Posts tagged #nutrition

Why Eat Organic?

There are many reasons to eat organic, not just for the health of the person eating organic foods, but also for the health of the planet.  By choosing organic, or at least avoiding the foods that are most heavily sprayed with pesticides, you can reap the following benefits:

You will dramatically reduce your daily intake of pesticides.  Conventionally used pesticides are neurotoxins and can contribute to poor cognitive function, poor sensory/motor function, and fatigue.

You will be getting more nutrients from the food that you eat.  Organic farming operations usually use more sustainable farming practices which help to stop soil erosion and preserve the nutrient content of the soil so that it can better sustain life.

You can positively impact the ecosystems in which farming takes place.  Chemicals that are sprayed on conventionally grown crops do not stay on the crop but can run off into the water and effect not only the fish, but every organism that feeds off that water 

You are helping out the people who grow the food.  The toxic effects of pesticides are much greater than in the general public because they are dealing with them in greater amounts.  Also, by reducing the demand for conventional produce by choosing farmers  that don’t rely on pesticides and genetically modified seed.

You are avoiding the antibiotics, growth enhancing hormones, and other medications given to conventionally raised feed animals.  Because animals are raised eating corn and are raised in unsanitary environments, many medications are needed in order to keep these animals from becoming sick. 

By buying less conventionally grown produce you are not just helping yourself by decreasing you  intake of pesticides but you are also voting for a more sustainable system of food production for the whole world.


Posted on February 4, 2015 .

How to Deal with the Long, Dark Days of Winter

In the wintertime, the days are short with the sun setting before you get home from work or school.  Add to this the days that are cloudy and you have a winter that can be depressing.  If the winter weather is getting you down, here are some things that you can do:

  •  Supplement with Vitamin D:  This is an important hormone that your body makes in your skin when it is exposed to sunlight.  Some of the important things that vitamin D can affect are mood, the immune system, calcium absorption, heart health, and fertility. Check with your health care provider before starting supplementation (Vitamin D is a hormone, and too much or too little can cause problems).
  • Exercise: A solid exercise regimen has been show to be as effective as anti-depressant medications (SSRIs) in decreasing the symptoms of depression.  A fun way to incorporate exercise is to join a local community sports team or find some other form of exercise that you enjoy doing like hiking, cycling, skiing, or swimming. 
  • Replace Deficient Nutrients:  There are quite a few nutritional factors that can set somebody up for depression.  These include inadequate protein intake, and deficiencies in vitamin C, B-vitamins, folic acid, essential fatty acids, or trace minerals.  Women who are taking birth control pills can have lower levels of the above nutrients because they are used up during the metabolism of the hormones.  Deficiencies of the above nutrients can also affect the synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain, as well as the production of energy in the body. You can be tested to determine which specific nutrients you may be deficient or sub-optimal in.
  • Meditate. Meditation has been shown to improve mood, decrease inflammation and normalize stress hormones. A simple act of closing your eyes for 1 minute with deep breaths has major benefits! 
Posted on January 11, 2015 .

A "Detox" Explained

We live in a world filled with more pollution than ever, and even at low levels, these pollutants can affect your health. These toxicants can act in an unfortunate variety of ways in the body including disrupting hormones, brain function, and immune system.  Specific toxins have even been linked to endometriosis, ADHD, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, asthma, infertility, Parkinson’s disease and breast cancer.

Interstitial Cystitis (Painful Bladder Syndrome) and Food Triggers

Certain foods can increase painful bladder symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis. Most foods result in symptoms 2-4 hours after ingestion.

Most common irritating foods:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • carbonated drinks
  • caffeine
  • spicy foods
  • tomatoes
  • citrus fruits
  • vinegar
  • bananas
  • cheese
  • aspartame
  • onions
  • sour cream
  • yogurt

There is no known reason why these food cause bladder irritation, however there are some theories as to why these foods are associated with IC. Many of these contain higher amounts of specific amino acids, including tryptophan and tyrosine, which are thought be broken down into products that are more irritating to the bladder wall. Another common irritant that is found in some of the above foods are "oxalates", which may irritate the bladder wall as well. 

However, diet is simply one aspect of interstitial cystitis. Hormones, an abnormal immune response, and poor bladder lining all contribute. These factors may be addressed individually and part of a complete plan. 

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