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Articles tagged with: nutrition

3 Mistakes To Avoid When Making Your New Year’s Resolution List

3 Mistakes To Avoid When Making Your New Year’s Resolution List
Published Thursday, 04 January 2018

Welcome 2018!

The beginning of every year presents a time to look back and reflect upon how we spent the last year as well as look ahead to determine how we want to spend the year to come. One classic way this meditation manifests itself is in the form of a New Year's Resolution list. 

New Year’s Resolutions date back to the Babylonians, who are said to be the first to make these yearly goals. However, they did not celebrate the new year on January 1st as we do; 4,000 years ago, the Babylonians celebrated the new year in the spring with the planting of crops.

The tradition was also held by the Romans, though Julius Caesar changed the new year to January 1st. The month of January was named for the Roman god Janus, who was said to look back on the previous year with one face, and forward to the coming year with his other. The Romans would make promises to Janus for better behavior in the coming year.

In modern society, New Year’s Resolutions can be considered somewhat of a joke. They tend to be something at which we collectively fail. You’ll see lots of new gym memberships in January, and the treadmills are packed through the month, and then somewhere in February, things fall off.

It doesn’t have to be that way! The new year is a fresh start, and you can avoid mistakes that make your New Year’s resolutions harder to keep. Here are three tips to help you stick to your resolutions.

1. Don’t: Be too Broad— Do: Be specific!

We all have general goals for ourselves in the new year. We want to eat healthy, exercise more, save money, etc. However, broad goals are way too hard to keep, and we need to be more specific in what we want to achieve. Beach Body's blog talks about making sure your goal passes the SMART test:

  • S: Specific
  • M: Measurable
  • A: Attainable
  • R: Realistic
  • T: Timely

If your goal is to eat healthier, specifically focus on a meal you want to make healthy. How can you measure what makes that meal healthier for you? Will you have to get up an hour earlier to cook what you want, and is that attainable and realistic? Will you be able to achieve this goal in a timely manner? Looking at your resolution on a more specific platform will help you to keep it and make a lifestyle change.

2. Don’t: Be Negative— Do: Be positive!

The way you word your goals is important. If your goal has to do with your finances, don’t say “Stop being bad with money”. Instead, your goal should be, “Improve amount of money saved,” or “Exercise control in spending habits.” If you’re focusing on the negative aspects of yourself, you will eventually tire of the process of trying to improve. Constantly analyzing yourself in a negative light will likely discourage change, rather than encourage it.

Words are incredibly powerful in the outside world but also within ourselves. Focus on what you want to have happen in the new year instead of focusing on what you don’t want to repeat. In order to make a change you need to see yourself as capable of doing so.

3. Don’t: Forget to Track Your Progress — Do: Track it!

Forgetting to track your progress on your goal is a crucial mistake you should avoid. If your goal is to exercise 3 times a week, having a calendar to mark of the days you go to the gym will allow you to see success daily, weekly, and monthly.

An organized calendar also allows you to see what days work best for your schedule to get to the gym, and to see where you might falter in your goal. If you have a big meeting at the end of the week, it could be better to get your gym time in on the weekend before or after your meeting.

Checking things off a list, marking off dates on a calendar, even putting stars in boxes, is a highly satisfying way of keeping track of your goals and helping to stay motivated all throughout the year.

Whatever the time of year, improving the quality of your life is always an important goal. At South Orange Chiropractic Center we can work with you to help you get out of pain and live your life to the fullest. Contact our team today to make an appointment so we can help you achieve those resolutions this year!

5 Simple Steps to Reduce the Amount of Sugar in Your Diet

5 Simple Steps to Reduce the Amount of Sugar in Your Diet
Published Thursday, 21 December 2017

Cut Back on Sugar with a Kaizen Plan!

Whether your goal is losing weight or simply making healthier choices, if you’re interested in reducing the sugar in your diet, the Kaizen approach can help you. In Japanese, Kaizen simply means "change for better" or "improvement."  Using the same small steps used in countless professions as a way to achieve a goal or desired outcome in their field, you can change your diet for the better and reduce your sugar intake!

 

Step One: Identify Your Goal

What is your goal? Here are just a few reasons people reduce their sugar intake:

  • Weight loss
  • Diabetes control
  • Overall health
  • Lower risk of heart disease

There are many reasons to reduce your sugar intake, and all of them are great goals to have for the health and vitality of your body. Keeping your goal in mind will help you to get back up when you stumble and stay on course when you’re tempted to falter.

Step Two: Track Your Goal

If you want to reduce your sugar intake, wouldn’t it make sense to know what your sugar intake is normally? After you have identified your goal, continue to eat what you usually would, but write it all down! Keep a food journal to meticulously track everything you eat for a period of time. This is an important step, as it not only gives you a baseline for your sugar intake, but it also makes you hyper-aware of what goes into your body. According to experts, tracking your food will immediately help you start to make better choices.

Step Three: Compare Current Habits to Goal

Once you have an overall picture of your diet through your food journal, look at the goal you’ve written out for yourself. Compare it to the foods listed in your food journal. How much work do you need to do to make it to your goal? A little or a lot? Do you have more work to do at breakfast or lunch? Are your dinners already healthy?

You should also know how much sugar is recommended for you a day. The American Heart Association recommends that women eat no more than 25 grams of sugar per day, and men should consume less than 37.5 grams of sugar each day.

Step Four: Evaluate Your Goal

What can you change specifically about your diet that will further you on your road to less sugar intake? Can you change out a food for another one that is similar but contains less sugar? If you don’t want to give up your nightly dessert, find a way to make a healthy one that will take care of your sweet tooth, but not increase your sugar intake. For example, did you know that by blending a frozen banana and cocoa powder, you get a creamy ice cream dessert?

Step Five: Start Small

Take your first small step. For example, make your breakfast healthier. Or, if your breakfast already consists of healthy food, start with lunch. Regardless, just start with one meal. Reduce the sugar intake in one meal and make that into a habit. Once that habit is formed, move on to another meal. Or move on to dessert. Wherever you start, the important thing is that you start! The entire philosophy of the Kaizen Plan is to take small steps incrementally that build to big changes over time.

Reducing your sugar intake is an incredibly healthy step to take. If you feed your body the right kind of fuel, you will feel and live better. Come see us at South Orange Chiropractic Center to see what other healthy goals we can help you achieve!

Drink This Tea to Promote Healthy Weight Loss!

Drink This Tea to Promote Healthy Weight Loss!
Published Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Move Over Green Tea - There’s a New Super Drink in Town.

“For black tea lovers, there may be a new reason to keep drinking it,” says Dr. Zhaoping Li, the director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. Eighty percent of the tea consumed in the United States is black tea even though previous studies have usually hyped the healing and wellness properties of green tea instead.

Luckily for Americans, UCLA researchers have now demonstrated that black tea can promote healthy weight loss and other health benefits due to the way it reacts with bacteria in the gut. While the numerous health and weight loss advantages of green tea have been known for a while, this is the first time that black tea has been shown to change energy metabolism.

It’s All about the Polyphenols

Both green and black teas contain chemicals called polyphenols. Polyphenols have high antioxidant properties and also function as prebiotics, increasing the ratio of good bacteria in gut, which can promote good health and aid in weight management. The green tea polyphenols are small enough that they are absorbed into the blood and tissue throughout the body, which explains the seemingly infinite health benefits of the drink.

The black tea polyphenols are larger though, and remain in the small intestine. However, by remaining in the small intestine the black tea polyphenols promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria that also promotes healthy weight loss.

There’s Always Time for Tea

With all the research and case studies in the world, there seems to be no downside to tea. Drinking tea throughout the day promotes hydration and offers a more flavorful, zero-calorie alternative to water when there are no additives. Different types of teas typically contain fifty percent less caffeine than coffee, allowing for increased mental alertness without the shock to your nervous system. Furthermore, most teas are chock full of flavonoids, antioxidants which fight against free radicals that increase your risk for heart disease, cancer, and high cholesterol.

The Health Benefits of Your Favorite Teas

Green tea
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Inhibits cancerous growths
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Reduces risk of strokes and neurological disorders
  • Prevents cavities and doesn’t erode tooth enamel
Black tea
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Encourages mental alertness and focus
  • Protects lungs from adverse effects of cigarette smoke
  • Lowers risk of stroke
Oolong tea
  • Reduces levels of bad cholesterol
  • Improves mental alertness
  • Boosts immune system
  • Can treat skin allergies such as eczema
White tea
  • Contains potent anticancer properties
  • Maintains healthy and youthful skin
  • Improves oral health
  • Provides relief for diabetic symptoms
Herbal teas
  • Chamomile promotes restful sleep
  • Echinacea can be helpful in treating the common cold
  • Hibiscus aids in lowering blood pressure
  • Rooibos, or red tea, contains cancer-fighting flavonoids

Sources:

https://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/black-tea-may-help-with-weight-loss-too

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/tea-types-and-their-health-benefits#2

https://www.today.com/series/one-small-thing/top-10-health-benefits-drinking-tea-t81111

Daily Yogurt Consumption Improves Bone Health

Daily Yogurt Consumption
Published Tuesday, 04 July 2017

Many people do not realize that bone is living tissue. Over a lifetime, the body removes old bone tissue to make way for new bone tissue.  When the creation of new bone slows and can’t keep up with the removal of the old bone, bones become weak and brittle, causing them to break more easily. About 54 million Americans deal with this condition, osteoporosis, and studies suggest that 50% of women and 25% of men age 50 and up will break a bone due to osteoporosis. This condition can cause significant physical and emotional troubles for those who suffer from it. Luckily, by making one addition to your daily meals, you may be able to considerably improve your bone health and reduce your risk for osteoporosis.

  • Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin conducted a study of over 4,000 Irish adults, age 60 and up, which determined a positive association between daily yogurt consumption and increased bone health.
  • Researchers measured the bone mineral density (BMD) as well as the physical function of the participants in order to determine their results. Traditional risk factors of osteoporosis including age, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption were taken into account when finalizing their conclusions.
  • Women who ate yogurt every day had a 39% lower risk of developing osteoporosis when compared with those who did not eat yogurt. The study authors observed a 52% lower risk in men.
  • Researchers also noted a 31% lower risk in women of osteopenia, a condition which is often a precursor to osteoporosis and involves the old bone being reabsorbed into the body faster than new bone can be created.
  • Vitamin D supplements were also associated with markedly reduced risks in the participants, though other dairy products did not seem to produce similar effects.

Eamon J. Laird, the lead author and a research fellow at the Centre for Medical Gerontology, Trinity, said, “Yogurt is a rich source of different bone promoting nutrients and thus our findings in some ways are not surprising. The suggest that improving yogurt intakes could be a strategy for maintaining bone health, but it needs verification through future research as it is observational.”

Besides promoting bone health, yogurt has numerous other health benefits. A 2016 UCLA study found that a Lactobacillus strain of bacteria, which you can find in yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut, can help reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Some yogurts can contain a lot of sugar, however, so it’s important to look for servings that contain 20 grams or fewer, according to Fitness Magazine.

Read more about the study in Osteoporosis International. 

[VIDEO] What Interferes with Nerve Impulses

Dr. Levine presents different factors that interrupt normal nerve function

What Interferes with Nerve Impulses
Published Thursday, 29 June 2017

Video Transcript - What Interferes with Nerve Impulses

Nerve impulses, life energy is affected by stress. Stress is huge. We think of stress generally in something that's bothering us or that we're thinking about. Stress comes in three forms. It's physical, it's chemical, it's emotional. Many of us have all three forms in play. Those three forms of stress will breakdown the nervous system. Increases the adrenal function. Increases blood pressure. Increases cortisol into the system, and that will break down neural function and your immune system. It's important that we identify the stresses.

Here in the office, not only are we dealing with the effects of stress which might be neck pain, back pain, headaches, but we're also identifying the causes of that stress. Maybe it's poor diet. Maybe it's lack of exercises which is probably number one. Maybe it's an old injury or fall that wasn't treated properly. Family stress especially around the holidays. Financial stress.

Either you live within your means or you don't. There's many people, regardless of their income, that have a great deal of stress and has no bearing on the dollar amount. It's how they manage it. Emotional, physical, chemical stresses. That's why our job is to get to the cause of the problem. Not just functionally, but on an emotional level, physical and chemical level.

There is good stress. Stress forces us to wake up every day and make a difference in society. The time I spent working with Seton Hall University and their basketball team, there was stress every time there was a tournament game. It was stress before each game. When that bell rang at the end and the two hands were over, the stress was over until we prepared for the next game. In sports, there's stress. In life, there's stress, but that forces us to produce and it forces us to rise to the occasion. Sometimes, we need to get uncomfortable in ourselves to grow to the next level.

An Apple a Day Keeps Diabetes at Bay

An Apple a Day Keeps Diabetes at Bay
Published Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Need another reason to eat some fruit every day? A new study from British and Chinese researchers shows a definite correlation between eating fresh fruit and a lower risk of developing diabetes. Many diabetics tend to avoid consuming fruit, opting for vegetables instead because of some fruits’ high sugar content. However, the results of this study share a different story.

  • Published on April 11th of this year, the study followed a half million Chinese adults between the ages of 30 and 79 for seven years.
  • About 19% of the participants reported consuming fresh fruit daily.  Participants who had been previously diagnosed with diabetes were three times as likely to report never or rarely eating fruit.
  • At the end of the study, researchers found that those participants without diabetes at the start had a 12% lower risk of developing diabetes when compared with those who ate no fruit. Across the study, more frequent consumption of fruit was associated with a lower risk.
  • For participants who were already diabetic when the study started, those who consumed fruit at least three times a week had a 17% lower risk of fatality and a 13%-28% lower risk of developing of complications associated with diabetes such as heart and kidney disease.
  • This study was purely observational, so there is no clear reason why this correlation exists and results may have been affected by other factors such as the participants’ dietary and behavioral habits. Further research is needed.

The lead author of this study and a research fellow at the University of Oxford, Dr. Huaidong Du said, “The sugar in fruit is not the same as the sugar in manufactured foods and may be metabolized differently. And there are other nutrients in fruit that may benefit in other ways.”  So despite some fruits’ high sugar content, this study shows that a daily dose of sweet, fresh fruit could actually prove beneficial for those already diagnosed with diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association website recommends fruit as a healthy dessert option for those with diabetes, and Diabetes.co.uk offers a handy guide for choosing fruits with low carbohydrate/sugar content. With its high fiber content and nutrients, fresh fruit is always a good choice!

You can read more about the study in PLoS Medicine

The Dirty Dozen Updated for 2017

(The list, not the movie.)

The Dirty Dozen Updated for 2017
Published Tuesday, 11 April 2017

In early March, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its annual Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. Using data from US Department of Agriculture tests, the EWG ranks conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables based on how many pesticides remain on the produce after it is prepared for consumption. Often the synthetic chemicals found in pesticides can stay on produce even after it is washed or peeled, and even low levels of pesticide exposure can be detrimental to young children’s development.

  • Strawberries remained in the number one spot in the Dirty Dozen this year due to the high out-of-season demand for them. Ninety-nine percent of the USDA samples in 2014 and 2015 had detectable residue of at least one pesticide.
  • Spinach moved from eighth to second place this year. Seventy-five percent of the samples were found to have residues of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide which is banned in the EU.
  • Pears and potatoes joined the list this year in the sixth and twelfth spots, respectively.
  • Sweet corn moved to the top spot on the Clean Fifteen list, knocking avocados down to number two. The Clean Fifteen list tracks produce whose samples were found to have the least amount of pesticide residues, if any.
  • The EWG’s lists rank fruits and vegetables based on the amount of pesticides found on them, not the toxicity of the pesticides themselves. Therefore, while produce high on the Dirty Dozen list may have a lot of pesticide residue, that residue could possibly be less harmful than residue found on a fruit or vegetable from the Clean Fifteen list.

However, according to the EWG website, “Since researchers are constantly developing new insights into how pesticides act on living organisms, no one can say that concentrations of pesticides assumed to be safe today are, in fact, harmless.”

While the EWG’s lists do help to limit your family’s intake of pesticides, this doesn’t mean that you should never buy strawberries again. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to maintain a balanced diet and to avoid consuming too much of one harmful chemical. Buy organic when it’s accessible and affordable for you. A shopper’s guide is available to help you buy foods with fewer types of pesticides when buying organic isn’t an option.

See the full Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists here.  

Meal Timing and Eating Heart Healthy

When you eat is just as important as what you eat!

Meal Timing and Eating Heart Healthy
Published Friday, 31 March 2017

In late January of this year, the American Heart Association (AHA) released a statement regarding meal timing and frequency. The statement provides loose guidelines for how to promote your cardiovascular and overall health through your meals and eating habits.

  • When you eat could be as important as what you eat, as the body and its organs have their own internal clocks. Animal studies suggest that eating during an inactive phase, such as late at night before sleeping, can affect the metabolism, causing weight gain and inflammation.
  • Meal planning can also help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other cardiac diseases. Knowing what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat it, helps you build a healthier lifestyle.
  • People who consume breakfast daily typically have lower cholesterol and blood pressure than those who do not. People who skip breakfast, as 20-30% of American adults do, are more likely to be obese, have diabetes, and have poor nutrition.
  • It is still important to have a healthy and balanced diet, high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, and fish.
  • The authors of this report emphasize that more research is needed in order to provide evidence for these claims. While they believe these measures could lead to a healthier lifestyle, they write that larger studies, which track patients’ health over a long period and quantify outcomes, will lead to more concrete results.

Implementing these methods into your daily life may help reduce the risk factors surrounding cardiovascular disease including high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, and insulin complications. While more research is needed to ensure a fool-proof guide to healthy eating, the AHA has provided some useful tips for people looking to promote their cardiovascular health.

“We suggest eating mindfully, by paying attention to planning both what you eat and when you eat meals and snacks, to combat emotional eating. Many find that emotions can trigger eating episodes when they are not hungry, which often leads to eating too many calories from foods that have low nutritional value.”

Click to read the AHA’s statement and full report

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