Archive for August, 2011

Nutrigenomics – How to Find a Practitioner to Work With

The summer is nearly coming to an end and I’ve realised that there is a visible increase in the interest in nutrition, wellness and Nutrigenomics. Of course with a new trend comes a wave of new job titles, website names, support groups and practitioners.

Nutrigenomics or personalized nutrition is not for everybody, and I have learned that perception of this latest trend can sometimes be somewhat skewed.

From a clinician´s point of view, Nutrigenomics is a tool that should be used in combination with other assessment measures such as BMI, Biochemistry medical and diet history to really get a view of the client or patient health status and where the focus of counseling or therapy should be. It should not be used in isolation or should not be the sole selling technique to get feet through the door or to sell supplements. It does not diagnose nor is it that magic pill that sadly has not been found yet.

However, it is a tool. It can help to shed light on health areas that need support such as detoxification or antioxidant status. It can guide practitioners to advise the best type of diet and exercise that would be suitable for effective weight loss, and it can assist in guiding clients on making necessary dietary changes such as incorporating anti-inflammatory (functional) foods into their diet.

For the individual, the motivation for wanting a Nutrigenomics screen should be clear, otherwise it could lead to disappointment. Whether the aim is for weight loss, an improved dietary and lifestyle or to prevent or delay the onset of chronic diseases because of a family history, being clear on your goal helps to create a stimulating and motivating discussion and goal-setting during a consultation. Your aim may be different to the practitioner´s.

In order to ensure that you get what you want from your Nutrigenomics practitioner:

  1. Do your research and find out if they have completed an accredited course
  2. Discuss your goals briefly beforehand and assess if you could work with them to achieve your goals.
  3. Establish a communication method early, some individuals enjoy regular contact where others prefer to talk at appointments only. Make sure your clinician can accommodate your communication style, you will have questions!
  4. Ask if personalized dietary and lifestyle recommendations and plans are included in the price of the consultation or if it is only an interpretive service
  5. If you have any existing medical conditions, ask if they are experienced in that area and if it is still relevant to proceed with a screen
  6. When looking for practitioners, also search under “functional nutrition” as this new area of Nutrigenomics falls under functional and integrative nutrition.

If you are happy with the replies and still interested, go ahead and book a consultation, it could lead to healthier aging!

Managing Fall Allergies

If you’re allergic, you know that fall allergy season can start as early as mid August. By using these 5 proactive and non-invasive ideas, you can make this the best fall of your life.

Stay On Top Of The Situation—Check your local pollen count each morning via internet, local news, or your local paper. Make it a habit to know what the pollen count is predicted to be and plan outdoor activities accordingly.

The best way to reduce allergy symptoms is still to avoid the trigger.. And with seasonal airborne triggers such as pollen, it can be tricky, but it can be done with careful planning.

Let Others Help—When those first grains of pollen go airborne, get out of their way and avoid them as much as you can. Be sensible about the activities that you choose to do. During the peak of the season, give up mowing, weeding and gardening particularly on days when you know the pollen count is high..

Say Yes To Medicine That Will Help—Depending on how severe your allergies are, you may be able to find relief with over-the-counter medication. Pharmacists are excellent resources and are happy to help you explore over-the-counter medications that might help.. However, most of these medicines treat the symptoms rather than the body’s over reaction to the irritant.

Get Professional Help—-Ultimately, if your allergies are severe enough and are not well controlled with the use of non-prescription meds you will need to seek the professional help of an allergist.

There are well over 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies, and chances are you know more of them than you think. Talk with friends and family to get the name of a doctor that they recommend. Using someone your friends and family have experience with is a lot better than trying to find a doctor from the phone book or on the internet..

Filter Your Indoor Air—Most people who suffer with allergies are sensitive to a number of allergens. Common indoor allergens include household dust, dust mites, mold and mildew spores, and pet dander.

Adding a seasonal allergen to the ever-present indoor irritants often creates just enough more aggravation for your body so that it starts to react with symptoms. By continually filtering the air with a HEPA or high efficiency particle arresting filter, you can keep allergen levels low even with the additional weed pollen that will make its way indoors through doors and windows, and on clothes, hair, packages and pets.

It’s important to use a cleaner that can work 24 hours every day. That will insure that pollutant levels never reach a level that would cause flare-ups. Not only is this an important factor physically, but emotionally it will let you relax because you feel safe in your own home.

Can Virgin Coconut Oil Gain You?

One more benefit that arrives from these oils is that it is organic muscle mass builder which can help emaciated folks create far more mass to their framework. It can be efficient in facilitating expulsion of little intestinal worms. It is also provided as a dietary supplement for individual suffering from kidney problems by alleviating urination difficulties.

Virgin coconut oil is manufactured by extracting the milk of fresh coconut meat. The milk is then processed to separate the oil from the milk through fermentation. The nutritional worth of these oils is extensive sufficient for everybody’s day-to-day needs.

Virgin coconut oil possesses the adhering to dietary values:

*Carbohydrates – 15.23 gm

*Power – 350 kcal-1480 kJ

*Dietary Fiber – nine. gm

*Sugars – 6.23 gm

*Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) – .300 mg

*Saturated Excess fat – 29.70 gm

*Monounsaturated Body fat – one.43 gm

*Polyunsaturated Fat – .37 gm

*Proteins – 3.3 gm

*Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – .066 mg

*Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – .02 mg

*Niacin (Vitamin B3) – .54 mg

*Vitamin B6 – .054 mg

*Foliate (Vitamin B9) – 26 mg

*Calcium – 14 mg, Iron – two.43 mg

*Magnesium – 32 mg

*Phosphorus – 113 mg

*Potassium – 356 mg

*Zinc – mg

The finest coconut oil to use is unrefined ones known as virgin coconut oil. It differs from refined oils in that it retains its taste and fragrance even following processing, unlike refined coconut oils which is tasteless and odorless.

Only a few people know it but virgin coconut oil is mostly a vital source of nutrient to hold us healthy which will help prevent aging signs during humans, containing high numbers of antioxidants. Coconut oil can be found inside coconuts inside tropical countries including Philippines. We all realise that natural milk throughout mother’s is healthier for those newborn as its content has Lauric acid. Research has found until this oil also features this same critical fatty acid. Lauric acid has found to guide in the prevention of diseases and maturity of cells plus tissues in our bodies. The difference somewhere between virgin coconut essential oil extracts and oils extracted from many other vegetables is that is extracted straight from your fresh coconuts and will not go through all refining processes, therefore retaining almost all its antioxidant components.

Here are a portion of the health conditions by which virgin coconut oil might help:

Diseases and Bacterial

Virgin coconut petrol provides us along with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties on the lauric acid wherein it contains. This ingredient kills many sorts of viruses and microorganisms that cause pneumonia, ear and throat bacterial contamination, and other ailments. Instead of taking antibiotics along with other synthetic drugs, people should now consider having this amazing substance like a food supplement or ingredient in their cooking.

Skin care and anti aging treatment

As mentioned before this method of oil has anti oxidant properties which really helps to strengthen the connective tissue in your skin and therefore preventing the skin we have from aging, drooping and wrinkling. The oil can often be found in moisturizers, skin cleansers and hair care products. Their advantage is without a doubt slowly becoming trendy.

Improved metabolism and fat reduction

This special oil has high amount of saturated fats which are necessary individuals diets as that to increase away metabolism. The increased metabolism along with the increase fat absorption can certainly help with weight damage and weight routine service.

LDL Cholesterol Levels – Basics

There are various factors which affect your cholesterol levels. It’s either your age, sex, hereditary or food intake. Whatever your reason might be, keeping your cholesterol level under control is very essential. You may have heard your physician asking you to reduce the “bad cholesterol” from your body. LDL cholesterol levels are supposed to be the “bad” ones amongst the other cholesterol moving in your blood stream.

Why you are usually asked to lower your “bad cholesterol” levels?

It might make you wonder how you can find a solution to lower your cholesterol levels. What exactly is this “bad cholesterol”? Does “good cholesterol” exist, too? What is the difference between the two cholesterols? These are the various questions which disturb your mind constantly. That’s because, your health and maybe even your life depends on it. Cholesterol is a form of lipid or fat which circulates along with your blood stream. A cholesterol unit constitutes two different elements, the lipids and the proteins, hence they are usually called lipoproteins.

There are three major types of lipoproteins moving along with your blood flow:

  • LDL or low density lipoprotein,
  • HDL or high density lipoprotein and
  • VLDL or very low density lipoprotein.

— LDL and VLDL are categorised as “bad cholesterols”

— HDL is categorised as “good cholesterol”.

This categorization is due to their bodily functions or capabilities. Incredible HDL benefits the body while excess of LDL and VLDL harms your body drastically.

How to control your LDL cholesterol levels to control bodily damage?

Cholesterol is produced naturally by your liver to provide multiple benefits but excess of it through your dietary intake might cause extensive damage to your body. Cholesterol helps in producing vitamins and hormones, structuring of your body cells and providing energy to your body. As HDL performs the function of carrying cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, it is tagged as “good cholesterol”. LDL is tagged as “bad cholesterol” because it tends to gather the excess around the walls of the arteries.

LDL accumulation tends to form cholesterol plaques around the walls of the arteries, damaging the arterial walls and obstructing the natural blood flow. This gives rise to severe consequences such as extreme strain on heart muscles, elevated blood pressure, thickening and narrowing of the arteries and increased risk of cardio vascular diseases.

When cholesterol plaques are torn it forms blood clots which obstructs the smooth blood flow. Due to no blood supply to the heart, you might experience a heart attack and no blood supply to the brain can cause a stroke. High LDL cholesterol levels and cardio vascular diseases is more likely for a man over the age of 45 years and for a woman over the age of 55 years or who is experiencing menopause. For a child, the cholesterol levels can increase due to overweight or hereditary issues.

Understanding the readings of LDL levels and implementing safety measures

The total cholesterol reading should be less than 200 mg/dL; the borderline high is 200 mg/dL to 239 mg/dL and the dangerous reading would be more than 240 mg/dL. For LDL cholesterol levels readings below 100 mg/dL is ok, 100 mg/dL to 129 mg/dL is ideal, 130 mg/dL to 159 mg/dL is borderline high and the high risk would be at 160 mg/dL and above. To reduce your cholesterol levels you need to consult your physician and follow the line of treatment in accordance to your LDL cholesterol readings.

Line of treatment may vary from person to person

You need to give up smoking, adhere to moderate consumption of alcohol, change your dietary habits, exercise, control your weight, etc. Apart from this, your doctor might prescribe drugs such as statins or fibrates which are very effective in reducing cholesterol levels. If you experience side effects due to these drugs, non-statin treatment or natural remedies are advised. Herbs such as Cordyceps or ginger prove to be extremely effective in comparison to synthetic drugs.

LDL cholesterol levels reduction can gain you numerous benefits such as:

  • Reducing the risk of coronary diseases, heart attack or strokes
  • Cholesterol plaque formation is controlled
  • Existing cholesterol plaques are eliminated
  • Avoids blood clots and plaque raptures
  • Thickening or narrowing of arteries is reduced considerably
  • Allows you to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle

Controlling LDL cholesterol levels can decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke or any type of coronary diseases.

Why Fresh Vegetables Are Not Always Best

How long do your veggies sit in the fridge before eating?

A recent newspaper article points out that frozen vegetables that have been processed soon after picking can contain many more nutrients than fresh. Now, I must add something here; the research referred to was carried out on behalf of Birds Eye and no mention was made of the time it takes them to pick and store their produce. Hmmn, I know.

McCain foods in Australia say their veggies are frozen ‘within hours’. Sounds good, but what exactly does that mean? I’ve looked at a number of manufacturers websites and they’re all singing a similar song.

But there are other considerations too; those who have access to fresh farmers markets, organic markets and local produce, or who do manage to grow their own, are likely in a different category. And the standards within the frozen food industry probably vary.

Still, many of the points made were reiterated in another article by Gene Lester, Ph.D, a plant physiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Weslaco, Texas who points out that fruit and vegetables picked for the fresh-produce market are often picked before fully ripe, and before the full gamut of nutrients have accumulated in them (link to the article below). They also may be subjected to heat and light in transit which further degrades them. Then there’s time spent on the shelves, in your fridge…

So, it really does beg the question; is there a system for checking and measuring nutritional quality? In the US, produce marked with the USDA “U.S. Fancy” shield is said to indicate a superior product.

Another interesting point made by Andrew Loudon (Daily Mail) is that produce grown out of season is likely to have more pesticide and chemical fertiliser residue not found in the frozen equivalent.

The bottom line seems to be:

*Buy fresh local produce in season, choose carefully, use common sense, be informed and know what to look for; for example I never buy fresh broccoli unless it’s stored in a chiller.

*Take advantage of the convenience and variety offered by frozen in the knowledge that they’re a highly nutritious option.

*Try to grow your own perhaps; a few easy options, like lettuce, beans, herbs, whatever grows well in your area.

I regularly buy certain frozen veggies: peas, broad beans, corn and spinach are the main ones. I find them useful, adaptable and convenient, and there’s less waste (frozen vegetables and fruits can be stored for 6 months at -18 degrees c, but make sure you keep them as airtight as possible).

And a tip I heard years ago: only buy frozen packets whose contents are not stuck together – if they are, it indicates that at some point they’ve been un-frozen and will have suffered the consequences.

One of my favourite frozen foods are berries: blueberries, raspberries, mixed berries; there’s quite a variety on offer. I always have them in the freezer for muffins, smoothies, pancake toppings, or just stirring into a fruit salad. It’s easy to find ways to include them in our diet. They are so popular with children, very convenient and provide a great nutritional boost.

You’ll find a number of ideas and recipes in my book ‘The Clever Packed Lunch’ for making use of the convenience and nutritional value offered by the foods I’ve mentioned. The e-book will soon be available via my website (see below).

In the meantime I’m wondering whether the contents of my overflowing fruit bowl should be moved into the fridge, or is it better for the fruit to be seen and therefore more likely to be eaten?

Juicing Wheatgrass Benefits And Basic Setup

Where can you begin describing the health benefits of juicing wheatgrass. The list seems to be endless. It seems to have a beneficial effect on every system in our bodies.

  • To begin with wheatgrass increases energy and stamina, is easily digestible, cleanses and detoxifies the gastrointestinal tract.
  • It will also lower blood pressure and on that note helps rebuild red blood cells.
  • In fact the wheatgrass chlorophyll molecule is very similar to the blood hemoglobin molecule.
  • Drinking wheatgrass juice helps in liver functioning and preventing constipation.
  • It has also been suggested that it will prevent cancer.

Wheatgrass juice seems to be an almost perfect food containing a long list of vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, cobalt, and sulfur to name some of them. It possesses a high number of essential amino acids, these are the ones that the body cannot manufacture on its own and have to obtained from the foods we eat.

These amino acids help to increase the body’s immune system to prevent diseases and conditions like diabetes. And as a further step the wheatgrass juice has also been linked to helping reverse blood disorders like diabetes. The juice will aid in the healing of wounds and prevent infection.

So what exactly is wheatgrass juice and how do you make it? If you’ve ever had sprouts in a salad or other dish, had chow mein or even purchased a can of bean sprouts to add to your favorite oriental dish. Maybe even tried your own hand at growing sprouts yourself, so you could have a supply at hand without having to purchase the ones laying in the produce section for who knows hw long. Well then you have an idea of what wheatgrass basically is.

The sprouts used in the oriental dishes are mung beans and the ones in the salad or vegetable aisle are a mix of usually alfalfa seeds and radish seeds and sometimes broccoli seeds, because they are quick sprouting. Basically to sprout these seeds, just rinse them a couple of times, drain, keep moist by rinsing them twice a day and let them sprout for a couple of days. Sprouting jars are sold, which are just mason jars with a plastic lid with small holes in it that lets you quickly drain the small seeds without losing any. The sprouts are ready to go as soon as leaves appear and turn green with chlorophyll, usually within a week to ten days or even less. The chlorophyll increases the nutritional benefits of the sprouts.

You could try the same approach with wheat seeds or as they’re called wheat berries, but they do better if planted on rich organic soil. Don’t worry you don’t need a field or even a garden, just a plastic or metal tray or even a cookie sheet will do just fine. You’re only going to need less than an inch of soil.

First you need to soak the wheat berries overnight. The next day just place a little soil in the tray and dampen it. It is best to do this with a spray bottle, like the plant atomizers used to mist,the plant leaves. Otherwise pouring water on the soil will add too much and make a mess. Next drain the water from the soaking wheat seeds and place the seeds right on the soil surface. Dampen a couple of layers of paper towels or some newspapers, place over the seeds and put the tray in a warm dark place for a couple of days. Make sure the towels or newspaper stay damp, not soaking wet. As soon as roots start to grow you can remove the covering, keep the soil moist and when leaves start to appear you can place in direct sunlight for a few hours a day to increase the nutrients in the wheatgrass.

Swedish Massage and Sports Massage Techniques

Swedish massage was developed using techniques utilized by the Swedish physiologist and fencing master Per Henrik Ling (1777-1839), who studied massage in China, developed the techniques and took them into the world via the Swedish Central Institute of Gymnastics. Swedish massage has remained the basis for most practices either alone or as a central part of sports massage, physiotherapy, osteotherapy, stress management and relaxation therapy.

Sports massage has developed from Swedish massage and is a type of massage which manipulates soft tissue to enable people engaged in regular physical activity to optimize their performance by reducing recovery rates thus enabling prolonged performance and diminish incidence of injury. Soft tissue is connective tissue that has not hardened into bone and cartilage, such as skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. Sports massage is designed to assist in correcting problems and imbalances in soft tissue that are caused from repetitive and strenuous physical activity and trauma.

Massage can be a relaxing head to toe experience where the individual is immersed into a state of tranquility or a focused treatment targeting a specific injury. Swedish massage uses a variety of techniques including:

  • Effleurage – These are slow, superficial strokes over the skin, using the whole hand or forearm, and are used to relax the client and to help the therapist assess body condition.
  • Petrissage – This technique involves deeper kneading and gentle squeezing of muscles without targeting but allowing for more penetrating effects of massage.
  • Frictions – These can be superficial or deep strokes to warm up specific areas and can be carried out using part of the hand, fingertips or elbow.
  • Tapotement – This is a variety of percussion techniques that aim to energize the area of the body being treated, such as hacking or cupping, using the whole or side of the hand. Vibration shakes up the area to loosen particular muscles, mainly at the back of the neck.

Sports massage incorporates all of the above techniques but with more treatment-oriented focus. Examples of sports massage techniques include:

  • Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) – This technique involves applying quasi-static pressure to the skin with the aim of stimulating specific parts of skeletal muscle, which are often myofascial trigger points.
  • Muscular Energy Technique (MET) – This is where muscles are actively used on request from a precisely controlled position, in a specific direction and against a distinctly executed, therapist led counter-force.
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) – This a combination of isometric contractions and passive stretching.

Such is the flexibility of the techniques, a mixture of Swedish and Sports Massage can be incorporated into a training schedule, or part of a rehabilitation plan for athletes.

Swedish and Sports Massage offer a many benefits including:

  • Rebalancing the body’s structure, by identifying and relieving tensions and adhesions before they become problematic.
  • Decrease headaches (including migraines) which become fewer, shorter and less intense, through dealing with the underlying causes via gentle easing of tight areas of muscle and tissue.
  • Faster injury recovery via enhancing the body’s natural healing processes.
  • Flushing toxins from the body by stimulating the flow of blood and lymph fluid.
  • Minimisation of scar tissue at injury sites by aiding the realignment of fibres.
  • Increase muscle flexibility to improve performance and help prevent injury.
  • Muscle tone maintenance and endurance.
  • Tackle postural problems that may be painful, movement limiting, or affecting the body adversely due to wear and tear.

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