Did you know that chicken soup really is medicinal? Studies prove it!Read More
Not all vitamins are created equal. Just as whole foods are healthier than processed, natural vitamins are more beneficial than synthetic because their nutritional components are better absorbed, utilized and retained by the body. This "bio-availability" makes natural vitamins a better deal despite being more expensive. Natural vitamins are derived from food sources and contain a complex array of nutrients that are bonded to proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. They contain beneficial co-factors such as antioxidants and bioflavonoids, which are essential for better absorption and maximum utilization.
Synthetic vitamins are isolated chemicals that mirror their counterparts found in nature. Although synthesized vitamins will work if you are deficient in a particular nutrient, you will not be getting the same benefit due to the lack of bioflavonoids. Furthermore, many synthetics are derived using harsh solvents and may include coal tar derivatives, fillers and preservatives.
The most important rule when buying vitamins is to look for brands using plant or animal sources. For example, vitamins A and D are natural when derived from fish oils, vitamin B complex from yeast, and vitamin C from citrus, rose hips or acerola berries.
I advise my patients to take vitamins only to address a particular problem and not to just “cover your bases.” Save your money and eat a wide variety of fresh, minimally-processed foods instead. If you strive for 20 different whole food ingredients daily, you will be getting all the nutrition you need directly from food.
Raw honey produced less than 100 miles from where you live may help improve your immune response and can be especially beneficial for people with hay fever. (For kids — check with your pediatrician). Give it a try! Click here to find it at your Los Angeles area farmers markets.
If you suffer from heartburn, here are some easy suggestions for effective food therapies. 1. Avoid tomatoes, dark chocolate, raw onions, fried food, mint teas, and red wine.2. Drink demulcent teas such as slippery elm, marshmallow and licorice. Fennel tea is also good. Stay away from peppermint tea, which relaxes the esophagus and can actually contribute to reflux. 3. Drink carrot juice (1-2 cups/day). Carrots are alkaline-forming and anti-inflammatory and help many digestive problems. 4. Eat fresh papaya or take papaya enzymes. 5. Eat smaller, more frequent meals.6. Take acidophilus or other probiotics, or drink kefir. 7. Drink other fresh vegetable juices such as cabbage, celery and even raw potato (leave skin on). 8. Avoid eating for at least 3 hours before bedtime.9. Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen, which can aggravate heartburn. 10. Reduce carbonated beverages and caffeine.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are also great for reducing heartburn as they can resolve "Stomach Heat," the most common Chinese diagnosis for heartburn and GERD.
Follow these guidelines for a month and see how much better you feel! You might even be able to eat a bowl of spaghetti bolognese again without worry.
Government nutritional advice is still greatly watered down due to the effects of food industry lobbying, advertising, and co-opting of experts. The good news is that Oldways, a food issues think-tank, has developed alternative Food Pyramids based on four, centuries-old dietary traditions: Asian, Mediterranean, Latin American, and vegetarian.Read More
Here's a cool article from the Wall Street Journal about how the beneficial bacteria (flora) in our bodies help influence our minds. "The Yogurt Made Me Do It: There's nothing metaphorical about 'gut feelings' — Bacteria influence our minds."
Curious about Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India? Discover which of the three energies (doshas) predominates in your constitution with this diagnostic test, then get balanced and maintain best health through food therapy, massage and yoga (not to mention acupuncture). Many of the questions are things you've probably never asked yourself! TEA RECIPE: Good Chai: 2 c. water; 3 peppermint teabags; 1 qt. cow or soymilk; 1 stick cinnamon; 1/4 t. ground cloves; 1 t. dry ginger; 3/4 t. ground cardamom; 1 t. black peppercorns; 2 T. honey. Pour boiling water over teabags, steep 20 mins then remove. Add milk, spices and sweetener. Heat on low for 30 mins, then strain. (From The Ayurveda Cookbook).