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The Proactive Healthcare Blog

HEALTH TIPS

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November 4, 2013 adminNaturopathic Advice0

  1. High-sugar foods: Immunosuppression for 2-4 hours after eating
  2. High-fat foods: Especially foods with arachidonic acid and saturated fats (dairy and animal fat primarily)
  3. Food Allergens: Allergens may form immune complexes and lead to inflammation
  4. Foods that promote bacterial overgrowth of the small bowel: Simple sugars and complex carbs quickly digested such as refined white flour and white potatoes
  5. Insufficiency of fiber: Fiber pulls toxins from the GI tract and acts like a broom to sweep them out
  6. Insufficient phytonutrients: Phytonutrients primarily found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds act as anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, which quench inflammation
  7. Insufficient exercise: 1) Adipose tissue (fat) is pro-inflammatory; 2) Exercising muscle reduces inflammation improves insulin sensitivity
  8. Vitamin D deficiency: Causes inflammation, promotes autoimmunity, and expedites progression of osteoarthritis
  9. Fatty acid imbalances: Insufficiencies of Omega-3 and -6 fats, along with excesses of saturated fat and trans-fats lead to inflammation
  10. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies: Especially magnesium, deficiency of which is seen in 20-40% of most “industrialized” populations.
  11. Xenobiotic/toxin accumulation: Non-specific but can lead to inflammation and is an underdiagnosed problem
  12. Emotional stress and toxic relationships: Promote inflammation, impair wound healing, and promote immunosuppresion

 


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September 5, 2013 adminNaturopathic Advice0

1. Start the day with positive thoughts as soon as you open your eyes. Don’t put negative energy into your day before you even get out of bed. Always believe that you will persevere. For example say: Today, I will treat myself well.

Before you shower try:

2. Dry skin brushing: Using a natural bristle brush or loofah, make small light circles starting at your feet working towards heart. Continue from your fingertips to your heart area. Do this on bare skin, without water, and quickly. Dry skin brushing will take one minute once you make this a habit. The benefit of this practice is its ability to remove dead skin, allows for better gas exchange, increase venous return to the heart which helps varicose veins and most importantly, this increases lymph circulation which removes infections and boosts the immune system.

 

After washing in the shower try:

3. Contrast shower: End your shower with 1minute of water as hot as can handle followed by 30 seconds of as cold as you can handle. Repeat this 3 times. It’s the difference in temperature that has the therapeutic benefit. Contract showers increase circulation, help remove toxins, stimulates lymphatic circulation which improves your immune system and it wakes you up!

4. Good Food:

  • Start your day with a glass of room temperature water with 1 tbsp of lemon juice in it upon rising. Lemon, a great source of Vitamin C, is a natural antimicrobial so it cleans and disinfects the inside of your body. Additionally, it stimulates the production of bile which is an important part of detoxification.
  • Eat breakfast every morning. If time is sparse then bring it in the car if you have to. Try a smoothie, nuts and seeds, or organic protein bars. Try to keep healthy snacks in your brief case, the glove box, or desk drawer so when things get hectic you can still eat well.
  • There is no perfect diet and you need to discover what works best for you.  Remember, you are what you eat. Everything you put in your mouth is broken down to make up the cells of you body. Food can be your best medicine or your greatest poison: you decide. Diet is also about cultural expectations, financial constraints, emotional well-being, and social activities. It is a gradual and life-time experimentation. Consider seeking help from your Naturopathic Doctor to find the eating plan that works best for you.

5. Move

Try to get up every hour throughout the day even if only for 30 seconds to prevent blood and lymph from stagnating. Try walking, stretching, jogging on the spot, yoga, or Tai Chi. While you’re at it try deep breathing through the nose. Make one of those movement breaks intense enough to bring on a good sweat for at least 15 minutes. This doesn’t need to be “exercise”. Chasing toddlers, moving furniture, cleaning windows…it all counts.

While reading or watching TV, try:

6. Castor Oil packs: Obtain a 9 by 9 inch piece of flannel, soak the flannel in castor oil and apply it over the liver area which is the upper right quadrant of abdomen. Place a plastic bag over top the flannel and a hot water bottle on top of that. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. This procedure promotes detoxification which increases energy, balances hormones and improves digestion.

7. Health Journal: Every day briefly write down entries under the following headings:

  • Diet: Be aware of the food and drinks you choose each day by keeping a diet diary. You can’t make changes until know what you’re choosing now.
  • Symptoms: Headache, fatigue, constipation etc.
  • Emotions: Irritable, content, weepy etc.
  • Dreams: Writing down your dreams improves your memory and gives you insight into your subconscious. You may want to write them down first thing in the morning when they are still fresh in your mind.
  • Weather: You may find your symptoms improve or get worse when it rains or that you feel better in the sun. This is significant information and can give insight into your condition.
  • This habit teaches you to become more aware of yourself and helps you identify patterns and changes in your well being. Realize the more information you have about your health the more accurate a diagnosis you will get so bring this health journal to your doctor’s appointments. Keep one for your children until they are old enough to do so themselves.

8. Prepare your bedroom for sleep. Good sleep is as important to your health as what you eat.

  • Discard of clutter around your bed—hide it if necessary.
  • Use bed only for sleeping and intimacy—no reading in bed.
  • If you use your bedroom as an office or for studying, separate that part of room from the sleeping area use hanging dividers, sheets, or open shelves.
  • Sleep in complete darkness. Studies have shown that women who sleep in completely dark rooms have better hormone balance. Darkness increases the release of melatonin to promote better sleep and more alert wake cycles. This means no light through the window, no night lights, and no alarm clock shining into your eyes.

Once in bed try:

9. Alternate nostril breathing:

  • Plug the right nostril and take a deep breath lasting 4 seconds through the left nostril
  • Hold for 16 seconds, or as long as you can without straining
  • Unplug the right nostril and release for 8 seconds. Take another breath through the right nostril for the count of 4, hold for 16 seconds and release on the left for 8 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
  • This will encourage nasal breathing which is important for respiratory health. Through this breathing exercise you can increase the secretion of melatonin, which is protective against cancer, reduces anxiety, promotes hormone balance and regulates day and night cycles.

10. End your day with gratitude

  • Take at least 3 seconds to find one thing in your day to be thankful for. This is a great time to congratulate yourself on incorporating these new techniques into your routine.       

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The understanding of “Food as Medicine” has always had its passionate advocates, and with the emergence of Epigenetics, cutting edge science is helping to explain the cellular effects food has on our bodies. For instance, we now know that fresh foods that are local, seasonal and organic can help reduce our risk of some forms of cancer. With this knowledge comes the opportunity to make nutritional choices that impact all of your cells and leave you feeling better, as well as choices that positively impact our community and local farmers. Veggie stir-fry anyone?

This “farm”acy Rx is the list that will give you the most bang for your effort.

  • Water: drink at least 2 litres daily. Add lemon juice to your water first thing in the morning to increase bile excretion (bile is a natural laxative)
  • Try to consume 3 cups of green tea daily. In some studies it has shown to prevent breast cancer recurrence by up to 64%.
  • Add 2 tbsp of ground flaxseeds to your meals through smoothies, in salad, added to soup, or mixed with veggies.
  • Add veggies like spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, parsley or fresh mint to your smoothies.
  • Eat at least 1 organic apple a day
  • Include at least 1 portion/day of Cruciferous vegetables daily which include watercress, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, arugula, kohlrabi, radish, daikon, and Bok Choy. These assist your liver in detoxification.
  • Include 1 serving/day of sulphur rich foods such as cabbage, garlic, onions, and beans which also promote liver detoxification
  • Eat 1/2 cup of beans like lentils, chickpeas, black beans, adzuki, mung, pinto or navy every day. This is the food you would most want o be stuck on desert island with for all of its nutritional value.
  • Include glutathione-containing food such asparagus, avocados and walnuts. Glutathione is the most important antioxidant for your liver.
  • Include high antioxidant foods such as berries, grapes (organic!), beets, cooked tomatoes, pomegranate and organic green tea to prevent free radical damage.
  • Include liberal amounts of turmeric, cilantro and walnuts in your diet.
  • Eat a total of at least 3 cups of vegetables daily.
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol, grapefruit juice, stomach acid blockers and antihistamines.  If you are a regular coffee reduce to 1 cup/day and try to drink only organic coffee.
  • Avoid all artificial sweeteners including aspartame, sucralose (Spenda), and acesulfame potassium. These are found in all diet products, many yogurts, gum, mints, Crystal Light water, most flavoured water and many protein bars.
  • Avoid “White” food: white bread, white pasta, white rice, white sugar
  • Avoid all fried foods including chips, fries, chicken, breaded fish
  • Only consume dairy that is organic
  • Avoid MSG. It may be listed as:

Autolyzed yeast
Calcium caseinate
Gelatin
Glutamate, Glutamic acid
Hydrolyzed protein
Monopotassium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate

Sodium caseinate
Textured protein
Yeast extract
Yeast food
Yeast Nutrient



October 14, 2011 adminNaturopathic Advice0

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms, and in most cases bacteria, similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. Also called friendly bacteria or good bacteria, the good bacteria exist in contrast to bad bacteria in the body that can harm health.

What causes imbalances between good and bad bacteria?

The balance between good and bad bacteria can be compromised for many reasons.

  • Long-term use of antibiotics and other medications, including oral contraceptives and hormone therapy
  • Weakened immune system
  • High sugar and starch diet
  • Lack of anti-fungal foods such as garlic, coconut, cinnamon, turmeric, and foods with probiotics
  • Unfriendly microorganisms such as disease-causing bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and parasites
  • Elevated heavy metals

What are some types of probiotics?

Probiotics are available in foods and dietary supplements such as capsules, tablets, and powders. Foods containing probiotics include yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, as well as some juices and soy beverages. In probiotic foods and supplements, the bacteria may have been present originally or added during preparation. Effects found from one species or strain of probiotics do not necessarily hold true for others, or even for different preparations of the same species or strain.

The bacteria often come from two groups: Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. Within each group, different species are present such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidus. Within each species, different strains or varieties exist. A few common probiotics, such as Saccharomyces boulardii, are yeasts, which are different from bacteria.

What are the potential benefits of probiotics?

Probiotic are used to prevent and treat certain illnesses while supporting general wellness.

  • Supports the immune system
  • Protects against unhealthy intestinal bacteria associated with cancer
  • Aids digestion and absorption of food and nutrients
  • Releases enzymes to help alleviate symptoms of intestinal malabsorption
  • Supports deroxification
  • Helps elicit anti-tumor effects1

What is the history of probiotics?

Some probiotic foods date back to ancient times, such as fermented foods and cultured milk products.

Probiotics and Antibiotics

I always recommend that my patients take a high quality form of acidophilus during and after a dose of any antibiotic. Antibiotics are a useful tool for eliminating a severe infection, but they also bring with them some side effects that the acidophilus can help to counter. When we take antibiotics, they kill all bacteria in our intestines – the harmful bacteria that is infecting the body, but also the good bacteria that live there naturally. The problem with clearing all bacteria from the intestine is that this leaves you open to yeast, or other bacteria moving in.

How to choose a probiotic

When choosing your probiotics, it is important to get a high quality brand that has been continually refrigerated and is within its expiration date. Taking probiotics to repopulate your intestine is like choosing a healthy seedling for your garden. A baby plant needs to be given water and sun while in the store in order to take root properly in your garden. Probiotics are live bacteria, so they need to be refrigerated or they will die in the bottle. Many probiotic supplements have been sitting on the shelf too long and so they no longer contain live bacteria that can be “transplanted” to your intestines. Also, make sure to use probiotics at a different time of day than your antibiotic pills so that the antibiotic will not kill the good bacteria. You should also continue taking probiotics for 10-30 days after a course of antibiotics to really make sure everything gets back to normal.

Probiotics and Kids

Probiotics are useful for other health conditions in children as well. According to a systematic review of every study done on probiotics for children, probiotics have been proven to be effective in treating childhood diarrhea and eczema. In one or more of these studies, probiotics have also been successful in preventing eczema, colic, and respiratory tract infections in children. There is even evidence that probiotics may also be useful in children with Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, juvenile chronic arthritis, leukemia, milk intolerance, recurrent urinary tract infections and can also be used to treat premature babies.

For More Information

  • Life Over Cancer by Keith Block, MD
  • Anticancer by David Servan-Schreiber MD, PhD
  • The Definitive Guide to Cancer, 3rd Edition: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing by Lise Alschuler, ND and Karolyn A. Gazella


This a published study which showed the inefficacy of ionic foot baths as a method of “cleansing”. I have re-posted it below for those interested.My advice

My advice: Skip the foot baths, supplements and gimmicks and save your cash for organic produce instead.

Objective assessment of an ionic foot bath (IonCleanse®): Testing its ability to remove toxic elements from the body

Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Vol 7 (2010), Iss.1, Art. 44

Deborah A. Kennedy, Kieran Cooley, Thomas R. Einarson, Dugald Seely

Objectives

Phase 1 Establishment of baseline &confounders

• A baseline measurement of the contribution of the ionic footbath machine to any toxic element release when both distilled and tap water were used with no feet present.

Phase 2 Assessment of the effectiveness of the removal of toxic elements

1. To determine the effectiveness of the ionic footbath’s ability to remove toxic elements through the feet of each participant;

2. To determine whether ionic footbath sessions would increase toxic element release through the urine;

3. To determine whether the ionic footbath would reduce the overall toxic burden of heavy metals, as measured through hair mineral analysis

Methods

Study Design

• A proof of principle, non-randomized, non-blinded comparative, no feet versus feet, trial.

• Ethics approval was given by Research Ethics Board of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM)

• All participants enrolled gave written informed consent to participate in the study.

Study Duration: 12 weeks

• Clinical Trial registration no: NCT01125592

Analyses

• Independent laboratory analysis was performed by CanAlt Health Laboratory Inc. Concord ON.

• Microsoft Office Excel 2007 was used for all data manipulations and descriptive statistics.

• StatsDirect version 2.7.7 was used for the non-parametric statistics.

Discussion

• Toxic elements were present with and without feet.

• Source of the toxic elements is unknown – there are many components.

• Material testing was not performed on all the components of the footbath.

Strengths & Limitations

Strengths

• Rigorous methodology

• Multiple routes of elimination evaluated

• Independent laboratory analysis using industry accepted standards

Limitations

• Small sample size, n=6

• No materials testing performed

Conclusion

There is no evidence to suggest that ionic footbaths promote the elimination of toxic elements from the body through the feet, urine, or hair.

Acknowledgments

• We thank all of our study participants for their time and dedication to this project.

• This research was supported by a grant from the Holistic Health Research Foundation.

• Deborah Kennedy is supported by a career development grant from the Sickkids Foundation.

• A Major Difference Inc. provided the use of an IonCleanse® SOLO™ device and all related supplies for this study but had no other involvement in the project.

• CanAlt Health Laboratory Inc. provided the water and urine analysis testing at a reduced cost, enabling us to increase the number of participants in the study.




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