese medicine along with therapy is the perfect combination to deal with such issues.

Scar tissue caused by surgery in the pelvic region can cause lack or insufficient flow of Qi and blood to the area and may cause impotence, low libido & infertility.

There are many Chinese herbs whose functions include: regulation of energy metabolism, promotion of sexual functions, removal of plaque and cholesterol, lowering of blood pressure, reduction of scar tissue, and regulation of the adrenal cortex.

How do essential oils work? Sense of smell, which is connected to olfactory nerves, works mostly on a subconscious level. Olfactory nerves are directly connected to the most primitive part of the brain, the limbic system. The limbic system deals with sex drive, hunger, and thirst. Certain smells mimic sexual olfactory signals. Thus, ‘turning you on.’

Play with them. You and your partner can put them on each other. If pregnant or trying to get pregnant or you have any hormonal imbalances, please consult a qualified professional as to safety of certain oils.

Oils to Use

* Increasing libido- jasmine, rose, sandalwood, myrrh, and frankincense, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, peppermint, sage and clary sage.

* Prostatitis- Thuja and thyme

* Sexual trauma- frankincense

* Anger/stress distracting you- lavender, ylang ylang, & bergamot

* Depression- rosemary & ylang ylang

* Love sick- chamomile

* Lavender is very calming and can relieve the feeling of pressure/anxiety with sexual performance. It reduces high blood pressure that can cause sexual dysfunction. Lavender also reduces scar tissue.

The good news is that a low libido is treatable without having to worry about the side effects or safety of most medications on the market. Whether or not you choose Chinese medicine to increase your sex drive, it is important to remember that achieving balance in your life is key to your health.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Pumpkins Aren’t Just for Decoration

It’s that time of year! Pumpkins everywhere. Not only are they are great decoration for Halloween, they’re great for you. One of my fondest childhood memories is carving up a pumpkin in anticipation of dressing up and all the sugar I was about to consume. Luckily, now I look forward to all the pumpkin I get to eat instead.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Pumpkin is naturally low in calories and rich in health-promoting nutrients, including:

Fiber

* reduces bad cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease
* controls blood sugar levels
* promotes healthy digestion
* encourages weight loss

Potassium

* Balances fluid levels
* promotes strong bones
* necessary for energy production
* maintains healthy blood pressure

Alpha-carotene & Beta-carotene

* improves vision & reduces risk of cataracts
* reverses sun damage to the skin & slows the aging process
* is an anti-inflammatory
* prevents tumor growth
* boosts the immune system
* protects against heart disease

Vitamins C

* boosts immunity
* reduces high blood pressure and heart disease
* regulates cholesterol levels

Vitamin E

* slows aging by protecting the skin from sun damage
* reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers

Magnesium

* promotes a strong immune system
* strengthens the bones
* supports heart function

Pantothenic acid/vitamin B5

* balances hormone levels
* manages stress levels

My favorite pumpkin dish is a really simple soup- Just cook some vegetable broth, 4-6 cups of pumpkin, onion, garlic, a little curry powder and a potato or two on simmer for 20 minutes. Add coconut milk at the end. Puree in blender and serve. Delicious!

Pumpkin Seeds


Pumpkin seeds are high in vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and are an excellent plant-based source of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. The seeds protect against prostate cancer and prevent osteoporosis.

One way I love to eat pumpkin seeds is to slightly toast them, put them in a blender with silken tofu, nutritional yeast, and Bragg’s amino acids. This makes a great dip any time of year.

So this year, make it a new tradition to use the whole pumpkin and make healthier choices during the holiday season.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Weight Management

The combination of Chinese Medicine – acupuncture, Chinese herbs and nutrition – along with Western nutrition creates a synergy that helps manage weight in a healthy, individual manner. Chinese medicine speeds the metabolism, reduces cravings, helps reduce stress as well as support healthy food choices.

A typical treatment plan consists of an initial consultation followed by acupuncture. All patients receive a specifically tailored food plan that will indicate foods that should be eaten in moderation as well as a list of foods to be avoided. Herbal supplements and organic vitamins are used to adjust metabolism, cholesterol, energy, food cravings and even to manage diabetes. Weekly acupuncture treatments are recommended during the first month to accelerate results, then a maintenance program of every four to six weeks.

As everyone responds differently to treatment, each step along the way, up to and including a maintenance program once the desired weight goal has been achieved, is done on an individual basis.

This unique blend of Eastern and Western medicine is the optimal way to safely lose weight.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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