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Got Antioxidants?

What are antioxidants and why you need them in your diet

Antioxidants are a needed to protect the body from molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals occur naturally in our bodies. There are also external factors that increase free radical production including: stress, the burning of sugars from an unhealthy diet, along with the break down of medications and toxins. Free radicals cause cell damage by oxidization (much the same way that oxygen in the air rusts exposed metal on a car). Oxidization of cells is common pathway to aging and development of a range of illnesses and diseases including cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Luckily antioxidants are around to neutralize these free radicals.

Unfortunately, our bodies do not have enough antioxidants to fight all the free radicals, thus we must make sure our diet includes them. To get enough antioxidants it is recommended that we eat 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Not an easy thing to do for most people, but luckily I get my daily allotment in one glass of Shakeology. Shakeology has 12 different super foods which are considered to be antioxidants including: Cacao, Acerola Cherry, Pomegranate, Camu-Camu, Bilberry, Goji Berry, Blueberry, Açai, Green Tea, Rose Hips, Cinnamon, and Luo Han Guo.

The most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits is the Pomegranate.

Punicalagin is a compound found only in pomegranates that is responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits. Some health benefits that have been reported from punicalagin include:

  • Lowering of blood pressure
  • Lowering of cholesterol
  • Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation to help prevent strokes and heart attacks
  • Promotes the reversal of atherosclerotic plaques
  • Inhibit cancers including breast, prostate, colon and leukemia
  • Improves depression symptoms
  • Protects against osteoporosis

So instead of going to the doctor to get on medications to decrease your blood pressure, consider discussing with your doctor a trial of just drinking a glass of Shakeology on a daily basis. A glass a Shakeology a day may just be the thing to keep the doctor away!

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Shakeology is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or been evaluated by theFood and Drug Administration.

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Got Stress?!?

Got Stress?!?

Here something you can do to help!

Now days, who doesn’t? So many things in life can cause stress including work, traffic, kids, family, bills, taxes and watching the news just to name a few. Stress is often sited as a cause of many medical illnesses such as migraine headaches, stomach problems, depression, suppressed immune system, hypertension and heart disease.

It is how you deal with that stress is the important thing. Many people deal with stress by drinking, smoking and overeating thus also increasing the risk of alcohol abuse, lung cancer and obesity. As a physician I encourage my patients to find ways to deal with stress in a non-destructive way. Personally I use exercise to help me deal with my stress. Recently I discovered I had been drinking some natural stress reducers in my health shake, Shakeology.

Shakeology is all natural whole food shake. It contains 70 different super foods, some of which are considered to be adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbs or compounds found in nature that naturally helps your body cope with stress. These adaptogens help maintain balance in your body. For example if you are wired from stress, adaptogens will calm you down. If you are too depleted and lack energy, an adaptogen will lift you back up. Adaptogens also promote a strong immune function by modulating or stabilizing your immune system. If you are sick it will improve your immune response, if you have an autoimmune problem they may help decrease that response. Last but not least, adaptogens naturally help increase your energy.

There are nine different adaptogens blended in Shakeology including; Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Ginkgo, Maca Root, Maitake, Reishe, Schisandra, and Holy Basil.

Here is some more information on a couple of the adaptogens that are found in Shakeology.

Astragalus root is one of the most potent adaptogen. It is an ancient Chinese herb that has been used for thousands of years for natural therapeutic healing. As an adaptogen, Astragalus root protects the body against physical, mental, emotional stress and promotes a healthy immune system. It is felt to help fight viral & bacteria infections, inflammation, and may even fight cancer. Astragalus is good for people with diabetes since it has also been shown to help maintain normal blood sugar levels. Because it contains high amounts of antioxidants, Astragalus can protect cells against free radical damage. Astragalus also boosts metabolism, endurance and increase energy, which ultimately can lead to weight loss.

Maca Root has been used for centuries to help combat stress and fatigue and increase stamina. As an adaptogen, it may also help support a healthy immune system. Maca root is a nutrient-dense whole food packed with vitamins, plant sterols, dietary fiber, essential fatty acids, minerals (including calcium, magnesium, and iron), as well as 19 of the 22 essential amino acids. Maca Root has a higher amount of calcium than is in milk. The omega acids found in Maca root helps support brain function. Maca root has even been reported to boost libido, improve fertility and decrease menopause symptoms- BONUS!!

So if you also have a life full of stress, put down that margarita and give Shakeology a try. I challenge you to try for a month and find out just how well your body can feel when it is fueled with what it truly needs.

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Shakeology is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or been evaluated by theFood and Drug Administration.

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The best foods to eat to prevent dementia

The best foods to eat to prevent Dementia

Unfortunately, there is no pill to prevent Alzheimer’s dementia (AD).  Even the medication that is available for AD does not prevent it or help improve your memory.  The medications just slow down the natural progression of decline in your memory.  So what can you do to help keep your brain healthy?  Well as discussed in an prior post Alzheimer’s Dementia, the best way is a combination of increase physical and mental activity along with healthy eating.  This blog is going to focus on the foods that have been shown to help keep your brain healthy.

It is now known that as your belly grows; your brain tends to shrink.  There is a direct correlation between obesity and the shrinking of the area of the brain that is responsible for memory and recall; the hippocampus.  It has also been found that being overweight doubles your risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia and being obese will quadruple that risk. So an important goal of eating healthy is for weight loss.  However, being on a brain healthy diet is more than just going on a weight lose diet. It is also about choosing foods that can help keep our brains healthy.

There is scientific evidence that points to certain foods that may promote brain health while others may cause damage and thus should be avoided.

Foods to eat:

  1. Eat foods that are a good source of B and D vitamins.  It has long been recognized that some nutritional deficiencies can cause dementia, specifically, Vitamin B12, thiamine, folate, and most recently Vitamin D
  2. Consume omega 3 fatty acids. Low levels of omega 3 fatty acids have been associated with depression, anxiety, obesity, attention deficit disorder, suicide, and increase risk of Alzheimer’s dementia.  There are three omega 3 fatty acids.  Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicospentaenoic acid (EPA) which come from fish oils and alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which comes from plant sources.  DHA is the main component of brain synapse and makes up a large portion of the gray matter in the brain. Lower DHA levels are associated with a smaller brain size.  Omega 3 fatty acids reduces inflammation, combats the plaque buildup associated with Alzheimer’s and increases the blood flow to your brain.  Boosting omega 3 fatty acids in your diet is one of the best things that you can do for your weight, mood, brainpower and longevity.
  3. Consume dietary antioxidants.  Antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene protect the body and the brain against the destructive effects of free radicals.  Excessive free radical formation causes cell death and tissue damage.  A study done in rats showed that rats who ate a diet rich in blueberries showed better ability to learn new motor skills and gain protection against strokes. There is evidence that that these natural antioxidants activate the brains natural house cleaning mechanisms to clean up the toxic proteins that are linked to age related memory loss and mental decline.
  4. Eat balance portions of protein, carbohydrates, and good fats at each meal.  Having protein at each meal helps to balance blood sugar levels, which can cause “brain fog” from eating simple carbohydrates. Or recently more evidence points to eating a low carb high fat diet.  See more in recent blog post.

One simple way that I am able to get in my all that I need to fuel my body and my brain is by drinking Shakeology.  Besides the benefits of helping you lose weight and reduce craving, Shakeology is also packed with more than 70 of the most nutritious whole food ingredients that your body needs.

  1. There are a total of 13 vitamins that are considered essential for proper body function and Shakeology has them all including Vitamin B1, B12, folic acid, and Vitamin D.
  2. Shakeology also includes short chain omega fatty acids ALA from natural plant based sources of the sachi inchi, chia seed, and flax seed.  However, it is unclear if the ALA gets converted to EPA or DHA so supplementing it with DHA and EPA is still recommended.
  3. It contains some of the most potent antioxidants to help protect the body from free radicals from oxidizing and destroying cells. It also helps support your body’s immune function and promote healthy aging.  The antioxidants in Shakeology include, acai berry, acerola cherry, bilberry, blueberries, cacao, camu-camu, coconut flower nectar, goji berries, pomegranate, rose hips, luo han guo, grape seed, and green tea. Did you know that the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society recommend eating between 5 and 9 serving of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables a day; Shakeology meets this recommendation with just one serving.
  4. Shakeology contains about 16 grams of protein and 20 grams of total carbohydrates of which 5 grams is fiber to give you a balanced meal.  Even though it seems to have a high ratio of carbohydrate, it has a low glycemic index averaging 24 (13-46 depending on formulation), which is lower than most fruits and vegetables.  This help to stabilize your sugar and insulin levels and give you the energy your body and your brain needs throughout the day.

“So why can’t I just take a multivitamin that gives some of those nutrients that I need?”  You may ask, well you can. However, unlike some multivitamin pills, Shakeology uses whole food sources of nutrients.  The benefits of using whole food is that the nutrients are preserved as close to their natural state as possible.  This allows your body to better absorb and more efficiently use these nutrients, as intended in nature.

Now I am not saying that drinking Shakeology is going to prevent you from having Alzhemier’s dementia.  Just like the label says: “these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.”  “This product (Shakeology) is not intended to diagnosis, treat, cure, or prevent and disease”.  However, as a Neurologist I personally drink Shakeology on a daily basis for many reasons, just one of which is to help keep my brain healthy.

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Shakeology is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or been evaluated by theFood and Drug Administration.