Most of us know someone with some type of neurological disease. Globally, neurological disease accounts for over 6% of disease burden, and it can be extremely traumatic for both the individual and their family. Diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, and headache disorders all fall into this category.
At the present, conventional medicine lacks effective and long-term treatments for most of these diseases, and most are seen as irreversible. Prevention is by far the best option. To keep our nervous system healthy and functioning optimally, we must keep channels of communication open between the gut and the brain. This is referred to as the gut-brain axis. A healthy intestinal microbiome facilitates efficient communication between the gut and the brain. Therefore, supporting our microbiome with good nutrition is key. Stress, certain medications, inadequate sleep, junk food, and vitamin deficiencies can all impact your microbiome and cause your “good bacteria” to be replaced by “bad bacteria”. Below I will dive into some of my favorite foods and habits to help optimize brain health and function.
Continue reading “Top Foods and Habits For A Healthy Brain”
The gloomy weather over the past week has got me sipping all kinds of warming beverages, from hot water with lemon to an old favorite, matcha tea. In addition to its soothing taste, this beautiful green powder is a total powerhouse superfood. In fact, Japanese tea farmers have been growing it for over 1,000 years to obtain its health benefits! This type of tea is unusual in that the whole leaf is ground and consumed, as opposed to conventional green tea where the plant is simply seeped in water.
- METABOLISM BOOSTING. It contains a powerful antioxidant, EGCG, which is known to boost metabolism. One cup of matcha has 137 times the amount as a conventional cup of green tea.
- ANTI-CANCER. One bowl of matcha contains as many antioxidants as 10 cups of green tea.
- STRESS RELIEF. It is high in L-theanine, an amino acid helpful in reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.
- DETOXIFYING. For several weeks before the matcha plant is harvested it is shaded from the sun. This forces the plant to compensate for the lack of light by producing extra chlorophyll, a potent detoxifying compound that binds to toxins in the blood.
In addition to these incredible benefits, I also love matcha because it gives me steady energy without the jitters and, when prepared such as below, it’s filling and will help satisfy sugar cravings!
Collagen Matcha Latte Recipe
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup unsweetened almond or
- 1 scoop collagen (optional)
- 1 tbsp coconut butter
- 1 tsp matcha
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp honey
- Heat the water and milk together in a pot
- Blend, sip, enjoy!
*To make an iced matcha latte, add a cup of ice instead of heating up the water and milk.
Have you tried matcha before? How was it prepared?
Avocados have gained massive popularity in recent years, and for good reason! They are unique in that they are virtually the only fruit (yes, they are a fruit!) that is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They are also extremely nutrient dense as one serving, or 1/3 of an avocado, contains 20 different vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium. One serving also contains 3 grams of fiber which, along with fat, helps stabilize blood sugar and keep you full for longer.
Continue reading “Avocado Cracker Recipe”
You may be thinking or have even been told, “Cholesterol is a type of lipid, so to lower cholesterol levels you need to cut back on fatty foods.” This is not necessarily the case. In fact, the opposite may be true.
In 2014, a meta-analysis of 72 studies and over 600,000 participants investigated the impact of fatty acid consumption on cardiovascular disease. The investigators concluded that saturated fat intake was not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). However, this was not the case for trans-fat, the most harmful type of fat shown to stimulate abnormal cholesterol levels and promote full-body inflammation.
Tell Me More!
The increasing popularity of organic agriculture has been a source of confusion to many. What are the benefits? Is organic actually better? Could the crops and livestock feed be contaminated with herbicides and pesticides from neighboring non-organic farms? These are all valid questions in which I will help you navigate in this post.
Tell Me More!
The contradicting information spread throughout society and the media has only further confused an already muddled understanding on what is or is not “healthy”. Do I eat eggs or avoid them? Should I use butter or margarine? Are sweeteners better than sugar? These are but a few questions I am approached with on a near daily basis. The low fat and fat free craze of the late 1900s that continues on today demonizes fat, and therefore, promotes a greater intake of carbohydrates as not only fruit and vegetables, but in the forms of highly processed breads, pastas, and cereals, to name a few.
Tell me more!