Sunday, October 14, 2007

The B Vitamins

The B vitamins are an important category of vitamins that contribute to the health and function of the nerves and brain function. B vitamins maintain healthy skin, hair and eyes as well as participate in regulation of the liver, intestines and muscle tissue. The B vitamins have also been shown to have an impact on relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety. An interesting fact about the B vitamins is that a shortage of these vitamins can result in fatigue. The reason being is that B vitamins act as co-enzymes. This means that when they are used with other enzymes, chemical reactions occur that produce energy. B vitamins are water soluble. Water soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and are eliminated via the urinary system (Thus the green pee, when taking vitamin supplements). Water soluble vitamins like the B variety need to be consumed daily (preferably by food, secondarily by capsule) to replenish levels. To ensure you are getting enough B-vitamins, in addition to eating plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and grains, take a Vitamin B complex capsule daily. Additional B complex capsules can be taken depending on your stress and activity levels.

Thought for the Week:
"Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better." ----- Ed Howe

Chiropractic Thought for the Week:
"Q: Do you have any recommendations for people who just want to stay healthy and fit?
A: The four most important things are diet, including supplementation, rest, exercise training with good people and chiropractic care to maintain the body. " ----------- Pat Miletich, Five Time World Mixed Martial Arts Fighting Champion

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Honey, I Love You

Honey is the by product of bee poop. Not really, but now that I have your attention, bees manufacture honey by mixing the nectar from flowers with bee enzymes (which I guess you could consider bee poop!). Honey is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. 35% of honey is protein and half of all the amino acids are contained in honey. High in carbohydrates due to the concentrated sugars, honey is also full of the B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, D and E. Honey is a great energy boost. The B vitamins and the sugar content make a quick pick-me-up. Medicinally, honey has been used to heal wounds. Recent research has found honey to be extremely effective in healing hard to heal wounds such as the kind that occur in people with poor circulation like diabetics and burn patients. The best kind of honey to purchase is organic, unfiltered, unprocessed, raw honey. Raw honey looks nothing like regular store bought honey, which makes me question the nutritional and healing capabilities of "normal" jarred honey. One thing to remember is never give honey to an infant 1 year and under. Honey can contain a bacteria that can cause botulism. This only occurs in infants and does not present a risk for adults or bigger kids.

Thought for the Week:
Over 25,000 prescription drugs exist on the market today. 200,000 over-the-counter medications are available. The average American family has 29 drugs in their home. Just say no.

Chiropractic Thought for the Week:
"Chiropractic care allows proper nerve flow to all of the systems of the human body. Thus, chiropractic's main selling point is its ability to influence function and performance. A body that functions better and performs better is a healthier body." ------ William Rudnick, J.D.

Healthy Skin

The skin, our outer covering, the facade that keeps our insides from falling out is an often neglected part of health care. While most people are concerned about wrinkles, not many take the proper steps to ensure healthy, wrinkle free skin. The secret to healthy, attractive skin is a balance between skin oil and skin moisture according to Dr. James Balch, M.D. The oil in the skin comes from the sweat glands, while the moisture comes from the water present inside the skin cells. This is a key point to remember. Water in the skin cells is what keeps the skin healthy and youthful looking. The oil and the moisture must work together. The oil acts as a barrier, preventing moisture from escaping. Since skin is predominately made up of water, it makes perfect since that to have healthy youthful skin, water must be imbibed on a regular and consistent basis. Dr. Balch recommends 2 quarts of quality water daily. Research has also found that consuming foods high in sulfur will help keep the skin healthy and smooth. Sulfur containing foods are garlic, onions, eggs and asparagus. One other important thing to do is find skin lotions that have humectants. Humectants are substances that attract water to the skin to seal in moisture. Typical humectants are Vitamin E, panthenol and glycerine.
Thought for the Week: "The nervous system plays an important role in both the control and the activity of the immune response. The sheer power of the brain to affect the body as a whole and the general state of health is amazing." ---- Human Anatomy and Physiology, pg 719
Chiropractic Thought for the Week: " The Subluxation (misaligned spinal bone placing pressure on the spinal nerve) alone is a rational reason for chiropractic care throughout a lifetime from birth."
------ Dr. Lee Hadley, Syracuse Memorial Hospital

A Healthy Environment

Health is not just about the foods that we eat. It is also about the environment we live in. The air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we walk on. Once the mind expands its health consciousness, thoughts turn to healthy practices that not only affect the individual, but the entire community. Household cleaning ingredients are products that typically contain chemicals that are bad for the body and the environment. Detergents, disinfectants and cleaning sprays contain bleaches, ammonia, chlorine and other chemicals that when inhaled or rubbed on the skin, damage the eyes, respiratory airways and the nervous system. In addition, these chemicals also pollute the environment. Cleaning products washing down the drain contaminate over two thirds of US Streams. Indoor air can be polluted up to five times more than outdoor air due to the use of these cleaning products. According to Annie Bond, author of the book, Better Basics for Home, It is easy to clean your home without harming your body using six non-toxic ingredients. Baking Soda is a great deodorizer and gentle scrub. Distilled White Vinegar is the perfect all-round cleaner. Great for glass, it also breaks up mold, scum and grease. Plant oils like lavender and tea tree are anti-fungal and disinfectants. Lemon is a deodorizer, grease cutter and stain remover. Olive oil is terrific as a wood polish. And lastly, plant based soaps such as olive, coconut and palm are gentle and are not derived from animal fat.

Thought for the Week:
"The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer everyone else up."-------Mark Twain

Chiropractic Thought for the Week:
"Within each of us is a spark. Callit a divine spark if you will, but it is there and can light the way to health. There are no incurable diseases, just incurable people."----- Bernie Siegal, MD

"Healing can be hampered and weakened, function can be altered, the immune system responses rendered inadequate by misaligned, subulxated vertebra." ------- Fred Barge, DC


Papaya is one of the top five fruits in the world for health. Papaya is joined by fellow fruits, guava, watermelon, kiwi and grapefruit as the healthiest fruits to eat. The main reasons ripe papayas are so healthy, according to nutrition writer Jane Black, is the amount of vitamin C. Papaya contains enough vitamin C to meet the RDA for three days! There is also a substantial amount of Beta-carotene and vitamin E. C, E and Beta-carotene are powerful anti-oxidants that fight cell damage in the body. Intake of these super three have been linked to a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease and age related ailments. Papaya is best known for its digestive properties. Unripe green papayas contain high levels of papian. Papian is a digestive enzyme that mimics the action of the natural gastric digestive juices of the stomach. Papian aids in the digestion of food. The papian also can be used as an itch remedy for mosquito bites. Rub a papaya over the bug bite and the papian will breakdown the insect bite protiens, nullifying the itch. It doesn't work if you have an insect venom allergy and should not be tried according to Whole Living Body & Soul magazine. Papaya can be used in yogurt smoothies and taste great in a stir fry. Papaya Enzymes can be purchased in the health food store and are a great digestive aid when taken after a meal.

Thought for the Week:
"You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do."-------- Jerry Garcia of the "Grateful Dead"

Chiropractic Thought for the Week:
"Symptoms are natures warning signal, our burglar alarm so to speak. They are there to tell us that something is wrong in the body, but with todays penchant for a pain free existence the use of pain killing drugs is in vogue. This quest for for pain relief has led to a masking of symptoms that leads to a further advancement of malfunction and pathology in the body." ---- Fred Barge,DC

Macular Degeneration

The retina is the part of the eye that receives images from the environment around us. The images are then sent to the optic nerve and processed in the brain. (FYI, the brain then reacts to the information by sending said information down the spinal cord and out to the spinal nerves, to be used by the body in any capacity that is needed.) (Just thought I'd tie a little chiropractic in there). But, I digress. The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina. The macula is like the fine tune knob on a radio. It filters the image for us, making it more detailed. Deterioration of the macula is called macular degeneration and leads to central blindness, or the blindness of the visual field directly in front of you. Peripheral vision remains intact. Dry degeneration of the macula is a gradual breakdown of eye receptors. Wet degeneration is caused by leaking blood vessels in the eyes. There is no definite cause for macular degeneration, but it tends to occur in people over 70 years of age. For healthy eyes, or any other tissues in the body for that matter, it is important to consume foods high in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants fight cell and tissue damage caused by a build-up of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage organs, tissues and cells in the body. They come from pollutants, toxins and radiation. The build-up of free radicals in the eye may be a cause of macular degeneration according to the National Eye Institute. To combat these free radicals it is important to consume foods high in vitamin C, E, beta carotene and zinc. Diets made up around foods like sweet potatoes, spinach, watermelon, tomatoes, cherries, bell peppers, citrus fruit, avocados, nuts and seeds, olives, broccoli, lentils, peas, and wheat germ will ensure that your body is full of anti-oxidants to help battle the free radicals that may cause macular degeneration.

Thought for the Week and Chiropractic Thought for the Week:
"Most of you have had occasion to get a cut bad enough to go to the Emergency Room to get stitches, right?" Hands go up. "Remember what happened. They look at the cut, and wash it out. Then, they stitch it up, and put a sterile bandage on it. You then get a shot of tetanus toxoid in one arm, and a shot of penicillin in the other arm.

"You come back in ten days to get the stitches out. They take the bandage off. Lo, and behold! It’s healed! Another medical miracle!

"Try this experiment. Go home and take a steak out of the fridge. (In California, you may advise vegetarians to borrow a steak from a neighbor.) Take a sharp kitchen knife and make a cut in that steak. Take the cut steak over to the sink, and wash the cut out. Take some needle and thread, and sew up the cut. Put a sterile bandage on the cut. Give the steak a shot of tetanus toxoid and a shot of penicillin. What do you have... in ten days?"

Most will answer "A rotten steak." Ask if the cut in the steak has healed. After they answer "No, of course not," ask "What is the difference between you and the steak?" "Well, uh, uh, the steak is dead." You say "Of course, the difference is life. What this whole thing, Health, and Chiropractic, is all about, is how much life you express!" ------------ Don Harte, D.C.

The Miracles of Aloe

What looks like an upside down octopus, but grows on the land and is a native plant from Northern Africa? I'll give you another hint. This plant has fleshy, thick leaves (more like arms) and if you break it open, a colorless, odorless, yet miraculous gel oozes out. If you guessed the Aloe Vera plant you are 100% correct. The Aloe vera plant has been used for centuries as a food additive and medicinal aid due to the highly nutritious gel, which has been shown to have healing benefits in many different health disorders. The gel contains a substance called mucopolysaccharides, which is a very long word that is attributed to the healing benefits of the Aloe plant. Aloe Vera's most commonly known use is as a skin healer. Aloe has dramatic effects on burns, cuts, insect bites, poison ivy, eczema and sun burned skin. What most people do not know is Aloe is extremely effective at helping the body to heal digestive problems. 100% pure Aloe gel/ juice has been used in the treatment of stomach ulcers, stomach disorders, digestive problems, colitis and constipation. Aloe is also very good at cleansing the colon. Aloe is easy to grow and the plant does well in the home. Just cut open the bottom of the leaves and squeeze the gel out. For Aloe juice, most health food stores sell it in 1/2 gallon and 1gallon bottles. According to the tribes in North West Africa, Aloe increases energy and endurance. Personally, I drink Aloe Juice a couple of times per week and always have a tube of 100% pure Aloe gel in the family first aid kit.
Thought for the Week: " Our preset medical model only minimally acknowledges the innate healing power of the human body. There is a need to reassess the concepts of health and illness in order that we, as physicians, may limit the use of drugs, radiation and surgery."------ Dr. Paul Brenner, M.D.
Chiropractic Thought for the Week: " I believe chiropractic to be the most scientific method of removing the real casue of dis-ease, thereby allowing nature to resume normal action, which effects the recovery of the patient from bodily ailments." -- Dr. A. Lyle, M.D.

Artificial Sweetners.....Bad

The topic of artificial sweeteners is one that I have written about time and time again. This topic deserves frequent visits for two reasons. One, people do not get that they can be dangerous. They either choose not to believe it, or they don't understand the science behind the danger. Two, people do not realize what an artificial sweetener is and how many different foods they are in.
Here is the latest news flash. A long term study performed in Italy by the Italian Cancer Institute and recently published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives, June,13 2007, found that Aspartame increased the risk of Lymphomas, leukemias and breast cancer. Aspartame is the artificial sweetener marketed as Nutrasweet and Equal. The Italian study focused on feeding rats 20 mg of aspartame per pound of bodyweight and found that cancer risks were found in both male and female rats, but higher in female rats. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, based on these research results, suggests that people, especially children, should not consume any products that contain aspartame. The conclusion from the study is that life long exposure to aspartame increases the risk of cancer. According to the ACA News Journal, 70% of aspartame sales are from soft drinks. Aspartame is also found in sugar-free foods like candies, chewing gum, Light sugared foods, yogurts, and hundreds of other food products including prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Please note, while the focus of this weeks health tip is the negative effects of aspartame, In my and many others opinions, all artificial sweeteners should be avoided as many studies show that they are also not without risk. Other artificial sweeteners are marketed as Splenda, Sucrolose and Acesulfame.

Thought for the Week:
"Sweet are the uses of adversity." ---- William Shakespeare
" Now you are lookin at a man
That's gettin kinda mad;
I've had lots of luck, but it's all been bad.
No matter how I struggle and strive
I'll never get out of this world alive." -------- Hank Williams

Chiropractic Thought for the Week:
"Health is a condition in which all body functions are carried on normally, meeting all body demands for adaptation to the environment. Nerve impulse supply is vital to all body function. Therefore, the degree of health enjoyed by each person is dependent upon the normal transmission of nerve impulses between the brain and all parts of the body." ------ Galen Price, D.C. Ph.C.
Chiropractic care removes nerve impulse interference and improves nerve impulse supply to the body for greater health.-----Dr. J.

Avoiding Junk is Easy!

I am often told that living a healthy, nutritious life, the kind that prevents disease, while building health is extremely difficult in today's society. I disagree and also agree at the same time. Eating healthy and nutritiously is relatively easy, but today's society makes it difficult by mass marketing and advertising "simpler", "easy to make", "non-nutritious", "chemical laden", processed foods. It is easy to grab pre-made food. It is easy to throw something in a microwave oven and eat it in 10 minutes. It is easy to stop at a fast food restaurant. It is easy not to read labels and to not really know what you are eating. The bottom line is, if you want easy, you will pay the price. The lack of nutrition will decrease immune system function and eventually you will get sick or have a disease process start in your body. The build-up in the body of chemicals and preservatives from processed food, overtime, can lead to cancer, auto-immune diseases and may even effect the body's genetic structure which can then be passed on to future off-spring. That being said, it is easy to eat nutritiously. It's all about changing food choices. No time, need to grab a quick bite? Skip the Mickey Dees and try a Wawa. Grab some fruit, a yogurt or a salad. You can even have them make you a healthier sandwich. Possibly, the worst offenders for poor nutrition are the snack foods and the sweets. Not only do the snack foods contain chemicals, artificial colors and preservatives, they are also empty calories contributing to weight gain (which, by itself, leads to many diseases). Instead, eat fruit. Keep cut raw vegetables in the fridge. If you still need a "junky" snack fix, buy it at the healthfood store or in the health aisle of the supermarket. For every junky snack, there is the same type of snack made without chemicals and preservatives and loaded with organic, healthy ingredients available at the health food store. Even tastes better. Read your labels. When you see a bunch of words that are not familiar, the odds are you have a food full of chemicals. Real food, the kind not processed by man, the kind that keeps you healthy, the kind that keeps your brain working and gives you energy to live, does not contain man-made chemicals.

Thought for the Week:
"Every time you are exposed to a loud noise, your auditory nerves are damaged; a lifetime of noises can add up to permanent hearing loss." ---- James Balch, M.D, Mark Stengler, M.D.

Chiropractic Thought for the Week:
"Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. They come to us not knowing that truth. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to work." ----- Dr. Albert Schweitzer

"Chiropractic care does not treat disease nor does it put chemicals into the body, what chiropractic does do is allow the inner healer inside the body to work the way nature intended it, free of nerve interference." ---- Dr. J.Z