Monday, September 27, 2010

#smoother skin

Studies have shown that lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, found mostly in tomatoes, can help prevent sun damage. By topping tomatoes with olive oil, which contains healthy fats, allows the lycopene to be better absorbed by your body. People who take in more olive oil are less likely to have wrinkles, possibly because it protects against the oxidative stress that causes skin to age. So enjoy a Caprese salad for lunch today or slow roast plum tomatoes in olive oil for dinner!
(The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Research has shown that adults that adhered to an hourly routine twice a week for 12 weeks of Pilates, reaped the benefits of stronger muscles and a tighter, leaner midsection. Pilates is not just for core strength, it enables you to do more push-ups and sit-ups and it increases hamstring flexibility. So get to it!

(The journal of strength & conditioning)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

#routine testing

Have you had your cholesterol screening? Guidelines recommend that once over the age of 20, cholesterol screening should be done within at least a five year interval. Screening intervals should be more frequent  for those that carry personal risk factors, like obesity, tobacco use, high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.

In individuals between the age of 2 and 20 years, guidelines recommend a one time measurement of non-fasting total cholesterol levels in those who have a parent with a pretreatment total cholesterol level greater than 300 mg/dL or a first-degree relative with premature heart disease. Premature heart disease is defined as before age 55 years in men and before age 65 years in women.

So get screened, if you haven't done so already! Take precautions now by eating well, taking multivitamins, exercising, limiting salt intake, and quit smoking.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

#Bone builders

Do you have strong and healthy bones? Here are some bone building nutritional recommendations:

1. Whey protein- helps build muscle, prevents bone loss and creates new bone tissue

2. Green Tea- the polyphenols in green tea help reduce bone loss associated with hormonal imbalances that occur as you age

3. Dairy Products- Skim milk with fortified vitamin D,  has been shown to deliver more calcium than whole milk and the vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium

4. Berries- berries contain vitamin C which nourishes soft tissues, like ligaments and tendons, which help keep your bones flexible and strong

5. Leafy greens- contains the bone building essentials, like calcium, magnesium and vitamin K

6. Fish- like salmon, has significant amounts of vitamin D, which is crucial for calcium absorption


Saturday, September 11, 2010


What can stretching do for you? Stretching can improve your posture and research also shows that regular stretching can boost strength gains.

What is static stretching? Static stretches are those that you hold without moving or bouncing. When it is done regularly, it can boost strength gains, increases flexibility, reduces muscle tension and improves posture and appearance. Static stretching is most beneficial after your cardio or strength session, or between weight lifting sets.

What is dynamic stretching? This type of stretching is through a controlled and continuous range of motion. The benefits of dynamic stretching increases blood flow to muscles, reduces stiffness and prepares the body for more vigorous exercise. Dynamic stretching is bet done in your warm up before a weight lifting or cardio workout.

So remember to warm up with dynamic stretching and cool down with static stretching. Get to it!

(Journal of Strength & Conditioning)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

#Hair loss

It is normal to shed some hair each day as part of this cycle. However, some people may experience excessive hair loss.

A number of things can cause excessive hair loss:

1. After having an illness or a major surgery, you may suddenly lose a large amount of hair, this hair loss is related to the stress of the illness and is temporary.

2. If your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive, your hair may fall out. This hair loss usually can be helped by treatment of thyroid disease.

3. Hair loss may occur if male or female hormones, known as androgens and estrogens, are out of balance, correcting the imbalance may help stop hair loss.

4. You can have increased hair loss during pregnancy. High levels of certain hormones in pregnancy cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out and when the hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, that hair falls out and the normal cycle of growth and loss starts again.

5. Medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners, medicines used for gout, high blood pressure or heart problems, vitamin A (if too much is taken), birth control pills and antidepressants.

6. Fungal infections of the scalp can cause hair loss, this can be treated with antifungal medications.

7. Hair loss may occur as part of an underlying disease, such as lupus or diabetes. Blood testing can be done to evaluate for these diseases.

8. If you wear pigtails, tight ponytails, braids, or use tight hair rollers, the pull on your hair can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. If the pulling is stopped before scarring of the scalp develops, your hair will grow back normally. However, scarring can cause permanent hair loss.

9. Hot oil hair treatments or chemicals used in perms or hair straightening may cause inflammation of the hair follicle, which can result in scarring and hair loss.

10. "Common baldness" or male-pattern baldness, also called androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Men who have this type of hair loss usually have inherited the trait. This hair loss typically results in a receding hair line and baldness on the top of the head. Women may develop female-pattern baldness, in this form of hair loss, the hair can become thin over the entire scalp. One medicine, minoxidil or Rogaine, is available without a prescription, it is applied to the scalp. Both men and women can use it. Another medicine, finasteride, is available with a prescription. It comes in pills and is only for men.

If you are experiencing symptoms of hair loss, see your physician for an evaluation.


Monday, September 6, 2010


Yoga is a union of the organ systems in the body with the consciousness in the mind. It is an ancient system of physical and mental practices that originated during the Indus Valley civilization in South Asia. Philosophically, yoga produces a union of body, mind, and energy (or soul or spirit) to bring about a state of equanimity (calmness). The fundamental purpose of yoga is to foster harmony in the body, mind, and environment. Yoga consists of low-impact physical activity, postures (called asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), relaxation, and meditation.

 Physical benefits of yoga include:

- improved body flexibility and balance, leading to the development of core strength

- increases the range of motion in joints

- increases lubrication in the joints

- improves cardiovascular endurance (stronger heart)

- improves digestion

- improves abdominal strength

- enhances overall muscular strength

- aids in weight control

- increases energy levels

- enhances the immune system

Mental benefits of yoga:

- relief of stress resulting from the control of emotions

- prevention and relief from stress-related disorders

- intellectual enhancement, leading to improved decision-making skills

Also there are spiritual benefits of yoga:

- life with meaning, purpose, and direction

- inner peace and tranquility

- contentment

Recently, researchers have begun exploring the effects of yoga on depression, a benefit that may result from yoga's boosting oxygen levels to the brain.Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can benefit people with hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. Some studies have suggested that yoga may have a positive effect on learning and memory. Yoga may help people with arthritis deal with pain and stiffness, improve their range of motion, and increase strength for daily activities. Certain forms of yoga may help reduce fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis. Yoga can be used as a treatment for chronic low-back pain, insomnia, and other conditions.

To start, you will want to find a teacher and style that suit your needs, abilities, limitations, current physical condition, and class schedule. Make sure the teacher knows about any limited health conditions and your level of fitness. And remember don’t force any movements or poses!

(American Family Physician, Emedicine, AAFP, & Secrets of Self-Healing)

Friday, September 3, 2010

#Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches can be devastating and debilitating. Migraine headaches result from vascular system irregularities as well as neurological and inflammatory conditions. Unlike ordinary headaches, migraines, include symptoms of nausea, vomiting, auras (light spots like zigzag lines, flashing lights, blind spots, etc), sensitivity to light and sound, numbness, speech difficulty, and pain on one side of the head or in one eye. All of these symptoms are connected to the irritation of the cranial nerves.

So what can you do to prevent a migraine headache before it attacks?

1. Eat wholesome, organic foods with no preservatives, additives, or artificial flavors or colors.

2. Add a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, fish and poultry to your diet.

3. Favor fiber rich foods.

4. Eat regularly, more frequently, and in smaller quantities.

5. Avoid eating late at night.

6. Avoid spicy foods, heavy starch foods, and greasy foods.

7. Avoid alcohol, coffee, and dairy products, especially cheese.

8. Talk to your doctor about prophylactic treatments like beta blockers (propanolol), calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline), and some antiepileptic medications (topamax and depakote), which have been shown to be effective preventive medications, but can have side effects.

9. Newer studies indicate that alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, is effective in preventing the frequency of migraines. Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture points on the body followed by gentle manipulation of the needles. This instantly increases blood flow in the tissues through a mechanism know as the "axon reflex", which dilates the small vessels around the needle area. An increase in circulation where blood flow is poor is called removal of "stagnation" in Asian medicine and is generally considered a very good response for most chronic conditions and for migraine prevention.

(AAFP, Medscape)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Do you have high cholesterol? Do you have a family history of high cholesterol? Here are some key recommendations to reduce cholesterol levels.

1. Reduce the intake of saturated fats and trans fats. Limiting cholesterol intake to 200 mg per day can reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 9 to 12 percent. Eliminate trans fats completely.

2. Increase the intake of poly- and monounsaturated fats. Eating tree nuts, like 1.5 oz a day of almonds, walnuts, or pecans, which are high in unsaturated fats and low in saturated fats can decrease your LDL cholesterol.

3. Increase intake of soluble fiber. Eat about 3 oz of oats per day and take a psyllium supplement.

4. Increase the intake of soy protein. Eat 1.5 oz of soy protein per day, like tofu to replace meat.

5. Limit alcoholic drinks to one or two per day. One drink per day for women and two per day for men. With minimal amounts daily, alcohol can increase HDL cholesterol, which is protective.

6. Increase intake of plant stanols and sterols. Using spreads like Promise Activ and Benecol spreads instead of margarine or butter, can reduce LDL cholesterol.

7. Increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources. Eat about 6 oz. of salmon or tuna twice per week. On the other days, take EPA/DHA supplements or chinese red yeast rice.

8. Follow a Mediterranean diet. Consume limited amounts of red meat, dairy products, eggs and poultry and increase the amounts of vegetables, whole grains, fish and tree nuts. Use olive oil as the main dietary fat and consume moderate red wine intake.

9. Follow the Portfolio diet. This consists mainly of a vegetarian diet with soy and other vegetable proteins, plant sterols, almonds, and soluble fiber.

10. Engage in aerobic exercise, at least 120 minutes per week.

(American Family Physician)