Tag Archives: health

MTHFR

6 Sep

SO I have a gene mutation, two actually.

I had some blood work done late last year and when I picked up the report the first page declared I was Compound Heterozygous. Compound referring to the two mutations. I am positive for one copy of  C677T mutation and one copy of A1298C mutation.

Basically this means I have an increased risk of hyperhomocyteinemiavascular diseases, some cancers, emotional problems and degenerative disease in general. Yea me!

Both of my parents died from cancer; my dad lymphoma and my mother lung cancer. My brother had  prostate cancer. My nephew died in his 40’s from a form of leukemia. I am somewhat estranged from the rest of my family so I am not sure if there are more. So basically I already knew I had genetic risks for cancer/degenerative disease, no surprise there. My family’s health history is part of the reason I have an interest in natural health.

The other reason for my interest in wellness is I grew up with my mom dabbling in all things natural health  so it was natural for me to do the same, dabble in natural health. I grew up in a home where carrot sticks were more common than potato chips, I drank milk or juice, not Coke & Kool-aid. Yet I also learned to love ice cream, fried chicken, & bagels loaded with cream cheese there. Those foods are just normal thought, right? And I wasn’t eating a lot of junk on a regular basis. But the truth is normal people get cancer or die young from heart  disease every day, and I’ll see your normal and raise you two gene mutations ūüôā

These test were a wake up call for me to quit dabbling and get serious. I owe it to the things my mom instilled in me about eating right & exercise that I am fairly healthy now. But, she was fairly healthy for her age and cancer showed up. So, I am going to take my health to the next level. That’s right I am going to the extreme. I’m not nieve enough to think anything I do will make me completely immune to cancer or any of the other problems; BUT, I will give my body the best chance I can to survive THRIVE; and if I do have to  battle against a disease I plan to go into that fight in the best shape of my life. I’ll be posting more about some new things I am doing soon, but for now lets look at MTHFR.

MTHFR

mutation2***The information on this page is from research I have been doing the last few months, I am by no means an expert on MTHFR or gene mutations.

The official name of the MTHFR gene is methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (methyl-ene-tetra-hydro-folate-reductase).

 MTHFR most often refers to a genetic mutation that inhibits the body’s ability to methylate or convert folic acid from the food we eat into Methylfolate (L-MTHF).

The normal function of the MTHFR gene:

The MTHFR gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, or the MTHFR enzyme (leave it up to the scientists to confuse us). This enzyme plays a role in processing amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase is important for a chemical reaction involving forms of the B-vitamin folate. Specifically, this enzyme converts 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. This reaction is required for the multistep process that converts the amino acid homocysteine to another amino acid, methionine. The body uses methionine to make proteins and other important compounds.

Why the MTHFR gene is important:

The MTHFR gene is responsible for making a functional MTHFR enzyme. If the MTHFR gene is slightly mutation3altered (mutated), the MTHFR enzyme‚Äôs shape becomes distorted. Enzyme function depends a lot on shape. It is similar to the grooves on a key. If the grooves on a key are slightly different than the lock, the key may fit and turn the lock a little but it does not unlock the door.

The genetic code of the MTHFR enzyme must be perfect in order for it to function properly. A dysfunctional MTHFR enzyme may lead to a slew of health problems.

This MTHFR gene mutation affects how our bodies process B vitamins for absorption and use; this biological process is called methylation.  Methylation is simply the transformation of food into enzymes or ‘active elements’ the body’s cells can directly and immediately use.

Remember, a healthy MTHFR gene is responsible for converting folic acid into Methylfolate (the ‚Äėactive element‚Äô form of Folate that your body uses).  Our cells cannot actually use folic acid. Folic acid must get converted into Methylfolate before the body‚Äôs cells can use it.   This conversion from folic acid to Methylfolate is a 4-step process, but if someone has an MTHFR genetic defect, then the enzyme transformation between steps 3 and 4 is mutated which causes many systemic problems.

So this means the vitamin processing pathways are not functioning properly and because of this the cells are trying to use defective enzymes, which can cause the body to malfunction and display a variety of symptoms and diseases.  These B vitamin pathways are responsible for many foundational health processes:

  •  Clearing the body of toxins (making glutathionine to do this job),
  • Regulating central nervous system health (making serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine to do this work),
  • Regulating cardiovascular health (reducing homocysteine levels which are damaging to the heart)

The most common MTHFR gene mutations:

  •  Mutation 677 ‚Äď can be linked to: Heart disease, heart attack, Stroke, Blood clots, Peripheral neuropathy, Anemia, Miscarriages, Congenital birth defects, and more
  •  Mutation 1298 ‚Äď can be linked to: Depression, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Migraines, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Memory loss with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, even other psychiatric problems can be tied to this defect (OCD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia), and more

Symptoms of toxin build up may be linked to one or both of the MTHFR defects – nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, liver and kidney dysfunction, hypertension, tachycardia, pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, immune problems, hair loss, rashes, and much more

  • MTHFR 677CC = a normal MTHFR gene
  • MTHFR 677CT = a heterozygous mutation which is one mutation
  • MTHFR 677TT = a homozygous mutation which is two mutations
  • MTHFR 1298AA = a normal MTHFR gene
  • MTHFR 1298AC = a heterozygous mutation which is one mutation
  • MTHFR 1298CC = a homozgyous mutation which is two mutations
  • MTHFR 677CT + MTHFR 1298AC = a compound heterozygous mutation which is one mutation from two different parts of the gene  ** this is what I have **

Symptoms of MTHFR

There are many different symptoms someone with one or both gene mutations might encounter.  Not everyone has the same set of symptoms because there are many other genetic and environmental differences that complicate health. There is a key systemic problem that comes from low methylation and it causes three different symptom areas.

Systemic problem:  Homocysteine levels are too high due to the fact that not enough Methylfolate is available to convert the Homocysteine into Methionine, SAMe and Glutathione.  Think of Methylfolate (L-MTHF or 5-MTHF) as the wizard changing the bad guy (Homocysteine) into good guys (SAMe and Glutathione).

 Three symptom areas:

 1.  Central Nervous System disorders – some of these come from Homocysteine not getting converted into SAMe.  SAMe is responsible for creating Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine (neurotransmitters responsible for mood, motivation, and to some degree energy levels – if these are low, then Depression is often the result, but even aggression and alcoholism are symptoms sometimes found in men).  Pregnant women may encounter extreme Post-partum depression.  Also, things like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Migraines, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Memory loss with Alzheimer’s and Dementia and other psychiatric problems can be tied to this issue (OCD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and more).  These challenges are typically more related to the 1298 gene mutation.

 2.  Cardiovascular problems often occur when Homocysteine levels in the body are too high.  Heart attack, Stroke, Blood clotsPeripheral neuropathy, Anemia even Miscarriages and Congenital birth defects can be related to this issue among others.  These problems are typically more related to the 677 gene mutation, but the worst is for a person who has one 677 variant and one 1298 variant.

 3.  Environmental poisoning can increase when not enough Homocysteine gets converted into Glutathione.  Glutathione is responsible for detoxifying the body of the heavy metals we encounter in the environment – it is our body’s most powerful antioxidant.  When a body gets too burdened by heavy metals and toxins, a lot of unexpected health problems emerge.  Some symptoms of this can be: nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, liver and kidney dysfunction, hypertension, tachycardia, pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, immune problems, hair loss, rashes and more.

MTHFR is at the top of a list of 16 genetic defects for autism.  Another study showed 98% of children with autism had one or both of the MTHFR gene defects (677 and/or 1298).  A recent clinical study indicated that mothers with MTHFR who didn’t take folate during pregnancy were 7 times more likely to have an autistic child than mothers without the MTHFR gene defect.  Colon and gastric cancers also have key links to the MTHFR gene defects, just do an internet search on ‘MTHFR and colon cancer’ or ‘MTHFR and gastric cancer’ and you will find many clinical studies and articles on the subject.

*** OK- incase you are reading this after discovering you have this one or more of these gene mutations and this is scaring you, don’t let it. This is information. Information is power. Decide to do everything you can to  build your health as much as possible starting today. The health issues I currently have are all controlled with proper diet & supplementation.  I have had 3 healthy pregnancies and three healthy children. When I started taking folate instead of a multi with folic acid I started feeling 110X better, so start there!! This diagnosis is NOT a death sentence, so don’t act like it is.

SO, what to do if you have a MTHFR mutation:

1. Find some good supplements. **And Yes, supplements are important because if you have a MTHFR mutation your body is not going to convert folic acid you are getting from food.

Don‚Äôt take a vitamin supplement that your body can‚Äôt convert properly. B-9 as folic acid and B-12 as cobalamin are NOT good options for an MTHFR gene mutant.  Make sure you bypass mutated B vitamin pathways and take the already transformed version of the vitamin enzymes: Methylfolate for B-9 and Methylcobalamin for B-12.  These are harder to find, especially in a multivitamin, but definitely available.

The multivitamin I am currently taking is from Seeking Health . They also have a very good Active B12 Lozenge With L-5-MTHF – 60 Lozenges as well as a ton of info relating to MTHFR. Dr. Ben Lynch who formulate the supplements actually has MTHFR mutations himself. He also offers MTHFR Test – MTHFR Genotyping Laboratory Test, if you choose not to have these done through your Doctor.

Joel Fuhrmien also makes a good multivitamin with folate instead of folic acid. I learend a lot reading Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman and listening to some of his recommendations. I am not an affiliate of his, but I do really respect his work, there is a ton of science behind it.  Although he does not specifically address MTHFR, you can read what he has to say about a multi HERE.

2. Pay VERY close attention to your diet. 

I’m still going to say everyone is different so you have to  get to know YOUR body and find what works best for it!!

plaeo prymid EAT WHOLE REAL FOOD!!! For Pete’s sake, give your body a fighting chance!! It is NOT going to be able to fight off all of the things it MAY have against it if you are fueling with crap!!! Stop eating processed food as much as possible!!

Cut out GLUTEN. At least cut it for a month and see how you feel. Dr. Lynch has a ton of info on this if you go to his site. But I will tell you my memory and my energy levers are 110 times better since I have stopped eating anything with gluten in it.

Cut out SUGAR!!! I mean it!! Read every label you have in your house- it is hidden everywhere!!!

Dr. Lynch recommends a Paleo diet. (when I say diet here you KNOW I mean lifestyle, not diet!!) A Paleo diet is mainly meats and vegetables, some fruits, some seeds, some nuts, healthy fats, no gluten, beans, grains, or most dairy. A huge part of eating Paleo is the source of your meat- it needs to be as natural as possible-  beef needs to be grass fed, chickens free range, etc. If you want more info on eating Paleo, NERD Fitness has a great article. I LOVE the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippp, she has a blog/podcast: Balanced Bites. Dr. Lynch recommends Robb Wolf, I have not read any of his work personally, but from what I understand it is more of the science behind this way of eating. I am also reading It Starts With Food it comes from the Whole9 Life site, who started the Whole30 so many people are doing. I love this book and plan to do a Whole30 after my last race of the season. I am really looking into this way of eating, and will probably write a blog post on it soon.

I have noticed HUGE improvements in my energy levels, my memory, my digestion, and my ability to focus (ADHD) when I changed my diet to whole/real foods. The most important change I made was cutting out gluten, but I am also avoiding sugar and processed food in general. I am tracking and limiting carbs and feel much better without my blood sugar jumping all over the place. I have also measurable increased my healthy fats, mainly through coconut oil.

I will add to this page as  learn more ūüôā

Fight that Cold!!

5 Sep

7 Things to Help Fight a Cold

1. Aloe Vera Juice…Has immune stimulating, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-cancer properties. Also helps address stomach disorders, ulcers, colitis, constipation and other colon related problems.

2. Astragalus…Has antiviral, antibacterial properties. Increases production of interferon, which can help the immune system in its function. Used to help combat a variety of viruses.

3.¬†Cat‚Äôs Claw (also known as Una de Gato)‚Ķ Assists the immune system by providing protection against numerous viruses. Enhances phagocytosis‚ÄĒthe ability of white blood cells and macrophages to attack and destroy harmful microorganisms and foreign particles in the bloodstream. (At HQM we carry a product called Una de Gato Combination that is a blend of Cat‚Äôs Claw, Echinacea and Astragalus)

4. Colloidal Silver…Silver suspended in water. Antibacterail, antiviral, anti-parastical, antifungal properties.

echenisa-150x1505. Echinacea…Best known herbal immune system booster. Increases the activity of white blood cells in killing viruses. Blood purifier against strep and staph infections. Also helps to kill yeasts and fungus. Increases red blood cell counts, which in turn help to remove wastes from the system. Also has benefits in stimulating certain white blood cells to attack cancer cells and tumors.

6.¬†Garlic‚Ķ.Known as ‚Äúnature‚Äôs antibiotic‚ÄĚ. Fights viruses, bacteria, yeast, fungus, parasites. Won‚Äôt destroy body‚Äôs natural flora. Also stimulates lymph system in purging toxins, helps to reduce cholesterol/triglycerides, increases immunity, and reduces blood clotting (especially important against blood clots in the legs known as ‚Äúperipheral arterial occlusive disease‚ÄĚ).

7.¬†Magnesium‚ĶThe body’s immune system produces antibodies to attack and help destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Magnesium is a mineral vital to the production of such antibodies. Sugar in the diet depletes magnesium stores in the system, as does alcohol, refined grains, stress and more.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

4 Don’t’s

1) Don‚Äôt take Echinacea or olive leaf as an ‚Äėimmune booster‚Äô all winter,¬†unless you have been instructed to by your naturopath.¬†If you are already taking them (and¬†aren’t¬†sick), drop the dose slowly, otherwise it is very easy to catch a cold or flu. Taking these herbs will boost your immune system, but once you get sick, your immune system won‚Äôt cope well because it is already being activated. Keep Echinacea & Olive leaf for the first sign of a cold or flu.

2)Don‚Äôt keep working and ‚Äėslogging it out‚Äô.¬†Although not always possible, stop & rest if you can. Your body needs the energy to fight the bacterial or viral infection. Resting will give you the best chance of doing so.

3) Don’t go for fast food during winter. It’s quick & easy, but doesn’t give any nutrition to your no-fast-food-150x150immune system.

4) Don’t underestimate how important it is to wash your hands & keep away from people coughing.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

5 Do’s

(Do these things to help avoid getting a cold or the flu; or if you do get one, to get over it much quicker)

healthy-food-150x1501) Eat a healthy diet during winter. Often the winter  months bring about more fatty, carb laden food. We still need to keep up the vegetable intake. Aim for 5 different colored vegetables at lunch & dinner. If you’re craving more carbohydrates, go for pumpkin, parsnip, potato & sweet potato.

2) Make sure you are taking vitamin D3  The sun naturally provides us with some vivamin D in the summer, but as we move indoors for winter are levels go down. This is the time to supplement. Make sure you are using D3!!

3) Exercise.  Regular exercise (before you get a cold or flu) helps to keep your immune system healthy. It can be difficult getting out into the coldness of the early morning or night. If you want to still exercise, but don’t want to face the cold, try getting a rebounder like this one it’s fantastic exercise & you can do it indoors at any time of the day!

4) Healthy Gut.  Having a healthy gut is really important. 70% of our immune system is within our gut. Making sure you are having regular bowel movements daily that are formed is important. Probiotics  are very important. Consider a supplement or try making your own Yogurt or Keifer.

n ostress5) Keep Stress levels low.  If stress levels are high, your cortisol which is your stress hormone will increase. This will help to stop you from becoming sick. The problem is when your stress is over, your cortisol levels decrease again & this is when you are vulnerable to getting a cold or flu. Have you ever been highly stressed with exams & then when the exams are over & you go on holidays you get sick? This is what’s happening to your body.

Triathlon

5 Sep

Swim. Bike. Run.

They say variety adds spice to life and I believe it. I like change.

Carido IS so¬†important¬†for our health, but honestly, I get so board with the same old, same old. When I think of hours of walking/running on a treadmill to nowhere, stationary bikes…Kill me, now please! Dancy Zoomba, I will admit looks fun, but it’s just not for me. I like intervals, but I also like the idea of a brand new¬†challenge- something I have never tried before.

I am doing a health program where I was given the assignment to set up some new physical goals that would¬†challenge¬†me. So, when I was reading my¬†favorite blog for¬†hair styling¬†tips¬†and I rand across¬†her¬†article, ‘Why you should try a Tri!’¬†¬†a light bulb went off and I thought, Why not?!?

Did the fact that had not been running regularly in the last year detour me? What about the fact that I did not own a bike? Or had not ridden one in the last 20+ years? Or the fact that I do not really have anywhere to practice swimming? Or that I am edging (edging, not there yet) toward 50?

I told you, I like a¬†challenge. And trying new things. I’m in!!!

So, I am still in the planning stages. I want to try a Sprint Tri first. A Sprint Tri is swimming 1/4 mile, biking 10-12 miles and running 2-3 miles. ¬†Maybe in August??? We’ll see.

Depending on how that goes I may do:  An IRONMAN (The Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile (3.9 km) swim, 112 mile (180 km) bike and 26.2 mile (42.2 km) marathon run!)  DREAM BIG!! Whoop!!

run2Run:¬†My plan (for now) is to run a 5k this spring and maybe a half marathon¬†before¬†the summer is over, we’ll see. I did 3 miles yesterday, ran 1 1/2 without stopping. It felt great. I need some decent running shorts if I am going to be doing longer distances.¬†Preferably semi modest ones that do not ride up my inner thighs. I am not sure what to get if anyone reads this and has a suggestion please comment and let me know.

 

bike (2)Bike:¬†I want to get a bike by my 47th (Yes you read that right, 47 baby! Age is just a number!!) birthday in April. Lots of choices to make there, new things to learn and read about. I’m thinking road bike. I’m¬†drooling¬†over several Fuji’s but¬†realistically¬†until¬†I see if biking is¬†something¬†I truly enjoy I’m keeping my¬†budget¬†rather low. Everything I read says find a local bike shop. There seem to be a LOT of expensive accessories that you NEED to bike…(helmet, better saddle, padded shorts, upgraded pedals¬†& water bottle holders & a lock of course). I love the blog¬†Nerd Fitness and read a great article on¬†beginning¬†Biking HERE.¬†¬†I plan to talk to a few bikers (bicycle-ers??) I know first. I wish I knew a woman who biked personally instead of just men because I have a few questions…

swimSwim:¬†I live in a fairly small town. There is no lake or pool I could do laps in- in my town. However, I live about 1 1/2 hours from the beach and ¬†most of the¬†nearby¬†triathlons I glanced at seemed to use open water. My MIL has a pool and lives right up the road, it is smallish and round but I am thinking if there is some device (I could rig a device- ever heard, Where there is a will there is a way??? I have will!!!) that would hold my legs I could¬†defiantly¬†find a way to get some arm workouts in. There is a YMCA about 30 miles away, I am thinking after summer I may join and go once a week to practice laps. I plan to practice in the open water some this summer too. I do not like the idea of spending so much time in¬†chlorine. I need to find some decent¬†goggles, a sporty one peace and maybe a bathing cap and I should be good to go there ūüôā Of course, I really know NOTHING about swimming as a sport so I will be¬†researching, researching,¬†researching¬†before¬†I¬†actually¬†start practicing. Hey its January, I have time if my swimming is going to be outside ūüôā

tri-finish-300x197

This is my mental picture of me at the finish (only a female me of course):

This will probably be reality: tri-finish-2

 

Either way- I bet it will be fun!!! And I will be healthier for doing it!

So I am doing a ton of research and I will keep you updated with what I learn.

 

My new hero and inspiration:

hero-202x300

I was Googling age limits of people who did triathlon to see if I was too old to even attempt this since I do not know anyone in real life who does them and I found Sister Madonna. Check her out- 82 and still doing Ironman!!! Awesomeness!!!

Basic Supplements & Nutrients to Consider

5 Sep

It is impossible to build the walls and roof of a house without first laying a proper foundation. The better your diet is, the more whole/ real foods you eat, the LESS supplements you will need. Pills should never be looked at as your first source of nutrition. 

A healthy diet is your foundation and supplements are to complement your diet to ensure you receive adequate vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Supplements are just that- to supplement a healthy diet.

 

1. Wholefood Vitamin Mineral Complex

Vitamins are essential to life. The late Albert Szent-Gyorgi MD Ph.D Nobel prize winner stated, “The whole idea of a vitamin is a paradox, everyone knows things we eat can make us sick, it seems senseless to say something we have not eaten could make us sick. But this is exactly what a vitamin is: a substance that can make us sick or even die by not eating it.

Vitamins are a group of organic compounds that are essential for normal growth, development, and metabolism. Vitamins are produced from living material such as plants or animals, and minerals come from the soil. Vitamins contain no calories, they cannot make you fat; they are not the fuel, but more like the ignition switch that sparks the fuel and keeps the engine running. When vitamins are not present in sufficient quantity, metabolism ceases or is impaired.

Recommendations: Look for a multivitamin supplement from a REPUTABLE company. ¬†Do A lot of research!! You want a multivitamin that is all natural and labeled as ‚Äėwhole food‚Äô. Read the label and see what is in what you plan to take!!

After reading¬†Eat to Live¬†by Joel Fuhrman and listening to his recommendations , I tried his multivitamin and I really like it.¬†I am not an affiliate of his, but I do really respect his work, there is a ton of science behind it. ¬†I highly recommend his books and his multivitamin.¬†You can read what he has to say about a multi HERE. Because of a gene mutation I have (read about it HERE), it is harder for my body to absorb certain vitamins so I currently take Optimal Multi by Seeking Health. Fuhrman’s & Seeking Health’s multi both use Folate instead of Folic Acid.
       

2. Essential Fatty Acids РEFAs

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to the body and must be obtained through diet. Fatty fish, such as cod, tuna and salmon are the best source, but they can also be found in some plant sources and in flaxseed, walnuts and soybeans. Most people do not eat enough of these foods to obtain optimal amounts of omega-3 nutrients and will need to supplement.

  • EFAs are important for cardiovascular, immune, reproductive and nervous system health.
  • A primary function of EFAs is the production of prostaglandins, which regulate body functions such as fertility, conception, heart rate, blood pressure, blood clotting, menstrual tissue and the immune system.
  • Needed for the proper inflammatory responses throughout the body.
  • Promotes healthy brain function and may have anti-aging benefits for the brain.
  • EFAs are utilized by cell membranes, where oxygen and nutrients are exchanged.
  • Can support positive effects on cellular reactions during extreme physical challenges.
  • EPA and DHA are well known for their ability to maintain healthy cognitive function, their potential to support healthy moods and their positive impact on joint comfort and flexibility


Watch out for low-cost, low-grade fish oil supplements, which may contain traces of dioxin, mercury, PCBs and other environmental contaminants. Many fish oil products are made with fish from potentially contaminated, close-to-shoreline waters, so it is important to look for one of the highest quality, freshest wild salmon caught from deep, icy cold, pristine waters of Alaska. Alaska is a known leader in seafood sustainability and has the most highly protected, cleanest fish stocks in the world.

Dr. Don Colburn had a great idea- he said to open your fish gel and if it smells or taste rank – it it rank- do not take it.

Chia seeds, Flax Seeds and Flax oil are all ¬†great vegan sources of Omega 3’s.

3.  Calcium/Magnesium/D3 

Magnesium:¬†Many people are deficient in magnesium which vital mineral that the body uses for hundreds of reactions. Every cell in the body needs magnesium in some way, and it is vital for bone, tooth, muscle and joint health as well as for optimal sleep and stress reduction.¬†One of my favorite magnesium¬†products is¬†Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm.¬†It is a beverage you sip on like a tea before bed. It makes me sleep like a baby and my jittery –¬†restless¬†leg disappeared ¬†(my legs did not disappear, the jitters did) when I started drinking it. I use this type of Magnesium because it is a¬†highly absorbable blend of magnesium carbonate and citric acid, which in combination with water, creates ionic¬†magnesium¬†citrate. It is also good because you can start with a small amount and work your way up slowly with it. ** update I got inconstant about drinking Calm at night so I switched to a capsule form (it is just easier for me to remember this way) from Seeking Health- Optimal Magnesium.

Vitamin D3¬†is essential to maintaining and building strong bones, according to “Foundations and Clinical Applications of Nutrition.” Without vitamin D3, calcium cannot be absorbed by the bones, ultimately rendering the mineral useless. Vitamin D3 supports the immune system and improves its function. Vitamin D3 can assist your immune system in fighting off common illnesses, including colds and the influenza virus, by ensuring that your immune system is working at its highest potential. Without this necessary vitamin, you are likely to experience a greater severity and occurrence of common illnesses. I supplement with 2000 IU to 5000 IU everyday. In addition, I try to make sure I am out in the sun for a limited time each day, which also gives me Vitamin D. Make sure if you purchase Vitamin D you get D3 as¬†cholecalciferol¬†.¬†I use a liquid D3 in Olive Oil from Seeking Health.

Calcium¬†supplementation is something some¬†people¬†need and others do not, depending on¬†individual¬†diet and needs.¬†Calcium is key in the building of new bone. And bone development occurs every day of your life. Just as you shed skin cells and grow new ones to replace them, your body naturally removes old bone and replaces it with new. Gradual bone loss begins in adulthood and becomes more serious after age 50. In women, the hormonal changes of menopause — and the drop in estrogen levels that occur with it — can greatly worsen the imbalance. The bones naturally lose mass, becoming more brittle.

Because calcium isn’t produced by your body, the amount you have depends on supplements or the foods you eat. It is actually quit easy to get calcium through diet. Most people associate only dairy with calcium. While there is a lot of calcium in cows milk, once the milk is¬†pasteurized, this calcium is not well absorbed or¬†utilized¬†in the body. Foods that are high in Calcium include¬†sesame¬†seeds- 1000mg of calcium per 100g serving; chia seeds -631mg¬†of calcium¬†per 3.5 oz serving; dark leafy greens – 100-150mg¬†of calcium¬†per 100g serving; flax seeds –¬†256mg of calcium per 100g serving; quinoa¬† – one cup cooked has¬†60-100 mg of calcium, not to mention a high amount of potassium, zinc and protein; beans- most beans have¬†42mg of calcium per 100g serving; broccoli- one cup has¬†74 mg of calcium.

You need approximately 1000 mg Р1200 mg of calcium per day, preferably divided in 2 doses, take with meals if you are supplementing.

4.  Antioxidants 

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. Oxidation ¬†is the destructive effect of oxygen (and other oxidizing agents) on the molecular components of our cells. Just as oxygen can cause metals to rust and corrode, it can pull electrons from organic molecules rendering them defective and useless Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” and hence prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals. ¬†Health problems such as heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, cancer are all contributed by oxidative damage. Antioxidants may also enhance immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.

Antioxidants block oxidation reactions and offer protection to the membranes and other parts¬†of cells. Vitamins C and E are capable of “quenching” free radicals by donating electrons to them. Other micronutrients that act as antioxidants are the mineral selenium and pigments called carotenoids. These include beta-carotene in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables; lycopene in tomatoes, watermelon, papaya and pink grapefruit; anthocyanins in blueberries and other blue and purple fruits and vegetables; and lutein, zeaxanthin and other carotenoids found in carrots and leafy greens. Green tea provides important antioxidants called catechins, and red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant from the skin of grapes. Chocolate contains similar compounds (polyphenols) to those in red wine and green tea.

We need dietary antioxidants every day. You do get some antioxidants in your foods if you eat well, but I as insurance against any shortage, I recommend taking a daily supplement to give you a steady supply of these protective compounds.

  • ¬†Antioxidant Drink Mix:¬†I love ¬†FoodScience of Vermont Superior Reds.¬†¬†I use this in my morning protein shake everyday. It has high ORAC berries to support brain, heart, liver, immune system health and energy levels. It is made from nutrient rich berries, fruits, and potent plant extracts in combination with DMG HCI, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Phosphaidylserin, Resveratrol, Lycopene and Lutein to support immune system function. There are other brands of antioxidant drink mixes that similar -research, research,¬†research¬†though- because some are not worth buying- always make sure you get a quality product!!!.

     

5.   Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that makes up the structural material in the leaves, stems, and roots of plants. But unlike sugar and starch‚ÄĒthe other two kinds of carbs‚ÄĒfiber stays intact until it nears the end of your digestive system.¬†Fiber molecules are held together by chemical bonds that your body has trouble breaking. In fact, your small intestine‚ÄĒcan’t break down soluble or insoluble fiber; both types just go right through you.¬†If you are detoxing or cleansing your body (as you regularly should be!!!) fiber absorbs these toxins and helps your body eliminate them quickly.¬†Adults need 25-35 grams of fiber per day!

fiber-300x298

There are two types of Fiber: Soluble and Insoluble, and you need both!! 

Soluble Fiber is fiber that dissolves readily in fluids¬†to form a gel-like material in your digestive tract.This gel can trap certain food components and make them less available for absorption.¬†These fibers have been linked to lowering ‚Äėbad‚Äô cholesterol and regulating of blood glucose levels as it¬†slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream.¬†Soluble fiber is found in oats, beans, barley, and some fruits.¬†

Insoluble Fiber is fiber that does not dissolve in liquids. Its structure is thick and rough so it zips through your digestive tract and increases stool bulk and cleaning house so to speak. If you are losing weight fiberous foods have a fulling effect. Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran, oat bran, nuts, and many vegetables.

The truth is, God actually handled all of this. Most whole, real foods, in the state they were created by Him, contain a mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber. The inside of apples, for example, provide soluble fiber and the skins are mostly insoluble fiber.

So you need to get fiber from your diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber.¬†.¬†Arrowhead Mills Organic Golden Flax Seeds¬†have 9g per 3 tbsp.¬†Bob’s Red Mill Chia Seeds¬†have 5g per tbsp. Flaxseeds and Chia sees are also chock full of EFAs!! I grind some of these seeds and use them in my shake every morning.

Recommendation: Eat sensibly, but keep up with your fiber intake and make sure you are getting both types. Spread your fiber intake through the day. DO NOT eat 12 bowls of oatmeal for breakfast and think “fiber intake, check”. Favor whole, unprocessed foods. Make sure the carbs you eat are fiber-rich‚ÄĒthis means produce,seeds, legumes, and whole grains‚ÄĒto help slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. “The more carbohydrates you eat, the more fiber becomes important to help minimize the wide fluctuations in blood-sugar levels,” says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., a nutrition researcher at the University of Connecticut.¬†

Keep a record of what you eat at MyFitnessPal.com (for free) for a while and get a good idea of how much fiber you are getting (as well as proteins and fats).

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. I am NOT a medical Doctor. Please see my FULL DISCLOSURE HERE. 

Nutrition 101

5 Sep

What we NOURISH and FUEL our bodies with will not only affect HOW WE LOOK – but HOW WE FEEL, THINK and ACT. It is important and it is WORTH your time to study and learn all you can about nutrition so you know how and what you need to be eat.

BUT conflicting health and nutrition information can be confusing. How do we know which ‘expert’ is right?¬†How do we know which foods and habits are the best for our particular lifestyle, and health status? Honestly, sometimes even¬†when we KNOW what we should eat, it is hard¬†making healthy choices happen in everyday life.

There¬†IS a lot of conflicting, confusing information¬†surrounding what exactly is a healthy eating plan.¬† A few statements to establish where I stand or don’t stand.

  • ¬†Crash dieting is never the way to go. You need to figure out what is best for your body, within certain healthy boundaries, and make the choice to develop habits that lead to a lifestyle of eating in a way that nourishes your body.

  • ¬†I don’t believe there is one healthy eating plan (Paleo, Vegan, etc) that is the ONLY way and ‘right’ for all people at all times. God created us different and there is no one size fits all eating plan; However, there are some basic guidelines everyone should follow.

  • In our pursuit of health and wellness we need to be careful we don’t get caught up in perfectionism. We know we need to eat as much unprocessed, whole, live foods as possible to be healthy; and we know most of them should be fruits and vegetables; and they should be organic if possible; and they need to be as fresh as possible- shopping everyday or two is best, and ideally they need to be raw or sprouted, or was that fermented… and all of a sudden we are stressed and confused and we are so overwhelmed we are thinking ‘I can never do this I might as well go have a Big Mack’ ūüė¶ DON’T DO THAT!!! It is OK to make small changes where you can, as you can. Canned vegetables are not ideal- but they beat Pop-tarts every time!! Do the best you can for where YOU are, and grow and improve as time goes on.

The BIG magic eating secret to be healthy is:

EAT REAL FOOD–¬†There are specific foods that our bodies actually need, and then there are other foods that are not only ‚Äėnot needed‚Äô by the body, they are quit harmful to it.¬†In general, our bodies need foods that come from plants and animals.

Eat mostly Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds, &  some whole grains: Now remember what I said about perfectionism- but ideally you want as much raw organic food as possible. WHY RAW? Raw foods have enzymes. Cooked foods do not.

Enzymes are extremely important. Every system, every process, every chemical reaction in our bodies is initiated and carried out by enzymatic activity. There are thousands and thousands of different types of enzymes that function in our bodies.

Alkalize or Die. A second important reason for eating a diet of mainly raw fruits and vegetables has to do with the bodies need for alkalinity. The human body functions best when our blood is slightly alkaline. All foods burn down after digestion into acid or alkaline ash.  Most cooked foods burn to acid in the body and most raw fruits and vegetables burn to alkaline. Acidic conditions are the forerunner of degenerative diseases & leave the body highly susceptible to parasitic activity (reason enough to eat your veggies don’t you think??)

Fiber & Nutrients are another great reason to eat raw.  Fiber: plants have it, animals do not. Fiber is essential for keeping waste products from getting congested in our intestinal track and eventually our livers. This congestion has been considered a leading cause of cancer and other degenerative diseases.

Eat lean meats and healthy fats. I believe lean meats and healthy fats have value in most of our diets too. Proteins are made up of amino acids that are absolutely essential to every cell function within our bodies. Complete proteins are high-quality proteins that contain the essential amino acids we need for basic body function. These proteins are more easily absorbed by the body and are found in meats, eggs, fish, and poultry. Quality and quantity are huge when considering protein. It is best to only eat meat that has been raised naturally and humanly, such as free range chickens, grass fed beef & non farm raised fish.

I want to be honest and say: I do personally still eat some processed foods BUT I am working to eliminate them. They definitely make up a very small percentage of my total diet.

There is so much more to consider concerning nutrition. Look for posts coming soon about what fats are good fats, different types of fiber and how our bodies use it, is a grain-free diet the way to go for you? , and many more.

%d bloggers like this: