Archive for April, 2012

Natural Dandruff Solutions

April 30, 2012 Written by JP

There isn’t much information available in the scientific literature about how to address dandruff in a holistic manner. Up to this point, researchers have mostly looked for natural alternatives to conventional treatments that are currently available. This means they’re primarily seeking out topical solutions that are applied directly to the scalp. What scientists haven’t spent much time on is considering whether or not diet, environmental factors and supplements may also have a role to play. This leaves a huge gap for health care consumers who are interested in approaching this dry, flaking skin disorder in a comprehensive manner.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 1 Comment

Better Burgers

April 27, 2012 Written by JP

The other night we had dinner at a restaurant where you build your own burger. Diners choose the type of meat they’d prefer, an extensive array of toppings and whether they want their burger on a bun or a bed of organic lettuce. You’re even in luck if you have special dietary needs as they offer gluten-free buns and vegetarian patties. These types of options are becoming more and more common these days as restaurateurs hope to reinvent hamburgers in a creative and, sometimes, healthier way. The latest trend in the attempt to “healthify” burgers is to add certain unexpected and, often, undetectable ingredients to the ground meat itself.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 7 Comments

Happy, Healthy and Wise

April 25, 2012 Written by JP

Happiness seems like it has little to do with the modern health care system. But, in medicine, as in life, appearances can be deceiving. Statistics reveal that people who have a positive outlook are more likely to be in better physical health. Now, some theorize that happy people are healthier because they take better care of themselves. Simply put, they have more of a reason to want to live longer. There’s certainly some truth to that assertion. However, recent developments in the field of psychology explain that the link between contentment and wellness may very well be a two way street.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | No Comments;

Oil Pulling Research

April 23, 2012 Written by JP

When investigating natural healing techniques, one must frequently consult with two disparate camps: scientists and traditional healers. Generally speaking, scientists attempt to debunk or explain how a practice works (or doesn’t) via established mechanisms and objective data. Traditional healers tend to offer an alternative view about how the body functions and historical accounts of success. When these two groups come together, quite often some degree of common ground can be found. A case in point is the ancient Indian practice known as oil pulling.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Dental Health, Food and Drink | 2 Comments

Candy Supplements

April 20, 2012 Written by JP

Walk down the supplement isles of most health food stores and pharmacies and you’ll undoubtedly see bottles that are seemingly filled with enticing candies. These days, calcium, fish oil, multivitamins and other dietary aids are often being sold in the form of chocolates, gummy bears and even jelly beans. Some of these products are 100% natural – after all, corn syrup and glucose are natural. Others are loaded with the same types of artificial ingredients you’d expect to find in conventional candy. The one common denominator is the attempt to popularize supplement use in segments of the population that don’t normally buy them.

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Posted in Children's Health, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;

Caffeine Brain

April 18, 2012 Written by JP

For the next few moments, I’d like you to conjure up an image of what you think caffeine does to the brain. Did you come up with negative or positive imagery? When I think of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, hot cocoa or tea, I associate them with the promotion of brain health. I know this goes against the common stereotype of caffeine as overly stimulating. However, modern science is starting to show a consistently positive trend in trials investigating the role of caffeine consumption and neuroprotection.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Memory, Mental Health | 12 Comments

Is Grape Juice Healthy?

April 16, 2012 Written by JP

Fruit juice isn’t something that I normally recommend. Most bottled and fresh juices simply contain too much sugar – a dietary component that is already too plentiful in many diets. Then, there’s the issue of dietary fiber. The process of making juice removes the fibrous portion of fruits and vegetables, and concentrates the sweet liquid contained therein. This yields both negative and positive effects. On the one hand, the antioxidants, nutrients and phytochemicals that naturally occur in juice are often better absorbed when fiber is absent from the equation. But, without fiber, fruits and vegetable juices become more concentrated reservoirs of high glycemic carbohydrates which generally result in large fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Memory | No Comments;

Toxic Sugar Alternatives

April 13, 2012 Written by JP

A recent segment on 60 Minutes, the popular news program, examined the health implications of eating large amounts of sugar. According to current estimates, the average U.S. citizen consumes upwards of 130 lbs. of processed sugar per year. Not only is this shocking, but it’s also relevant because experts in the field of nutritional biology claim that up to 75% of all diseases can be prevented by drastically reducing refined food and sugar intake.

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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | No Comments;

Seaweed and Breast Cancer

April 11, 2012 Written by JP

Seaweed is a familiar component in traditional Asian diets. Historical accounts indicate that the use of seaweeds such as gim (Porphyra sp.), kombu (Laminaria japonica) and miyeok (Undaria pinnatifida) in Japanese and Korean recipes have both a culinary and medicinal rationale. In recent years, scientists in the U.S. and abroad have begun to investigate the potential of edible seaweeds in relation to disease risk. In particular, cancer specialists and epidemiologists are investigating how and why seaweed may reduce the incidence of the most common malignancy among women: breast cancer.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Women's Health | 2 Comments

Dietitians Use Supplements Too

April 9, 2012 Written by JP

Have you ever wondered which supplements dietitians and nutritionists use themselves? The March 2012 issue of Nutrition Journal shares some insight into that very topic. In the survey, a total of 300 registered dietitians were queried about precisely which herbs, minerals, nutraceuticals and vitamins they use regularly and why. The macro breakdown of the findings reveals that 74% of those interviewed classified themselves as “regular users of dietary supplements”. An additional 22% “used dietary supplements occasionally or seasonally”. Also of note is that an impressive 97% of the dietitians recommended supplements to their clients.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 6 Comments

Hypnosis Revelations

April 6, 2012 Written by JP

Clinical hypnosis is quickly making inroads into the mainstream of medicine. Thankfully, it’s no longer being viewed as the exclusive domain of esoteric healers or second rate magicians. This is due, in large part, to a growing body of scientific trials that have been conducted at prestigious centers of learning throughout the world. The findings of these recent inquiries are beginning to reveal the true potential of this mind-body modality.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | No Comments;

Nuts in the News 2012

April 4, 2012 Written by JP

The advancement of medical technology benefits us all. There’s no doubt that the development of less invasive surgical procedures and improvements in infectious disease management have saved countless lives. But, what’s sometimes lost in the noble quest for cutting edge therapies is the acknowledgement that non-technological approaches can save lives too. Using certain whole foods in a medicinal manner is one illustration. By that, I mean eating nutrient dense foods in a prescribed capacity – as though they were medications. I believe that the reason this is rarely endorsed is a lack of conviction about the impact that diet can play in objective medical outcomes. Fortunately, the evidence to support the integration of therapeutic foods into the current health care model is widely available for anyone who’s interested.

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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 5 Comments

Spinach Juice and Smoothies

April 2, 2012 Written by JP

A simple addition or substitution can make a profound difference in the overall quality of your diet. If you enjoy freshly made juice or homemade smoothies, you can very easily improve the nutrient density of these beverages by tossing a handful of raw spinach into the mix. The beauty of this strategy is that you’re unlikely to taste the spinach at all, though you’ll probably notice its chlorophyll inspired hue. But, you can be certain that your body will be keenly aware of it.

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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Mental Health, Nutrition | 4 Comments