Think you are feeding your kids healthy food? Think again

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We all know that eating junk food is not healthy for us or our kids.  So, we all strive to eat healthy and that includes feeding healthy foods to our kids.  But there are some foods that are advertised as healthy, full of vitamins and nutrients, when in actuality, they are just junk. These so-called healthy foods will not only lead kids to becoming overweight, but a number of other health issues could follow down the road.

Juice

Perhaps the most common misconception is that juice is healthy for kids.  Parents will pack their kids’ lunch with orange juice, grapefruit juice etc., thinking that it is packed full of vitamins.  But unfortunately, it is just pure sugar. The high sugar content will raise their blood sugars so high that it’s even worse than drinking a soda. This is setting the stage for a cycle of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in the future. This cycle of spiking blood sugars and subsequent blood sugar crashes is just going to harm the pancreas and it’s going to deplete a lot of nutrition from the body. It will likely also lead to dental problems.  You might be thinking that orange juice is good because it has vitamin C. Unfortunately, there is no vitamin C in orange juice because all of these juices are pasteurized which means they are heated which kills everything in it including all of the vitamin C. The only vitamin C in orange juice is the stuff they add later but it’s synthetic. So, essentially, kids are just drinking sugar water and it’s going to create problems down the road with hyper irritability, ADD, ADHD and so on.  One substitute you can try is carbonated water with flavoured stevia.  Stevia comes in different flavours like root beer, lemon, fruit berry.  Just take 10 drops of liquid stevia and add it to carbonated water and kids will think they’re drinking soda but there is no sugar.

Flavored yogurt

Plain yogurt has 10 grams of sugar per serving!  Flavored yogurt has about 38 grams of sugar per serving size. So, in one of the large tubs of yogurt, for example, there’s probably 4 servings which means that’s 38 x 4 times the amount of sugar.  Yogurt is another one of those foods that is advertised as healthy, and they package them so that it’s easy and portable to pack in a kid’s lunch.  But there’s so much hidden sugar in yogurt.

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Nutritional Shakes

You may have a child who is underweight so naturally you would think that the nutritional shakes like Pedia-sure or Ensure that are supposed to be loaded with vitamins and calories for weight gain are healthy.  Well, this is another item that is just loaded with tons of sugar. The first ingredient is sugar, and all the vitamins are synthetic so you’re really not getting the real deal. If you want your child to gain weight the best foods to give your child are things like potatoes such as red potatoes, yams, or sweet potatoes.  Try to avoid the nutritional shakes because they’re not going to gain weight in a healthy way.

Whole grain Cereal

Firstly, most of the whole grain is made from flour that’s been sitting on a shelf for about six months. When you grind the grain, you lose a lot of nutrition right away and anything that is refined grain like breads, pasta, cereal, crackers, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, etc., should only be consumed in very small amounts. In large amounts, like you see with pasta dinners, it will lead to the child’s insulin being raised which leads to obesity and whole host of other health problems down the road. Instead of grains try proteins and vegetables that the kids like, fruits, nuts and seeds.

Minimizing grains and the other foods mentioned above can be very difficult especially when you have more then one child in an already busy household.  But there are a lot of great resources for recipes that incorporate vegetables and other healthy, nutritious substitutes into foods that your kids will eat.  Here is just one example https://www.freshstartnutrition.com/kid-friendly-ways-to-sneak-in-more-veggies/

 

 

 

A Guide for Increasing Patients’ Quality of Life After Mesothelioma Diagnosis

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Generally, mesothelioma is already at an advanced stage when diagnosed. This situation may make it more challenging for patients to come to terms with the diagnosis.

Moreover, patients can experience varying degrees of discomfort depending on the disease’s progression.

For example, advance-stage mesothelioma can induce higher levels of fatigue than early-stage. You may want to learn more about mesothelioma stages to understand better what life is like for individuals with this condition. You may also visit The Mesothelioma Group Site for more information.

Still, regardless of the stage, there are several ways patients can manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

This article suggests various ways that can help improve the quality of life of individuals with mesothelioma.

Tips For Mesothelioma Patients: Improving Your Quality of Life

Although mesothelioma is potentially life-threatening, preventive measures can help patients live better while receiving treatment.

A patient’s improved quality of life may also help improve the outlook for their condition (prognosis).

Focusing on essential aspects of health may help enhance the patient’s overall quality of life.

Below are some areas you may want to address to help alleviate your mesothelioma-related discomforts.

Stress Reduction

Battling cancer is one of life’s most trying experiences. However, stress strains a patient’s body and mind, turning an already bad situation into a more demanding one.

Mental or emotional distress may significantly reduce a patient’s quality of life. Some studies even indicate that severe distress may correlate with poorer clinical outcomes.

On the other hand, you may adopt strategies that can reduce stress to improve your quality of life.

Below are several practices patients can use to manage their health condition better.

  • Reduce the impact of stressors by preparing for and avoiding them.
  • Learn about the latest current therapies and treatments based on your condition diagnosis.
  • Get information regarding mesothelioma and take responsibility for your health.
  • Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing and awareness.
  • Work with the top mesothelioma experts you can find.

Patients may help minimize their stressors by doing the following:

  • Seek assistance
  • Know your limitations.
  • Schedule appointments in a planner.
  • Avoid having too many obligations.
  • Identify your priorities, especially when it comes to daily activities.
  • Learn to accept that you cannot change some circumstances.

Nutrition and Diet

Healthy living and wellness begin with eating the right food. Patients who take care of themselves with a healthy diet full of nutritious foods are more likely to enjoy life and continue to do their favorite activities.

A study showed that malnutrition correlates with a poor quality of life.

Malnourished individuals tend to have lower energy levels, experience fatigue and irritability, are more prone to illness, and struggle more with recovery after becoming ill.

Additionally, the effects of a bad diet have a detrimental effect on a person’s quality of life and make it more difficult for patients to recover from their disease.

Patients may consider the following tips to enhance their diet:

  • Reducing consumption of alcohol, harmful fats, and red meat
  • Selecting whole-grain products with a lot of fiber
  • Being healthy in terms of weight
  • Requesting nutritional assistance from medical professionals
  • Consumption of a lot of fruit and veggies

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Seeking Specialized Mesothelioma Treatment

Specialists who are knowledgeable about the condition can work with patients to create a strategy to increase their quality of life and life expectancy.

An expert professional will consider diet, exercise, stress and pain management, community support, and education.

Pain Management

Many people ignore the disease when they can lessen or remove their feelings of pain.

Patients who adopt pain management techniques can reduce the discomfort brought on by their illness and the adverse effects of treatment.

Natural and medical pain management options are available to patients, including:

  • Acupuncture
  • Mindfulness
  • Stress reduction therapies, such as massage, yoga, and music therapy
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Nerve blocks
  • Exercise
  • Epidurals
  • Radiation therapy

Pain relief and pain management alternatives for mesothelioma patients are available. However, patients should seek assistance and research their choices.

Final Statement

You may adopt various strategies to help you overcome obstacles and adjust well to life’s hardships.

Several options are available to help ease mesothelioma-caused pain.

Moreover, working with a physiotherapist can teach you how to prevent discomfort and make life more comfortable. This move is an excellent one for pain management.

The step above may be as significant as taking medication orally, through a patch, or intravenously.

Also, you might experience pain in many different ways. It is crucial to discuss any discomfort you encounter with your doctor because it might lead to inadequate nourishment, poor sleep, and exhaustion.

Additionally, palliative care, which helps you manage your symptoms, is crucial to managing mesothelioma.

You may be able to lessen symptoms’ psychological consequences with the aid of palliative care from medical professionals trained in treating mesothelioma patients.

Lastly, your palliative care provider will typically concentrate on your unique needs rather than your prognosis.

References:

  1. Mesothelioma Stages

https://www.mesotheliomagroup.com/mesothelioma/stages/

2. Psychological Stress and Cancer

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/feelings/stress-fact-sheet

  1. Body composition and nutritional status in malignant pleural mesothelioma: implications for activity levels and quality of life

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41430-019-0418-9

Detoxify Your Body Just With Food

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Let’s talk about how to detoxify thousands of toxic chemicals out of your body but doing it in a way that’s very safe. There are many chemicals in our environment like Bisphenol A, PCB’s, heavy metals, certain toxic plastics, and biosolids. What you may not realize is biosolids are treated sewage sludge. It’s very interesting how certain groups use public relations to make something that is normally harmful to the environment sound as though it’s good for you. They came up with this new term ‘biosolids’ and actually redefined treated sewage sludge as a’ nutrient rich organic by-product’. Biosolids contain over 60,000 toxic substances. This is the stuff that exits your toilet, and it goes right into a sewage treatment plant where they are processing this material and actually selling it as an ingredient in your pet food, animal feeds, and in fertilizer. There’s at least 80,000, probably hundreds of thousands of different poisons or toxins called xenobiotics that we are exposed to on a daily basis.

Our bodies have a defense mechanism for these toxins.  It is a series of detoxification pathways that will turn these poisons into harmless particles which is then eliminated through our waste and urine.  This is called biotransformation, where you have these very powerful enzymes called cytochrome P-450 enzymes that are meant to breakdown all these poisons and keep us healthy. So, what should you be doing or eating to keep these toxins from causing disease?

Cruciferous Vegetables

There is a really interesting book called The International Agency of Research on Cancer by the World Health Organization, and it talks about cruciferous vegetables and their ability to induce biotransformation. If there is one thing you should be consuming on a regular basis it’s cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, arugula, and bok choy.

Bile salts

Your body makes its own bile, but you can also take a bile supplement. This is very important because anytime you do a detox you should always start by taking bile salts for a few days and then do a detox because taking purified bile salts helps to start the flow through the liver. When you start to detoxify you start killing off certain pathogens that release endotoxins that then shut down the bile ducts. That’s why you might feel toxic from detoxifying.  So, bile salts help you eliminate xenobiotics naturally. The chemicals from your liver should be coming out with the help of bile salts. Also, the microbes in your gut help you detoxify, and they also have the ability to make this cytochrome P-450 enzyme to help you breakdown these poisons. One recommendation is to combine cruciferous vegetables with probiotics.  For example, if you were to take a prebiotic that has fiber as in cabbage and fermented it into sauerkraut then it is not just cruciferous but it’s a prebiotic and a probiotic. So, sauerkraut is a great food to help you detoxify.  The great thing about doing this with food is it happens slowly so you don’t really feel it. There’s many other different vegetables and herbs that will help you detoxify such as garlic, rosemary, thyme and clove. All of these have the enzyme cytochrome P-450.

Fasting

Another thing to make note of is that a lot of these chemicals create a lot of free radical damage in the body but the foods that you eat have antioxidants. However, your body also makes antioxidants called endogenous antioxidants. This is especially true when you fast. When you’re fasting you are putting your body into state of autophagy which not only accelerates repairing the damage in the body but also the clearing out of pathogens. Fasting will help increase your endogenous antioxidant networks so you will have a lot more antioxidants. Not to mention your immune system will be stronger and the body will resist the stress from the free radical damage.

Read labels

Certified organic foods do not contain biosolids so it would be best to try and eat as much organic food as possible.  It would also be a good idea to make sure when you buy pet food that you read the ingredients to make sure it does not have what’s called “nutrient rich organic by-products” because it sounds like it’s really healthy but it’s not because it’s just another name for biosolids.

The Fascinating Science of How Pumpkin Seeds Help Brain Function

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Pumpkin seeds are a fall snack favorite adored by many. But, did you know that pumpkin seeds also have powerful brain health benefits and are integral in healthy brain function? They are rich in many micronutrients that are essential for healthy brain function, including copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Their magnesium content provides a calming effect on the brain — an amazing and all-natural option for stress relief.

Keep reading to learn more about how pumpkin seeds help brain function.

Key Minerals and Nutrients in Pumpkin Seeds

A quarter cup of raw pumpkin seeds contains about 150 calories, 15 grams of healthy fat, a few grams of carbs, and 8-10 grams of plant protein. They are also packed with nutrients.

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Pumpkin seeds, which are also called pepitas, are an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper. Magnesium is key to helping improve mood and sleep. Manganese plays a key role in collagen production — promoting bone and skin health. Iron and Cooper found in pumpkin seeds are involved with energy production, whereas iron helps transport oxygen to the cells in the body. Zinc is key for immunity, vision, and skin health.

Eating just one serving of raw pumpkin seeds can supply between 14-42% of the daily target for these essential nutrients.

Pumpkin seeds contain the following key brain health minerals:

  • Magnesium: This mineral is essential for a well-functioning nervous system, and it also supports brain development, memory, and learning. Research has shown that low levels of magnesium may increase neurological health issues and conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the risk of stroke, migraines, epilepsy, and anxiety and depression.
  • Zinc: Zinc plays a key role in the regulation of communication between the brain cells that impact brain development, memory, and learning. Zinc deficiency is linked to a number of neurological conditions, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and depression.
  • Iron: Iron is another mineral that plays an integral role in the day-to-day functions of the brain and development. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, headaches, and anxiety. Iron deficiency is a widely known cause of impaired cognitive, language, and motor development.
  • Cooper: Cooper plays a key role in brain function and development and is required for essential enzymes that supply the brain with energy. A proper balance of copper is key because too little or too much can cause brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Menkes, and Wilson’s diseases.

Brain Benefits

Some of the most significant brain benefits that pumpkin seeds pack include:

  • Feelings of calm — The high magnesium content of pumpkin seeds can lead to stress and anxiety relief and an overall sense of calm. Over the past 50 years, as magnesium consumption has plummeted, anxiety rates have gone up drastically. A calm and controlled mind increases your decision-making power and brings you a better sense of clarity.
  • Feelings of happiness — Pumpkin seeds can also help produce serotonin — the incredible neurotransmitter that helps us feel happy. According to the NCBI, Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters that influence mental health.

How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds

You can buy pumpkin seeds at most grocery stores and health food stores. Or, you can make your own! Simply take the seeds from a pumpkin and bake them at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Here are some simple and delicious ways to incorporate more pumpkin seeds into your diet:

  • Eat them alone as a snack
  • Sprinkle them on top of salads for some crunch
  • Mix them into yogurt and smoothies
  • Blend them in with protein balls
  • Sprinkle them on whatever you want for added flavour, crunch, and a brain boost, from oatmeal to cereal and stir-fries and tacos.

Pumpkin seeds are an extremely versatile and delicious snack that packs a serious brain-boosting punch. Try adding them to your meals or snacking on them to harness the brain-boosting powers and ensure healthy and optimal brain function.

Learn How Melatonin Prevents Blood Clots in Ten Minutes

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Everybody needs 7-8  hours of sleep to function well. Without sleep, we don’t perform at our best, and lack of sleep can negatively impact our health.  Many people have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, tossing and turning during those precious hours intended for sleep. Melatonin, a neurohormone supplement, helps many people fall asleep and stay asleep, making it known primarily as a sleep aid. But there is research to show that melatonin can help in preventing blood clots. One of the most important areas of research would be exploring the use of melatonin in preventing blood clots, as around 100,000 people die from blood clots annually.

Melatonin has other health benefits that are just as important as sleep improvement possibly making it effective in treating:

Understanding Melatonin

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Melatonin has a long history in alternative medicine. In the U.S., it’s sold as an over-the-counter supplement, while it’s available by prescription in other countries. Natural melatonin is produced in your body by the pineal gland in the brain. Its production is triggered by darkness, which explains its benefits while sleeping in the dark. The supplement is a synthetic version of the natural substance.

Research on Melatonin and Blood Clotting

As far back as 2008, the Journal of Pineal Research published a study that showed the relationship between taking oral melatonin and blood coagulation. The study included 46 healthy men between 21 and 29 years of age. The subjects were given a placebo containing no medication or 3mg of oral melatonin. The study results reported: “A single dose of oral melatonin was associated with lower plasma levels of procoagulant factors 60 mins later.” Procoagulant factors promote blood clotting, and melatonin had lowered their levels, making clotting less likely. A 2013 research paper published by Arushanian described melatonin as a “natural inhibitor of (platelet) aggregation” that is potentially impactful in cardiovascular disorders so may be “recommended for use in pharmacotherapy.” A 2020 review of studies, published by Otamas, Grant and Aijan supported previous evidence, suggesting that, “…melatonin inhibits platelet aggregation and might affect the coagulation cascade, altering fibrin clot structure and/resistance to fibrinolysis.” In layman’s terms, melatonin inhibits bodily functions that lead to blood clots. This more recent study recommended further study to confirm and progress the research findings. The research on melatonin in this area is ongoing and more is needed in the future.

Who Shouldn’t Take Melatonin?

While Melatonin can have many benefits, including the potential to reduce clotting, it’s important to realize the dangers that may create to people on blood thinners, such as Warfarin, with herbs that can slow clotting, including garlic and ginger, and with blood clotting medication.

Taking melatonin along with blood thinning medication can lead to bleeding or bruising. It can interfere with the work of blood clotting medication. Melatonin is generally not advised for these groups but as always, people should follow the advice of their medical doctors.

Fluvoxamine (Luvox) is an antidepressant medication that increases the absorption of melatonin. Since more melatonin is absorbed creating greater conditions for blood thinning, taking it with fluvoxamine should be avoided.

Should I Take Melatonin?

A healthy person that doesn’t take blood thinning or coagulating medication, Fluvoxamine, or other medications or herbs that can interact with melatonin should be able to safely take melatonin if permitted by their doctors. If you’re considering melatonin, it may help you sleep, have additional benefits, and keep your blood free from unwanted clotting.

SOURCES USED:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5563342_Oral_melatonin_reduces_blood_coagulation_activity_A_placebo-controlled_study_in_healthy_young_men

https://www.livescience.com/42066-melatonin-supplement-facts.html

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1479164120920582?icid=int.sj-abstract.citing-articles.3&

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d04058a1

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/melatonin-side-effects#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282008268_Effect_of_melatonin_on_the_thrombocyte_hemostasis_and_its_circadian_organization

This Is Your Brain on Vitamin C

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Vitamin C is well known for enhancing immunity, including preventing colds and improving mental health. Scientific studies indicate that people who consume foods rich in vitamin C experience less stress as they encounter physical challenges. After we consume vitamin C, it causes the body to dispense neurotransmitters that enhance mood such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. People who lack vitamin C have low synthesis of these neurotransmitters, and can become irritable and stressed.

 

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Vitamin C and Mental Health

A German study measured the stress levels of 120 individuals by letting them perform public speaking while solving math problems. The subjects were given 1000 mg of vitamin C prior to the task. Participants who did not take the vitamin showed elevated cortisol levels and higher blood pressure. Those who took the vitamin showed normal blood pressure levels and said that they did not feel that stressed.

Vitamin C also plays a vital role in maintaining the function and integrity of the central nervous system, including the formation of myelin and maturation of neurons, which protects nerve fibers and repairs neurons. In addition, it acts as a neuromodulator, which influences mood regulation.

Research studies also indicate that free radical damage and oxidative stress can play a part in the pathogenic mechanisms underlying several neuropsychological disorders including depression.

The American Journal of Psychiatry published a study stating that low levels of vitamin C were closely related to depression in the elderly. Another study published by McGill University found that administering vitamin C twice a day improved the mood of hospital patients. Vitamin C is also linked to promoting health for people suffering from bipolar disorder and anxiety.

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The Brain consumes a lot of vitamin C. Brain concentrations of vitamin C are higher than those of the rest of the body. It maintains vitamin C levels for a longer period of time after the body depletes them. That’s because metabolic furnaces in the neurons churn through glucose to power one’s movements and feelings. Vitamin C also works as an antioxidant. It surrenders electrons for the purpose of neutralizing rogue oxygen molecules which are emitted in the process. These are the free radicals that ruin DNA and cause cells to age.

Vitamin C also plays a role in the maturation and differentiation of neurons and in forming the myelin sheath that expedites impulse transmission and protects neurons. Thus, vitamin C is essential for cognitive performance and is also a cofactor in synthesizing several neurotransmitters. It plays a vital role in converting dopamine to serotonin. It also modulates the release of neurotransmitters in nerve cells. Vitamin C is also found in collagen, which is a stabilizing force for bones, teeth, and blood vessels. It helps ensure that the integrity of blood vessels retain their integrity as an aspect of cognitive capacity, particularly as people age.

In a review of fifty studies of Brain function and vitamin C levels conducted between1980 and 2017, Australian researchers discovered that there was a striking relationship between mental function and vitamin C status. A questionnaire, known as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) measured the relationship.

In the study, the individuals that were cognitively intact had higher blood concentrations of vitamin C than the individuals who were cognitively impaired. Among the individuals who were cognitively intact, the levels of vitamin C in the blood had a correlation with cognitive ability. There was no linear correlation seen in people with cognitive impairment.

Factors such as exposure to toxins caused by air pollution and smoking as well as drinking alcohol make extra demands for vitamin C by placing the body under oxidative stress. Studies show that conditions like depression, fatigue, and poor healing of wounds happen when vitamin C levels are inadequate.

References

Bundrant, M. vitamin C and Its Key role in mental health. Psych Central. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2017/01/vitamin-c- nd-its-key-role-in-mental-health/

Marano, H. The Cognitive Benefits of vitamin C. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201801/the- cognitive-benefits-vitamin-c

Got Stress? You Need vitamin C. adrenalfatigue.org. https://adrenalfatigue.org/got-stress-you-need-vitamin-c/

Vitamin C: Essential for stress and Adrenal Function. adrenalfatigue.org. https://adrenalfatigue.org/vitamin-c-adrenal-function-stress/