Soybeans what should you know?

Sunday Jan 1, 2012 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on Soybeans what should you know?

Ten percent of the cooking oil used in this country comes from soybeans. Soybeans have omega-6, which is an essential fatty acid our body needs in small amounts. An excess of omega-6 will deplete our omega-3, which is important for our overall health, especially for the brain. The worst by far is baby formula, which contains a lot of soy because it’s usually the only food homes feed their babies as nourishment or as a substitution for mother’s own milk. Soy contains pytoestrogens that can disrupt the baby’s thyroid. the result of this disruption can cause asthma, allergies, and gastrointestinal damage, which decreases mineral absorption and can increase toxic levels of manganese that can cause neurological and brain damage associated with ADD/ADHD. Mothers should breast-fed at least for the first year. in asia soy formula is traditionally not used for babies; the result is less childhood disease. Although Asia growa a whole lot of soybeans, it is not a main component of their food staples. In western society food processing companies do use a lot of soy. It is cheap. These companies separate the soybeans into two categories, protein and oil. High-tech processing methods fail to remove the anti-mutrients and toxins that are naturally present in soybeans. The toxins of soy protein products are protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, texturized vegetable protein, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. you will find these on the ingredient label in many processed and packaged foods such as protein powders, milk shakes, energy bars, baked goods, crackers, canned foods, french fries, frozen foods, and veggie burgers. The worst soy oil products are margarines and shortenings made from partially hydrogenated soybeans oil containing dangerous trans fatty acids. Most of the liquid vegetable oils sold in supermarkets also come from the soybeans. Soybeans also contain haemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together.  Soybeans are high in phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds. It’s a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals – calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc.  Zinc is called the intelligence mineral because it is needed for optimal development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It plays a role in protein synthesis and collagen formation; it is involved in the blood-sugar control mechanism and thus protects against diabetes; it is needed for a healthy reproductive system. Zinc is a key component in numerous vital enzymes and plays a role in the immune system. Phytates found in soy products interfere with zinc absorption more completely than with other minerals.

 

 

 

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Role of Vitamins and minerals in the body

Thursday Sep 29, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on Role of Vitamins and minerals in the body

Vitamins control the chemical reactions within the body that convert food into energy and living tissue. Regulating the metabolism and assisting the biochemical process that releases energy from digested food. Vitamins help the body use the energy in nutrients, maintain normal body tissue, and act as a regulator.

Minerals are chemical elements needed for several body functions including building strong bones, transmitting nerve signals, maintaining a normal heart beat, and are used by the body to produce necessary hormones.

There are 13 vitamins and 22 minerals we have to get from our food supply. While only needed in small amounts, vitamins and minerals are nonetheless important because you cannot function biologically without them. According to a recent study, North Americans are lacking 72% of the nutrients they need daily. This is one of the reasons we need supplementation.

Do we need supplements?

A multiple vitamin-mineral supplement should not replace good eating habits, like the name suggests it is a supplement to the foods we eat. They  might not be for everyone, depending on your lifestyle factors and biochemical individuality, but most can benefit from taking a good quality and balanced supplement at the right dosage.

Many people take supplements that are not appropriate for  their needs because they randomly choose a product they heard about in the news or through a friend, or just picked something from their supermarket shelf. Remember, just as your diet is best customized to your unique needs, so should your supplements be tailored to your body type and blood work. Consult with your doctor, after blood work has been done.

Note: One basic problem with the health system in the U.S. is our doctors’ lack of knowledge about supplements and other nutrients. It is understandable why patients rely on other sources, so that much of what they believe is shaped by what they see, read, and hear, often from unreliable sources.

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10 dangerous Food Additives to avoid

Tuesday Sep 20, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on 10 dangerous Food Additives to avoid

Food additives are substances intentionally added to food during manufacturing to increase the the desirability of the finished product. Additives can alter the color, texture and stability of the food or reduce the spoilage time. There are approximately 2000 different types of additives. The standard American diet includes 3-5 pounds of those additives per year. Additives can be toxic chemicals that can give rise to a number of symptoms. The most common are psychological or neurological such as depression, headaches, mental dysfunction,mental illness or abnormal nerve reflexes. Preservatives accumulate in body fat. The most common allergic reaction experienced is hives.

Additives;

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) / BHT (butylated hyroxloluene);

BHA and BHT are antioxidants. Oxygen reacts preferentially with BHA or BHT rather than oxidizing fats or oils, thereby protecting them from spoilage. In addition to being oxidizable, BHA and BHT are fat-soluble. Both molecules are incompatible with ferric salts. In addition to preserving foods, BHA and BHT are also used to preserve fats and oils in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Sodium Benzoates;

it is a widely used food preservative, with E number E211. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid and exists in this form when dissolved in water. It can be produced by reacting sodium hydroxide with benzoic acid.  Benzoic acid and benzoates are widely used and are commonly found in shrimp and farm raised fish is extremely high amounts.

There is much more concern over the issue of sodium benzoate in Britain. Professor Piper of Sheffield University says that his studies of sodium benzoate in laboratory tests suggest that it can create free radicals and damage cells. While it is already linked with leukemia, new research suggests is may lead to cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson’s disease.

In 2000 the World Health Organization reported that there are many studies showing that sodium benzoate can cause hives, asthma and anaphylactic shock in sensitive people.

Sulfites:

Sulfites are a group of sulfur-based compounds that may occur naturally or may be added to food as an enhancer and preservative. The FDA estimates that one out of 100 people is sensitive to the compounds. Typically used to prevent browning, color changes, or microbial spoilage. Commonly sprayed on fresh fruits, vegetable, and fresh shrimp.The average person in U.S consumes 2-3 mg per day. If restaurants are the main source of meals, then an average of 150 mg per day is consumed.

 Sodium nitrites and Sodium nitrits:

Nitrit-nitrate toxicity is due to its affinity for the oxygen carrying molecule in the blood, hemoglobin. Nitrates convert hemoglobin to methemeglobin which causes problems with oxygen transport. Heating nitrites or their coming into contact with stomach acids converts nitrites to nitromines a substances known to cause stomach cancer. Adding nitrite to meat is only part of the curing process. ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) is added because of its effect on flavor. Sugar is added to reduce the harshness of salt. Spices and other flavorings often added to achieve a characteristic brand flavor. Most, but not all, cured meat products are smoked often the curing process to import a smoked meat flavor. Sodium nitrite, rather than sodium nitrate, is most commonly used for curing (although in some product, such as country ham, sodium nitrate is used because of the long period. In a series of normal reactions, nitrite is converted to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide combines with myoglobin, the pigment responsible for the natural red color of uncured meat. Combined they form nitric oxide myoglobin, which is a deep red color (as in uncooked dry sausage) that change to the characteristic bright pink normally associated with cured and smoked meat (such as wieners and ham) when heated during the smoking process. Potassium nitrite is a type of nitrite that is commonly employed as food preservative, while potassium nitrate is commonly employed as a synthetic food preservative and color fixative. It is also the active ingredient in most toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

Monosodium glutamate:

It enhances the flavor of protein by exciting the taste buds. It can overexcite the nerve ending and cause symptoms referred as “Chinese restaurant syndrome”. Symptoms are reported as a burning sensation in back of neck, headaches, chest tightness, diarrhea and flushing of face.

 

Salicylates:

These are aspirin like compounds used to increase or enhance  the flavor foods. Those allergic to aspirin can experience reaction from eating food high in salicylates such as curry powder, paprika, thyme,  dill, oregano, and turmeric. It is also found in the following prepared foods: Cake mixes, pudding, Ice cream, gum, soft drinks and most dried fruits and berries.

Food coloring:

Artificial dyes are widely used in foods, beverages and drugs. The most common coloring agents used are called AZO dyes (dyes impregnated with nitrate). Most are petroleum products derived from coal tar. Certain tissues in the body are more susceptible to dyes, especially those that have a quick turnover such as the cornea of the eye, tissue in the mouth, tissue lining the stomach and small intestine, and blood and lymph tissue. Out of 33 know coloring agents, the following are the most commonly used.

Blue No. 2: Found in high amounts in cat food and soda pop, it is implicated in causing brain cancer.

Citrus red: Found in Florida oranges

Green No. 3: Implicated in Thyroid cancer. Found in lime drink and soda.

Yellow No. 6: Implicated in Kidney cancer. Found in soda pop and candy.

Yellow No. 5: Tartrazine- high in allergic responses and ADD (attention deficit disorder). Those allergic to aspirin might be allergic to tartrazine. Tartrazine sensitivity is common in individuals (around 20-50%). It is a known inducer of asthma medications (aminophyline) and in some sedatives, steroids, antihistamines and antibiotics. Some vitamins can also contain tartrazine.

Other food containing tartrazine are: Orange drinks, Gelatin desserts, Italian dressing, Cake mixes and icing, Seasoning salt and Macaroni and cheese.

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Potassium Nitrate / Sodium Nitrite

Monday Aug 29, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on Potassium Nitrate / Sodium Nitrite

Adding nitrite to meat is only part of the curing process. ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) is added because of its effect on flavor. Sugar is added to reduce the harshness of salt. Spices and other flavorings often added to achieve a characteristic brand flavor. Most, but not all, cured meat products are smoked often the curing process to import a smoked meat flavor. Sodium nitrite, rather than sodium nitrate, is most commonly used for curing (although in some product, such as country ham, sodium nitrate is used because of the long period. In a series of normal reactions, nitrite is converted to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide combines with myoglobin, the pigment responsible for the natural red color of uncured meat. Combined they form nitric oxide myoglobin, which is a deep red color (as in uncooked dry sausage) that change to the characteristic bright pink normally associated with cured and smoked meat (such as wieners and ham) when heated during the smoking process. Potassium nitrite is a type of nitrite that is commonly employed as food preservative, while potassium nitrate is commonly employed as a synthetic food preservative and color fixative. It is also the active ingredient in most toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

Toxic effects of potassium and sodium nitrite and nitrate when combined with amino acids within the stomach to form nitrosamines, are extremely potent carcinogens capable of causing cancer in many part of the body.

Potassium nitrite can cause stomach cancer.

Sodium nitrite can trigger migraines.

Sodium nitrate interferes with the absorption of vitamin A.

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danger of high protein diet

Sunday Aug 28, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on danger of high protein diet

Protein is one of the necessary components for human body growth and repair. Protein is also essential in making and maintaining enzymes, antibodies and blood, having right amounts of protein daily is necessary for our health and excess can be harem full to our health. A few recent studies have noted that high protein, low carb diets will get short-term weight loss. Diets high in saturated fat, are associated with risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Diets high in meat protein have been known to increase the risk of kidney problems, osteoporosis, and some cancers. Carbohydrates are

the body’s preferred source of energy in the form of glucose. If you do not eat enough carbohydrates, your body does not get enough glucose so it draws on its reserves. The problem is, it draws on muscle tissue, which can lead to muscle wastage. If your diets mainly animal product, there is an increased danger of heart disease caused by saturated fats and raised cholesterol levels and liver and kidneys come under pressure, as they have to work harder to detoxify and eliminate larger amounts of protein also Lack of fiber in our diet can cause constipation, poor bowel function and increase the risk of IBS, and long term to colon cancer.  For any diet plan, you need to consume proteins, carbohydrates along with fats, as well as nutritional vitamins and minerals, and these preferably should really be provided by the foods we eat. In years gone by, there were no vitamin supplements, but men and women were somewhat healthy. They were living off the land eating fruits and nuts, and any animals they were able to capture. However as the years have past, we have started to consume more and more processed foods with depleted  nutrients, so that the foods we put in our bodies. Now how can you expect to be healthy if you are putting unhealthy food into your body?. The solution is good diet plan that fits into your lifestyle and your outlook on life. Your food should contain good sources of protein, complex Carbs and good fat.

 

 

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Vitamin D – Is It Really a Vitamin?

Friday Aug 19, 2011 | Jeff Sherman | Comments Off on Vitamin D – Is It Really a Vitamin?

Discovered in 1920, Vitamin-D is actually a secosteroid, and is considered a fat-soluble pro-hormone, is technically not a vitamin at all! A true vitamin must be obtained by either dietary or supplemental sources; vitamin D, on the other hand, is produced in the human body. Also, Vitamin-D is only present in very few food sources (fatty fish, egg yolks, beef liver). Finally, vitamin D only woks on the body after it has been transformed by the body.

Vitamin-D is one of 13 vitamins linked to nutritional deficiency in studies by numerous doctors in the early 20th century;  search for a cure for the painful childhood bone disease, rickets, led to its discovery. Over time, links have been made between Vitamin-D and:

  • Bone Strength (Calcium Absorption)
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Neuromuscular System
  • Weight Loss
  • Autoimmune Diseases (Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis) Treatment
How Does the Body Make Vitamin-D?

The primary source of Vitamin-D is through synthesis in the skin from UV rays from the sun as follows:

  1. 7-dehydrocholesterol – a cholesterol derivative in the skin, is photolyzed by UV from the sun. The electrocyclic reaction produces pre-Vitamin D3.
  2. Pre-Vitamin D3 – is isomerized to cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) in a spontaneous reaction in the body. The isomerization of pre-vitamin D3 to Vitamin D3 takes about 12 days at room temperature.
  3. Calcidiol (25(OH)D) – is formed when cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) is hydroxylated in the liver by the catalyst Vitamin D25-hydroxlyase (produced in hepatocytes). 
  4. Plasma Binding – the calcidiol is released into the plasma where it is bound to an α-globulin, which is the  Vitamin D-Binding Protein (VDBP).
  5. Calcitriol (1,25(OH)2D) – formed in the kidneys as the calcidiol is hydroxylated in the proximal tubules. This reaction is catalyzed by the 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 1-alpha-hydroxylase. The catalyst levels are increased as parathyroid hormone increase and as calcium or phosphate levels decrease.
  6. Alternate Production Mechanism of Calcitriol – monocyte-macrophages in the immune system can also act as a catalyst in the calcidiol-to-calcitriol conversion. In this process, calcitriol acts as a cytokine at the spot of production, as the body’s defense against microbial infections.
  7. Vitamin-D-Receptor (VDR) – mediates the action of calcitriol
Vitamin-D-Receptor (VDR)

As a nuclear receptor, the Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) are present in most organs, including:

  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Skin
  • Gonads
  • Prostate
  • Breasts
Calcium and phosphorous levels are maintained in the blood as VDR is activated in the cells of the:
  • Intestines
  • Bones
  • Kidneys
  • Parathyroid Gland
This VDR activation is also responsible for maintaining bone content. Also involved in cell proliferation and differentiation, VDRs are expressed in some white blood cells (monocytes and activated T & B cells).
Foods with Vitamin-D

There are a number of foods that provide Vitamin-D naturally in International Units (IU):

  • Catfish:  3 ounces = 425 IU
  • Salmon:  3.5 ounces = 360 IU
  • Mackerel:  3.5 ounces = 345 IU
  • Tuna:  3.5 ounces = 235 IU (canned in oil)
  • Egg:  60grams = 20 IU
  • Beef Liver:  3.5 ounces = 15 IU
  • Cod Liver Oil:  1 Tablespoon = 1360 IU

Vitamin-D Supplements

For the dreary months, when your body does not absorb as much sun, your Vitamin-D levels may tend to drop below optimum levels. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), USA discovered that 7.6 million US children is Vitamin-D deficient. The same survey found that an additional 50.8 million children were Vitamin-D insufficient. Lead author of this study, Juhi Kumar, M.D., M.P.H (fellow in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center, The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Albert Einstein College of Medicine) stated:

We expected the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency would be high, but the magnitude of the problem nationwide was shocking.       (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/159668.php)

Although you can try to maintain your body’s Vitamin-D levels through dietary consumption, many  doctors recommend using high-grade Vitamin-D supplements. A simple blood test can determine the serum levels of Vitamin-D in your body. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice from your physician concerning the quantity of Vitamin-D supplements necessary for your specific needs.


 

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Homogenization – possible toxic effects

Wednesday Aug 10, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on Homogenization – possible toxic effects

Xanthine oxidase (XO) is a type of endogenous oxidase enzyme that normally passes through the body without absorption, unless our digestion is impaired. Some researchers propose that homogenization allows the absorption of XO ( an enzyme naturally present in milk  and cream) into the body. XO is a complex enzyme containing molybdenum, a bovine milk enzyme. Researchers have purified human XO from breast milk and show it to have properties that are surprisingly different from those of other mammalian XO. Elevated levels of circulating XO are characteristic of certain forms of  liver and heart disease. XO has a very specific function in our bodies. It breaks down purine compounds in to uric acid, which is a waste product. The liver of several animals, including human, contains XO specifically for this purpose. Homogenization was developed to keep the milk’s fat from raising to the top, forming cream which can quickly turn rancid. Most people think that the homogenization is a health precaution when is actually it just increases the shelf life. The process of homogenization consists of forcing milk through a sieve at high rate of speed with a lot of pressure which breaks up the fat globules into small globules. The surface of the fat is then too small to float. The tiny molecules enter the bloodstream directly as undigested fat, not exactly the best for human health. Toxic effects of xanthine oxidase include an increased risk of atherosclerosis. It has been speculated that dietary XO (when absorbed because of homogenization) contributes to the development of atherosclerosis. XO also facilitates the endogenous production of collagenase  and elastase.  It stimulates the production of several types of free radicals including hydrogen peroxide and superoxide free radical. XO stimulates lipid peroxidation within the skeletal muscles, an activity implicated in gout.


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Salmonella Outbreak and your health

Wednesday Aug 3, 2011 | Jeff Sherman | Comments Off on Salmonella Outbreak and your health

According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, there have been 97 reported cases of Salmonella across the United States (US) and Canada. CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating reported cases across 23 states. The strain of Salmonella Agona has been traced to Agromod Produce, Inc’s fresh papayas. The company has complied with a voluntary recall of the produce.

Is it Papaya or Ground Turkey?

Further reports indicate a link between tainted ground turkey and this Salmonella outbreak. Apparently, the first outbreaks occurred between March 7th and June 27th. While the names of the manufacturers responsible for the tainted ground turkey have not been named, consumers are urged to properly cook any poultry to diminish the chances of contracting the illness.

Precautionary Measures

Even with a voluntary recall, there may be papaya tainted Salmonella already in the commerce stream. For this reason, the FDA is advising consumers to not eat any fresh papaya from Agramod Produce, Inc.  The authorities found the strain of the outbreak in two shipments, one at the McAllen, Texas location and one at the border crossing to Mexico. The load of papayas at the border were headed for Agramod Produce, Inc. At this time, the FDA is working with Agramod to determine if earlier shipments were contaminated.

Be certain that the internal temperature of ground turkey reaches 165° F during cooking to minimize potential for infection. Furthermore, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends washing your hands at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat. Always refrigerate meat immediately after use.

Symptoms of Salmonella

Within 12-72 hours after infection, a person infected with Salmonella develops diarrhea, vomiting and severe stomach cramps. Usually lasting 4-7 days, most recover without treatment. In severe cases, however, in cases of dehydration from persistent diarrhea,hospitalization may be necessary.

Salmonella, in its most persistent form can spread from the intestines to the blood stream, infecting other parts of the body. Not treated with antibiotics immediately can cause death. The elderly, infants and persons with compromised immune systems are more prone to complications arising from Salmonella infection.

Salmonella the Bacterium

A gram-negative, rod shaped bacilli, Salmonella are microscopic creatures that live in the intestines of people and other animals. The bacteria is passed in the feces of people or animals. With over 2,300 serotypes the most common in the US are Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium, responsible for 50% of all human infections. There are strains that cause no symptoms in animals, but will make humans ill and visa versa.

Salmonella will not affect the smell, appearance or taste of food. For this reason, it is crucial that all produce be washed thoroughly and meat and poultry products cooked thoroughly. Identifying the exact source of an outbreak is extremely difficult, as indicated by the various reports in the news.

Treatment for Infection

As the Salmonella infection is considered self-limiting, some doctors do not subscribe anything other than bed rest and plenty of fluids to stave off dehydration from diarrhea. Other doctors, however, will prescribe a 10-14 course of antibiotics like ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR, etc.). There is the school of thought that antibiotics prolong the infection because they suppress the  immune system.

Any immunosuppressed individual (infants, elderly, chronically ill, etc.) must be treated with antibiotics and likely hospitalized for care by an infectious disease specialist. The following are high-risk groups:

  • AIDS patients
  • Chemotherapy/Radiation patients
  • Any patient with a chronic illness (MS, Lupus, etc.)
  • Infants
  • Elderly
  • Pregnant Women
Boost Your Immune System to Protect Against Salmonella

As with any illness, the stronger your immune system, the less likely a Salmonella infection is to cause serious complications. if you take precautions to boost your immune system, you can recover from an infection without any treatment beyond fluids to stave off dehydration. The best supplements to include in your daily diet are:

 

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The History of Fish Oil as a Beneficial Health Supplement

Sunday Jul 31, 2011 | Jeff Sherman | Comments Off on The History of Fish Oil as a Beneficial Health Supplement

Fish oil has been used throughout history within fishing communities. Specifically, 16th century English fishermen used fish oil to treat a variety of health issues:

  • Wounds
  • Colds
  • Skin Diseases
  • Body Aches
Today we understand that fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial in treatment and prevention of numerous diseases.

Research

Studies conducted on Greenland Eskimos by Dutch scientists in the 1970s revealed that a diet including high-fat fish is extremely beneficial. The study indicated an extremely low incidence of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, was due to the Greenland Eskimo’s daily consumption of fish. Fish skin, which provides the Omega-3 fatty acids, is also high in the anti-inflammatories Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA).

Benefits of Fish Oil

In addition to the initial observance that fish oil is effective for treating cardiovascular disease, it has proven an effective for:

  1. Treating Depression/Bi-Polar Disorder, including Post-Partum Depression
  2. Reducing Cholesterol Levels
  3. Reducing Triglyceride Levels
  4. Reducing Inflammation
  5. Treatment of Skin Diseases
  6. Weight Loss
  7. Improving Brain Function
  8. Increasing Focus
  9. Improving Vision
  10. Treatment of Muscle Aches
  11. Relieving Symptoms of Chron’s Disease and Colitis
  12. Treatment of Ulcers
Fish oil is thought to be effective for:
  1. Slowing Breast Tumor Growth
  2. Easing Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
If that isn’t enough, Iam’s Dog Food research states that fish oil, especially during the first month’s of a pup’s life provides many benefits to development and health including: brain development; improves vision; increases trainability.

Fish With Highest Levels of Omega-3s

The best fish to include in your regular diet that provide the highest levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids are:

  • Wild Alaskan Salmon – farmed salmon negatively impacts natural sources
  • Arctic Char (Iwana) – wild or farmed
  • Atlantic Mackerel – not Spanish or King because mercury content is extremely high
  • Sardines – wild or canned (wild sardines do not contain high levels of mercury due to size)
  • Sablefish (Black Cod) – wild caught only off Alaska or British Columbia to prevent capture of other species
  • Anchovies – any species; small enough that contamination is not a concern
  • Oysters (Kaki) – wild or farmed
  • Rainbow Trout – only farmed, as wild sources (Great Lakes) have been overfished; children should limit to 2-3 servings per month because of high levels of PCB’s 
  • Albacore Tuna – only from U.S. or Canada that practice safe methods to avoid catching other species; moderate mercury contamination should limit children to 3-meals/month.
  • Mussels (Murugai) – since farmed mussels are raised with no impact on environment, this is the best choice
  • Pacific Halibut
Unless you are prepared to eat a minimum of 3-4 ounces of fish (as listed) every day, you will likely not maintain therapeutic levels of fish oil in your system. To sustain optimum level of Omega-3s in your body, fish oil supplements are a great source. Be certain that the supplements you choose are pharmaceutical grade, like Dr. S’s EPA/DHA FISH OIL supplements, to assure reaping the full benefits of the Omega-3s.

 

 

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3 Most Important Benefits of Yoga

Friday Jul 22, 2011 | Jeff Sherman | Comments Off on 3 Most Important Benefits of Yoga

In Western culture, we often think of seemingly impossible poses when Yoga is mentioned. The fact of the matter is that the poses practiced in Yoga is but 1-branch of this ancient Indian philosophy. Yoga is dedicated to achieving a union of the practitioner’s body, mind and spirit.

More than stretching and meditation, yoga is the philosophy of “right living”; the foundations of which were recorded circa 200 A.D. by Patanjali in The Yoga Sutra. Considered a sacred text, the writings of Patanjali explores the mind and its inner workings, providing the 8-step (limb) process for achieving peace:

  1. Yama = Universal Morality
  2. Niyama = Personal Observances
  3. Asanas = Body Postures
  4. Pranayama = Breathing Exercises & Control of  Energy (Prana)
  5. Pratyahara = Control of Senses
  6. Dharana = Concentration & Cultivation of Inner Perception
  7. Dhyana = Devotion & Meditation on the Divine
  8. Samadhi = Union with the Divine
The true practice of yoga does not consider any 1-limb more important than the others. Generally, the intricacies of the 8-limbs are limited to those who have adopted yoga as a way of life. For purposes of this discussion, focus will be limited to limbs 3 (postures) & 4 (breathing).
Westernized Yoga
Most yoga practiced in the Western hemisphere is focused on learning poses, breathing and in some cases meditation. As yoga classes can be designed purely to promote relaxation, there are many classes designed to teach new body movements. With a variety of styles available to the novice and accomplished practitioner, it is important that you choose the right class for you.
Always remember: yoga is not a competition! Just because your _____ (fill in the blank) can bend their body into a pretzel, that need not be your goal. You may actually find that the ‘best’ instructor for one person does not suit your needs. Try out several classes before deciding which style is best for you. Once you have found the perfect style (for you!), there are numerous benefits to be reaped!
1.  Flexibility
Regardless your age, improving your flexibility is never a bad thing! Quash the fears that you are too old – yoga poses (asana) provide safe, gentle stretching of muscles. Lactic acid, released with stretching, built-up in the muscles can cause:
  • Stiffness
  • Tension
  • Pain
  • Fatigue
Releasing the lactic acid can relieve each of the conditions associated with excessive build-up. Furthermore, asanas are thought to increase joint lubrication, resulting in a overall increase in fluidity and ease of motion.
All soft tissues in your body are gently stretched while practicing yoga including:
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Fascia Sheath (surrounding muscles)
Regardless the level of yoga you practice, you can see dramatic improvement within 8-weeks! Studies have shown an improvement of 35% in flexibility after 8-weeks, with greatest improvement in the shoulder and trunk areas.
2.  Strength
Every style of yoga shows improvement in core strength. While the more vigorous styles (ashtanga, power, etc) will assist with muscle tone improvement, even lower impact styles (lyengar, hatha, etc.) also improve strength and endurance. Each pose provides benefits for the body, for example:
  • Upper Body Strength – upward dog, downward dog, plank
  • Lower Back Strength – upward dog, chair
  • Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Abdominal Strength – most standing poses
This is merely an example of poses and their respective benefits. As we age, improving core strength is strongly recommended to support the body’s more fragile frame.
3.  Posture
Posture improves as flexibility and strength increase. Increased core strength, from most sitting and standing poses, definitely improve posture. As your abdominal and back muscles strengthen, you will not fatigue when standing ‘tall’, eliminating the slump in your posture.
Results
By improving your strength, flexibility and posture, you will not only look and feel better, other benefits will become evident as well. Circulation will improve as cortisol levels are decreased from:
  • Deep Breathing Exercises
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Concentration
This reduction of cortisol will both improve circulation and decrease stress!

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