Integrative Health Blog

How Whole Food Can Help Us Heal

Posted by on Mon, May 18, 2015

Guest Blogger Allan Balliett, Founder of Fresh and Local CSA

Spring is the Time to Join a CSA

It's that time of the year when you have an opportunity to make a commitment to your wellness!  Assure your access to affordable, nutrient dense foods by joining a local CSA, Community Supported Agriculture. Dr. Mark McClure, founder of National Integrated Health Associates, explains the value of CSA food very well in this blog post, My Top Holistic Nutrition Tip.

My Passion for Whole Foods

I'm the founder and farmer of Fresh and Local CSA, located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I am a passionate advocate for properly grown, fresh, local produce. Over 20 years ago, after many conventional doctors had failed to help me, I healed myself of what can only be called a "wasting disease" by changing my diet from processed foods to a healthy diet of organic, whole foods. You can read about more my experiences in this article. Once I became well, I devoted my life to learning all I can about what makes whole foods nutritious, and how to grow foods for my neighbors that promote healing with every mouthful.

Food as Medicine

A host of health promoting substances has been discovered in vegetables and fruits and plant metabolites in the last few years. It's reasonable to believe that we will discover many more health promoting substances in the future. It's also important to realize that these substances occur synergistically in living plants, in ratios and quantities that are supporting life and growth. This is why our bodies may heal from living real food while it may be unable to assimilate the content of a pill. It's important to be aware that most of the produce in grocery stores may be weeks old before it comes to the floor! In those weeks, the plant itself has been metabolizing the nutrients it contains, eating them up to stay alive until you end up buying low mineral content produce that is less nutritious because it's been out of the Earth for so long.

Read More

Tags: CSA, holistic nutrition

A Holistic Approach to Autism

Posted by on Mon, Apr 27, 2015

April is Autism Awareness Month. It is estimated that 1 in 68 children in the United States has autism, a complex disorder which impairs social and communication skills. Often times, the symptoms of autism are thought to be irreversible, but continuing research is showing that a variety of interventions may improve, and sometimes reverse autism. While there is a wide spectrum of approaches to autism treatment, the following three form the basis of biomedical interventions for children with autism:

Read More

Tags: autism, holistic nutrition, detoxification, children's health

My Breakfast Experiment

Posted by on Fri, Apr 17, 2015

What do you eat for breakfast? Most of us have grown up thinking that cereal and orange juice is a good way to start the day. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Cereal may start out with real food from nature like wheat or corn or rice (probably all genetically modified) but by the time it’s refined and added to and heated some more, it becomes a processed food with all that that implies. Not to mention that most breakfast cereals are loaded with carbohydrates - especially oatmeal!

Read More

Tags: carbohydrates, holistic nutrition

Golden Turmeric Milk

Posted by on Wed, Mar 11, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turmeric milk is one of my favorite night time drinks, other than hot tea. It is comforting and soothing at night and very nutritious. Nothing compares to the smell of turmeric milk warming up on the stove. Turmeric contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.  Warm beverages, both in the evening and in the morning, provide soothing effects to the digestive system.

Turmeric, The Golden Healing Spice

Turmeric has been around for hundreds of years and is known as the “healing” spice to the Eastern cultures. It is known to help with sore throats, colds, flus, stomach aches, wounds, skin problems and abrasions. Just like coconut oil, turmeric provides antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. The combination of turmeric and peppercorn enhances the absorption of curcumin, the main ingredient found in turmeric. Recipe:

Read More

Tags: antioxidants, holistic nutrition, integrative health, recipe, turmeric

Why I love juicing and why it is important to me...and possibly to you?

Posted by on Wed, Feb 04, 2015

Vincent Renner, Guest blogger, Founder of Tasty6

Sensory Delights of Juicing

To an avid juicer like myself the benefits of juicing fresh fruits and vegetables seem endless – it is convenient, nutritious, great for the immune system, helps to detox, and on it goes… All of the above are true. For me, however, first and foremost the intense smells, flavors, and colors of the vegetables and fruits we juice connect me with all Nature’s goodness has to offer, and with memories of wholeness.  I love the taste and smell of fresh cut ginger and its vibrant yellow color. I love the unique aroma of freshly cut flat parsley. And the intense flavor of freshly pressed kale. I love the bright orange of our freshly pressed turmeric. Or the sound of a stem of celery snapping, as it announces it’s freshness and vigor. And the sweet-sour note and promise of health a fresh cut ruby red grapefruit carries.

Nature's Colors for Health

Yet it is specifically the unique and intense colors of many fruits and vegetables that announce their healing and nutritional properties. Watermelon and red grapefruit get their red pinkish color from a uniquely high concentration of the phytochemical lycopene, known for its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics. Red beets’ betalain antioxidant pigments give them their red color and are a powerful and relatively unique antioxidant that helps to improve cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure. Red apples have a high concentration of anthocyanins key to lowering blood sugar.  

Kale, spinach, and parsley are some of the healthiest vegetables around. Their high levels of chlorophyll are responsible for their bright, full green color. They are powerhouses of concentrated vitamins, minerals, and a whole spectrum of phytonutrients – all essential to a healthy body.  Unbeknownst to many, one cup of raw kale contains more and often multiples of 100% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin K.

As these fruits and vegetables are allowed to ripen to maturity, their nutritional content increases and their flavors intensify. Government health bodies now recommend to eat at least 5 or more cups of fruits and vegetables every day to increase health, improve longevity and prevent disease. By eating fruits and vegetables from a variety of color groups, we benefit from the unique array of phytochemicals, essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that each color group has to offer.

Read More

Tags: juicing, holistic nutrition, integrative health

3 Ways to Cut Your Cancer Risk

Posted by on Mon, Jan 19, 2015

Do you think the genes you’re born with determine what happens to you? 

Whether you’ll be overweight because it runs in your family or whether you’ll get diabetes since your Dad had it?

Whether you’ll develop breast cancer because your Mom died from it?

You might be surprised to know that your genes don’t have as much control as was previously thought. 

Scientific American just published an article reviewing the latest information in the field of epigenetics.  Here’s a quote: “Many of the contingencies of life – what we eat, what pollutants are in or environment, how often we are stressed – affect how our genes operate.”  This is great news, because we have a lot of control over what we eat and how we deal with stress, and even some control over the pollutants in our environment (like our homes and cars).

Have you heard of epigenetics? 

Epigenetics is the phenomenon of how our environment, which includes the foods that we eat, the toxins we're exposed to, and even our stress levels, can turn genes on and off.  A new article published in Scientific American states "epigenetic effects play a crucial role in development, aging and even cancer1."  Even cancer?!  This is great news, that we can make choices that influence whether those cancer genes get turned on or off! We should be aware of the fact that we have significant power over our health destiny.   

So, here are 3 things that you can do to drastically reduce your risk of cancer:

Read More

Tags: cancer, vitamins and minerals, holistic nutrition

Holistic Pediatrics: How to Protect Your Child From Heart Disease

Posted by on Mon, Dec 08, 2014

Childhood Illnesses: Colds…Chicken Pox…Heart Disease?!

Starting three years ago, it became routine to test all 9 to 11 year olds for cholesterol level.  According to a December 2011 Pediatric News article, “…heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems in adulthood are often the end result of cardiovascular risk factors that went unrecognized throughout childhood…”1

I’m glad to see that we, as pediatricians, are acknowledging the fact that heart disease, like many other diseases, really starts in childhood.  And while I fully support the screening process, I’m much more interested in prevention.  What should we do during that first decade of our children’s lives to make the screening unnecessary?  It’s all about diet and lifestyle. 

Trending Toward Disease

For the past thirty years, child health has been going in the wrong direction. Childhood overweight and obesity has skyrocketed during the past 3 decades.  And that trend is directly linked to the increased incidence of a variety of heart related disorders in children, most notably high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and high cholesterol levels.  This is a very serious problem, given that epidemiologists are proposing that life expectancy for this rising generation of children could be shortened by as much as eight years.  So, what are the primary factors leading to these disturbing trends?

Read More

Tags: heart disease, holistic nutrition, children's health, pediatrics

Can Diet Affect ADHD?

Posted by on Mon, Nov 17, 2014

 

Is there such a thing as an ADHD Diet?

I’ve been asked this question quite a few times. 

The answer is yes…and no. 

What I mean is this: a child’s diet is a critical piece in the treatment of ADHD.  However, the right diet doesn’t treat just ADHD symptoms, but it makes the brain work better in general.  So, an ADHD diet is what I prefer to call a brain healthy diet.

What happens in ADHD? 

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are brain disorder diagnoses usually made by a pediatrician or psychologist. It is characterized by inability to concentrate, restlessness, and impulsiveness, but may be difficult to diagnose. It is often first reported by teachers or parents. There is no single cause of ADHD. Rather, scientific research suggests the effects of many underlying causes, which taken together are expressed through each individual's genetic make up as a group of symptoms qualifying for a diagnosis of ADHD.

Read More

Tags: ADHD, holistic nutrition, children's health, pediatrics

Breast Cancer Prevention Begins in Childhood?

Posted by on Sat, Oct 25, 2014

Teresa Fuller MD, PhD

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

We often direct the awareness message to women, recommending steps they can take to detect breast cancer early or to reduce their risk of cancer.  But breast cancer prevention actually begins in childhood.  Several recent studies show the relationship of childhood diet to breast cancer risk.

Childhood Diet and Cancer Risk

It’s long been known that early puberty is a risk factor for breast cancer, likely because of the increased length of time the body is exposed to higher levels of estrogen.  Interestingly enough, onset of puberty is significantly impacted by certain dietary factors. 

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2012 showed that increased meat and dairy intake is associated with an earlier age of puberty onset.  On the other hand, a diet higher in vegetable protein intake was correlated to a later onset of puberty.  This study specifically looked at the diet when the children were only 3 to 6 years old. 

Read More

Tags: cancer, holistic nutrition, children's health

Holistic Nutrition: Avacado Cacao Pudding Recipe

Posted by on Fri, Jul 25, 2014

Brooke Mader CHC

Avocado-Cacao Pudding ...in 1 minute

This takes healthy pudding to a whole new level.

Ingredients:

1 Ripe avocado

2 tbsp cacao

2 tbsp honey

(stevia optional)

1/2 cup thick coconut milk 

Directions:

Place all ingredients in blender. Amounts are optional. If you need more liquid in the blender, add more coconut milk.

Place in the refrigerator for 5 minutes and enjoy. 

So why is this pudding healthy?

Avocadoes are filled with monounsaturated fats that help aid in brain health, blood pressure and weight management. It is the perfect superfood. And thanks to it's creaminess....it's perfect for pudding.

Raw Cacao: A healthy, non processed chocolate that is as close to natural as possible (coming from the cacao bean). Since cacao is not heavily processed, it retains it's flavonoids, boosts brain health and our mood. I sure do feel a lot happier after this meal!

Coconut milk is a healthy fat which contributes to smoother skin, better heart health, lowered cholesterol levels, and coconuts are also a natural antibacterial.

 

Brooke Mader CHHC, is a certified holistic health coach and is currently pursuing a master's degree in Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health. Working at NIHA, Brooke is gaining an understanding of the complex role of food and nutrition on our health. She loves to share holistic health tips and integrative medical news from NIHA and around the country via the NIHA facebook page. Follow us and share your health tips!

Read More

Tags: holistic nutrition, recipe