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Healthways Blog

17
April
2019

El Monte School Garden Grows Fresh Produce and Healthy Kids

(Taken from kcet.org | By Laurel Randolph)

“Tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, beans, strawberries, eggplant, sugarcane, guava, corn…”

Liz Christy and Marianne Zaugg list the bounty of spring produce that’s being planted at the Arroyo High School community garden before excitedly listing plans they have for improving the space. Christy and Zaugg are from ECo Urban Gardens, a small-scale agricultural nonprofit that partnered with the high school in 2016. The goal was to transform a barren piece of land into a lush teaching garden. Over the last few years, the community has watched the space go from a few neglected beds to an expansive working garden producing fresh produce.

The school garden began as a student project in 2015, spurred on by KCETLink’s Youth Voices program. “Our goal was to create a project that could help the students at Arroyo High School learn about our current environment, local food systems, and urban agriculture, but most importantly redefine the negative way others see our city,” wrote the pilot class of Arroyo High School students working at the garden.

Upon seeing the garden’s positive effect in the community (where nearly half of which lies in a food desert), the school partnered with ECo Urban Gardens to keep the project going. “We weren’t really gardeners, so we needed someone who knew what they were doing,” explained principal Angelita Gonzales-Hernandez. Soon after, the garden started to receive funding, with a Healthy Living grant kicking things into high gear. City of Hope, who supplied the grant, is a comprehensive cancer treatment center headquartered just a few miles from the high school. “We felt this was a really great way to create a sustainable healthy food movement in the school district,” explains City of Hope’s Nancy Clifton-Hawkins. “Now we’ve been able to really expand the vision of how this program can truly impact the health and the lifestyle of people living around the campus as well.”

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Categories: Healthways Blog

14
March
2019

Maca Root & Adrenal Fatigue

(Taken from Healthfully.com | By: Kimberly Riggins)

Maca PowderAdrenal fatigue is a medical condition that causes the adrenal glands to slow down and function at a less than optimal level. Symptoms associated with this condition include intense stress, extreme tiredness and a general feeling of malaise. Individuals who suffer from adrenal fatigue often rely on stimulants such as coffee and cola to help offset the symptoms; however, they usually make them worse. One herb that has been found to be effective for adrenal fatigue is maca root.

About Maca Root

Maca, scientifically known as lepidium meyenii, is an adaptogen herb native to the high Andes mountains of Peru and Bolivia. It is used both as a root vegetable, similar to a radish, and as a medicinal remedy. Maca is a nutritional powerhouse containing proteins in the form of polypeptides, fiber, lipids including the fatty acids linoleic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid and sterols; vitamins and minerals including thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and potassium, and amino acids such as aspartic acid, glutamic acid, serine, glycine, arginine, valine, phenylalanine, tyrosine and threonine. According to the website, Drugs.com, maca has been used for centuries to treat anemia, tuberculosis, depression, menstrual disorders and adrenal fatigue. It is also proposed to help enhance fertility and sexual performance. Maca can be found as a whole food, powder, liquid, tablet, or capsule.

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18
January
2019

Anti-Oxidants Why do we need them?

Health Benefits of Blackstrap MolassesAnti-oxidants are important for good health and disease prevention. They are important because many things cause (ROS) Reactive Oxidative Stress to the body. It is also known as oxidation. ROS creates instability in cells and basically begins the process of DNA damage. This will trigger inflammation. Damaged DNA equate to bad health, disease, sickness and is the gateway to ALL chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis, gastritis, prostatitis, colonitis, etc… What are the things that cause ROS?

Cell phones, WI-FI towers, EMF from computer routers, microwaves, air pollution, water pollution, synthetic chemicals in your clothes, synthetic fibers in clothes, petroleum based food coloring, effects of drugs medicines, allergies, parasites, virus, bacteria, hidden chemicals in our food, processed foods, fried fire retardant chemicals in our furniture, pesticides, herbicides, vaccines, paint fumes, cars that use gasoline. The list could go on for pages but you get the idea.

Categories: Healthways Blog

04
January
2019

EPIGENETICS: CONTROL YOUR GENES BY SWITCHING THEM ON OR OFF!

Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses(from Nutrisphere by medium.com)

Revolutionary research has shown that environmental factors such as diet can activate or deactivate certain genes. This can make us and our children more or less vulnerable to uncountable diseases.

Epigenetics is a new scientific field that has changed the way we think about genetics. We had always assumed that our genetic material was predetermined and beyond our influence. But researchers have challenged this assumption. They showed that lifestyle decisions can influence our genes by changing our epigenome, allowing us to adapt better to the environment. Interestingly, the changes in our epigenome are not permanent and can be changed by modifying our lifestyle.

Categories: Healthways Blog

01
November
2018

10 Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses

(from Facty Network by Team Member Chris)Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses

Many people are looking to stay healthy naturally while avoiding unecessary exposures to drugs, chemicals and artificial sources of vitamins and minerals. With the rising interest in plant based nutrition, it becomes more important to understand that mother nature provides all we need to be healthy. We just need to learn to search in the right places.

Blackstrap molasses isn’t the stuff you want to use for your cookies, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consume it. The biggest difference between this molasses and the regular molasses you buy at the store is its bitter taste. There are also a lot more nutrients in blackstrap molasses. Not only does it have some of the vitamins and minerals you need in your daily diet, but it also offers some other really fantastic health benefits too. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of blackstrap molasses and how you can take advantage of them.

Categories: Healthways Blog

06
September
2018

Top 10 Food Preservatives and Additives to Avoid

(by Dr Joseph Mercola)nutritionist

Food additives have been used for centuries to enhance the appearance and flavor of food and prolong shelf life. However, do these food additives really “add” any value to your food?

Food additives find their way into our foods to help ease processing, packaging, and storage, but how do we know which food additives are in that box of macaroni and cheese, and why does it have such a long shelf life?

A typical American household spends about 90 percent of their food budget on processed foods and in doing so they get exposed to a plethora of artificial food additives, many of which can have serious consequences to your health.

Categories: Healthways Blog

08
June
2018

Krishna Tulsi - Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses of Fresh Tulsi Leaves

(Taken from Ayurvedic Upchar)

organic produceTulsi is also known as Holy Basil in English it is one of the most sacred plants in India and in Ayurveda it is pondered as "The Queen of the Herbs" for its revitalizing and spiritual properties. It is also spelled Thulasi or Tulasi it has been used for thousands of years to aid in natural detoxification, stress and to restore balance and harmony.

In Hindu society, Holy basil or so-called tulsi is a mark of holiness or piousness. The word tulsi literally means a thing that can't be compared with anyone. Tulsi is a plant that grows through our India and is worshiped by Hindus. Mythological it is believed that tulsi or the holy basil is related to lord Krishna, and she was his most beloved wife. Due to diverse actions of Tulsi, it has been the part of human evolution and is very much responsible for maintaining the health among the people.

Categories: Healthways Blog

26
March
2018

6 Health Benefits of Eating Organic Food

(by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM)

organic produceAgribusiness is all about profits, not your health. It is an industry that has developed a system of food production that’s completely forgotten what food is all about: nutrition and health — not to mention taste. It’s gotten so bad that it’s becoming difficult to even call the stuff that agribusiness produces food. It would be more honest if they were to call it “stuff for ingestion” and include a warning label.

The voice of those of us who are not interested in what’s now called “conventional” farming is ever increasing. We’re not interested in consuming chemicals, toxins, or GMOs. What are we interested in? Organic food. Why? It’s better. Here’s a quick list of six reasons why you should make it a point to consume organic whenever possible.

Categories: Healthways Blog

02
January
2018

Nine Steps Towards A Chemical Free Home

cleaning products(Taken from Woman's Voices for the Earth)

Today's blog article is one from a group called Woman's Voices for the Earth, proponents of natural living. I think it makes common sense to understand not every chemical has been thoroughly studied and that there are too many in our environment, inside the house and outside the house. They are everywhere and the list of them continues to grow day by day.

From an autoimmune standpoint, many of these chemicals can trigger an autoimmune response in vulnerable patients. These chemicals are newly created and do not register to the human immune system they have not coexisted long enough! So when they enter the body, they can trigger an autoimmune response when your bodies immune system is fishing out these toxic chemicals there may be some accessory damage to the tissues of the body in the process of elimination. Better safe than sorry, you know so much of disease can be avoided or diminished when knowledge is used. Let's look at today's article.

Categories: Healthways Blog

24
October
2017

The Standard American Diet, how S A D indeed

(Taken from The Plantrician Project)

american dietIt’s estimated that a minimum of 80% of all healthcare dollars are spent on treatment of conditions that are preventable.

70% of Americans are overweight or obese.

Nearly one-half of the American population will be obese by 2030, according to a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years: One out of three American children is overweight or obese.

37% of our children who are not considered overweight have one or more cardiovascular risk factors.

According to Medicare: Health care expenditures in the United States were nearly $2.6 trillion in 2010, an average of $8,402 per person.

Categories: Healthways Blog

15
September
2017

Simple Steps to Preventing Diabetes

(Taken from Harvard School of Public Health The Nutrition Source)


Introduction

preventingdiabetesIf type 2 diabetes was an infectious disease, passed from one person to another, public health officials would say we’re in the midst of an epidemic. This difficult disease, once called adult-onset diabetes, is striking an ever-growing number of adults. Even more alarming, it’s now beginning to show up in teenagers and children. 

More than 24 million Americans have diabetes; of those, about 6 million don’t know they have the disease.  In 2007, diabetes cost the U.S. an estimated $116 billion in excess medical spending, and an additional $58 billion in reduced productivity.  If the spread of type 2 diabetes continues at its present rate, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the United States will increase from about 16 million in 2005 to 48 million in 2050. Worldwide, the number of adults with diabetes will rise from 285 million in 2010 to 439 million in the year 2030. 

The problems behind the numbers are even more alarming. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure among adults. It causes mild to severe nerve damage that, coupled with diabetes-related circulation problems, often leads to the loss of a leg or foot. Diabetes significantly increases the risk of heart disease. And it’s the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., directly causing almost 70,000 deaths each year and contributing to thousands more.

The good news is that type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. About 9 cases in 10 could be avoided by taking several simple steps: keeping weight under control, exercising more, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking.

Categories: Healthways Blog

10
August
2017

10 ways to keep your diet GMO-free

GMO TomatosBy Julie Taylor

It seems like everyone is talking about the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) these days. But what are GMOs exactly?

They're the result of a laboratory process that inserts genes from one species into the genes of another to obtain a desired trait or characteristic (e.g., fast-growing salmon).

Jeffrey M. Smith, author of "Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives" and founding executive director of The Institute for Responsible Technology, a leading source of GMO-health-risk information, says several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified food, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.

In fact, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid genetically modified foods altogether.

Ready to go GMO free? Click here for 10 ways to shop smarter

Categories: Healthways Blog

23
June
2017

Pinched Nerve in the Neck

By Dr. Edwin Chun

cervicalspineHow many times have you heard someone say they got a pinched nerve in their neck? If you are like me you have heard this said before many times and may have wondered what they were talking about. Well let's look at what the term pinched nerve means exactly. The correct term for pinched nerve in the neck is cervical radiculopathy.

Don't let the big words scare you, lets break them down into their Latin roots. Cervical means Neck. Radiculopathy means (Radix) = root (pathy) = pathological state or sickness. So you could break the word cervical radiculopathy down into meaning a pathological state or sickness of the neck having to do with the roots of the spinal nerves. Well that's a great descriptor of the condition. People who have cervical radiculopathies have pain in their spinal nerves that travel down their arm or into the upper back. They often describe the pain as a "shooting pain". Lets look at the most common causes of cervical radiculopathy.

  1. Cervical Herniated Disc: This is a condition where the inner contents of the spinal disc rupture out of the disc and impinge on the spinal nerve sending pain signals throughout the nerve. A lot of injuries that result from impact such as car accidents or contact sports can result in herniated disc. Herniated disc is the most common cause of a pinched nerve (cervical radiculopathy) in young people aged 20-30 years of age.
  2. Cervical Spinal Stenosis: This is the most common cause of cervical radiculopathy in older patients over 65. Stenosis occurs as the natural degeneration or aging process in the spine results in decreased space for the spinal cord commonly due to arthritic bone growth.
  3. Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease: This is the most common cause of cervical radiculopathy in patients over 50. Sometimes when a person has degenerated spinal discs due to ageing, wear and tear, arthritis or long standing inflammation the decreased height of their discs can cause increased pressure on surrounding spinal nerves due to faulty biomechanics.

What are the symptoms of Cervical radiculopathy?

The symptoms are different depending on what spinal nerve is being affected. Patients usually report pain near and around the shoulder, sometimes the pain is dull but most often the pain is sharp, knife like shooting pain. There can be weakness and numbess associated with the pain and it can affect the entire arm down to the finger tips. It usually does affect activities of daily living involving grasping, overhead lifting, driving and turning of the head.

What are the treatments for Cervical radiculopathy?

There are many ways to treat cervical radiculopathy which normally start with nonsurgical approaches such as physical therapy and or chiropractic. In addition to treatment, it is also a good idea to try to modify a patient's activities so they do not increase the pain to the injury. Figuring out better biomechanics will help the injury to heal faster by not doing things that will aggravate the condition such as overhead lifting or turning the neck too much. More invasive treatments can include medical care in the form of medicines to reduce pain and or inflammation, as well as procedures such as injections into and around the spine where the problem is. If all else fails there is a possibility that surgery can help depending on the cause of the particular condition.

If you or a loved one is experiencing this problem contact our office to see if we can help.

Categories: Healthways Blog

18
May
2017

American College of Physicians issues guideline for treating nonradicular low back pain

Treatment recommendations include massage, acupuncture, spinal manipulation, tai chi, and yoga Philadelphia, February 14, 2017 -- The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends in an evidence-based clinical practice guideline published today in Annals of Internal Medicine that physicians and patients should treat acute or subacute low back pain with non-drug therapies such as superficial heat, massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation. If drug therapy is desired, physicians and patients should select nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or skeletal muscle relaxants.

Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for all physician visits in the U.S. Most Americans have experienced low back pain. Approximately one quarter of U.S. adults reported having low back pain lasting at least one day in the past three months. Pain is categorized as acute (lasting less than four weeks), subacute (lasting four to 12 weeks, and chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks).

“Physicians should reassure their patients that acute and subacute low back pain usually improves over time regardless of treatment,” said Nitin S. Damle, MD, MS, MACP, president, ACP. “Physicians should avoid prescribing unnecessary tests and costly and potentially harmful drugs, especially narcotics, for these patients.”

The evidence showed that acetaminophen was not effective at improving pain outcomes versus placebo. Low-quality evidence showed that systemic steroids were not effective in treating acute or subacute low back pain.

For patients with chronic low back pain, ACP recommends that physicians and patients initially select non-drug therapy with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise (MCE), progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation.

“For the treatment of chronic low back pain, physicians should select therapies that have the fewest harms and costs, since there were no clear comparative advantages for most treatments compared to one another,” Dr. Damle said. “Physicians should remind their patients that any of the recommended physical therapies should be administered by providers with appropriate training.”

For patients with chronic low back pain who have had an inadequate response to non-drug therapy, ACP recommends that physicians and patients consider treatment with NSAIDs as first line therapy; or tramadol or duloxetine as second line therapy. Physicians should only consider opioids as an option in patients who have failed the aforementioned treatments and only if the potential benefits outweigh the risks for individual patients and after a discussion of known risks and realistic benefits with patients.

“Physicians should consider opioids as a last option for treatment and only in patients who have failed other therapies, as they are associated with substantial harms, including the risk of addiction or accidental overdose,” said Dr. Damle.

“Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain” is based on a systematic review of randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews published on noninvasive pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments of nonradicular low back pain. Clinical outcomes evaluated included reduction or elimination of low back pain, improvement in back-specific and overall function, improvement in health-related quality of life, reduction in work disability/return to work, global improvement, number of back pain episodes or time between episodes, patient satisfaction, and adverse effects.

The evidence was insufficient or lacking to determine treatments for radicular low back pain. The evidence also was insufficient for most physical modalities and for which patients are likely to benefit from which specific therapy. The guideline does not address topical therapies or epidural injection therapies.

ACP’s clinical practice guidelines are developed through a rigorous process based on an extensive review of the highest quality evidence available, including randomized control trials and data from observational studies. ACP also identifies gaps in evidence and direction for future research through its guidelines development process.

ACP’s previous recommendations for treating low back pain were published in “Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain: A Joint Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society” in 2007. Some evidence has changed since the 2007 guideline and supporting evidence reviews. The 2007 guideline did not assess mindfulness-based stress reduction, MCE, taping, or tai chi.

About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States. ACP members include 148,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness.

Categories: Healthways Blog

26
April
2017

The Anti-Inflammatory, Iodine-Rich Power of Kelp

ARTICLE BY DR. AXE | READ FULL ARTICLE

ocean kelpSeaweed: It’s not just for sushi anymore. In fact, kelp, a form of seaweed, has made its way into kitchens of health-conscious people all over the world — and that’s perfectly OK with me.

Considered by many to be a superfood because of its wide variety of nutrients, kelp has been a staple of several Asian cultures for centuries. While its popularity in the western world is a more recent event, as more people discover the many benefits this vegetable has to offer, it’s quickly becoming part of a healthy, balanced diet for a large number of Americans as well.

This seaweed is effective in weight loss, supports thyroid health, has been proven to reduce the risk of many forms of cancer and even keeps your bones strong. Get to know the power of mighty kelp.

Top 7 Kelp Benefits

1. Great Source of Iodine

Do you know if you’re eating enough iodine? That’s an important question, because iodine-rich foods help protect you from a dangerous deficiency. Iodine is a vital nutrient that helps support a healthy thyroid, protects against certain kinds of cancer, promotes healthy growth and development in babies and children, and even helps you maintain a healthy brain.

Because kelp contains an extremely high level of iodine (up to 2,984 micrograms in some varieties), it’s one of the best ways to maintain a healthy level of iodine. Powdered kelp has been used to treat hypothyroidism in patients with severe motor intellectual disabilities, who are at a very high risk of iodine deficiency. (1)

2. Helps You Lose Weight

Not only is kelp a nutrient-rich food that’s beneficial to any diet, but it also has specific fat-fighting properties. A protein found in most varieties, known as fucoxanthin, has been shown to significantly reduce fat tissue — one of the reasons I recommend it as a healthy weight loss supplement. (2) A study out of Moscow also found that a combination of pomegranate seed oil with fucoxanthin promoted weight loss and increased liver function. (3)

Another way kelp can be helpful when losing weight is by the presence of particular molecules known as alginates. These alginates are prevalent in some varieties of kelp more than others. One study studied the effect of kelp on pancreatic lipase, finding that its consumption reduced this process by which the pancreas overprocesses fat and stores too much in the body. Instead, this seaweed was a vital factor in helping the body expel fat via excrement, rather than absorb large amounts. (4) Essentially, this means it’s considered a lipase inhibitor.

3. May Prevent or Treat Diabetes

Those at risk for or who have diabetes may also find kelp a welcome addition to their diabetic diet plan. A Korean study published in Nutrition Research and Practice found that kelp consumption greatly improved blood glucose levels, positively influenced glycemic control and increased antioxidant enzyme activities in patients with type II diabetes. (5)

4. Helps with Some Blood-Related Disorders

There’s a power nutrient found in many varieties of kelp that, among other things, has shown effectiveness against blood-related problems. It’s called fucoidan.

Fucoidan has shown effectiveness in preventing blood clots that can lead to dangerous health problems, including stroke and heart attack. It’s so effective, in fact, that researchers cite it as having potential to be used as an oral antithrombotic agent, potentially reducing the need of prescription drugs to treat clotting problems. (6) This may be relevant especially to those suffering from or at risk for diabetes, as a common complication of diabetes includes excessive clotting — making this brown seaweed a double-whammy on diabetes.

Fucoidan also protects cells in your body from ischemic damage, meaning damage caused by improper levels of blood flow to certain parts of the body. (7)

5. Slows the Growth of Many Types of Cancer

Multiple nutrients in kelp function in tandem to give you protection against cancer. The presence of fucoxanthin was found to be effective against a number of types of prostate cancer. In addition, fucoxanthin can help remove drug resistance in cancer patients undergoing dangerous chemotherapy treatments, thereby reducing the amount of harmful drugs introduced into one’s system in order to treat cancer. (8) While my recommendation is generally to avoid traditional cancer treatments, the impact is still significant for many who choose to go that route.

However, when it comes to cancer-fighting nutrients, fucoidan wins the top spot. Studies on fucoidan have found that it causes cancer cells to die (a process known as “apoptosis”) in leukemia, colon, breast and lung cancer. (9, 10, 11) It’s the fucoidan and fucoxanthin combo that makes this sea vegetable one of the most effective cancer-fighting foods.

6. Natural Anti-Inflammatory

As a general defense against most diseases, I always recommend following a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods. Inflammation is at the root of most diseases, and it’s hypothesized that chronic inflammation may be caused by an overactive immune system, flooding the body with dangerous hormones.

Certain kinds of kelp have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties (and serve as antioxidants), meaning they help reduce the overall inflammation in your body, which in turn reduces your probability of disease. (12) Fucoidan, found in kelp, has also been shown to work as an anti-inflammatory and also to improve cholesterol levels in the blood, responsible for heart conditions. (13)

7. Helps Prevent Bone Loss

Are you at risk for osteoporosis or other bone diseases? Kelp can help with that, too! First, it’s a rich source of vitamin K — you get almost a quarter of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K in just one serving. One of the many benefits of vitamin K is its role in creating denser bones that don’t as easily succumb to arthritis and osteoporosis. It’s also worthwhile to note that if you’ve been on antibiotics lately, you might need to increase your vitamin K intake to avoid vitamin K deficiency.

However, people on blood-thinning drugs ought to avoid extra vitamin K, as it can affect how the drugs work.

Fucoidan also contributes to healthy bones. Low molecular weight fucoidan helps prevent age-related bone loss and improves the mineral density in bones. (14

READ FULL ARTICLE FROM DRAXE.COM

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