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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Tag Archives: vitamins

Muscle Cramps and Hydration !!

Have you ever had a cramp in a muscle?  Chances are you have.  The most common reason is generally due to lack of hydration.  Many people just do not drink enough water.  Also another reason for cramps is an imbalance of electrolytes in your system.  Usually the culprits are calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and often vitamin B.  Sometimes an easy fix for this is to try a sport drink (low carb) that contains these electrolytes.  It is an inexpensive fix for cramps. Avoid caffeinated drinks if you have recurrent cramps.  Massage and stretching are also good for post cramp issues but continue to hydrate all day long.  Drink fluids more often (every 15 minutes) if you are working out.  You might not know this, but many people with chronic headaches can also help themselves by hydrating more often.  Hope this helps!!

Flu Prevention

Did you know, in this region, the norovirus has ran rampant at several schools and recently caused the closing of a local high school?  The controversy around flu vaccines will always be prevalent however in an article in our local paper, a physician said “truth be told”, the flu shot rarely prevents the flu.  However, there are some herbs and foods that can help combat the risk of catching the flu.  For instance glycyrrhiza lepidota (licorice plant), helps the body stimulate anti-virus compounds and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can raise blood pressure, so if you take BP meds, consult your doc. Red Korean ginseng helps reduce the symptoms and duration of upper respiratory infections however it too can increase blood pressure. Cranberries and elderberries are directly toxic to the influenza virus and can be used without contraindication. Echinacea  tea is often used to fight flu symptoms, as it can enhance the immune system with its anti-viral properties.  If you are allergic to ragweed you may want to avoid this. Just a couple things you can do to fight back during the cold and flu season and don’t forget the usual Vitamins C, D and zinc!!

Stress & Acupuncture

Christmas always brings out the best or worst in people depending on if Santa has you on the naughty or nice list.  Of course trying to be nice all year can be difficult and stressful.  Did you know that acupuncture is great for stress?  There are specific acupuncture points for patients that can help reduce the feeling of anxiety and stress associated with the holidays or those incidents in life that affect us. Also certain supplements are good at helping reduce stress symptoms such as B-complex, Valerian root, melatonin, magnesium and lemon balm among the many that are effective. Finally, laughing and smiling also seem to be good stress relievers.  Don’t you just love the joyful sounds of children laughing during any occasion? Hopefully, your holiday season will be filled with love, laughter, fun, thankfulness and significantly less stress!

Finish with Spinach

If you are of a certain age you probably remember the Popeye the sailor man cartoons.  His claim to a strong finish was the consumption of spinach.  Did you know that spinach has very high levels of zinc, iron, and Vitamins A and C?  Though spinach isn’t thought of in conjunction with the cold and flu season, it does have superfood powers.  In fact, it is one of the few vegetables that can increase in nutritional value once cooked because it has a high water content and ability to reduce to about a quarter in size when cooked. It is a super dense nutrient food with antioxidant compounds and may help with brain function. Spinach should be a vital food used year round and it just may help prevent catching nasty stuff during the cold and flu season!

Supplements and Injury

Just read an article that states about 5% of all pharmaceutical ER visits are due to dietary supplements.  This accounts for about 23,000 visits yearly.  This also means 95% of those ER visits (roughly 440,000) are from prescription meds.  Supplements are unregulated by the FDA however the manufacturers cannot make unsubstantiated claims not backed by scientific study.  Many however do.  I utilize supplements in my practice for a variety of reasons however all are used for therapeutic value and based upon studies that show efficacy.  When taking supplements, one should research the ingredients and decide what particular need is being addressed, what the supplement is used for, what its effects are and are those effects going to impact your particular problem. Also know that some supplements can interfere with meds and vice versa. Stay informed!

Chiropractic and Health and Vitamins

I read an article in our local paper on multivitamins which said that the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force released a report that concluded there was no correlation between taking vitamins and better health. In fact, the USPSTF did put out a statement late last year stating, ” based upon lack of evidence, the Task Force determined that it cannot recommend FOR or AGAINST taking vitamins, and minerals, alone, in pairs or in multivitamins in order to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer.” So it was very misleading story, not about a general health statement but a statement on two specific health diseases. We often have to dig a little deeper to find the real story. The statement went on to say that patients should talk to their physician about using these supplements. If you do talk to your doctor, make sure they have experience using them with patients. Many Chiropractors utilize supplements with their patients!

Nutrition and Watercress

A recent study from William Paterson University in New Jersey has ranked the top powerhouse fruits and vegetables based upon the nutrients they provide per calorie.  Believe it or not, “watercress” topped the list.  Watercress is a cruciferous vegetable, and at only four calories per cup, which is amazing, it contains more vitamins and minerals per bite than”kale” or “spinach”.   The ranking were based on the Agriculture Department data regarding the content of fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D, and other nutrients considered important to our health.  Watercress contains many nutrients that protect against cancer and heart disease including high levels of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, riboflavin, niacin, folate and calcium.

Flu & Cold

This is now the cold and flu season and some easy ways to help avoid and treat these nasty bugs include washing hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes and mouth, cough into crux of the elbow, avoid touching objects in public places, obviously stay away from the sick, stop smoking and avoid the smoke, clean all the surfaces you contact especially door knobs and phones, drink out of a dedicated cup, and if you are sick, stay home so you do not infect others. Remember most upper respiratory infections are viral and antibiotics are useless against them. Increase your Vitamin C, zinc picolinate and bioflavanoids, but talk to your doc first.