Education

Healthy for the Holidays

 

Ahh the holidays…a time when we typically lose track of healthy habits, i.e. crazier schedules, parties with more unhealthy foods, late nights, alcohol and high stress (both positive and negative). Being out of our normal routines can cause many things including stress, a greater tendency for our immune system to break down and sometimes…tummy trouble!

If you find yourself engaging in foods that are processed, sugary and chemically laden on a daily basis over the holidays you may experience digestive issues.  Here are a 10 remedies to help reduce gas and bloating:

 

  1. Take a probiotic regularly and eat fermented foods. Intestinal dysbiosis (lacking the right bacteria in your gut) is one of the causes of bloating and gas as well as a main cause for many autoimmune diseases. Make sure to take a good quality probiotic recommended by your healthcare professional. Eating fermented foods is another great easy way to keep our intestinal flora balanced. You will find fermented veggies in glass jars in the fridge at your health food store .They have to be raw and not pasteurized. Don’t get conventional sauerkraut if you see “pasteurized” on the bag. Pasteurization destroys the good bacteria in this food. Start using this amazing healing food by adding one tablespoon a day with your lunch or dinner.
  2. Take digestive enzymes. These improve food breakdown speeding up and facilitating good digestion and absorption. This way the food spends less time in the gut therefore reducing the possibility of fermentation.
  3. Don’t skip meals!
  4. Eat your fruit first, or on its own. Enjoy your favorite fruit before a meal especially if that meal has animal protein in it. Fruits are made of simple sugars which are digested very easily and fast as opposed to complex sugars from whole foods and proteins. If we eat protein first and then fruit, the fruit will be “stuck behind” the proteins that take longer to digest and will start fermenting in your gut. This fermentation process causes gas and bloating.
  5. Eliminate dairy, processed foods and grains. These foods are inflammatory for most humans.
  6. Use activated charcoal before a heavy meal. This is good if you know you will be eating out or at a party. Charcoal will bind to toxins in your gut and improve their elimination. Don’t use every day as it is shown that every day use can cause magnesium deficiency.
  7. Don’t eat when upset or angry. In these situation stress hormones are released as the body is under stress. These hormones are designed for “fight or flight” response and shut down digestion. If food is introduced in the gut at this time the appropriate digestive processes are not activated therefore you will end up with an indigestion, gas and bloating.
  8. Don’t eat while working, watching TV or when being on your phone. We know that appropriate digestive enzymes are released when our brain is just thinking about food and our eyes and nose are watching/smelling food. If we are not mindful at the time we eat and we distract our brain with other tasks, these processes are delayed or arrested which will result in indigestion.
  9. Chew! Digestion starts in the mouth. By chewing our food into small pieces we expose it to the digestive enzymes and stomach acid to be further processed. The smaller the pieces, the better the digestion. Take your time and chew your food at least 30 times before you swallow!
  10. If you are experiencing bloating here are some techniques to use for relief: drink peppermint tea, ginger tea, or fennel tea. Lay on you back with your knees bent for 5-10 minutes. Use a warm compress on your lower abdomen if available.

Toys for Tots Drop Off Location

This holiday season, NMR has become an Official Toys For Tots Drop Off Location. For 71 Years The Marine Corps Has Been Making a Difference in the Lives of American Families and we’d like to do our part to help make the holidays brighter for children in our area.

Please drop off your unwrapped donations by December 15th to our office at 399 Campus Drive in Somerset, NJ.

Toys For Tots accepts all gifts except those of a potentially violent nature (no bats, guns, knives etc..) and those that contain food.  

Women’s Health and their Roles as Pillars for Change

As women, we take on the responsibility for the health of our families, our community and ourselves.  Many times it is the women who establish the lifestyle habits and build the foundation for their loved ones health and well-being.  Re-establishing our habits in the areas of what we eat, think and do can be healing and life giving instead of disease producing.  Through activity and exercise, positive thinking and optimal nutrition each woman can do their part in creating health for themselves, their families and the community.

Strength is defined as “power, force, vigor, moral resistance”. We all need this attribute in order to attain and maintain health for ourselves and our families. Our healthcare system needs us to be much stronger and disciplined in our health habits as we watch that system buckle under the weight of costly treatment options for the management of advanced stages of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type II diabetes, many cancers and autoimmune diseases, obesity and others, albeit with very little success. Simply put, our bodies and our healthcare system need us all working much harder at being healthy. Our mission at Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation (NMR) is to create a stronger, healthier community via health education on therapeutic lifestyle changes and holistic based therapeutic options. Through the concept of the Triad of Health which addresses our physical, emotional and nutritional components, we strive to create increased awareness and support women’s active roles as pillars for change in our homes, schools and community.

Nutrition impacts every aspect of our health. Food is not merely fuel for our bodies, it becomes our body as the nutrients are utilized to create structures that make up our muscles, bones, hormones, organs and brain! Therefore all the systems in our body are influenced greatly by what we eat. The quality of our food has far reaching impact on just about any chronic health condition and every meal can bring us closer or further from illness. Understanding this simple but fundamental truth will give you a powerful tool that you can use multiple times a day and throughout your lifetime. We are at a point in medical history when strong scientific evidence has us understand that the most common debilitating chronic illnesses are created by our lifestyle. For the vast majority type 2 diabetes is a choice! Although the application of these principles is just as valuable for men and women alike, I strongly believe that women can have a far greater impact when it comes to implementing these principles in their lives and homes.

Physical activity has a direct connection to mental health and confidence. Although all types of physical activity are encouraged, I would like to place emphasis on strength training for women. The benefits of training with weights include, to mention only a few: improved body composition and metabolism, optimized hormonal balance, better self-esteem and confidence, improved bone density and improved overall function in the long term. In women of all ages but more evident in the later stages of life, decreased strength is associated with increased frailty, decreased mobility and function, depression, increased risk for falls and fractures and loss of independence. Starting a strength training program under the supervision of a professional for a female at any age is one of the most useful gifts for increased longevity you can give yourself. Teenage girls can safely start a supervised weight training program to improve posture, self-esteem and create a positive and healthy body image. For our moms, improving strength will decrease the risk of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction and improve stamina. Even if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis it is not too late. Scientific evidence shows that strength training, supportive nutrition and correct supplementation will improve bone density in the long term and will decrease the risk of falls and fractures.

Stress has an adverse overall effect on all aspects of our health.  Our “happy hormone”, serotonin which is believed to be deficient in states of depression, is synthesized mostly in our gut. 70% of the serotonin production is directly related to the state of our gastrointestinal system. What we eat can greatly influence how we feel physically but also emotionally.

The inability to properly manage stress has an adverse overall effect on all of the aspect of our health. We all know that stress causes disease, and the opposite is also true: happiness causes health. Studies show that prayer, meditation and spiritual practice are efficient ways to manage stress, improve happiness and optimize health.

Our bodies are wonderfully and innately designed to heal, repair and thrive.  At NMR we believe that “we are what we eat, think and do”. Establishing healthy lifestyle choices within these areas will create a stronger, healthier community by empowering all individuals to create better health and better life for themselves and their families.

Remedies to Gas and Bloating

  1. Take a probiotic regularly and eat fermented foods. Intestinal dysbiosis (lacking the right bacteria in your gut) is one of the causes of bloating and gas as well as a main cause for many autoimmune diseases. Make sure to take a good quality probiotic recommended by your healthcare professional. Eating fermented foods is another great easy way to keep our intestinal flora balanced. You will find fermented veggies in glass jars in the fridge at your health food store .They have to be raw and not pasteurized. Don’t get conventional sauerkraut if you see “pasteurized” on the bag. Pasteurization destroys the good bacteria in this food. Start using this amazing healing food by adding one tablespoon a day with your lunch or dinner.
  2. Take digestive enzymes. These improve food breakdown speeding up and facilitating good digestion and absorption. This way the food spends less time in the gut therefore reducing the possibility of fermentation.
  3. Don’t skip meals!
  4. Eat your fruit first, or on its own. Enjoy your favorite fruit before a meal especially if that meal has animal protein in it. Fruits are made of simple sugars which are digested very easily and fast as opposed to complex sugars from whole foods and proteins. If we eat protein first and then fruit, the fruit will be “stuck behind” the proteins that take longer to digest and will start fermenting in your gut. This fermentation process causes gas and bloating.
  5. Eliminate dairy, processed foods and grains. These foods are inflammatory for most humans.
  6. Use activated charcoal before a heavy meal. This is good if you know you will be eating out or at a party. Charcoal will bind to toxins in your gut and improve their elimination. Don’t use every day as it is shown that every day use can cause magnesium deficiency.
  7. Don’t eat when upset or angry. In these situation stress hormones are released as the body is under stress. These hormones are designed for “fight or flight” response and shut down digestion. If food is introduced in the gut at this time the appropriate digestive processes are not activated therefore you will end up with an indigestion, gas and bloating.
  8. Don’t eat while working, watching TV or when being on your phone. We know that appropriate digestive enzymes are released when our brain is just thinking about food and our eyes and nose are watching/smelling food. If we are not mindful at the time we eat and we distract our brain with other tasks, these processes are delayed or arrested which will result in indigestion.
  9. Chew! Digestion starts in the mouth. By chewing our food into small pieces we expose it to the digestive enzymes and stomach acid to be further processed. The smaller the pieces, the better the digestion. Take your time and chew your food at least 30 times before you swallow!
  10. If you are experiencing bloating here are some techniques to use for relief: drink peppermint tea, ginger tea, or fennel tea. Lay on you back with your knees bent for 5-10 minutes. Use a warm compress on your lower abdomen if available.

March is National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month. With all the conflicting information about nutrition out in the marketplace, most people are not eating nearly as healthy as they think they are! A good way to start eating healthier is to eat from the earth, not from the factory.  Staying away from a marketplace filled with more and more processed foods, additives, sweeteners and convenience/fast foods to help with hectic schedules is becoming more and more challenging.  Try this nutritious, quick and easy recipe:

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are a Macro-nutrient, having a balance of protein and carbohydrates, and low-fat content. They are loaded with essential nutrients like Vitamin D, antioxidants, and Vitamin B.

Spinach is rich in iron, an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folic acid.  It is also a good source of manganese, magnesium and vitamin B.

Try this nutrient dense recipe as an easy side dish.

  • Remove stems from mushrooms.
  • Place mushrooms on a baking sheet and drizzle them with balsamic vinegar.
  • Top each mushroom with fresh chopped spinach and chopped roasted peppers.
  • Sprinkle with some fresh chopped basil.
  • Add a spoonful of salsa.
  • Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Call for a complimentary new patient consultation if you need help getting on the road to healthy eating and better health.  908-252-0242

 

Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation

West End Physical Therapy, 10-12 West End Court, 2nd Floor, Long Branch, NJ 07740 | Phone 732.222.7799

399 Campus Drive, 1st Floor, Somerset, NJ | Phone 908.252.0242| Fax 908.252.0243