Junk food is going to kill you

29198622_MSure, the title of this post may be a bit harsh, but guess what else is harsh? Junk food is harsh on your body. It may be easy to give into that Big “Fat” Mac or Seven Layers “Of Poor Health” Burrito, but when you’re done eating them, that’s exactly what you’ll have: excess fat and poor health.

Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t trying to be excessively negative or depressing. We’re just trying to save your health and, ultimately, your life. Junk food sure is quick and easy; a quick and easy way to potential health issues. And don’t be fooled; even junk foods that are low in calories are bad for you. Why? Because they are excessively processed, filled with artificial ingredients, and lacking in the essential nutrients your body needs.

Do you feel fatigued, stressed, or suffer from a lack of focus? Perhaps you have been to the doctor a dozen times for fibromyalgia or diabetes. If so, are you feeling trapped by the daily pills and wondering if it’s the only way? Have you considered what you are eating as being a potential contributor?

Highly processed junk foods contain unhealthy ingredients such as nitrates, bad fats, sugar or artificial sweeteners, salt, or other unwanted chemicals as a result of the way they are processed. Just consider for a moment the number of machines processed foods go through on their way to your mouth. By the time they hit the grocery shelf or fast food counter, they have been so burnt, frozen, dehydrated, and stuffed with preservatives, they have pretty much no chance of providing you with any kind of nutrition.

Many people suffer from chronic disorders that their physicians have trouble either diagnosing or treating. Yet, far too few family doctors ask their patients, “What are you eating?”

There is a reason why the popular saying, “you are what you eat” exists. The last thing you need is to feed your body junk!

Nutritional supplements – Help or hype for healthy living?

Medical capsule with fruit. Vitamins and supplements. DifferentAccording to the CRN 2017 Survey on Dietary Supplements, about 75 percent of Americans take dietary supplements. What’s more, the dietary supplement industry is growing at a rapid rate, projected to reach $278 billion by 2024.

Should this be a cause for concern? In an ideal world, we’re supposed to obtain the nutrition we need from diet alone! But the reality is we live in an imperfect world. With our fast-paced lives, take-outs and fast food are the new norms. Hence, we are forced to take supplements to complement the nutrients lacking in our daily diet.

This article explores the role dietary supplements play in nutrition and whether they’re good or bad.

Examples of Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements consist of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, herbs, and amino acids. They come in different forms, including tablets, capsules, gel caps, soft gels, powders, and liquids. Common supplements include:

  • Multivitamins
  • Vitamins
  • Fish oil
  • Calcium
  • Ginseng
  • Echinacea
  • Probiotics

Are Supplements Necessary?

Unless you have a self-grown garden and/or you cook what you eat, chances are you cannot reach the level of health needed to function effectively from diet alone. Here are some of the reasons for that.

  • Poor soil quality

The quality of the soil determines the quality of the food we get. Plants grown in soil depleted of nutrients and trace minerals offer reduced nutritional benefits. This directly impacts our health when we consume such plants or animals that consume such plants.

  • Pollution

Thanks to industrialization, the world is polluted than ever. Both at home and in our offices, we are exposed to several harmful pollutants. While healthy diets offer some protection, special supplements are needed to support our endogenous detoxification systems.

  • Health History

We all have unique body systems. Sometimes our body is lacking some vital nutrients, maybe due to health conditions like a damaged digestive system, cesarean section birth, substance use, and more. In such instances, supplements can help provide the vital nutrients that are lacking.

Are Dietary Supplements Regulated by the FDA?

Contrary to what you might think, dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA as food, not as drugs. What this means is those supplement manufacturers are only obliged to produce supplements in a quality manner, ensuring it doesn’t contain contaminants or impurities. FDA does not review or test for medicinal efficacy.

Consequently, supplements with health claims are required to put a disclaimer on their label that such supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

Does this Mean Dietary Supplements are Dangerous?

Provided you’re not taking mega doses of supplements, most supplements are safe to use. However, some can be dangerous or even deadly. A 2015 study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that 23,000 people ended up in an emergency room after using supplements. Here are some common reasons for that:

  • Overdosing
  • Fraudulent dietary supplements
  • Due to lax regulations, some supplements with illegal substances go undetected.
  • Unintended complications: Some supplements interact with certain prior medical conditions or medication. For instance, beta-carotene (a supplement used to reduce the risk of heart disease) can increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Similarly, evening primrose can interact with warfarin to increase the risk of bleeding.

Taking Precautions

Dietary supplements offer tremendous benefits as they help ensure we get all the crucial nutrients we need to live healthily. However, here are some things to bear in mind concerning the use of supplements.

  • Food first!

Nutritionists recommend food first because food contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, even those absent in supplements. For instance, dietary supplements usually do not contain bioactive compounds and dietary fiber, which are crucial.

Furthermore, for supplements to work effectively, it is important that you do not consume them with an empty stomach. Food helps with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in supplements.

But more than just eating, you have to ensure that your diet is balanced. A balanced diet provides you with all the nutrients you need, thereby boosting your immune system.

  • Don’t go overboard

When taking supplements, ensure you don’t use more than the upper limit. Overdosing can lead to health complications. Simply follow the dosing instructions!

  • Avoid these ingredients

According to Per Consumer Reports, certain supplements contain some ingredients that may pose health risks. Some of such ingredients include bitter orange, comfrey, chaparral, country mallow, kava, methyl synephrine, usnic acid, and red yeast rice. Stay clear from them!

  • Consult with your doctor first

Before taking supplements, speak with a certified nutritional practitioner. They are trained to prescribe based on your case history and lab test results. This ensures that the prescribed supplements are well-suited for your individual body needs, with no risk of complications.

  • Buy supplements from reputable stores.

Some experts kick against purchasing supplements from online stores like eBay because you cannot be assured of their legitimacy or safety. Similarly, be leery of cheap supplements, as they may reflect inferior production. Furthermore, ensure you only purchase supplements from countries that have safety standards in place.

  • Keep track of side effects.

Ensure you take note of any side effects – such as nausea, dizziness, chest pain, etc. – you notice while using a supplement. Stop using the medication and promptly inform your doctor to determine the best course of action.

Contact us today for more information.

Inflammation is the common denominator

??????????????????????????????????tWhen you look at all the major health ailments out there, they tend to have one common denominator: inflammation. Whether you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer or even depression, in many cases the root cause can be found alongside inflammation or one sort or another.

Inflammatory diseases by themselves run the gamut, affecting many, many millions of people all over the world. Even more troubling, rates of these diseases and conditions appears to only be rising.

Traditional medicine teaches us that the best way to deal with inflammation is to essentially mask it through medication. In some cases, even immune suppressing drugs are used.

Yet, the missing piece lies at the root of the problem, which is that physicians are not normally trained to find the underlying cause of the inflammation. In a treatment-focused medical atmosphere, prevention and cure come few and far between.

Fortunately, more and more providers and patients are learning about an approach designed to address whatever is causing the inflammation and eliminate it, rather than merely mask the symptoms. Functional medicine, which takes a systemic approach to your health, focuses on uncovering health issues that may be related, yet still unknown.

Autoimmune problems are related by a specific biochemical process. When your body’s immune response is to attack its own tissues, you wind up with major inflammation that can hamper other systems throughout the body. Whether you suffer from allergies or arthritis, medicating the symptom is not the answer.

Get fully functional and find the root cause of the problem. Your body will thank you. Not sure where to start? http://proactivewellness.com, we can help.

Natural ways to balance your hormones

62536051 - book with words hormone imbalance symptoms on a table.Hormones are the chemical messengers of your body. They travel through your bloodstream, instructing different organs and tissues on what to do. From reproduction to metabolism regulation, your hormones control all of your body’s major processes.

Just as a tiny hormonal imbalance can have negative effects, including diabetics, weight gain, infertility, depression, and many more. A good parallel is to consider what happens when you add too much salt to your food. You ruin it! Your hormones are like ingredients that need to be properly balanced.

Hormonal injections and supplements are two common ways people combat hormonal imbalances. However, in this post, we take your attention to six ways you can balance your hormones naturally.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is arguably the most important factor affecting hormonal balance. Nothing can save you from hormonal imbalance when you don’t get enough restorative sleep – not even nutrition or exercise! Poor sleep has been linked to imbalances in hormones like cortisol, insulin, ghrelin, and leptin. A study found that sleeping for four hours per night reduced insulin sensitivity in men by 20%.

Based on a study by the International Journal of Endocrinology, getting improper sleep can result in diabetes, obesity, and problems with appetite.

Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily, but it’s important to note that quality also matters. Going through the five stages of each sleep cycle is important for the release of growth hormones.

Exercise regularly

The right kind and amount of exercise will positively impact your body’s hormones. A major benefit of exercise is its ability to increase insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin levels.

Insulin is an anabolic hormone that allows our body cells to take sugar from the bloodstream and use it as energy. Low levels of insulin results in constant fatigue, anxiety, irritability, and pale skin. On the other hand, high insulin levels have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Many types of physical activities, however, have been found to modify hormone levels. Performing aerobics, strength training, walking, and other exercises will help lower your risk of many diseases.

Manage Stress

We live in an insanely fast-paced world, where no one ever seems to take a break. This high level of stress affects two main hormones – cortisol and adrenaline.

Cortisol is the stress hormone that helps us cope with long-term stress. Adrenaline is responsible for our fight-flight mechanism, which helps us to react instinctively to danger. While these hormones fluctuate depending on the current condition, they are supposed to get regulated.

However, in high-stress environments, cortisol levels remain high. This saps an immense amount of energy, which causes you to eat more, putting you at the risk of obesity. If your adrenaline levels remain elevated, it can result in high blood pressure and anxiety. That’s why you need to effectively manage your stress level.

Avoid Sugar and refined carbs

Sugar and refined carbs have been found to play a role in issues such as insulin resistance and metabolic disease. Fructose, in particular, increases insulin levels, especially in overweight people with prediabetes or diabetes. Common sources of fructose include honey, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and refined table sugar. Diet high in refined carbs like pretzels and white bread may promote insulin resistance.

That’s why it’s advisable to eliminate sugar from your diet. In particular, stay away from sugary beverages. Eating a low- or moderate- carb diet instead of refined carb may help overweight people reduce their insulin levels.

Consume Healthy Fats

While fat is important for the proper functioning of the body, unhealthy fats like trans fats have been found to cause insulin resistance and increase belly fat storage. That’s why it’s good to take only high-quality natural fats.

Coconut oil, pure MCT oil, and palm oil contain medium-chain triglycerides, which help to provide the liver with energy. MCTs are also known to reduce insulin resistance.

Dairy fats and monounsaturated fat in olive oil and nuts can help increase your insulin sensitivity. It also helps balance the hormone responsible for appetite regulation and the digestion of protein and fat.

Eat Enough Protein

Consuming enough protein is very important because it provides the body with amino acid, which the body can’t make on its own. Amino acid assists in the creation and growth of muscles, connective tissue, and skin. They aid in healing and repair, as well as digestion.

To maintain your hormonal balance, eating protein is non-negotiable. Consuming protein decreases ghrelin (which is our hunger hormone) while stimulating the production of other hormones that make you feel full.

Common sources of protein include lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, among many others. Asides from being a good source of protein, fatty fish also contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that help decrease insulin levels while increasing insulin sensitivity.

Wrap Up

Other natural tips worth mentioning include:

  • Eating a high-fiber diet.
  • Drinking green tea
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Stop smoking

Your hormones influence both your physical and emotional well-being. Adopting these practices into your lifestyle will help you enjoy better overall health.

Contact us today for more information!