Integrative Health Blog

Seven Ways that Exercise Maintains a Healthy Brain

Posted by on Mon, Sep 22, 2014

Our children’s brains are under attack. 

Take a look at these startling statistics from a comprehensive surveillance report by the CDC that spanned 2005 - 2011 which shows that among children aged 3-17 years:

  • 6.8% have ADHD

  • 3.5% have behavioral or conduct problems

  • 3% have anxiety

  • 2.1% have depression

  • 1.1% have autism spectrum disorder 

Moreover, research by the National Alliance on Mental Illness has found that among children ages 9 to 17, 21% have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder, and that suicide is the leading cause of death in youth ages 15 to 24.

These numbers show us why brain health is a major focus of research today.  The good news is that there are many things we already know about how to maintain a healthy brain.  Last week, we talked about the importance of “brain food.”  And here’s another habit that is critical to brain health -- exercise.  Your brain needs an abundant blood flow to sustain its high energy demands for function, and exercise is a great way to increase blood flow to the brain.


Here are 7 ways that exercise has been shown to benefit the brain:

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Tags: children's health, pediatrics, brain health

4 Great Nutritional Brain Health Boosters for Children

Posted by on Sat, Sep 13, 2014

Brain Food for Optimal Concentration, Creativity and Cognition

Now that our kids are back in school, they’ll need all the brain power they can get.  Our brain function is so vitally connected to what we eat that Dr. Scott Shannon, noted psychiatrist says this: 

“In order to ensure that your child’s brain is able to function well…you must first ensure that it is being properly nourished.…Poor diet is without a doubt one of the major reasons we’re seeing such an incredible spike in the number of kids diagnosed with and medicated for mental and emotional disorders.  Even drugs can’t help our kids when they are quite literally being starved of their mental and emotional health.” Scott Shannon from Please Don’t Label My Child

Indeed, more and more studies are showing just how powerful food is in the function and growth of the brain.  On the other hand, the wrong foods are absolutely detrimental to brain function. We as parents need to equip our children with the tools they need for better concentration, creativity and cognition. So here are four great nutritional brain boosters:

1. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables! 

Our children need at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  Parents of a picky eater have to be very creative about getting the fruits and veggies in, such as smoothies and milkshakes with hidden fruits and vegetables. 

How do fruits and vegetables boost brain power?

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Tags: children's health, pediatrics, brain health

10 Reasons Why Breast Milk is Nature's Original Superfood

Posted by on Sat, Sep 06, 2014

The latest report from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) shows that breastfeeding rates have increased over the past few years to almost 80% from 77%.

This is great news because of the many benefits of breastfeeding to both Mom and baby.

There are dozens of positive health effects from breastfeeding, but here I’ll list just 10 of the well known benefits for breastfed babies compared to formula-fed babies.

Breastfeeding babies have :

  • Far fewer respiratory illnesses than formula-fed children

  • 3 to 4 times fewer diarrheal illnesses

  • Reduced likelihood of ear infections

  • Decreased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

  • Reduced occurrence of eczema and allergies

  • Fewer dental cavities

  • 20 to 30% reduced rate of obesity

  • 34% decreased risk of insulin-dependent diabetes

  • 8 times lower risk of childhood cancer (if breast fed for more than 6 months)

  • Fewer learning and behavioral problems

Breastfeeding is Best for Mom Too

There are multiple benefits for Mom as well. Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.  And breastfeeding Moms lose their extra pregnancy weight faster.

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Tags: children's health, pediatrics

5 Quick Breakfast Ideas for Back to School

Posted by on Mon, Aug 25, 2014

It’s that time already! Now that the lazy days of August are wrapping up, parents have already begun the hustle and bustle of shopping for back-to-school supplies and filling out school forms.  Now it is time for the morning routine of getting the kids ready for school.

Do your children want to run out of the house without having eaten a decent breakfast? 

That sets them up for fatigue, irritability, and poor concentration.  Breakfast is a must to kick start the brain, so skipping it should not be an option. Since most of us are pressed for time in the morning, here are 5 quick breakfast ideas to get you through the week:

1)  A breakfast smoothie.  It doesn’t get much quicker than blending fresh or frozen fruit with a good protein source.  The possibilities for a morning shake are endless.  Use a combination of berries with a banana.  Add in fortified almond or coconut milk for healthy fat and calcium.  For added protein, use almond butter, a vegan protein powder or tofu (non-GMO please).    

2)  Old fashioned oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts.  This oatmeal (slow cooked, not instant) breakfast is high in fiber, and very filling. You get protein from the oats and the nuts.  And the added fruit gives an extra boost of vitamins and minerals.

3)  An omelette loaded with vegetables.  The eggs provide protein, and also are a good source of the brain-boosting nutrient choline.  Add as many vegetables and color as your child will go for to give a boost of phytonutrients.

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Tags: children's health, pediatrics

Holistic Dentistry's Top 5 Tips for Kid's Dental Health

Posted by on Mon, Feb 03, 2014

Starting your child out with good habits and dental care will help to ensure that they have the best chance for a healthy mouth that will last a lifetime.  Baby teeth have an important role and beginning to care for your child’s teeth before they erupt should not be overlooked.  The first tooth may appear at around 6 months and as soon as it starts to erupt it is at risk for decay.  By the time your child reaches his third birthday they will have all 20 of their primary teeth. 

Tips for Children's Dental Health

 

Start Early!

1. To clean your child’s teeth before they fully erupt use a warm washcloth or moist 2 x 2 gauze.  After teeth erupt use a child size soft toothbrush.  It is okay to use only water when brushing. 

2. If you use toothpaste only use a pea-sized amount.  I would not  recommend using toothpaste until after age 2.  Until you feel that your child can brush  on their own it is recommended that you brush for them after breakfast and at  bedtime. 

During the preschool years your child may not want you to help.  Make an agreement with them that they can brush first and then they must allow you to take  a turn.  When you see that their teeth are touching you can begin flossing. 

Diet is Important in Preventing Tooth Decay

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Tags: dental health, holistic dentistry, children's health

Good Health Habits Start Early in Life

Posted by on Mon, Dec 03, 2012

Robert Johnson DDS

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Tags: obesity, children's health, integrated health

Fetus Feeding

Posted by on Mon, Mar 29, 2010

Planning for a Healthy Pregnancy

Holistic_pregnancy_pediatrics_DC

Did you know that bacteria are a part of a healthy pregnancy?
 
Surely you know that women need a healthy diet and a multivitamin with additional folic acid when they are pregnant. But, were you aware that a good probiotic is essential too?
 
When a baby passes through the vaginal canal his/her gastrointestinal tract is sterile. The initial seeding of this tract occurs as the baby comes into contact with mom's stool (or at least microscopic remnants of it). It is essential that mom's gastrointestinal tract be colonized with beneficial bacteria to pass onto baby. Since approximately 70% of the immune system lines the gut, giving baby the proper start with beneficial bacteria helps to ensure baby's defenses.

Give Baby a Healthy Start

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Tags: pregnancy, children's health, pediatrics, probiotics, holistic doctor