According to an analysis published by The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Vitamin D may lower the risk and severity of asthma attacks. The study involved 435 children and 658 adults most of whom had some degree of asthma. 400 to 4000 units of the supplement reduced symptoms in 37% of the participants. Severe attacks requiring emergency intervention decreased by 60%. There is the possibility that vitamin D triggers antiviral and anti-inflammatory responses which decrease the risk of lung infection. Of course before you add any supplement to your regiment you should speak to your doctor first. However, taking a little dose of vitamin D from the sun can’t hurt.
Great for endurance and contains a healthy vegetarian source of iron, Teff originated some 3,000 years ago in Ethiopia. North Africans consume about 15% of their diet from this grain. It is the size of a poppy seed and provides slow burning energy especially for runners. Iron deficiency is especially high among female runners and Incorporating Teff into a diet may be the solution. This ancient whole grain has been showing up in pastas, protein bars and pancake mixes. It also has a high protein content and can be eaten by people who are gluten intolerant. Try substituting it for a hot cereal in the morning.
Toe-tapping, foot wagging, constantly clicking your pen, moving back and forth in your chair are all viewed as nervous tendencies. Some of us find being in the presence of people who fidget annoying and even uncomfortable. But is there any benefit to these constant, unconscious movements? Most people spend a good part of the day seated. Meetings, classrooms, lengthy assignments take up at least 8 hours of our day. During these hours our legs hardly move, in fact, physically most of our body is not doing much of anything. Does this lack of blood flow throughout the body have consequences? During extended periods of little movement, there is no need for our blood vessels to remain flexible. How can we combat this? What if you are faced with situations where it is impossible to work while standing or even taking a short walk? Is fidgeting the body’s response for the need to encourage blood flow? Testing of blood flow on limbs that were subject to movement as well as stationary, showed simple fidgeting proved to have greater blood flow as well as arterial function which resulted in a normal range of blood pressure. There is a growing school of thought that fidgeting actually stimulates an improved level of attention which may be a better approach to teaching children with ADD, instead of attempting to have them sit still. There is even a connection made of how the brain may become more invested in a task if it is accompanied by even the simplest act of fidgeting. So sit sideways, tap your feet to the rhythm you hear in your brain, or simply alternate crossing your legs. If someone around you finds it irritating, simply say that you have scientific evidence to back up the benefits of your actions. If that doesn’t attract their interest, try the fact that you are also burning calories.
Google has over 70 million hits for the word detox. Designer juices are a 5 billion dollar a year business. We have been inundated with literature about the fact that we are surrounded by toxins and are advised to detox our bodies. We are lead to believe that the overload of toxin is more than a body can withstand. The meaning of the word detox originally stood for a cure for drug addiction. The word has been adopted by many companies promising to rid our bodies of toxins if a certain plan is followed. What toxins specifically are they referring to? Are these programs nothing more than starvation diets with little or no protein and fat? Is our body not naturally equipped as a perfect machine to cleanse itself? Our livers and kidneys are constantly filtering out waste. Our small intestine is on guard blocking unwanted agents from entering the bloodstream while our large intestine is busy helping waste leave our bodies. In addition, our skin, lungs and lymphatic system are eliminating toxins through sweating and breathing. It would seem if we fed ourselves more of the proper nutrients instead of cutting back, as these cleanses imply, we would actually encourage the body to do its job more efficiently. If you would like to give your system a break, try accomplishing it naturally via eating small but highly nutritional snacks 5 or 6 times a day for a week. Green leafy vegetables are incredible for blood purification. Water, exercise and proper ventilation in our homes are key to keeping our organs functioning. In other words, detoxing the body is really just an ongoing process, a way of life free of so much of the processed food we have been convinced to incorporate in our way of eating. Better digestion and complexion, increased energy and stamina, better absorption of nutrients, even weight loss are the results of eating clean without the high cost of resorting to commercial “detoxing” cleansers.
Silver diamine chloride has been used in Japan for almost a decade. It has now been approved by the FDA as a means of retarding tooth decay. It is an antimicrobial liquid that can be brushed on a cavity killing bacteria that will cause further tooth decay. It can prove to be extremely useful for children as well as older adults who have a problem with sedation, injections and drilling since none of these are needed. The process takes about 30 seconds and cost can be as little as $25 as opposed to around $150 for an actual filling. The only downside is it will change the decaying portion of the tooth to a black color. Parents prefer this in younger children since they will eventually lose their baby teeth. Older adults might not mind the procedure if it is done on the rear teeth.
- Go Meatless more often-use beans as your replacement for a protein source at least 1 or 2 times a week. They are a fraction of the cost of meat and work well with whole grains, soups and salads.
- Snack Smarter-nuts compliment fruit. Together they make up a snack that contains a healthy amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Nuts can be bought in bulk which is more economical if you are on a budget.
- Shop in Season-Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season. Out of season produce is not only more expensive but it may prove to be less nutritious since it has to be picked earlier to enable it to be transported.
The health community cannot quite decide whether coffee is beneficial or detrimental to our health. The reason for such controversy may lie in our genes. Researchers have zeroed in on a gene called CYPIA2 which determines how quickly we metabolize caffeine. Depending on how many variants of this fast gene we inherit from our parents can make the difference between being mildly euphoric and jittery.
The Jersey tomato was once looked upon as the sweetest tomato of the summer season. However due to its thin skin it became impossible to transport. This brought about cross breeding of the tomato which produced a thicker skin and the loss of flavor. Rutgers University was able to reinvent the actual 1934 version of the Jersey tomato. At its peak it represented 60% of all tomatoes sold. Rutgers agricultural programs once worked closely with Campbell Soup Company. It was discovered that Campbell still had the genetic material from the original parent plants which made the resurrection of the tomato possible. This is great news for consumers who are tired of large tasteless tomatoes. It is now possible to purchase either seedlings or seeds from these original tomatoes to grow in your own garden or purchase from your local small farmers.
Most people I have spoken with have found the heat waves of this summer to have completely drained them. As a result, many have found themselves leaning on takeout, consuming too many calories and having absolutely no desire to take the time to prepare something healthy to eat. If you find yourself slowing down in the heat maybe it is better to consider eating lighter and preparing easier simpler meals. Cooled foods can have a beneficial effect on body temperature. Having a bowl of cold gazpacho, potato or borsch soup with a bean salad and a piece of whole grain bread can make a great lunch. Canned wild salmon or sardines with slices of avocado, a little mustard and a stem of grapes can work well as a light dinner. Shakes made from scratch should contain a healthy amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates and will taste more like a malted then a replacement meal. Consider left over chicken or baked salmon cold over a bed of lettuce and spinach with some cherry tomatoes, berries, pecans in an olive oil and vinegar dressing. Steamed veggies, beans, pignoli nuts and grain with lemon, olive oil and basil left in the fridge are great as a quick snack. Stock up on organic canned beans, frozen vegetables, and quinoa (15 minutes to prepare) for last minute hunger attacks. Granted summer is for sitting in a café, relaxing and having a great meal outdoors and it should be. But if you find yourself just wanting to stay home and lounge on a comfortable chair these are simple ways to throw together a truly healthy and extremely tasteful meal. Most important stay hydrated. Dehydration will make you crave sugar. Incorporate melons, cucumbers, strawberries and tomatoes in your diet. They are a few of the foods that contain over 90% water. Most of all don’t stress out about maintaining a healthy diet. Preparing balanced, healthy meals and snacks does not have to be time consuming.