Jul 28

Health at Your Finger Tips: What Your Nails are Telling You

 

By Dr. Jen Newell, ND

Take moment to really examine your nails. The nails offer many small and sometimes subtle clues about your overall health. Listed below are a few health concerns that may be reflected in the appearance and health of your nails. If you notice any of these changes to your nails please bring them to the attention of your healthcare provider and Naturopathic Doctor.

2014 - Health at Your Finger Tips

 

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

main image via Creative Commons original here

Print Friendly
Posted in Naturopathic Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Jul 21

Recipes for a Summer of Health: Puttanesca Sauce over Zucchini Pasta

raw+zucchini+pastaWe have asked our foodie and nutrition friends to share their recipes to your health and wellness goals on track all summer long! This wonderful recipe comes courtesy of the Hacienda del Sol.

Puttanesca Sauce over Zucchini Pasta

Yield: 5 servings

Recipe created by Crystal

This is a delicious detox friendly recipe and you’ll be amazed how much the texture of the zucchini pasta resembles real pasta! If you are used to eating heavy wheat pasta…..you won’t miss it at all! Above all this pasta is easy to digest, which is what makes it such a great detox recipe. The more easily a meal can be digested the less energy and resources the body has to waste on digestion, rather then helping your body renew and cleanse.

1 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked in one cup of water for 20 minutes

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped

½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped

1 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters

½ teaspoon fresh sea salt (or to taste)

To make the Puttanesca Sauce: Empty the sun-dried tomatoes from the soak water. Roughly chop the sun dried tomatoes. Place them in a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly, and let the juices marinate together for at least 30 minutes. Serve over the Raw Zucchini Pasta!

Raw Zucchini Pasta

5 zucchini

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

To make the Zucchini Pasta: Cut ends off zucchini then cut in half. Sandwich 1 segment of zucchini between the metal nose of your spirooli and spiked handle; start spinning. Repeat with the remaining zucchini segments. Voila, instant pasta! Toss the spaghetti in the olive oil and the lemon juice. Allow the spaghetti to sit at room temperature for at least one hour. For best results spoon out the marinated zucchini onto non-stick drying sheets and place in your dehydrator for one hour before serving.

 

Hacienda del SolHacienda Del Sol is an Eco Wellness Retreat and Spa oasis, which focuses on detoxification and rejuvenation. Our ongoing 7 to 21 Day juice cleanses, detox, fitness, yoga and spa retreats aim to renew you from the inside out. Visit them on facebook or twitter for more info!

 

 

main image via Creative Commons original here

Print Friendly
Posted in Detoxification, Dinner, Gluten Free, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Jul 14

Chaga Mushroom Magic

http://images.cdn.fotopedia.com/flickr-5075189902-hd.jpgBy Dr. Jen Newell, ND

I love adding medicinal foods into the treatment plans of my patients. I strongly believe that food should be the foundational medicine and can really contribute to great health. One of my favourite superfoods for health is the Chaga mushroom.

Chaga is a wild mushroom that grows on birch trees in Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska and Canada; it thrives in harsh winter environments. It appears as a hardened, blackened, crusty formation like a bursting tumor on the trunk of a birch tree.

Health Benefits of Chaga Mushroom:

ORAC Value and Antioxidant Status

The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale designed by the USDA, measures the amount of free oxygen radicals that a food, or supplement can absorb in your body. Chaga has the highest ORAC score for natural foods or supplements as tested by the USDA and Tufts University in Boston, MA.

ORAC values are associated with the ability of a food to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals contribute to age related degeneration and disease, inflammation, and some cancers. Foods with high ORAC values are considered antioxidants and protect against the effects of free radicals.

Top ORAC fruits and vegetables per 100 g ~ Tufts University

FOOD ORAC VALUE
Chaga 365,570
Acai berry, freeze dried 41,000
Cacao, raw (also contains caffeine) 26,000
Tibetan Goji Berries 25,310
Prunes 5,890
Purple cabbage 4,200
Pomegranate 3,370
Raisins 2,890
Blueberries 2,450

Immune Support

Increased research is exploring the benefits of chaga mushroom extract on immune function. Animal studies have successfully shown that chaga mushroom extract improves immune response by stimulating IL-2 cytokine expression (regulates both immune activation and homeostasis)and increasing T cell (white blood cell important to adaptive immunity) population.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis)

Chaga mushroom extract may be beneficial in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Oxidative stress (free radical damage) to cells lining the gastrointestinal tract may contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Chaga mushroom extract suppresses edema (swelling) and mucosal damage within the gut and has an anti-inflammatory effect at sites in the colon and rectum.

 

How to Consume Chaga Mushroom:

Tea – Chunks of chaga can be boiled in water for 15-30 minutes to create a dark decoction that you can drink as a tea or use a base for soups of smoothies. You can also boil the chaga with other herbs or spices to create customized tea blends. It mixes well with chai spices (cardamon, ginger, cloves, anise, fennel, etc.) or with cacao, chickory and dandelion root.

Tincture/Supplement – A few supplement companies have created really fantastic liquid chaga extracts as well as included chaga in their supplement formulations. These can be recommended by a Naturopathic Doctor and integrated into a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan.

Powder – Chaga mushroom powder can easily be added to soups, smoothies, and teas. It has an earthy, slightly vanilla-like taste.

 

Resources

(n.d.). Retrieved from Natural News: http://www.naturalnews.com/036974_chaga_mushroom_anti-cancer_tonic.html#

Enkhbaatar Batjargal, H. H. (2009). Effects of Korean Chaga mushroom extract on stimulation of immune response in mouse splenocytes. The Journal for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology .

Lemieszek MK1, L. E.-S. (2011). Anticancer effects of fraction isolated from fruiting bodies of Chaga medicinal mushroom, Inonotus obliquus (Pers.:Fr.) Pilát (Aphyllophoromycetideae): in vitro studies. Int J Med Mushrooms

Najafzadeh, M. R. (2007). Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in lymphocytes of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Mol Cells , 31 (2), 165-73.

ORAC Results Fruits and Vegetables per 100g / 3.5oz (Conducted by Tuffs University Dept. of Health Sciences Boston, MA:U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Health Project Expo 2003)

 

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

main image via flickr

Print Friendly
Posted in Detoxification, Digestive Health, Environmental Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Jul 7

Fish Consumption During Pregnancy

Fish and PregnancyBy Dr. Lisa Watson, ND

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made headlines this month when they released guidelines on how much fish pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume

While previously both the FDA and EPA recommended maximum amounts of fish that should be consumed by pregnant women, no minimum has ever been established.

The new recommendations are based on emerging evidence that fish are an abundant source of omega 3 fatty acids, and that these nutrients can have a “positive impact on growth and development as well as on general health” (Stephen Ostroff, MD).

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are now recommended to eat at least 8 ounces, and up to 12 ounces (2-3 servings) per week of varieties of fish that are low in mercury.

Fish that are known to be high in mercury and should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children are:

  • Tilefish
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • King mackerel
  • Albacore tuna (“white” tuna)
  • Marlin
  • Orange roughy
  • Escolar

Fish that is encouraged due to lower levels of mercury include:

  • Shrimp
  • Pollock
  • Salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Cod
  • Light tuna

Fish oil supplements that are analyzed for mercury levels are also safe for consumption in pregnancy and offer the same benefits as eating fish.

Selected references

FDA Press Release: FDA and EPA issue draft updated advice for fish consumption

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm397929.htm

Sea Choice: Healthy Recommendations

http://www.seachoice.org/seafood-recommendations/health-recommendations/

Health Canada: Mercury in Fish

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/chem-chim/environ/mercur/cons-adv-etud-eng.php

Health Canada: Fish Consumption Advisories

https://www.ec.gc.ca/mercure-mercury/default.asp?lang=En&n=DCBE5083-1

 

LwatsonDr. Lisa Watson delivers health care that supports balanced and attainable health at all ages and stages of life. Of primary importance is health care that nurtures the body, mind, spirit, family and community.  As a Naturopathic Doctor and mother, Lisa believes that health care and a healthy lifestyle are intrinsically linked and that each serves to support the other. Dr. Watson practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.
Follow Dr. Watson on Twitter
Check out Dr Watson’s blog: www.drlisawatson.com

main image via yoni sheffer via Compfight cc

 

 

Print Friendly
Posted in Digestive Health, Pregnancy, Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Jun 30

Nourishing Faith in Your Pregnant Self

her kiss by Crescence Krueger, BA

It’s common knowledge that a major factor in realizing a healthy outcome for yourself and your baby is determined by something quite simple: what you eat. When the time is right, a well-nourished body has the power to bring new, strong life into the world. What is much less recognized is the role a well-nourished mind and heart play in the birth process. I place all three aspects of nurturance on equal footing. When you have a clear, calm mind, it follows that your heart is clear too; you are able to love and it is love that gets a baby born. In the absence of fear, oxytocin and endorphins flood a woman’s body. They are called the “hormones of love” and without them, a spontaneous birth is impossible. With them, like the beating of your heart and the breathing of your body, your uterus pulses, contracting and opening in ever increasing rhythm, spiraling your baby through you, as your mind comes fully into your experience, neither concerned about the past, nor worried about the future. This is the natural meditation, the ecstatic state, life brings you into, when you give birth in circumstances that feel good. You are an embodiment of love, as is your baby, and in love, the two of you will flourish; having given birth, your milk flows and all is well. Two become one again.

Fear is junk food for your heart and soul and it is freely available. It withers your trust in yourself and poisons your mind. Fear tells you you know nothing and should therefore rely on others. Fear doubts life’s intelligence and says expecting the worst is rational and controlling the birth process will keep you safe. Fear is the darkness born out of generations of women who experienced giving birth as a profound separation from themselves and those they loved. Many of our grandmothers and great grandmothers gave birth while unconscious and alone, save for some strangers who thought that a woman was a hazard to her baby and so treated her as such. After birth, babies were kept away from their mothers as much as possible; formula feeding made this separation easy. The result was at least a few generations of women who really didn’t know much about their own inherent wisdom. They had experts instead.

As a society, we are still in the midst of healing our ignorance, and each of us has the task of deepening our intimacy with ourselves, embracing our fear in the larger arms of our faith. How many hours do we spend searching the Internet for what we’ll never find there? Immersing your mind in sensation, rather than information, will give you the vital knowledge you need to stand in your own ground as the source and force of life. I am part of a lineage of Yoga teachers, which knows this and has the practical tools to nourish relationships, beginning with your relationship to yourself. As a Doula, I use my skills of intimacy with the birthing women I work with. To know how your body feels, how it breathes, what it needs and desires, is to know your reality; then you can take intelligent action. Yoga is relationship and it is relationship that moves the life force, nothing else.

I’m so happy to have joined the team at the Integrative Health Institute because everyone here understands that nothing and no one is separate. Our body works as a whole, just as each of us is part of the whole of life. As a pregnant woman, the power of life is literally within you. True intelligence isn’t distinct from great love; the two are one. In a culture of fear, something simple you can trust.

Crescence Crescence Krueger has a deep understanding of what women need in order to give birth. Over the last twenty-one years, her work as a doula has brought her again and again into the heart of women’s authentic power, as they give birth not only to their babies, but also to themselves as mothers. Crescence practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

To learn more about Crescence and her services as a doula, take a look at her website, follow her on twitter, or email her at ckrueger@integrativehealthinstitute.ca

main image via Jack Fussell via Compfight

Print Friendly
Posted in Pregnancy, Women's Health, Yoga | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Jun 23

Green Beauty Review: Hurraw! Lip Balm

Hurraw! Lip BalmBy Dr. Jen Newell, ND

I love beauty products and am constantly on the hunt for the perfect lip balm, one that nourishes, moisturizes and provides a subtle shine without being sticky, greasy or waxy.

I was recently introduced to Hurraw! Lip Balm by the lovely ladies at the Integrative Health Institute. We sell this very popular lip balm at the clinic in a variety of flavours and the team and our clients had nothing but great reviews so I hopped on the band wagon and gave the chai and black cherry flavours a try.

Description of Hurraw! Lip Balm:

All natural, vegan, made from premium raw, organic and fair trade ingredients…complete with a bunch of natural and fun flavor options! It also had to meet some tough criteria… Super smooth, not draggy, not sticky, not sweet, not too glossy, not too smelly, never grainy, long lasting; plus, it had to hold up to being in a back jeans pocket all day without melting!

My Thoughts:

This lip balm is amazing! It completely lives up to the company’s description. The scent is subtle and there is no discernable taste or sweetness to the balm. The texture is smooth, creamy and non-sticky. It provides lasting natural moisture to the lips. The chai flavour was warm, spicy and smelled amazing! The black cherry balm had a tint of sheer red and brightened up my post-winter complexion. I couldn’t pick a favourite and have been taking both with me everywhere.

I really love the oval shaped tube that Hurraw! Lip Balm uses. It fits nice into pockets and is really unique. Added bonus: the tubes are made from 50% recycled plastic materials.

I highly recommend Hurraw! Lip Balms. They are a great product made from natural and nourishing ingredients created by an environmentally conscious and ethical company.

Pick up a tube…or 2 at the Integrative Health Institute for $3.79.

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

 

Print Friendly
Posted in Naturopathic Medicine, Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Jun 16

Dr. Wiley’s Power Breakfast

IMG_1506By Erin Wiley ND

There is nothing better than starting your day off on the right foot. Busy people with busy mornings can have a simple breakfast that will fuel the day and fight disease! Here is my favourite combo that is both husband and Baby-B approved!

Paleo Breakfast Muffins

These delicious little muffins make an excellent breakfast. They are nutrient dense and low in refined carbohydrates. Definitely a “no guilt”, “no crash” breakfast you can feel great about.

Ingredients:

- 2.5 cups of almond flour

- 1 tsp of baking soda

- ½ tsp of sea salt

- 3 eggs

- 1 mashed ripe banana

- 2 tbsps of honey

- 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar

- 2 tbsps of melted coconut oil

- 1 cup frozen raspberries (or fruit of choice)

Directions

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

- Line 12 cups in your muffin tin

- In a large bowl whisk the dry ingredients: almond flour, baking soda, and salt

- In a medium bowl mix the wet ingredients: eggs, banana, honey, vinegar, and oil

- Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well

- Gently mix 1 cup of frozen raspberries into the batter

- Divide the batter evenly into the cups.

- Bake for 18-20 minutes and then cool on a rack for 30 minutes

Berry-Green Smoothie

This delicious detox powerhouse will fuel your morning! It is so simple to make and will get you moving better than coffee!

In a large blender combine:

- 1/3 a cup of parsley

- ½ cup green cabbage chopped

- ½ cup broccoli

- 1 cup of frozen mango

- 1 cup frozen raspberries

Cover with water and blend until smooth! Drink and enjoy!

 

Dr. Erin Wiley is a naturopathic doctor with a strong focus on preventative and integrative medicine. She is the Co-founder and Clinic Director of the Integrative Health Institute, an integrative medical clinic located in downtown Toronto. Erin has a strong clinical emphasis on stress related illness, anxiety, depression and hormone balance. As a naturopathic doctor, Erin is passionate about working with people to help them better understand their health and achieve their health goals.

Print Friendly
Posted in Breakfast, Cold and Flu Prevention, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Naturopathic Medicine, Recipes, Smoothies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Jun 9

10 Ways to Spice Up Your Health

Spicy By Dr. Lisa Watson, ND

When you think of a healthy, balanced diet you probably think of the Four Food Groups – whole grains, lean meats/ meat alternatives, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. But a healthy diet should also include an abundance of the ‘fifth food group’ – spices!

Spices used in cooking are the original herbal medicines. Many of the spices in our kitchen pantry have been used for hundreds, or thousands of years to enhance flavour – and to enhance health.

Spices have more antioxidant potential (ORAC score) by weight than fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are infinitely useful in the body – they prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, premature aging and chronic diseases.

Below are ten spices that can easily be incorporated into your diet to spice up your food, and your health.

1. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne is an excellent anti-inflammatory and also aids in digestion. Research also has shown that capsaicin, found in cayenne peppers, can relieve pain from achy joints and sore muscles when applied directly to the painful area.

2. Cilantro

Cilantro is used extensively in Thai and Mexican cuisine. Cilantro is effective at mobilizing heavy metals including mercury, cadmium, lead and aluminum. It can be used during detoxification protocols, but should be used under supervision of a Naturopathic Doctor.

3. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of Nature’s richest sources of antioxidants. It is a warming spice and can be used to relieve nausea and vomiting. Recent research shows that ¼ teaspoon per day can lower blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels which make it beneficial for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

4. Fennel

My favourite spice for the treatment of colic and gas in infants. Fennel is also useful in supporting liver detoxification. Brew a fennel tea and give a teaspoon to infants to support digestion and relief the pain and discomfort of colic or gas.

5. Garlic

Garlic is one of the most popular herbal medicines and is found in most kitchens as well. Garlic is a potent antimicrobial and can be used during acute or chronic infections (such as ear infections, sore throat, coughs, colds and yeast infections). Garlic can also reduce cholesterol and normalize high blood pressure. Regular consumption of garlic can prevent cancer and it is currently being studied for its ability to destroy cancer cells and disrupt the metabolism and growth of tumours.

6. Ginger

Ginger is a common ingredient in Asian and Indian cooking as well as giving the flavour to Ginger Ale. Ginger is high in antioxidants and can protect against aging and development of chronic disease. Ginger is best used for decreasing indigestion, treating gas and abdominal spasms and managing nausea. Ginger has been shown in multiple studies to be an effective treatment for nausea associated with motion sickness, pregnancy and hangovers. Ginger tea is easily made by adding a few thin slices of ginger to hot water.

7. Oregano

Oregano has potent antibacterial properties. Oregano is effective at destroying unfriendly intestinal bacteria without damage to the friendly bacteria. Oregano is also effective at eliminating yeast (Candida albicans) overgrowth in the body, and particularly in the sinuses.

8. Thyme

Thyme is antimicrobial and is useful for cough and colds. Thyme can also reduce the pain of menstrual cramps and calm stomach cramping. Applied topically to cuts and abrasions, thyme is an effective antiseptic preventing bacterial infection.

9. Turmeric

Turmeric is a traditional Indian spice and is best known in North America as the spice that gives mustard it’s characteristic yellow colour. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. It is used to treat arthritis, decreasing pain and joint inflammation. Turmeric is useful for any inflammatory condition including inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, cystic fibrosis, heart disease and cancer. Curcumin (a component of turmeric) may also be used in the prevention of Alzheimers by preventing plaque formation in the brain. Research is currently being done to assess the ability of turmeric to prevent the spread (metastasis) of cancer.

10. Wasabi

The hot Asian spice commonly served with sushi has been shown in studies to kill Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria in the stomach. This bacteria is associated with heartburn and the development of ulcers and stomach cancer.

Remember to replace your spices frequently. The antioxidant and other medicinal compounds in spices deteriorate with age. Keep spices in well-sealed glass containers and replace after their best-before date or every 6 months.

 

LwatsonDr. Lisa Watson delivers health care that supports balanced and attainable health at all ages and stages of life. Of primary importance is health care that nurtures the body, mind, spirit, family and community.  As a Naturopathic Doctor and mother, Lisa believes that health care and a healthy lifestyle are intrinsically linked and that each serves to support the other. Dr. Watson practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.
Follow Dr. Watson on Twitter
Check out Dr Watson’s blog: www.drlisawatson.com

main image via doozzle via Compfight

 

 

Print Friendly
Posted in Naturopathic Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Jun 2

Look and Feel Your Best! – Hair Nourishing Nutrients

hairBy Dr. Jen Newell

Part of overall health includes how you look; your physical appearance is often an indicator of how healthy you are and is a reflection of who you are. Having healthy, shiny hair is more than just the shampoo and conditioner you use. As your hair grows out of the follicles on your scalp, you can see the results of the quality of your nutrition. However, by the time you see that new hair, it’s too late to improve how it looks through better nutrition.

Beautiful hair is nourished hair, so don’t think you can rely on hair products alone to tame your mane.

Nutrients for lush, gorgeous hair:

1. Protein

Hair is made up primarily of a protein known as keratin, which is also found in fingernails and toenails. Eating foods rich in high-quality protein ensures that your body will produce sufficient keratin to build strong hair. Good sources of protein include nuts and seeds, lean grass-fed meats, fish, and beans and lentils.

2. Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids play a key role in healthy hair by nourishing the scalp and moisturizing new hair growth. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are rich sources of omega-3’s and other essential fats.

3. Vitamin D

This sunshine vitamin plays an important role in preventing a number of health concerns including various cancers, mood disorders and immune dysfunction but it has also been found to contribute to hair growth. Several studies have found that sufficient vitamin D status may activate and accelerate hair growth.

4. Iron

Low iron stores (ferritin values) are a contributing cause of hair loss, particularly in women. Clean sources of grass-fed, antibiotic-free red meats are a good source of iron; as are chia seeds, beans and lentils, and dark leafy greens. However, significantly low iron stores may require high quality supplementation to bring ferritin to an optimal range and reverse associated symptoms.

Other concerns a Naturopath may assess if you have noticed significant changes to your hair:

• Thyroid function

• Dermatological concerns

• Autoimmune concerns

• Food sensitivities or allergies

• Nutrient deficiencies

• Allergic reactions to personal care products

• Exposure to heavy metals and other toxins

 

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

main image via pixabay

Print Friendly
Posted in Naturopathic Medicine, Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
May 26

Salt it up in an Epsom Bath – your stressed muscles will thank you!

By Nancy Brooks, BMusA, Art.Dip., RMT

Soaking in a bath with Epsom salts is a relaxing way to increase your levels of magnesium and sulfate, a time-tested pairing known for easing tired muscles.

A naturally occurring mineral from a spring in the southeast English town of Epsom, the salts offer a passive self-care option for the home (although a soak may not seem so passive if you first have to clean out your tub – persevere). It will be so worth the effort!

Here’s why: while magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, sulfate draws out toxins; found in Epsom salts, both are absorbed through the skin. Doctors and researchers agree that a warm Epsom salt bath nurtures the body, mind and spirit to safely replenish magnesium levels, which leads to reduce inflammation in the body. There’s also an added bonus: the presence of magnesium aids in the chemical release of the mood elevating hormone serotonin, which promotes a state of wellbeing and relaxation. Yay!

As a Registered Massage Therapist, I regularly recommend the healing powers of Epsom salt to seal the deal from the treatment my massage patient has experienced earlier in the day.  After the body, mind and spirit have been therapeutically challenged to release unnecessary tension, the result is often some mild muscular irritation and inflammation, which causes a depletion of the body’s magnesium levels.

If you struggle with cardiovascular issues or are pregnant before your soak it up in an Epsom salt bath, please consult with your doctor.   Once you’ve got the green light to salt it up, dump 2 cups of Epsom salt (purchased from your local pharmacy or health food store) into hot running water and let the soaking begin! Relax in the bath for 10 to 20 minutes.  While in the bath, I invite you to drink some water from a non-breakable glass to keep hydrated and spend some time visualizing all the stresses of your day just melting away!

 

Sources:

Daniluk, Julie RHN, NNCP: Meals That Heal Inflammation p.259

http://www.EpsomSaltCouncil.org/articles/report_on_absorption_of_magnesium_sulfate.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_sulfate

http://www.livestrong.com/article/278847-how-do-epsom-salts-reduce-swelling/

http://www.greenecoservices.com/green-health-and-beauty-epsom-salts/

Integrative-033Nancy J Brooks has enthusiastically been practicing as a Registered Massage Therapist in good standing with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario since 2000.  Upon completion of her Massage Therapy diploma from Sutherland-Chan School and Teaching Clinic, Ms. Brooks felt compelled to immerse herself in both rehabilitative and spa treatment settings; her goal was to understand and experience the myriad approaches to healing.

Nancy asserts that life-long continuing education is the cornerstone of personal and professional vitality.  Her holistic treatment philosophy has evolved through the following post-graduate courses: Evidence-based Medical Acupuncture; Injury Prevention and Intervention for Musicians and Performing Artists; Fascia Release using NISA; Aromatherapy, Hot Stone Massage and Body Wraps; Neural Dynamics and Pain Management; Muscle Energy; Introduction to Qi-Gong; The Physiology of Moksha Yoga Postures; Landmark Education; The Magraw Method; When the Artist’s Body Says No; Compassion Fatigue Prevention; RMT Business Seminar; Ukulele 101.

For more information about Nancy or massage therapy at the Integrative Health Institute, contact Nancy at nbrooks@integrativehealthinstitute.ca

 

Print Friendly
Posted in Massage Therapy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment