Sunday, September 28, 2014

Shopping Guide to the Highest Quality Foods Available

I just started using the "Find Real Food" app and am in love! Yes, that's right, in LOVE! For those of you who are conscious of where your food comes from and whether or not it's hormone-free, pesticide-free, wild-caught, etc. this is the app for you! I drive myself crazy sometimes reading all the labels and trying to find the safest, most healthiest food and now I can breath a little easier knowing that this company has already done the research. It costs $5 for the year and is priceless. The app comes from Westonaprice.org which is an amazing website for the foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods (like what our ancestors ate) to the human diet through education, research and activism.
It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies.

The app has over 13,000 thoroughly researched foods and brands highest in nutrition without additives or processing. So no matter what food restrictions I give you "Real Food" is what you should be eating. Save time and money with this easy-to-use grocery guide. For example, "Best" rated foods are in their whole form, have no additives, artificial flavors, MSG, or trans-fats. Dairy and beef must come from grassed or free-range cows. Eggs must come from pastured hens that are preferably not fed soy. Veggies and fruit must be organic or biodynamic, preferably local and in season.

Once a user of this app, you become part of the community and can rank and review products so you can share your experience with others and learn from theirs. You can also suggest new foods or brands to be reviewed by the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Wheat is a Genetically Modified Poison!

Eating gluten-free is hot right now. Many grocery stores and restaurants have gluten-free options but what exactly is gluten, why are people choosing to stay away from it and why do many of my patients who have food sensitivities eat wheat-free diets and not necessarily gluten-free diets? Burning questions, I know!

Gluten is a protein found in grains that include wheat, oat, spelt, rye, and barley and some people have a true allergy to it where their body cannot digest it so when consumed, their digestive track becomes inflamed, the intestinal wall damaged and over time celiac disease forms. Celiac disease is diagnosed by blood tests and examining a small piece of tissue from your intestinal track to see if it's damaged.

But a lot of people who feel that gluten may be an issue for them go for the celiac disease test and it comes back negative, yet they know they somehow feel better if they don't eat gluten. So even though there is no true gluten allergy causing a disease there could be a gluten sensitivity causing symptoms. That is why I muscle test to see if gluten is a problem for the body to digest and once off gluten their symptoms become dramatically better. Symptoms helped by not eating gluten when indicated by the muscle testing (also known at Nutrition Response Testing) include acne, constipation, diarrhea, gas, acid reflux, headaches. A lot of the times patients inform me about weight loss that occurs as a result as well.

Sometimes though, when testing the body, I don't find gluten as a problem for the body to digest but wheat itself is a problem. Whereas the other grains, oat, rye, spelt, etc. are okay for the patient to eat. So why would wheat be an issue but not gluten? The answer is because it has been genetically modified and the body looks at it as a toxin instead of a food. So for some bodies it is a "perfect, chronic poison," according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published Wheat Belly. Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn't the wheat your grandma had: "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s." This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten. The gliadin protein is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite. Opiates include chemicals like morphine, heroin and opium.

So when people stop eating wheat, just like when people stop eating gluten, they tend to lose weight. My patients have also found relief in digestive issues, fatigue, headaches, acne, severe PMS and brain fog. When making food options while staying off of wheat you know if it's gluten-free then it won't have wheat so buying/ordering gluten-free is an easy way to go about cleaning up the wheat in your diet.

Besides staying off of the bread, pasta, bagels, pretzels which are obvious white flour/gluten containing foods one should be careful of gravies, soups and salad dressings which tend to use wheat as a thickner. Soy sauce has gluten in it as well and so a lot of my patients go to a health food store and get gluten-free soy sauce and bring that to the restaurant when ordering sushi or sashimi.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Miracles of Coconut Oil

Over the last year there has been a surge of new coconut products - coconut sugar, coconut butter, coconut water, etc. I highly recommend these products to my patients as healthy alternatives to white refined sugar, margarine or fruit juices. A few weeks ago I blogged about the benefits of oil pulling and after sesame seed oil the next best oil to use is coconut oil and I wanted to take the time now to talk more about how much one can benefit from adding more coconut oil into their diet.

The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, cholesterol level maintenance, weight loss, boosted immune system, proper digestion and regulated metabolism. It also provides relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and cancer, while helping to improve dental quality and bone strength. These benefits of oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and their respective properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing qualities.

Hair care:
Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrients for your hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair and gives your hair a shiny quality. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. By regularly massaging your head with coconut oil, you can ensure that your scalp is free of dandruff, even if your scalp is chronically dry. It also helps in keeping your hair and scalp free from lice and lice eggs.

Heart diseases:
There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for heart health. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. In reality, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as you commonly find in vegetable oils. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.

Digestion:
A tablespoon taken before each meal can help improve digestion. It can also be taken in warm ginger tea to sooth heartburn or nausea.

Skin care:
Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin and has a natural SPF 4. It also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin which normally accompany aging. It makes for a great after-shave lotion. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. It can relieve the pain of hemorrhoids when used topically. When put on cuticles it helps nails grow and also makes a great eye-makeup remover!

Weight loss:
Coconut oil is very useful for weight loss. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Further, it increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose the weight.

Immunity:
Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. A tablespoon melted into a cup of warm tea can help sooth a sore throat.

Candida:
Coconut oil has been shown to prevent and even cure candida. It provides relief from the inflammation caused by candida, both externally and internally. Its high moisture retaining capacity keeps the skin from cracking or peeling off. Further, unlike other pharmaceutical treatments for candida, the effects of coconut oil is gradual and not drastic or sudden, which gives the body an appropriate amount of time to slowly kill the fungi and prevent adverse symptoms that can occur when killing the fungi too fast. Adverse symptoms of treating candida to aggressively is known as a die-off reaction. But, in the treatment of this condition, people should systematically and gradually increase their internal dosages of coconut oil and shouldn’t initially start with a large quantity. When having a yeast infection you can soak a tampon in coconut oil and insert it overnight for topic treatment.

Purpose————–Preferable Type to Buy

Cooking————–Refined Coconut Oil

Weight Loss———Virgin Coconut Oil

As a Carrier Oil—–Virgin Coconut Oil

Good Health———Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Oil

Massaging———–Pure Coconut Oil, Refined Coconut Oil

Hair——————–Pure Coconut Oil, Refined Coconut Oil

Medicinal uses—–Virgin Coconut Oil, Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

For more information read "The Coconut Oil Miracle" by Bruce Fife