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Drink Your Vegetables! Guide to the Best Vegetable Juice Options

Drink Your Vegetables! Guide to the Best Vegetable Juice Options

Experts recommend that we get 9 servings of fruit and vegetables each day in order to stay healthy and reduce our likelihood of a wide range of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. An evaluation of long-term studies conducted in Europe and the US found that those who ate more than 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke and coronary heart disease than those who ate fewer than 3 servings per day.

Although fruit is very healthy (it provides lots of vitamins and fiber), it contains a lot of sugar in the form of fructose. This is why experts say that about three-fifths of those 9 servings of fruit and vegetables should be comprised of vegetables. But it’s not easy for a lot of people to get those all-important servings each day, given our increasingly busy schedules. Luckily, it’s relatively simple to get your daily veggies from drinking juice.

Just to be crystal clear on this point—it is generally better for you to eat whole vegetables either raw or very lightly cooked as often as possible. Vegetable juices are generally pretty low in fiber, depending on the juice (or juicer) you get. Fiber is important for digestive health, reducing the risk of constipation and keeping your cholesterol at a healthy level. Nevertheless, drinking vegetable juice is far better than getting little or no vegetables at all!

Juicing can be a particularly useful option for people who have digestive issues. To get the most nutritional value from your vegetables (or from any other food you eat, for that matter), your body must first break them down during digestion. Generally speaking, the simple act of chewing and swallowing our food so that it can be dissolved elsewhere along the digestive tract should be sufficient to release the nutrients in whatever we eat. However, some people (including the elderly, whose digestive enzymes may not be as powerful as they once were) have digestive problems that interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Since juice has had most of the vegetables’ cellulose removed or broken down, it’s easier for the digestive system to absorb all those important nutrients.

For veggie juices with the highest nutritional content, consider juices featuring some of the following vegetables:

  • Tomatoes – Possibly the best vegetable to juice, tomatoes contain lycopene, which has been shown to lower the risk of prostate cancer and is supportive of heart health.
  • Kale – Chock full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B, C and K, calcium, copper and magnesium, kale also is high in cancer-fighting phytonutrients.
  • Cabbage – Helps protect against ulcers, and its indoles help to regulate metabolism and the balance of estrogen.
  • Peppers – Red bell peppers in particular are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Adds a refreshing flavor to any vegetable juice.
  • Celery – High in potassium, celery helps to regulate blood pressure. It also reduces uric acid in the blood, which is good news for anyone with gout.
  • Spinach – High in the cancer-fighting antioxidant lutein, spinach is also high in vitamins A, C and E, and is a good source of calcium, folic acid, iron and potassium.
  • Carrots – These contain large amounts of beta carotene, good for the skin, eyes, brain and arteries. They blend well with other vegetables as well. Just be sure to use them somewhat sparingly, as they are also quite high in sugar.
  • Parsley – Cleanses the liver and kidneys and is supportive of heart health. It is also high in vitamin C.

So drink up, and enjoy the health benefits you can gain from these wonderful vegetables!

  • Special Note: Using a high-powered blender such as a Blendtec or Vitamix Blender allows you to get your juice and fiber as well! Not everyone can afford one but for those that can, it can be a wonderful investment!

 

Almond-Honey Power Bar

Almond-Honey Power Bar

Almond-Honey Power Bar

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Category: Snacks

Almond-Honey Power Bar

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds, preferably golden
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened whole-grain puffed cereal
  • ⅓ cup currants
  • ⅓ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ⅓ cup chopped golden raisin
  • s¼ cup creamy almond butter
  • ¼ cup turbinado sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray. Spread oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the oats are lightly toasted and the nuts are fragrant, shaking the pan halfway through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add cereal, currants, apricots and raisins; toss to combine. Combine almond butter, sugar, honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles lightly, 2 to 5 minutes. Immediately pour the almond butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula until no dry spots remain. Transfer to the prepared pan. Lightly coat your hands with cooking spray and press the mixture down firmly to make an even layer (wait until the mixture cools slightly if necessary). Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes; cut into 8 bars.

Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month; thaw at room temperature.

Ingredient notes: For this recipe, we like unsweetened puffed multi-grain cereal, such as Kashi's 7 Whole Grain Puffs. Almond butter can be found at natural-foods stores and large supermarkets, near the peanut butter. Turbinado sugar is steam-cleaned raw cane sugar. It's coarse-grained and light brown in color, with a slight molasses flavor. Find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores.

Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.

Today's recipe was shared from the following website: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/253052/almond-honey-power-bar/

http://chiroaddict.com/almond-honey-power-bar/

Beating the Odds: How Some People Stick with Diet and Exercise Plans

Beating the Odds: How Some People Stick with Diet and Exercise Plans

Billings Chiropractic Diet Services
balance-scales

How long did your last diet or exercise plan last? If you’re like many people, your answer is “not that long.” In fact, one UK survey found that the average length of time a person stays on a nutrition plan is 19 days. A slightly more positive poll found that women tended to quit their diets after five weeks and two days. If these statistics sound distressingly familiar, it might be time to reassess how you approach your own diet plan.

How Do People Stick with Their Diet and Exercise Plans?

If you want to make sure your diet and exercise plan doesn’t become just another statistic, a change in attitude can make all the difference. In order to create a diet plan you can stick with, it’s important to be honest with yourself about what types of changes will fit into your lifestyle. Diet plans with long lists of “bad” foods might help you cut back on calories in the short term, but do you really plan to go the rest of your life without cake? People who stick with their diet plans take a more moderate approach, making small changes that they can live with in the long term.

Exercise plans can be just as difficult to carry out. People who stick with their exercise plans view physical activity as a regular part of life, not something they do only when they have the time, energy, and motivation. Of course, sticking with physical activity is much easier when it’s enjoyable. Rather than slogging it out on the treadmill, try yoga, martial arts, or another exercise program that stimulates your mind as well as your body. And variety helps too!

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

Whether you’re building a diet plan or an exercise program (or are making changes in both areas), the people around you can make a huge difference in your level of success. If your spouse, children, or friends tend to turn to food in celebration or out of boredom, it’s easy to forget about your diet goals. Getting enough exercise is a lot more difficult if the people around you would rather watch TV than go on a walk.

Fortunately, when it comes to sticking with your diet and exercise plan, the people around you can also be a huge help. Making dietary changes as a family can help everyone involved lose weight and improve their health, while exercising with a friend can make the time go by much more quickly and pleasantly.

Having the support of a chiropractor who really understands the power (and challenges) of making healthy lifestyle changes (think nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management, for example) is another way to help you meet your goals. The staff here in Billings at Oblander Chiropractic can work with you to make targeted, realistic adjustments that you’ll be able to stick with in the long term. Sticking with a diet and exercise program isn’t always easy, but you might be surprised by just how easy it is to make the changes you’re looking for with the right type of advice and support!

Thinking About Food Labels: What the Future Might Bring

Thinking About Food Labels: What the Future Might Bring

woman-reading-food-label
woman-reading-food-label

In a move applauded by nutritionists and health experts (but criticized at the same time for not going far enough), the Obama administration has proposed sweeping changes to the regulations surrounding the labeling of packaged foods. The new proposal, announced and championed by first lady Michelle Obama, aims to make it easier for consumers to figure out whether a packaged food product is healthy or unhealthy, and whether it contains large amounts of ingredients that are potentially harmful to their health.

These proposed changes have been long in coming—the current standards were first introduced over 20 years ago, in 1993. Much has changed since then and Americans have become “supersized” in more ways than one. They are eating larger portions of foods than they did in 1993, and more is known now about the effects of harmful ingredients like hydrogenated oils, trans fats, and sugar than was known then. But today’s labels still hold to the old standards, which allow manufacturers to create “serving sizes” that are completely unrealistic, and to bury useful information like the actual amount of calories, fats, and sugars you’re likely to consume in the “fine print” of the label.

As an example, the current labeling standards allow manufacturers of soda to list its calories and sugar content based on a “serving size” of eight ounces, whereas the actual bottles of soda (which are almost always consumed in one sitting) contain 20 ounces, or 2-1/2 times more. Ice cream manufacturers currently use half a cup as the “serving size” used to calculate their products’ calorie and sugar counts, whereas most Americans consume an average of two cups when they eat ice cream.

The proposed standards would change this, and instead of listing calories “per serving size,” they would list them as “amount per 2/3 cup,” or using a similar easily recognized measure. Because of national and global concerns about obesity, calorie counts would no longer appear in small print, but be highlighted in a large font. Each packaged product would list the “number of servings per package” in a more prominent location and font. Also, for the first time, a new indicator called “Added Sugars” would be included on every label, which again relates to calories, because Americans consume over 16% of their total calories from sugar.

“Calories From Fat” would no longer be listed, because more recent science tells us that it’s the type of fat that is more important for consumers to know about. Therefore, labels will list amounts of “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “Trans Fat.” The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would also update their recommended “Percent Daily Values” (%DV) ratings for common nutrients to bring them into line with current science, and would finally add Vitamin D and potassium.

While all of these proposed changes are legitimate improvements, it’s (of course) impossible to please every special interest group that will be affected by new labeling regulations. Although consumers themselves will doubtlessly benefit, consumer advocates are disappointed because they were lobbying for changes like indicating added sugars, saturated fats, and trans fats in a bold, colored font to indicate that they are present in high amounts. On the other side of the argument are food manufacturers and retailers who worry about the cost of new labeling requirements and what the new information might mean for buying behavior.

The bad news is that these proposed food labeling requirements are not slated to take effect for at least two years. The good news is that the FDA has put in place a very robust process designed to allow stakeholders to “weigh in” and contribute their suggestions. You can learn more about that process at www.regulations.gov and searching for the term “food labeling”.

 

Keys to Healthy “In-Season” Eating

Keys to Healthy “In-Season” Eating

vegetables detailsAlthough it may be tempting to pick up some fresh tomatoes or strawberries in the middle of winter, you might find yourself disappointed in their flavor. Thanks to the combination of industrial agriculture and global transportation, most fruits and vegetables are now available year round. However, this may not actually be as much of a good thing as it seems. Why? Not only is out-of-season produce less tasty, it is also usually not as nutritious as produce picked seasonally at its ultimate ripeness. There are plenty of winter vegetables and fruits now at their peak, and taking advantage of these sometimes neglected veggies can provide you with necessary nutrients that you may not get from produce at other times of the year.

Japanese organic farmer Masanobu Fukuoka noted that farmers were paid a premium for seasonal produce that could be supplied more than a month earlier than usual. He observed, though, that these early crops not only were reduced in flavor but also required a copious amount of energy use and chemicals. He noted that the farmers who produced their mandarin orange crop early had to use artificial colors and sweeteners to modify the early fruit so it would resemble that of the seasonal variety, resulting in both a poorer and more expensive product. Buying produce in season is both healthier and less expensive.

Apples, nuts and leeks, as well as a wide variety of squashes are all at their best. Winter butternut squash is low in calories too, at only 63 calories per cup. It also contains an abundant amount of vitamin A (beta-carotene) and potassium. Not only that, but you may be surprised to find that the amount of vitamin C contained in only a cup of squash provides half your daily requirement of vitamin C.

Kale is another incredibly healthy winter vegetable, filled with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, C and K, calcium, copper and magnesium. Kale also is high in cancer-fighting phytonutrients called flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol. Kale also has demonstrated the ability to lower cholesterol. Cooked kale can be easily incorporated into mashed potatoes to make for a healthy side dish.

Leeks too are abundant at this time of year. They are one of the vegetables with the highest amount of vitamin K (good for bone health and vital for blood coagulation), and have a healthy amount of folate. A versatile member of the allium family (like onions and garlic), leeks can be incorporated into soups and stews in pretty much the same way you might typically use onions. They are also tasty on their own—just braise them a little liquid. If you’re willing to put just a bit more effort into preparation, creamed leaks is an even tastier alternative. Just clean and slice 2-3 leeks thinly, then sauté them in a little butter, add a couple of tablespoons of water, and cover for about 10 minutes, until cooked. Mix in a tablespoon of flour and about ½ cup of sour cream and you have an excellent side dish to serve along with fish or chicken.

Now is the time to appreciate these healthy winter vegetables, because all too soon the season will be over. But remember—there’s good news just around the corner… Before you know it, the strawberries you’ve been craving will be back in season!

 

Getting to Know Your Vitamin A

Getting to Know Your Vitamin A

carrots-200-300Can eating lots of carrots really improve your eyesight? Not exactly, but carrots do contain something called provitamin A carotenoids. These are pigments found in some plants that can be converted by the body into vitamin A. And vitamin A actually is important to your vision.

Vitamin A helps the eye convert light into a signal that can be transmitted to the brain, allowing people to see in low-light environments. In addition, the cornea (the clear front of the eye) can literally disappear if the body does not get enough vitamin A. However, binging on carrots is unlikely to improve most people’s vision. In part, this is because your body will stop converting provitamin A carotenoids (particularly beta carotene) into vitamin A as soon as there is enough in your system. But all this doesn’t mean that vitamin A doesn’t have lots of other uses. Vitamin A is also helpful to bone growth and to your immune system.

As with other vitamins, there are different forms of vitamin A. One of the forms that is most usable to the body is called retinol, which is found in liver, eggs, and milk. One of the most common provitamin A carotenoids that the body converts easily to retinol is beta carotene. Beta carotene is found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables including carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and cantaloupe. Vitamin A is also one of the vitamins often used to fortify breakfast cereals.

Vitamin A is fat soluble, which means that the body stores it, mostly in the liver. That also means that it is possible to build up toxic levels of Vitamin A. This rarely happens from food sources because (as noted above) the body will slow down the conversion of beta carotene as it builds up supplies of vitamin A. When people do get vitamin A toxicity, it is usually from taking too much in supplement form. Toxic levels of vitamin A can cause liver problems, central nervous system problems, reduced bone density and birth defects.

True vitamin A deficiency is rare in the US, but common in countries where malnourishment is widespread. When it occurs, the consequences can be quite severe. This is because the body uses vitamin A to make various internal tissues, such as those lining the eye, lungs, and intestinal tract. When these linings are weakened by vitamin A deficiency, it is easier for harmful bacteria to penetrate them and thus, people with vitamin A deficiency are more prone to infections, illness, blindness, and respiratory problems.

Aside from those who are malnourished, other people who may be prone to vitamin A deficiency include those who consume large amounts of alcohol and those with certain metabolic disorders that affect how fat and other nutrients are absorbed by the body.

As of this writing, the Recommended Daily Intake for Vitamin A is 2,310 IU for females and 3,000 IU for males.

It goes without saying that good nutrition is critical to your overall health and well-being. At the same time, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest research and guidance. If you have questions or concerns about your diet or about supplements, please call or visit our office today. We’re here to help!

 

 

Why Better Nutrition Alone Won’t Stop the Obesity Epidemic

Why Better Nutrition Alone Won’t Stop the Obesity Epidemic

Girl on the couch
Girl on the couch

It’s no secret that many Americans’ eating habits have taken a turn for the worse over the past 20 years in terms of the quantity, quality and combination of foods we eat. A number of diet-related trends have converged to help create a perfect storm of expanding waistlines:

  • Beginning in the mid-1970s, government nutritional guidance (backed by the limited scientific data that was available at the time) triggered a nationwide shift away from foods with saturated fat (such as milk, eggs and meat). However, it also inadvertently ushered in the age of “fat-free” marketing that gradually drove Americans toward a diet high in complex carbohydrates.
  • The rise of convenience-oriented packaged foods made home cooking seem unnecessary. As a result, a generation (or maybe two) grew up without planning meals, shopping for ingredients or preparing food. While it’s easy to focus on the loss of these basic skills, something else was lost, too—control over the contents of the food itself. In adopting diets built on ready-made meals, American ouseholds left decisions about fat, sugar and salt as well as chemical additives to the chefs in corporate kitchens.
  • A new culture of snacking evolved that made eating a sort of parallel pastime—something that was done almost without thinking alongside other day-to-day activities. Plus, grab-and-go packaged food meant that the dining room was now anywhere you happened to be.
  • Supersize portions, value meals and double desserts slowly changed Americans’ ideas about how much food should be eaten at a single sitting. For much of the population, the new normal included many more calories than would have been common in the 1970s or 1980s.

But for all the evidence that the American diet has played a prominent role in the current obesity epidemic, there is also evidence that another factor may be even more important.

On average, Americans are LESS PHYSICALLY ACTIVE THAN AT ANY OTHER TIME in our history. Sweeping changes in the kinds of work we do and the way we do it, along with changes in how we get from place to place and how we spend our leisure time have meant that much of the population just doesn’t move around very much. We increasingly lead very sedentary lives.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine drives home this point. According to researchers at Stanford University who analyzed 20 years of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a very sharp drop in leisure-time physical activity may be responsible for the general upward trend in obesity rates.

Dr. Uri Ladabaum, Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and lead investigator, noted that total daily calorie, fat, carbohydrate and protein consumption hasn’t actually changed much over the past 20 years but that the general level of physical activity has. “At the population level, we found a significant association between the level of leisure-time physical activity, but not daily caloric intake, and the increases in both BMI and waist circumference.”

The fall-off in physical activity over the past two decades is truly striking:

  • During the 1988-1994 period, the number of female American adults reporting no physical activity was 19.1%. During the 2009-2010 period, it was 51.7%.
  • The percentage of American men reporting no physical activity grew from 11.4% in the 1988-1994 period to 43.5% in the 2009-2010 period.

Over the same time frame, the incidence of obesity across the country has grown. While the average BMI has increased across the board, the most dramatic change has been among woman between the ages of 18 and 39.

An earlier study reported in the December 2013 Mayo Clinic Proceedings painted a similarly grim picture. Based on two years’ worth of data collected from sensors attached to 2,600 people, investigators concluded:

  • Men and women of normal weight exercised vigorously (think jogging or a brisk uphill hike) for less than two minutes a day. They engaged in moderate exercise (yoga or golf, for instance) about 2.5 to 4 hours per week.
  • By contrast, the average obese American man gets only 3.6 hours of vigorous exercise per YEAR, and the average obese American woman gets only ONE hour of vigorous exercise in the same period of time.

What’s happening here?

According to Edward C. Archer, a researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, “We’ve engineered physical activity out of our daily lives and that’s causing the health disparities that we have in this country.”

There is a very clear relationship between physical activity and your health—including your musculoskeletal health. But it’s also true that there’s a link between your musculoskeletal health and your ability to lead an active lifestyle. If you’re suffering from back, neck or joint pain, it can be very difficult to exercise. This in turn raises your risk of weight gain as well as your risk of other health problems.

We can help relieve musculoskeletal pain and restore your mobility. Just call or visit our office today!

 
Additional Resources

Lack of exercise, not diet, linked to rise in obesity, Stanford research shows. http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2014/07/lack-of-exercise–not-diet–linked-to-rise-in-obesity–stanford-.html

U.S. mothers, 1965 to 2010: More TV, less housework leading to a more obese population. http://www.sph.sc.edu/news/mothers_inactive.html

‘Get Up!’ or lose hours of your life every day, scientist says. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-get-up-20140731-story.html

 

 

 

 

Are Energy Drinks Actually Dangerous?

Are Energy Drinks Actually Dangerous?

yippie - saut de joie
yippie – saut de joie

There’s no doubt that many of us live very fast-paced lives. “Too much to do in too little time…” It’s this common complaint that’s helping to drive the popularity of energy drinks. After all, who couldn’t use a little boost to help get through another busy day? And it’s not only adults who are fueling the craze. Teenagers are among the biggest users of energy drinks when they need to be awake for morning classes after staying out late or studying all night.

So what’s the problem? Energy drink-related visits to the emergency room have doubled over the past four years, and most of these cases have involved teens and young adults.

Energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster, Full Throttle and Rock Star are starting to attract the attention of medical researchers and public health officials alike. This is leading to some troubling discoveries about what the ingredients in these drinks can do to our bodies. It’s also putting a spotlight on how these products are marketed. It turns out that energy drinks—unregulated and usually sold right alongside soft drinks in the supermarket—may be dangerous for our health.

What’s in the can? In addition to large amounts of caffeine and sugar, other ingredients commonly include taurine, glucuronolactone and guarana, as well as B-vitamins and a variety of herbal supplements such as ginseng, milk thistle and gingko biloba. The primary concern so far is the effect the combined stimulants in these drinks have on the heart. A typical energy drink contains up to three times as much caffeine as an equivalent amount of coffee or soda.

Energy drinks have been shown to produce arrhythmias (which are potentially life-threatening changes in your heart rhythm) and to raise blood pressure. Heart palpitations, seizures and sudden death can be caused when someone with an arrhythmia consumes an energy drink.

A study conducted by Dr. Jonas Dorner and colleagues from the University of Bonn in Germany found that energy drinks increase heart contractions. Dorner said “Until now, we haven’t known exactly what effect these energy drinks have on the function of the heart. There are concerns about the products’ potential adverse side effects on heart function, especially in adolescents and young adults, but there is little or no regulation of energy drink sales.”

The study involved 18 healthy volunteers, most of whom were male, who consumed an energy drink containing caffeine and taurine. They underwent an MRI an hour after taking the drink, and the results showed a significant increase in peak strain in the left ventricle of the heart.

Although these results may not cause problems in the short term for those who are young and healthy, these drinks may be a problem for anyone with heart disease. There are also no studies yet measuring the long-term effect that these energy drinks have on heart health.

Experts advise that children and anyone with a heart condition such as arrhythmia avoid consuming energy drinks due to the potential risks they pose.

Keys to Strengthening Your Immune System

Keys to Strengthening Your Immune System

Three girlfriends in white T-shorts jump having waved hands
Three girlfriends in white T-shorts jump having waved hands

We are bombarded daily with all sorts of microbes that can cause illness. Interestingly, if we are exposed to a wide range of these microbes as children, studies have shown that we will have a lower risk of asthma and allergies as well as a stronger immune system. There are a number of factors that influence the health of our immune system, including diet, stress, exercise and aging. Following are some strategies you can use to help strengthen your immune system.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables – These are high in the vitamins, minerals and trace elements you need to help keep you healthy, particularly those high in vitamin C (red bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, citrus fruits) and zinc (nuts, seeds, wheat germ).

Reduce stress – Chronic stress has been shown to inhibit the production of interleukins and cytokines, which are responsible for stimulating the action of white blood cells. Chronic stress also causes the stress hormone cortisol to be continually released into the bloodstream, which in the long term suppresses the production of pathogen-fighting T cells and antibodies.

Get out in the sun – Insufficient vitamin D has been linked to greater susceptibility to infection. Approximately one out of three Americans is deficient in vitamin D. Try to get out in the sun in the summer months wearing minimal clothing and no sunscreen for 5 to 10 minutes two or three times a week between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. This will provide you with sufficient vitamin D without increasing your risk of skin cancer. You can also take a supplement in the winter months or if you live in a place without much sun.

Get sufficient sleep – Sleep deprivation increases inflammation and inhibits the immune response. One study found that people who habitually slept less than seven hours each night were nearly three times more likely to catch a cold than people who slept eight hours or more.

Exercise – Moderate exercise has been shown to decrease stress and boost the immune system. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise each day, such as a brisk walk, raises the body’s levels of leukocytes, which are cells that help guard against infection.

Eat probiotics – Perhaps even more important than antibiotics in the fight against infection are probiotics, beneficial bacteria that live in the gut and upper respiratory tract. They boost the immune system by encouraging the production of certain T cells. You can find probiotics in yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi, or you can take a probiotic supplement.

Avoid sugar – Even 100 grams of sugar, the equivalent of a 24-oz soda, depresses your immune system by reducing the ability of white blood cells to combat bacteria. This effect can last for a few hours after sugar ingestion, so if you are trying to stay healthy, keep away from the sweets!

The Latest on Eggs

The Latest on Eggs

??????????????Eggs: they’re tasty and nutritious, but for a long time now they’ve been considered a contributor to high cholesterol and heart disease. Recent studies are starting to challenge this assumption, giving egg-lovers reason to celebrate.

Cholesterol and Your Food

Dieticians and doctors have longed warned their patients against eating foods high in cholesterol, including shrimp and eggs. However, new advice from the scientific advisory panel for the 2015 version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are putting forward a different view. At the committee’s 2014 meeting, it was decided that cholesterol was no longer considered a “nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

Part of this change in attitude comes from a better understanding of how the cholesterol in food impacts the cholesterol in the bloodstream. While many dieters have a negative view of cholesterol, in reality this type of fat is crucial for building cell membranes, protecting nerve fibers, producing oxygen, and absorbing nutrients. It’s such an important substance that the body creates it on its own in quantities that far outweigh the amount consumed through food.

New Attitudes Towards Eggs

This new understanding of dietary cholesterol’s impact on health adds more backing to a change in attitude towards eggs. For decades consumers have been told that eggs’ high levels of cholesterol make them dangerous for those at risk of heart disease. However, studies conducted in 1999 and 2006 show that eating one egg a day does not cause healthy individuals to have a higher risk of heart disease. Eggs are high in a number of important nutrients, including vitamins B12 and D, folate, and riboflavin, and also offer a concentrated, balanced protein “package” without requiring too many calories.

Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Much of the concern over cholesterol stems from its association with heart disease. So-called “bad” cholesterol can lead to plaque build-up on artery walls, which increases a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke. Other dietary substances, such as trans-fat and saturated fat, cause similar types of damage. However, their role in heart disease risk is often greater than cholesterol, making them a more pressing issue for anyone making changes in their diet.

Keeping Up with Changes in Nutritional Science

Changes in dietary guidelines can make it difficult to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your family. While it might seem as though researchers and clinicians are “flip-flopping” on what foods they recommend, these kinds of changes come about as a result of new science and a gradually improving understanding of how food and our bodies interact. It can be frustrating to keep up with the newest nutritional science and to try to translate it into a healthier menu for ourselves and our families. However, having a qualified chiropractor on your side can help you take advantage of the most reliable science. Chiropractic care treats each patient as a whole, and dietary choices are an important part of their overall approach to health and wellness. Your chiropractor can work with you to help you decide which foods (perhaps including eggs) will be most healthful for you and your family

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