Archive for July, 2009

Mint Tea Warning

July 14, 2009 Written by JP

It seems as if so much of the information out there about natural medicine either glorifies or vilifies this long held tradition. The truth about holistic health care is difficult to come by because it’s often influenced by the prejudices of those interpreting the data. This same observation applies to me. I have a tendency to accentuate the positive aspects of natural healing techniques. I do this because there is science that supports my view, but also because most media outlets and the modern medical establishment tend to dismiss the validity of many alternative and traditional health practices. Having said that, I do try to present a balanced account of things. In doing so, I will occasionally bring to light certain precautions that I believe are warranted, even when using 100% natural remedies. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Women's Health | 232 Comments & Updates

Animal Assisted Therapy

July 13, 2009 Written by JP

The window of our home overlooks an expansive private courtyard and garden. Weather permitting, almost every day I see men, women and children playing out there with their canine companions. Sometimes they simply rest together underneath the shade of a tree. On occasion, I even hear interspecies “conversations” going on. It’s actually a really beautiful sight to behold. The connection that is present between animals and humans is a profound one indeed. This observation has not escaped both traditional and modern health practitioners. Today’s column delves a bit into the research that exists on animal-assisted therapy (AAT). Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Mental Health | 19 Comments & Updates

Nutrition Nuts

July 10, 2009 Written by JP

One of my primary goals for this site is to provide practical and topical information that can be incorporated into daily life. The following research has all been published within the past seven months. 2009 may ultimately be considered the “year of the nut” thanks to the extensive coverage that science is devoting to this humble snack food. By looking at the current batch of studies and data collected over the last few decades, it’s become abundantly clear that regular nut consumption can help address some of the biggest health crises facing our society, namely diabetes, heart disease and obesity. The best news of all is that every one of us can easily adjust our diets to derive all of the benefits that nuts have to offer. Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 10 Comments & Updates

Natural Hair and Skin Care

July 9, 2009 Written by JP

In an attempt to personalize, I’m going to invite you all into a part of my world that only my wife and select family and friends ever venture into: our bathroom. Don’t be scared! There’s a perfectly logical reason for this. If you’re anything like me, you probably stare at the seemingly endless wall of natural hair and skin care items at your local health food store with a perplexed look on your face. The good news is that this very expression often attracts the cosmetics attendant on staff to try to rescue you from your daze. The bad news is that I rarely feel like I end up walking out of the store with exactly the type of product I was looking for. But through much trial and error, I’ve found a group of products by a single manufacturer with which I’ve experienced some success. I’m not trying to sell you anything, but rather hope that this information will assist you in finding cleaner products at a fraction of the cost and time. Read more »

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Posted in Product Reviews | 15 Comments & Updates

Super Fruits and Veggies

July 8, 2009 Written by JP

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know my general philosophy is to steer you toward antioxidant and nutrient dense whole foods that are low in sugar. This is the basic tenet of most low carbohydrate diets. But there is a common misconception about carb reduced menu plans and that is that they can’t include plenty of vegetables and even some fruit. This is simply not the case. Today I’ll focus on several exceptional fruits and vegetables that can be deliciously incorporated into almost any diet. These are the exact types of foods that have enjoyed a favorable scientific spotlight for years now. In addition, I’ll provide some very simple ways in which you can prepare these nutritional gems to enhance flavor while keeping prep time in check. Read more »

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Posted in Diabetes, Heart Health, Nutrition | 9 Comments & Updates

Natural Dental Care

July 7, 2009 Written by JP

A heartfelt smile doesn’t just convey contentment and warmth, it’s also an external sign of health. Like most other measures of wellness, genetics do play a roll in the shape, size and the whiteness of our teeth. We’re all aware of the commonly prescribed oral care basics. But there are also some emerging trends that are sprouting up in medical literature that I think you should know about. Besides regular brushing and flossing, there are a few additional steps that you can take to improve the status of your breath, gums and smile. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Dental Health, Nutrition | 8 Comments & Updates

Rainbow Diet News

July 6, 2009 Written by JP

I believe there are several core principles to eating a healthy diet. One of the easiest guidelines to remember is “eat like the rainbow”. The naturally occurring pigments that produce the emerald greens in kale and spinach, the deep blues and purple in berries and the vibrant reds in cherries and tomatoes all possess a broad spectrum of health benefits. Now is the perfect time of year to enjoy the wealth of colors that nature provides. Another reason to include more of these foods in your diet is that science is continuing to find additional reasons to do so. Read more »

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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss | 4 Comments & Updates

Krill Oil Research

July 3, 2009 Written by JP

When selecting nutritional supplements we all strive to use the most effective products available. But what should we base that determination on? One option is to ask others about their personal experiences. This is commonly referred to as anecdotal evidence. Another source of data can be found in the scientific literature. Here we’re trusting that researchers are performing well designed and impartial research in a more controlled manner. Since these types of studies typically involve larger groups of people, the results may apply to broad segments of the population. But there’s another very prevalent manner of learning about dietary supplements and that is information provided by the manufacturers themselves. My contention is that we ought to examine all three sources of input. Ask questions of your colleagues, family and friends. Read the product literature provided by nutraceutical companies and pose any inquires that you might have. Finally, investigate whether modern science has produced any evidence to back up the other two sources. I’ll apply this model to examine an area of debate that’s currently active in the natural health community: Is krill oil superior to fish oil? Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 907 Comments & Updates

Sacha Inchi

July 2, 2009 Written by JP

If you want to stick to a healthy diet over the long term, it helps to find ways to keep it interesting. Eating the same old things over and over again isn’t just boring to your taste buds, but it also severely limits the types of nutrients that your body has to work with. Fortunately, the variety of food available in the 21st century is greater than at any other time in human history. No matter what kind of diet you’ve adopted, you can hunt down exotic and rare menu items that were previously unavailable. Today, I’d like to introduce you to two “new” snack items from South America. Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 20 Comments & Updates

Breast Cancer Protection

July 1, 2009 Written by JP

I have a simple and completely immodest goal for today’s column: to help drastically reduce the number of breast cancer diagnoses in the years to come. It may not be realistic to expect that kind of impact from a health blog such as this. But I’m confident that implementing the research presented on this site and other scientifically based sources, you can influence the risk of developing this all too common disease. By taking proactive steps to protect yourself, you’ll then likely influence others in a positive way, including your doctors. This is how true health revolutions take foot. Inform yourself, lead by example, spread the word and defy the odds. Read more »

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Posted in Exercise, Nutrition, Women's Health | 27 Comments & Updates