Lectins – Good or Bad?

Dietary Lectins

Lectins are a large class of carbohydrate-binding proteins found in all forms of life, including the human body.  Dietary lectins are found in all foods, but only about 30% contain them in significant amounts. Humans are vulnerable to the toxicity of these lectins.  Concentrated amounts can cause digestive issues and long-term health problems, including autoimmune disorders. The largest concentrations of lectins are found in grains and the legume family (including beans, soybeans and peanuts),  although dairy, eggs, and plants in the nightshade family (like potatoes) also contain lectins and can be problematic for those individuals with autoimmune or digestive problems.  These small compounds can begin to bio-accumulate in the body not only causing damage to the gut lining, but also negatively impacting hunger signals (meaning that you still may feel hungry after consuming an adequate amount of calories).  It also doesn’t help that these are […]

Why Mitochondrial Function is Important to Our Health

Mitochondria are believed to be involved in human aging and mitochondrial dysfunction is now recognized as being at the core of virtually all disease states.  Our mitochondria produce energy (known as ATP).  These energy-producing powerhouses are found in most all cells, including those cells that make up your brain, heart, skeletal muscle, and liver.  The body’s mitochondria make up ten percent of total body weight.

Certainly, loss of energy is one of the most common signs of aging and disease.  Fatigue may be a sign your mitochondria are unable to keep up with your body’s energy demands.  And this is when we may begin to feel the “bottom fall out”.

So, if you’re feeling old and weary before your time, here are a few tips to jump start your mitochondria: 

  • First and foremost, follow a nutritionally ketogenic food plan – a ketogenic diet calls for […]

Ten Ways to Avoid a Hangover

Benjamin Franklin was once famously quoted as saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  We can certainly apply this sound principle to hangovers.   Sure, there are lots of cures out there for the dreaded “day after”, but wouldn’t it be a better idea to avoid it in the first place?  Not indulging in libations at all would certainly do the trick, however for those times when there’s a great probability you’ll be over-served (after all, St. Paddy’s Day is coming up), here are some strategies to prevent a hangover:

  • Be sure to eat good-quality proteins – turkey, chicken, beef, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts and seeds.  The amino acids in protein help to detoxify the liver.  Eggs are also a great source of cysteine, which helps break down a headache-causing toxin that’s produced when your body digests alcohol.
  • Consume plenty of leafy […]

Longevity and Inflammation

It’s no secret that the common link for a variety of health problems is chronic inflammation.  This is true whether we’re talking about obesity and diabetes or heart disease and cancer.  How do you reduce chronic inflammation?  It all starts with your diet.  Simply put, eat real food.  Once you replace processed foods with real ones, you can make a significant difference in your overall health. increase your longevity, and improve the quality of your life.

Real foods that control inflammation and promote longevity include:
  • Nuts – Raw nuts and seeds are a great snack and contain lots of valuable vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
  • Berries – loaded with phytochemicals to boost immunity, prevent cancer, and protect your heart.
  • Dark chocolate – studies now link dark chocolate consumption to multiple health benefits, including longevity.  Ideally raw chocolate (known as cacao) is best.
  • Wild-caught salmon – increases your anti-inflammatory omega-3 […]

Mushrooms – “Powerhouses” of Nutrition

Mushrooms are “little powerhouses” of nutrition, containing some of the most potent natural medicines in the world. They are an excellent addition to salads, and are delicious when paired up with meats and fish. Mushrooms have long been used as a defense against bacterial infections due to their strong antibiotic properties. Penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline all are derived from fungal extracts.

One caveat when eating mushrooms is to be sure they’re organically grown to avoid harmful contaminants that mushrooms absorb and concentrate from soil, air, and water. It is not recommended to pick mushrooms in the wild because some mushrooms are toxic and look very similar to their healthy counterparts. Growing them yourself would be a better option.

Some healthy types of mushrooms include:

Shiitake – contains many health-stimulating agents, as well as anti-tumor and anti-viral, and cholesterol-lowering properties.

Reishi – used for medicinal […]

Endocrine Disruptors and Tips to Avoid Common Toxic Household Chemicals

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals known to interfere with development and reproduction, and they may cause serious neurological and immune system effects.  These chemicals mimic your body’s hormones including male and female sex hormones, as well as thyroid hormones.  These endocrine-disrupting chemicals may block hormonal signals in your body or interfere with the way the hormones or receptors are made or controlled.  Thus, normal hormone levels may be altered or the way hormones navigate through the body can be affected.

Unfortunately, many common household products are a source of these endocrine disruptors, and we are exposed to them on a daily basis.  Although it would be nearly impossible to avoid all of these chemical disruptors, you can definitely limit your family’s exposure in the following ways:

  • Eat mostly fresh, raw whole foods. Processed and packaged foods are typically loaded with BPA and phthalates.
  • Purchase products that come in […]

National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week

National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week is an annual, week-long observance (January 25th-31st, 2016) that brings together students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, TV, movies, music, or from friends.  It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the national Institute on Drug abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug abuse and addiction and how specifically, alcohol and drugs affect the brain, body, and behavior.  The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism became a partner starting in 2016, and alcohol has been added as a topic area for the week.

Recent Statistics

Approximately one third of high school seniors report using an illicit drug sometime in the past year; about 5 percent of seniors report non-medical use of […]

Tea Tree Oil and MRSA

It is well known that the overprescribing of antibiotics during the past several decades has led to the serious problem of antibiotic-resistant organisms and resulting infections.  The CDC estimates that 2 million people per year become ill from antibiotic-resistant infection, with an estimated 23,000 deaths.

 MRSA and an alternative treatment

The MRSA staph infection, in particular, is considered a formidable threat to our health system. Within the past decade, studies using tea tree oil to treat MRSA have been performed in vivo in hospital settings.  According to the research on MRSA treatments, the efficacy of tea tree oil has been clearly demonstrated in both inhibiting bacterial growth and proactively killing the bacterium.

What is tea tree oil?

Melaleuca alternifolia, one of over 300 different species of plants known as tea tree in Australia, is the most potent and useful.  Tea tree oil is one of the strongest antibacterial/antimicrobial/antiviral […]

Getting Back on Track After Too Much Holiday Cheer

If you feel like you’re suffering from a post-holiday slump, you’re not alone.  All the shopping for gifts, feasting on less-than-healthy food and drink, and lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your body.  It’s time to get back on track and re-energize for the New Year.  Here are some helpful tips:

Don’t beat yourself up.  Get up and start the next day by eating healthy and resuming your exercise regimen.  It’s not about how many times you fall but rather how quickly you get back up!

Restock your kitchen with healthy foods.  Purchase some high-fiber, low-carb veggies and lean protein to satisfy your appetite.

Eat protein at every meal (three meals daily and two snacks).  This will go a long way to help regulate blood sugar levels and keep you satisfied throughout the day.  Protein sources include high-quality meat, fish, poultry, and eggs, as well […]

Go Nuts for Walnuts!

Dating back to ancient times, walnuts have been known for providing us with health benefits such as high intellect and even promoting fertility in men.  Walnuts are a rich source of energy and contain healthy nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.  They are also known for their potential of lowering your risk of heart-related disease, diabetes, and specific cancers.  Oil extracted from the nuts, apart from cooking, has been used as a base for oil in medicine and aromatherapy.  And for those of you concerned about their caloric content, the high ratio of satiety-to-calories actually makes them helpful in appetite control.

Eating as few as six to seven walnuts a day could help scavenge almost all the disease causing free radicals from the human body. But be sure to eat the outermost layer of a shelled walnut – the […]