Autism awareness month!

Autism awareness ribbon above letter blocks spelling autism on white background

April is Autism Awareness Month, a condition that is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills. Studies suggest that the risk of autism is influenced equally by genetic and environmental factors. These can be as varied as parental age, birth complications, maternal nutrition at conception and exposure to pollution during early brain development. A growing body of research suggests that a woman can reduce her risk of having a child with autism by taking prenatal vitamins containing folic acid (at least 600 mcg a day) during the months before and after conception. Researchers noted the use of folic acid supplements from four weeks before the start of pregnancy to eight weeks after. In addition, some research suggests that byproducts from harmful gut bacteria can interfere with brain development and function. The idea of a gut-brain connection isn’t new. It’s supported by a large body of research showing continuous communication between the bacteria that inhabit the digestive tract and the body’s immune system – and also between the immune system and the brain. Nourishing the gut’s flora with probiotics may be beneficial in this regard. -Autism Speaks


Fermented and pickled vegetables

Eggplant caviar in a glass jar

Home made fermented and pickled vegetables may be very beneficial to the overall health as they contain probiotics and may promote a healthy gut flora. These fermented and pickled veggies can increase nutrient bio-availability in the body, and improve the digestibility of the food and even the foods that are consumed along with it. Why home made and not store bought, you may ask! Typically commercial food processors develop techniques to help standardize more consistent yields, and may not consider that each type of fermented/pickled food has specific, unique requirements and production methods. Enjoy these home made, delicious veggies along side your lunches and dinners, and receive the many benefits that they provide!


Nourish with nutrition

Superfood

Eating food as close to its natural state, promotes optimum health and well being. SAY NO to processed/packaged foods, preservatives and additives.

Here are the components of a healthy diet:
Natural foods
Seasonal foods
Fresh foods
Nutritious foods
Clean foods
Tasty and Appealing foods
Variety and Rotation
Moderation
Balance


Heirloom tomatoes

iStock_000016544572_SmallHeirloom tomatoes are very high in antioxidants and a good source of vitamins A, C, B-complex, and Potassium, Iron, and Fiber. Also consumption of fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) ,and triglycerides. In addition, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent aggregation of platelet cells in the blood – a factor that is especially important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis. So go ahead and add heirloom tomatoes to your grocery list, while they’re still in season!
NOTE: Tomatoes are quiet acidic. People who are suffering from ulcers, or those on anti-inflammatory diets, should be mindful when it comes to consuming tomatoes.


Are you starving yourself?

Strict diet

Excessively rapid weight-loss stimulates production of an enzyme known as lipoprotein lipase, which forces our bodies to store more fat. Ultimately this slows down our metabolic rate and therefore slows down weight loss. These diets at this stage mimic starvation, and force the body to hold onto whatever food it is given.

 


Understanding food’s nutrition labels

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Are you only reading labels to count calories? Calorie counting is a good way to keep track of the quantity of the food you consume each day. But what about the quality? Is it okay to consume a sugary treat full of additives and preservatives only because it is low in calories? The modern day diets are so focused on calorie counting that they forget about more important factors such as the sodium and sugar contents, the type of fat, and the ingredients. Learn how to read the food labels correctly!


Why 8 glasses of water a day?

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Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up approximately about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water, and Its important to keep it hydrated. But where does the “eight, 8 oz glasses a day” rule come from? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day, and about 9 cups (2.2 liters) for women. Although the “8 glasses a day” rule (1.9 liters) isn’t supported by hard evidence, but it isn’t that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations, and it remains popular because it’s easy to remember!


The effect of Mediterranean diet on Metabolic Syndrome

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A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows that metabolic syndrome could be reversed by following a Mediterranean diet. Metabolic syndrome is defined as having three or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Risk factors include abdominal obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood glucose levels. For this study, researchers investigated the metabolic effects of a Mediterranean diet, which in their opinion, is recognized as one of the healthiest diets. It involves high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, reducing intake of red meat, eating fish and poultry at least twice a week, and replacing butter with healthy fats – such as olive oil. In 2013, Medical News Today reported on a study claiming the diet can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in high-risk patients, while a more recent study suggested that children who eat a Mediterranean diet are 15% less likely to be obese.


Heal and prevent with nutrition

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Alongside many other factors, what you eat may determine your health, your well-being, and the quality of your life. In many cases you may beat and prevent many medical conditions such as Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol simply by eating right, exercising and adopting a healthy lifestyle.


A little something about Probiotics

Probiotics ConceptThe human intestinal tract is home to approximately 100 trillion microorganisms with over 1,000 known diverse bacterial species. Probiotics can help promote a healthy gut flora, potentially reducing the amount of harmful bacteria, while replenishing and maintaining beneficial strains. However, not all probiotic supplements are created equally. Human-sourced microflora bacteria strains are non-pathogenic and possess a natural physiological functionality to survive and colonize the intestinal tract.
Probiotics may be helpful in regards to:
– Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Pouchitis and Ulcerative Colitis)
– Post antibiotic use
– Strengthening the immune system
– Eczema
– Irritable Bowel Syndrome
– Urinary tract and vaginal health
– Allergies and asthma
– Childhood stomach and respiratory infections
– Joint stiffness
– ADD/ADHD
– …