Iron

Iron Deficiency and Your Health

 

Spinach-Iron

We’ve all heard that if you don’t have enough iron in your body, you can get anemia. You can get anemia when your red blood cells decrease from lack of iron. Iron is an essential mineral your body needs. Your body needs it to carry oxygen throughout your body. Did you know that iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder in the world? Without sufficient iron, your body cannot produce enough hemoglobin, a substance in your red blood cells that allow your body to carry oxygen to your body’s tissues. When eating iron it is absorbed through the upper part of the small intestine.

  1. Anemia if mild, usually doesn’t cause complications. However, if you leave it untreated, anemia caused by iron deficiency can cause some severe health problems.
  2. A study showed that iron has relevant biological functions, for example, the formation of haemoglobin, myoglobin and numerous enzymatic groups. And without it, iron deficiency increases with the severity of heart failure.

Iron deficiency symptoms:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
  • Brittle nails
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath
  • A headache, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch
  • Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia

 

Who’s at risk?

Frequent blood donors – Giving blood lowers the iron in your body. The Red Cross now recommends that frequent blood donors should take a multivitamin containing iron or an iron-only supplement to replace the iron lost with each donation.

Vegetarians – Micronutrients of special concern for the vegan include vitamins B-12 and D, calcium, and long-chain n–3 (omega-3) fatty acids. Unless vegans regularly consume foods that are fortified with these nutrients, appropriate supplements should be consumed in order to get the nutrients needed.  In some cases, iron and zinc status of vegans may also be of concern because of the limited bioavailability of these minerals.

Woman – Woman who are pregnant showed higher levels of iron deficiency than those who weren’t because their bodies are producing more blood to provide nutrients for the baby.

Infants and children – Mothers who are iron deficient transfer the iron deficiency to their children before they are born.  A study showing insufficient intake of iron in children is pretty common because of low iron intake, especially in older children.

There are 2 types of iron, heme and nonheme iron. Our bodies are less efficient at absorbing nonheme iron. Plants and iron-fortified foods contain nonheme iron only, whereas meat, seafood, and poultry contain both heme and nonheme iron.

Examples of foods that have heme iron:

  • Beef or Chicken liver
  • Mollusks
  • Mussels
  • Chicken
  • Halibut
  • Haddock
  • Perch
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Ham
  • Veal
  • Canned sardines (in oil)
  • Oysters

 

Examples of foods that have nonheme iron:

  • Breakfast cereals enriched with iron
  • Cooked beans
  • Quinoa
  • Turkey
  • Tofu
  • Pumpkin
  • Whole eggs
  • Sesame
  • Squash seeds
  • Cooked split peas
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Roasted almonds
  • Roasted cashews
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Broccoli
  • Raw spinach
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Enriched Rice
  • Dried apricots
  • Baked potato
  • Egg noodles
  • Wheat germ
  • Canned lima beans
  • Canned red kidney beans
  • Canned chickpeas

 

References:
http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/glycated-hemoglobin-test-hba1c
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202643/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462328/
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1627S.full
http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-concerns/anemia-during-pregnancy/
http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/iron-and-blood-donation/iron-info-frequent-donors
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3798931/
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/5/1280s.full

 

 

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Anti-aging foods, Beauty

12 ways to slow the aging process with food, fewer calories and exercise

 

Young WomanBeauty isn’t just skin deep. Total body wellness is just as important as skin deep. I realize cosmetic surgery is a fast way of completing the exterior process, but you need to help the inner as well. If you want your muscles, cells, and organs to function properly, nourishing them is just as important. Foods rich in antioxidants prevent oxidative stress and get rid of aging free radicals.

New studies have shown that also eating less can slow the aging process by cutting calories which slows down the aging process in our cells. Cells make proteins which when slowed down ribosomes have time to repair themselves.

  1. Green Tea – Rich in antioxidants helps with free radicals that can cause wrinkles and other signs of aging.
  2. Lemon Juice – Removes marks from your skin and can aid in helping your nails look brighter and whiter.
  3. Fruit – Citrus fruits are full of antioxidants
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar – For acne and scars, it cleans your skin when rubbed on the face gently.
  5. Nuts– Cell membranes are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are essential fatty acids.
  6. Bell Peppers – Full of Vitamin A, a huge contributor for healthy and glowing skin.
  7. Cinnamon – Helps in burning fat in the body.
  8. Cruciferous vegetables – Such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are rich in sulfur and antioxidants.
  9. Grains – Oats, brown rice, and quinoa – are not stripped of their nutrient-rich germ and bran layers in the way refined grains have.
  10. Tomatoes – Tomatoes are one of the richest sources of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant (it’s also found in carrots, watermelon, and other red vegetables and fruits).
  11. Fish – Mackerel, sardines, and salmon (oily fish) contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help combat inflammation in the body.
  12. Exercise regularly – Almost any amount and type of physical activity may slow aging deep within our cells, a new study finds.

I always say that eating healthy is the answer to not giving the Big Pharma our hard earned money and you can look beautiful as well. Couldn’t hurt, right?

 

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10 Interesting Health Benefits of Phosphorus (2 minute read)

phosphorus

Phosphorous is one of the most abundant minerals in your body, next to calcium. These two minerals work together to building strong bones and teeth. Did you know that 85% of phosphorus is found in your bones and teeth? Phosphorus is a key mineral that helps filter out waste through the kidneys and plays an essential role in how the body uses and stores energy. It is also needed for the production of our genetic building blocks, RNA (ribonucleic acid) and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), maintenance, repair and growth of our cells and tissues.

Taking a calcium supplement could interfere with the absorption of phosphorus. So it is important to understand the RDA. According to the Australian Government National Health and Medical Research, the RDA of Phosphorus is:

  • Adults need 1000 milligrams of phosphorus daily
  • Children between the ages of 9 and 18 need 1,250 milligrams per day because bone development and formation is rapid at this stage of life
  • Children ages 4 to 8 need 500 milligrams per day
  • Children ages 1 to 3 need 460 milligrams per day
  • Children ages 7 to 12 months need 275 milligrams per day
  • Infants 0 to 6 months should have 100 milligrams per day

Health Benefits of Phosphorus

  1. Helps the production of bone by helping with phosphorylation, which is a chemical process linked to amino acids signaling proteins which stimulate the growth of bone.
  2. Helps in stimulating glands to balance the hormones.
  3. Filters out waste in your kidneys
  4. Helps with digestion
  5. Is an electrolyte
  6. Maintain, grow and repair tissue and cells
  7. Help with muscle contraction
  8. Helps maintain a regular heartbeat
  9. Urination and excretion
  10. Aids in proper brain functioning and cognitive growth

It is important to speak to a nutritional specialist to find out what foods are high in phosphorus, but here are a few foods rich in phosphorus. Meat, legumes, nuts, peanut butter, tuna, pork, sunflower seeds, rice, white bread, potatoes, peas, broccoli and dairy products are a few foods that are rich in phosphorous.

Health conditions such as diabetes, starvation, and alcoholism can cause levels of phosphorus in the body to fall.

Crohn’s disease and celiac disease make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients.

Symptoms of phosphorus deficiency include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety,
  • Bone pain
  • Fragile bones
  • Stiff joints
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular breathing
  • Irritability
  • Numbness
  • Weakness

Studies suggest that too much phosphorus in your body (which is more common), can do more damage than having too little phosphorus in your body. If you don’t consume enough calcium with phosphorus it can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. “There is a very delicate balance between calcium and phosphorus is necessary for proper bone density and prevention of osteoporosis”, according to a study at the University of Maryland Medical Center

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2486454/

http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/phosphorus

 

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10 Health Benefits from Potassium

Potassium K

Potassium is a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body.  It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function. Potassium is one of the seven essential macro minerals, along with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and sulfur.

The Oregon State University recommends an intake of 4700 milligrams per day in adults. They also state that people do not get nearly the recommended amount daily. Humans use to consume a diet high in potassium, until recently with the increasing consumption of processed foods, which potassium is removed from, humans are not receiving the daily recommended amount. If you are eating a lot of processed foods, you may consider supplements, but always ask your doctor first.

Medical News Today says that for individuals with healthy kidneys, excess amounts of potassium are efficiently excreted in urine with no adverse side effects. There have been a small number of reports of potassium toxicity associated with an extremely high intake of potassium supplements. No potassium toxicity has ever been reported related to food consumption. Medical News today also stated that consuming too much potassium can be harmful to those whose kidneys are not fully functional. Some sports supplements and salt substitutes contain high levels of potassium, which have been linked to two cases of cardiac arrest. If your kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, it could be fatal due to the effects of potassium on the heart.

A studies conducted at the Cardiac and Vascular Sciences, St George’s, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London, UK., and the Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA., state a diet rich in potassium has shown health benefits in lowering blood pressure in individuals with both raised blood pressure and average population blood pressure, increasing potassium intake reduces cardiovascular disease mortality. The study also stated that a high-potassium diet may also prevent or at least slow the progression of renal disease. Reduced serum potassium increases the risk of lethal ventricular arrhythmias in patients with ischemic heart disease, heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy, and increasing potassium intake may prevent this. The best way to increase potassium intake is to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Bone Health – Studies on bone health have shown that a diet rich in potassium may play a role in preventing osteoporosis in an elderly woman.  A study showed that an increased potassium intake lowers urinary calcium excretion and plays an important role in the management of hypercalciuria and kidney stones and is likely to decrease the risk of osteoporosis

Hypokalemia – Having low potassium is called Hypokalemia, which includes weakness, lack of energy, muscle cramps, stomach disturbances, an irregular heartbeat, and an abnormal EKG (electrocardiogram, a test that measures heart function). Hypokalemia usually happens when the body loses too much potassium in the urine or intestines.

Heart Disease – There have been studies in heart disease that have shown that people with a higher sodium-potassium ratio have a higher risk of heart disease.

IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) – People with IBD (Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn Disease) often have trouble absorbing nutrients from their intestines, and may have low levels of potassium and other important nutrients. If are suffering from IBD, your doctor may recommend a supplement after checking your potassium levels.

Brain Function – UC Davis did a study showing that potassium channels play a key role in maintaining the electrical conductivity of the brain and dramatically affect brain function. And that brain cell activity is diminished when potassium channels are open. Closed channels lead to an increase in neuron excitability.

Electrolytes – Potassium has electrolytes which are great for keeping healthy levels of fluids in the body which is critical for your body to function. Electrolytes help to transmit electrical charges from the nervous system and brain.

Nervous System – Potassium helps to boost the efficiency of nerve reflexes that transmit a message from one body part to another.

Metabolism – Potassium helps the metabolic processing of various nutrients like fats and carbohydrates. Which means potassium is great at extracting the energy from the nutrients that are consumed.

Anxiety and Stress – Potassium can help regulate hormones in the body including stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

Diabetes – Low serum potassium is strongly related to glucose intolerance, and increasing potassium intake may prevent the development of diabetes that occurs with prolonged treatment with thiazide diuretics.

Foods that are rich in potassium

Potato

Sweet potato

Avocado

Cantaloupe

Mushrooms

Beet greens

White beans

Tomatoes

Soybeans

Lima beans

Winter squash

Banana

Spinach

Yogurt, low fat, plain

Pear

Mango

Orange

Pistachio

Raisins

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8 wonderful benefits of beets

Beets

 

Beetroot is rich in valuable nutrients and fiber-like protein, fiber, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C phosphorus, zinc, potassium, copper, and manganese, calcium, iron and high in nitrates. Beetroot is also rich in phytochemical compounds that include ascorbic acid, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and carotenoids. Beetroot also has highly bioactive pigments, known as betalains. Beets are known for having the most betalains in any vegetable. There are 2 categories of betalains.

  • Betacyanin  pigments are a red-violet color
  • Betaxanthin pigments are yellow-orange in color

Recent studies at the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), have compelling evidence from studies that beetroot ingested offers beneficial physiological effects for improving hypertension, atherosclerosis dementia, and type 2 diabetes. Beets also are known for aiding in the list below:

  1. Lower blood pressure – Studies have shown that drinking the juice from beets lowers blood pressure in a matter of hours. The nitrates in beets turn into nitric oxide reduce and dilate your blood vessels enabling them to relax.
  2. Anti-cancer properties – The nitrates in the beets turn into nitric oxide(NO). clinical trials on NO show that it has antiproliferative properties that have a lot of potential in cancer therapeutics, which you can read more about here.
  3. Antioxidant – Betalains are potent as an antioxidant
  4. Detoxing – Betalains are shown to help in detoxing the body.
  5. Anti-inflammatory –  Betalains and beetroot extracts are potent anti-inflammatory agents.
  6. Boost Stamina- the NCBI conducted a test on 11 men and it proved that beetroot boosts stamina.
  7. Help your liver – In a study done beetroot juice has shown to decrease levels and activities of the majority of tested biochemical parameters, elevated by DMBA(carcinogen).
  8. Cognition – By increasing blood flow in older adults beet, high nitrates in beetroot have shown to improve cognition in the elderly.

 

 

 

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Scientific studies prove broccoli fights cancer

Broccoli

There have been studies on broccoli since the 1990’s. Scientists have found by eating broccoli and broccoli sprouts because of the significant amounts of sulforaphane (a sulfur compound was shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits by killing cancer stem cells) to be the hero of the anti-cancer activity.  Although broccoli is the richest sources of this potent compound, broccoli sprouts are 20 times greater than broccoli because the sprouts show more glucoraphanin (glucosinolate precursor of sulforaphane that influences carcinogenesis and mutagenesis).

Sulforaphane supports normal cell function and detachment while causing opoptosis (programmed cell death) in colon, prostate, breast and tobacco-induced lung cancer cells.  Sulforaphane boosts cell enzymes that protect against molecular damage from cancer-causing chemicals.

In breast cancer, Sulforaphane reduced positive cell population from 65% to 80% in a study conducted by the National Center of Biotechnology Information.  In colon and lung cancer by eating broccoli and broccoli sprouts has shown a significant reduction in cancer.  In prostate cancer, by eating broccoli sprouts 4 times a week, protect men from prostate cancer. Keep in mind though that you should decrease your intake of red meat, drinking alcohol, sodium nitrate (found in processed meats, bacon, hot dogs and salami for example). Intake more fiber from whole foods, take a vitamin D supplement and eat more fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that by eating more vegetables that are non-starchy and fruits have a lower risk of getting digestive system cancer and colorectal cancer.

You can also find other vegetables that contain sulforaphane (Kale, Brussels sprouts, Collard Greens, Cabbage, Mustard Greens, Cauliflower, Turnip, Bok Choy, Watercress, Kohlrabi, and Radishes. However,  broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain the most.

Scientific proof has shown time and time again, that food is the best medicine. There is so much we can learn from Mother Nature.

 

 

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Flaxseed is one of the world’s healthiest foods

flax-seed-1273469_640

Flaxseed or linseed (Linum usitatissimum) has been around over 6,000 years and the ancient Egyptians used it for medicine and food.  Flaxseed is one of the richest plant sources of the ω-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), but it is found in other foods like walnuts, beans, broccoli and more.  Flaxseed is commonly used for a better digestive system and is used for constipation. It may be helpful in heart disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) arthritis, and other health problems because flax is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid.  However, flaxseed oil is the only one that contains the ALA.  Other plants that contain ALA are walnuts, canola (rapeseed), soybean oil and pumpkin seed.  Flax seeds are high in fiber and contain lignans, which come from a plant compound know as polyphenols.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that you ground your flaxseed because it is easier to digest. Not grounding them makes it harder to digest and you will not get the same benefits as ground. They also suggest that you don’t take more than 50 grams per day, equaling 5 tablespoons because of certain toxins and always take flax seeds with plenty of water. The National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health, (NCCIH) suggest that you do NOT eat them raw which may contain harmful toxins. They also suggest taking flaxseed with plenty of water.

Flaxseed contains Omega-3 (ALA), Fiber, Protein, Vitamin B1, Phosphorus, Manganese, Magnesium, Selenium, B6, Iron, Potassium, Copper, and Zinc. You can also find Omega 3’s in fish oil which is dosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are Omega 3 acids found in fish oil. Other foods that contain Omega 3 acids are walnuts, salmon, and maceral. Flaxseed can be purchased ground, which should come in a mylar package so that the components in the flaxseeds stay active. It is important to know if you grind the seeds use them within 24 hours or they lose their activity. In oil form, it is important to keep it refrigerated.

Flaxseed has been proven in clinical studies to improve cardiovascular health, diabetes, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, cancer prevention, menopausal symptoms and digestive health.

Here are a few ways you can eat flax seeds.

  • Try mixing them in when you bake muffins.
  • Add them ground in your yogurt.
  • Add them to your morning oatmeal.
  • Use them on chicken or meat.
  • Put them ground in your cottage cheese, ice cream or applesauce.

 

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8 tips on making your canine safe, happy and healthy

 

IMG_0659 (2)

Not only do we want to feed our dogs nutritious organic foods and have organic toys for them to tug and play with, their emotional well-being and exercise is important as well.

  1. If you are leaving your house to run an errand, for example, leave some kind of activity for them to do. You could leave a few treats behind for them to sniff out and find.
  2. Leave them with plenty of chew toys to stimulate them. Just make sure you are purchasing your furry friends toys from an organic source, this way you can be sure you are not putting toxins in their system.
  3. Socialize your furry friends with others. Take them for a walk or set up a play date for them.
  4. If you have a very active dog such as myself, throwing the ball, taking them for a hike or a run, is great exercise for them.
  5. Schedule veterinarian appointments to make sure they are getting a yearly check-up and don’t forget to get their teeth cleaned.
  6. A little obstacle course would be stimulating and fun. It is fun and challenging for them.
  7. Give your furry friend a massage.  By doing this before activity it can get that blood flowing, so they don’t strain themselves before active exercise and is also good for the quality of life and prolongs it.
  8. When taking your dog with you in the car, make sure you have them strapped in and safe. My dog in the picture below is strapped to the seat belt and in his high chair to be able to see out the window. At first, he wanted to sit on my lap, but after one car trip, he was just fine.

Tiko Car