Year-Round Staples for Children’s Health

Let’s face it: Most kids’s diets are less than stellar.  Between poor-quality cafeteria food, class celebrations and birthday parties, they’re getting way too much sugar, dyes, additives, hydrogenated oils, and the list goes on.  Keeping them on these staples will help fill in the gaps of their diet and keep them healthy and sharp all year long.

Whole Food Multivitamin/Antioxidant
You might already be giving your child a multivitamin to make sure he or she gets all the necessary nutrients.  The problem with Flintstone Gummies and other brands you might see in the grocery store is that they are synthetic and very difficult for our bodies to absorb.  That’s why a whole food multi is a better option.  They often come in a liquid or chewable form for children.  Our bodies can recognize and use them because they are real food, not some concoction created in a lab.  Even if your child’s diet is packed with organic fruits and veggies, a whole food multi can provide added benefit.  Since our air is so polluted and our soil so depleted, our food supply is about ten times less nutritious than it was just 100 years ago.  In addition to feeding our kids as whole and healthy as we can, we should supplement with a high-quality whole food multivitamin.

Pick a brand that contains added antioxidants.  Free radicals are electrically charged ions or molecules that have an unpaired electron in their outer shell.  This makes them unstable and very destructive to nearby molecules.  Free radical damage can lead to cancer, bone, joint and tissue deterioration, premature aging, organ decline and immune dysfunction.  Antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium and Beta-Carotene combine with and deactivate free radicals.  We can get antioxidants by eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies (Think green veggies like spinach, broccoli and kale and fruits like berries.).  Once again due to the depletion of our soil, it’s also necessary to supplement with an antioxidant.  We need all the help we can get to combat free radical damage.

Probiotic
Believe it or not, your child’s digestive tract contains about 400 different types of bacteria that promote a healthy digestive system by reducing the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast.   Since Americans are eating so many processed foods and taking so many antibiotics these days, we’re lacking in beneficial bacteria.  That’s why it’s important that we support our digestive systems by eating foods high in probiotics and taking a probiotic supplement from an early age (This is especially important if the child was born by c-section and/or they were not breastfed..).  Many children experience positive improvements in their digestive and immune function when they start taking a probiotic on a regular basis!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It’s so important children get quality fats in their diets.  With a quality fish oil supplement, they get all the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids (healthy levels of cholesterol, heart, brain, joint and skin health) from fresh fish, without potential exposure to mercury and other heavy metals.  You can also get essential fatty acids into them using vegetarian oil sources such as walnuts, flax seeds, hemp hearts and evening primrose oil.  The classic American diet and average school cafeteria lunch is devoid of Omega-3s, so once again it’s important that children receive a supplement.

Cold and Flu Season Staples

You can boost your child’s immune system by adding in these supplements around the time daylight savings ends and keeping your kids on them until the Spring.

 Vitamin D3
Among its many benefits, D3 activates the immune system to defend against invading microorganisms.  We get this fat-soluble nutrient through sun exposure, but during the dreary winter months, it’s often necessary to get it through supplementation (Approximately 85% of Americans are deficient!).  As a general rule, an adult of average weight should ingest at least 5,000 international units of supplemental D3 a day, and children should take a daily dose of 1,000 international units per every 25 pounds of body weight.  This varies depending on the season, where you live, age, skin tone, etc.  You may think your child is getting enough D3 from his multi-vitamin, but that’s really just a small sample compared to what we need each day for a healthy immune system.

Colostrum
Our body’s immune system defends against infection and illness by releasing immunoglobulin, or antibodies.  We ingest many germs throughout the day, and they end up in the 400 sq. ft. of GI tract surface area where immunoglobulin works to neutralize them.  Unfortunately, many of our bodies don’t release enough immunoglobulin due to stress, poor foods and toxins, so we’re unable to fight against illness.  This is when it may become necessary to take these antibodies in the form of a supplement.

Bovine colostrum is a natural whole food that provides a rich source of IgG and PRPs (Proline-Rich Polypeptides). It also supplies protein, immune factors, growth factors, vitamins and minerals to ensure health and vitality naturally.  Numerous scientific studies have shown that colostrum supports the human immune system. Bovine colostrum is 40 times richer in immune factors than human colostrum and is biologically transferable to humans.

ImmunoG PRP is a pure bovine colostrum and is collected within the first 16 hours after birthing.  A key feature of ImmunoG PRP is that it is specifically processed to retain high amounts of PRPs. PRPs are tiny information carrying proteins with amazing adaptability. In times of intense physical stress, they enhance immune activity.  Many colostrum products are produced in a way that they lose these very important PRPs. This formula is low heat processed for maximum biological activity and is hormone, antibiotic and rBST free.

 

This is our favorite colostrum product because it’s all natural and it goes to work immediately to neutralize germs. It comes in capsule, powder, spray and cherry chewable form.

Vitamin C
Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant.  Humans don’t have the ability to make their own C, so we must get it from our foods (Think fruits and veggies!).  Vitamin C stimulates both the production and function of white blood cells, which attack foreign bacteria and viruses, and it protects the integrity of our cells.  Vitamin C is affordable, easy to find and it comes in all kinds of forms (chewables, powders, capsules, etc.).

If you have questions about the best staples for your child, call our Nutrition Shop at 770-642-4646 to speak with a knowledgeable staff member.

Remember learning about the pH scale in science class?  That was likely the last time many of us gave any thought to acidity vs. alkalinity. It might be time to brush up on your chemistry knowledge, because it turns out that many of the most prominent diseases in our society often come down to one thing, pH imbalance.

Almost every patient that walks through the door of our clinic is too acidic.  This dangerous condition is called acidosis, and it weakens all the body’s systems.  You can think of it like this – bad things grow in acidic environments, things like free radicals, cancer cells and other antigens.  However, a body with a balanced pH allows for the normal function necessary for disease resistance.

In the words of Dr. T.A. Baroody, Jr, in his book Alkalize or Die, “Acidosis is the basic foundation of all disease.  We need to understand the simple process of alkalizing our body and the important role a properly alkalized body plays in restoring and maintaining our overall health. Our glands and organs function properly in exact proportion to the amount of alkaline and acid levels in our system.”

Need a little pH refresher? pH (power of hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a given solution.  It’s measured on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral.  The lower the pH (below 7), the more acidic the solution, and the higher the pH (higher than 7), the more alkaline the solution.

The body is composed of positively charged ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming), and it continuously strives to balance pH.

Just to clarify, when we say we shouldn’t be too acidic, we’re not talking about the stomach environment.  In fact, our stomach should be so acidic (ideally a pH of 1.5 to 3) that if we poured out its contents on a rug, it would burn a hole right through it! Urine pH should fluctuate between 6.0 and 6.5 in the morning and 6.5 to 7.0 in the evening.  Saliva pH should stay between 6.5 and 7.5 all day.

When our systems become too acidic, it forces our bodies to steal major minerals like magnesium and potassium from our bones and vital organs in order to buffer the acid and remove it from the body.  Here are some of the problems that result:

  • Acceleration of free radical damage, possibly contributing to the growth and spreading of cancer cells
  • Low energy/chronic fatigue
  • Premature aging
  • Weight gain/obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular stress – constriction of blood vessels, reduced oxygen
  • Kidney/bladder issues, such as kidney stones
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Bone Loss, brittle bones, bone spurs, Osteoporosis
  • Muscle/joint pain
  • Digestive dysfunction
  • Yeast overgrowth

Unfortunately, acidity leads to more acidity.  Pathogens create acidifying toxins in the body. As the body becomes more and more acidic, bad bacteria, yeasts and other toxins multiply in the body. Since these organisms are living, they feed off of and create more acidic toxins, and the cycle continues.

So what can we do to prevent acidosis?  The answer is cleaning up our diet and lifestyle.  The standard American diet is high in acidic foods like red meat, dairy, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol and refined carbohydrates.  (Need yet another reason to avoid soft drinks?  They are extremely acidic!) Most of us aren’t getting enough of the more alkalizing foods, like fresh vegetables, whole grains and high-quality fats.

You can do a quick Google search to see a complete list of the most acid and alkaline foods. Remember, it’s not that all acidic foods are bad.  For example, many fruits are more acidic, and that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t eat them, it’s just that we have to stay well hydrated and also eat plenty of alkalizing foods to keep our system in balance.

Greens like kale, spinach and kelp are extremely alkalizing, so eat up! If you’re not good about eating vegetables throughout the day, consider juicing, doing a green drink or throwing some greens into a morning smoothie.  One way or another, it’s crucial to get these highly beneficial vegetables into your system!

Sports drinks, coffee, juices and other high-sugar and high-caffeine beverages are highly acidic. Another tip for treating acidosis is to drink about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the mornings.  We recommend the Braggs brand because it’s organic and unpasteurized.

If you’re battling cancer, candida overgrowth, chronic fatigue syndrome, or any other ongoing health battle, it’s time to start balancing your pH.  Even if you don’t have any health problems, but just want to eat a cleaner diet for wellness and prevention, an alkalizing diet is a fundamental place to start.   You’ll look and feel so much better.

Stay alkaline friends!

Testimonial By Bonnie S.

Our family met Dr. Seneca Anderson for the first time on July 20, 2015. In the year leading up to that first appointment at Longevity Health Center, my teenage son had steadily changed from being an outgoing, fun loving and intelligent kid, who was active in student government and three sports, to a depressed, irritable, rage-filled, hostile, anxiety-ridden boy. He was exhibiting constant tics, rituals and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. He struggled to stay awake in class, but couldn’t sleep at night. He went from making mostly A’s to failing most of his classes. He dropped out of many of his activities and opted to stay at home much of the time.

In our quest to figure out what was wrong with our son, we took him for MRIs, meetings with psychiatrists and therapists and multiple visits with an immunologist located hours from our home for bloodwork. We even took him to the local children’s hospital, where we signed a form to have him taken against our will. We went through what felt like literal HELL.

And then we heard about our naturopath Dr. Anderson from a close family friend who had experienced an amazing health transformation. Our family had never had any experience with homeopathy before, so this was definitely outside our comfort zone. But we were not getting answers anywhere else and we were desperate to find healing for our son. 

On the very first visit, Dr. Anderson was able to use his bioenergetic testing to find several toxins affecting my son’s health and behavior. He tested positive for Spirochetes Bacteria, Borrelia Burgdorferi and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, as well as other viruses and toxins. His organs were working too hard, and he tested positive for autoimmune. We started to understand why his immune system was shutting down.  

Dr. Anderson was so assuring and walked us through the health journey our son was going to be on over the next six months as his body detoxified and healed. We decided to go “all in” with Dr. Anderson’s recommendations, and threw away the antibiotics he had been taking. We followed the protocol to a T, even though it wasn’t easy! As Dr. Anderson predicted, my son’s condition got worse before it got better, and there were many ups and downs during the treatment. But we stuck it out, and boy are we glad we did! My son was able to detoxify all the major toxins affecting his system in the first five months! We have continued to keep him on his supplements as he rebuilds his immune system and bone density. He is taking good care of himself and getting stronger and healthier every day!

Today we have our boy back! He’s heading into his junior year of high school with a 3.9 GPA, and he’ll be a starter on the varsity basketball team. He also leads a 6th grade boys small group at our church. He is back to his hilarious and fun-loving self and is an incredible big brother to his two siblings. His anxiety has almost completely gone away and he is feeling stronger, happier and healthier. We are so thankful and give God all the glory! I am sharing our story to let everyone know that healing is possible. Do not give up the fight to find healing for your child!

We love the staff of Longevity! I cannot count how many times I called the office (sometimes in tears) with questions and concerns, and the staff members calmed me down and encouraged me to stay the course and assured me that healing would come. I can’t thank Rosie, Nicole, Lis, Alice, Melina and Kay enough! We actually feel like they are family and I can say honestly that I love them! I feel that depth of emotion toward them because they teamed up to bring healing to our son who was declining so rapidly that we thought we were going to lose him.

And Dr. Anderson…What can I say about the man who God used to heal our son? He is a godly, calm, humble, brilliant man. He prayed over my boy multiple times and we feel like he and all the staff are our extended family! I really feel like he cares about the well-being of my son and wants to do what he can to help him continue to heal and get stronger. 

I would recommend Longevity to anyone…and I do!! I recommend them at least 1-2 times a week! And every time I have watched someone else choose to go to Longevity to receive healing it feels like it redeems just a little bit more of the hell we went through. As strange as it sounds, I feel like God allowed my son to go through this so that so many other people could receive healing! I would never want to go through this journey again, but I would not change this journey that God has taken us on. He had a purpose in all of it and is bringing good to many people!

If you have a Longevity testimonial to encourage others, please share it with us at marketing@longevityhealthcenter.com. 

At Longevity Health Center, our mission is to love God and serve people by pursuing healing and encouraging wellness, both for ourselves and for our patients.  That’s why stories like this from our long-time regular patient Lisa M. make us so happy!  Lisa is experiencing incredible improvements in her quality of life by utilizing a combination of the many of the services that we have to offer.  Read her story below! 

Longevity Health Center has been a blessing to me as I battle with Chronic Lyme Disease and have a history of Lymphoma and Leukemia.  The entire staff is so genuinely caring and sensitive.

One particular therapy that has been a game changer in my health battle against Lyme Disease is the HOCATT.  The staff is so supportive and helpful, continually monitoring and ensuring my comfort during the treatment.  The HOCATT practitioner offers innovative ideas and customizes the treatment to my needs, and she is extremely attentive and helpful during the treatment. The first few sessions were challenging, as the detox was difficult.  However I was committed to the series of 10 prepaid treatments (the best money I ever spent!) and the Longevity team was very reassuring and encouraging.

I am so grateful I persevered and continued on as I began to see drastic benefits.  Most noticeable are my increased energy levels. I can now hike both days every weekend! My immune system has improved so I don’t have frequent infections and viruses. My body doesn’t ache or feel like I have flu-like symptoms. I am told by others that my skin color has changed from a dull gray to a healthy rosy pink.  I am happy to see the increased benefits as I have now completed my 25th session.  I plan to continue until energetic testing by Alice shows no trace of spirochetes (Lyme bacteria).  Then I plan to continue a maintenance schedule, as I feel the treatments are extremely beneficial.

I have discovered that the HOCATT treatment in conjunction with supportive Lymphatic Drainage Therapy and Acupuncture is advantageous and amplifies the benefits.  Follow-up with acupuncture the following day by Andrea or Alice (both women are so knowledgeable and proficient in acupuncture.), has been extremely effective in facilitating the detoxification process.  Also, I periodically precede the HOCATT treatment with Lymphatic Drainage Therapy since my lymph system has a tendency to get congested.  I schedule with either Nancy or Andrea as my schedule permits as they are all incredibly accommodating and supportive.

A special shout-out to sweet and lovely Ashley who works with me to schedule my complicated treatment appointments around my schedule! I think sometimes she is more aware of my schedule needs than I am at times. Truly I am so impressed by the level of professionalism combined with care and thoughtfulness from the entire staff at Longevity.

If you have a testimonial to share, we’d love to hear from you and use your story to encourage others! 

Here at Longevity, we love hearing testimonials from our patients who have experienced amazing transformations with their health.  Enjoy this story from Melody Frcek, a patient who has experienced incredible improvements in her quality of life using our supporting therapies.  If you have a testimonial to share, we’d love to hear from you and use your story to encourage others! 

What were your primary health concerns before you became a patient at Longevity?  What led you to incorporate supporting therapies in your health journey?  

I had a lump in my right breast that was discovered 10 years ago during a mammogram.  When I had a needle biopsy and had it drained, it came back as non-cancerous, but I was told I needed to watch it. Over the years I had become increasingly discontent with traditional medicine and was embracing integrative healthcare. I began using thermography to monitor breast health instead of mammogram. My right breast always came back with a high score. After a few years my doctor thought I should explore another mammogram due to my constant high scores. I reluctantly did so, and the hospital where I had the mammogram was concerned with the results and had me come back for a diagnostic mammogram. The radiologist wanted to watch it and wanted another diagnostic in 6 months. I knew in my spirit that this was not for me and chose not to go back.

Instead, I continued good breast care with oils, supplements, massage and followed a good diet, but my thermographies continued to show red flags in my right breast.  The lump showed up again in a mobile ultrasound, but once again I was told just to watch it.  Last spring I went through a traumatic event, and following this my health check up did not go well. Not only did I feel terrible, but my cell vitality was very low. Shortly after this, I began having pain in my right breast and a little discharge. I knew at that point that I was ready to completely embrace the holistic lifestyle and decided to go to my sister’s doctor, Dr. Seneca Anderson.

I choose to go through Dr. Anderson’s testing before telling him my health concerns. Low and behold, his tests revealed low cell vitality and problems in my right breast! In addition to following a homeopathic detoxification and supplement protocol, Dr. Anderson recommended 8 sessions of Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) and Lymphatic Drainage Therapy to speed up my healing process.

What were your first few sessions like? What was your initial response to the therapies?

My first few sessions were wonderful. Not only did I find a peace every time I walked in the door of Longevity, I also felt the compassion of the staff. Nancy was the staff member who gave me my treatments. She is warm and caring and her loving demeanor helped me to feel safe. The treatments were performed laying down on a heated biomat, which was absolutely wonderful. It helped me relax and even nap for part of my time there. I could feel my body and spirit responding and becoming more vibrant. The treatments are painless and actually very stimulating, much like getting a massage. I looked forward to coming each week and began to feel stronger each time.

Describe your overall health picture today. What improvements have you experienced?

After the first 4 treatments, it was time for my 2nd mobile ultrasound. Fortunately, the same technician was assigned to me. She told me while she was performing the ultrasound that the lump appeared to be dying and fizzling away and she felt good about it. The report came back as clear. Upon completion of my 8th treatment, I decided to go back to my old thermography center for a follow up. I was absolutely thrilled when the report came back perfect. The technician wrote on the report that the score was perfect for the first time ever with a smiley face and congratulated me. She told me to keep doing whatever I was doing. My next check up with Dr. Anderson also indicated that there was no more stress and stagnation in the right breast. I continue my breast oils and my massage, and I have not had any symptoms at all.  I am relieved that, for the first time in 10 years, I can move forward without fear.

What is your overall impression of Longevity Health Center, the practitioners and staff?

I love Longevity and the staff. As I mentioned, I had just experienced a traumatic event in my life and my health and emotional state were greatly affected. Each and every person I dealt with at Longevity were loving and genuinely caring. Dr. Anderson was so calming, and I was able to tell him what had happened to me. He was compassionate and always asked how I was recovering from this each time I saw him. Dr. Anderson’s wife Kay is a jewel and always worked with me to get what I needed. Nancy became somewhat of a soul sister for me, and every other person I worked with was marvelous. Without them knowing it, they were each a part of helping me rebuild my life, and I am so grateful. There is a peace in their office like I have not found anywhere else from the moment I walked in the door. I feel safe with them. I have referred several people to Longevity and will continue as a patient and friend there always. I have the utmost confidence in them. They improved my health when no one else seemed to be able to do so. Thank you Longevity!

Post by Seneca Anderson, DOM, ND, L.Ac.

At Longevity, we talk a great deal with our patients about the importance of keeping an alkaline internal terrain.  As many health studies have proven, cancer cells and other toxins can only thrive in an acidic environment.  In addition to staying well hydrated and eating plenty of fresh produce, apple cider vinegar helps raise the pH of the body, thereby creating a more alkaline environment.

Historically used as a cleaning product, apple cider vinegar is produced by fermenting apples.  Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, thought it useful for cleansing the body.  Paul Bragg, N.D., is credited with being the originator of health food stores.  An organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is marketed under the Bragg name.

Pick this up at your local grocery or health food store!

Pick this up at your local grocery or health food store!

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which, when ingested, leaves an alkaline ash in the body.  It has also been proven to help regulate blood sugar and assist with weight loss.   Most of what we eat creates an overly acidic terrain.  This includes meats, eggs, most grains, dairy products, sweets and processed foods.  That’s why we should load up on alkaline forming greens and eat a little apple cider vinegar every day.  It’s delicious in salad dressings and on roasted vegetables.  A healthful drink can be prepared by adding two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to eight ounces of purified water, and sweetening with organic honey, maple syrup, or stevia.

I encourage you to incorporate this simple health practice into your daily routine!

By Cristina McMullen, Certified Wellness Coach, Bio-Energetic Practitioner

For the past 50 years, the medical community has vigorously promoted the notion that high cholesterol is the primary risk factor of coronary heart disease, and that a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol causes cardiovascular problems. During this time, we have been told to adhere to a low-­fat diet and millions of people have been put on statin drugs in order to lower cholesterol levels.  Unfortunately, the rate of heart disease has only continued to rise. Just consider the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease affects 65 million Americans
  • Close to 1 million Americans have a heart attack each year
  • In America, 1 person dies every 39 seconds of cardiovascular disease
  • 1 of 3 deaths that occurs in the U.S. is caused by cardiovascular disease

Clearly, what we have been doing in an effort to improve cardiovascular health is not working!  The cholesterol-heart connection has been in question for quite some time now, and science is finally confirming such suspicions and bringing light to the real reasons behind cardiovascular disease.  It’s time to debunk everything that was originally thought to cause cardiovascular disease, uncover the real why, and figure out ways we can truly reduce the risk of heart issues.

MYTH #1: CHOLESTEROL IS BAD FOR YOU

We already know that there is good and bad cholesterol.  High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is “good cholesterol” whereas low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is “bad cholesterol.”  But this isn’t completely accurate.  In order to explain, let’s compare cholesterol to water.  While our bodies need both in order to survive, the quality of each dictates how good it really is for us.  Clean, pure water is essential, but contaminated water can make us very sick.  This is also true for cholesterol.  Clean cholesterol is required for proper brain functioning and hormone production and actually acts like a band aid to help repair arterial damage.  It is the oxidized, or rancid cholesterol that can negatively effect our health.  LDL cholesterol has earned the title of “bad cholesterol” because it is the type of choletserol that is susceptible to oxidative damage.  So the question we should be asking isn’t “how much LDL cholesterol is in the blood,” but rather “how much LDL cholesterol has been damaged?”

MYTH #2: DIETS HIGH IN SATURATED FAT AND CHOLESTEROL CAUSE HEART DISEASE

If this were true, every breast-fed baby would have some form of heart disease because breast milk contains very high amounts of cholesterol!  A recent study that included close to 350,000 human participants flat out debunked this thought process when it found absolutely no association between saturated fat and heart disease.  This is because much of the cholesterol that’s found in food cannot be absorbed by our bodies, and most of the cholesterol in our gut was first synthesized in body cells and ended up in the gut through the liver and gall bladder.  The body also tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling internal production.  This means that the body will make less cholesterol when more is absorbed from the diet and vice versa.  Even more, a Japanese study followed 58,000 men for about 14 years and concluded that those who ate more saturated fat actually had a lower risk of stroke!

MYTH #3: VEGETABLE OILS ARE GOOD FOR THE HEART

Vegetable oils are very unstable.  It doesn’t take much heat to turn a mono or polyunsaturated fat into a rancid, trans fat.  This happens when we cook food in olive oil or fry things in vegetable oils like canola oil.  The now rancid oils wreak havoc on our bodies and oxidize our LDL cholesterol.

From a nutrition standpoint, vegetable oils are very high in omega 6 fatty acids, whereas the saturated fat from grass fed animals is high in the heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. While our bodies need some of both, the overabundance of vegetable oils and refined grains in our diet has tipped the scale to where we are all getting too many omega 6’s and not enough omega 3’s. This ends up causing excess inflammation in the body and leads to a host of diseases; including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, IBS, macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer!

MYTH #4: STATIN DRUGS REDUCE THE RISK OF DEATH

Statin drugs only do one thing- lower your total cholesterol levels.  This is flat out commical now that we know that cardiovascular disease is not caused by high cholesterol.  And even if it was, these drugs would only be band-aids to an underlying problem of why there is a problem in the first place.

Lowering your cholesterol levels can negatively effect your health in so many ways.  First and foremost, our brains need cholesterol to grow, develop, and function properly.  Secondly, the production of all of our sex hormones requires adequate levels of cholesterol in the body.  When you sit back and think about this one, it is no wonder why every middle aged man on satin drugs has low testosterone and also takes Viagra!  To top it all off, we are now finding that low cholesterol levels can increase your risk of death, especially in women and the elderly! One study of over 52,000 Norwegians found that women with total cholesterol levels below 195 mg/dL had a higher risk of death than women with cholesterol levels over 200 mg/dL. Another study published by the American Journal of Medicine found that people over 70 with total cholesterol levels below 160 mg/dL had twice the risk of death than those with cholesterol levels between 160­-199 mg/dL.

The Paradigm Shift

Now that we have debunked many of the myths surrounding heart disease, it is time to talk about the real risk factors of heart diease and what we can do about them.

WE MUST PROTECT CHOLESTEROL BY REDUCING OXIDATIVE STRESS

Oxidative stress is caused by free radical damage.  Some free radicals are produced in the body as a result of digestion and respiration, but we are also exposed to a host of free radicals from air pollution, pestcides and herbicides, and other household chemicals.  In order to minimize the damage from free radicals, we need to reduce exposure to them as much as possible and equip the body with what it needs to combat their damaging effects.  A diet full of antioxidant rich foods neutralizes free radicals and prevents them from damaging our own cells, LDL cholesterol included.  When thinking about antioxidant rich foods think about all of the colors of the rainbow.  You want to make every meal as colorful as possible, opting for organic  Detox foot baths can also be a great way to neturalize free radicals in the body.  They work by introducing negative electrons into the body, which bind to the free radicals and neturalize them.  The body will then flush them out of the system naturally.

SUGAR IS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO HEART DISEASE

A recent study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that “most US adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet,” and that there’s “a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk for cardiovascular disease mortality.” This was concluded after a 15­year long study found that those who consumed 25% or more of their daily calories from sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who consumed less than 10% of their calories from sugar.

FAT IS YOUR FRIEND

Monounsaturated fats, as in the ones found in olives, olive oil, macadameia nuts, and avocados, have been shown to reduce LDL and triglycerides and increase HDL.  They also decrease oxidozed LDL cholesterol, reduce oxidation and inflammation in general, lower blood pressure, and decrease thrombosis- thus reducing the risk of heart disease.  Just remember to save that drizzle of olive oil for after cooking so it does not become rancid!

Omega-3 fats have several cardiovascular benefits.  An analysis of randomized trials since 2003 suggests that regular consumption of omega-3’s would reduce total mortality from all causes by 17%.  Cold water, fatty fish like salmon are most famous for their omega-3 content, but organic grass fed beef is also extremely high in these heart healthy omegas.  I emphasize grass fed because grain fed beef has a significantly lower amount of omega-3’s and an increased amount of the omega-6’s that we are already getting too much of.

A HEART-HEALTHY DIET IS A LOW-CARBOHYDRATE DIET

A low-carbohydrate diet contains limited amounts of grains and an abumdance of protein, healthy fats, vegetables, and some fruits.  This type of diet is now associated with significant decreases in body weight as well as improvements in cardiovascular risk factors, including decreases in triglycerides, fasting glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, abdominal circumference, plasma insulin, c-­reactive protein, and even an increase in HDL cholesterol.

It is important to remember that it is never one single thing that causes a disease, but rather an accumulation of risk factors over time.  With the knowledge that we now have about all of the new discoveries on heart health, we can be proactive in eliminating, or at least decreasing, the risk factors that we have control over and finally start to see a decline in the rate of cardiovascular disease in America and worldwide.

By Cristina McMullen, Certified Wellness Coach, Bio-Energetic Practitioner

Have you ever sat back and wondered why “flu season” starts around mid-October and lasts all the way until March/April?  What is going on this time of year that makes our bodies an ideal environment for these microbes to thrive?

Sugar Season

This is the time of year when sugar is in abundance!  It starts with Halloween, continues with Thanksgiving, gets a huge boost at Christmas/Hanukkah, continues at Super Bowl parties, gets a big chocolate kiss at Valentine’s Day, and ends with Easter candy!

Sugar and its effect on the immune system has been studied since the early 1970s.  It has been proven time and again that simple sugars can suppress the immune system for hours after ingestion.  It does this by affecting the function of neutrophils, the major immune cell that engulfs and destroys microbes.  A normal, healthy white blood cell can destroy an average of 13 germs.  Consuming only 4 grams of sugar weakens our white blood cells so that they can only destroy about 10 microbes.  Increase this sugar consumption to 50 grams and our white blood cells can now only destroy about 5-6 microbes!  To put this into perspective, one miniature Hershey’s bar contains 4 grams of sugar, one miniature Three Musketeer contains 11 grams of sugar, 8 gummy bears contain 21 grams of sugar, and your typical slice of pie with one scoop of ice cream packs a powerful 50 grams of sugar!  Think about how much candy kids eat starting on Halloween night, and it no longer becomes a mystery as to why flu season is in full swing in early November.

The Vitamin D Connection

Our bodies synthesize vitamin D3 from the UV rays of the sun.  When the weather begins to cool down and our clothing layers come out of the attic, our skin is no longer exposed to the sun’s rays, making it next to impossible for our bodies to synthesize vitamin D.  Research has shown that vitamin D3 encourages the production of antimicrobial peptides known as cathelicidins.  These polypeptides play a critical role in the body’s immune defense against microbes.  Supplementing with Vitamin D3 during the fall and winter months is a great way to help support the immune system. (We recommend 5,000 iu per day for adults, and 1,000 iu per every 25 pounds of body weight for children in the fall/winter months.)

Holiday Stress

Let’s face it, the holidays are stressful.  Whether it is dealing with out-of-town family, fighting the shopping crowds, or figuring out how to pay for the extra holiday expenses, our adrenal glands are in over drive.  They enter into a state of constant “fight or flight” and begin producing large amounts of the stress hormone cortisol.  High levels of cortisol in the bloodstream suppress the immune system and can even stop the production of certain immune cells altogether.  Supporting the adrenal glands nutritionally with Vitamins B and C, as well as taking an herbal supplement to support the adrenal glands, can be another way to support the immune system and stay healthy during “flu season.”

So if you want to keep your immune system strong this coming season, limit your sugar consumption, supplement with vitamin D3, and combat stress with natural supplements that promote healthy adrenal function and relaxation.

Longevity’s Nutrition Shoppe carries a wide variety of natural sleep remedies and mood-elevating products.  Call or stop by to speak with one of our staff members about the best stress-relieving strategies and supplements for your family.  

When you think of Adaptogens, think of these three S words: Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief!

To qualify as an Adaptogen, an herb must be completely safe and non-toxic, it must have broad uses for health, and it must specifically reduce stress, both mental and physical. To put it simply: Adaptogens help you adapt. By tonifying and rejuvenating the entire adrenal system, they promote the healthy regulation of cortisol, the “stress hormone.”

Adaptogens greatly improve your body’s ability to adapt to stressors, from a hectic schedule or rush hour traffic to extreme temperatures and high altitudes. This elite class of herbs impart strength, energy, stamina, endurance, and they improve mental clarity. In many parts of the non-western world Adaptogens are used extensively in high-risk, fast-reflex occupations, from athletes to miners to deep sea divers.

Ashwagandha: For exhaustion from physical and/or mental strain.

Of all the medicinal plants used in India’s several millennia old tradition of Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is the most highly prized. It is used to help increase vitality, energy, endurance and stamina, promote longevity, and strengthen the immune system. Today, herbalists often recommend it for people with high blood pressure, insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and impotence associated with anxiety or exhaustion. It enhances endocrine function, especially the thyroid and adrenals.

Astragalus: The Immune Defender

Astragalus has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It was often combined with other herbs to strengthen the body against disease. Astragalus may help protect the body from diseases such as cancer and diabetes. It contains antioxidants, which protect cells against damage. Astragalus is used to protect and support the immune system, preventing colds and upper respiratory infections, lowering blood pressure, treating diabetes, and protecting the liver. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, studies have shown that astragalus has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system, suggesting that it may help prevent colds. U.S. researchers have looked at astragalus as a possible treatment for people whose immune systems have been weakened by chemotherapy or radiation. In these studies, astragalus supplements seem to help people recover faster and live longer.

Eleuthero: For sexual function and overall vitality.

Employed in Traditional Chinese Medicine to invigorate sexual function, boost vital energy and normalize overall body functions, Eleuthero enhances immunity and vitality overall. With 3000 studies and counting, Eleuthero has been studied more than any other herb on the planet! It helps the body adapt to stress and makes the stress response more efficient. It also strengthens memory and helps one stay clear-headed even under pressure. It helps sustain energy over the long-term without the jitters or energy roller coasters of stimulants like caffeine.

Holy Basil: For immunity and longevity.

Like other Adaptogens, Holy Basil enhances the body’s natural response to physical and emotional stress. But it’s also used to treat common colds and flu, diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, earache, headache, heart disease, fever and ringworm. The natural chemicals found in this herb help decrease pain and swelling (inflammation), and stabilize high blood sugar.

Maca: For stamina and performance.

Maca root enhances energy, memory, libido and fertility. Women can use it for hormone balance, menstrual problems and menopause symptoms, and men can use it for sexual and athletic stamina. Maca is also used to treat anemia, osteoporosis, immune dysfunction and depression.

Panax Ginseng: For mental clarity and mood stability.

Ginseng is a tonic herb used for rejuvenate and invigorate. It is often used for improving thinking, concentration, memory and work efficiency, physical stamina, and athletic endurance. It’s also useful in treating depression and anxiety.

Rhodiola Rosea: For “burn-out” from prolonged stress and exhaustion.

A well studied Adaptogen, Rhodiola defends the body overall, and protects general health and well-being. Its anti-stress and fatigue-fighting properties make it one of the most popular botanicals in all of Siberia. It is known for fighting “21st century stress”: fatigue, mental fog, trouble concentrating, low energy and, perhaps, mild depression.

Schisandra: The liver and cell protector.

Schisandra is a potent general tonic, decreasing fatigue, enhancing physical performance, and promoting endurance. The berry counters stress by reducing the levels of stress hormones in the blood. This herb has particular benefits to the liver. It helps in the treatment of hepatitis, as noted in over 500 cases. Schisandra berries provide powerful antioxidant protection, particularly from free radicals and other toxins in the environment that may cause cellular damage.

A few things to note about Adaptogens:

  • Adaptogenic herbs do not alter mood or have a numbing effect, but rather, they help the body function optimally during times of stress.
  • Because many adaptogenic herbs have a stimulating effect, it’s best to take them before 3 p.m., so as not to disrupt sleep. Another class of herbs called nervine relaxants are more suitable for the evening hours (kava kava, avena sativa, etc, chamomile, etc).
  • Different Adaptogens affect people different ways. At Longevity, we favor the synergistic blends, but many of our patients do well with certain herbs over others and like to take one by itself. As you’re experimenting with these herbs, start with low doses and be mindful of your mood, energy and sleep levels. We can help you adjust accordingly.

By Cristina McMullen, Certified Wellness Coach, Bio-Energetic Practitioner

Fall is finally here, which means it is time for pumpkins! Whether it be carving pumpkins, drinking pumpkin spice lattes, or eating pumpkin pie, pumpkins embody everything festive and comforting about fall and the coming cooler weather.  But there is much more to these gourds than pretty decorations, fun activities, and delicious (yet very sugary) desserts and drinks.  Pumpkins are full of nutrition and are actually considered by some to be a fall super food!

Here are some reasons why you may want to add some pumpkin into your diet this season:

Pumpkin Helps Protect Eyesight
Just one cup of mashed pumpkin contains over 200% of the RDI of Vitamin A, which helps with vision.  Pumpkins also contain beta-carotene, the compound that gives pumpkins their orange hue, which is converted by the body into a form of Vitamin A, adding more protection to your vision.  They are also loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that may help prevent cataracts and even slow down the development of macular degeneration.

Pumpkin Helps Boost Immunity
The same cup of mashed pumpkin also contains 20% of the RDI of Vitamin C.  This single vitamin helps boost our immune system so that we can be proactive in staying healthy this coming cold and flu season.

Pumpkin Seeds Can Help Protect Your Heart
Nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are naturally high in plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in some studies to help lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Pumpkin Seeds Can Boost Your Mood
Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan.  This amino acid is important in the production of serotonin, one of the major neurotransmitters that impact our mood.

Pumpkins Can Aid in Weight Loss
Once cup of pumpkin contains 3 gram of fiber.  Because fiber is what helps us to feel fuller longer, pumpkin can help keep us from eating too much over the holidays and packing on those winter pounds.

Pumpkin May Help Ward Off Diabetes
Aside from the benefit of adding fiber into your diet, pumpkins have been shown to reduce blood glucose levels, improve glucose tolerance, and increase the amount of insulin your body produces.

Pumpkin May Reduce Cancer Risk
We now know that pumpkins contain very high amounts of beta-carotene.  Research has shown that people who eat foods rich in beta-carotene may have a lower risk of developing certain forms of cancer, especially prostate and breast cancers.

So go ahead and make both of these amazing pumpkin recipes this fall!  They are both full of flavor and guilt-free!

PUMPKIN CHOWDER

Ingredients:

  • 2 sugar pumpkins (also called pie pumpkins), peeled and diced into cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 organic celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 large organic carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3 organic, free range chicken breasts
  • 3 quarts organic vegetable broth
  • 1 stick organic, pasture raised butter
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • Sriracha (optional)

Directions:

  • Before cutting up the vegetables, add the chicken breasts and vegetable broth to a large stockpot, cover, and cook on high in order to start cooking the chicken.
  • In another large pan, melt the coconut oil. Add the vegetables, garlic, and seasoning and cook until the vegetables begin to soften (about 7-10 minutes).
  • Add the vegetable mix to the stockpot of chicken and broth. Chop ½ bunch of cilantro and add to the soup.  Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Remove the chicken, cool a bit, and shred before returning it back to the pot.
  • While the chicken is cooling, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the gluten free flour to make a paste. Begin to incorporate some broth into the flour paste one cup at a time until it begins to have a soupy consistency and then add this mix to the stockpot.
  • Bring the soup to a boil and allow it to thicken for a few minutes.
  • Add the almond milk.
  • Serve the soup and garnish it with extra fresh cilantro and, if you want some extra kick, some sriracha.

 HEALTHY PUMPKIN FUDGE

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut butter (I used Nutiva’s Coconut Manna)
  • 1 ½ cups organic pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup raw, local honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

Directions:

  • Melt the coconut butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring out all of the clumbs
  • Remove from heat and mix together with the remainder of the ingredients
  • Spread out on a baking sheet and refrigerate for about 2-3 hours, or until the fudge hardens to consistency
  • Cut into pieces and enjoy!