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Neurotransmitter dysfunction

Posted on January 6, 2014

Our brain depends on neurotransmitters to transmit signals. Neurotransmitters are made of animo acids, which come from protein in our food. Brain is protein dependent, it needs amino acid, which makes up protein, to manufactures these neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters that regulate mood also regulate our appetite. When we become deficient in our neurotransmitters, we start craving carbs and sugars. The more deficient, the more cravings we have for bad carbs such as refined sugar and processed carbohydrates.

If dietary improvement is not enough to relieve the depression and anxiety and to counteract the cravings for "bad mood foods" such as refined carbs, sugar, corn syrup, fructose-based substances etc. , then supplementation may be necessary. This is called amino acid therapy-the process is to identify negative mood and see what nutrient supplement that are most useful for the symptoms.

Most common reason for depression is serotonin deficiency. Precursor of serotionin is tryptophan , which is the first to be lost in a low calorie diet. It is most common for people who skip meals and are addicted to empty calories.

Mood Swings--Gluten Intolerance

Posted on December 6, 2013

Gluten intolerance can trigger mood swings, depression and anxiety.

People who are gluten intolerant can suffer from mood problems, depression and anxiety when they eat foods that contain gluten. In children, this can also be expressed as learning disabilities or behavioral issues such as hyperactivity. Gluten can damage the brain and nerves of gluten-sensitive people. The symptoms from gluten occur through its action on the nervous system and affect brain function.

Gluten intolerance  can often  express itself as chronic bowel problems, especially constipation, and cravings for gluten-containing foods such as refined sweets and starches.

The best way to find out if you are gluten intolerant is to eliminate gluten from the diet and challenge after 2 weeks, meaning to add gluten containing foods back into your diet and observe the reaction.

Mood Swings---Hypoglycemia

Posted on November 15, 2013

Hypoglycemia-- a fancy name for low blood sugar level. Hypoglycemia occurs when:

1. Your body's sugar is used up too quickly.

2. Glucose is relaeased into the bloodstream to slowly.

3. Too much insulin is released into the bloodstream.

Although it is most common in people with diabetes , it can happen for healthy people from time to time as well, especially when there is big fluctuation in blood sugar level, or if a person hasn't eaten for a long period of time.

Skipping meals , not eating enough during meal, genetic tendency for low blood sugar and not compensating by adding extra meals or snacks can all contribute to hypoglycemia. There are a few ways to alleviate mood issues caused by hypoglycemia.

1. Eat meals that are low in glycemic load; include generous amounts of vegetables, and moderate amounts of protein and good fats.

2. To keep blood sugar level even, experiment with having 5-6 small meals or snacks a day, instead of 3 big meals.

3. Avoid as much as possible processed foods , and anything that contains sugar and refined carbohydrates.

 

Healthy Skin

Posted on October 7, 2013

Skin issues are definitely not skin-deep. Skin is the largest organ in our body, and it reflects the condition inside our body. The best way to relieve skin problems is to fix the root cause .

These are some possible causes of skin conditions:

-Cold sores - immune system is trying to fight off internal infections

-Rash or hives- allergic reaction to food or medications

-Yellowish skin tone-problem with liver

Also , imbalances in the digestive tract can cause skin disorders

-Poor digestion and absorption

-Not enough "good" bacteria in the digestive tract

-Overgrowth of candida yeast

-Leaky gut

To Support your digestive system, eat foods that are rich in prebiotic and probiotics. To reduce the overgrowth and candida yeast, avoid sugar and flour. To manage leaky gut, investigate possible food intolerance, such as gluten or diary, but not limited to these.

Tips for ditching the sugar, salts, and fats:

Posted on September 5, 2013

People are beginning to see the dangers of genetically-modified ingredients and all the sugar, salt, and fats hidden in our food supply. No processed food can be a better option than a healthy home-cooked meal. So how do you get your tastebuds to desire the healthy food vs the processed food.

 

1. Saute or roast your veggies to bring out their natural sweetness.

2. Play with herbs such as cilantro, parsley, dill, basil, and oregano to add flavor and phytonutrients!

3. Healthy fats found in avacado, coconut, and tahini not only increas the flavor of your meal they also add a creamy texture.

4. Add moderate amounts of tamari, balsamic vinegar, tomatoe paste, dried mushroom to your soup and sauce.

5. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and cayenne are all extremely flavorful additions to a meal.

6. Have real vanilla extract or coconut butter on hand.

7. For the most flavor , eat seasonally and locally.

8. Keep hydarted.

9. Check medications, these can interfere with the body's ability to taste and smell.

The Many Names of Sugar

Posted on August 2, 2013

The Many Names of Sugar:

 

Brown Sugar, confectioner’s sugar, powdered sugar

Cane juice/evaporated cane juice

Corn syrups

Dextrose, or glucose, aka corn sugar

High-Fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

Honey

Lactose or milk sugar

Levulose, or fructose

Raw sugar

Sorbitol, mannitoll, malitol and xylitol

Sucrose or table sugar

 

In general, watch out for anything with “sugar”, “-ose” or “-ol”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you know sugar is bad for you. What about using artificial sweeteners to satisfy your sweet tooth? They contain 0 calories, so it’s supposed to be ok, right?

Artificial sweeteners may taste like sugar, but your body does not recognize them as food! They are chemicals that your body recognize as toxins, and add to your body’s toxic load. Symptoms of toxicity can include: fatigue, headache, mood changes, digestive issues and brain fog-just to name a few.

 

Moreover, studies have found that the sweet taste without the calories actually messes with our perception of satiety—we are telling our brain that sweet taste no longer equates to calories! Researchers have shown that people who consume diet drinks and use artificial sweeteners actually gain weight, instead of losing weight!

 

Trans Fats

Posted on July 4, 2013

0 trans fat= this label is allowed on foods that contain less than 0.5 gram of trans fat per serving. (No amount of trans fat is recommended, and it only takes 2 grams of trans fat to show its harmful effect.)

Nowadays many packaged foods claim to be "trans fat" free to position themselves as healthy choices. What the food industry doesn't tell you is that when a label shows 0 grams trans fat per serving it is allowed to contain up to 0.49 grams of trans fat per serving. and a diet of just 2 grams of trans fat per day has been found to be assoiciated with a slew of health issues. Some foods labeled "zero trans fat may contain high amounts of fat, calories and sodium. Frozen entrees like fried chicken and fried fish are two examples.

So what exactly is trans fat and what does it do to your health?

 

-It sabotages good cholesterol and can boost bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoproteins that clog arteries and cause heart disease.

-It is suspected of playing a role in diabetes and cancer.

-It is found in a lot of packaged foods.

-It can appear in the ingredient list as "hydrogenated oil" or "partially hydrogenated oil"

Come back next month and learn the names of sugar  and a bit about artificial sweeteners.

What's on the Box ?

Posted on June 5, 2013

What the food industry puts on their packaging can be confusing and misleading. They can give consumers a false sense of eating healthy: leading them to eat more processed and packaged foods, which ultimately can lead to a slew of health issues that our nation is facing right now.

Fortified, enriched, added, extra, and plus=nutrients such as minerals and fiber have been removed and then vitamins are added back during processing.

Fruit drink=probably little or no real fruit and a lot of sugar. Look for products that say "100% Fruit Juice" and consume in moderation.

Made with wheat, rye, or multi-grains=have very little whole grain. Look for the word "whole" before the grain to ensure that you're getting a 100% whole-grain product.

Natural= the manufacturer started with a natural source, but once it's processed the food may not resemble anything natural.Look for 100% All Natural and "No preservatives".

Organically grown, pesticide-free, or no artificial ingredients:Trust only labels that say "Certified Organically Grown" and look for USDA Seal.

Reading Food Labels

Posted on May 4, 2013

Reading food labels can be confusing. Over the next several months I will provide some information to help you decipher the food label.

Labeling on food can be misleading and confusing, but here are 6 criteria when reading  the Ingredient list that can help you. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Ingredients are listed in order from the greatest amount to the least amount.

The fewer the number of ingredients , the better.

The first or second ingredient should be what the packaging claims the poduct to be.

If the first ingredient is "sugar", put it back!

If the first ingredient says "enriched wheat flour" think twice.

If there's a long list of scary-sounding ingredients you can not pronounce.... not a good idea!

Say no to artificial sweeteners, coloring and flavorings--they mess with your brain.

Check in next month for more helpful information on reading food labels.

Other Problems with Grains

Posted on April 5, 2013

As you may know, calcuim is important for bone health. Grains contain phytic acid which is known to reduce the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Grains also promote the PH of our body to become more acidic which is known to be inflammatory. Are you wondering why grains are heavily promoted as good for us. First, whole grains do contain nutrients and fiber which are healthy and anti-inflammatory. Unfortunately, these benefits most likely do not ou tweigh the problems with grains previously discussed. We can obtain the nutrients and fiber required by eating good meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and using supplements wisely. So we have covered the issue of Health vs Disease involving inflammation issues to varying degrees.

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