lifestyle clinic, charlotte, nc, fibroids

Uterine Fibroids

Nearly 70 percent of women will suffer from uterine fibroids in their lifetime, although they will only cause symptoms in about 25 percent of women. Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow on the walls of the uterus. Fibroids can grow as a single tumor, or there can be many of them. They range in size and quantity from being as small as an apple seed to as large as a grapefruit. Those women who do have symptoms from fibroids often find it very difficult to lead a normal pain free life. In extreme cases, surgery is necessary. Fibroids are responsible for more than 200,000 hysterectomies each year.

Some risk factors are out of your control, but there are many you can manage. There are a lot of things you can do to balance your hormones naturally, which is a key part of natural fibroid prevention and treatment before considering surgery. No one knows exactly what causes uterine fibroids, but it is generally known that hormones, particularly estrogen, are known to play a part.

Four things you should know about uterine fibroids:

1. Certain groups of women are at a higher risk

Age– Fibroids become more common as women age, especially during the 30s and 40s through menopause. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink due to the change in hormone levels.

Family history– If your other female blood relatives have fibroids, this dramatically increases your risk of also developing them.

Ethnic origin– African-American women have a much higher risk of developing fibroids than women of other races or ethnicities.

Obesity– Women who are overweight are two to three times more likely to develop fibroids compared to women who maintain a healthy weight.

Eating habits– Eating a lot of red meat, fish or poultry that is non-organic and raised with the use of hormones can significantly increase the risk of developing fibroids.

Early menstruation– Women who began menstruation prior to the age of 10 are at a higher risk for fibroids than those who started after the age of 10.

Birth control– Taking birth control pills can make fibroids grow more quickly because of the increased estrogen level in the body. Foods that are high in estrogen, and chemicals that mimic estrogen may also play a role in the development of fibroids.

2. Many women have no symptoms or side effects

Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms, but some women with fibroids may have issues such as:

Heavy bleeding (which can cause anemia)
Painful menses
Feeling of fullness in the pelvic area
Swelling of the lower abdomen
Frequent urination
Pain during sexual intercourse
Lower back pain
Complications during pregnancy and labor
Reproductive problems such as infertility

3. Fibroids do not always lead to infertility

Fibroids affecting fertility really depends on the number, location, and size of the fibroids. Less than three percent of cases of infertility are solely due to fibroids (without any other factors).

4. You don’t have to have surgery

In the past, when you found out you were suffering from fibroids that caused very heavy bleeding and pain, it was thought that a hysterectomy was the only option. Now there are other options such as working with a Naturopathic Doctor to balance your hormones naturally to help shrink and decrease the symptoms associated with fibroids. You can balance your hormones by avoiding foods that promote the development of fibroids such as processed foods and meats, refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine. As always, a healthy and well balanced diet is the best way to keep fibroids at bay. You should eat a nutrient rich diet with organic foods, green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, beta-carotene and iron rich foods to help minimize your risk of developing fibroids. You should also avoid excessive exposure to environmental toxins that act as estrogen in the body, these include pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, bleach, food preservatives, harmful cleaners and food dyes. If possible you should also use natural, unbleached feminine care products as well as organic body care products and makeup to minimize your risk.

If you or someone you know is suffering from uterine fibroids, call us at (704) 334-3761 to schedule your free phone consultation with one of our Naturopathic doctors to learn more about your natural and holistic options.


Bonus Tip- Reasons to shop at Farmers Markets

Imagine this: in an ideal world, you could walk leisurely to your backyard to pick your fruits, vegetables and herbs for the day and spend the day laboring over your garden under the warm sun. Unfortunately, for most of us this is not our reality but we still want to make healthy choices. Our lives are filled with obligations that keep us busy. Your local farmers market is the best place to meet your local farmers and food producers and feed your family the healthiest foods. You can find a variety of things at your local farmers market, ranging from produce and eggs to local handmade gifts and flowers. Before visiting your local market, take some time to research and ask for recommendations. Some booths do not provide bags, so it is a good idea to bring your reusable shopping bags.

Seven reasons to shop at your local farmers markets

1. Freshly picked, in season produce is at its peak (in flavor and nutrition).
Because your food is being grown locally, there is a good chance your produce was picked within a few days. Shopping at a grocery store, this is impossible due to processing and transport time.

2. Support your local farmers.
One of the greatest benefits of shopping at your local farmers market is being able to talk to the farmers. Most of us know that when buying food we should buy organic and non-gmo to avoid ingesting harmful chemicals, but did you know that a lot of small local farms are actually using organic practices even if it might not be displayed? The USDA organic label is a very lengthy and expensive process, so many times only large high-profiting farms are able to go through this process. Talk to your local farmer and ask about their farming practices to make the best choice for your family.

3. Fresh fruit and vegetables are healthier.
When you can, it’s a good idea to purchase local produce to minimize your risk of ingesting heavy pesticides or chemicals. When you cannot buy local produce, frozen produce will suffice as long as it is certified organic.

4. It’s a great way to get your kids involved and interested in food.
You can let your kids pick out something new to try that they’ve never seen before. Then they can help prepare a new meal. This is a great way to add variety to your families meals.

5. Eat seasonally.
Grocery stores have too much variety and the food is picked before it has ripened due to transport times, therefore decreasing the vitality. By eating what is in season locally, your food will be fresh and ripe with a lot of nutrients.

6. Farmers often have recommendations.
If you frequently find yourself bored of the same old meals, your local farmers many times can help you by providing recommendations on how to cook their products.

7. A variety of payment methods.
Many farmers markets are cash only, but more and more are accepting debit and credit cards. Each booth may be different, it is generally a good idea to carry cash just in case (although most farmers markets do have ATMs on site). Benefits such as SNAP and WIC are also being accepted at more and more farmers markets around the country. Contact your local market to find out more about their payment methods.

For a list of local farmers markets in the Charlotte area, please visit the following link:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/food-drink/article73968667.html

A few of our favorites are :

Atherton Market (http://athertonmillandmarket.com/retailers/mill/atherton-market/)
Charlotte Regional Farmers Market (https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteRegionalFarmersMarket/)
King’s Drive Farmers Market (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kings-Drive-Farmers-Market/166507480078156)

 

Resources:

https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a7187/what-you-need-to-know-uterine-fibroids

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/food-drink/article73968667.html

https: //draxe.com/fibroids/

https://www.nutrition.gov/farmers-markets

https: //www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/uterine-fibroids

caffeine, natural healthcare, charlotte, nc, natural medicine, naturopathic medicine, dr parkes

Caffeine Awareness

Although it’s completely legal, caffeine found naturally in coffee and other drinks is really a stimulant drug. In fact, caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world. It is recognized as an addictive substance by the World Health Organization. Have you ever noticed that if you (or someone you know) go a day without caffeine, will develop headaches, body sweats and irritability? These are all symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, very similar to withdrawal from other stimulants and drugs.

Caffeine affects the central nervous system by elevating your heart rate, increasing alertness, and changing the way your brain and body function. While these may sound somewhat useful, it should only be used occasionally. Caffeine should not be used to replace sleep. It is absorbed into the blood and body tissues within 15 minutes and its effects lasts up to six hours, which can greatly affect sleep.

Whether caffeine is consumed in food, drink or as a medicine, it changes the way the brain and body work. Most of us know that coffee, energy drinks and soft drinks contain caffeine, but you may be surprised to learn that caffeine is hidden in many commonly consumed items. Protein bars, decaf coffee, hot or cold tea, chocolate, “fortified” water and pain medications are a few of the items that contain hidden caffeine.

Although caffeine may appear to have some positive effects, its negative effects greatly outweigh them. Below are some of the most commonly experienced effects of caffeine use:

Dependency and addiction

Similar to any drug, caffeine is very addictive. Most people change how much they use over time based on their built-up level of tolerance. Over time, you will need more caffeine to produce the same energizing effects because your body will naturally build up tolerance. This is very similar to the increased tolerance of alcohol or illegal drug use. If you’re a coffee drinker and have ever had to go without your “fix”, you know how difficult the withdrawal symptoms can be. Withdrawal is a serious reaction to weaning yourself off of caffeine and should not be taken lightly. These symptoms can include headaches, anxiety, irritability, body sweats, trouble concentrating, fatigue, digestive issues and changes in appetite. Relying on caffeine for energy is extremely dangerous and can produce adrenal fatigue that can lead to negative effects on other aspects of your health.

Anxiety

If you suffer from high stress levels, nervousness and anxiety, caffeine can exacerbate these symptoms and make you more susceptible to the negative effects of caffeine. If you are someone who already suffers from these conditions, you should completely avoid caffeine, sugar and other similar stimulants.

Insomnia

Caffeine is known to disrupt sleep and can make insomnia worse in people who suffer from sleep-related concerns. Even if you generally have no trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, caffeine can disrupt your body’s natural hormone levels, such as serotonin and melatonin, that help promote restful sleep. Because of this, you’re more likely to need caffeine to help you function the following day, putting yourself in a never-ending cycle of “needing” caffeine to have a productive day.

Hormone Levels

Over time, caffeine causes the adrenal glands to overwork and eventually weaken. When you’re lacking quality sleep, you suppress healthy hormone production. Caffeine can be especially harmful for women suffering from many hormone related issues such as PMS, PMDD, PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis and infertility.

Dehydration

Caffeine is a diuretic, so you’ve probably noticed you have an increased need to urinate after consuming it. Additionally, caffeine depletes levels of key nutrients and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc.

Additives

The effects of caffeine combined with sugar in sweetened coffee, soft drinks and energy drinks has an even bigger, negative impact on the body than caffeine alone. These high-sugar, processed ingredients are full of artificial sweeteners and chemicals and are extremely dangerous especially when combined with caffeine.

If you are ready to eliminate caffeine from your diet but are unsure where to begin, try switching out some of your sugar filled, caffeinated beverages with some healthy alternatives. You can try flavored herbal teas, including green tea. If you really enjoy the taste of coffee, try switching out your daily fix with a dandelion root tea or latte. To sweeten your caffeine free beverages, try sweetening with pure stevia.

If you have a severe caffeine addiction and don’t know where to begin, call our office today at (704) 334-3761 to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our Naturopathic Physicians. We can get you started on a detox that will kick start your journey to a happier and healthier you without the need for caffeine.

References:

https: //draxe.com/caffeine-overdose/

http ://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/285194.php

probiotics, cold and flu, immunity, charlotte naturopathic doctor

Probiotics can help keep you healthy this cold and flu season

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that line your gut and are responsible for nutrient absorption and supporting your immune system. If you can increase the amount of good bacteria and balance microorganisms in your body, it can have tremendous health benefits, including boosting your immunity, balancing hormones, detoxifying your liver, helping clear up your skin, and decreasing inflammation, to name a few. This “friendly” bacteria makes up 70-85% of our immune systems.

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that are responsible for a number of things in the body. Probiotics help break down food as well as extract minerals from those foods. Probiotics assist our bodies in producing essential fatty acids and vitamins. These helpful bacteria are also known to eat excess sugar in the body, reducing health risks associated with sugar intake such as inflammation.

If you don’t have enough good bacteria in your gut, the side effects can include: digestive disorders, skin issues, candida, autoimmune disease, and frequent colds and flus.

Every time you take a round of antibiotics, it throws off your gut flora and can affect digestion and many aspects of your health for many months. This is why it is important to limit the number of antibiotics you take to only when completely necessary. You should instead try to boost your immune system to fight off illnesses. Many people go to their doctor every time they are sick and receive antibiotics for viral infections or minor illnesses, when in fact, antibiotics do not help rid viruses.

In addition to excessive antibiotic use, other reasons that the microflora in our systems become unbalanced are eating foods with added hormones and preservatives, exposure to fertilizers and pesticides, carbonated beverages, steroids and even stress. For this reason, it is very important to sustain a healthy amount of good bacteria in your system by eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

How to incorporate probiotics

The best way to ensure you are getting a healthy amount of probiotics in your system is to incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your daily diet as well as taking a daily probiotic supplement. The following foods are high in probiotics; sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kombucha, and apple cider vinegar (as salad dressing). Getting good, high-quality fiber in your diet can also enhance the development of good bacteria in your body.

When choosing a daily probiotic supplement, you should purchase a high quality, reputable brand that has at least 15 billion CFU (colony forming units) per serving. It should have multiple strains and some high quality brands require refrigeration (once the probiotics touch the air or are heated, they lose their potency). It is however, important to choose a probiotic that is shelf stable as refrigeration may be compromised during transport. The Not Just Weight by Dr. Parkes brand offers a superior probiotic product that is individually packaged to encourage freshness and preserve quality.

Tip: Probiotic-rich food recipes

Simple sauerkraut

Ingredients
1 medium head of cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1.5 tablespoons of kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it’s best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar (2 qt wide mouth) and jelly jar (smaller jar that fits inside of the 2 qt jar) are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. Make sure to wash your hands, too.
  2. Thinly slice and chop cabbage.
  3. Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes (there should be a significant amount of liquid formed).
  4. Pack the cabbage into the large mason jar. Every so often, push down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage into the jar.
  5. Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down (the cabbage needs to be fully submerged in the liquid).
  6. Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevents anything from getting into the jar.
  7. Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
  8. If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
  9. Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: As it’s fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is not fully submerged by liquid.
  10. Start tasting your sauerkraut after 3 days, when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate.
  11. While it’s fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don’t eat moldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
  12. This sauerkraut will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated.

Reference:
https:// draxe.com/boost-immunity-with-probiotics/
https:// draxe.com/probiotics-a-pro-or-con-for-your-health/
https:// draxe.com/what-are-probiotics/
http:// www.everydayhealth.com/cold-and-flu/probiotics-for-flu-prevention.aspx
http:// www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/do-probiotics-reduce-cold-and-flu-risk/
http:// www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/research-confirms-probiotics-support-immune-system/
http:// www.prescript-assist.com/intestinal-health/immune-system-probiotics/

Recipe Reference:
http:// www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-193124

healthy fat, saturated fat, good vs bad fat, holistic, naturopathic medicine, charlotte nc

The Truth about Fat

Many people are still under the assumption that a low-fat diet is best for your health.  This belief is false.  Our bodies require fat to function, but not all fat is created equal.  Fat provides the body with the proper nutrients for hormone development, cell growth and energy production.  Proper nutrition can be achieved through a diet rich in fats, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.  Fat itself is an essential nutrient.  Our bodies need the appropriate ratio of nutrients; this includes fats, protein and carbohydrates.

Fats are composed of building blocks called fatty acids.  These fatty acids fall into two categories: saturated,  and unsaturated fats (further divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated).  There is also a fourth type of fat known as trans fat.

Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fat

Unsaturated fats are mostly liquid at room temperature and come primarily from plant-based foods.  Unsaturated fats protect against heart disease as they do not raise blood cholesterol levels.

Unsaturated fats can be divided further into two groups: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.  Examples of monounsaturated fats are olive oil and almond oil.  These are safe for consumption but due to their chemical makeup, they should not be heated to high temperatures.  Polyunsaturated fats are those consisting of omega-3s and omega-6s such as walnuts, green vegetables and fish.

Saturated fats are derived from animal-based products and are solid at room temperature.  Saturated fats leave little room for free-radicals to intervene, thus these require minimal processing, which in turn makes them very good for our consumption.  The most known examples of good saturated fats are butter and coconut oil.

The Most Harmful Fats: Trans Fat

Trans fats are the fats most harmful to cholesterol levels and provide the most increased risk to heart disease.   As discussed, unsaturated fats are found liquid and saturated fats are found solid.  Trans fats are naturally liquid oils but become solid at room temperature by the addition of hydrogen.  This process is known as hydrogenation.

Hydrogenation turns relatively healthy oils into solids for the purpose of extending a food’s shelf-life.  Indicators of trans fats are foods with ingredients containing words such as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.  The most well known hydrogenated fat is margarine or shortening.

You should avoid refined oils such as canola oil or other vegetable oils as these go through extreme processing.  Also avoid “junk food” and fast food or anything that is pre-packaged such as cookies, muffins, pies and cakes as these often contain high amounts of trans fats.  Most fast food chains use shortening and hydrogenated oils for frying food because they are inexpensive, readily available and they do not go rancid.

Avoid foods advertised as “fat-free” or “low fat”.   These foods are usually chemically modified and may have harmful effects.  When buying meat, chose the fattier cuts as this is more naturally occurring fat.  For example, get ground beef with 20% or 30% fat instead of 3% or 5% percent.  The best fats are natural and include real butter (with no oils added), olive oil and coconut oil.

Good Fat vs. Bad Fat

It is not always easy to differentiate between a healthy fat or an unhealthy fat.  Some examples of good fats and bad fats are listed below:

Good fats – eggs, coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, nuts, butter, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids

Bad fats – soybean oil, margarine, butter substitutes, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, flax oil


Recipes Using Good Fat

Salmon with Mango and Avocado Salsa Lettuce Wraps

FOR THE SALMON

1-pound fresh salmon fillet or 4 (4-ounce) fillets
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 fresh lime, halved
1/4 chili powder
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

FOR THE WRAP

Green leaf lettuce (butterhead lettuce or large spinach leaves work well)

FOR THE MANGO AVOCADO SALSA

1 mango, pitted, peeled and diced
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1/3-cup finely diced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 1 whole lime
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Transfer salmon to the prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze lime juice over the entire fillet.  Rub the chili powder into the salmon, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.  Remove from oven and let stand couple minutes.

To prepare the salsa, combine diced mango, avocado, pepper, cilantro, lime, oil, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl; toss to combine.

To finish, wrap salmon and salsa into lettuce wraps.

Baked Egg in Avocado

Avocado
2 eggs
Sea salt & pepper
Seasoning, optional

Instructions:

Cut avocado in half, remove pit.  If necessary scoop out some avocado to make room for egg.  Crack eggs into a bowl.  Place yolk and some egg white (with a spoon) into the avocado’s hole.  Place in muffin pan or similar so the avocado will stand up and not spill egg.  Bake in oven on 425 for 13-15 minutes.

Healthy Pesto Spread

3 cups basil (moderately packed)
juice of one small-medium lemon
1/3 c walnuts or pine nuts
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
3/4 tsp himalayan salt
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the olive oil.  Pulse until evenly chopped.  Slowly add in the olive oil through the top of the processor.  Pulse until evenly combined, but not completely smooth.

Resources:

http:// braveforpaleo.com

http:// diethood.com

http:// dontwastethecrumbs.com

https:// draxe.com

http:// drhyman.com

http:// goodinthesimple.com

http:// health.harvard.edu

natural health charlotte, charlotte naturopath, healthy eating, charlotte, the lifestyle clinic

Get Back on Track 7 Day Express Plan

Have you fallen off the wagon?
Do the summer festivities have you feeling off balance?

Give yourself a quick mid summer boost:

Increase Energy
Improve Digestion
Lose Weight
Feel Better

This Express Program includes all your supplements and a special meal plan designed to get you back on track fast!

Cost $158 (+Shipping if applicable)

Hurry! Don’t miss out!
There are a limited number of programs available.

Purchase a program for a friend/family member and do it together
Pick your own start date
Recipes for main dishes, side dishes and dessert included
Mix and match meals to create your own food plan

Order now by calling the office or logging into our online store at lifestyle-clinic.com. (Select Shop on our Top Menu)

 

chronic inflammation, charlotte nc, charlotte natural health, naturopathic, healthy eating

What is Chronic Inflammation?

Almost all diseases and illnesses stem from chronic inflammation.  Inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing.  It is your body’s first line of defense against toxins, infections and injuries.  It helps to keep your body healthy and working properly.  When your cells are in distress, they release chemicals to alert your immune system.  Your body then sends inflammatory cells to heal the body from the foreign substance.  A good example of inflammation is when you get a splinter in your finger and your finger becomes red and puffy because your body is trying to fight any potential bacteria that is trying to enter your body.  This puts your body and immune system in overdrive causing chronic inflammation.

You may be suffering from chronic inflammation and not even know it.  Are you having a hard time maintaining a healthy weight, aging earlier than you should, or feel tired and sick all the time?  This is most likely due to chronic inflammation.

The most effective way to combat chronic inflammation is through diet.  At The Lifestyle Clinic, we put our patients on an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of high-quality proteins, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits (in moderation), and nuts.  We try to focus on going back to the basics and making healthy food choices easy and simple for the everyday person.

Healing chronic inflammation isn’t only about adding anti-inflammatory foods—it’s also about getting rid of pro-inflammatory foods.  Most of us know that sugar and white flour are pro-inflammatory, but these are other foods that are usually known as “healthy” foods.  They may surprise you!

1. Whole wheat bread

The sugar in whole wheat bread will increase your blood glucose, causing your body to produce higher levels of pro-inflammatory cells.  Sugar elevates your insulin levels, triggering an immune response of destructive molecules to form, therefore feeding inflammation.

**Try eating your sandwich without bread or substituting with lettuce wraps.  If you don’t generally feel satisfied until you eat bread, try filling up on veggies first. Gluten is one of the main culprits of chronic inflammation.

2. Dairy

Dairy is thought to be the backbone of a healthy diet, providing essential nutrients and helping to build strong bones.  The truth is that dairy is the most inflammatory food in our diets after gluten.  The human body is not able to break down the sugars and proteins (casein and whey) found in dairy.  When dairy enters the body, inflammatory chemicals are released in an attempt to help the body digest these foreign substances.

**Try consuming unsweetened nut or hemp milks as good alternatives to cow’s milk.  Other non-dairy sources of calcium are almonds, kale, collard greens, broccoli, and spinach. Dairy is highly inflammatory and one of the leading factors to chronic inflammation, despite the fact that we are told from a young age that it builds strong bones.

3. Diet soda

Have you made the switch to drinks with splenda, aspartame or other artificial sweeteners because you’re trying to lose weight by avoiding sugar?  If so, these sweeteners are causing your body more harm than sugar itself.  Artificial sweeteners can cause glucose intolerance, increasing belly fat which in turn forces your body to crank out inflammatory chemicals.

**If you want to switch up the water to avoid chronic inflammation, try drinking unsweetened tea and sweetening with natural stevia or lemon. You can also add fruits to your water!

4. Seed oils

You might have heard that seed oils like corn, soybean, sunflower, and canola oil are good for you. However, these oils are heavily processed and they’re frequently rancid even at the time you buy them. Worse yet, they have an unhealthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. They’re high in omega-6s, which are pro-inflammatory, and low in anti-inflammatory omega-3s.

**Substitute these with healthy fats like olive, coconut, and avocado oils. These healthy fats are anti-inflammatory and can help to decrease chronic inflammation.

5. Nonfat fruit yogurt

Most people view this as the ultimate health food, fast and convenient and having probiotics to help your gut flora. Most people don’t even realize that they don’t tolerate dairy well until they eliminate it from their diet. When they do, symptoms such as headaches, acne, bloating and allergies will clear up. This usually means that your internal inflammation is decreasing.

These yogurts are often full of pro-inflammatory sugar or artificial sweeteners and contain only a tiny amount of actual fruit. When these are made and stripped of its fat, they substitute artificial fillers and thickeners—ingredients that are unfamiliar to your body and can promote inflammation.

**Avoid dairy and to increase the health of your gut, take a daily probiotic and eat fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi.


To fight inflammation, rethink “healthy.” Call The Lifestyle Clinic today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Naturopathic Doctors to learn more about healthy foods and to come up with a nutritional plan to help you feel your best!

Instead, try some of these Anti-Inflammatory Foods:
Dark, leafy greens
Turmeric
Blueberries
Broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous veggies
Chia seeds
Avocados
Shiitake mushrooms

-By Dr. Kivette Parkes, Naturopathic Doctor

Resources:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24830/5-healthy-foods-that-contribute-to-inflammation.html

http://kimberlysnyder.com/blog/2012/09/22/9-foods-that-cause-inflammation-and-9-that-fight-it/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8646/the-dangers-of-dairy.html

unhealthy eating, healthy eating, food additives, natural health charlotte, naturopathic doctor, charlotte nc, natural health clinic in charlotte, nc

The 12 Worst Food Additives to Avoid

When you eat processed, pre-packaged foods, you can guarantee that you’re also consuming a large amount of food additives.

Additives are often used in food processing to slow spoilage, prevent fats and oils from going bad, prevent fruits from turning brown, to improve taste, texture and appearance and even to enrich the food with synthetic man-made vitamins and minerals to replace the natural ones that were lost during processing.

Unfortunately, many of these additives have been linked to health concerns, while others have been granted “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) status without any approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

12 Worst Food Additives to Avoid

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a great resource to help you sort through the questionable compounds on food labels, as well as many other products we use on a daily basis such as shampoo, toothpaste, etc.

Please visit their website for more information and receive up-to-date facts on your favorite foods and products: http://www.ewg.org/

 

  1. Nitrites and Nitrates

Sodium nitrite is a synthetic preservative added to meats like hot dogs and deli meat to help them maintain their color. In the presence of heat, chemical reactions occur which can damage cells and are very harmful to your health. Nitrates are present in many vegetables, which has led to some confusion. Nitrites and nitrates are not naturally bad for you, they can actually help to lower blood pressure and have anti-inflammatory effects. It is when nitrates are heated and form nitrosamines that they become dangerous.

  1. Potassium Bromate

Nearly every time you eat commercial breads you are consuming bromide, an endocrine-disrupting chemical commonly used in flours. Commercial baking companies use it because it makes the dough more elastic. Studies have linked potassium bromate to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, and cancer. It is banned for food use in Canada, China, and the European Union (EU).

  1. Propyl Paraben

Propyl paraben is an endocrine-disrupting chemical used as a food preservative. It’s commonly found in tortillas, muffins, and food dyes and may also contaminate foods via packaging. Research has shown that 91 percent of Americans have propyl paraben in their urine, and is found in approximately half of beverages, dairy products, meat, and vegetables. It has been found to accelerate the growth of breast cancer cells, impair fertility in women, and reduce sperm counts and testosterone levels.

  1. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a preservative that affects the neurological system of your brain, alters behavior, and has the potential to cause cancer. It can be found in breakfast cereal, nut mixes, chewing gum, butter spread, meat, dehydrated potatoes, popcorn, chips, and beer, just to name a few. BHA may also trigger allergic reactions and hyperactivity. It is banned from infant foods in the UK and is banned from use in all foods in certain parts of the EU and Japan. In the US, the FDA considers BHA to be a GRAS (“Generally Recognized as Safe”) additive.

  1. Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

BHT is chemically similar to BHA and the two preservatives are often used together. While BHT is not considered a carcinogen like BHA, it has been linked to tumor development and thyroid changes in animals. In the US, BHT is given GRAS status.

  1. Propyl Gallate

Propyl gallate is a preservative used to prevent fats and oils from going bad. It’s often found in sausage, frozen pizza, and other processed foods that contain edible fats. Propyl gallate is associated with tumors, including rare brain tumors, in rats.

  1. Theobromine

Theobromine is an alkaloid found in chocolate. It has effects similar to caffeine, and is the reason why chocolate is so highly toxic to dogs. Theobromine was granted GRAS status, without the approval of the FDA.

  1. Natural and Artificial Flavors

What’s particularly alarming when you see a word like “artificial flavor” or even “natural flavor” on an ingredients label is that there’s no way to know what it actually means. For example, strawberry artificial flavor can contain nearly 50 different chemical ingredients. Most people assume that a natural flavor describes something natural like strawberries, garlic, or chili pepper used to naturally season food. In reality, most natural flavors are created in a laboratory, just like artificial flavors. In the end, natural flavors often have little resemblance to the natural product they came from. One exception is certified organic natural flavors, which must meet more stringent guidelines and cannot contain synthetic or genetically engineered ingredients.

  1. Artificial Colors

Every year, food manufacturers pour 15 million pounds of artificial food dyes into US foods. Nine of the food dyes currently approved for use in the US are linked to health issues ranging from cancer and hyperactivity to allergy-like reactions. For example, Red # 40, which is the most widely used dye, may accelerate the appearance of tumors in mice, while also triggering hyperactivity in children. Blue # 2, used in candies, beverages, pet foods and more, was linked to brain tumors. And Yellow # 5, used in baked goods, candies, cereal, and more, may not only be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals, but it’s also linked to hyperactivity, hypersensitivity, and other behavioral effects in children. Even the innocuous-sounding caramel color, which is widely used in brown soft drinks, may cause cancer.

  1. Diacetyl

The artificial flavoring called diacetyl is often used as a butter flavoring in microwave popcorn. It’s also used to flavor dairy products, including yogurt and cheese, and exists in some “brown flavorings,” including maple, strawberry, and raspberry flavors. Research shows diacetyl has several concerning properties for brain health, respiratory damage, inflammation and may trigger Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Phosphates

Phosphates are added to more than 20,000 products, including fast food, baked goods, and processed meats. Phosphates have been linked to some concerning health conditions, including heart disease.

  1. Aluminum Additives

Sodium aluminum phosphate, sodium aluminum sulfate, and many other aluminum additives are found in processed foods as stabilizers. This metal can accumulate and persist in your body, especially in your bones, and animal studies show aluminum may cause neurological effects, including changes in behavior, learning, and motor response.

If you are concerned with what you’re eating or you think it may be time for a detoxification to rid your body of harmful food additives, call The Lifestyle Clinic (704-334-3761) for Natural Healthcare in Charlotte, NC to schedule a free phone consult with Dr. Parkes!

By: Dr. Kivette Parkes, Naturopathic Doctor

 

Resources

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/11/26/12-worst-food-additives.aspx

http://www.ewg.org/

Natural Health Charlotte, Naturopathic Doctor, Natural Health Charlotte

What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

Have your friends and colleagues seen a naturopathic doctor with great results but you are still unsure of what we actually do? Read on to learn more about how we can help you.

A naturopathic doctor is trained as a primary care physician in states where licensure is available. Naturopathic Doctors are currently licensed to practice medicine in 17 states, 5 Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Naturopathic doctors undergo similar medical training to conventional Medical Doctors. Admission to an accredited Naturopathic medical school requires a bachelor’s degree as well as a competitive GPA in scientific pre-requisites. Coursework includes medical sciences such as anatomy, pathology, biochemistry and diagnostic sciences. Naturopathic Doctors learn to use labs, physical exams, and medical imaging, much like conventional Medical Doctors, to diagnose disease and monitor health.

Naturopathic Medicine is based on 6 principles:

  1. The Healing Power of Nature
    Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body’s ability to heal itself.
  2. Identify and Treat the Causes
    The naturopathic doctor looks beyond the symptoms to find the underlying cause.
  3. First Do No Harm
    Naturopathic medicine uses the most natural and least invasive therapies.
  4. Doctor as Teacher
    Naturopathic doctors educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health.
  5. Treat the Whole Person
    Naturopathic doctors treat each person individually by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, spiritual, environmental and social factors.
  6. Prevention
    Naturopathic doctors make recommendations by focusing on health, wellness and disease prevention.

How will my visit with my Naturopathic Doctor be different?

Naturopathic medicine is committed to treating the whole person, including mind, body and spirit. Your initial office visit will take between 60 and 90 minutes and your Naturopathic Doctor will go into great detail based on your health and family history, lab results and your personal goals. Often, patients say that the biggest difference between a visit with a naturopathic doctor and medical doctor is the amount of time spent with a naturopathic doctor. Your Naturopathic Doctor may ask questions you’ve never been asked before such as;

How is your sleep?

What do you eat on a daily basis?

How often do you have bowel movements?

How would you explain your spirituality?

How are the relationships in your life?

Do you feel supported in your life?

How do you handle stress?

Do your energy levels dip in the afternoon?

Your Naturopathic Doctor will also ask you to keep a detailed food intake log. On this log you will keep track of what you are eating and drinking, as well as all bowel movements and any symptoms you may have. This will help them to associate reactions and symptoms with food or beverages you may have sensitivities to.

What will my treatment plan look like?

Your Naturopathic Doctor will form your treatment plan based on your initial consultation. This will be based on your family history, personal history, goals and especially your lab work. Your plan may include nutrition recommendations, dietary changes, exercise, stress reducing techniques as well as herbal medicines and nutritional supplements. Your naturopathic doctor will most likely want to follow up with you bi-weekly for the first few months, depending on your situation, until you are able to “graduate” to a maintenance phase. Your treatment plan will likely change slightly because as your body changes and you make improvement, your body will need different things. This is why it is extremely important to follow up with your naturopathic doctor regularly.

Naturopath or Naturopathic Doctor?

As explained above, Naturopathic Doctors go through an extensive medical training and are trained as primary care physicians in states where licensure is available. Naturopath’s typically undergo a shorter non-medical school training or certificate to receive a title such as “Holistic Health Coach” or “Naturopath”. When searching for a naturopathic doctor, even in a state where licensure is not available, it is important to ensure that they attended an accredited naturopathic doctor medical program and has passed their Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX).

If you or someone you know would like to see how a Naturopathic Doctor can help you, please call the office at (704) 334-3761 to schedule a free phone consult today!

By: Dr. Kivette Parkes, Naturopathic Doctor

 

Resources:

aanmc.org/naturopathic

Bastyr.edu/academics

huffingtonpost.com/michael-stanclift-nd/naturopathic-doctors

Detox, Veggies, Charlotte, Charlotte Natural Health

You’re Invited to an Online Virtual Detox

JOIN US FOR OUR FIRST VIRTUAL 2 WEEK GROUP DETOX!

– Gain energy 

– Lose pounds and inches 

– Cleanse your blood, liver colon and kidneys 

– Renew, Restore and Revitalize your Body 

– Done completely online from the comfort of your own home 

– Invite friends, family and coworkers to join (non-patients can participate)  

– Friendly competition and support from fellow detox participants

– Access to private detox Facebook group 

– Prizes and surprises! 

– Registration Package which includes all your detox supplements is $283.07 (plus shipping if applicable). 

LIMITED NUMBER OF SLOTS AVAILABLE!  Registration deadline is May 2nd. 

You, and your guests, may call the office at (704-334-3761) to complete registration by phone.

Click here to view your invitation! RSVP Today!