LIFESTYLES OUR BEST HEALTHY HOLIDAY DISHES! PAGE 26 Good Health TM
Feeling Burned Out?
RESET YOUR CALM WITH OUR TIMELY TIPS
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OMEGA FATTY ACIDS PAGE 20
LIFEST LIFE STYL YLES ES
BREATHE EASIER WITH THESE HERBAL HELPERS
THE 411 ON BERBERINE PAGE 36
NATURAL SOLUTIONS FOR LUSTROUS LOCKS
FOR BETTER HORMONAL BALANCE
VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1022
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16 Beat Burnout Stress-busting strategies to help you recharge.
Ultimate Guide to Omega Fatty Acids
Topics Your Nutrients
How healthy fats can improve your health.
GOOD EATS 26
ook Up a Healthier C Holiday Season
Celebrate with our healthy and delicious dishes.
IN EVERY ISSUE 6 News
You Can Use
A Balancing Act
Tips to optimize your hormonal balance. 14
5 natural sleep aids for better shut-eye. 32
Reverse Thinning Hair 4 ways to restore your crowning glory. 34
The Best Pre- and PostWorkout Foods Eat to maximize your gains.
Herbal help for better breathing. INSIDE ANIMAL HEALTH
Prevent and Heal Canine Ear Infections
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE CHEST
Nature’s Solution for COPD
Sidestep your pup’s suffering, naturally. 2
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EDITOR'S CORNER Fall has always been my favorite season—and not just because it’s filled with holidays and celebrations. As the weather cools and leaves begin to turn, autumn just has a certain vibe unlike any other time of year. I like to think of it as a big seasonal hug that just makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. Fall is also a great time to upgrade your health. And we’re here to help! In this issue, we’re talking about burnout—the physical or emotion exhaustion that occurs when we’re chronically overwhelmed and stressed. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, provides timely tips on page 16 for dealing with burnout throughout the holidays and beyond. We’re also highlighting omega fatty acids, those critical fats that support good health. Because hormones are essential for regulating nearly all the processes in your body, Dr. Jan McBarron shares all-natural ways for women to balance their hormones for better health at every stage of life. And for those at risk of COPD and other respiratory problems, flip over to page 14 for simple strategies that can improve your ability to breathe. We’re rounding out our fall issue with even more great info on improving your overall health, from what to eat before and after a workout to supplements for optimizing sleep to recipe ideas for a healthier holiday celebration. Plus, we’re launching a new column on page 32 all about healthy living. So let’s get started!
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Published by FreshLife Media, 10040 W. Cheyenne Avenue, Suite 170-161, Las Vegas, NV 89129. ©FreshLife Media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed by the contributors to Good Health Lifestyles are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. The information in this publication is solely for educational purposes under Section 5 of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 and is not intended as medical advice.
Kim Erickson EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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HYDRATION VS. HEART FAILURE
One of the best things you can do for your overall health is to stay well hydrated. Water isn’t just necessary to live, it also boosts physical performance, aids weight loss, and eases headaches. Now, research from the National Institutes of Health suggests that drinking an abundance of H2O can reduce the risk of developing heart failure too. That’s because water flushes out excess sodium in the blood, which is associated with a significant risk of heart failure later in life. And with a Western diet full of salty foods, good hydration has never been more important for a healthy heart. If you’re feeling like your hydration habits could use a lift, aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces daily. Dmitrieva NI. Middle age serum sodium levels in the upper part of normal range and risk of heart failure. European Heart Journal. 2022; ehac138.
HOLY GUACAMOLE! AVOCADOS LOWER CVD RISK As if you need
15.8% OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION HAS A HEADACHE EACH DAY.
Stovner LJ. The global prevalence of headache: an update, with analysis of the influences of methodological factors on prevalence estimates. The Journal of Headache and Pain. 2022;23(1).
another excuse to put avocado on everything, a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that eating two or more servings of avocados weekly benefits the heart. In fact, consuming this creamy fruit can cut your risk of cardiovascular disease by 16 percent, and your risk of coronary heart disease by 21 percent, according to the report. What’s more, swapping out certain unhealthy fatfilled foods like margarine, cheese, and processed meats for the equivalent amount of avocado can lower CVD event risk by up to 22 percent, study authors noted. So whether it’s avocado toast for breakfast or guacamole and veggies as a snack, avocados are always heart smart. Pacheco LS. Avocado consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in US adults. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2022;11:e024014.
NEED BETTER SLEEP? TRY RESISTANCE TRAINING
Good sleep is important. Not getting enough of it can cause all kinds of health problems, like weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues. One way to improve both sleep quantity and quality is with regular exercise. But while jogging and other aerobic activities can help to promote better zzzz’s, resistance training appears to provide the best return on investment. In fact, weight-bearing exercise can increase sleep duration by up to 40 minutes, as demonstrated by Iowa State University researchers. Resistance training also enhances sleep efficiency, meaning that you spend more time in bed asleep instead of counting sheep. Luckily, it only takes a couple of weighted sessions each week to enjoy the dreamy benefits. Brellenthin AG. Comparative effects of aerobic, resistance, and combined exercise on sleep. American Heart Association’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health Conference 2022. March 3, 2022.
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NEWS YOU CAN USE
IT’S OFFICIAL— DOGS ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH!
Despite the fact that therapy dogs have been used to provide emotional comfort for decades, there’s been scant scientific data to back up their health benefits—until now. In what will come as no surprise to canine lovers, science now says that spending time with a furry friend can ease anxiety, depression, and even pain. In a controlled clinical trial, Canadian researchers found that hospital patients who spent just 10 minutes with a therapy dog reported an improvement in overall well-being. They also felt less anxious and less depressed after the visit in comparison to patients who didn’t get the puppy treatment. Little wonder why so many dogs were adopted over the last couple of stressful years. Carey B. Outcomes of a controlled trial with visiting therapy dog teams on pain in adults in an emergency department. PLOS ONE. 17(3), e0262599. March 2022.
VITAMIN D AND OMEGA-3S AVERT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
Autoimmune diseases affect more than 24 million Americans. While there’s no cure for these often debilitating conditions, there are ways to manage symptoms. Typically these methods involve medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and immunosuppressants, which come with a host of hazards. Fortunately, new research shows that a natural combination of vitamin D and omega-3 fish oil can significantly slash the risk of developing an autoimmune disease. In a randomized, controlled trial, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduced the risk of an autoimmune disease by about 30 percent versus a placebo. But there’s a catch: these substantial benefits were seen only after two years of supplementation. Yet, unlike NSAIDs, both supplements are well tolerated, nontoxic, and safe for long-term use. Hahn J. Vitamin D and marine omega 3 fatty acid supplementation and incident autoimmune disease: VITAL randomized controlled trial. BMJ. 2022;376:e066452.
OF AMERICAN ADULTS ARE PHYSICALLY INACTIVE. Centers for Disease Control. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). January 2022.
FOLATE DEFICIENCY MAY CONTRIBUTE TO DEMENTIA Looking for another nutrient that may delay the onset
of dementia? Try folate. Also known as vitamin B9, this essential nutrient is critical for healthy cell growth and function. But low blood levels may pose a considerable danger to your cognitive health later in life. In a recent study of seniors, those deficient in folate were 68 percent more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those with adequate amounts. And since folate concentrations diminish with age, supplementation can be an effective and necessary way to keep your B9 in balance. But when choosing a supplement, bioavailability matters. Look for one that contains L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate, which boosts blood folate levels to a greater extent than traditional folic acid supplements do. Using this natural form instead of synthetic folic acid also reduces the potential for masking the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Rotstein A. Serum folate deficiency and the risks of dementia and all-cause mortality: a national study of old age. EvidenceBased Mental Health. Published Online First: 15 March 2022.
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Meditative movement. Mindfulness exercises such as yoga and tai chi trigger your body’s relaxation response, which helps keep hormones in healthy balance. Meditative movement has been shown to help improve physical and emotional quality of life during PMS and menopause, as well as improving sleep quality.
5 simple ways to keep women’s hormones in healthy balance by Jan McBarron, MD, ND
o you ever feel like your hormones run your life? From PMS to menopause, they can affect everything from your mood to your weight to your cardiovascular health. But when your hormones are out of balance, they can make you feel out of control while triggering an annoyingly long list of uncomfortable symptoms. This lack of balance occurs when estrogen remains in the body for too long and converts to toxic forms. It can also be caused by a buildup of xenoestrogens— environmental compounds, found in plastics and pesticides, that act like the harmful forms of estrogen. Luckily, you can regain control by naturally rebalancing your hormones and detoxifying unhealthy forms of estrogen and xenoestrogens. HORMONE IMBALANCES TAKE A TOLL Whatever life stage you’re in, hormone imbalances can bring on frustrating, uncomfortable, even painful symptoms including:
• Mood swings • Cramps • Hot flashes • Insomnia • Brain fog • Low energy • Weight gain
Get plenty of restful sleep. Sleep deprivation can affect your hormone levels, leading to greater imbalances. To give yourself the best chance of a good night’s sleep, it’s important to practice good sleep hygiene. For instance, set a consistent bedtime and stick to it. It’s also important to make your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. And keep devices like your phone and TV out of the bedroom.
On top of these symptoms, prolonged imbalances can put you at greater risk for serious health problems such as heart disease and some types of cancer. That’s why it’s so important to make hormonal balance a part of your everyday routine. 5 WAYS TO REBALANCE YOUR HORMONES AND KEEP THEM IN HEALTHY BALANCE You don’t have to suffer with the many symptoms of hormone imbalances or turn to potentially dangerous hormone replacement treatments. Safe, natural, timetested lifestyle changes and effective hormone-balancing supplements can bring you welcome relief.
Minimize caffeine, salt, and sugar. Hormone imbalances can promote cravings for caffeine, salt, and sugar—the very things you want to avoid to minimize PMS or menopausal symptoms. Each of these culprits interacts with your hormones and can intensify symptoms, especially cramping and hot flashes. But avoiding these food additives can help reduce your symptoms’ severity and keep your hormones in healthy balance.
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Add more antioxidantrich fruits and vegetables to your diet. Research shows that antioxidant levels drop during PMS and menopause. But ramping up your intake of nutrient-dense, antioxidantrich fruits and vegetables helps your body maintain healthy hormonal balance. As a bonus, replacing these crucial compounds can help reduce symptom severity.
Take proven hormonesupportive supplements. Safe, natural herbs and nutrients offer effective symptom relief thanks to their hormonebalancing and detoxifying actions. Look for highquality supplements that contain clinically proven dosages for the most effective support.
Black Cohosh. For generations, black cohosh has been the go-to herb for dealing with menopausal symptoms. Black cohosh works as a selective estrogen receptor modulator, allowing estrogens to bind to receptors that need it while blocking it from those that don’t. Unfortunately for many women, black cohosh hasn’t worked as well as they expected, even 12
at high doses. As it turns out, taking more of the herb isn’t better. Research shows that pairing low daily doses of a high-quality black cohosh extract with the adaptogen rhodiola effectively relieves symptoms for the long haul. In a 12-week, randomized, doubleblind, placebo-controlled clinical trial published in Pharmaceuticals (Basel), women taking a combination of black cohosh and rhodiola saw a 71 percent decrease in menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia. But to get these benefits, check the Supplement Facts label for clinically studied forms of black cohosh (listed as EP40) and rhodiola (listed as EPR-7), which have been shown to support a healthy hormonal balance. DIM (3,3’-Diindolylmethane). DIM, a compound naturally found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale, works double duty to keep your hormones in balance so you don’t suffer frustrating symptoms. Many hormone-related symptoms are triggered by estrogen dominance—a condition in which the body has too much estrogen in comparison to other hormones such as progesterone. This can also be caused or intensified by unhealthy forms of estrogen or excess exposure to xenoestrogens. DIM helps keep estrogen in its healthiest form and promotes the detoxification of xenoestrogens. This two-pronged approach helps keep hormones in balance and reduces your chances of suffering from severe PMS or menopausal symptoms.
Curcumin. This powerful compound from the curry spice turmeric helps eliminate excess estrogen and xenoestrogens by offering powerful antioxidant support to your liver, which is your body’s primary detoxification organ. Plus, curcumin’s well-known anti-inflammatory properties contribute to its ability to reduce PMS symptom severity and even reduce hot flashes in postmenopausal women. But since curcumin isn’t readily absorbed by the body, look for a supplement with a bioavailable form like BCM-95. Rhodiola. As an adaptogen, rhodiola helps improve the way your body responds to stress, which can be heightened during PMS and menopause. Rhodiola not only helps to balance mood, it also increases energy levels without causing the jittery feeling you get from caffeine. This herb also possesses antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory properties, all of which can help ease hormonerelated symptoms. Grape Seed Extract. Packed with supportive compounds called OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins), grape seed extract helps to inhibit the enzyme that transforms androgen into estrogen. This effectively prevents the production of excess estrogen and thus reduces hormone-related symptoms, including hot flashes, insomnia, and anxiety. It can also help normalize blood sugar levels, which is important for ongoing hormone balance. For the best absorption and effectiveness, look for tannin-free grape seed extract (listed on Supplement Facts labels as VX1) that contains low molecular weight OPCs. Jan McBarron, MD, ND, advocates a comprehensive approach to health that encompasses both traditional medicine, including prescribing drugs and surgery, and naturopathy. She enjoyed over 30 years in private practice while cohosting the nationally syndicated health talk radio broadcast Duke & The Doctor. Dr. McBarron is also an author, philanthropist, educator, and the recipient of multiple awards.
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symptoms of COPD are triggered in part by human leukocyte elastase. Fortunately, research shows boswellia specifically inhibits this leukocyte. It can tame bronchial inflammation and open bronchial airways.
Like many botanicals, boswellia contains specific compounds that make it effective. Boswellia’s headlining star is called acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid, or AKBA. To make sure you get the most effective boswellia product for COPD, look for a product standardized to at least 10 percent AKBA.
by Lynn Wagner, MD
Many of us take breathing for granted. But if you or someone you love struggles with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you know every easy breath is a gift to be cherished. The early signs of COPD can be subtle and easy to ignore. You may notice yourself getting more winded while climbing stairs—but that’s easy to blame on lack of energy or being out of shape. Or you might suddenly have a tickle in your throat making you cough more than usual, but again—couldn’t that be a lingering symptom from the virus you recently fought off? It’s easy to chalk up early COPD symptoms to something less serious. However, if you find yourself experiencing frequent shortness of breath, a cough that doesn’t go away, and a sudden habit of coughing up phlegm and mucus, COPD may be to blame. COPD includes one or more of three separate diseases: emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or chronic obstructive asthma. It damages the airways in the lungs (also known as bronchi), reducing lung function and making breathing difficult. Unfortunately, COPD is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse with time. Eventually, individuals with COPD begin to feel as though they can’t get a full breath of air. They notice more mucus in their respiratory system, which adds to the “drowning” 14
THYME, RAVINTSARA, AND MYRTLE, OH MY! feeling many sufferers experience. And oftentimes, symptoms progress to the point of requiring emergency care or hospitalization. What causes COPD? Smoking is the primary cause. Even people who haven’t smoked for decades are at increased risk. COPD can also result from long-term exposure to air pollution, chemical fumes, and even dust. Sadly, at this point, there is no conventional cure for the disease. Nature, however, provides us with some unique botanical medicines that can target respiratory issues and ease the symptoms of COPD. When it comes to treating this disease with medicine from nature, boswellia is at the top of the list.
A standardized boswellia supplement can open airways and reduce bronchial swelling. Boswellia is a specific inhibitor of the 5-LOX enzyme, an inflammation trigger almost no other medicine can touch. This makes boswellia extremely effective at treating lung problems, many of which are associated with excessive 5-LOX activity. Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory
This herbal power trio can work synergistically with boswellia to help relieve respiratory conditions. Thyme can help stop spasmodic coughing and tickling in the throat while relaxing the airways in the lungs. It also helps loosen phlegm and keeps mucus moving through the respiratory tract. Ravintsara helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can benefit any type of respiratory disease, including COPD. Myrtle, a strong antioxidant, antiseptic, and antibacterial agent, is also excellent for treating bronchial and lung infections.
Best of all, natural ingredients like boswellia, thyme, ravintsara, and myrtle won’t cause agitating or sedative side effects that sometimes accompany over-the-counter treatments. You’ll only notice the benefits—another breath of fresh air. After working in the ER for 10 years, Lynn Wagner, MD, noticed a huge gap in healthcare. While understanding the need for Westernized medicine, she knew a pill or procedure wasn’t the answer to every problem. After experiencing the benefits of alternative healing for herself, she wanted to offer the same benefits to her patients.
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Revitalize your life with these tips by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD
oes a steady stream of stress have you feeling helpless, apathetic, and totally exhausted? If so, you could be well on your way to burnout. Today’s “hustle culture,” with its wallto-wall stress, has significantly increased the number of people feeling used up and empty. In one 2021 survey of 1,500 American workers, more than half said they were feeling burned out. But even though the official definition of this condition focuses solely on people in the workforce, in real life burnout can affect anyone—from parents and caregivers to those dealing with loss, relationship issues, or financial problems.
Burnout is a form of extreme exhaustion caused by constantly feeling overwhelmed and unable to keep up with life’s relentless demands. It’s a result of excessive and prolonged emotional, physical, and mental stress. Symptoms can include: • A decreased sense of accomplishment • Depression 16
• Digestive distress • Feelings of cynicism and emotional distance toward others • Frequent headaches or body aches • Lack of enthusiasm or feeling lethargic • Physical and emotional exhaustion most of the time • Reduced performance • Sleep disturbances • Thinking that nothing you do makes a difference But burnout doesn’t just undermine your mental and emotional wellbeing. It can also have real, longlasting consequences for your health. According to a recent study that appeared in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, burnout has been linked to whole-body inflammation, musculoskeletal pain, weakened immunity, and a higher risk of unhealthy cholesterol levels, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Other studies have found that burnout increases your odds of developing cardiovascular disease, boosting your
risk of atrial fibrillation, atherosclerosis, and heart attack. During one clinical trial involving a group of middle-aged men, researchers discovered that those experiencing burnout were 2.7 times more likely to experience a heart attack than men who weren’t. How can something like burnout—a condition that’s often considered purely psychological—have such profound effects on your body? The key may lie in something called your HPA axis, which involves your hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands. Studies show that a healthy HPA axis plays a central role in how your body responds to stress by controlling the stress hormone cortisol. These three glands are also designed to work together to balance your hormones, nervous system, and immune response during stressful situations. But research reports that burnout can dampen the responsiveness of the HPA axis during times of chronic stress. And that simply makes burnout worse. Fortunately, there’s help.
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Helpful Herbs and Nutrients
The following supplements can reset your HPA axis and lessen the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by burnout. For instance, adaptogenic herbs can improve your ability to deal with stress and burnout. Instead of over-stimulating the HPA axis, they support cortisol production in healthy, natural patterns. Two of the most effective adaptogens are ashwagandha and rhodiola.
Ashwagandha improves the body’s
resistance to chronic stress thanks to special plant chemicals known as withanolides. These withanolides serve as important hormone precursors that morph into usable human hormones like cortisol when needed. Because of this ability, ashwagandha modulates how hormones function during times of stress, helping to keep the body— and especially the HPA axis—in balance. This was shown during a randomized, double-blind trial of 64 volunteers with a history of frequent stress. Each participant was given either ashwagandha or a placebo. After 60 days, stress surveys of those taking the herb indicated an average 76 percent drop in the physical symptoms of stress, a 69 percent reduction in stress-related insomnia, 68 percent less social dysfunction, and a 79 percent improvement in depression. Cortisol levels also fell significantly. Those in the placebo group experienced only negligible improvements. But to get these burnout benefits, it’s important to search out a supplement standardized to contain 5 percent withanolides.
Rhodiola, on the other hand, has been
shown to alleviate anxiety and restore energy. In fact, a single dose of rhodiola extract—taken prior to a stressful event like test taking or public speaking—can prevent stress-induced disruptions in performance. But rhodiola has also shown positive results with long-term use, which is beneficial for those suffering from chronic stress and burnout. One double-blind trial of 161 men that appeared in the journal Phytomedicine
reported that rhodiola supplementation reduced stress and fatigue, improved memory, enhanced concentration and physical fitness, and increased overall well-being. Research also shows that rhodiola stimulates the immune system, enabling the body’s own defenses to ward off the adverse effects of stress. To get all that rhodiola has to offer, however, it’s important to choose a supplement standardized to contain at least 3 percent rosavins and 1 percent salidroside. Adaptogens, however, aren’t the only supplements that help counteract burnout. The following can provide the HPA axis (and especially the adrenals) with the tools it needs to heal and thrive. A key sign that adrenal burnout is present is getting irritable when hungry (“hangry”). That’s when adrenal support is especially critical.
Adrenal glandular extract. If you are experiencing adrenal exhaustion due to burnout, consider an adrenal glandular extract. Adrenal glandulars contain many beneficial substances and supply the raw materials that your adrenal glands need to heal. But because supplemental glandulars are derived from cows, it is critical to obtain a pure, safe source with guaranteed potency. Check the supplement label for a glandular derived from free-range-raised Argentinian cattle to ensure the highest-quality adrenal extract.
B vitamins. Because chronic stress
depletes the body’s vitamin B levels, supplementing with a comprehensive array of this family of nutrients can support mood and energy in those with burnout. In one study review that appeared in the journal Nutrients, researchers found that supplementing with the Bs was especially beneficial for boosting mood in people at high risk for burnout. Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is especially important.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a precursor hormone
produced by the adrenal glands and it’s the building block from which estrogen and testosterone are made.
Burnout doesn’t just undermine your wellbeing. It can also have real, long-lasting consequences for your health.
But as critical as DHEA is, burnout can lead to its depletion. One reason for this is that, as cortisol levels go up, DHEA levels go down. Making matters worse, DHEA production declines with age. However, maintaining healthy DHEA levels through supplementation can help neutralize cortisol’s immunesuppressing effect, thereby improving your resistance to stress. As a bonus, DHEA has been shown to decrease cholesterol, boost immunity, increase the sensitivity of cells to insulin, improve cognition, protect bone density, enhance mood, and boost libido.
Licorice root supports healthy levels
of stress hormones, especially cortisol. Studies have found that licorice prolongs the half-life of cortisol by inhibiting an enzyme known as 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. This, in turn, prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. One human study found that licorice supports healthy adrenal function by increasing cortisol levels in healthy women. Another small crossover study of 20 healthy men and women found that supplementing with licorice extract for one week also increased DHEA levels.
Rehmannia supports the HPA
axis during times of prolonged stress. According to Chinese Medical Herbolog y and Pharmacolog y, rehmannia influences the way cortisol interacts with the pituitary gland, preventing damage to the pituitary gland and the adrenals. Other research suggests that rehmannia not only balances the HPA axis, it also supports healthy BDNF levels and helps prevent—and possibly even reverse—the depression commonly experienced during burnout. 17
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5. Sleep well. Poor sleep is
8 Healthy Habits to Prevent Burnout
one of the hallmarks of burnout. Make sleep a priority by improving your sleep hygiene. Strive to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night.
If you find that you’re starting to experience chronic stress, try adding these strategies to your daily routine. If these changes— along with the supplements listed here—don’t provide relief, it’s wise to get professional help to recharge your life and reset your internal GPS.
6. Foster healthy relationships. Cultivating supportive relationships can help you feel valued, heard, and understood, especially during times of stress.
1. Develop strategies to nip stress in the bud. A good place to
start? Learn to meditate for at least 20 minutes per day.
2. Avoid indulging in unhealthy habits. Stress, especially unrelenting stress, can increase your vulnerability to alcohol, recreational drugs, and tobacco use. While these substances might provide temporary relief, over time they can worsen burnout.
7. Learn to say “no.” These two
little letters can go a long way toward preventing you from becoming overwhelmed by life’s demands. Simply saying “no” helps you set personal boundaries and provides a sense of control over your life.
8. Make a list of where you put your energy and attention. Have 3. Eat a nutrientdense diet. Burnout
can deplete many critical nutrients such as magnesium and the B vitamins. A healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and high-quality protein can help maintain healthy nutrient levels, even in the face of burnout.
4. Get moving. Exercise has been
shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in the brain. This matters, because BDNF protects the neurons that transmit information to every part of your body, including the brain itself. 18
two columns: In the left column, list those things that don’t feel good. In the right column, place things that do feel good and exciting. Instead of focusing your energy on the things that don’t feel good, focus on those that you feel good and passionate about. That will help take you to the place your psyche is seeking to attain!
Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board-certified internist and an expert in chronic pain. He is the author of numerous books and booklets including The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction. Visit his website at vitality101.com.
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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO
FATTY ACIDS by Holly Lucille, ND, RN By now you’ve likely heard of omega fatty acids. That’s because few nutrients pack as much of a healthful punch like these good-for-you fats do. But if omega3s are the only fatty acids on your radar, it’s important to know that they are just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, there’s an entire family of omega fatty acids, both essential and nonessential, and each member plays a critical part in providing your body with the compounds it needs to stay healthy.
THE ESSENCE OF ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are nutrients your body needs to properly develop and function. They’re called essential because the body can’t make these compounds on its own. Instead, EFAs must be obtained from the foods you eat. 20
There are two primary categories of essential fatty acids: omega-3s and omega-6s. Both serve important roles in the body. OMEGA-3s
Omega-3s get all the glory—and for good reason. They’ve been shown to reduce atherosclerosis, improve the symptoms of bipolar disorder, and decrease the risk of retinal disease. If that weren’t enough, new research reports that having higher levels of these essential fatty acids in the bloodstream can increase life expectancy by nearly five years. Primarily found in fatty fish like anchovies, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and trout, two specific omega-3s provide the bulk of these health benefits—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Another omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), can be converted into more productive EPA and DHA, but the process is very inefficient.
Like omega-3s, omega-6s such as linoleic acid (LA) are necessary fats that can only be obtained through diet, and healthy sources include avocados, nuts, and seeds. While omega-6s are critical for providing energy, they’ve also been shown to help maintain healthy skin and hair, strong bones, metabolic function, and reproductive capability. One recent study even demonstrated that elevated levels of LA were associated with a reduced risk of premature death. But omega-6s are only good for your body up to a point. And where those omega-6s come from matters since ultra-processed foods are packed with highly manipulated sources of omega-6 EFAs (think highly refined vegetable oils). Consuming too many of these unhealthy omega-6 foods increases inflammation and puts you at risk for a slew of health issues.
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THE RIGHT RATIO OF EFAS Most traditional diets like the paleo or the Mediterranean diet strike a healthy balance between omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. But the typical American consumes a diet that contains at least 15 times more omega-6s than omega-3s. That’s bad news because excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids from highly modified sources, plus a low intake of omega-3s, can lead to chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and heart failure. But tweaking your ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids can aid in regulating your body’s inflammatory response and that, in turn, can help prevent serious health problems. What’s optimal? Somewhere between 1:1 and 4:1 omega-6s to omega-3s. Optimizing your EFAs is so effective that one French study found that a balanced ratio of 4:1 omega-6s to omega-3s decreased total mortality by 70 percent in heart attack patients.
FINDING YOUR BALANCE With all the processed foods invading store shelves and restaurants, balancing your omega intake has never been more challenging. And even though the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice weekly, that might not cut it if your ratio is in the 20:1 range. Fortunately, the AHA also recommends taking omega-3 supplements to boost levels and support a healthy body. However, some fish oil capsules come with their own set of drawbacks. They’re infamous for the fishy burps they cause. Even worse, typical omega-3 supplements are often produced using heat and chemical solvents, which diminishes the 22
effectiveness of the fatty acids. When processed this way, DHA and EPA become less absorbable, and therefore less bioavailable to your cells. To ensure an optimal balance, look for an easily absorbed, bioidentical omega-3 supplement that provides a higher ratio of DHA to EPA. It’s also smart to check the Supplement Facts label for the inclusion of phospholipids and bioactive peptides from Atlantic salmon, which are vital for healthy cells and proper nerve function.
BEYOND ESSENTIAL OMEGAS Your body does produce several nonessential omega fatty acids—and three of the most important are omega-5s, -7s, and -9s. Even though you don’t need to get these nutrients from food or supplements, doing so can be beneficial for reducing your risk of some health conditions.
of health benefits thanks to its high omega-5 concentration. OMEGA-7s
are actually some of the most abundant fatty acids in the human body. They’re also one of nature’s best-kept secrets. Omega-7s provide a wealth of positive benefits like lowering cholesterol, enhancing hormone sensitivity, protecting the skin from premature aging, and regulating metabolism and blood sugar. In fact, a recent study that appeared in the journal Advances in Nutrition concluded that one variety of omega-7 in particular, palmitoleic acid, possesses properties that can increase insulin sensitivity. While omega-7s are present in foods such as sea buckthorn, macadamia nuts, and avocado oil, it’s wise to opt for a supplement if you’re looking for any real benefit. Look for a pure, high-potency product created from a supercritical CO2 extraction of sea buckthorn berries and seed oil.
are found in the fruit and seeds of pomegranates. Also known as punicic acid, omega-5 fatty acids help combat the oxidative stress that contributes to cellular damage, heart disease, and premature skin aging. Because this unique omega fatty acid also boasts anti-inflammatory powers, it’s been shown to halt the joint and cartilage damage that can make rheumatoid and osteoarthritis so painful and debilitating. Studies also show that omega-5s from pomegranate act to protect the liver, guard against metabolic disease, enhance immunity, and restore levels of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. But don’t count on that bottle of pomegranate juice in the fridge for these benefits. Instead, look for a supplement that combines the polyphenolrich fruit extract with a supercritical extraction of the seed. This dynamic duo provides a variety
Rounding out the omega family are nonessential omega-9s. Though you may not need to go out of your way to squeeze this fatty acid into your diet, replacing some of the unhealthy fats you encounter every day with omega-9 fats can certainly benefit your health. Simple switches like almonds for chips and olive oil for refined vegetable oils can help reduce damaging inflammation. Omega-9s can also be found in many commonly consumed foods including avocados, avocado oil, bacon, eggs, grass-fed beef, nuts, olives, and extra-virgin olive oil. Holly Lucille, ND, RN, is an author, educator, and television and radio show host with a medical practice in California. An acclaimed expert in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Lucille has a heartfelt passion for the individual wellness of all people. Visit her website at drhollylucille.com.
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ANIMAL HEALTH PREVENT AND HEAL CANINE EAR INFECTIONS by Carrie Donahue, DVM Do you know the signs of a dog experiencing an ear infection? There are multiple indications to alert you to your best friend’s ear discomfort and pain. Is your dog excessively shaking its head? Or is there redness on the ear flap? Do you notice your pup scratching and digging at its ear? Take a closer look—
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do you see a black, waxy discharge or pus coming from the ear? Do you smell a foul odor near the ear? Even that adorable head tilt with the ear down may not be a sign that your dog’s listening to you—it could be a possible ear infection. If you see one or more of these signs, it’s time to act!
CURCUMIN TO FIGHT INFLAMMATION An ear infection signals unchecked destructive inflammation in your dog. The unwanted side effects of inflammation can mean pain, fever, and a greater chance of developing an ear infection.
flora in the intestinal tract provides a proper immune response throughout the body. Since dogs, like people, don’t always eat well and can be exposed to a wide array of environmental influences, supplementing with a canine probiotic is an excellent way to maintain or restore a healthy microbiome. It’s one more step to good overall health, Common which will help prevent Causes of ear recurring ear infections. infectionS Two powerful probiotics geared to canine health are Bifidobacterium animalis Allergies and Bifidobacterium bifidum. Taken together in a probiotic Ear mites supplement, they help support gut health, which is Foreign bodies essential for a robust immune in ear response whenever an ear infection is lurking. Skin problems
Enter curcumin, the AN ADDED BONUS active compound in Thyroid disease Does your dog deal with skin turmeric. A curcumin allergies? Scratching because supplement with superior Tumors of skin irritation can lead to absorption can help outer and inner ear infections. halt inflammation. Water in ear Omegas 3,6, and 9 have been The result is decreased shown in studies to support swelling and redness, healthy skin in canines. as well as blood vessel Choose blended, organic omega-rich oils dilation. With antiviral, antibacterial, that are ready to mix with pet food. For antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory the best results, look for a mix of flax, properties, curcumin gets to pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame oils, work relieving pain and plus added cod liver oil for even more irritation. This powerhouse support. These critical fatty acids are can also help to fight off another tool in your arsenal to fight ear infection by boosting infections in your pet. the immune system. But don’t settle for If your dog is suffering from an ear plain turmeric or infection, don’t hesitate to see your even ordinary vet for advice. In the meantime, these curcumin supplement recommendations can supplements. help to prevent ear infections in your Instead, seek out a precious pet. highly absorbable and bioavailable form of petCarrie Donahue, DVM, specific curcumin is a holistic veterinarian blended with turmeric and owner of Full Circle essential oil for the best results. Holistic Veterinary Care in
GUT HEALTH AND THE EAR
Does it seem odd that good gut health can lead to good ear health? Healthy bacterial
Madison, WI. Her mission is to improve the lives of companion animals by empowering pet owners to use a common-sense, holistic approach to health and well-being.
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Cook Up a Healthier
Holiday Season When you consider the holidays, what comes to mind? For most of us, our holiday memories revolve around those special foods that grace the table from Halloween to New Year’s Eve. Festive? Absolutely! Healthy? Not so much. This year, shake things up by creating some new holiday traditions that provide the same joy, but with a side of better health.
Sausage-Cranberry Mushroom Bites SERVES 10-15
These stuffed mushrooms are the perfect nutrientdense appetizer for your next holiday get-together. The mushrooms boast a healthy dose of the B vitamins plus vitamin D, while the apples, cranberries, and leeks are packed with polyphenols. Plus, each mushroom provides a bit of protein and good-for-you fats, all in a delicious bite-size package!
3 0 baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed 8 oz. organic or pastureraised chicken sausage, crumbled ½ cup apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced ¼ cup leeks, white part only, finely diced ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped 3 tablespoons avocado oil ¼ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped 2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped 2 eggs, beaten 1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet. 1
Heat 2 tablespoons of avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 2
Add sausage to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat until finely crumbled. 3
Stir in the apples, leeks, and pecans, cooking for an additional 5 minutes. 4
Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the cranberries, sage, and beaten eggs. Mix well. 5
In a small bowl, mix the remaining tablespoon of oil with the minced garlic. Place the mushrooms, upside down, on the baking sheet and brush with the garlic oil. 6
Spoon the sausage mixture into each mushroom cap and bake for 25 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned. Serve immediately. 7
Per serving: 121 cal; 9g total fat; 6g carb; 6g protein; 145mg sodium; 4g sugar 26
Easy Rosemary Roasted Turkey Breast
Loaded Mashed Cauliflower SERVES 10
Whether you’re a whiz in the kitchen or can’t boil an egg, this simple turkey recipe is a foolproof main dish that’s perfect every time. In addition to being an excellent source of lean protein, turkey also provides a nice punch of niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, and selenium. 1 (7 pound) bone-in turkey breast, skin removed 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper A splash of white wine or lemon juice (optional) 1
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Place the turkey breast in a roasting pan fitted with a rack. 2
Drizzle the oil over the turkey breast and brush to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 3
Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for approximately 25 minutes per pound (about 3 hours total). 4
Baste every 15–20 minutes.
After the first hour, add the wine or lemon juice to the bottom of the pan, if using. Continue to baste periodically. 6
Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. 7
Slice and serve.
Per serving: 354 cal; 8.1g total fat; 0g carb; 54g protein; 847mg sodium, 0g sugar
Perfectly Roasted Veggies SERVES 8-10
This colorful array of vegetables hits all the marks for taste and nutrition. Providing a wealth of antioxidants and fiber, it’s the perfect pairing for the Rosemary Roasted Turkey Breast. Plus, the addition of grapes adds a lovely hit of natural sweetness. 1 0-15 small to medium rainbow carrots, peeled 3 cups Brussels sprouts, halved 1 large red onion, sliced 2 delicata squash, peeled and sliced 2 cups red or purple seedless grapes ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled 2 sprigs fresh thyme 4 sprigs fresh sage 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
This side dish seems so decadent, you’d never guess it was healthy! Cauliflower is a fiberrich member of the cruciferous family and it’s high in vitamins B6, C, K, choline, folate, and magnesium. But, despite its nutrient-dense profile, the addition of cheese and bacon will make it a family favorite—even among your vegetable-hating holiday guests. 2 ½ heads of cauliflower, cut into florets 9 slices of sugar-free bacon, diced 2 ½ tablespoons ghee or pastured butter 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced 1 tablespoon fresh dill 1 tablespoon fresh chives 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper Place the cauliflower in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover the florets. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is very soft. 1
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. When crisp, remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside. 2
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl, combine all of the vegetables and grapes with the oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. 2
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the vegetablegrape mixture on top in an even layer. 3
Top with the thyme and sage sprigs.
Roast for 45 minutes or until the veggies can be easily pierced with a fork. Toss halfway through cooking. 5
Remove from the oven and discard the herbs. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. 6
Per serving: 205 cal; 13g total fat; 45g carb; 5.4g protein; 596mg sodium; 9g sugar
Combine all the herbs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. 3
Once the cauliflower is cooked, drain all of the water from the pot. 4
With the heat set on low, mash the cauliflower with a potato masher (not a stick blender). 5
Add the ghee or butter, the herb mix, the cheese, and the diced bacon. Stir to mix well. 6
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with additional chives or bacon. Serve immediately. 7
Per serving: 247 cal; 19g total fat; 8g carbs; 11g protein; 4mg sodium; 0g sugar 27
Melatonin You’ve probably heard of melatonin for sleep. After all, it’s the source of nearly 28,000 studies. But why is it so critical for proper sleep as well as good health? Melatonin brings the body gently into sleep. As the day starts to get dark, the body produces melatonin—a hormone-like “molecular handyman”—produced mainly by the pineal gland in the brain. An important Brazilian metaanalysis confirmed melatonin’s threefold benefits for sleep: decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep, increasing total sleep time, and increasing sleep quality. But because melatonin levels can decline due to things like aging and stress, getting a supplemental source of melatonin can have a positive impact on overall health. Taking a 3 or 5 mg chewable an hour or two before bedtime is a good starting point. Be aware, however, that some supplemental forms of melatonin can completely cycle through the body in as little as two hours. Fortunately, a timed-release form of melatonin can be an aid in staying asleep. Look for a 10 mg sustained-release version— listed on supplement labels as EP120. As you explore melatonin, you’ll soon learn it’s an important nutrient for a wide variety of needs, including immune function, blood sugar control, IBS, healthy cholesterol, and, yes, deep, satisfying sleep! 28
Struggling to nod off, consistently waking up in the middle of the night, or shortchanging your sleep time can all add up to a nightmare. Yet it’s estimated that up to 70 million Americans experience some form of sleeplessness. When you don’t sleep enough, your body pays the price. Sleeplessness spills over into other areas of life, leading to more unhealthy habits like overeating, moodiness, and making poor decisions.
Ready to sleep, perchance to dream? Here are the supplements that can introduce you to healthy nights of consistent, satisfying sleep.
Lavender Ah, the fragrance of lavender. A nice whiff can cause relaxation, which is why some people spritz a little lavender essential oil on their pillow before going to sleep. Known as a calming herb, lavender can also be helpful in supplemental form to relieve anxiety and increase deep sleep. A myriad of studies have shown that lavender works as a mild sedative. One double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in International Clinical Psychopharmacolog y reported an anxiolytic effect from lavender. If you’ve ever been kept awake with anxious thoughts, lavender is a welcome antidote. But keep in mind that lavender supplements have concentrated food-grade plant oils, unlike other commonly found essential oils that are not safe for internal consumption. So look for a sleep supplement that incorporates food-grade lavender along with mandarin, lemon balm, and ravintsara for a refreshing night’s sleep.
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3 Ravintsara Ravintsara grows as a tree and a shrub in the Madagascar rain forest. The name ravintsara translates to “the tree with good leaves.” And it’s the oil found in these leaves that the indigenous people of Madagascar have long relied on to help alleviate insomnia and ease nervous tension. Ravintsara is rich in an antiinflammatory compound—1,8cineole—that balances cognition and reduces anxiety. A word of caution though: pay attention to the spelling of ravintsara. It is not the same as ravensara. Although they are both from the Lauraceae family, they have different uses, outcomes, and even odors. Ravensara is not safe for use in children and needs dilution when used as an essential oil. Ravintsara, on the other hand, is safe for children and adults with no contraindications against its use. Choose one that is a supercritical CO2 extract of the oil for best results. It’s also excellent for improving respiratory health, relaxing the nervous system, and falling asleep faster. While ravintsara is often used as a traditional aromatherapeutic oil, taking it as a supplement in combination with lemon balm, lavender, and mandarin is excellent for relieving stress and providing rejuvenating sleep.
Echinacea Is stress keeping you awake? If so, it’s time to discover a specially cultivated echinacea extract. While you might associate echinacea with immune health, an extract called Echinacea angustifolia works differently. Not known to directly induce sleep, this special extract has been shown in clinical research to reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety. This calming effect on the brain can help you fall asleep more easily. Plus, it’s safe for children as young as four years old. Echinacea angustifolia can help restore deep, restful sleep as well. In a clinical trial in Phytotherapy Research, Hungarian researchers found this specialized root extract of the herb significantly reduced stress and anxiety within three days of use. Standardized anxiety testing further showed the calming effect persisted for two weeks after treatment. In a series of scientific studies, this specific braintargeted echinacea formula, known as EP107, showed no signs of drowsiness after use, which is often the case with prescription antianxiety drugs. These same compounds can also help with restless legs and insomnia. Just remember, not any echinacea will deliver these results. It must be a specific extract called Echinacea angustifolia root extract EP107 standardized for a unique, proprietary alkamide profile.
Magnesium is a nutrient that plays many roles, including regulating muscle and nerve function. With use in over 600 cellular reactions throughout the body, it’s also been shown to play a supporting role in helping regulate the neurotransmitters directly related to sleep. Magnesium can help with sleep in several ways: it makes it easier to fall asleep, improves the quality of sleep, and reduces the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. This syndrome, which awakens someone from sleep with twitching or jerking in the legs, can interfere with sound sleep. Supplementing with magnesium appears to improve subjective measures of insomnia such as sleep efficiency, sleep time, sleep onset latency, and early-morning awakening. Magnesium’s ability to help activate mechanisms that play a role in quieting and calming the nervous system is key. It has also been found to help with anxiety and depression—which often affects the ability to sleep. There are several types of magnesium, so look for a product with magnesium citrate with added calcium and zinc to further aid with restless legs and muscle cramps that can disturb sleep. Another form of highly absorbable magnesium, called chelated magnesium, can also help with leg cramping and nervous system function. A doubleblind, placebo-controlled clinical trial found chelated magnesium reduced cramp frequency and intensity. A combination of vitamin B6 (in the pyridoxal-5-phosphate [P-5-P] form) and zinc (in the glycinate chelated form) as part of a magnesium complex for higher absorption can be very effective for tackling troublesome sleep patterns.
t o Hopics
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What’s buzzy in natural health
A Diet Trend to Think About
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Your Food
You’re probably familiar with upcycling projects where, instead of throwing something away, you give it a DIY upgrade, creating something prettier and more functional. People love this type of recycling because it helps reduce waste and allows creativity to shine as something old is given a new use. The latest trend in upcycling involves food! This is actually an ancient tradition based on the idea of using up all you have. Modernday organizations like upcycledfood.org are now educating people about the many ways upcycled foods can benefit us all. According to the organization, “Upcycled foods are made from ingredients that would otherwise have ended up in a food waste destination.” These food scraps can now find a second life as new meals for human consumption, animal feed, pet food, cosmetics, and more. And less waste means a healthier planet for all! This exciting movement could also help feed a growing population without putting additional demands on the environment.
How often do you actually sit down, remove yourself from all external distractions, and just eat? If you’re like the majority of Americans, not often at all. More than ever, people are eating while they work, drive, watch TV, or scrolling Instagram. Why does it matter? Studies show multitasking while eating leads to overeating, which can then contribute to weight gain and poor health overall. Enter mindful eating, a concept that implores you to bring your full attention to your food. Based on Buddhist principles of being fully present and acknowledging your emotions and physical sensations without judgement, mindful eating can help you tune into your hunger and satiety signals so you don’t overindulge. The process of mindful eating also includes being aware of the health and nutritional benefits when choosing food; noticing the colors, smells, textures, and tastes of each food; and eating only until hunger is satisfied. Using these tactics help you listen to your body and make healthier choices. Americans love a new diet trend—especially one that isn’t overcomplicated. Mindful eating seems to fit the bill!
Can Plants Really Clean the Air?
For years, people believed that houseplants could help filter the air in their homes. This idea became popular due to the 1989 Clean Air Study by NASA that suggested that in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, certain indoor plants might also remove volatile organic pollutants, or VOCs, from the air. As a result, people began to fill their living spaces with English ivy, snake plants, and peace lilies galore. However, follow-up studies failed to replicate the NASA results. Instead, additional research found that while plants do have some effect on indoor quality, the benefits are extremely minimal. In fact, scientists noted that to have any sort of meaningful difference in the air quality of your home, you’d need to fill a room from floor to ceiling with plants. The good news is houseplants aren’t without other health benefits. While they may not be great at improving air quality, they can stimulate a positive mood and overall happiness. It’s believed that seeing the green of nature indoors helps people feel calm and relaxed and may even promote better sleep. In the workplace, this can lead to increased focus and greater productivity.
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Reverse Thinning Hair They say that “bald is beautiful,” but just ask people who are experiencing thinning hair and they’ll likely disagree. While hair naturally loses some of its volume and strength as we age, thinning hair and hair loss can undermine self-esteem and leave many people looking for ways to replenish their once full locks. Fortunately, there are some very effective natural solutions to prevent or slow the progression of thinning hair from the inside out.
The Causes of Thinning Hair
Thinning hair is an equal opportunity problem that can affect anyone. Just ask Jada Pinkett Smith, Khloé Kardashian, Leonardo di Caprio, Matthew McConaughey, or Representative Ayanna Pressley. But, whether you’re famous or not, the reasons for thinning hair and hair loss can be as varied as the people it affects. Aside from aging, hair loss can be triggered by an autoimmune disease called alopecia areata, hormonal changes, hypothyroidism, or stress. It can also be caused by heredity. One common cause of thinning hair and hair loss involves nutritional deficiencies—especially protein, the B vitamins, and zinc. The body needs these nutrients to maintain healthy hair follicles—the small, tunnel-like structures in your scalp where healthy hair is “born.” But if your follicles are malnourished, the growth cycle that produces new strands of hair slows down and eventually stops altogether. Increasingly, Covid survivors are reporting another type of hair loss, called 32
telogen effluvium, in which handfuls of hair fall out in clumps. Often triggered by a high fever, a viral infection, or extreme stress, this unsettling type of accelerated hair shedding can last for six to nine months. While telogen effluvium typically stops on its own, you can provide your hair with the nutrients it needs to help ensure healthy regrowth when that does happen.
Nutrients for Healthy Hair
If your hair is starving for the nutrition it needs, here are four nutrients that can help restore your crowning glory:
| BIOTIN. This water-soluble B
vitamin has a reputation for promoting healthy hair, especially in those with a deficiency. But restoring biotin can improve hair quality and quantity. In one study of women with thinning hair, those who took a supplement containing biotin for six months reported a visible increase in hair volume, scalp coverage, and thickness compared to those taking a placebo.
| MILLET SEED OIL. Millet’s magic can
be found in a compound called miliacin. This triterpenoid has been shown to
reduce scalp dryness and enhance hair brightness. And because millet is a good source of protein, it supports the production of keratin—a protein that is the main building block of healthy hair. During one study that appeared in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatolog y, researchers found that women who supplemented with millet for 12 weeks experienced an improvement in the growth and condition of their hair. This led the researchers to conclude that millet could prevent or limit hair loss in women.
| THE B VITAMINS. Beyond biotin,
the other B vitamins help create red blood cells that carry oxygen and nutrients to your scalp and hair follicles. These processes are essential for healthy hair growth.
| ZINC. Zinc plays an important
role in hair growth and repair by supporting the oil glands that surround your hair follicles. If you’re deficient in this important mineral, you could experience hair loss. But simply supplementing with a daily dose of zinc has been found to normalize levels and support hair growth.
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THE BEST PRE- AND POST-WORKOUT FOODS for Maximum Results FOODS TO CHOOSE
by Carol Ann Weber Just like your car, your body needs high-quality fuel to function properly. And that’s especially true during a workout. Finding what works best for you is a result of both science-based nutritional guidance and trial and error, as everybody’s gut is different. Eating a well-balanced meal of complex carbs (fruits, vegetables, or root veggies) and lean protein (grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, or wild-caught fish) two to three hours ahead of your workout is ideal. Carbs supply the energy that sustains you through the workout, and the amino acids in protein repair and build muscle. But if planning that far ahead is not feasible, remember that the closer you get to exercise time, the less food you should gobble down. PRE-WORKOUT Especially if you work out first thing in the morning, be sure your pre-workout meal is well balanced. Choices include: • Avocado, pear, handful of nuts • Smoothie with fruit and/or goat, sheep, or nondairy milk
• Grass-fed or pastured beef, chicken, turkey, and eggs • Wild-caught salmon, cod, tuna • Sweet potato, pumpkin
Nuts and seeds
• Cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach
POST-WORKOUT Eating within 30 to 60 minutes of your workout is essential to facilitate muscle repair. If your goal is to build strength and muscle, it’s recommended that you eat a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. A good ratio for the more casual exerciser or for those age 50+ is 3:1. And, if you’re a high-endurance athlete, a 4:1 ratio is recommended. Suggested post-workout meals:
• Nuts - pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts
• E ggs scrambled with veggies and half a sweet potato
• Seeds - chia, flax, hemp, sesame
• T urkey and avocado lettuce wrap with plantain chips
• Oils - olive,walnut, flaxseed, avocado, coconut
• S almon, sweet potato, and veggies • C hicken, pumpkin, and veggies
FOODS TO AVOID Rich, greasy foods
Fat takes longer to digest, which can upset your stomach
Breakfast cereals, Processed microwave meals, tinned foods veggies, deli meat Simple carbs
Candy, sugar, cakes, cookies
• Trail mix (nuts, seeds, dried fruit) • Banana Protein drinks are fine, but choose a quality product that is third-party certified. This ensures that the ingredients on the label match what’s actually in the product. Always check labels for artificial ingredients and sugar or sugar substitutes. CAFFEINE AND WATER One to two cups of caffeinated coffee can improve your mental alertness and 34
boost energy levels. However, nothing is more important than water: two to three cups before exercise; one-half to one cup every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout; and as much as you can drink afterwards. Water replaces what you’ve lost in sweat and regulates body temperature for the cooldown. It also helps prevent muscle cramps, removes toxins, and transports nutrients to where your body needs them.
• B eef, riced cauliflower, and veggies SPORTS DRINKS Sports drinks can replace electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and magnesium), which assist in hydration. Always check the ingredients and avoid drinks with added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Coconut water also works. What you eat and drink before and after exercise depends on the intensity and duration of your workout, so add or subtract from your intake in relation to how much fuel your body actually needs. Carol Ann Weber’s 500+ articles have been published in magazines such as Fitness Rx, Muscle & Fitness, Oxygen, and Men’s Fitness. She has also been named the Academy of Bodybuilding and Fitness “Best Columnist of the Year.” Along with weight training, she enjoys yoga and a brisk walk anywhere outdoors.
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Knowing about the many types of nutrients could easily be a full-time job unto itself. But if you don’t have the time and simply want to know what distinguishes one form of a vitamin, mineral, botanical, or other ingredient from another, you’ve come to the right place.
for Better Blood Sugar and More Berberine is not an herb, but an alkaloid compound found in many botanical sources, including goldenseal, Indian barberry, and Oregon grape, among others, making it a component of Ayurvedic and Chinese medical practice for generations. While berberine has many health applications, including arthritis relief, fatty liver disease treatment, and preserving cognitive strength, research shows that it has great potential to address the conditions collectively known as metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome affects at least 20 percent of the world’s population and is a cluster of disease factors: high blood sugar, imbalanced cholesterol levels, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, and unhealthy weight. Regarding blood sugar, berberine stimulates glycolysis—the process of releasing energy from sugars. Having sugars used up by the mitochondria for fuel is far better than overloading the bloodstream with glucose or the sugar being converted into triglycerides. Berberine also inhibits alpha-glucosidase, an enzyme involved in releasing sugar from carbohydrates in the digestive system. As a result, the 36
body has less blood sugar it has to deal with in the first place. In a three-month clinical study, berberine reduced HbA1c levels (the amount of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells) from 8.1 percent to 7.3 percent, and lowered triglycerides, along with fasting and postprandial glucose levels. It also reduced fasting plasma insulin by 28 percent, and the insulin resistance index—a measure of how well the body uses or disposes of glucose—by 44 percent. These results were similar to the group assigned to using metformin, a prescription drug for type 2 diabetes. Scientific research shows that berberine also reduces blood pressure and acts as a vasodilator, opening up blood vessels due to its effects on calcium channel pathways. Additionally, berberine appears to work better than lifestyle changes alone for reducing blood pressure levels for individuals with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels. In other clinical research, berberine showed a positive effect on weight loss
and cut the levels of enzymes associated with fatty liver disease almost in half. Berberine may also alleviate muscle and bone disorders, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, because it moderates inflammation and immune responses. And there is research indicating that berberine could calibrate inflammatory reactions in the lungs in those with asthma or other respiratory conditions. Plus, new research in the journal Pharmaceuticals (Basel) suggests that combining berberine with andrographis may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. But because berberine can be difficult for the body to absorb, it can benefit from being paired with a plant-based ingredient called gamma-cyclodextrin. Gamma-cyclodextrin molecules have a water-soluble exterior but a fat-soluble interior that envelops the compound and escorts it through the intestinal wall for better absorption. Berberine may not be a nutrient “superstar” yet, but if you want an assist with blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, or any condition associated with metabolic syndrome, it is definitely worth including in your own regimen.
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It’s our goal here at Good Health Lifestyles to bring you the latest in cutting-edge research for a variety of common health issues. Because we believe that knowledge is power—especially when it comes to health—we are digging deeper into the exciting new research from leading medical journals and breaking it down to help you get the most from today’s science.
Andrographis and Melatonin Promote Autophagy
THE STUDY ABSTRACT:
Zhao Y, Wang C, Goel A. A combined treatment with melatonin and andrographis promotes autophagy and anticancer activity in colorectal cancer. Carcinogenesis. 2022 Jan 28:bgac008. doi: 10.1093/carcin/ bgac008. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35089340. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most frequent malignancies worldwide and remains one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The high degree of morbidity and mortality associated with this disease is largely due to the inadequate efficacy of current treatments as well as the development of chemoresistance. In recent years, several pharmaceutical agents screened from natural products have shown the promise to offer a safe, inexpensive, and synergistically multitargeted treatment option in various cancers. Given the growing evidence of anti-carcinogenic properties of two natural compounds, melatonin (MLT) and andrographis (Andro), we aimed to evaluate their synergistic anticancer effects in CRC. We demonstrate that indeed these two compounds possessed a synergistic anticancer effect in terms of their ability to inhibit cell viability, suppression of colony-formation and induction of apoptosis (p<0.05). In line with our in-vitro findings, we were 38
able to validate this combinatorial anticancer activity in xenograft animal models (p<0.001) as well as tumorderived 3D organoids (p<0.01). RNAsequencing analysis revealed candidate pathways and genes that mediated antitumor efficacy of MLT and Andro in CRC, among which autophagy pathway and related genes, including NR4A1, CTSL and Atg12, were found to be primarily responsible for the increased anticancer effect by the two natural products. In conclusion, our data reveal a potent and synergistic therapeutic effect of MLT and Andro in the treatment of CRC and provides a rationale for suppressing autophagy in cancer cells as a potential therapeutic strategy for CRC.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU:
Resistance to chemotherapy is an all-too-common condition of standard cancer treatment. Chemotherapy drugs are already toxic to the cancer and to the patient, so there’s only so far that treatment can go before it becomes too dangerous to pursue further. There is absolutely a need to find other ways of preventing and treating the development of cancerous tumors.
This scientific cell study reported that Andrographis paniculata, an adaptogenic herb used in traditional Ayurvedic practice, along with melatonin, can be a powerful ally in the fight against cancer. While melatonin is generally regarded for its relationship to sleep cycles, it affects virtually every cell in the body and is involved with inflammatory responses, immune system strength, and DNA integrity. The researchers reported that andrographis and melatonin inhibited cancer cell replication and induced a process called autophag y, in which cancer cells degrade and ultimately die. While each nutrient was tested against cancer cells, andrographis and melatonin worked more effectively as a team than either one alone—although each ingredient showed remarkable efficacy when used by itself as well. When searching for andrographis in supplement form, it is important to make sure it has been standardized for 20 percent andrographolide—a key component in the herb considered most responsible for its many beneficial effects.
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Melatonin: The mighty molecule for optimal health Melatonin may be best known
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†Supports healthy levels already within normal range. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.