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15 Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes, According to Science

Sweet potatoes are nutritious and delicious root vegetables. The sweet potato is creamy and soft enough to be an ingredient in several pie recipes, and most people think of the vegetable as merely a dessert ingredient. However, scientists have found that sweet potatoes are among the best sources of Vitamin A (1). Sweet potatoes are also naturally packed with vitamin B5, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and carotenoids due to their naturally orange color. Read more

Seniors Often Face Dental Care Challenges

Typically, we make sure our family has regular checkups, but is your older loved one following the same schedule? Experts are guessing the answer is probably not.

According to the Center for Disease Control, a little over half (60 percent) of today’s senior adults visited a dentist in 2013 despite the fact that one in four of seniors aged 65 and older have gum disease. This segment of the population is in need of proper dental care since many of today’s serious diseases can be linked to tooth decay or gum disease. Read more

7 healthiest foods for seniors — and the rest of us

According to the World Health Organization, unhealthy diets are among the leading causes of non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. As you age, eating can become more of a chore than a fun part of your day. Whether you face difficulty chewing, upset stomach, low energy or dry mouth, there are ways you and your family can bring light back into the kitchen. Focusing on increasing the intake of specific nutrients and proteins is the best way to supplement the supplements you may be taking. Here is a list of the seven best foods to keep in your diet as you age.

1. Eggs

Eggs pack a powerful protein punch and are high in B12, which increases energy. They are soft if you or your loved one has difficulty chewing, and they have enough natural moisture to aid those with dry mouth. If cholesterol is a concern, try eating one regular egg and supplementing with egg whites.

2. Lean Beef

Beef is another great way to add protein to your diet, and it is also considered to be a “brain” food. To ensure nutrients are at their optimum, choose grass-fed beef, which has higher amounts of fatty acids and B complexes. Beef also contains choline, which promotes memory and immune system health. Looking for other options instead of steak? Try a beef minestrone soup, or a lean burger, instead.

3. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is rich in calcium with half the sugar and sodium content found in regular plain non-fat yogurt. Greek yogurt is another great source of protein, especially for vegetarians. Yogurt wets the pallet and goes down easy for those with dry mouth. Not loving the plain flavor? Try adding agave nectar and berries for an organic option packed with antioxidants.

4. Dark Greens

Spinach and kale are among Mother Nature’s heavy lifters when it comes to natural sources of essential vitamins. Spinach is high in iron, magnesium and potassium, which are great for carrying oxygen to the lungs, fighting chronic fatigue and keeping blood sugars low. Kale promotes bone growth with high amounts of calcium and increased immune system strength as a great source of vitamin A. More importantly, kale offers tons of vitamin K which is helpful for blood clotting. Try sauteed spinach or adding kale to a fruit smoothie. Here are some great recipes for massaged kale salads, which help the dense vegetable soak up more flavors for eating.

5. Quinoa, Brown Rice and Flax Seed

Healthy grains are a great way to add dietary fiber to your eating plan. Not only is fiber important for a healthy digestive system, but these alternatives to wheat also contain natural sources of Vitamin B-1, Manganese, and essential fatty acids. Quinoa and brown rice are great sides to a complete lunch or dinner mixed into a salad or standing alone. Flaxseed can be added to almost any recipe or blended in a smoothie.

6. Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are excellent sources of antioxidants. Fruits that are rich in color can aid in lowering blood pressure, enhance fiber intake, and promote health for those with diabetes. Berries are great added to a salad, over yogurt or steel-cut oats or blended into a smoothie.

7. Fish

Fatty fishes, including salmon, are a rich source of Omega 3s. Omega 3s contain myriad health benefits that are essential for a healthy senior diet. In addition to enhancing heart health, Omegas are known to aid in decreasing effects of rheumatoid arthritis, increasing bone density to avoid osteoporosis, and preventing the risk of memory loss with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Baked or grilled salmon is easy to make and goes great with a variety of sides, salads, and grains to make it suitable for all seasons.

While aging can bring complications with some of our favorite past-times, getting older does not have to put a damper on the way we eat. Eating a well-planned and balanced diet may reduce the risk of bone loss, stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. Ensuring our meal selections are rich in vitamins and come from natural and organic sources will not only appease the pallet but will also add nutrients that are essential for promoting increased energy and aiding longevity.

3 things you should know about diabetes

Did you know at this very moment you could have diabetes?

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, out of the 29 million Americans with diabetes, 1 in 4 don’t know they have the disease. But as thousands of new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year, the prognosis is grim. A newly diagnosed diabetic faces a future of pills, vague fitness and nutrition plans and no real answers for effective treatment.

What if the medical community could eliminate diabetes from our families? What if there was a way to prevent diabetes? Better yet, what if there was a way to reverse it?

There is a way.

But it requires a greater understanding of the effects of diabetes on the body, the limitations of today’s healthcare and the empowering effects of looking at this disease differently.

The effects of diabetes on the body

What is happening in your body? Quite a bit. In a healthy body, energy is created when the hormone insulin pulls glucose cells out of the blood and passes through a receptor site to produce Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP.

But in a diabetic’s body, the receptor site doesn’t open for this molecule, so insulin and blood sugar have no choice but to convert to cholesterol, attach to your blood vessel walls and wreak havoc on your system with painful inflammation.

Today’s pharmaceutical companies have created drugs for every health condition. Often a diabetic is prescribed a cocktail of blood sugar, cholesterol, and high blood pressure medications and told to eat right and exercise, yet this generalized treatment plan doesn’t effectively reduce the symptoms of this disease.

The limitations of today’s healthcare system

At times it seems there is a disconnect between treating and curing disease. One pathway doesn’t typically lead to the other. It’s frustrating.

According to the World Health Organization, the US ranks 37 in overall health systems, barely edging out Slovenia and Cuba. Americans take 50% of the world’s medications yet make up a mere 5% of the world’s population. Our nation’s dependency on pharmaceuticals contributes to a healthcare system that focuses on symptoms rather than prevention. That can be frustrating for a patient struggling for answers.

The empowering effects of looking at diabetes differently

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” —Andy Dufrensne, character from the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”

You have the power to reverse this disease, and there are tools to help you. This isn’t about turning your back on modern medicine. I recognize the use of drugs as an essential part of treatment for a number of illnesses, but I don’t view medications as a permanent solution.

A better approach would be for patients to free themselves from the confines of large quantities of medications and explore long-term solutions through customized treatment plans that profoundly improve quality of life.

If you hope to control diabetes, you must gain a greater understanding of this disease, understand the limitations of the present healthcare system and embrace a new knowledge of what can treat and ultimately reduce the negative effects of this disease. In this way, you are gonna “get busy living” every day.

Dr. Candice Hall is Chief of Staff of Next Advanced Medicine. She was awarded Physician of the Year in 2005 from the NRCC and has over 14 years of experience in Functional Medicine.

This article was originally published on Familyshare.com. It has been republished here with permission.