Category Archives: Health

Ayurvedic Migraine Treatment Works To Cure The Debilitating Pain

Do you have a severe headache that goes out of control? Do you miss work due to the debilitating pain? The conventional Migraine Treatment does not work all time so what’s the alternative? The ayurvedic approach is the best Migraine Treatment that gives your permanent cure.

Headaches are common

Headaches are common so, do we really bother about it? More than 90 percent of the population is affected with a headache. There is a difference between a normal headache and migraine headache. Migraine headaches are often associated with visual disturbances and nausea.

So, what causes a migraine? Well, the answer is not understood! It can be due to the changes caused in the blood vessel and the nervous system. Sometimes it occurs due to sensory input like bright light and loud noise. And many other things like odor, certain food, and some activities might trigger migraine headaches but whatever may be the reason Ayurveda has the best Migraine Treatment.

What triggers a migraine?

  • Stress and work pressure
  • Excessive relaxation
  • Excitement
  • Strong smell
  • Tobacco
  • Monthly periods/ Puberty
  • Motion and travel
  • Too much or too less sleep
  • Hunger
  • Excessive activity

What should you do when you are suffering from a Migraine Attack?

When you are suffering from migraine pain, you must avoid working because your body needs complete rest to get back to normal.

  • Lie down in a quiet and dark place
  • Sleep for sometime
  • Do not eat
  • Drink water or tea
  • Apply a mild lotion or oil to compress the pain

What can food items cause A migraine?

  • Liquor
  • Caffeine
  • Dairy products
  • Processed meat
  • Grapes, lemons, bananas, figs
  • Onions and beans
  • Fermented foods
  • Chinese food
  • Meat (Processed)
  • Nuts and peanuts
  • Bread and baked products

Ayurvedic Approach

According to Ayurvedic medicines, the migraine headaches are due to the imbalance of Pitta Dosha, which is water and fire. When the body generates too much of heat, it damages the blood vessels triggering the nervous system and eventually it causes a headache. A pacifying diet and a great lifestyle will reduce the frequency of migraines.

What is the simple home remedies used in Migraine Treatment?

Carrot and Spinach Juice – Mix half glass of carrot juice and the half glass of spinach juice and drink them regularly. You can follow an effective Migraine Treatment at home.

Cabbage leaves – Follow this simple home remedy and treat the migraine problems. Crush few cabbage leaves and apply it on your forehead for few minutes. It will reduce the pain.

Lemon in Migraine Treatment – Peel 4-5 lemons and grind them well to make a paste. Apply this page on your forehead when the pain is high. This effective Migraine Treatment provides an instant cure.

These are the home remedies that you can try for Migraine Treatment. However, the causes of a migraine are different and you need to consult the right Ayurveda expert who can analyze the health condition and provide you the right treatment. Proper diet habits and a balanced lifestyle are the best Migraine Treatment suggested by Ayurveda.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches are usually taken care of by primary care physicians such as specialists in family medicine, or pediatrics. In complicated cases, an ENT doctor may be consulted. In the case of an infection, you may be referred to a specialist in infectious diseases.

Can the symptoms be treated at home?

Although there are several home remedies that work to treat sinus headaches and infections, it is important to seek medical care as early as possible if you are uncertain about the cause of your symptoms or if there is considerable severity of the infection. Symptoms of a severe infection may include high fever, if high pain persists or if there is swelling in the face.

How is a sinus headache diagnosed?

In some cases, a CT scan will be taken to get images of the sinuses but most of the time a physical examination and medical history are usually enough to make a diagnosis. Some doctors may advise you to do a CT scan anyway to confirm the diagnosis and rule out any other possibility.

Self-care at home through the use of home remedies, as well as prescription medications to control pain and inflammation is all that is needed to treat most cases of sinus headaches.

Some things you can do to alleviate the pain and help in recovery are: 
• Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids and sipping on water throughout the day. 
• Use salt water (saline) nasal sprays. 
• Breathe humidified air by using a humidifier (devices that emit water vapor or steam to increase humidity) if you live in a particularly dry place. 
• Nasal irrigation which flushes out mucus can help relieve symptoms. 
• Use of over-the-counter medications that can be prescribed to you by your primary care physician

If your symptoms do not show any signs of improving even after the treatment or if symptoms get worse, you should definitely get in touch with your doctor as the problem could be more severe than initially presumed.

Tips for preventing sinus headaches

There are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of suffering from the symptoms associated with this condition:

Practicing good hygiene such as washing your hands often can help to prevent colds and infections in the upper respiratory system.

Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and using an air humidifier can also help promote efficient drainage of fluids from the sinuses minimizing the risk of infection.

Avoiding allergic triggers will greatly help prevent sinus infections for people with allergies

Stopping smoking also decreases your risk of infections.

Concussion and the Need for Chiropractic Evaluation

With the popular movie Concussion and a Public Broadcasting System documentary of the same topic there is substantial national attention on sports related traumatic brain injury and its consequences.

In the United States the prevalence of mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion, is estimated at 3.8 million per year. 85% of people sustaining a concussion will have symptoms resolve within 7 to 10 days. The remaining 15%, however will exhibit persisting symptoms lasting weeks, months or even years after their injury. In those suffering, lingering symptoms persisting longer than 4 to 12 weeks the condition is considered to be chronic and is known as post-concussion syndrome.

Many healthcare professionals consider post-concussion syndrome to be purely an injury isolated to the brain. However, recent research shows that another etiology, other than the brain, may be responsible for ongoing, chronic symptomatology.

Those experiencing mild traumatic brain injury tend to have symptoms of headache, dizziness, neck pain, visual problems, concentration problems, hearing disturbances and emotional irregularities. Not coincidentally, these are also findings that occur with neck injuries, like whiplash, as well.

Injuries to the neck can occur from many types of trauma. The classic whiplash of an automobile accident is one with which many can identify. Of course, sports injuries occurring in football can also cause problems with the neck. But many other sports such as falls occurring in cheerleading, heading a ball in soccer, collisions of players in lacrosse, divers landing awkwardly in a swimming pool and anyone striking their head on a gym floor or playing field can lead to trauma to the neck.

Trauma research has revealed the range of linear impact accelerations causing concussion is between 60-160 G’s of force with the peak occurring at 96 G’s. Whiplash associated traumas can occur at accelerations of only 4.5 G’s. From this it is seen that individuals who experience force is strong enough to sustain a concussion will also experience cervical spine injury. In fact, it seems virtually certain that someone having traumatic force causing a concussion will also suffer injury to the soft tissues of the cervical spine.

In a research study evaluating hockey players suffering trauma published in Brain Injury in 2006 it was noted “there is a strong association between whiplash induced neck injuries and the symptoms of concussion in hockey injuries.” The researchers went on to say that athletes/patients should be evaluated for both traumatic brain injury and cervical/whiplash type trauma.

Current thinking is that those suffering from post-concussion syndrome have most certainly also had injury to the neck or cervical spine. Some are terming it Post-concussion Syndrome and associated Cervicogenic trauma. “Cervicogenic” means “from the neck”.

In another study published in the journal Cephalgia in 1990 researchers evaluated patients who had sustained head trauma and who were still suffering from headaches one year later. These patients entered a clinical course of specific manual therapy of the neck, such as chiropractors utilize, to help headache problems. The results were the group treated with manual therapy showed over 50% improvement of their headache pain index compared with the pretreatment level. The researchers stated: “Manual therapy used in this study seems to have a specific effect in reducing post-traumatic headache.”

Chiropractors have extensive training and experience in evaluating injuries of the neck or cervical spine. If there is an abnormality of misalignment or improper movement of the vertebrae of the spine, strain of the muscles and ligamentous sprain, chiropractors have safe, proven methods to treat these injuries.

A 2015 study in the journal The Physician and Sports Medicine quotes “Management of persistent post- concussion symptoms through ongoing brain rest is outdated and demonstrates limited evidence of effectiveness in these patients.” They add further “instead there is evidence that skilled manual therapy related assessment and rehabilitation of the cervical spine dysfunction should be considered for chronic symptoms following concussion injuries.”

When considering this type of information it would be wise for all patients suffering from post-concussion syndrome to be referred to a chiropractor for cervical spine evaluation and treatment.

Smoking and Migraines

“A migraine is an inherited tendency to have headaches with sensory disturbance. It’s an instability in the way the brain deals with incoming sensory information, and that instability can become influenced by physiological changes like sleep, exercise and hunger.”

What is a migraine?

A migraine is a complex condition with a variety of symptoms. For many people the main feature is a painful headache. Other symptoms include disturbed vision, sensitivity to light, sound and smells, feeling sick and vomiting. Migraine attacks can be very frightening and may result in you having to lie still for several hours.

The symptoms will vary from person to person and people may have different symptoms during different attacks. Your attacks may differ in length and frequency.

Migraine attacks usually last from 4 to 72 hours and most people are free from symptoms between attacks. A migraine can have an enormous impact on your work, family and social lives.

Is there a connection between smoking and migraines?

A proper solution is “perhaps” to “likely”. There may be now no check data especially addressing this issue. research of smoking and continual headaches in trendy (no longer all persistent headaches are migraines) are to be had, however their application to migraines is confined.

Have a look at of smoking and sufferers with persistent cluster headaches yielded some telling effects. Smoking patients who decreased their smoking via less than a half of a p.c. daily decreased their headache frequency through an amazing 50%. This study simply requested patients to cut down n their smoking, now not to dispose of it. Believe the consequences that might have been achieved if the smokers quit entirely!

In some other see, 53% of migraine patients who removed smoking in conjunction with the removal of personally diagnosed food triggers skilled a complete cessation of migraines. with the aid of assessment, only 13% of non-smoking sufferers who eliminated their meals triggers have become migraine-unfastened.

Many migraines (folks who suffer from migraine complications) are sensitive to sturdy smells, like perfume, meals odors, and, yes, tobacco smoke. Others are mainly touchy simplest to the scent of tobacco smoke. Nevertheless others are allergic to cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke.

All of those humans report having smoking on second-hand smoke cause a migraine. Sometimes the smoke is the simplest cause, now and again it is a part of a sum of triggers. Professionals and sufferers agree there have to be a hyperlink between smoking and migraines, someplace, ready to be uncovered.

A few of the generally regarded outcomes of smoking are particularly destructive to the ones susceptible to headaches and head ache. These facet results include multiplied blood strain, irritation or infection of the sinus cavities and nasal passages, and better hazard of stroke. Fitness officials all agree on one reason, smoking is contraindicated for all people in each situation and migraine patients are no exception.

The Best Treatments For Migraines & Headaches

Headaches and migraines have adverse impact on the quality of life of more than 47 million Americans who frequently suffer from these symptoms, not to mention the costs in lost job hours and in medical expenses. Many of these sufferers will almost immediately take medication to eliminate the pain, said medications of which include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, beta blockers and antidepressants.

But before reaching into the medicine cabinet, you can try these safe, affordable and doable yet effective treatments first. You will soon be able to get your headache and migraine symptoms under control, thus, enabling long-term management.

• Get a massage.

Massage improves blood circulation and, thus, eases the pain brought on by headaches. This provides for temporary relief but if it means lesser dependence on painkillers, then it is certainly a good option. Try rubbing your temples or, better yet, getting a full-service massage on your neck, head and back.

• Soak in a hot tub.

Soaking in a hot tub will help enormously with either migraines or tension headaches. Only ten minutes relaxing in a hot tub or spa with hot water and jets that stimulate the muscles especially in the neck and back areas.

• Stretch your muscles.

The rationale is in relaxing your tense muscles especially around the neck area, which will lessen the tension in your head. Try neck range of motion, shoulder shrugs, and neck isometrics; do these stretching exercises 2 times a day for 20 minutes each session.

• Do yoga.

Yoga combines the benefits of body posture positions, mental meditation, and breathing exercises, all of which can help in lessening your physical and mental stress. You will then be more relaxed and, hence, less prone to headaches.

• Engage in aerobics.

There’s no need to engage in aerobic exercises that will contribute to the throbbing in your head. Brisk walking, biking and swimming as soon as you detect the signs of a headache are recommended. Better yet, adopt these exercises as part of your physical fitness plan.

• Apply heat and cold.

This is so safe that even pregnant women can use it. Apply a heat pack to the back of your neck to alleviate neck tightness while placing an ice pack on your temples can ease a pulsating headache.

• Avoid nitrates and nitrites.

What you eat also affects your tendency to suffer from frequent attacks of headaches or migraines. Avoid nitrites and nitrates in processed foods, caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol especially when you have high susceptibility for these food items.

Using Natural Herbs For Headache Relief

Many people are turning to alternative medicine when it comes to treating headaches. The reason for this is that headaches plague so many people and the traditional ways of treating them can be harmful if used to excess. For example, taking too many Tylenol or other pain relieving drugs can cause a problem with your liver. For this reason, when it comes to headaches, some people are turning towards herbal remedies.

One of the most popular herbal remedies when it comes to treating headaches is lavender. Lavender is used in aromatherapy and is one of the few essential oils that can be used directly on the skin. It also comes in pill form as well as in tea. This can help alleviate the pain from headaches.

Another popular herbal remedy for headaches comes from the ginger root. Ginger has been used for centuries to treat nausea but can also be used in a tea to treat discomfort from headaches, especially those resulting from menstrual cramps.

You can try a variety of different herbal remedies for headaches but should be sure to document each one that you try. If you see a doctor about your headaches and are taking medication, you should speak to your doctor before trying herbal remedies for headaches. While natural herbs are generally harmless, you should be sure that there will be no interaction between the herbals and the drug you are currently taking.

If you suffer from migraine headaches, like millions of other people, there are natural herbal remedies to treat these headaches. Migraine headaches are one of the leading causes why people miss work in the United States and millions of people suffer from this disabling illness. What is so troubling about migraine headaches is that no one knows what causes them, although it is thought that they are hereditary.

Rosemary is another one of the popular herbs that can help treat migraines. You should sprinkle rosemary in your food to see if it will have any affect on your headaches. Any time you are using natural herbs to treat headaches, you are better off to grow the herbs at home and use them as fresh as possible. One theory about headaches is that they are the result of environmental hazards such as toxins in the air. By growing your herbs at home, you can eliminate the use of pesticides and make them safer for consumption.

Work with different herbal remedies to treat headaches until you fall upon the one that is best for you. You can also discuss herbal remedies to treat headaches with your doctor as he or she may have more idea on how to combat the pain of troublesome headaches other than the use of medication.

Does Chiropractic Help Migraines?

Can a Chiropractor Relieve Headaches? 
For decades, chiropractic adjustments have been the treatment of choice for headaches and migraines. New research has demonstrated improvement in frequency, duration, and intensity of migraines when treated with chiropractic adjustments. Other types of headaches, such as tension and sinus-related, have shown tremendous reductions following a visit to the chiropractor.

What is the difference between a Migraine and a other headaches? 
A migraine type headache will typically consist of a severe pulsing or throbbing pain in the head. It is often isolated to one side and can be so severe it is debilitating. The symptoms can last anywhere from an hour or two, to days. Many people with migraines report an “aura” prior to the headache. The aura may consist of flashes of light, a specific smell. blind spots in vision, or tingling in the face. Often times, the presence of a stiff neck is a precursor to the migraine attack. During this time a chiropractic adjustment will halt the migraine or at the least, lessen the intensity.

A tension type of headache usually responds very well to chiropractic care. This is the most common type of headache and consists of pain in the neck, head, and behind the eyes. Patients will also describe having a tight band in the front of their head. These headaches are often associated with neck strain and can also be the result of trauma to the spine. Tension headaches can also occur with stress, fatigue, eye strain, and poor posture.

Sinus headaches are usually found above the eyes or in the cheeks of the face. They are usually the result of infection or allergies. These type of headaches are usually worse when straining or bending the head down. Chiropractic adjustments and other therapies often assist the drainage of the mucous and allow the opening of the sinus.

Diagnosis and Treatment of a Migraine or other Headache 
The proper diagnosis of your exact type of headache is important. Migraines should be correlated to age, family history, head trauma, or even hormone levels. Tension headaches following spinal trauma should also be properly evaluated. A sinus headache should never get to the point of severe infection.

All of these types of headaches should be properly diagnosed and treated appropriately. When treating a patient with a “headache”, it is paramount to diagnose the exact type and prescribe the appropriate treatment plan.

Our office in the beautiful Black Hills of SD, has had favorable results relieving headaches and their cause. Many patients have been able to control or eliminate their headaches altogether.

10 Super Foods for Baby Boomers Over 50

Eating healthy is important at any age but becomes especially crucial for baby boomers over 50. Why?

Okay, the bad news first. As we get older, our bodies go through some major changes, as nutritional expert Tara Collingwood M.S., RDN points out in an interview for Newsmax. “Men and women alike are susceptible to bone loss, muscle loss, hormonal changes, and the dreaded middle age spread,” the dietitian explains. “We see and feel these changes in our achy joints, vision impairment, heart complications, weight gain, decreased memory retention, and lack of energy – all of which are tied directly to nutrition.”

The good news? Eating the right foods can help prevent diseases, maintain a healthy metabolism, and help you look and feel good.

Win-win!

With that in mind, here are 10 super foods that boast a high nutrient-to-calorie ratio to keep your body performing optimally. You’ll notice that some of these age-defying and disease-fighting super foods are items that you may already love and are sitting inside your refrigerator or pantry.

1 Wild Salmon

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish two times a week, particularly fatty fish like salmon. Salmon is packed with vitamin D, potassium, B vitamins, and other important minerals, but that’s not all. Fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps fight inflammation, removes triglycerides from the blood, benefits arthritis, and may even help with memory loss and dementia. (By the way, omega-3 can also be found in other fatty, cold-water fish like herring, sardines, rainbow trout, cod, tuna, and mackerel.)

In addition, salmon is a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids. This is important since protein is what our bodies use for maintenance and repair. No wonder experts often put salmon at the top of their list of healthy foods that promote good health!

2 Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are nutritional, energy-boosting dynamos and the richest source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids available. The seeds are full of antioxidants, protein, minerals, plus soluble and insoluble fiber to help digestion.

The tiny seeds are also a “complete protein” containing all nine essential amino acids, rare for a plant-based source of protein. Another benefit? These little seeds have an unusual quality – when combined with liquid they swell and absorb more than 10 times their weight. That means adding a spoonful or two to meals will help you feel fuller while adding some crunch and texture. If you’re trying to lose a few pounds, this can be helpful!

So here are a few fun facts about this super food. Although chia seeds have only become a popular health food recently, they’ve been around a long time as a staple of Mayan and Aztec diets. In fact, “chia” means “strength” in the Mayan language. Aztec warriors were known to use the seeds to give them high energy and endurance, especially during battles. And in case you’re wondering, these seeds are the same ones used for the iconic Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Pets that allow you to “grow” garden animals and characters. However, the seeds in these kits aren’t approved for consumption, so head to a grocery or drugstore to enjoy the health benefits.

These nutritious seeds are virtually tasteless, so you can add them to just about anything including oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, sauces, breakfast cereals, soups, and salads. Another popular way to eat the seeds is by making “chia pudding.” Just mix some seeds with one cup of liquid like almond milk. After 15 minutes or so, the seeds “swell” and the “pudding” is ready to eat. Add some fruit, nuts, or other toppings for extra flavor. Just be careful about eating spoonfuls of the seeds by themselves which could pose a choking hazard.

3 Avocados

This unique and nutritious fruit has 20 different vitamins and minerals along with antioxidants including carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are valuable for eye health. Surprisingly, avocados have more potassium than bananas – an essential mineral that most older adults don’t get enough of that helps reduce blood pressure.

Other bonuses: Avocados contain monounsaturated fatty acids, which numerous studies have shown can help lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol while boosting ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. These fruits are also high in omega-3 fatty acids which, as previously mentioned, help remove triglycerides from the blood and lower inflammation.

4 Blueberries/Blackberries

These small berries are full of nutrients including vitamins, potassium, minerals and antioxidants. Blueberries and blackberries contain high levels of soluble fiber which is beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight, lowering cholesterol, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, and lowering blood pressure.

The berries rank the highest of any fruit for antioxidants including concentrated levels of flavonoids, a natural brain booster that helps reduce age-related declines in motor skills and cognitive ability.

When selecting berries, note that the darker they are, the more antioxidants they have. These fruits are also anti-inflammatory. The good news is that frozen are just as good as fresh and easy to toss on your morning cereal or salad.

5 Almonds.

Nuts in general are good for our bodies, but almonds are the most nutrient-dense nut, ranking highest in protein, calcium, vitamin E (which helps skin stay supple), magnesium, and folate. Almonds are also high in manganese and copper which are necessary to form collagen and can help aging bodies look and feel younger.

An added bonus: Dieters who ate almonds daily shed 62 percent more weight and 56 percent more fat than those who didn’t, a study from Loma Linda University in California found. “The fiber in nuts may prevent your body from absorbing some fat, speeding weight loss,” says lead author Michelle Wien, R.D. Almond eaters also lowered their blood pressure, the study noted.

6 Ginger

Ginger may be best known for its ability to soothe stomach aches and ease nausea. But it has so much more to offer.

This anti-aging herb is a good source of many nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, and vitamin B6; however, the majority of its benefits for anti-aging nutrition come from its special phytonutrients called gingerols. As WebMD points out: “When you eat or drink phytonutrients, they may help prevent disease and keep your body working properly.” Healthline adds: “Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.”

By the way, other herbs such as garlic and turmeric also contain anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve achy joints and stiff muscles.

7 Matcha Green Tea

Matcha comes from the same plant as green tea, but since it’s made from the entire leaf, it packs in a more concentrated amount of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds.

The good news is that these powerful properties can help us baby boomers as we age.What makes matcha such a super food? Its key component is EGCG, a catechin linked to lowering risks to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease. Loaded with antioxidants, matcha is known for its immunity-boosting and disease-fighting properties. According to Healthline.com, “Including matcha in your diet could increase your antioxidant intake, which may help prevent cell damage and even lower your risk of several chronic diseases.”

EGCG is also linked to potential weight loss benefits. Matcha can crank up your metabolism, helping you burn more calories every day and process food more effectively. In fact, researchers conducted a series of studies on dieters and found that those who drank green tea lost more weight than those who didn’t drink it.

The amino acid L-theanine in matcha, which stimulates the production of dopamine and serotonin helps improve concentration and memory. According to a study published in the journal Phytomedicine, regular consumption of green tea may even offer protection against Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

An added benefit: Unlike coffee, the amino acids in Matcha help your body absorb the caffeine gradually which releases energy slowly and sustainably. Matcha promises a four to six hour energy boost that’s just enough to perk you up.

Janie Zeitlin, a registered dietitian in White Plains, NY and New York City, says matcha is a “nutritional powerhouse,” and “a valuable addition to any diet,” but adds that moderation is best because of the potency. Most experts recommend drinking a cup or two a day.

8 Beans

Experts recommend adults consume three cups of beans per week to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. With good reason.

This often overlooked super food is considered “heart healthy” since beans contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Beans also deliver a powerful combination of vitamins and minerals, including blood-pressure-regulating magnesium, energizing iron, bone-strengthening calcium, potassium, and folate as well as antioxidants. Keep in mind, the darker the bean, the higher its antioxidant levels.

As a bonus, beans help raise levels of the hormone leptin which curbs appetite and thus can help you maintain a healthy weight. Beans are also metabolized more slowly than other complex carbs, helping you feel fuller longer while delivering a great source of energy throughout the day.

A comparatively inexpensive source of protein, beans can be purchased canned, frozen, or dried. To increase your intake, incorporate beans into main dishes like chile or soup, use as a filling side-dish instead of bread or potatoes, toss into a salad, or eat snacks like roasted chick peas or hummus. Have a variety of beans including kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), split peas, fava beans, and lentils in your pantry and get creative!

9 Quinoa

The South American grain quinoa is well-known to vegans and vegetarians because it’s a complete protein and filled with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, such as B2, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus.

Quinoa is easy to use in place of other grains, pastas, or white rice. An excellent source of protein with sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids, it packs more nutrition than most grains.

In addition, quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol. These are potent antioxidants with several health benefits.

10 Dark Chocolate

Okay, I saved the best for last. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Just so happens that quality dark chocolate is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals.

Dark chocolate also contains organic compounds that function as antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins. Some studies indicate that consuming small amounts of dark chocolate on a regular basis can lower blood pressure and decrease the rate of stroke in women by 20 percent.

The darker the chocolate, the lower the fat and sugar content. However, don’t go too crazy. Unfortunately, there are 170 calories in one piece (one ounce) of dark chocolate and the treat does contain sugar along with all those nutrients, so should be eaten in moderation. Still, I love that dark chocolate can be counted as a health food, don’t you?

Facts About Flatulence

Many people think that if their digestive system is normal they won’t have any gas unless they eat a particular food like beans. The fact is that normal people on a normal diet expel nearly a quart of intestinal gas a day. Most of us aren’t aware of this. It’s when we become aware of the gas and it becomes uncomfortable and embarrassing.

Gas is formed when certain foods reach the large intestine without being completely and adequately digested. Once they arrive there bacteria go to work to digest them and in the process produce gas. This is a normal occurrence and in most cases intestinal gas is not a sign of an illness or disease. Today we eat more high fiber foods than our grandparents. Fruits and vegetables can be a source of intestinal gas, especially in people not used to eating a lot of them, or in the case of fructose intolerance.

The major cause of occasional excess gas is gas-producing foods. Most people are aware that beans are a major suspect, but there are other foods that will put you are risk including: apricots, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, onions, and mangoes.

Obviously, the first step in reducing flatulence is to avoid the foods that cause this problem for you. Keep in mind that people react differently to different foods.

Some people have found that corn, oats and any wheat-containing product give them gas. (I talk about food allergies in another article).

Many people are unaware that dairy products are causing their gas. In fact lactose intolerance is probably the major cause of bloating and excessive gas. It seem this author that complete avoidance of dairy products is the smartest solution.

There is a simple home test for lactose intolerance. Avoid ALL dairy and cheese products for ten days to see if your symptoms are alleviated. Then have some, if the gas and bloating returns you have your answer and you didn’t have to pay for any expensive blood tests. Acidophilus is often helpful for many people. The best acidophilus is the kind that needs to be refrigerated, so don’t fall for those cheap pills they sell in the chain drug stores.

Don’t fret there are cheddar cheeses that are lactose free. They are usually aged for two or more years. These hard cheeses should say lactose free on the label. I think the lactase-the sugar found in milk-is the culprit is broken down over time to become lactic acid.

If you are a person who swallows a lot of air you most likely are a person who also chews gum or a smoker. In addition, drinking carbonated beverages will add excess air into your system and thus promoting flatulence.

If you have chronic gas it is possible that you are suffering from something other than a simple case of flatulence. Check out articles on the following conditions: Celiac Disease, Diverticulitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Avoid activated charcoal tablets for several reasons. While activated charcoal tablets are effective for absorbing gas, they do however interfere with the absorption of any medication taken within two to three hours. This includes any prescription medications like the birth control pill, hormones, antibiotics and vitamin supplements. Those medications need to be effective.

Is TRUVIA a Safe and Healthy Alternative to Sugar?

Truvia is a non-caloric sweetener. It’s a “blend” type product made with three ingredients: 1) erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol, 2) stevia leaf extract, which is an herb, and 3) natural flavors, more on this in later on.

Truvia is marketed as a “natural” product, but this is deceiving because anything that’s derived from a plant or animal source can be called natural. That means caloric sweeteners like sugar and HFCS are natural, too. What’s confusing for most consumers is the fact that the term natural has absolutely nothing to do with processing. The product can be processed to death and still be natural.

Erythritol, for example, is a chemically extracted and fermented substance derived from corn. Since erythritol comes from corn it can legally be called natural, but it’s still a highly processed substance. Erythritol is about 1/2 as sweet as table sugar and belongs to a class of substances known as sugar alcohols. Most, but not all, sugar alcohols are easily identified by the “ol” at the end of the name. Erythritol is the least objectionable of all the sugar alcohols because it causes the least digestive problems. Other sugar alcohols can make you cramp, fart and poop a lot. Erythritol is different because it’s made through a fermentation process rather than a hydrogenation process, and the hydrogenation process seems to be the source of the digestive problems.

Stevia leaf extract is just.05% of one serving of Truvia. That’s not much, but Cargill gets to make a pretty big deal out of the fact that it’s using a natural herb in it’s product. The stevia plant has naturally sweet leaves that taste a bit like licorice. In the olden days, 10 or so years ago, stevia was a highly regulated substance that was mistakenly feared to be carcinogenic. You could only get it in health food stores in the form of crushed leaves (that look a bit like oregano) or as a liquid. Once Cargill and the other big food manufacturers got into the act, stevia got mainstreamed into grocery store products as a healthier and more desirable alternative to sugar.

And lastly, the term “natural flavors” is a catch-all phrase where small quantities of any substance can be included in a product without being listed as an ingredient. A non-caloric sweetening agent called Neotame is a suspicious substance that’s often included as a natural flavor. Neotame is a mega powerful artificial sweetener that’s in the same family as aspartame, an excitotoxin. (FYI, Excitotoxins over stimulate and kill brain cells.) In fact, Neotame is so very potent that only the tiniest bit of it needs to be included to have a sweetening effect. This is important because stevia and erythritol aren’t really all that sweet.