KID HEALTHY!

monounsaturated fats

 

Probably the #1 complaint I hear on a regular basis from my patient’s who are parents:  I cannot get my children to want to eat healthy foods!  Here is typically how I respond:

 

Begin slowly, replacing all snacks with fruits.  Then replace one meal a day with salad and a baked potato.  Serve a smoothie for breakfast with some raw nut butter mixed in for protein and to make more filling, instead of box cereal or toast.  Keep expanding the options.

It takes fortitude, but you must be lovingly firm.  If your child wanted to drink a 5th of vodka, would you give it to him?  Of course not you know it would be harmful to him.  Yet, it is the same concept with unhealthy foods and snacks.  Why give your child candy, pastries or hot dogs, when you know they are not good for them?  Does it matter that the damage takes years to manifest?   You may have allowed them to eat these unhealthy foods before, but now that you are learning better, trust me when I tell you that you will begin to see health & behavior changes little by little knowing as a parent that these are good!

When I work with families to begin to reduce the amount of proteins they are consuming because it makes our bodies too acidic.  (We live in a society that is OBESSED with protein intake). Many parents fear that their child will not be consuming near enough protein to grow and be healthy.  Yet with all the questionable issues surrounding our meat industry and the artificial chemicals being pumped into the animals… the REAL question should be IF we cut down or cut our meat in our diets all together, how will we get adequate amounts of protein?   LET ME SHOW YOU!

Here is a quick eye-opener about the percentage of protein that comes from these whole foods:

PROTEIN PERCENTAGES BELOW:

Vegetables: 1/2 cup to 1 cup serving

  • spinach   49%
  • broccoli   45%
  • Kale   45%
  • Leafy lettuce 34%
  • zucchini  28%
  • tomato 18%

Fruits: 1/2 cup to 1 cup serving

  • honeydew 16%
  • cantaloupe 9%
  • orange 8%
  • apricot 8%
  • grapes 8%
  • banana 5%
  • apple 1%

Grains/nuts/seeds: 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup serving

  • sprouted wheat 18%
  • Buckwheat 15%
  • walnuts 13%
  • almonds 12%
  • cashews 12%
  • pumpkin seeds 21%
  • sunflower seeds 17%

Given this brief breakdown, clearly protein is not an issue as many fear when they embark on a more whole food even raw diet.

So let’s consider “calories”:

The National Academy of Sciences has set the recommended daily dietary allowances for children as follows:

Ages 1-2               900-1800 calories

Ages 4-6               1300-2300 Calories

Ages 7-10             1650-3300 Calories

Then we start moving into adult ratios for calorie intakes

The wide range for each age group is due to variances in height, weight and activity levels.  Not all calories are created equal.  Many children that eat the Standard American Diet consume vast amounts of calories, far exceeding these recommended guidelines.  The calories consume are also empty calories, providing not a whole bunch if any nutritional value.  As a result, they may be receiving enough calories to fill the body’s energy needs, but are nutritionally deficient because the calories consumed are not providing the nutrients the body needs to maintain and optimize other functions.

 

Kids who “eat all day” and seemingly cannot get enough food, are experiencing their body’s signals for nutrients, NOT calories!  When we eat mostly cooked foods, (especially if it includes refined flour products, sugar and other empty calorie substances) the body doesn’t feel full because it’s hungry for nutrients.  When the body signals with hunger, asking for more nutrients and is given these nutritionally deficient foods, it keeps signaling, demanding what it needs.  The result is a body that is overweight (excess calories, but, nutritionally starving).  Sadly, this is the state of most of our society today, adults and children alike!

When you change the types of foods, the body is allowed to purify, and is receiving abundant nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables, it becomes amazingly efficient at assimilating these nutrients.  The results are a decreased appetite nd better functioning of the body and mind.  It will amaze you at the decreased amounts of food you will need once you start eating a diet higher in raw fresh foods.  Reduce the amount of cooked meals you consume and at the beginning of this transition , you could be hungrier than you were before but, after a couple of weeks,  your appetite levels should adjust to the higher quality of foods being consumed.  (Don’t be expect to see miracles in a couple of days!) Changing habits takes repetition!

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THE DIET-BEHAVIOR CONNECTION:

I don’t believe that any of us need scientific studies to tell us that the foods our kids eat affect how they behave.  Attend a typical birthday party, an hour after cake and punch is served you can see it for yourself in living color… Any teacher will tell you the weeks after Halloween and Easter are the worst times of the year.  Typically, sugar has been the culprit blamed for hyperactivity and unruliness.  I have discovered that there are many more subtle and far reaching things that are affecting our children through their diets!  I have been surprised to learn what should have been apparent all along; that when we eat anything that is altered from its natural state it alters US from our natural state because the body has to make adjustments to accept what has been consumed.  Perhaps, we don’t even know who o ur “real” children are; having never experienced their company, and seen their potential expressed through a pure and detoxified body with genuine emotions to go along with it?

The behavior our children exhibit directly influences how others treat them.  When a child is not given the chance to experience a pure, functioning physical body, he is ot able to relate to those around him in a way that builds strong, loving relationships.  Of course, we love our children, but, what parent can’t relate to the frustration of dealing with a demanding, high-maintenance child on a daily basis?

Many times these children will go through their entire childhood unaware that what they are eating contributes to or caused their problems.  Unfortunately, these children usually receive a label such as hyperactive, difficult or slow, which follows them through their entire school years and influences how they view themselves leading to low self-esteem.  Many times the parents don’t realize there is a problem having grown so used to these behaviors and devising various methods of dealing with them, (sad to say many parents out of frustration add to the problems by giving in to food choices to suffice an out of control child to get a moment of peace).  It is usually not until others (i.e. teachers, siblings, and friends) perceive the child as a problem because of the behaviors, that real perception is reflected back to the child.  It becomes the child’s perception of self now@.  If the child constantly operates in a fog, unable to grasp fully the world around them, their educations suffers, setting them up for future difficulties as they go through life.  This is why it is so important to understand the diet/behavior connection and to understand that what the child eats not only influence their behavior but how others treat them and how they view themselves and their place in the whole of the society they live in. (anyone been watching the news in the past 10 years or so and see our children/teens making smooth transitions into society?  or are we hearing of more and more violence at the hands of these young people?)  Bullying, teasing, name calling, children feeling isolated lashing out…. How can there not be a connection folks, the motor is only as good as the quality of fuel being pumped in the tank!

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MEAL IDEAS

Most of us are used to preparing meals for our families with the basic food groups in mind.  There is usually a main dish (meat, or a protein sources), a starch and a veggie.  This is how we learned to cool.  When you adopt a more raw approach you can forget all of that.  Simplicity is the key.  It is perfectly alright to sit down and eat three bananas for lunch.  If you make the preparation of raw food meals into your routine overly complicated… YOU HAVE MISSED THE POINT!  This is especially important if there are others in your house who are not following a whole food/raw diet.

If you are trying to prepare two different meals for your family’s dinner you are setting yourself up for disaster.  Try to get away from the idea that each meal has to be so different.

BREAKFAST:

The idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day comes from the advertising of the cereal companies.  It is actually better to have some freshly juiced produce or fruit until the noon meal, or to skip breakfast allowing the body to continue its fast (detoxification) which began during the sleep period. Some children will need a bit extra protein which can be given simply in the form of 1/2 cup of raw nuts of their liking.

A heavy breakfast ties up the body’s energy, making us sluggish and tired.  The two things your body expends the most energy on is digestion and elimination. If your child struggles with constipation issues, guess what their body wants to devote the most energy to, digestion OR elimination?   If you guessed elimination you were right!

In the morning, you can make vegetable juice made from a juicer.  This can include carrot apple, kale, celery and/or a variety of produce choices.

If you feel something more substantial in the morning is needed, you can have some sprouted buckwheat as a cereal with some fresh juice.  You can opt for sliced fruit or sprouted buckwheat cereal with raisin.  you can serve melon, a smoothie and fresh berries in the summer or soaked dried fruit in the winter.

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LUNCH:

At lunch you can let your family decide if they want fruit or a green salad.  A heavier meal like an apple dipped in a raw nut butter is tasty.  If your family is not totally raw you can provide a bowl of vegetable soup or steamed vegetables.  The hardest thing is to wean your family away from the typical lunch time sandwich.  Cooked starch (bread) is one of the most difficult addictions to give up.  I refer to cooked starch as an addiction because I believe the chemical reaction in the body after eating cooked starch acts as a drug, releasing a dopamine provoking  sedative effect.

This has been my own experience after going for some time without bread, then eating it again.  If you doubt the addictive quality of bread, try going without for several days, I mean having zero baked starch.  Then sit down and eat some and watch how your mental clarity changes or your digestive system reacts.  (YES this includes gluten-free products)

Try using cabbage or lettuce leaves instead and place veggies, like avocado, sprouts cucumber, tomato, grated zucchini etc. and roll these up like a burrito. (If your child is used to lots of sweets, grate up an apple or chop up some dried fruit and add to the vegetables to sweeten as you wean their palates.

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DINNER:

This zone can get tricky for many as dinner is that one meal where everyone tends to come together, especially when the children are still smaller.  For this reason dinner seems more “official” and carries more meaning as we prepare the food we are to share with ur loved ones.  Let the kids help prepare the evening salad, it adds to the one on one with your kids.  You can serve a large salad, be creative include raw nuts, sprouts and raw cheese and on occasions some pasta on the side.  Have a plate of lightly steamed veggies or soup or baked potato.  Change your mind set that dinner has to be a 7 course blown out meal that our digestive system struggles to break down because it is too much.

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IS IT EXPENSIVE TO EAT THIS WAY?

Many clients complain that they would love to eat this way but it is too expensive.  Like we talked about before, you are used to the volume of food consumed when eating over cooked, processed, empty calorie foods.  Once you switch to more raw/whole food choices, it may take a week or two for your body to adjust but you will find your family is snacking less and consuming less  volume of food.  How many of you can sit down and eat a 3LB bag of apples at one sitting?  Your body will not allow it, the type of natural fiber and the way it reacts with our digestive process will automatically cause a gag reflex to stop you from overeating.  Try that with a 3 ob. bag of potato chips, you can eat the whole bag and still be hungry.

The next question is organic is so expensive… yes it does cost more, and not all produce needs to be organic, you can look up the dirty dozen and try to buy the produce that tends to have higher pesticide loads, and do non organic on the ones that do not.  Reduce cost by planting a garden n the spring and include the kiddo’s when caring for it to instill a love for how food is grown you will be teaching them a valuable lesson.  Over all for a family of 7, we can spend anywhere from $325.00 per  month to $400.00 per month on groceries depending on the season.  We don’t buy a whole bunch of junk food products (my hubs likes some of his junk snacks, especially ice cream). Making some of those items from scratch will always be cheaper and healthier options for treats.  We also buy in bulk the basic staples which is more cost effective.  I found out early on that when we were still buying half cooked food items and half raw items, we spent almost $700.00 tp$750.00 per month.  The cost of fresh food is still considerably lower than processed and convenience foods.  The cost of packaging (cans, bottles, boxes, freezer packs etc…) is costly to the pocketbook and the planet with waste.  Buy the convenience foods adds to your expenses in other ways as well, when you consume more of those items your family us usually not as healthy and more frequent trips to the doctor for illness is normally incurred as well.  Buy in bulk when possible.  Invest in a large freezer and a juicer.  Two of the best appliances you can obtain toward improving not only the quality of health and vitality for your family but it will save you money in the long run too.  Another appliance that is useful is a dehydrator.  You can dry your own herbs and vegetables for winter use.

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Some quick ideas:

Salads: (Be creative) there is no wrong way to really make one.

  • sliced tomato or several cherry tomatoes
  • sliced cucumber
  • celery
  • carrot
  • sugar snap peas
  • red cabbage shredded
  • numb bean, lentil and alfalfa sprouts
  • jicama
  • zucchini
  • broccoli/cauliflower
  • bok choy
  • mushrooms
  • avocado
  • olives
  • sunflower/pumpkin ,pecan/almond nuts and seeds

With so many things to choose from in the veggie world it is hard to get bored with salads if you are not afraid to be creative! Make your dressing from raw ingredients and buy organic bottled dressings made with cold pressed oils.  Otherwise, a 1/4 up of raw apple cider vinegar with 1 cup cold pressed olive oil, some Italian spices and the juice of 1/2 lemon and a hint of fresh apple juice mixed in is an excellent dressing!

Taco salad:

  • chopped romaine lettuce
  • chopped tomato
  • olives
  • sliced cucumber
  • sprouts of choice
  • guacamole in the center and fresh salsa of your choice over entire salad.

Buckwheat cereal:

Buckwheat is one of the softest grains.  It is moist and sprouts fast and easily.  Soak3/4 cup raw hulled buckwheat groats for 5-6 hours.  Drain and rinse several times till water runs clear.  Turn jar upside down in a drainer.  Repeat this rinsing several times thru the day.  You will notice sprouts appearing after one day.  Continue to rinse several times a day for 2 days, the sprouts will be about 1/4 inch in length.  They are now read to eat.  Place desired amount of sprouts in a bowl it won’t take much thee are dense and filling and top with raisins of fruit of your choice.  Add raw nut milk.  This is a good recipe for transition because it is filling and substitutes for a processed cereal so many kids at are used to.  You can store the sprouts jar and all in the refrigerator up to 3 days.  The sprouts will continue to grow, they may still be eaten.

Raw Hummus:

This is a great dip for raw veggies or to spread on dehydrated crackers or sprouted breads.  you can add as much tahini as you like creating a smoother texture.  Bu sure to process using a food processor for a creamy texture.

  • 2 cups sprouted chickpeas also called garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup rat tahini blended sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • Braggs liquid Amino to taste

Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender until creamy.

 

Chocolate Shake:

This tastes like a chocolate milk shake.

Blend in a blender and serve:

  • 1 fresh banana
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 1TB carob powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1TB raw tahini
  • you can sub nut milk in place of the water and you can also toss in 2 TB of flax meal for additional fiber and omega 3 benefit
  • This is a guarantee to satisfy a sweet tooth or chocolate craving and no need to feel guilty.

Obviously this topic can dive much deeper;  I offer raw food & juicing classes and I also have different consultation packages available.  You can go to www.mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and see what services would work for you.

Remember folks, WE are the example to our children,  the old saying “do as I say NOT as I do” didn’t work for you as a child and it will also fail to work for your children.  Children are sponges, they will watch and imitate you and what you do.  IF they see you sneaking food they will too.

Also don’t use food for a reward system.  You are setting them up for emotional connections to those foods, which lets face it are NEVER centered around, Oh honey you got straight A’s,  lets celebrate with a big bowl of broccoli…. seriously.  Reward them with a movie, or a special trip to the theme park etc.  Don’t center it around junk food rewards!

Thank you all for your continued support and for liking, sharing and reading my posts.  It is much appreciated…

Till next time…

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.jodibarnett758.com

 

 

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ARE WE WIRED FOR “STRESS”?

Stress…talk to any given person and you will come to realize nobody is immune from some element in their lives that contributes to their stress level.  When we take the time to also understand what is affected in our body as a result of stress, we can open the door towards understanding and a starting place where many  health issues set-up their roots.

Every part of our body is interconnected by a communication system of nerve cells, referred to as neurons, their job is to send messages through a combination of electrical impulses and chemical messengers.  This system is our nervous system, a set of wires that allows every body function to do their job!

This nervous system of ours is incredibly complex, especially the brain, which contains about 100 billion neurons.  In fact, the brain houses 98% of the neurons in our body. This control center is protected by the skull and its importance is demonstrated by the fact that although it makes up only 2% of our body’s weight, the brain uses about 25% of our oxygen supply and as much as 20% of the sugar we take in.

The brain has very high metabolism and it is highly affected by what we eat.  Although modern medicine has historically tended to discount the role of nutrition in mental health, studies have begun to show strong links between our nutritional intake and various neurological and psychiatric conditions.  Research has also shown that food choices made during pregnancy, lactation ad early childhood may have long term consequences on a child’s mental development.  Other research suggests that good nutrition can improve your brain function and reduce your risk of brain disorders.

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YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

If you typically follow my blog, you will start to see a pattern… and it’s a pattern that you can CHOOSE to deny, but that denial won’t change the truth of the evidence.  I believe that saying “you are what you eat” applies particularly to our brain.  A junk food diet short circuits the mental attitude and emotional responses, creating, in effect what I refer to as a “smash” brain!  Ever been to a child’s birthday party and witness for yourself the transformation in all the kiddo’s AFTER the cake and icecream?  They get lit up with super charged energy then the crash and burn sets in and the temper tantrums, crying/whining phases begin.

When we look at the typical poor diet of the people in our country, it’s no wonder that nervous system issues like stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia affect millions of people.  Its also why we are seeing an increase in the amount of folks struggling with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.  We are trying to run our built in computer system on the wrong voltage setting and we are winding up feeling frayed, frazzled and even fried.  Simply put… A good mind is a terrible thing to waste, and we need to start caring for our brain and nervous system better.  Keep reading and lets go over the HOW part….

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YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM

Our nervous system consists of:

  • the brain
  • spinal column
  • peripheral nerves

These 3 parts literally regulate everything that happens in and with our bodies.  Whether you realize it is happening conscious or unconsciously trust me it never get a vacation.  There really are two parts that play a vital role:

  1. The conscious or voluntary part of the nervous system is what allows us to perceive information through our senses, analyze and remember information and it’s what allows us to move our skeletal muscles to regulate conscious actions.
  2. The unconscious or involuntary branch of our nervous system is known as the” autonomic nervous system”.  It takes care of what we don’t have to think about, like the heart beating, digesting our food, regulating our body temperature and making sure we breathe.

The autonomic nervous system is further divided into two more branches:

  1. Sympathetic nervous system: when we are excited, stressed or scared, the sympathetic nervous system tenses our muscles, makes our heart beat faster and moves blood away from our digestive organs to our muscles.  It gears us up for action, but shuts down digestion and elimination.  This helps explain why stress and anxiety make us tense, stress our heart and raise our blood pressure, give us indigestion and make us constipated.
  2. Parasympathetic nervous system: is what is in charge when we are relaxing and trying to unwind; it moves blood to the digestive organs, relaxes muscles and aids elimination.  There is a reason why people have traditionally made mealtime a time for relaxing and socializing.  It aids the digestion process.  Our body initiates healing and self-repair in the parasympathetic mode.

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Our nerves work by a combination of electrical impulses and chemical messengers referred to as “neurotransmitters”.  When a nerve cell gets stimulated, it fires an electrical impulse that moves down the length of the cell.  At the far end of this neuron (nerve cell), the electrical impulse causes the nerve to release neurotransmitters into the gap (known as the synapse) between this nerve and the next one.  The neurotransmitters cross the synapse to the next nerve cell and either stimulate or inhibit it from firing another electrical impulse. 

We know that sleep, mood, appetite and behavior are all influenced by the different types of transmitter chemicals being released in our brain and nerves.  Depression, addiction, mania, schizophrenia, Alzhiemer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease and ADHD are some of the major disorders now known to involve imbalances in neurotransmitters.

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT NEUROTRANSMITTERS AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

Serotonin:  is most commonly associated with alleviating depression. Serotonin receptors have been found to also control hunger, sleep, pain response, seizure and peristalsis as well as function of the limbic system and brain.

Acetylcholine: is involved in memory and muscle movement, making it a primary neurotransmitter in the voluntary nervous system.  Alzheimer’s disease is now believed to be caused by a destruction of the neurotransmitters in the brain that produce acetylcholine.

Epinephrine and Norepinephrine: these are referred to as “catecholamines” along with dopamine.  Catecholamines are responsible for the peripheral nervous system which effects (elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, muscular contraction and the release of a thyroid stimulating hormone from the pituitary) as well as central nervous system responses involving respiration and psychomotor activity.  They are the primary neurotransmitters in the sympathetic nervous system.

Dopamine: another catecholamine, responsible for sexual arousal and muscular coordination.  It is the neurotransmitter that is deficient in those who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease.  Again, destruction of the brain cells that produce this neurotransmitter is thought to be responsible.  Where there are low levels of glutathione (an intracellular antioxidant) or there is an excess amount of iron, dopamine degrades into free radicals.

GABA: is best known as the inhibitor of presynaptic transmission, or it keeps the brain from being “trigger happy.”  When in balance, GABA prevents anxiety and increases mental clarity.  Anxiolytic drugs of the benzodiazepine family (valium, Xanax) work off of the soothing effects of GABA receptor response.

There are some other neurotransmitters, like histamine, endorphins, enkephalins, substance P, and nitric acid.  I will save discussion of those for a later blog post.

Synapse

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WHAT BASIC CARE SHOULD WE BE INITIATING TO NOURISH AND PROTECT OUR BRAIN AND NERVES?

I want to go overboard to be emphatic “our nervous system is the most nutritionally sensitive system in our body.”  Long before we develop actual physical conditions from poor nutrition, we will feel the mental and emotional effects of a lack of good nutrition.  What does that look like:

  • fuzzy thinking (brain fog)
  • absentmindedness,
  • mental confusion
  • nervousness
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • memory loss

DID YOU KNOW? Exposure to heavy metals and other toxins are now being linked to a variety of neurological symptoms, ranging from depression to autism!

 

I am hoping to bring some understanding as to the biochemical make-up of the brain and nerves so we can better understand how to nourish these the right way.  The brain is  70% water, so it is super sensitive to being dehydrated and let me state that 3 out of 5 people I see in my office/practice are clinically dehydrated!  So, if you really want to think clearer and protect your gray brain matter, start by drinking half your body weight in ounces every day of clean pure water.

Key Point: many things we drink actually contribute to “dehydration”, Coffee is the biggest culprit, as is alcohol, and carbonated drinks!  Drink one cup of Coffee and urinate the equivalent of “three” out!

Moving on… 50-60% of the dry weight of our brain is made up of fat with 35% of that being omega-3 fatty acids.  So if you want to keep your brain healthy you need to be a “fat-head” by eating the right kinds of fats.  The most abundant omega 3 fatty acid in the brain is DHA, which the brain needs for function and it’s found in fish oil, especially the cold water fish.  DHA is available as a single supplement and is also found in a variety of Omega-3 products.

Understand too, if you are on prescription medications for cholesterol, it is depleting the Essential fatty acids in your body too, so be sure to “supplement” these in the diet!

On the flip side, you want to avoid hydrogenated oils like shortenings and margarine and trans-fatty acids from processed and dried foods.  These fats do not do the brain good!

The brain also needs a strong supply of amino acids from protein.  The neurotransmitters I talked about earlier are built from amino acids.  Meals that have adequate protein tend to increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine which results in more alert mind and better moods. Many get hung up on the protein part and end up over eating the most common form of protein which is from animal meats and neglect getting  a balance from :

  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • legumes

Foods high in the B-vitamins are essential for lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  B-vitamins are involved in helping the formation of neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine, and serotonin.

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WHATS THE REAL SCOOP ON “SUGAR”?

Our brain consumes more blood sugar than any other organ and takes this sugar directly from the bloodstream without the need for insulin.  The amount of sugar in your blood directly controls the amount of sugar reaching our brain.

If we have too much sugar the results look like:

  • agitation
  • irritability
  • nervousness

If we have too little sugar the results look like:

  • mental confusion
  • irritability
  • shakiness
  • fatigue
  • cold nose and limbs
  • cravings for sugar

So actually, blood sugar issues are linked to:

  • forgetfulness,
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mental confusion
  • age-related cognitive decline
  • dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Although our brain needs sugar as a key energy source, simple sugars actually contribute to the brain fog and mental decline.  Consequently, selecting complex carbohydrates, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains over foods that contain refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour and other process grains is where a major shift for most folks needs to begin.

Be sure to include high quality protein and fats with your meals as these will help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep our brain working better!

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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WAYS WE ARE ACTUALLY “POISONING” OUR MINDS?

We are hearing more and more about “toxins” and where they fit into our daily lives.  Some of these toxins can seriously damage the brain, especially the ones that are fat-soluble like petrochemical solvents.  Since the nervous system is made up primarily of fats, anything that will dissolve fats and oils such as stain removers, gasoline and other solvents can easily penetrate the skin and they affect our nerves.

The renowned toxicologist Warren Clough was one of the chemists who went into the Nazi chemical plants at the end of WWII and collected their research on chemical weapons.  This technology, originally intended to  harm and kill enemy combatants, was later used to develop pesticides and herbicides.  The primary reason was that pesticides kill insects  by disabling their nervous systems.  Its not too difficult to connect the dots that the potential effect of pesticides on us humans, who ingest small, but continual dosages of these chemicals in our foods leave a time released damaging effect on our neurological system, of which we are beginning to see surface in the higher numbers of people being diagnosed with neurological diseases.

Many people are exposed to heavy metals on a daily basis.  The definition of heavy metals by chemists is actually problematic because there are heavy metals that fall in the category of necessary nutrients like iron, manganese and zinc.  Other heavy metals however, like mercury, plutonium and lead, are toxic.  There are also metals that are actually physically light, like aluminum, yet are also toxic to our body.  Some chemists suggest that the metals that damage the body should be called “toxic metals”.  For our purposes, heavy metals are defined not as metals that are heavy, but as metals that have a heavy burden effect on our body.

The toxic effect of heavy metals is a well-known issue because of their health ravaging effects on the workers in factories that manufacture products using these metals.  In a list of 38 symptoms associated with exposure to mercury, cadmium, lead, aluminum and arsenic, only 7 of these symptoms were NOT associated with the nervous system.. That means about more than three-fourths of health issues associated with heavy metals directly affect our nervous system.

Here’s a list of some of the substances to avoid IF you want a healthier nervous system:

  1. pharmaceutical drugs (long term use)
  2. excessive consumption of alcohol especially from aluminum cans
  3. chemical solvents (stop cleaning your homes with these heavy hitting cleaners)
  4. pesticides and herbicides
  5. excessive consumption of coffee, black tea, and caffeinated sodas if you are going to drink coffee make it “organic”.
  6. refined sugar and white flour
  7. hydrogenated oil
  8. animal fats from commercially raised animals.

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SPECIFIC NERVOUS SYSTEM PROBLEMS

The stress response is a normal and healthy response to danger.  To describe this, experts often use the example of being chased by a bear.  If you were ever to come face to face with a bear, you would want your body to generate as much energy and strength as needed to run away from or fight of the bear.  That is why the stress response is also called the “fight or flight” response.

The stress response involves a shift in our nervous system that strongly activates our sympathetic nerves, releasing more epinephrine, and inhibits the parasympathetic nerves.  This causes our pupils to dilate, to let more light in for clearer vision.  The digestive process stops because this is not the time to be sitting down for lunch!  The bladder and rectum contract because there is no time for a pit stop.  And the heart rate increases to get lots of oxygen and nutrition to our muscles since the body senses we need to run or fight for our lives!

These responses are supported by our adrenal glands, because the sympathetic nervous system also stimulates the adrenals to release stress hormones, including more epinephrine and cortisol.  Our brain is affected by all of this because our higher brain centers where we have our cool/calm and rational thoughts shut down, causing us to react instinctively from lower brain centers.  If you have ever swerved without thinking to avoid an accident on the highway, this is what just happened.

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WHAT QUALIFIES AS UNHEALTHY DAMAGING STRESS?

Truth be told, most of the “dangers” in our modern lives are not actual physical dangers like encountering lions, tigers and bears, (oh my)… But a stack of unpaid bills can feel like a threat to our survival, but  that situation doesn’t allow for an instinctive physical response.  Instead, most modern issues require us to calmly and rationally make decisions about how we can solve the problem.

 

This is where stress transforms into anxiety!  When the fight or flight response is triggered by situation where there is no really physical danger, it inhibits our memory and our ability to think clear.  Test anxiety is an example of this.  When a student comes face to face with their own fright of taking an exam, epinephrine and cortisol levels rise and the student is unable to access old memory.  So often we hear students say I knew the answers before I walked into the room, but when I took the test, my mind just went blank!

 

In addition, unlike swerving to avoid a car accident, these dangers of modern society often last for months and for some people years!  The continuous activation of the stress response, over and over again has a cumulative effect, which leads to a feeling of “burn-out”, a state of emotional and nervous exhaustion.

 

This burned out feeling is common to soldiers who faced constant real stress on the battlefield.  It was called shell-shock in World War ( and battle fatigue in World War II.  Today, it is called Post-traumatic stress disorder.  Whatever you choose to call it, you don’t need to go to war to experience the battle fatigue, or post traumatic stress disorder, you just need to experience poorly managed stress over an extended period of time.

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DID YOU KNOW?  Caffeine is the #1 enemy to our nervous system!

Public Enemy #1 for our sympathetic nervous system activity and cortisol levels is “caffeine”. This is how it wakes us up and puts us on alert.  If we are in parasympathetic mode, caffeine returns us to a state of sympathetic fight or flight chemistry.  What is so sneaky about caffeine is that when we are in a relaxed state an we are presented with a potential stressor like an overdue bill, we are less likely to perceive the overdue bill as stressful.  But when we are in stress chemistry already, we are more likely to perceive the overdue bill as stressful.

This means that when we are happy, potential problems tend to roll off of us and don’t overwhelm our happiness.  But once we are in sympathetic mode, potential problems are taken over the top serious and our stress escalates, putting us into a downward spiral.  Knowing that caffeine can cause this it seems more intelligent to forego the caffeine and choose to achieve the same alertness with an adaptogen like Eleuthero and just skip the stress and anxiety altogether!

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HOW CAN WE MANAGE OUR STRESS THAT HELPS VS. HURTS?

Studies are all over the place that prove that stress has a negative impact on our body and yet stressful experiences happen to everyone.  Truth is STRESS isn’t going anywhere, it’s been here from the beginning of time.  What we need are the tools and skills that can help us manage the effects of the stress in our life so we can bounce back!

 

#1: STOP AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH

The fastest way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to restore calm ad clear thinking is to breathe deeply.  Sympathetic breathing is the direct opposite, it is rapid and shallow, so breathing deep activates the relaxing side of the nervous system.

A simple technique:  breathe in while counting to four…. and exhale counting to four, and keep repeating this until you “feel” yourself calming down.

#2  INCORPORATE ADAPTOGENS?

There is a class of herbals referred to as adaptogens.  they mediate the output of our stress hormones so you feel calm and more relaxed.

#3 USE  B-COMPLEX 

B-vitamins are particularly important for the nervous system and for energy production.  By depleting these vitamins, refined carbs, increase our anxiety and nervousness.  To satisfy those carb cravings, look for products made with whole grains and unrefined sugars, and consider taking a good anti- stress vitamin and mineral supplement. ( I will post my suggestions at the end of this post complete with links for you)

#4 PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Remember when I said that the body produces specific stress hormones and the body starts pumping more blood to the muscles to equip the body to “run”.  The body is being primed for action.  So doing some sort of physical action will help burn them off.  Ever noticed how just taking a walk when you feel stressed helps relax you?  So do what ever physical activity you enjoy:

  • walking
  • swimming
  • golf
  • yoga etc.

#5 PAMPER YOURSELF

According to Dr. Paul Pearsall, author of The Pleasure Prescription” a pleasurable experience does more good for the body than a stressful experience does harm.  Pleasure enhances health, energy and emotional well being.  It causes muscles to relax and even triggers healing.  So rather than waste your time trying to a void stress, plan time for pleasure.  Go get a massage, learn a hobby, soak in a hot tub, listen to soft music, diffuse calming essential oils. Surround your self with soothing softer colors and avoid primary colors even the color choice of your clothing makes a difference.

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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EFFECTS OF CHRONIC STRESS CYCLES?

DEPRESSION: I think everyone has felt down in the dumps at one time or another.  Feeling down, sad, tired or unmotivated because of a temporary los or setback is actually normal.  However, some people can hit those lows and just can’t get back up again and they become clinically depressed!

If you are suffering from depression,  know that you are not alone. Statistics suggest that about 18.8 million folks suffer from depression, which is just a tad shy of 10% of the adult U.S. population.  Adults are not the only ones suffering from depression.  It is becoming increasingly more common in our teens and children too.

The modern medical world treats this with drugs called antidepressants.  The most commonly used anti-depressant drugs act as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and include:

  • prozac
  • paxil
  • zoloft

These SSRIs create a false sense of detachment and the excess serotonin creates an elevation of mood.  There is some evidence to suggest that they are linked with violent and antisocial behavior too.

Fortunately, we can increase serotonin levels with nutrition.  Serotonin production is directly linked to levels of L-tryptophan, which is an amino acid in the brain.  Eating more complex carbs, like whole fruits, veggies, and whole grains help stabilize L-tryptophan levels in the brain.  Refined carbs and simple sugars give a quick fix. they life the mood but drop it like a rock shortly there after.

AGE-RELATED MEMORY LOSS

The brain is sensitive to damage from inflammation and free radicals, so another part of feeding the brain is to eat plenty of antioxidant rich fresh fruits and veggies, organically grown where you can. 5-9 servings a day of these health protecting foods daily.

When we can’t get adequate amounts of fruits and veggies, a whole food supplement that features antioxidant rich fruits and botanicals is a convenient substitute. A blend to reach for should contain naturally occurring antioxidants which include polyphenols, flavonoids, xanthones and vitamin C.

I will list choices I recommend at the end of this post.

SOMETHING TO TRY AT HOME…

The eye’s pupil contracts under the influence of the parasympathetic nervous system and enlarges under the sympathetic nervous system.  So one can tell whether a person is in sympathetic or parasympathetic mode by looking at the pupils.

Examine the eyes of a friend or loved one to see what nervous system mode they are in.

 

To make this activity even more fun have friends or family members smell different essential oils to see whether their pupils enlarge or contract.  Different essential oils affect the nervous system in different ways.

 

Oils like lavender, ylang ylang and chamomile typically activate the parasympathetic nervous system, making one’s pupils become smaller.  Oils like lemon, rosemary and pine will activate sympathetic nerves making the pupils larger.

All the suggested Essential Oils can be found at: www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com

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RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENTS TO SUPPORT THE NERVOUS SYSTEM:

NERVOUS SYSTEM PACK( 30 day):

Benefits:
Feeds and soothes the nervous system.
Builds the body’s ability to adapt to stress.
Helps calm nerves and supports restful sleep.
How It Works:

Stress-J contains a powerful blend of four calmative herbs known to help support proper nervous system function. It promotes relaxation and well-being.
AdaptaMax provides adaptogenic herbs that help the body combat stress and adapt to stressful situations, including stress on the immune system, fatigue and stress-related aging. Nerve Eight helps support proper nervous system function, reduce cellular stress, promote sleep and provide digestive support. Nutri-Calm provides B-complex vitamins, antioxidants and other essential nutrients that support and calm the nervous system and encourage restful sleep.

Ingredients:

Each packet contains 2 Stress-J capsules, 2 AdaptaMax capsules, 1 Nerve Eight capsule and 1 Nutri-Calm tablet.

Recommended Use:

Take the contents of one packet in the morning with breakfast, and one packet in the evening with a meal. Follow this pattern for 30 days.

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NUTRI-CALM:

Benefits:
Supports the nervous system
A natural formulation designed to maintain a sense of calm and peace of mind
May be used for occasional stress
How It Works:
Nutri-Calm is a unique formulation, containing C and B-Complex vitamins along with natural extracts, designed to maintain a sense of calm and peace of mind.
Ingredients:
Provides vitamin C, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, B6, folic acid, B12, biotin and pantothenic acid, plus schizandra fruit, choline, inositol, bee pollen, PABA, lemon bioflavonoids, valerian root extract, passionflower flowers extract and hops flowers extract.

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BRAIN PROTEX:

Benefits:
May help block the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, helping to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter.
Supports circulation throughout the body as well as to and within the brain.
Protects capillaries and strengthens the blood–brain barrier.
Helps support and protect proper brain function.
Neutralizes free radicals.
How It Works:

This formula is designed to give the brain protection against free radical damage. It is especially helpful for those who desire extra support for brain health, nerve function and alertness.
Brain-Protex combines protective herbs, antioxidants and phospholipids that favorably impact age-related memory loss, boost mental acuity and curb free radical damage to the brain. Huperzine A is a substance that occurs naturally in Chinese club moss, a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine. It may help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, which seems to be an indicator of overall memory function. Ginkgo supports cerebral circulation, which may promote proper concentration, memory and alertness. Alpha lipoic acid may also play a role in long-term memory. This formula also contains the powerful antioxidant lycopene.

Ingredients:
Soybean lecithin complex (phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylinositol), ginkgo leaves, lycopene, alpha lipoic acid and Chinese club moss whole plant extract.

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STRESS RELIEF TCM:

Benefits:
Nourishes the nervous system.
May optimize gastric function.
Supports circulatory health.
How It Works:
Chinese Stress Relief TCM Concentrate contains the same combination of 14 herbs found in Chinese Stress Relief but in a highly concentrated blend. These herbs and natural substances are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to support emotional balance and calm a stressed fire constitution. The Chinese call this formula an shen, which can be translated to mean “to pacify the spirit.” These herbs may help to nourish the nervous system and subsequently help improve gastric function and strengthen the urinary system. The key ingredients are oyster shell, haliotis shell and fushen. In Chinese medicine, oyster shell is considered to be calming and is used to relieve anxiety. Haliotis has properties similar to oyster shell. Oyster shell and haliotis are principally made of calcium carbonate, which may support gastric and circulatory health. Fushen is used in Chinese modalities as a stabilizingherb for restlessness and to relieve anger.
Ingredients:
Concentrated extract of oyster shell, albizzia bark, polygonatum rhizome, haliotis shell, fushen sclerotium with root, acorus rhizome, curcuma root tuber, ginseng root, jujuba seed, polygala root, coptis rhizome, cinnamon twig, ginger rhizome and licorice root.

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DHA:

Benefits:
Supports healthy brain development and function.
Provides circulatory system support.
How It Works:
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a fatty acid that is absorbed into the fatty perimeter of cells. There it exerts its biochemical properties. DHA is highly concentrated in the brain and retinal neural tissues. It is required for brain development and important in maintaining and protecting the neural tissues.
Ingredients:
250 mg docosahexaenoic acid, 50 mg eicosapentaenoic acid and natural lemon oil.

Thank you for liking, sharing and following my posts…. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment you can do that by going to http://www.mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and click on the desired service.  I’d be honored to take this healthy journey together!

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SUPER OMEGA-3 EPA:

Benefits:
Promotes brain health
Encourages healthy circulatory function
380 EPA / 190mg DHA per capsule
Supports the cardiovascular system
How It Works:
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of four basic fats that the body derives from foods. While many of the other fats are harmful, omega-3s benefit the body and are especially good for the heart. Super Omega-3 EPA is a source of two fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Super Omega-3 EPA softgels contain approximately 1,000 mg fish oil, with a ratio of 33:16 EPA to DHA (380 mg EPA, 190 mg DHA) per softgel. It also contains lemon to significantly reduce the aftertaste from fish oil and to reduce gas. (Contains fish such as anchovy, sardine and mackerel.)
Ingredients:
Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid.

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Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

www.jodibarnett758.com

 


Asparagus: who knew….

Food Tip Tuesday:
The wonders of Asparagus

:asparagus
*contains an alkaloid called Asparagine, the value of this alkaloid for our health
*natural diuretic particularly when combined with some carrots,
*supports kidney/urinary health
*helpful for diabetes and anemia when used in conjunction with other veggies..
Now. I’m talking about either eating raw, chopped in salads or “juiced”. when asparagus is cooked ( many cook it until it’s limp and nasty) you are losing the value of the alkaloid as the hydrogen and oxygen are dissipated and the natural salts formed by the combination of this alkaloid are virtually lost or their value destroyed.
By using as a juice in conjunction with carrots, it helps break up oxalic acid crystals in the kidneys and thru the muscular system. it is good for rheumatism, neuritis. Rheumatism results from the end product of digestion of meat and meat products with generate excessive amounts of urea (according to Dr. Norman Walker)
Continuous consumption of meat proteins can tax the workings of the kidneys and eliminative organs, straining them to the point where progressively smaller amounts of uric acid is eliminated and a greater amount is then absorbed by the muscles. The end result is painful and referred to as rheumatism.
This is also one of the underlying causes for prostate gland issues, in which case this juice combination, in addition to the carrot, beet and cucumber juice has been quite helpful.


The “COME HITHER”, call of sugar…

There is a massive “love affair”, sweeping our country!  I believe the harlot’s name is called “sugar.”

Once you’ve tasted her, it only makes ya want more.  Yet for years, the concept of sugar addiction was dismissed by most scientists and doctors.  Research, however, is forcing this concept to be reconsidered.

Experts used to explain “sugar cravings” as the result of spikes & crashes in blood sugar levels.  Now of course this contributes, hence sugar and refined carbohydrates, which are easily reduced to sugar, are calorie dense and are rapidly absorbed by the body.  These foods 1st elevate the blood sugar levels, but are processed fast, leaving you feel unsatisfied and still hungry for more sugar.  This hunger is NOT driven by a need for caloric energy, but by a need for a stable blood glucose level.  Foods that are high in protein and fiber have a slower absorption rate and keep one satisfied longer.  All carbohydrates do eventually convert into sugar once inside the body, but more complex carbs do so at a much slower rate than simple carbs.

The word “addiction” has many connotations.  People laugh about all sorts of vices they consider themselves to be addicted too: sex, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, internet, video games, shopping….. Yet, there truly is no definitive test for addiction.  You cannot go to your doctor and have him swab your throat and come back and tell you that, yes, you have tested positive for addiction.  Mental health professionals usually diagnose addiction, and the definition is somewhat subjective.  A person’s quality of life, rather than their biochemical state is assessed.  Most agree, however, that a loss of control, along with the presence of tolerance and withdrawal, are the most notable features of addiction.

The”Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV”, the manual used by professionals to formally diagnose mental disorders, lists the criteria for diagnosis of addiction as meeting three or more of these factors:

  1. tolerance; the need for increased amounts of the substance to achieve the desired effect, or a diminished effect when the same amount is consumed.
  2. withdrawal symptoms when the substance is not taken
  3. a greater use of the substance than intended
  4. unsuccessful efforts to control the use of the substance
  5. a great deal of time spent using the substance or recovering from use
  6. a reduction of social, occupational, or recreational activities because of the substance
  7. continued use of the substance despite knowing that it causes social and physical problems.

When you base the above criteria alone, there is no doubts that sugar, as well as any other substance or action, can be considered addictive.  But can a person be addicted to sugar in the same fashion that someone can be addicted to drugs or alcohol?  For some, sugar does seem to have tangible effects in the brain, leaving them in a neurochemical state similar to drug addiction.  Although sugar does not exactly mimic the brain activity of addictive drugs, alcohol or nicotine, some similarities have been discovered.  If you’ve ever known someone who was recovering from alcoholism or drug additions, most of those folks are reaching for “chocolate, coffee, even cigarettes.”  Why might that be?  Well the endogenous opioid system is the brains mechanism for controlling pain.  Normally, pain is adaptive, letting us know that a part of our body needs attention & rest.  Persistent or excruciating pain, however, is maladaptive.  To manage pain, the body produces brain chemicals called endorphins.  Endorphins, also called opioids, work by binding to special receptors on our brain cells, called opioid receptors, and blocking a complex cascade of reactions, leading to the perception of pain. So when you hurt your back, and the doctor prescribes pain medicine, that medicine is blocking the brains pain receptor signal so you can’t quite “FEEL” the pain.

Research has suggested that SUGAR has a similar effect on the endogenous opioid system.  Of course “rats” were used for the study, but the study was to determine if excessive sugar intake could lead to tolerance and withdrawal, so the rats were placed on a cycle of bingeing on a glucose solution in addition to eating regular rat food.  After 8 days, the rats had increased their intake of glucose solution from 30mL to 79mL per day, and were eating more food.  At this point some of the rats were administered a drug called Naloxone which is used on folks who have overdosed on an opiate, because it blocks the opiate molecules from binding to the opioid receptors, and, by the same blocking, can induce withdrawal symptoms in an addict.  So they precipitated a withdrawal in some rats and the others were taken off the glucose solution and given saline injections.  Both rats experienced similar withdrawal symptoms.  If sugar did not have an opiate like effect on the brain, the naloxone group would not have displayed withdrawal symptoms.  In addition, further analysis of the rats brains found that the naloxone group had decreased levels of brain chemical dopamine and increased levels of the brain chemical acetylcholine.  This dopamine/acetylcholine imbalance is characteristic of morphine and nicotine withdrawal.

This same study determined that both sugar and morphine had a similar effect on dopamine levels in the brain, first increasing the amount of dopamine and then causing the dopamine to be down regulated, so that the absence of sugar and/or morphine left the rats lacking adequate dopamine.  Dopamine imbalances are found in schizophrenic and cocaine abusers.  Now with this being said; not everyone who consumes sugar will have an addictive effect  because not everyone experiences the same neurochemical effect, just like not everyone who drinks alcohol will become an alcoholic.

Biologist Sarah Tanksley believes that a “lack of serotonin is a factor in many mental disorders, including clinical depression.  Sugar and other refined carbs increase the level of serotonin in the brain.  Serotonin plays a key role in the pathway of pain management by inducing their release of opioids.  It would seem reasonable to conclude that a person with depression may resort to bingeing on sweet foods to increase serotonin, release opioids and feel the addiction process.”

Sarah went on to say: ” Perhaps a better understanding of the effects of sugar on our brains can lead to treatments for eating disorders such as binge eating and bulimia.  Many therapists treat eating disorders as addictions, and the endogenous opioid system may be the mechanism at work.  The binge eater will consume hugs amounts of food in a short amount of time, seemingly without limits.  A bulimic will eat large amounts of typically sugary, starchy foods, and once the desired opiate like effect is obtained, will purge the food to avoid weight gain.  Since bingeing on sweets, prolonged starvation and vigorous exercise all activate the endogenous opioid system, it is easy to see how a person could become stuck in an addictive cycle of starving, bingeing, and purging, through vomiting and/or exercise.”

These findings also make sense when you consider smokers who will gain weight after they quit smoking, and heroin addicts who suffer a loss of appetite when using the drug, then crave sugary candy during detoxification from the drug.  Eating disorders, bulimia in particular, have a high co-morbidity with alcoholism and other drug additions, according to Sarah Tanksley Biologist.

What makes it difficult to refrain from sugar is the fact that it is so readily available.  You don’t have to go to a bar or a special store to buy candy like you do other addictive elements.  It’s NOT illegal either.  In fact, eating sugar is often encouraged, we give candy as gifts, as rewards and treats to our children, sugary treats are elevated as gifts of acknowledgement and as expressions of love and kindness. Heart shaped boxes filled with chocolates are given for Valentines Days, Christmas, Easter etc.

There is a whole host of physical issues that also accompany a sugar addiction:

weight gain

candida/yeast over-growth

immune system weakness

brain-fog

insulin imbalances (hypoglycemia & diabetes)

digestive issues

Constipation

inflammation

Cancer: ( sugar creates a very acidic pH internal environment which is like fertilizer to cancer cells)

I get clients who when I’m working nutritionally with them and their children, I cannot tell you how many mothers “ask”, when can they have sugar again?  We get emotionally attached to what we offer through our foods, meaning, cooking a nice meal for someone has become a way of exhibiting “love” for another, especially when its their “favorite.”

Folks, food and eating is meant to FEED and NOURISH the body, there are other ways to show your love for someone.  Don’t make food a reward, it is a basic need.  One example that drives that point home to me is how many have ever watched any of those shows where folks are dropped off in the middle of no where to survive.. like ” Naked and afraid”,  the people participating in those do or die situations, when they run across something that can be eaten, they are not elaborating in their minds about how it LOOKS, what kind of plate its served on, what side dish will they serve with it.  The truth is they are hungry!  When you can change and adapt your mental connection as to what role food is meant to play, I believe you can begin the healing process of being able to abstain from all the overly processed foods that create these addictive cycles that are destroying our health, and especially the health of our children.

The amount of sugars and carbohydrate overload that our youth are consuming on a daily basis is and should be totally SHOCKING!  Yet those foods (which I hate even categorizing them as), are easy to serve, they are quick convenient. Although, grabbing an apple is quick and convenient, how about a handful of grapes, or strawberries, a banana, are NOT all of those quick and convenient too?

I believe there is a PRICE to pay for the simplicity of quick and convenient. We are developing a generation of over-weight, underactive people who struggle to stay emotionally balanced, cannot cope with even simple stressors, even technology is jumping on board to fill in the anti-social gap, even though we refer to it as “social media”, “text messaging”, and all the other communication “apps”, sure we are able to connect with people all across the globe now, but think about something,  those connections are emotionally unattached, and impersonal.  Try calling a teen-ager or young adult on their phone today and most will let it go to voice mail.  But text message them and it’s answered within seconds, look at groups of people in social gatherings and  how many are physically making eye contact with the folks they are with?  Most have their heads down buried in their cell phones.  Lack of serotonin production, dopamine levels that are off, all the neurotransmitters that allow us to FEEL our emotional connections are off and just spend some time people watching and tell me I’m wrong.

We need to also realize we have been conditioned over the years by commercials/advertising.  Ever notice that all the junk foods tend to cost “less” than wholesome fresh foods?  Well that is because those junk foods can grace the store shelves for 3+ years, I don’t think an apple/orange or banana would pass that test. But you are wasting your money on those junk food items because they offer the body ZERO in the nutritional elements, so you are eating empty food items. So why waste your money?

So for any of my readers who may still be wondering: “Is my body addicted to sugar?”  if you find yourself asking the very question, your answer probably needs to gravitate to a yes!!!  Is there a way to navigate yourself away from that addiction?  Yes there is, but it will be a process, the body needs to be built up nutritionally for balance.

Healthfully yours,

Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

Resources:

Wellbeing journal Vol,. 14, NO.2

Sarah Tanksley, Biologist.


Cholesterol: It’s Essential Role….

good-and-bad-cholesterol

(www.cavemancollege.com)

 

CHOLESTEROL: Americans have become so conditioned to avoid all foods containing cholesterol.  This is a grave mistake as it places a much bigger burden on the body….

I am concerned at the alarming rate of clients that are on Statin medications because they have been told their cholesterol levels are out of control.  Yet I dig into the Statin industry and realize they have enjoyed at least a 30 yr. run of steadily increasing profits, as it finds ever more ways to justify expanding the definition of the segment of the population that qualifies for statin therapy.

Now in DEFENSE of these wonder drugs: Large, placebo-controlled studies have provided evidence that statins can substantially reduce the incidence of heart attack.  High serum cholesterol is indeed correlated with heart disease, and statins, by interfering with the body’s ability to synthesize cholesterol, are extremely effective in lowering the numbers.  Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. and, increasingly, worldwide.  What’s not to like about statin drugs?

Realizing I am not alone as I begin to question how beneficial reducing one’s cholesterol using drugs can be to a persons health, being that the body actually produces LDL, it serves a purpose!  Then I stumble upon Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D. who writes: “I have spent much of my time in the last few years combing the research literature on metabolism, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and statin drugs.  Thus far, in addition to posting essays on the web, I have, together with collaborators published two journal articles related to metabolism, diabetes and heart disease (Seneffl et al., 2011) and Alzheimer’s disease (Seneff2 et al., 2011).  Two more articles, concerning a crucial role for cholesterol sulfate in metabolism, are currently under review (Seneff3 et al., Seneff 4 et.al.).  I have been driven by the need to understand how a drug that interferes with the synthesis of cholesterol, a nutrient that is essential to human life, could possibly have a positive impact on health.  I have finally been rewarded with an explanation for an apparent positive benefit of statins that I can believe, but one that soundly refutes the idea that statins are protective.  I will, in fact, make the bold claim that nobody qualifies for statin therapy, and that statin drugs can be best described as toxins.”

She started to examine the claims that statins would cut the incidence of heart attacks by a 3rd.  What does that mean?  Well according to Seneff a meta-study reviewing seven drug trials, involving 42,848 patients, ranging over a three to five year period, showed a 29% decreased risk of a major cardiac event, this was recorded (Thavendiranathan et al, 2006).  But the thing is, heart attacks were rare among this group, so what this then translates to in absolute terms is that 60 patients would need to be treated for an average of 4.3 years to protect one of them from a single heart attack.  However, essentially all of them would experience increased frailty and mental decline.

Seneff states that the impact of the damage due to the statin anti-cholesterol mythology extends far beyond those who actually consume the statin pills.  Because Cholesterol has been demonized by the statin industry, and as a consequence American have become conditioned to avoid all foods containing cholesterol.  Which is a huge MISTAKE, because it places a bigger burden on the body to synthesize sufficient cholesterol to support the body’s needs, and it deprives the body of several essential nutrients.

Does anyone remember the “attack” against eating EGGS, eat only the whites, toss out the yolks because it will raise your cholesterol!  When in fact eggs ARE very healthy and it’s the YOLK that contains all the important nutrients.  It’s the yolk that allows the chick embryo to mature and grow into what we call a “chicken”.

Many of my clients will bring copies of current lab work with them to our consultation.  I am beginning to believe that this issue is becoming wide-spread, so many are struggling with being deficient in crucial nutrients:
*choline
*zinc
*niacin
*Vitamin A
*Vitamin D
Funny thing is that from a food perspective all the foods that naturally contain these crucial nutrients are ones that they have been advised to avoid consuming because they contain cholesterol.

Let me hit you with some EDUCATION about the roll cholesterol plays in the history of what you call your HEALTH:

Cholesterol is NOT the enemy, it is truly a remarkable element that truth be told without it, the human body can’t live!  There are some distinguishing factors that us mammals have as an advantage over plants:
1. A nervous system
2. mobility
3. cholesterol

Cholesterol, absent from plants, is the key molecule that allows humans and animals to have mobility and a nervous system.  Cholesterol has chemical properties that are very unique, these are exploited in the lipid bilayers that surround all animal cells:  as cholesterol concentrations are increased, membrane fluidity is decreased, up to a certain critical concentration, after which cholesterol start to increase fluidity (Haines, 2001)( I’m tossing in these references lest you think I’m pulling this stuff out of thin air).

The Cells exploit this property to a wonderful advantage for ion transport, which is essential for both mobility and nerve signal transport. (If the nerves cannot send a signal, guess what NOTHING is able to be mobile, meaning US!)

In addition to the role of ion transportation, cholesterol is also the precursor to vitamin D3; the sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone; and the steroid hormones such as cortisol.  So let me ask you, how many folks who have been taking statin meds for any extended length of time find that they cannot keep their vitamin D3 levels elevated to where it should be? Or how many find their sexual urges seem to have packed their bags and headed to unknown lands?  Who finds that their muscle and joint inflammatory issues seem to climb onto the scene because there is now an imbalance in their cortisol production which then begins to affect their blood sugar levels as well as blood pressure and I can continue to pinpoint more in the domino decline.

You see Cholesterol is ABSOLUTELY essential to the cell membranes of all of our cells, where it protects the cell not only from ion leaks, but also from oxidation damage to membrane fats.  While the brain contains only 2% of the body’s weight, it houses 25% of the body’s cholesterol.  As a matter of fact; cholesterol is VITAL to the brain for nerve signal transport at synapses and through the long axons that communicate from one side of the brain to the other.  Cholesterol sulfate plays an important role in the metabolism of fats via bile acids, as well as in immune defenses against invasion by pathogenic organisms.

I know I’m tossing a whole bunch of technical stuff at you, however, I think many folks need to be able to understand the vital role cholesterol actually plans in the total scope of “health.”

Statins inhibit the action of an enzyme, HMG coenzyme A reductase, that is needed as a catalyst in an early step in the 25-step process that produces cholesterol.  This step is an early step in the synthesis of a whole bunch of other powerful biological substances that are involved in cellular regulation and antioxidant effects.  One of these which you have heard and seen me talk about on frequent posts, “coenzyme Q10”, which is present in the greatest concentration in the heart, which plays a huge role in mitochondrial energy production and acts as a powerhouse antioxidant (Gottlieb et al, 2000)

LETS TALK ABOUT LDL, HDL

Most folks have to taught to focus and worry about elevated serum levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL), with respect to heart disease.  LDL is not a type of cholesterol, but rather can be viewed as a container that transports fats, cholesterol, vitamin D, and fat soluble antioxidants to all the tissues in the body.  These are NOT water soluble nutrients so they must be packaged up and transported inside the LDL particles in the blood stream.  If you interfere with the production of LDL, you then reduce the bioavailability of all these nutrients to your body’s cells.

LDL particles also contain a special protein called “apoB: that enables LDL to deliver it’s goods to the cells that are in need.  ApoB is vulnerable to attack by glucose and other blood sugars, especially fructose.  Diabetes results in an increased concentration of sugar in the blood, which further compromises the LDL particles by gumming up apoB.  Oxidized and glycated LDL particles become less efficient in delivering their contents to the cells.  So they stick around longer in the bloodstream, and the measured serum LDL level goes UP.

Once the LDL particles have delivered their contents, they become small dense LDL particles, remnants that would normally be returned to the liver to be broken down and recycled. (the body process is so AMAZING)  But once the LDL particles have finally delivered their contents, they then become small dense LDL particles, remnants that would ordinarily be returned to the liver to be broken down and recycled.  But the attached sugars interfere with this process as well, so the task of breaking them down is now assumed by macrophages in the artery wall and elsewhere in the body, thru a scavenger operation.  The macrophages are especially skilled to extract cholesterol from damaged LDL particles and insert it into HDL particles.  Small dense LDL particles become trapped in the artery wall so that the macrophages can salvage and recycle their contents and this is the basic source of atherosclerosis.

HDL particles are referred to as the “good” cholesterol, and the amount of cholesterol in HDL particles is the lipid metric with the strongest correlation with heart disease, where less cholesterol is associated with increased risk.  So the macrophages in the plaque are actually performing a very useful role in increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol and reducing the amount of small dense LDL.

LDL particles which are produced by the liver, synthesizes cholesterol to insert into their shells, as well as into their contents.  The liver is responsible for breaking down fructose and converting it into fat (Collison et al, 2009).  Fructose is 10X more active than glucose at glycating proteins, and is therefore very dangerous in the blood serum (Seneff1et al., 2011).  When you eat a lot of fructose (like high fructose corn syrup present in lots of processed foods and carbonated drinks), the liver is burdened with getting the fructose out of the blood and converting it to fat, and it can not keep up with cholesterol supply.  Like Stated before, fats can not be safely transported if there is not enough cholesterol.  the liver has to ship out all that fat produced from the fructose, so it produces low quality LDL particles, containing insufficient protective cholesterol.  So you end up with a really bad situation where the LDL particles are vulnerable to attack, and attacking sugars are readily available to do damage.

COCONUT WATER AS EFFECTIVE AS STATIN DRUG:
A recent study indicated that coconut water contains many nutritional and therapeutic properties.  a natural acid and sterile solution that contains several biologically active components:
* L-arginine
*ascorbic acid
*minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium
all of which have beneficial effects on lipid levels.

The research authors stated, “recent studies in our lab showed that both tender and mature coconut water feeding significantly reduced hyperlipidemia in cholesterol fed rats.”,  The current study evaluated the hypolipidemic effect of coconut water compared to the lipid lowering drug lovastatin in rats fed a fat cholesterol enriched diet ad libitum for 45 days.  the authors state in their summary of the study.  “Coconut water has had lowering effect similar to the drug lovastatin in rats fed the fat cholesterol enriched diet.”  You can view the full report: Sandhya, V.G, Rajamohan, T., 2006 “beneficial effects of coconut water feeding on lipid metabolism in cholesterol fed rats.” J. Med. Food 9, 400-407. See study reference online at http://www.greenmedinfo.com

I know this is long, and I plan on continuing tomorrow on how Statins affect the muscles … so tune in tomorrow.

If you’d like some help and assistance with navigating your nutritional battle plan,   everything in the body function serves a particular purpose.
you can go to http://www.harvestedhealth.wordpress.com and schedule a consult which we can do in person, via the phone, or email.

Healthfully yours,
Jodi Barnett N.D.
Harvested Health LLC
219-713-4789

Resources:

Stephanie Seneff.Ph.D. (wellbeing journal)

http://www.Greenmedinfo.com

 

 


The Gray Zone… skin tone…

gray-skin

CLIENT: I had a consultation with a client, and one of the 1st things I noticed about him was how particularly “gray” his skin tone was. Of course that wasn’t the reason for his visit, as a matter of fact his main reason was, he just always felt “REALLY TIRED” all the time. Zero energy!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I go thru a client intake/history with each person, and the fatigue kept being his center of topic, although, I found out he’d struggled with chronic indigestion and heartburn. He pointed out that both symptoms had been keeping company with him for upwards of 20 yrs., he basically had “stock” in the Tums/Rolaids since his early 40’s. I detected a note of accomplishment in his voice and demeanor when he stated he was now taking Tagamet every day for the past 7 yrs. and his indigestion was no longer an issue.
I posed this to him, ” you know stomachs are naturally designed to secrete enough acid to turn even large meals into the equivalent of soupy mush?” “Yeah, I know that in general, but all the doctors told me that my indigestion & heartburn are due to too much acid,” was his reply.
I asked: did anyone ever actually measure your stomach-acid production?”
His answer: “No… but the symptoms sure have gone away since I blocked all that acid out.”
My response: “and a river will dry up if we stop all the rain,” “Maybe that’s an advantage for a little while if the river has been overflowing, but what happens if we stop the rain permanently?”
He thought for a brief second, “permanently?” “At least 7 yrs..” “Quite a drought. Nothing would grow.”
I chucked and stated: “Right, and if we shut off or neutralize our stomach’s natural acidity for more than brief intervals, there are similar consequences. First, we don’t break down foods as well, and many nutrients, especially essential amino acids, certain minerals, and at least two B vitamins, aren’t made as available by natural acid digestion as they usually are, and aren’t properly absorbed into our bloodstreams, So our cells don’t have the normal amounts of nutrients for nourishment. Second, when that acidified soup empties out of the stomach into the upper small intestine, it triggers the secretion of hormones that in turn stimulate the3 pancreas and gallbladder to make or release their own digestive secretions, such as enzymes, bicarbonate, and bile. Without the acid trigger, these hormones are under-produced, and the next stages in digestion doesn’t work as well as they should either. This makes another whole group of nutrients less available to your cells.”
“So it’s like a domino of events. If the acidity isn’t there, then other parts of digestion will fail to trigger too.” He asked ( My favorite part of my job is when I see evidence of the lightbulb getting brighter).
I said: “Exactly, and we don’t even know if we know absolutely all the domino’s in the digestive system, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
His response was: “No wonder I’m tired, I’ve literally dried up a lot of my digestion for years. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?”
“I don’t know, it’s all right there in the basic textbooks for medical students. But that’s not all: The same basic textbooks list a 3rd consequence of low or no stomach-acid production. Let’s think about it like this: What happens if I put bacteria or parasites into an acid in a test tube?”
He says: “I’m not sure, but I would presume they’d die?”
RIGHT, they die & turn into a minor protein supplement. Textbooks of gastroenterology actually call stomach acid the acid barrier to intestinal-tract infection. Also, everyone knows that farther down the intestinal tract is home to a nice variety of micro-organisms called intestinal flora, that also help with digestion, secrete a few important vitamins, and generally behave themselves. But if the acid-alkaline balance, also called the pH; isn’t just right, then many of the friendly micro-organisms literally die out and are replaced by not-so- friendly germs. Some of them will excrete substances that are actually toxic to our cells, that are absorbed and then spread all thru the body.
So now my Gray skinned client, is shifting in his chair. “So not only have I been semi-starving myself but also maybe encouraging toxins from my gut to get around my whole system? I shook my head : Yup I’m afraid so!
Next best question: “So could blocking my normal stomach function be why I have all this extreme fatigue?” I answered: Very likely, so the 1st course of action is to work on restoring normal digestion as much as possible, make up for at least 7yrs. of unintended malnutrition, and, if necessary, work to restore normal gut flora. Then we’ll see.”
He was concerned about stopping the Tagamet, fearful he’d have indigestion and heartburn all over again. I stated there are natural ways to stop indigestion and heartburn without blocking stomach acid.
The truth is, you can eat all the right foods and still slowly starve to death, if the food processor cannot process the food rolling down the slide. Underproduction of stomach acid in the majority of cases is the issue! the official name is HYPROCHLORHYDRIA (meaning low or no stomach acid), it is one of the most common digestive malfunctions, and it is often accompanied by other, seemingly unrelated health issues. Inadequate digestion also becomes more frequent as we age. So remember, even if you are eating the best healthiest diet, or for a particular ailment, if the food you are eating is incompletely digested or assimilated, your body still isn’t getting the nutrients it needs and won’t be effective!
LESSON: our bodies are made up of 60 or so essential nutrients (essential being defined as nutrients without which we’d sooner or later drop dead); how healthy can you be if your body isn’t absorbing even one of those nutrients? And what if a dozen or more nutrients are in short supply? If our foods and supplements don’t encounter the proper acid and enzymes they won’t digest and absorb, which will cause malnutrition. In essence, you could be eating all you need but still starving.
Many peeps who have too little stomach acid are being treated as if they have TOO much, probably because the symptoms are similar. 10-15% of the population suffers from low stomach acid production and are being misdiagnosed and mistreated.
Why would you want to take antacids or acid blockers when your stomach is already weak and not digesting? It’s easy symptom relief that’s why. But it is symptom relief that is offering ZERO remedy /recovery! Let me emphasize that antacid sales are a booming business,,, that statistic alone should alert you to how many folks are living with incomplete digestion!
SIGNS OF LOW HCL:
*BLOATING
*BELCHING
*BURNING SENSATION AFTER EATING
*FEELING LIKE FOOD IS JUST SITTING THERE AND NOT DIGESTING
*INABILITY TO EAT MORE THAN A SMALL AMOUNT OF FOOD WITHOUT FEELING FULL
*CONSTIPATION (note you can still have a bowel movement each day and be struggling with incomplete digestion, check and see if your stool sinks to the bottom of the toilet, if so, that’s incomplete digestion)
*WEAK PEELING EASILY BROKEN FINGERNAILS.
*HAIR LOSS
*GASSINESS
*DILATION OF CAPILLARIES IN THE CHEEKS AND ON THE NOSE (in non-alcoholics)
There is a long list of disease frequently associated with low stomach acidity which includes:
*DIABETES
*UNDER/OVER ACTIVE THYROID
*CHILDHOOD ASTHMA
*ECZEMA
*GALLBLADDER DISEASE,
*OSTEOPOROSIS
*RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS,
*CHRONIC HIVES
*LUPUS
*WEAK ADRENALS
*CHRONIC HEPATITIS
*VITILIGO
*ROSACEA
If you struggle and suffer from some of these symptoms or diseases mentioned and you suspect that your problem is poor digestion, I’d be honored to work with you and your inner food processor.
Update on my Mr. GRAY man, his skin color slowly returned to the normal brown/pink skin tones. His fatigue also waned and was replaced by increased energy. His wife noted improvements in his MOOD and ATTITUDE, 6 months later, he declared himself “back to normal.” He was skeptical at first, but noticed remarkable improvements within the 1st 2 weeks and progress just kept improving from that point forward.
Hope this was helpful, especially as we are rocking into the holiday “gorging” season,,, many will be wanting to reach for the anti-acids, how bout you schedule an appointment before the holidays hit full throttle, you maybe able to enjoy the banquet table vs. resentment and misery! go to http://www.mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and book & pre-pay for your consultation and we can take that 1st step.
Healthfully yours,
Jodi Barnett N.D.
Harvested Health LLC
219-713-4789

#tired, #zeroenergy, #digestion, #heartburn, #GERD,


Understand What High Blood Pressure is and why it’s a problem….

This post is a bit lengthy, however…. so many people are walking around with high blood pressure, I felt this was a topic that really needed to dig beneath the surface in hopes of empowering more people to realize they have options and elements of control over the quality of their health.  So please read thru this article I think you will find some helpful & useful suggestions and information.

Many people today find themselves on prescriptions to control the aspects of their blood pressure when it continues to float in the “too high” zone.  Talking to client’s many actually state this fact like it’s as common as breathing.  Going thru their health history most don’t skip a beat, “oh yeah, I’ve got high blood pressure been on meds for years”… and they float right onto the next topic.  So I wanted to address this…

What is High Blood Pressure.. well it is a symptom that tells us that other areas are imbalanced within,  so in reality High blood pressure is not a disease in it’s own category.  What contributes to hypertension (High Blood pressure)?

Here’s how it usually goes…. When there is lots of arterial tension, the heart (a.k.a blood pumper) has to work harder to pump the blood to reach our extremities, fingers/toes….This actually results in the blood pressure reading coming in “high” and is when most end up on medications.  My real question is how many people feel their high blood pressure issues truly are cured because they take those medications?  “High blood pressure medication is not caused by a lack of high blood pressure medications and… the medication prescribed isn’t designed to cure it either” so stated .. (Tree of light publishing, Steven Horne, Registered Herbalis (AHG)

It’s meant to artificially “control” the issue but certainly not to fix the problem.  Many just take the medications and don’t question, or  change a whole bunch of anything in their daily lives or health routine.  It’s like a “fix it & forget it syndrome”, I take this pill so I’m doing my part routine.  It is symptom MANAGEMENT, but isn’t addressing much else.

What I’m about to say next is probably gonna rub some people the wrong way, but hey it is what it is… High blood pressure is a direct result of ‘LIFESTYLE”. Living in/on the fast lane, as in fast food, lack of sleep (over stimulate with caffeine), smoking, alcohol consumption, over processed “fake” foods, high stress environments.   In other countries especially the un-developed ones, high blood pressure is pretty much unheard of, why.. well, they are eating their native/traditional diets, and their lifestyles tend to less stressful.  Yet in America more than 60 million suffer with High blood pressure.

Now, when you have high blood pressure other diseases can become an issue, like we know having high blood pressure can increase your chances of heart attack, stroke, kidney issues even failure.  Most people believe that all they can change to try to get this under control is to just monitor their sodium intake.  That’s not true…. it’s helpful, but it’s not the only thing that needs to change.

There is a pretty high percentage of high blood pressure cases which classify in mild to moderate category which can really benefit with dietary & lifestyle changes.  Incorporating some herbs & dietary supplements can also be helpful.

Here are some tips I’d strongly recommend:

  1. 1.  start to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day in the form of pure, clean water.
  2.  make sure you are increasing the amount of dietary fiber which helps to sweep toxins & debris out of the body.
  3. If you are over weight, start to take measures to get that extra weight off with diet & exercise.
  4. If you smoke… quit!!!
  5. the body was designed to move, which is why we have hinged joints, so give up some TV time, or computer game time and move it or lose it….
  6. give up using table salt, and change it up for sea salt and this gets easier to monitor when you stop eating pre-cooked foods, like canned soups and boxed instant & frozen dinners which tend to be loaded with salt.  I think the average Campbells soup contains like 900 mg. of sodium per serving. Yikes…
  7. get rid of caffeine (stimulants can raise blood pressure)
  8. over indulgence in the alcohol category doesn’t improve blood pressure either.
  9. lean on those essential fatty acids especially Omega -3 (helps keep blood cells from being too sticky, and thins blood plasma for smoother circulation)
  10. make sure you are getting enough calcium & magnesium, many think calcium but leave out magnesium, well you need the magnesium for the body to properly absorb the calcium.

Like I stated earlier; hIgh blood pressure is a symptom not a disease all by itself.  Yet many think the heart is defective when they are told they have high blood pressure.  The heart is a pump and it’s job is to do just that, pump the blood everywhere.  So when the heart is beating harder, the blood pressure goes up, I tell people these symptoms are like your dash board lights in your car alerting you to an internal problem that needs to be addressed.  When the heart has to work harder that means something is causing some sort of a restriction to how smoothly the blood is flowing.

So in my opinion, when you are going to rely on the medication alone to reduce the pressure, that is not fixing or getting rid of any obstructions that are interfering with the blood flow.  The end result is yes you’ve decreased the bloods pressure but you still have restricted circulation especially going to the hands & feet.  Many on high blood pressure have cold feet/hands.  Basically you have now just traded one health issue to take on board another one.

So basically we have determined that the heart is having to pump too hard to do it’s job of circulating the blood all over the body, so fix the cause and the heart will stop having to work overtime.  If you simply make it easier for the blood to flow, the blood pressure is going to respond by going down.

What are some of the things that contribute to high blood pressure coming from within ?

1.  Good ole hardening of the Arteries. – this is like getting the hard water deposit build up in your pipes, the deposits are going to make the size of the blood vessels smaller inside and restricts how the blood flows thru them.  So if you have been told you have hardening of the Arteries, understand that years of over eating starches & refined sugars have contributed, as the body pH has retained more of an acidic state, so getting the starches & refined sugars out of your daily routine is a plus all the way around.  You can also incorporate some herbal assistance with Mega-Chel which works like oral chelation.

Benefits:

  • Provides a powerhouse of nutritional support for the circulatory system.
  • Provides 100% or more of the Daily Value for 10 essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Promotes healthy circulation through maintaining circulatory passageways.
  • Promotes healthy circulation through maintaining arteries, veins and capillaries.
  • Balances the glandular system.
  • http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/mega-chel-120-tabs/4201/

Now lets address Vaso-constriction:  This is all about the muscular strength in the vascular walls.  Your blood vessels have muscular walls they squeeze & release which is what helps to move the blood thru them.  When they stay squeezed (tense), there is what is referred to as vaso-constriction.  The same sort of concept occurs when someone is having an asthma attack, their bronchial tubes begin to restrict the amount of air flowing thru them and they can’t breathe, this is the same concept when it comes to vaso-constriction in  the arteries.  What contributes to vaso-constriction?  I’m so glad you asked….

  1. Stress is a big contributor – Our body has built in stress responders, the adrenal glands….when you walk up on a spider (if you’re afraid of them), almost without thinking about it you can jump back, scream and in my case I’m doing an Irish jig, couple of things happen though, the heart starts to pound, you may even sweat, get light headed, skin can get tingly, why?  Well, the body releases some hormones and a neurotransmitter called epinephrine (or many know it as adrenaline rush). The body has nerve receptors that are designed to obviously react to the epinephrine.  There are really two types of reactors, the alpha & beta.  When the beta receptors are stimulated by the hormone, they cause blood vessels to contract and the heart beats harder.  Those who have been prescribed Beta-blockers take them to help lower their blood pressure, by blocking these beta adrenergic receptor sites from registering the hormone stimulation.
  2. caffeine can over stimulate the nervous system (sympathethic deals with the adrenals) which encourages high amounts of epinephrine to be turned loose.  So if your consume large amounts of caffeine during the day, some start with coffee, then graduate to caffeinated pops or energy drinks and drink very little water.  Some of the foods that jump on board with triggering this response: alcohol, tobacco, chocolate (yes I know, I’m sorry), cheese, refined sugars, your cured meats like pork, lunch meats which majority contain MSG, which contributes as an excito-neuro-toxin…
  3. Magnesium depleted – we are bombarded with advertising that shoves calcium intake down our throats, however I believe the top most mineral deficiency suffered is in fact magnesium depletion.  When a muscles contracts, calcium ions flow into that muscles cells; as the muscle seeks to relax there is an exchange of magnesium for calcium.  Calcium is what causes the contraction and magnesium causes the relaxation of the muscle.  Many who are depleted in magnesium suffer from lots of leg & toe cramps, or those twitches under the bottle eye lid.   There is also some prescriptions used here called calcium channel blockers can be given to lower ones blood pressure.  What these drugs do is block calcium from entering the muscle tissue, which causes them to be more relaxed.  But I have found that you can also take extra magnesium and create same result.
  4. Syndrome X – This can also contribute to high blood pressure,  What in the world is Syndrome X-  hIgh insulin levels in the blood.  When someones diet has been high in the carbohydrate & sugar zone, it causes the blood vessels to become inflamed which for obvious reasons is going tor restrict flow.  When the diet is high in refined sugars or simple sugars those sugars tend to react with proteins and this reduces how elastic the blood vessels are and they lose flexibility.  Many will see results of this long before its a problem in the form of spider veins in calves & ankles.  So reducing or even eliminating simple carohydrates can be super helpful.

Some of these herbal suggestions  can be incorporated to help if you have been told you have vaso-constriction issues:

Magnesium Complex can be used in conjunction with vaso-dilative herbs to dilate blood vessels & reduce blood pressure.Magnesium is an essential mineral. It is present in more than 300 enzymatic systems where it is crucial for energy production and other metabolic functions. The heart, brain and kidneys cannot function without adequate levels of this nutrient. Magnesium is used in reaction to form Tri Carboxylic Acid (TCA), which aids in the cells’ energy-producing cycle. It is also involved in smooth muscle contractions, affecting the heart, gastrointestinal, urinary and female reproductive tracts. http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/magnesium-complex-100-caps/1859/

Hawthorn & ginkgo have both been found to dilate peripheral blood vessels and improve flow. Ginkgo biloba leaf is one of the most popular and well-studied herbs in the world. Its ability to increase circulation has been documented in numerous clinical trials. Ginkgo is a powerful free radical scavenger. It helps protect blood vessels and optimizes the amount of oxygen supplied to brain cells. It may also help support blood flow to the extremities. Hawthorn berries contain flavonoids and other compounds that may benefit the circulatory system, especially the heart. They also contain volatile oils, saponins, alkaloids, vitamins and minerals.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/ginkgo–hawthorn-combination-100-caps/909/

Garlic can reduce blood pressure. If you take garlic on a regular basis many have reduced blood pressure by 10-15 points.  Not to mention an added benefit of the garlic is it kicks butt on blood cholesterol & triglycerides too.  http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/garlic-oil-60-softgel-caps/1694/

Blood Pressurex which contains l-arginine, which is an amino acid that acts on a chemical messenger called nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels.  The main ingredients in Blood Pressurex are the powerful herbs Coleus forskohlii, olive leaf extract, hawthorn berries extract and goldenrod; the amino acid arginine; and the antioxidants vitamin E and a powerful, proprietary grape seed extract. These combine to help protect blood vessels, promote blood flow in the peripheral arteries and inhibit cell damage. Grape seed extract contains an array of bioflavonoids, antioxidants and polyphenols. Studies suggest that grape seed extract may be beneficial for maintaining blood pressure levels and may contribute to overall cardiovascular health. http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/blood-pressurex-60-caps/554/

Lobelia – which has lobeline that acts as a natural beta blocker.  It goes together well with capiscum and a small amount of black cohost to reduce cardiac stress and angian.  improves circulation to the heart, and lower blood pressure caused by stress/tention.

Benefits:

Then there are also Adaptagens which can also assist in reducing blood pressure issues.  Like

Eleuthero Root – American & Korean ginseng, schizandra these are found in Nutri-calm

Benefits:

Also Nervous Fatigue Formula:  his TCM concentrate contains the same herbs found in Nervous Fatigue formula but in a highly concentrated blend. Traditional Chinese Medicine would consider this a fire-enhancing formula. Its Chinese name yang xin translates to “nurture the heart.” Weakness in the fire element usually manifests itself in the digestive, cardiovascular or reproductive systems. Biota seed contains aromatic compounds that have a sedative effect. These compounds also have a mild laxative effect. Jujuba seed contains bitter compounds that help promote relaxation. Schizandra fruit, a supporting herb in this formula, allows the body to respond quickly to stress, thus increasing the body’s capacity to work. Its bitter compounds also support circulation. Ginseng acts as an adaptogen to help maintain balance in the body and help the body adapt to stress.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/nervous-fatigue-tcm-conc-30-caps/1017/

Suma Combination – SUMA Combination supplies nutrients that support the body’s regenerative functions. It is a blend of six powerful adaptogenic herbs that bolster the immune system and provide energy and emotional support. Suma root is referred to as para todo in South America, meaning “for everything.” Suma is not a true ginseng, but it shares many of ginseng’s properties. Astragalus root is a Chinese herb that also shares many properties of ginseng and is known as an energy-booster.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/suma-combination-100-caps/1088/

Next aspect that can contribute towards the high blood pressure problem is  “WATER RETENTION & KIDNEY FUNCTION”…..

When our body is retaining excessive fluid, it will also put pressure on our blood vessels restricting the flow issue.  Kidneys have an influence on the heart, So I believe the kidneys to be a major contributor to maintenance of our blood pressure.  Many times when someone is retaining extra fluid, they will be prescribed a diuretic to try to reduce the blood pressure.  There are some more natural versions that will act like a diuretic without the side-effects.  like the Chinese Kidney Activator –

Benefits:

We talked earlier about reducing your intake of salt, I’d again recommend trading regular table salt in favor of sea salt which can also help reduce fluid retention.  I have to say that kidney issues are usually not the 1st go to place of addressing high blood pressure, but when I have a client who says they have high blood pressure, I always encourage them to support their kidneys while making diet & exercise changes.

So there ya have it, if you are interested in scheduling a more detailed consultation based specifically on what your body says it needs, then please schedule a 1 hr. consultation (we can do these either by skype (no video) only audio, and or phone consult or in my office.  QFA Analysis is in office only, (urine & saliva).  go to. http://mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and sign up for your desired services.

As always,

Healthfully yours,

Jodi Barnett N.D.

QFA Clinician, Orthomolecular Nutritionist,

Raw Food Coach

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.harvestedhealth.wordpress.com

http://www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com (High quality herbs & supplements)

follow me on : http://www.facebook.com/harvestedhealth

subscribe to me on you tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW9rAc7tMZNM66au36754zA


Let’s get to movin & groovin……….

Structural 11x17 300 dpi  Experience has taught me….. one of the benefits of exercise is it blocks appetite swings, and can actually improve your mood becuz it triggers feel-good endorphins;, it strengthens your resistance to cravings, and it creates a sense of well-being. We know it strengthens our muscles, stimulates new bone growth, circulates the blood, aids in lymph drainage, oh yeah and it purges stored toxins from the body.

So you obviously need to find a form of exercise that you enjoy, but make sure that it also challenges you. Start with at least 15 minutes per day, and slowly build up your endurance if exercise isn’t something you’ve done in a while.

There is so much to choose from, it doesn’t have to cost a dime if money is a factor. walking is still free; so is running, yoga and stretching. You can walk-up up and down your stairs several times, if you have some at home or work. Ride a bike, Run around with your children or pets. The key is JUST GET THE BODY MOVING!

In closing, my goal for you is to improve your health, vitality and lifestyle thru the one avenue that you will do every day for the rest of your life, and that is to eat! We are so bombarded in today’s society regarding what constitutes a healthy diet and what doesn’t. What your body craves is not junk food; it craves balanced nutrition.

When did our society become so turned around, that the only objective for eating is all about the taste? Oh, and lets not forget about the color: When foods are over-processed the natural colors are dulled so of course artificial ones have to be added so we like what we are looking at… Why? Well certainly we want our foods to “look” appetizing too. Well raw, whole foods retain their beauty, just look at the color of a well made salad, not to mention, you can tell a lot about what that produce has to offer the body becuz of the color, but, hey that’s another long winded article.

If you’d like some help & assistance in getting your food/exercise/emotional aspects back in line, and you want to begin your soon to be new year on a more healthy and positive note. I’m your gal…. go to http://mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and schedule your consultation and let the fun begin!!!!!

As always,
Healthfully yours,
Jodi Barnett N.H.C.
QFA Clinician, Orthomolecular Nutrition Coach,
Raw Food coach, Student: Doctor of Naturopathy

Harvested Health LLC


I NEED ENERGY!!!!!!!!

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Does this feel like YOU most of the time?

Working with my clients, the chief complaint seems to be “no energy”, most feel like they are just pulling themselves thru their day and/or using caffeine or energy drinks to force what doesn’t seem to naturally be within them.

It is true that our bodies need natural sugar that it uses as a source of energy. Typically most lean towards starchy foods like the breads, pasta and potatoes, the digestive enzymes break down complex sugar (starch) into simpler sugars. So it’s a longer transition process for actual energy conversion and much stores in the fat cells due to incomplete digestion from the diet being overloaded with these starches, and these foods are void of needed vitamins/nutrients due to over cooking. Gums up the inner piping if you will.

Yet When fruits are eaten, the body uses the simple sugars (fructose) directly, without needing to break it down further. This differs from eating refined sugar, in which case the food is devoid of nutrients and fiber (which fruits contain).

Refined sugar enters the blood quickly, as it lacks fiber that would normally slow it down. White table sugar typically is refined from cane sugar and/or sugar beets, during which the natural nutrients and fiber end up being taken out. The calories found in sugar are “empty.” There are no vitamins or minerals, which means the body has to rob from “storage” – if there is storage – to aid and abet breaking down the processed sugar. So.. since foods contain calories and calories equal energy, when you are eating something that is void of vitamins/minerals and the body has to rob from storage, guess what doesn’t happen, no NEW energy is created to put some pep in your step, instead it is depleted even further, which is why when you eat something made with refined sugar as the body processes it you can feel like taking a nap, or mentally you cannot focus (brain fog).

When I conduct a QFA Analysis (Urine & Saliva), I find many of my clients are deficient in essential minerals which are critical for other processes in the body. Friends, you cannot borrow from an empty account. On the other hand, fruit is nutrient-dense. This means for every calorie it provides, it also contributes micro-nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Yet many are told because fruits have sugar, they will make you fat, raise your Glycemic index, rot your teeth. NOT true!!! I have many diabetics that I encourage to consume lots of fresh fruits in the morning hours and they find not only does it energize them, it aids and assists in elimination as well. Fruits are the body “cleaners”, Veggies are the body builders. We NEED them both!

If you cut out most fruits, and most or all complex carbohydrates (which are different from simple carbohydrates) you will need to get your calories from other sources – proteins or fats. Which many people who are trying to lose weight seem to lean towards. It is difficult to gain sufficient calories from protein; and high-protein diets are generally recognized as harmful for health, and places lots of extra burden on one’s kidneys.  The high protein intake usually comes in the form of eating lots of animal meats which also makes the body pH overly acidic without a balance. Yes people lose weight on these high protein diets but at what price?

Many who jumped into the high-protein diets that were super popular in the 1990’s account for a huge climb in those suffering from kidney stones. There was no allotment that included enough fruits or vegetables. Also, the mentality behind those diets is strictly to lose weight. Yes, the weight loss was obtained, many relapse to their previous eating habits, making any changes temporary. Again, what is called for is a true change of lifestyle that can be reasonably sustained. Balance is the key.

For those interested in help/assistance in weight-loss, coupled with incorporating a more complete and balance eating plan. I’d be thrilled to work with you towards success. Simply go to https://mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and pre-register for your 1 hr. consult which can take place via phone or in person. Once you’ve registered/paid for your consultation, you will receive my schedule and we can get you on track with an appointment.

As always,
Healthfully yours,
The Health Nut,
Jodi Barnett N.H.C.
QFA Clinician, Orthomolecular Nutrition Coach,
Raw Food Coach, Student:Doctor of Naturopathy

Harvested Health LLC
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