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60 1st St  |  South Orange, NJ 07079  |  973-761-0022

Articles in Category: Nutrition

Microbes In Your Gut Influence Your Health

Microbes In Your Gut Influence Your Health
Published Tuesday, 02 July 2019

Believe it or not,  there are roughly 100 trillion bacteria living inside your digestive system right now. That’s the same as the number of stars that exist in the largest galaxy in the universe! Some of this is “bad bacteria” and some of it is “good bacteria,” but it is all collectively considered your gut microbiota. It’s like its own ecosystem, working to keep your body healthy.

Your microbiota is like a fingerprint: unique to you. About one-third of gut bacteria is the same for each person, but the remaining two-thirds is specific to each individual. And this bacteria can play a huge role in your health, head to toe.

So what do these microbes in your gut actually do? And how do they influence your overall health?

Your Gut and Your Brain

There’s a direct correlation between your gut health and your mental health. Eating the right foods and encouraging a healthy microbiome won’t cure major chemical imbalances, but it can help you get proper sleep, and even elevate your mood.

Your brain is, of course, partially responsible for promoting a healthy sleep schedule, but did you know that your gut plays just as important of a role in getting a good night’s sleep? Ninety percent of your body’s serotonin is found in the gut. Serotonin helps produce melatonin, or “the sleep hormone,” and in fact, there is 400 times the amount of melatonin found in your gut than in your brain.

Recent studies have proven a direct connection between the body’s gut and the brain, and that gut health can have a huge impact on pain, sleep, cortisol levels, and even depression and anxiety. Sleep can help encourage a healthy microbiome, and in turn, healthy flora in the digestive system can promote good sleep patterns and improved mood, and potentially even prevent depression.

Your Gut and Your Body

One of the main ways that your gut bacteria influence your health is your metabolism. These bacteria determine what nutrients you absorb from the food you eat, as well as how many calories your body takes in. Too much gut bacteria can turn fiber into fatty acids, leaving fatty deposits in your liver, which can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

Having a wealth of healthy microbes in your gut can have a positive influence on fighting disease and lessening the symptoms of some medical conditions. Because of the ability of a strong microbiome to relieve inflammation, developing a healthy microbiome can reduce joint pain for those with rheumatoid arthritis. It can also reduce the risk of some cancers, lower the chances of heart disease, and boost the immune system and its ability to fight melanoma.

In short, having a well-developed microbiome is like preventative medicine.

How You Can Improve Your Gut Health

You can seek out certain foods to encourage a healthy gut. What you eat not only feeds you, it feeds your gut bacteria as well. Because of this, it’s important to think of foods that will help grow your gut microbiome to get all the health benefits of a healthy digestive system.

Ninety percent of our cells are nonhuman cells. Instead, they are microbial cells like the bacteria found in our gut— we really ARE what we eat.

  • Eat a diverse array of foods: Research has shown that 75% of the world eats food from only 12 plant species and 5 animal species, but in parts of the world where they eat a wider range of foods, they have a more diverse array of microbiota in their gut.

  • Choose plenty of fruits, vegetables, and legumes: Vegetables, legumes, and fruits are all high in fiber, which is hard for your body to digest. However, some of the bacteria in your gut can break down and digest fiber. In fact, eating foods higher in fiber stimulates the growth of these bacteria. Foods that are high in fiber include:
    • Broccoli
    • Chickpeas
    • Lentils
    • Raspberries
    • Artichokes
    • Split peas and boiled green peas
    • Chia seeds
    • All varieties of beans (black, pinto, kidney, etc

Generally, a plant-based diet is high in fiber and will encourage a healthy flora of bacteria in your digestive system, among other health benefits like reduced inflammation and lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Incorporate fermented foods: Foods like kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, and sauerkraut all have healthy, live bacteria cultures that can encourage the growth of bacteria in your gut, can improve digestion and boost immunity. These foods have a strong presence of probiotics, and incorporating probiotic supplements is another way to incorporate these bacteria into your diet.

  • Avoid ultra-processed foods: Food with refined sugars and emulsifiers, and a lack of fiber does not encourage the growth of healthy bacterial flora. Sugary sodas and carb-heavy processed foods feed the bad bacteria living in our gut, causing inflammation and can even promote overeating.

Total wellness doesn’t just include the wellness of your spine and your joints: It starts from the inside. At South Orange Chiropractic, we believe in the wellness and health of the whole body. Do you have questions about how your gut health can impact the health of your joints, and potentially relieve pain? Connect with us today to start your journey towards total health.

Food As Medicine?

Preventing Chronic Disease With Simple Nutrition Changes

Food As Medicine?
Published Wednesday, 24 April 2019

We all want to be our healthiest selves and, if possible, prevent chronic diseases from developing at some point in our lives. The prospect of living healthier is attractive, of course, but it can be overwhelming because we aren’t quite sure where to start and how to alter our routines.

There are simple nutrition changes that you can make today that can help you prevent chronic diseases. All they require is a quick trip to the grocery store, your local farm stand, or even your own garden.

Chronic Diseases: What are they?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain that chronic diseases are “defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both.”

Some of the most common are heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. 6 in 10 adults live with a chronic disease; 4 in 10 live with two or more. They are the leading causes of developing disabilities or dying.

How can food help prevent chronic disease?

Make sure that you are eating a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption are also helpful behaviors in the prevention of chronic disease.

We’re going to give you 6 tips for what you should avoid and what you should eat more of to help you prevent chronic disease.

Tip #1: Reduce red meat and processed meat

We know that lots of people love a cold-cut sandwich for lunch and a great burger or steak for dinner. However, reducing or eliminating red meat as well as processed meats is one way to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD).

According to research presented by Dr. Michelle McMacken during 2018’s American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting, if you eat no meat, you’ll have a 24% to 29% decreased risk of mortality and a 32% decreased risk of cardiovascular disease incident cases.

Processed meat can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 37%. Consuming 100 grams of red meat per day increases a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer by 17%. 50 grams of processed meat per day increases the risk by 18%,

What can you eat instead? Try:

  • fish
  • chicken and turkey
  • nuts
  • beans
  • low-fat dairy products
  • whole grains

Tip #2: Eat less sugar and salt

We know that sugar and salt are incredibly hard to avoid and they make foods taste delicious, but try to be mindful of how much you are consuming every day. Sugar is empty calories, and contributes to risks for developing diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), and weight gain that can lead to obesity. Limiting salt (sodium) will lessen your risk of developing high blood pressure which is a risk factor for stroke and coronary disease.

Tip #3: Don’t consume more calories than you need

Many of us eat because we enjoy it (beyond being hungry), and because there are some foods that we love. One way to limit unnecessary consumption of food (and, so, calories) is to add more fiber to your meals.

Adding only 14 more grams of fiber to your daily meals will help you reduce your caloric intake by 10%–18%, according to Dr. McMacken. Rather than focusing on what you might have to actively choose to not eat, by consuming more fiber, you will reduce your hunger naturally, and it will be easier to avoid eating when you aren’t actually hungry.

Tip #4: Eat more fruits and vegetables

Some people love fruits and veggies, while others aren’t as excited to eat them, we know. If you can get them fresh from your garden or local farm, they will be more likely to be more flavorful than fruits and veggies that have been picked, packaged, stored, and shipped to your grocery store. The more you can eat, the better.

Dr. McMacken points out that two-and-a-half servings of fruits and vegetables a day lowers your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by 8%, having a stroke by 16%, and dying of anything by 10%. If you love fruits and veggies, you’re really in luck, because seven-and-a-half daily servings are associated with a significant 14% reduction in total cancer risk. Eating fruit daily can also decrease your risk of developing diabetes. If you currently have diabetes, eating fruit daily can lower your risk of complications or mortality.

Tip #5: Eat whole grains

The fiber from whole grains has been associated with lower risks of coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes. Whole grains also reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer and whole cancer mortality by 17%, according to Dr. McMaken’s research.

Again, because fiber makes you feel fuller quicker, you are less likely to continue eating when you aren’t hungry. That is a great way to help you maintain or lose weight, preventing obesity, which is a contributing factor to many chronic diseases.

Tip #6: Eat more unsaturated fats and omega-3 fats

Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature can improve cholesterol, lessen inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms and reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease. They are found in various plant sources.

There are two types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Great sources of monounsaturated fats are:

  • Olive, peanut, and canola oils
  • Avocados
  • Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans
  • Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds

Great sources of polyunsaturated fats are:

  • Sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils
  • Walnuts
  • Flax seeds
  • Fish
  • Canola oil (again!)

Omega-3 fats are a type of polyunsaturated fat that the body cannot make. Fish, flax seeds, walnuts, and canola and soybean oil are great sources of omega-3 fats.


ChooseMyPlate.gov is a website created by the USDA that offers resources, meal suggestions, and tips to help you create nutritious meals to help you maintain your health. If you have questions about your wellness journey, we’re here to help! Contact us today.

What are the Blue Zones, and what does it mean for our longevity?

What are the Blue Zones, and what does it mean for our longevity?
Published Wednesday, 13 March 2019

The National Geographic Society has recently published some shocking findings: they’ve located regions in the world where the “World’s Healthiest People” live long into their nineties, and many into their hundreds. These areas have been coined “Blue Zones,” where clusters of people live, disease free, happy, active, and fulfilled.

In an increasingly busy world focused on technology, these Blue Zones seem like an anomaly. We are immersed in our phones, we eat lunch at our desk, and we are always busy, but we also know more about our bodies than we ever have. So what do the people who live in these Blue Zones know that we don’t?

Exactly what is a Blue Zone?

There are five zones throughout the world that are considered Blue Zones. In these zones the average number of centenarians is much higher than anywhere else in the world. The life expectancy is higher, but why? And where are they?

Blue Zones can be found in parts of Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the United States. They include the following “official” Blue Zone locations:

  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Loma Linda, California
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica

These are not the only locations, however. Other Blue Zones have been pinpointed in Pakistan, Ecuador, the country of Georgia, and elsewhere. What do these regions have in common? The residents of these locations live quantifiably longer, healthier lives, frequently past the age of 100. For example, in most regions of the world, people have a 1 in 100,000 chance of living to turn 100 years old. In Okinawa, however, 1 in 2,000 live to see more than one century.

Older people who live in these areas are healthier, more active, more youthful, and more energetic, and as a whole, the populations of these Blue Zones incur less diseases like diabetes, cancer, and other ailments that most in the western world associate with aging.

The Secret of the Blue Zones

The longevity seen in these Blue Zones is not a geographic phenomenon. In fact, just 15 kilometers from Ikaria, where they claim that sometimes they just “forget to die,” Greeks living in Samos have a very different life. High-rise buildings, resorts, and million-euro homes pack the island, which is filled with hustle and bustle, and purportedly, a higher focus on material possessions and celebrations. Ikarians refer to the neighboring island as a “me”-focused place, not an “us” place.

What exactly leads to longer, healthier lives in these Blue Zones? A Blue Zone life is filled with simple joys, simple foods, community, and an active, driven life. They work to keep their bodies strong and their minds sharp. Those living in Blue Zones have a deep reverence for each part of their life: from the food they put in their bodies, to how they spend their time, and what they value.

Can We Create Our Own Blue Zones?

So if you aren’t lucky to live in one of these “blue zones,” then what can you do to improve your individual longevity? How can we take the knowledge of these Blue Zones into our own lives?

  • Focus on whole foods and a diet that is mainly plant-based, with antioxidants and anti-aging herbs (this includes foods that are great for spine health!)
  • Daily benefits of physical activity and exercise for the entirety of one’s life
  • Priority on family and a strong inner circle
  • Regular consumption of small amounts of alcohol like red wine
  • A smoke-free lifestyle
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Healthy ways to cope with stress, and reduced stress levels overall, like meditation
  • An overall positive attitude about aging
  • Emphasis on fulfillment and not material success
  • A strong sense of community and spirituality
  • A sense of purpose, including work, for all of one’s life

What else can help you to create your own personal Blue Zone? A focus on holistic health. On restoring the body to its ideal state, not only through diet and exercise, but on how you treat your body’s ailments as well.

Working with healthcare professionals like a chiropractor, massage therapist, and acupuncturist realigns your body in a non-invasive way that honors your body, with that same reverence for your body and mind that is seen in whole foods, physical activity, and relieving stress.

If you are looking to create your own personal Blue Zone, start by ensuring your body is in its very best state. Contact our office to start your path to longevity, peace, and balance today.

Foods That Keep Your Spine Healthy and Strong

Foods That Keep Your Spine Healthy and Strong
Published Thursday, 10 January 2019

Back pain can happen to anyone. People who stand on their feet all day might find they have back pain. Athletes and folks who work out regularly might lift something the wrong way and hurt their back. A car accident could injure your spine.

Sometimes, you just can’t help what gives you back pain. You can, however, make sure that your spine is as healthy and strong as possible by exercising regularly and eating healthy foods. Some foods are even specifically good for your spine.

We’ve created a list of foods you can incorporate into your healthy diet that will keep your spine healthy and strong, and able to better withstand possible injuries.

Foods For Your Spine #1: Balanced Diet

Before we get into the specifics, let’s briefly cover what it means to have a balanced diet. You need to have a wide range of healthy foods packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that will all help not just your spine, but your entire body, to function optimally.

Protein is important, but remember it doesn’t just come from meat. Protein also comes from veggies and legumes like lentils, beans, and nuts. Deep green veggies like broccoli, kale, and spinach will also help to reduce inflammation in the body.

While your mind might automatically think “No!” to carbs and fats, your body needs complex carbohydrates and good fats to live. Omega-3 fatty acids from salmon and flaxseed also help to reduce inflammation, and oatmeal is a healthy source of carbs. Omega-9 fatty acids from avocados are a great source of energy for your body.

Foods For Your Spine #2: Dairy Products for Calcium

We all know milk does a body good. It helps build strong bones, and your spine is definitely in that category. Milk is not the only source of calcium for you to ensure you have an adequate amount of calcium in your diet. There is also cheese and yogurt, both of which can also have good amounts of protein.

You don’t need to just have dairy products for calcium. You can also make sure plenty of leafy greens are included in your meals. Kale, lettuce. Collared greens, cabbage, and chard all have a great deal of calcium.

Foods For Your Spine #3: Spices for Health

Turmeric is a spice used in cooking. It is one of the main ingredients in curry. Turmeric has many health benefits, but for your spine, it contains properties that can help to repair damaged tissue. If you have suffered an injury, it is wise to include turmeric in your cooking.

Turmeric can be used in a wide variety of food and in every meal you eat. Sprinkle it in your scrambled eggs or frittata for breakfast. Season your chicken with turmeric. Season your rice with turmeric, as well as your vegetables. It is very easy to add this spine-healthy spice to your diet.

Foods For Your Spine #4: Hydrating Foods

Hydration for your spine is of the utmost importance. Your spinal disks are easily dehydrated. When they are lacking hydration, the spinal disks shrink. This can cause great pain. Of course you already know that drinking water will keep you hydrated, but did you know there are also foods that can help keep you hydrated?

Adding the following foods to your diet can help keep your body hydrated:

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Cauliflower
  • Cantelope

Instead of dessert after dinner, consider having a serving of on of these fruits, or trying celery and cucumbers as an afternoon snack instead of something with empty calories.


Your spine is benefited by a balanced diet and a regular exercise routine. Avoid those activities that would do your spine harm, such as sitting in one place for long periods of time, or doing manual labor without proper support. If you have any questions about how to keep your spine healthy and strong, call the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center. Our team is ready to make you an appointment to talk about your spine and your overall health and wellness.

4 Natural Ways to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Choices That You Can Control

4 Natural Ways to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Published Monday, 01 October 2018

Modern medicine has taught us that it is not just the unlucky few who get cancer, and not only those who have a genetic predisposition to it. It has been made clear that our lifestyle choices that can also significantly enhance our chances of getting cancer. And only lifestyle choices are within our control.

While making different, healthier lifestyle choices cannot guarantee that a cancer diagnosis isn’t in your future, informed choices now can impact the overall lifetime risk. The following are five healthy lifestyle decisions you can make today that may help reduce your risk of breast cancer tomorrow.

Reducing The Risk of Breast Cancer Tip #1: Keep A Healthy Weight

Both men and women can be diagnosed with breast cancer, but it is more commonly diagnosed in women than men. As a general rule, keeping your weight at a healthy level will improve your overall health and wellness, but it will also reduce the extra fat tissue that increases estrogen levels. A higher lifetime exposure to estrogen has been shown to increase the risk of breast and other types of cancer. Body-fat, especially fat around the mid-section is biologically active and actually produces estrogen in both men and women! Luckily this type of belly-fat responds well to even small increases in physical activity, but aim for 30 or more minutes of exercise on most days of the week.

Reducing The Risk of Breast Cancer Tip #2: Quit Smoking and Drink Less

For premenopausal women, there is increasing evidence that shows the risk of breast cancer goes up if you are a smoker. Quitting altogether is recommended for everyone, but particularly those who are at increased risk of cancer. Studies are suggesting that limiting your intake of alcohol to one per day, or one any time you drink, poses less risk than consuming multiple alcoholic beverages at a time.

Reducing The Risk of Breast Cancer Tip #3: Move More & Limit Chair Time

Getting regular exercise can be difficult, especially for anyone who sits at a desk all day, and for those who have kids and other commitments after work. As we age, it can become increasingly difficult to get up out of bed early and exercise before work as well. Getting at least 300 minutes of exercise each week is the recommendation to reduce your risks of cancer, but there are other things you can do to make sure sitting all day isn’t unnecessarily harming your health.

If your situation would allow for it, try a standing desk instead of a sitting one. Standing desks are much better for your overall health and will keep your body a little more active during the day by engaging the core muscles. You could also try sitting on a yoga ball instead of a chair. This also keeps your core engaged and your muscles engaged and can even increase your concentration.

Reducing The Risk of Breast Cancer Tip #4: More Plants, Less Meat

A good rule of thumb when adjusting your diet is to incorporate a wide variety of colorful vegetables and fruits. These color pigments are actually called flavonoids. They contain anticancer properties. So the more colorful your plate is at each meal, the better you are doing to reduce your risk of breast cancer naturally.

Limiting your overall consumption of meat, especially grilled red meat or processed meat, is highly recommended. Both grilled red meat and processed meat products have been shown to contain carcinogenic (cancer-causing) properties. Here are some more helpful suggestions for risk-reducing dietary changes:

Eat These Foods More:

  • Variety of colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Foods rich in fiber such as whole grains, legumes, and beans
  • Low-fat dairy, or nut-based milk
  • Vitamin D rich foods (fish, eggs)
  • Spices with anti-inflammatory properties (turmeric, etc.)
  • omega-3 fatty acids (reduce Omega-6)

Eat Less of These Foods/Drinks:

  • Alcohol
  • Sugar
  • Bad Fats (hydrogenated oils, trans fats)
  • Red meat (especially grilled)
  • Soybean-based products (contain estrogen properties)


For more information on natural ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer, call the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center. They will be happy to help you find ways to improve your overall health and wellness.

Healthy Meal Planning Tips For Back To School

Healthy Meal Planning Tips For Back To School
Published Thursday, 06 September 2018

Back to school means back to busy for most families. If you have kids in after school care who have art lessons, football practice, piano lessons, dance practice, or any of the other million activities that come when school starts up, feeding everyone can start to become a huge pain.

It doesn’t have to be that way! Taking a few hours out of your week, maybe on a Sunday evening or Saturday morning, to make sure you have healthy meals planned for breakfast, lunch and dinner all week long can help you eliminate the stress related to mealtimes.

Healthy Meal Planning Tips

Before we get to specifics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there are a few overarching tips to healthy meal planning that will help get you started.

First, think about how the weekly schedule looks for your family. Is there a night you’ll need to grab dinner as you go so there should be something easy to serve, such as a crockpot meal? Is there a night everyone has at home so you can have a full sit down dinner as a family? The last thing you want when no one gets home for dinner until 7:30 is to have to spend an hour cooking that meal. You’ll be much happier if it's been cooking all day, or is premade and just needs to be warmed up.

Second, make sure you have easy meals and emergency meals made for nights when things go wrong. Maybe you have a sick kid and there isn’t going to be that sit-down family meal on the night everyone has off. Having a frozen casserole as an emergency meal in the freezer will make your life easier when you are tending to your sick little one and not worrying about also making everyone else dinner.

Last, but not least, if you have new meals you are preparing, make sure you make note of them. If you have a recipe folder for printouts, or a file on your computer, or even a place on Pinterest that you can keep successful recipes so you know to add them into your rotation, you won’t forget about a new meal your family liked.

Healthy Meal Planning For Breakfast

When you think about meal prepping, most people think about dinner. Once the kids go back to school though, there’s another hectic meal: Breakfast! Typically, this is the only other meal your family has together. Mornings are rough, especially when kids are getting back in the school groove— why not meal prep for breakfast?

To make sure they are getting healthy food, have fruits and veggies on hand they can grab themselves, like bananas or apples or slices of peppers. Premake some sausages that you or your kids can just pop in the microwave to warm up in the morning. Hard boiled eggs that are pre-shelled might be a lifesaver for you in a morning pinch. There are many breakfast casserole recipes as well that can be frozen or premade to help make the back to school morning rush easier.

Healthy Meal Planning For Lunch

Do you pack lunch for your children every day? Do you have a child in preschool that must pack a lunch to take with them? Here are the easiest steps you can take to pack a healthy lunch:

  • Protein
    • Think about this when you’re making your dinner meal plan as well. Perhaps you could use the leftover roast chicken you made for dinner one night as the protein in your kids’ lunches. Or make a couple of extra (smaller) turkey burgers they can eat without a bun.
  • Veggie and Dip
    • At the beginning of the week, you can pre-cut some veggies and put them in containers for lunch for the week. You can also make a healthy dip to go along with them.
  • Fruit
    • Pick an easy fruit for your kids to open or eat, or pick a fruit that won’t turn in the hours it spends in the lunch box. You can pre-slice an orange and it will still look delicious at lunchtime
  • Extras
    • Find a healthy snack, maybe a granola bar or some thin cookies, you can put in their lunch too. That way they won’t feel like they are missing out on the dessert that their friends might have in their lunches, but you still feel really good about the nutrition they are receiving.

Healthy Meal Planning For Dinner

One of the best tips to keep in mind for dinner is to plan for leftovers. Consider making a roast chicken that will allow for your family to eat the leftovers within the next couple of days.

Leftovers can also be a great way to save money for the working adults in your family. Instead of going out to eat for lunch, pack your lunch with last night’s leftovers. Not only will you save money, you’ll likely eat a much healthier lunch as well.

For more information on how you can help your whole family eat healthier, and how to improve your overall health and wellness, call the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center today. They are experts in not only chiropractic pain management, but also weight loss, healthy living, acupuncture, and many other wellness topics.

Sneaky Ways to Add More Vegetables to Every Meal

Sneaky Ways to Add More Vegetables to Every Meal
Published Thursday, 01 March 2018

“No dessert until you’ve finished your broccoli.”

“You’re not allowed to leave the table until that spinach is gone.”

"No, the dog cannot have your brussel sprouts!" 

Sound familiar? Getting kids to eat their vegetables can be a struggle, but they aren’t the only ones who have a hard time consuming the recommended daily serving. According to American dietary guidelines, 3-5 servings of vegetables per day are recommended for a healthy diet. Typically, a serving equals 1 cup of a vegetable - for instance, 1 medium size potato or even a ¾ cup of vegetable juice. Unfortunately, most people (even adults!) have a hard time following those guidelines.

 

Luckily, we’ve thought of some easy and sneaky ways to add more vegetables to each of your daily meals!

More Vegetables for Breakfast

One of the easiest ways to add vegetables to your breakfast is to make a frittata. Scramble up some eggs and throw in any vegetable you like. Red onions, peas, artichokes, broccoli, tomatoes - the sky's the limit for the vegetables you can use to make a frittata more filling and flavorful!

Another great way to add in veggies to your breakfast is to puree vegetables to mix in with your pancakes. Puree a butternut squash and combine it with your favorite pancake or waffle mix for a delicious and nutritious start to your day.

Pre-Prep Veggies for Snacking

When it comes to snack foods, preparation is key. When you have the option either to munch on a bag of chips or to cut up carrots or peppers to dip in hummus, the more convenient choice will most often win. Setting aside time each week to prep healthy veggies for snacking can make it easier to choose the healthier option during those times.

Purchase a big bag of baby carrots or peapods, and portion them into snack-size bags. Cut peppers and cucumbers for dipping, or have mixed greens on hand for an easy salad. These simple and quick ways can help you and your family ensure that you’re getting your daily servings of veggies in — and reducing the amount of junk food that you consume!

Bulk Up Lunch and Dinner Vegetable Servings

Pureeing vegetables might sound like adding baby food to your dishes, but it is a great way to get your servings of vegetables while also adding flavor to your foods. This is also an excellent way to get your kids or your picky spouse to eat a wider variety of vegetables.

Spinach can be pureed and mixed in with a red sauce, and cauliflower can be pureed and added to meatballs. Spaghetti and meatballs never looked so healthy!

Speaking of spaghetti, why not try your hand at veggie noodles? Zucchini, squash, and even sweet potatoes all make a great vegetable noodle. You can skip the carbs and add plentiful servings of veggies to your meals, and even the kids will enjoy it.

Sneaky Vegetable Adding - Ninja Level

We’ve talked about adding vegetables into all three daily meals - but what about adding vegetables into desserts? Chocolate is such a strong and delicious flavor that it can hide almost any pureed vegetable, making it a great way to sneak some healthy additions into desserts like brownies, chocolate cake, or cookies.

Avocados are a healthy fruit that can be added in by stealth to a sweet treat. Avocado chocolate pudding is a great example, and if you don’t spill the beans, no one will ever guess they are getting a part of their daily fruit requirement in their pudding!

Getting your five servings of veggies each day is just the start of ensuring that you’re living a healthy lifestyle. For more nutritional advice, consult with the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center.

Are Energy Drinks Bad for Your Heart?

Are Energy Drinks Bad for Your Heart?
Published Thursday, 15 February 2018

Must. Have. Caffeine.

We all have our morning routines. Most of us shower, brush our teeth, get dressed, and eat breakfast. Chances are some caffeinated beverage helps to jump-start your morning, like coffee, tea, or an energy drink. Caffeinated drinks can do wonders for college students heading out to an early morning class after pulling an all nighter or an exhausted mother of three in the middle of a particularly nasty flu season. In doses under 400 milligrams, caffeine is considered safe for consumption by the FDA, and a regular 8-ounce coffee from your corner shop only has 95 milligrams on average. According to an April 2017 study, however, what caffeinated drink you choose can greatly impact your heart’s health.

Much research has already been done about the cardiovascular safety profile of caffeine, but scientists at the David Grant Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base were interested in how energy drinks may affect the heart. The team compared blood pressure and EKG results of healthy individuals after they drank an energy drink or a regular caffeinated beverage. The caffeinated beverage had the same amount of caffeine as the energy drink, but none of the other ingredients, such as sugar, various B vitamins, and taurine, which are found in many of the common energy drinks available now.  

Your Heart on Energy Drinks

The results were interesting. The participants who drank the energy drink had elevated blood pressure for up to six hours after consuming the beverage. The participants who drank the caffeinated beverage had only a slight rise in blood pressure. The EKG results were even more revealing. Twenty-four hours after they had the beverage, the results of those who had drunk the energy drink were the same as those associated with life-threatening irregularities in the heart.

Energy drinks are often marketed under the guise they will keep you awake for longer than a cup of coffee or any other caffeinated beverage on the market. There is no research available that says an energy drink with the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee will do more for your energy levels or focus. However, a 2015 Mayo Clinic Study showed that just one 16-ounce energy drink increases blood pressure and stress hormones enough to induce a cardiovascular event.

Natural, Heart-Healthy Energy Boost

If you are a healthy man or woman, consuming a moderate amount of caffeine is fine. However, for an energy boost without caffeine, and with the added benefits of maximizing physical performance, preventing or treating headaches, and increasing weight loss - have a glass of water! Your energy levels are decreased significantly if your body is dehydrated.

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, but making small lifestyle choices can significantly reduce your risk. For more information on heart healthy habits, consult with the doctors of South Orange Chiropractic Center.

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